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Comment Re:taskbar (Score 2) 56

just installed Kububtu 15 with plasma. yikes, there's no task bar or "start"-like menu anymore. How do I get back those interface features I'm comfortable with?

You may need to add a few widgets to do this, I think you can right-click to bring up the appropriate menu. It was a bit of a nuisance but in about 10 minutes or so I was able to get a reasonably good start menu and taskbar. It was disappointing that it didn't import the profile and layout from v4, though.

I could probably look up exactly how it was done, but right now I've switched to XFCE for the time being, because Plasma 5 crashes if you look at it funny. This on an nVidia card with the proprietary drivers so I think there's more to this than a bug in the Intel driver.

One important thing to note is that Plasma 5 drops support for the little systray icons, apparently they were powered by the XEmbed system which is considered deprecated. This means things like Dropbox and WINE applications which use the systray won't appear. There are workarounds for this (alternate libraries that implement a systray) and in the case of Dropbox it looks like they've recently added support for whatever new library or protocol replaces it.

Comment Re:NES vs. DOS (Score 1) 52

I don't think Command and Conquer, Warcraft 1&2, Star Control 2, Ultima 6-8, Wing Commander, and/or X-wing and Tie Fighter came out for SNES

Ultima 8 was AFAIK DOS-only. There was a SNES version of Ultima 7, but it was largely considered a joke. For one thing, Nintendo couldn't stomach the plot, which was about investigating a series of rather gruesome murders, which somehow mutated into 'kidnappings' in the SNES version.
The original game was about 20MB all told, pushing the limits of what was technically feasible on the PC at the time (it used "unreal mode" which allowed the 16-bit game engine to access a 32-bit address space, but couldn't work under Windows or EMM386). As a result it was chopped down significantly, losing the ability to recruit party members or even select the player's sex.

AFAIK they never even attempted to port Serpent Isle, aka Ultima 7 part 2. Given the apocalyptic ending I can't say I'm surprised.

Although Doom without multi-player is kind of pointless.

Depends. If you've got a hundred odd add-on levels for it it's got a lot of staying power. 'Course the console versions didn't have that either.

Comment Re:Tape recorder rewind, vinyl scratch (Score 1) 790

That high pitched gibberish when you rewind a reel to reel tape recorder.

Interestingly, that sound went away before reel-to-reel did since the machines started muting the output during fast wind.
A happy day for me was getting a machine with a jog shuttle so I could do that on demand:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re:Movie projector. Reel-to-reel tape recorder. (Score 1) 790

My entire music collection at the time is still on reel to reel tapes, not sure how long they last but got some good stuff waiting. I had cassettes I could of used but wanted the best reproduction I could get.

Depends when the tape hails from, and in particular, what it's made of. Tape made between 1975 and 1994 used a synthetic replacement for whale oil that was later found to decay and causes the tape to shed goo all over the transport. This can be fixed if you need to recover the audio.

Tape made before that period should be good, from 1995 onwards they switched to a new formulation which seems to be holding up so far. Oh, note that Maxell tape continued to use whale oil so it isn't prone to this failure mode.

If the tape is shedding, it can be recovered by baking it using a food dehydrator. Look up "sticky shed syndrome" for more details.

Comment Re:Texas theater running "TA" (Score 1) 230

I would guess not. (posted from a phone on a work break) I thought Texas was supposed to be a state that had balls. Guess not.

IIRC, digital projectors have to talk to an authentication server to decrypt the movie. If Paramount disable that, you're not going to be able to show it, balls or otherwise.

Comment Re:Won't work in most rooms (Score 1) 197

I've heard Dolby's positional audio, being driven from a game, in the Dolby Labs screening room in San Francisco. It sounds great. You can hear people sneaking up behind you in the game. You can hear someone walking around you. There's a real sense of presence.

Before Creative destroyed them and threw away the technology behind it, Aureal had this capability 15 years ago, even when downmixed to stereo headphones. Playing System Shock 2 and suddenly having a voice behind you suddenly scream "THE MANY ARE STRONG!!" will make you jump out of your chair.

Comment Re:Boo (Score 1) 163

If you have tires rated to handle 100PSI without fault, you don't have $80 tires.

Adjusting for inflation it's more like $460 in present-day money - one reason I added the publication year after the citation. Even so, I doubt stock tires on a 1971 Cadillac were rated that hight. Of course, how much of that was actually autobiographical and how much of it is sheer fiction is open to debate.

Comment Re:Boo (Score 1) 163

As far as I can tell, tires just blow up when they feel like it. Ridiculous abuse hasn't failed my tires, but normal driving with 35-40psi in a 50psi rated tire has.

...fifty pounds each didn't seem to help with the cornering, so I went back a few hours later and told him I wanted to try seventy-five. He shook his head nervously. "Not me," he said, handing me the air-hose. Here. They're your tires, you do it."

"What's wrong?" I asked. "You think they can't take seventy-five?"

He nodded, moving away as I stooped to deal with the left front. "You're damn right," he said. "Those tires want twenty-eight in the front and thirty-two in the rear. Fifty's dangerous, but seventy-five is crazy. They'll explode!"

"I told you," I said, "Sandoz laboratories designed those tires. They're special. I could load them up to a hundred."

"God almighty!" he groaned. "Don't do that here."

"Not today," I replied, "I want to see how they corner at seventy-five."

He chuckled. "You won't even get to the corner, Mister."

"We'll see," I said, moving around to the rear with the air-hose. In truth, I was nervous. The two front ones were tighter than snare-drums; they felt like teak wood when I tapped on them with the rod. But what the hell? I thought. If they explode, so what? It's not often a man gets a chance to run terminal experiments on a virgin Cadillac and four brand-new $80 tires.

--Hunter S Thompson, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', 1971

Comment Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (Score 2) 81

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Yeah, I appreciate that but I think you may have missed something in my post. I know exactly why they've done what they did and for the majority of cases it's a very good idea. But if you want to play the game in its original format, you are SOL.

Right now, you buy a game - you get a choice of downloading a Windows version or a Mac version. Would it have killed them to have had a third option to download the DOS version of the game? It would be a damn sight smaller than the bloaty thing I had to download.

I think what really pissed me off was the fact that they had deleted the original EXE files instead of just leaving them around for people who needed them.

Comment Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (Score 2) 81

It's a little more complicated than that.

They have big all-in-one installer .exes that setup a full environment for the games.

This. I bought the Kyrandia series about a month ago, and after faffing around with WINE to extract the games - which was not fun because it only drew half the installer and I had to guess what it was trying to tell me - I found that they didn't actually include the bloody game program at all, just the data files and a scummvm installation of unknown provenance.

Yes, it does make it easier for someone without a DOS background to get the games up and running, I can't fault them for that. But I would much preferred to have had the option to get just the bare installation files so that I could play the actual game on the platform of my choosing. After all, I had assumed I was buying the original game, rather than some weird, dicked-about version of it :P

Comment Re:Kernel bloat (Score 4, Insightful) 65

Why should the Linux kernel have a compression algorithm in it?

Because it needs to compress and decompress things.

The kernel image is usually compressed anyway, then you've got things like page compression for zram, in-filesystem compression support - heck, BTRFS uses LZO! I think some network layer stuff like PPP supports header compression, and all that's only the things I'm vaguely aware of.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman

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