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LPX

Talks with the people behind the tech.
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Aug 10, 2016

A generation of computer users grew up using Microsoft DOS in the 80s and 90s, but Microsoft started to phase out the operating system with the launch of Windows 95.

Decades later, there are still people playing DOS-based games and even corporations using DOS-based software. Writer George R.R. Martin famously said in 2014 that he was still using a DOS-based word processor to compose his books. 

Don't have your stack of 3.5 inch floppies with DOS handy? That's OK... because for more than two decades the developers of FreeDOS have been offering a free and open source alternative to Microsoft's defunct operating system. 

On LPX Show episode 11: a conversation with Jim Hall for about freeDOS, classic computing, and free software.

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

And if you want to help support the LPX podcast, please consider making a donation to our Patreon campaign

Jun 17, 2016

Smartwatches are internet-connected watches that can let you do everything from viewing messages at a glance to ordering a pizza with a single tap. But not everyone needs a watch with a heart rate monitor, NFC, or GPS... and maybe some people want less common features like a flashlight, blood glucose monitor, or camera. 

So the developers of the BLOCKS smartwatch took a modular approach: the watch itself has all the basic features you'd expect including a touchscreen display and the ability to pair with your phone to connect to the internet and display notifications.

But the wrist strap is made of modules that can house features like extra batteries, GPS receivers, and more. 

I spoke with BLOCKS co-founder Serge Didenko for this episode of the LPX Show. 

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

And if you want to help support the LPX podcast, please consider making a donation to our Patreon campaign

May 17, 2016

In the wake of Intel's decision to cancel its next-gen Atom chips for smartphones, tablets, and other low-power devices, mobile tech bloggers Sascha Pallenberg, Nicole Scott, and Steve "Chippy," Paine join Brad Linder for a round tablet discussion of the legacy of the Atom chip family and what Intel's decision to shift is focus away from Atom could mean.

Sascha and Nicole are co-founders of mobile tech blogs MobileGeeks.com and MobileGeeks.de, and Chippy runs a number of mobile-focused websites including UMPC Portal and CarryPad

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

And if you want to help support the LPX podcast, please consider making a donation to our Patreon campaign

May 6, 2016

The DragonBox Pyra has a 5 inch screen and a dual-core ARM-based processor. But it's not a smartphone. In fact, this handheld computer looks more like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DS game system. 

It has a physical keyboard, a bunch of storage and input/output options, dedicated buttons for playing games, and Debian Linux software which allows you to play games or run desktop software including LibreOffice and Firefox.

DragonBox Pyra

The DragonBox Pyra is developed by a team led by Michael Mrozek, who wanted to create a system that not only runs open source software, but which also features open designs: anybody can open up the case and replace the parts or download the schematics to design their own case for the hardware... or design their own CPU board and insert it into the case. 

Mrozek began taking pre-orders for the DragonBox Pyra on May 1st, 2016 and I reached out to him to discuss the project in more detail. 

Here are some links to projects mentioned in this episode:

You can also follow Michael Mrozek on Twitter and YouTube

Visit the LPX website to learn more about the DragonBoyx Pyra.

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

And if you want to help support the LPX podcast, please consider making a donation to our Patreon campaign

Apr 25, 2016

Are chatbots the new apps? A lot of developers seem to think so. Facebook and Microsoft have both rolled out tools that make it easy for coders to create bots that you can chat with on Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other platforms including plain old SMS text messaging.

I wanted to get a better sense of what chatbots are, what they can do, and why we should use them. So for this episode of the LPX Show, I interviews Robert Stephens. He's founder of the Geek Squad, he was chief technology officer for Best Buy after that company acquired Geek Squad, and now he's co-founder of a new chatbot service called Assist.

Visit the LPX website to learn more about chatbots, and to find a list of some of the bots you can chat with today. 

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

Apr 6, 2016

After co-founding Opera Software and working on the company's web browsers for 15 years, Jon von Tetzchner left Opera in 2011. Now he's back with a new company and a new web browser... and it's aimed squarely at power users looking for features that aren't built into any other web browser.

Vivaldi 1.0 is available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts.


You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

Mar 16, 2016

Most people probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about the materials used to build their phones, or the workers who put the hardware together. But Amsterdam-based Fairphone is trying to change that... by selling phones made with conflict-free minerals from Africa and by setting up a Worker Welfare fund for factory workers in China. 

Even if you don't care about those things, the Fairphone 2 is interesting for another reason: it's the first modular smartphone to hit the market.

You can replace the screen, camera, battery, and other components with nothing more than a screwdriver.

The Fairphone 2 is available in Europe for 529 Euros, and Fairphone hopes to bring the smartphone to the United States eventually. It's showcasing the phone at this year's SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, where the phone is a finalist for an Innovation award. But the earliest the phone is likely to go on sale in the US is 2017.

I spoke with Fairphone's public engagement manager Daria Koureniushkina for this episode of the LPX Show, and she explains how the project was started, and where it's going.

I also interviewed iFixit founder Kyle Wiens about modularity and repairability in smartphones... why it's useful, and why it's not exactly common.

Here are some related links:

You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

 

Mar 7, 2016

Most people in the United States who pay for TV have to use a set-top-box rented from their cable provider. In February, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt a plan that could change that by requiring TV providers to open up the data streams so that you could access content on something like a Roku, Chromecast, or Apple TV. 

But the cable, satellite, and other TV providers are fighting back. 

In this episode of the LPX Show, we take a look at the FCC's #UnblockTheBox effort... and the industry's proposed alternative, #EliminateTheBox

Find more details at LPXShow.com

Featured guests:

Special appearances (recorded from an FCC webcast):

Links:

You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

 

Feb 21, 2016

Remix OS is a customized version of Android designed to look and feel like a desktop operating system. You can use it to run just about any Android app, but there's a desktop, a taskbar, and support for viewing multiple apps at once in windows that you can resize and reposition on the screen.

Here are some links that you may be interested in:

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts. If you like the show, leave a review (or I guess you can do that even if you don't like it...)

You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com

Feb 17, 2016

Intel's is expanding its line of Compute Stick mini-PCs in 2016, so I decided to do a state-of-the-stick episode of LPX, featuring interviews with Intel's marketing manager for the lineup and Ian Morrison, an Australian developer who has been working to port Ubuntu and other open source software to run on Intel's tiny desktop computers.

Program  Notes

  • 0:00 - 1:52 Introduction
  • 1:52 - 21:45 Bruce Patterson 
  • 21:55 - 36:43 Ian Morrison
  • 36:48 Preview for episode 3

You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts. If you like the show, leave a review (or I guess you can do that even if you don't like it...)

You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com.

Feb 2, 2016

Two people hoping to change the way we use computers.

Nitro Duo: two computers in one tiny case

Shane Lewis wanted a smartphone that could run Android apps... but which could also work as a full-fledged Windows desktop computer when attached to a docking station. And since there was nobody selling a phone that met that description, he decided to build his own.

EOMA68 Libre Laptop: a vision for an upgradeable future

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton has a vision for a future where computers are easy to upgrade. Buy a laptop, tablet, or desktop today and if you want a faster processor, more memory, or other improvements in a few years all you need to do is pop out a card and insert a $50 replacement.

Program notes

Here's a run-down of the first episode of LPX:

  • 0:00 - 1:17 Introduction
  • 1:17 - 22:07 Shane Lewis interview
  • 22:24 - 41:46 Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton interview

If you'd like to hear the full, unedited version of the interview with Luke Leighton, you can find it on YouTube.

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