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The True Challenges of Desktop Linux

Junks Jerzey Dodging reality with numbers (505 comments)

Ten years ago, Macs were clearly the minority of notebooks. Oh you'd see them in coffeeshops sometimes--they were hardly unusual--but mostly there were Dells and Gateways and HPs and so on. The last couple of years, good grief, go to any of those same coffeeshops or hang around on a college campus and we're talking 50% or more of the computers are Macs. The difference is bold and obvious. Now do the stats show an increase from 2 to 2.5% or whatever? I don't know. It might be based on corporate PCs or what elementary schools on a budget buy. But it's pretty obvious that Macs have made a huge leap to prominence.

about 2 years ago
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ARM Attacks Intel's Netbook Stranglehold

Junks Jerzey Re:No windows support? (521 comments)

Remember Windows CE? One of the standard supported processors was ARM, along with SH4 and MIPS. And this was in the mid-1990s.

more than 4 years ago
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A Look Back At Star Raiders

Junks Jerzey Re:Glad I'm not the only one who didn't like it. (104 comments)

It seemed more like a technology demo than an actual game.
For the time, it was amazingly deep in terms of gameplay. I don't know what other real-time game you could even compare it to. You had several tactical views, you had to manage fuel, system-specific damage, the AI felt menacing (in terms of how it would home in on your starbases). Fuel wasn't just magic; you had to dock with a starbase to get more. The whole game was highly interactive in a real-time way: AI units would move when you were looking at the map view, you could veer off course in hyperspace and end up in adjacent sectors
I actually thought the visual side of things was fairly lame.

more than 4 years ago
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Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt

Junks Jerzey CPU performance articles are quaint (173 comments)

While I hardly think 640K is enough for anyone, this story strikes me as an odd curiosity, certainly not something worthy of the Slashdot front page. In the age of netbooks, the iPhone, and notebook computing, does the ultimate pinnacle of performance even matter any more? Even with desktops, I just bought a $600 Dell that's so far beyond anything I can throw at it (with the usual exception of those few extraordinarily demanding GPU-bound games that need $400 video cards just to scrape by), that CPU performance is no longer on my radar. And it's not even an i7; it's the last revision of the Core 2 Duo.

more than 4 years ago
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Can We Build a Human Brain Into a Microchip?

Junks Jerzey This assumes we actually know how the brain works (598 comments)

We know a modern CPU has, say, a billion transistors in it, so all we need to do it put a billion transistors together, and hey, it's a CPU! Yes, we know the brain has neurons and so on, and we know some of the details of how they function, but that's all. We still really don't know how the brain works. Read any book that tries to explain the mechanics of the brain and the superficiality of knowledge in this area will rapidly become apparent. All we have are loose, high-level theories, none of which have ever been demonstrated to be valid.

more than 4 years ago
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26 Desktop Processors Compared

Junks Jerzey Wow, people still do comparisons like this? (192 comments)

My main desktop PC is a single-core 3GHz Pentium 4 from 2004. Yes, it's over 5 years old. And with that purchase my worries about performance and chasing the high-end came to an end. I haven't played a 3D PC game since DOOM 3 (which ran beautifully on my system when the game first came out), so I don't really know much about that end of things, but I haven't even had vague worries about performance. I process raw digital photos, program in a lot of interpreted, high-level languages, put together complex documents in vector drawing and page layout packages. Was there a time when PCs were slow? :) I've also got a dual core Mac Book, which is heading toward three years old. I have yet to do anything to make it break a sweat. As far as I'm concerned, I have infinite computing power in front of me.

more than 5 years ago
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Build an $800 Gaming PC

Junks Jerzey Re:More to the point (296 comments)

Some of us prefer to have a computer over a console. I'd rather play Fallout 3 on my computer because I can't stand console controllers, especially for FPSs. Its nice to be able to Alt-tab out of games and check things out, and to be able to download patches for buggy games, and extra content for the expandable ones. Consoles also suck for RTS games,

This is just the same old argument that sounds like it's from 2000. Funny thing is, everyone owns a computer regardless of whether they own a console or not, so there really isn't anything as a "console only" owner. As such, people tend to not be nearly as defensive about their consoles as the PC-only die-hards are. Anyone with a "big, fancy PS3" can go buy an RTS for their computer if they want to.

But PCs as full replacements for consoles isn't flying for a couple of big reasons:

* Hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured annually into developing console games, so if you care about games at all, then you're missing out by boycotting consoles. There are good PC games and ports, too (like Fallout 3), but they're in the small minority. Consoles are where the action is.

* Mobility and, as a result, low power consumption are driving PC sales. Most people would prefer a slick laptop with 6 hours battery life over a thousand-watt gaming rig.

Honestly, a console--or a handheld game system like the Nintendo DS--is relatively inexpensive, so there's no reason to over-justify your insistence on only playing PC games. Just pick up a $130 DS and you can get some amazing experiences. And I'm seriously glad I own an Xbox 360, because some of the best games in recent years are for that system.

more than 5 years ago
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Polaroid Lovers Try To Revive Its Instant Film

Junks Jerzey This is not about replacing digital cameras (443 comments)

Of COURSE digital cameras supersede the original Polaroid dream of instant pictures. Insert a big "duh" here." This is more about some people liking the quirky qualities of Polaroid film. There's been a resurgence in Polaroid photos on Flickr, and they're coming from people who also own thousands of dollars worth of digital photography gear. It's an artistic novelty, doing low-res pixel art (all the rage in Flash games) or playing music on a scanner.

more than 5 years ago
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Have Sockets Run Their Course?

Junks Jerzey Re:Unix always had it (230 comments)

Pipes are good, but they were designed for a specific paradigm, not the kind of thing you'd use sockets for. Bidirectional pipe communication is clunky, to say the least.

more than 5 years ago
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Nintendo and the Decline of Hardcore Gaming

Junks Jerzey Because games have gotten too hardcore (438 comments)

I love video games, and I've played them since I was a kid. But most "real" games have two big problems:

1. You need to play for hours at a time in order to make any progress.
2. They're designed to be frustrating. Fight some boss or do some level, then die, then do it again, sometimes a dozen times or more. That's the whole point of these games, to force you to push yourself and bang your head against a wall in order to beat them.

Once I started seeing this pattern in "gamers" games, I got tired of them very quickly. I'm all for new experiences that aren't based upon time and frustration.

more than 5 years ago
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Kindle 2 Tear-Down Reveals Price of Components

Junks Jerzey Are these "investigations" done by teenagers? (169 comments)

There's clearly a lot more to the cost of a product than the raw materials. Look at, oh, any video game or application software.

more than 5 years ago
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BioShock 2 Interviews and Early Looks

Junks Jerzey BioShock shouldn't have been a shooter (105 comments)

Atmosphere, art direction, and writing were all spot on. But none of them made any sense in what amounted to a generic shooter.

As much as I like action games, I got very annoyed with how the gameplay got in the way of the overall experience. It should have been an adventure game or something else with a slower pace, not hyper action shooter part 50.

more than 5 years ago
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Do We Need Running Shoes To Run?

Junks Jerzey Classic "everything you know is wrong" post (776 comments)

I think the research is worth looking into, but this is exactly the wrong kind of post for Slashdot. It's the "everything you know is wrong" epiphany that geeks just love to latch onto (unless it's something about Linux being overrated or religion being good, in which case no one will buy it). Now we've got people with no clue at all, who have never run in their lives, vehemently putting down people who disagree with the article. Come on folks, no need to get all high on a quick snort of anti-establishmen views.

To some extent, the author is spinning the article in a certain direction. Of course people who are dedicated runners and buy expensive running shoes are going to have more injuries. They'd have more injuries if they ran barefoot, too.

more than 5 years ago
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Game Companies Face Hard Economic Choices

Junks Jerzey Re:am i missing something? (511 comments)

Except a lot of people LIKE big games like Gears of War and Halo 3 and BioShock and Mass Effect and Dawn of War II, just as people like movies that cost, you know, lots of money to make.

I think you're severely underestimating what it takes to build a game. It's not like EA could just start making bubble-popping games and everyone would be happy. Anything with good art and good music and so on is not going to be cheap.

more than 5 years ago
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How Much Longer Will Physical Game Distribution Survive?

Junks Jerzey Let's see what did I buy last? (478 comments)

Rock Band 2. Awesome, lots of fun...comes with custom hardware.

Fallout 3...for the Xbox 360. I don't even have a network connection for my 360.

This article seems to be more about PC games than console games (and at the moment, the console market is 5-10x the size of the PC gaming market).

more than 5 years ago
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Users' Admin Logins Make Most Windows Malware Worse

Junks Jerzey Now don't go putting down Windows users (420 comments)

I'm longtime software engineer, I've used UNIX and Linux professionally...and I still run Windws as an admin, all the time.

Why? For starters, vim--yes, vim, the open source editor with roots in secure operating systems--writes to its own folder in Program Files, which is a huge no-no. I can get around this by installing vim to it's own special folder, like c:\vim, but it's a symptom of the overall problem. While most new commercial applications do things right, older apps don't, and there's a real issue with free software not handling things correctly. The proper way to handle this is to figure out what software works correctly and what doesn't (which isn't always easy, because some programs only do bad things in particular cases, and it may take months to realize this), and keeping the bad ones out of Program Files.

more than 5 years ago
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Braid, Games As Art, and Interpretation

Junks Jerzey Re:A lesson in Objectivism (37 comments)

And all of those "layers" were completely out of place in Bioshock. The setting was good, the game mechanics were polished, but it all pretty much comes down to shooting anything that moves, clicking on corpses and crates and desks, playing some circa-1989 hacking minigame, and extremely frustrating battles with high-end enemies. "Layers" of story here makes about as much sense as adding deep, critical views of Ayn Rand's objectivist theories to professional wrestling.

more than 5 years ago
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The Best Gaming PC Money Can Buy

Junks Jerzey Not worth it (360 comments)

Considering how few high-end PC games actually come out, getting a flashy PC just to play them isn't worth it.

Hardware issues aside, serious gameplayers need to be where the developers are, which at the moment means the Xbox 360. A Nintendo Wii or DS is optional, for those people who want to see some of the more innovative designs. (PC gaming diehards can now interject the usual comments about FPS controls and real-time strategy games and mods.)

And, yes, I'll point out that a 360 + Wii + DS + several years of Xbox Live is still cheaper than the PC mentioned in the article.

more than 5 years ago
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NVIDIA GTX 295 Brings the Pain and Performance

Junks Jerzey This is all so 1998 (238 comments)

Ten years ago the video card wars were in full swing. Each generation brought amazing new advance and impressive technology.

But nVidia and ATI haven't realized that we passed the point of diminishing returns years ago. Mobility and battery life are what matter. And I know there are hardcore PC gamers out there, but there are only a handful of companies even bothering to push the high-end graphics, so you buy a $500 video card and there are exactly ZERO games that take full advantage of it. Wait a year or so, and you may find that one or two of the few high-end PC game makers decide to throw you a bone and add support. And as a bonus, you get SIGNIFICANTLY increased power consumption, and the video card addicts are just wasting resources so they can all whack-off to Shader 30.0 soft shadows on eyelashes.

It's a weird, captive, completely pointless market unless you're doing 3D rendering for a living (for movies, for commercials, for product design, etc.).

more than 5 years ago
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Breaking Into Games Writing?

Junks Jerzey It's hard (254 comments)

It's not that game developers don't want good writers...but they need writers who are willing to bend to all the quirks and problems of game development. Writing is easy compared to the work of creating art assets or programming. You'll find yourself having to revise and go off in different directions based on schedule restrictions and technical limitations. Your incredible plot point gets negated because it's deemed technically risky, and then you have to work around it without scrapping all the work that has been done so far.

In general, developers prefer to have decent writers who understand how games are made than to have amazing writers who have no clue.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Why the Lack of Worry about Populati

Junks Jerzey Junks Jerzey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Junks Jerzey (54586) writes "While everyone bickers about the validity and causes of global warming, the earth's population is growing at amazing rates. In under a century we'll be hitting limits on fresh water and food production. And if global warming is true, the addition of 3+ billion people in the next fifty years isn't exactly going to slow things down. So why the lack of concern about the more concrete problem?"

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