Remembering Loki's Linux games from the '90s

Also in today's open source roundup: DistroWatch reviews Peppermint OS 7, and should you switch from iOS to Android?

classic games lead

Remembering Loki’s Linux games

Linux gamers who go back as far as the 90s might remember Loki Software. The company was responsible for porting some great games to Linux long before anybody thought Linux gaming was viable. Loki’s games included Tribes 2, Rune: Halls of Valhalla, Descent3, Unreal Tournament, SimCity 3000 Unlimited and various other titles. You can find out more about the company’s history on Loki’s Wikipedia page.

A Linux redditor recently shared some images of Loki games he had buried in a closet, and other redditors shared their thoughts about Loki and its contribution to Linux gaming.

ZetaHunter: “The real question is, do they still run?”

Centosdude: “Not saying it was easy when I set it up. But it does seem to still be possible on fedora. Interestingly the sound always goes to laptop speaker or headphones instead of HDMI. (OSS) And the screen resolutions are a bit odd. But sim city 3000 still works with lots of trickery and old library files. I think most of them can be made to work on many distros.”

Lengau: “You might be able to get the sound to play nicely by running it through padsp.”

Xanny: “I maintain Heretic 2 on the AUR. The biggest problem is Loki titles ship their own broken core libs like glibc or libgl. And they are all SDL 1 based, which sucks nowadays.”

Leica_boss: “You can still find Loki installers floating around online, which can install the legit linux version of the game using data from the windows CD’s. I’m not sure if an ISO will cut it though. I’ve installed a couple in the past because I had legit compatible CD’s that the Loki installer was looking for.”

Dukesam: “I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Railroad Tycoon II. Thank you for the good memories!”

Demerit5: “It’s a shame that Loki went under. Not only would we have more big name titles now, but it would have let game developers know that Linux was a viable platform for commercial games 15 years ago. I feel like Loki going out of business set Linux gaming back some what back then. ”

Spacegardener: “The problem was that it was before digital game distribution. Selling physical copies didn’t scale well down to such small market as ours. But still, Loki made some of the foundations for the recent Linux gaming explosion. SDL is still alive.”

Xouba: “Oh, the memories. I have Railroad Tycoon II and Descent 3 too. Also I had Heretic 2, though I couldn’t make it work because (IIRC) it worked only on 3Dfx cards.

This must have been around 2001 or 2002, when I bought them at a big discount. Man, I’m old.”

NominallyMusing: “I miss Loki, I had Tribes 2 and Unreal Tournament.”

More at Reddit

DistroWatch reviews Peppermint OS 7

Peppermint OS is a web-centric distribution that offers a lightweight desktop environment that is well suited for those looking to move to Linux from Windows. Peppermint OS 7 is the latest version and DistroWatch has a full review.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

The latest release of Peppermint OS was launched back in June and I meant to take it for a test drive then. However, one exciting release after another distracted me until now. Peppermint is a project I pay attention to because it is one of the distributions I have had the most success with when it comes to transitioning people from Windows to Linux.

Peppermint’s lightweight nature, speed, relatively uncluttered interface and solid hardware support (thanks to its underlying Ubuntu base) have made it an attractive option. Peppermint OS 7 is based on packages available through the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS repositories with a few Linux Mint utilities added for flavour. Peppermint runs the LXDE desktop by default and version 7 offers users GPT, UEFI and Secure Boot support. The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture.

I have mostly good things to say about Peppermint OS 7. The distribution has good hardware support and access to a huge collection of software through the project’s repositories. I like the update manager and software manager the project has imported from Linux Mint and I find both tools to be quite straight forward to use and they are reliable. The distribution is fairly lightweight in memory and the LXDE desktop was very responsive in both of my test environments. I especially like the work done to make text and icons easier to see on Peppermint as it meant I did not need to adjust the theme or font settings.

Whether people will like using Peppermint will probably hinge on their view of web apps. Peppermint tries to offload a lot of tasks to the web, particularly productivity related software, image editing and e-mail. For people who like web apps and have a fast network connection, having this cloud focused approach may make sense and be an attractive feature. I personally prefer running native applications that are always accessible and tend to load faster.

Whether Peppermint is a suitable solution for you will probably depend on whether Google Docs or a local copy of LibreOffice is the more attractive option. Of course, people who want LibreOffice or other native software can download these items through the software manager. Peppermint can be made to work entirely off-line and makes a nice, lightweight distribution in this scenario.

More at DistroWatch

Should you switch from iOS to Android?

Apple will announce the iPhone 7 later today, and many people are quite interested in what it will have to offer. But others might be moving in the other direction toward Android. If you’re one of them you might be wondering about what’s involved with switching from iOS to Android. The Guardian has a helpful article that answers some common questions of iOS users who want to move to Android.

Darien Graham-Smith reports for The Guardian:

Apple is about to unveil its latest smartphone, likely to be called the iPhone 7. Plenty of owners of older iPhones will be eager to upgrade, but what if you’re losing faith in Apple’s flagship device?

According to research firm Gartner, Android accounts for 86.2% of new smartphone sales, with impressive handsets from Samsung, Motorola and Google tempting people away from iOS.

Considering making the switch? Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.

You will have to learn a few different conventions on Android, but the basic vocabulary of tapping and swiping is the same, as is the structure of apps and folders on your home screen. The major difference in Android is a few extra onscreen buttons. The universal “back” button takes you to the previous page or app, while the “overview” button pops up previews of all your running apps, so you can switch between them.

More at The Guardian

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