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Funny how things work out


Alfred von Tirpitz

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Started my interaction with computers and information technology at the age of 14, with a ZX Spectrum 128 by Sinclair Research Ltd. It was a fairly BASIC machine by today's standards. It was a load of fun for a 14 yr old, and my first introduction to the world of magic and power. Things came to a head when i got suspension from school over intrusion shenanigans and had my ears boxed by the principal.

So, chastised and suitably reformed i re-embarked on my painfully interrupted journey through the world of zeros and ones. Magic took on other names Intel, 386.. 486.. wow. Something called a Pentium, then MMX tech..

It was about the time i was just graduating from college that i discovered a game called Diablo. Gaming prior to that had held little interest for me since all the games available to me were first person shooters [if you could call them that] Wolf 3D and Doom bored me a lot, Duke was hella fun. But yeah, Diablo was the first game to hook me. So many items to find, so many weapons, so many armor types. treasure trove! In all its isometric beauty.

The next game to get its hooks into me was a RTS. Command and Conquer. It was like i had died and gone to heaven.

So the games i really dig till date are either RPGs or RTSs. One of the best that i played was Homeworld. I also had purchased a copy of Homeworld 2. However playing Homeworld 2 was another story altogether. I never could get to play that game, it installed flawlessly, it started up well and then 2-3 minutes into the actual gameplay it would give me an error and die. I tried everything, updated drivers, updated DirectX, changed Graphics Card, every damned thing. Patches from the publisher [sierra] did nothing and i got mroe and more pissed off with the sordid state of affairs. More so because i purchased it day one, and it cost me like 2 weeks wages at the time.

It has since been lying there in my game collection, gathering dust, and inviting baleful glances from me ever so often, whenever i happen to notice it. Yes, i held onto the grudge.

Then, recently, i was on one of my usual sojourns into *nix land. I typically install some flavor of linux on my laptop at least once a month, and tinker about. It started when i was in college and fell in love with the Unix world. Forced to work with Micro$oft products as part of the work environment, it was like a secret fetish, indulged in surreptitiously and on the down low, every now and then.

So yeah, i installed Ubuntu recently, and for the first damned time in so many years, i tried Wine. Because i wanted to install and use the corporate remote-logon software. After a couple of days of that, i tried running Civilization4 in Wine, it was not easy, and i never got it to run perfectly. It ran, but some of the stuff never showed in game, like the native resources on the tiles, like ivory/gems/horses etc. Then as i was at the closet, putting away the Civ Disc, i happened to notice the Homeworld 2 box, and i was like... "why the eff not"

I installed it, ran it, played it for 10 hrs straight. Worked like a !@#$@#$ charm. Jesus motherlovin Christ. The performance was much much better than i remember it on my WinXP box [it did run for a bit before crashing, remember?].

Since then i have tried most of the games i had in my collection with wine, and those that run, do run better in Linux with wine than they did in Windows. There is no lag to speak of, even on the higher gfx settings, no frame skipping, no clipping, no.. lockups, no unceremoniously being dumped to desktop with the ubiquitous dll or OpenGL or DirectX errors.

Among the games i have tried out and enjoyed on the Ubuntu box so far have been C&C 3, Teamfortress2, Oblivion, Diablo 2 - LoD., Sacred, Evil Genius and a lot more.

Funny how things work out, eh?

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Since then i have tried most of the games i had in my collection with wine, and those that run, do run better in Linux with wine than they did in Windows.

Wait, what? I suspected this to be true, but never actually did it because it doesn't seem to make sense.

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Wait, what? I suspected this to be true, but never actually did it because it doesn't seem to make sense.

Speaking as a Windows user, it makes sense because Linux doesn't eat up resources like Windows does, which allows for more resources for use by the games.

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Speaking as a Windows user, it makes sense because Linux doesn't eat up resources like Windows does, which allows for more resources for use by the games.

True enough, none of the curbstomping of resources in Linux like in Windows. Windows seem to be like a fart, expanding to fill the volume available.

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Synaptic shows the most recent version in the Ubuntu repositories to be Wine 1.2.2, which according to wineHQ is the most recent version.

Ubuntu is generally really good with updates to the software in its repository, whereas I think Debian is hesitant to put anything up released after they released the most recent version of their operating system, a freeze of sorts.

Also, I play a fair bit of Sim City 2000 using Wine on my computer, but thats pretty low tech.

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I was going to try out Wine for Transport Tycoon deluxe, but then i discovered the sexiness that is Openttd. NewGRF makes it even more awesome than the original.

And on the simcity front, appdb puts Simcity 4 in the Gold category, so it ought to be doable under Wine as well, albiet with some irritants.

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Synaptic shows the most recent version in the Ubuntu repositories to be Wine 1.2.2, which according to wineHQ is the most recent version.

Ubuntu is generally really good with updates to the software in its repository, whereas I think Debian is hesitant to put anything up released after they released the most recent version of their operating system, a freeze of sorts.

Also, I play a fair bit of Sim City 2000 using Wine on my computer, but thats pretty low tech.

They test it before they put it in, makes it damn stable.

And the latest is: Wine 1.3.14 (testing branch I guess), it runs way smooth and it fixes the annoying bug that wouldn't show tray icons like steam.

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Homeworld 2 was released in 2003 and I assume your PC was a 2001/2/3 PC at the time. You are now running it on a Linux PC presumably from 2009/10/11 ofc your experience is going to be a !@#$load better.

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Yeah, its as follows:

Latest stable release: Wine 1.2.2

Latest development release: Wine 1.3.14

Homeworld 2 was released in 2003 and I assume your PC was a 2001/2/3 PC at the time. You are now running it on a Linux PC presumably from 2009/10/11 ofc your experience is going to be a !@#$load better.

That would be correct, except i tried it on this very PC about two months back. As i mentioned in the post, it was like a thorn in my side, bugging me that i could not play it.

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Diablo - best RPG series ever made.

In some parts of the web, you would have been pilloried and whipped for a statement like that. There are those that do not consider Diablo to be a true RPG. But, i am easy going like that, it was a very good game that gave me years of play time. So i know what you mean, and agree with it.

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When I bought my first PC, a hard drive was optional and it cost much, much more than the one I just finished. (And even more once I add about twenty years of inflation. :( )

I'm not at all nostalgic about 'what used to be' in the world of computers. I have not-so-fond memories of:

- running WordPerfect 5.0 and constantly having to swap out massive floppy disks

- black and white 2D games that cost the same as they do now (again....factor in inflation and it gets ugly)

- green or amber monitors

- modems that required you to put your phone in a cradle

- file and user names that had to be all in lower-case and eight characters or less (Ever wonder why I use the name 'kingzog'? Old habits die hard.)

Glad you got your game working, though. Took long enough!

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Well at least your had massive floppy disks, allz we had was tape, and we were damn happy with it.

Monitors, meh, monitors are for the weak, why a long time ago, when CN was young in a version most of you don't remember, Wilford Brimley nuke rogued on me, why the teletype went !@#$%, there's something very frightening about seeing that face in extreme low-rez. Naturally, I planned an immediate counter attack, using all the resources at hand I assembled a card-deck and rushed it to a reader.... alas, and alack, I had fallen out of the top 5 percent.

It was a long time ago. Things were different then.

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