top Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
I've been doing a web cartoon about college costs. It puts a whole new spin on the wizards school idea that has been so popular. Here is a link to the first episode of the current storyline about school.
top Free Can Make You Bleed: the Underresourced Open Source
If the license was copyleft license such as the GPL, any time a company made changes and distributed it, they would have to contribute back, encouraging them to pay the developers. The problem is they decided not to force companies to distribute the source to any binaries they distributed, so companies can just make proprietary versions of the software and not pay developers to work on the open source project.
top Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?
I think that teaching it beginning in elementary school would even out the gender ratio. People would no longer need to complain so much about the lack of woman in computer science, since the girls would already have exposure to it at an early age. It would expose all kids to it early so they would have plenty of time to think about if they wanted to make a career out of it instead of trying to decide last minute at college if they like it or not. Also, it would give everyone an appreciation for the importance of source code since they would all know about source code.
top Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad
I took care of my grandmother with dementia with the help of my parents, husband, and adult day services for her last four, almost five years. Six months before the end she got pneumonia. They kept her in the hospital for way to long, here she had pneumonia because she could no longer swallow her food properly. I knew she did not want to be kept alive by machines or have a feeding tube. Fortunately, she had an a living will and was put on hospice. I feed her everyday after she came back from the hospital her pureed diet because she still acted like she wanted the food (trying to munch on the bedsheets) We had oxygen for her that we used a bit, but we found we really didn't see her in any pain. So even though hospice provided a lot of pain medication she didn't need it. She slept a lot and was very peaceful.
I was told she might stop eating at some point, but that never happened, instead the very thing that kept alive ended up killing her.
I know she was upset about getting dementia, but she opted not to kill herself during the early stages of the process, even though I know she had the means to do so.
I still miss her even though I know she was ready to go. I have no regrets about taking care of her or how she died. Everyone's situation is different though.
top Learning To Code: Are We Having Fun Yet?
Whimsy is defiantly the way to go. Rename the variables into cute little things, make mini games, whatever you need to do to make it fun. Just because someone doesn't get it right away doesn't mean you should stop. Also, beginning by modifying small programs rather than programing from scratch can be a more fun and enjoyable way to learn.
Once you know what you are doing, its much easier to do the boring stuff and the business problems, because you already know the basics of the syntax so you no longer get all hung up on that. It also helps a lot to have a nice text editor that highlights different code parts in different colors, and thus makes it much easier to find bugs. Now that I'm more advanced, I don't find myself relying on funny variable names or cute little programs to enjoy it anymore.
top Afraid Someone Will Steal Your Game Design Idea?
I have a game idea, and I have been working on it since 2005. Its all listed up on the website www.wograld.org if anyone wants to bother to read it.
Most gamers would find it to difficult to implement, and most programmers would complain because they would not have an excuse to add all the latest python and C++ libraries.
I don't worry about any one stealing it. First of all, its open source anyway, second of all, it mostly takes generic ideas from other similar types of multi-player online rpgs that have already been implemented several times over.
top What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?
I used Linux pretty much exclusively now. For a while I was on duel boot with windows 98, exclusively for games. In every other way, I felt Linux far exceeded Windows (customizablity of the UI, command line utilities, programming tools, free software fancy creative tools like the GIMP and Rosegarden.) Games was a sore spot for me on Linux for a long time, I could get emulators to run and things like dosbox, but not much in the way of Linux native games were available. Then, when my old duel boot windows 98/linux box gave up the ghost (motherboard went) I decided to use just Linux. At first it was hard with the lack of games, but by that time Java had been made completely open source, so people were using it for free software development. I like Java because it lacks a lot of the dependency hunts sometimes found in C and C++ applications and just works on multiple platforms without porting. I found a few Java games that I like, and I am actively developing Wograld, a game that comes with a Java client.
Its easy to make graphical cross platform applications in Java. Everyone who complains about a lack of games for Linux should just write a Java graphical game (or fork an existing one). If everyone did that we would have the last Linux Desktop problem solved.
about a year and a half ago
top Open Source Projects For Beginners
Part of the problem with getting contributors for projects, and finding projects to contributors is matching the skills, interests and abilities of the people who want to contribute, with the needs of a project looking for contribution. So far, our community has a poorly implemented trial and error process, leading to frustration on both sides.
I've tried to get more contributors for my project www.wograld.org , but the few people that had an interest did not meet all the requirements to be able to make meaningful contributions.
The new, revised list of requirements is as follows.
1) broadband internet connection.
2) Distro of Linux with admin privileges on a desktop and/or laptop.
3) Skill in one or more of the following 1) C programming 2) Java programming 3) gnu autotools, 4) Pixel Art 5) Perl coding.
4) Ability to read the README and install the game (I will help if asked, but I can't do it for you, sorry)
5)An interested in RPG's, MMO's in particular
6) Willingness to follow the design document, also known as the project mission statement and statements about what the project is supposed to do as shown on the website.
7)Basic Familiarity with the command line of Linux and command line tools.
8)Time to devote to the project, preferably 15+ hours a week (although for small fixes less time is needed)
I've often envisioned a sort of combination of a social networking like website with a dating site like match up system, and social networking capabilities designed to help match contributors to projects. But I have neither the time (like thousands of years) nor the the skills (like php ) to code such a thing.
about a year and a half ago
top Why Freeloaders Are Essential To FOSS Project Success
Starting a project does not make you all glamorous and awesome. Try it and see. If your project is like 90% of projects, it won't get anywhere and will have next to zero users.
Even if you still manage to continue working on it with out users, you will get poked fun on on internet forums as having a dead project, despite the continuous contributions.
If you insist on being a free loader, there are plenty of projects you can attempt to use, most of them just won't compile and run.
A game to try
good luck following the long README directions and getting it to run, email if you have any questions.
top Why Freeloaders Are Essential To FOSS Project Success
Of course, sometimes even the person at the top can't fix it that fast, once you have gone to the lead developer, if he or she can't fix it, then where else can you go?
top Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8
I just bought a laptop from this site. It comes without windows and your choice of linux distros.
I still haven't received it yet since I just bought it a couple days ago, but I will review it when I get it.
top Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux?
I've been playing Runescape because it has a Java client. Since Java is nice and cross platform, it just works on Linux.
I'm also working on my own MMORPG with a Java client that is technically an alpha but I call it pre-alpha cause so many of the client/features are bugged or missing.
Still, the Java client is a huge improvement over trying to program a client in x11 for the game I'm working on.
I used to play a lot of windows only games, but when windows xp came out I decided I would not upgrade(downgrade) or get any games that needed later versions of windows. After win 98 became obsolete, and my old dual-boot computer died(hardware) I gave up windows only games.
top The Condescending UI
I'm actually looking for a user interface developer for my free software MORPG (multi-player online roleplaying game) www.wograld.org We have a user interface, but it was written in C and is really bad. Everyone who tries to play the game says they don't want to play because the UI is really bad. I was hoping for a Java developer so we can avoid the dependency hunt and potential cross platform issues. Yes, it compiles and runs, but no current project member would actually like to fix the UI code (even though we love doing the game logic and the artwork) so I've been wanting someone for a long time, but I don't know, what should I do to find that developer who really loves writing user interfaces because they love making user interfaces.
I've actually already designed it, but the implementing it has not gone so well.
top Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Unofficially On Linux
Recently I found out the capabilities of Java. They could just do it all in Java, because it is cross-platform. Writing games for one platform that is already cross-platform means the developers only have to write the game once, and it runs on all systems that the platform supports.
top Wikipedia May Censor Images
Yeah, some of the articles on my favorite topics have been deleted as being "not notable"
top Ask Slashdot: DOSBox, or DOS Box?
I would keep it around. I have a 486 era machine I am not using right now, but probably will at some point. I don't think that Ultima 8 pagan is quite emulated, although I know there was a project to do it. Also, as nice as Exult is, it still isn't quite the same as playing the original Ultima 7 and 7.5. I'm not sure if you could emulate windows 3.1 either, and I do have fond memories of it, particularly that early paint program, even though I am using GIMP now.
A lot of the nostelgia with me, isn't just playing games and stuff that I did back in the day, but going back to parts of the era I missed. For instance, I recently found out the history of some of the code in a project that I am working on today, I found some of the original coders from 1992 talking about it on old defunct email addresses. Sometimes I wish I could go back to 1992, and instead of wasting my time trying to beat Drakkhen (that I never did beat btw), spend time learning X11 and the Athena Widget set back what it was actually cool and I could find other people willing to talk about it. www.wograld.org
top Punish Bad Users With Drupal
I've often commented that the Drupal community is a piranha pool. Many Drupal developers come off as arrogant, and do little to help newbies, instead nibbling away at their desire to learn Drupal. This whole idea of Misery seems to be conceived by the ideals of the Drupal community. Instead of just being straight out and banning someone, they are going to make their websites a real pain to use. I get the bad feeling some of them won't just be using it on trolls, but ordinary users as well.
top Debian, OpenSUSE, Arch, Gentoo and Grml Merge
Maybe they could merge and finally fix the dependency hunt problem with all those libraries and out-dated packages for each distro. Applications could actually come with the version of the library you need rather than relying on distributions to get it right.
top SlashTweaks Let YOU Micro-Edit Slashdot
I actually like April Fools.
top The Dilemma of Level vs. Skill In MMOs
Many typical RPGs and like games, such as Crossfire, have a level system. This system frequently has levels that can go as high as in the 100's or as low as ten (but frequently this number is scaled up and up in order for the developers to create more content without doing any real work). When a character gains a level, she also gains stats. She might gain in strength, dexterity, intellect, or whatever other attributes are put into the game. The problem is she has 100 levels, so say she starts with 20 strength, and then gains a point in strength every level, now at level 100 she has 120 strength. The newbie character logs in with his 20 strength newbie. The problem is she is going to really be 6 times more powerful, so then, what happens if she decides now that she has maxed out her character, her new mission in life is to grief newbies. The newbies don't really have much of a chance against her.
But the real issue is that instead of 100 levels, there might be thousands of levels. By the time you get a maxed leveled character, that is several years of work. No lifers play day in and day out to get max level, and some games don't even really have a cap on levels, so the no lifer has this character that is several times more powerful than that of the casual player. The no lifer then dominates everyone, and everyone else realizes they will never get that powerful, so they quit. This is bad for the game, because eventually the no-lifer realizes that he is the only one left playing it, and he would rather rank up on a chart where he has some real competition, not just who had no life for so many years.
Ultima Online did it well. Swing a sword, gain points in dexterity and strength, cast a spell, gain a point in intellect, up to a reasonable cap for your total stats. I think it was something like 255 total, with a max of 150 in any given stat, and up to 25 more points with stat scrolls. But this way there were no uber l33t character with thousands more hit points than the newbie. Sure, maxed our characters were more powerful than the newbies, but anyone could easily get a maxed out character with just a little bit of time and effort, so most people had maxed out characters. The games focus was not on character development, beyond tweaking your template for a given game play change. The focus was on actually playing the game, going to dungeons, finding loot, crafting, and finding resources, socializing, and trading. People did not think of it as a grind game where the primary focus was character development. How you played your character mattered far more, as did customizing your template and equipment for your play style.
I've also reposted this in my blog
http://wogralddev.blogspot.com/ , along with a lot of other game development and design posts.
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