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Slashback: Indreams, Dejagain, Codrivel 80

Craving at least some small bit of followup to old stories? Well, sit comfortably in your thousand-dollar Relax-the-Back recliner and savor a (minor) update on the fabled and hopefully forthcoming Indrema console, again something to chew on regarding deja again, and more.

The name of Gildred's project has me hooked ;) impaler writes: "Looks like Indrema's Game Exchage site is up. There are a number of free and commercial projects already started. Now, when do people get to fjear my insanely low gxc UID of 15 (I was the first non-indrema person added to the database). Seems like they are even closer to becoming a reality (even though the launch date seems to have been pushed back). So, start writing cool games!"

I wrote to Indrema honcho John Gildred recently to inquire about the console's current status, hopefully we'll have an update on that soon. In the meantime, you may prefer to visit the English-language version (kudos, Oliver) of the Linux-on-Playstation petition mentioned shortly ago.

"Whither newsgroups?" is not an idle question. Ronda Hauben wrote to point out her essay newly posted at Telepolis about the recent sale of the Usenet Archives by Deja to Google,Inc. She writes:

"The culture of the online community is based on fostering collaborative activity and online contributions.

How does the technical and research community continue to foster the online contributions and collaboration? Is there any problem having such contributions bought and sold? Is there a way to have nonprofit or academic or research institutions involved in archiving such collaborative contributions like Usenet?"

To read and ponder; hopefully someone at Google will have some things to say as well. And when you're done, check out more at Netizens.

Apropos the former, the following: wdavies writes: "A previous article suggested that Idealab's new company would provide a plug-in -- this article suggests otherwise -- more of a series of deals with large ISP to support the resolution of TLD with private DNS. The article suggests there might also be a plug-in available, but seems to hammer home the point they are planning an end-run around ICANN decision making on TLD's. Interesting, what if they can indeed undermine ICANN's role using commercial pressure ? Good or Bad for the internet ?"

And finally, please don't do this. And getting worse and worse since the last time it was mentioned on Slashdot, Midnight Thunder writes: "There is a great page on how to write unmaintainable code. Now that you have insured that you will keep the job, now for the demands ;-)"

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Slashback: Indreams, Dejagain,

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seems there is prior art [] on that particular one. Sorry for the inconvenience, just thought I'd let you know before you get too attached to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, since PHBs are found in all levels of managerial power, it doesn't mean you can't be replaced.

    The average manager I've dealt with has little knowledge of programming, and wouldn't know obfuscated coding vs. easily-maintained programming.

    They got their degree in MBA, not CS, for chrissakes. And wish that these smelly, uncultured programmers would just grow up so they can be promoted to a new tax bracket, and removed from the said programmers.

    'course, now I've also seen the other side of the coin. PHBs have their place, remove them and you rely on individuals behaving responsibly to keep everything working smoothly. Which doesn't happen. Anarchy, quite simply, sucks ass.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sounds kinda neat on the outside, but consider that:

    1.) It uses a "proprietary encryption system" for "digital rights management" of the games and A/V content. To me, this spells out: You can't backup your games, You can't enjoy fair use rights, and You (maybe) can't use Indrema box games on your Linux desktop unless they release binaries of their encryption system for other versions of Linux. (which would likely hurt their business model assuming they are selling the consoles at a loss). Furthermore, what happens when somebody cracks their encryption so that they CAN play games elsewhere? Will the DMCA once again rear it's ugly head?

    2.) It uses an NVidia GPU. NVidia has a closed mindset and does not support OpenSource drivers. Unless developers stick to purely using Mesa and other Open Source libraries to access its hardware, there could be other incompatibilities with desktop systems.

    3.) Indrema faces massive competition from the Xbox, PS2 and whatever Nintendo comes up with next. It seems to me, they are looking at a pretty small market niche along the same lines as hardware MP3 players, Tivo, Netpliance, etc. Honestly, who will buy one of their consoles when all the "cool" big-name games are unavailable. Unless of course, the 'cool games' come to us..

    If we want OpenSource gaming, we need... well... OpenSource games. True OpenSource.. not just a console that runs a hacked up Linux installation. I'm not saying it's hopeless for Indrema, but I *would* hope that they would reconsider some design aspects and revise their business model to be purer to OpenSource ideals. My suggestion to them would be to keep **ALL** SDK software open and to make it as easy as possible to write games that work for both their console and on other hardware. If game development was easier, I believe we'd see a lot more true Open Source games with cutting edge graphics, etc. Then Indrema wouldn't have to worry about all this encryption stuff and getting the big name game companies to port their games.

    This post represents solely the opinion of the poster.
  • I don't agree with you that the open source community can't produce games. Do you remember the days Xtank, and nettrek? In their day they were far better than their lame-PC based equivalents such as wing commander.

    If their support for the development community is good I don't see why it couldn't be successful. For example if they provide a good scripting 3-D API (like disney is using) for perl/python/pike scripting languages, then this could take off even more than the MUD phenomenon.

    Besides, the hardware seems pretty neat. I'd like to get one of these boxes to use as my router or secondary server.
  • Why go to a third party to learn how to write unmaintainable code when you can go to the "factory" [].
  • Actually, the Mac configuration is pretty simple [], though I think it's just adding "" to the end of, say, []. (Like so. [])

    -jon (note to self: learn more about DNS before posting about it...)
  • Uh, okay. I looked at the top 50 rated games on the Linux Game Tome. The only "cool" ones were closed source commercial games that have been out for years: Railroad Tycoon 2, Unreal, Quake, Myth II. Maybe you could give some pointers to the list of Cool Open Source Games since they don't appear to be on the highest rated list.
  • i thought the funniest entry was:

    Use Three Dimensional Arrays

    : Lots of them. Move data between the arrays in convoluted ways, say, filling the columns in arrayB with the rows
    from arrayA. Doing it with an offset of 1, for no apparent reason, is a nice touch. Makes the maintenance programmer

    even though it's so simple compared to some of the others, the idea that somebody maintaining my code in the future might look over his shoulder and draw the blinds before fixing this particularly heinous array usage is hilarious.
  • Console wars have *never* been won on technical merit.

    Exactly. This is why the 2600 kicked the Intellivision's ass in the market. This is why only now we are seeing handheld systems as good as the Lynx and GameGear.

    Nintendo sucked all they could out of the GameBoy, including the "Color Game Boy" (GameBoys... still greyscale... in color cases) and finally the "Game Boy Color" (which is impossible to see half the time, just like the original GameBoys from ~89)

    Also, just because MicroSoft says it's great and will market it to death, doesn't mean it will do well. (I won't bring up MSBob :) )
  • Of course, you'd need a meta-constitution to ensure that the new one specified that it would be replaced *again* 50 years later.
  • Currently they sell you both a fourth-level domain ( and a second-level domain using their DNS. People who don't know any better (i.e. people using a "plugin"), can just have a "" added automatically. In fact, their Linux instructions [] suggest adding "" to the search line in resolv.conf

    Note that if you use one of several large ISPs [] like EarthLink, @Home, [] or NetZero, you already have TLDs on a trial basis! I just gave it a try, and sure enough [] resolves on my box (Rogers @Home).

  • I heard it from some crazy guy writing a linux game programming book...wait a minute :P

  • Actually, the real unknownlamer (_ is ruined my day ;)has UID = 15. I'm only impaler here because unknown_lamer was too long.

  • One advantage I saw is that they are going to be upgradeable.

    In the world of console gaming, that's a disadvantage and is merely evidence that the Indrema folks just don't get it. The key advantage that consoles have over PCs from a game developers' perspective is that they are all identical (modulo a couple of country specific variations for TV standards - which are well known in advance). The moment you introduce upgradeability that goes out of the window, and all you really have is a PC in a different form factor.

  • I know. I had a moment of weakness there. No insult intended.

    Claim your namespace.

  • Has nothing to do with DNS, though. There's a routing loop upstream of AmerNet, the ISP here in SF. So the website if off-net for a bit.

    The OpenNIC nameservers and OpenNIC DNS are unaffected though....

    Claim your namespace.

  • God, this pisses me off. People whine and whine and whine about ICANN, and they never make the switch.

    You want an expanded namespace? You can have one now. Join the OpenNIC, or another of the alternative DNS systems. It's really easy.

    OpenNIC []

    ORSC []

    Quite whining and waiting for some damn megacorp to do something. Do it yourself!

    Claim your namespace.

  • OpenNIC []. Free as in beer. Come and get it.

    Claim your namespace.

  • Adrian Braybrook (sp?)

    Andrew Braybrook - and he wrote a fantastic diary while creating Paradroid, for a magazine called Zzap 64!

    I loved every minute of it. I was surprised to find just how many other people remember it fondly too. You can read it here [].

  • What to do if Google can't make it work? Should the government step in? Should academia step in, by way of government funds? It would be a shame
    for it to all disappear.

    Perhaps this would be a good, and obviously legit use, for P2P tech. Of course, you'd want to have a lot more disk space (for redundancy) than it takes now, but a little bz2/gz magic might be able to lend a hand there.

    Of course, trying to get such a large archive organized across many many servers that are run by different people in different areas would surely introduce other problems(latency, bandwidth, downtime for certain info), but perhaps these would be "better" than trying to find a single company or group who can handle such a beast.

    However, Google does seem to be able to handle things enough to basically cache the web, so I don't think they should have any trouble with this.

    Then again, maybe something like multiple companies working together in a P2P environment would work.

    Does anyone have any numbers describing how much disk space we're talking about here? Surely we haven't broken free of terrabyte-suffixed amounts of info...right?

    kickin' science like no one else can,
    my dick is twice as long as my attention span.
  • Just built the engine and ship with programmer's art, no problem - just build it moddable. Then, you let the artists generate the levels for themselves.

    Quake anyone?


  • Hah so now I know where the sendmail guys learned to program =)
  • You know, I'm really sick of people saying "Usenet is dead". Who gives a crap about internet culture? I don't use usenet because it's "hip". I use it because I like it.
  • One thing I enjoy when I'm bored is toying with the teaching assistants. A friend of mine discovered that he could free a variable and immediately access it (this is ANSI C) and the program worked, but seqfaulted immediately after giving the intended result. He turned this in.. the TA never noticed.

    My favorite is the so-called "void pointer" program. It goes something like this:

    1. Initialize a pointer of type void to NULL. Yes, this is allowed.
    2. calloc a big block of memory. If you need more, just reallocate.
    3. Any time you need to store something, just move the pointer to the appropriate spot, typecast the pointer, and suck the data out. Ditto for loads.
    4. At the end of the program, free the block of memory, and then for effect, point the pointer at itself and dealloc the pointer variable.

    Unfortunately, the program I was writing using this technique was mathematical in nature, and the corresponding explosion of typecasts was WAY too much to deal with.

    Oh well, it would have been too confusing for me, anyway.

  • Who needs a plug in? All you need to do is setup your own names server, a simple caching names server will do, and add the DNS servers to your root list, and viola you should see the new domains.

    I have several of my own TLDS on my local network.

    Anyway, I think the new TLDs are great, especially because I think ICANN sucks, but that is another rant. . .

  • I what Indrema is shooting for is a platform that is so easy to develop for (open source tools and OpenGl) and has such a low barrier to entry (just need a decent linux box) and has cheap and easy to get licensing, that many companies will try and make a quick buck by doing Indrema ports. Will this work? Who knows. Indrema might make it if it has cool functionality, like the ability to do TiVO stuff and play divx movies and stuff.
  • I agree on the ICANN part, they are moving slowly and badly in this domain thing, but we don't want tens of different, not compatible domain systems, do we?
    At least if it was a free (like in free beer) movement, maybe I could give it a try. But it is not, they want money to register my address.
    BTW: microsoft.* is already taken.
  • I hope the get this new TLD thing to wark. things just work better when there is some other company to fight for market share. it's a good thing when a group is looking over there sholder to see of there is another person there to take them over.


  • Somehow I doubt Indrema is going to claim to be highly competitive againist the Big Players. They are going to have a niche market, which because they are not investing huge amounts in advertising, will be enough.

    One advantage I saw is that they are going to be upgradeable.
  • But the X-Box hasn't been released yet!

    Well, you could argue this on semantics. It hasn't been released publicly, but I'll bet Jeff Tunnell already has one.
  • Dear Mr. RudeGuy,

    Whell, I whine and whine, but I didn't knowh what the purpose of OpenNIC whas until you so rudely informed me. You should be nicer to people on Slashdot. Some day it may come back to bite you in the butt. I will indeed look into it as soon as I can access their whebsite.

  • I have had to fix a shitty VB program before.

    All variables defined in a global module. With horrible names. Unused and out dated variables not deleted.

    That had serial communications.

    With 3 pieces of equipment.

    Not event driven (to wait for 3 seconds for a device to respond, do a loop while watching the timer... watch that CPU usage monitor peg out!!! Yeah... watch windows slow to a crawl...)

    I scrapped it all. I was laughed at becuase the previous 4 programmer, non of which had lasted more than 6 months after dealin with this code, had managed to fix or redo this code.

    I redid it all. It worked, was event driven, was COM object oriented (as much as possible with COM). Then the project got cancel, and the orginal program stayed at the current release (which had pissed off more customers than I care to remember talking to on the phone).

    Moral of the story: obscure code works for it's purpose... no one can fix bad stuff.

    Moral two: there is nothing more dangerous than a desperate moron and visual basic combined.

    Friends don't let friends use VB.

  • But doesn't this fall into the same area as the Library of Congress?
  • Speaking of Indrema, yet another game console comes out, the Nuon, which probably even less people have heard of. Even the Red Jade, a portable backed by Ericsson, rumored to be capable of running Quake 3, isn't going to make it. How do they think they can succeed in an already saturated market?
  • Sorry. It can't be anything so simple. You're forgetting the "necessary and proper clause" (sometimes called "the elastic clause"). I'm not saying you're wrong, just that lots of people will argue until you're half dead over where to draw the line between "necessary" and "unnecessary." It would take a lot of Supreme Court rulings to reverse the current trend (well, not just current since it's been happening since the Constitution was written) of expanding the power of the national government. I kind of like the idea of writing a new Constitution every 50 years. One problem with this is: who should write it? I say let the people with PhDs in the relevent areas should be write the Constitution rather than elected officials.

    "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"
    (I am a man: nothing human is alien to me)

  • Are you kidding? Don't use Freshmeat, use The Linux Game Tome []. New games are posted all the time. Sure not all of them ever get past 0.0.1 and a lot of those that do are lame. Nonetheless, if you can't find at least SOME cool games here you just aren't trying.
    Non-meta-modded "Overrated" mods are killing Slashdot
  • Not only is it useful for job security, but it's a great gotcha for mean-hearted university CS departments who insist on students' first learning introductory Visual Basic, then introductory Java, then more Java, before learning to program in obscure languages such as C++.
    Of course, one must first successfully complete enough assignments to ensure a good grade :)
  • If you need to build your company's information infrastructure around yourself for job security, either your company is going down the shitter (they don't realize how much they need a good programmer like you) or you are a really crappy programmer (you actually aren't valuable). If the first is true, you can surely get a job at a better company. If you belong in the second category, you can probably still get a job somewhere else, and you probably write un-maintainable code already!
  • OpenNIC and AlterNIC already exist; these guys aren't going to change anything, either.

    Nope, it'll take a major country code registry rebelling against ICANN for anything to change. Say, the British or the Canadians...
  • This is as good of an idea--for those who hate dealing with system configurations and device incompatibilities--as PPC-Linux on an iMac(or at least, so I've heard....). I would buy a PSX-2 without hesitation if there was an available GNU/Linux port.

    Sorry, Indrema, but it's a CONSOLE.. Where are your games?

  • Will Rational's ClearCase and a Forte port be available on it?
  • As an ex-employee of Silicon Dreams (who, incidently, used to be called US Gold), I can tell you that they're not a "second tier game company". They are part of the largest independant developer group in Europe (Kaboom Studios). They are partnered with Attention To Detail (Sydney Games on the DreamCast), Pivotal Games (Warzone 2110 (if only it was 9 years earlier *grin*), and a couple of other new media companies (AudioMotion and GLobal Web Services). Now, I'm not usre if they're doing Indrema development (I have no idea where Mr Lamer heard that rumour), but they are certainly not nobodies in the game development industry (granted, they did make a HUUUUGE fuckup having UEFA 2001 released just before FIFA... d'oh) As a side note, buy my book (linux Game Programming, ISBN 0-7615-3255-2, out this month, you can preorder on Amazon and FatBrain NOW!)
  • My point was: look at Sega and the Dreamcast. How is Indrema going to do better? Are they going to have guaranteed names like Sonic the Hedgehog or Madden NFL or Tekken available at launch?

    And, I'm sorry, but Loki and Silicon Dreams are not connections in "high places". They are second tier game companies at best.

    So we're back where we started. There aren't going to be any decent commercial games for Indrema. So all that's left are the crappy open source ones. And I can program/play those on my PC.

    I'm just not seeing a compelling reason for anyone to buy Indrema's box.
  • You seem to forget one critical point. The success of a console is not about being hackable, it's about game titles. People buy console so they can play top-notch games sitting on the floor in front of their big TV. Give me the name of one, just one, big open source game that's has fun to play as some retail game (I'll take Quake as an exemple) AND has as nice a look and then you might convince me.

    Don't get me wrong, I really think the Indrema is a really nice gadget and their contribution will be great even if they fail. I just don't think it will appeal as much to my young nephew who could not care less about opensource. And that's why I think it won't be an economic success.

    "When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun...
  • It's not an 'end-run' with icann... any ISP, nay, anyone who runs a DNS server is free to choose how and where it resolves, it's only a protocol.

    NSI got it's wealth and power simply because everyone used them, trusted them in the first place. Now things have changed.

    If the large ISP's want to start their own DNS... they can go right ahead. As far as I'm concerned, as long as the tld's we have today resolve, I'm happy. I don't care what else resolves. If I did care, I'd use my own local nameserver.
  • What if you have reached the level at work YOU are comfortable with, and get to spend lots of free time on your own projects or just fun?

    Might there not be a reason a person would actually wish to stay where they are even if they're very good at what they do?
  • Cool. Glad to see you reading /.. Yes, you must understand that many of the posters have absolutely no clue whatsoever. It helps greatly to read with a threshold of one. People who can't be bothered to log in rarely have anything worthwhile to say.

    So when are we going to get something like The Incredible Machine for Linux? There's a lot of Linux boxes in people's homes. Kids have a lower chance of hurting the machine if it's a Linux box. It's gotten to the point where I had to tell my son, "If you download something off the net, and it toasts your Windows 98 configuration, you have to fix it yourself."
  • This matches my experience with her on the Com-Priv mailing list.
  • Should the government step in? Should academia step in, by way of government funds?

    I sure hope not the US government. You see, I don't believe that that is the purpose of the federal government. I seem to recall someting about:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    All your event [] are belong to us.
  • I don't think you understand. Indrema does allow the average person to make a game, but it is really focusing on commercial development. If it has as many games as it is supposed to at launch (they said 10-20 commercial games) then they have to have connections (loki and silicon dreams anyone...) in high places. Basically, you'll be able to play the rip-off (and maybe not rip-off) free games and the cool commercial games. And, you have to remember that about half of indrema's target market (marketing buzz-word, I must be smart) are people who don't use linux. So the free games (tuxkart, tuxAFHQ, xboing, BZFlag, whatever gets ported / written) will be new to them. Try to remember that.

  • ...really going to be such a butt-ugly chrome pimple?

    But seriously, has anyone else noticed that everyone these days is building "set-top boxes" that are conspiratorially designed to only be able to be placed actually on top of the TV? Nothing is square and stackable like my good old VHS machine anymore.

  • Seriously, usenet is dead. That's not to say I don't read, use, and post to it regularly (I do!), but as a vibrant and current bit of internet culture, it just ain't there anymore. The death of dejanews was the final nail in the coffin, and at this point, I don't think there's ANYTHING google can do to revive it.

    *moment of silence*

  • 7. Use Plural Forms From Other Languages: A contributor was the proud author of a VMS script that kept track of the "statii" returned from various "Vaxen". Esperanto, Klingon and Hobbitese qualify as languages for these purposes. For pseudo-Esperanto pluraloj, add oj. You will be doing your part toward world peace.

    The hobbits in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings spoke a language called Westron, which remains largely undocumented as it was completely translated into English in the novel.

    30. Insist on using "c" for const in C++ and other languages that directly enforce the const-ness of a variable.

    Funny thing is, I was actually taught pretty much that, as the convention in the Mac environment is to use "k" before constants.

    Seriously folks, this is an excellent reference on how to write a code obfuscator for code that should be recompilable but not modifiable (under the EULA). Several UNIX apps are distributed this way.

    All your hallucinogen [] are belong to us.
  • When one guy working on his own could produce a world-class game, then yeah, it was fine. Adrian Braybrook (sp?) wrote several superb games for the C-64 on his own, and many other games were written by single ppl, or a single person with a keyboard guy to do the sound and an artist to do the graphics, at most - there wasn't room to store more in memory or on the tape.

    Then we got faster machines. Amiga and Atari ST games typically had teams of a dozen or so (the good ones anyway). Only a very few now (Starglider) were done by individuals. But lone-wolf programmers or small groups could still crack stuff out, and nearly everything had to fit on a single DSDD floppy disk, so that put a natural limit on what anyone could do with sound and graphics.

    Then we got _serious_ power on PCs/consoles, and serious graphics and sound capabilities, and some serious storage capacity on CDs. Now it takes an enormous team of sound ppl, graphics artists - hell, even architects and choreographers if you need them. Or real actors for cut-scenes and for Rotoscoping the character's movements, at which point you get into movie directors and set-designers too.

    Bottom line is that there is NO way anyone can produce a game today that is of the same standard as other modern games. A single person could produce something like Starglider quite easily these days, since 3-D graphics support now is built into DirectX and is mostly done by the graphics card, instead of the programmer having to write their own. But there's still no way any open-source team could produce something like 7th Guest or 11th Hour in their spare time - there's just too much to do. And those are _old_ games, several years old. Really up-to-date games, you can forget it.

  • it means you can't be promoted.

    Baloney. Just wait until your management changes. The new PHB will not know of the havoc you've wrought. The best thing is when some layer of middle management (at which there's no understanding of code maintenance anyway) picks you as a shiny toy because of the fabulous work you've done and the incredible dedication you show at being willing to pitch in and fight fires whenever it's necessary. So you get promoted to Poo Bah Engineer and you never have to work again. You can also demand favors from the legions of lowly scum-level programmers trying desparately to figure out what your software does.

    I'm not making that up.

  • I thought Mesa didn't work with the nvidia drivers ?

    Is this a custom version of Mesa ?

    And on a similar subject, has anybody got X 4.0.2 working properly with nvidia ?

    Every time I try to run tuxracer, evas or gltron my X server crashes. It's annoying the hell out of me.

  • That made no sense. oh well, lesson to all, never drink and post. it Kills


  • anyone else is an impostor!
  • Personnally, I love standards, but I think that ICANN is just dragging their feet. Even if the plug-in that allows different top-level domains isn't Linux compatible, I'm sure that somebody will figure out a way to make it Linux compatible. I would rather get my top-level and have them be 'Windows only' for a while than wait for ICANN to get their act together.

    Maybe we can convince the plug-in company to open source the code since their money will be made off of domain name registrations.

  • We don't need them.. Hell, we don't even really need domain numbers -Thats what IP numbers are for!

  • You can discount anything that Ronda Hauben says. She's been a usenet pest for at least 5 years. She's well known for 2 things: 1. Persistence 2. An almost fanatical devotion to illogic 3. Stupidity 4. Really nice red costumes. The only usenet entity I can compare Hauben to is Jon DiNardo. He's just as illogical, just as persistent, and he's been around since '89 or so.
  • I think someone distributed that at my job. It must have been a carryover from the last recession (before the internet boom and bust...). Years later, when their code has hit the wall, it is my responsibility to debug it. I usually send it to the bitbucket & start over from scratch.

    Now that the major media corps are convincing America that we are in a recession, I predict a resurgence in unmaintainable code. Viva la job security!

    If you love God, burn a church!
  • They wouldn't need to create a plug-in for Linux. Linux users would, generally, be fine with just editing their resolv.conf so that it points to a public DNS server that was in the '' DNS system.

    The beauty part is that the technical infrastructure for this type of change is already available, you just need to get users to point to the 'right' DNS servers...

    The whole plugin thing would generally be for the Windows and Mac users who have never heard of 'DNS' and are too frightened to go play around with their network settings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2001 @05:06PM (#375324)
    #define a=b a=0-b


    The list have few good ideas, and some that implies broken code (the define), or illegal (like the 8 bits char).

    The best obfuscated code is writing in an undocumented langage. You make the compiler/interpreter yoursef, and code the solution in the langage.

    I have done this once, on purpose. A company that fucked me too much while I was a student. When I left the software worked flawlessly, only a couple of features were left unimplemented.

    The code looked like:

    const char *p = {
    0xf3, 0xfa, 0x3v, 0x00, 0x00, 0x43

    for a few kilobytes, followed by the interpretor (Which itself looked roughly like:

    while (1) switch (*p)
    { case 0x12: p = *(p+*(p+1)); break;
    default: (*f)(*p++)

    (And of course, the couple of features left unimplemented required a drastic change in the langage itself...)


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2001 @06:05PM (#375325)
    the X-Box is simply the best console to ever be released

    But the X-Box hasn't been released yet! Right now, PS2 is simply the best console to ever be released. I don't doubt that when X-Box gets a release it will be the "best" - but then so is *every* console when it is released. Pricepoint and marketing is going to swing this for [or against] Microsoft, not technological superiority.

    It sounds like you're sidestepping Indrema's BS but walking right into Microsoft's. Console wars have *never* been won on technical merit.

  • I'm normally all for standards organization, but with ICANN's brilliant "biz" and "name" TLDs, they'e shown that they need a kick in th pants to get with the program.

    I mean, seriously.. they expect people to pay extra money to have a cheesy ".biz" TLD? And .biz is supposed to make a website seem more legit? And ".name" has got to be the lamest choice for a TLD imaginable. Just try saying something like "". That just sounds so awful!

    I think that if they get a little competition, maybe they'll wise up and hire some people to come up with ICANN-approved TLDs that don't suck.

  • by victim ( 30647 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:17PM (#375327)
    *nux does not need the plugin. You either just add "" to your domain search list in resolv.conf (Think about it. Pretty clever huh?:-) or for those of you running your own DNS add the servers for the TLDs they have claimed. I'm not sure the latter method works yet, they said `mid-march' to have those servers running.

    Either way, has the instruction on their site.
  • by bugg ( 65930 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @04:41PM (#375328) Homepage
    And _you_ seem to forget that the federal government can delegate powers to itself: To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    And in all seriousness, if noone else steps up, I don't see why the federal government shouldn't- it'd certainly be less a waste of money than SDI. Where's the harm?

    The 10th amendment was just an attempt to make the southern states and states rights nuts shut up. Apparently it didn't work.

  • You might not see a point, but some people will. Basically, indrema will be launching the IES in two stages: a limited launch for the early adopter people so they can get funding for launch 2, the larger lauch. Remember that the DC did extremely well in the North American Market, it just failed in the Japanese market (and since Sega is from there, they probably care more about that market). There is always the chance that indrema can beat the other -- everyone has to start somewhere. Maybe it isn't for you, but it will be a good console for others.

    Besides, if indrema does fail, they made the promise to give everything to the community -- the tools to certify games and all the source to their proprietary stuff (Stuff like the Digital Right Management Software that generated certification keys and checks them at runtime). So, if nothing else comes of it, you will have a fairly decent box with a nice graphics system (the GPU is in a card, so it is replaceable). So, there might be a reason to get one even if you don't want games (remember, they lose money on every console and make it back up in game sales).

    Plus, they are very hacker friendly. I mean, the company was founded by a hacker. They have said they won't mind you taking apart the systems as long as you don't circumvent DRM (there will be a DRM-less dev console retailing at or slightly below production cost, more on that later). It has 4 usb ports on the front, HDTV + s-video + tv out, a graphics card socket, a modem, an ethernet card, and more usb on the back so...the possibilities are endless.

    The developers console will also cost much less than all the other devkits. I mean, 600-900 bucks for a developers console (with cool extras like Code Warrior For linux and some 3d tools) is amazing! I mean, Sony charges what for their developers kit? Way too much for most small game development houses. Now, imagine this -- it is 1992, and id is just starting. Do they have the money for an expensive dev kit? Nope. So, they just make a dos game. Ok, so not a good example. But, it does make a point. Small game houses do make good games, but can't afford expensive developer kits. This gives them a chance to make their games for a console with a reasonable cost to them. So now they can be the next id.

    So, I hope I've convinced some people about indrema. Or at least sparked some thought.

  • This is cool. Some people in the indrema development community have an irc channel on openprojects ( Its in..what else but #indrema. Its really cool because they have a developers (or rather, just a regular chat most of the time) chat with John Gildred and other indrema employees every wednesday at 4:30 PST (or 0030 GMT on thursday for people on the other side of the line). Its really nice to see a company that can have its CEO just talk to the normal people.

  • by Deluge ( 94014 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:14PM (#375331)
    Yes, the Indrema console is a nice idea, and an interesting project, but surely the people behind it can't expect any sort of large-scale commercial success?

    It's been said before, I know, but here goes: Marketing is where it's at. MS is going to spend upwards of a half billion dollars promoting the X-Box, and they surely won't hesitate to spend even more money to make sure that their console is successful in every way (competitively priced, available in volume, supported by many games).

    PS2 is going to get gobbled up by people who want the latest and greatest, but meanwhile millions of others are already quite happy killing some time with their old PSX.

    Nintendo? Right now it's a pokemon machine. We'll see how impressive the gamecube is, but between PSX saturation and MS's shoving the X down everyone's throats, even they will have a rough time.

    Considering everything that Indrema has going against their commercial success -- PS is good enough, MS will kick marketing ass, Nintendo fills in the gaps, where is the market for Indrema? Short of some attention on SlashDot (and I seriously doubt that a very large percentage of even /.ers will be buying this console, considerably less than will be buying the MS console) and a few blurbs on gaming websites, nobody really knows about indrema, and I just don't see that changing without a LOT of marketing money (and smarts).

    I'd like to say that at least they have technological superiority going for them, but other than the word "Linux" flying around in the specs, the system doesn't have much (if anything) more to offer than the upcoming consoles.


  • by n3rd ( 111397 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:05PM (#375332)
    Is there any problem having such contributions bought and sold?

    Frankly, I don't see an issue with this. I could have started archiving Usenet news way back in the day and sold it today. So could you. So could have anyone. However, it was Deja who actually did it, and now they've made some money. Can BBS operators do the same with their message boards?

    Is there a way to have nonprofit or academic or research institutions involved in archiving such collaborative contributions like Usenet?

    Sure, if there is an organization out there with lots (and I mean lots) of disk space and the correct INN (news server) settings, sure. Just keep the messages around forever and after a while you have an archive.
  • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @08:54PM (#375333) Journal
    Yeah, I agree--I use it, and that's all that should matter. BUT, consider this: Usenet was the first, best, and possibly only real online community of any size. Internet culture matters to it because it was a culture and a community unto itself. That culture is dead. That sense of community started to die with AOL and Canter&Siegel. Usenet as it used to be is dead, and we'll never see a community like that again online. That's all.

  • by BroadbandBradley ( 237267 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @08:10PM (#375334) Homepage
    you will get tivo-like digital vcr, mp3 jukebox, web browsing and email, DVD Movies, HDTV.
    oh and it also plays games.
    for the price, (it'll be around $300 I'm guestimating) a 600mhz pc with a sweet graphic card (upgradeable) and all the tv in/out/recording, I think it'll be an awsome deal.
    I use a pII 266 and have had the upgrade itch for too long. Indrema will give me that high end gaming system, without me having to shell out much money, and I'll still rtain all the functionality of a PC.
    HDTV output alone is worth big bucks right now, this makes Indrema seem like the deal of the century.
    I can also see it runnig graphic apps like gimp or blender and being able to work on a big screen tv would beat using a 17" monitor.
    for most, the function of gaming/mp3box/tivo/DVD is enough, being a Linux Hacker means it can be all that and pretty much everything else you'd want it to do.
    10baseT ethernet right out of the box, going right into my home lan, and now I can get online during commercials while watching TV in the livingroom.
    if they took pre-orders, they'd already have my money even without the games.
  • by geomcbay ( 263540 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:09PM (#375335)
    Frankly, I don't see an issue with this. I could have started archiving Usenet news way back in the day and sold it today. So could you. So could have anyone. However, it was Deja who actually did it, and now they've made some money

    Actually they lost quite a bit of money which is why they had to try to get into other businesses (the ratings stuff) and eventually sell off to google.

    That's actually kind of the core issue -- collecting, archiving and maintaining such a large volume of data and the bandwidth to serve it is a rather expensive undertaking..

    What to do if Google can't make it work? Should the government step in? Should academia step in, by way of government funds? It would be a shame for it to all disappear.

  • by kaisyain ( 15013 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:09PM (#375336)
    If Sega doesn't have the muscle to keep a console afloat in the industry what makes Indrema's financial backers think they can do better? Will they have better in-house development than Sega? No. Will they have better third-party support than Sega? No. Will they be able to advertise as much as Sega (although Sega's ad campaign for the Dreamcast was anemic)? Again, no.

    So, start writing cool games!

    Cool open source games do not exist. Take a look at freshmeat. The closest you'll find are clones of PC games that were state of the art 8-10 years ago.

    "Cool" games require two big things that open source lacks and will likely never be able to overcome.

    One, they take a lot of money. This is primarily because games need to be developed much quicker than, oh, say, a compiler in order to reach the market while they are still fresh. Game developers work insane hours to get the games out when they do. A few people working on a game that isn't their main job are never going to cut it. All you'll end up with is the usual gnome-tetris-beta-0.12 stuff.

    Two, games require art work. Usually lots of it. For instance take a look at Sega's Shenmue. Look at the credits for programmers. There's about 5-8 programmers listed, IIRC. Easy enough for some open source project to come up with. Then look at the list of artists. There's dozens, probably close to a hundred. People doing FMV. People making textures. People making character models. People writing theme music. People creating sound effects. Etc etc etc. The average open source project can't even get a decent set of icons for its menu bar.

    So why should I buy an Indrema box to play the same crappy, rip-off games that I can play under Linux?
  • by legLess ( 127550 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @03:46PM (#375337) Journal
    Remember: if you're the only person who can maintain your code, it not only means you can't be replaced, it means you can't be promoted.

    question: is control controlled by its need to control?
    answer: yes
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2001 @04:12PM (#375338)
    Do you idiots not realize that was almost bankrupt? I can't stand those idiot, superficial whining crybabies that are complaining that they can't get their news. Use a newsreader, dumbfucks! Don't you realize that if Google didn't acquire the archives, it WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST????

    GOOGLE IS NOT OUR ENEMY you dumb motherfuckers. If it weren't for them, we would have ABSOLUTELY NO ARCHIVE anymore.
  • by jefftunn ( 152332 ) on Thursday March 08, 2001 @05:34PM (#375339) Homepage
    I make games for a living. I was the founder of Dynamix a long time ago, and since then have brought games such as Red Baron, Incredible Machine, FPS: Football, Trophy Bass, and Tribes to market. Currently, I'm working on a start-up called GarageGames that helps independent game makers create and market their games.

    I find most of the game posts on /. very amusing. I read /. because it helps me understand what is going on in the open source/Linux community, plus it has some great content. The only thing that bothers me is that the game posts are so far off base, that I wonder how reliable the rest of the posts are.

    The Indrema posts really brings my above comment into focus. I see posts talking about how the cruel an mighty Microsoft is shoving the X-Box down developers throats, and how great Indrema will be. Well, let me tell you, the X-Box is simply the best console to ever be released and I'll believe Indrema when I see it. This pains to to say this, because I don't want Microsoft to win any more than any of you do. But they have a lot of money, and the hardware is great. I root for Indrema, but gamers don't buy operating systems, they buy great games. I just checked the Indrema site, and they don't have any. I have also tried to contact Indrema, with a pretty compelling story that should have gotten a response, but... nothing.

    Jeff Tunnell
    President, GarageGames
    Independent Games

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!