Saturday, 18 January 2014

A gaming keyboard for a game programmer.

After years of using the cheapest PC peripherals I could find, I figured I should finally get myself a decent keyboard.

I started looking with Logitech and Razer (the only two brands making high quality peripherals that I knew about). And I almost chose the Razer Deathstalker Expert.

It seemed like a nice choice. The reviews were good. I could squeeze all of its basic functionality on Linux (but no macros, probably no backlight control etc.). However I encountered this post on Phoronix and I learned about a German manufacturer called Roccat. Apperently they also build high quality peripherals but you can get proper Linux support, through open source drivers.

I didn't hesitate long and chose the Roccat Isku.

So after finally getting my device and using it for a couple of days, I'm really, really happy. Not only it is a very good, very responsive and very comfortable keyboard but I can also fully customize it using a graphical tool.

So I hooked up my NetBeans shortcuts and it works like a charm. Auto complete, refactoring with a press of a single button. Pure awesomeness.

I am yet to do any serious gaming with it. But for a programmer it is a great device. I will definitely be recommending it to anyone.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Steam on Fedora 64-bit

It's really nice that Steam is now in RPFusion repository for Fedora. However getting it to run is not fully straightforward on a 64-bit system. If you try you will most probably get the message:

OpenGL GLX context is not using direct rendering, which may cause performance problems.

To fix this some 32-bit packages need to be installed. To do that you need login as root and run:

yum install pulseaudio-libs-glib2.i686 libao.i686 esound-libs.i686 alsa-oss-libs.i686 alsa-plugins-oss.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 audiofile.i686 mesa-libGLU.i686

Then depending on the graphics card vendor 

For NVIDIA: yum install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i686
For AMD: yum install xorg-x11-drv-catalyst-libs.i686