20 Mar

Ubuntu Pokies

For years, people all around the world had three options when purchasing a computer. They could choose a Windows PC based operating system, which is arguably the most popular on the market, a Macintosh operating system, which is known to conflict with most windows-based applications, or Linux, which was generally reserved for high-tech computer geeks who had advanced knowledge of IT semantics. Then, lo and behold, in October of 2004, a new operating system was bestowed upon the industrial population, and its name was Ubuntu.

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Now mind you, by 2004, online pokies had already become quite prevalent. The internet gambling industry had nearly doubled its revenue that year, up from $5.9 billion in 2003 to $8.2 billion in 2004. The great debate, PC versus Mac, was hot and heavy in the iGaming sector at that time. All downloadable online pokies platforms were being specifically optimized for Windows PC, while Mac users (and Lunix users; let’s not forget that miniscule percentage of gamers) were left with only one option. They would have to play the Flash-based versions of the online pokies that required no download. That left most users leaning towards the popular Windows PC when purchasing a new system; that is, until Ubuntu developed into a fantastic OS that was supremely fast, had way fewer bugs than its rivals and, best of all, it was free!


Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system composed of multiple software packages, most of which were free to begin with. That meant users had the ability to modify the system through open-source (remember, most original Linux users were tech geeks), which lead to Ubuntu getting better and better with age. While it wasn’t a huge hit out of the gate, it took only a few years before people learned how user-friendly the OS had become. And despite still hanging from one of the lower rungs on the OS ladder, those who love Ubuntu wouldn’t give it up for the world – or for an optimized, downloadable online pokie experience.


Why Ubuntu?

If you’re wondering that question yourself, you’ve probably never used Ubuntu. I’m not saying it’s the best thing to hit computers since the world wide web, but for some, it really does offer a superior browsing experience. I wouldn’t recommend it as a working, office computer, but for general surfing, emailing, etc., the benefits are many. There are a few key features that all supporters of the Ubuntu movement will be quick to point out. First is the speed. It is incredibly fast, super-swift, ultra-lightning-quick! That’s because it’s so much lighter than its PC/Mac rivals, and doesn’t use a million drivers to run everything on the face of the HDD. Ubuntu has no driver, no .DLL files, it just does what it’s supposed to do on a straight path; point A to point B without a dozen re-routes in between.


Another perk Windows will never imitate is the lack of security issues. Ubuntu is not corruptible by viruses and has no security holes. Windows has more holes than a warehouse full of industrial size colanders, and even with an expensive subscription to an anti-virus firm like Norton, viral infections are always a threat.


The biggest issue with Mac is its lack of compatibility with, well, anything not made by/for Mac. That’s always been a hang-up with the Apple brand. If they didn’t make it, and can’t sell it to you personally, they apparently don’t want you to have it.


Online Pokies for Ubuntu

The one problem Mac and old-style-Linux users once had remains the same for users of the Ubuntu OS. Because of its low rank among operating systems, there’s no gaming software developer that has taken the time to optimize a downloadable platform so that Ubuntu users can play online pokies the way Windows PC users do. In order to play, only two paths are accessible; Flash games (no-download) and PC emulators.


Personally, I find the good old-fashioned Java games that load up directly in your browser to be the most convenient and glitch-free way to play online pokies on Ubuntu. There’s no download involved, and the graphics may not be quite as smooth as an HDTV, but they are as clear as they could ever need to be. Alacrity used to be a common complaint, due to repetitive loading, but with today’s connection speeds and the lightning quickness of Ubuntu in general, it’s not so much of an issue. The only plausible negative is that larger software platforms, like Microgaming, offer a lower quantity of online pokies in the Flash version of their software; about half compared to the downloadable casino client, which contains 600+ gambling amusements.


The other option is to use a Windows emulator, or compatibility layer. The most popular is WINE. Its name is derived from the abbreviated version, WINdows Emulator, but that’s really a misnomer. WINE is a compatibility layer, not an emulator. In truth, its popularity is majorly due to the fact that it doesn’t use an emulator or virtual machine to run PC files, rather translating the protocol to something Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu can understand. What’s so great about compatibility layers, you ask? Since it’s not a virtual machine, it doesn’t execute Windows applications so painfully slow as genuine emulators. It actually runs them quite fast, on average 500% faster. On the negative side, however, newer applications don’t always work with WINE, so not every online casino you download is guaranteed to run seamlessly. Running online pokies on WINE is kind of hit and miss.