Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thank you John Carmack

A note about something I just realized.

The most anticipated computer game ten years ago was Quake 3.  It was one of the few core games that seemed guaranteed to transcend the core market-- Gamers would see it as the next way to compete.  Normal people would play it casually with friends.  Geeks would play it for the dynamic lighting and curved surfaces.

When the demo was released, the Mac and Linux versions came out first, which sent an enormous amount of Windows users scrambling.  Because this was years before installing Linux convenient in any way, it forced a great number of people to learn about booting from floppies, partitioning, filesystems, the command line, installing proprietary video drivers, and a host of other Linux-y skills.

It took me four days to get to the point where I could even run the game, but I got to enjoy it three days before my friends.  And it set me on a path that I've been on for ten years.

Thanks, John!