The Haus

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Sold My Soul to a Squeaky Vole

Long ago--actually many times long ago--I swore that I'd never spend my own money another Microsoft product. Today I pushed the edges of that oath: I drove over to Best Buy and plunked down an Xbox at the checkout (along with some Tic Tacs for the boys). Technically I didn't spend my money on it, since I was able to pay for the entire purchase using gift cards. But I still felt sort of dirty afterwards.

"How could you do such a thing?" you're asking. Well, I had several reasons. One is Morrowind: it runs slower than molasses on my PC. The bigger reason, though, is that my PC is getting old and I don't want (or need) to spend the money to upgrade it. And also, since I became a telecommuter 3 years ago I've had less and less desire to spend my leisure time in my office, even for games. That's why I got a Playstation a few years ago, and why I've spent more and most of my gaming time playing a console. I used to disdain them. But the Dark Side is a fun place to be after all. Console games can't produce the same depth and visual quality of PC games, but for me they're good enough right now.

A.T. Hun comments: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. To quote TMBG, "Can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Pondering the Imponderable

Well, I bought a Belkin USB 2.0 card at the same time as I got my new hard drive. It has an NEC chipset as opposed to my old card with a VIA chipset. I've had my computer running with the card reader plugged in for almost exactly two days straight and I haven't had a single lock-up yet. Hopefully, that will put this problem to bed permanently. Several USB forums that I read were in agreement: avoid VIA (and ALi for that matter)-based USB 2.0 cards like the plague.

I also just finished playing DOOM2 via the Doomsday port. Now I can see why I never finished the game back in the day. While the level design is much more interesting than the original DOOM, it is also far more annoying (nasty monsters around corners, behind secret doors, etc.). You end up getting killed, not because of a lack of skill, but because the level designer pulled a dirty trick on you. Back then, you couldn't look up or down either which made the dirty tricks that much worse.

The Master comments: I remember Eeyore and I blasting through a lot of Doom(x) levels by switching off a level at a time. I also remember spending a lot of time playing coop Quake 1. Which reminds me, I need to play some Q1 again and see if I can improve my insane memorization of the monster locations in the E1 levels :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ars Browsers

Ars Technica posted some of their recent stats showing which browsers their visitors are using. The results are quite interesting. IE still leads, but with only 38%. Mozilla/Firefox comes in second at 31%. Three years ago IE had 78% while Mozilla had 10%. Granted, more technically savvy people are likely to visit Ars than say However, this is clear: the times they are a-changin'. Whodathunk that we'd have another browser war on our hands?

Pondering the Imponderable

After a fiasco yesterday trying to get a 160G drive to work (my BIOS doesn't support drives over 137.4G) I installed a 120G drive. I think I've got everything more or less back to normal. I've got seperate partitions for /home and /mp3s so I don't have to be so careful about backing everything up when I upgrade my OS. I just put the cover back on my case. It's amazing how much quieter it is now that all of those fans are covered up :)

NFL Week #3 Final

Eeyore rebounded well, as I figured she would. She went 10-4 this weekend while I went 8-6. Year-to-date that makes me 30-16 (.652) while she is 23-23 (.500). Even my Fightin' Wombats managed to hold on for a victory, although I ended up with even more players on the injured list.

DOOM3 1.1 Patch Released

id has released the 1.1 patch for DOOM3. 3D Gamers has a mirror for the file (17.4M) and a list of all the changes. Hopefully this means that the Linux client is forthcoming. It will reset your single-player progress to the beginning of the current level and will make the Nightmare level unavailable even if you finished the game. Setting g_nightmare 1 will fix the latter problem.

No Old News

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