République Remastered

Republique

After the Peter Molyenux’s Godus fiasco, you would be forgiven for concluding that crowdfunding is just a string of failures. There are a lot of great games that have actually shipped after being funded. Originally for iOS devices, the crew at Camouflaj just put out the PC and Mac OS X version of their kickstarted stealth survival game, République.

It’ll be interesting to see how the PC version turned out given the unique control scheme on iOS where you did not directly control the protagonist, Hope. Instead, you swiped the touchscreen to control surveillance cameras and could pause the game at any time to utilize hacking tools, scan the environment, and give Hope directions on where to go so that she won’t be seen by the patrolling guards while she is stuck in some kind of insane totalitarian regime.

Get it on Steam, gog, or Humble.

ABC Linuxu interview w/icculus

Lots of interesting stuff including Ryan discussing OS/2 at length. This portion is especially compelling:

I find if you’re targeting Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X right from the start, your code will probably work anywhere else that you might try it later.

Not to long ago, people would say, “why bother? Everyone runs Windows!”

But then the consoles became important.

And smaller shops might still say, “well, I’m not targeting those anyhow!”

But now they wish they had an iPad port.

You never know what will be important tomorrow!

via Interview: Ryan C. Gordon.

The English version of the interview is unfortunately lacking this great picture so I have provided it for reference.

 

Adesso Mechanical Keyboard MKB-135B Review

There are a lot of reasons to be interested in mechanical keyboards over rubber-dome models. Much of what I could tell you about rubber-dome keyboards versus mechanical switching has been already said. Rather than reinventing the wheel we’ll reread a classic part of what Dan said about mechanical keyboards:

The big deal about these old keyboards is their lovely, positive key-click. When you use a keyboard that doesn’t have a good positive click, it’s hard to tell when you’ve depressed a key properly. You have to watch the screen to make sure you don’t leave letters out, or you have to really hammer the keyboard, which is not good for your hands.

Most of the mid-priced keyboards these days use some variant of the “rubber dome” switch technology, which gives a definite little popping sensation when the dome buckles, but doesn’t necessarily give you an actual letter at the exact same moment, thanks to uncertain contacts. The old buckling spring tech absolutely positively does give you the letter when you feel the click. These keyboards feel very much like an old IBM Selectric typewriter – there are plenty of these ironclad behemoths still in service, and they may herniate anyone that has to move them but they’re darn nice to type on.

Rubber-dome keyboards are just not as reliable, ergonomic, or fun to use as mechanicals. Though you do have to give up some goofy options for mechanical keyboards, this Adesso keyboard is kind-of goofy as far as mechanicals go.

Most mechanicals are fairly boring and extremely beige. At most you might get a trackpoint or trackball. This is why you have to go with somewhat more modern options if you want something closer to the gaming keyboard experience without the rubber-domes.

Which features does the Adesso Mechanical Gaming Keyboard MKB-135B have over the basic Model M? An integrated, modern clicky Cherry blue switches, powered two-port USB 2.0 hub, windows keys, multimedia controls, replacable keycaps, and audio jacks. If you too dislike the beige style you might also be happy to know this keyboard is a glossy black everywhere but the keycaps. Speaking of which, the key caps are painted with a good ink that doesn’t feel cheap.

Even my Keytronic and Logitech G15’s keycaps have faded over time, but my original Model M hasn’t. However, until this keyboard has been in my possession for a few years I can’t give any kind of definitive answer as to the quality of the ink process on the keycaps.

After yesterday’s non-review of the Tango Pro, I’m happy to say that this keyboard feels great, the throw on the key press is close to Model M perfection and far superior to anything you can buy from Logitech or any of the other major peripheral manufacturers. With the Adesso I’ve played enough RTS and FPS games and had a similar experience to my old Model M, except without the pain of giving up normal gaming keyboard features.

The only real downside for the Adesso compared to the Model M is that the plastic isn’t as solid and for the life of me I can’t figure out how the multimedia keys are supposed to work. Most cars aren’t as solid as the Model M, it is just that the Adesso doesn’t have a metal backing plate and thicker plastic like the Model M so maybe it’ll only last for ten or fifteen years instead of twenty-five.

Buy a Model M if you don’t need the extra features, or if however you don’t like the color beige and enjoy these extra features buy the Adesso. I’m not returning it for anything else.

Tango Pro Review?

I had planned on reviewing this Tango Pro USB/Firewire HDD enclosure this weekend.

I drove down to Microcenter, picked up the Tango Pro, and then since Microcenter didn’t have the HDD I wanted I got that from Fry’s.

You’ve probably heard of the drive I wanted to use, it is the only 1 Terabyte 2.5 inch SATA drive currently on the market, the Western Digital 1 TB Scorpio Blue.

Anyway, the enclosure sounds great on paper, it supports Firewire 800, 400, and USB 2. It even includes all the right cables and has a pretty blue LED.

The one problem is that the WD 1TB drive doesn’t fit. It has three platters rather than the standard two, so that makes it slightly taller than a regular 2.5 inch laptop drive.

Oh well, back to Microcenter tomorrow for a return.

Tom Francis, His Gnome, and Left 4 Dead 2

In the Dark Carnival campaign of Left 4 Dead 2, you can win a garden gnome at the fairground near the start — and there’s an achievement for carrying it all the way to the end. It is, in fact, the same goddamn gnome I carried through Episode goddamn Two, for the same goddamn reason: there was an achievement for it.

By the end of that ordeal, I prayed I’d never set eyes on his (“stupid fucking”) face again — but here he is, and here I am, and here we go.

via I Played Through Left 4 Dead 2 Holding A Goddamn Gnome, by Tom Francis.