The Haus

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

New NVIDIA XFree 4.0 Drivers

NVIDIA has release version .92 of their XFree 4.0 drivers which I just got installed. The new version contains the following changes:UPDATE! Wouldn't you know it, the .92 drivers caused my system to throw up in some rather amazing ways. I'll see if I can't get to the bottom of it. Fortunately .91 reinstalled with little difficulty.

GeForce 2 GTS on Shelves

NVIDIA announced today that cards based on their new GeForce 2 GTS chip are available for purchase at places like Best Buy, Fry's, Electronics Boutique, etc. Who would've thought that NVIDIA would have gotten two new chips out the door before 3dfx got the V5s on shelves?

New Gamespy

Version 2.20 of Gamespy has been released and is available for all users, registered or not. This upgrade includes support for Soldier of Fortune, Rogue Spear: Urban Ops, and Daikatana. You can snag it from the freaks on a leash at FilePlanet. Thanks Blue's News.

More SoF Sound

Raven's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with news that the new/old A3D and EAX files are available on SoF Operations. Here are the direct links to the A3D file and the EAX file.

New Q3A Point Update

Robert Duffy updated his .plan with word of a new point release of Q3A. This one is pretty important:
We have just released a new point release for Quake 3 Arena, version 1.17.

This patch fixes a fairly serious security flaw in Quake 3 Arena. Internet Security Systems identified the flaw and notified us with reproduction details as well as an overview of the exploit. The basic nature of the exploit is that malicious server operators could overwrite any file on a client system. This type of thing is always possible with DLL based mods ( which is why we strongly recommend VM based mods ) but with this exploit, it was possible within the VM system.

To help facilitate a rapid transition to the new codebase we have also bumped the network protocol version. This means 1.17 is not network compatibile with any prior version.

The install also includes all 3 PK3 files, because the original "pak1.pk3" was not included in the final 1.16 release for Mac and Win32 builds. This will address some pure server connection issues. You will have to have all 3 pak files present to connect to a pure server.

In addition to this security fix, we have also fixed the following:
  • Callvote to single player game type causes the server to crash.
  • Crash in bot initialization on some systems.

SOF Sound Issues

Jake Simpson updated his .plan with word on how to fix EAX and A3D sound problems in Soldier of Fortune. If your one of the unlucky people having these problems-check it out.

There ya go Jake-always happy to help out another Doctor Who fan :-)

XFS Solution

I mentioned in my article on installing the NVIDIA XFree 4.0 drivers that one casualty of my upgrade was that I could not use the X Font Server (xfs) any more. The problem was that the initialization script for xfs was not in my init.d directory. As it turns out the problem was not mine, but the fault of the person who put the XFree-xfs-4.0-0.6.i386.rpm file together. He forgot to include the xfs start-up script. Doh! I am now downloading XFree-xfs-4.0-0.8.i386.rpm from RPMFind which should nip that problem in the proverbial bud.

UPDATE! That took care of the problem! I have xfs back and my fonts look quite a bit better. Whew!

T&L on the Savage 2K has posted the final installment in a three-part series (here are part one and part two) exploring the new drivers for the Savage 2000-powered Diamond Viper II which theoretically enable the chip's hardware T&L. The long and the short? The new drivers are actually slower than old drivers, plus with T&L enabled there are nasty texture problems that crop up. So much for the other T&L enabled card. Thanks Shugashack.

Let this be a reminder of the universal truth: caveat emptor. Ignore the marketing hype surrounding a new video card or chipset. Wait until tests are run on actual shipping boards with actual shipping drivers before making a decision.

Tuesday, May 2, 2000

New SB Live! Drivers

Creative has slapped up new drivers for their Sound Blaster Live! series of audio cards. You can download the new versions for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 95/98. Here are the changes:Thanks Voodoo Extreme for the links.

Game Servers Shut Down

Effective immediately, the EZ-Net game servers have been shut down to help test some bandwidth concerns. Hopefully, we will be able to start them back up before too long, but I would expect that they will be down for at least a couple of days. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Believe you me, no one will be affected more than I will be :)

Installing NVIDIA's XFree 4.0 Drivers

As promised, I have posted a summary of my adventures installing the new NVIDIA beta XFree 4.0 drivers. Let's just say it was a very interesting trip. The good news is that I was rewarded for my efforts with Q3A timedemo scores that rival my Win32 scores. The bad news is that I managed to break XFS (the X Font Server), which just means that I'm without the use of TrueType fonts until I figure out how to fix it.

All this kind of reminds me of my old DOS days, struggling with QEMM to wrest every last byte of that precious first 640K. Ahh, those were the days.

J.t.Qbe comments: I'm still trying to get every possible byte out of that first 640K for the DOS games I'm still playing!

More M$ Insanity

According to this InfoWorld column, as of April 1, OEMs will no longer be able to give full copies of Microsoft OSs (except Windows 2000 Server) with the systems they sell. OEMs can either give "recovery CDs" or have a mirror on the hard drive. All of that is fine and good until you decide to a) upgrade your PC or b) your PC's hard drive crashes. M$ claims it is to reduce piracy. In reality it gives M$ the opportunity to charge full price for the OS without having to package anything, under the assumption that everyone who buys their software is a pirate. If this doesn't prove Microsoft's arrogance and contempt for their customers, I don't know what will. Thanks Ars Technica.

J.t.Qbe comments: Micro$oft's arrogance and contempt for its customers shows in many things it does: its old per-CPU licensing fees; Bill Gates' insistence that Windows has no bugs but that users are stupid; Windows itself. Really, have you ever tried to install Windows from an OEM package? Most home users simply wouldn't be able to do it. M$ doesn't care; it already has the money. Want to quit being a MicroSerf, paying what and when Bill tells you to pay? One word: Linux. One more word: FreeBSD.

Micro$oft is a master of dirty tricks. M$ won't ever get another penny from me. Too bad; Starlancer looks like a cool game.

It Works!

It wasn't pretty, but I got the new XFree86 4.0 drivers from NVIDIA to work! I'll write up a little article later telling you how I did it. Here's the good news. I installed the Quake III Arena demo for Linux and ran timedemos on DEMO001. Here are my results:
Win32: 44.8 fps
Run using the full version of Q3A patched to 1.16n with NVIDIA's 5.13 Detonator drivers in Windows 98.
Linux: 41.5 fps
Run using the Q3A Linux demo with NVIDIA's new beta XFree86 4.0 drivers in Red Hat 6.2.
Pretty slick, eh? Almost as fast as Windows! That is a dramatic improvement over the old NVIDIA drivers which sucked so badly they could suck a monkey through 25 feet of garden hose.

Mac UT 413 Patch

At long last, Mac users can join Windows and Linux users in enjoying the 413 patch to Unreal Tournament. Westlake Interactive announced the patch's release yesterday. You can download it from one of their mirror sites (3.2M). Thanks Blue.

History today

More Meat

The second installment in the Meatpak Q3A map series is available over on 3D-Downloads. Check it out-the Meatpak maps are really intriguing.

Past Two Days' News

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