In an effort to convince Future Publishing - the company that produces LXF - that Linux isn't scary, we're going to hold an "I Love Linux" day. We've snagged various laptops and workstations, installed a mix of Linux distros onto them, and on August 31st will setting them up in a meeting room and inviting anyone interested to come along and try it out. The question is, what would they like to see? Games? Web browsing and email stuffage? Office productivity? Or something that they don't already have on Windows? Send in your ideas...
Straight from Sun's PR agency:
Of course, they wouldn't say in the email or over the phone just what the announcement was, but I was told "you can put two and two together and make four".
I've been in London this weekend, so not much time for coding, although I did a teensy bit of work on MikeOS. It's been a while since I blogged about the status of my "streamlined e-business Web 3.0 platform" (ahem) project -- so here's an update. I think, with this entry, I might be able to convince Graham that writing an OS in x86 assembler is worthwhile! :-)
In my quest to think up more mini games for Brain Party, I've been looking at the old 8-bit consoles -- a top source of ideas for simple but still entertaining gamelets. Meandering around in Argos last weekend, I came across the N-Joypad, a dinky little battery powered 'TV game' device for the astonishing price of £9.99. Claiming to have 59 games on 'compact discs', the machine's box is plastered with screenshots of basic games with NES-ish graphics, and describes the 'awesome' entertainment contained inside.
Mike and I have had a busy weekend of... yes, you guessed it: programming! Brain Party is fantastically fun to work with, and, to a growing extent, fantastically fun to play too.
When I posted my last blog entry there were four mini games to play: colour sorting, Dance Dance Revolution, Whack-a-mole and Trout Blaster. It's now five days later and, my friends, we have fifteen minigames that are ready to play. That puts us over a quarter of our way towards our launch goal of fifty minigames!
That is a compliment indeed coming from Andrew Gregorian Chant Esq. Although I must admit, Mike does look great in his suit - more Don Corleone than Don Johnson I reckon. Mike also has a strange look in his eye that reminds me a little of the Rabbit of Caerbannog
I still wear my Linux Format T-shirt with pride. Oh yes!
Mike, like many geeks I fear, usually wears all black; is very sunshine-averse and seems to subsist on a diet of jalapeno crisps, burgers and beer. Not only does he remember a host of obscure eighties computer games, he can tell you who wrote the music; he's even writing his own operating system. In machine code.
Rather than go out into the sunshine during my lunch break, I did some Brain Party hacking. Fixed some bugs, added the code to make windows movable by clicking on the titlebar and dragging, and, in 20 minutes flat, wrote a Trout Wars minigame in 128 lines of code.
As I mentioned before, Graham, Mike and I are working on a cross-platform, multiplayer puzzle game written in C# and backed by SDL. This is my second major project using SdlDotNet, so it's a very comfortable environment for me to be programming in - code just seems to fly out to make things happen. But, as always, I spot a few niggles where I stray into new territory.
Before I talk about the niggles, I want to tell you a bit more about the Brain Party project.