“Linux is Badass” : The Text Adventure

Linux is Badass“, the Amazon.com bestselling book (how crazy is that?), included a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story at the end.

LiBTheGameThat adventure has now been made into an old-school text adventure game that can be played with any Z-Machine interpreter (such as Frotz) on any platform (including Linux desktops and Android phones).

If you’ve already purchased a copy of the book from my website, you can re-download it for free (using the instructions in the original email you received after purchasing) and get the game.  Because I like you.  And you are pretty.

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June Open Source Wrap-Up — with hard numbers.

With June now behind us, it’s time to look over how things went during the first full month of everything here being Open Source.

The short, short version: Things went pretty awesomely, with a few areas to work on improving during July.

First off – The donation numbers.

During the June time-frame we brought in $2,652 in donations.  I have a few thoughts on this number:

  1. This is pretty amazing.  We, as a community, pulled together $2,652 to fund Open Source software (and comics/artwork).
  2. This is made even more amazing by the fact that we had relatively little press attention during June (this was somewhat on purpose to give us a baseline of donation numbers — what can reasonably be expected without major spikes in media attention).
  3. Despite that, it does fall quite a bit short of the $5k goal.  So there is work to do in July to improve those numbers.

Because transparency is good, here is a break-down of donations day-by-day.

JuneDonationDayByDay

You’ll notice that donations were pretty steady and consistent during the first roughly 1/3 of the time-frame.  Then things dropped off a fair bit there in the middle.  Then there was a nice spike near the end.

I have a few observations worth noting:

  1. Donations tend to be a bit erratic, day-to-day.  Which was expected (and doesn’t really need to change).
  2. Donations tend to spike 2 to 3 days after a new release of software.
  3. Donations tend to spike immediately after posting a video on my YouTube channel.
  4. People seemed to like the donation perks.  But most donations were straight-up donations with no requested perks.  (That surprised me a little bit.)
  5. The first half of the month was dominated by a larger number of smaller donations.  Whereas the last part of the month had far less total donations, but with larger dollar amounts.

Obviously there’s some work to do to increase those numbers during July and August… but this is an absolutely excellent start, and a good base to work from.

With the financial stuff out of the way, here’s a quick snapshot of some of what was released during June:

  1. A new app was born: Arduino-Make-inator.  (Visual Arduino programming.)
  2. Illumination Software Creator 6.0 was released with full support for Android, iOS, PyGTK, HTML5 and Flash.
  3. App-Make-inator 13.06 was released with a new visual style, animations and a bunch of other goodies.
  4. The official G+ community was created.
  5. The LunduNUX Linux Distro made its debut.
  6. The LunDOS FreeDOS Distro also made its first public appearance.

In other words: A metric ton of new, Open Source software was released.  Which makes me smile.

Looking to July, there’s quite a few goodies on the docket as well.  Here’s a quick snapshot of what is being worked on and/or planned for the next few weeks (as with everything, this can change… but it’s good to have a plan):

  1. Linux Tycoon 1.x, re-written in App-Make-inator (this was actually planned for June, but had to roll into July as I’ve been adding features to App-Make-inator to make this nicer)
  2. App-Make-inator 13.07
  3. Game-Make-inator 13.07
  4. Linux Tycoon for DOS 1.0
  5. New blocks for Arduino-Make-inator
  6. Radical Comic Designer 4.0
  7. Updates to LunduNUX and LunDOS

If you would like to see additional time placed into your favorite software, or on the feature you want most, you can “Buy Bryan For A Day“.  (This is actually how the Arduino-Make-inator came about.  Someone donated to allow me the time to work on it… and, shazam.  Now we have the Arduino-Make-inator!)

 

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Linux Tycoon on Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS… everywhere.

I’m just going to leave this right here.

LTWorldDominationTour

A few extra details:

  • On Monday, June 24th Wednesday, June 26th Wednesday, July 3rd, Linux Tycoon will be submitted to the Android, iOS and Windows Phone stores.
  • On that same day, Linux Tycoon will be made available for download for Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS.
  • Also.  On that very same day.  Linux Tycoon will be made available as a web app, playable from any modern browser and just about any platform.
  • Linux Tycoon has been completely re-written in the Free, Open Source HTML5 app building suite, App-Make-inator.
  • Full source code, under the GPL, will be released.  (Joining the source code that is already available for the modern desktop and DOS versions of Linux Tycoon.)

That’s right.  All of that “Linux Distro Simulation And Management Game” goodness.  Free.  And Open Source.  And made possible entirely by donations from the awesome, freedom loving people of the world.

Note: The scheduled launch day of June 24th has been pushed back to July 3rd.  Because… you know… woops.  :)

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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.

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Open Source. This time… with feeling!

Once.  Long, long ago (aka “last year”).  I tried to convert my long-standing (and fairly successful) business from a traditional “Closed Source Shareware” model to an Open Source model.

And I failed.  Tripped.  Wham.  Flat on my face.

But I’m not exactly the type of guy that lets a little something like that stop him.  No sir.  Learn from my mistakes, pick myself up — and try again.

So, as of today (5 minutes ago, to be exact) my entire business is now, once again… Free.  Free as in beer (no cost) and “Free” as in freedom (source code available under the GPL).  Everything.  Linux Tycoon.  App-Make-inator.  The whole kit and caboodle.

Check the “Apps”, “Games” and “Comics” buttons on the left for all the details on what is available.

I’ve learned some things over the last year — both about the business of earning a living by making free software, and about myself (what I enjoy and what I am truly good at) — that has left me confident that I can pull this off.  Here’s some details on how I’m approaching this:

Playing To My Strengths

BryanSure.  I make some cool software and such.  But, well, that’s really only part of what I “do”.

As many of you may know… I like to stick my mug in front of the camera.  And, as it turns out, I’m not completely terrible at that.  So let’s incorporate that in the form of a weekly video update over on my YouTube channel.

So what will this weekly video entail?

  • Updates on what is happening that week.  What I’m working on. What releases went out.
  • Updates on funding.  What sort of donations have come in during the week and how well we’re doing against the goals that month.
  • Discussion of other Open Source projects that need funding.  Not just my own.
  • Anything else I feel like rambling about.

There’s no set schedule (aka “Thursdays at 2:23PM”) for this.  Just “once a week”.  I will post the videos here, on Lunduke.com, as well as the YouTube channel.  And I’m sure I’ll share it out to Twitter and G+ too.  Because that’s what I do.

More Than Just Software

Ted128I also make Comic Books and such.  What about those?  Why not make those free too?

Done.  But let’s go a step further.

I am going to be releasing the source artwork for Road-Sign Hank and the Aliens (as Inkscape files) and 2299 (as bitmaps) under the Creative Commons.  Keep an eye here for that over the coming days.

Donations

Donations are great.  I’ve said this before: If every Linux user donated 1 dollar to a project… that would go a long way towards taking care of funding for so many of the Open Source projects we love and use every day.

And, to that end, I am setting an initial donation goal of $5,000 for the month of June.  Some may say that seems like a lot of money.  So allow me to lay out my reasoning for this number:

  • If this was a salary for a full time developer in North America… this would be a very low number.  We’re talking entry level wages here.
  • This is less than what I earn in sales when the software is closed source.
  • If only a fraction of the total user base for my software donates a single dollar… this goal will be easy as pie to reach.

As time goes on it may become a good idea to lower or raise this monthly goal.  I’m going to stay flexible here and adjust as needed.

Other Revenue Streams

But what about other various sources of revenue for supporting Open Source software?  Let’s do that too.

  • Shirts, Hats, Posters, etc. – Yep.  I’m going to be selling it all.
  • Bounties for features – Want to see a specific new feature faster?  You’ll be able to fund it directly.
  • Others? – There are lots of options out there.  From Ad revenue to App Store sales.  I will consider them all.

Leave no stone un-turned, as they say!

I Am Not An Island

There are a large number of, absolutely amazing, Open Source project out there.  And they need funding too.

But that funding tends to be quite elusive.  So let’s work to change that.

With that in mind I am putting together a page that lists as many Open Source projects as possible (in alphabetical order so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for) with direct links to their individual donation pages.

If you have a project that you would like to have included, drop me an email (link at the top of this page).

I am also pondering the notion of having a “Fund Open Source” telethon.  One of those “We stay on camera for 24 hours until we are punch drunk and acting ridiculous” deals to encourage folks to pitch in to one of many Open Source projects out there.  [This is just an idea at this point... no specific plans at this point.]

The point here is to work together, as a community, to make great things.  “A rising tide lifts all boats“, as they say.

So.  Here we go.

Holy moly, I am excited.  I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now… just been waiting until the moment was just right — and everything was primed for optimum success.  And now is that moment.

There’s plenty to do.  I need to some additional projects in source control still (that’s a weekend project for sure).  But all of the basics are in place.  You can download everything and donate as you feel appropriate.

Want to get ahold of me?  There are a plethora of links up top for your preferred communication mechanism.

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