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This category includes posts about geeky stuff like video games, computers, hardware hacks, etc.

I’ve Been Using My SteamOS Box To Play… Uh… Nintendo Games.

Originally featured on KBMOD.com

I’ve ranted before about how non-open SteamOS is in practice, even though it’s built on an open-source OS. Well, fortunately, some clever hackers have found ways to customize the gaming-centric operating system, making it one of the better choices for a general-purpose big screen user interface… especially if you are like me and love your retro gaming as much as your modern gaming.

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Getting Into Trackers

I’ve been wanting to get back into writing music more regularly, and to that end I’m exploring a particular type of music composition tool called a tracker. It’s about as close as you can get to writing music by editing a text file. Actually come to think of it, you can do that… maybe I’ll try that someday.

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The Maze

Reading a recent article on Kotaku about the amazing programmer Tim Sweeny made me start reminiscing about some of the games I wrote on the Commodore 64 in my younger days. It would be a huge understatement to say that it’s regretful that all of those floppy disks containing thousands of boy-hours of programming work were lost many years ago — actually, think “boy losing his teddy bear”. One of those disks contained (and may still contain, probably in a landfill) a game written entirely in BASIC called The Maze. The original Maze may be lost, but watching the video of Sweeny’s ZZT — which I really want to play now — reminded me that there is one game that is still around: a QuickBasic port of The Maze that I wrote in college in an attempt to relive my childhood programming days. The Maze for QB retained a lot of the same features like a level editor, enemies that chased you, sound effects, save points, and a 30-room-based layout. I don’t think I’ve shared this game with anyone before, so I thought it might be fun to put out there for someone to try. (Eh, who am I kidding?) To this day, writing a decent video game, big or small, is still one of my life goals. This is not that game. :)

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Modern(ish) Game Highlight: Cave Story

This is super old news, but you know, that’s what I’m into. A while ago as I was looking for games that run on Linux, and I came across Cave Story, a sidescrolling action-adventure game with a great retro vibe to it. Created by a single person who calls himself Pixel over the course of 5 years, it has all the depth, challenge, and atmosphere you’d expect from a commercial offering… and it’s free! This is one of the first games I played on the suitcase PC, and I loved every second of it. I found there’s a buildscript for it in the Arch Linux user repository, so if you use yaourt it’s only one command away from being installed on your computer:

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