The Haus

Tuesday, April 25, 2000

NVIDIA XFree 4.0 Drivers

NVIDIA has finally released their long-promised new binary drivers. These drivers require XFree 4.0. You can get the drivers here and read the FAQ here. There are pre-built RPMs for Red Hat and also for "other" Linux distributions.

I'll install these after I dust my Linux drive and report back with the gory details. Just a note: NVIDIA's site seems to be thoroughly Slashdotted at the moment. My download is going at about .1K/sec.

UPDATE! While you are waiting for either your download to finish or the next ice age, whichever comes first, check out Linux Games' first look at these drivers. The performance seems to be quite impressive indeed--almost on par with Windows 9x! That's a Good Thing since the old drivers sucked canal water.

UPDATE! 10:15 P.M. At long last, the rpms are done downloading. I don't think I've ever waiting longer for one meg of stuff. Oh well. Not sure when I'll get around to dusting my Linux drive--hopefully early next week.

Make Something Unreal CTF Winners

The winners in the Capture-the-Flag level design portion of the Make Something Unreal competition have been announced.Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks Stomped for the heads up.

Romero Form Letter?

The guys at Old Man Murray have posted a form letter from John Romero complaining about this review of the Daikatana demo on Daily Radar. Here's a snip from the letter: is the worst offender [Ed. note: in the "bash Daikatana" campaign] right now and they seem to be barely beginning their online campaign of destruction against Daikatana, myself and Ion Storm. Right there on the front page at the top is a link to the most awful article I've read about my game. It's almost unbelievable, and they're supposed to be a professional, major news site.
I read the Daily Radar review and, even though I tend to avoid their site, I have to agree with their review. I did not word things any where near as coarsely as they did in my review, but the gist is the same. In all my days as a gamer (and that's a long time, kids), I have never seen a game so universally panned as Daikatana. I hope that letter turns out to be a fake, because if it is real, delusion is running far more deeply than we would have originally imagined at ION. Thanks Evil Avatar for the link.

Webdog deborked

Sent some email to Richard Smith of Webdog today, and it turns out the trackers have been broken due to a technical issue over on Webdog. Everything is good now :-)

Matrox G450

Matrox Users has word that Matrox announced their new G450 video chip. It looks like it's basically a tweaking of the previous chips. There are no fillrate or triangle numbers mentioned, nor does there seem to be any indication of T&L capabilities. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

It looks like this is going to be the "day of the video card." Better, faster, cheaper chips are always Good Things (tMS).

ATi Radeon 256

Sharky Extreme takes a look at the numbers and features of the recently announced Radeon 256 chip from ATi. It all sounds pretty impressive, let's see if they really fixed the drivers. Boards with this chipset are expected to hit stores at the end of Q2. This is the same card that IXBT referred to as the Rage6 (story) except this time the information is official.

Monday, April 24, 2000

Graphics Programming

Blue has been able to secure permission from Michael Abrash to post the Quake-engine related chapters from his Graphics Programming Black Book (out of print-but thankfully I have a copy :-) on Blue's News. This is a wonderful thing, especially since Abrash has a great way of writing about complicated graphics topics. The Black Book is HUGE, and recommended reading if you can get ahold of it (and understand all the math!!)

On a personal note, I wonder if Abrash is still working on dictionary/thesaurus/language stuff over at Microsoft. It seems a shame to the graphics community that he's doing that :-)

ICQ2K Released

The non-alpha version of ICQ 2000 has been posted on their downloads page. I'm about to install it so if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, you know why :) Thanks Blue.

UPDATE! Well, I survived. Can't really say if it works better or not. There are even more buttons now to clutter things up even more. Fortunately you can turn them all off.

Pondering the Imponderable

I feel a bit sad and nostalgic right now. Tomorrow is one of the "spring clean-up" pickup days in my little town. Basically you can put anything that doesn't go in the regular trash or recycling at the curb and the city will haul it away. I just put out the majority of the first real computer (not counting my Commodore 128) that I bought with my own money way back in 1990: my old AT case which is built like a Sherman tank, a 386SX mobo, and a 3.5" floppy drive. The case's power supply was dead, the mobo was flaky and limited to 1M memory, and the floppy drive had this nasty habit of eating disks. Still, we had some good times logging on to BBSs, playing games, and all manner of other things. Memories . . .

J.t.Qbe comments: There, there, it'll be all right A.T. I'm sure your high-speed Celery system is a comfort to you in this time of despair. Just learn not to throw things away. If my wife knew that I still have my old '286 in the closet and take it with us whenever we move, she might not move with me next time. . .

The Master comments: Heck, I STILL have the carcass of my old P90 around here. My Apple //c and /// are still at my Mom's place-I really should pick those things up one of these days :-) Ahhh, the days of 6502 assembly, Mircosoft Basic and ProDOS.

V5500 vs. GeForce DDR

Sharky Extreme has posted a comparison between a beta 3dfx Voodoo5 V5500 card against a GeForce DDR. The results may surprise you. Here's a snip:
Overall, the performance of the Voodoo5 5500 AGP was a bit underwhelming. We were saddened that, not only is 3dfx a generation behind the competition in feature implementation but, realistically, in performance as well.
True, the V5500 was a beta board, but they were using old drivers (due to NDA restrictions) with the GeForce that did not allow for texture compression, so it pretty well evens out. Oh yes, NVIDIA has an announcement on Wednesday :) It looks like I'm going to wait until the NV15 gets in major production and get myself a cheap GeForce DDR. Vroom! Thanks Slashdot.

SA Daikatana Review

OK, this is the last Daikatana review I'm going to link to. I promise. This one is Lowtax' review on Something Awful. He experienced far more problems with the game crashing than I did (it ran perfectly fine for me) and hated the #$% &*@# frogs and mosquitos as much as the rest of the world does.

More Q3A Mission Pack

Hellchick over at PlanetQuake has posted some more information on the Quake III Arena Mission Pack. According to the article, the id folks are trying to make it feel like more than just an add-on. Hopefully that isn't an indication of how much they intend to charge for it. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Video Games and Violence

This study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology seems to indicate a link between violent video games and violence in society. I read through the whole article, and my summary of it would be twofold:
  1. If you play video games too much, your grades will drop and you may become more antisocial
  2. If you are aggressive to begin with, violent video games will probably make you worse
To both I say, "Duh!" If you just sit in the flickering glow of a monitor playing games all day, it will be kind of hard for you to practice your social skills or study for class. Read the forums on some gaming sites that allow anonymous posts for proof of that. If you are particularly aggressive to begin with, hearing ABBA on the radio might set you off as much as a quick game of Doom. Thanks Slashdot.

J.t.Qbe comments: Hearing ABBA on the radio sets me off, and I'm not particularly violent to begin with!

Daikatana Demo Review

As I promised I have risked life, limb, and possibly my sanity to provide for you, our loyal readers, a review of the Daikatana demo. What did I think about it after an entire night of downloading? Read the review and find out! You can find links to this and all of our reviews on our reviews page.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
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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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