The Haus

Saturday, July 15, 2000

Caveat Emptor

For you knuckle draggers out there, that's Latin for "Let the buyer beware." (Ok, you might remember it from a Brady Bunch episode too.) I while back I wrote about my last (and I do mean last) experience purchasing a copy of PC Gamer mag with CD-ROM for $8. The CD didn't work. I requested a new CD via the PC Gamer web site, which said that one would arrive within 2-3 weeks. Guess what? Today marks 5 weeks, and I haven't received a CD or heard anything from PC Gamer at all. Thanks guys! Way to build customer loyalty! This is the last issue I'll ever buy, with or without a CD.

However, I did manage to dig an old CD-ROM drive out of the closet and read the files I wanted (a bunch of classic games) so I did get some of the data, though it was an inconvenience. I'd forgotten how much fun X-COM is. Be careful, next time you're tempted by that PC Gamer CD-ROM edition. I've had this problem several times before, and so have many others. PC Gamer apparently uses low quality CDs, and apparently doesn't care about those who get stuck with bad ones!

OMF: Battlegrounds Shots

GA Games has some screenshots from One Must Fall: Battlegrounds. I played an awful lot of One Must Fall: 2097 back in the day. I liked it better than almost any other fighting game out. If you aren't familiar with this great game, I suggest you check out the official website: Maybe OMF:B will see the light of day soon? Thanks Evil Avatar.

Gamespy on Linux Gaming

Gamespy has an article up, comparing Windows 98 and Linux for suitability to gaming. Overall I'd say it is a pretty good article, even though it glosses over some subjects rather quickly (although a general topic like Win98 vs. Linux could be written about ad nauseum).

The same author also has a quick overview of Linux posted which provides a decent introduction to current goings-on with the OS. Qbe? Any thoughts?

J.t.Qbe comments: Awww, you know I try not to have any thoughts over the weekend! Since you asked, though. . . I read the article and think that he has some good points. However, keep in mind that Linux wasn't designed as a gaming platform, while Windows has strongly driven and been driven by the gaming industry. There's far more to Linux than gaming, but not much more to Windows. It's somewhat the same with drivers--most hardware is designed for Windows, so of course Windows will have better driver support!

One other point: although Loki has done some amazing work porting games to Linux, there's far more to gaming (on any platform) than just the newest and flashiest shooter or RTS. Unix games have been around since Bill Gates was in diapers (well, maybe not that long). Some games may lack the flash and eye candy of the latest Windows ports, but more than compensate with depth of play. I've been having a great time playing the demo of Exile III for Linux--what it lacks in graphics and sound, it makes up in depth. Lots of fun! And don't forget Freeciv, Pysol (why wet your pants over "Eric's Ultimate Solitaire" when Pysol is free?) and Angband (which beats Diablo/DII hands down, except for graphics and sound), to mention only a few. Linux/Unix gaming has a lot to offer. Sure, the eye candy games help lure in Windows users, but let's not belittle what's already there!

Daikatana Patch

At long last, ION Storm has released the 1.1 patch for Daikatana (44M), John Romero's frog-whackin' masterpiece. Blue has a list of mirrors. The list of changes and updates is lengthy, so I won't copy the whole thing. Sadly, I see no new "unsuck" option. You can check out the full list here. Oh yeah, you'll lost all your saved games too.

Friday, July 14, 2000

M$: Standards, Schmandards

CNet is reporting, much to no one's surprise, that Internet Explorer 5.5 ignores Web standards. Once again, they are using their market share to add proprietary functions to drive competition out of business. Here's a quote:
Microsoft has long stated its commitment to following industry standards, including CSS and HTML. But preliminary data collected by the WaSP [Web Standards Project] showed that IE 5.5 performs poorly against compliance tests, failing 7 out of 13 in the case of CSS.
Stop me if this sounds familiar. Of course M$ will say it's just "freedom to innovate". I say it's just beating people over the head until their ideas sound good. C'mon, Mozilla, we need a savior here. Thanks Stomped.

Check Out the Yopy

The Yopy is a soon-to-be-released Linux-based PDA. It'll have power too: 206MHz CPU, 32 MB RAM, 320x240 color screen, USB and serial ports, 3D audio and more! Read all about it over at All Linux Devices.

Hmmm, maybe my NEXT PDA won't be PalmOS-based after all. . .

A.T. Hun comments: . . . except that this has "Big, Gigantic Flop" written all over it. Apparently these folks didn't do their homework and learn from WinCE. It's falling into the same traps--trying to do too much. How many batteries will you need to power one of these monstrosities and how long will they last? Plus, how much is it going to cost? My guess: a lot, most likely in WinCE instead of Palm territory. I think I'll file this one in the "sounds cool, but no thanks" category. My $.02, slightly more in Canada.

J.t.Qbe comments: A guy at work was guessing they'd cost around $1K. I think the cost will be similar to WinCE toys. I'll buy one when my PDA game sells its millionth copy. Till then, I'm in no rush.

I agree though--handhelds are nice machines (my Visor is more powerful than the '286 I bought in '88) but you really don't want to do EVERYTHING with them. You can run Word and Excel on WinCE trinkets. But why? Why? Why? If you have that much need to run power apps on the go, get a laptop! (Just my 18,354 pesos)

Ask Sweeney

Voodoo Extreme has posted another question and answer session with Epic's Tim Sweeney. Topics include scripting languages, background for working at a place like Epic, and "generic" programming. Heavy stuff, but worth a look.

Unreal 226Final Patch

Using the words from the Unreal Technology Page, Hell has officially frozen over. Epic has released the 226Final patch for Unreal (7.2M), bringing its Direct3D and sound up to the same level as Unreal Tournament. Hmm. May have to go back to Software Etc. and pick up that copy for $9.99. Here's a list of mirrors: Unreal Universe, Planet Unreal (assuming FilePlanet will work),, Xtreme Network, Blue's News. Whilst you are downloading, you can read the release notes. Thanks Jeh.

Check out that spyware!

In Steve Gibson's GRC Newsletter, Steve talks about the latest spyware being distributed. NetZip Download Demon, Netscape Smart Download, and Real's Real Download:
By watching the "packet traffic" flowing in and out of one of my machines while downloading a file through the Internet, I verified the rumors which you may have heard regarding these programs: All of these programs immediately tag your computer with a unique ID, after which EVERY SINGLE FILE you download from ANYWHERE on the Internet (even places that might not be anyone else's business) is immediately reported back to the program's source where it is logged and recorded along with your machine's unique ID. They also have the opportunity to capture and record your machine's unique Internet IP address.
Wonderful news, huh? Gotta love the massive invasions of privacy inherant in the internet nowadays . . .


For anyone who used to read my history posts, I've added a link at the top of the site for my history database. I'm still working on adding features, but for now it at least duplicates my older efforts in the news page. I will be adding search and movement functions shortly.

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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