Monday, December 31, 2007

Free Platformers, Open Source Gamers Guide to Free Games Part 3

Up Next in the Open Source Gamers Guide to Free Games:

The Platformers.

OSGGFG Part 3. Run and Jump For Joy.

Mario is well represented, plus Tux, a Ninja, a Blob or 2, and a couple cute widdle fuzzy bunnies ..... that explode, and more! As usual with the games in the OSGGFG, all Games are Free with a capital F, no cost and Open Source. All games have builds or installers for Windows, and Linux, sometimes theres even a Mac in there, once in a while.

Honestly, If you haven't played Secret Maryo Chronicles, or Super Mario World, You Should. As matter of fact, all the games in this edition are great fun, thats why they are here.

Read More @ AC
Printable Version


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quote of the Day and Yet Another Reason Why Spellcheck ain't enough.

Consider Today's QOTD.

Huckabee emerged happily from his hunt, three dead pheasants in tow, Oliphant reports. Asked for a metaphor to describe the hunt, he replied, "Don't get in my way. This is what happens."
Chicago Tribune

The Romney campaign had aired ads in Iowa this month attacking Huckabee on illegal immigration. After laying three dead pheasants in the snow, Huckabee joked, "Don't get in my way. This is what happens."
Christian Science Monitor

First off, Wow, I sure hope there aren't many pheasants in his way through the primaries. That would just be terrible, a one man pheasant killing machine, ravaging the northeast pheasant population.

The following demonstrates the importance of human editing and proofreading:

Huckabee emerged happily from his hunt, three dead peasants in tow, Oliphant reports. Asked for a metaphor to describe the hunt, he replied, "Don't get in my way. This is what happens."

The Romney campaign had aired ads in Iowa this month attacking Huckabee on illegal immigration. After laying three dead peasants in the snow, Huckabee joked, "Don't get in my way. This is what happens."
Spellcheck's never going to save you in this instance.

First off, wow I sure hope their aren't many peasants in his way through the primaries. That would just be terrible, a one man peasant killing machine, ravaging the northeast peasant population.

Plus, I'm giving Huckabee QOTD for the last 3 days just for this one alone.
...and at one point, a reporter asked why he hadn’t invited sporting enthusiast Dick Cheney along. "Because I want to survive all the way through this,"...
Do people really need to ask this question? More interesting question, Is there no one left to hunt with our Vice President? Poor, poor Dick, .|"No one know what its like to be the sad man."|.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Processing.... Open Source Gamers Guide to Free Games part 3

The Bane of my Existence. 1 word Processing...


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Aptera Electric Vehicle

The Aptera, WOW!
Popular Mechanics has a great write up complete with video and slideshow of their exclusive test drive of this environmentally friendly vehicle.

Here's a few details.
  • Electric version has a Range of about 120 miles
  • Fully recharges in 4 to 6 hrs from standard 110 volt plug
  • The plug-in hybrid version gets 300 miles per gallon of gas.
  • 0-60 in under 10 seconds.
  • 180 degree rear sight picture display on the dash.
  • The Aptera Typ-1 is registered as a motorcyle.
  • The Aptera has about the same drag coefficient as the windshield wiper on your car.
  • All electric version is $26,900
  • The plug-in hybrid $29,900

See Popular Mechanics & Aptera on the web for more.

27 year Evolution of the FPS

Jon and Brad have posted a retrospective pictorial view of the evolution of the FPS.

Over 27 years since the first “First-Person Shooter” was created. Here is a look through history and the evolution of the FPS, or what is better known as the “First Person Shooter” genre.
Check it out at

Quote of the Day

Today's Quote Of the Day goes to Senator John Edwards.

While campaigning in Iowa, on the topic of President Bushes much maligned "No Child Left Behind" Program, he offered this gem.

"You don’t make a hog fatter by weighing it."

You know what, he is right. Testing may help us answer the question "Is our children learning?", unfortunately it only tells us if they "is" learning the answers to the test.

As a parent of a child that was until recently in the Florida school system, which places far to much emphasis on the FCAT program, I can assure you relying on that method is detrimental to the overall education process. Tying the school's funding to test results leads teachers and administrators to avoid any subject not directly covered on the test. Interesting topics, that teachers were previously free to explore with their students are now seen as a distraction.

According to the NYTimes, it looks like no matter who wins the upcoming presidential election, we can look forward to this program to be finally put to rest.

Maybe now we can refocus our efforts and re-fund the HeadStart programs that were slashed by this administration.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007's Top 10 Open Source Legal Issues

Mark Radcliffe has his year end list posted with his usual legalese slant.

The year 2007 has been the most active year for legal developments in the history of free and open source (“FOSS”). In fact, you would have been hard pressed in past years to enumerate even five important legal developments. However 2007 permits the creation of a traditional “top ten” list. My list of the top ten FOSS legal developments in 2007 follows:
Read more @
Law & Life: Silicon Valley: 2007 Top Ten Free and Open Source Legal Issues
Couldn't have posted it better myself. He covers everything from the collapse of the SCO legal fraud to the approval of Microsoft's new open source licenses at OSI.

Friday, December 21, 2007

WTO Final Ruling

After reading this article from the BBC, I came away from it with a total lack of understanding. Most unusual for the Beeb, who is almost always a great and thorough source of news. Unsatisfied with their report, I sauntered off into the web seeking more information. Several hours later, I knew all I wanted to know about the whole sordid affair. The 96 page report from the WTO is quite the document, one in a long history of such in this case.

Having amassed this information, it seemed prudent to record it for any future interested parties. So off to the presses with an article at AC. Link to be provided upon publication.

In late 2006 the US effectively banned all offshore Internet The latest in a long list of laws Antigua and Barbuda first objected to in 2003 when it filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization. Today the WTO issued it's final dispute settlement.
Read More @ AC
Printable Version

Although not tech related per se, the case involved Intellectual Property rights and the possible LEGAL circumvention of them en masse to the tune of $21million annually by 2 tiny island states near Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Open Source Gamers Guide to Free Games part2 RTS

Part 2 of the ongoing Open Source Gamer's Guide to Free Games. Up this time: A tour around the Free RTS gaming world. Including Dark Oberon, Globulation, WarZone 2100 and more.

Read More @ AC
Printable Version

After writing this article, I spent a little time at the upcoming StarCraft 2 website. Thus showing how far we have to go to catch up. The website alone should be considered a template on how to describe an RTS.


Interesting Numbers

Slashdot Traffic analysis.

I was mentioned on Slashdot on Monday.
Thankfully no servers were melted in the process.
(Actually I have no idea, as Blogger does a fine job for me, and I don't have to worry about these things.)

I thought an analysis of the traffic coming through would prove interesting. As a longtime slashdot visitor, I expected a certain level of tech savvy users. Even with this knowledge, I was shocked at the numbers. These reports are a tally of the peak periods of "slashdot" traffic, I have looked at longer samples and they track pretty much the same.

Firefox logo Firefox (
Internet Explorer logo Internet Explorer (7.0)409
Internet Explorer logo Internet Explorer (6.0)303
Safari logo Safari (523.10)72
Safari logo Safari (523.12)36
Firefox logo Firefox (
Mozilla logo Mozilla (5.0)26
Firefox logo Firefox (3.0b1)20
Firefox logo Firefox (
 Firefox logo Firefox (

Browsers with less than .5% were excluded. PS3, Konqeror, Camino and Opera etc...

That Comes to 1818 Total Visitors in the time frame I am interested in.
Out of those

Firefox Total........972........53.5 %
IE Total................712........39.2 %
Safari Total..........108.........6.9 %
Mozilla Total.........26..........1.4 %

Good to see. "We" all know that Firefox is a damn fine piece of software. Anyone not using it probably knows no tech-heads, geeks, nerds, or whatever we are calling ourselves this week.
This is was what prompted this post. I kept waiting for IE to catch up. As of this writing, according to Google Analytics, it shakes out like this overall.

Internet Explorer

I know us slashdotters are tech heads but I had no idea Firefox was that dominant. Of course my link was almost hidden in the post so only the techiest would have even noticed, plus a fair amount came from the Firehose. So maybe I got an extremely unrepresentative sample this time.

OS Breakdown During same period 2036 Visits
Includes Opera, PS3, and Hiptop (Yeah, I had to look it up too)

Windows XP1355 66.6%
Linux194 9.5%
Mac OS X (Intel)175 8.6%
Windows Vista171 8.3%
Windows 200052 2.6%
Mac OS X (PowerPC)51 2.5%
Windows 200320 1.0%
Unknown14 .1%
SunOS3 .1%
Windows 981
78% of Visitors were using Windows, out of these only 171 were Vista, or 10.7% of the 1599 Windows Machines. Climbing past your own ridiculously popular OS is hard enough but the numbers are far worse than that. Vista was consistently beaten by Linux and newer Mac OS X(Intel) machines. and If you lump both Intel and PowerPC Macs together, you get what you would expect.
  1. XP
  2. Mac
  3. Linux
  4. Vista
  5. 2000
  6. 2003

    *As of this Posting Linux (14%) is leading Vista by 7% points and OSX by 4% points.
There is still a long road to knocking XP off the top. But it may not be as hard to keep Vista in check. Keep in mind, that with such a paltry sample, only a fool would try to reliably extrapolate any meaningful data. I just found it interesting and thought I'd share.

And to my lone Windows 98 reader, I want you to know, there is help available. we could take up a donation, you must be suffering terribly.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Quick Review:Damn Small Linux 4.1

Also Published Today:

Damn Small Linux 4.1 - "Damn, that IS a small operating system" is not something you hear everyday*, After using DSL 4.1, you may just hear yourself saying it. The goal of the Damn Small Linux (DSL) project is to pack as much open source goodness in the form of a fully functional desktop operating system onto a business card cd. Additionally, DSL is designed to run on older "obsolete" hardware. DSL's current system requirements are as low as a 486 with 16MBs of RAM. You might think that it must be terribly crippled due to these constraints, but you would be wrong. After booting you'll be browsing the web, listening to music and playing games in no time at all.

*As an embedded linux engineer, I actually hear it quite often.

Read More @ AC
Printable Version

Open Source Gamer's Guide to Free Gaming part 1

Free Quake: Open Source Gamer's Guide to Free Games
Open Source Video Games have come a long way in the last few years. This series of articles looks at the current state of games in the Free or Open Source World.
Part 1 focuses on Adaptations and Modifications of Id's GPL'd Quake Engines.

Read More @ AC
Printable Version
Sorry, AC has removed the ability to link to the Printable Version, Just look for the Printer Icon

With looks at Tremulous, Warsow, Nexuiz, and 5 more of the Best Open Source Quakers, it's easy to see the strong base idtech provides the community.

Part 2: Real Time Strategy

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tech Gifts for the Holidays

Tech for Techs

This list is geared toward gift ideas for that techie friend or loved one in your life who is always ready to help you out when your computer or Internet goes down. Rather than a sweater, or gift card, Why not surprise them with a gift they actually want?

Read More @ AC
Printable Version

Also Known as My Christmas List. Anyone feeling Generous?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Virtually Speaking part 1

First in a series of articles examining the world of the Virtual Machine, with a nifty Linux inside windows Howto.

The Topic: Virtual Machines
Most computer users have never heard the term virtual machine and when they do, visions of the "Lawnmower Man" or "The Matrix" flash before their eyes. That perception is only slightly off track. Virtual Machines(VM's) have little in common with Virtual Reality(VR). What they share with VR is that they simulate. Virtual Reality is a simulation of reality, Virtual Machines are a simulation of a particular machine, in most cases the machine you will be simulating/emulating is a standard PC, however they can be used to simulate a host of other computer hardware based on a wide array of target processor architectures.
read more at AC
printable version

Get me, I'm a columnist.

Tech Articles:

After much thought and deliberation, a decision was reached to start writing thoughts down for the world to read all in one place.

Just to over analyze things, lets take another look at that sentence.

"much thought and deliberation"
A good week of discussions with all involved parties (mostly on the economic impact it would have on the "organization") was undertaken befor coming to this decision.

"Start writing thoughts down all in one place."
Heretofore tiny snippets of thought were left at various random places. Seemed a bit inefficient, looking for that thought at some later time. Would be useful to have one spot to catalog and retrieve those thoughts. Blogging would seem the perfect fit, but the format is far too freeform and Unfocused. Above all, these thoughts need to be focused, useful, and prepared for consumption. There is the economic angle as well, if these thoughts are useful then they are a commodity. How best to capitalize on these thoughts. Some people do it with advertising, few do it well, most do far to much. I prefer not to get involved. Although a great place to catalog them, this blog is not the place to house those thoughts. I don't want this place crawling with advertising. I think, 1 Google Adsense box should be good enough for any blog.

Associated Content was chosen as that place. From time to time, you will see announcements for articles on topics of technical interest. Articles are written for those who may be new to the subject matter. Posts will link to both the original AC page as well as the printable version. New articles will also appear in the MrCopilot@AC ticker above.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Site Tweak

Add to Technorati FavoritesTechnorati Profile

Tech Articles