An American in Croatia. Also a Linux advocate, Forbes journalist, music junkie, caffeine addict, writer, musician and hopeless Transformers fan.
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https://youtube.com/LinuxForEveryone@KillYourFM

A bittersweet goodbye to Premantura

Today is bittersweet. I've been at the sea here in Premantura, Croatia for nearly 5 weeks. Intoxicated by the lushness of Istria. Amazed at the visibility of the night sky. Calmed by the absence of sound like the constant buzzing of city traffic. Inspired and energized by the stunning coastline. 

I'm leaving today, and sure, I'm yearning for the comforts of home (my amazing wife, food delivery, the office and speedy internet bandwidth!), but driving away from this place back to the big city is tinged with sadness.

To begin with, this is the most time I've ever consecutively spent at the sea. And when I say "at," I mean that you turn left out of your yard, take a 2 minute walk through a forest and you're there, ready for a dip or just some relaxation in the sun. 

Maybe that sea air really does have healing properties. When I arrived here, I got winded and downright exhausted after a laughably minimum amount of physical activity. Just days ago I hiked more than 10km and was invigorated by it. Suffice to say, it's been quite the recovery. (For those who may not know, I was diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease in late June).

Anyway, this is a magical place. Absolutely magical. I suspect if you're reading this blog you've also seen numerous Twitter or Facebook or Telegram posts from me, gushing about how gorgeous the scenery is here and showing the images to prove it.

Once this COVID-19 thing is in our rearview mirror, visit Croatia. Come to the Istria region. You'll fall in love with it.

Wallpaper Set #1: A Premantura, Croatia Morning

Everything has a different kind of shine early in the morning. A layer of serenity, a rare stillness. Premantura, Croatia is a little pocket of heaven on earth that takes no exception to that. This village on the Istrian coast is normally overflowing with tourists in late August, but wake yourself up early enough and you'll find most of the shores devoid of humans, leaving you alone with your thoughts, the rhythmic lapping of the gentle waves, and the sharp crunch of rocks under your feet.

Yesterday I took a morning stroll along these shores (this is near Kamp Stupice) and was overwhelmed with the beauty I encountered. Such diversity of color within a few short kilometers! So I captured some of it, and then used Linux app PhotoCollage (likely available in your distro's software store) to create some wallpapers.

Help yourself to 1080p, 1440p, 4K and Ultrawide (3840 x 1080 just for you Schykle!) variants available via my Nextcloud server.

And feel free to share 'em. Nothing wrong with more people seeing the beauty of Croatia.


This blog was created using Standard Notes. I'd love for you to subscribe to it using this link, and you can reply to posts directly from your email!

Note To Self: Check out these Open Source games

A few months ago I teamed up with Liam from GamingOnLinux to produce this video about Mindustry

In response, a viewer went above and beyond, and posted this lengthy list of open source games, and I felt it deserved wider visibility than being buried in a comment section. He even includes a short note about each title and where you should be able to obtain it. 

Public note to self: Jason, check these out sometime!

Here's the unedited (for now) list, verbatim, as the author posted it. If you're subscribed to this blog and want to make edits or additions, hit me with a response! 

  • Urban Terror (kinda CS:GO, but lighter, and i like it more - available on their website)
  • Battle for Westnoth (Turn based strategy with lovely graphics and gameplay - should be in Your distro's repo)
  • Veloren 
  • Cube2: Sauerbraten, Assault Cube, (FPS- in repo)
  • Red Eclipse (FPS - repo)
  • Widelands (Settlers 2 gold clone- in repo)
  • OpenTTD (Transport tycoon deluxe clone - in repo)
  • Endless Sky (Space strategy - in repo - personally like it a lot)
  • OpenRA (Red Alert and Dune 2 clone - on their website)
  • HedgeWars or Warmux (both are Worms clones - should be in repo)
  • FreeCiv and FreeCol (Clones of old civilization and colonization - repo)
  • Unknown Horizon (Anno clone - repo)
  • FreeOrion (Orion inspired game, similar to Sins of Solar Empire: Rebellion - in repo - very good game, al tho it takes a moment to learn)
  • TeeWorlds (multiplayer worms like game but not turn based - repo)
  • SuperTux (mario clone - repo)
  • FreeDroidRPG (kinda Fallout type of game - older fallout, but with tux, and really cool game, nearly finished it. Do not mistake with FreeDroid - different, crappier game - both in repo)
  • OpenArena (Quake 3 clone on its engine, but may be hard to run - no update since 2012... -on their website, perhaps in repo too)
  • Frogatto (Platformer, quite nice - repo)
  • Pingus (Clone of Lemmings - repo)
  • Armagetron Advanced (Tron/Snake in 3D - light - in repo)
  • 0 A.D. (3D better version of Age of Empires - repo)
  • Abuse (Run and shoot game, quite cool - repo)
  • Bos Wars (Nice RTS in classic style - repo)
  • BZFlag (Multiplayer tank shooter, allegedly quite a few cheaters there - repo)
  • Chromium B.S.U. (Arcade Top scrolling space shooter, quite hard [i die in less than 2 minutes lol]- repo)
  • Colobot (Simple 3D graphics logical game that teach You concepts of programming - repo)
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (fork of the 1997 game Linley's Dungeon Crawl -repo)
  • Fish Fillets NG (Some adventure game, i didn't play much - repo)
  • FlightGear (Microsoft Flight Simulator inspired clone - repo)
  • Frozen Bubble (You shoot color matching balls to destroy slowly lowering pile of them - Repo)
  • Mega Glest (3D RTS, quite fun to play - repo)
  • Globulation 2 (Interesting mechanics weird RTS, all tho fun to play - repo)
  • Lincity (Simcity clone, all tho... didn't manage to achieve much there, not sure if i do something wrong, i've played Simcity games before, but idk - repo)
  • LincityNG (As above)
  • Lugaru (3D game where You fight with the rabbit, bit weird, simple graphics, but interesting physics - repo)
  • Maelstorm (space shooter - repo)
  • MegaMek (Turn-based strategy - their website)
  • Micropolis (Very first SimCity, open sourced by author, under original name before changed to SimCity - repo)
  • Oolite (Elite clone - their website)
  • OpenCity (Another SimCity clone -was in repo, but their page nowdays i think)
  • Open Clonk (Interesting successor of Clonk series -repo)
  • Pioneer (Inspired by Frontier: Elite 2 -repo)
  • PokerTH (Poker Texas Holdem -repo)
  • Rigs of Rods (Car physics simulator, and more [contain monstertrucks] - their website)
  • Scorched 3D (Scorched Earth clone - still in repo i think)
  • Secret Maryo Chronicles (Cool mario clone using SDL - repo)
  • Seven Kingdoms (Bit old looking but good gameplay RTS - repo)
  • Simutrans (Transport Tycoon game -repo)
  • Speed Dreams ( Fork of TORCS -another car racing 3D game bit hard for me to steer in both of those open source games - on their websites)
  • StepMania (Dance Dance Revolution clone - used to be in repo, now their website i guess)
  • SuperTuxKart (mario carts inspired, very good game - repo)
  • Tremulous (Alien VS human base building, defending, and attacking opposite team. More of FPS, used to be in ubuntu repo, now i think their site, and i remember i had to compile it to run it. cause old packages and dependencies issues i think)
  • TripleA (complex good strategy game - repo)
  • Tux Racer (You slide from big hill with a penguin to the bottom collecting fish in the way - repo )
  • UFO: Alien Invasion (Inspired by the XCOM-series, but with 3D-combats on surface of the earth -repo)
  • Vega Strike ( first-person space trading and combat simulator. Many of the core game mechanics of Vega Strike are indirectly inspired by Elite. - their website)
  • Warzone 2100 (A must-play RTS, one of better ones on linux -repo)
  • X-Moto (Elasto Mania clone - repo)
  • Alex The Allegator 4 (gameboy style platformer for linux - repo)
  • Frets on Fire (Guitar Hero clone - repo)
  • Performous (bit as above but more - repo)
  • Freedoom (Classic Doom Clone)
  • Stunt Rally (3D racing game)
  • The Dark Mod (Thief Clone)



Jason Starts A Real Blog

I've long desired to have a central place -- let's call it an idea repository -- where I can share random mental doodles, document things, brainstorm, post lyrics or short stories... Somewhere I can easily write and publish whatever crosses my mind. Whatever I feel is worth being out there in the world. I finally realized I don't want to worry about managing the backend of a site like that. I don't want to stress over the theming, the polish, the navigation menu, making it look just perfect.

All of that has historically prevented me from getting it started; prevented me from actually just writing.

Almost 2 years ago now, Canonical guy Alan Pope (and many other people!) recommended using Standard Notes, an open source, multi-platform note-taking app. I've used it daily ever since, but mainly just for jotting down ideas, maintaining to-dos, or adding to an ever-expanding list of software or music recommendations from you guys!

Little did I realize you could effortlessly publish a blog with it! Using just Standard Notes and an extension called Listed*, you can write and publish blog posts from within Standard Notes (whether that's the web app or the native app installed on your phone, Linux, Windows or macOS).

*Note that using extensions in Standard Notes requires an Extended (paid) account, but it opens a LOT of options and functionality! 

I was flabbergasted (that's a word I still use) at how easy this was.

I wrote this in Standard Notes, hit the "Actions" dropdown menu and then clicked "Publish to Blog." I could have also published a private link if I wanted another set of eyeballs on it first. You can always publish edits, and you can even publish to your own custom domain (provided you have an Extended account which I finally treated myself to).

With another click, you can email your subscribers to notify them of your new blog post -- and the entirety of the post will land in their inbox. Nice!

So let me carry forward Alan's enthusiastic recommendation: Standard Notes is twice as awesome as I previously thought, and you need it in your life.

Anyway, welcome to the blog! Note that you can subscribe for email updates, and subscribers can also reply directly to posts.

And OF COURSE there's an RSS feed :D

See ya!

~Jason