top Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP
I use Windows XP for playing my crusty old games (e.g. Rainbow Six 3, Falcon 4 Allied Force, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights). I use Lubuntu for development, productivity, surfing - basically everything else.
top Ask Slashdot: Linux For Grandma?
I'm a bit of a Luddite myself - very attached to the XP-style interface, and not inclined to upgrade to the latest and greatest unless I have a reason. And I've been using Lubuntu for years now and am very happy with it. All of the things that spoil Ubuntu users, but with an interface that suits us crotchety old folks. Plus, it's designed to run fast and light on older hardware. Now get off my lawn.
top Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
You're not going to see new games on this list. I am the type to latch onto stuff I really like. Plus, I don't devote much time to playing.
Neverwinter Nights - you can get the Diamond edition on GOG cheaply. I play it LAN-style with my kids, who enjoy it. I also play on a Persistent World. And I'm working on a module in the Aurora Toolkit. Oh, and I'm playing it on Lubuntu, though the kids use Windows 7 or XP, depending on the box.
FIFA13 for the XBox 360. I hate the direction that console games like this are going, with online play being the only real venue. But there is a career mode that I'm enjoying. The AI is good enough for me, and I'm slowly getting the hang of the 15 million different commands (I'm an old 8-bit button masher at heart).
Diplomacy, both via
http://www.webdiplomacy.net/ and an Android app called Droidippy. Not sure how I avoided this game for so long, but I'm enamored with it.
Forza 4 and F1 2012, also for the XBox 360. I would love to be able to race the IndyCar in Forza 5, but as I already mentioned, I just can't bring myself to upgrade to a game whose primary selling points are all from online play. But those two are quite playable.
After re-reading the question, I realized that it doesn't limit to electronic games, so here are a couple more:
Dungeons and Dragons 3.5E in the Forgotten Realms. Yeah, I'm running a campaign for my kids. They're about to meet a group of drow for the first time. I smell a TPK coming.
Agricola (plus other German-style games). That one has my attention lately, and is probably the newest game on this list. It's similar in some respects to Puerto Rico, but I've found it more interesting.
top Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency
That editorial was written to shift perception. The CFR is part of the inner circle in Washington. Anything that comes from anyone associated with it should be viewed as a tactic in a larger campaign. He's not trying to argue the finer points of Snowden's guilt or innocence. He's trying to move the needle of public opinion, so that subsequent actions against Snowden have less resistance.
top MATE To Make It Into Debian Repositories
How about the word 'Save'? Why does everything have to be an icon?
On the news about MATE, that's good to see. Fwiw, I dumped Ubuntu for Lubuntu (LXDE) as soon as I saw Unity. While I think the water's a bit muddy (MATE, LXDE, XFCE...) it's still nice to see the options there.
top Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates
I love driving. The pull of g-forces as I accelerate through a curve. The satisfaction of getting my line just absolutely perfect along a technical a stretch of road. The roar of the engine when I downshift to accelerate. The moment the light turns green, and getting that almost-loss-of-traction launch. The strangely smooth sailing over a gravel road.
I enjoy my commute to work. I'm fortunate in that I don't sit in traffic, except for the occasional stoplight, but cover about 18 miles in about 30 minutes. I generally enjoy every chance I get behind the wheel. But, as time goes on, there are fewer and fewer of me. We have automatic transmissions and ABS and GPS and all these luxuries that take the driving out of driving. And people enjoy them.
One day, self-driving cars will be a common sight. And I will have adapted my driving to taking advantage of being able to recognize and anticipate the behavior of self-driving vehicles. And then self-driving cars will become the standard. And just like it's so difficult to find a manual transmission sedan in America today, other things that matter to a "real" driver will become more difficult or time-consuming or frustrating.
And then, sometime after that, it'll be a lost art, relegated to closed courses. And those of us who still care will recall fond memories as we carefully put the SCCA decal on the rear bumper of our self-driving car and look forward to the next weekend getaway where we can take our antique out for a spin.
This is no more than a lamentation - a rarity on
/. with its straightforward language - so please take it at face-value. I'm not arguing one way or another. I'm just saying that I think this is how it's going to happen, at least from my perspective, and that it makes me sad.
top Ask Slashdot: Are We Witnessing the Decline of Ubuntu?
I used Ubuntu for a couple of years, until Unity came along. My history is all Microsoft, all the way back to DOS 3.3. I still earn my paycheck on C# and SQL Server. When I began using Linux, Ubuntu made the transition easy for me. And then they introduced Unity, and tried to pretend my laptop was a tablet. After trying a couple of others, I settled on Lubuntu and have been extremely happy with it ever since. I hope that train keeps rolling for a long time.
top Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look
Gnome 3 is why I switched to Lubuntu (LXDE) and I've been very happy with it ever since. But if you have to jump through so many hoops to make your software behave like you want it to behave, then something's fundamentally flawed.
about a year and a half ago
top If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...
I bought my current laptop because it shipped with Ubuntu. I actually run Lubuntu (which I can't brag about enough), but it virtually guaranteed that I wouldn't have video compatibility issues. My last laptop (from the same manufacturer) had an ATI card that I could never get to perform well (with at least three different distros).
top Twitter Launches Political Index
Yes, there are two candidates with a realistic chance to win, but there are more than two candidates in the election. I was actually a bit surprised when I went to the site and only saw Obama and Romney on there, with no mention at all of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. So, I guess I need to reevaluate my understanding of where Twitter falls in relation to mainstream media outlets. It's apparently a lot closer than I thought.
top Dell To Offer Ubuntu Laptops Again
My aging Dell laptop is due for replacement. I'm familiar with their hardware, BIOS, support site, etc, so I was not eager to have to shop elsewhere.
top Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws
Lamar Smith's Democratic opponent in the 21st Congressional District of Texas is Candace Duval (http://www.candaceduval.com/). I'm sure donations are welcome.
top Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords
Regulating commerce is not the same as regulating the entire commercial entity. Of course, that's not the road we've been going down for a very long time. It's much easier to consolidate power in Washington where the lobbyists have a one-stop shop. On the other hand, actually respecting the 10th Amendment would require an informed and intelligent electorate, so I guess my point is moot.
top Password Protection Act: Bans Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords
How is this the domain of the United States Congress?
top Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions
I dropped my cable TV subscription over a year ago, and went with OTA only. This happened wen the cable company forced us to use one of their receivers for each of our four wall-mounted TV's. No thanks. Kept my cable modem, of course.
I've been very happy with it, except for one exception - NBC Sports Network (was Versus) exercised an option in their contract with IndyCar (practically the same day I dropped Comcast, I might add), which took away just about all online streaming. Since I don't get cable, I don't get NBCSN. So I'll be watching yesterday's race tonight via a torrent.
I'm also a very heavy user of Netflix. I love it. My wife and I are watching Battlestar Galactica now - we never saw it while it aired. We're making our way through the series at our pace. I also tend to turn on Top Gear or old Twilight Zone episodes when I want background noise.
My point is that I've adjusted very nicely to not having cable or a dish. I like it a lot. They're only going to manage to frustrate people like me with this move. I'm not going back, so they're really not helping themselves any.
top Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Out; Unity Gets a Second Chance
One, can I make it look like 10.04? Specifically, I don't like big icons I can't remember that chew up screen real estate. I like one little-bitty bar across the top with words that I can read.
Two, if I make it look like 10.04, is there any point in upgrading? Or is it only UX "improvements"? If I stand a better chance of getting halfway decent performance out of my ATI card (and my first question goes favorably) then I'm all over it.
top The Apple II Turns 35 Today
Hah, ok, yeah, it did sound pretty pretentious. It's all true, though. I remember looking at some Apple system that had 128k or so in a glossy magazine thinking of all the stuff I could do with it. I have no idea what that was, but apparently it was some killer stuff. And then I went to work for a guy who gave me a used 286, and I was in the IBM PC world for good, trading up for better parts whenever I could.
And, seriously, I've never owned any iAnything. The walled garden thing is spot-on. I'd rather do without than opt-in. I just found it curious that I never managed to own any other Apple item, even back in the "good old days".
top The Apple II Turns 35 Today
Started with a used ][+. Strangely, to this day, I've never owned another Apple product. In the early years, it was a matter of cost and availability to me. These days, I just prefer to stroll around outside the walled garden. But, man, I loved that computer.
top Ask Slashdot: Movie/Video Search Aggregation?
To take this down another tangent, why aren't sports available online? I'm missing a race today that I would love to be watching, but I don't get the channel it's on (NBC Sports Network). Of course, they won't provide a streaming option, even a delayed one. So, I'll be avoiding much of my online news sources for about a week, until I find some torrent I can grab and finally watch the race. Why is it so difficult?
top Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop
I helped a friend transition from an old XP laptop to two new Win7 laptops. He bought Office 20-whatever. I didn't open the shrink-wrap. I put LibreOffice on and told him to try it for a few days. I also pulled up his old version of Excel on his old computer, showed him a screenshot of Excel 20-whatever, and then opened the LibreOffice counterpart on his new one.
After a week, I've heard nothing about LibreOffice, but he doesn't like Win7 at all. I would've put Ubuntu on, except for two reasons: 1. He runs QuickBooks, and I was not in the mood to try to get that to play nicely under wine or some other hacky route. 2. Even though I run 10.04 LTS, I've seen Unity and absolutely don't like the direction they're going. Had they stuck with the interface in 10.04, I probably would've at least given QuickBooks under wine some thought.
This friend is not particularly computer-savvy. He runs an HVAC business. He doesn't want latest and greatest. He wants something familiar, and he wants it to just work. I think the open source community in general, and Ubuntu in particular, missed a golden opportunity when Win7 hit. If your product matches what the user was already using more closely than the next version of what they were using, you should be pushing that. Hard.
I have contact with lots of small business owners. If I suggested to them an OS that was free, looked and acted like their existing 2000/XP OS, and still ran their office suite (or a free 90% look-alike), and still ran their accounting/bookkeeping software of choice, they'd be all over it.