The Haus

Friday, October 29, 1999

Hercules Purchased

Guillemont has announced that they have bought Hercules for the paltry sum of US$1.5 million. Hercules is one of the originals (if not the original) in the video card business. It's at least nice to know that the name won't go the way of the Edsel. Thanks Frans.

Another Reason to Hate Coke

The good folks at Ars Technica posted a link to this article on the San Jose Mercury News, stating that Coke is working on technology that would cause vending machines to increase prices automatically in hot weather. Here's a snip from Coke's CEO, M. Douglas Ivester:
The desire for a cold drink increases during the summer heat, Ivester said, so "it is fair that it should be more expensive. The machine will simply make this process automatic."
Just another case of technology benefitting mankind, as long as you define mankind as "money-grubbing, multi-million-dollar corporations." To be fair, Coke is just researching this and currently has no plans to implement it.

This is yet another reason why Pepsi is the official cola of The Haus. The Master and I both drink it in massive and probably near-lethal quantities.

UT Demo for Mac Today

3dfxgamers will be releasing the Macintosh version of the Unreal Tournament demo sometime today. It is compatible with the PC version, but the standalone server code is a bit flaky (so don't try it). This version only supports 3dfx and software rendering, an OpenGL and Rave version will be out soon. Hopefully Gigex won't barf this time when both of the Mac gamers with 3dfx cards try to download the demo!

CL Annihilator in Stores?

Riva3D is reporting that Creative Labs' GeForce-based Annihilator video cards are beginning to show up in Electronics Boutique and Best Buy (insert standard disclaimer).

Riva3D also is promising to have a log posted of the chat yesterday with NVIDIA's head of Developer Relations, Chris Donahue.

Another Strike Against Savage 2K?

I was just thinking about this last night. My biggest concern with S3's new Savage 2000 is not the chip itself (which sounds about as cool as the GeForce), but with their board manufacturer. Diamond is notorious for producing, um, less than optimal drivers (The Master and I could drone on for hours about that with our Stealth II S220s). This could really end up being the Savage 2K's Achilles' Heel. But who knows? Maybe Diamond will surprise me . . .

Rendition News

Björn is reporting that his long-time contact at Rendition, Chris Dunphy, is leaving the company to work for Amiga. I don't think anyone worked harder at promoting Rendition-based products than Chris did. He always provided invaluable information on Björn's site, which The Master and I checked religiously when we both had Stealth II S220's (based on the Rendition Verité 2100). Now the big question: will Rendition ever produce another consumer 3D chip/chipset? If not, what are all those engineers they hired doing?

You can read Chris' official announcement here.

Thursday, October 28, 1999

And Then the End Shall Come

I just saw on Voodoo Extreme that the Gathering of Developers will be making a game based on the Blair Witch Project. I have no other information on it except that it will use the Nocturne engine. Just what we need--a game with crappy graphics and a lot of profanity. Actually, the game could be cool, if you could play the witch and disembowel the intrepid adventurers.

Ultima IX: Ascension Demo

3DFiles has posted the Ultima IX: Ascension demo which was included on the CD-ROM with Computer Gaming World's December issue. It's a monster, weighing in a 295M. If you are really interested, you would be better off snagging a copy of CGW or waiting for the forthcoming Internet demo, which should be at least somewhat smaller. Thanks Blue's News.

Mark Rein Interview, Part II

Inside Mac Games has posted part two of its interesting interview with Epic's Mark Rein about Unreal Tournament. They go into some details of what it would take to make the Mac a viable gaming platform. Thanks Blue (actually, Frans).


Riva3D is hosting a chat with NVIDIA's head of Developer Relations, Chris Donahue. They will also be giving away a GeForce card! The chat will begin at 5:00 PM CST (23:00 GMT) and will be held here.

Savage 2K Specs

In the "stop me if you've heard this before" department, Billy W. pointed to a news blurb on Savage
We have confirmed with several S3 employees that the FINAL clock speed of Savage2000 will be 125MHz core and 155MHz memory. This configuration will result in fill rate of 500 MT/s. The original specs stated 700 MT/s. We also have preview benchmarks results on hand from P3 600 (133) and K7 600. Stay tuned for more information and side by side comparison to GeForce 256 DDR.
I can just see the folks in marketing now. "Oops, we over stated the fill rate by 40%. Our bad!" It just proves that spec sheets on pre-release silicon are nearly utterly worthless (Hello, BitBoys!). Add to this the news that the Savage 2K drivers will not have built-in overclocking support.

Don't get me wrong, 500 megatexels/sec is still very, very fast. But it's not going to blow away the GeForce's 480 megatexels/sec. (See Thresh's GeForce DDR review for a computation of the GeForce's megatexel/sec rating).

The Master adds: No, the prerelease specs ARE worthless in the performance department. Across all the cards. And don't you just LOVE the lower clockspeeds on these 4th gen cards?

Happy Birthdays

To John Romero and Bill Gates. Wow. I fear that coincidence.

A.T. adds: Three words--birthday cage match! It might make enough pay-per-view $$ to make Ion Storm solvent!

The Master: BwAAAAHAHAHAhahahahahahahaha ahahahah ahahaha *cough* *gasp* :-)

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