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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2645 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
47. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 18:33 Scottish Martial Arts
Oh, FFS. I was posting about the childishness and immaturity of pointless OS flame wars, and you morons go off on a childish and pointless OS flame war.

Tone of voice and inflection doesn't carry in text. If you expect someone to read that much from an offhand sarcastic remark, then better to make it explicit. To me it sounded a lot more like a dismissal of dissatisfaction with Windows rather than a commentary on the futility of the OS wars.

Both Linux and Windows have their strengths and weakness, but referring to Microsoft as M$ makes anyone with a brain instantly discard your argument.

I never referred to it as such.

Windows might be a "highly unsatisfying experience" for some, but for most people, it is the tool that gets the job done with the least amount of pain.

I don't disagree here. If you read my other posts you'll find that I acknowledge that Windows is the preferable OS for the corporate end-user environment. My claim is that for people who are naturally drawn to computing -- as opposed to people who use a computer because they have to in this day and age -- then Unix/Linux is the superior OS.

OSX is built on top of UNIX, so pretty much anything you can do in Linux shell can also be done on OSX.

I'm well aware it's based off of the Berkeley Software Distribution. My contention is that the cost, and the closed nature of the system, make it less appealing to tinkerers, hackers, and enthusiasts. And the OSX terminal isn't an exact replica of the Linux shell. You're right that most tasks work the same, but many system administration tasks, for example, do not.

And just for the record, I've been a professional software developer for more than a decade and I've worked on more platforms than you can shake a stick at.... so I'm pretty sure I actually know more about computing than some oik on a gaming forum. And if you really think Linux is "by far the most well designed operating system around", I suggest you take a course is OS kernel design.

I'll defer to your judgement and experience then on the merits of the Linux kernel. I still feel however that the Unix approach to solving computing problems is generally superior to the Windows approach. If you feel differently, I'd be happy to listen to your arguments, as you are probably more knowledgeable than I am.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
40. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 17:33 Scottish Martial Arts
I was basing it upon the latest version of Ubuntu.

What exactly is so hard to use about Ubuntu, and what exactly is so unattractive about this desktop? My first impression of ubuntu, which happened to be the first distro I tried, was the exact opposite: attractive and with immediately intuitive interface conventions. Once you learn the shortcuts and the extra functionality that Gnome has -- such as extra workspaces and one click copy and paste -- it becomes really difficult to see how the Windows GUI is in any way superior. That isn't to say Windows is bad, just that I don't see how Gnome or KDE is in any worse.

No. I dealt with CLIs back in the DOS days but I really have no interest going back to that. They may be more efficient for some tasks but that goes in the exact opposite direction of a user friendly experience.

You seem to be making the argument that user-friendliness is superior to utility. A simple tool, while easier to learn, has fewer uses than a complex tool. The reality is that while GUI's are easier to learn, they are by definition less useful. Rather than telling the computer what to do, the computer presents you with options and you pick among them. Now those options have to be limited, otherwise the GUI quickly becomes cluttered and is no more user friendly than the CLI. You simply can't do as much, as well, and as fast with the GUI as you can with the CLI.

So why the Unix CLI over DOS? Features like job control (if you think multitasking is limited to GUIs, you are wrong), pipelines, input/output redirection, advanced scripting capabilities, work environment customization, online reference, and command completion make the Unix CLI dramatically more powerful than DOS. It's even easier to use in my opinion -- again, Unix is hard to learn but very easy to use. Plus, it's just plain fun.

Again, nearly all serious computing -- whether it be the infrastructure of the internet, financial computing, scientific research, military networks, etc. -- occurs on Unix/Linux and there is a reason for that. For your average office worker who just needs to use Office and send email, Windows is perfectly adequate, and maybe even preferable. But if you really want to access the power of your computer, and really want a tool that complements your own brain when it comes to solving problems, then Unix/Linux, and particularly the Unix/Linux CLI and utilities, is the way to go.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
35. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 15:29 Scottish Martial Arts
It might be technically superior in most ways but that doesn't make it as commercially viable.

Absolutely. To be clear, I wasn't advocating for people to abandon Windows en masse, nor do I believe that the corporate world should suddenly embrace open source software and convert everything to Ubuntu or Fedora or some other free distro. The corporate end-user world is entirely different from say, the world of database administration or the private computer enthusiast. For corporate end-users, Windows, with its world class support and near universal familiarity (i.e. you don't need to train someone to use Windows), is the clear platform of choice because it's has lower long run costs and thus will best support the profitability of the company.

I do firmly believe however, that Unix/Linux, on its technical merits, and particularly on the power of the CLI, is superior to Windows as an ideal. In other words, Windows has relative superiority in certain key areas, but Unix/Linux is the better operating system in general.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
32. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 14:53 Scottish Martial Arts
Theyarecomingforyou, have you even used a modern Linux distro? Nearly all of what you said is demonstrably wrong, particularly on the useability/attractiveness front, which leads me to believe you're arguing based upon old stereotypes as opposed to any practical experience. And this isn't the first time I've seen you repeat factually wrong claims in a Linux thread. Show me on the doll where Linux touched you.

For that matter, have you ever used the Unix Command Line Interface? I do most of my Linux work in the CLI, and I have to say that nothing in the GUI world quite matches the computing relationship that forms between you and your shell of choice. The Unix/Linux CLI is powerful, flexible, fast, highly customizable, elegant, and, although it's hard to learn, is incredibly easy to use (think about that for a moment: it's not a contradiction).

The only claim of yours which has any merit is the lack of support for gaming. There's actually a thriving gaming community on Linux -- as a flight sim fan I really dig Flight Gear -- but it most definitely is not the world of AAA, major publisher funded gaming. And that's why I continue to dual boot Windows, but should commercial gaming ever take off on Linux, I'd see absolutely no reason to continue using Windows.

There's a reason nearly all serious computing occurs on Unix/Linux and it's not because IT folks want to fight the power.
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News Comments > Steam Linux Plans
15. Re: RE: Follow up Jul 17, 2012, 03:01 Scottish Martial Arts
ChaosEngine wrote on Jul 17, 2012, 00:55:
Yeah, fight the power! After all these years, maybe you'll finally defeat the evil M$ and maybe even lose your virginity too.

If you actually know anything about computing, then by and large Windows is, and always has been, a highly unsatisfying experience. Macs are a bit better but they're too expensive, are a closed system, and are permanently wedded to the GUI, which is hardly the power user's native environment. That leaves Unix/Linux, which also happens to be by far the most well designed operating system around. With all that in mind, it makes sense that serious computer users who also happen to be gamers would love to finally be free of Windows once and for all. It's not about fighting the power -- although maybe it is for some people -- it's about not being stuck with an inferior OS simply because you like to play games.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
22. Re: Steam Top 10 Jul 9, 2012, 05:03 Scottish Martial Arts
It's a learning curve. A curve you will learn if you want to be good. Just like any other realistic simulator.

Except that, once mastered, Arma still feels clunky and inelegant, particularly the squad command interface. Since you want to compare it to simulators, compare Arma to DCS A-10C. The latter has a steep learning curve, but once the HOTAS commands are mastered, it's easy and intuitive to accomplish any task in the cockpit. Or look at the Unix command line interface: difficult to learn, extraordinarily easy to use. A learning curve reflects complexity, sure, but once that learning curve is climbed, if the interface still feels frustrating to use, then that reflects poor design. Arma and Operation Flashpoin, for all their strengths, have never been very well designed with regard to the interface.

The reality is that Arma is a niche product. Even among simulator junkies it has its detractors, since the game oscillates between realism (ballistics) and arcadiness (pretty much everything else). The success of DayZ, while a boon in sales for BIS, is only going to draw so many new fans to the series.

This comment was edited on Jul 9, 2012, 05:09.
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News Comments > DCS: P-51D Mustang Trailer
2. Re: DCS: P-51D Mustang Trailer Jun 24, 2012, 15:32 Scottish Martial Arts
Uh, the game has been available in public beta form for nearly two months now. Just preorder, download, and play.  
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News Comments > StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm "99% Done"
26. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Jun 16, 2012, 04:22 Scottish Martial Arts
Creston wrote on Jun 16, 2012, 03:07:
I know. And they won't even price this as an expansion anyway. 50 or 60 bucks guaranteed.

At which price, they can happily go fuck themselves.


HotS for $40

Talking out of your ass much? It was one thing when the announced that they were splitting the game into three and didn't really define what the meant by that. But now, when you can actually preorder the damned thing for $40, I find it rather shocking that people still insist on saying that "IT WILL BE FULL PRICE OMFG!!!".
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News Comments > StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm "99% Done"
17. Re: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Jun 16, 2012, 00:56 Scottish Martial Arts
Kitkoan wrote on Jun 16, 2012, 00:04:
Blizzard also said that each one was going to be its own game, not an expansion so no doubt will be full priced. The price tag is for the campaign.

A quick look at the official Heart of the Swarm FAQ, or even just a glance at the Amazon listing would show you that that's not accurate. The game is $40: standard Blizzard expansion price.
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News Comments > Evening Consolidation
4. Re: Evening Consolidation Jun 9, 2012, 00:55 Scottish Martial Arts
Nice IL-2 Sturmovik avatar. Looks like the 3M with the twin 37mm cannons.  
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News Comments > Linux Steam Client This Year?
25. Re: Linux Steam Client This Year? Jun 6, 2012, 20:15 Scottish Martial Arts

What an intimidating and user unfriendly desktop! Why, look at that file manager! I sure could never figure out how to use THAT without years of training and a PhD in Computer Science!
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News Comments > Linux Steam Client This Year?
24. Re: Linux Steam Client This Year? Jun 6, 2012, 20:04 Scottish Martial Arts
It's great that Linux is now able to browse web pages and watch videos on YouTube. Now it needs to do the hard stuff - have a decent UI, support games and be user friendly.

I'm kind of getting the impression you've never used Linux. KDE and GNOME, the two main GUI options, have been around since the mid-90s, so the idea that you have to be a programmer or an expert in the Unix command line interface to use Linux hasn't been accurate for a long time. And even using the text-based console is no harder than DOS. In fact, I'd say that a UNIX style command-line is MORE not LESS user friendly than DOS ever was. Basically, anyone who isn't an octogenarian who is terrified of all things "computery" can use a modern Linux distribution without prior training, and have things figured out within 5 minutes of logging on.

Furthermore, about 50% of smartphone users are in fact Linux users, and yet you don't hear them complaining about unusable GUIs and lack of user-friendliness. Likewise, all the Mac users are in fact Unix users: they're just too clueless about computing to know it.

And the reason why Linux hasn't made any inroads among corporate desktop users is cost. "Cost, you say? But isn't Linux free?" Yes, Linux is free, but free as in free speech, not free beer. When corporations look at the cost of Linux adoption, they're looking at cost over the long term, not the cost of burning a distro onto a CD or DVD for installation. And that long term costs is primarily measured in terms of potential productivity loss. If Linux software has a problem, you can't exactly call up Linux-crosoft to get support. Now there is a great Linux community out there ready to help you with any foreseeable problem, but browsing forums for solutions doesn't provide corporations with the same sense of security as having a commercial vendor that you call for support. And that's why the corporate-world sticks with commercial software, whether it's Windows for the end-user, or commercial *nix distros for servers and the like.

This comment was edited on Jun 6, 2012, 20:25.
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News Comments > On Sale
3. Re: On Sale Jun 2, 2012, 13:59 Scottish Martial Arts
I don't think the voice packs and other expansions are part of the WC 1+2 package?

I believe those are freely available at Wing Commander fan sites.
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News Comments > Diablo III Launch Events
19. Re: Diablo III Launch Events Apr 26, 2012, 01:56 Scottish Martial Arts
xXBatmanXx wrote on Apr 26, 2012, 01:16:
The old File Planet "You are 2455 person in line....apprx wait time 8 hours".

Heh, I remember the days when FilePlanet didn't even have the queue system. Instead, when there was a new Counter Strike beta release, the site just became overloaded and impossible to use. Amazing to think that FilePlanet was once THE PC gaming file site, and that now it couldn't be more irrelevant.
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News Comments > ME3 Ending Fix Coming in Free Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut
35. Re: ME3 Ending Fix Coming in Free Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Apr 5, 2012, 12:19 Scottish Martial Arts
Shit was never very good to begin with. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people got as upset as they did, but honestly were people really expecting something better? From Bioware of all people? These are the devs who have been writing the same damn story with the same damn characters for the past decade.

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News Comments > Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming
60. Re: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming Mar 30, 2012, 18:27 Scottish Martial Arts
If you don't like that sort of gameplay, fine. But don't insist BG should change so it's more like some other game that wasn't BG.

The suggestion wasn't to make the combat system like Call of Duty, but to make it more like ToEE, i.e. a true turn-based game. The IE real-time with pause system was not at all suited to DnD, which was always designed to work as a turn-based system. Anyone that says otherwise has clearly never played a Gold Box game.
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News Comments > Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming
59. Re: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming Mar 30, 2012, 18:20 Scottish Martial Arts
Just because it's a tile based engine doesn't mean those tiles are not textured.

The Infinity Engine is NOT tile-based. Each area is a fixed-resolution continuous 2D bitmap. As such, "upgrading the textures" would mean each area would need to be redrawn by hand. It's not feasible.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2012, 18:27.
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News Comments > Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming
58. Re: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition OS X Plans & Cross-Platform Gaming Mar 30, 2012, 18:15 Scottish Martial Arts
Krovven wrote on Mar 30, 2012, 12:16:
There are also options to pause the game after each turn to make it full turn-based.

That's not true turn-based though -- actions still occur simultaneously. I wouldn't necessarily describe IE combat as twitchy, but it was real-time and it was a mess in comparison to the Gold Box games or ToEE.
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News Comments > Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned
25. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 21, 2012, 15:41 Scottish Martial Arts
We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story

Anyone else chortle at that one?

Bioware is really convinced that their shit doesn't smell.
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News Comments > Dragon Age Entering "Next Phase"
18. Re: Dragon Age Entering Mar 19, 2012, 22:08 Scottish Martial Arts
Paketep wrote on Mar 19, 2012, 21:14:
EA killed Bioware. They just don't know it yet.

Nah, Bioware was never very good to begin with, especially post Baldur's Gate 2.

Baldur's Gate 2 is easily their best game, and despite its weaknesses, I'd even go so far to call it a great game. But what made it great? It was the encounter, quest, and dungeon design. Baldur's Gate II was just filled with hours upon hours of really solid, consistent, B+ content, supported by great game mechanics. The actual story wasn't that great, and many of the characters were just obnoxious, but boy was Baldur's Gate II fun to play.

Fast forward to Neverwinter Nights, and what do you get? A narrative focused game, with terrible encounters, quests, and dungeons. "Let's stick the player in a cave with 20 goblins -- THAT will be fun!" seemed to be the operative content design principle. Meanwhile, the writing was still a mess and wasn't enough to carry the game.

KOTOR was an improvement over NWN in both narrative and actual content, but the simple reality was that the content was poorly designed and bereft of tactics, and the narrative and characters, aside from the shock of the BIG TWIST, were pretty lackluster. It didn't help that they borrowed the same narrative structure (find four macguffins to stop an ancient evil) and characters (Aribeth and Bastila are the same fucking character) from NWN. In fact, that reuse of characters and plot structure from game to game has come to define everything Bioware has done post-BG2.

If you continue the analysis whith each of Bioware's subsequent games you keep finding the same problems -- focus on a fanfiction quality narrative supported by lackluster content, reusing the same stock characters and plot devices from game to game. The only real innovation that Bioware has brought to their formula in the decade since NWN is gay romances. But if that's all you have to sell your game, titillating the lesbian fantasies of your virginal fanbase, that speaks volume of how little you know about actually designing a compelling game.

Now with DA2 and ME3, Bioware has finally gotten so self indulgent with their writing, and so lazy with their content design, that even their most dedicated fans are starting to wake up and see them for what they are: a pretty mediocre developer.
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2645 Comments. 133 pages. Viewing page 13.
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