The Haus

Tuesday, July 4, 2000

ITU Adopts V.92, V.44

The International Telecommunications Union has adopted two important new modem standards. The first, V.92 improves the current V.90 standard (aka 56K standard) in three ways:V.44 is a new compression protocol which should provide 25% better compression than the current V.42bis standard. If everything goes well, these standards will be formally adopted this November. Good news for those of us on dial-ups! Thanks Slashdot.

NASA Hack Doubtful

The Shugashack linked to this ABC News article that seriously questions the validity of the report on British television that a NASA shuttle mission had been cracked (story). I thought it seemed more than a little wierd that NASA would have such a vital system connected to a public network.

Installing UT in Linux

Well folks, it's time for more original content from The Haus! Inspired by my success installing Quake III Arena in Linux, I decided to try my hand at a more difficult challenge, installing Unreal Tournament in Linux. Unfortunately, UT isn't as Linux-friendly as Q3A is, but I did get it to run respectably on my system. Check it out!

Happy Independence Day!

A great big happy Fourth of July to all our readers from the United States! Go find someone with a British accent and point out the obvious genetic problems in the royal family! I'm celebrating by exercising one of my most cherished freedoms: the freedom to brew beer! I'm making a nice oatmeal stout which should be ready to go in a couple of weeks. Cheers!

Infogrames and Eidos After All?

Well-Rounded Entertainment quotes the Wall Street Journal that the Paris stock market is assuming that a hostile takeover is imminent. Shares of Eidos are up 12% and Infogrames has dropped almost 6%. Officially, Infogrames has denied that it is interested. Remember, stock markets have jumped at far less reputable rumors than this. Thus the market freaking out is not necessarily a sign that anything is going to happen.

Reverend on the GeForce2 GTS

The Reverend has finally posted his review of the GeForce2 GTS, NVIDIA's latest 3D graphics chip. Unlike to many reviews, the Reverend's goes into great detail on what really makes this chip tick. Good stuff.

Abrash on the XBox

Maarten pointed out this article on Dr. Dobb's Journal where Michael Abrash (formerly of id, now of Microsoft's XBox division) gives a glimpse at the XBox' graphics. One of the most interesting comments is this:
The bottom line is that Xbox is a well-balanced graphics system that will generally be capable of approaching the specs being claimed for it. "Capable" is not the same as "easy" -- this level of performance will require exemplary programming, taking full advantage of the fact that Xbox is a fixed platform to which code can be carefully tuned. Microsoft will encourage this by providing plenty of sample code and documentation showing how to push the hardware to its limits, via a version of DirectX 8 optimized and extended to support every feature of Xbox. For those who prefer OpenGL, NVIDIA will provide a fully Xbox-enhanced version.
Good to know there will be an OpenGL option so DX8 won't be rammed down developers' throats. I also can't help thinking that games that will be developed on the XBox and then ported to Windows should run rather nicely on NVIDIA graphics cards . . .

Abrash also adds this article which goes into more depth on the subject of the XBox' memory bandwidth. In that article he verifies that the 64M of memory in the XBox will be 200Mhz DDR SDRAM. Just a warning, both articles are very technical and may cause your brain to cave in.

Monday, July 3, 2000

More Overclocking the GeForce 2 MX

AnandTech posted their results from attempting to overclock NVIDIA's new GeForce 2 MX. Once again, the results are very impressive and very solid. Pushing the core to 220 and the memory to 210, the MX blows away the GeForce SDR and competes well (at least in 16 bit color) with the GeForce DDR. Most impressive.

UT:RA Status

The folks at Stomped got in touch with Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart and Mike "Mongo" Lambert to ask them what is up with Rocket Arena for Unreal Tournament? Unfortunately, their answers really don't clear things up much more. GreenMarine does make some interesting comments on the difficulty of making mods for UT.

Astronauts endangered?

Yahoo!News has an article online indicating Hacker Endangered Astronauts' Lives in '97. Now, if this is the case, I really wish that person had been hunted down, tried for treason, and tossed into Leavenworth for a few lifetimes.

Now, I understand the hacker mentality-I agreed with them a long time ago. But nowadays, I've grown up enough to see both sides of this issue. Hey kids, if you wanna play, please do it someplace where people won't be killed, okay?

A.T. Hun comments: What, did somebody DDOS NASA? Perhaps the bigger question is why those vital systems were vulnerable in the first place. They'd better get things straightened around before we go sending astronauts to Mars where we will need to keep track of them for years.

But I agree that if it is true, the hacker should be drawn and quartered. Or better yet, just have him become the new girlfriend in cell block C.


I spent the whole bloody weekend pounding on new databases for The Haus. Now, I love databasing and PHP coding, but wow I'm tired :-) Hopefully, our new article system will be fully online by Wednesday, so I guess it's all worth it. Then I get to pound on my history database.

Saw this User Friendly today, which made me chuckle. I don't even wanna think about what would happen if a sales/marketing user maintained systems at my workplace for a week (*shudder*).

New Q3F release

There's a new release Beta1e of Quake3Fortress available over on the Q3F homepage. A whole slew of bugs were squashed, 3 new maps were added, some issues were fixed in q3f_well, balance adjustments were made in the gameplay, and a pile of new commands were added. Wow-they've been busy :-)

UT under Linux

In a fit of boredom (and under the delusion that this would take far less time than it did), I decided to install Unreal Tournament in Linux. Two hours (and far too much stupidity on my part) later, it's up and running. When I regain lucidity tomorrow, I'll type up a little "HOWTO" to tell you how I did it. Right now, I'm going to bed.

Past Two Days' News

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