Gaming on Linux

For the next month I’m trying to daily drive a Linux desktop environment, but playing PC games is something that might keep me running Windows on my primary desktop computer after this trial.

However, I’m impressed by the number of well supported AAA titles listed on ProtonDB.com and by how relatively easy it was to run Windows games from a Steam library on Linux using Proton.

And I’m hopeful that the launch of the Steam Deck will push game publishers to put proper effort in to Linux compatibility.

Continue reading “Gaming on Linux”

Daily Driving Linux

My enthusiasm for new the DIY Framework Laptop and the Linux-powered Steam Deck coupled with the release of Ubuntu 21.10 has lead me to installing a Linux desktop environment on one of my computers.

While I administer some Linux servers in the cloud, it’s been a long time since I’ve considered Linux as a desktop OS on physical hardware. And the landscape has changed quite a bit since. Secure Boot is a thing, Wayland seems to be the future, but KDE is still best on X.Org, and Ubuntu switched away from Gnome and back again.

I’m starting with Kubuntu 21.10 right now, but I eventually want to give Arch Linux a try, since it seems to be a good foundation for building up your desktop environment piece by piece. Also, it’s the base for the new SteamOS and is growing in popularity as the base for other distros like Manjaro.

I’m going to migrate some of my daily activities to Kubuntu and try using it as my personal daily driver OS for the month of November.

Continue reading “Daily Driving Linux”

Everyday spies

I came across this USB Phone Charger Camera on Amazon.com and realized just how cheaply and discretely anyone can spy on someone.

There are a lot of other hidden cameras devise like this alarm clock or this smoke detector. And there are dozens more that can be hidden or masquerade as other objects on websites like SpyTechStop.com.

Besides worrying about big companies spying on us through our mobile devices and aggregating our online activities, I’m starting to worrying that everyday people are spying on us in the real world, too.

Haiku remains one of the few remaining non-Unix open-source operating systems available today. It has gone beyond just maintaining binary compatibility with old BeOS code to becoming a powerful, workable operating system of its own.

Apple online store 2021 redesign

Apple has redesigned their online store and brought back the concept of a store homepage

The Apple online store homepage currently functions like someone just exported a Figma prototype and published it. It might look great when framed perfectly, but fails when a desktop window is resized to be larger or smaller than that perfect demo window size.

Continue reading “Apple online store 2021 redesign”

Pre-ordering the Steam Deck

I’m super excited about the Steam Deck, Valves new hand-held gaming PC that runs AAA games on Linux.

Pre-ordering were crashing the reservation system, and I had issues for 40 minutes trying to get it to accept my credit card. But eventually got an email confirmation. Though, I missed the 2021 shipping window.

The specs seem pretty good for running current games and previous generation games. but there will eventually be newer games that will push it a bit. Even newer current generation games might.

I wonder publishers end up considering its support like they do for consoles, or if Valve revs the specs in a shorter window than consoles.

But maybe Valve doesn’t even need to worry about the specs for future games. Game streaming could be the future of this form-factor. Xbox Cloud seems like a possibility on the Steam Deck since you can install Windows, and you will probably be able to stream games to it from you local PC like you can from other Steam clients.

Maybe Valve will even launch an Xbox Cloud competitor which could prolong the hardware’s life.

Hot Take on the Windows 11 Preview

Windows 11 has been officially announced, and it didn’t really meet my expectations. Judging from the work that has gone in to UI tooling for developers, I was expecting a cleaned up, slimmed down, refined operating system. Instead Windows 11 doesn’t seem all that different from Windows 10 except the addition of another design system layer and deeper integration with Microsoft cloud services.

Continue reading “Hot Take on the Windows 11 Preview”

Journey in to Cryptocurrency

Last week my new Windows PC with an RTX 3080 finally arrived, and I was lucky enough to get a 3080 before the limited hash rate version came out. Getting one without the hash rate limit got me thinking about digging in to cryptocurrency.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dipped my toes in to the waters. My interest in cryptocurrency always seems to perk up when I get a new GPU, but after some playing around I tend to give up on it. Mining generate too much heat in the room for Texas summers. I’m also unsure of cryptocurrencies being viable for normal transactions, and it is too speculative if I just wanted to exchange dollars for cryptocurrencies instead of mining them.

Continue reading “Journey in to Cryptocurrency”

GTA Online. Infamous for its slow loading times. Having picked up the game again to finish some of the newer heists I was shocked (/s) to discover that it still loads just as slow as the day it was released 7 years ago.

It’s parsing something. Parsing what? Untangling the disassembly would take forever so I decided to dump some samples from the running process using x64dbg. Some debug-stepping later it turns out it’s… JSON! They’re parsing JSON. A whopping 10 megabytes worth of JSON with some 63k item entries.

It’s surprising that this issue had never been considered worth it to be fixed by Rockstar. I do think 63,000 items loaded via JSON is excessive, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable given the size and scope of GTA online.

Power and performance aren’t the bottleneck for iPad, and haven’t been for some time. So if raw power isn’t enough, and new display tech isn’t enough, where does the iPad go from here? Will it be abandoned once more, lagging behind the Mac in terms of innovation, or will Apple continue to debut its latest tech in this form factor? Is it headed toward functional parity with the Mac or will it always be hamstrung by Apple’s strict App Store policies and seemingly inconsistent investment in iPadOS?

I enjoy using my iPad Pro but not as a professional. The developer profession has never been a target market for the iPad, and Apple’s own development environment doesn’t even run on it. Well, I guess there’s Swift Playgrounds.

I think the tablet is a great form factor, but my ideal tablet future is either a Mac tablet or an iPad running macOS. And with Apple Silicon now powering Macs, what’s the difference between those two futures?