Frets on Fire

18.35.03 - Mark

I'm not very musical. For a few years I played the cello - badly - but when I moved to NC and a high school where Orchestra got translated as marching band, and I more or less gave it up lacking both instrument and people to tell me what the hell I was doing wrong. Conversely my brothers are both very musical. One brother refurbished a baby grand piano (seen here) then a couple years ago bought a guitar that he doesn't play, but the other brother loves and plays almost daily.

A while back the guitarist (he's also the other gamer in the family) and I were talking about which video game system we'd love to have the most, and while we didn't come to an agreement, he made it clear he wanted Guitar Hero (personally I want to try out Katamari Damari) This has been floating around in my head for a while, but a couple nights ago I stumbled across Frets on Fire which is a cross platform, open source knockoff of Guitar Hero.

I like it, so does he. We've got it on my linux box, and after a little hunting on various torrent sites we've got it loaded up with a pile of songs. While we both suck, we both see the appeal in the game. That and we want guitar controllers (it's like DDR, if you're going to play, don't use a *&^%ing keyboard).

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Partaking of WINE

18.07.07 - Mark

A while back I added Wine to my Ubuntu box, and I'm just blown away. I'm running native Windows applications on my Linux box with only minor glitches (been playing Starcraft with off and on sound problems) While it's not as cool as the idea of tribooting a new Apple Laptop, I am sufficiently thrilled. Linux still has many flaws, but the longer I'm without my 'book and the more updates and patches I intall, the more and more imporessed I'm becoming with this OS.

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Long way to go

15.33.38 - Mark

One benifit of having a borked Mac, a borked PC, and the most powerful system in the house using Linux, is that I'm getting a bit more proficient at using linux. Its a hell of a powerful OS, its clean, quick, and does most of what I need it to - if I bang on it with a hammer.

Every time I come back and give linux some serious use, I'm more and more impressed at what it does, and discover more and more what I love about the Mac OS, and even - dare I say it, Windows.

Macs and windows for the most part work. If I want to watch a movie I can open up nearly an media player and it plays. Under linux, it might play, it might not play, and if it does play it might not do so at the size I want it to, unless however, I go in as root with a command line editor, force half a dozen changes in some obscure config file that are no where to be found in the GUI, and then pray I didn't botch something while sacrficeing a goat to the voodoo gods so my changes actually work.

For music I've got three different applications that claim they support music transfers to iPods, and yet none of them have been able to do so and only one was able to read the contents of the iPod. Even just playing music on the box I'm rotating between three applications because they all suck. Misserable playlist management, one crashes when I skip tracks.

Now I'm learning how to deal with these problems, finding these config files, making those bug reports, etc. Your average user on the other hand...

Something for the geeks out there to think about before handing out those knompix and ubuntu discs like they were AOL CDs

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Open Sourced R&D

13.09.19 - Mark

Lego's adoption of Citizen Designers for the next version of Mindstorm Robotics kits (Bluetooth enabled Legos, I'm drooling already)

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