Charles River Media's recent book titled Sex in Video Games came out too early for me to include it here (curses!), but then a new title with much appeal caught my eye: The Game Developer's Open Source Handbook by Steven Goodwin. The book is targeted at “all game developers, especially the 'Indies', who want to use the wealth of free software in their own games to help increase the scope of the technology available and reduce the financial burden”. Charles River also calls it “required reading for the producers and systems analysts of game studios who want to see the big picture”. The book's main purpose is to help the game developer find and utilize the plethora of open-source software tools and libraries—such as graphic editors, IDEs, MIDI sequencers, 3-D editors, movie playback code and so on—for use in every aspect of the development process. The author, Steven Goodwin, has been responsible for developing five different game titles, including Die Hard: Vendetta on the three big console platforms.
The EMAC folks have let us know about their new 16-bit, System on Module Internet-appliance engine, which they have ubercreatively named SoM-NE64M. The SoM-NE64M module is based on the Freescale ColdFire MC9S12NE64, 16-bit, 68HC12-compatible processor with built-in Ethernet MAC and PHY and two serial ports. It also features 64KB of Flash, 32KB of EEPROM and 8KB of RAM, with room for up to 512KB. The aforementioned functionality is integrated into a diminutive board—smaller than a business card and using less than a Watt of power—and is designed to plug in to a custom carrier board. Applications for the SoM-NE64 can be programmed using GNU tools within an Eclipse IDE or with CodeWarrior. One of the product's advantages, says EMAC, is “more functionality built in than many other SoM designs”, making the carrier board easier to design and produce and thus lowering cost and time to market. Target applications are Web/network data acquisition and control.
SafeNet has introduced its Sentinel Hardware Keys to the world of Linux. The product is a rights management token with military-grade security that is intended to allow “software developers in the Linux community to protect 32-bit software applications from piracy and implement flexible licensing models”, sayeth SafeNet. When attached to a computer or network, the keys monitor and enforce the licensing of products that have been protected using SafeNet's solution. The Java-based Sentinel Hardware Keys Software Development Kit is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora Core and SUSE and includes “a device driver to access keys, a network server dæmon to manage licenses, a Web-browser-based monitoring tool to track licenses on site and a set of Business Layer APIs for high-level licensing implementation.”
Packt Publishing is a relatively new yet prolific IT publisher that focuses heavily on Linux and open-source titles. Its tagline reads “Community Experience Distilled”, with the firm contributing a royalty back to the open-source projects it writes about. A case in point is Packt's new title, called Building Websites with XOOPS: A step-by-step tutorial by Steve Atwal. XOOPS is a popular open-source, object-oriented, PHP-based Web content management application. The book introduces readers to XOOPS and shows how to use it to create “small to large dynamic community Websites, intracompany portals, corporate portals, Weblogs and much more”. Some topics covered include configuration of XOOPS, working with news stories and managing diverse elements, such as blocks, modules, users, themes and more.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.