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Re: [OT] A significant

On Jul 24, 2007, at 4:40 AM, terryc wrote:

It is a no brainer for me as well. I always buy the windows versions of games now. I know I will get a far longer playing life out of them. The past Linux versions of games (and other apps) are impossible for me to get running on any of my linux systems.

I don't know about that. I have Windows games I can't play anymore because they require an old version of Windows that doesn't have drivers for modern hardware. And I have a lot of DOS games that don't have sound anymore because modern sound hardware doesn't bear any resemblance to a Sound Blaster or Adlib card. Older versions of Linux can usually be coaxed into working by retrofitting a newer kernel to get newer driver support. The userspace interfaces for things like sound and video have stayed relatively stable for a surprisingly long time.

Macintosh stuff is out because it is closed software and closed hardware.

So is a Windows gaming system if you put a decent video card in it. NVIDIA makes the best, most compatible cards for gaming, and their drivers are notoriously closed-source.

Mac stuff does have one major advantage -- the hardware is much more standardized. There's only a few video cards you have to support instead of dozens. It's almost more like targeting a console than targeting a PC, that way.

I think it'll be long time before any OS can compete with Windows for the sheer number of games available, though. Windows courted the gaming market early with subsystems like DirectX aimed at high- performance graphics. Linux took longer to adapt the slow, clumsy network-socket based X Windows system to doing high-performance 3D, and it's also only recently that Linux systems became standardized enough that you can supply a binary and reasonably expect it to run on most users' systems. That said, it's come into its own lately. The Linux build of Second Life runs flawlessly on my SuSE Linux box and gives me a frame rate as good as I get under Windows on the same hardware (as long as I'm using those pesky closed-source NVIDIA drivers, of course).

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