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Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 162

The year of the Linux desktop. But, dammit, 2014 is DEFINITELY going to be THE year!!!

Well, Android smartphones and tablets are thriving which makes for linux on mobiles. And now that Steam is available on linux and the steambox is announced, so I can certainly see more people sticking to Linux for most uses. Heck, I'm in a windows software development firm and convinced my boss before the holidays that I was more effective on linux with Debian+git+Vim+KVM+Wine+mono than whatever the "MS suggested dev environment" is.

So for all that's practical from my point of view, 2014 is already THE year!


Comment how about turnkey? (Score 1) 221

For public free software projects, there are plenty of cloud based VCS and issue tracker; google code, github, indefero and bitbucket come to mind.

Otherwise, for private projects you may wish to have a look at the turnkey linux images for project tracking

I see they have redmine and trac images. It hardly gets easier to set up than an turnkey vm image!

Comment Re:Request a blood test (Score 1) 498

You should know that, depending on where you are, refusing the roadside breath test is a criminal offence with the punishment being the same as failing the breath test (worse in fact because it is considered an aggravating factor).

The previous is valid anywhere in Canada, under Section 254(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out 79

The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."

Comment worth = $ / (enjoyment x hours) (Score 1) 188

value = $ / (enjoyment x hours)
I believe this would be the correct formula to determine what a game's worth, as only $/h is really a wrong metric for a something we don't enjoy.
But this leads to the real question: How can we measure how much we enjoy a game? We can replay a game and enjoy it the same the second time or just be bored as it gets repetitive. In the same way, we may not really enjoy level grinding because mechanics get repetitive during the first pass.

After many readings and discussions, my definition of "enjoyment of a game" is trying to find patterns in a game and establishing a strategy. The human brain is apparently good at this and "provides satisfaction" when finding a specific pattern. As long as I'm trying different things and as I'm not stuck in a local maxima I'm enjoying something because of the impression of improvement. For this reason, there are repetitive tasks that are classified as fun (like RPG level grinding) as long as there are patterns to be found (like finding the most efficien levelling path).
But it's not always directly related to pattern finding as much as "self improvement". A musical rhythm game has a duration of fun, as long as I have a feeling of improvement. So I had a lot of fun during the 2 first passes as I was getting better, but then started having similar scores for trying again, and it got less fun. So the net value would be cost/(2*game time).
As a counter example, in a racing game, there are less patterns to be found and less self improvement; yes, you can buy new/faster cars ingame but play the same level in the same conditions and you won't necessarily get better. That I would evaluate as (cost*2)/(game time).

The above examples are obviously totally arbitrary and I intentionally do not mention any game name as the values are different between individuals (unless you have the exact same learning rate as I do). But I hope it helps some of you clarify your metric of what's a game worth.

Comment Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (Score 2, Informative) 1040

Correct me if I'm wrong, but at least when entering the US by car, you're already on american soil when talking to the border patrol. On a ski trip to Jay Peak, two stupid heas brought marijuana with them. But was searched, border patrol found it. All three were then detained for investigation.

Comment What are you trying to achieve (Score 1) 634

If I go back to when I started programming, my first goal was to create a game. It didn't matter at the time whether I was using some proprietary stuff like VisualBasic or older language like c or pascal. I had a goal in mind, which was to be able to control a simple sprite through a grid and I wanted to do it the simplest way that was possible. I still think the topic of first language is about motivation. You want to do something like you see. You don't necessarily want to learn a bunch of abstract design concepts like OO, design patterns. I needed something trivial and visual, yet extensible enough to allow me to add features I thought cool. VB was an awesome opportunity at the time as I could use drag and drop to manipulate objects and even though I was only manipulating widgets in a simple way, it allowed me to do all I required, even the more complex project ideas that followed.

If I look at today's alternatives, I see squeak that does right that, backed by the great smalltalk language. It is simple and visual, yet offers great flexibility. If I had Squeak as a choice when I started, that's probably what I would have chosen.

But it's all about motivation. Someone needs something of interest to work on and use the right tool for it. Programming is an art. You paint for yourself. And you learn to like painting. Then you try other styles: abstract, sceneries, portraits. And once you master enough your technique you can think about painting for others.


Man Teaches the Art of the Excuse Note 4

High school teacher Frank McCourt had received dozens of excuse notes from students over the years, most of them forgeries. One day while looking at the pile of obvious fakes, and thinking about how much the kids complained about writing even short essays, he had an epiphany. Why not teach the art of the excuse note? "This is the first class to study the art of the excuse note — the first class, ever, to practice writing them. You're so lucky to have a teacher like me who has taken your best writing and turned it into a subject worthy of study," he said to the class. Frank's classes have written a wide range of notes including ones from Adam and Eve to god, and historical figures. Frank was even commended by the school superintendent for his innovative idea. "That kid writing an excuse note for Judas. Brilliant. I just want to shake your hand. There might be a letter in your file attesting to your energetic and imaginative teaching. Thank you," he said.

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