The Haus

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

GPL or Not?

John Carmack updated his .plan in response to this download agreement which seems to violate the GPL that the Quake I source code was released under. I'm no lawyer, so I don't claim to understand (or necessarily want to understand) the debate.

Update! As I would have guessed, this news has made it to Slashdot. The site with the "download agreement" has been thoroughly Slashdotted, so don't expect them back up for a while.

Perhaps I should clarify my previous comments. It's not that I don't want to understand the GPL, it's just that I don't want to be dragged into a discussion of it. I'll leave the GPL and its rammifications to the experts. I'm too busy trying to convince Linux to recognize my printer (and run Quake 2, and . . .)

The Master comments: From what I can figure from the GPL license, this guy has no right or ability to enforce what he's doing. The GPL license is very explicit. I don't know what legal recourse he has, but I think John C has the right to say what he has said under the GPL license for Q1's source.

X-Box = World Dominance?

I've been thinking about this for a while now. It is presumed that Bill Gates will formally unveiling their X-Box gaming console system at the Game Developers Conference. It will be a PC-like machine, rumored to have an Athlon processor, big hard drive, fast 3D graphics card, etc. All, naturally, running a variant of Windows.

This makes a lot of sense. You can get PC-style games, but only have to worry about one hardware setup instead of dozens. It sounds like gaming bliss, but the John Dvorak reader in me senses something more sinister.

Why wouldn't this box be able to run, say, Microsoft Office? Or Internet Explorer? Or any other Windows app? Can you see where this is heading? Not only are they going to be making the operating system, they will be making the box itself. This way, M$ can push its agenda anyway it wants. Sounds like a new Apple to me. "Sure, Office will run on any PC, but it works best with the Microsoft X-Box!" or "Never worry about incompatibilities, new drivers, or anything else with the new Microsoft X-Box!"

I think this idea has merit, and remember you heard it here first.

The Master comments: In a LOT of ways, this could make technical support a breeze for new PC users and corporate environments. HOWEVER, Microsoft would have to get out of their habit of expecting users to buy new PCs every 2 days to run their new porker-sized unoptimized software. I doubt they have the fortitude to change their ways THAT much.

SoF Demo Patch Caveat

I tried to install the Soldier of Fortune demo patch that was released last night (story). It locked up my machine when it was patching the pak file. I tried it again this morning on a fresh install of the demo, and it locked up again. I'll have to see if anyone else is having this problem. Until then, caveat emptor.

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.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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