Education, Free Software, Gadgets, Games, Jonathan, Music, Politics, Project Mayhem, Sport No Comments »

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

When I started my blog, I used to post about 2 posts a month. Over the last few months, this has increased quite a bit, and it is likely do continue. Wordpress (the great blogging software that I use) has support for multiple feeds, so I decided to make use of it, and created a page containing links to feeds that Wordpress automatically generates based on categories and tags.

Selecting a feed for a specific category/tag may be useful if you only want to read posts about certain topics, or if you want to add my blog to an on-line feed like a Planet while only filtering through relevant posts.

A list of the available feeds are available here:


SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

10 More Games from the Ubuntu Universe

Free Software, Games 17 Comments »

Previously, I blogged about 10 games that’s available in the Ubuntu Universe that I found interesting. Since then, the Ubuntu MOTU Games team has merged with the Debian games team, and the amount of packaged games have increased.

Here are 10 more games from the Ubuntu Universe, based on comment-recommendations from the previous article:

1. Battle for Wesnoth

Ubuntu package: wesnoth

Shew, judging by the comment from the previous blog, I should’ve really included Battle for Wesnoth in the first blog post!

2. Nexuiz

Ubuntu package: nexuiz

This wasn’t packaged for Ubuntu previously, another community devleped first person shooter.

3. Torcs

Ubuntu package: torcs

Racing game, the picture basically sums it up.

4. Frozen Bubble

Ubuntu package: frozen-bubble

Fun little game, you can even play it 2 players with your girlfriend (and she’ll enjoy it).

5. Enigma

Ubuntu package: enigma

Puzzle game with interesting mouse controls

6. Ur-Quan Masters

Ubuntu package: uqm

Previously known as Star Control 2, this game is now free software and available for Ubuntu.

7. OpenArena

Ubuntu package: openarena

First person shooter based on the Quake III engine.

8. LBreakout2

Ubuntu package: lbreakout2

“Breakout is a stupid game.”

9. Fillets ‘o Fish

Ubuntu package: fillets-ng

Fun little puzzle game. At times hard to figure out how to play though.

10. Rrootage

Ubuntu package: rrootage

Why stop here!?

There’s much more games available for Ubuntu, here are some links to set you on your journey.

Have fun!

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

One month with the Wii

Free Software, Gadgets, Games 7 Comments »

I have my Wii console for about a month now (bought it the moment it was launched in South Africa), and I’m very impressed with the system. Even when unpacking it, I could feel that the materials are high quality. The console and the controller feels solid and there’s nothing cheap or plasticky about it. This is the kind of quality I first expected when I first bought an iPod. It comes in very decent packaging, and with high quality full-colour manuals.

PICT0715 PICT0717

The Wii challenges some of the elements of the traditional console metaphor. All the features and tools you would want to use on the Wii, are split into channels. Initially, the Wii has very few channels. The Disc channel is where you can load games via the optical drive, and the Mii channel is where you can create characters that you can use in your games. With the Wii, instead of playing with pre-defined characters (like Mario and Luigi), you can play many of the games as your Mii. Your Mii can also travel to other Wii’s over the Internet and mingle with them. The controllers have built-in flash memory, and you can store your Mii on your controller, so that when you play at a friends house, your Mii will go with you.

PICT0718 PICT0719

The console ships with the Wii Sports pack. It’s a collection of sports games, of which some remind me of the old Track & Field game that was available for the NES. The boxing game left me with sore arms by the second day I had the console. The controllers are wireless and motion sensitive. Some games you play without even touching a button. I bought a second wiimote which includes the Wii Play Pack, and I quite like the crazy game where you destroy scare crows with a raging stuffed cow - also, without pressing a single button.

When I got the Wii, I wanted to add more channels, and connected it to the Internet. The problem is, it didn’t want to connect to the Wii services, and displayed a message that Wii Internet services aren’t available in this country yet. I e-mailed the local Nintendo representatives, and they said that the local Wii services will only be available in the second half of 2008- which is very disappointing. I lied to my Wii and told it that I live in the UK, and connected to the UK version of Nintendo24 and the Wii Shop. I then downloaded Super Mario Brothers 2, which got added to my Console channel. The Wii is backwards compatible with every other Nintendo console made, including the NES, SNES, Nintendo64 and the GameCube. I also added the News channel, which works almost like an RSS reader (except that you can’t define the feeds :/) and the Weather channel, which has a Google-Earth feel to it.

PICT0726 PICT0720 PICT0722

I also downloaded the Internet Channel, which is basically a full-screen Opera browser with a Wii interface. It displayed all the web sites I could find fine, and YouTube (uses Flash) and GMail (uses AJAX) worked completely fine.

PICT0727 PICT0728 PICT0732

I read today that China and South Korea are only getting Wii consoles officially next year. So we’re not the only market that left behind compared to Europe and the U.S.A.

It seems quite clear at least that Nintendo has a long-term strategy for the Wii, and we’ll probably see lots of cool add-ons for the console in the following years. I’d like to see a dedicated RSS channel that can be customised more. It would also be a huge improvement if they allowed 3rd party channels. I think the demand (from users and development houses) for that will grow tremendously. If you consider the success of third party applications in utilities such as Facebook, I think that it is inevitable. I’d also like to have an SSH client channel, with support for Xorg, so that I could log in to remote machines using the Wii. Even nicer (although I could understand that technical limitations could prevent it), would be to have a Linux channel, where you could boot from a system stored on CD, SD card, or USB (the Wii has a built-in SD card reader and USB ports too) and boot Ubuntu or Debian or your favourite distribution. There are several projects that have started to get Linux running on the Wii, but they are mostly stalled or are making slow progress.

Overall, it’s an impressive combination of hardware and software, typing on the on-screen keyboard with the Wiimote is surprisingly effective, and it’s clear that a lot of design and thought went into this console, it’s something that I’d certainly recommend for any family who wants a fun and safe home entertainment machine. On top of that, there’s a lot of non-games things you can do on the console, so in many ways it replaces some functions of a personal computer.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Nintendo is coming!!!

Games 1 Comment »

It’s official! Nintendo is coming to South Africa!

Nintendo is coming!

They will be available from CNA, Musica, Look&Listen, BT Games, Toys ‘R Us, Reggies, Toy Zone, Kalahari.net and Incredible Connection. I searched for Wii’s when I was in Spain earlier this year, but all they had stock of was Xbox 360’s and Playstation 3’s.

Oh, and CNA, your website is rubbish, it told me that I have an invalid browser, so I pre-ordered from BT Games instead (they say the ETA is 28 September - Next Friday!)

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

75% of my Filesystem represents… PACMAN!

Free Software, Games 4 Comments »


And that reminds me… some people requested that I upload the slides of the GNOME CLUG talk I presented a few weeks ago. Get them here.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

10 Games from the Ubuntu Universe

Free Software, Games 41 Comments »

Now and again, I show some new Linux users some of the games that are available for Ubuntu. Many of those times, theres a seasoned Ubuntu user close by, who says that they haven’t seen that before. I decided to put together a list of 10 games in the Ubuntu Universe that I have installed. I think I’ll also do other lists of 10 things in Ubuntu in the coming months.


Ubuntu Package name: supertux

Supertux is a Mario Brothers type game. The levels are quite good, but not quite as good as the levels in the original Mario Brothers. You can’t go down pipes yet, and there’s no underwater levels.


Sopwith and Airstrike

Ubuntu packages: sopwith, airstrike

You might remember running Sopwith on an ancient DOS computer with a CGA screen. No? Must be before your time. Sopwith has been ported to Linux, and it’s exactly how I remembered it from ancient times. Last year I discovered Airstrike, it’s a two player game where you have two Sopwith-like planes, with the goal of destroying the other player 5 times to win.




Ubuntu package: chromium

Chromium is a fun arcade-style space shooter.


Lincity NG

Ubuntu Package: lincity-ng

This is a 3-D clone of the original Sim City game.



Ubuntu Package: neverball

In Neverball, you have to tilt a virtual world to keep a ball running to catch enough coins to pass to the next world.



Ubuntu Package: tremulous

Tremulous is probably the most impressive game in the Ubuntu Universe. Each time I show it to someone, they say that it’s the best free game they have seen so far.



Ubuntu Package: tuxkart

This is a silly little racing game, but some of the billboards in the game is amusing (they still advertise VA Linux).


Planet Penguin Racer

Ubuntu Package: planetpenguin-racer

Most people know about this one, it was previously known as Tuxracer.



Ubuntu Package: wormux

If you’ve played worms before, this is an open source clone of that.



Ubuntu Package: xmoto

Xmoto is an addictive offroad bike game where balance is everything.


SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Problems with Slug

Free Software, Games No Comments »

Recently, I introduced a friend to GNU/Linux. He experienced lots of software trouble while using Windows, and virusses were causing many headaches. I gave him the 13 CD sarge set, since he didn’t have much bandwidth to download all the software he’d like. I told him that now, if he has any more problems, he’ll at least know it’s a hardware problem, and not a software problem. I also told him about CLUG and SLUG, and he even came to a SLUG installation.

About a week later, I visited him again and he told me a slug made him very angry that day. My first thought was oh no! Someone on the slug-lists caused trouble again and flamed him for asking an innocent question. I asked him who it was who made him angry, he said that his computer kept freezing the last two days or so, and that he considered re-installing, but he took my word on it that if he’d have that kind of problems again, it would be hardware problems. So he opened up his computer, didn’t see anything wrong, took out the motherboard, and at the bottom of it, a slug was toasted to death. How it got there is still unknown, since there wasn’t any hole in the box large enough for one to get through. A few days later though, another slug has crawled into his machine somehow. Luckily this one didn’t have a chance to damage the motherboard.

Photos here: http://photos.jonathancarter.co.za/slug-problem

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon
WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio. This Site has SuperCow Powers.
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in