reblog-my-tech-trekGlad to see this article from Matt Peckham. I’ve been an on again, off again, Linux user and have tried many different distros’ through the years. My biggest attempt was a cold-turkey cut over from Windows XP to Linspire a number of years ago. One of the major drawbacks was the fun factor of Linux. Trying to get the latest Nvidia video driver working was an adventure and relying on what felt like somewhat limiting apps made the OS difficult to stick with long term. That, and there were always Windows-only apps I still wanted to keep running and couldn’t in a Linux world.

Additions, like Valve’s Steam client and “Big Picture Mode”, further demonstrate that the app store delivery methodology is the future of gaming. Both Mac and Linux have been plagued through the years with lack luster gaming options but software delivery mechanisms have improved greatly. Add the ability now to store and manage music in the cloud instead of relying on local applications and you’re another step closer to having a Linux OS comparable to OSX and Windows. For me today, Windows is a bit of a crutch. Because I use it for work every day, my personal PC and my work laptop run Windows 7, just in case I need the same software on each machine. I happen to enjoy using Windows 7 and find myself faster with it and more productive just because of the familiarity. Still, I also have OSX on an iMac but with so much cloud emphasis, tablet capabilities, and continued updates, Linux is looking more and more like it’s suitable for any type of user.

One thing I would love to see is cross-platform licensing purchase options from Steam and other app store services. If I am going to purchase a game using Steam on a Linux machine, I’d also like the ability or a license to download the PC version, if one exists, to my Windows based PC. We are in an age where many of us do move back and forth between different computers and operating systems. It would be nice to be able to use your favorite apps and games, store your saved content to the cloud, and download the necessary program files locally or when needed. Spending $40 for example on the Linux version of a game, another $40 for the PC version, and so on, goes against the overall success of this platform I think.

How about this option? New games in retail stores are frequently priced at $59.99. They require fancy packaging, booklets, warehouse space, retail shelf space, and physical distribution. In the cloud, they are just files behind a license vault. Paying the same $59.99 for a new release in the cloud makes no sense to me unless…. Maybe they grant you a multi-platform license in the process. The latest Sim City is a prime example for something I am greatly interested in getting this year BUT I will not pay $59.99 just for a PC game. Either way, seeing Steam finally arrive on Linux is a great thing. If you’ve been away from Linux for a long time, you owe it to yourself to try out a new distro, learn something new, and have some fun.

Tech

Time to do a little happy dance, Linux-heads: Valve’s Steam client for Linux is finally with us, and I don’t mean the beta. Valve’s digital gaming client for the Unix-like open-source operating system is officially official, and Valve’s celebrating by discounting the entire catalog — over 50 Linux titles — anywhere from 50% to 75%. Not too shabby, guys.

Some of the more notable titles in that list include Amnesia: The Dark DescentCounter-Strike: Source, Half-Life, Team Fortress 2 and World of Goo. The sale runs until Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. PT.

Valve notes that in addition to cracking open the Linux game chest, it’s including its “Big Picture” mode — the company’s way of streamlining the living room experience, if you want to drag your box over to your TV, by adding game controller support. It’s in keeping with the company’s recently announced…

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