A trio of reviews

The first is more of an update than a review. Ubuntu 13.4 is out. For those into running Linux this has been a fairly successful update. Although I haven’t tried it there does not appear to be many complaints. Mint 15 (derived from this version of Ubuntu) should be out toward the end of May.

The second is a program called Simutrans found at http://freecode.com. Alternatively it is available in the repositories if there is access to a Debian based system (such as Ubuntu). It is an open source simulation similar to Transport Tycoon. It is also cross-platform with source code provided. This means it should run on just about any computer. I haven’t played the original game so I can’t say how close it is to the original. The program runs well on my Linux system. I don’t know much about game play but it appears to be doing what it is supposed to do. The other thing to be aware of is a graphics pack will need to be downloaded. Two are downloaded via the repositories but adding others should be simple.

Third is a free Minecraft server called Craftbukkit (or Bukkit for short). There are plenty of videos on Youtube and links in Google to give people an idea of what it can do. They have recently updated to version 1.5.1 to match the Minecraft client and Mojangs Vanilla server. The main advantage to running Bukkit as opposed to Vanilla is the features. There are more things which can be done out of the box. Plugins (server modifications) are incredibly easy. Plus Bukkit is quite a bit more stable. Again it is cross-platform and will run on Windows, OS X, and Linux. My preference is to run it in a bare bones text mode Linux virtual machine for speed. Installing it is as simple as downloading a single file, unpacking it, running the binary once (assuming this is the first time) to set things up, then run it again to run the server. I have set up a series of scripts to make life easier. Connecting to the internet requires some router magic but there are plenty of references to help out. If anyone is into creating their own plugins or running a world, this is the way to go.

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BlankMike