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Free software games, the return

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Gaming

All my previous posts were pretty much technical in essence, and several were related to my work habits: 3D desktop productivity enhancements, virtual machines, etc.

This time, I’ll go back to something else entirely: GAMES!

Run’n’jump

You miss the mustachied plumber? Why not get a penguin or a blob instead? They can jump too, you know.

SuperTux

SuperTux is a run’n’jump game that initially wanted to imitate an early incarnation of Super Mario Bros. Milestone 1 was actually a nice attempt at recreating the experience of the first NES opus: it handled sweet, was actually fast and smooth, difficulty was scaling nicely, and the bonus islands’ levels were here for those aficionados that like it hard.

Milestone 2 isn’t out yet; 1.9 is, though, and it adds some stuff to SuperTux: level bosses, multi-directional scrolling, extra moves (they are here, but have no real effect yet), better interaction with environment (building blocks, wind, switches, springs, slopes...) will provide you with a few more hours of fun. It also makes use of a joypad, and it is actually better for this kind of game. Still, there are a few bugs: strange slowdowns can REALLY throw your timing out of whack... Still, it means hours of fun and level stats add a nice replay factor.

Milestone 1 was either SDL or OpenGL for graphics; further versions will require OpenGL. However, on fast systems Mesa should be able to handle it even without 3D hardware.

Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid

Full Story.

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    The planned obsolescence is even worse with tablets and smartphones, whose components are all soldered down. The last tablet with a removable battery was the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Haswell version) announced in October 2013, but it was an expensive Windows device that cost as much as a mid-range laptop. The last Android tablet with a removable battery was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000 series), released in August 2012. It is still possible to find mid-range smartphones with removable batteries. Last year the only high end phones with removable batteries were the LG G5 and V20, but even LG has given up on the idea of making phones that will last longer than 2 years once the battery starts to degrade after roughly 500 full charge and discharge cycles. Every flagship phone introduced in 2017 now has its battery sealed in the case. According to the gmsarena.com database, the number of new smartphone models with non-replaceable batteries grew from 1.9% in 2011 to 26.7% in 2014, and now to 90.3% in 2017. It is highly likely that not a single model of smartphone introduced next year will have a replaceable battery.

More Coverage of New Lumina Release

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    The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.
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today's howtos