Tech For Everyone

By Jason Evangelho

Tech For Everyone #2: Penguin Party and the Sinister Screenshot



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Tech For Everyone #2: Penguin Party and the Sinister Screenshot
By Jason Evangelho • Issue #2 • View online
Happy Saturday my friends and thank you for helping this newsletter go from 0 to 100 subscribers in just over 24 hours. That is incredible!
Let me kick this one off with some hope: this weekend marks another chance to take a baby step towards one of your goals. Not a work goal, but something for you. Something that feeds your soul.
Here’s a quote that’s been inspiring me lately:
“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” ~ Professor Harold Hill
Alright! Here’s what’s coming in this issue:
  • Spin the black circle (or maybe just stream it?)
  • A screenshot that might make you scream
  • Linux and Steam’s Top 50 games are getting along swimmingly
  • Plus “Top Tweets” and some “Link Love”

Photo by Derek Oyen on Unsplash
Photo by Derek Oyen on Unsplash
I’ll wager an educated guess that at least 25% of you give a hard pass to Windows, and choose Linux or macOS as your operating system of choice. Here’s a story that doubles as both encouraging and, honestly, a little surprising!
First, an awesome statistic: 7000 games designated as technically “Windows only” Steam games run out of the box on Linux, thanks to Codeweavers and Valve’s wonderful lovechild called Proton.
What matters more, however, is the games people are actually playing. Like, playing obsessively.
It’s no secret that of the Top 50 most popular games on Steam, 100% of them work on Windows. For clarity, we’re talking about the 50 games with the most concurrent number of players.
🕹 (The Top 5 right now: Counter-Strike GO, Dota 2, the indie hit Valheim, PUBG and Apex Legends.)
Of those overall top 50, guess how many run on Linux? Boiling Steam crunched the numbers for us and produced the answer: 34 games, or 68%. (And several of those are native Linux versions.)
Less than 3 years ago, that percentage would have been in the single digits. Proton has managed miracles, and once compatibility for Epic’s “Easy Anti-Cheat” (basically a layer of DRM that’s tricky to get working under Wine on Linux) is figured out, expect that number to climb much higher.
Oh, guess how many of those Top 50 run on macOS? Only 21 titles, or about 42%.
Boiling Steam has the complete breakdown right here. It’s worth reading.
My friend Adrian on Twitter recently bemoaned the increasingly aggressive tactics of news publishers to drive people to their dedicated apps. He simply shared a screenshot that would make me throw my phone against the wall in disgust, and likely never visit this page again:
In a nutshell, this revolting image – which has no less than FOUR popups obscuring the majority of the article – requires at least 3 button presses just to properly read the thing.
Call it desperation, call it greed, call it whatever you want. But I strongly believe the current “reader/website” relationship we have is gasping its last breath. What Adrian experienced is happening
What’s the future, then? It’s probably newsletters like this one from your favorite writers or outlets. It’s probably Patreon, or NFTs, or “social currency,” or any method by which a content creator can connect directly with you, and remove the barriers.
Not to mention remove the disgusting advertisements…
🤔 What’s your opinion? It’s as easy as replying to this email and typing out your thoughts. Every Friday I’ll feature some of your best responses
Photo: Lana Evangelho (that's the Temple of the Dog LP in the background)
Photo: Lana Evangelho (that's the Temple of the Dog LP in the background)
We can all agree that 2020 wasn’t a stellar year. We endured a global pandemic, frightening locust swarms, devastating wildfires, and Taco Bell canceled the 7-layer Burrito. 2020 also presented an unfortunate setback for fans of live music, who were forced to cuddle up to small-screen performances of their favorite bands playing to empty rooms. 
But for music lovers – especially those of us who like to spin the black circle – 2020 was a record-setting year. That’s because vinyl continued its unlikely comeback story, growing an astounding 28% year-over-year
In fact, for the first time since 1986, vinyl sales exceeded CD sales! (I hear you saying “but CDs are dead, Jason!” Well, the music industry still managed to sell 30+ million of the plastic wonders to consumers in 2020.) 
My first record player, circa 1978.
My first record player, circa 1978.
I think I’ve loved vinyl ever since I dropped the needle on my first 7” single. Which was, Cookie Monster’s “C is for Cookie” on Sesame Street Records. (Yes, I’m serious! And it was probably this Fisher-Price record player). But my fondness for vinyl was cemented forever once I bought my first real album, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” 
For me, recorded music is best enjoyed when it’s a deliberate, almost ritualistic experience. Carving out time and eliminating distractions. Pulling that record out of the sleeve. Placing a tape in the deck and pressing play. Spending time looking at the printed lyrics, artwork, and liner notes. Connecting with the album, tethered to your audio equipment, listening to each track consecutively. 
Time and technology are unstoppable forces, though. We used to spend $10 just to get access to one song on a tape, CD or vinyl record. Now that same $10 can unlock literally 50 million songs, ours for the streaming. An entire world of music at our fingertips, and a potentially overwhelming amount of choice! 
Despite my affection for physical media, I’m surprised to say that I’ve gradually succumbed to that digital, streaming Spotify life. (I graduated to Spotify Premium after years of Pandora’s free tier). It’s way too easy and way too convenient to have unrestricted access – within seconds – to virtually anything I want to hear. 
I do think it comes with the side-effect of devaluing music, though, and the artists creating that music. In the age of streaming platforms, a song has to be streamed hundreds of times for an artist to get paid the same royalty amount as selling that one track at 99 cents. 
So, my favorite way to listen to recorded music is still vinyl, and I’m thrilled that it continues to thrive in a world where physical media is fading away. But Spotify dominates my day-to-day routine, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. 
🎵 What is your favorite way to listen to music? Is it physical or digital? If it’s a platform like Spotify or Tidal or Deezer or Pandora, tell me why. It’s as easy as replying to this email!
Whether they’re humorous, educational, or just brutally honest, these tweets hit me in the feels. This first tweet, though, hits me in whatever part of the brain controls anxiety and fear of Skynet…
Wasn't there a 'Black Mirror' episode about this?
Chris Titus Tech: "Meanwhile...on windows… "
Here are some stories on my radar that deserve your eyeballs:
Why Terry Crews is launching a social currency – TechCrunch
7-Zip developer releases the first official Linux version
The Glamorized, Futile Pursuit of the PlayStation 5
RetroArch for Apple Mac M1 softlaunches today! – Libretro
Then you rock! 🎸🎸🎸
I’m having a blast writing this newsletter and I have about 304 ideas for regular features and fun little side quests, but I’d love to hear what YOU want to read about or talk about.
Just hit REPLY on this email and type out your thoughts. Nothing to share with me? No problem. How about sharing this newsletter with a friend who loves tech, Linux, open-source, gaming, music, or all of the above? Just forward it to their email address, or scroll down a bit to share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, take care – and take care of each other.
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Jason Evangelho

Linux, gaming and tech conversations for everyday people. Delivered to your inbox with a heavy dose of storytelling and fun!

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