April 22nd, 1999

In Austin Now
I made much better time to Austin than I thought I would. I arrived almost an hour earlier than I expected to, and that’s almost amazing, because I left like 20 minutes later than I planned to, and made an extra stop than I planned to. One very messy bug decided to end its life dead center in my field of view on my windshield, so I had to stop and clean that off, of course.

I had some other things I wanted to comment on, but I forgot them because I am so tired right now. Carrying my 25″ TV up the stairs to Dakota’s apartment was “fun” and I’m not used to the humidity yet, so I’m going to just stop here and figure out what to post later. I don’t even know if this stuff will go up tonight, as we’re still working on gettting things set up so I can get access to the cable modem.

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April 21st, 1999

Exhausted
I am so exhausted and already pretty sore. I bet tomorrow I’m in pain. I’ve been kind of out of shape the last several months, and I’ve gotten probably more exercise in the last 28 hours than I have in the last 28 days. I really need to just suck it up and start exercising, and get back down to where I want to be, and so I can fit in my Pepe jeans again. Maybe I can find a Taebo class to join in Austin. Anyway, here’s some random musings and thoughts I’ve had today while packing and moving stuff:

  • I must have like 200 t-shirts.
  • That’s way too many.
  • I had at least 11 distinct colors of plastic hangers. I think I want all green ones now.
  • It’s a good thing that Midland isn’t prone to earthquakes.
  • Have I mentioned how much I’m looking forward to the “scenery” in Austin?
  • Large TVs should be designed so that they travel easier.
  • I found all sorts of cool old papers of stuff.
  • Why doesn’t Stomped.com have a followup to their post on the 16th, telling about how 3DGN stomped them in Q2?
  • It’s exactly 5 months until my birthday.
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April 20th, 1999

High Bandwidth Internet For Gamers
I saw mention of an article today (I forget where I saw it listed and can’t hop on right now to check) on high speed Internet access for gamers. It’s on CNET’s GameCenter and it’s entitled Frag that Lag! Broadband Access: The Gamer’s Edge”, and it discusses (briefly) the various forms of high speed access available, including Cable Modems, ADSL, and Satellite. The article is not terribly in depth, but it does present a good overview of the positives and negatives of each option, and specifically discusses their suitability for online gaming.

Frenzy
Today’s items may be the last updates to the site for a few days, until I get moved down to Austin and get the computer setup and tied into Dakota’s cable modem there. I’m going to be in an absolute frenzy the next couple of days, packing and moving stuff and temporarily relocating stuff . . . draining the waterbed . . . deciding what will go with me to Austin and what will stay in Midland for a couple of months. My Dad is being, I feel, somewhat unreasonable and is requiring me to get EVERYTHING out of the house, even though I’m only going to be able to head to Austin initially with very little, until I get my own apartment there. That’s making for a lot of extra work on my part getting temporary storage arrangements handled and stuff moved around in less than 2 days. Ugh.

I find myself amused with the way things are playing out. The job hunting efforts have been really tough and discouraging, but I’ve stuck through things. Now that things have swung into a positive arc, I get additional e-mails this morning with 2 other job offers. I still believe that the first opportunity is the best one, and I’m sticking with it 100%. This may seem vague or dodgy to a lot of you, and yeah, it is. I don’t want to spoil or jinx things so I’m being vague about it until everything is 100% done and set and I’m working.

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April 18th, 1999

Back in Town
Well, I’m back now (about 10 p.m., got back a little over an hour ago) from Austin. The drive back was gloriously tedious and boring for the second half of it (which tends to be the longer part of any of these drives, at least for me). Driving TO Austin isn’t nearly as bad, because the closer to Austin you get, the more fun the roads get, and the better the view. It’s so nice and green and hilly there, with all the glorious trees, and the Bluebonnets in full bloom . . . Contrast that with the drive back to Midland, where after about San Angelo, it gets more and more flat and desolate. Blech. Just another reason to hate Midland.

The interview Friday was a bit of a mixed bag I think. I didn’t do as well on it as I have on other interviews I’ve had in the past. Part of it I think stemmed from the fact that I had some trouble understanding some of what one of the men who interviewed me was saying because of his accent, and that kind of threw me off with my responses. I’m still positive about the situation though, and I’ll be making a phone call tomorrow to hopefully find out the results of all my efforts and expense. These drives to Austin for interviews are pretty costly for me, and having to do so much of this job search from hundreds of miles away impairs my effectiveness and response time a good deal.

Dakota, the 3DGN writer I stayed with in Austin (and my probably future roommate) is a great guy, and his apartment has just the most incredible walk-in closet. His cats are OK, and he has something altogether wonderful: a cable modem. Gahh . . . I’ve gotten a taste of a high bandwidth connection, and I don’t ever want to go back. My modem connection right now just almost makes me want to cry (ok, so that’s a bit much on the hyperbole . . . it was DAMN nice connectivity, though). Friday night we rented Beetle Adventure Racing for the N64 and played that a lot this weekend. That’s a pretty fun little console game, and it even has lava. It locked up when we tried to use the Duel mode though (we think that requires a memory pack) so we lost all the progress we’d made, all the way up to the professional level.

I’m also truly in awe of Dakota’s Quake 2 skills after watching him play in the 3DGN vs. Stomped.com match on Friday night. 3DGN slaughtered Stomped, and it was mainly Dakota and Rob who ruled the maps (though our editor, Rick, was quite the rail-gun whore). I’ve got like 60 e-mails sitting in Outlook now – I’ve read most of them, but haven’t responded to any except the employment related ones yet. If you e-mailed me, be patient, I’ll get to it eventually.

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April 15th, 1999

Out of Town For Job Interview
I’m leaving this morning to drive to Austin for a job interview tomorrow. So, this means that this is probably the only item of news for today or tomorrow. I might be back in time tomorrow to do an update, but I don’t know, and I’m likely to be a bit tired whenever I do get back.

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April 14th, 1999

Geiss: Coolest Screensaver/WinAmp Vis Plugin
A friend of mine (thanks Matt) told me about this tremendously cool WinAmp vis plugin he’d discovered this morning. So, I went and finally upgraded to WinAmp 2.10 (I’ve had 2.09 for a while and just hadn’t bothered with the latest upgrade yet) and was pleased to find out that the new WinAmp will play my Audio CDs now, though I’m a little confused with just what the hell I’m supposed to do with that minibrowser. Anyway, I checked out this plugin he mentioned, called Geiss. It’s available as both a screensaver and as a WinAmp visualization plugin, and both of them respond to music and sounds. Geiss is simply the coolest, most awesome plugin I’ve ever seen. The visual effects are stunning, it’s enthralling to watch it, and you simply have to see it in action to comprehend its coolness. Geiss is also a very small program, both the plugin and the screensaver are under 120k downloads each. WOW. Try it.

Game Gurus Back in Action
Sudden reminded me of something that I’ve simply been forgetting to post the last few days . . . The Game Gurus Network is back up and running, with their main page as well as their various sections and content back online. Game Gurus did lose a lot of staff during their long downtime, however, and they’re looking for some replacements. If you think you might be fit for staffing one of the Game Gurus sections, go check them out.

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April 13th, 1999

Tax Return
I finally did my tax return last night. It looks like I’ll be getting a $379 refund. Doh! I’m kicking myself for not doing it earlier. It’s really unlike me to wait so long to do my taxes, I usually have them done and mailed by early March. Ahh well. I’m thinking I’ll get my refund check around the time the TNT2 Ultras are available . . .

Update on the Fewlio/Frustrated Web War Bit
First off, I’m posting this for news/information purposes, NOT to try to stir things up again. Frustrated has posted a bit on her site entitled “My side of the story” which explains her take on the things she said about fewlio and why she said them. She’s also displaying a list of sites on her news page that have e-mailed her to show support. It’s 14 sites strong as I write this, and I do have to confess that I’ve not heard of most of them, though ERG-MAD.COM and Roosh.net are amongst them. Heh, Frustrated called yggdrasil.net “a pretty big player.” I’m flattered, though I don’t think that’s necessarily true. In what I suspect is a response to that, Shlonglor posted a bit on his site saying “If you have a big site, go over to http://www.frustrated.org/ and support her cause against the wretched and vile fewlio!” Now, in a medium lacking a lot of visual and auditory clues, sarcasm is sometimes hard to detect and it’s all how things read to you – to me, that reads as a pretty sarcastic comment. Shlonglor posted an item today, though, saying that just because he links to or plugs a site, he doesn’t necessarily agree or disagree with the content or opinions there (duh!).

On the opposite side of things, fewlio has posted a Victory page to espouse his side of things, and to gloat. Now throughout most of this, I’ve been quietly supporting Frustrated. That victory page fewlio posted though reaches a new low in taste in my opinion, though, and while I’m sure it’s giving him many giggles, it reads as nothing but self-glorifying spin to me. One thing I particularly take issue with is fewlio’s claims that Frustrated is a proponent of internet censorship and an opponent of free speech. Well, (this is my opinion, just in case there’s any confusion) fewlio is dead wrong and totally misses the point. Censorship is not controlling what is said on your own damn web site, particularly when it’s essentially your own private opinion page. fewlio is tossing out buzzwords of “internet censorship” and “free speech” to draw attention and spur reactions, when those things speak of much greater issues, and it’s a disservice to confuse those issues with his little spat with Frustrated.

Second Article on Memory
Sharky Extreme has the second article in their Memory Guide online. I was pleased to discover that the Memory Guide I posted about before was only the first part, and this second guide deals with Memory Performance. This second guide goes into more detail on the history of memory and does a pretty good job of explaining where the various bottlenecks in performance lie (and why).

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April 12th, 1999

Explanation on Rants, Ravings, Opinions, etc.
A couple of my readers and friends lately have pointed out a couple of web sites out there that are doing daily (or less than daily but still pretty frequently) “Rants” and so forth. One that Minx pointed out to me was Online Gaming World which features a thing called “BK’s Rant” done by KnightBK. Another one that sticks out in my mind is “Razor’s Rant” over at Planet Riva. I’m flattered that some of you care enough to look out for any possible “proprietary idea” or special feature of mine (Ravings of a Zealot) but those features on the other pages are essentially just when someone decides to display their opinion on the news page, and calls it something special. I won’t/don’t do that here, because I pretty much do what they’re doing every day, in every post. I simply don’t give it a fancy headline for the news page to make it SEEM like something special.

Web Wars
Shlonglor recently posted some views of his about “poor people” on his web site (Everything But Gaming). Those views spurred a lot of responses, both in agreement with and opposed to. One of my semi-regular read sites, run by a lady namedFrustrated (who has posted on Shlonglor’s page before and has been linked from there on occasion) posted one of the most notable responses on her own page entitled Trauma and Catharsis in which she says, amongst many other things, “I just read the saddest thing I think I have ever read Infact. I’m not even sure a human wrote it. It was the coldest most unfeeling thing…..God. God help us all.” Shortly thereafter (the next day I believe) a few things happened, all in a short period of time: “fewlio,” webmaster of Game of the Moment finally put up a forum on his site. A plain, stock, uncustomized WWWBoard forum. Shortly thereafter, he announces a new feature on his site entitled “Web Wars.” He describes it thusly:

I’ve decided to institute a new feature to GotM. I call it Web Wars! The idea is to have a war with a rival web page. Nothing nasty, just e-mails, dialogue and debate among the two opposing web pages. The page I currently deem to be an enemy of GotM is www.frustrated.org. The webmaster of that page has gone to great lengths to badmouth not only me, but also you the readers of this page! So head over to that page and post on the message board why GotM is the best and why frustrated.org is the lamest piece of crap ever!

What ensued afterwards, in apparently just a three hour span of time, is people flooding Frustrated’s own recently setup forum and posting all sorts of crap there flaming her and her site and her readers and so forth as encouraged by fewlio. People also posted on GotM’s forum, including people either posting as Frustrated who aren’t her, or fewlio changing the names on a couple of posts to make it look like Frustrated posted them. Frustrated took down her forum, and fewlio declared that as a victory for GotM. Frustrated had her own things to say about that, of course (even in one post comparing his attitude and tactics to that of a date-rapist) – check out her site (and the other sites respectively) to get the full sense of things.

Shee, and I thought the April Fools’ thing was a mess. So, for all of this, I’ve chosen a new Pointless Poll topic to get your opinions on this, and am also curious as to whether or not you all think I should step into this. Right now, I’m sitting on the sidelines watching it all. Part of me want to just go on and try to stay away from it. Part of me thinks it would be damned amusing to try to get fewlio to declare war on yggdrasil.net and be the next “victim” of his Web Wars, or to just declare war on him and his site myself. All in all, when it comes right down to it, this is extremely tempting to me, since it would be such a fun and wonderful exchange of opinions (perhaps it’s time I brush up on the banning and message deletion options for my forum script), and it’s also extremely frightening, since it could be such a huge pain in the ass flame-fest.

Overall, while I qualify this by saying that I haven’t read ALL the associated material (particlarly since Frustrated’s forum is down and some of it cannot be read) on this whole thing, I have to tend to side with Frustrated.

New Pointless Poll Topic
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “It’s about time.” Yes, the previous Pointless Poll Topic (How long until 3dfx dies?) has been up the longest of any of the Pointless Poll topics. First, I had a hard time coming up with an idea for a new topic. My excuse is that my mind has been on far too many other things lately. Secondly, when the 3dfx/Glide Wrapper thing started to heat up again, I decided to leave the poll up to see if that affected things much. As it turns out, this is the closest of all the polls I’ve run thus far, with a fairly even split between “What are you nuts? 3dfx forever!” with 26.4% – (89 Votes), and “They’re dead before Christmas” with 24.6% – (83 Votes). As always, you can check out the full results of the last poll with thePrevious Poll Results page.

The new topic is “Site/Web Wars: Good idea or bad idea?” This one was inspired by my thoughts and ponderings over the entire GOTM/Frustrated/Shlonglor thing. The news post above this one should explain and clarify what I mean for ya.

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April 10th, 1999

Logitech Wingman Gaming Mouse Review at FiringSquad
CalBear at Thresh’s FiringSquad has reviewed the “new” Logitech Wingman Gaming Mouse. Logitech claims that this new mouse is “the first one designed exlusively for gamers.” Well, there are some nice new features to the mouse that I like a lot (USB baby!) but the physical design (shape and dimensions) of the mouse are exactly like the mouse I currently use, and have used and loved since late summer 1997, the good old plain Logitech MouseMan. I was mildly upset with Logitech because they quit making the model of mouse I have, and instead went to really funky shapes with those blasted mousewheels. Now, with the Wingman Gaming Mouse, the mouse shape and feel I know and love is back, and with USB support. This thing is definitely going on my mid-term shopping list. Ironically, the new mouse has a suggested retail price that’s a good bit less than what I paid for my MouseMan.

Glide Underground vs. 3dfx News
Yesterday, there was somewhat of a worry that Glide Underground might have been shut down, as their web server seemed to be inaccessible for a while. Today, I was relieved to discover that they are indeed up and running strong. In fact, Khalid Shaikh has started to speak out once more, and has started a sub-page on the site, entitled 3dfx: the last straw. This page goes into length detailing 3dfx’s legal maneuvering, and is a good read for anyone interested in seeing how 3dfx is conducting things regarding the entire wrapper issue. I learned there that, quite amusingly, 3dfx’s drivers for the Voodoo3 don’t work to well with the UltraHLE emulator, and people are having to run one of the Glide wrappers to get it to work right. *snicker* There’s also a petition on the site that you can read and sign if you wish. There’s over 650 signatures on it in less than 2 days of being up, and there is an option to leave comments on the petition – some of those are interesting reads.

3DGN Tomorrowland Update, Requiem Demo Review
Two new articles went up at 3DGN last night. The first is a semi-regular feature we call Tomorrowland. This latest installment of Tomorrowland takes a look at 3 upcoming games: Oni, Prince of Persia 3D, and Vampire: The Masquerade. Oni looks really cool to me . . . it’s a very anime-style 3D shooter, and not only can the main character, Konoko, do all the usual shooter weaponry stuff, you can also get into martial arts hand-to-hand battles. Any anime-like game has a huge potential to suck me into it, and I hope this one ends up to be cool. Vampire: The Masquerade also has some potential for coolness there, with the entire Vampire mythos behind it. One has to think back to id and DOOM for their demons, since there seem to be a lot of supernatural themes in shooters lately.

The second new article at 3DGN is an updated demo review of Requiem: Avenging Angel. Requiem is a new shooter where you play as an angel, Malachi, out to crack some heads and battle fallen angels and their minions. There’s a lot of standard shooter fare and gun battles, but it adds a fun element with spells that can be used with/in combat as well. One of the ones mentioned in the demo review is a Time Warp spell, where everything goes into slow-motion and you can pull some Matrix-like bullet dodging and other cool stuff.

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April 9th, 1999

3DGN Gangsters Demo Review
I have this fascination with Gangsters. Not the modern day street-trash gangsta-rap sterotype stuff, but the old classy 30s sort of pin-striped double-breasted suit sterotype stuff. Tommy guns and casinos and speakeasies. Carnage and brotherhood and payola. New 3DGN writer Thomas Soles has done a demo review of Gangsters that’s quite a fun read. The review makes me worry a little bit about Thomas though, so that means he’ll fit right in at 3DGN. My editor Rick tossed this release blurb my way:

I say, if you try and don’t succeed . . . kill every man in the room and proclaim yourself the victor, Dammit! This is the way of the Gangster. Now read 3DGN’s demo review or Andrew ‘Slim Guts’ Murphy will fit ya’ mama with heavy shoes!

25k Today
Judging from the LiveCounter this morning, yggdrasil.net should hit 25 thousand uniques on the news page today. Yay. Yippee! Anyone who wants to claim being the 25 thousandth visitor (not actually accurate, because that counter only counts sessions on the news page) that e-mails me will get a mention in my news. Screenshots help, but they’re easy to fake . . . so, I’ll post the most creative faked screenshot for the 25 thousand mark. Of course, I just won’t post any if nobody send any in or if they all suck.

FiringSquad FPS vs. RTS Face Off
Thresh and Kenn over at Thresh’s FiringSquad have posted a new Face Off, this time it’s FPS vs. RTS. For those of you confused with all the acronyms FPS is First Person Shooter – ala Quake – (in this context . . . it can ALSO be Frames Per Second. To really confuse things, FPS are frequently mentioned about FPS games.), and RTS is Real Time Strategy – ala StarCraft. The article is basically a good comparison about what’s good and competitive about both games. The conclusion they post is “diplomatic” (read that as “cop-out” if you wish), but I tend to side with Kenn’s point of view throughout the article. Now, if only Ilya would get the hint . . .

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