The Haus

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Serious Sam Port Update

icculus updated his .plan with more information on his port of the Serious Sam game(s) to Linux. Here's a snippet for your viewing pleasure:
It seems all the rendering bugs have been shaken out with the ASM fixes. Every couple hours of gameplay you fall through the floor (!), which will be a nasty bughunt, but I'm getting to be pleased with the current state of the port.

Networking stuff. The good news: it works between Linux boxes. The dedicated server and the client are both fully functional. However, it doesn't work at all against win32 boxes, and vice-versa.
. . .
Next up for me is a minor bug when pulling down the console in-game, and patching up to the latest Croteam sources. I'm thinking beta after that.
Beta! I am sooooo there.

Linux Users: Calm Down

That's the basic summary of this ExtremeTech editorial. The author is a relatively new Linux user. He made the plunge when Microsoft added the product activation "feature" to Windows XP. I agree with his points. Far too many Linux users are way too quick with the flamethrower when it comes to helping newbies or dealing with Windows users. It's a very easy temptation to give in to. Unfortunately, all it does is further the stereotype that all Linux users are mannerless geeks and the Linux OS itself is only for those with the requisite "1337ness."

Thankfully, I know guys who have been very helpful as I took my first teetering steps into Linux (J.t.Qbe and Crawl come to mind in particular). When I was trying to get the wireless drivers to work, the driver's author was unbelievably helpful and patient. Fortunately I've learned to ignore the ulcerous few who only bash and offer nothing constructive.

J.t.Qbe comments: After a while you get pretty tired of the zealots, though, who have more time and volume than brains. The BSD community has a lot less noise.

Disabling Popups in Netscape 7.x

I'm hearing some reports that Netscape 7.x doesn't have the checkbox to disable pop-up/under ads. Thankfully, you can get it to work anyway. Without Netscape running, edit your prefs.js file and add this line:
user_pref("dom.disable_open_during_load", true);
That will do the trick. It will be interesting to see if that preference makes it into the final Netscape 7.x build.

Software == Bad

MSNBC reprinted this Technology Review article on what software, in general, is so bad. Naturally, Microsoft (who is most often in the crosshairs on this issue) blames the user.
"Users are tremendously non-self-aware," Myhrvold adds. At Microsoft, he says, corporate customers often demanded that the company simultaneously add new features and stop adding new features. "Literally, I've heard it in a single breath, a single sentence. 'We're not sure why we should upgrade to this new release " it has all this stuff we don't want " and when are you going to put in these three things?' And you say, 'Whaaat?'" Myhrvold's sardonic summary: "Software sucks because users demand it to."
Um, sure. So, by that logic, if customers demanded dashboard-mounted hibachis and seatbealts made of piano wire, then the Big Three automakers better design cars with them. If these people are blithering idiots, then why listen to them? (OK, I already know why. They may be idiots, but they have lots of cash.)

Maybe the author's conclusion is correct. There needs to be a round of massive lawsuits. Maybe once enough companies fail or hemorrhage enough cash software will change. Until then . . . Thanks Slashdot.

Stanley Cup Fever

Apparently I'm not the only one who has caught it. According to this Detroit Free Press article, at one point this past weekend, Meijer (a Michigan-based chain of stores) reported selling 6,000 Red Wings t-shirt sales per minute. I've asked my parents to pick up some championship stuff for me. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a northern Wisconsin sporting goods retailer who even knows what a "Red Wing" is.

The Master comments: Try being Eeyore. She's a Cincinnati Reds fan; first they don't sell a lot of merchandise anyway, and second, they sell NOTHING in NE Wisconsin. I love being dragged into sporting goods stores knowing full well they're not gonna have squat to sell her :-)

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Bleh

Went to lyrics.com today to check out some System of a Down lyrics, and re-discovered the evil of javascript ads. I got hit with a bunch of (expletive) junk from www.newtopsites.com that ended up opening windows until my machine went right to it's knees. However, a quick add of their DNS names to my hosts file, with an address of 127.0.0.1 fixed their little red wagons. If you like your machine dying under the assault of a poorly designed ad server, go ahead and visit lyrics.com. Otherwise, I'd say go someplace else. Grrrrr...

Hmmm, maybe it IS time to switch to Mozilla. I believe it's got stuff built in to fix this kind of ****.

J.t.Qbe comments: Oh yeah, it's really a kick to turn off popup ads. Give Mozilla a try!

A.T. Hun comments: In Mozilla's menus, go to Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Scripts & Windows and uncheck "Open unrequested windows." Works like a charm. I assume it would be a similar option for Netscape 7.x. I had forgotten how much Mozilla was saving me from until I tried to use IE for a week or so on my folks' computer.

Silence Your PC

Ever since I built my new Athlon XP 1800+ box, one thing I've noticed is how much noisier this box is than my old one. The main reason for this is that it has six fans in it. I don't really notice it until I use my old box. ExtremeTech has some tips for reducing noise. I suppose if I really wanted to cut the noise, some of those fancy case fans would do the trick. Maybe when these fans die I'll get those, but the noise isn't bad enough to warrant buying them now.

Happy Father's Day!

A very happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there, especially The Haus' own J.t.Qbe, The Master, and J! We're taking it easy at home today. Mrs. Hun is making a few of my favorite things (including my all-time favorite dessert) for supper tonight. I plan on eating like a pig. After dinner I have some Berliner Kindl Weisse and a Boon Kriek. Mmmmm . . . Bier.

J.t.Qbe comments: I'll echo A.T. and wish y'all a happy Father's Day as well. If you do it right it's a tough job, but I dare you to find a more important one!

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