Ian Murdock Passes

If you’ve ever used Linux, you’ve probably heard of the Debian distribution of the Linux kernel and the associated software that make up the thing that you run on your computer or server. It hasn’t been everyone’s first choice for a distribution, but so many other projects owe their inner workings to borrowed code from the Debian project.

Valve’s SteamOS.

Ubuntu Linux.

There are dozens more here, over a hundred more here, and the maintainers of packages for Debian contribute to hundreds of other free software projects that keep the very fabric of the internet and systems that serve you in the rest of your life functioning and it’s been going for twenty-two years.

Debian is just one of the massive projects that Ian Murdock created, and he’s passed on. Murdock’s recent employer, Docker, has posted a memorial as has Debian.

A few months before he passed, Ian wrote an excellent post about how he came to find out about Linux and the people who made it:

I became enraptured not so much by Linux itself as by the process in which it had been created–hundreds of people hacking away at their own little corner of the system and using the Internet to swap code, slowly but surely making the system better with each change–and set out to make my own contribution to the growing community, a new distribution called Debian that would be easier to use and more robust because it would be built and maintained collaboratively by its users, much like Linux.

Windows Pretendulation Still Sucks

The Final Fantasy XIV MMO now uses Transgaming’s Windows pretendulation software to get the game on Mac OS X and so it isn’t surprising that it is having trouble running well. Mike Fahey has this article about the terrible Mac version of Final Fantasy XIV.

Over a decade ago there was an article on this site encouraging people to boycott Transgaming’s bullshit ports of games. Back then Transgaming got their start by taking open-source windows emulator code, relicensing it when the license was in flux, and promising access to the source code with their changes included only if they were to get some number of subscribers to their subscription service for Linux gamers to pretendulate Windows games. They soon deleted that promise from their website and turned their back on the open-source community.

Their tech didn’t work well then, and it’s no surprise that it still doesn’t work well.

Transgaming seems to be mostly out of the business of ruining Linux games and has moved on to their TV gaming service, but now  Virtual Programming is continuing the Transgaming legacy of non-native games that work poorly

An Unfortunate Guide to Upgrading Ubuntu:

Springtime is when a young man’s fancy turns towards upgrading, enclosed within please find a handy guide for dealing with these desires:

  1. Boot Ubuntu for first time in two months
  2. Hardlock at GDM
  3. Look up the wikipedia entry for SysRq
  4. Try SysRq combos a few times
  5. Wait a minute
  6. Give up
  7. Reboot via the big button
  8. GOTO Step 1
  9. Escape once you figure out that you need to boot into “rescue mode”
  10. Uninstall “envy” nvidia drivers
  11. Update Ubuntu normally.
  12. Note that your gnome desktop is now missing your wallpaper
  13. Cry gently into your “Penguin”
  14. Repeat at next upgrade time.