Windows

Microsoft Windows

Copy NTFS to a smaller partition with OSS tools

If you want to "upgrade" a computer with a HDD to using a smaller disk, usually a SSD, you will need to come up with a way to shrink your windows partition. There are some for-pay software packages which do this for you, but no OSS tool which will do it with a simple click. There's a slightly meandering sequence of steps necessary to get everything working correctly. Your best allies are the gparted livecd, and a USB to SATA (probably) adapter to let you hook both disks up to your system at once. This process should work for basically any version of Windows from 2000 on, but I used it specifically with Windows 7.

Vista for Security? Never mind SELinux, NSA.

As a regular contributor to Katherine Noyes' Linux Blog Safari on Linux Insider, I was recently asked to comment on the NSA recommending Vista for best security. For those who don't already know, Vista is a train wreck, but the situation is at least slightly more insidious than simple stupidity.

Crimson Skies

Crimson Skies is a game for PC and Xbox which is based on the classic tabletop game by FASA. This writeup covers the PC version, which was developed by Zipper Interactive and published by Microsoft. The game is a flight "simulator" with arcade-style physics - meaning that it bears little to no resemblance to actually flying an airplane. The planes in question are all prop-driven with WWII-inspired designs, including an assortment of fighter craft with and without turrets, a bomber, and even an autogyro. Each plane handles differently, with variation in lift, speed, and turning ability. Players can design their own planes both inside the single player campaign and also for the "instant action" mode in which you fly scenarios, and for network play. Net play is essentially always LAN play but Microsoft provides a matching service on the MSN Gaming Zone. The Xbox version supports Xbox Live and while (supposedly) using essentially the same engine as the PC game, is laid out quite differently, with a different story, (somewhat) different planes, different missions, and different gameplay.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Freespace 2 Open

It is considered axiomatic among gamers that a game that's good when it's new is always good - if it doesn't have staying power, it just wasn't that amazing in the first place. There's a few games that, years after their release, we're still playing - games like Tetris, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the original Quake, or for that matter Asteroids. Each genre has at least one game that fits this description. In the space flight simulator category there are really three games which stand out significantly: Tie Fighter, which was really the first truly-3D spaceflight sim with believable capital ships; Wing Commander, various versions of which (especially Privateer) are still being played avidly; and Descent: Freespace along with Freespace 2, two titles from Volition that years later are still the benchmark for such games. The list would also not be complete without Elite, which is arguably the game that really defined the genre to begin with.

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