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Games Entertainment

Whisperings from Indrema 103

Bill Kendrick writes "John Gildred, CEO of Indrema, participated in an Indrema IRC chat today and gave folks a much-needed update on the L600 console and the company's current state off affairs. Unfortunately, the Big Bad Recession is hitting them as well. John says: "We have experienced our share of dry spells in this difficult economy lately. The situation has not improved. The reality is that we have one last chance to turn it around. There is a plan in motion to obtain interim funding, but [then] I will not have a conclusion until end of this month or early next month." After the update, we had a Q&A session and he mentioned the CPU is now spec'd at 750MHz, and will use a GeForce3. And if they do go belly up, they'll probably release a lot of their code as "LGPL or the like." I've already got his update online at my Indrema fan site."
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Whisperings from Indrema

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I sure hope it wasn't on EFnet, otherwise everyone will have the incorrect idea that it will be filled with splits.
  • Did anybody really expect any other outcome? This was a very cool ideal, but I never thought it could work in today's market. That's probably more a testimate to the state of the industry rather than the validity of their plan, but true nonetheless. Too bad either way.
  • Better they leave the game early instead of going under after pushing a few thousand units through manufacturing. The Dreamcast, PS2, GameCube and XBox will have enough of a hard time keeping in there as it is. The Dreamcast console just proves this. And a company who has no estlablished roots to live off of like Microsoft, or who has never done a console already like Sony and Nintendo expects to survive?

    The XBox will fill the need for a PC console, the GameCube will hold over the kiddies, and the PS2 will hold over everyone else while the Dreamcast fades away.
  • If you market it right it will succeed
    Look at windows

  • dynamics of the console market. no company who has successfully developed and marketed a console unit has made money off of the actual console - they make their cash from the software licensing agreements for games produced to run on their systems. Xbox for instance will lose money for microsoft - but - they will make that loss back (and more.. much more) through software licensing agreements. linux may be a superior operating system in terms of power, but admit it - linux is a useful tool to corporations ONLY so that you - the developer - has a way to develop code that they will steal from you. Linux is cool for servers, but get over the idea that a 'linux console' will ever work - especially when that $300 for a console box still means a loss for any company selling/distributing one. just my two cents.
  • I've been waiting for two holiday shopping seasons for a Linux-compatible DVD player and the Indrema looks like a great excuse for getting one. I am looking forward to all the other stuff it will do.
  • They've just about guaranteed that they won't get support from the Linux community -- offering to GPL software *if* they go belly up is sure to guarantee that they *will*.

    They ought to offer to GPL their software if they do *well*.


    I rang, you rang, we all rang for orangutang!

  • Yeah, I'm not sure why anybody with deep pockets would invest in them, even moreso with all the budget-tightening and biz plan-reevaluating going on these days. Things like this need economy of scale to keep the prices as low and thus the margins as high as possible (unless they're planning on taking a loss on each machine and making it up by licensing games/services — but that runs into the huge problem of what the incentive would be for a gamemaker to port to this platform), but what reason is there to think that there's a large audience for such a system given the competition? What games are going to be available for this system to draw people in?


  • From the article: ...the CPU is now spec'd at 750MHz, and will use a GeForce3...

    Gee, can anyone think of an upcoming console that has a 733MHz processor and a GeForce3? Bingo! The XBox. Yes, folks, I'm afraid its another MHz war... (and it could be a good one, because appearently they havent decided if they are going to go with AMD or Intel, but they do mention that they want a fast FSB, so it will probably be AMD :))

    Mark Duell
  • That's too bad Indrema is having problems. Anyways, a short description of Indrema's console [] is available at, the most interesting section being Why Linux? []. The open source/Linux community already has had it's fair share of failures (Mozilla, et. al.). Unfortuntly, if Indrema fails there is a slight possibility of the Real World(TM)(R)(C) ignoring free software in general for a few decades -- I personally hope they succeed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone else find it a little odd that a $600 graphics card will be put in a $300 console? Yeah, we know the L600 is gonna be sold for a loss that's made up with licensing fees, but what's to stop anyone from just yanking the GeForce3 outta the Indrema and making a nice profit on its sale?
  • Sure, 50% of slashdot will run out and get one, but in a year and a half there's gonna be the XBox, the Gamecube, and the PS2. That's it.... There's no way in hell this thing can survive. It can get games, since it's a pc with a tvout, but who's going to buy it, when they've got a pc and a ps2? Don't get me wrong, it's a nice idea, and there's no way the XBox would make it without the juggernaut behind it.

    This isn't a troll, but basically, I really think Indrema should give up.

  • However, the problem I see is that Microsoft has got the backing and the bucks in marketing driving the Xbox, while the Indrema has.....a free operating system. Big whoop.

    The following questions are what need to be answered:

    Are there any big-name software companies that are going to writing games for it? All their money is riding on the Xbox.
    Who is going to know about Indrema if/when it comes out besides the /. community?
    Could I go down to the local Software Etc./Babbages and pick one up or are they going to scratch their heads and not have a clue what I am talking about?
  • I've been following the Indrema for some time, on the mailing lists and et cetera, and It seems that the real problem with the Indrema is the lack of advertising. Almost NOBODY knows about the Indrema, and while I am supportive of Indrema as an idea and a company, it's hard to expect this to turn out good.

    Though, There are real problems involved in this, and very legitimate reasons why they haven't been able to advertise (some of the investors apparently didn't want word getting out until things were ready, or something like that). It's a tough market, and indrema really had a very supportive following.

    Let's hope for the best, eh? *crosses fingers*

  • This is why I feel that they should market Indrema as more of a multi-purpose tool. It should already have dvd built in, and I imagine that they could put some tivo-like features into it. That way people would be more likely to buy the device. They should hold of makeing a big deal out of gaming until lots of the units are in consumers hands.
  • by BIGJIMSLATE ( 314762 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @06:16PM (#348476)
    Indrema's only chance of survival is if they make a showing, a STRONG showing at this years E3 Expo. And as of now, Indrema is NOT listed as an exhibit at E3. Hm...not a good idea. Not a good idea at all.

    Why aren't they there? Who the hell knows? Its only the biggest gaming expo in the country with tens of thousands of members of the press reporting on the biggest and best things to come in the next 12 months of console gaming. Its only the expo where Bill Gates is going to have his chance to "sell" his machine to the public, and for Nintendo to try and regain people who were displeased with the N64.

    At last years E3, I had the luck of watching Konami show their Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer, and almost a year later, people are STILL asking to borrow my promo dvd that its on. E3 can make that much of an impression on gamers, and Indrema is ignoring it.

    I want this console to survive, TRUST me, I do. But there's no way it can unless it gets some press. And if its not mentioned in any gaming mags, barely any websites, and almost none of the print/tv media, where are these people even going to HEAR about it? Unfortunately, your average gamer isn't a /.'er, and most of them have almost no knowledge of the system at all.

    If anyone working on the Indrema is reading this...REGISTER for E3! What have you got to lose? You'll only be showing your hardware off to a good 30,000-40,000 software developers, investors, and members of the press, who are people with video cameras just itching to upload the coolest videos they shot that day.
  • by geomcbay ( 263540 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @06:17PM (#348477)
    Face it, the indrema is never going to be a mass-market console. There's no easy way for them to get out of the chicken and egg problem of developers vs number of installed users. Developers aren't beating down the door to get at the technology because its pretty much just PC tech (as is XBox..but indrema doesn't have Microsoft's marketing power, or hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on launch). And since the only games available for it will be PC ports (the best of which will also be ported to the XBox), the users arent going to bite.

    Indrema's only real hope, IMO, is to position itself not as yet another console, but as a cool TV-capable programmable device for hobbyist programmers and the tech savvy. (TiVO-ish functionality, which they seem to be doing to some degree, is good as well). While there is hobbyist development (both via pure reverse engineering and illegally obtaining developer software) for other consoles, having one where it is fully encouraged would be pretty cool. With such a system, there's sure to be ports of cool emulators and small but perhaps creative indie games.

    In short, Indrema should position itself more as Yaroze and less as Playstaton. Of course, this may be a losing battle too, as it would require selling the hardware for a profit most likely (since there won't be many distribution royalties to be had)... But at least they would have some glimmer of hope. A pure console play is doomed, whether the thing runs linux or not (hint: 99.99% of console buyers don't know anything about linux other than the human interest stories they read on some tech news sites).

  • A company falls for the Linux hype and is now about to fall off the face of the Earth. Where have I heard this before? Oh, *I* remember: VA Linux stock hit a new low today.

    Linux - "Where do you want to cash your unemployment check today?"
  • :: Are there any big-name software companies that are going to writing games for it?

    Apparently there are, though Indrema has never released any details about that.

    :: Could I go down to the local Software Etc./Babbages and pick one up or are they going to scratch their heads and not have a clue what I am talking about?

    Having tried this myself, I can answer that. As of now, nobody knows about the indrema. Shame, really, but it takes money to Advertise and it takes investors to get money.

    Unfortunately, there were some flaws in the business model, such as the Freeware Developer stuff(though, that eventually got fixed)...

  • Let's face it, the Indrema console would never survive in today's marketplace. Look at the Dreamcast. Sega is an established, respected video-game company with a long history and a lot of marketing power, yet look how long the Dreamcast lasted in the marketplace.

    Much of a console's marketing power is dependenant on the games that are expected to be available for it. What Indrema game can't you wait to play? I certainly haven't heard of any that have piqued my interest.. in fact I haven't heard of any, period.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Indrema is a noble effort and I respect everyone involved in the project and the company. That is why perhaps it might actually be best if this company were to die now before the people involved wasted more of their money and lives on a product and an idea that will never last more than a month in the highly competitive marketplace. Let's face it, the Indrema is basically X-Box minus Microsoft's marketing machine. And the X-Box is basically a PC.

  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @06:25PM (#348481) Homepage
    ... a company who has no estlablished roots to live off of like Microsoft, or who has never done a console already like Sony and Nintendo expects to survive?

    Why not? The Colecovision came out of nowhere - from a company who originally built water tanks and snow mobiles - to briefly dominate the home console market. And this was despite competition from the well known and (then) hugely successful Atari.

    Of course, this was back during the videogame boom and the Colecovision was clearly better than the competition. The Indrema is basically the same hardware as the Xbox only without the developer backing and without the bigname titles. I don't disagree with you: the Indrema looks like a dead duck. I'm just saying that "established roots" or prior success has little to do with it. History proves this over and over again in the videogames arena.

  • They're out of Illinios...a quick glance at their fax number being a 309 area code pretty much narrows it down.
  • I mean, wouldn't it have been smarter to wait until the Linux-based PC had taken off as a gaming platform? There's a ton of promise, on the development side with the SDL and the DirectX work that Wine's doing, as well as considering the games that have already been or are being ported (see linuxgames []), but at this point, Linux as a gaming OS really is empty hype. Especially considering how video game consoles are usually sold with less of a profit margin than the games, how can they expect to do this without the games already there, ready to go?

    Or am I missing something obvious here? Were there a whole slew of titles that they were ready to port?

  • Come on, this one had SCAM written all over it.

    Set up a nice web-page, announce a product, get as many investors as you can, fly all your friends to Paris for lunch and then call it quits when the money runs out.

  • Bill's exact words included:

    ...The reality is that we have one last chance to turn it around....

    Bill did **not** say they are finished. Yes the odds are against them, but from the comments I've seen, it seems like nobody really *wants* them to succeed.

    Heck, I am so sick of Monopolysoft, I'd pony up $500 to pre-order one today.
  • Gee, can anyone think of an upcoming console that has a 733MHz processor and a GeForce3? Bingo! The XBox.

    Just a few points.

    1. The XBox does not use a GeForce3. It uses the "NV25" chipset, which is a generation ahead of the GeForce3 (which is the NV20 chipset)
    2. It's only a MHz war if both sides participate, which brings us to ...
    3. Don't expect to see Microsoft changing system specs now. They're too far along to change any specs if they want to make the upcoming Christmas season. On top of that, it doesn't really matter if they change their specs at all, because the current hardware will best most PC games out there because unlike a PC, you can go all the way down to the metal with an XBox and not have to worry about incompatibilities.
  • Obviously there are going to be a lot of comments about the Xbox vs. the L600. Especially on Slashdot (Linux vs. M$...round 56,790). However, if I remember correctly, the Xbox isn't as upgradable as the L600. Supposedly, you can actually change the CPU with the push of a button, etc. Also, and this may be flamebait, but at least the L600 won't crash in mid game. Additionally, either way this turns out, Linux wins. The Open Source community gains some game software for Linux and receives a new and usable GUI (as I am told the L600 will have). Again, either way, Linux wins.
  • Why not? The Colecovision came out of nowhere - from a company who originally built water tanks and snow mobiles - to briefly dominate the home console market. And this was despite competition from the well known and (then) hugely successful Atari.

    I was meaning estlablished roots as in having a busniess to survive off of. Microsoft can easially afford to have the XBox flop for a while after launch since they have other income. But isn't the company building the Indrema a new company?
  • Is that you Bowie?
  • I was serious !
    Do I have to give examples of how a crappy product like windows
    only succeeded because of marketing?
    I figured everyone knows that M$'s products are marketing success's
    not tech success's

  • At the very least, they can show off their hadware. You'd be surprised how many investors, who know nothing about gaming, will be interested in hearing that some small company has hardware that can compete with, and possibly surpass the X-Box.

    Besides, they could always team up with NVidia and at least show off what the GeForce 3 can do together.
  • by Stick666 ( 259959 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @07:06PM (#348492)
    It looks like they're trying to go head to head with the major consoles, which won't work. They'll have to market the things that this console over other consoles that will appeal to people such as:
    • Free games. Everyone loves something for nothing. Games are far too expensive these days, parents may buy it just to save money. Kids may get it cos' they have no money.
    • You can make games for it. There are absolutly loads of teens out there who would love start programming games. I first started programming by making games on my old sinclair spectrum. This is an affordable way for kids to do this.
    • It doesn't just have to be a games console. I'm sure this thing can do more than just play games. Maybe it could be advertised as a cheap pc if it has the right software.
    • Start calling it a hackers system more. All the kids will think they can break into NASA with it, lol.

    If they want the mass public to take notice they are gonna have to market this thing as something that has never been seen before.
  • It would be a shame if Indrema were to fail in their dream of creating a Linux based console, however if it fails it would be nice if both the detailed hardware specifications as well as the code were open sourced. This would leave it open for another well funded company to come in and pick up where they left off.

    But most of us here can see that there isn't much chance for Indrema. The OS may be free, but hey, it will be free for the XBox as well as far as Microsoft is concerned (until M$ are finally split up (if ever...) and hardware goes the other way from the software). Games developers are backing the dead certs now:

    - XBox (except Japanese market)
    - Gamecube
    - PS2 (looks like it could come in 3rd at this rate)

    There is not a market for more than 2 consoles, never mind 3. Indrema reminds me of the old 3D0 - a good machine in its time (94/95) but a combination of PSX, N64 and Saturn killed it off early.

    Also I have doubts about the GeForce being used. What would be good is an updated Kyro II with T&L, and running at 250MHz. It wouldn't cost as much to use, its efficiency is surely something that Linux afficionados would love, and with a few small updates to make it more powerful (shouldn't be too hard to do) it would make a good choice. It might even be easy to get Dreamcast games ported as well, as the graphics chipset has is derived from that used in the Dreamcast. That would give it some real backing.

    The Indrema has to launch soon though, in less than 6 months, otherwise it is too late. $300 for Gamecube or Indrema. I know what I would choose.
  • The home console market is an extremely fickle one. Look at Sega for a good example. The Dreamcast was a very good system, and had a strong library of games. It was also available on the market way ahead of the next gen consoles manufactured by the likes of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Despite all of this, Sega lost scads of cash on the console and restorted to discontinuing its console in lieu of developing titles for other machines.

    Indrema is a very interesting project, and I sincerely hope that it's successful, but I fear that it just doesn't have what it takes to cut it.

    Strong developer support is one of the key components of success (ie: support from big names... Nintendo's N64 didn't enjoy the success that it might have because Nintendo lost Square as a developer prior to the release of the console). I haven't followed Indrema too closely, but a quick visit to their web site didn't reveal anything about 3rd party developer support (though there's a really good chance that I just missed it). Games for the mainstream consoles (Dreamcast, PS2, GAME CUBE, etc) are always extensively hyped.

    Consumers don't necessarily want all the sweet goodies that Indrema promises... game player/mp3 player/web browser/tivo thingy... I once read an article regarding the PS2's DVD support, and the author suggested that Sony's combination of home entertainment devices might confuse consumers (I regret that I can't provide a link to the relevant site... it was a few months ago that I read it).

    The only really positive thing that I can think of that works in Indrema's favour is that the console market would have been awefully crowded if Sega hadn't dropped the Dreamcast... with Nintendo and Microsoft introducing their new machines later this year, I fear that it's going to be an uphill fight for Indrema.

  • Marketing.

    Enough "muscle", and almost any product can hit it big. I don't think the Indrema concept is out there - really out in the public. Who's really expecting it? That's their problem - not MS, not Sony, not Sega, not Nintendo.

  • Well, considering this will probably not get read, here goes... ;)

    I think that Indrema are kinda going about this the wrong way. I mean, if they're not going to make money off the console (indeed, they're probably going to sell it at a loss like everyone and the market are saying), and if the games are pretty much there in terms of being able to run on the hardware, then maybe the very thing that they are working on (the console "software") is what they should be looking at selling. I mean, if they target the console software for a machine base that most people have, say a P2 400+ with a reasonable support for a wack of 3D video cards, I think they would have a GREAT system. :)

    Then all they would be selling would be the console software, and HECK, they COULD give it away free! Why?? Well, remember those licensing fees? Well, I'm SURE gaming companies would love to write games for a solid computer-based console that only reqiures the user to boot a CDROM, then switch to the game CD and boom, the user is off.. or even include the console OS on the gaming system. All the while you'll get games that run reliably, Indrema can do what they do well, which is support the existing hardware out there, and they'll make their money off the game industry, stealling the XBox's marketshare.

    Pipe-dream? Maybe. :) But that's what all successful ideas look like at first. :) Good luck to you John and Indrema, and I hope you guys can figure something out!

  • The console business is extremely capital intensive, and there are very few companies that should rightly be in the industry. You have to have pretty deep pockets to take a loss on every unit (about $130 in the case of xbox) while marketing the hell out of it ($200-$500 million) to drive game sales. Further, "The economics of gaming without first-party capabilities are not good" (Robbie Bach) since 3rd party royalties only touch a tiny part of their huge margin.

    So, the notion of a tiny company without game development experience targeting a console at folks who historically haven't paid for much software seems pretty silly. Maybe there's something I'm missing, but it looks like they should pack up shop now.

  • Since games on Linux rock so hard, lets just go and create a linux based console!!!!!!!!!

    WTF are these guys on?
    They need to get real. Games on linux just plain bite ass. I'd rather play the game when it is new, than when it is 2 years old, on linux.

    Windows kicks the shiznit out of linux when it comes to games. If you even think it doesn't, you're just another hopeless linux jingoist.
  • Free games

    Yeah. Tux Racer. Smiletris. Kickin', man!

    You can make games for it

    Well, provide a decent programming language for it then. (decent as in usable by people with ideas, but not necessarily programming skills).

    Of course, it could easily come with all of the free software like Gimp, KOffice, etc, that would push this console into the home computer market.

    I started programming on the Amstrad CPC, in BASIC, then ASM. However, I feel sorry for the person whose first game programming attempts ever have to be in C. Maybe something like Blitz Basic (old Amiga software being revived for the PC soon) would be a nice thing to have. Even AMOS. Even if it isn't all powerful, and limits people to slow 3D or 2D games.

    I agree that they can't market it as "yet another games console with possible internet access and duff DVD support", it does need something extra. Maybe they could team up with Sky TV in the UK to try and get an Indrema embedded in every Sky box - Sky are already offering TiVos for their subscribers.

  • . no company who has successfully developed and marketed a console unit has made money off of the actual console - they make their cash from the software licensing agreements for games produced to run on their systems

    I know this is standard /. opinion, and looking at the specs of indrema/xbox I understand how this may be possible (that PC hardware is not specific to gameconsoles & there is 'waste' incurred in hardware design in order to maintain a 'standard' design that Indrema&M$ need to fire up Linux/Windows on these things)

    How is it that $300 wont build your DC or PS? They are very specific/dedicated devices, with economies of scale I dont understand why it is unreasonable to make them for ~$100-150 or so.

    Im not an EE, so im not that certain on the details.. i just want to hear/see some proof outside of this repeated /. dogma.

    Like the $ony PR-written 'Hussein stockpiling PS2s for weapons' BS, i think the idea that 'the device is sold at a loss' adds to the mysticism(sp) of the device and gives the impression of high-tech & power... I believe it may be a self-serving myth the console types like to repeat.

  • to go after the NC market.

    look, they have almost no chance at all in the console market...they are competing with MS, and MS has the desktop and a huge warchest.

    i'd go poke for an alliance with IBM, Sun or possibly a big contract with the US gov't or some large school districts...even Brasil or France.

    push, push push the truth -- that "going microsoft" binds a company to an endless, horrific upgrade path, not to mention the massive licensing fees, etc. None with Indrema.

    you've got to demo a turnkey mid-size office system -- running nfs or samba, staroffice, a few legacy windows machines. pound home ease of use, reliablilty, no license fees, low cost in the door.

    but i have to NC company has survived, and no console can compete in this market.

    bye - bye indrema. i would have loved to see you make it, but there is just no way.

  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @07:40PM (#348502) Journal
    Assume that the device uses a cool version of an Athlon processor - say a mobile Athlon 750MHz. This could cost, ooh, about $40 in quantity in a few months time. Add to this the GeForce3 chip, which in quantity, and in a few months time, etc, could be down to $100. Add decent sound. Add DVD drive $50, and so on.

    It all adds up. Even taking the hardware alone, without development costs, etc, you could be looking at $400+. If they were confident of selling 1m Indrema consoles though, then economies of scale kick in and the price goes down to $300 a console. But after 4 months on the market, they have to reduce the consoles price to keep interest high. Selling at $200. Still making a loss.

    However, by this time 750MHz mobile Athlons could be even cheaper - maybe even bin parts that couldn't make 900MHz, and would normally be chucked. This could reduce the cost even more.

  • Well, it isn't really a console, but Nokia is doing some pretty neat stuff with their Media Terminal which is based on Linux/Mozilla... [] Playing Quake 3 with the remote was kind of wierd though :)
  • Win, lose or draw, I will buy one just to help offset their costs. I am glad to see their attitude towards the opensouce community, and will reward it by opening my wallet.
  • Gamecube will most likely cost $200 on it's release date (if not less). Nintendo is pushing it as a pure game machine. No set top box plans. It also has some nice combatibily with the recently released Game Boy Advanced (which is sure to be a success). Nintendo's got enough legacy games to ensure at least a number two spot in the market.

    As for your prediction of Xbox pushing PS2 out of the market, I'm afraid I disagree. Sony's already capturing a large portion of the market. Just because you don't see PS2s on the shelves doesn't mean nobody has one. The games for the PS2 are also getting better and better. I don't think anybody knows for sure how much untapped power is in this box. You just can't measure it in Mhz and RAM. Read this Ars Technica article [] for more info.

    PS2 also has plenty of legacy games of it's own. Metal Gear Solid2, Gran Turismo 3, and Final Fantasy X are enough reason to own the system. What does Xbox have? I just don't think Microsoft understands this market enough to do well in it. You can't just throw money at it.

    As for Indrema, it's hard to say. It could go the way of 3DO. But 3DO went down due it's intial $700 price tag. Indrema could take up a nich as hobbist game development machine. I just haven't seen anything annouced yet for games.

    As always, the quality of the games tells the story. Not the hardware.

    I personally own a PS2 and I'll be in line for a Gamecube and GameBoy Advance. I'll be watching Indrema closely. As for Xbox, I already own a PC. I don't see the need for another.
  • Indrema was bound for disaster from the start. They never had enough funding or connections with developers to go anywhere. Their only saving grace was that plent of VC suckers were willing to throw money at a Linux company.

    If Indrema had wanted to do this right, they would have needed backing from someone with oodles of money from day one. They also would have needed to chase down japanese game developers like crazy, because a console will go nowhere without them.

    Indrema was just another product of the dotcom mess. It would have been great to see them succeed, but we all knew it was just a pipe dream.
  • Nintendo have dropped their stupid "cuddly games only" policy. There will now be some pretty kick ass games on the GameCube, violent, bloodthirsty games at last. Sega write good games, and these will appear on the GameCube.

    Doom, yeah. Even Quake II isn't big news these days. Sure, the console could come with a games disk, with custom Quake levels and Doom levels running within Quake and Doom (as the originals are Copyrighted, however there are tonnes of freeware levels available).

    Indrema at most will be a niche console. It will be the console that in 2 years time people will show to their friends, and they will think that it is neat, then they will ask if it plays {big hit game}... No.

    PC hardware sucks. All force and no thought. Where is the elegance? GeForce 3 is not elegant, just brutish, hot, and nasty (average picture quality, etc). x86 is old, decrepit, hot and inefficient. The 400MHz custom PPC that IBM is developing for Nintendo will probably match the 750MHz x86 that Indrema uses, and the GameCube is going to provide developers with a nice software copying preventer, in a custom disk format (small DVD) - you might get the data off of the original, but where do you write a copy?

    I don't want M$ to succeed at all - the XBox is all of those bad things I mentioned above. Indrema is as well, but not proprietary (they think that they will get NVidia to write Linux drivers for the GeForce 3 and open source them? Ho ho ho). I would like to see Indrema do reasonably well though, but they haven't got the clout, marketing nous, or fervent following.

  • Going against the giants Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, did anybody really think that they have a real chance? I'm not a console gamer but I would've loved to see them excel. The same result would probably still occurred(considering that they don't get the funding) even if the economy didn't go belly up. Microsoft would've just lowered their prices of the X-Box when they release it, like John D. Rockefellar did with his gas station prices in a two gas station town, until the competitions gone(so he could jack up the prices to the profit maximizing point.) History would've just repeated itself again.
  • consoles either out or coming out. As a lifetime gamer, I've seen this happen once before in the 80's and it wasn't too pretty, but I don't think the same will happen this time around. Personally, I would wait until I see any games that interest me before I would consider buying an Indrema box. I don't have the money to just buy it for the geek cool factor.

    Playstation 2 is similar, IMO. Sony only has one game that I'm interested in for Playstation 2 and that's Metal Gear Solid 2. SSX is pretty cool, but its not enough to warrant purchasing the system. But it is a DVD player too, you might say. I already have 2 of them, one on my computer and a home console version. Besides, there's no remote in that USD$300 price tag. No memory card either. So I'd have to shell out about $400 for a decent starter system. Way too much for me!

    I really like my Sega Dreamcast, because Sega has the balls to release some new games. Not Madden Football X, Cool Borders whatever, Tekken gameplayhasntchange Tag, or whatever other sequels. Granted Sega has their share of sequels, but they have some of the most original games of the last several years. Samba De Amigo, Virtua Tennis, Jet Grind Radio, etc.

    OK...enough ranting...

    ----------------- I'm looking forward to Gameboy Advance. [] How about you?

  • The OS in a gaming console dosen't need to be anything special just a simple OS that puts some drivers together. The fact that they chose linux realy dosen't mean much except that there's less hardware support that they have to do themselves, and maybe GeForce3 drivers will be realy fast for linux.
  • There is not a market for more that 2 car companies, nevermind 3.
  • If the hardware is so standard, and Indrema is selling below cost for the sum of the parts, why shouldn't I just buy it and use it as a windows gaming rig? Or a web server? Or mp3 jukebox? The list of possibilities is pretty endless.

    It seems like we're all trying to find "the problem with..." this box and business plan. If there is a fault, it looks like it might be the ease with which users (by that I mean mostly slashdot readers) can convert it into a desktop PC.

  • An awful lot of good companies and good people are having hard times, while the big boys fall back and wait to see what happens.

    The FUD from Washington is really starting to mess with people and mess with lives. It is a self fullfilling prophecy that is starting to take people down.

    I see no reason for this lack of confidence except politics, and people pulling a PR Caper for their own greedy ends.

    It will be a real shame if places like Indrema cannot make a go of it, because of the fear factor in the money folks.

    Time to start sending snail mail, and fixing blame where it belongs.

  • Game developers can't come out and support Indrema until it launches because of microsofts closed development for xbox. If a company made its support for Indrema public prior to launch and then Indrema failed, microsoft could decide that none of that company's games are worthy of being an xbox game. Even if it is the next great game microsoft can choose to screw them. They already admit they are going to eat 2 billion on it. What is one or two games compared to that? Even if Indrema is a huge success microsoft can still choose to screw developers since they don't seem to see anything wrong with that.
  • If you have to try so hard to advocate a given platform, then is it really worth it? I was in this position a few years back when I was trying to develop for the Atari Jaguar. The Jaguar was a neat little box, arguably one of the first 'next generation' machines, but it just wasn't destined to succeed. We tried for a while to participate in the Jaguar advocate crowds before realizing that spending so much time supporting a given platform instead of working on our own game was just silly.

    -Keslin [], the naked nerd girl
  • In your own bizarre tone, I think you have struck a chord.

    The linux bubble has popped.

    Don't expect to get your open-source-powered Fridge anytime soon.
  • Coleco actually wasn't doing too well at the time. Their last big hit was the Davy Crockett coonskin hat, and that was in the 60s. They were best known for selling plastic snow sleds for $5.

    Then they hit with both the Colecovision and Cabbage Patch dolls at just about the same time. After those went away, they had nothing to fall back on, and quietly went out of business.
  • Someone I work with is on the microsoft development circuit (fully subscribed member of MSDN, codes stuff involving multiplayer gaming systems so he's been to a few of their presentations). I don't know him very well, but a friend of mine who works with him says that he went to one of their "closed presentations" and discovered that the X-Box operating system is based on Linux. Obviously there's very little reason for anyone to believe this statement but personally I trust the source it came from.

    Intriguing or what?

  • Bzzt. Thank you for playing.

    I personally have seen a couple presentations on the X-Box (directly from the X-Box team) and it most assuredly is based on a stripped down Win2k kernel. The SDK boxes first boot into Windows and then switch over to the game. While it is quite likely that you can make an X-Box boot in to Linux that's not what MS is using for the games. They aren't stupid. Did you think they would be willing to take the PR hit from not running their own OS on the machine.

  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2001 @10:44PM (#348520) Homepage
    The Indrema, for better or worse, really only had the interest of the Linux community anyway.

    If developers started bashing X-Box bits around with Linux instead of the Windows 2000 Kernal, the Indrema's only selling point would be lost. (And that could happen anyway).

    The worst part is, that history shows that people tend to focus on Duality. A single pair of opposing forces. This Yin-Yang tendecy is reflected everywhere in most cultures, and it's been ever apparent in the video game market.

    There are at any given time only two real contenders, sometimes 3 with two strong and one sinking fast.

    (SNes, Genesis, TG-16)
    (Game Boy, Game Gear, Turbo Express)
    (N64, Playstation, Saturn)

    Now we have Dreamcast, Game Cube, Playstation 2, X-Box, and Indrema(pfft).

    There will only be two that do well, and I have two sets of answers.

    The first is the ones I'm cheering for, which would be the Game Cube and Dreamcast, but I'm kind of a video game purist, so I know this isn't a realistic guess.

    The realistic view is the Game Cube and the X-Box, mostly because Sony is really screwing up the Playstation 2 in the same way Sega screwed up the Saturn. Dreamcast has Sega killing it, and even if 3rd party Dreamcast units do start to show up it will be too little too late. That's not to say if you have a Dreamcast already that there won't be some awesome new games for it, there are many to come, but it's days sadly ARE numbered.

    With a market this saturated, Indrema never had a chance. Not even if the market were booming. And even if it were booming, there could be as many as three doing really well, and three still may do well, but it would be the first time. It's VERY unrealistic to even hope that the Indrema might be one of those three in that off chance.

    It's more realistic to think that the Dreamcast would, esspecially if 3rd parties begin producing DVD Capable Dreamcast boxes (a real possibility, actually.)

    This is a long winded post, even for me, but I'll finish it by giving my quick points as to why I think the Playstation 2 will ultimately not do as well as the Playstation 1.

    * The PS1 is cheap and plays all Playstation 1 games.
    * The PS2's DVD capabilities are disappointing to many and just adequate for the rest. DVD enthusiasts already have a real DVD player, though. So DVD isn't a selling point anymore.
    * Sony still relies on 3rd parties for the majority of their best titles (what few outstanding ones there are, anyway). Most of devs are largely displeased with the PS2 for either liscense reasons or technical reasons. Nintendo always has Link, Mario, and Samus, and Microsoft already has potentially every dev who has ever touched DirectX.
    * The PS2's high price will come down, but it's not going to get any easier to develope for, not even if Sony upsthe memory specs in a revision of the console as many people seem to suspect they may do.
    * Lastly - Let them up the specs. That would piss off the people who already own one. You can divide a market with a new console, but NEVER try to divide a market with the same console. Non-technical people don't buy into "system specs" on a game console.

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • That's exactly what I thought :o)

    Still, this guy seem pretty insistent that the thing's based solidly on linux technology. It's basically down to whtere you're going to go with common sense or believe the conspiracy theory.... I'm highly skeptical but it's still an interesting thought.

  • How has Mozilla failed? 2 versions of Communicator have been released in the past few months. I know it took a long time, but rewriting Communicator 4.7 was hardly a 5 minute job. The only software project I can think of that was bigger was the rewrite of Windows NT and that took a company with far greater resources 4 years.
  • Entropy said:
    It should already have dvd built in, and I imagine that they could put some tivo-like features into it.

    Uhh... Do you even know what the Indrema is? It is SPEC'd to have DVD playing, MP3 playing and PersonalTV ("TiVo") features in it!

    On top of this, it'll have a web browser (based on Gecko), and an e-mail client.
  • I'm not sure why anybody with deep pockets would invest in them, even moreso with all the budget-tightening and biz plan-reevaluating going on these days.

    Indrema, to the best of my knowledge, was founded back in March2000. That was definitely NOT a time of budget-tightening or biz plan reevaluation! :)

  • It looks like they diddn't understand the dynamics of the console market.

    Ok, you obviously haven't done your homework, because you continue by saying:

    no company who has successfully developed and marketed a console unit has made money off of the actual console - they make their cash from the software licensing agreements for games produced to run on their systems.

    Yes... Thank you for explaining Indrema's business model. :^P
  • It would be a shame if Indrema were to fail in their dream of creating a Linux based console

    One thing I noticed mentioned in the NextGen article (the April2001 issue) was a rumor of another Linux-based game console under development.

    Indrema, however, has the support of RedHat (via DV/Linux) and CollabNet (via IDN and GameXchange). Since I know NO details about this other supposed system, I can't say what kind of support system they have behind them, nor what kind of nifty features the box will have, or, more importantly, be capable of having...
  • Well, I think the Indrema is a great idea. The problem is, the way they're setting up the marketing of the console and the distribution model isn't really going to work. What needs to be setup is a distribution model similar to what Sega did way-back-when, when they had the Sega Channel where you could download games through cable (although they wouldn't use the same distribution method for the indrema of course), and played them until another set of games could be downloaded. What Indrema needs to do is position the L600 as THE digital content endpoint, so that you go online, check out the games you want, possibly setup via a monthly fee or pay-per-game/play method. Also the console could be setup to download new games while you're away and let you play and/or preview them. If the console is going to have a hard-drive why not use it to it's full potential? Just my two cents.
  • A company falls for the Linux hype

    You make it sound as if some company scratched their head and said "humm.. Lunux is making money... we should use Lunux..." This is FAR from the truth.

    John Gildred was, no doubt, a Linux user like many of us here. A number of articles have described the inception of Indrema: he and some friends were playing Quake, and realized the possibilites of Linux, and independent game development.
  • The OS in a gaming console dosen't need to be anything special just a simple OS that puts some drivers together.

    Yes, but in choosing Linux, the Indrema has the advantage of being very cheap to develop for. You don't need to buy a devkit for $20,000 like you did for the PSX. You can use a modern PC running Linux.

    They do plan on having a developer's edition of the unit, but the main differences will probably be in RAM/HD size and such.

    PS2 is supposedly having trouble because it's very difficult to program for. Systems like the Indrema and Xbox, thanks mainly to the OSes inside (and therefore the APIs available), will be much easier to design for.
  • I'm sure this thing can do more than just play games. Maybe it could be advertised as a cheap pc if it has the right software.

    It already is. The IES is planned to have a web browser (based on the Gecko rendering engine) and an e-mail client (which will work with any service).

    Last I heard, the system was to have an Ethernet port built into it, and a 56.6k modem as an add-on. (Don't have DSL or Cablemodem? How about an Indrema LAN party, anyone?)

    It also, of course, will play DVDs (since it has a DVD drive in it), and audio CDs. Along with that, it will be able to download and play MP3s. All it needs now is a radio tuner. >:^)

    But wait! It has USB ports! Perhaps a radio tuner isn't much of a fantasy after all! :^o
  • Don't expect to get your open-source-powered Fridge anytime soon.

    That's alright. I've already got my Linux-based PDA []... See? []

  • Actually, they WERE out of Illinois. They moved to the bay area. I believe Keri from CollabNet said that they're HQ'd in Oakland right now.
  • I'm using Mozilla right now, and it works a treat.

    I'd hardly call that a failure...

  • If gas stations were exclusive to the car companies (like games are to consoles), this would be true. If 98% of the gas stations across the country only served owners of Hondas, Toyotas, or Fords, you would probably buy one of those three brands.
  • Maybe something like Blitz Basic (old Amiga software being revived for the PC soon) would be a nice thing to have. Even AMOS. Even if it isn't all powerful, and limits people to slow 3D or 2D games.

    Blitz Basic for the PC is available now from []. Its also out in the shops in the UK but only starting to appear in the US. Its also pretty damn fast and easy to write games for.


  • Oh yeah - just like Q3 sucked on my TNT2 machine under Linux with NVidia's drivers.

    It was at least as fast as under Windows, qualitatively at least.


  • I've always intended to buy an Indrema when it comes out, and to support it in other ways.

    However, I would NOT have designed it the way it was designed, because it's vastly too expensive that way through not leveraging existing designs and existing products. As Indrema say, they'd have to sell it for $500 to survive, and that's a silly business model if you ask me. But your hardware doesn't have have to be expensive to be powerful. Here's how I would have done it, riding on the back of the PC industry.

    I would have defined a supported motherboard architecture based on an existing PC motherboard style, one that is already in production by several manufacturers.

    I would have designed a "GPU slot specification" as no more than a raiser board plugging into the AGP connector to allow a plug-in AGP card to be oriented horizontally and to provide sockets for optional graphics-assist hardware. Ditto for a "PCI slot specification" raiser board.

    I would have defined the "Indrema Hardware Specification" as a restriction on what can be plugged into the above, because a console must be free of the bugbear of PC games development, ie. the huge variation in PC hardware. Ditto for the "Indrema Software Specification" -- ie. only one specific Linux distribution should be supported by the games spec, and outside that you're on your own. (Actually, Indrema's current software spec seems quite good as it stands.)

    I'd have made 1U and 2U enclosures (rack flaps extra) to hold the above in both diskless and disked versions respectively, and it's virtually ready for launch! Design and manufacturing costs would be vastly less than at present, and in effect most of the console hardware would be manufactured for them at a very low cost as a side-effect of the PC industry.

    Needless to say, PC advocates would love a box like the above, in effect a thin PC for the hifi rack with the attributes of a games console but an open architecture. What the X-box should be but apparently won't be. Sigh.

    If there are any venture capitalists listening, talk to John Gildred, and suggest the above approach. The risk would be much less than for bespoke hardware, and you could always sell the hardware off as very nice PCs in parallel with the gaming business.
  • I work for a fairly large company. One of the people I work with is such a large MS nut...that he even wrote part of NT 4.0. (not that that is something to be proud of ;-)) Anyway, he is a big fan of Indrema. Why? Because he believes it provides for the ultimate flexibility. Its not an Open Source issue for myself and others like him. Its the fact that this represents real flexibility in a sort of appliance that plays games.

    Anyway...I and many others I know will buy one...just give me the chance Indrema!
  • Can you link to that article or is it in the dreaded paper form?

    Fight censors!
  • Why is Mozilla a failure? It's here and it works great.
  • Maybe they could team up with Sky TV in the UK to try and get an Indrema embedded in every Sky box - Sky are already offering TiVos for their subscribers.
    If any console is embedded into the digibox, it will be the Dreamcast, considering Pace are one of Sky's main suppliers, and they are the ones teaming with Sega.
    Also, I was under the impression that the MySky/TiVo package wouldn't be available for another few months, as you need a new dish(with multiple transponders) to use it.
  • Right, but the majority of people out there believe in their heart of hearts that the way to make money is to fuck people over and use force, power, and leverage to wring cash out of their market. Outside of organized crime, they are wrong, of course, in the long run - IBM is more successful as a services company than as a vendorlock racket, and those who survive on Quality get through hard times better.

    But there's a funny side effect of open source in these efforts; let'em die, get the code. Reverse vendorlock.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Listen to the sounds...of silence.


    It's a shame too.
  • Thank you. I agree totally with your assessment. It may be harsh, but it's the whole truth. People: using Linux is a technological decision, not a business vision! Anybody trying to sound revolutionary by claiming otherwise is just trying to lure clueless VCs into throwing money in the Linux pit.
  • The Dreamcast had the games. The trouble was that people were expecting that the PS2 was going to be a little god in a box. Most people only buy one console so lots of people didn't buy Dreamcasts because they were waiting for the PS2. Maybe if console developers could get their costs lower (that's a big if) and sell at a lower price they could get people to buy more than one console. If consoles were cheaper I could buy all of the predominant ones and never have to dispair when a game I want is being released for a console I don't have.

    Er... Well, y'know. You can't make an omelette without um... destroying a forest. Or something.

  • No, but April/May 2000 was... I know. My company just went through second round financing a few weeks before Nasdaq started shaking and then plunged deeper and deeper.

    You don't typically get the VC jackpot that early, and most VC financed companies go through multiple financing rounds before they can stand on their own feet.

  • Good, then they should market it that way.
  • You and the people that responded are the ones without the understanding. You have the whole concept utterly wrong. Indrema used linux and cpu specs (before X-box declared anything btw) to lower the cost of a console but making it powerful at the same time. They also figured that if people could develop for it freely gaming companies would see the platform as perfect for developing games, advertisements in magazines (just like cpu) etc etc.

    That's what Indrema was trying to do.. and they wouldn't have lost a dime on machines as cpu prices continue to plummet and they'd gain a large audience.

    I wanted to write a game for Indrema (because I wouldn't have to pay for any stupid licenses); Unlike Microsoft, Sony, Dreamcast etc. I won't buy an XBOX specifically because I'm not gonna pay licensing fees to write a game, samething for all the others.

    This console provided the 1 chance that Linux had at gaming and troll's, fud spreaders and generally uninformed people such as yourself wish to do that in. Just think before you talk.

    I also don't care if you don't run unix/linux/freebsd or whatever. We were here before you, so you can take a seat.
  • Yeah. Tux Racer. Smiletris. Kickin', man!

    Pingus. FreeCiv. Tetanus On Drugs. Scores of games at []. The whole NES, Game Boy, Genesis (INCLUDING Zero Wing), and SNES libraries (through emulators).

    However, I feel sorry for the person whose first game programming attempts ever have to be in C.

    And Basic is better how?

  • The thing I liked most about the PS2 was the fact that it came with a DVD player as well for a relatively low price. Lots of people agree with me in this respect. Indrema is even better because in addition to games and DVDs it supports TIVOish personal TV as well, a technology which has become very interesting, is expandable in many respect including hard drive capacity (which would allow more recording than Tivo), and also can act as an internet computer. So I would expect that with some advertising it should do very well - it's four peripherals (and then some) in one. Yay, less cables to worry about.

    But it does raise the question - Tivo and RePlay use proprietary subscription servers to coordinate television listings and automatic recording. Will Indrema support this feature? If so, will that require a subscription or be free? Will third parties be able to operate their own listing services?
  • And Basic is better how?

    You have obviously never played with Blitz or AMOS.

    I have (on the Amiga, when they came out). Both were DAMN FAST on the Amiga - game programming was no problem there. Of course, most of the work (at least in AMOS) for manipulating the chipset had been done for you, an implemented as BASIC commands (like to scroll a graphics screen - you used the SCROLL command).

    BASIC has the easiest learning curve (and if you already know BASIC, no learning curve). There are scads of books on BASIC available (some of the best are the oldest - having listings of Wumpus and Star Trek is fun). Tons of code for all other kinds of BASIC exist on the net (check out the All Basic Code Archives if you are interested in what BASIC can do in good hands).

    It is more than possible to program games in some dialect of BASIC today, provided it is a good dialect (even VB - couple it with OpenGL, DirectX, or some other engine, like Genesis, and you could easily make a kicking 3D game. I do know that a few people have done this - in fact, one guy had a dungeon crawl using a custom OpenGL engine and VB, called Mordor 2, later the name was changed when Black Isle Studios picked him up to develop it, they later dropped him, but he still develops it - fun multiplayer network RPG, in 3D, done in VB).

    There are several free, open-source compilers for Linux, a couple for using under X as well. Many allow hooks to C and ASM, if you want it.

    I will never understand why BASIC is knocked so much nowadays - you would think programmers would know better. It isn't a be-all end-all tool. But in a way, it is close.

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • John Gildred isn't a Linux user. According to the email header from emails I've got from him and another guy at Indrema, they use Microsoft Outlook Express 5. I doubt they really use Linux for themself. It's always funny to look at email headers to find surprise.

    Quake is available for almost every platform you can imagine, and even Win95.

    Mathieu Pinard
    Tribsoft Inc.

  • I've been on the Indrema mailing lists and been bitching and griping for eons about the lack of pub, the lack of code/info releases, etc. I've given up on Indrema and am pretty sure they're gonna fail (though I'd love to be proven wrong), but started thinking about what I'd like to see in an Open console.

    First off, a Risc processor. The x86 architecture is okay, but littered with tons of instructions that are rarely - if ever - used in modern applications.

    Secondly, a radically different approach. I've been experimenting with rules-based approaches to 3D animation and speech synthesis; I'd like to see a system built with a graphics accelerator, a logic processor and a sound/IO processor+DSP. Rather than providing an OS, build a BIOS-like firmware that exposes all the hardware's functionality and allow developers to create their own micro(micro!)kernels. Provide copious application and "OS" example code to instruct developers how to program for the device.

    I realize that this involves more investment than using generic, off-the-shelf PC parts, but it also opens up many, many new possibilities including real time speech synthesis, facial animation and dynamic physics-based skeletal animation, to name a few.

    I'm probably off-topic, but I just thought to let this out.

  • most of the work (at least in AMOS) for manipulating the chipset had been done for you, an implemented as BASIC commands (like to scroll a graphics screen - you used the SCROLL command).

    C is the same way. A decent 2D graphics library [] will have a function scroll_screen(x, y). The Basic version I remember (QBasic) was so limited that it didn't even support drawing primitives to offscreen bitmaps.

    BASIC has the easiest learning curve (and if you already know BASIC, no learning curve).

    Visual Basic != Blitz Basic. Lack of a recognized standard for the Basic language creates a tremendous learning curve from one dialect to another. For example, some dialects have line numbers; others don't. Some use gosub for function calls; others use call; others use fn; others have a more C-like syntax. Some Basic dialects have multiline if...then...else...endif; others only allow if condition then goto 12345.

    I will never understand why BASIC is knocked so much nowadays

    Mostly because people are under the impression that "20 goto 10" is still valid Basic. Exception handling under most dialects is a piece of; on error goto is a lousy kluge for a try/catch structure.

    or some other engine, like Genesis

    I always thought Genesis consoles were programmed in 68000 assembly.

    There are several free, open-source [Basic] compilers for Linux

    Will code written for one compile on another? I may try my hand at Basic again once I see one or both of these:

    • Standardization activity for the Basic language. Currently, the differences among dialects are so great that "programming in Basic" == "throwing portability out the window."
    • A frontend in the GNU Compiler Collection [] for Basic. Fast code needs a good optimizer; GCC's is one of the best.
  • A web browser based on Gecko?

    No wonder they're taking so long to get to market...

  • Indrema is most definitely located in Oakland. Some members that I'd talked to are located on the East Cost (I didn't think the Mid-west, tho), IIRC. However, their main complex is in Oakland.
  • It's only in paper form right now. Hopefully NextGen [] will have an online version of the article, though...
  • QBasic is limited, I will grant you that - but you shouldn't base all your biases against BASIC on that one version (and actually, you can draw primitives to off-screen bitmaps if you use SCREEN 7 - SCREEN 13 isn't supported natively though, but you could always use my Blast! Library to obtain it). I acknowledge that there are libraries for C/C++ for game programming, but they aren't intrinsic parts of the language. For an individual new to programming, they probably won't even know what a library is!

    Visual Basic != Blitz Basic. Lack of a recognized standard for the Basic language creates a tremendous learning curve from one dialect to another. For example, some dialects have line numbers; others don't. Some use gosub for function calls; others use call; others use fn; others have a more C-like syntax. Some Basic dialects have multiline if...then...else...end if; others only allow if condition then goto 12345.

    No it doesn't - I have coded under so many different dialects of BASIC that my head hurts. It is true that there isn't forward compatibility (ie, most BASICs that require line numbers won't work without them, like GWBASIC), but most modern BASICs have standardized on the dialect of QuickBASIC, sometimes VB (which has QuickBASIC 4.5, PDS 7, and DOS VB influences). Blitz probably falls outside of this standard (actually, I think the best PC BASIC is PowerBASIC, created by the programmer of TurboBASIC).

    On Error GoTo is a piece - this is one bit (that, and the menu creation system) programmers have howled over forever since M$ came out with VB for Windows. The error handling is attrocious. M$ has always said we'll fix it on next release, but have yet to do it (supposedly in VB7, but I will believe it when I see it).

    When I meant "Genesis", I meant the Genesis SDK engine, a 3D engine designed for interfacing to VB.

    Most of the Linux BASICs adhere to a QuickBASIC structure/dialect/standard, so yes, for the most part code done on one will compile (with limited changes) on the other.

    For the _best_ info on BASIC, to answer more of your questions on standardization, etc - and for compiler links, etc, go here:

    The All BASIC Code Archives []

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • But wasn't the colecovision backwards compatible with atari games, while playing it's own better games and retaining a low price.

    I think those factors have alot to do with it as well, and the only way this comparision could apply is if the Indrema was just like the Xbox but with faster proc, more ram, ... being able to play Xbox games and perhaps regular PC games as well.
  • Actually, as I have heard from others (with NT code experience) they have serious problems. From what I understand...the code is tough to do anything with after the fact. The reason for this is that MS supports "free thinking" and lets people do whatever they want. This makes poor interfaces and worse debugging.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein