April 7th, 1999

Hewlett Packard to Use TNTs
Hewlett Packard and NVIDIA announced yesterday that Hewlett-Packard Company has chosen NVIDIA’s RIVA TNT™ 3D graphics processor (in the form of the Diamond Viper V550) as an option for the HP Pavilion PC build-to-order program. You can get the full press release with all the details by downloading the press in release in MS Word form from the Planet Riva site.

Voodoo3 Officially Available
I got an e-mail this morning from L. Kraven (Hiya Khore) informing me that Best Buy was selling Voodoo3 cards today. I did some checking, and Voodoo3s are now “officially available” according to this 3dfx press release. The Voodoo3 2000 looks to be just the 2000 version of the board with driver and utility software, whereas the 3000 includes a bundle with “Interplay’s Descent 3™: Sol Ascent™, a free upgrade coupon for the much-anticipated Unreal Tournament from GT Interactive and Epic Games, the complete version of Unreal, and Electronic Arts’ driving genre smash Need for Speed III specially optimized for 3dfx.” I wonder precisely how this “optimization” for these games works – I suspect that they’re merely Glide-only versions of the games (if anyone out there can tell me differently of the specifics on this, I’m curious).

3dfx also announced today (press release) that Packard Bell is going to be shipping PCs starting in May with Voodoo3s in them. They’re using the Voodoo3 2000, of course, which is the low-end, least expensive Voodoo3 card. This is an interesting development consider the recent NVIDIA/Hewlett Packard announcement.

Team Fortress Classic Today!
It’s about time. Sierra/Valve made an announcement on the release of Team Fortress Classic yesterday evening. You can check out the press release more all the nitty gritty details, but the basics are that it is supposed to be up for download at 9 A.M. PST today (in about 2 hours by my watch). It’ll be about 18 megs in size, and includes not only the Team Fortress mod for Half-Life, but is part of the patch for Half-Life. Other things in the patch other than TFC are supposed to be better support for 3D accelerators, better network performance, and a MOD browser. Valve is also releasing a Linux dedicated server for Half-Life, and the final version of the Half-Life SDK (software development kit). When it’s released for download, you should be able to get it from the Team Fortress Classic web site, as well as a large number of mirrors.

Glide Underground Gets New Layout
Glide Underground, the site of hope in the development of a Glide to Direct3D/OpenGL wrapper, got a snazzy new layout yesterday. I e-mailed them about it, as it was initially unfriendly to 800×600 resolution users (yes, I run in 800×600. Quit yer snickering, I have a pathetic little 14″ monitor. Other things have been more important, like food, gas, and the TNT card.), and wasn’t the only one to e-mail them apparently. They updated it to be considerably more 800×600 friendly now, and I really like the new look a lot. There’s also a new wrapper comparison table up with wrapper comparisons for 4 different chipsets (interestingly enough, 2 NVIDIA chipsets and 2 ATI chipsets), as well as some new versions of a couple of the wrappers in ongoing development.