Installing Ubuntu on a x86 tablet – Yay or [segfault/panic/….. [failed]

As I mentioned on twitter a few times I got my hands on a cheap Windows 10 tablet by Vonino. I previously had a Vonino Tablet running Android and it really did pack a good bang for it’s buck giving me a 1080p screen, 3G connection and HDMI output. When I saw that the iMart QSL tablet was a fully (debatable) x86 tablet with HDMI out, 4G and a full USB Port I just had to get it. It’s a cheap tablet though (round 200$/€) and you can see that in the build quality (the back almost seems 3D printed with a cheap printer) and the screen isn’t quite so good. However it’s windows 10 performance was pretty decent (used it to play/test/develop a few Unity 3D games I have on the backburner and they were flawless). So I naturally decided to scrap windows 10, throw out the warranty and install Ubuntu on it because I REALLY HATE NICE THINGS!

Prerequisites
  • Backup your Windows Install and mark down your Windows 8/8.1/10 serial code! I didn’t so short of buying a new license, I have no way to install Win10 again! Clever me…
  • Get a 8gb+ usb to burn Ubuntu on it
  • Have a usb hub ready to plug in! You will need a mouse and keyboard to plug in, besides the usb stick with the OS on it.
  • Optionally but highly recommended, get yourself a wifi adaptor module that works well with Linux! The onboard Wifi card is guaranteed not to work!
  • A (virtual)notebook to write down your partitions, kernel versions and what else might be needed

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VNC VR – a volatile solution or a virtually amazing revolution?

Let’s get this straight: If it’s unconventional, weird, untested and surely not enterprise ready in the near future then I am interested in it! A while ago I used an Android tablet as my main work platform and even though it worked, the negatives outwitted the positive. I know it’s doable, I’ve done it and I can see myself doing it again in certain circumstances. But since I truly am on the path towards becoming a internet enabled masochist I decided to go one step further and take my brain and eyes for a more unconventional spin: Attempt to do some remote work using Virtual Reality!

cardboard_hereNow I know how this sounds but bear with me! At heart, the concept of virtual workspaces sounds like a great solution to allot of on-the-go work, office space and expensive 30” inch monitors that people like me love to stack! Let’s be honest, even a huge laptop cannot be a true replacement for that sweet multiple display-based work station you grind away at work/home! We love our multiple monitors and there’s no shame in it. And this is were I think VR truly has the chance to shine! Where ever you go, where ever you sit, as long as you have a VR Head Mounted Display and a device that can connect to the internet you can, technically speaking, have 20 monitors surround you and work in any environments with no visual distractions! The downside? There’s no way to test this theory for now, at least no with more than 1 monitor but hey, I’ll work with what I have.

vr_cameraThe tools of the trade?

  • Android Smartphone
  • A google cardboard case
  • A ubuntu server (I’m using a @digitalocean droplet for this one)
  • A VR-enabled VNC app

or

  • Any VNC app with Native SideBySide for Android.
  • A Logitech K480 bluetooth keyboard
  • A Microsoft Designer Mouse

The smarthphone I’m using is Nexus 4 with Android 5.0.1 and an Asus Zenfon Go with 5.1.1. The N4 is the main display since it’s the only one of the two phones with a 1080 resolution. I could go about with Zenfon and it’s 1 extra inch but the fact that it lacks a gyroscope leaves the experience lacking. My home router (a TP-Link WR740N) seems to hate VNC so much that it crashes every time I setup a connection to a server on the same network so I had to go for a remote solution to test things out. As such I relied on good-ol’-same-ol’ digital ocean for this experiment. Now for the actual remote app, we can use two different approaches: Continue reading

Using Unity (3D) 5 on Ubuntu! How does it fair?

It’s 2016 and that means I get a fresh new attempt to update my development environment! I’ve dropped MOAI and my Chaurus framework 5-6 months ago, in favor of Unity. Been using Unity 5 at work for quite a while now and I’m comfortable enough with it. And since Unity officially embraced Linux as a development platform I decided to take it for a spin on my home development computer. How does it fair? Egh….. it kinda works!

Installing Unity 5 on Ubuntu 15.10

Ubuntu is the officially (yet unofficially) supported Linux distribution for running Unity 5. To install it all you have to do is download the latest .deb file from the release post on the Experimental Linux forums from Unity3D.com. Make sure you scroll down to the last post to get the latest version. Download the .deb file, run it and install it via the Software Center. Other debian-based distros can also get away with installing Unity via the .deb file using GDebi or the terminal. There is also a platform agnostic script on the forums, but you are required to hunt down and install all needed dependencies manually. The download is 1.1GB in size so, depending on your internet connection, you might want to brew yourself a cup of coffee think really hard about your choices in life. Now, once the download is over….

5 Bugs you are going to run into after the download completes

Yep, there’s a reason the forum category is called Linux Editor Support & Feedback (Experimental)! First bug that is bound to creep out on you will be the Unity Splash Screen and a blank window titled “Recent”! There are the default screens you see when you load up Unity on Windows or OSX (and now Linux ♥) only instead of allowing you to load up or create a new project it will just stay there and wait! Now this happens because the “Recent Panel” is searching for project files in a folder it never got around to create. Continue reading

[Blazejam]: Tools and Software

The first step one must take in order to win a battle is to prepare, to prepare mentally, physically and tie his shoe laces. You can’t just win a battle if your pants keep falling or if your horse was kept unfed for a few weeks! Thus, in order to spare to some time and avoid running into certain problems during Blazejam, I decided to prepare myself by selecting the tools I will use this weekend! After pondering for a while, it all came down to this:

LOVE2D
LOVE is a framework for making 2D games in the Lua programming language. It’s free, powerful, with a good amount of documentation and a great community. It’s also cross platform and can be deployed as a .love package (.zip->.love) or as a binary for Windows and Linux. There are also a few community projects that focus on deploying love binaries for the Android, Pandora and even a JS interpreter which allow the game to be played inside a browser (JS + HTML5)!
Project homepage: Love2D.org

Lua Development Tools by @koneki
I’ve been using LUA for my game-dev projects for a few years now. I remember first starting with LuaForNDS, then embedding it in my own games and applications. On Windows I used Notepad++ for my little scripts but not long ago, I moved all my machines to Linux (Ubuntu to be precisely). I’ve tried several text editors (EMACS, GEDIT and even Sublime Text) but I felt that they lacked the feel of an actual ide. This is were @Koneki stepped in with it’s eclipse based IDE for Lua developers. Besides the usual Syntax Highlighting, LDT offers a wide variety of features like “error marking”, “code folding”, “code templates”, “code formatter” and last but not least, a Debugger! It’s fast (feels lightweight) and the key bindings are made in HEAVEN! If love at first sight would apply to software and tools then that would be my first impression towards LDT!
Project homepage: eclipse.org/Koneki

GIMP
There’s just one thing I miss about working in a Windows Environment: Paint.NET! I’ve spent the last 3 years working with it daily, doing schematics, drawing ugly concepts, making placeholder textures or just fooling around in it! It’s ease of use solved allot of headache’s for me. I’ve tried looking for open source/paid alternatives but nothing came close to the real deal. I’ve tried using PINTA, a drawing application which tries to replicate the functionality of Paint.NET but I couldn’t get used to it. So I decided to try out GIMP! The work-flow is quite different from what I’m used to, but luckily for me, there are hundreds and hundreds of articles and tutorials out there to help a beginner get used to GIMP.
Project homepage: gimp.org

Ubuntu 12.04 and a virtualized Windows 7
I’m a big fan of the Ubuntu movement! I first came in contact with it in 2006, with version 6.04 (if I’m not mistaken) and since then, I always had at least one machine running it! It matured allot since then and I now use it as my primary Operating System. The entire game I’m making for Blazejam will be developed on Ubuntu. Windows 7 will run under VirtualBox in order to build a Windows executable for the game.
Project homepage: ubuntu.com
Virtual Box: virtualbox.org

SFXr
SFXr first caught my eye while reading a few posts about Ludumdare. A huge part of the LD jamming community was using it for their games and they were all pleased with the results. It’s a simple tool, made by DrPetter specially for Ludum Dare which generates random sound effects which can then be tweaked through an old school interface. It’s simple, reliable and FUN!
Project homepage: drpetter.se