Category: technology |

Updated (November 24, 2018) - When Good Software gets Trapped in the “Cloud.”

Updated Comments

Please see the above for my updated comments on Notion and my mea culpa as I missed a key part of their feature set which essentially resolves all of the concerns I outline below.

One of the challenges of living in an era where software applications and their associated files are rented instead of owned is that there are moments when I find something that I really love that is completely broken.

I really like what Notion does. As a project management tool, it is an amazing piece of software. On a very basic level, it is a simplified document and project management system, but that is really under-selling its capacity. The genius of the software is in its simplicity and accessibility. I can build a rapid version of project tracking database in less than 30 minutes, add a documentation space, connect it to a Slack channel for regular project updates, and be good to go. Courtney and I have been using it for our game design project. I am tracking my dissertation work and my job hunt via the site, and it has been quite useful. I have no complaints on the use of the software. There …


Linux Game Troubleshooting: Unable to find a supported OpenGL core profile.

Continued adventures in application troubleshooting aka using strace in the most brute force sort of way.

Have you ever had one of those problems where you know the payoff isn’t worth the work, but you can’t step away because you have to solve it? That is where I am at right now. If you read my earlier post on troubleshooting, you know that I am working on getting a game to work in Linux. In that post, I fixed a few missing libraries, but then I hit a dead end. Something in my setup still wasn’t quite right.

As I also noted in that post, this is not the only way to approach solving this issue. It may not even be the best, but it is a way. My real goal here is to convince you that you shouldn’t fear the potential complexity of these tools or even your own lack of knowledge. Get in there and play around. It is the best way to learn.

So, to start, let’s set the system context. I am running run Fedora 28 on an AMD Ryzen 1700X with an Nvidia GTX 10801.

The logs …


Steam’s Slush Pile Policy

Steam’s new policy on games is regrettable, but unsurprising. As others have noted, it is a tacit acknowledgment that they don’t care one bit about the content on their site as long as it makes them money.

I want to start with one sentence in Erik Johnson’s post that bears review.

If you’re a developer of offensive games, this isn’t us siding with you against all the people you’re offending.

And yet, Steam is providing a sales channel for these games through its site. Steam is also providing platform support for the distribution and marketing of these games, and Steam is actively taking money from the sales of those games. Steam may not be siding with offensive game developers, but it seems really seems happy to have those games and their developers side with it.

Steam isn’t a forum, it’s a store. As such, it should be known for the quality and type of content it sells. Apparently, Steam wants to be known as the “anything goes” game provider: the slush pile of gaming. I wish them luck with that.

However, offending someone shouldn’t take away your game’s voice. We …


Why Won’t it Start? Troubleshooting Missing Shared Libraries in Linux

I like the puzzles posed by troubleshooting. Whenever we troubleshoot something, whether an application, a classroom exercise or assignment, a research project, or something more mundane, there are always clues as to why something didn’t go quite right. If we can uncover those clues, we have a chance to make things work better the next time we attempt the task.

What follows is an example of troubleshooting in Linux. It is not the only way, it may not even be the best way, but it is one way. Note, too, that the solution is less important than the procedure. You may have a different issue, but this process can help you discover the clues to a workable solution. One of the great strengths of Linux is the power it gives it users, but that power requires a willingness to dive in and explore. While not always easy, I have found those explorations have given me a far greater appreciation for the power and potential of the modern PC.

The Problem Game

I’ve been shopping around on different gaming platforms. I’ve always liked Their approach to indie gaming and to the broader open source community is …


Worth Reading: “A limit to Bitcoin scale?” by Joshua Gans

A limit to Bitcoin scale?” by Joshua Gans (Digitoply)

What is instructive here is that Nakamoto described Bitcoin a democratic like system with “one-CPU-one-vote” which meant that any person could participate. But if it is only robust with specialized chips, that democratic philosophy is undermined. In other words, Bitcoin is only likely to be long-lasting and robust as an institution because technology has subverted the very democratic-style principles that were core to its founding vision.


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