Guy's Prize

Guy found a prize a few days ago. Someone must have dressed out a deer not far away, so he showed up with part of a leg and a lot of dirt on his nose. Now every time we go outside, he has to go check on it and chase away any cats. A few nights ago, he tried to bring it inside. When I told him no, he stayed out on the porch guarding it for a couple hours until he got cold enough to come in without it.

I bought a pair of rubber boots yesterday, and had to get 14s to get a pair that slipped on easily as the 12s I bought a few years ago. Either my feet have been growing, or boot sizes are shrinking. I don’t think it’s my feet.

I’ve been having writer’s block lately, or at least blogger’s block. I did knock out about a thousand words for the intro of my Farscape series the other day, but that’s a different thing. I could try to plow through by writing about having writer’s block, but that would surely be even more boring to read than it would be to write about.

So how about a technical topic.

I’ve run FreeBSD on my workstation since about 2000, when I started using it on servers. I just prefer it to Linux, for a variety of reasons that I think I’ve written about before. There’s one area where it suffers, though: commercial games. Most open source games are available in the ports tree, but on commercial games we’re out in the cold where Linux was 20 years ago. Many commercial games come for Linux now, but not for FreeBSD.

So I get around that by running Linux or Windows in a virtual machine using VirtualBox. That works fine for older games that aren’t too demanding. It’s not great for newer games that really need hardware 3D, though. VirtualBox only supports OpenGL 2.1 for 3D graphics; and Stardew Valley, for instance, requires 3.0. So the only way to play Stardew is to turn off hardware 3D and let it use software rendering. That mostly works, but once in a while the framerate drops and gets really choppy for several seconds, then comes out of it. FTL does something similar, bogging down on certain screens with a lot of moving parts in the background. I tried pushing more CPUs at it, but that didn’t seem to make a difference.

I can’t complain, because it’s amazing that we can run virtual systems on systems in the first place. The ideal solution would probably be to get a second PC for gaming and run Linux on it. I can’t see doing that to make a couple games work better, though, when most of the games I play work fine as-is. All my old Commodore 64 games play great.

I get a kick out of this one. There’s some interesting symbolism in it (notice which two run together the whole time), but who knows whether that’s intentional. Mostly it’s just fun, and a good song.