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The Year In Review: LinuxPlanet's Picks for the Best and Worst of 2001 - page 6

2001: The Year That Was

  • December 30, 2001
  • By Michael Hall
How do you waste time in front of your computer? Playing games or chasing down an elusive configuration problem?

Favorite Time-Waster: mph

Working out why I can't get anti-aliasing to work quite right. When I declare a display size in my XF86Config-4 file, my anti-aliased fonts under KDE come out looking smashed. When I take away that declaration, Mozilla and Galeon present weirdly stretched TrueType. In best Schroedinger's Cat fashion, I suspect my attempts to have both normal-looking Mozilla fonts and attractive anti-aliased KDE fonts are successful at the times when KDE suddenly begins crashing at launch.

Favorite Time-Waster: bkp

Monitoring talkbacks on Linux Today. No, wait, that's supposed to be important!

Actually, my choice barely got in under the wire for this year: The Sims for Linux. Yeah, I have to be on MandrakeLinux to play it, but is that such a large price to pay for the chance to play God?

Of course, my created sim Linux users and sim Windows users always seem to crash the game when they interact. And my sim RMS just keeps running around smacking the other sims on the head. So there's a ways to go yet.

Favorite Time-Waster: dep

Again, two, though this time they're both KDE games. And you will be disappointed in my lack of imagination here.

I limit my game playing to when I'm on the phone, so I limit my games to ones that do not occupy the parts of the brain needed for cogent conversation. First among these is Shisen-Sho, even though it sometimes tells you there are no further moves to be made when there are in fact many. Second is Jezzball, which is both a game and an IQ test. I say this because I've devoted many hours to it and still have no idea what it is I'm trying to do. It is entirely undocumented. I suppose that it is a knockoff of a game popular somewhere else, but I am old and feeble and missed it. Still, even if you have no idea what you are doing, you can have a good time with it. Jezzball is more tension-inducing than Shisen-Sho is.

There's a good KDE Minesweeper game, but it requires thought that detracts from phone calls. And my 14-year-old nephew, Michael Woofter, has visited this month and informs me that there are some other really good KDE games. I admit, I've not even opened most of them.

And truth is, my favorite time waster is the news. I spent decades in the business, and I keep a teevee monitor in my office, on, all the time. I have a browser window on Freerepublic.com all the time, in part because -- no surprise -- my philosophy is there, but in part because it links breaking news from all over the planet all the time, more quickly than anyplace else.

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