The Haus

Friday, November 19, 1999

GeForce/Athlon Fix

NVIDIA has posted new drivers for GeForce 256-based cards which will hopefully fix all the problems some users have been reporting with systems powered by AMD's Athlon processor. Thanks Blue (actually, loony) for the tip.

More Q3A Renders

Redwood has posted more character renderings from Quake III Arena. Up this time are: Razor, Tank Jr., Klesk, and Cadaver. I'm sure that Tank Jr. and Klesk will be favorites on the servers. I'm still holding out for Doom Guy, though.

Y2K Movie: Media Irresponsibility

I cannot believe that NBC is going to be airing a T.V. movie called Y2K. The movie portrays world-wide catastrophes occuring as a result of the Y2K bug. It is well-known that the main problem with Y2K will be paranoia. This movie will only serve to increase that paranoia. This is just another classic case of the media being totally irresponsible. It just proves that the big networks are concerned only with ratings and nothing else. I guess it does not bother the NBC executives to make money off others' ignorance and fear. Why am I not surprised?

Q3A Motion Capture Videos

The Shugashack has posted a couple of videos showing id's Paul Steed doing some motion-capture for Quake 3 Arena, as well as the resulting animations for the characters Xaero and Anarki. Once again, their server is taking a pounding, so pack a lunch. Maybe dinner too. And a case of Pepsi.

Star Wars site

I HAVE to thank Blue for this incredibly cool link: Star Wars Lightsabres-Use, Style, and Application (my name). This site ROCKS. I just wasted way too much time checking out the COOL commentary on this site. HIGHLY recommended.

A.T. adds: It's a pretty slick site and exhaustively researched. If nothing else, I'm always impressed when people appear to have more readily available free time than I do.

The Reverend on Voodoo4/5

The Reverend has put up a sweet article on the hubbub at Comdex over 3dfx' recently announced Voodoo4/5 3D accelerators. The article is the most balanced I've seen from Comdex (so many others read like 3dfx marketing material, which it very well may be). Here's his take on the chip's lack of hardware T&L:
The way 3dfx have sounded off, it doesn't look like the Voodoo4/Voodoo5 is/are what gamers would keep for any substantial length of time. If any company is serious about a product of theirs', they should intend for that particular product to last any prospective consumer a reasonably long time. "By the time T&L games are a dime a dozen, we and most others would have a T&L card out by then" just doesn't cut it - I intend my money spent to be of a certain value for a certain length of time. And to play the the very latest of games without the itch to get another card that has a feature which a game will benefit from.
He makes one comment in an update dated today that I would like to comment on:
With all these, the USD$600 asking price for the Voodoo5 6000AGP just doesn't look so steep after all if you just judge it on feature and component value. I mean, for memory alone, how much does 128MB cost now? Get my point?
Point taken. The question is, how many people will really want to drop $600 (more than a number of whole systems are going for today) for a video card? It's one thing to be the fastest (and the 6000 undoubtably will be), but what does it matter if no one can afford it?

One marketing statement that gets blown up right away is the comment that every game will work with the Voodoo5's full-scene anti-aliasing and other T-Buffer tricks right out of the box. Reverend comments:
Whichever the mode [2x or 4x anti-aliasing], the uncertainty is whether it will work well in ALL games. It won't. It will be great in some and not others . . . It is all just very game dependent.
Reverend concludes his article with the most insightful comment of them all: "It all looks good. On paper." That's a key point. Ignore the marketing hype which is 50% exaggeration and 50% bold-faced lie (not just 3dfx, ANY marketing). Wait for the benchmarks, which never lie.

FCC DSL Ruling

The Federal Communications Commission decided that phone companies must allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to share the main telephone line into homes for high-speed DSL (digital subscriber line) access. Previously, the Baby Bells could share a line, but ISPs had to have their customers get a second line, substantially increasing the cost of ISPs' DSL service. This levels the playing field and hopefully will make DSL service more widespread. Naturally, the Baby Bells are having a hissy fit. Read the whole story here.

Yes folks, I never thought we'd live to see it: an wise decision from a regulatory agency. Will wonders never cease?

Of course, if CenturyTel doesn't get off their rear and replace the switch here in town, DSL won't even be a pipe dream for me.

Unreal Tourney for Linux Update

While we're on our morning Linux kick, Epic's Brandon Reinhart updated his .plan with more bad news for Linux users:
Earlier I said that Linux UT would be available out of the box. GT decided that they didn't want to support a Linux version and didn't want it in the box. We decided not to argue the issue, so the Linux UT libraries and executables will not be available in the box.

Instead, I will make them available for download when UT hits shelves. You'll need to own a copy of UT to use them, obviously.

Q3DemoTest for Linux Update

John Carmack updated his .plan with some bad news for Linux users:
Linux version isn't going to make it tonight. We got too busy with other things. Sorry. Tomorrow.
He also gave us the latest bug fix report:

Thursday, November 18, 1999

No T&L in S3!!!

According to this brief blurb on MaximumPC, the new S3 Savage2000 cards will NOT support hardware T&L, instead doing T&L via software. This is a HUGE blow to S3, since the T&L engine seems to be the only winning feature in the eyes of consumers in this newest generation of video cards.

A.T. comments: OK, so now my motivation to buy this card is what? Here I was ready to praise S3 for getting back on track and now this. Ugh.

Q3DemoTest Review

Stomped pointed me to a review of the Q3DemoTest on The Oxygen Tank. It's the best Q3DemoTest review I've seen so far. I keep meaning to write one myself, but I can't pull myself away from playing it long enough.

Biker Animation

The Shugashack has posted a QuickTime movie sent to them by id's Paul Steed. It shows the Biker model from Q3A cutting a rug. Pretty hysterical. Pack a lunch, though. Their FTP server is being hit pretty hard.

Graeme Devine .plan update

Graeme updated his .plan with some news on the Authorize server. Doh :-)
I'm debugging some stuff on the authorize server (and using you guys as testers on it).If you can't authorize for the next few hours please be patient!
Oh, and A.T. I read the news this time :-)

Pondering the Imponderable

7,000 hits! Woohoo! The Master and I wish to thank all our loyal readers for making The Haus what it is today (whatever that is :). We have some spanking new content coming for you pretty soon, including a brand-new column dedicated to Linux and Linux gaming. Stay tuned!

I set up a non-dedicated Q3ADT server last night. The Master hooked up and we took on some bots. Despite the less-than-ideal networking situation, we had an aweful lot of fun. Now if Crawl will set up the dedicated server . . . :)

Q3DemoTest Medal Explanations

GamesWorld has put up a nifty little Flash animation to explain the medals in Q3DemoTest. Naturally, you will need Macromedia's ShockWave Flash plugin to see it. Thanks again to Billy and the boyz at VE.

The Sounds of Slave Zero

3D Sound Surge has posted an interview with W. Scott Snyder, the sound designer for Accolade's new giant robot game, Slave Zero. They go into detail on the game's EAX and A3D support and some of his thoughts in implementing both technologies. Thanks VoodooExtreme.

Mac Q3DemoTest Mirrors

Blue has a local copy of the Mac Q3DemoTest and a list of other mirrors up. I was pretty impressed with Sandpiper's delivery system when I downloaded the Win32 version, so your best bet may be to go to

Windows NT SP6 Hotfix

Well, within a week of yet another botched Microsoft NT hotfix, the Microsoft Windows NT Service Pack 6 homepage has a hotfix posted to fix the problems with Lotus Notes (did they do this intentionaly, I wonder :-) and a bunch of other WinSock apps.

In other news on a related front, Microsoft just recalled another regression-bug-laden piece of crud hotfix for Windows NT 4 that was posted on 10/17. Nice job Microsoft, it only took you a month to catch your idiot mistake. Howsabout putting in some serious quality control before the government decides you should just close your doors for the benefit of mankind.

John Carmack .plan update

Another monster .plan update from John Carmack-this one concerns the ports to other O/Ses, and a new worklog. First, the ports issues:
The mac version is out. Go to for links.

The mac version going out has the executable fixes that we have made in the last couple days, but most of the fixes have been in code that runs in the virtual machine, and we can't update that without making it incomptable with the pc version.

The game remains very marginal in playability on 266mhz imacs and iBooks.

A 333mhz imac should be playable for a casual gamer if the graphics options are turned down to the "fastest" setting.

There is still a lot of room for improvement on ATI's side with the RagePro drivers. Almost all the effort so far has been on the Rage128 drivers.

The G3 systems run fine, but a little slower than a pc of equal mhz

The rage128 cards in the G3s are only clocked at 75mhz, so you can't run too high of a resolution, but you can get very nice image quality. I usually play with these settings:

r_mode 2 // 512*284 res
r_colorbits 32 // 32 bit color
r_texturemode gl_linear_mipmap_linear // trilinear filtering

I haven't played on one of the new iMacs or G4's but theyboth use the rage128 driver, which is fairly high qualitynow, so they should perform well.

We found a fairly significant problem with inputSprockets and mouse control (motion is dropped after 40msec). I have done a little working around it, so mouse control should be somewhat better in this version, but it will hopefully be fixed properly by Apple in the next IS rev. It isn't an issue ifyour framerate is high enough, but iMacs never see that framerate on their very best days...

Linux version tomorrow night, if nothing horrible happens.

Some advance warning about something that is sure to stir up some argument:

We should be handing off the masters for all three platforms within a day or two of each other, but they aren't going to show up in stores at the same time. Publishers, distributers, and stores are willing to go out of their way to expedite the arrival of the pc version, but they just won't go to the same amount of trouble for mac and linux boxes.

THE EXECUTABLES FOR ALL PLATFORMS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS. This means that if you want to play on the mac or linux, don't pick up a copy of the pc version and expect to download the other executables.

Our first update to the game will be for all platforms, and will allow any version to be converted into any other, but we intend to hold that off for a little while.

We are doing this at the request of the distributors. The fear is that everyone will just grab a windows version, and the separate boxes will be ignored.

A lot of companies are going to be watching the sales figures for the mac and linux versions of Q3 to see if the platforms are actually worth supporting. If everyone bought a windows version and the other boxes sold like crap in comparison, that would be plenty of evidence for most executives to can any cross platform development.

I know there are a lot of people that play in both windows and linux, and this may be a bit of an inconvenience in the short term, but this is an ideal time to cast a vote as a consumer.

Its all the same to Id (I like hybrid CD's), and our continued support of linux and mac (OS X for the next title) is basically a foregone conclusion, but the results will probably influenceother companies.

Then The Carmack gives us his updates worklog:

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