I wanted to touch today on a podcast that I have found immensely helpful in my search for open source bliss. The Linux Action Show is a show that has been running for a very long time. The long episode format was entertaining throughout their run of 90 episodes, and always kept me coming back for more.
As with Mysterious Universe though, all good things come to an end. Bryan and Chris will no longer be releasing episodes in a long format, although there will be a ton of new content in the future. I was seriously disappointed when I first heard the news in October, but after seeing what kind of content they can push out to a much wider audience, I have ultimately come to terms with the change.
I first heard of this crazy thing called Linux back when I was first realizing what a crappy product Windows 98 was. Now, I had begun my computing life as strictly a Mac user, but as I could not afford (and glad I didn’t buy) a Mac in the early 90s, I switched to a Windows-based IBM-compatible PC.
From the start, I was not impressed with Windows (then 3.11). Things that the Mac did almost 10 years before did not translate into this copied GUI, and I was left with a whole lot of desire and no way to keep myself happy. Then came Windows 95 and eventually Windows 98.
For those of you who remember using Windows 98, it was a mess. I had nothing but issues with that freaking operating system, and I became increasingly frustrated with the state of things on my own PC. Round about that time (late 90s) I had also become frustrated with the crap that was (and still is) Internet Explorer. I had used Netscape before, and had not liked the feel of it, so I started looking for an alternative, and found it in Opera. The speed, features and overall polish continued to wow me while I used Opera.
This is an analogue to my experience with Linux. I went from Windows 98 to 2000, and found that most of my underlying frustrations were still around. In 2002, I heard of a little thing called Linux. I had never even seen anything like it before, and quickly saw the benefits.
I started using Fedora Core 2 as a full time desktop, dual booting only to play games in Windows. Man, what a difference it made. Even with the sub-par release that was Core 2, I was seeing a significant increase in speed and productivity over Windows 2000 on the same hardware.
Eventually, I fell out of practice with Linux, and ended up getting a job at a company which only used Windows. It wasn’t until a close friend and I started a small business that I was re-introduced to the Linux scene, in the form of command-line Gentoo.
I bought a new laptop, and dual-booted XP and Gentoo for the longest time, but was not satisfied with the amount of work that went into keeping a GUI-based Gentoo system running satisfactorily. I’m sure I’ll get flack from that statement, but that was my personal experience. I was once again turned off to Linux until I found out about this great show, The Linux Action Show.
Even though I hadn’t used Linux on a desktop for a few years, somehow I came across this show and was instantly hooked. I installed Ubuntu and got things rolling. At the time I was working full time for the West Virginia Lottery installing Linux-based controller PCs for their lucrative video slot machines, and ended up in a car for long periods during the day. I downloaded the entire archive of episodes, and subscribed to the feed and got cooking.
What’s So Great About This Show?
For starters, Bryan and Chris. These guys are the kind of podcast hosts that ooze charisma. Even before they started doing the video editions, I had a clear vision of what these guys look like strictly by the sound of their voices, and I was pretty spot-on when I discovered a picture of Bryan. The segues they use from segment to segment keep you enthralled, and their wacky antics keep you coming back for more.
On top of that layer of polish is the content. This isn’t just some run-of-the-mill news podcast, these people really get this whole Linux thing. Each episode they not only cover the news, but also do reviews of products and conduct interviews with the people in the trenches out there in the Linux world.
The vast amount of user feedback, and their recently stated stats of their RSS feed prove that these guys know what they’re doing.
While the format that I originally enjoyed this show is disappearing, they have come up with a pretty fantastic roadmap. They will no longer be doing the long episodes regularly released, but instead will be releasing shorter, more concise video clips about individual topics.
This serves a dual purpose. First, they are able to create much more content without having to devote as much of their personal life to this show. Second, and probably more important, is that they are now able to reach out to much larger audience.
Their YouTube channel is constantly being updated with new and refreshing content. YouTube is a place where average Joes can go and find videos about whatever they are interested in. This works to a great advantage not only for the fine folks over at Jupiter Broadcasting, but also for the Linux community as a whole.
If someone is considering the purchase of a new netbook running Linux, the most informative way for that person to find out the specific information they need on the subject is to find an in depth review somewhere out there on the web. By releasing short clips targeted at these specific subjects, The Linux Action Show is getting the word out to the masses about the benefits of Linux in the context of everyday life.
I cannot recommend this show more to friends, or even strangers, as this is the best produced and most impressive show about Linux out there. Chances are these guys are going to do great things for the community, and have already been doing so during their 90 episode run.
So, although I’m not a big fan of the whole shorter content thing, I absolutely respect their decision and admire their purpose in doing so. Keep a look out for this show, and if you are even considering the big switch, give it a chance. The enthusiasm here is off the charts, and you will get to see how the Linux community can benefit you.
I’ve not come up with a decent rating system yet, but I would like to create a new award for this show. Henceforth, The Linux Action Show is the very first winner of the Worthless Genius Platinum Podcast Award:
Keep up the great work, Bryan and Chris, and I am eagerly awaiting the future of this fine programming and all the fine programming over at Jupiter Broadcasting.