Saturday, 23 August 2008

Linux video driver install not complicated, Max seems pleased

After years of taking on the Linux Video Driver Challenge I feel both anger and relief that the video driver install in Ubuntu 8.04.1 "Just Works (tm)" (take that Mac fanbois) and there was no mucking about in the xorg.conf (which I dutifully made a backup of just in case) file in text mode, dreaded black screen of death or having to extract a out of the binary drivers that the recommended Nvidia procedure missed, it was a simple click, wait for download and restart procedure.

After entering the admin password all I had to do was tick the "use restricted drivers box" and let Synaptic, Ubuntu's package manger do its work.

The downside of this is that I am no considered as 1334 as I previously was when I said I got the Nvidia drivers working under Linux

Monday, 30 June 2008

Second PC game developer hit with Cluebat.

I was reading on Eurogamer about how Valve's Gabe Newell was talking about the PC is the future gaming platform and started to read how Newell believed that piracy is not a problem. Now this is strikingly reminiscent of the stance Stardock CEO Brad Wardell whom beleives that

"Pirates dont count"

With of course one critical difference, Valve's Jason Holtman was quoted as saying,

"Rampant piracy is just unserved customers"

There seems to be a spate of dev's being hit with cluebats lately as they seem to realise that placing extreme DRM restrictions such as needing to download the games executable before installation finishes and limiting the number of installs is a great way to drive customers away.

However such a cluebat is yet to fall upon the head of Cevat Yerli, the head of German games developer Crytek, whom produced Crysis which sold well over a million units in the US and Europe alone and was in the top 10 best selling games for three consecutive months. Some people call this a success but it's still not enough for Mr Yerli who in a recent interveiw on IGN said:

"It's crazy how the ratio between sales to piracy is probably 1 to 15 to 1 to 20 right now."

Hmm, so Mr Yerli is trying to tell me that Crysis is being played by over 20 million people world wide, that it took only 9 months to achieve the kind of sales that it took WOW 5 years to achieve half of? That more people are playing Crysis than are playing Half Life, Everquest, Age of Conan and Supreme Commander put together. What exactly is this guy smoking? Perhaps "crazy" is the right word to describe his theory.

Perhaps that we need to look towards the games themselves to answer the questions of why games dont succeed, not that Crysis didnt succeed, they are releasing another standalone game, Crysis Warhead (Perhaps I'll see the other half of Crysis that was cut out of the original) so me thinks that he protesth too much. Perhaps it is the fact that Crysis required an A$1500 gaming rig just to play may have limited his audience as compared to Half Life which could easily run on a A$600 PC. It could also be the fact that the DRM in Crysis caused the disk to thrash about like a shark with a fresh baby seal which is somewhat alarming as I paid A$90 for this game.

With any luck the arsehattish opinions of this rather clueless individual will be drowend out in a sudden break of common sense as successful developers like Stardock and Valve continue to prove that a high quality game will sell and the best way to get more sales is to not annoy the customer with intrusive DRM and rediculous hoops like activation, to jump through before play.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Radial Input Devices Piss me off.

What is it with MP3 players using Radial Input Devices, they are really the most annoying and unnatural means to navigate through an overly complex GUI on a 2” (if you are lucky) screen. Would a simple down button be too hard to implement, not to mention pushing back the onset of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) by several decades.

Spinning your thumb around in an endless circle has to be one of the most unnatural motions and require far more effort than holding down a simple down button. This brings the other deficiencies of Radial Input Devs to light, they will never be as fast or as accurate as a down button, they have to both, cap acceleration to allow small movements between single songs and have a limited top speed as dictated by the fact your thumb can not move in a circle that fast.

I know the Radial Input Dev in an MP3 player originally comes from Apple, a bane in my life, but why do people need to copy aesthetics is a poor excuse, used by uneducated technically illiterate people who need to justify why they spent $400 on something shiny when a $2.50 roll of tin foil would have had the same effect (and make a spiffy piece of head ware).

What’s even worse is that Crapple are bringing out touch screens with the next version of the crapPod. People have clearly never tried to use a touch screen whist running or in a moving vehicle, using a damned Radial Input Dev whist doing either of those activities is bad enough. All this so called “innovation” [Inigo Montoya] I do not think that word means what they think it means [/Inigo Montoya] and they cant make a device that simply works like a USB flash drive allowing me to copy off of any box I like.

But of course the iTards will try to use the “oooh its shiny” and “look at this, I iz teh Kool” excuses when they drag out their touch crapPod which is covered in greasy fingerprints and encrusted with whatever cheesberger and tall double decaf triple strength mocha-chi-capo-latte they were iShovelling into their iMouth at the same time. Where is your vaunted “aesthetics” now I ask? To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin:

"He who would sacrifice essential functionality for temporary aesthetics deserves neither and will lose both."

I've been away for a while

Mostly dealing with work, I've added a Poll to my blag.

Just this week my boss Richard, asked me if "I was happier now" (as compared to a few months ago when I asked for a pay rise). It took a lot of effort not to blurt out what I really thought but I dont really want to get sacked 2 weeks before my holiday.

BTW I'm going to Thailand.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

The ultimate web 2.0 site

I have conceived of the ultimate web 2.0 site. I got the idea from existing web sites which would fit into the web 2.0 pattern of rehashing old ideas and producing new websites that have all the functionality of old websites with two important differences, the first being that they have some component that runs AJAX or some form of .net and the second difference is that they have a shiny coat of paint.

So I have developed a new site, it is an amalgamation of the two most popular web 2.0 sites YouTube and MySpace, I will call it either YouSpace or MyTube.

The exact function of this site is yet undetermined and that detail is unimportant, as YouSpace/MyTube will have the shiniest web 2.0 colour scheme that money can buy, more importantly I will generate buzz about my site by disseminating news amongst the blogoshpere to synergize the maximum potential of YouSpace/MyTube's Advanced AJAX features.

We will also be Buzzword 2.0 compliant.

Failing this I can always create, the antisocial network

To the dearly departed

I threw away three generations of sneakers this evening.

You may of course be wondering why I kept three generations of sneakers around, we in my defence, sneakers are well... sneaky.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The indestructable Taco Shell

I am tired of Taco shells breaking on me.

I had tacos for dinner tonight, of course I didn't go to a Mexican restaurant nor did I make the aforementioned tacos myself. Instead I opted for the simpler option of an old el paso taco kit. It was at the point where I was half way through my first taco when the entire construction lost cohesion and fell apart. This is normal. I asked myself "why do taco shells do this" and continued to dig through the remains of what began dinner as a fully formed taco.

It was not until I was half way through my second taco where I struck upon the idea that I should construct the ulitmate indestructible taco shelltm. I realized that the shell was so brittle because of its base construction material, Corn. So I realized that I had two options, rewrite the base structure of corn to make it more malleable or find a corn substitute.

I decided that finding a new material would be better so I began to think of alternatives, first I started with corns nearest cousins, other cereals like barley and wheat then moved onto other members of the plant kingdom such as fruit or cucumber and then onto animals. I conceived of the beef shell, which would eliminate the need to add meat to the shell. But as this solution would require too many head of cattle I continued with my research into alternate materials. The copper shell did not make it past the first test group and the kitten shell was an idea that should be left alone, for a very very long time.

I reached the conclusion that the only material that could construct a shell to specifications is unobtainium. Whist this material is not readily available I have determined that I will need only 17.5 grams of unobtainium per shell.