Tag Archives: OpenSource

I Could Help *More* with 48 Cores

In response to AMD’s 48 core contest.
 
I am working on an open source game, and I have learned that there are a few hurdles open source projects have to go through to get real working results. If I were given this 48 core server, I would do everything In my power to enable other open source projects. I would share every resource I could spare.
 
I am already working on setting up a series of virtual machines that will compile software, and automatically build packages for a variety of Linux distributions and Windows. For the game project we are starting to track down things like software dependencies and package naming inconsistencies. When we are done with our first game “Catch!” we will have an interesting build system that will easily accept one link to our source code repository and build installable packages for Windows and the top 20 or so Linux distributions. I think this software system would perform really well with 48 cores that each support Hyper-V. After setting up a clean and easy to use web interface, calling it the Open Build and Packaging System, and letting anyone use it, what else could I do?

Opterons

Previous Opteron CPUs


Next, I would sell the copy of Windows and buy a few ATI graphics cards with the proceeds. Right now the Open Source AMD/ATI graphics drivers could use some work (and the closed ones have problems too). On my laptop I have an ATI Mobility Radeon 5730 and I am stuck with an “AMD Unsupported Hardware” watermark on my screen. If I donate the cards and maybe some cash, to the AMD Open Source driver group, maybe I can help. With my help and their newfound ability to make all those packages, they might free up some time to catch up on the drivers.
 
Even with extra resources, some time will pass before development is complete. When complete The Open Build and Packaging System will be constantly tapping out all 48 cores. I will need some more horse power. OpenCL will be supported by the Open source drivers and maybe I could pitch in some coding time with GCC. There has been a little bit of talk about getting GCC to use OpenCL, maybe I could help make that happen, then I could drop in some of the latest and greatest cards and continue servicing the Free Software Community for the foreseeable future.
 
Finally, Once I have helped everybody else out, I think I will help myself by helping everybody else out some more. I understand that AMD is working on an Open Physics Initiative, which will help enhance Bullet Physic’s GPU support. It is too far forward to say what I will do, but likely I will do some bugfixes, packaging, and multi-core testing of Bullet. Anything I add to bullet, something my game already uses, will directly benefit myself, and any the community as a whole. Then there is my old AI research, Aritificial Neural Networks with OpenCL…

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I actually blocked uploads for the image contest

I have finally disabled uploads for the agencynil contest. If anyone cares I have taken the source code which is simple, and only slightly sloppy, added a GPL license, and stuffed it in an archive, and named it uqloader short for sQeaky’s uploader :) . Don’t try to use it if you any kind of comprehensive solution. However, if you want to learn about writing proper PHP, security checks and basic data management, this code is the best I could assemble in 6 hours.

GPL and Pedestrians

GPL and Pedestrians


Either way, enjoy.
 
For those who don’t know about source code and GPL licensing, here is the best I can do in a few paragraphs:
 
Source code is to software as blueprints are to a building. They are the instructions a computer performs when they run a program. I feel it is very important to keep as much source code as possible open and available to as many people as possible as opposed to hidden and secret. If it is open and readily available, others can point out flaws and bugs making it harder for virus writers and hackers. Being open also makes it easier to insure that the end user keeps control of technology they have purchased. It is all too easy for a big company (or anyone for that matter) to make system that does something in secret while claiming to do another. Keeping software open also allows for a software project to continue if there are non-technical reasons for its failure. The GPL is a license for guaranteeing software stays open.
 
For example: windows is a closed source Operating System. If Redmond Washington were hit by a meteor, swallowed in and earthquake, bombed by a terrorist, or whatever that thoroughly takes them out it would be a big deal. Since no one really has the full picture on what is going on inside, the impact to everyone using windows would be drastic. There may be some source code floating about and maybe even the ability to assemble that into a working OS, but no experts like the people who made it exist, and making new experts takes time. Security updates would be slowed if not stopped, new features, simply wouldn’t happen. That alone would cause the loss of billions of dollars to various business. I am not saying it going to happen, but there is a single point of failure for most PCs that their owners have no control over.
 
Now, think about all the closed source software (most software you walk into a store and buy) that you rely on. For some that list is small, but for most people, definitely all office workers that list is pretty big. Who made your OS, the drivers for your hardware, the software you need to get your job done (What about the software on your phone)? What would happen if the people who made that software had financial difficulties and slipped something in that disabled it unless you paid more money. Sounds like extortion, but a court battle won’t save you from losing business now.
 
I do not want to sound off the deep end crazy, but I simply don’t trust microsoft or many other large software companies. They have done nothing to earn my trust and have numerous questionable business practices ranging from dubious to flagrantly illegal. I will not use their software because I don’t want them to do something to me. You do what you want, but just because the list of big business screwing around with closed source software is small, doesn’t mean it won’t or hasn’t happened. Check out the Sony Rootkit Fiasco if you think it has never happened.
 
Anyway, I think keeping software open and freely accessible is really important. If you want to learn more about it check out sites like Osalt who track open counterparts to closed systems, you may also want to check out Firefox, Ubuntu, and Open Office. Have a good one, and sorry about the dire tone of this post, but that is how I get on these kinds of posts.

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Battle for Wesnoth

Me and and my buddy Steve started playing Battle for Wesnoth, and this is like the most addicting strategy game I have ever played. It is almost as addicting as Tetris. It is turn based strategy game, based in the medieval/fantasy world of Wesnoth. There is actual thought and strategy required, so I recommend that you go through the one player campaign the “Sceptre of Fire” Tutorial which shows you the basics first.
 
Unlike most games there are multiple one player campaigns. So once you beat the game, there is still more to do. I highly suggest you play a few campaigns before you jump into the multi-player. Some of the online players are really cut-throat. If online isn’t your thing, you can always design your own campaign with the built in campaign and map editors.
 
In Ubuntu just install the wesnoth-all package, I used “sudo apt-get install wesnoth-all”, you can use Add/Remove programs if you want to use you mouse. In windows I have no clue if the extra campaigns come with it or where to get them (I assume they are included). If anyone knows, please let me know. Either way, I am off to waste my Saturday on this game. :)
 
EDIT: I was looking so hard for the add-ons on the website that I never looked in the game. Take a look at the main menu and look at the add-ons button. There is tons of stuff in here I remember the sceptre of fire campaign as being easy, because I use to play this game a long time ago, and beat that campaign handily. The campaign to play would be heir to the throne, it is tightly integrated with the tutorial if I remember clearly.

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