The Haus

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

Win2K Pricing

Also on ZDNet, I noticed that the financially strapped Microsoft corporation has announced its pricing for Windows 2000: $219 for upgrades from Windows 95/98, $319 for the full version, and $149 for upgrades from Windows NT 4.0. Donations of canned goods and new or lightly used clothing have also been requested to help Microsoft's employees in this difficult time.

The Master comments: Ya know, I want to be a billion dollar beggar. You just HAVE to love Micro$oft's pricing schemes. Charge'em until they die. We'll raise the price.

More on RealJukebox

I just saw this article on ZDNet stating that RealNetworks has updated its privacy policy revealing that it has indeed been using a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) to collect information through RealJukebox. The company will release a 67K patch to disable RealJukebox's reporting and any further downloads of the software from RealNetwork will have the reporting "feature" disabled.

Shogo Patch Update

I fired off an email to Bob Givnin, a Lith tech support guy, for clarification on what exactly would be in the new patch. It seems that he doesn't know much more than I do about it. Here's his reply:
I don't know that much about the patch, but I know that numbers 2 and 3 will be in the patch. I haven't seen or heard anything on the 3dNOW renderer, but last I heard, we were still working with AMD on it. I don't have any other info on it at this time. :-)
So there ya go. Or something.

In follow-up email Bob said they were working on updating the Shogo patch fixes page with more information.

Shogo Patch?!?

In the "you've got to be freaking kidding me" department, PlanetShogo posted the following news blurb.
I sent along a question to Monolith's tech support, about the never finishing Shogo Patch, and I got some good news back from Bob:
We're still working on the patch... we were testing it last week! I'm not sure when it's going to be released, but it's still being worked on.
Well, looks like the patch is still being worked on! PlanetShogo will post up any new information and updates on the patch, so check back.
It would be beyond cool if a patch that actually addresses some of the netcode and cheating problems would be released. They've only been working on this patch since . . . um . . . March (the 2.2 patch was released March 10)? I will be firing off an email to Bob to find out exactly what the deal is.

As always, remember that A.T. Hun's Haus of Shogo is your one-stop, full-service Shogo source!

Q3 Master Server

Graeme Devine updated his .plan with the following news for you Q3Test junkies out there:
The MOTD server and master server will be up and down over the next few days, if you don't get a response that's probably the reason why.

Napalm Announcement

3dfx will be holding a press conference at Comdex on Monday to formally announce their next chip, currently codenamed Napalm. Here's a snip:
Chief among these features will be a focus on fill-rate and the ability to achieve over one billion pixels per second. With fill-rate come benefits such as higher resolution, faster speeds, greater application complexity and the ability to display high quality 32bpp rendering at 60+ frames per second (FPS) at ultra high resolutions. All of these attributes equate to better image quality and highly realistic environments.
One billion marketing pixels per second is certainly very impressive. It will be interesting to see if they can keep a chip that fast from burning down your house. Of course, the Savage 2K was supposed to pump out 700 million marketing pixels per second until recently.

Remember that the T-Buffer will require massive fill-rate for its full-screen anti-aliasing. It seems that the NVIDIA image quality vs. 3dfx speed will continue to be the topic of debate. But if 3dfx can get decent image quality and a fully-functional OpenGL ICD, they could make things VERY interesting. I would also assume that Napalm would have to be the first 3dfx produce to fully use the AGP bus (at 4x to boot) to get this kind of fill-rate.

I like competition. It means better, cheaper products for everyone. Thanks VE via Blue.

John Carmack .plan update

Yet another Carmack .plan update today. Check it:

Monday, November 1, 1999

John Carmack .plan update

Once again, John Carmack updated his .plan today. More polish. Tasty :-) Here's the update:

RealJukebox is Watching!

The New York Times has posted this article (you need to register to read it, but registration is free) which alleges that RealNetwork's RealJukebox gathers information on the users listening habits and reports them to RealNetworks. Here's a taste:
The information that RealNetworks gathers is extensive. According to Richard M. Smith, an independent Internet security consultant from Brookline, Mass., who discovered RealJukebox's monitoring functions, each time the program is started on a computer connected to the Internet, it sends in the following information to the company: the number of songs stored on the user's hard drive; the kind of file formats -- RealAudio or MP3 -- the songs are stored in; the quality level of the recordings; the user's preferred music genre, and the type of portable music player, if any, that the user has connected to the computer.
This is more than a little bit disturbing. Even if this information is just being gathered to "customize services for individual users," it is still done without the user's knowledge or consent. It makes me glad that I use WinAmp as my computer audio player. Thanks Slashdot for the information.

Darth Maul Q2 Model

Q2pmp has posted a Darth Maul model for Quake II. You know him, you love him, you want to be him. So go download him already! Thanks Jedi

Wolfie 2000?

sCary saw this little blurb in an article on Xatrix in the LA New Times. Here's a snip:
...the West L.A.-based Xatrix Entertainment, is already well into the creation of its newest game, a reformulation of a popular World War II POW fantasy that has enjoyed two previous incarnations by other companies. Markham and his handful of computer artists and programmers hope to have their Castle Wolfenstein 2000 in stores by Christmas next year.
SWEEEEET! I've said more than once that I would rather see a Wolfenstein 2000 than a Doom 2000 (although that would seriously kick too). Let's just hope that Xatrix doesn't fill up all the dialogue with profanity a la Kingpin. Wolfie 2K would definitely be on my must-buy list.

T&L at Beyond3D

Beyond3D has an excellent article up explaining the inner workings of hardware-based transform and lighting (as used on NVIDIA's GeForce and S3's Savage 2000). The article concludes with interviews with NVIDIA's Nick Triantos and 3dfx's Scott Sellers.

This article is not light reading by any stretch of the imagination, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Having read through Q&A's it seems to me that the Q&A with Sellers was a chance for 3dfx to take pot-shots at the GeForce. Two things to remember: 1) A number of Sellers' arguments are based on conjecture, not on actual tests; 2) 3dfx's next chip (Napalm) will not ship until February, the GeForce is here now. Four months is an eternity in the 3D graphics biz, and even once Napalm ships it still won't have T&L, putting 3dfx almost two full product cycles behind NVIDIA and S3 in this regard.

I know that 3dfx is and always will be on the mega-high-fill-rate bandwagon (which isn't a bad bandwagon to be on). It will be interesting to see how much fill-rate that full-screen anti-aliasing takes up, not to mention if 3dfx can actually put out a chip that can do 32bit color (and a true OpenGL ICD, for that matter).

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