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Posts tagged “Free Open Source Software

Kickstarter Highlight – Embroidermodder 2

Help Embroidermodder 2 out on Kickstarter!

So, the team who came up with Embroidermodder 2 approached me, explaining their product and I thought “What a great idea!” but what is Embroidermodder 2?

As the name itself suggests, Embroidermodder 2 is something to do with Embroidery. Before we get into the Kickstarter campaign, here’s a very quick overview of what Embroidery is!

Embroidery

Embroidery is a sewing skill which dates as far back as the warring states era of China. To those unaware, this is the era that Dynasty Warriors (Great game series) loosely covers. Embroidery is the art of using sewing to decorate something (Usually fabrics) with thread and needle.

Thanks Wikipedia for providing this great example of embroidery! All of that was done by hand! Yikes!

The skill of embroidery is an important skill within cosplay. A lot of lazier or newer cosplayers (Like me!) are more used to fabric paints. By making a “stencil”, you can go ahead and just slop some fabric paint over, let it dry and all is good for the fabric! However, in terms of that really professional finish, for the longer term and more skilled cosplayers, there is embroidery.

Embroidery is used extensively around the world, in fashion and in cosplay.

Why back Embroidermodder 2?

Well, first of all, I learned that this is a Open-Source Software. This means, if you’ve got some coding know how, you can alter some of the code, which will help you make your embroidery in any way you see fit. Useful!

This also means you are free to use the program at no cost to you, should you want to “try before you buy”. Just note, that “Try” is the full program!

Linux is built on Open-Source Software - It's free!

Linux is built on Open-Source Software, too!

For those non-coders, why back this?

The first and foremost reason is the cost. Embroidery software is something I was completely unaware of until I found out about Embroidermodder 2 – It’s extortionate!

When I typed in “Embroidery Software” into Google, this was the first result. £1,100 – I don’t know the software in question, but that is very expensive. Perhaps it’s for the professionals of the world – I really don’t know how good the software is, so I won’t judge that. Instead, I’ll say that Embroidermodder 2 should be a fair bit cheaper than that!

Are you someone who wants to get some embroidery onto your cosplays, but do not want to do it all by hand? Good idea, why not start easy by working with the embroidery software?

Embroidery software is a special application where you can create a digital version of your embroidery, then visualise it in a 3D rendered environment. Then, you can create an embroidery file of your pattern to be and put it into an embroidery machine. For mass production, embroidery machines really ease the time it takes.

Rendered in program!

How much do they need?

$55,000 is their target. They have 25 days (As of this writing) left on their campaign.

That’s a high and ambitious target – I hope they manage to get the funding they need for this project, as the idea is excellent.

Here’s some of the perks for backing them:

  • Pledge $5 or more

    Our sincere thanks. Every bit helps. This will allow you to receive project updates on our Kickstarter campaign.

  • Pledge $20 or more

    Your name listed in the credits.

  • Pledge $25 or more

    Use of the Embroidermodder font in any project you desire. Plus your name listed in the credits.

  • Pledge $50 or more

    Backer Pack, font, plus your name listed in the credits.

How the program looks – Seems they like Linux, too!

Features

  • Cross-Platform support (Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as Raspberry Pi and Arduino support!)
  • The Arduino support shocked me, personally. It means you can, in theory, make your own embroidery machines if you want to get really “techy” about it!
  • Creates embroidery files which should be supported by most embroidery machines.
  • Scripting API (To allow the programmers out there to alter away at their embroidery program, adding extra functionality and so on!)
  • Different stitching types
  • Much more than I can list here!

Conclusion

Okay, so embroidery isn’t something we’d normally focus on here on GeekOut – But as a cosplayer, I can see the uses. It actually got me interested in the field of embroidery and hey, maybe further down the line I will have to give it all a go!

Strike that, further down the line, I know it will be useful for my costumes. I know of at least one costume that will need it, already… But that’s a costume for another day and way down the line in my life as a cosplayer in the making!

What do you think of this kind of software? Think mixing technology with such a refined skill is the way forward? Do you prefer to just do it by hand? Why not go and have a quick look, anyway?

Are you a cosplayer? Have you ever done any embroidery before? Why not share us some links for pictures of your projects if so!

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Linux Gaming

After a conversation brought up on a fantastic post, I thought I’d talk about gaming on Linux. So before we delve too deep into what games are available, let’s talk about what Linux is, what is the point of Linux, what are the benefits (And the negatives) of using Linux and how you can get started.

My Linux distribution

At the time of writing, I’m not using the optimal distribution for my Linux build. I run a Linux-based Operating System (OS) called Ubuntu and I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin). Now you might be wondering “What the heck does a Precise Pangolin have to do with this?” – Each major revision of Ubuntu has a codename, this one happens to be Precise Pangolin. Perfect.

I picked this build as it was the Ubuntu Long-Term Support (LTS) which means that if anything goes wrong, your build will be supported officially. The LTS lasts for 2 years before it goes onto the next LTS (So the next one will be version 14.04, set to come out this year). Now, this might be a lot of jargon for people who don’t know what Linux is all about or what it can do for gaming. Carry on below!

Hardware

My hardware is pretty outdated in all fairness. I have a GeForce 9600 GX graphics card with 4GB of RAM. I run an Intel i3 which is overclocked at 4ghz p/core and with a 750w Power Supply Unit (PSU). I use a 7200RPM 126GB HDD, but I’ve got a 500GB one just… Sat here… Doing nothing!

So my hardware isn’t very well optimised by any stretch of the imagination. So how can I do gaming!? Well, on this rig, which wouldn’t be too expensive to buy now-a-days (£200ish, I’d wager!) I was even able to play games such as Skyrim. So don’t think “My computer is too old for gaming” – ever! Unless your computer cannot run a modern operating system. With this being said…

My transition to Linux

Tux, the Linux mascot.

My transition to Linux was met mostly with me being really stubborn, unwilling to move and over glorifying Windows. Let me break this down, though:

I started with praising Windows and Microsoft in general. I was saying how “Windows has made it all easy” to which the response to me would always be “Yes, but you also don’t know enough of what’s going on.” To me, that didn’t matter. Computing was easy with Windows and that is where everyone was, so why should I go to something that might require a few more seconds of set up time and it’s less popular?

I decided though, that I’d give this whole “Linux malarkey” a try, since hey, I call myself a technology lover! So, I boot up a virtual machine and I get a hold of this one called “Ubuntu”, which just so happens to be the most popular (Citation needed) distribution of Linux. I grabbed myself some software to run a virtual machine (VirtualBox) and grabbed an Ubuntu iso.

Please note: This software is free and open source, hence I was able to grab an ISO, which is one of the ways the developers distribute their operating system. Don’t believe me? http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop for more information.

The day Windows collapsed (For me)

Windows 8 had been released and I didn’t like the way it looked, not one bit. I was playing on my computer as per usual, when suddenly and dramatically, it gave me the dreaded Blue Screen of Death! Cue the dramatic music. Yes, it all happened around the time Windows 8 was released – But I’m not blaming Windows 8 for anything, it literally just happened that way.

So, after some examination, I decided: “I need to reinstall Windows.” – It was pretty far gone. Memory issues (not hard drive space, but issues allocating memory properly.) No idea how it managed to get that bad, not my magical Windows… But, I didn’t have my Windows 7 disk. This wasn’t looking good. Head in my hands, I looked at… It. That Ubuntu distribution which I had also put onto a pen drive in the month – Just because it was so easy…

Reformat. Boot from USB… And there it was.

The Ubuntu installation wizard was there in front of me… And it is no harder than installing Windows. In other words, it was very easy.

See? It even tells you what you have and don’t have. -Disclaimer- This was taken from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GraphicalInstall

Why I have not gone back

Several reasons:

From a really intuitive command line (Typing sudo apt-get install (Package name) will search repositories for any package by that name and will then proceed to install it) to a very customisable operating system, Linux/Ubuntu is a techies heaven. With all the source code editable, you can do whatever you want to do with your computer. This, to me, made it very appealing.

But what about all the games I lost out on? Sure, there have been a number, including the phenominal Saints Row 4 (I am a big fan of the Saints Row series)… But, we know there has been a shift for more Linux gamers recently.

A request

I’m one man. Statistically, that makes me irrelevant. I understand this, but if you’re a developer and you’re reading this, I’m not going to tell you to “Produce games only for Linux”. I’m going to ask you, instead, “Please, consider making your game available on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.”

I won’t pretend to know everything about porting your game, as I barely know anything at all about such things! However, there are lots of resources for porting your game over to Linux now-a-days. With this being said, I won’t keep on at you all if your game isn’t on Linux, it’s not for everyone and the world understands. It doesn’t matter what language you use, for the most part, there are ways to port your game over… And I, a Linux gamer, would be incredibly interested to hear from you if you’re planning a Linux port!

My personal Steam list

When I started on Ubuntu, Valve just announced and released Steam for Ubuntu. This was an incredible turn of events for me and when I started, I only had around 10 of my roughly 100 games for Linux. It was quite a sad time, but hey, I persevered and I am glad I did.

Now, as you can see, I have quite a filling list… A lot of these games: I’ve yet to play!

My steam library - Well, a fair bit of it. 54 of my 121 games are available on Linux.

My steam library – Well, a fair bit of it. 54 of my 121 games are available on Linux.

If you think you see a game on that list you’d like to see reviewed on this site, let me know and I’ll do it for you guys. Just for you guys. Don’t tell anyone else. Okay, tell everyone else.

Let me know what you’d like to see and if you’d like to see more information on Ubuntu, please do visit http://www.ubuntu.com/ . More free open source software is a great thing, but if you do end up downloading Ubuntu and enjoying it, please consider donating to them, as it helps keep them going. It gets them coffee in the mornings to develop nice apps and updates to your computers for free.

One thing to note, a majority of my games are what are considered “Indie” games. Take what you will from that, I’ll review whatever is on the list.

The other games on my list (not many more) are:

  • Rush
  • Secret of the Magic Crystal (I was gifted this. Oh boy.)
  • Snapshot
  • Space Pirates and Zombies (When I first tried, it crashed first time… I’m sure I can get it to work)
  • Strike Suit Zero
  • Super Hexagon
  • Superfrog HD
  • Surgeon Simulator 2013
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • Toki Tori
  • Trine 2
  • Worms Reloaded

Thanks to all the readers who make this worthwhile :) You rock.