Categorycomputer and video games

Running League of Legends in PlayOnLinux (Ubuntu 14.04)

There are various guides floating around on the Internet for running League of Legends on Linux, and no single guide worked for me, but after piecing the information together from various places, I managed to get it to work on my system.

My computer specifications:

  • Intel Core i5-4570
  • 16 GB Memory
  • Radeon HD 5770

I followed the instructions here, with these changes:

  • Using video driver “fglrx-updates” (the tutorial talks about NVIDIA cards)
  • Did not install TuxLoL
  • Did not do anything regarding the “Maestro error” since it only applies to Optimus Notebook users
  • Did not follow step 6 because I did not run into the problem for big item icon text for the item shop
  • EDIT: Thanks to Ingvar’s comment, the installation progress for the game can be viewed like so: open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute:
    # tail -f ~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/LeagueOfLegends/drive_c/Riot\ Games/League\ of\ Legends/Logs/Patcher\ Logs/*.log

There are also other steps that I had to do, which I read from here:

  • Click configure for the “League of Legends” entry in “PlayOnLinux” and find the “Display” tab and then choose the following options:
    • Direct Draw Renderer – gdi
    • Video memory size – 4096 (or something else depending on graphics card)
    • Offscreen rendering mode – fbo\0
    • Everything else on default
  • Create a file called “game.cfg” in the directory “/home/your-username-here/PlayOnLinux’s virtual drives/LeagueOfLegends/drive_c/Riot Games/League of Legends/Config”. Below is what I have in my “game.cfg”:


Running TurboTax 2014 in PlayOnLinux

This guide describes how to run TurboTax 2014 in PlayOnLinux.  The PlayOnLinux (in combination with WINE) software allows users to install Windows-based software.

CAVEAT: NETFILE did not work for me.  I had to submit my taxes through an installation done on Windows

  1. Install PlayOnLinux and then run it (e.g. starting it through the Terminal)
sudo apt-get install playonlinux
  1. Click “Tools” > “Manage wine versions”
  2. Choose 1.7.27 under “Available Wine versions” and then click the right arrow “>”
  3. Go through the steps in the installer and let it finish
  4. Back in the PlayOnLinux main screen, click “Install” in the menu, and then click “Install a non-listed program” on the bottom left
  5. Choose “Use another version of Wine”, when asked, and then choose 1.7.27
  6. Choose “Install a program in a new virtual drive”, when asked
  7. Choose “32 bits windows installation”, when asked
  8. Find the location of setup.exe for the TurboTax installer (I copied the files off of the disc to a place on my hard drive)
  9. Ignore the message “Error in FS_Check” if it appears
  10. Let the install complete, but do not launch TurboTax right away
  11. Choose “tt2014.exe”, if asked to create a shortcut
  12. Back in the PlayOnLinux main screen, select entry for TurboTax and click “Configure” in the menu
  13. Make sure the “Wine version” is set to 1.7.27
  14. Under “Install components”, install the following in this order (some of these may not be required, but I don’t know which since this is the configuration that worked for me):
    • vcrun2012
    • Microsoft Core Fonts
    • msvc100
    • RegisterFonts
    • vcrun2010
    • dotnet40
    • d3dx9
    • mono28
    • Internet Explorer 8 (click “Restart” in the installer)
    • crypt32
  15. Back in the PlayOnLinux main screen, clicking “Run” for TurboTax 2014 should now work!

This is what worked for me, so hopefully this will work for others.

Installing Epson WF-3520 Printer on Ubuntu

Just had an issue where I couldn’t set up my printer (connected on the network) on my Ubuntu machine because I didn’t have the drivers.  The automatic printer set up would keep crashing half way through.

This post from hits this issue right on the head:

I thought I’d leave a post here, just so I know where to find it again in case I forget.

Groovy/Grails unable to resolve class – even if the class is in the same package

The Problem

Every now and then I get this annoying problem in GGTS (Grails/Groovy Tool Suite – Version 3.6.2.RELEASE at the time of this writing), where the IDE just complains about how it can’t resolve a class.  The weird thing is that the file that the IDE is complaining about is in the same package as the class that I’m trying to use.  It built before, and the source hadn’t changed – so clearly this should not be happening.

The Fix

Hitting the Clean button on the Eclipse side (Project -> Clean) seems to make the errors go away.

This apparently has been a problem since June 2010 (forum post reference here), so I’m surprised that it is still an issue in the current version.

Counter-Strike Nostalgia

Every now and then, I feel nostalgic about this game…

image Boosting
Unrealistic, but it was definitely a useful tool for getting teammates to places that otherwise couldn’t be reached to surprise people
image Bhopping/Crouch Running
That satisfying kill from crouch hopping around the map and then hopping around a corner and slashing someone in the face.
image Lagging in a smoke grenade
Even turning the graphics to 16 bit didn’t help.  But at least you could see through the smoke!
image Picking mid
I was always terrible at it.  Could never pick off the guy running out of CT spawn.
image Shooting hostages
We all did this.
image Surfing
Flying in the air while the noobs died without understanding why.
image Stacking players
Just for teh lulz
image awp_map
There was always that one guy who decided to buy a a regular rifle and rush down the map.
image fy_iceworld
Most awesome run and gun map created for Counter-Strike
image Stacked player defense
It seriously works – well maybe not with 5 people…
image Defusing
Likes to blow up right before the defuse is finished.  Then at times, we hear the satisfying click of a defused bomb.
image Cat with a scout?
I guess this was a LOLcat before they were called LOLcats
image Silent plant
Was always scared of defusing these…
image FPS
Everyone played at 100 fps, rate 25000, cl_cmdrate 101, cl_rate 25000, and ex_interp 0.01.  Otherwise, the settings weren’t optimal.
image Knifing
image Suicide bombing
With four other people, we once tried cooking a nade in our hand and running up to one player.  As people died, they’d drop their nades hoping that we’d blow up the other guy.  Didn’t work.
image Teamkilling with grenades
Was always super unexpected, but hilarious.
image Accidental teamkilling
I once got shot by my teammate when I ran through mid while he was picking it…noob mistake.
image That awkward moment
Happens to the best of us.
image Trolling with non-standard weapons
I once 1v5 clutch aced using a para…all in the name of trolling.
image Stacked running
Was always a nice surprise to those unsuspecting enemies.
image Eco rounds
Leads to camping and clutch wins.
image Camping
We’ve all done it. Campmeter = 100%.
image Driving
I’m sure everyone tried to drive a car to run over other people and then somehow die when another car intersected with their own.  Somehow, the player would then fly up to the ceiling and fall to his death.
image One-click headshots
Probably the second most satisfying kill.  Strafe out of a corner, click, win.
image Screenshot rounds
An annoying but necessary chore for league play.  Had to be done before lo3.
image Hopping through the window
Anybody in league play had to know how to do this.  Unfortunately for me, I sucked at it.
image Defusing the bomb through the floor on de_nuke
Classic Pubmasters game play.  It works.
image Flashbangs
I team flashed for fun.  Or other times, I’d be blind as a bat and get gang knifed.
image Riot shields
Use them when you can’t win.  A nice and annoying weapon.  There was once a bug on amx mod where if you were carrying a gun, you could spawn a riot shield for that player and the player would be able to use a gun and a riot shield at the same time.  Very OP.
image Spam spots
I had those memorized at one point.

Childhood Nostalgia–Pokémon on Gameboy

Being a 90’s kid, Pokémon was immensely popular at the time.  I was around 9 years old, playing the Gameboy games on an emulator, and trying to catch every Pokémon.  One of the most memorable scenes was in Lavender Town, being in the tower and not being able to fight any of the ghosts because I didn’t yet have the Silph Scope to reveal them.

The eerie music played continuously in the background.  I don’t remember what the music was, but reading more about it, it is the source of an urban legend surrounding the “Lavender Town Syndrome”.  Apparently, there was a brief peak in suicides among 7-12 year old kids shortly after the release of Pokémon Red and Green in Japan.  I don’t remember being that frightened by the ghosts when I was little.

I also remember talking to the old man in Viridian City who taught the player how to catch Pokémon and then using him as an exploit to get to MIssingNo off the coast of Cinnabar Island.

Missingno A sorts of weird stuff happened like seeing level 100+ Pokémon and the massive replication of items in the sixth inventory slot (that’s a lot of Masterballs and Rare Candies).

And then there was Gary, who was probably the biggest jerk ever encountered.  At every step of the game, he’d ALWAYS be one step ahead of the player.  In the beginning, he purposely picks the Pokémon that is your pick’s weakness.  And later in the game, after the player gets all the Gym Badges, it turns out Gary got them all before the player.  And he still remains ahead even after fighting the Elite 4.


At least, at the end, there is a great feeling of satisfaction after beating him.  If I remember correctly, according to Professor Oak, he didn’t give his Pokémon “trust and love”.  Gary was a bit of an ass, so I guess he deserved it.

The Current State of Counter-Strike 1.6

At one point, Counter-Strike 1.6 was the most popular game on the Internet.  Released in 1999, it was one of the most popular games of its day, surpassing even the Battlefield series, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Quake 3.  It was the most popular Half-Life mod.  As game developers released the next generation of games, Counter-Strike began to lose popularity despite the massive gaming culture surrounding it.  The game had less and less casual players and more and more league players (CAL, CPL, CEVO, CEGL, WCG, OGL, etc.).  In 2004, Valve released Counter-Strike: Source, which introduced more casual players to the game, while the seasoned veterans still stayed with Counter-Strike 1.6 and they saw it as the better game.  Over time, new players of Counter-Strike: Source improved their game, while some CS1.6 veterans migrated over.  Many stopped playing simply due to the fact that they played this game for a long time and just lost interest.  A lot of professional teams such as Team3D, compLexity, SK Gaming, and others migrated over to source.  As more and more teams migrated over, the popularity of CS1.6 waned.  Do people still play Counter-Strike 1.6?

de_dust20014 de_dust20018

I felt a little bit of nostalgia toward the game, so I opened it up to play a little bit.  I played this game for about 8 years on and off (2001 to 2008 inclusive) and participated in a couple leagues such as CAL, CEVO, and CEGL. The last time I played, the community was still pretty strong – I could find a game pretty quickly and play.  Not anymore.

Public servers are almost extinct.  Most public servers that remain are Romanian.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is no point in joining any of these games.  They are filled with bots.  I looked at the detailed game information and it shows 19 players that all “magically” joined the server at the same time and have been playing for some ridiculous amount of time.  Playing 306 hours of Counter-Strike and earning a score of 10000+ is not possible for a human.


Out of curiosity, I joined one of these Romanian servers.  It turns out that these servers just redirect me to an actual server where people play.  The downside is that these servers are actually in Romania, which means I that pinged > 200 to the server.  A minute later I am kicked for going over their ping limit.  I still can’t play.  At least there still is a community for CS1.6.

Playing pubs seemed out of the option.  The next thing I looked at were pugs.  I looked at #findscrim and #findringer.  I remember people posting in these channels constantly to organize matches.  Not anymore.  The frequency of posts has definitely decreased dramatically.  It was hard enough for me to find a match on the west coast.  People living on the east coast and west coast both post in these channels and of course there would be more east coast games happening simply because more people lived there.  Now, with less people playing, it is even harder to find a match on the west coast.

Of course, it is normal for a game to reach a peak in popularity and then lose it over time, but I expected Counter-Strike to have a strong player base.  In comparison to other games similarly old, such as Day of Defeat (released in 2000) and Team Fortress Classic (released in 1999), they seemed to suffer a similar fate.  These games have been reduced to just servers that redirect people to different countries.  Why run these servers at all if people will lag on them anyway?  If a game is unpopular anymore, it would just have no servers at all.  Despite all of that, Counter-Strike was one of the most popular games ever made and it definitely left a mark for many gamers of this generation.

Really Old and Nostalgic Arcade Games

During a coffee break today, my friends and I somehow ended up discussing all these super old arcade games.  It made me feel super nostalgic.  I remember those days at Playdium playing all these fantastic titles.  Pretty sure this is why I was so into computer games.

Area 51

Area51 Area51SS

I think this was the first rail shooter I ever played.  All I remember from this game was shooting aliens with the light gun at the arcade or on the PlayStation.

Gauntlet Legends


I played this game when I was like 9 and I’d all I’d do was mash buttons and things on the screen would die (except when I ran into those stupid door traps).  It was great.  Surprisingly, one of the most memorable things about this game was when the narrator would say something like, “Warrior needs food — badly!”, with the most epic tone possible.

House of the Dead


Here’s another super classic rail shooter.  I played this when I was like 8 and it was so scary back then.  Now that I look back, this game came out way before people thought the idea of zombies were cool.  Each boss in the game had a special weak spot that the player had to shoot at in order to kill them faster, but the last boss didn’t have one.  And…I always shot the hostages…

Hydro Thunder


The most memorable thing about this game for me was when the game narrator would announce “HYDRO THUNDER!!!” really loud the moment the game started.  It made the game sound more epic than it was.  I don’t think this game was ever as good as the shooters though.

Metal Slug X


This is the game that every Asian shopping mall had.  People put in quarter after quarter trying to beat this game.  The player died so easily in this game and the game made so much money that way.  I don’t think I played this at the arcade often, but it was a great game.  The player had to fight through hordes of enemy soldiers while rescuing POW’s that looked like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and for some reason, these POW’s would somehow give the player powerups (as if they couldn’t use it themselves).

Star Wars Trilogy


This rail shooter was probably one of the most unique ones.  Rather than using a light gun, the player had to use a joystick and shoot at the enemies on the screen.  Since it also followed the Star Wars storyline, the player got to shoot TIE-Fighters in an X-Wing to blow up the Death Star(s), use a blaster against invading stormtroopers on Hoth and even tie the cable around the AT-AT’s legs to knock them over.  The player even gets to fight Darth Vader and Boba Fett.  Even though I played this game so much, I could never defeat Darth Vader.  Every time he threw down his cape right before his next slash, I’d always miss the block.  That was annoying.  The best level was Death Star II.  The recreation of it in that game was just amazing for its time.

Time Crisis II


I thought this game was so cool just because the player got to step on a pedal to hide.  That never happened in all the other rail shooters I’d played.  It was so awesome.  Each click on the light gun felt really nice too because the slide would go back every time the gun was “fired”.  It gave a really nice plastic clicking sound that I always associated to this game.

Tokyo Wars


This was one of the few multiplayer games at the arcade where people could play against each other (other than racing games).  It was so fun to just rush in with a tank and just start firing without a care for any strategy whatsoever (as if I had any when I was 9).  Somehow I was still pretty good at the game.  I’d always look at the minimap to see where the enemies were so I never drove around randomly.  The narrator in the game would also say something like, “enemy tank to the rear!” and every time the player fired a shot, the whole chair would shake. 

Why People Can’t Join Your Listchecker Games

There are just a handful of common reasons why people can’t join your Listchecker games.  LC does a good job in telling you with its log that opens up along with the program.  Obviously when it says “Game hosted with success”, you have no problems, but there will be times where it says “CD key in use” or “Failed to create game”.  That error almost always has to do with someone else already using the game name.  So changing that will definitely make it work.

However, LC won’t tell you that your Warcraft III port is blocked.  Google a port scanner tool and have it scan your Warcraft port (default 6112).  Also make sure that the LC config file has the same port that you forwarded.  The game port that you set in-game have no bearing on the LC port.  The only requirement is that it must be different than the LC port, but that port number is not important for hosting games.

The last issue is quite obscure.  I ran into an issue where one of my friends couldn’t join my game, but everybody else could.  Warcraft simply gave him a gray screen.  I immediately thought that it was a problem on their end and not mine.  However, upon closer inspection, it appears that if I set my LC hosting port to default, everybody can join.  The reason I didn’t use the default port is because someone else was using the 6112 port and I couldn’t forward the same port on multiple computers.  I don’t really know why that is, but it works beautifully.

Caught A Cold

Been feeling something coming down on me for the past couple days.  Yesterday it finally manifested itself.  I’ve apparently caught a cold.  Took some tylenol, and been sneezing all day.  Being sleepy didn’t help either.  I had the worst nap on the West Coast Express too.  I felt pretty sick throughout the day, so I left early.  I then went to SFU to visit Gary.  SFU does indeed look very depressing.  I know I shouldn’t be doing that since I was sick, but getting up and walking around made me feel a little bit better.  Played DotA there until my computer ran out of batteries.  I would have plugged in my laptop if I had found a plug.  It was a goddamn computer lab, and there was not a single plug in sight.  The ones that the computers were using were kept confined behind and under the desk.  I could not get to it.  We left at about 4:45 and got to Coquitlam Station at around 5:15 to get a ride back home.

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