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      OpenTTD, a remake of Transport Tycoon

      ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Wednesday, 7 April, 2021 - 09:44 edit · 1 minute

    It was 1995 and I had quit my job to prepare for a long journey with my bicycle. This also gave me the opportunity to play some games on my PC. One game in particular got me hooked and I played months in a row. Sessions of 12 hours weren't unusual. The game was Transport Tycoon (or Transport Tycoon DeLuxe I can't remember) and it was awesome. The game, designed and programmed by Chris Sawyer was a simulation that made you CEO of a transport company. The goal was simple to make as much money as possible by transporting goods or people by train, lorry, bus or plane.

    Now 25 years later a group of programmers succeeded in mimicking the original game as closely as possible. On top of that they extended it with many new features. The name of this free and open source version is OpenTTD. I played it and it brought me straight back to 1995. It's a very well made game with exactly the same look and feel as the original. The only thing that's different is the music.

    If you like simulation games and FLOSS please try it out. You can either download it from the OpenTTD website or play it on Steam.

    • OpenTTD | Home

      An open source simulator based on the classic game Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features.

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      New release of FreeCAD (0.19)

      ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Friday, 26 February, 2021 - 12:29

    Everyone who is into 3D printing and loves free and open source software knows FreeCAD. It's the most complete FLOSS 3D-CAD software out there. In terms of UI FreeCAD can be best compared to SolidWorks, a commercial 3D-CAD package that costs thousands of dollars per license. This is quite an accomplishment from all the people that voluntarily contribute to FreeCAD.

    The latest stable version 0.18 has a lot of great features but is buggy and it has a tendency to crash. Luckily there already was pre-release 0.19 that is much better. Now the stable version of 0.19 is here! The source code can be downloaded from this link: The appimage should follow soon (same for the OSX and Windows compiled versions).

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      Donate a Linux PC.

      ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Saturday, 13 February, 2021 - 12:18 · 2 minutes

    Linux, or should I say GNU/Linux, comes in a variety of flavors called distros. We know that but people on a proprietary OS don't. Those people in general think that Linux, like their own OS, is a monolithic operating system but that contrary to their own OS is difficult, user unfriendly and something where you need to type into a terminal all the time.

    On top of that I discovered that the concept of distros is very hard to grasp for non-Linux users while I find this one of the strongest benefits of Linux. I currently use MX Linux on my Desktop PC and had Ubuntu MATE installed before that. On my (low-end) laptop I use either Antix or Puppy Linux. One of my sons uses Ubuntu on his desktop and my father uses Linux Mint on his laptop. All these flavors have their strengths that benefit the specific needs of a user and the hardware that they use.

    It's a pity that being able to choose a distro and tailor it to specific needs is so unknown to the non-Linux user. At the same time this is very understandable. Some people here will hate this but from a marketing perspective this variety of flavors is a weakness. It dilutes the Linux 'brand' and the complexity that comes with choosing a distro is too overwhelming for most users. This on top of the perception that Linux is 'difficult' and that most PC's come with a proprietary OS installed makes the case for Linux on the desktop almost impossible.

    The only way to increase market share is to exploit the biggest weakness of the Windows operating system. At some point in time almost every single user of Windows I know starts complaining how slow the PC has become. Solutions work only temporary and I'm afraid that most users ditch their PC and buy a new one. In fact a major reseller where I live uses this in commercials on national television to sell new PC's (with Windows of course). Think about all these laptops and desktop PC's that end as e-waste just because Windows made them slow. And this while the solution is simple and free, just install Linux.

    My proposal may be somewhat naif. Buy a second hand PC from a thrift shop (you'll be surprised how cheap these are) install Linux on it and donate it to someone that needs a PC. In my experience, once people start working with a modern Linux on a PC they hardly need any help. Hell, a lot of people don't use anything beyond the web browser so no worries about becoming a permanent help desk.


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      Movim, two years later

      ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 11:06 edit · 2 minutes

    It's more than two years ago that I started using the social network #Movim after a tip from an acquaintance. I had left G+ and never wanted to use a centralized social media platform again. I tried the Fediverse (Mastodon and Friendica), Diaspora and Movim but eventually I kept using Movim and Mastodon. The secret of Movim is tranquillity. After logging in for the first time the news stream is empty, much like Diaspora, and it only gets filled with post from people that you follow, communities that you subscribe to and rss feeds. This in combination with an easy to use chat option that gives access to whole #XMPP network makes Movim very powerful.

    It's also incredibly easy to create a community in Movim, although I think community isn't the most appropriate description here. It's more a blog from one or more persons where other users can subscribe to, like and comment in a linear fashion.

    I recently introduced my wife to Movim and the first thing that surprised her is that, contrary to FB, the news stream contained articles worth reading instead of ads and other bs. She also liked the fact that she could use any XMPP-client for chat. Time will tell if she'll keep using it but her initial enthusiasm was very encouraging. (Less encouraging was that her employee laptop denied access to Movim via Chrome while it was okay to access FB and the likes).

    Although, I'm pretty psyched about Movim I would like to see some features. First, coming back to the tranquillity, when in the news stream on the right side five posts of other Movim users appear. I suppose that this is meant for discovery and that's great but in some of the posts I'm less interested but I can't block or hide these posts.

    Also there is no way to block or hide a person entirely. This may become a problem since Movim appears to be becoming more and more popular and with that the interaction between people grows exponentially.

    Currently I'm lazily using the European server of Movim but I (or anyone else) can deploy a self-hosted instance and I'm tempted to experiment with that. I'll probably get back to that.

    Finally, I want to thank Timothée Jaussoin and other contributors for developing Movim and making it available to all of us. It's awesome. And if you read this please consider donating to the Movim project.

    Link to my initial thoughts about Movim: