A long time ago I saw a screenshot where an enterprising Linux user had stranded three icons, via iDesk, smack in the center of the screen, with nothing else around and no particular wallpaper in place. I don’t recall much else in the way of the arrangement, but the icons were for his/her favorite games — the idea being, the machine was dedicated to just playing those three games, and everything else was on the periphery.
Not one to be outdone, I kind of put together the same thing on an Arch machine yesterday, using a few of the games I prefer within wbar, for an animated punch-and-run effect.
The wallpaper is the most “playful” I have on hand. Maybe next time something a little more sinister.
Originally this was arranged with Openbox as the window manager, but I don’t think it’s actually necessary. If you trigger wbar from your .xinitrc file and let it run until killed, you should be able to pop most of these applications open without the need for a window manager. (P.S.: It works, although it’s a little … creaky at times. Windowed games — like FreeCiv — don’t behave right without a window manager. Just so you know. …)
So why do this? Well, I guess the most obvious reason is an offline machine for solo-play games. Things like Wormux or Warzone2100 could reside on a dedicated gaming machine, and not be used for anything else (like browsing or e-mail).
And most Linux games I come across are well within the reach of a 1Ghz machine with a 64Mb graphics card, even when running at full resolution. Something in the Pentium 4 range with a proper video card would be a rock star.
This is such a blatant and pitifully obvious application for an outdated computer that I’m tempted to call it a “case in point.” But at the same time it’s such a blatant and pitifully obvious application for an outdated computer that it’s hardly instructive. Sad to think that it takes me so long to actually do these things though.