Getting Fieldrunners From Humble Bundle for Android 3 to Work on 64bit Linux

18. August, 2012

I had several problems with Fieldrunners from Humble Bundle. The first problem is: There is only a 32 bit version, even though I get a download link for a 64 bit version – but both are the same.

The next problem is this error message:

cannot open audio device (Device or resource busy)
Fieldrunners: pcm.c:923: snd_pcm_state: Assertion `pcm' failed.

This is because Fieldrunners uses alsasound but on my system, PulseAudio blocks the audio device. To fix that, run the game with “padsp“:

padsp /opt/fieldrunners/Fieldrunners

which gives this error

ERROR: object '' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.

This is probably because padsp can’t find a 32 bit version of “”. For openSUSE, you can find the package here: Make sure you click “Show other versions” so you can select the 32 bit version (the browser will show you the 64 bit version if you use a 64 bit version of openSUSE).

Click on “32bit” to download the file (don’t use “1 Click Install”)

Use atool to unpack the archive (trying to install it with “rpm” or “1 Click Install” will fail since the package is for the 32 bit version of openSUSE). Copy the file “…/usr/lib/” to “/usr/lib/”. “padsp” will find it. Now you can run the game.

Unfortunately, the audio will be choppy for some reason. I have no solution for that (it’s also choppy when you disable pulseaudio). My workaround is to go to options and to disable sound effects and the game music.

Related articles:

SCO vs Linux: Game Over

31. August, 2011

Finally: 10th Circuit Affirms in All Respects – Novell, Not SCO, Owns the Copyrights, etc., by pj

Of course, this is SCO … I might be a little surprised if they didn’t try to appeal to the US Supreme Court 😉

SCO or how to waste millions of dollars for naught.

Saving Colors

10. August, 2011

Many people own color printers today; they are so cheap, there is little point to buy a B&W model.

But I don’t want to print with color by accident. If you’re using Linux with CUPS, here is a solution: lpoptions

“lpoptions -l | grep -i color” will tell you what the color options and possible value are. My output looks like this:

ColorModel/Farbmodus: *CMYK Gray
Colorreprod/Farbwiedergabe: *Printersettings Textgraph Textphoto Vivid Publications Lineart
MediaType/Media Type: *PrnDef Auto Plain Transparency Labels Letterhead Bond Color Preprinted Prepunched Recycled Cardstock Vellum Envelope Rough Thick CoatedPaper Highqlty User1 User2 User3 User4 User5 User6 User7 User8

To change the default, use “lpoptions -o”:

lpoptions -o ColorModel=Gray

The first command tells you the new default:

ColorModel/Farbmodus: CMYK *Gray

CUPS saves these settings in the file ~/.cups/lpoptions.

Related articles:

Running Linux in Your Browser

17. May, 2011

Seeing is believing.

JavaScript has come a long way.

Safe Browsing At Home

13. May, 2011
The logo of Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 from t...

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re worried about security while you’re browsing the web (and you probably should), here is a simple solution that might actually work (or at least raises the bar quite a bit): BitBox (German)

In a nutshell, it’s a secured Linux system running Firefox 4 inside of VirtualBox. The browser can only access the resources of the virtual PC.

So to infect your real system, the hacker must: Break Firefox on Linux (which is hard), break Linux (hard), break through the virtual PC layer (not that easy either) to be able to infect your real PC (as opposed to just infect your PC).

Use Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 in Ubuntu

11. May, 2011

Image via Wikipedia

If you want to run IE6-8 on Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro that support VirtualBox), see this blog post: Use Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 in Ubuntu

Sound Problems on Linux

5. April, 2011

Sound on Linux was pretty stable but then came PulseAudio sigh. One of the major problems is that some programs don’t try to look for the PulseAudio server. Instead, they try to lock the sound devices under /dev. Flash is one of them.

But there is a solution: Create a file “$HOME/.asoundrc” with this content:

pcm.!default {
    type pulse
ctl.!default {
    type pulse

That redirects all clients which use ALSA to the PulseAudio server and everyone is happy.

Numpty Physics

17. March, 2011

I really liked Crayon Physics. It was simple idea, great brain teaser, the perfect UI.

If you liked it as well, have a look at Numpty Physics.

PS3 was hacked

6. January, 2011
Tux, the Linux penguin

Image via Wikipedia

Like so many people, I was upset that Sony discontinued support for Linux. I understand that it was a security risk (people were dabbling with the encrypted hypervisor and the encryption) but no one really cared enough to actually invest the huge amount of time necessary to really break it. I also understand that supporting Linux was a cost issue for Sony while it didn’t bring that many customers. At the same time, I knew I could run Linux on my PS3 but never did.

So it wasn’t an actual issue for me either, it just upset me. I bought the PS3 for many reasons and being able to run Linux had been one of them. Not the major point but I still got mad when they took that from me.

At the 27C3, they showed how it was hacked but I was intrigued by short appearance of a guy who had analyzed the time it took to break a console and why it was hacked. While piracy is a side effect of hacking a console, it’s probably not the driving force. The statistics say that it took at most 12 months to hack a console make Linux run. The PS3 was unscathed for three years – until Sony stopped support for Linux. After that, the hackers really dug into it and – what surprise – they pwn3d it.

Made me wonder why Sony dropped support? As we know from the history of Microsoft, piracy is actually a major driving force for software sales. The calculation goes a bit like this: If you don’t want to pay for something, it’s hard to force you. But once you’re used to something, and you like it, you stick with it. A good example was Office 97. It wasn’t that great but companies were forced to buy it quickly because all people working at those companies had got free, time limited copies along with their PCs. I’ll let you assume how many people bought the product after the time was up.

The thing was: People took work home (good for the companies), work on it and then bring it back to work. Then, something happened: The “old” Office 95 did display a warning, about 90% the size of the screen “I can’t open this! You may lose your work! Help!” So suddenly, there was a strong pressure on the company to upgrade 95 to 97 – because everyone had got a free copy of Office 97!

The key here is to be able to balance sales with piracy. Microsoft knows the Spiel best: Really smack down on people selling pirate copies but leave the home users alone. C= (and the Amiga) couldn’t play it. In the end, piracy overtook sales and the platform died. The lesson we learn here: Piracy is something that must be managed carefully. No piracy and sales will be much lower than they could be; too much and you go bankrupt.

So here is my heretic thought: Maybe Sony didn’t have enough piracy. ^_^

References: Video of the 27C3 talk “”. Go to the documentation site and search the download links for “console_hacking_2010”. The statistics part is at 05:33.

Humble Indie Bundle

19. December, 2010

Good games are rare today. Most games feel like DOOM clones with better graphics. Fun if you have the reflexes of a 10-year old … and the intellectual horizon. Makes me wonder why a lot of them have an “adults only” sticker or must not be sold to minors … Most of them don’t run on Linux (or need a remove-the-f***ing DRM patch – so playing the game I just bought is illegal).

But there are exceptions and The Humble Indie Bundle #2 is one of them. Five of them. Even though I don’t like all of them. So four of them. Three … I didn’t play Revenge of the Titans, yet.

Braid. An insane jump’n’run with time travel and non-repeating puzzles. I think more than enough has been said about this game.

Cortex Command is a 3D shoot-em-up, the graphics are coarse, I fought more with the controls than with the game plus it’s a game for 10-year olds. ‘Nuff said.

Machinarium. Wow. Beautiful graphics, sad story, clever and demanding puzzles. The only flaw: It uses flash. It’s not really a flaw of the game – there simply isn’t a better cross-platform framework than Flash. Sad, isn’t it?

Osmos brings slow motion back. No need to rush things. Some levels take a long time to complete. A little push here, wait, a tiny push there, … atmo sound. Great to relax.

And best of all, you set the price and the split. With freedom comes responsibility 🙂

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