The Haus

Sunday, November 28, 1999

Even more Q3A data harvesting

sCary posted on the Shack that the whole GL_RENDERER string thing was alluded to in the 1.08 Q3ATest. Check it (snipped from the Q3test_instructions_readme.txt from that rev):
When Quake 3 Arena starts a map up, it sends the GL_RENDERER string to the Message Of The Day server at id. This responds back with a message of the day to the client. If you wish to switch this option off, set CL_MOTD to 0 (+set CL_MOTD 0 from the command line).
A.T. adds: Perhaps id is not so sneaky and underhanded after all? Obviously no one reads the readme :)

More on Q3A Data Harvesting

John Carmack has replied to some concerns about the fact that Q3A reports information about you to id's master server. Here's a (rather large) snip:
You can disable it by setting "cl_motd 0" when the game starts up if you really don't want to send anything or see our message.

We added the result of glGetString( GL_RENDER ) to get some much needed information about the distribution of video cards and drivers.

We can see how many people aren't following directions and running glsetup. This is a big support issue.

We can see how many people are running minidrivers, which are going to make our lives a mess in the future.

We can see how many mac (steady 5%) and linux (5% at initial release, tailed off to 2%, probably due to dual booting) people are playing.

Getting this information has been usefull. We can compare the numbers of people playing with a given card with the amount of support emails we field, so we know which vendors (3DFX) we need to give more crap about their driver quality.
My $.02? People are getting their undies in way too much of a bundle about this. I wish id would have mentioned it in a readme at least. But I think some of the Slashdotters have been watching too many Oliver Stone movies if they are ready to accuse id of using Q3A as a Trojan Horse.

Thanks Blue for the heads-up.

Q3A Data Harvesting

Well, there's been a major blowup post on LinuxQuake on Q3A harvesting video card and Q3A version info and sending it to id software as part of your authentication login to a Q3A game. Personally, I don't like the data harvesting, but the info is really NOT personal, and allows id to collect some market info on video cards and O/Ses. HOWEVER, they do allow you to turn it off. Do this at the Q3A console (pull down using the tilde ~):
seta cl_motd 0
BTW: LinuxQuake is being Slashdotted right now and is practically unvisitable. But you can get the whole story there if you're willing to wait.

Site Update

In lieu of actual news, I decided to update the site a bit. I've reorganized the Tips and Tricks page. This page will house any useful information we have found on our various travels across cyberspace. Most recently, I've added Unreal Tournament cheat codes, courtesy of Game Sages. All kinds of good stuff will follow!

Creative Labs NVIDIA Overclocker

Creative Labs have released a beta version of an overclocking utility for their NVIDIA-based products (TNT/TNT2/GeForce). It comes with no technical support, so use it at your own risk. Of course, if you blow up your card, don't come crying to them (or to me) either.

I used it for a bit on my TNT, overclocking the core to 95 and the memory to 120. I don't know how much I'll use it, but I'm sure I'll fiddle with it from time to time.

CliffyB on Map Griping

Epic's Cliff Bleszinski updated his .plan with some map suggestions for people who think that UT's maps are either too "boring" or too "gimmicky". Personally I think some people (like the ones he refers to) have this burning need to get on messageboards, any messageboard, and vent their spleen. I guess some people just need to get out more.

Patent issues

Was reading a messageboard post about Open Source on Slashdot, posted by John Carmack, and it got me thinking:

When somebody patents a technique, can that patent be overruled because of somebody implementing that technology before the patent date? What rules are there to get a patent thrown out? So, if some technique in 3d graphics was first applied by id, and then somebody patents it, can id get the patent thrown out, or can somebody else?

I'm thinking about this in the context of an earlier post here on the Haus on the Y2K windowing patent. I implemented a windowing Y2K fix for a project at my real lifeTM job, in April of 1995. And Apple computer did a similar thing with ProDOS, which I'm SURE predates this weenies patent (BTW: This sucker was filed October 3, 1996, so I guess I beat him out the door. Gimme your money :-).

Any thoughts? Email me!

Saturday, November 27, 1999

UT Linux installer update

Brandon Reinhart of Epic updated his .plan indicating he's working on a fixed UT Linux installer. Here's the skinny:
I'm working on an updated Linux installer now that will fix all known installer problems. Here is a brief synopsis of each problem and the solution:

Problem: Installer says "This installation doesn't support glibc-2.1"

Solution: Install libxml and libglade.

Problem: UnrealTournament quits with the message "Can't find file for package WinDrv" or something similar.

Solution: Make Default.ini writable and then untar the file LinuxGlideSystem.tar.gz in your UnrealTournament directory. Delete UnrealTournament.ini and then run UnrealTournament.

Both of these are related to sloppy oversights on my part. Please spread the word about these. I hope to have the updated installer out tonight. The problems above are fixed, but I want to try and include an optimized light merging function as well.

The Mesa renderer works under Mesa-Glide. All that's left to dois work out some windowing issues with standard Mesa.

DGA mouse input is in and working, but DGA support is broken under the 3dfx X server. I'm talking to a few people to find workarounds for the 3dfx X server DGA problem, if there is any.

GreenMarine on UT for Linux

Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart updated his .plan with information on working around some bugs in the UT Linux client. Here's the low-down:
A few people are reporting that the UT linux installer is telling them "this installation doesn't support glibc-2.1 on x86" when it does. You can get around that by either copying the files listed in setup.xml by hand and then opening the tarballs into the UnrealTournament directory, or by calling the X installer directly:


I hope to release a new version of the Linux stuff soon and I'll fix the script that wraps around the installer.

Also, John Drohan points out that the installer needs libglade and libxml installed. I, being the quintessential Linux newbie, thought these were standard. Of course not! Nothing is EASY in Linux. Well, I'll include those libs with the next distribution, which should be coming around soon.

If you have render error messages, delete Default.ini, and UnrealTournament.ini. Then copy LinuxGlideSystem.tar.gz into your UnrealTournament directory and open it. Then run the game again. It appears the permissions are wrong on the original Default.ini, so installing as a non-root user fails to overwrite the file with the glide config. I haven't confirmed this, since I just got back from Thanksgiving and haven't looked into it.
Heh, reading this stuff is giving me flashbacks to the old DOS 2.x days!

UT D3D Problems

The official Unreal Tournament page was updated with information on fixing that bug that causes the installer to fail to detect Direct3D support in your video card. It is essentially the same information as I posted yesterday.

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