Warcraft III on Ubuntu 12.04

Installing Ubuntu on the MacBook recently, I knew there would be a bunch of OSX programs I would no longer be able to run but I was pretty confident that I’d be able to get some Windows programs going with wine. Having had good luck with Temple of Elemental Evil on the Elitebook last December, it was as simple as copying over my .wine folder to bring that over to the MacBook, and it seems to work well (so far). I was a little worried about WarCraft III since I hadn’t ever tried that on the Elitebook – I’d always run it under OSX, but as it turned out, that wasn’t anything to worry about either. Hey, I realize this is a 10 year old game, but its one of my favorites and I like to putter around in it from time to time! My notes on getting it set up follow.

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Retro gaming: Warcraft II on Ubuntu

Backstory: The kids have been using an old and relatively slow (Celeron) IBM Thinkpad R60e running Ubuntu 10.04. [update 130317: tested and working on 12.04] There have been a lot of configuration tweaks over the past year, including adding the Angerthas and Tengwar fonts for those all-important letters to friends in Dwarvish or Elvish. The installation of VLC so they can watch any Doctor Who ever made (I have them all in mp4 format). As for gaming, Tux Paint, Super Tux Kart, and Super Tux are perennial favorites, but Armagetron Advanced and various 2D puzzle games get alot of attention. The laptop also serves well for frequent visits to Webkinz (though the recent release of some kind of hamster critters at first didn’t work in flash but used some proprietary plugin which didn’t work in Linux. We got around this by running Windows in Virtualbox but what a hassle just for a 3D first-person marble madness maze game which sucked (they recently released a flash version but the kids quickly lost interest in it anyway).

This post is supposed to be about Warcraft!
I was a big fan of Warcraft II when it first came out and used to have LAN parties all the time with friends to play it and the kids really wanted to play that. Running it inside Virtualbox was waaay too slow, and I couldn’t get it to go full screen anyway. Also, I have another slow System76 meerkat (also underpowered) hooked up to the old TV with a VGA adapter (and also running Ubuntu 10.04) [now 12.04 as well] and the kids are *obviously* going to want to play against each other! Since this post was written in 2010 I’ve installed Ubuntu on my MacBook and set this up on there as well. Thankfully, installing Warcraft II in Ubuntu is pretty much a solved problem.

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Sundog is by far one of my most favorite games from the 1980s. Originally written for the Apple II in 1984 by Wayne Holder and Bruce Webster and released by FTL games (founded by Wayne Holder in 1982), I didn’t play it until version 3.0 was released as a port to the Atari ST in 1985. Sundog was just one of the successes of FTL. Any gamer awake around that time would recognize that other big FTL hit game series, Dungeon Master.
Thankfully, I can still play Sundog on my Mac using NoSTalgia 1.42. This emulator hasn’t been updated in several years, but it works well. Of course, you’ll need the game ROM to play the game as well. note: I have it on good authority you’ll find it on Automation Experts 116.

sundog12.jpgThe original intent behind this post was to write up a history of the game and review the gameplay a bit, until I discovered this has already been done by Maury Markowitz, and quite well in my opinion. update 131226: Maury’s Sundog site moved and I have now updated the link to it – so go check it out! Ian Hadfield’s Sundog Information Page has loads of information about the various cities, planets, and commodity exchanges in Sundog.

10 most important games of all time

If ever there was a topic that just smacks of flame bait, this is it. CNET reports that there are a few folks with credentials enough to dare play that particular game though, and have compiled a chronological list of the most important video games of all time, and have submitted it for review and potential permanent preservation to the U.S. Library of Congress. Although I wasn’t even born when the first on the list (Spacewar, 1962) hit screens, I *do* remember Star Raiders on the Atari in 1979. Others on the list are equally memorable. Is the list definitive? Will these be the games that define our generation in 200 years when they are all thats left? Time to fire up the the Atari emulator for some Star Raiders!

Star Raiders, Atari 1979

AdvanceMame (and Menu)

I’ve been playing retro games for a long while, struggling to run the old ROMs even back when I used Windows, before I switched to Linux for my home machine, almost 7 years ago now, using various emulators. M.A.M.E. has always been a favorite of mine, since it allows me to play all those great old arcade games that I had pumped so many quarters into in years past. On the Mac, I’ve used…

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