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Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 61

The 1% of Linux users among the 1% of gamers currently playing VR. I think that's about 7 people tops.

As a proponent of both Linux and VR, I am sadly going to have to say that I'll be staying away from that unholy combo.

VR is fledgling technology that struggles to be quite what everyone wants it to be, supported by an established platform with carefully optimised drivers.

Linux is an established technology in everything but mainstream gaming, with graphics drivers that struggle to perform as well as their windows counterparts.

Jamming the two together? Why yes, I do like chilli powder in my eyes. It'll hurt a lot less than all the googling needed to get it working properly.

Comment Re:Not obvious (Score 3) 151

My first taste of "proper" VR was on a mate's Rift DK1. I think that was great because it was the novelty. What I took away from that was the genuine fear of falling off of high things, which I don't get gaming normally. The 2D screen is a safe level of isolation from the world of the game.

Nowadays, I'm playing VR on a budget - an old business i5 machine with a second hand GTX 970 and PSU slapped into it, plus an eBay Rift DK2 which didn't cost a lot. The DK2 has worked with everything I've tried on Steam VR, to give me a feel as to whether to fork out for a "proper" expensive headset.

The thrill of "being in" a game world doesn't wear off. Subnautica and Obduction are such examples. In Obduction there are paths to walk along alongside a mountain with a huge drop to one side. It looks pretty on a monitor, but it's awe-inspiring in VR. The same with standing and looking up at structures that tower above you - much more immersive in VR. Subnautica is just beautiful to swim around.

But, it is a bit tiring on the eyes. The screen door effect is completely annoying - sometimes I can get submerged in the game enough to ignore it but not for long because it's right there in my face. I understand the CV1 and Vive are better in that regard than the DK2, but it's still there to an extent. The technology needs to move on at least another generation to really make it properly viable in my opinion (caveat - I've not tried the CV1 or Vive yet - but I read reviews that grumble to an extent about the screen door effect).

So I play both 2D and VR - the former usually if I am sitting with someone and want to talk and share the experience. VR when I want to feel what the world is like around me.

When I'm playing 2D, I feel like I'm missing out on the immersion.
When I'm playing in VR, I feel like I'm missing out on a nice detailed screen without obvious pixels and that annoying screen door effect.

VR is where gaming will end up, I don't doubt it. I really want it to be good enough to use all the time. For me the DK2 isn't quite up to it, but I still can't resist strapping it on for a couple of hours to get the feel of a place that can't be captured in 2D.

And there is still the huge entertainment factor of having guests over and watching them try to stand up while on a VR rollercoaster. It was worth the expense just for those laughs.

3DTV I don't care for at all. Tried it, it was OK. But VR is something else.

Comment Re:Note that this is a little different from softw (Score 2) 207

Or course. I've got a 3D printer and the kids love it. You don't have to look far to find models of popular toys, and they can be envy of the other kids at school if they're the only ones with glow-in-the-dark Minecraft Creepers (glow in the dark filament is pretty cool!)

Just another case of technology running ahead of the existing rules.

Comment Re:Wirth's law protects us from singularity (Score 1) 181

While this is arguably true for software that directly faces a human being, embedded/specialist applications are getting faster and more powerful. I work on a massively parallel ASIC and it benefits from every iteration of die shrink with clock speed.

If there is a machine intelligence it won't be written in Mono or Python on a standard PC - it will be a specially crafted piece of silicon with very well optimised process code.

I do believe we will reach a singularity where us squishy meatbags make ourselves redundant, but I don't fear it. If the culmination of mankind produces an intelligence that surpasses our own, that's a great end-goal. It/they will certainly be better physically equipped to explore the stars, perhaps carrying a memory of the seeds of their creation with them.

What is curious is why we haven't yet encountered such machines. I guess as a planet we've not been pumping out giveaway radio waves for long enough?

Comment Re:What's there to compare? (Score 0) 402

none of which are named Emacs or Vim

What's there to compare? Everything else is just Notepad.

It's a bit like comparing comments between people that have and haven't RTFA. In that respect, you're Notepad. Lacking in substance. Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned.

Comment Re:Walk before you can run code (Score 1) 627

No, no, no! This is Slashdot, we need a car analogy:

Does relying on pre-made rubber tires make you a bad driver?

That's a terrible analogy.

A better one would be saying something like "Don't use ECU diagnostic interfaces to find out what's wrong with your engine - that's cheating - a real mechanic would just take it apart to see what's wrong!"

In a similar way to the ECU telling you what is up, you still need an underlying knowledge of engine mechanics in order to use the information it provides effectively. Sometimes it will be misleading. The same goes with IDEs and coding. Sure you can write everything in vi/emacs if that takes your fancy, but you won't be as efficient as if you use a decent IDE, but that's not to say you should trust the IDE entirely.

Comment Re:IDEs are good. UI builders are bad. (Score 2) 627

IDEs with any form of wizard for "creating stuff" potentially take away the underlying understanding that a programmer might use to come up with something better.

But, for code navigation, a good IDE is totally indispensable, particularly with large codebases of someone else's code. What could be more useful than hovering your mouse pointer over a structure variable and having a little window show you how it was declared and what members it has? Or telling you all the places the current function is called from?

A good IDE shouldn't get in the way of coding, but nor should it take over the coding for you.

Comment Re:Kicking up the lundar dust (Score 2) 250

Not even the Chinese can claim a planet.

It's a moon, not a planet, but since we're talking on your level... if you look on the other side there is a huge "MADE IN CHINA" sign and a big array of bitcoin ASICs that they used for their 51% attack. More hashing power than Uruguay. That's how they bought the fake landing sets off NASA!

Comment Re:Tesla (Score 1) 327

I drive oil, but it's catalytically cracked veg oil.

The heating process for dewatering and then distilling excess Methanol off afterwards takes a fair bit of energy (16kWh) but over the course of a year and making 2500 litres it adds up to less in electricity costs than running a home server 24/7 (50W).

So I'm firmly in the 500-999kWh range.

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