The Haus

Saturday, December 1, 2001

NFL Week #12

Since we're off to a 1-0 start I feel awfully smart. That can only mean one thing: crash and burn. Despite that, here are the rest of my picks: Broncos, Bears, Jets, Ravens, Steelers, Saints, Bucs, Browns, Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Raiders, 49ers, Packers.

The Master comments: Eeyore's picks: Broncos, Patriots, Bears, Ravens, Steelers, Saints, Bucs, Browns, Seahawks, Rams, Redskins, Raiders, 49ers, Packers

More on the @Home Debacle

CNet has an article on the problems facing Excite@Home. I knew these were long-standing, ugly problems, but I didn't realize how ugly until I read this article. Knowing the history, however, doesn't help the thousands of people who are without access right now. Thanks Ars Technica.

Hollenshead on Wolfie Pricing

id's Todd Hollenshead won the coveted first .plan update of December award with word that Best Buy will have Return to Castle Wolfenstein for $49 next week. As much as I'd like to play it, that's still too much money. After all, they were selling the non-tin-box edition for $54 last week. $5 off isn't exactly a screaming deal. Make it $39 and I'll listen more closely.

AT&T Migration Plans

AT&T issued this press release, announcing their plans to migrate their @Home customers to AT&T's own network. Some areas remarkably are already live. Others will be soon. They are offering free dialup to any customers who are cut off for longer periods of time, plus two free days for every day they are disconnected.

@Home Dead

I just got a call from J.t.Qbe. His cable modem is dead. AT&T left him a message on his answering machine saying that they hoped to restore service to one extent or another within a week. Rah. Whatever the case, expect J.t. to at least be on a dial-up by Monday.

The Master comments: Gosh, that's customer service for ya. And there's no money to sue for either . . .

UPDATE! Apparently its just AT&T who were cut off. It seems rather odd that Excite@Home would cut off a company that owns over a third of its stock. DotComScoop has more information, although they've been hammered today.

Friday, November 30, 2001

Cloud on Wolfie

id's Kevin Cloud made a whopping great .plan update regarding Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Here's the whole thing in all of its cut-and-pasted glory.
Wanted to make a quick update on Wolf. I've noticed some online buzz about new mp maps for Wolf. We'll be releasing the multiplayer demo with a new checkpoint only map called Trenchtoast. Trenchtoast will also be posted for use with the full game as well. We're staggering the testing so the singleplayer demo will be released first. Expect the multiplayer demo to be out within the next few weeks.

Just to let everyone know, we will be releasing source for the mod teams. It will take some time to pull this together and currently both teams are working on the demos. This will hopefully be released later in December.

We had issues with fog working properly on the Matrox cards with gl_extension on. Matrox has been great about this and is revising their drivers to better support Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Matrox users should expect a good performance improvement on Wolf single and multiplayer when this is released.

The online comments have been great, but I think the game clock has caused some confusion in several reviews. This is because the game clock isn't accurately reflecting the actual play time. Depending on how often you save, we found the time reported by the game clock to be anywhere from 25% to 50% of the actual play time ( time in your seat ). For future reference it would be more accurate to not rely on the game clock for actual play time statistics.

Finally, we expect the German version of Wolf to be released sooner than mid-December as reported earlier this week. There was a small problem with the manual that required a reprint. On a related note, unlike previous id titles, the localized versions of Wolf are completely translated, including translated dialog, menus and text. This was a large coordinated effort from Activision. They did a great job.

New Parsec LAN Test

Several sites mentioned yesterday that there is a new LAN test of Parsec, a freeware, cross-platform, multiplayer space shooter. I downloaded and installed the Linux version. It's really come quite a ways. I can't wait to try it out online when the full version comes out. Check it out, I think you'll like it.

@Home Doomsday

Unless other agreements can be worked out the @Home will be shutdown tonight at midnight U.S. Pacific time. Up to 45% of all cable modem customers in the U.S. would be affected by this. I would estimate that if @Home goes dark, over 75% of the world's pr0n and warez will go with it, as well as 99.999% of the Code Red infections. Thanks Slashdot.

J.t.Qbe comments: Don't bet on it, A.T.: it sounds like a number of backup plans are in the works. I'm an @Home user via AT&T, which has been trying to buy Excite@Home. Today they were shot down, but they've been making arrangements to keep customers connected via their own networks. I've heard that there may be an interruption, but broadband will go on, at least for AT&T customers. At least, that's what they say. I hope they're right, otherwise I'm offline.

A.T. Hun comments: My guess would be that AT&T would have the ability to cover for their customers. I'd also guess that all the others are out of luck.

J.t.Qbe comments: According to some reports I've read, AT&T can only handle about 20% of the customer load quickly; others may see outages of 1-14 days. Yikes. Midnight PST comes in about an hour, so I may wake up tomorrow to a dead cable modem. We'll see what happens.

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