Doom runs on everything, including MacBook Pro Touch Bar

JC Torres - Nov 21, 2016, 2:30 am CST
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Doom runs on everything, including MacBook Pro Touch Bar

It is both a running joke as well as a tradition within the programming and gaming communities that a computer is really only a computer if it can run Doom. The first one, mind you. Well, now you can probably consider the fancy new Touch Bar introduced in the late 2016 MacBook Pros to be computers in their own right. Because, yes, someone has gotten Doom to run on that Touch Bar. No, not use the Touch Bar for controls but actually run on the Touch Bar, display and all.

Why Doom is used, or abused, this way can perhaps be seen as an accident of history. When id Software introduced the gory first person shooter in 1993, it was revolutionary in the way it harnessed the limited technologies and resources available at that time to offer a pseudo-3D gameplay never before experienced. As it turns out, those factors also make it the most interesting, non-trivial computer program to implement on constrained hardware.

And nothing is perhaps as constrained as the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. At least in terms of available screen space. With a touch sensitive OLED display, it can, in theory, display anything. No one, however, has tried to run anything other than sanctioned extensions of macOS apps. Of course, something like running a full game is hardly going to be ever allowed, but hackers gonna hack!

It’s nothing but an exercise in hacking and futility, of course. The screen is far too narrow to have anything worthwhile visible. While the bar can probably be repurposed just to show controls for the game, its location on the keyboard is hardly ideal for such a use case. Not to mention it lacks the haptic feedback that gamers love so much.

Still, it’s probably more interesting, not to mention more difficult, than getting Doom to run on an ATM. For now, however, the arcane process leading to this mod remains a secret.

VIA: @Adam Bell


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