Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Why Apple should tackle gaming.

I’m going to venture where I’m sure others have ventured before and that is in to the realm and possibilites of Apple’s possible future with gaming. I have several reasons why Apple should do this and I’ll cover those here shortly. They have a lot going for them and I think they could clean house if they put some of that Apple penache in to it.

First things first is software. Most people reading this probably are not familiar with the *nix operating systems other than possible having heard of Linux before. Probably coming from my own mouth. One of the things that linux does nicely is run nicely on hardware far beneath the requirements of the latest and greatest Windows equivelant. It doesn’t do things like swapping in the background slowing down you’re hard drive unless it absolutely has to. It manages memory better than Windows in most cases and this means it leaves a lot more room on your hardware for other things like games. OS X being a relative of the BSD family means it acts like it’s *nix brothers/sisters. In fact suprisingly Call of Duty 2 is playable even on the onboard GMA950 built in to the system board. Given it isn’t the latest and greatest but it is obvious that you couldn’t make that happen with Windows running on the box.

This brings us to the hardware end of things. Gamers are willing to pay out money to get the best gaming performance money can buy, in general. This makes Apple a nice fit to gamers because they are good at making high end hardware appealing and priceing it a little high but not outrageous. This would make their hardware very appealing to gamers. You throw in the style Apple all ready has and add some gamer flare to it and Apple hardware would become irresistable to the gamer crowd.

Finally is the developers point of view. I’m not a developer but I have done a fair amount of beta testing and a good understanding of the over all process that takes place during video game creation. One of the things that I would think would be appealing to game developers is the limited platform variation. Console game designers on average have an easier job because they don’t have to write their software to run on a large variety of different hardware. PC game designers unfortunately do. Game designers/creators will be able to focus more on the game play and graphical look of their games and less on making sure the game has features to scale to fit all hardware because Apple offers up a slightly more limited set of hardware the game could run on.

Imagine getting in to a game of Quake 5 and going to options and having one slider bar. That slider bar having the options for Intel Mac Core 2, Core 2 Duo, Core 4 quad and Core !. Each setting being properly optimized to provide 60+ FPS(max fps the average human eye can discern) and the prettiest look to the game possible. It’s what a properly designed non-pc ported game should look like on a Mac.

I know there are Mac games out there and a few of the more popular games have been ported to the Mac but it looks like that work is being done by a 3rd party company. I also seem to recall an article about Mac games being pirated more than purchased but I can’t seem to find it. Wonder why? May be because Mac games are in short supply no one wants to pay Aspyr $40 for a game that on Windows is now down around $20 or $30.

Apple needs to grab the gaming market by the throat. They need to throw some money in to back porting and bringing the price of pre-existing games for Mac down and then work with game developers to bring all that gaming goodness to the platform that is really going to do it better. Apple can do this fairly easily. They’ve all ready got the 3d multimedia support built in to their OS and I don’t think it would be hard for developers to leverage this for things such as UI etc.

So to Apple I say why not!? Why don’t you take this step and bring your platform the last thing it’s missing to make it a truely rounded system. Grow some bawls!

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Brain Scatter

So today my brain is all over the place. I’m having trouble staying focused. This is pretty typical when I get immersed in such things as Zelda Twilight Princess, Mario Paper and Rampage: Total Destruction. I don’t know to many people who focus particularly well when sleep deprived. Is this a bad thing, I’m not sure. It does mean that I read a lot about many different things and so I’m left with a lot of little chunks of info to share.

The first thing is Linux/Geek related. Linux.com just featured an article on the freeNAS.org project. It’s based on BSD so you know it’s solid. It’s released under the BSD license so it’s free and the best part is that it’s small and fast. I just happened uppon a couple of router boards recently and had been looking at an NSLU2 from linksys. Now I don’t have to pick one up and my NAS can go wireless with easy. I’m sure I’ll post some info on how that project comes together.

Thanks to the InDigital video podcast that pointed me to what will probably become a focal point for my future media center if the Sling doesn’t work out so well. A company named TAVI makes this portable media player that looks a lot like a Gameboy Advance SP but is slightly larger and does a heck of a lot more. The new revision 030 is set to replace the 020 which looks like it all ready does the same thing. I’m sure there is some significant difference I missed but either way these things will play back almost anything and they will do it even at high def resolutions on your TV. Throw in 6 hours of video playback(thats 2.5-3 movies) and the thing isn’t to shabby on the road. How sweet is that?

As if I don’t have enough to play to keep me up nights there are still the likes of Call of Duty 3, Wario Ware Smooth Moves and I’ll probably try something different eventually like Trauma Center. Don’t get me started on DS games or PC games. What’s a guy to do? Oh thats right! Look to the future. Xbox 360 revision 2 is on the way with a new lower price, cooler running and DVI built in. Oh what fun! At the very least I’ll wait till Halo 3 comes out. We’ll see how long I can hold out once that happens. MS is also working on sweetening the deal with IP TV and tivo like features. Jinkys!

Well thats part of the jumble. Unfortunately I don’t have time to sort any other thoughts. I’ll try to come back in later and link things up real nice. Till then Google is your best friend. Peace!

Content Control and Filtering

Ok so here is the skinny. I’ve got access to some computer hardware that is fairly cheap and I’ve got access to and the knowledge to use some really slick open source applications. Putting the two together I feel I can produce a pretty nice, very user friendly content control utility. A nice little box that you plug in to your home or office network in between your internet connection and your router/firewall/hub and voiala! You’ve got a nice web interface for controlling the content that comes in to your network over the web. That part is easy. Now I need to know how much I should be charging for such a contraption. That’s where you guys, the readers of this blog, come in. If you have children or if you can imagine that you have children or run a small buisness or would have a need to control the content coming in to the web browsers on multiple computers how much would you be willing to pay?

Give me feedback!

Thank you for letting me know what you think. If I do manage to put this product together and put it out there it’ll go up on the blog first before anything else.

They should call it mmmmmbuntu

KUbuntuSo the old school Dell Latitude C610 that I was given by work had died a couple months ago and I finally had the brilliant idea to ask if they had any others up for retirement that might have the parts I need to fix it. Well I did and now its back up and running like a champ.

I had initially installed XP on it but decided I’d work on getting my head back in Linux. I had installed debian before but it required a great amount tweaking and configuration and frankly I’m getting lazy. Despite that fact I knew I was after some kind of debian. I had heard great things about Ubuntu and had even played with an earlier version at one point in time. This prompted me to give Ubuntu another go. Continue reading