The Haus

Friday, July 7, 2000

Star Trek: Elite Force Demo

Raven's Brian Pelletier updated his .plan with word that a demo of their Quake III Arena engine-powered Star Trek: Elite Force is available from Gamespy/FilePlanet. It is an 85M download, so pack a lunch (maybe breakfast too if FilePlanet is its usual speedy self). Kenn Hoekstra also updated his .plan to say that if you need tech support with the demo, check out

UPDATE! Apparently the Raven folks were a little conservative in reporting the size of the demo. It is in fact a 115 megger, so breakfast is definitely in order.

Gameboy emulator for PalmOS

Check out Liberty, a Gameboy emulator for PalmOS. Sigh. There goes MORE of my free time.

A.T. Hun comments: I figured it would only be a matter of time before someone would do this. Good thing I'm get an 8M Visor! This really could be a killer app.

Deus Ex Beta D3D DLL

Eidos Interactive have released a beta Direct3D DLL for Deus Ex which addresses some texture thrashing and other D3D problems on NVIDIA- and Matrox-based video cards. No official word on whether or not it works in the demo version, but I intend to find out. Thanks Blue.

UPDATE! The new .DLL does work with the demo, but it really doesn't help much for me. I fear that my poor TNT is just too antiquated to deal with it. Oddly enough, I can run Unreal Tournament with much better framerates . . .

More Mac 3D Competition

I saw on Stomped that things are starting to heat up in the Apple 3D graphics market. Both NVIDIA and 3dfx are beginning to push their new chips as alternatives to reigning Mac champ, ATi. More competition is A Good Thing (tMS).

The Master comments: I dunno-with Apple dropping support for their gamesprockets API and offloading game APIs to the game companies-it just might be a moot point that Apple systems are finally to parity with the PC world in 3D graphics. I hope I'm wrong tho.

A Realistic Look at Computing

LinuxPlanet has an editorial called Deep Dark Truthful Mirror. The author urges everyone in the computer industry, especially Linux afficionados, to come to grips with five basic truths about computing. I think this is a quite realistic look at the matter, and hardcore pro-Linux folks would do well to pay attention. J.t.Qbe? Any thoughts? Thanks Linux Today.

J.t.Qbe comments: Ok, I read the thing. My reaction is, "Duh? Doesn't everyone know these things?"

But maybe not. There are many types of Linux fans, but most fall into one of two categories: realists/idealists or zealots. You can find lots of zealots out there (just read most of the idiots who post on Slashdot) who believe that M$ is totally evil and will be destroyed, that absolutely all software must be completely free in all senses of the word, that anything but the GPL is evil, that anything but Linux is evil, that only command-line wizards are worthy to use Linux or computers at all, etc. etc. etc. I've just about heard it all.

Then you have the realists/idealists, who actually work in the computer industry and know how things work. Proprietary software has always been around and always will be. Microsoft and Windows aren't going away tomorrow, or maybe ever. Operating systems other than Linux do exist and do work well, sometimes even better. I have no problem with these facts, nor do most of the Linux fans I know. I don't think this article was meant for us. I think this article was meant for the zealots who can't see beyond their own ill-formed opinions.

Linux and open source software aren't about radical revolution ("I'd like a dozen Communist revolutions, please.") but about empowerment (YUK! PC word!). Most Linux fans I know are idealists who promote Linux where it fits and works well, and other things when it doesn't. I gave a guy here at work a Mandrake Linux CD today and he was amazed at all the software he got with it for free--operating system, development tools, compilers, web server, etc etc. The value of that is lost on us affluent Americans. It means a lot to those who aren't as rich though, whether in this country or elsewhere. Ten years ago (you remember those days, A.T.) I couldn't afford a C compiler (but bought one anyway), much less Unix. It would have been great to get them for free. What about poorer countries who can't afford to outfit their schools with the latest and greatest Microsoft systems? Linux gives them power. What about giving your older PC to someone who can't afford one? You can't legally give them Windows with it unless you give them the CD/manual as well. But you can give them Linux for free, and with it you give them the potential to pick up valuable job skills.

Linux and open source are truly great things with power to change the world. However, realists know that it won't happen overnight or everywhere. We simply let the world know how great it is without cramming it down their throats. We already know the things this article says.

iSilo Wings' Schedule

The NHL schedules were just released so I spent a little time converting the Detroit Red Wings' schedule into iSilo format for PalmOS devices. If you are interested, you can download it here (2K). You will need iSilo or iSilo free (highly recommended), which you can download here. iSilo can also read HTML and Palm DOC files. It's probably the nicest DOC reader I've come across so far. Plus iSilo free is, well, free. You can't beat the price.

Thursday, July 6, 2000

IE for Parrots

Slashdot linked to this loony who is attempting to get his parrot to surf the web. Let me guess, they have a government grant for this. Coming soon, Mozilla for wombats and WS-FTP for gibbons.

Paul Steed Sounds Off

Stomped managed to corner Paul Steed for an interview. This is the first time he has spoken publicly since being canned by id (story). He lists his goals for his own gaming company, talks about his work on Alice with American McGee, and even mentions his firing at id. It's an interesting read. It's Steed at his verbose best. Thanks Blue's News.

Free Stuff

Everyone in the world is reporting news of gaming companies giving away free stuff like a bunch of drunken sailors. AvPNews is reporting that Rebellion Studios will be releasing some free multiplayer and co-op levels for download for Alien Vs. Predator Gold. Stomped got word that Raven will be releasing 15-20 multiplayer levels, new multiplayer modes, and a bot for Soldier of Fortune. These additions will be available as a download for people who own SoF and on the SoF Gold CD, tentatively scheduled for an August release.

UPDATE! Raven's Jake Simpson updated his .plan with more information on the bug fixes that will be working their way into SoF Gold.

RIAA: Evolve or Die

On ZDNet Jesse Berst comments about What the Recording Industry Must Do to Survive. Killing Napster will not eliminate MP3s. There are ways they can profit from Napster-like services--if only they would be wise enough to do so. Seems to me this sounds vaguely like another, earlier commentary written by a webmaster with cruel yet handsome eyes. Hmmm . . . Thanks Linux Today.

J.t.Qbe comments: . . .cruel yet handsome eyes, hands hanging loosely past his knees, a pale greenish tinge to his skin, and bolts through his neck. . .

Q3 Map Conversions

This comes straight from the "why didn't I think of this" category. Planet Quake linked to a site called Be Quake which lists, describes, and rates maps converted to Quake 3 from Quake, Quake II, and Doom. If you like the "old stuff," you'll find the best of the old stuff there.

More Detonator Comparisons

The Firing Squad posted a comparison of the latest NVIDIA Detonator drivers. Initially they were comparing 5.22 to 5.30. They have since updated the article to include numbers for the recently leaked 5.32 drivers.

TRG on the Palm 8M Bug

TRG, a manufacturer of PalmOS PDAs, posted a very nice FAQ on the 8M DRAM bug that some PalmOS-powered PDAs (Palm, Handspring, TRG, etc.) are experiencing. Here they explain the nature of the problem:
Q: What causes the DRAM problem?
A: The exiting of self-refresh mode on a certain vendor's DRAM was not implemented correctly. This can cause a portion of memory to become corrupted.
Details: The Palm OS goes to sleep and wakes up once every minute to perform some housekeeping functions. This, in turn, causes the DRAM to enter and exit self-refresh mode once per minute. Since self-refresh mode is flawed in certain vendor's DRAMs, there is a chance for data corruption to occur every time self-refresh mode is exited on units which use that vendor's DRAMs.
I have to give TRG a lot of credit for posting such a clear and detailed FAQ. If only all hardware companies would be so forthcoming about problems. I would assume (which is always a dangerous proposition) that this would be the same problem that Palms and Visors are facing. If the fix is as simple as the FAQ makes it out to be, I probably won't bother to return my Visor for replacement.

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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