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Leftovers: Games

Filed under
Gaming
  • Sexy MF says things related to game programming on Linux, and tells you why you shouldn’t learn C!

    Now, at this point, I have a humble confession to make. I don’t know C! Specifically pointers. I never got into it at a young age, because after life with my Sinclair ZX Spectrum had come to a halt, I didn’t have access to a PC with a C compiler so that I could follow things in a natural progression (and my parents wanted me to get off the computer and focus on my schoolwork – probably the main reason I did so badly there!). I do remember reading about them at the time (in a book I got for my birthday at the time, in fact), but since I couldn’t actually try it out anywhere, they never became part of my bloodstream! This is the main reason I couldn’t actually try out anything from the Abrash book, since the whole thing assumes you’re adept at C! This has been a huge stumbling block in my programming education, since every single book on data structures or graphics programming, or what have you (not to mention websites like this one), assumes you know C. Now, today, where it’s actually taught in school (wasn’t the case back then), let me give you my opinion – I’m glad I never learnt pointers! There’s nothing wrong with understanding indirection, but when you’re trying to think of and implement a particular algorithm, trying to think of what the 0s and 1s are doing inside the computer is just hugely counter intuitive. This is not how human beings think. C was made so that an operating system could be written in it – that is the crux of how pointers came into being, and for some reason that hacker language caught on to become the most prevalent language in the whole world! Of course, it also led a young kid called Linus Torvalds to use it to do it all over again starting in 1991 (incidentally Linus, before the PC, worked on the QL, another member of the Sinclair family, a sort of a “big cousin” to the Spectrum), thanks to which you’re reading this website today, so I guess it wasn’t altogether a bad thing. But I, for one am glad that we’ve moved on to things like Javascript, in today’s day and age, and it makes me happy that we don’t have to worry about what’s zapping in and out of RAM when trying to write a game. Just at that point where those in charge of the Indian education system want their charges to know about nothing else but the syntax of weird things with asterisks in them (it seems, the more asterisks, the better), as if that was important. Trust the fools! Incidentally, I did get hold of a Youtube video about pointers sometime back, and followed it through, and yes, I did finally get what they are (where was that animation back in 1992?), but I guess it’s too late now – Javascript occupies much more of my mind now than C ever will, and I can’t say that makes me unhappy in any way. All along, I knew what [ and ] do in Assembly in any case! I just wish there were more folks like me, who will now have the happy task of porting, in their own minds, all the code in the Abrash book, to whatever their favourite language is, so that in the case of Javascript, wonder of wonders – their browser can show them the joy of a rotating cube! That’s why the exhortations of this article. By the way, I suggest you Youtube for “banana bread” some time – good stuff! This is clearly the future, and you need to get a handle on it.

  • Vagante, a nifty-looking platformer with permadeath, available on Linux

    Fans of challenging platformers with the trendy roguelite appellation might be interested to know that there's something new that they can sink their teeth into. Vagante promises countless hours of procedurally generated fun alone or with friends.

  • Atari Vault, a 100 classic game collection heading to SteamOS & Linux

    This is lovely news, Atari Vault a new official collection of 100 classic games is heading to SteamOS & Linux

  • Escape from Tarkov, the new Russian Survival MMO FPS looks like it's heading to Linux

    Escape from Tarkov is an interesting looking Russian-made action MMO that is apparently going to come to Linux too.

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Leftovers: Software

  • 5 Cool Unikernels Projects
    Unikernels are poised to become the next big thing in microservices after Docker containers. Here’s a look at some of the cool things you can do with unikernels. First, though, here’s a quick primer on what unikernels are, for the uninitiated. Unikernels are similar to containers in that they let you run an app inside a portable, software-defined environment. But they go a step further than containers by packaging all of the libraries required to run the app directly into the unikernel.
  • Cedrus Is Making Progress On Open-Source Allwinner Video Encode/Decode
    The developers within the Sunxi camp working on better Allwinner SoC support under Linux have been reverse-engineering Allwinner's "Cedar" video engine. Their project is being called Cedrus with a goal of "100% libre and open-source" video decode/encode for the relevant Cedar hardware. The developers have been making progress and yesterday they published their initial patches that add a V4L2 decoder driver for the VPU found on Allwinner's A13 SoC.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 6.6 Milestone 3 Released For Linux Benchmarking
  • Calibre 2.65.1 eBook Viewer Adds Driver for Kobo Aura One and Aura 2 Readers
    Kovid Goyal released today, August 26, 2016, a new maintenance update of his popular, cross-platform, and open-source Calibre e-book viewer, converter and library management tool. Calibre 2.65 was announced earlier, and it looks like it's both a feature and bugfix release that adds drivers for the Kobo Aura One and Kobo Aura Edition 2 ebook readers, along with a new option to the Kobo driver to allow users to ignore certain collections on their ebook reader. The list of new features continues with support for right-to-left text and tables to the DOCX Input feature, as well as the implementation of a new option to allow users to make searching case-sensitive. This option can be found and enabled in the "Searching" configuration section under Preferences.
  • Calamares 2.4 Universal Installer Framework Polishes Existing Functionality
    A new stable version of the Calamares universal installer framework used by various GNU/Linux distributions as default graphical installer has been released with various improvements and bug fixes. Calamares 2.4 is now the latest build, coming two months after the release of the previous version, Calamares 2.3, which introduced full-disk encryption support. However, Calamares 2.4 is not as big as the previous update as it only polished existing functionality and address various annoying issues reported by users.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0
    Another Armadillo 7.* release -- now at 7.400. We skipped the 7.300.* serie release as it came too soon after our most recent CRAN release. Releasing RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0 now keeps us at the (roughly monthly) cadence which works as a good compromise between getting updates out at Conrad's sometimes frantic pace, while keeping CRAN (and Debian) uploads to about once per month. So we may continue the pattern of helping Conrad with thorough regression tests by building against all (by now 253 (!!)) CRAN dependencies, but keeping release at the GitHub repo and only uploading to CRAN at most once a month.
  • Spotio Is A Light Skin for Spotify’s Desktop App — And Its Coming To Linux
    Spotify’s dark design is very much of its identity. No-matter the platform you use it on, the dark theme is there staring back at you. Until now. A bunch of ace websites, blogs and people I follow have spent the past 24 hours waxing lyrical over a new Spotify skin called Spotio.