The Haus

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

Pondering the Imponderable

This just struck me earlier today. My current video card (a Visiontek GeForce3 Ti200) has more megs than my first hard drive, 64M to 40M. The really frightening thing is that wasn't even 10 years ago when I got that hard drive. And I paid $250 for it.

Of course, I could compare my current box (Athlon 1800+ 1.53Ghz and 256M DDR SDRAM) to my first computer, a VIC-20 (6502 at 1.0227Mhz with 5K RAM of which 3.5K was usable). Then there's my PDA which operates at the same speed (16Mhz) and has 8x more memory (8M) than my first "real" PC which I bought in 1990. For you math majors, yes, it had no hard drive. I ran everything off a 1.2M floppy. Those were the days.

Maybe I'm just an aging geek . . . OK, that's exactly what I am.

JKII 1.03 Patch Impressions

I've messed around with the Jedi Knight II 1.03 patch a little this morning. One key thing I noticed is that the timedemo command is no longer cheat-protected. There is even a new demo to try. Since EAX 3.0 was added with the patch, I wanted to see what effect it would have on framerates. Technically my SB Live! does not support EAX 3.0, only the SB Audigy and Extigy do. At 1024x768x32 with all the graphic options cranked, I got 90.7 fps without EAX and 76.7 with EAX. The effects sound pretty good, but I'm not sure they are worth a 15% framerate hit. Hopefully someone will come out with a Crusher-esque demo so we can REALLY test our systems.

One thing I noticed when running the timedemos is that JKII is not as repeatable as Quake III is. Without EAX I recorded scores of 91.3, 90.0, 90.4, and 91.0 fps. With EAX I got 77.7, 76.5, 76.1, and 76.6. They are all within a couple of percentage points which is good enough for government work, but I wonder if the hardware sites are going to want to use JKII to replace Q3A because of this.

The Master comments: I'm going to take a guess here and say the varying frame rates are probably the results of the effects engine. If I remember correctly (wow! Iron Chef!) Heretic 2 had a variable effects engine that could affect framerates from each run of a demo as well.

Monday, May 6, 2002

JKII 1.03 Patch Released

Lucasarts and Raven have released the 1.03 patch for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The patch officially enables EAX (3.0) sound, adds four new duel maps, and gives numerous single- and multiplayer tweaks. Thanks Blue.

UPDATE! A quick check of the multiplayer forums showed that the infamous "Death From Above" (DFA) strong stance lightsaber move has been made more difficult to use plus you can't twist right after landing for an easy kill. While those who mastered the old ways are likely to be ticked off, it seems like the changes are for the good.

Jedi Knight II Demo Friday

I just got mail announcing that a demo of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast will be released this Friday, May 10. It will contain a level not included in the retail game, but that had been seen at E3 last year. You can check the official JKII website for more information. I hope they make this new level downloadable alone for us folks who already own the game.

RH 7.3 Released

Good news for Red Hat Linux users, RH has released version 7.3 of their linux distro. Lots of good stuff in there, go get it :-) A short list of updates includes:A.T. Hun comments: I was going to post that, but I'm too busy downloading it already :)

The Master comments: Can you say slow download? Can you say overwhelmed mirror servers? I thought you could.

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