Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment College Sorta Kinda (Score 2) 515

In college they didn't teach any courses in the hip new language that I wanted to learn, so I took a course in Pascal and taught myself "C" in parallel with that.

I liked C a lot better.

I *also* learned an immense amount during the same time period by picking apart an open source game, modifying it, expanding it, learning everything about how it worked. I'd say the majority of what I ended up actually learning was self-taught.

However. . . Looking back, I'd already been dabbling with trying to learn BASIC and other such stuff for a few years by that time, and my progress had been VERY SLOW. I'm sure my self-teaching/dabbling progress would have been way faster if I'd had access to the amazing online resources that now exist.

Comment The Fruit & Nut Club (Score 0) 245

My view on this. . . The Libertarian Party has long been infested with Fruit Loops, Nut Bars and Bananas. They could have opened a whole snack bar right there at the convention, and they were all outraged at the thought of their beloved party being "taken over" by grown-ups like Johnson and Weld.

From where I sit, Johnson and Weld aren't hijacking the party. They're just trying to rescue it from the Looney Tunes.

You know who I'm talking about. . . I mean the guys in bizarre costumes screaming at Johnson because he won't commit to abolish driver's licenses. . . or legalize all hard drugs overnight. . . or abolish public education. . . or privatize our highway system and make all roads into toll roads. . . Policies that the American people want, deep down in their hearts, if only they realized it! If only everyone would read Ayn Rand and become enlightened!

I'm talking about the faction trying to get "opposition to all forms of government" inserted as a plank the party platform. Here's a hint for you guys: It's the Libertarian Party, not the Anarchist Party. If you love anarchy so much, why not form your own Anarchist Party? Or better yet, move to Somalia and see how you like it!

The Fruit & Nut Club will undoubtedly be gnashing their teeth and retorting that I'm no libertarian and have no libertarian principles. That's not true. I have a very strong believe in libertarian principles. To wit:

1. I favor freedom for the people. They shouldn't trampled by big government or big business or big unions or big religion or big anything.

2. I'm not sure how much government we need, but I'm sure what we have right now is too much.

3. We should really try to keep the country from going broke.

I think if the party would stick with *my* principles, they could have a lot clearer message, focused on what's important, and make some headway with the general public -- as opposed to blathering about Rand, NAP, and anarcho-capitalist doctrine.

Comment Free will???? (Score 1) 386

It's an interesting experiment, with interesting results, that has no connection whatsoever with the subject of "free will" as most normal people understand that term. Pointing at this and then questioning free will is utterly bogus flamebait.

Comment Where does the money come from? (Score 1) 866

The big mystery to me, which isn't addressed, is where the money comes from. Do they raise it from income tax? Or from VAT? Is it just going to be one arbitrarily defined class of people paying in and another arbitrarily defined class of people receiving? Or do they think they can just "print" money from thin air as needed? Somehow I don't see that working.

If I were, in fact, called upon to design such a system and attempt to maximize its efficiency, I would suggest. . . An energy tax. Tax the production and import of energy sources. All of them. The most efficient way to raise revenue is by taxing economic activity at its foundation. In agricultural societies, it was land. In a modern industrial society, everything requires energy. Tax it at the source, and then let the energy companies pass the cost on down to their customers. Indirectly it would end up taxing all consumption, but in a much less meddlesome way than VAT. (And we can throw VAT and income taxes alike into the trash bin of history!)

I've got a feeling though, that a lot of politicians would feel threatened by a simple and neutral method of raising revenues. They'd rather have a complex tax code that they can continually wrangle of the details of, and try to score points with various constituents or enact various "social engineering" schemes to encourage this behavior, punish that behavior, etc.

Comment Re:This again? (Score 1) 314

The parallels run deep. I remember running Starpath Supercharger games on my ColecoVision. . . with the Atari 2600 adapter plugged into the Coleco, and the Supercharger plugged into the adapter, and a cassette drive plugged into that, and my hacked Wico joystick. . . right before I made the leap to Atari computers, and eventually Amiga.

When the NES came out, with its stupid toy robot, and jumping over mushrooms while Romper Room music played. . . I laughed, and laughed, and figured this "Nintendo" company would be out of business in a matter of months. But you know, the NES wasn't aimed at me. There's always another crop of younger kids coming up who aren't ready to be handed a complex, costly or fragile device to play games on. The console makers today seem to have forgotten this.

Comment Re:Make them toys again. Watch them sell. (Score 1) 314

Yes. That was the secret of Nintendo's success with the original NES. There's always a market of kids who are too young to be entrusted with a costly, complex and fragile device

Incidentally, I was among the generation who jumped from Atari and Coleco consoles to computer games on the Atari ST and the Amiga, and I thought the NES was the stupidest idea ever, and nobody would buy it. Thus proving the worth of my crystal ball. . . I'd like to think I've learned a few things since then, though.

Comment Re:DungeonMaster (Score 1) 90

AFAIK Dungeon Master wasn't published by Atari. It was from FTL Games. You might give Legend of Grimrock a spin.

The other great game from FTL was Oids, which was like an addictive hybrid of Gravitar and Choplifter. And now there is Graviton 2, which I haven't bought yet, but it looks like a near-clone of Oids.

Comment Valve is the new Atari (Score 1) 90

Nolan Bushnell once said his biggest regret was selling Atari to Warner when he did. "We could have been Apple and Nintendo under one roof," he mused.

Valve have been pushing into the console space, and they've been doing it very persistently, with Steam OS and Steam Machines and Steam Link and the Steam Controller, not to mention their developer tools. They're encroaching on the console world and also trying to break away from dependence on Microsoft. None of this stuff has been a runaway hit yet, but they just keep hammering away at it, and there's no indication that they're going to back off anytime soon. And somehow it reminds me of Atari back in the Good Old Days, before everything spiraled down the toilet.

And that reminds me. . . Is there NO GAME anywhere on Steam that's anything like Tempest 2000? (Or Typhoon 2001?)

Comment Apple and Games (Score 2) 542

I've been using nothing but Macs around my house for many years, and I'm on a Mac Pro right now. I guess I'm what you might call a die-hard Mac user. However. . . I'm not going to fight reality on this one. I've already ordered a gaming PC with Windows to power a Vive. The Mac will continue to do everything else for me, but when it comes to games and VR, I knew it just didn't make good sense.

Mac users have griped for years and years about Apple never producing a reasonably specified mini-tower suitable for gaming. Sad fact is, Apple as a company has no gaming in their DNA or their corporate culture. Steve Jobs didn't get games, didn't like games, and his attitude filtered down through the ranks. To the extent that gaming is viable on the Mac today at all, it's almost entirely due to Valve and Steam, not Apple.

Comment 60 MPH? (Score 1) 155

Tiny two-seater with a top speed of 60 MPH? Here in Texas that wouldn't even be considered highway-capable. The speed limit on many of our highways is 75 MPH, and I'm not even sure the majority of drivers stay within that. (I try to, usually, but passing with the Tesla Roadster is quite easy. And fun.)

Comment I own one of these. . . (Score 2) 567

I own one of these vehicles, and I can attest that the shifter design is awkward and confusing. The shifter paddles are another gripe, since they're effectively useless on this type of vehicle, but it's easy to hit one without realizing it when making a turn, then you have to figure out what's wrong, and then figure out how to get it out of manual mode. And the design fails are not limited to the shifter. All the controls in this vehicle are a user interface disaster. After owning mine for more than a year, I still find it awkward, and the touch screen interface for the infotainment and climate control still befuddles me at some times and infuriates me at others. And just to add an extra special touch of irritation, the stereo automatically comes on playing satellite radio whenever the vehicle is started, and there's no way to configure it not to. I've just learned to hit the mute button every time I start the car.

The utter failure of the Jeep's user interface was really pounded home to me when I was loaned a Tesla Model S for a week and a half. The huge touch panel looked alien at first glance, but I mastered most of its functions just by poking at it for about five minutes, and everything was golden after that.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.