20 March 2008

Anyone Remember the Total Entertainment Network?

I guess I'm just a huge Internet/gaming nerd, because I get nostalgic about my escapades on the early internet. Back when the only people on it were most likely computer geeks and it was one giant sandbox. So of course I was a member of TEN (Total Entertainment Network). I discovered it as a part of my Duke Nukem 3D package, I believe a TEN beta install was on the CD. Who could forget the cute alien face that told you how slow your connection was?

So I was recently messing around on the WayBack Machine and found myself pointed to the old TEN.net website. In fact, here are all the archived versions. There were two games that I mainly played on TEN: AD&D DARK SUN: Crimson Sands and Duke Nukem 3D. My old AD&D handle was "Kepher" - I didn't know any negative connotations about it at the time, I just made it up. If anyone remembers me out there, hello! The old screenshots on this page should bring back memories. Alas, I don't have any screenshots of my own from TEN days. I would like to know who holds the IP to Crimson Sands today anyway? Probably EA on some old dusty hard drive. If anyone knows please let me know.

I loved the tight knit community that Duke 3D had on TEN. I was one degree away from fame there since my friend in real life was the author of the popular Stealth map series. I think he went as Phazer on TEN. Some names I can remember off the top of my head are Tecnicolor and Pinkymouz (also the author of popular maps called Assault if I recall correctly). I'm embarrased to say that I played with the keyboard exclusively back then. Could you even play it with a mouse?

Check out TEN's cool quotes page, circa 1996. It's too bad Scott Miller's vision didn't pan out: "TEN will finally provide an online home for gamers. TEN's style matches our games perfectly, and we are looking forward to a long, successful partnership." -Scott Miller, President of 3D Realms. Where the heck is Duke Nukem Forever!?

I just thought I would take a step back into those good old days and share it with you.

18 March 2008

OLPC XO-1 Laptop Specs

I received my XO laptop the other day and before I started messing around with it too much I thought I would make an informative post regarding the specs of it. Since the operating system is based on Linux I will show you the commands you use at the Terminal to see some hardware information - these apply to all Linux-based OSes not just the OLPC one.

Once you've found the Terminal in Sugar and opened it you can type:
  • cat /proc/cpuinfo
On my XO-1 that results in the following output:

cpu family:5
model name:Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by AMD PCS
cpu MHz:431.222
cache size:128 KB
cpuid level:1
flags:fpu de pse tsc msr cx8 sep pge cmov clflush mmx mmxext 3dnowext 3dnow
clflush size:32

Now to see information about the memory in the system you type:
  • cat /proc/meminfo
The MemTotal for my system is MemTotal: 237852 kB
  • cat /proc/version
Provides an output of: Linux version 2.6.22-20071121.7.olpc.af3dd731d18bc39

  • df or df -h (for human readable format):

FilesystemSizeUsedAvailUse%Mounted on

Those are the default file systems mounted on the XO-1.

16 March 2008

I got my OLPC XO-1 Laptop!

I ordered my OLPC XO-1 the first week of December during their "Give One Get One" period. Hmm, is it XO-1 or X0-1? In case you've been hiding somewhere OLPC stands for One Laptop Per Child and has been formerly known as "the $100 Laptop". After months of waiting it finally came in the mail, in a very small box. They gave me no notification or tracking number, it just arrived as a surprise. It has a return address of BrightStar US, Inc., which seems to be some kind of "technology distributor". Interestingly, it says on the package it was ordered on March 7th, 2008 which is months off. Perhaps it is the date the BrightStar company was ordered to distribute it.

It's really quite simple - all that is included is the laptop, battery, an AC adapter, and instructions telling me to see http://www.laptopgiving.org/start for details on how to use it. So of course I installed the battery, plugged it in, and turned it on. It is about as small as I thought it would be, but heavier as well.
After about 30 minutes of fooling around I have to admit it is very hard to use. It is clearly designed for children! You don't have access to nearly any OS details/capabilities, let alone advanced ones. By the way did I mention the OS is called Sugar and is derived from Fedora Linux? At least there is a Terminal, but by default the PATHs aren't set, so to figure out your OLPC XO-1 MAC address you need to do:
  • /sbin/ifconfig
And find the HWaddr for your mesh connection type. If I recall correctly it shares it with eth0 as well. It looks like the laptop does have some neat capabilities that I will need to try out in the future, and for now it should serve well as a distraction during long classes and/or work. Look for more posts on this in the future. Here are a couple more photos I took:

You can find more photos elsewhere, like here.

14 March 2008

Desktop Wallpaper Sites

If you are tired of seeing pretty desktop backgrounds that other people have and want one of your own I've compiled a list of places to grab from. Of course, you could also search google images to return large images only. I've done my best to pre sort them by ratings.


Of course I have to include a Linux-flavored one:


Hopefully you can find a good wallpaper the size of your desktop resolution.

13 March 2008

Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 4

In case you didn't already know, Firefox is a web browser that can be used to browse the Internet instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. I have been using the current version, which is Firefox 2 up until today, when I discovered Firefox 3 Beta. I downloaded and installed the Mozilla Firefox Beta 4 version on windows XP and here is what it looks like on the first load:

Of course the improvements are security, speed, etc. One tangible new feature is the new bookmark tagging ability. When you bookmark a page you can also add a "tag" to it to make organizing and searching for it later easier. Here is an example where I bookmark the Ubuntu Hardy Heron release schedule.

There is also the new location bar features. You can type in a page title, tag, or address in the location bar and it will search through your history and bookmarks and display a list of results. I grabbed a quick screenshot of it here:

You can read the actual Release Notes here. There are known issues. And of course, it is currently for testing purposes only.

Update: 13 Mar 4:30PM EST I performed an Acid3 test on the default install and here are the results: 67/100.

I think Firefox 2 scores at about 52/100.