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Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category

Windows + Linux= Each has their place

Posted by anjilslaire on May 20, 2012

So a couple months back I repartitioned my desktop to give more drive space to Windows 7, and also to boot first. I’ve also got Ubuntu 12.04 on the secondary partition still in use. I’ve also added a 1TB drive for my media storage.

After much thought I came to the conclusion that Windows made more sense as a daily driver in my house for a few reasons:
I run Xbox 360s on my TVs for gaming and media playback (netflix, youtube, streaming client for my M4Vs, etc). It only makes sense to take advantage of the native compatibility between the two. I’m eventually going set up DVR functionality on my Win7 box so using the 360 as a set top box is natural.
I like to play PC games occasionally. Hooked to my 42″ HDTV makes my PC much more fun, including gaming thats not on the console.

Now, I still use Linux for many uses, including exclusively on my netbook, which lives next to my chair in the living room. I love the ease of updating, raw speed and lack of malware on linux. But I think it’s ridiculous to ignore the advantages of certain platforms for no good reason. Many people will have good reasons. In this case, I don’t anymore.

Huge Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft, so I guess I have no credibility. Think what you will.

Posted in gaming, internetz, linux, mobile, netbook, rants, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Droid X VZW Gingerbread updated to .602, solves most problems

Posted by anjilslaire on August 27, 2011

So I got the .602 update to my Droid X from Verizon a while back, and it seems to have resolved most of my complaints with Gingerbread on the DX.

All I know is that the phone doesn’t ever lose its data connection anymore, and seems generally mo’ bettah.

Now my next kick is waiting for Wesnoth to come to Android. Pretty please.

Posted in android, Android, gaming, linux, mobile, rants | Leave a Comment »

Sword of Fargoal: Xbox Live, please

Posted by anjilslaire on April 24, 2010

I’ve been a fan of Fargoal for 20+ years on the c64. It was always a primary reason for me to keep an emulator handy, to play for a few minutes (Yay for save states!). Then I discovered Fargoal.com and until last year (I think) they had ported it to PC & MAC with the source code included so it ran with slightly updated graphics on Windows, Linux, and Mac. I can’t really describe my enthusiasm, actually.

They provided the files free, and had a PayPal donation button to help fund further developments. I could play it anywhere: On my desktop, on my netbook natively in linux, emulated on my PSP in its original c64 release. Joy, Joy!

Nowadays, it’s apparently a hit on the iPhone, with much improved graphics. I think that’s awesome. Really.

But Jeff, please continue to provide at least the old port for the PC, and  even more importantly, release the new version onto Xbox Live. I’d happily pay 800 MS Points to fire it up on the 360. Hey, Lode Runner is available. Please let us enjoy what was one of the best games ever on the commodore get  some much-deserved multiplatform love.

Either way, I think everyone with an iPhone should roll over and check it out.

Oh, and Android would be cool, too 😉

Posted in gaming, linux, mobile, netbook, rants, role-playing, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wesnoth: Netbook style

Posted by anjilslaire on February 14, 2010

So after a clean install of Karmic on the Mini 9, I decided to try some games on it again. 1st up was a perennial favorite: Battle for Wesnoth. a simple

sudo apt-get install wesnoth

and I was in business.  However, while the game is not terribly resource-intensive, it was a bit of a trick getting it to display properly on the 1024×600 screen, due to the bottom of the main game screen being off of the display, with no amount of moving it helping. Also, the preferences option was unavailble as well.

The solution is simple:

wesnoth –smallgui

This loaded the game at a lower resolution, allowing me to get into Preferences>Display>Change Resolution.

Bam, they even have an option for 1024×600 natively :). Now the game plays great, and remembers the resolution set in the GUI.

Next time I’ll see about getting a native linux install of Neverwinter Nights on the netbook. Now that would be some RPG fun on the go…

Posted in d&d, gaming, linux, netbook, role-playing, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gridwars, Karmic-style

Posted by anjilslaire on December 8, 2009

So, I became a fan of GridWars in  no small part to RedDead’s article on Ubuntumini.com.

However, under Karmic Koala, GridWars refuses to launch, even with the changes to the config file. This is due to the game requiring libstdc++.so.5, which simply is not available in Ubuntu 9.10 When running the game, you get:

/Downloads/gridwars_lin$ ./gridwars
./gridwars: error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Also, if you use a deb from getdeb.net built for Intrepid or Jaunty, the installer reports an unresolveable dependency.

The solution is to install libstdc++.so.5. From where? Get a handy .deb from packages.debian.org. It installs perfectly on Ubuntu 9.10, and then you can install Gridwars from the official page here.

I’ve had issues getting the gridwars .debs to run properly on the netbook remix due to the resolution even after setting the config, so I just get the archive & run it after installing the libstdc++.so.5. Works great.

Give it a whirl.

Posted in gaming, linux, netbook, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Netbook Remix:Smooth Sailing

Posted by anjilslaire on September 29, 2009

I haven’t updated in a while. Mostly, this has been due to some real-world activities unrelated to this blog’s topics of linux/gamig/other general geekery.

However, I’ve hit a drought in terms of content, primarily because I haven’t run into any issues. My Mini 9 has been running beautifully with UNR 9.04 on EXT4. flawlessly, in fact.

That being said, I’m hoping that 9.10 brings some exciting features. I hear that boot times are greatly improved, although it’s pretty fast on my SSD already. I hear that Pidgin is being dropped for Empathy. we’ll see how that goes…

I have ubuntuone installed,  but I haven’t tried it ouch much. I’ll try to take it for a spin repoirt back.

In other news, I’ve digging into my backlog of 360 games.

Posted in gaming, internetz, linux, netbook, ubuntu, xbox 360 | Leave a Comment »

Baby 2.0, Warcraft III & other adventures

Posted by anjilslaire on August 30, 2009

So I haven’t been as active as I’ve historically been. My Ubuntu systems have been running flawlessly, and Baby 2.0 has arrived, albeit with a rocky start.

As I’ve been in a new job, I didn’t plan on taking much time off for the baby, just the day itself followed by the weekend, actually. However, she arrived with lung problems that required an extended stay in the NICU, including a transfer to another hospital for advanced care.

Without going to further detail, after a week, Baby 2.0 arrived home safe, sound and fully healthy. All is well, so what follows is the official record:

After 39 weeks of compiling, Baby 2.0 was RTMed. However, there was an egregious read error while untarring the archive. After forcible extraction, a cycle of dependency hell ensued, with core components of the binaries refusing to unzip due to unmet depencies, ehich could not be met without the aforementioned components unzipping. Argh.

Eventually, new apt updates resolved the dependency issues, and all processes resumed normal functions. However, this scenario was the source of much woe and gnashing of teeth. Hope I never see these errors again.

Once this was resolved, I set out to try Warcraft III, including the Frozen Throne expansion, running under Wine, including the single-player campaign movies. After a bit of research I found the solution, and the games appears to run very well under wine. Next, I’m going to try to replicate it on th Mini 9.

Posted in gaming, linux, rants, stuff, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NXE: Encouraging used games?

Posted by anjilslaire on December 14, 2008

OK, I’ve installed the  NXE for my Xbox 360 Elite. While the new navigation system and Marketplace layout is nice, and the Avatars are , well, Mii-like, my favorite new feature by far is the ability to install games to the hard drive. Some of the benefits include:
improved load times (in most cases)
less heat generated (arguably)
much quieter operation without the DVD drive spinning.

I’ve installed several games to my 120gig drive, making me really appreciate my choosing the Elite when I bought it last year. Recently I had been wondering if dropping the extra cash was worth it, since I don’t plan on buying stuff from the Marketplace (too much DRM, thanks), making the extra $100 or so essentially cosmetic for the black case.

So, when the new hard drive installation became an option, I was overjoyed. I have a softmodded Xbox with a 120gig drive that I load all of my (legally purchased) games on, in addition to streaming all of my movies that I rip from the DVD to xvid from my linux server to XBMC. So suffice it to say I’m not fond of digging my discs out to use the content, but I digress…

The new feature works great. Insert disc, select it from the Dashboard and select Install to Hard drive. This essentially rips an ISO of th game disc to the hard drive to be read during play. After this, you select the game, and it prompts you to insert the original disc for authentication. You didn’t think MS would allow disc-free play, did you?
In any event, I find this acceptable as the disc drive screeches for about 1 second, then goes absolutely silent, and the game loads.
And loads well. In fact, I never hear the fans kick in at all during gameplay, so the system obviously does stay cooler to some extent.

Now, to the point of this post.
While shopping for gifts this past week, I saw a few games I would like to have myself, but not enough to pay full retail price. Now when I see these games, I would normally just think, “I’ll wait a few months and pick them up new after the price drop”. I don’t normally participate in th used games market, as it’s essentially a ripoff:
Gamestop is selling Force Unleashed used for $55 in my neck of the woods. That’s a whole $5 less than retail. For a used disc. For a used disc that who knows whats been done to it, and what condition it’s in, specifically. Not to mention the developer sees none of that money, but thats another post I’m not going to get into now. ( Yes, 1st right of sale, I agree that’s a good right, etc)

However, I saw another game thats maybe a year old, still selling for $40 retail that I saw in the bin for $15 used. Now that’s a bargain. And I thought, “hmm, used. It only needs 1 really good rip to the hard drive, and then a validation check at load time.”

I don’t know if I’m the only weirdo that thinks this way, but in a strange way it seems to me that loading to drive and the less intensive verification check would be an encouragement to buy used, as it takes some of the fear out of getting an abused game disc.
I’m personally going to continue to buy new when possible, but I think it will be interesting to see what kinds of changes to the used game market will be seen now that the consoles allow hard drive-based play.

Posted in gaming, media, rants, stuff, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lost in the Oddyssey

Posted by anjilslaire on September 7, 2008

Picked up Lost Oddyssey yesterday from the local Target. I’ve been looking for a traditional JRPG for some time, and Blue Dragon just wasn;t doing it for me. I may get back into that one later though.

I’m barely 2.5 hours in, and I must say I’m pleased so far with what I’m seeing. Impressive graphics, and the cut-scenes  are blended well with the ingame engine. I even don’t mind the traditional turn-based action, which I grew *really* tired of in the past.

I’m resisting the urge to read up on whats going to happen, wanting to be engrossed by the story. This game is designed by the original creator of Final Fantasy, and it shows, with fairly impressive results. Upon opening the case, I found no less than 4 game discs, with the last being included in a paper disc sleeve. Apparently standard game (DVD) boxes can only fit 3 discs on the little disc-nob that holds them in place.

Wonder how long this’ll take to complete… I don’t remember the last game I’ve finished, aside from Gears of War & Lego Star Wars II. My collection of unfinished games is growing 😦

Posted in gaming, role-playing, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Conan: By Cron!

Posted by anjilslaire on July 28, 2008

I picked up Conan over the weekend, and took it for a spin in the 360. Boy, between this and Assassin’s Creed, I’ve played more in the last week than I have in months. It’s been nice to get back into gaming a bit.

I’ve found the game highly enjoyable, being able to progress through the story at a nice pace, with just enough challenge to keep me from getting too frustrated throughout. I believe I’m about 1/2 way through, and I can see going through it again to get more secrets I’ve missed along the way. at $20 nwe, it’s a great buy.

On a side note, I did manage to complete my 1st contract in Asasin’s Creed by the way. That’s a fun game too.

Oh, the title isn’t a typo. I was being clever, what with my penchant for linux experimenting. (Obligatory lol)

Enjoy.

Posted in gaming, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »