The Haus

Friday, August 20, 1999

Haus Keeping

I did a little redesign work on the Haus today. Per The Master's suggestion, clicking on any of the commentaries on our commentary page will take you directly to the current column and not to a list of all columns. That way you don't have to dig to get to the new stuff.

I also redid the navigation bar at the top of each page. That way my Haus of Shogo doesn't get completely lost. There is currently nothing in the Haus of Quake, but that is my next item of business . . .

Which leads me to a rant. I've visited three sites today (popular ones at that) that I cannot view in Netscape because the webmasters neglected to close their TABLE tags (or a TR or TD tag). IE is much more forgiving in this regard, but it doesn't take much to check it. There's no excuse for bad code.

So Ya Wanna Make Games?

You had better read this article on Slashdot first. It seems that jobs in the gaming industry aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Advertising Rant

OK, I've seen enough. On several websites now I've seen ads for video cameras which one moment gives the features of the camera, the next it displays a picture of some blonde woman. What's the point? If you get this camera, you get a free blonde? They have these women in poses which I assume are supposed to be sexy, but they look more like the woman is either a) scared to death, or b) constipated. ("Lookit this, Vern! If we git this here camera, we git a free blocked-up blonde!")

I won't even get into the issue of sexism here. The ads are pointless and I wouldn't take one of their products if it was given to me. Web advertising is getting even sleazier than T.V. advertising (if you can imagine). It's time for advertisers to wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that we don't make purchases based on a sudden burst of testosterone.

The Master comments: Well, we might not, but a LOT of people do. And more's the pity.

SB Live!Ware 2.0 CD, Part III

Well, I got my SB Live!Ware 2.0 CD in the mail yesterday. For some reason, even though I placed my order on Wednesday the 11th, the order date says that 13th and it wasn't shipped until the 16th! How hard can it be to put a CD in a padded envelope? Even though the website said that 2.1 discs are available and I specifically asked for one, the disc I got was a 2.0 disc. Not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless. I also wish that I didn't have to disable everything except Explorer to get the stinking things to load. Don't get my wrong, I love this card, but all this business gets old quickly.

Update: I just got off the phone with Creative Labs and the person I spoke to said that even though the disc sleeve and the disc itself says 2.0, it is in fact a 2.1 disc. 2.1 discs have "CD ASSY: 1483330974" on the sleeve and "Part No. 1713330974" on the disc itself. I guess I'm not the first person to call about this. The woman I spoke with was very nice. As a matter of fact, all the order people and tech support people I've dealt with from CL have been very friendly and very helpful.

I'm afraid that next week I'm going to have to dust my system and reinstall Win98 (gak). It's nice to know that this disc will bring me up to 2.1 and I don't have to worry about keeping the patches around anymore.

Nick Triantos Interview on PowerGamerz

PowerGamerz posted an interview with Nick Triantos, nVidia's OpenGL guru. I know this came out yesterday, but for some reason my DNS was refusing to resolve their domain name. At any rate, it works now, and here's a snip:
PG: Will games have to be written specifically to take advantage of the T&L technology, or will all OGl/D3D games automatically use it as they please?

Nick: The Direct3D API has changed somewhat to accomodate features like hardware transform and lighting, and applications will need to change to take advantage of that. For some apps, the change will be fairly trivial. For others, it may be harder. Well-written OpenGL games would automatically be able to take advantage of faster driver transform pipelines (like Quake2 and Quake3), while there are others (sorry, I won't name names) that perform their transforms in the game code, instead of in OpenGL. Those will need to be modified to take advantage of any hardware that could potentially do transform and lighting.
That bodes really well for the NV10, but not so well for the Voodoo4 and their T-Buffer. It certainly makes the NV10 look like more of a viable option knowing that its transform and lighting acceleration will work automagically with Q2 and Q3 without modification.

Webdog 2.0?!?

Richard Smith, the creator of Webdog has announced a possible new 2.0 version of WebDog in his .plan. Ironically, I had just recently written him about some issues on the web .plan tracker, and then informed him of some minor firewall/proxy issues in the current WebDog as a side-note. Wonder if I accidentally goaded him into a new release.


Well, I actually spent an evening AWAY from my computer, and didn't experience withdrawl symptoms! Moving all of the books on my and my wife's bookselves to the living room was an awful experience, but we got it done. Tonight we rearrange our PCs in their room and I finally get to start building my NT machine at home. Goody :-)

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Björn's 3D World Dumps Rendition

In the "knock me over with a feather" department, I visited Björn's 3D World and saw that as of the 17th it is no longer a Rendition-only site, but a nVidia site. Here's a clip from his announcement:
As of today this site is no longer Rendition specific but instead has it's focus on NVidia's cool products. Rendition fans won't get forgotten of course as I intend to keep links to drivers as well as report when new stuff comes out. However the main focus now is NVidia.
Back when The Master and I both owned Rendition Verite 2100-based video cards (Diamond Stealth II S220), Björn's site was the place for Rendition news. I guess he got as sick as we did of waiting for them to produce usable drivers or a new chip.

I'm glad to see that he is now nVidia-specific (although he will still report any Rendition news that may trickle down the pipe), especially since The Master and I both have TNT-based cards (Creative's TNT Blaster PCI and AGP, respectively). If you own a nVidia card, I strongly suggest you add Björn's 3D World to your bookmarks.

UT Chat Postponed

Just saw on Blue's that the Avault chat with the Unreal Tournament team has been postponed until next Thursday, August 26.

UT Demo

Billy and the boyz at VE have posted a blurb from Epic's Brandon Reinhart regarding the demo of Unreal Tournament:
Regarding a demo: We will release a demo split off of the gold version of the game. We don't want to worry about patching a demo and we want a demo to be as bug free as possible.

This means that a demo will be available by the time (if not before) UT hits store shelves.
I, for one, plan on downloading this bad boy as soon as possible after it comes out. I'm really interested to see how it will run. If it runs as well as Q3Test does, it would be very interesting indeed.

UT HTTP Interface

There's an interview on PlanetUnreal with Jack Porter, on the new Unreal Tournament HTTP remote admin interface. Two words. Kick Ass. I hope this idea goes into more client-server games, since it's an incredibly easy and efficient way to admin a server.

Past Two Days' News

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