The Haus

Tuesday, August 10, 1999

nVidia and SGI news

Well-some wild and crazy news in the nVidia and SGI world. nVidia and SGI recently settled a patent lawsuit, and have now decided to join in a strategic alliance. SGI has also backed off some on it's initiative to build a new OpenGL/DirectX API system with Microsquash (I mean Microsoft-sorry Bill). Part of the initiative is a knowledge transfer of engineers to nVidia, and the use of nVidia tech in SGI workstations. SGI also has plans to cut 1,500 jobs in its organization. Interesting how that happens along with an engineering transfer :-)

v2.0 of the Shogo Validate.rez

Thorin has released version 2.0 of his Shogo anti-cheating rez called Validate. Both the client and the server have to be using this rez in order for it to work. This rez runs checksums on important exe and dll files as well as monitoring for "suspicious" activity. You can download it here.

More Carmack Goodness

Avatar has posted his own summary of Carmack's speech at QuakeCon, focusing more on the practical rammifications of the changes made in Q3 on mod authors. Q3 shifts a lot of the work to the client, keeping bandwidth usage to a minimum. At the same time, mod authors (or cheaters) cannot hack the client-server code. That will hopefully eliminate auto-aim proxies and zbots.

Carmack at QuakeCon

3D Action Planet has an article up covering John Carmack's talk at QuakeCon. He talks about how Q3 differs architecturally from Q1 and Q2, steps he's taking to counteract cheating, and porting mods. One important item for Q3Test addicts is that there will be no new maps released until the full version is out.

The article is a little bit on the technical side (fifth-grade drop-outs need not apply). All told they did a good job of "translating" Carmack into real human speech. The man is a programming genius.

Also of note in the article is that there will be the following game play modes in Q3: FFA, 1v1, teamplay, CTF. Id seems content to let the mod community do the rest (and have gone to great lengths to make Q3 mod-friendly). Also there is strong sentiment in the Id offices for making Doom 2000 their next project . . .

Monday, August 9, 1999

Quake III Arena Preview

There's this game coming out called Quake 3 Arena. Maybe you've heard of it. :) At any rate, Mugwum over at 3D Action Planet has posted an extensive preview of Q3A. He mentions Q4 1999 or Q1 2000 as the possible release time-frame, which is the latest I've heard so far.

He also mentions that Unreal Tournament is scheduled for a September release. As with any release information, take it with a grain of salt.

LZW, GIFs, and Unisys

I'm not sure how many people out there know about this, but Unisys is the patent owner of the LZW compression algorithm. This means that ANYONE who uses LZW must buy that privelege from Unisys. At anywhere from $7,500 to $10,000 a SERVER. DO YOU HEAR ME?!? A SERVER!!! Good GOD. The compressed .gif format, .tif, Postscript level 2, and several other formats (including Microsoft's .cab and other compression formats) use LZW. Now I know how Unisys has managed to survive their fall from the big-iron market. They charge the web community for use of the .gif compression scheme. I'm just slightly irritated with Unisucks right now...

Athlon NDAs Expire

The AMD gag order on their new Athlon processor has been lifted. Everyone and his dog has a review of this new processor out. Rather than take up this entire page listing links, go here for a complete list and brief summary of the reviews of the chip that's making Intel nervous. Can it save AMD from going bankrupt? We shall see!

The rumor-mongers are reporting that Intel is planning to buy AMD, figuring that Via's aquisition of Cyrix will save them from the long arm of the DOJ. Personally, I don't buy it. I don't think that the DOJ would let it go through. However, if AMD does go into bankruptcy, all bets are off.

The Master comments: I personally do not think Intel would be allowed to buy up AMD even IF AMD was to go bankrupt otherwise. I think the gov't will find a way to keep AMD alive no matter what just to keep Intel from ulitmate monopoly status. The Cyrix chips will never compete with Intel since they have no technical merits or solid engineers to push them into the big time.

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