December 5th, 2013 by celeron55
I currently own a laptop. A Panasonic CF-51 MK3, the model with an intel GPU and a dualcore CPU. Launched in 2006, this thing is absolutely superior.
I’ll tell you why.
- This thing is stable enough. It runs Linux for months straight without major crashes. Everything works. You simply don’t get that with most hardware.
- It’s got a 15-inch 4:3 display, which is tall enough to be comfortable to actually use, unlike the 16:9 abominations of today.
- Due to the form factor, the screen is further away from the keyboard than in today’s models, making the eyes and the back not hurt when looking at it. There is enough space for your hands to comfortably lay on in front of the keyboard.
- The keyboard has this superior layout where the home, pageup/down and end keys are at the rightmost edge. The keyboard also feels great and the arrow keys are properly arranged.
- It’s shell around the keyboard is made of plastic, making it not heat up your hands, and outside is cast magnesium – shattering floors and other inferior objects on which you drop it.
- The touchpad’s surface doesn’t stick to your finger, it’s precise and by default requires much less finger movement than today’s large ones; its size makes it hard to accidentally touch and it’s dedicated buttons have the exact right pressure requirement.
- The quality of the speakers in this thing is unheard of these days. You can actually listen to music using them without having to cringe to the sound quality at all. It sounds bright and clear. The frequency range is as wide as you can ever hope. The speakers are large enough to not fit anywhere in a smaller chassis.
- This thing doesn’t run it’s fans at all when halfway idle. 0 RPM. You can’t fucking beat that. And that is what I require.
- This thing is built to last. Yeah, it weighs 3kg but there’s a reason for it and I’m fine with that. It was also expensive because of that but I’m fine with that too.
- It has enough performance to be quite usable even today. That’s 6 years from launch in real use.
- I have two batteries of unknown age for it, still lasting multiple hours each. They are made by Panasonic from the ground up and you can’t beat that.
- It has plenty of connectivity: old-school serial, ps/2, VGA, USB 2, FireWire, gigabit ethernet, Wi-Fi, Cardbus and an SD card reader. I won’t need anything more than this for years to come.
I require all this from a laptop. I’ve been looking for a replacement for this almost ever since I bought it (because I knew how hard it would be), and haven’t found one.
I need at least four cores, 8GB of RAM, a half-decent GPU and a large screen.
Panasonic lost their chance by moving to smaller models and abandoning these full-featured laptops. Also, it’s incredibly hard to find out which of their models are quiet and which are not – A CF-51 with an ATI GPU makes constant loud fan noise. Can you find that information anywhere? Nope.
So – age doesn’t matter, manufacturer doesn’t matter, looks don’t matter, price doesn’t matter (too much). The above stuff matters. Where can I find a laptop?
October 17th, 2013 by celeron55
I will consider both, the present and the future, simultaneously, because it would be bad if there weren’t any continuity like that. This kind of unifies history and future in a way that I would see best.
Minetest is about:
- Messing around
- Being able to do crappy but interesting stuff which nevertheless is enjoyed by other people
- Not taking anything seriously
- Doing this in a voxel-based multiplayer sandbox game.
That is what it has always been about. However, as a project grows, it’s impossible to keep total anarchy or dictatorship, so we need some way of fitting this into the fairly scalable architecture (development-wise) we have now. The alternative would be to scale the project down and make an army of forks. It could be fun too, but don’t think it is generally desirable.
Particularly, Minetest is not about making fancy-looking things at the cost of freedom. Go away right now if you want that.
In order to build upon a larger base of work, the larger base of work must be chosen somehow. Minetest uses these approaches:
- Keep the common base small enough to be manageable, as it is bound to be a monolithic chunk. This is what is called the Minetest Engine. It’s sole purpose is to enable cramming all kinds of messing-arounds into one in a decent voxel world experience.
- Keep the common base (the Minetest Engine) as universal as possible. I like to compare everything that goes into the engine for how well it suits a gravitation-less space game without ground surface. If everything is either disableable or suitable for such, then it gives much more freedom for people to experiment and create interesting things, even in ground-based worlds.
- Keep the common base lightweight, simple and well-written enough for it to not become some monster that everyone fears, because everyone is dependent on it.
- Following these limits, incorporate features that help people do the things in the first list.
- It mustn’t be made unnecessarily hard to make polished content even while most content isn’t polished.
Then there is the work that is built upon this common base. It has it’s own issues. Here are the issues that come to mind and how Minetest solves them:
- Lack of creativity: Minetest tries to make it easy to experiment with weird and unconventional things, and publish those things to inspire others.
- Lack of consistent and large pieces of content: Mods facilitate organization of huge amounts of content. Subgames(*) allow collection of them to coherent wholes. While Minetest’s culture isn’t very focused on consistency, Minetest tries to make it possible if someone wants to focus on it.
- Lack of publicity: Minetest tries to make it easy to share anything, and the community is all about sharing everything.
- Lack of main direction: We suck at this. Short suggestion below.
It’s starting to seem to me that we need to change the Minetest distribution to contain a bunch of different subgames instead of trying to have one main game. New ideas or thumbs ups for this?
Hopefully this explains for example why Minetest isn’t *necessarily* a Minecraft clone, and why it *kind of* is, and why it doesn’t matter in itself.
(*) I use the word subgame here because it’s less confusing for people not involved with Minetest
October 1st, 2013 by celeron55
A couple of semi-random things:
I think Minetest server maintainers have too little say on things that core developers use their time on. In case you’re one of those, free to fix that by getting more involved on #minetest-dev or github.
Minetest 0.4.8 is kind of starting to see the light at the end of the release tunnel. There’s some stuff still to be taken care of before feature freeze. That’ll take an unknown amount of time. (0.4.7 was released about four months ago without a notice here.)
Here’s the current changelog, showing the changes after 0.4.7 that stable users will see. Nothing new for git users though! http://dev.minetest.net/Changelog
A semi-factual forum thread about what Minetest might have inspired in Minecraft: https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?pid=112402
The Pyramids mod is quite cool.
April 12th, 2013 by celeron55
The http://minetest.net/ website got a full rebuild from scratch. It is now based on dokuwiki, using a template made by BlockMen, being editable by multiple core members of the community. This way a bit more content can be maintained there, and all of it is easy to keep up to date when I’m away doing other things.
I also moved it to be hosted on http://nearlyfreespeech.net for now. Hopefully this set-up will serve us well for quite some time!