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The Strangest Operating Systems Ever Released

Ninety-nine percent of computer users don’t give a single thought to their operating system. It comes with the machine, it gets updated automatically, and that’s all there is to it. But here at PCMag, we like to talk about that other 1 percent. If you’re really interested in getting into the guts of how your home PC works, installing a new operating system is a fascinating way to do it. While there are many alternative OS choices with dedicated user bases, there are also some weird beasts out there, made for niche interests and unique hardware. Here’s a tour through some of the strangest operating systems ever released. Read more

Games: Steam, Shortest Trip to Earth, Receiver 2 and Minetest

  • Valve put out a 'Data Deep Dive' to show how games are doing on Steam

    This new talkative Valve is certainly welcome, as they continue to do blog posts talking about the Steam ecosystem and how good and bad developers are doing. The latest is a 'Data Deep Dive' which has some interesting information. Giving a brief bit of history on how Steam was pretty much locked-down until Greenlight launched in 2012, opened up to a lot more indie games and then in 2017 they launched Steam Direct fully opening up Steam to pretty much any developer. Since then, obviously, Steam has exploded in size. Even with Steam having so many thousands of games now, according to Valve more "new releases than ever are finding success". [...] This still doesn't mean launching on Steam will be an instant or guaranteed success, as Steam grows there's clearly more games than ever also not reaching even $5K in the first two weeks. In Valve's own graph in their research notes, they showed approximately 1,450 titles hitting $5K in the first two weeks in 2019 but when you look at how many titles released in 2019 it means the vast majority didn't even hit that. This is debatable on how bad that actually is in reality, since even on Linux which is a niche platform on Steam there's a large amount of very quickly made "filler" games released every year.

  • Shortest Trip to Earth should be releasing for Linux and hopefully soon

    Shortest Trip to Earth, a roguelike spaceship simulator focused on exploration, ship management and tactical battles is now officially coming to Linux and hopefully soon.

  • Realistic gun simulation FPS 'Receiver 2' launching April 14

    Receiver 2 is not a traditional first-person shooter, as it simulates the very mechanics of the guns down to every spring and pin. It's now been given a release date for April 14.

  • Free and open source voxel game engine 'Minetest' has a new release up

    Minetest, a free and open source voxel game engine styled like Minecraft has a new release up with some graphical updates, UI improvements and more. While Minetest does come with a basic Minecraft-like game, really the power of Minetest is the plugin system. Out of the box, there's not much in it. However, with a few button clicks in the built-in downloader, you can access a ton of extra content and entire game packs to add into it. Minetest 5.2.0 was released a few days ago and while it does include the usual assortment of fixes, there's also some fun sounding improvements too. Waves are now generated with Perlin-type noise, arm inertia animations were improved, there's now basic model shading possible, better natural light, visual feedback for button states in the UI, modding is a little easier as it should automatically enable a mod's dependencies in the world config menu, tools/weapons can wear out on hits, lots of modding enhancements and so on.

today's howtos

Watch Synchronized Videos With Your Remote Friends Using Syncplay (Linux, macOS, Windows)

Syncplay is a free and open source tool to synchronize media players with remote friends to watch videos together, available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux and *BSD. It supports mpv, VLC, MPC-BE and MPC-HC, with each user being able to use any of these media players. The application synchronizes the position and play state of the media player over the Internet, allowing all viewers to watch the same video in the same time. So when one viewer seeks, pauses or unpauses a video, this is applied to all viewers / media players that are in the same Syncplay room, on the same server. You can choose to use one of the free public Syncplay servers, or you can host your own public or private Syncplay server, be it on Windows, macOS, Linux (including Raspberry Pi). Read more