Mark Shuttleworth: Open Source Hero

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the delay in writing posts. I've been busy with life. Everything from school assignments to weddings. They all take large chunks of time. I hope you enjoy this article i wrote for a business class a while back. It's on the Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth. I hope you all enjoy it. My teacher did.

Mark Shuttleworth is perhaps one of the most unique entrepreneurs in the business world today. Growing up in the dusty mining town of Welkom in South Africa, Mark developed an interest for computers through the use of computer games. He obtained a BS degree in Finance and Information Systems from UCT (University of Cape Town). While at the university he came in contact with the Internet for the first time and realized the potential it had for the business world. While in his senior year at UCT in 1995, Mark started Thawte; an Internet consulting business.

Thawte quickly changed focus to Internet security for application in electronic e-commerce. This company that Mark started became the first company to develop a full-security encrypted e-commerce web server commercially available outside of the USA. This server brought the company to even greater success, as it plugged into the world of public key infrastructure. Even Microsoft and Netscape took notice, and Thawte became the first trusted third party for web certification. This made it possible for businesses around the world to accept secure transactions over the web.

Then, in 1999, the US company VeriSign bought Thawte for more than $500,000,000, making Mark a very wealthy man. But Marks business scope was far from over. He saw the potential global impact that South African entrepreneurs could have, and formed a venture capital team called HBD ( The name references the phrase “Here Be Dragon.” As legend has it, this phrase was used to describe uncharted territory on maps.). This company seeks to invest in companies, based in South Africa, that have the potential to serve a more global marketplace. The invested companies include such fields as software, mobile phone services, electronics, and even pharmaceutical services.

Mark also formed a non-profit organization, named the Shuttleworth Foundation, that supports the innovation of education in his home country. The foundation's main goal is to fund projects that have the potential to improve aspects of the education system, and works on improving quality and the reach of education in Africa. It seeks to find ideas that have the potential to dramatically change civil society for the better and funds those ideas. But Mark Shuttleworth wasn't only starting businesses and foundations right and left, he was also chasing dreams.

In 2002 Mark became the first African in space, and also the second self-funded space tourist in history. Mark even started the project that launched him into space; The First African In Space Project. He paid approximately $20 million of his own money to participate in the space flight. This included 7 months of formal training in Star City, Russia. Since he was a boy, Mark had dreamed of going into space, and while up there in space, looking down on our Earth, he had a revelation. “Going to space and seeing the Earth from a distance makes it very clear just how interdependent we are. So I wanted to do something that was really global; free software is a phenomenon that is truly global” (From an interview with Mark that Glyn Moody did for 'The Guardian'.).

Out of that revelation came an idea, and out of that idea came a new business for Mark Shuttleworth. In 2004, he founded the Ubuntu project, which is a project focused on providing a quality desktop and sever operating system that is available for free world wide. This project aims to bring the best of the free and open-source world into a Linux distribution that is available for anyone. Mark made an initial investment out of his own wallet of 10 million dollars. I use this operating system daily, and am actively involved in the community of users and developers.

In march of that same year, Mark formed a company called Canonical Ltd, that is focused on promoting and commercially supporting free software projects. This company oversees the Ubuntu project and all its derivatives. Mark is currently very involved in this company and is seeking to branch out to partner with such developers as Intel on the Moblin Project. The Moblin project is focused on creating a standardized Linux platform for mobile Internet devices.

What Makes Mark Shuttleworth An Entrepreneur

What makes Mark Shuttleworth an entrepreneur is his ability to see the potential in an arising market, and create a supply for the demand made by that market. A wonderful example of this is seen in his first company, Thawte. Mark saw the potential the Internet had to change the world, and saw a need businesses would have in this new industry. He created a company that would provide security for users of the Internet. Even before the Internet became is big as it is today, he saw the need, and created the solution. He risked his own money and time, to produce something for a market that was said to be only a “faze” but what Mark saw as a globe changing market.

He also saw the need for funding for the ideas that were not being implemented in the South African education system. Mark saw that the future of the world and the coming generations where not getting all the education that they could be getting. He saw the need, and created the supply, using his own money to start a non-profit organization.

In the same way, he started the Shuttleworth Foundation for promoting open source, open information, and open standards with the conviction that charing information leads to change and broadening horizons. And later down the road started and is actively involved in Canonical. With canonical he is using the potential of open source software, specifically Linux based operating systems, and commercially supporting them as they rise in popularity and implementation on the Internet. While some question the future of Linux, it is very clear that it's use is being widespread through more recent products. Dell is now selling computers with Ubuntu (Mark's own version of Linux) pre-installed as their Operating System. Many web surfing devices such as EEE's products, and the Acer One series, are using Linux as the default operating system.

Why I Chose Mark Shuttleworth

When first asked to choose and write about an entrepreneur I had no one in mind. I didn't want ot do the normal “Bill Gates” or “Steve Jobs” paper because, quite frankly, there are so many other amazing entrepreneurs in the technology world. So, being an Ubuntu Linux user, I decided to look into who created the Ubuntu operating system. At first I found a few pages on his involvement in Linux, and a few other software companies, then I discovered he was the first African to go to space. I was completely amazed, in fact, I double checked several times to make sure that this was the same Mark Shuttleworth who started the Ubuntu project. The more I studied and read about him, I came to the conclusion that no other entrepreneur could be chosen over Mark Shuttleworth.

Mark's achievements are not the only reasons I chose him. What made me choose him over other Linux pioneers, and computer geniuses, was his purpose in life. The purpose that overflowed into everything he did, technology wide, or world wide. Mark seeks to use his success to forward and improve the education system in South Africa. Instead of using his millions solely on himself, he funds organizations, and educational resources such as HBD, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. Mark believes that “education is the key to unlocking the creative and intellectual potential inherent in all individuals while aspiring them to believe that anything is possible.” ( What really made Mark stand out to me was his active involvement in changing the world and the economy.

So many famous people talk and talk about changing the world, but it is rare to find a person who does more doing than talking. Mark is not a famous man, in fact few know him for even his space flight, but he still uses his success to change the world. To improve the minds of the next generation. Mark wants to give South Africa the ability to connect to the outside world, and the wealth of information found on the internet.

What Mark Shuttleworth Has To Offer

In Mark Shuttleworth's first business, he offered internet security. His security server enabled other businesses and companies to share information within their industry, and not have to worry about hackers stealing their data. This is a crucial service to those companies who have much internet based transactions, and services.

With HBD Venture Capitol Mark offered investments in innovative companies based in South Africa that could potentially serve the global marketplace. This support for the smaller companies brought more services to levels that are easier to reach in the business world.
Ubuntu is an operating system that seeks to provide a free and open source operating system both for servers and desktops. It brings together the best of the open source and Linux world into a Linux distribution that is freely available to anyone in the world. It also provides an extremely dependable server platform for any company or business that hosts its own website for web application.

Works Cited

Thanksgiving Special: The Verdict


I decided I'd give you all a slightly different kind of treat today for Thanksgiving. This is a short story I wrote about two months ago, and I hope you all enjoy. It has absolutely nothing to do with computers/Linux/Open Source but I think you might enjoy it. I'd love your feedback.

Remember, today is THANKSgiving. Be thankful for the friends, family, memories, and things you have been blessed with. Now, on to the story.

The Verdict

Note to reader: All characters and places are fictional. No ethnicity, culture, or system of government is represented in any part of the story.

I waited in silence. There were no sounds except the dripping of a leaky sink down the hall. The only light in my small confinement came through a small slot in the door. The floor and ceiling were cement and there were no other openings. There were four cinderblock walls painted a dull grey. A small cot occupied almost a third of the cell, and a steel toilet fastened to the wall was the only other furnishing.

I stood up and started pacing the small cell, trying to organize my scattered, drug-thirsty thoughts. Although the drugs had been out of my system for days, my body and mind screamed for them. The longing occupied my every thought, and all I could think of was how in the world I had gotten here. I couldn't remember what had happened, and the parts I did remember seemed like a puzzle, whose creator forced every single piece into the wrong spot: nothing made complete sense.

My whole brain was a haze of fogginess. But, like a lighthouse beacon slicing through the thick fog, there was one thing I knew: I was alone. Utterly and completely alone. Abandoned by the human race, abandoned by any sense of hope, abandoned by any glimpse of mercy. The only thing that had not abandoned me was life itself. But soon even life would be taken from me, when I would be strapped to the chair. And death is no good companion.

From what I could remember, it all started a few hours ago when I was on the way out of the bar and I noticed two rather finely dressed young men. Their suits and velvet ties told me they must have had enough cash between them to set me up for a few days or even weeks. With the hopes of cash in mind, I pulled out my small revolver and bumped into the first guy. He grunted and I slurred into his ear, "Move into the alley!" I nodded my head towards the crooked lane a few feet away.
He backed up a few steps and started moving into the alley; his buddy followed, seeing the black metal of my revolver glint in the street lamp light. They were trying to act calm, but their eyes darted from my face to my gun in fear.

"Hey, buddy, we don't want any problems. I don't have any cash, but take this gold watch; it's all I have."

He started to reach into his coat pocket, but my crumbled judgment and tense hand misjudged his action. BANG! The man with the watch fell back and cried out in pain while the other man started to jump for my gun. BANG! BANG! Two bullets thudded into the other man’s chest; he lay gurgling and gasping on the ground. His lungs were obviously punctured, and he wouldn't have long to live.
I got scared, started to panic, and emptied the rest of my 3 rounds into the first man. He lay still, dead, lifeless. What had I done? I stood there, unable to move. I couldn't think straight; all my body wanted was drugs, and I knew I needed money to get them. I frisked the first man and found no cash, only a gold watch and a few credit cards. I took those. I moved over to frisk the other man but stopped as I heard sirens in the distance.

I had to get out of there. I started to run, but only stumbled a few feet before tripping over a bag of trash in the alley. The sirens were getting closer and my heart pounded faster. Sweat poured down my face. The sirens arrived and the alley was flooded with light; I was momentarily blinded.

"Drop to the ground and put your hands on your head!" the loudspeaker boomed.
I didn't know what else to do, so I did as I was told. A dark figure approached and since I still held the spent gun in my hand, I tried to hit the figure with it. I missed and a hard blow to my head knocked me cold. Only blackness remained.

I woke up in a small room. A very bright light shone down from the ceiling and my head throbbed with pain from the bludgeon's blow. I sat up as far as I could. I was cuffed to the bed I lay in. The bed itself was bolted to the wall and floor. I couldn't quite remember what had happened.

A policeman came into my room and told me I had less then a half hour before I had to be dressed and in the small speed court in the prison hospital. I was still only half-conscious but the guard gave me my clothes and told me to put them on. In less than ten minutes another guard joined the first and escorted me to the court room.

The court room was small. It contained one long table and about a dozen folding chairs. In the middle of the long table sat an aged man with a very stern face. On his right side, a woman sat looking through a rather large folder filled with many documents. On his left side sat a young man who looked to be no older then twenty-three and fresh out of college. He had a very sad face, as if someone very close to him had just died.

The guards sat me down in front of the long table, each taking a seat beside me. It wasn't long before the hearing was begun. The judge had the lady to his right begin by showing the contents of the folder. As the woman began to talk about each document or picture, I realized that this was the evidence against me. The judge looked over each article somberly.

Once he had seen most of the contents he stopped the young lady.
“I want to hear what the guilty party has to say for himself.” His voice was deep and rich. He looked me in the eye, and waited for my excuses.
“I can explain,” I said, my mind still hungering for its drugs. “I was drunk and on crack. It wasn't me who did this crime. I didn't want to, the drugs made me do it, and I needed the money. I didn't have any money.” This made sense to my foggy and unfocused brain; each of my reasons seemed like valid points that no judge could hold against me.

The judge looked me straight in the eye and said slowly, “You've been convicted of double homicide, possession of drugs, robbery, and carrying a firearm you are not licensed to own. Because no one has come forward to claim to know you or to be you relation, we have no reason to have you in a county prison. All evidence is against you, and your own testimony reveals that you do not deny your own crime.” He paused and whispered something to both of his companions. Each nodded their approval. “The verdict: death row. You have 3 hours until you are to fulfill your sentence. There is no reason to lengthen the time before your sentence is to be taken into effect. You've proven that you're only a hindrance to any kind of moral society; therefore you will not be permitted any rights. Your sentence is final.”

With that final remark, he signaled the guards to take me away. I still couldn't comprehend what was going on. Why hadn't the judge listened to me? Why had he been so unmerciful to me? My reasons seemed so valid, so human, but here I was headed for death. I had nothing, no one, and nowhere to go but down.
The guards led me to a small holding cell. One of them unfastened my cuffs and shoved me in the cell, then closed the heavy iron door behind me. I was alone. Utterly and completely deserted.

I waited in silence. Each second seemed to last an eternity as my dark end drew closer and closer. My head was a wreck, and I had a splitting headache. My body seemed to scream with longing for drugs. At least it took my mind of my impending doom.

I paced, sat, or lay in my cell for about two hours. My headache had let up enough for me to get a hold on what was going on. I heard footsteps coming down the hall accompanied by what sounded like a man sobbing. The footsteps drew closer and I went to the small slot in the door to peer through. There, about to pass by my cell, was a man whose face was so blotchy and disfigured from weeping that it was hard to tell who it was. As he drew closer to my cell I recognized him; he was the judge who had unmercifully sentenced me here.

I flew at the door in anger, and screamed at him as he drew near my cell. “You unmerciful judge!!! I hope you're sorry! You don't have a heart!!!” I could see that my words stung him, as foolish as they must have sounded. He looked up from the ground and into my own angry eyes. I spat in his face, expecting him to lash out at me. Instead he spoke softly saying, “Justice is simple: for your wrongs someone must die.” He continued down the hall as I cursed after him. I wanted nothing more than to tear him apart, make him feel the pain he had put me through. My rage was boiling over; my limbs shook with anger.

Then, all of a sudden, as if a wave had hit me, my anger turned to shame. I fell to the ground convulsing and weeping uncontrollably. My body shook as I sobbed and sobbed. The pain from my head and body was gone, and everything seemed to come into focus as if a mental fog was lifting. I could see the evil in my heart. The truth about my state. It was my fault, all of it; no one could be blamed but myself. I had taken the drugs, I had drunk too much, I had pulled the trigger. As each of my wrong deeds dawned on me, it felt as if I were being punched with an iron fist. I was nothing, a nobody, a wretched and wicked man who had destroyed the lives of those who deserved everything.

I wanted to be free of it all. I wanted to get out of this cell, to start over, to begin a new life. But there was no hope. The wrongs had already been committed and my sentence had already been placed on my head.
At this point, the lights in the hall dimmed, as if a large current of electricity were being drawn out. They must be testing the chair for my punishment, I thought. I hated the reminder of my impending doom. My record was now black and rotted through; no good shown through its scared immoral statements.
The weight of my wrongs was too much for me to bear and I lay shaking on the ground, waiting for the warden to escort me to my doom. I could hear him now, his footsteps thumping down the hall like hammer blows to my temples. As he drew closer, my disgusting life started to replay in my head. Each moment was filled with crime, each second a memory wanting to be forgotten. There was nothing good there, but there was no way to turn it off.

The warden stood outside my cell. He fumbled with the keys, then unlocked the door. The light from the hall was so bright my eyes had to adjust. I slowly rose to my feet, knowing this was the end. I had nothing left. No hope, no family, no friends, nothing at all. All I had was a rampant record of crime and deceit.
The warden placed his hand on my shoulder and waited for me to adjust to the light. He stared at me. At first I thought he was scrutinizing me, looking at me like the piece of dirt that I was. But I met his gaze and noticed that something wasn’t right. He had a very strange look in his eye, as if he had just witnessed something inconceivable. I'd never seen this look before; it was odd, eccentric, quizzical, and very unnerving. I shifted my weight, expecting him to grab my cuffed wrists in case I tried anything funny. But he didn't. He just stared at me.

“Sir, who are you?” he asked. What kind of a question was that? But he kept looking at me sincerely, not waiting for an answer.

“You won't believe this. I don't believe this. But your record is clean. It's white as snow.” I looked at him. What kind of horrible joke was this? What did he mean? My record was completely horrid; there wasn't the faintest glimpse of white on it.

“Sir, your penalty has been paid. You're free to go.” At this he unfastened my cuffs and stepped out of the cell. I couldn't believe him.
What did he mean? How could this happen? I had so many questions, but all I could voice was a meager,

“About five minutes ago, the judge who sentenced you to death was electrocuted in your place. I don't know why he did that. It doesn't make any sense. But he left you a note. It's in this envelope. He told me not to let you open it until you were out of these walls.” At this, he handed me a manila folder and led me out of the cell. He took me to the office where I was given civilian clothes to put on and then escorted to the front gate.

I stood there in front of the prison in a daze. I should be dead. And now I stand in front of the very place that was supposed to have been my death chamber. I looked at the envelope I held in my hand: the only thing besides the clothes on my back that belonged to me. I opened it with eager hands, hoping for an explanation, or something that would tell me I was not imagining all of this. Inside were two pieces of paper. One was a letter, and the other a legal document.

I read the letter. Then the legal document. I couldn't believe what I read. It didn't seem to make sense. I put the documents back into the envelope and started walking to the limousine that waited for me a few feet away.

A new day was dawning, and a few birds were chirping. The sun had just risen and was flooding the field in front of the prison with glorious rays of golden light. The light sparkled on the dew like a million stars. They seemed to celebrate. They celebrated the birth of a new man.
“Home please,” I instructed the driver.
“Yes, Mr. Kettlewitch, Kettlewitch Manor it is.” And off we drove, leaving the prison, and the profligate wretch inside, behind. Never to return again.

The Contents Of the Letter
As Written by Judge Kettlewitch
Dear Sir,

When you read this, you will no doubt be in quite a state of shock. The events that have just taken place will have swept you off your feet (metaphorically speaking). I am enclosing a legal document entitling my estate, large fortune, and freedom to you. In fact, you are no longer the man that shot and killed my two sons and left my grandson (the young man who sat on my right during your trial) fatherless. You are now Jason R. Kettlewitch, one of the richest men in the city. On paper, you are dead. You were killed a few minutes ago, strapped to an electric chair. The old you no longer exists.
I want you to take the life that I have given you and make something of it. The kindness I've shown you should be reflected in every step of your new life.
In front of the prison will be your driver, waiting in your car. You are to get into the car and instruct him to drive you home.
I trust that you will be not be unregenerate, and the only thanks I require is that you live like a changed man. You may never understand what has just taken place. But know this: You were deserted and rotted, and a wealthy judge gave you everything.


The Now Deceased, Jason R. Kettlewitch

(c) Philip R. 2008

Over a 1000 visits

Dear Readers,

I just wanted to thank you all so much for being constant visitors to the blog. It has recieved over 1,000 visits.

With out readers, this blog would be useless. Here's the best to you!!!!

The Little Tin Man


Dear Readers,

I want to let you all know that one of the articles here has been published in a Ubuntu Linux magezine called "Full Circle." Here is a link for the free download of the issue my article has apeared in;

I highly recommend Full Circle as a great resource. I've learned many things from the articles, How-To's, interviews, reviews, and news that is all bundled in this free community magezine. Please take some time to check out thier sight, and download a few issues of Full Circle.

Thanks for all your support,

The Little Tin Man

Review of Urban Terror

Crouched behind the dumpster, with my LR-400 in hand, I wait in suspense for my enemy to come around the corner. Every sound seems amplified and heightens the suspense. I can hear a fire fight going on in the distance. One of my team mates is across from me and he makes a run for the flag, only to be taken out a few steps from his cover from a sniper in a window above. The sniper unknowingly giving away his position and enables me to prime a grenade and toss it through the open window. BOOM!!! The sniper's down and I make a dash for the flag. Gunfire opens up to my left and I take a hit in the leg, slowing me down. I spin to the left and fire a burst into the body of my blue opponent; he's out of the way.

I reach the flag just as one of my teammates takes out an opponent that had just came around the corner. Rounds of machine gun fire rip through the wall behind me as I run as more blue team members realize someone has taken their flag. My health is low and my wounded leg has slowed me down. I'm losing blood fast. BAM!! BAM!! A hidden attacker steps out of his cover from the door way to my right and pumps two Desert Eagle rounds into my chest. I'm down until I respawn in a few seconds, but my team mates catch the dropped flag and nail my assailant. They race back to our red base, winning the game for the red team, and ending another match in the game called Urban Terror.

My search for a good FPS

I've always been an In-The-Action kind of guy. I never liked being above, or on the same level as the action, I wanted to be IN and AMIDST the action. That's why I've always loved first-person-shooters (FPS): the games where you are a soldier of some sort, fighting in the heat of a battle. I've been playing these games since I was barely 6 years old.

My first FPS was a game called Duke Nukem. It was the most intense game at the time. It brought “3D” graphics and action packed missions fighting ferocious monsters, and blowing everything up with missiles and guns to your desktop. I say “3D” because the graphics back then compared to today's graphics, is like comparing a four-year-old's crayon drawing to the Mona Lisa. It was pretty much the coolest game I thought could ever be made.

Since then, computers, hardware, and software developments have improved dramatically. New games have been released with better graphics, more missions, and tons of endless action. Some of my favorite are Castle Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory, Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, Rainbow Six: Eagle Watch, Counter-Strike Source, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, and many others. Each different FPS game had their pluses and their minuses, some with more minuses. With each game play (about an hour on Saturdays) I would be able to recognize what was good and what was bad in a game, what I liked and what I disliked.

One of the big factors for me was having a LOT of guns. Sure, most games have a nice selection of 5 of the most modern guns, but I needed more. I kept looking and looking for more guns. After many years of playing, I discovered Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory, a WWII geared FPS with tons of maps, and tons of gun options (most modified by players who know how to code). But, I'm a more modern warfare kind of guy, and after a while, WWII just gets old. So I decided to look for other games. In 2001, I bought Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, and it was an immediate love at first play.

The game had tons of maps, great guns, (though not much selection) and a great multiplayer feature. This game was the second multiplayer game I have ever played (Enemy Territory being the first), and loved it. Instead of just shooting up computer controlled bots, I could now battle against other human minds. It added a whole new definition to FPS, because all the players were at a different skill level, and each had a different tactic. It made the game seem more real. But alas, the game CD fell of a desk and broke, leaving me to search for a better game.

Battlefield 1942 was good but it only had one game type, limited weapons, and I couldn't get multiplayer to work. That got old fast. Battlefield 2 was cool, but the same as its predecessor, 1942. I played game after game, demo after demo, never seeming to be able to find a game I really could latch onto. I soon went back to Enemy Territory, but it got dull after a while.

After about a year, I made my switch to Linux. Enemy Territory ran natively on Linux so I was happy enough to play it for an hour a month. But Linux had its own goodies. Nexuiz, Alien Arena, and Open Arena were available and I gave each a whirl. But they are Sci-fi and I'm NOT into those genres of games.

I soon did a search online for a more modern (not future) FPS game. I stumbled across a multiplayer only game called Urban Terror and gave it a shot. The welcome screen was promising. Nothing super fancy, but not low tech. I clicked join game and a LONG list of current games going on opened up: another promising aspect. Usually when a game is bad, few people bother playing it. As I soon found out, this was far from being a halfhearted, or cheap knockoff FPS.

Why UT has surpassed other FPS games

A. Simplicity

To start playing Urban Terror (UT) there is little more to do than typing in you player name and clicking play. It's that easy. With other games, there always seemed to be some conflicting issue, or it was nearly impossible to figure out how to play the game without reading instructions. It's click and play for UT. The interface is very easy to use; while in the game you click Esc and a drop down menu will appear where you can edit your players look, weapons, and gear. With each respawn, you can either change guns, or leave everything the same. There's a red team and a blue team, and you pick one or the other. It's that simple.

B. The Options

There are numerous weapons possibilities. If you want a clean and exact kill, go for the SR-8: One shot to the body, or head will eliminate your target immediately. It also has a very high powered scope, making long range shots a breeze. Need a small, but high powered machine gun for close quarters? The MP5k is just one of the slick, modern weapons that are available to do the job. With other games, such as Delta Force, the weapons were not well designed, and didn't have the “feel” that the UT weapons have.

C. Game Types

Bomb, CTF (Capture the Flag), FFA (Free For All), Team DM (Team Death Match), etc: There are so many fun game types to play with. This is also one thing that games such as Battlefield lacked, where you only had one type of game (Take Over: which was a game where the winner took over the most landmarks on the map), and, in Counter Strike Source, you only have the Bomb game type. Unless they've changed that in the last 2 years. Unlike these other games, UT has several different games, and each one has a different approach to game play.

Capture the Flag (CTF): There are two teams, and each team has a flag at its base. The goal is to get the other team's flag all the way back to your teams base without them taking it back, or the other team stealing your flag.

Free For All (FFA): Everyone is an opponent. The winner has the most kills at the end of the game.

Team Survivor: There are two teams. The object is to eliminate all the players on the other team, and still have players on your team left alive.

Bomb: The objective is to find and defuse the bomb that the other team has planted, before it goes off.

Team Death Match (Team DM): There are two teams. The goal is to kill as many players on the opposite team before the time limit, or kill limit is reached. Once a player is killed, he will re-spawn (come back to life) and continue playing in the game. The winning team will have the most kills at the end of the game.

So, with UT, whatever game you feel like playing, you just search for the game type on the list of servers and click to play.

D. Maps

Maps, maps, and more maps. Maps are the worlds in which the games are held. I've never played a game where there are so many maps that you don't know which one is your favorite. It makes it hard to get tired of the game. Each map is like a little world, each having its own landmarks and quirky twists and turns. New maps are being continually created as well. So there's never a time where you have to say to yourself “when is the next version of this game going to come out so we have more maps?”

E. Cross Platform

One of the absolute coolest features of UT is that it is available for all three major OS's: Mac, Windows, and Linux. So you never have to say to your buddy, “I just found the awesomist game but it only works for PC.” No, now you can say “Hey dude, you gotta play this wicked game!!! You can even play it on your Mac!!!” One thing about most other multiplayer games that I really disliked was that my Mac or PC friends couldn't join in the fun. It made me feel like I was leaving them out, and that's not cool in the Ubuntu world, where everyone helps one another, like a family.

F. Graphics

While good graphics are important to some, speed is more important to me. Urban Terror has both. It provides a fun, interactive, and detailed environment,(yeah, the graphics aren't dark like in Battlefield 2142) while still keeping the memory usage to a minimum. The Battlefield games I'm going to bash a little bit here because their a good example of an overly “good” graphic game. They seem to try to make the environments look real and feel real, but this takes so much system resources that it no longer becomes a game; it becomes a resource hog that is choppy, and only fun if you have a super computer. UT looks good, and is fast, keeping you playing more, and waiting less.

Downsides of UT

I've never heard of a truly perfect game. It's sad but it's true. Seeing that these games are created by non-perfect people like me, it would be impossible to create a perfect product.

One big downside is that it's only a multiplayer game, meaning that you need the internet to play it. This can be a problem when you're bored on vacation, in the middle of nowhere, or your internet is down for a while.

Another issue that some may not find as offensive as others is that there seems to be no restrictions on player's names. This means that many of the players of the game have obscene names. There also seems to be no way to turn off the chat function on the bottom of the screen, where some players seem to abuse their right to type whatever they want. The latter can be fixed quite easily with the use of a sticky note. Just slap the note on the bottom left corner of the screen and you're safe from the chat. There may be some way to turn of the player names, but I haven't bothered looking into it. I'm usually so into the game that my only focus is what my opponents team is doing next.

Other than that, there doesn't seem to be any other downsides of the game. So happy UT'ing!!!

The Addictiveness Test

A couple months ago, while on lunch break at work, I decided to try something out. I wanted to see if , just by showing a game to someone, if I could truly get them addicted without any forcing. So, I downloaded UT onto our computer in the shipping department and, during one lunch break, decided to show my co-worker, Josh. I played for about 2 minutes before letting him take the wheel. I had no idea what I had started.
He picked up on the game very quickly and now, about 4 months later, Josh plays UT for the majority, and some times the entirety of his lunch break. My tactics worked like a charm. One afternoon, during the lunch hour, we had a UPS guy drop off a couple packages. While he was unloading the boxes, he took a moment to look over Josh's shoulder. “Nice game dude!” said the UPS guy and watched for a while. Who would have thought that a little demonstration to such a game could grab ones attention so easily. Chuckle. I still laugh when I remember that day when I first showed Josh. What a memory.

Final Evaluation

With its fast paced action, great gun selection, or easily understood interface, Urban Terror is quickly placed at the top of my list. It's a perfect game for those who love the multiplayer world, while the strategist and the computer vs. human crowd may not like it much. I love it, and play it when I can. One warning to new players: It's EXTREMELY addicting!!!!! Have fun with Urban Terror!!!