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Leftovers: Games

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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.

More in Tux Machines

Security: Google and Morgan Marquis-Boire

  • Google: 25 per cent of black market passwords can access accounts

    The researchers used Google's proprietary data to see whether or not stolen passwords could be used to gain access to user accounts, and found that an estimated 25 per cent of the stolen credentials can successfully be used by cyber crooks to gain access to functioning Google accounts.

  • Data breaches, phishing, or malware? Understanding the risks of stolen credentials

    Drawing upon Google as a case study, we find 7--25\% of exposed passwords match a victim's Google account.

  • Infosec star accused of sexual assault booted from professional affiliations
    A well-known computer security researcher, Morgan Marquis-Boire, has been publicly accused of sexual assault. On Sunday, The Verge published a report saying that it had spoken with 10 women across North America and Marquis-Boire's home country of New Zealand who say that they were assaulted by him in episodes going back years. A woman that The Verge gave the pseudonym "Lila," provided The Verge with "both a chat log and a PGP signed and encrypted e-mail from Morgan Marquis-Boire. In the e-mail, he apologizes at great length for a terrible but unspecified wrong. And in the chat log, he explicitly confesses to raping and beating her in the hotel room in Toronto, and also confesses to raping multiple women in New Zealand and Australia."

Review: Fedora 27 Workstation

On the whole there are several things to like about Fedora 27. The operating system was stable during my trial and I like that there are several session options, depending on whether we want to use Wayland or the X display server or even a more traditional-looking version of GNOME. I am happy to see Wayland is coming along to the point where it is close to on par with the X session. There are some corner cases to address, but GNOME on Wayland has improved a lot in the past year. I like the new LibreOffice feature which lets us sign and verify documents and I like GNOME's new settings panel. These are all small, but notable steps forward for GNOME, LibreOffice and Fedora. Most of the complaints I had this week had more to do with GNOME specifically than Fedora as an operating system. GNOME on Fedora is sluggish on my systems, both on the desktop computer and in VirtualBox, especially the Wayland session. This surprised me as when I ran GNOME's Wayland session on Ubuntu last month, the desktop performed quite a bit better. Ubuntu's GNOME on Wayland session was smooth and responsive, but Fedora's was too slow for me to use comfortably and I switched over to using the X session for most of my trial. Two other big differences I felt keenly between Ubuntu and Fedora were with regards to how these two leading projects set up GNOME. On Ubuntu we have a dock that acts as a task switcher, making it a suitable environment for multitasking. Fedora's GNOME has no equivalent. This means Fedora's GNOME is okay for running one or two programs at a time, but I tend to run eight or nine applications at any given moment. This becomes very awkward when using Fedora's default GNOME configuration as it is hard to switch between open windows quickly, at least without installing an extension. In a similar vein, Ubuntu's GNOME has window control buttons and Fedora's version does not, which again adds a few steps to what are usually very simple, quick actions. What it comes down to is I feel like Ubuntu takes GNOME and turns it into a full featured desktop environment, while Fedora provides us with just plain GNOME which feels more like a framework for a desktop we can then shape with extensions rather than a complete desktop environment. In fact, I think that describes Fedora's approach in general - the distribution feels more like a collection of open source utilities rather than an integrated whole. Earlier I mentioned LibreOffice can work with signed documents, but Fedora has no key manager, meaning we need to find and download one. Fedora ships with Totem, which is a fine video player, but it doesn't work with Wayland, making it an odd default choice. These little gaps or missed connections show up occasionally and it sets the distribution apart from other projects like openSUSE or Linux Mint where there is a stronger sense the pieces of the operating system working together with a unified vision. The big puzzle for me this week was with software updates. Linux effectively solved updating software and being able to keep running without a pause, reboot or lock-up decades ago. Other mainstream distributions have fast updates - some even have atomic, on-line updates. openSUSE has software snapshots through the file system, Ubuntu has live kernel updates that do away with rebooting entirely and NixOS has atomic, versioned updates via the package manager, to name just three examples. But Fedora has taken a big step backward in making updates require an immediate reboot, and taking an unusually long time to complete the update process, neither of which benefits the user. Fedora has some interesting features and I like that it showcases new technologies. It's a good place to see what new items are going to be landing in other projects next year. However, Fedora feels more and more like a testing ground for developers and less like a polished experience for people to use as their day-to-day operating system. Read more

6 Reasons Why Linux is Better than Windows For Servers

A server is a computer software or a machine that offers services to other programs or devices, referred to as “clients“. There are different types of servers: web servers, database servers, application servers, cloud computing servers, file servers, mail servers, DNS servers and much more. The usage share for Unix-like operating systems has over the years greatly improved, predominantly on servers, with Linux distributions at the forefront. Today a bigger percentage of servers on the Internet and data centers around the world are running a Linux-based operating system. Read more Also: All the supercomputers in the world moved to Linux operating systems

Android Leftovers