Game On in 48 hours

At http://lucidion.uwcs.co.uk/gce/2005/ you will find the entries that several teams from Warwick university made in a 48 hour codathon. The aim was to produce a decent quality game in 48 hours straight one weekend. I was asked to be a judge as our university relations (hi Yvonne) looked me up our internal directory and found I had been a serious gamer for many year and some experience in creating games quickly. It might be worth mentioning that there is a good book on amazon “Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever ” for those people that maybe dont take gaming seriously.

Anyway, the games, and my ramblings on the games can be found all at the URL above. Enjoy

Dont forget to look at gametomorrow where we discuss the future of this type of entertainment

Ian Hughes (Emerging Technology Hursley)

Fund Raising Baking Day

I organised a fund raising ‘BAKING DAY’ for charity at work yesterday (in Hursley) to raise money for Children In Need. It was a brilliant day, so many people brought in home-baked goodies, cakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits, brownies, fudge etc and we sold them ALL. We raised quite a lot of money and had a fun day :o)

We counted the money yesterday and added the UK tax return thingy (if you are a UK resident), and it came upto just under 300. However we still have a couple of games and raffles that we haven’t collected the money for, so I will update you with our latest funds raised soon.

To see photos of what my colleagues and I baked please check out my pics.

Here is an example:
Homemade Fun Cupcakes for Sale!

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Who We Are Helping:
Children In Need is an annual event that raises money and gives it to charities and projects that work to improve the lives of children and young people throughout the UK.

The donated money goes towards many things including helping children with severe physical disabilities, helping underprivileged children while their mother receives treatment for a life-threatening medical condition,
looking after children with cancer, paying for therapy sessions for sexually-abused children, paying for counselling sessions for children affected by violence at home etc.

It’s Coming

At the moment almost nobody uses Linux on their desktop; even in Hursley. Windows is everywhere but in the short time that I have worked here (~ a year), I have noticed a difference! Linux desktops are definately increasing in number.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend that most people install Linux, Windows is (in my opinion) currently better for the average desktop user. If you split computer users into four broad types then I would suggest that some of them might look into Linux:

  • Complete Novices: This type of user is going to need some hand-holiding and what they use should depend on what their friendly “expert” is comfortable with. If my Gran got a computer, I would install Linux – I’d set it up for her and have a couple of icons on the desktop. She would use those and not dream of changing the setup or installing new hardware without my help – Linux would be ideal, I wouldn’t have to worry about viruses etc. and I’d be comfortable answering questions because I’d be intimately familiar with the system.
  • Normal Users: The largest group of users and, at the moment, I think they should steer well clear of Linux. My Dad uses Windows, he might buy a scanner or a new camera, plug it in an expect it to just work. Windows is still way ahead in this area – hardware manufacturers often don’t support Linux, the market is too small and installing drivers can often be fiddly. Windows just works. Linux (currently) doesn’t – there is no competition yet (even the CEO of Redhat agrees).
  • Experts: These are people who know and understand computers, but are different to my fourth category (geeks) because for them the computer is a tool. Most of this group of people use Windows, it’s easier to setup and certainly in the past would have made them more productive but I think that is on the cusp of changing, I’ll elaborate on this in a minute.
  • Geeks: The difference between a geek and an expert is that geeks fiddle with computers for fun. Basically the only people who currently use Linux as a desktop OS fall into this category. Many geeks currently use Windows but have played with Linux on and off. I think many geeks will soon ensure they have access to Linux because I think this is where computers are changing most quickly. Even when innovation happens on other platforms, it quickly comes to Linux as well. Because Linux is evolving so fast little, tiny ideas are appearing that might take a while to appear on other platforms.

So although some geeks have been using Linux for a while, experts haven’t. For them it is all about the applications. They are arriving… Fast!

Applications, applications, applications

Total Cost of all these applications? 0.00

Given that people here at Hursley are either Experts or Geeks, I hope a few more might take a look at Fedora, Ubuntu or one of the other Linux distributions that include the majority of the programs listed above. There will be some initial setup pain but I think some people at least will never want to go back.