Free Introductory Mac Strategy Games?

26 09 2009

Ever since my Mom got her new Macbook, she’s been a total flash game addict. Word games, match-the-gem games, silly “get the ball in the bucket” games – the whole gamut.
momsmacShe’s a gamer, but a gamer that’s never been exposed to games beyond these simple mindless toys. Granted, some of them are sort of interesting and fun, but there’s a whole world that she’s never seen.
Now me? I’m into Starcraft, and Civilization, and Eve, and all these epic immersive things. But for someone who has never played the basics, these are completely daunting and will more likely scare her off than intrigue her.
So where do you find the middle ground?
I’m looking for basic, introductory games for the Mac that are free (or really close to free), that should have a basic plot line (even if it’s trivial), and some way of advancing through the game.
We tried FreeCiv, but that’s targeted at people who already grok Civilization, so that’s not going to work. Something simpler than that, along the lines of Master of Orion (the original), Spaceward Ho, etc etc. At some point she tried the original SimCity but that almost ate her brain, and she deleted it. However, this same woman is one of the best players I’ve ever seen at… believe it or not… Crystal Quest. Granted, that’s also a mindless “keep shooting” game, but it takes some serious chops for the upper levels.
So, dear readers, what would you suggest? It can be flash based, or downloadable, needs to run on the Mac, and should have a very basic level of introduction, particularly to turn based gameplay where there’s regular advancement. The first one I’ve come across that comes even remotely close is TradeWinds, a trading game set in Arabia. Very simple gameplay, entertaining, and has a plotline of sorts.
Any others?
(Note – I’ve had reports of people having problems posting comments to the blog. If you have a problem, please send mail to me ( dbs@homeport.org ) and I’ll look into it!)





An Awesome Motorcycle Safety Video

18 09 2009




Roadblocks Overcome – Samba, LDAP, iTunes and Authentication

17 09 2009

It’s time for one of those long chatty posts about goings on at Chez Geek, where obstacles are overcome (and reestablished), perfectly working solutions are broken, and equipment is flung about.
Today’s challenges – getting yawl to play with the other machines nicely.

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Nick Cave – There She Goes My Beautiful World

14 09 2009

One of the things I love dearly about Radio Paradise is the constant exposure to music I would never have found under other circumstances.
A couple times I’ve heard tracks from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and sometimes they’ve hit pretty hard, but the one that got me today is the track “There She Goes My Beautiful World”. It came up on rotation on my laptop while coding, and I had to pause to listen… which naturally made me look around for the lyrics (it’s a long song and doesn’t suffer from the common “there’s really only 3 verses in this song, we’ll just yammer them over and over again” beat so prevalent in modern music.
I decided to do a little googling, and found the lyrics on songmeanings.net (a little heavy on the ads, but some remarkably good commentary from listeners). The song is about someone longing for their muse – their inspiration and their drive to share, express, and excel, coupled with release and need.
Interested? Video and lyrics after the cut… I recommend headphones. Cave is an expressive and intense presenter, though no one would call his vocals beautifully melodic. The arrangement on this track, with the backing singers, is wonderful…

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“keming”

4 09 2009

As shared with me by some friends tonight.
See IronicSans.com for the full dirt.





Silly net meme. Fast typing!

4 09 2009

452 points, so you achieved position 347 of 82048 on the ranking list
You type 562 characters per minute
You have 106 correct words and
you have 0 wrong words

I ran it through twice, improving the second time (from 95 up to 106). It takes a full minute of fast typing to make it work, and I feel silly chalking off my day in one minute increments just to get a higher ranking 🙂
The silly little “past this code!” thing is:
106 words

Typingtest





OSX Snow Leopard MySQL startup problem – Fixed!

2 09 2009

I do a lot of work on MySQL as part of the CONGO project (oh, and incidentally, as part of my full time job), so I was somewhat stymied when, after my upgrade to Snow Leopard (aka OSX 10.6.0), I was unable to start my local MySQL server – I’d get this:

yacht:~ dbs$ sudo /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start
Password:
Could not find MySQL startup script!

It turns out that as part of the MySQL upgrade, the path to the MySQL installation changed (or a symlink was removed, or something to that effect) – at any rate, /usr/local/mysql no longer existed.
Easy enough to fix, just put a symlink in:

yacht:~ dbs$ cd /usr/local
yacht:local dbs$ ls -ldt mysql*
drwxr-xr-x  17 root  wheel  578 Sep  1 00:31 mysql-5.1.37-osx10.5-x86_64
yacht:local dbs$ sudo ln -s mysql-5.1.37-osx10.5-x86_64/ mysql
yacht:local dbs$ ls -ldt mysql*
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel   28 Sep  2 12:52 mysql -> mysql-5.1.37-osx10.5-x86_64/
drwxr-xr-x  17 root  wheel  578 Sep  1 00:31 mysql-5.1.37-osx10.5-x86_64

After making the symlink, the startup script ran just fine:

yacht:local dbs$ cd /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/
yacht:MySQLCOM dbs$ sudo ./MySQLCOM start
Starting MySQL database server
yacht:MySQLCOM dbs$ _

I share this to ya’ll for the betterment of geek-kind. 🙂