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TuxJam 111 – Making a Meal of IT

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Our quadriga of Al, Andrew, Dave and Kevie begin with their usual round-up of recent releases from distrowatch but then go off-piste from our usual format. There’s no distro review in this episode but we split into two teams to look at the Mealie self-hosted service and the unofficial Android client for it called Mealient. We finish up with a round-up of feedback received since the last episode.

Along with the usual mix of Creative Commons music:

TuxJam 110 – Powered by Al

TuxJam’s quartet of Al, Kevie, Dave (aka thelovebug) and Andrew (aka mcnalu) return to bring you picks from the world of free and open source software peppered with creative commons tunes. And, no, we have not become slaves to AI – Artifical Intelligence – but are grateful to Al, our newest co-host, for suggesting both reviews in this show. As usual, we begin with our usual round-up from recent releases mentioned on distrowatch.com.

We then take a look at the resurrection of the venerable Damn Small Linux which first appeared back in 2005. Originally this packed a lean but functional linux distro into a mere 50MB which could be put on credit card sized CDs or USB thumb drives back then. These days such a small distro wouldn’t be as useful so the limit has been increased to 700MB. We take a look at DSL 2024RC1.

Have you ever dreamt of simulating electrical circuits using free and open source software that you don’t need to compile or even install? If you have you might want to seek professional help, but dream no more, such a thing exists in the form of circuitjs: a menu-driven, point, click and drag app that runs in your browser.

A boost convertor in circuitjs boosting from 5V to 14V.

We finish up with feedback we have received. Please do leave feedback either by commenting here or using the various methods list here.

Creative commons licensed tunes played in this episode are:

TuxJam 109 – A Plop in the Joilet

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New host Al has the previous co-hosts – Dave (aka thelovebug), Kevie and Andrew (aka mcnalu) on probation.

We start with our usual round-up of distrowatch.com which ranges from so easy to chaos (well, Kaos).

In this episode, prompted by a suggestion from Els Mussols, the guys look at a variety of Android based RSS reader apps,including ttRSS, Nextcloud News, and from F-Droid: Feeder, Read You, and Nunti.

Dave and Kevie review their new toys, the 8BitDo Pro Controller.

Are those Dave’s or Kevie’s hands in the picture? 🤔

We love feedback and suggestions of what to look at next so do get in touch with us or just leave a comment on this post.

And of course all this chat is spiced with a mix of Creative Commons music:

TuxJam 108 – Retro frog defence

The usual trio of Kevie, Andrew (when tore himself away from his telescope) and Dave are joined by Al, from the Admin Admin podcast, and have a show dedicated to retro gaming.

The Data Frog Gane (sic) Console

We start with our useful roundup from distrowatch.

Al and Dave review the Data frog handheld game console. Here’s a link to a GitHub repo with a whole raft of information relating to the console.

Andrew talks about his recent fun in playing around with Defender, built from the original assembly source code.

Kevie created a Pi powered retro gaming console, that was heavily inspired by the SNES. 

The links for the parts and total costs involved in this project was:

Along with the usual mix of Creative Commons Music:

TuxJam 107 – Cherry Tree and Pie

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Fellows feeling festive festoon followers with freedom! In this Christmas themed episode and the last one of the year, Kevie, Dave (aka thelovebug) and Andrew (aka mcnalu) have lovingly hand-picked a couple of FOSS goodies for their tenuous yuletide connections.

We look at Retropie (because everybody loves getting games at Christmas) which causes an outbreak of nostalgia amongst your hosts. Also, to make Santa’s life easier whilst he checks his list, we look at the hierarchical note taking app Cherrytree (Kevie also tested out the Android app SourCherry).

The steps that were spoken of in the show for setting up Retropie were as follows:

if you want to use external storage such as a USB thumb drive, then you need to create a folder called retropie-mount on the root of the drive using the PC. On Retropie go to the configuration page and select retropie setup. Then select configuration / tools and this will bring up another menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and select usbromservice (this will be off the screen when you first look at this menu), select enable and hit OK. Go back to the home screen, press the start button on your controller and reboot the system from the quit option. When Retropie has loaded up to the home screen, plug in the USB drive and wait about 1 minute and then remove the drive again. This will have setup the USB drive with the appropriate folders. If you simply fire a load of ROMs onto a USB then it will not work; they need to go into the specific directory.

By default the sound is sent through the HDMI output, this is no use for me as my monitor does not have speakers. Press menu and select sound setting, you only get headphones or HDMI. Audio via bluetooth is not enabled by default on Retropie. The steps that worked for me on a Raspeberry Pi 400 were:

First I needed to drop out of this graphical UI to a terminal, you can’t use the pad for this, you will need a keyboard.

  1. Press F4 to take you to a terminal
  2. Install the pulseaudio-module-bluetooth with the command sudo apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
  3. Add the user to the bluetooth group with the command sudo adduser pi bluetooth
  4. Now we need to tell the Pi to use the connected bluetoooth audio speaker and for this we need to use a text editor, I used Nano as it was already installed: sudo nano /etc/pulse/default.pa
  5. Add the line load-module module-switch-on-connect
  6. Save and exit the file
  7. Now we need to tell bluetooth to enable the audio service. Again we need to edit a file: sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
  8. Find the [General] section and add the line: Enable=Source,Sink,Media,Socket
  9. Save and exit the file
  10. Reboot the system with sudo reboot
  11. On reboot select configuration on the home screen and select Bluetooth
  12. Select Pair and Connect to Bluetooth Device (make sure that your device is in pairing mode)
  13. Select Configure Bluetooth Connect Mode and then select background

I noticed after starting playing is that I had a black border around my screen. To remove this go to configuration, select raspi-config and then select Display Options, then scroll to Underscan and select No. This won’t affect you if you have this connected to a TV, but it will if connected to a monitor. Once you exit the settings it will ask if you want to reboot, you will need to reboot for this to take effect. Upon reboot the black border is removed.

The artwork is not loaded by default and it isn’t clear how to get this, however it is not difficult. When you have your ROMs listed in front of you, press start on your controller and select the Scraper option, then select Scrape Now and all of your ROMs will have their artwork. This is purely optional and only an aesthetic addition. A word of warning is that it will go through each ROM and ask which art you would like or which version of the game it is. If you are like me and have 1000s of ROMs then this is something that you may wish to skip unless you really wish to spend a lot of time configuring your system.

This episode is festively spiced with the following mix of festive tracks:

TuxJam 106 – Gifts for Geeks 2023

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It is time for our annual list of things we really want for Christmas things we want geeks throughout the world to receive for Christmas. Partners, friends and relatives of geeks take note! TuxJam will return to its usual format for a December Christmas show.

Stocking Fillers (below £10)

Low price (£10-£25)

Mid range (£25-£100)

High End (over £100)

WOW, you REALLY love them (£silly money)

Festive Creative Commons tracks played on this episode:

TuxJam 105 – Manjarmity

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This month your trynamic trio of Kevie, Dave (aka thelovebug) and Andrew (aka mcnalu) begin with their usual perusal of recent releases on distrowatch. They then disagree on who decided on what to review in this episode and then agree it was all of them, demonstrating that while there is indeed no ‘I’ in team, nor is there a ‘we’.

On emerging from this paradox they take a look at Manjaro (Arm) with the Wayland compositor Sway and the venerable Arity Calculator for Android available from F-droid.

Creative commons tracks played in this episode are:

TuxJam 104 – Libre Regata

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The boys are back after a summer break. They begin with their usual roundup of recent releases from distrowatch. Next up they set sail for Brazil, virtually, and take a look at gaming distro RegataOS. Following that we take a look at YouTube Android player LibreTube which you can get from F-Droid and close with a brief review of the last Podcrawl Jitsi. Remember we do like feedback so please do get in touch.

Along with the usual mix of Creative Commons tracks:

TuxJam 103.5

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We don’t start with our usual round up from distrowatch, nor do we review anything nor conclude with feedback. We do however have tunes and a yarn with Kevie and Andrew (aka mcnalu). This is just a short show we recorded to inform listeners of the upcoming Podcrawl Jitsi at 18:00BST (17:00 UTC) on Saturday 19 August. Hope to see you there!

The creative common tune played during this show is:

Drink up me mateys by Black Bones

TuxJam 103 – Like PCs in a Pod

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The terrible triumvirate of Kevie, Dave (aka the Bug of Love) and Andrew (the Son of Nalu) reunite for another jamming of the Tux. Into the preserve we toss a random sample of FOSS goodness reduced with sweet creative commons tuneage. Following the usual perusing of the Watch of the Distros, we take a look at the venerable linux distribution, the Operating System of the Linux PC (PCLinuxOS). We then review the android app Podverse which is a catcher of the pods. As usual we end with a review of feedback.

All this along with the usual mix of Creative Commons tracks: