The Haus

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Minor Security Flaw in Mozilla

MozillaZine reports that there is a minor security flaw in all current releases of Mozilla. Basically it allows a website that uses the onUnload Javascript handler to find out what website you are going to. Unfortunately, this issue has been known for awhile, but hasn't been fixed yet.

There is a simple workaround, though. Create a file called user.js (if it doesn't already exist) in the same directory as your prefs.js file. Add this line to it:

user_pref("capability.policy.default.Window.onunload", "noAccess");

As far as security flaws go, this is a rather minor one. I suppose it's only really problem if you visit a porn website right after your church website or something :) Despite the fact that it is minor, I'm very disappointed that it's been known for months, but hasn't been fixed yet.

NFL Week #2 So Far

Brutal, that's all I can say. Barring a miracle tonight and a win tomorrow, I am going to have my worst weekend with the picks in three seasons. All the games that I went back and forth on, I picked wrong. On top of it all, the Rams choked so my fantasy team lost too. Grr. Eeyore, however, is doing quite nicely. I am a near-comatose 5-9 while she is 8-6.

UPDATE! Let it bleed! With one game left, I'm 5-10, Eeyore is 8-7.

Installing the UT2K3 Demo in Linux

BeyondUnreal posted a guide to installing the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo and setting up a dedicated server in Linux. He even supplies IPTables chains for running it behind a firewall. The installation of the demo is pretty straightforward. I like the installation instructions zakk gave on the UT2K3 mailinglist:

  1. sh
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

You have to be a South Park fan to appreciate that one. I know I did!

UT2K3 Demo Patch Today

The Unreal Technology page has been updated indicating that a patch for the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo will be released today. That will give them the opportunity to test their auto-updater as well as fix some bugs. Blue also pointed to a couple of forum posts. Mark Rein apologized for breaking Voodoo support in the demo. CliffyB posted about how to get rid of the announcer if you find him too annoying. He's over-the-top, but he doesn't bother me.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

NFL Week #2 Picks

Eeyore and I got off to a so-so start. I was 9-7 last week, she was 7-9. At least my fantasy team, The Fightin' Wombats, won! Here's to better things this week! Here are my picks: Bears, Colts, Titans, Lions, Patriots, Packers, Browns, Chiefs, Bucs, Seahawks, Rams, Chargers, Vikings, 49ers, Steelers, Eagles.

The Master comments: Eeyore's picks: Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs, Jets, Cowboys, Rams, Broncos, Steelers, Browns, Packers, Dolphins, Ravens, Cardinals, Bills, Chargers, Eagles

UT2K3 Benchmarks in Linux

With the help of Ryan "icculus" Gordon on the UT2K3 Linux mailing list, I managed to get benchmarks working in the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo in Linux. Here are the steps:

  1. Edit the batch files in the Benchmark directory where you installed the demo. For example, I saved the botmatch-citadel.bat file as and edited it so it contains the following:
    ../ut2003_demo ctf-citadel?spectatoronly=true?numbots=12?quickstart=true -benchmark -seconds=77 -exec=../Benchmark/Stuff/botmatchexec.txt $1
    From that you should be able to figure out how to alter any of the other batch files. Just change the slashes and have it point to ../ut2003_demo instead of ..Systemut2003. I also changed the %1 at the end to $1 so you can pass command line arguments to it.
  2. Type this command to add the necessary directories: mkdir -p $HOME/.ut2003/Benchmark/Results
  3. Go to the Benchmark directory where you installed the demo (the default is /usr/local/games/ut2003_demo/Benchmark) and run ./
  4. When the benchmark is done, the result will be written in $HOME/.ut2003/Benchmark/Results

My results are quite a bit slower than in Windows. In the Citadel botmatch I got 25.2 fps (33.1 in Windows) and in the Citadel flyby I got 48.9 (63.9 in Windows). I assume the main culprit is the difference between the OpenGL and D3D renderers. With so many variables, it's hard to say for sure. Those benchmarks were run at 1024x768x32 with all the options cranked. Dropping down to 800x600 gave me slightly better results than Windows at 1024x768.

icculus also noted that typing stat fps in the console will display your fps as you are playing. That should work in both the Linux and Windows versions of the game.

UPDATE! I found out that there is actually an OpenGL renderer in the Windows demo (check your UT2003.ini file if you are interested). With that renderer, I got 43.6 fps on the Citadel flyby and 24.2 on the botmatch. Besides being much slower, the OpenGL renderer also displayed a bunch of graphical weirdness, such as flashing textures. Therefore, it seems that the renderer is the main culprit. However, I also found out that the botmatches are different in Linux and Windows. Epic's Daniel Vogel made this post on the UT2K3 Linux mailing list:

Botmatches are OS/compiler dependent. Try the flybys.

Thus, the botmatches won't give a true Windows vs. Linux comparison. Nevertheless, it is clear that the OpenGL renderer is significantly slower than the Direct3D one--not that that's a big surprise. That's basically what Epic's been saying from the beginning.

The Making of UT2K3 for Linux

Linux Games posted an interesting article on how Unreal Tournament 2003 was ported to Linux. It also gives some information on which video cards and drivers will work with the demo. Unfortunately, right now only NVIDIA-based cards work because only their drivers support the GL_EXT_texture_compresion_s3tc OpenGL extension. Epic is working with ATi and others to get their drivers up to snuff. Ryan "icculus" Gordon has set up a Bugzilla database and mailing list for information on the Linux client and server.

I've only played with the demo in Linux a little bit. It does seem to be a tad slower than the Windows version, but I haven't gotten the benchmarking to work in Linux to prove it. In Windows I got 64 fps on the Citadel flyby and 33 fps on the Citadel botmatch. Mind you, this is at 1024x768x32 with all the options cranked.

The only problem that I've had with the Linux version is that I can't seem to control the volume of the music. A minor annoyance. I did notice, however, that Epic is using Ogg Vorbis for all their music files. Very cool!

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

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