Wednesday, 4 November 2015

LINUX, WINE, and cheap software not always being the best...!

Bit of a geeky posting, this, so bear with me ;)

As many of my friends know, I've been into paper-and-pencil style role playing games for close to two decades; I both play, and referee these games. Over the last decade and a bit, though, the opportunities for me to play have been somewhat diminished by the simple obstacle of shift-working :( However, there's nothing to stop me planning evil adventures, scenarios, and campaigns for the poor saps - I mean players *cough cough* - who I eventually run games for...

So, with that in mind, I recently started up working on a few ideas. And hit a bit of a snag; some of the software that I used to use to do such things as floor plans, deck plans, maps, and so on, were designed for use with the windows operating system, not what I currently use, which is Ubuntu Linux.

Luckily, there's something called WINE, which allows some - not all - windows software to run in what is effectively an isolated sandbox of windows within Linux. Now note I said "not all". I used to use FloorPlan Plus 3D. Not any more, sadly. Excellent package, but only 32-bit, and for some reason, not at alll reliable under WINE. Ho-hum. However, not all of this is bad news - some packages run VERY nicely.

Profantasy Software market a very handy CAD package called Campaign Cartographer, and being modified from a professional CAD package (under licence), it's very well-suited to being used for RPG mapping purposes. I bought a few of their packages, first Campaign Cartographer, then Cosmographer Pro, and several other bolt-on packages under the CC banner. Buying from Profantasy is also more handy than you might think; although I have the discs - currently buried in storage - I also have an online account with ProFantasy, created when I first bought CC several years back; they archive and make available your purchases, in case you lose discs, or similar, and thus I was able to download the installer files, and use my licence numbers to install them under WINE - they work perfectly, thanks very much :)

The moral of this story - use a decent operating system, and buy software from decent companies when you have to part with your hard earned wedge, and things will tend to be better in the long run.

Put simpler than that: Buy decent kit, and it'll deliver time and time again. A penny saved is not always a wise penny, after all ;)