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Comment Re:And this is why (Score 2) 946

Without the GPL, they would have just used the existing implementation.

With the GPL, they're going to have to recreate the functionality themselves. Their implementation will probably be closed source. They might consider contributing it to the kernel with more permissive licensing terms, but considering how Alan Cox reacted to their request, I doubt it would be received well. Now we'll have duplicate, incompatible functionality being maintained by the kernel devs and NVIDIA. Either that, or NVIDIA will simply do without the feature and release inferior drivers.

Comment Re:Here's a thought (Score 2) 211

The US picked NTSC when Pal was clearly the superior standard.

PAL is higher resolution. NTSC has a higher framerate. They each have some other minor differences. Which one is better depends on your personal preferences.

VHS won out even though Beta was better.

Beta had better picture quality, but suffered from short recording times. The longer recording times mattered more to people. VHS also had better licensing terms, which helped the people making the hardware and pre-recorded videos. VHS was better for most people.

Some felt HD was better than Blu-ray,

Blu-Ray was designed to be the best format possible at the time. This meant new manufacturing factories were required to make them. HD-DVD was designed to be a "good enough" format. It's big selling point was that the discs could be made at existing DVD factories with only relatively minor changes to the equipment. The software end of the specifications each have their pros and cons, but were similar enough that few people had strong feelings about it. Ultimately Blu-Ray won because Sony was committed to building out the manufacturing plants. Once they built sufficient plants, there was little reason to use HD-DVD.

At the time it came out Firewire then firewire 800 were clearly superior standards.

Firewire was great if you were using it for high end equipment that needed high speed data transfers. It was great for things like digital video cameras and external hard drives. It fairly expensive though, and much less flexible than USB. USB won out because it offered enough speed for most devices, was extremely cheap to include in a device, and allowed easy chaining of a lot of devices. For the average computer user, USB was a lot better. While Firewire was still faster than USB 2.0, it wasn't a significant enough difference to matter for many people.

Comment Re:Poor Analogy (Score 4, Informative) 276

NES games are still playable. The problem is the NES itself - the connector the cartridge slides into gets bent out of shape. It's easy to open the system up and swap the connector. The new part only costs a few dollars.

Blowing on the cartridges never actually did anything to make them work. What did help was simply taking the cartridge out and putting it back in. It would sit differently, and eventually it would sit well enough to make a solid connection with the bent connector.

Comment Re:Meanwhile.. (Score 1) 610

Tivo has an iOS app. It allows you to do exactly what you want. Control the Tivo, browse TV listings, etc. It sucks to use as a remote as you have to look at it to make sure you're hitting the right button. It's also slower, as you can't just slide your finger around on the screen to get to the next button. With a regular remote, you usually quickly learn your way around it by feel and can use the common buttons easily without looking.

The listings don't work well on an iPhone - the screen is just too small. The guide on the TV screen works much better. It's easier to read and you can fit a lot more information on screen at once.

I haven't tried it on an iPad yet. I'm guessing the listings would be better, but the remote controls would probably be even slower to use with the larger screen.

Comment Re:Geoworks (Score 1) 361

"better automatic widget layout" - this made my day. I remember using GEOS as a boy, on a C64. It was a lot of fun going from text menus to an actual mouse-relevant UI, but sophisticated it was NOT. Automatic widget layout? There were 8 icons per window and if you didn't like where they were you could (a)bort, (r)etry, (i)gnore.

He was talking about the PC version of GEOS. You're talking about the C64 version. The only similarities between the two products are the name and some members of the development teams.

The PC version had a really sophisticated UI for the time. It was all multi-threaded with automatic control layout similar to how modern UI toolkits work. I found it a pleasure to code for. 15 years ago I was creating UIs much faster than I am today with modern tools.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

So I don't need an invitation from an established member?

Missed that one... no, you don't need invitations on LinkedIn - at least not that I've ever seen. To cut spam, a lot of groups require approval to join. I think that simply means that a group admin looks at your LinkedIn profile and approves you as long as what you say in your profile looks somewhat relevant to the group. For most groups you'll get approved within a day or two.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

I thought of that until I realized there were no chapters [igda.org] in Indiana. I'd have to take a bus to Chicago or Detroit and rent a hotel room.

Look for similar stuff. Lots of areas have other regular groups / conventions / etc.

That's my problem: I don't yet have a mainstream platform of choice beyond native development (that is, Windows).

Then just pick one. iOS and Android are easy to get into and in demand, so they're probably the best choices now. Make a few small games or apps and get them on the market. Don't think of them as money makers, think of them as resume pieces. The phone app stores aren't money makers for most people, they're mostly marketing pieces. Companies love to have apps to promote their business, and pay good money to have them made. Take that same approach. Release something to show that you're capable of it, then people will trust you to make what they want.

Except when it's an iPhone 4 and the product under development requires the larger RAM in the iPhone 4 and not the iPod touch 4.

Of course. Things like that are why I said "most of the time".

I wasn't aware of that. I thought there were so many job seekers that candidates without their own equipment were rejected outright.

An iPad or iPhone is cheap compared to a developer's pay rate. If you have a good resume and/or recommendations, then not having the exact device the project requires isn't a deal breaker. You're not likely to get a company to give you a Mac, but iPads aren't a big deal.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

Which web site do you recommend for searching for video game development jobs near (say) Fort Wayne, Indiana?

GameDevMap.com is a start - it shows 4 companies in Indiana, including one in Fort Wayne.

Check the usual stuff. Craigslist has postings all the time. Check development boards for your platform of choice. Go to IGDA meetings or similar things and meet people there. Keep an updated LinkedIn profile, and subscribe to lots of relevant groups.

Can one do iPhone contract work with just a Mac and an iPod touch?

Works fine for me. Most of the time people say "iPhone" it's shorthand for "iOS devices". Obviously you can't do everything an iPhone can with an iPod, but you can do most things. If you're doing a project for a company, they usually won't have a problem loaning you a device you don't have. Not sure about iPhones, but borrowing an iPad usually isn't an issue.

Comment Re:Aren't we talking different markets? (Score 1) 138

Aren't smartphone games more for the adult casual gamer with some free time between the events that constitute their life and the nintendo handhelds more for young children with more free time than a life?

That was true in the GameBoy days, but the DS hit a different market. The Pokemon crowd carried over, but the DS blew away the GameBoy because it catered to adults as well. Brain Age and games like that were major sellers - enough so that they released the DSi XL, which was primarily aimed at older audiences (the "can you make the text bigger?" crowd)

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this involves building up tens of thousands of dollars on which to live while seeking a job; moving to Silicon Valley, greater Seattle, or some other area with multiple major video game developers; somehow landing a job with major video game developer; and working there for several years.

No, it doesn't. There's no need to work for a major developer. The closest small developer near you is fine. If you're looking to make handheld games they'll probably be happy with iPhone experience. There's tons of remote iPhone contract work available.

Getting a job at a game company isn't hard if you really are talented enough to deserve it. It's hard to find good people in the industry. Make a small, polished demo and send it with a resume. It'll take you far.

Comment Re:For over two decades (Score 1) 97

If you can make something of professional quality, it'll take you far. It's a great step in the door at any game developer. Publishers will at least listen to you if you have something decent to show.

The console makers basically care about two things: that you're running a legit business, and that you can finish a game for the system you're applying for. They don't want their dev kits and SDKs and confidential information getting out into the open, and they don't want to waste their time with people that aren't going to finish a game.

Finally, go to the Game Developer's Conference. Just about everyone important in the industry is there. It's not that hard to get some face time with the important people. The console makers all have booths and/or information sessions so you can find out how to develop for them.

Comment Re:This means (Score 1) 54

You might not, but enough people do that you'll be impacted. You can do cheaper by having email support. But direct customer support isn't even the big concern - as I said before, think about games that interact with online servers. You need to maintain the servers and make sure they scale to match the userbase. If you're dealing with PC games, there will be compatibility issues you'll have to deal with.

Comment Re:This means (Score 2) 54

The real point is: Are you better off selling 20 000 units of a $50 games or 2 000 000 units of a $0.5 games? The sheer visibility bonus of the second option alone makes me believe it's a better option.

Keep in mind that you now have to provide support for 100x the number of users. If you're making a simple iPhone game that doesn't interact with anything else it's probably not a big deal. If you try that on PC, or in a game with a significant online component, you're going to be overwhelmed by the increased support costs.

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