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Games: Small Mode returns to Steam, Chasm and Summer Daze at Hero-U

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Gaming
  • Small Mode returns to Steam, Broadcast Settings appear on Linux and more on Steam Cloud Gaming

    Valve continue upgrading the experience for the new Steam Library with another Beta update available now.

    I know plenty of people missed Small Mode, well the good news is that it has returned! If you go to View -> Small Mode in the top menu it will now correctly switch to it. It has been updated too, so you can view your Collections in it too. Don't know what Small Mode is?

    [...]

    For the Linux client, Valve updated vaapi decoding to libva2 compatibility, they applied some fixes to free disk space checking due to issues with some NFS mounts and Steam Input's F12 binding was fixed as well. See the full changelog here.

  • Sweet action-adventure Chasm is now available on itch.io

    Bit Kid have just recently put up their successfully crowdfunded action-adventure game Chasm on itch.io. Announced a few days ago, it's good to see more developers support the very indie friendly store.

    In Chasm you play as a new recruit taking on your first mission for the Guildean Kingdom. You investigate various rumours about a vital mine being shut down, but what you discover is worse than you had imagined. The whole town is empty, kidnapped by supernatural creatures emerging from the depths. That's the basic setup anyway, although each play-through will be different thanks to the randomized map.

  • Summer Daze at Hero-U is successfully funded and on the way to Linux

    Summer Daze at Hero-U, the prequel to Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption from Lori and Corey Cole has been funded on Kickstarter so that's another game on the way to Linux.

    Their campaign ended a few days ago with $106,155 in funding (just over their 99k goal), showing that there's plenty of gamers out there interested in a Visual Novel that mixes in light RPG and adventure game elements. It did look a bit touch-and-go a few days before the end, thankfully though they got a good boost at the end of the campaign to push it over.

Bite the Bullet

  • Learn about eating enemies in the new Bite the Bullet trailer

    The upcoming run and gun game Bite the Bullet from Mega Cat Studios is looking really good in the latest feature trailer. Currently in development and due to release in Q1 2020, Bite the Bullet is a fast-paced action platformer RPG with diet-based skill trees.

    You work for DarwinCorp, with a mission to collect genetic material from every possible species. A lot of species don't seem happy about it, so they send you in to collect their genetic data with brute force. What DarwinCorp don't know, is that you collect it by eating your targets as a half Human, half Ghoul. When you eat you gain access to new abilities, you can transform and unlock more. It's a gross idea but also somewhat amusing too.

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Supercomputing Articles

  • Exascale meets hyperscale: How high-performance computing is transitioning to cloud-like environments

    Twice a year the high-performance computing (HPC) community anxiously awaits the announcement of the latest edition of the Top500 list, cataloging the most powerful computers on the planet. The excitement of a supercomputer breaking the coveted exascale barrier and moving into the top position typically overshadows the question of which country will hold the record. As it turned out, the top 10 systems on the November 2019 Top500 list are unchanged from the previous revision with Summit and Sierra still holding #1 and #2 positions, respectively. Despite the natural uncertainty around the composition of the Top500 list, there is little doubt about software technologies that are helping to reshape the HPC landscape. Starting at the International Supercomputing conference earlier this year, one of the technologies leading this charge is containerization, lending further credence to how traditional enterprise technologies are influencing the next generation of supercomputing applications. Containers are borne out of Linux, the operating system underpinning Top500 systems. Because of that, the adoption of container technologies has gained momentum and many supercomputing sites already have some portion of their workflows containerized. As more supercomputers are being used to run artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications to solve complex problems in science-- including disciplines like astrophysics, materials science, systems biology, weather modeling and cancer research, the focus of the research is transitioning from using purely computational methods to AI-accelerated approaches. This often requires the repackaging of applications and restaging the data for easier consumption, where containerized deployments are becoming more and more important.

  • Exploring AMD’s Ambitious ROCm Initiative

    Three years ago, AMD released the innovative ROCm hardware-accelerated, parallel-computing environment [1] [2]. Since then, the company has continued to refine its bold vision for an open source, multiplatform, high-performance computing (HPC) environment. Over the past three years, ROCm developers have contributed many new features and components to the ROCm open software platform. ROCm is a universal platform for GPU-accelerated computing. A modular design lets any hardware vendor build drivers that support the ROCm stack [3]. ROCm also integrates multiple programming languages and makes it easy to add support for other languages. ROCm even provides tools for porting vendor-specific CUDA code into a vendor-neutral ROCm format, which makes the massive body of source code written for CUDA available to AMD hardware and other hardware environments.

  • High-Performance Python – GPUs

    When GPUs became available, C code via CUDA, a parallel computing platform and programming model developed by Nvidia for GPUs, was the logical language of choice. Since then, Python has become the tool of choice for machine learning, deep learning, and, to some degree, scientific code in general. Not long after the release of CUDA, the Python world quickly created tools for use with GPUs. As with new technologies, a plethora of tools emerged to integrate Python with GPUs. For some time, the tools and libraries were adequate, but soon they started to show their age. The biggest problem was incompatibility. If you used a tool to write code for the GPU, no other tools could read or use the data on the GPU. After making computations on the GPU with one tool, the data had to be copied back to the CPU. Then a second tool had to copy the data from the CPU to the GPU before commencing its computations. The data movement between the CPU and the GPU really affected overall performance. However, these tools and libraries allowed people to write functions that worked with Python. In this article, I discuss the Python GPU tools that are being actively developed and, more importantly, likely to interoperate. Some tools don’t need to know CUDA for GPU code, and other tools do need to know CUDA for custom Python kernels.

  • Porting CUDA to HIP

    You’ve invested money and time in writing GPU-optimized software with CUDA, and you’re wondering if your efforts will have a life beyond the narrow, proprietary hardware environment supported by the CUDA language. Welcome to the world of HIP, the HPC-ready universal language at the core of AMD’s all-open ROCm platform [1]. You can use HIP to write code once and compile it for either the Nvidia or AMD hardware environment. HIP is the native format for AMD’s ROCm platform, and you can compile it seamlessly using the open source HIP/​Clang compiler. Just add CUDA header files, and you can also build the program with CUDA and the NVCC compiler stack (Figure 1).

  • OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

    When first using a new programming tool or programming language, it’s always good to develop some good general habits. Everyone who codes with OpenMP directives develops their own habits – some good and some perhaps not so good. As this three-part OpenMP series finishes, I highlight best practices from the previous articles that can lead to good habits. Enamored with new things, especially those that drive performance and scalability, I can’t resist throwing a couple more new directives and clauses into the mix. After covering these new directives and clauses, I will briefly discuss OpenMP and GPUs. This pairing is fairly recent, and compilers are still catching up to the newer OpenMP standards, but it is important for you to understand that you can run OpenMP code on targeted offload devices (e.g., GPUs).

  • News and views on the GPU revolution in HPC and Big Data:

    Exploring AMD's Ambitious ROCm Initiative Porting CUDA to HIP Python with GPUs OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 138 released

Just days after the last one, we are releasing IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 138. It addresses and mitigates recently announced vulnerabilities in Intel processors. Read more

today's howtos

Games: The Fertile Crescent, GOG and More

  • Free indie RTS game The Fertile Crescent adds team game support for online play

    While you've been able to play 1 on 1 in single-player against the AI and online multi-player for a while with The Fertile Crescent, it was missing team games which have now been added. This currently free indie retro Age of Empires-like game is an absolute gem, already quite polished too. The addition of team games is awesome, although only currently available for online play. You can pick all sorts of combinations too like a free for all, 2on2 and 3v1 across a new larger map. Online play is easy though, as they already have a nice working lobby system.

  • Half-Life: Alyx is rumoured to be the name of Valve's new VR game, apparently being unveiled soon

    Valve did say they were working on three VR titles some time ago and it looks like one is almost ready to be shown off, with Half-Life: Alyx. The information is all speculation and rumours right now though, so take it all with a heavy truckload of salt. We know a Half-Life VR game is pretty much a thing though, ValveNewsNetwork even had a video going over various details on it back in October so it's not like this is suddenly coming out of nowhere. Now though, we have more apparent leaks. Spotted by PC Gamer, they linked to a pastebin and in a later update a Google Document (update: contents now removed, so link removed) apparently showing snippets from an interview between Geoff Keighley of The Game Awards, Robin Walker and someone else they presume to be Gabe Newell.

  • The surprisingly good deck-builder Fate Hunters has arrived on GOG

    Releasing originally back in July, Fate Hunters is another deck-building roguelike filled with random encounters and just recently it was released DRM-free on GOG. As a massive fan of Slay the Spire, I'm always in the mood for more deck-builders like this. While it is another game where you build a deck and battle through random locations, the actual gameplay feels nothing really like Slay the Spire.

  • Start your week off with a new game, here's a few for Linux going cheap

    Another week, another sale of course. Let's have a little look over what's going cheap for Linux gamers across this week. First up on Steam we have Company of Heroes 2. Although the time to grab it free has ended, they've decided to now give it a big discount for anyone who missed it. You can get it on Steam with 75% off until November 24, plus a bunch of the DLC is also on sale.

  • Confessing my continued love for Jupiter Hell, the super slick roguelike

    Regular readers won't be surprised by my love for Jupiter Hell, I've written about it a few times now and the latest update just continues to allow me to gush about it. Note: I personally supported it during the Kickstarter. It's a roguelike, it's turn-based like the classics and depends upon tiles yet it feels so vastly different to anything else it's crazy. It feels like a proper action game, complete with a thick atmosphere and all. Absolutely gorgeous too, the lighting is absolutely fantastic and the barrel explosions sending everything flying looks excellent as well.