Finally I achieve what I had set out to achieve right from the middle of 3rd sem. Combining my two biggest passions after DJing...
LINUX and Counter Strike
I had found both at almost the same time.
Fire in the Hole:
The Hall 1 LAN was not connected to the outside world, neither the other halls nor the internet. They had put up a switch in the common room that would connect all the different wings to a single network. I had heard or the thrill of counter strike on LAN (bots had become very uninteresting then) and i wanted to taste it badly.
I remember how I had taken the initiative of buying a switch for the wing. I held a wing meeting and the joint decision of a switch being bought was passed.Considering the fact that there were only 3 computers in a wing of 8 rooms consisting of 24 people, that was a great achievement.
I had some Rs 1000 saved with me then (another of those great achievements) and the next weekend home I bought a 8 port hub. It cost sum Rs 650, Rs 50 lesser than what they were charging in Durgapur(yupp, I had done a market research as well).
Money collection after the thing was bought was what I didn't want to get caught in. I knew that once I start collecting money for what had already been bought I would get stuck in this great never seizing infinite loop and would never get my money back. So I had an idea !
I told my wingmates that I was still to buy the switch, (only Souvik and Abir knew the secret, others reading the blog... sorry !!!). I had my money in one day itself, roommies paying for their non-present mates.
And then the switch was installed that day itself!!
Having a computer at that time would mean you would use the LAN for just two things, file sharing using LAN surfer(movies & music you perverts) and Counter Strike.
Counter Strike was awesome. There was these group of pre-finals who played really well including my personal favorites:- RAVAN, KUMBHAKARAN, YKAS, 21st Pulikesi etc. I loved playing with them. All day (and night) I would be looking for new servers to join into.
Then one happy day all the hostel LANs were connected. And net came.
And I suddenly lost most of my enthusiasm towards CS.
Right from the time I had installed windows on my computer I was looking forward to install Linux.
Mukti '06 had had a great impact on me including my favorite tagline:
I worked like a Slave for Mukti '06
I knew what Linux was all about. Somehow I had ended up on the Mukti helpless in 1st year and that was a minimum requirement for the job.
The 1st Linux installation I got was Ubuntu Live CD.
Within hours I still had the Ubuntu CD in my disc drive and my windows drive lost, never to be found. Apparently Ubuntu cound not detect my hard disc, and in the process of making it detect, I had somehow deleted my C drive.
Then 2nd year came, and with it the prospects of better distros for my computer.
About 3 new windows installation and 4 distros later, none of which could detect my hardware properly (Suse 10.2 DVD could not detect my DVD drive, the same one in which it was spinning) I was finally about to give up when I found Mandriva 2006 in 4 CDs.
An issueless installation and I had my 1st Linux system running.
I was quick enough to find out that I could do everything on Linux that I did on Windows, except for Counter Strike.
That was the beginning of my eternal quest.
I had set up a target to install Counter Strike successfully on Linux before Mukti '07 so that people could play CS instead of Quake 3 in the gaming compitition on Linux platform named C9H13NO3 which was the chemical formula for adrenaline (don't have a clue why it was named that).
http://www.cstrike-planet.com/tutorial/1/6 had an opinion on the matter which I seriously considered.
Installation was successful. But I had no idea how the game could run.
I could even read rounds start and finish, but there was no graphics. That was not Counter Strike. A Counter Strike which was running but I couldn't play was no valid game. Sorry.
People suggested WINE (no I wasn't yet frustrated enough to go alcoholic). WINE stood for "WINE Is Not an Emulator" which fell under the category of those Linux softwares whose developers weren't capable enough to give them a name which was NOT recursive in nature (GEEKS... I hate being one!! ).
Wine unfortunately is an emulator (a software which allows things from one platform to run in another; of cource with degraded performance), so this one allowed me to install the windows version of Counter Strike 1.6.exe on Linux. It's very ingenious though, how Wine created windows C drive, Program Files, Registry etc to install a windows software.
Installation was one thing, but the game actually running was me asking too much of it. Another failure.
Quake 3 was a major attraction at Mukti '07. Counter Strike on Linux stayed a distant dream.
6th Semester, things were quite different now. Even Mukti '08 has passed.
ENTER Stage Left : Debayan Banerjee with a LUG repository.
Jealous of Debayan's OpenSuse Drive, I had Mandriva 2008 downloaded on the LUG server. And I had people installing it.
The twist came when I learnt that a group of Counter Strike enthusiast had installed Mandriva 2008 for playing Counter Strike !! And they looked upon me to make it possible for them.
I went back to http://www.cstrike-planet.com/tutorial/1/6 . I installed Counter Strike again, but I was quick to perceive this time that I had actually installed a Counter Strike 1.6 Dedicated Server, which could only host a game on LAN which others could join on Windows and play, but you couldn't play on Linux itself, which put me back to square one.
Then people mentioned Cedega. Cedega is a derivative of Wine itself meant specially for emulating games. But the problem was that Cedega is a Propritory software, and it kept asking for a Transgaming(that would be the company that owns Cedega) username and password. I hate it when they do that, asking for things I didn't have and would have to pay for to acquire.
It also had no option for installing games and supported only mountable CDs which I didn't have for CS.
And finally, RESULT:
I stumbled upon this package named "Windows in Linux.zip" in my hard disk in one of my cleaning sessions (that's what I do to find space in my Hard Disk, find and delete trash from it) which I suddenly became aware of, and have no idea where I got it from. I was trying out all the stuff in it, when I stumbled upon Cedega, and this time it had a engine upgrade that came along with it.
I installed it as the manual directed, installed an upgrade, ignored all queries for transgaming account, and suddenly there is an option to install games from windows installers alongside the "Mount CD" option which I had written off earlier. I installed Counter Strike 1.6 digizone, had to look for the main exe, and there I was shooting terrorist bots at sight.
The graphics was not good enough compared to the what we find in windows, but it certainly was playable.
Sometimes I find it sad how intersting stories like these have such boring ends!