The Haus

Thursday, February 17, 2000

Windows Open Source?

According to this News.Com article, Bill Gates is reportedly willing to "open the source code" to Windows to help settle the U.S. Department of Justice's case against Microsoft. Now THAT would be interesting. Suddenly, millions of lines of spaghetti code for all the world to see. Thanks Slashdot.

The Master comments: Oh. My. I don't think Bill really wants to do that. Microsoft will be ridiculed forever. Course, I'm sure the comments in that source are VERY intriguing :-)

Update! Linux Today is reporting that Microsoft's lawyers have said, "liar, liar, pants on fire" to this report. After all, then Bill might lose money, meaning he'd have fewer servants to flog. And we don't want that, do we?

The Master comments: Ironically, Windows is not where M$ makes the big bucks. That'd be Office. At $1000 a pop for the full suite (which many companies install everywhere) versus the $89 (Win9x) to $399 (Win2K) for Windows.

Linux Q3A server notes

Zoid updated his .plan with some info on custom maps on the Linux Q3 server not working with auto-downloading. Here's a nibble:
Just a note to linux server operators who are putting custom maps on for autodownloading. The current Linux server binary doesn't check for the file in the basepath, but in the cdpath. That this means is downloads try to come from $HOME/.q3a/baseq3/ and will fail (the client ends up with a zero byte file).

Jason Hall .plan Update

Monolith's Jason Hall updated his .plan to challenge Epic's Tim Sweeney to a knife fight. Sadly, I'm lying. He announces another licensee (go fig!). Gotta give Lith credit, they obviously have a spectacular sales pitch. Here's where his .plan gets interesting:
The last LithTech product that was released into the market was done so quite a long time ago. From the gamer's perspective, the last thing they saw of LithTech was Shogo and Blood 2. Both games did not sell "millions of copies" and they certainly had some issues (one product more than the other). Given that's all the experience the vast majority of the game community has personally with LithTech, I can totally understand the rampant skepticism with regard to our new announcements.
This is at least a moral victory (although obviously it's a pyrrhic one). Hall admits that Shogo had problems. Of course, he is also tacitly admitting that they either refused to fix it or were incapable of fixing it. And yes, this is why I and countless other Shogo/Blood fans are extremely skeptical when anyone from Monolith promises anything. Once bitten, twice shy.

Beta Q3A point release Mk 2

Robert Duffy updated his .plan with news of the beta point release for Q3A:
The point release is now available on our ftp site. It is marked as a beta as there are a lot of functionality changes and we have a finite number of machines and scenarios we can test with. The included readme contains a lot of information, please review it. The release is available for all three latforms, Win32, Macintosh, and Linux.

If you encounter problems or bugs, please e-mail them to me at ""
Here's a list of the fixes:A.T. Hun comments: They fixed the Q3DM9 "walk into the curve by the railgun bug". I'm pretty geeked about that, since that is my favorite map. But that's also why the patch is so big--brand spanking new copy of q3dm9.bsp and .aas.

NVIDIA W2K driver release

NVIDIA has released Release Candidate 3.78 Detonator Drivers for the TNT, TNT2, and GeForce 256 chipsets on the Windows 2000 O/S. Thanks Blue.

Say what?

Graeme Devine updated his .plan tonight with word on the point release of Q3A. I think.
The pre-release of the alpha for the forthcoming beta of the pre-build of the next point release should be out tonight. Details to follow from Robert Duffy.

Q3A for cheap!

Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan with news of a bargain price for Q3A online:
I just received word from the Mplayer Store folks that they've put Quake III Arena on sale for $31.99. That's the cheapest price I've seen so far and you might not see it that low for a while.

The page shows $49.99 but it's $31.99 once you "add to cart".

Four Weddings and a...

Check out this excellent article over on ArsTechnica called "Four Weddings and a... nah!". They discuss the whole AMD versus Intel, PC versus Webtopbox, etc etc. Great article. I wish some of these supposed experts predicting the end of company-x would read this one over :-)

Updated Creative Drivers

Creative has posted updated drivers for the TNT, TNT2, GeForce, ad infinitum to their Driver Support Area. I'm going to pull down these suckers tonight and try'em out on my PCI TNT. Thanks Blue.

Wednesday, February 16, 2000

More Sweeney

Epic's Tim Sweeney has updated the Unreal Technology page with more info on their Playstation 2 development, restating their dedication to PC development, and cool Unreal Tournament-based stuff coming down the pipe soon.

Q&A on DoS Attacks

Slashdot has submitted a list of questions to security expert Dave Dittrich regarding the recent Denial of Service attacks against several websites and what can be done to battle them. Here are his answers. An excellent primer in DoS attacks, as opposed to the crap that CNN, Fox, and other "news" organizations have been spreading.

Q3Radiant manual release

Paul Jaquays updated his .plan with news on the release of the Q3Radiant manual. Q3Radiant is the map editor for Q3A. The manual is targeted for version 192 of the editor, which should be released soon. Some links for the manual:

Q3Radiant Manual (HTML version) on id ftp site
Q3Radiant Manual (MSWord version) on id ftp site


Q3Radiant Manual (HTML version) on
Q3Radiant Manual (MsWord version) on

Update 8:05 pm CST by A.T. Hun: Jaquays updated his .plan again with the following information on the MS Word version of the manual:
Several astute mappers have let me know about a formatting error in the MSWord version of the editor manual. The graphic for the shader manual on page 56 overlays the text. If you've downloaded this already and you know your way around Word, it's an easy fix. Select the graphic and edit the word wrap to wrap above and below the picture. The file has been corrected and is now live on the id ftp site. It will be live on the Quake3arena site by tomorrow morning.

Webmasters: if you've mirrored these downloads on your own site, you may want to grab the revised zip or edit the word file yourself.

Linux 2.4 Kernel Goodies

The folks over at have posted a summary of the changes in the forthcoming Linux 2.4 kernel which will be of major interest to the average desktop user. Here's a snip:
"I've been using ISA PnP for ages though..." you may say. Well yes, you may have, but in 2.4 ISA PnP will be integrated into the kernel itself, which will prevent the need for external configurations, and modules, and will pave the way for automagic detection and configuration of your cards. No more need for pnpdump, or cat /proc/interrupts. Sound good?
This alone gets a great big "hallelujah!" from me!

Modem Troubles

I have a Zoom 2919 internal modem (56K, v90, non-WinModem) that has been a source of, ahem, difficulty since I got it. With the latest firmware, I have had no problems connecting to my ISP. Now, every so often, it will just freeze up. It won't drop the connection. It won't retrain. But it also won't respond to a ping. All my Internet apps act as if the connection is still there. If I hang up and try to reconnect, it will reconnect, but it won't receive or transfer anything. Generally I have to power down my computer for a bit to get it to respond again.

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Don't bother to tell me "get broadband!" There is no cable modem access, DSL, or even ISDN available where I live--and there won't be for the forseeable future.

The Master comments: In Wisconsin, there's a "broadband dead zone" that pretty much centers on Green Bay and radiates outward to Marinette to the north and Appleton to the south. This is the land of the 56k internet connect. It doesn't look like it'll be improving soon, either . . .

Update! Are all modem tech support guys trained to say one thing, "It is not a modem problem. It is a problem with your ISP."? I think you could tell them that the modem spontaneously burst into flames, immolating your entire family, and they will tell you that your ISP is misconfigured.

J.t.Qbe comments: When I worked PC tech support (get 'em off me...get 'em OFF me...AAARGH!) we learned that AOL "tech support" people were given 8 minutes to get callers off the phone. If they didn't resolve problems within that time, they declared the modem to be faulty and told callers to request a new one. Honestly.

New Hun-Speak: A.T.'s Top Five

Now that I've been running Linux for the past couple of weeks, I thought I'd put down some of my first impressions. I have two "Top Five" lists: Top Five Reasons I like Linux Better than Windows 98, and Top Five Reasons I like Windows 98 Better than Linux. I think it's a good read for anyone contemplating the jump to Linux. Check it out right here!

Please send me any comments. Flames may be directed, as always, to /dev/null.

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