March 17, 2014, 5:42 PM — Valve has been hard at work on SteamOS and its hardware. Ars Technica reports that Valve has added analog buttons to the Steam Controller and has also removed its touchscreen. This is a big change to the Steam Controller that could please some gamers while angering others.
Valve is showing images of a new version of the controller that replaces those buttons and the planned touchscreen on the face of the controller with new analog directional and action buttons that resemble the layout of many other gaming controllers.
New Steam Controller
Image credit: Ars Technica
Old Steam Controller
I'm glad to see that Valve is taking user feedback into consideration as it evolves the Steam Controller. There seemed to be a significant amount of concern expressed by many people about the initial version of the Steam Controller and Valve was clearly listening.
This tweaked version looks like it might be a little more comfortable for gamers to use. Of course we'll have to wait until the revised Steam Controller is in the hands of gamers before we can know how they'll react to it.
I don't think there will be many tears shed for the Steam Controller's now departed touchscreen. But then again, you never know. Some people might have been looking forward to it. Either way, it's out of the picture for now.
The fact that Valve was willing to listen to critical responses to its hardware design bodes very well its SteamOS products. The company knows it has to get the design right and it's pulling out all the stops to get it done. Kudos to Valve for being flexible enough to make useful changes as it prepares to launch SteamOS.
Valve forks Debian with SteamOS
Speaking of Valve, Softpedia reports that SteamOS is now officially a fork of Debian.
SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian[www.debian.org] GNU/Linux. The first version (SteamOS 1.0) is called 'alchemist' and it is based on the Debian 'wheezy' (stable 7.1) distribution.
The major changes made in SteamOS are:
Backported eglibc 2.17 from Debian testing
Added various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack (mesa 10.0.0.1)
Updated kernel tracking the 3.10 longterm branch (currently 3.10.11)
Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay
Configured to auto-update from the Valve SteamOS repositories
Image credit: Softpedia
I'm sure that some folks will be surprised to find out that SteamOS is now an official fork of Debian, but I think it makes perfect sense. Valve is doing a lot of work to get SteamOS ready for a final release and at some point it was bound to move in a slightly different direction than Debian.
An interview with Linux Lite developer Jerry Bezencon
Every Day Linux user has an interview with one of the Linux Lite developers.
Last week I sent an email to Jerry Bezencon (founder of the Linux Lite project) a series of questions designed to get into the mindset of a distro developer.
The response from Jerry was excellent and I couldn't have expected such a quick and well thought through response to my questions.
Be sure to give the interview a read, I found the developer's comments quite hopeful. The Linux Lite team seems determined to reach out to Windows users and bring them into the Linux fold, and that's a very good thing indeed.
Linux can sometimes be intimidating or confusing to Windows users, so it serves all of us well to have a distro like Linux Lite. You can download it from the Linux Lite site. You can also get Linux Lite in 32-bit or 64-bit versions.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.