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Tabletop RPG's in a Linux World

In the modern computer age of pencil and paper role playing games like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and others out there, the primary resources are imagination and a set of dice. Oh, and lots of table top space to spread out rulebooks and resources.

Surface space is valuable real estate when playing games like this. Modern day RPG-ers have taken to trying to minimize the need for all that space by using computers, especially laptops, netbooks, notebooks, etc...

The uses range from automated dice rolling apps to maintaining character record sheets online. Putting the text of rule books in PDF or even Wiki formats and using online mapping tools and random adventure generators.

Not only that, but apps like OpenOffice/LibreOffice are used increasingly to make use of spreadsheet based tools and forms that once could only be access with MS software.

Tabletop RPG folks aren't really wanting the computer to fully automate the games for them, essentially making them a videogame that are obviously evolved from RPG's like the numerous First Person Shooters that are out there. No, they just want computers and online resources to facilitate the non interaction parts of the game.

There is even disagreement in the RPG world about how much to implement computers in the games. For many, the idea of an automated dice roller is appalling. Yet there are others who keep almost anything that would be pencil and paper related and dice related on the computer

Gamers have made the internet a treasure trove of tools and resources for the games though. You can find dungeon mapping apps and character tracking apps, even character generation/creation apps are available online.

There are extremely active user forums and resource websites to help gamers communicate and share their "homebrewed" games and ideas. They host storage and downloads of files and images useful to those who are looking for new games and resources to play.

One day I decided to search for mention of open source app words in just one of these user forums and "Linux" alone pulled over 700 results.

There are countless RPG websites being hosted on LAMP web-servers out there. There more I investigate how much open source software is involved in some way with a seemingly small interest area like table top role playing games, the more I am pleased to see it is a large and ever-growing presence there.

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today's howtos

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Mageia (mysql-connector-java), openSUSE (chromium, curl, libqt4, and singularity), Red Hat (bash and kernel), SUSE (python-pip and python3), and Ubuntu (busybox, ceph, freeimage, libofx, libpam-tacplus, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-oracle, novnc, and tnef).

  • Microsoft secures backend server that leaked Bing data [Ed: "No personal user data was leaked in the incident," says ZDNet about a Microsoft security incident, just because the liars from Microsoft said so. Did ZDNet check to verify? No. Reprinting lies.]

    Microsoft has suffered a rare cyber-security lapse earlier this month when the company's IT staff accidentally left one of Bing's backend servers exposed online.

  • No security audit done on Chinese smartphones- IT ministry

    Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, today clarified that it has not conducted any sort of study to check if Chinese-made smartphones used in India are sending sensitive data to their country of origin. “Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has not conducted any such study,” said Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre, in response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha. [...] While the Gnu Public License, which governs the Linux Operating System, requires anyone who makes changes to the code to disclose the changes publicly, such a requirement is not there for BSD, and therefore, for Android. Unlike GPL, the BSD license allows any company to take the code, alter it in any way they want, and not disclose the changes to anyone.

  • No, Moving Your SSH Port Isn’t Security by Obscurity

    In short, you just made it harder for the enemy to successfully attack you by giving them a resource problem. Sure, they can check under every rock in Central Park and eventually find the package, but you’ll be done with the mission by then.

    Obscurity doesn’t apply if people know the mechanism you’re using and they simply have a resource problem. Having a known defense but a hidden key is a well-established part of good security, and it has been for millennia.

GNU/Linux-Compatible Devices

  • Raspberry Pi turns retro radio into interactive storyteller
  • Microchip graphics toolkit for Linux-on-Arm

    Called Ensemble Graphics Toolkit, it is a no-cost and royalty-fre open-source C++ suite based on the permissive Apache 2.0 open-source license. It works with the company’s chips, system-in-package and system-on-module products. “By taking advantage of underlying hardware acceleration, including graphics controllers and video decoders when available, the toolkit provides a high-performance user experience on low and mid-range graphical displays up to XGA [1,024 x 768] resolution,” according to the company. “Ensemble Graphics Toolkit and Linux can be optimised for boot times of under three seconds from cold reset that is required for applications such as automotive dashboard clusters.”

  • Intel Rocket Lake and Xe DG1 GPU now have Linux support

    Intel has updated its Compute Runtime to support its upcoming Rocket Lake desktop processors and Intel DG1 graphics based on its Xe GPU architecture. Overall, this can be seen as a sign that things are moving at a steady pace with Intel’s 11th generation core CPUs and discrete graphics.

  • Work smarter and harder!

    We’re decided to focus on how an open source smart home office looks and runs with a bit of help from the Raspberry Pi. From setting up a low-overhead video conferencing system to collaborative document editing and sharing, to more mundane smart-home control options, this is what happens when we leave Jonni to his own devices at home for six months! Hopefully you’ll find something that will be of genuine use around your new working-from-home home office, or at least something for which use a spare Pi!