Whilst there are a host of great blogs out there reviewing distributions and providing key how-to articles there are times when you just don't have time to read, yet you may still need that Linux fix.
When I'm driving long distances or whilst programming I need to plug myself in and block out the outside world.
A lot of programmers block out the outside world by listening to music but I find I get bored of listening to music. When driving I listen to the radio rather than listen to CDs and when I am programming I listen to podcasts.
This article highlights my favourite Linux based shows that I like to listen to and also highlights a couple of good free magazines available for download.
The Linux Action Show
The Linux Action Show is hosted by Chris Fisher and Matt Hartley. It features news and reviews and guest interviews.
Technically not a podcast but more an online television show. The show is very entertaining and it is quite cleverly put together so that the hosts can appear in the bottom right hand corner leaving the rest of the screen for showing the display on the laptops they are using.
The show has a few sponsors and so some of the show is given over very enthusiastically to showing the best bits of the sites and services being advertised.
The two hosts have the knack of keeping you interested and are knowledgeable about the subjects they are talking about.
In the recent episode that I have just watched the guys were reviewing Ubuntu 13.04. They don't appear to have any agenda and the review was largely positive especially when it came to improved performance. On the other hand they weren't blown away with excitement about it.
Personally, looking at the examples they displayed it would tempt me to have another look at Ubuntu because it did look very crisp. I always do that though and then a few days later think "why did I do that?" and end up back at Linux Mint.
In the same episode of the show there was a guest interview with the creator of Descent OS. It is good to see the faces behind the distributions and it is interesting to understand the motivation behind a distribution.
To Watch the Linux Action Show visit http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/tag/linux-action-show/
Up until recently I hadn't tried PCLinuxOS but I have been reading this magazine for years. To be honest it doesn't really matter which version of Linux you are running as most of the articles are relevant to all distributions.
The format of the magazine is varied, with tutorials, screenshot showcases, poetry, spot the difference and of course reviews.
A lot of the online blogs write about the different operating systems and tend to gloss over the actual applications and this is something I am guilty of myself.
The PCLInuxOS magazine reviews the actual software that makes up the repositories and so there are plenties of articles about LibreOffice and GIMP etc.
Whether you intend to use PCLinuxOS or not this is a very good read.
Read the Everyday Linux User review of PCLinuxOS: http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2013/04/is-there-easier-transition-to-linux.html
To get the latest PCLinuxOS magazine visit: http://pclosmag.com/index.html
(Available in HTML, PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats).
The Going Linux podcast is hosted by Larry Bushey and Bill Smith (Chief Executive Minion).
It is fairly similar to the Linux Action Show content wise but with less emphasis on the adverts. The show has a mix of news, reviews and a good bit of technical stuff thrown in.
I listen to this when I am on the train.
The Linux Link Tech Show
So what has a lot of chatting and very little of it actually about Linux? The Linux Link Tech Show of course.
Don't let that put you off. This show lasts a good 2 hours and to be honest lasts a bit longer than that.
The show generally starts and there is general chit chat for about 15 to 20 minutes and then suddenly someone will announce "shall we start". Then you get an opening theme tune and you are back to the same sort of chit chat that happened before the music.
This podcast is great for me when I am working. I have been listening to this podcast for a while now and it is like listening to a bunch of friends I have never met.
Will you learn anything about Linux whilst listening to this show? Probably not that much. There are a few tit bits of information but mainly it is just chat.
I really enjoyed the recent episode where they looked back at all their previous shows. I'm guessing the girl who appeared on a show talking about RSI probably wouldn't agree as it was announced by one and all that she was the worst guest they had ever had. (I never heard that interview but I'm guessing it would be like someone from Alcoholics Anonymous walking into a South London pub on a Saturday afternoon whilst the football is on and suggesting that everyone calms down with their drinking).
This is my favourite podcast.
To listen to The Linux Link Tech Show visit http://tllts.org/
Full Circle Magazine
Full Circle magazine is to Ubuntu what PCLinuxOS Magazine is to PCLinuxOS.
The magazine features news articles about Ubuntu and derivatives of Ubuntu. It also contains programming tutorials and how-tos.
There are also letters pages and a question and answers column.
In this month's edtion there is a review of SolydXK and how-to guides for LibreOffice.
The magazine also contains book reviews, games reviews and software reviews.
I don't find it quite as endearing as PCLinuxOS magazine but I still read it every month.
To read Full Circle Magazine visit http://fullcirclemagazine.org/
Ubuntu UK Podcast
This podcast is very British.
It is another one of those podcasts I can just put on and listen to and get on with my work. The show is almost like a radio show in the way it is presented but there is a good element of feeling that it is just a few people in a room chatting.
Today I listened to episode 9 where there were important discussions about the direction of the Ubuntu Swirl.
I listen to this show more for entertainment value than to learn anything because generally I don't use Ubuntu and because also the show features mainly news features and short snippets rather than how-to guides.
To listen to the Ubuntu UK Podcast visit http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/
I like listening to podcasts. They help me to zone in to what I am supposed to be doing in a way music just doesn't seem to work.
There are hundreds of podcasts out there and as I come across some more I will share them with you.
Thank you for reading.