New Design. Because… New Design.

You may have noticed that this fancy, little website-o-mine looks different today.

A lot different.

In fact it looks almost nothing like any of the previous designs that I’ve ever had for any website that I have ever been involved in.  Within the design of this site there are no images.  Not one.  Not even like a little tiny gif hiding in the corner.

I call this new design “Gray.  With words.”.  And I think I dig it.

Loads fast.  Easy to read.  Easy for me to update when needed.  And, most of all, it puts the focus right where it should be: On the words that I create by haphazardly banging on this keyboard.

There are a few tweaks I still need to make — you’ll notice that images aren’t styled correctly on most of the posts, for example.  But all of the old content is still here in the same locations.  For the most part.

It’ll do for the moment.  I’ll fiddle with it as I go.  There’s only so much CSS a man can handle in one day.

Share Button

Open Source, she is a fickle mistress.

I’m not really big on defeat.  It’s not something I dig.

So when I think something is a good idea… I tend to just continue hammering away until it becomes a reality.  Case in point:

BryanStep 1) Bryan wishes  Jos Whedon would make an Avengers movie.

Step 2) Bryan wishes for it really hard.

Steps 3 through 7,394) ?

Step 7,395) Bryan watches an Avengers movie made by Jos Whedon.

No matter how unlikely it is, if I am convinced it is a good idea that could make the world a bit more awesome, my soul demands that it must happen.  [Not trying to take anything away from Mr. Whedon’s hard work here, all I did was get the ball rolling with the first two, obviously critical, steps.]

This applies to me believing in the fundamental awesomeness of Open Source (and, for those who feel persnickety about the wording, “Free Software”).

Which is why I Open Sourced such a huge amount of my applications and games under the GPL license.  And, as you can probably surmise, that changes the business strategy a teensy bit.

I opted to go for the “Open Source funded by donations” route.  Because I believed in its viability.  Still do, really.

Just not now.  [Maybe in the future.  Maybe in the near future.  Perhaps a bit farther out.  I, honestly, have no clue.]

Donations started out fairly strong.  Not off the charts… but steady enough to suggest a bit of predictability.  Which, for anyone looking to earn an income from an endeavor (aka “a job”), predictability in paychecks are a good thing.

Then, within a smattering of weeks, things dropped off.  Donations fell to a point where it would be hard to pay a part-time intern with the monthly totals.

Which leaves me with three options:

  1. Close up all of the software and begin selling it again (which is a proven way to support this specific software).
  2. Leave the software Open, keep working on it full time, and hope magical unicorns fly out of my posterior and begin conjuring money with their Rumpus-Unicorn-Magic ™.
  3. Leave the software Open… but stop working on it full time.  Thus free up time to focus on endeavors that provide better revenue.

Option 1 sounds like defeat.  See top of this post for more information on my thoughts about defeat.

Option 2 sounds awesome.  But unicorn-based.  Never go into a situation where you are reliant on unicorns.  This would be about as dumb as messing with a Sicilian when death is on the line.

So Option 3 it is!

Luckily, for me, I’ve got my writing to fall back on and give my focus to.  [For those of you who read that sentence and thought “REEEEALLY?!  YOU?!” — and then proceeded to look over the current post for grammatical and spelling errors… all I have to say is this: Crazy, right?  People pay me for these words.  It’s a nutty world we live in.]

Here’s how this is going to work:

  • Source code remains available for Illumination, App-Make-inator, etc..
  • Donations are still accepted on the Download Page. 
  • Those donations fund the development in the following month.  (ie. Donations in January fund the development that occurs in February.)
  • Only a few donations = Only a little development.
  • Lots of donations = Lots of development.

Simple, right?  This lets development continue, in a focused way… just (probably) a fair bit slower than before.

With all this in mind, I have removed the donation goal progress bar from the site.  It just doesn’t make sense anymore.

And if I, say, release a new game in the future (which has been known to happen)… will it be Open Source?

Honestly that really depends on how things are going.  If the funds are there to support it?  For sure.  Otherwise any new piece of software will likely be released as closed source in the old-school Shareware style.

As an aside, I just want to say this:

I am extremely proud of the community we have here.  Many of you put your money where your mouths were… and that resulted in some excellent Open Source software.  All of you deserve to pat yourself on the back.

I am also a fair bit humbled (about as humbled as I get, anyway).  You donated your hard-earned money based, in part, on your belief that what we were doing was worth while — and that me working on these projects was worth while.

For that, I thank you.  Quite sincerely.

Okay.  That out of the way, time for me to prep the next issue of Road-Sign Hank and the Aliens.  That comic book has sat idle for far, far too long.

Share Button

Quick Update w/Fancy Bullet Points

“WHOAH!  No update in almost 2 weeks!  What gives!”
– Guy On Internet

BryanThat’s a good point, Internet Guy!

Here’s a bullet list of stuff going on, over the last week or two, that just might interest some of you.

  • A new app has been born.  Arduino-Make-inator (aka “ArMi”).  Basically this is a modified version of App-Make-inator… with the entire focus being to visually create custom logic for Arduino boards.  Yes.  That is very cool.  Will be checking that in to GitHub in the next few days.
    • Side Note: ArMi was made possible thanks to a very cool chap who donated to make it possible.  I mentioned that it would be cool to make.  He agreed.  Then he found some cash to allow me the time to do it.  High fives are given.
  • I am behind on Bryan Says and Limerick videos that folks have donated and requested.  But not for long.  Because…
    • I finally got a proper recording rig set up.  So no more videos from my lame, super-grainy webcam.  Videos will be resuming over the weekend and Monday.
  • Linux Tycoon rebuilt in App-Make-inator (for Web, Android, iOS, Ubuntu Touch, etc.) will be rolling out on July 3rd.
  • One of our community members, Bob Mottram, has been packaging Illumination Software Creator for darn near every distro out there (with packages for SUSE, Fedora, Arch, Debian… you name it).  You can grab the packages here, and see the source and working files for building them over on GitHub.
    • Side Note: Bob Mottram is awesome.

That’s about it for the moment.  With the end of the month approaching (tomorrow) I will be making a post with a chart of all donations, along with a few extra details and my thoughts on how to improve during the month of July.

The Short Version: Donations fell short of the goal for the month of June (unless there is a weird flood of donations on the last day of the month).  But we didn’t do badly either — so now we’ll just be fine-tuning things and adding in some additional sources of funding for the Open Source projects.  Pretty confident we can improve the numbers during July.  I’m feeling good about it.  But more on that after June is officially over.

Share Button

Watch Bryan Code : Sunday @ 1pm Pacific Time

THRILL!  As I fix bugs.

MARVEL!  As I figure out how to build packages for Arch and Fedora in the Open Build Service.

DELIGHT!  As I say things, occasionally, that amuse myself.

BryanThis weekend I’m sitting down to get some work done on my Open Source software.

And you can watch.

When:

This Sunday, May 2nd at 1pm Pacific Time (4pm Eastern).  We go until I get too tired!  Or “a few hours go by”.  One or the other.

What:

I’ll be working on:

  • Setting up packages for Linux Tycoon, App-Make-inator and others for Arch, Fedora, etc. in the Open Build Service.
  • Fixing bugs reported from users in various games and apps.
  • I’ll be screen sharing the whole thing.  So you can spy on me.

Where:

As an On Air Hangout.  You can catch it over on G+ or my YouTube channel.

Share Button

Announcing the LunduNUX Linux Distro.

BryanI’ve made my own Linux Distro.

I call it LunduNUX.  Because, well…

Lunduke + Linux = LunduNUX

So, you may be asking yourself why I would do this.  So I made up some bullet points explaining why.

  1. Make it easy to test software integration on various Desktop Environments.
  2. Use the default UI settings (or, at least, close to it) for each Desktop Environment.
  3. Preload it with all the tools I use.  Because I need them.
  4. Loaded up with web browsers.  Lots of them.  To test stuff.
  5. Put on some good wallpaper.  Because that’s nice.
  6. Loaded up with DOS emulation (including LunDOS) working on Linux Tycoon for DOS.  Also for playing games.  Games are fun.
  7. Loaded up with latest versions of all of the Open Source projects that I work on.  Good to have a base reference platform.
  8. It’s got a picture of me when it boots up.  This is important.

LunduNUXBasically it’s my default dev/test environment.  And it’s built with Suse Studio — which means it’ll be easy to keep up to date.

Having this helps…

  • … me setup new machine.
  • … new developers of my Open Source projects get setup quickly.
  • … users of my software to test with a known working environment.
  • … probably something else too.

In other words: I made it for myself.  But you can use it too.

The current version (0.0.3) is definitely a work in progress.  It works dandy, and you could use it just like you could use an openSUSE installation… I’ve just got a bit more I want to add in there.

Download information is over on the, world famous, Download Page.  More general info on the LunduNUX page.

Share Button