Blog

Book Report: Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons

This is an expensive, enormous, gigantic, medieval scribe sized tome, absurdly heavy and dense, thick, glossy paper, color print. Almost 5cm thick, does about d6+2 damage in mêlée, with 4 colored ribbon placeholders. Each section has a colored bottom border. Blank spaces are often filled with hex or grid patterns, bits of text, pictures of more polearms (goddamnit, Gary), and blood spatters(?).

The majority of the book is reproductions of various drafts & old editions, with some commentary between. The repros are often sepia-toned, not always easy to read, but more readable than available scans. For research into Blackmoor and OD&D, these are invaluable, they're amazing to finally have in a permanent form.

If you care at all about this, the book's the best value ever. If you want a playable thing, this is not it.

I'm going to dive fairly deep into it for some parts, more or less skim others, in multiple posts.

Bonus

The blurb sheet (inside the shrink wrap, but not the dust cover) on the back side is the classic terrible character sheet from 1976, in shiny goldenrod. They sold these in packs of 28(?), for $3-5, when photocopies would cost 5¢/page? TSR never let quality stop them from making a buck!

dnd-sheet-1976pc

Preface

by Jason Tondro ("Senior Designer on D&D", formerly at Paizo; someone check to see if he's been fired from Hasbro yet)

The early rules for D&D are important and incredibly influential, but
they're also confusing and even contradictory; that's how we've left
them. We don't encourage you to try to play 1974 D&D from these pages!
(If you want to try, Wizards of the Coast has edited and republished
the original Dungeons & Dragons "white box" in both physical and
digital formats. These reprints incorporate errata from later
printings of the game.)

Don't play! But spend more money!

This book presents D&D as it was first imagined, warts and all. What
sort of warts are we talking about? One example is including creatures
from other intellectual properties, such as J. R. R. Tolkien's
Middle-earth, without permission; in later printings of D&D, balrogs,
hobbits, and ents were renamed balors, halflings, and treants to avoid
these copyright issues.

OH NO not foreign "IP" used fairly. Only a grifting corporation considers that a wart, instead of just everyone sharing world culture.

Some apologia for the indelicate language of the original games. Which is true somewhat, but excessively overstated here. I'm pretty sure there's nothing in OD&D about "old, fat, not conventionally attractive, indigenous, Black, or a woman" (as he puts it). I want to dissect that a moment. There's no age or weight categories in OD&D. Witches perhaps won't kidnap you if you have low Charisma. There's no Human ethnic groups mentioned except Dervishes, which are regional not ethnic. Strength limitations on women first appear in AD&D 1E; "Fighting Men" is common language for 1970s, a callback to John Carter from 1910s, but not the inclusive term we'd use now.

Foreword

by Jon Peterson (noted RPG historian)

Discussion of the production process, how he selected material.

Readers may note that more material of Gygax's is reproduced in this
volume than of Arneson's. Gygax was quite a prolific writer and
necessarily left a longer paper trail of his activities in the
original D&D period. The collaboration between the pair of them was
not entirely a happy one even before Dungeons & Dragons was published,
and assessing which one of them contributed a given idea can be
challenging. Certain early documents relating to Blackmoor were
published by Judges Guild in The First Fantasy Campaign (1977), though
it also anthologizes material created after the 1974 publication of
the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set with little signposting to
date the age of respective passages. Those documents aren't included
here, though this book summarizes their contents where necessary.

Precursors

A brief pre-D&D history, with "Grayte Wourmes" dragon ecology articles by Gary Gygax, from 1969-1970. These ended up in parts in the Dragon monster entries. These are from Thangordrim, a Diplomacy fantasy variant newsletter; not much time is spent explaining this.

At the time, the way you played Diplomacy was either in person with friends who would soon be enemies, or by mail through newsletters. Send in your turns, wait 1-4 weeks, get results back. You had phone numbers & addresses of other players, so you could negotiate out of band, or could include some text with your turns for all to see. These were typically cheap, run at cost per turn, but Thang seems to have been $3-4 per "game".

Amusingly, Knights of the Dinner Table a couple years back had a storyline where Waco Bob of Hard 8 was still running his 1970s play-by-mail game, on company photocopiers. Manual processing turns every couple weeks. Good man.

Chainmail Fantasy Supplement

Reproduction of the latter half of 2nd Ed, with notes about where spells/powers entered Blackmoor, slightly annoyingly doesn't include the main Chainmail rules, which resolve some problems of OD&D.

Notably armor is listed in classes, numbered ascending:

  1. No armor
  2. Leather or padded armor
  3. Shield only
  4. Leather armor + shield
  5. Chain, banded, studded, or splint mail
  6. Chain mail + Shield, Chain +
  7. Plate armor
  8. Plate armor and shield
  9. Horse, No armor
  10. Horse, Barded

Versus OD&D's Attack Matrix I, annoying descending order, loses the alternatives to Chain, and Shield is reduced in value with Leather from +2 to +1.

2. Plate Armor & Shield
3. Plate Armor
4. Chain Mail & Shield
5. Chain Mail
6. Leather & Shield
7. Leather Armor
8. Shield Only
9. No Armor or Shield

If I were a little more bored, I'd compare the statistical chance to hit from 2d6 in Chainmail to d20 in OD&D, and I suspect there'd be some real anamolies.

Gygax on Armor

An essay on ancient to medieval armor, but he was apparently unaware of Roman Lorica Squamata (Scale) and Lorica Segmentata (Banded) actually existing, and he thought Splinted (Brigandine) had the metal on the outside, actually describing Scale; real-world Brigandine (aka Jack of Plate, or "Studded Leather Armor" which never existed) was small plates sandwiched between leather or cloth.

Anyway, this essay, and the Domesday Book, reveals mostly the encyclopedia-based errors that crept into D&D's armor systems. He has a bibliography at the end, but did he read these, or were they as erroneous?

Arneson's Medieval Braunstein

There will be a medevil[sic] "BRAUNSTEIN" April 17, 1970 at the home
of David Arneson from 1300 hrs to 2400 hrs with refreshments being
available on the usual basis. Players may come at any time and any
number are welcome to attend what should prove to be an exciting time.
It will feature mythical creatures and a Poker game under the Troll's
bridge between sunup and sundown.

Following is Arneson's May 1972 Corner of the Table (Midwest Military Simulation Association newsletter) reports on Blackmoor, including events in the dungeon, perhaps the first reference. Towns being burned down, town misadventures with hobbits, "Blue" Bill, and a miscreant priest who spends money on tavern wenches.

They were literally playing the same game we do now, which we knew from First Fantasy Campaign (1980), but the dates of the events in there weren't established; now we know it dates back to 1970-2. I need to find more complete archives of Corner.

Pete Gaylord's 1972-3 Wizard of the Woods character sheet shows increasing Level (7 to 8), weapons skills per Chainmail but individually rolled or modified (he's better at Mace, worse at Dagger), and "Personality" stats, Brains, Looks, Health, Strength, Cunning were the 5 main stats before SIWDCCh; originally 2d6 but since updated on the sheet to 3d6. Also has Credability[sic], Sex, Courage, Horsemanship, Woodsmanship, Leadership, Flying (for Gaylord has a dragon), Seamanship; these all rolled 2d6.

Notice that most of these don't have character names; they're usually referred to by the player's name, or a nickname ("Great Svenny" for Svenson), even "Mello the Hobbit" is Mel Johnson. This may be a newsletter quirk, or really they didn't use character names? Type summaries are given as "Dale Nelson (Hero-Magic Weapon)" or "Wesely (Super-Hero-Magic Wapon-Level I Wizard-Super War Horse)". We know Hero = Fighter Level 4, Super-Hero = Fighter Level 8, but the correspondence of Wizard Levels I don't know.

There are roles for everyone and should one suddenly depart
Blackmoor's veil[sic] of tears a new role awaits for you immediately. There
isn't a single player in the Blackmoor Bunch that hasn't had at least
half a dozen lives so don't get depressed if a Dragon steps on you the
firts time you participate it isn't the first time, or the last that
it has happned[sic].

 

As to CHAINMAIL modifications they were fairly minor and the big
change was laying out the DUNGEON for explorations and the like
combined with a maze which you have to map as you go along, thus
offering the possibility of getting lost.

Outdoor Survival

Reprints only the map, Life Levels, and Wilderness Encounter matrix. I think the mechanics of this game are more deserving of study, since they also directly influenced D&D's wilderness movement rules.

Thus ends Part I: Precursors.

What I'm Watching: Godzilla Minus One

Finally out on Netflix (along with most Godzilla films).

G-1 follows the style of GMK and Shin Godzilla by only admitting to the events of Gojira (1954), in this case by being set in 1945-1947.

Failed kamikaze pilot Shikishima watches an island base (a hut and a few engineers) be destroyed by T-Rex-like baby Godzilla. Returning to the ruins of Tokyo, everyone he knew is gone, so he takes in a couple strays. As with most Godzilla movies, the Human story is the least engaging for me, certainly not helped by Noriko being a cipher (stoic Japanese) and Akiko being nonverbal, so we have only pilot's rare nightmares to get inside his head.

He finds work on a minesweeper crew, who have somewhat more personality, and he's productive until they meet the upgraded Godzilla, post Bikini Atoll.

The Godzilla design is fine, perhaps too much spiky, pebbly, obviously CGI-greebled skin. When damaged, it heals back into place, maybe in a different pattern? But you can't tell. I find the texture a little creepy and unsolid; the suits allowed physical changes and movements but remained the same, while the CGI cartoons are all fluid. The head has a reptile/cat look more like the Legendary movies, and the tail/back spines pop up like control rods in a nuclear reactor when he's heating up for a shot. After the nuclear breath, Godzilla's charred, face & chest burned down a significant amount, and takes time to regenerate. That part I like, it's clearly painful to fire it, and takes time, so there's more fighting and mugging for the camera.

The city battles have some real physicality to them, and several callbacks to 1954, but a couple of escapes, close calls, and people who are obviously ready to be stepped on, and then camera pulls back, are not quite as hardcore as Anno Hideaki's Shin Godzilla. Godzilla routinely picks people up in his mouth, and throws them; they're not chewed into pieces or anything. On par with Pacific Rim, and tougher than Legendary's PG-rated adventures.

There's long stretches on ships, and the water does not move well, but it's no worse than the scale-model boats in early movies.

Soundtrack noticeably is pretty weak, and then will have an Ifukube Akira inspired bit which stands out so much.

Japan's postwar government is useless, General MacArthur has Soviet problems, so the citizens of Japan with some decommissioned hardware have to handle Godzilla: A few destroyers with no guns, a prototype fighter, and Doctor Not Serizawa's fairly ridiculous tech weapon. It's a pretty entertaining bad plan, and as long as you don't read some German text you'll have a couple of surprises.

It's a fine Godzilla movie, ★★★★½

I'd rank the best ones now:

  1. Godzilla (1954)
  2. GMK (Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, 2001)
  3. Shin Godzilla (2016)
  4. Godzilla Minus One (2023)
  5. Godzilla Singular Point (2021)

Manga Recommendations

Serious:

  • Akira: Biker punks vs psychics in post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. Fantastic cyberpunk art.
  • Black Magic, Dominion, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell, Orion: Shirow Masamune's meditations on AI control of unworthy Humanity.
  • BLAME!: City grows out of control, a killer boy with a gravity gun blows up everything, searching for someone who can use a computer.
  • Hotel Harbour View: One of the most beautiful and tragic things I've ever read.

Pulp:

  • City Hunter: Obnoxious, sexist gunman romances & murders his way through bodyguard or assassin missions. Occasionally heartbreaking.
  • Death Note: I know you think you know what I think I know, but really… tries so hard to be serious about the premise it almost wraps around to comedy. I like Ruk just eating apples, watching the Humans spread death and chaos.
  • Dungeon Meshi ("Delicious in Dungeon"): The best work on dungeon ecology & cuisine ever published.

Goofy:

  • Dan Machi ("Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?"): LOVE, but mostly practical ideas for how an eternal mega-dungeon can work, dungeon economy, guilds built around gods.
  • Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Is it even insanity if reality obeys your whims?
  • That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime: Overpowered fanservice fantasy, but the monsters are people, and thinks clearly about what they want.
  • Urusei Yatsura: LOVE. Well, obsession and perversion, which is much the same thing. And space aliens as mythology.
  • Yuru Camp∆: Just meditative camping in slightly civilized wilderness.

What:

This was a fedi post, but I want it in a more permanent place, and I've added a couple more. I'm open to suggestions, but I have zero interest in shonen fighting manga, nor most romance. Horror works OK, but I prefer that as anime or live movies. Aria and Girls Frontline are on my to-read list, I've seen a couple GF anime eps, but I dunno yet.

What I'm Watching: The Fall of the House of Usher

A fairly nice homage to Poe's work, 8 episodes which for once seems somewhat justified. None of the episodes are strongly based on a specific story or poem, but they do work most of them in. Occasionally people burst out in poetry like Cop Rock.

Carla Gugino is great as "Verna" the psychopomp, Raven, spectre of death that hangs over the doomed Usher family. The rest of the cast are fine, some of the older/younger alternate actors are better (Bruce Greenwood/Zach Gilford as older/younger Roderick Usher) than others (Mary McDonnell/Willa Fitzgerald incoherently playing older/younger Madeline Usher). Mark Hamill plays Arthur Gordon Pym (of Nantucket!), hero of a round-the-world exploration (I bet!), now lawyer/assassin for the Ushers; I love that Luke Skywalker just grew up to be the best villains.

We know from the start that the pharmaceuticals business empire Roderick Usher has built has a body count, and then all his six children (by a variety of mothers) start dying in thematically appropriate ways. Roderick recounts this to Auguste Dupin, here an insurance investigator/prosecutor, in a decaying ruin of a house. I tended to get bored by the exposition in the house, the set doesn't feel like a terrible storm is raging until it's needed for plot. But the vignettes of each episode are better.

The Masque of the Red Death is just dumb scene kids, but builds to a good level of horror, and a doom for one that should be avoidable… Murder in the Rue Morgue is an ambitious surgeon, some angry chimps, a trick and speech by Verna.

The Black Cat takes an idiot stoner vtuber and some guilt, but I don't think built up his crime enough, I mostly laughed at his suffering all ep. The Tell-Tale Heart gives us the unintended murder and the guilt that was deserved in the last ep. Goldbug is the weak point, mostly exposition and an idiot getting themself killed. The Pit and the Pendulum finally delivers punishment to the most insipid bastard of the Usher kids, the one nobody will ever miss; as Verna says, she doesn't usually intervene, but he's a special case.

The Raven finally wraps it up, the Ushers' exact deal with Verna revealed. I somewhat resent the misuse of Lenore here, she should be a tragic romance following the poem, but instead is just a sacrifice, very weak writing choice. Roderick's scene changes in the end of this don't make a lot of sense. Animal House-ish "where are they now" bit of exposition. Fin.

The music occasionally is heavy-handed and '80s, and I love that. "We Built This City" is being used, I think to troll the Kids Today™, but I love the song and Jefferson/Starship/Airplane, it was the first or second concert I ever went to, so that makes The Black Cat even funnier. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during an operatic-level screaming argument, just like the vampire opera it's from.

They only rarely got any kind of moody, gothic feeling, even when shooting in dark places, they don't understand building up someone's crimes and then hurting them for it, the series is more shoving it in your face. But reading poetry at all is nice. If you're a big fan of little Edgar Allan Poe, if you find thatsbelievable funny, you ought to watch this.

★★★★☆

ZX Spectrum Next

Backed this in Sep 2020. After 3.5 years of of antici…




… pation, I finally have my SpecNext release 2!

I don't have it set up in its final location in the living room yet, so it's replaced my side terminal on my desk. Ideally I'd like to have a classic computer hutch desk, medium LCD instead of CRT, and a slightly janky '80s-style plush office chair to recreate the 1984 experience.

The box has a universal power brick with 4 national connectors that lock in, very nice. It doesn't have an HDMI cable, and I had some shenanigans with a bad cable in the wrong storage, but finally found a good one.

Played some baSnake and tried the demos, then down to some BASIC, starting with 10 Print Had to find the charset in the manual, and I always forget ZX BASIC doesn't really need args or parens.

10 PRINT CHR$ (134+INT(RND+0.5)*3);
20 GO TO 10

Playing more stuff from the browser, IT RUNS Z5 FILES NATIVELY!!! Just shove your Infocoms etc. in there and hit Enter. I got a new standard text adventure player!

The keyboard's fine for me, but some people will immediately hook up a PS2 keyboard. The key travel's short but very crisp. The layout's mostly OK, nice big spacebar, but it really should've moved the ;",. keys over to the right, so you have something besides ENTER under your pinky on home keys. I'm perpetually typing off by one column because of this.

In BASIC, there's no shortcut commands like ? or P. for PRINT, which means I'm very very tired of typing PRINT … PRINT … PRINT. But at least it's not like the classic ZX81 keyboard, with keywords on every key. My left pinky is getting a bit worn out from symbol-B for *, symbol-L for =, etc.

Videogame controls are weird:

  • Consoles: normal Joystick/D-Pad/Analog sticks, ^ O X [] buttons.
  • Most 8-bit computers: normal Arrows or HJKL, sometimes IJKL
  • All recent computers: normal WASD
  • Spectrum: unusable QA or 2W up/down, OP or 90 left/right, M to fire. Needless to say, I did NOT beat NextIPEDE with this control scheme.

So I got a knockoff Genesis ("MegaDrive" to some) controller, which has worked perfectly. See Joystick FAQ

Looking into NextBASIC, the manual is fantastic. 318 pages, spacey cover art, super technical. Hundreds of pages on graphics, sound, using the ZXOS. There's a section on IN/OUT ports, registers, a hardware diagram if you want to replace the RasPi module or something. I still need to read more Z80 ASM from another book, but everything short of that is in here.

I've got the real-time clock and wifi working (note: only AP names without spaces!), but haven't figured out how to uplaod/download from it yet. Uh, that's important. I can pop the SD card and get files when I back up, but I'd like to use the wifi.

I have from a couple years ago, quite a bit of a text dungeon game developed on emulator, but I'll rewrite some of the code now with new features (optional LET command! Better loops, locals, and "static"/private vars!), and the graphics now to use tiles at least, or first-person if I'm feeling ambitious.

Haven't even looked at the CP/M core, which I think will be very exciting, having a good CP/M machine in the modern age. I see Gary Kildall on Computer Chronicles every so often and I miss what could've been.

I'm calling it now: Best computer of 2024 is a 28MHz Z80 with 2MiB RAM.

Indecent Proposal: Linux

Craig suggested a snarky Modest Proposal, start targeting Linux instead of Mac, if you recoil at Apple taking 30%.

It's really 15% for most people in Small Business Program. In the Olden Times Before Ye Appe Store, distributors only would take 50% or more cut, publishers would take 70-90% cut; the App Store was a ridiculously good deal when it came out. Assholes like Tim Sweeney at "Epic Games" are of course appalled at paying out a dime, and so after an epic court battle where they lost 9/10 claims, have now reduced it to 27%, and owe Apple $73M for legal fees.

But let's think about switching. I've been spending a few days arguing with Linux zealots on fediverse, and have come to some conclusions, aside from the obvious that Linux people are crazy.

THE GOALS

  1. Write software in tools and languages I don't hate.
  2. Keep the kind of software quality, taste, accessibility, etc. that I like.
  3. Ship it and GET PAID.

Not Goals

  1. End-user use. I don't have to inflict this on myself, just see what the dev environment's like.
  2. Server software, I have FreeBSD for that.
  3. Joining a cult and singing the Free Software Song - do not click, it's Stallman singing.

GUI APIs

This is the most visible, but shallowest problem. Craig suggests Gtk+ or QT.

  • Gtk:
    • Pro: It is easy to code against in C, and from there you can use anything you like with FFI; I could ship my Scheme programs with Gtk.
    • Con: Looks like ass everywhere, native to nothing.
    • Every version is incompatible and utterly different from the last.
    • Theming makes UI design very hard, or impossible.
  • QT:
    • Pro: Actually not terrible looking, sometimes almost passes for native.
    • Con: Have to work in C++, which is a HARD NO from me.
  • Gnome: Mostly this is just Gtk.
    • Con: Do everything in their awful IDE.
    • Sort of has design guidelines, but the child-like or Windows Vista-like icons, bubble aesthetic, is not appealing.
    • Requires Flatpak, which I'll get to in a minute.
  • KDE: Mostly this is just QT.
    • Pro: Can be worked in from Kate, which is an OK editor. Here's Mark, saying something almost positive about a Linux program! Kate is OK. It's no Vim, though.
    • Human Interface Guidelines are pretty consistent, professional-looking.
    • Con: Can also be worked in from KDevelop, which makes Eclipse look fun (Eclipse is not fun).
    • UI is mostly written in QML, which is YAML like Microsoft's XML layout stuff. Just horrible.
    • Mostly the loser in the Linux User Interface Wars.
    • Again, C++, no.
  • Android:
    • Pro: Is a platform with some aesthetics & user experience; not great, but it exists.
    • Has a paid store.
    • Con: Languages are Java or Kotlin, which are very silly.
    • IDEs for it are really spectacularly awful, either Eclipse or a bag-on-the-side mode of IntelliJ.
    • Security is F-tier, I don't like contributing to a platform that's all scams, piracy, and botnets.

I hate basically everything here, and more besides. Gtk has a bare winning edge that it's easier to use from a language I like.

System APIs

The deeper problem of Linux is everything in between 1970s terminal programs and trivial GUI programs that don't interact with anything. There's no real system integrations.

If you want to use the user's calendar, you have to research several calendaring systems, some of which may have an API and some don't. Again when you want to do messaging, oh, wait, that doesn't even exist on every system. Again when you want to do something with curated photo albums, not just shoving a png in some random directory.

Or dig deeper, and audio is the same fiasco that chased me off Linux desktop 20 years ago; you simply can't get multiple audio streams to sync & play, and the latency is often in the seconds for audio processing, I can get far under 10ms on Mac. Video is nonexistent other than calling out to VLC or mplayer; you don't want to try.

What you can get done on Linux is maybe a database and low-level networking. If that's not enough, you're in for a rough ride.

Taste

So I use this word a lot. "The only problem with Microsoft is, they just have no taste." —Steve Jobs - watch that whole clip from Triumph of the Nerds.

Taste is about picking one aesthetic, one set of user experiences, and saying no to all the others. You have to choose. And most people can't choose, or they just end up dumpster-diving a bunch of junk that doesn't go together, and can't understand why they're unhappy (or maybe they're Grouches who like garbage).

If the platform creator has an aesthetic, it has behavior guidelines, you follow it, so users will feel comfortable, they won't feel surprised: Law of Least Astonishment.

This is impossible on Linux. Gnome users hate KDE, KDE users hate Gnome. Some of them like Electron shit, others think it's as bad as Flash (it's actually worse). Until one of them becomes a One True Catholic Linux and puts the rest to conversion or death at swordpoint, there won't be any unified UI.

So now you have to do QA testing on design as well as functionality on multiple distros, many different configurations, and you'll probably need testers familiar with those setups. It's an impossible QA task.

Suppose I want a file open box with custom file previews. On Mac OS X, I can use NSOpenPanel, customize the accessory view, watch notifications and update the preview. Gnome & KDE will deal with even having icons differently, and you can't override anything without bringing in their code and hacking on it.

Ship It

You have several choices here.

Gnome people say Flatpak, which bundles all the libraries and support for a program into a bundle, explicitly copied from NeXTstep/Mac OS X/iOS .app bundles (the word "app" is only valid for these platforms! This is where it comes from!)

Which is theoretically fine, but runs into the problem that Linux doesn't have a consistent OS base, so Flatpaks are a LOT bigger than Mac app bundles. They run "cross-distro" by some kind of linking hackery and translation layers, so your Gnome program includes all of Gnome, and looks like ass on KDE, but runs. As noted under Taste, that's not an acceptable way to ship, you'd have to test on everything.

npm, deb, & nix are distro-specific bundles, but at least they can check dependencies and install only what's needed. They don't help you at all with translation layers. While there's a UI for these, you really only do them from command line.

"Free Software" is an incredible pain in the ass here, you have to carefully check what libraries you use, and if they're LGPL or BSD/MIT, so you can use them with some qualifications, or GPL or AGPL, in which case you can't (unless you like shipping all your source and having 100% piracy).

Get Paid

Releasing free software is useless. As Harlan Ellison said, cross my palm with silver.

Universally, every Linux I've spoken to hates paying for software, they would never do it, think I'm an immoral monster for suggesting it, I should be happy someone might put a penny in a tip jar.

This is a backwards, shit-covered, medieval religious dogma. It's appalling in the 21st Century that Rape Apologist Richard Stallman is still Pope of the FSF, eater of toejam, owner of abortion jokes in fortune. And his devotees are carrying out The Faith, regardless of the sins of their leader.

There's no good software stores. Elementary has one, which is defunct or close to it, from what I can tell. Ubuntu shut theirs down years ago.

Google Play for Android isn't on every device, and it's widely pirated. I also morally object to letting Google have money, but any port in a storm if it wasn't for that?

itch.io works fine for games. I suspect the Linux paid users are the tiniest most shrivelled-up sliver of the demographics. 20-30 years ago, I actually had minor success with shareware on Linux, but that dropped off and never recovered.

Otherwise, I dunno, try to run my own e-commerce site and sell binaries which will instantly get pirated because nobody on Linux has any money?

So instead of paying Apple 15-30%, pay whatever hosting, bandwidth, & e-commerce costs you, and you get nothin' in return. Let's see, 30% of nothin' is…

Conclusion

It appears that eating babies will not actually solve the overpopulation or hunger problems at this time, Mr Swift (no relation).

New Machines Friday Morning Music