The Haus

Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Episode II Shooting Begins

Yahoo News is reporting that shooting for Star Wars: Episode II begins today. Lucas is shooting the entire film digitally--the first film to be shot this way. So, is it in theaters yet? :) And, no matter what anyone else might say, I liked Episode I so *thhhpppt*. Thanks Slashdot.

Welcome to AO-helL

Yikes. I checked my bank statement online and found a charge of $21.95 from AOL Online Service. I've never used and never will use AOL. Called the bank. They had no more info. Called AOL. They said that the account was set up a month ago in my wife's name with her address and credit card. Ha ha--she has less time to waste online than I do! After an hour of runaround and waiting on hold, we finally got the account canceled, and the bank card too.

Our guess is that someone stole the info from an online purchase, either an employee or a cracker. My guess is that it was a spammer. Be careful out there, Haus Guests. Just because someone will take your credit card number online doesn't mean that you should give it.

And curse you too, A.T., for telling me that Void only takes 49K on the Visor! That made me try it. If you've ever played Elite, you know that trying it means addiction. It's eating into my Ackeron time!

AnandTech on the GeForce MX

Not that long ago, rumors started floating around about NVIDIA announcing a new, cheaper version of the GeForce called the GeForce MX (formerly known as NV11). NVIDIA is supposed to announce this chip today. AnandTech has a hands-on preview. Basically it is a GeForce2 GTS with only two rendering pipelines instead of four. The original GeForce had four pipelines but could only do one texture per pipeline per clock. The GTS and MX can do two textures per pipeline per clock. (this page in the article has a good comparison of the three GeForces plus the V5500).

The most amazing thing about the chip, IMO, is that it only consumes 4W of power (as opposed to the GTS' 8W or the GeForce's 16W). It won't have a fan! The problem is that it uses SDRAM which gives it the same memory bandwidth as a GeForce SDRAM even though it has a theoretically higher fillrate. Check the copious benchmarks for a comparison.

Could this be A.T. Hun's next video card? With an estimated price of $119, it very well may be! Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

The Master comments: I'm thinking this may be my next winner too. Kinda sad that TNT2s still sell for more than that. My wife is gonna kill me. . .

Half-Life Patch Out

According to Blue, the Half-Life patches are already on the Sierra FTP server even though they weren't supposed to be released for about another 2.5 hours. You can get the full patch here, and the patch from here. I'll post some mirrors as they spring up.

UPDATE! The files seem to have been yanked. I assume they will appear again at the pre-announced time.

UPDATE #2! The files are back on Sierra's FTP server. Here are some other mirror sites. The Blue's News pages also contain links to mirrors on the Shugashack, 3D Files, 3D Gamer's, Stomped, and others. Thanks to Jeh for the Xtreme Network links:

History today

Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Half-Life persistence

No, I'm not talking about Half-Life's popularity, I'm talking about Half-Life's newly announced persistence API, which will allow data on players to persist between games and servers.

I really like this concept-always have. What I'd like to know is whether they have a way of making persistent data that cannot be hacked by the game player. Otherwise this is all a technicality.

Half-Life Tomorrow

Blue got word from Valve that they will be releasing a patch for Half-Life tomorrow. Here's the skinny:
Valve will release HL Update tomorrow at 11 am PST. The update includes improvements for graphic card issues, connection problems, game rules exploit problems, as well as resource and performance issues. Players can update their version via Half-Life's Auto Update feature or traditional download.
It'll be interesting to see if the auto-updater actually works for me this time.

Void for PalmOS

Curse you, J.T.Qbe! Just when I get myself to the point that I'm not using my Handspring Visor PDA so much, he emails me with word of a PalmOS game called Void. Basically it's a frightfully good clone of the space trading game Elite (a personal favorite of J.t. and me). Guess I'll have to buy a few more packs of AAAs.

Ack, ack, ack! I just noticed on that website that they also have a knock-off of the classic vector-graphics tank shooter BattleZone, called Tank Pilot! More AAAs!

UPDATE! I just had a bit of a heart attack because I couldn't get my Visor to hotsync. I figured that Win98 must be blowing something up with USB, so I deleted the USB entry in System and let Win98 redetect it. I even reinstalled the Palm software. No dice. Having eliminated about everything else, I gave the Visor a soft restart. That did the trick. Whew!

J.t.Qbe comments: Sorry A.T.--not. I haven't actually tried Void yet--I'm hooked on Ackeron at present. When I get a spare half-meg, I'll load up Void, though. . .

Mozilla M17?

According to this Slashdot article, Mozilla M17 is supposed to be released today (that would be a bit of a surprise since M16 wasn't released that long ago). While you are waiting for it to show up on Mozilla's FTP, read the rest of that article, which details the development and support of PNG, the new graphics format which will hopefully replace GIF.

UPDATE! 9:25 P.M. It appears that Slashdot was mistaken. They offer this mea culpa.

Non Sequitur: BS Music

Welcome to my first ever Non Sequitur post! OK, some of you might say that I've had plenty of non sequitur posts before. For you knuckle-draggers out there, non sequitur means "it does not follow". It's a term used in logic and debate when a person's conclusion doesn't follow their supporting statements. Still awake? Anyway, I'm going to use "Non Sequitur" to post interesting links to stuff I find on the 'Net that aren't necessarily gaming or computer-related.

The first is a link I found last night on The Shack from the Washington Post, talking about Britney Spears in concert. If there's anything I hate, it's pre-fab pop music. This article deals with the lack of real vocals in her concert and the unholy terror that is her fan base. It's rather obvious that the author of that article would rather have been doing anything else the night of the concert, like spraying Lysol directly in his eyes.

History today

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
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