Category: Video Games

Friday Roundup: May 19, 2017

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

As this is being written, the rain has been pounding the pavement in spurts. One moment, it’s a calm flow of droplets. Then comes the rapid torrent.

This week’s roundup has been like that with its various ups and downs.

Unix

With Canonical’s announcement of switching back to GNOME for Ubuntu’s default desktop, the question of how they would go about it remains. OMG Ubuntu sheds some light on this and even links to a survey asking for input.

Developers are considering some tweaks to ease the transition.

There’s some good news for the GNU GPL for the time being. Though it wasn’t meant to be treated as a contract, the license agreement itself appears to be enforceable as one for the time being.

The case revolved around Hancom and its use of Ghostscript without adhering to the GNU Affero General Public License.

To end this portion of our weekly roundup, here’s an interesting story about immigration policies possibly impacting free and open source software development. On the one hand, recent policies could impact the ability of the U.S. to bring in intelligent individuals who can lead the way in innovation.

On the other hand, the idea of promoting from within has been brought up assuming interest in the field of software development exists.

Time will tell the tale on that one.

Overlooked Pop Culture

There’s a reason many are either captivated and/or aggravated by politics. Though campaigns may portray otherwise, things are rarely black and white. Nothing demonstrates this more than with the firing of James Comey by President Trump.

Though there has been suspicion as to the President’s actual motivations, Trevor Aaronson of The intercept reminds readers that Comey himself did some things during his tenure as the head of the FBI that were questionable at best.

The aggravating portion of the political arena is why people seek an escape, even if it’s a virtual arena. An old escape may have a chance at a revival if Billy Corgan has his way after buying the rights to the National Wrestling Alliance.

He will own the rights to the trademarks as well as the NWA Championship belt.

Though the classic name in professional wrestling has waned over the years, the plan is a long term move, so nothing will change right away. Could this WCW 3.0?

Speaking of retro, 8-big video game music has been making a comeback… on vinyl that is! The LA Times has a fascinating piece on how boutique record labels have been combining the two niches together.

That’s all for this week. See you next time.

Curtis Warren Joins the Team

Curtis Warren
His scientific background will help round out the podcast.

The podcast has had hosts come and go over the last several months.  With each new episode, it became clear that more perspectives were needed.

Fortunately, it seems the right people come along at the right time.  We’re proud to announce that Curtis Warren will be joining the team.

Science has been an important factor throughout his life, and this background will help the show tremendously.

He also likes video games and has recently resumed playing Magic the Gathering after a lengthy hiatus.  He’s excited about the opportunity to bring his unique perspective to the podcast and had this to say:

I would like to share my compassion and passion for Nature, for gaming, and for Education. I’m a huge advocate for making use of the natural world and caring for others and I think that Gaming, Science, and Art are ways we can accomplish that and make the world a better place.

He makes his debut on tonight’s live recording session.

Good News Saturday: Austin Evans

Picture of Austin Evans
He runs a popular YouTube channel that focuses on computers, mobile devices, and more.

This individual has a popular YouTube Channel that covers technology.  Some of his videos include browser tests, mobile device reviews, and more.

A techie at heart, he had the misfortune of a fire at his apartment.  He was able to get out, but most of his stuff was destroyed.

He goes through everything in a video, and an interesting thing happened.

While going through misfortune, he manages to keep a level head.  He even manages to crack some jokes in the video below.

 

 

Throwback Thursdays: Punchout!

Cover of Mike Tyson's Punchout!
It was one of the most popular games for the NES.

By Thomas Holbrook II

One of the most popular games I remember playing was Mike Tyson’s Punchout.  Seeing my older step-brother, my dad, and others play this game made me want to give it a shot.

I wouldn’t get the chance until well after the NES’s popularity started to dwindle in favor of newer consoles.

In either event, Tyson himself was on the cover, and was even featured at the end of the game.  As the final boss, he was aggravating, especially in the first round.

One wrong move, and his uppercut would send Little Mac flying!  Believe it or not, Punchout existed long before Tyson endorsed a port of it to the NES.  Hardcore Gaming 101 has more details about the series, including information on the arcade edition.  So which game did you use to play growing up, and on which console?  Feel free to sound off in the comments section.  😉

Throwback Thursday: Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis
Image courtesy of Evan-Amos under Public Domain

By Thomas Holbrook II:

I remember growing up with the NES.  It was the predominant gaming console of the late 1980’s.  That’s why it could be found in Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Though I didn’t own one, I’ve also played the Sega Genesis and found it to be fascinating.  This 16-bit console hit North America before the SNES, making it among the first of the 16-bit systems.

Sonic, Mortal Kombat, and other games that had more of adult elements (in some cases, via cheat codes) were possible under the Genesis.  However, friendly games like Ecco the Dolphin were also available for enjoyment.

Sporting a Motorola 68000 CPU, this console ran off the same architecture as old school Apple computers.  Though it never really took off, the company eventually released add-ons to increase the capabilities of the Genesis.

Though they never quite made it in the console market, Sega can still be found today publishing popular games for numerous platforms.  Thank you Sega for re-igniting my passion for vintage gaming.

Wednesday Weekly Links: December 11, 2013

Galaxy S4 Depicted in Flames
The phone’s specs are amazing, but it can also catch houses on fire.

As we head deeper and deeper into Winter, more people are going to stay indoors to avoid the cold weather.  Eventually, people will get bored and will start killing time on the Internet.  To make things a bit more pleasant for those who happen to be bored, never fear!

Our weekly links will have you laughing, crying, and cursing multibiollion dollar corporations all at the same time.  With that said, here’s this week’s links.

Unix

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

  • There are people who are here to help you poop: We aren’t making this up.  There is a product called Squatty Potty that helps the person squat instead of sit on their toilet.  Something about making it all come out easier…….
  • Foolish users brick their XBOX One consoles (Daily Dot): Thanks to a convincing looking image via 4Chan, a number of uses enabled the developer mode on their XBOX One consoles in the hopes that they’ll be able to play their XBOX 360 games.  Unfortunately, the instructions rendered said consoles inoperable.  Remember, kids…. never follow instructions from an image board, and for crying out loud, stay out of /b/!
  • Martial arts demo curating (The Stick Chick): A martial arts expert explains why it’s best to practice certain things in a dojo before demonstrating them to the public.

Throwback Thursday: SNES Emulation

SNES Console
Image courtesy of Evan-Amos under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Unported 3.0 License.

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

Growing up, we all had our favorite past times.  Some played baseball, while others played video games.  My favorite activity revolved around the latter, and one of my favorite consoles was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and Super Castlevania IV were among my favorite games.  The bad news is that the older the hardware becomes, the more likely it is to fail.

This is where emulation comes into play.

As it turns out, most console emulators will only be just accurate enough for the games to be playable.  According to Byuu, who wrote quite an informative piece on Ars Technica:

These days, the most dominant emulators are Nestopia and Nintendulator, requiring 800MHz and 1.6GHz, respectively, to attain full speed. The need for speed isn’t because the emulators aren’t well optimized: it’s because they are a far more faithful recreation of the original NES hardware in software.

Now compare these to the older N64 emulator, UltraHLE, whose system requirements were a meager 350MHz Pentium II system. To the casual observer, it can be quite perplexing to see Mario 64 requiring less processing power than the original Mario Bros.

My experience in emulation is in the SNES field, working on the bsnes emulator. I adored the ideal behind Nestopia, and wanted to recreate this level of accuracy for the Super Nintendo. As it turns out, the same level of dedication to accuracy pushed requirements up into the 2-3GHz range, depending on the title.

 

Considering the hardware inside the SNES, requiring a high end computer makes sense.  After all, one is mimicking an entire system in software.  Byuu has since merged bsnes into a new project.

Wednesday Weekly Links: November 20, 2013

In one week, we’ll be having Thanksgiving.  We go old school on the technology side of things, take a satirical look at a popular form of food, and delve into our inner geek a little bit.

Unix

  • The NSA DID ask Linus Torvalds to leave backdoors in the Linux kernel:  This one shouldn’t be too surprising, but we’ll throw this one out there all the same.
  • 6502.org: The website that talks about the processor that was used by Apple and other companies in their computers and electronics.  Their Google+ page circled ours after publishing the previous Throwback Thursday.
  • Oldcomputers.net: Hat tip to Stephen Mudd for bringing this link to our attention.  This site explores older computers, the hardware specifications, and more.  For historical reference as well as nostalgia, feel free to check it out.

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

  • Pepperoni is for idiots, according to Maddox: This one’s a bit older, but with Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is more than appropriate.  Sometimes certain forms of food just aren’t satisfying.  Maddox breaks down why pepperoni isn’t real food.
  • Deadline Live: Jack Blood is a radio talk show host who talks about a variety of topics that are not often mentioned in the mainstream.
  • Bulbagarden: For those PokéMon fans out there, this site’s encyclopedia is extensive.  Detailed information on each PokéMon and characters from the video games, manga, and anime are all available.