Mindshare: Focus Gaming

What does the Linux platform lack that Windows or Mac has?   Mind share.   Which is like Market share but instead for how people perceive the brand.   Apple has the “Mind share” that they are user friendly and easy to use, it doesn’t matter if they actually are!16 – 17

Don’t just take my word for it.  Test it! Find someone who has never used any Portable Music Player before.  Load some music on both of them.  Put the volume too low.  See which one is easier for that person (without any instruction) to turn the volume up.

The takeaway is that we need to do some redefining.  Let’s start with Gaming.  Many people don’t believe there are Linux Gamers.  Let’s get out there and make our presence known.

Introducing Linux Gaming Weekend

When? April 16 – 17Date changed from before. Tentative Schedule Below.

Two goals of the weekend.  Showcasing Linux Gaming demand to Valve (and their gamers) and Showcasing Great Linux games!

  • Showcase Linux Gaming demand in Valve’s Steam Platform (you could run in Wine or in Windows but the key is to spread the idea of Linux Gaming)
    What to do?  

    1. Play Multiplayer games with the gamer tag/name LinuxGamer.   Focusing on popular or beta games might help.  Perhaps these (don’t buy them! – skip to #2 if you don’t have any Valve games):
      • Counter-Strike: Source  (or Beta)
      • Left 4 Dead
      • Team Fortress 2

      If every server anyone connects to this weekend is filled with LinuxGamers this affects the other gamers Mindshare.  I also think the Beta servers are more monitored by Valve, so better chance of being noticed there.

    2. Sending feedback to Valve through their email address contact@valvesoftware.com
      Guidelines: Be respectful.  Offer to beta test a Linux Version.  If you have those games already say so.  If you don’t (and are interested in their games) say that you’d buy them if there was a Linux version.
  • Showcase  a couple Great Linux Games (that offer similar gaming to the Windows only ones above)

Tentative Schedule


  • 2PM – 1 Hour of Counter:Strike Source (or Urban Terror or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 3PM – 2 Hours of Urban Terror
  • Walk Outside! / Snack/ Dinner
  • 7PM – 1 Hour of Left 4 Dead (or Tremulous or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 8PM – 2 Hours of Tremulous


  • 7PM – 1 Hour of Team Fortress 2 (or Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory  or another Valve multiplayer game)
  • 8PM – 2 Hours of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

At the very least it should be fun!  And feel free to suggest better matches for the Valve games.  I’ll try to post getting started on each of the free games before the Linux Gaming Weekend, so that everyone will have a better idea of how to play.  I’ve switched my name to LinuxGamer in all the games I play (having lots of fun in UrbanTerror right now) and you could always make that switch before the weekend too….

Bonus Points:
Test an unstable distribution (Ubuntu RC of 11.04 should have just come out), run Steam Beta, or the Beta of one of the games.

GoodGuide.com now reviewing cell phones

GoodGuide.com reviews products (started with foods) for their health, environmental, and societal impacts so you as a consumer can make better decisions.  They have recently expanded to cover cell phones.   This gave me an idea.

Basically my idea is, add to the consideration the level of user’s software freedom in the phone itself as well as rate the company on how it is contributing to open source upstreams, etc.  Let’s take the Palm Pixi Smartphone as an example,

You can break down how they do the review, by expanding Society.  I would propose adding two sections:

  • Free and Open Source Upstream Engagement Under Standard Company Social Performance -> Society -> Community Engagement
  • User’s Software Freedom Possibly Under Standard Company Social Performance -> Consumers

Sounds good?

It is, except they need to ‘identify a relatively authoritative source working in a domain that has done detailed evaluations that we can then incorporate into our ratings’ [1].   So my question for the planet and readers is, who could provide this information?

I’ve been thinking about the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Free Software Foundation for User’s Software Freedom.

And the Linux Foundation (and likely the above as well) for Free and Open Source Upstream Engagement.

None of them seem to already have a rating system that would be useful in this way.   I will be sending all of these organizations an email soon, asking them if they would want to take this task on.  But I wanted to get more opinions on this idea and other organizations that I should contact.