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      OpenTTD, a remake of Transport Tycoon

      news.movim.eu / 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)

      news.movim.eu / 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: https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/archive/0.19.tar.gz. The appimage should follow soon (same for the OSX and Windows compiled versions).

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      Donate a Linux PC.

      news.movim.eu / 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

      news.movim.eu / 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: https://homehack.nl/movim-floss-alternative-for-hangouts/

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      Self-hosting a server, what to install?

      news.movim.eu / open-source-software · Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 12:50 · 1 minute

    Last weekend my wife got so annoyed with her iCloud combo that she asked me if I could help her with an alternative cloud solution for her iPhone. She uses iCloud to sync and share documents.

    Long before that I was already thinking about a self-hosted server in our home where could I run some services on. I never actually went ahead to execute that idea since I was reluctant to install and maintain such a server. Now with the request from my wife I started looking deeper into the matter and selected three possible software packages that let me easily (or so I think) host our own server: Freedombox, Sandstorm.io and Yunohost. From these three, all free (as in freedom) software of course, Freedombox appears to be have the least number of apps which could be a problem later on (e.g. when I decide to run my own Movim server). On the other side we have Yunohost which not only has a huge amount of apps, but also supports about every app in the Fediverse. On top of that it supports Movim. When in comes to apps Sandstorm.io is somewhere in the middle between these two.

    I didn't want to let this opportunity slip so I already ordered an Intel NUC. When it arrives I can start testing.

    I'm a noob in this area so any input or experience from you guys is much appreciated.

    #Yunohost, #Freedombox, #Sandstormio

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      Freedom in the Cloud (ten years later)

      news.movim.eu / open-source-software · Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 - 12:59 edit · 2 minutes

    After a conversation here on Movim yesterday I again watched the famous speech of Eben Moglen on that Friday night in 2010 at the ISOC-NY. That speech has influenced me greatly. It was the first time that I realised that client-server infrastructure of the internet is a huge problem. This very infrastructure ensured that all the data were aggregated and used (or abused) by the ones that owned the servers. At the same time the clients were being deprived of power. And that with the accumulation of servers in a data centre and he virtualisation of the servers (cloud) these owners were getting even more powerful.

    I wasn't the only one that was influenced by this speech of Eben. It also marked the beginning of the development of Diaspora. As it happens some of the initial developers of Diaspora were present at that Friday night at ISOC-NY and it inspired them to build the Diaspora software.

    A lot has changed the last ten years, and I will get to that, but what hasn't changed is the client-server infrastructure, the source of evil. If anything the power of ones that own the servers like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple and even Twitter has increased greatly. And as a consequence the ones working on the client side have become even more powerless. Snowden (2013) and Cambridge Analytica (2016) are just a few examples that demonstrate that this abuse of the 'architecture of the catastrophe' took directions that we (or I) couldn't have envisioned.

    On the plus side since 2010 a lot of developments have started to halt this catastrophe. Some were more successful than other but it's undeniable that if someone is looking for a free (as in freedom) alternative right now a lot more options are available than 10 years ago. Also these options seem to be sustainable and rather successful. The #Fediverse with Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube, Funkwhale, Pixelfed, Lemmy and others has made great progress since the introduction of the #ActivityPub protocol. #XMPP has made great progress with the introduction of advanced clients like Conversations, Movim and Gajim.

    It appears that #Freedombox hasn't lived up to it's expectations. The development of Freedombox was initiated by Eben and allows to set up a simple private server in your home. The last time I checked even Diaspora was not supported by Freedombox making social networking with it impossible. Luckily other initiatives have taken flight such as #Yunohost. They make it easy to self-host a server and install software for blog, chat, social networking, online storage and file sharing. Yunohost and others bring the dream of Eben closer of a peer-to-peer network instead of a client-server network.

    Another noteworthy development is Scuttlebutt, a client-based peer-to-peer application for encrypted social network. Just install the app on your PC or phone (Manyverse) and communicate directly with others that installed the app.

    Or Briar, a client for messaging that uses Bluetooth, WiFi and the Tor network to communicate. The need to host your own server has been replaced by simply installing an app that doesn't rely on a central server. Even if the internet is down the information keeps flowing over WiFi and Bluetooth.

    Although we still live in the catastrophe that Eben spoke about there are more possibilities to escape and it appears that more and more people are discovering this. With every scandal, every update of the term of service a wave of new users appears on the networks that I mentioned above and that's something to be grateful about but it should also motivate us to keep fighting for a free (as in freedom) internet.

    • Eben Moglen - Freedom In The Cloud (2010)

      Everyone wants a piece of you these days: Google, Facebook, Flickr, Apple, AT&T, Bing. They'll give you free e-mail, free photo storage, free web hosting, even a free date. They just want to listen in. And you can't wait to let them. They'll store your stuff, they'll organize your photos, they'll keep track of your appointments, as long as they can watch. It all goes into the "Cloud" Eben Moglen is a Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University and the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center freedomboxfoundation.org softwarefreedom.org emoglen.law.columbia.edu

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      What is Lemmy

      news.movim.eu / open-source-software · Thursday, 31 December, 2020 - 11:36 edit · 1 minute

    I've got a confession to make. Since I left Google+ and Reddit two years ago I always missed the community approach of both social networks. Don't get me wrong I love XMPP (or Movim in my case) and Mastodon. I love their ease of use and the possibilities to communicate. I love the ease to set up a chatroom or a microblog in Movim. And I love that they are federated and operate without a giant company behind it that preys on my data. However both on Movim and Mastodon it's hard for me to have a structured conversation around one single topic (e.g. cycling or 3dprinting). It's for that reason that lately I've spend time on Lemmy. Lemmy is easiest described as a federated Reddit alternative. Communities are fundamental for Lemmy. Every post has to be posted in one of the communities. If the community doesn't exist the user can create one themself. Post don't get buried by hundreds of other posts and discussion threads are easy to follow. I'm currently on lemmy.ml which appears to be the most general purpose and the largest server in terms of subscribers but you can run your own server if you want to. The numbers of users of Lemmy is currently growing rapidly but only time will tell what portion of users remain active.

    The beauty is that Movim, Mastodon and Lemmy (and all other federated social networks) serve different purposes so I don't have to choose. They can co-exist and enable people to optimize their online social needs.

    #lemmy #fediverse

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      Dust3d Modeling software

      news.movim.eu / open-source-software · Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 - 09:39

    I've been working with #Dust3D lately. Dust3D is cross platform 3d modeling software that creates watertight models. I've always admired Blender as a great piece of software but was also intimidated by the complex user interface. Dust3D has a very clean interface and once I got the hang of it, it was very easy to work with. In Dust3D the user creates and connects nodes but instead of working in 3d the user works in 2d. How is this done? The user works with two 2d projections, one along the x-axis (front) and one along the z-axis (side). It takes a little time to get used to but once I did it starts making a lot of sense. My 3d models are becoming better and better. I suppose that the people that can benefit from Dust3D are 3d modelers, 3d printers, game designers and 3d animators.

    #3dprinting #3dmodeling

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      Advent of

      news.movim.eu / open-source-software · Monday, 7 December, 2020 - 09:36

    OpenSCAD Advent Calendar 2020

    I suppose most people here are familair with the Advent of Code, an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. Thorsten Paul has created a neat advent calendar website of work created with OpenSCAD. These are not puzzles but small programs that can be downloaded and opened in OpenSCAD. An excellent way to get to know OpenSCAD a little better and if you have a 3D printer you're able to print most of them.