The Haus

Tuesday, February 22, 2000


Caesar at Ars Technica has posted a review comparing the two GeForce cards, one with SDRAM and one with DDRAM. It's a good, practical guide for those (like me) who are still wondering what their next video card should be.

SoF Demo Patch

Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word of a patch for their Soldier of Fortune demo. Here's a snip:
We've released the patch for the SoF Demo. This patch mainly represent things we felt were important to fix or adjust in the demo, but only if we could easily merge it back into the demo codebase (as the main game has changed considerably). Below represents my crude notes of items we addressed. Most of these items were QA'd through the low-violence demo release (for the UK), but as a whole, this has not been QA'd. You can still connect to servers running the original version, but you may notice view height discrepencies (such as when you crouch, you're practically eating dirt). This is only a problem if the server has not been patch.
Check the full update for all the changes. You can get the patch from SoF News or Blue's News. The patch weighs in at 1107K.

UCITA-lemon protection?

VERY interesting opinion piece in Computerworld yesterday. Check this out: Win 2K or Win63K?. Basically, this is a review of WHY Microsoft is such a fan of the UCITA law that just went into place in Virginia. What does UCITA mean to you? It makes all software licenses legally binding, which means that the "we are not responsible for anything at all" clauses in all software contracts would protect software makers from ANYTHING that they could possibly be sued for. Even gross negligence. Nice.

J.t.Qbe comments: UCITA has been in the works for a while now, but you've probably never heard about it. Along with the features mentioned above, UCITA gives software publishers the right to disable software remotely if they determine that you haven't paid for it properly. UCITA also will forbid you from reselling your used software and will give you no right to complain when software doesn't work. It gives software makers all rights and takes all rights away from software users. No wonder they haven't let you hear about it!

It's been said that UCITA will drive people to free software like Linux, which is a Good Thing. However, UCITA will also prohibit reverse engineering, which will put a damper on free software interoperating with enslaved software. However, UCITA is a USA-only thing. . . so far. . . . Check out The Anti-UCITA Resource Page for more info. UCITA will become law. The future of software will be interesting.

The Master comments: The good thing in all this is that laws that try to take all consumer rights away have been overturned in MANY states, and the precedent will get this tossed out as soon as someone has the money to challenge it.

Quake II Under Linux

Today's the day! I'm going to try to install Quake II under Linux. Wish me luck! I'll report back when I'm done.

Update! Well, it can run at 320x240 in software mode *barf*. I'm going to have to read some serious HOWTOs about this. Right now, I don't have the patience to deal with it. Maybe tomorrow.

Red Hat and RealNetworks Team Up

According to this article on Linux Today, Red Hat and RealNetworks have teamed up to beef up streaming media support under Linux. Here's the best news, as far as I am concerned:
RealNetworks also announced RealPlayer 7 for Linux which will be made available within 30 days from its Web site and will be physically bundled with Red Hat's open source operating system software.
Thank heavens. The current alpha version of RealPlayer G2 for Linux leaves more than a bit to be desired.

Mutator Database

Mod Central Unreal has a new database of Unreal Tournament mutators, 82 in all. You can sort them by author, title, rating, etc. For you non-UT people out there, mutators are little "mini-mods" which change some small aspect of gameplay (e.g. low gravity, instagib, etc.). Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

No "Engine Wars"?

Jason Hall of Monolith updated his .plan with an apology to Epic (who is never named directly) for the remarks that he made. He then goes on to say he doesn't understand how they were taken poorly, but if he would reread his remarks, and put himself in Epic's shoes, I think he'd get it.

I still say Monolith has nothing to show until they release a real game, and support it. Otherwise it's all wind to me. And my guess is, it's all wind to everyone else as well.

A.T. Hun comments: He concludes by saying, "Oh, BTW - this is a little off topic, but I just love saying it because it's true: COOL ANNOUNCEMENTS COMING SOON!;)". OK, shoot me now.

New Q3A Beta Patch Executables

id's Robert Duffy updated his .plan with news of new executables for the Quake III Arena beta point release. Here's a list of the fixes:

Here are the links to the files on id's FTP: Win32, Mac, and Linux.

Monday, February 21, 2000

Booooring, Booooring!

OK, so I was out of town for the day and what did I miss? Nothing! Just as well. The haze from my recent illness is lifting so I can hopefully (and thankfully) get back to business as usual. I plopped down a good chunk of change this afternoon for a copy of Sams' Red Hat Linux: Unleashed. My first book, O'Reilly's Learning Red Hat Linux, is an excellent beginner's guide. It doesn't pretend to be exhaustive, and it isn't. Unleashed is one of those hernia-causing books that should keep me in reference material for quite some time. Both books are highly recommended. Special thanks go to J.t.Qbe for the book suggestions.

Counterbattery fire

Well, I hope Jason Hall has his shield up, 'cause here comes some SERIOUS artillary fire. Tim Sweeney updated the Unreal Technology Page with some commentary on the Jason Hall interview in my earlier posting (story). Here's a snip for good measure:
Jason's Claim: Competing with us at this point is going to be extremely expensive and most of our "competitors" aren't specifically focused on engine licensing.

Tim's Response: There are two sides to Epic's business: game development and licensing. It's just the same with Monolith; they have their game subsidiary and their licensing subsidiary. Jason is CEO of both divisions, correct, Jason? So if Monolith were to exit the game business to focus only on licensing, then Jason's claim of singular focus would be legitimate. But, as it is, it's just baseless posturing. We both make games and engines.

The primary difference isn't focus, it's that Epic has a successful track record of shipping products in both markets, while Monolith has a spotty record with their own LithTech games and no track record yet shipping licensed games.

Therefore, Jason claims that track record is unimportant. But, isn't that a ludicrous and untenable position? Let's try to pitch it: "trust us and license our huge, complex 100,000-line piece of software -- even though our lead programmer left, and the two projects we attempted with it yielded a dud and a sub-150K seller. And don't worry about track record; the fact that Unreal sold a million isn't any indication that their engine is more suitable for developing hit games".

Yeah, whatever. The poetic justice is that any developer who buys into that philosophy, has to live with its ramifications.

CliffyB on the UT Bonus

VoodooExtreme has posted a brief interview with Epic's Cliff Bleszinski on the forthcoming Unreal Tournament bonus pack. Nothing frightfully new, except I think we can expect it quite soon. How's that for specifics?

The Truth will set you Free

Ahh, Monolith finally admits why they didn't support their games. RPOV has posted an interview with Jason Hall which indicates how strongly Monolith intends to be an engine company instead of a game company. So, why didn't Monolith support their games, and the community that purchased them? Because they weren't important! So keep this in mind when purchasing ANYTHING from Monolith in the future:
...With LithTech, our licensees are the top priority. Nothing else comes before them, period. The engine licensing business has evolved into a technology AND service oriented business, where as you know, in order to be successful, the customer always has to come first. And for LithTech, the licensee always does.
Thanks go out to Blue for this one :-)

The Master comments: I have to admit-after thinking this one over my bias against Monolith is influencing my post. Since Monolith has spun off engine development to another wholely-owned subsidiary, there may not be a problem with this licensee vs. customer policy. HOWEVER, that will only be true if a) LithTech treats Monolith as nothing more than another customer/licensee, b) Monolith is a game company, not an engine company, and c) LithTech does not share any of Monolith's programming team. Otherwise the conflict of interest will force any game released by Monolith in the future into the same dreary state as Blood and Shogo.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
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May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
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December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
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