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User information for Steve Wood

Real Name Steve Wood   
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Nickname Rockn-Roll
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Rock (Ibanez 7-string guitar into Marshall amp) and Roll (Corvette Stingray).

Computer Engineer for 28 years...mostly corporate applications, but some gaming. Have worked for/with Gamespy, Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and People Soft.
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jun 25, 2004, 10:25
Total Comments 275 (Amateur)
User ID 21182
 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 Hardware Guide
78. Re: doom 3 Jul 29, 2004, 23:56 Rockn-Roll
 
Several local Gamestops (not just the one near me, but local to various people across IRC) are now telling customers that they'll be SELLING Doom 3 on August 1st. It's doubtful, but they seem adamant about it.

Most Gamestops I have called/visited have no clue about the impact that Doom3 will have. They mostly seem to think it's just another pc game. As with all of these kind of enterprises it's the teen that is being marketed, and most of them just have console systems.

But, it looks to me like you have a GameStop near you that actually knows what is going to happen. The three retailers: GameStop, EBgames, and BestBuy will all be getting priority shipments based on their pre-purchase sales a day or two before Aug 3rd (like on the 1st), so they can open up on the 3rd and hand them out. However, keep in mind that any GameStop allowing any copies out the door before the 3rd is violating their contract and may face disciplinary measures from Activision and/or idsoftware. If I go to my GameStop on the 3rd and ask for my copy of Doom3, that I've already paid for, and the yutz behind the counter says they are sold out I'm gonna be fragging mad!

I went to my GameStop just yesterday for a Doom3 rehearsal (the guy was not enthused) and he verified my pre-purchase and looked up the release date on his computer and it indeed said Aug 3rd.

Bottom Line: You've waited several years, so you can wait a couple more days.
 
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
1. Power drain Jul 29, 2004, 01:42 Rockn-Roll
 
Great link Blue! I've got a server running...an old P2-350 dual processor machine. And, I leave my P4 1.4Ghz running as well. The fans make a lot of noise and my mom was thinking it was drawing a lot of power. I keep telling her that it's much less than the night lights that we have on, and that her pool filter which has two motors draws far more. Now, at least she can see that there is some proof there.  
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News Comments > DOOM 3 Gets Creative
102. No subject Jul 27, 2004, 01:34 Rockn-Roll
 
SWEEEEEEEET!  
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News Comments > On DOOM 3 Settings
105. Re: video memory Jul 27, 2004, 01:31 Rockn-Roll
 
be nice if system memory could be used with the video card, then I would be able to use the Ultra mode no problem

The use of system memory is by default selectable by the video card driver. However, the driver can be forced to use only video memory, or system memory by setting the correct flags. Keep in mind though, if system memory is used then the available bandwidth will be limited to the AGP port speed. It will be interesting to see how the game performs on the variety of configurations out here.

For example, I've got a P4 1.4Mhz with 400Mhz FSB and 384MB of RAMBUS memory, and a FX 5200 128MB graphics card (was a GeForce 2 Ultra until couple of weeks ago) onto a 22" Iiyama monitor and a Live Platinum sound card through a 5.1 Theater from Cambridge. Basically, top of the line in 2001 with a minimal upgrade on the graphics card.

I'm hoping that I can run on medium quality, but I'll settle for low quality until I can upgrade.
 
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News Comments > Reznor on DOOM 3
52. Re: No subject Jul 21, 2004, 12:02 Rockn-Roll
 
Excellent! Thanks Blue. I am checking the site daily in hopes of seeing more Doom3 information to keep me hyped up before the release date...which is quickly arriving.

I wish I was in a position to do some work on a Doom3 mod. Alas, I'm stuck in school trying to get a computer engineering degree so that the gaming systems a decade from now will be like a star trek holodeck. Dang, which is more important...immediate gratification or future ecstacy?
 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 - Client/Server Yes, DVD No
88. There's light ahead. Jul 18, 2004, 15:02 Rockn-Roll
 
We will have to see what is in the game after the game comes out and we can see for ourselves. But, I do believe I remember id throwing something together quickly just to get the p2p working solely for demonstration.

I've been closely following first person gaming since Quake came out, and even spoken with ToddH and exchanged emails when I was running the old deathmatch database on PlanetQuake back in the late 90's, to the extent that I was selected to post the review of Quake2:Ground Zero that made the front page of Gamespy...it was my 15 minutes of fame...probably the only that I've ever get...if you want to ask why I mention it.

ToddH is the CEO, and as such he directs where the company resources would be best deployed, and what projects should be produced. Of course since Doom3 is actually being boxed up for shipment, we know that John Carmack and the other veteran id members can influence Todd's direction. Also, ToddH and Carmack seemed to have agreed that the focus on Doom3 would be the first person game...John said as much in the interview we saw yesterday. This is indeed the exact same process that John used in the original development of Doom. The interview also revealed that the current focus of idsoftware is on multiplayer Doom3, just like what happened with the original Doom (though I'm usure whether they did a second episode before adding multiplayer).

The point I'm making is that no matter what MP aspect is in the game that ships, it is definitely NOT the MP Doom3 game, but just the code leftover from Quakecon. Do you really think that idsoftware would just make a 4 player MP game?

Another thing to contemplate is that after MP Doom3 is released ToddH is going to move id into the project that he wanted to do before work on Doom3 began. Nobody knows what that project is yet, but any sequels to Doom3, such as mission packs, mods, etc. will be generated by other people. I figured that Rogue Entertainment would want to do a mission pack, but they have virtually disappeared! Apparently United Developers bought Rogue and then killed it to collect on the estate. I have not heard anyone stepping up to claim any work on a mission pack, but who knows? Blue? I see that RavenSoft who developed Hexen2 is working on Quake4 if you can believe that, so instead of a Doom3 mission pack we may see a title named Quake4 backed by the Doom3 engine...sweeet!
 
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News Comments > Game Movies - DOOM 3
16. Re: I'm preordered at EBGames near my house Jul 17, 2004, 15:04 Rockn-Roll
 
Doom3 is gonna Rock! I am also anticipating a huge number of software titles coming out next year which will be using the Doom3 engine. On your mark, get set, MOD!

The figurines and posters are limited edition units. I don't know what each store has done with them, but each store has a different miniature. I bought one at GameStop to get the Baron of Hell. From what I heard at the store GameStop shipped all of their limited supplies already. There will be no more forthcoming that I know of. You can always check of course, and pre-ordering is definitely recommended so that you can get a copy on release day, otherwise it may take awhile to get one.

I'm guessing that the hardware requirements will be the same as for Thief3:Deadly Shadows, which is a graphics card with Pixel Shader 2.0 that began with nVidia's GeForce FX line, though the GeForce 3 Ti and GeForce 4 Ti were retro-fitted with the shader and would work fine as well.

 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 Press Release
95. Doom3 Episodes? Jul 15, 2004, 16:42 Rockn-Roll
 
The original Doom began with Knee-Deep in the Dead, but it continued with The Shores of Hell, Inferno, then Thy Flesh Consumed. Is this just the first Episode?

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
19. Hmmm, I wonder where this post pop up? Jul 15, 2004, 16:34 Rockn-Roll
 
As I've been developing software for over 20 years, by far, the most secure and efficient web system development tool is currently VB.net since it includes an upgraded Webclass driver that never hits the hard drive...yep...requests for web pages do not depend on hard drive activity (unless it's a hit to designated archive DB tables). That is to say that a database such as MSSQL Server must be used since it will keep current table sets in memory and only read/write when there is a need due to memory space and/or spare CPU time.

Any web system that is file based is going to get plowed under since every request for the page must go through the same code proceses. Class based requests go much faster because a new class, hence duplicate code, is created so that each request can proceed independent of any other requests.

Anyway, the main problem with such a system is that the user interface needs to be intuitive and include all the options necessary to give the user the same features and versatility as a file based system. Unfortunately, there is no boxed software that will do this for you which means hiring a programmer...and we need at least $40/hour just to make expenses.

Anyway, sorry you went down; though, it is a sign that Doom3 will be the biggest hit for several years to come. This time BluesNews becomes part of the news itself!

 
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News Comments > On the DOOM 3 Date
85. Re: Doom3 System Requirements? Jun 25, 2004, 15:27 Rockn-Roll
 
look into ATI's 9600XT line, unless of course you hate ATI

I don't hate ATI. It's just that in the beginning of the graphics card war, some of the games just would not run on an ATI, and many of the others would run, but with problems. Then came the battle between 3dFX and OpenGL support which ATI fully supported 3dFX internally, but OpenGL was an external dll which ran in computer memory and not in the graphics card...thus slow. It just seems to me that ATI has made the wrong choice each time. That's how nVidia found it's niche...supporting OpenGL internally so that flawless graphics for Quake was a reality...they also worked with Carmack as did Microsoft. Much of the really good stuff in DirectX is in there because of nVidia and Carmack leveraging their power against Microsoft to make sure that the industry get better as it grows. From what I can see from Thief3 and it's use of Pixel Shaders for shadows, the difference in the new games will be astounding. Quite possibly a bigger jump than we saw from Doom to Quake, or even from Quake to Quake2. I'm sure Doom3 will include a lot of attention to detail...a flying flaming skull isn't very scary if you can see through it's cheekbone, or a monsters face is made up of just five sides and the nose is just painted on.

I would not upgrade my graphics card for just one game

No, I will have to dissagree with you there. Doom3 or one of the other games coming out this year (HL2, TF2 for starters) will definitely require a better graphics card and I guarantee you will find it worth the money.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
17. LCD may not be a total loss. Jun 25, 2004, 14:49 Rockn-Roll
 
We briefly covered the working details of LCD's in my last semester in digital circuitry. All of our projects had to display their output on a raw LCD 7-segment display grid...an LCD monitor is very similar in operation. An LCD is made of a material in the form of crystals which in their natural state allow light to pass straight through. The material is sandwiched between two light polarizing (like sunglasses) plates which line up the light waves as they pass through the material. The plates are connected to electrodes so that a voltage can be applied. When a voltage is applied then the crystals between the two plates will twist and change the polarity of the light and thus will prevent the light from passing through the polarized plate on the other side. This website should help you understand better, it has a neat java image that allows you to turn the voltage on and off: http://www.geocities.com/ryansportfolio2003/LCD.html

OK, now that I am sure we are on the same page, the LCD itself rarely gets damaged. One property of the crystals are that if a voltage is held constant on them, or the crystals are in direct sunlight or some other forms of radiation then the crystals will lock in place and won't move, so the voltage must be applied in an alternating fashion by toggling the polarity of the plates between negative and positive. The sweet spot frequency of this alternating voltage is usually around 200Hz to 400Hz depending on the LCD and is controlled by a very simple circuit of which the parts usually cost less than $10.00 (not counting the programming that is stored in the chips). What normally would happen is this controller would fail and have to be replaced, or it could just be the power supply. But, in any case the LCD itself is normally not damaged at all, and it is the most expensive piece.

So...don't dump it in the garbage! It can easily be restored to full operating condition for very little money by the manufacturer.

On another slant...your problem may not be brownouts or anything of the like. It could just be voltage instability...have someone measure your line voltage in your office for a short period of time and see how much it fluctuates. Digital devices have to convert line power to a very tight range of values between 0 and 5 volts, and the voltage regulator circuits get a real workout if the line voltage is fluctuating too much. We see this in our circuits lab all the time due to the large number of devices using the same line source.

You have pointed out that you are using a UPS, but what you probably don't have is a line conditioner...they used to be expensive, but due to digital circuitry and switching power supplies, a good line conditioner or voltage regulator like these: http://www.smartpowersystems.com/New/Products/LC/lc.htm or obtain specs here: http://www.smartpowersystems.com/lc.htm
and cost around $100 which can be added to your system if you want to keep your current UPS or you might want to look at APC systems which have integrated voltage regulators and run around $200. The prices for these devices have dropped dramatically in the last decade, so take advantage of them...they can save that $500 monitor. APC also recommends that printers be plugged into a different line than your UPS and power conditioner due to the motors and stuff creating a lot of noise on the lines.


 
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News Comments > On the DOOM 3 Date
79. Doom3 System Requirements? Jun 25, 2004, 07:17 Rockn-Roll
 
The only "Official" word is that Doom3 will be out this summer. This only means that it will be released before Sept 22 cause that is the first day of Autumn...but, perhaps Toddh meant the equitorial summer (which is year round). Or, perhaps Toddh really is going to select some gamers and stuff them into one of those nutty private space ships and blast them off to mars.

On another subject...I just had to buy a new graphics card for Thief: DS, but could only afford a 128MB GeForce 5200 FX. It's really not faster than my 64MB GeForce 2 Ultra, except that it's got dual RAMDACs and a pixel shader. Should I trade it back in for something better? Will Doom3 require a better card? I think I can catch a sale on 5700's in the next week or so...

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
166. No subject Jun 25, 2004, 06:54 Rockn-Roll
 
Ah...I think I see your conundrum. I believe the Architect is speaking as a conqueror and has already included his current battle to the list of victories he has accrued in the war. People who are sure of an outcome frequently speak in terms of the outcome already coming to pass. But, indeed it is a human trait and not something we would expect from a machine. But, then again trait is a word just like confidence.

Well, anyway, that's my slant.

 
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News Comments > Thief Gold Demo
3. Doom3 System Requirements? Jun 25, 2004, 06:38 Rockn-Roll
 
I just had to buy a new graphics card for Thief: DS, but could only afford a 128MB GeForce 5200 FX. It's really not faster than my 64MB GeForce 2 Ultra, except that it's got dual RAMDACs and a pixel shader. Should I trade it back in for something better? Will Doom3 require a better card? I think I can catch a sale on 5700's in the next week or so...

 
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News Comments > Thief Gold Demo
2. Re: Thief Gold 1.37 patch Jun 25, 2004, 06:26 Rockn-Roll
 
I don't think so, but you can check out the Eidos forums to see if there is: http://www.eidosinteractive.com/forums/index.html

 
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275 Comments. 14 pages. Viewing page 14.
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