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Real Name Tom   
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Signed On May 21, 2000, 15:34
Total Comments 1167 (Pro)
User ID 4838
 
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News Comments > Morning Crowdfunding Roundup
13. Re: Morning Crowdfunding Roundup Oct 21, 2014, 18:16 Tom
 
There was some very interesting stuff about the Amiga's development in Brian Bagnall's book "On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore". Unfortunately, according to Amazon reviews, the second edition of the same book, re-titled "Commodore: A Company on the Edge", omits the Amiga content in favor of another yet-to-be-published book, "Commodore: The Amiga Years". That book was in the works but then shelved indefinitely last year. Oh well.  
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News Comments > I am Bread Trailer
9. Re: I am Bread Trailer Oct 20, 2014, 19:00 Tom
 
Methinks that piece of bread ain't the only thing on "a quest to become toasted."  
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News Comments > Sunday Legal Briefs
1. Re: Sunday Legal Briefs Oct 19, 2014, 19:07 Tom
 
Geez Ars, I thought you were better than that.  
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
3. Re: Evening Tech Bits Oct 9, 2014, 20:20 Tom
 
Creston wrote on Oct 9, 2014, 18:18:
Yay, 2 Symantecs. What will they be called? "Shit" and "Worthless?"
You're far too kind.
 
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News Comments > FINAL FANTASY XIII Released; Only Supports 720p
5. Re: FINAL FANTASY XIII Released; Only Supports 720p Oct 9, 2014, 18:36 Tom
 
This game suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks so bad, 720p should be the LEAST of anyone's worries! And yeah, "unforgettable storyline"? Utterly shameless. But what the hell, right? It's not like these folks had any credibility left to lose anyway.  
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News Comments > Evening Mobilization
2. Re: Evening Mobilization Oct 8, 2014, 20:05 Tom
 
That Windows Phone article is hilarious. After 3 years of using Windows Phone phones, I've still never seen another person with one.  
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News Comments > Sunday Safety Dance
3. Re: Sunday Safety Dance Oct 5, 2014, 14:22 Tom
 
The real reason the Internet is broken, and the source of our woes, is trashy clickbait articles like this one. ZOMG!  
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
14. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 4, 2014, 01:00 Tom
 
Lorcin wrote on Oct 3, 2014, 23:07:
Sorry if I missed the naunces of dogfighting back then but my tactic was:

1) Install all mining lasers
2) Shot target when it was a single pixel on the screen

That worked great when I was ten - and I have very happy memories of shooting single pixels with lasers powerful enough to destroy meteors for hours!!!
You should see the complaints from newbies in the ED forums about easy stuff like docking... I never played the original Elite so my comment was based on old timers' descriptions of how it compares to ED when it comes to difficulty of various things.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
10. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 21:55 Tom
 
Before beta 2 I was a bit discouraged with the VR experience. After trying 2.0x, I feel a lot better about the future. Visual quality is greatly improved. Performance is greatly improved. Judder is all but eliminated. The galaxy map is usable - still not registering mouse input properly but at least it doesn't crash the game now. The game feels good enough in VR now that I don't expect to ever play it on a monitor again, unless I experience a hardware failure or something. And things are only going to get better.

I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying this will be a killer app for VR. The gameplay, while far more forgiving than the original Elite, is still too difficult and open-ended to get the kind of mainstream exposure one typically associates with a killer app. But it will certainly achieve a great deal of success.

You are wise to wait. I couldn't. For me it was just too long without a good space sim, too much love for the genre, and too little willpower to stay away.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
6. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 20:29 Tom
 
NKD wrote on Oct 3, 2014, 20:07:
Is there anything to do in the game yet? Last I checked in on it there wasn't much to do.
Yes, there's plenty to do. But this game won't hand it to you on a silver plate. There's no compass needle always guiding you to the next selected quest in your journal. You have to decide for yourself. It's not for everyone.

Scott Manley has some nice videos about what there is to do, like his latest about exploration. Also see Isinona's videos.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches
2. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 Launches Oct 3, 2014, 19:59 Tom
 
Yeah, it's just you.  
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
1. Re: Evening Tech Bits Sep 29, 2014, 23:17 Tom
 
MIT Media Labs Ethan Zuckerman wrote an essay for The Atlantic in August in which he apologized for ruining the Web by coming up with the idea for the pop-up ad while with an early Internet company called Tripod. I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. Im sorry. Our intentions were good.
It's ok, Wladimir Palant fixed your mistake.
 
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News Comments > etc.
14. Re: etc. Sep 27, 2014, 23:20 Tom
 
Agreed, if you aren't man enough to buy separate rudder pedals, this isn't the product for you.

The real feel is great to have but the performance and reliability is even better IMO. Man, I need to try that aerial refueling sometime... in VR.
 
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News Comments > etc.
5. Re: etc. Sep 27, 2014, 16:10 Tom
 
You get what you pay for. A couple of years ago I faced a choice: keep buying cheap Saitek crap every few years, or invest in something that would perform well and keep on working for a long time. I picked up a Warthog in 2012 and it's been well worth it. Is it as perfect as this article paints it? No. But it's close enough. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.  
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News Comments > Wasteland 2 Earns $1.5M
49. Re: Wasteland 2 Earns $1.5M Sep 24, 2014, 18:29 Tom
 
Sho wrote on Sep 24, 2014, 18:13:
My 2 cents: Fallout 3 got the gameplay right, but Bethesda simply can't write dialog or create memorable characters to save their lives. New Vegas retained the gameplay and amped up the writing massively (which includes creates a gamespace with actually interesting social dynamics) and was a much better game for it overall. NV might just be my favorite Fallout, actually.
Yeah I think you're right on the money there. It's a shame too. Imagine how much better Oblivion and Skyrim could've been if they'd just had some decent writers.
 
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News Comments > Gauntlet Released
3. Re: Gauntlet Released Sep 23, 2014, 21:17 Tom
 
I know it's a classic, but I always thought the original sucked. Just not very fun and and not good value for the quarters you had to pump into it. It would be weird to play it without needing to pay...  
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News Comments > Morning Interviews
3. Re: Morning Interviews Sep 22, 2014, 18:29 Tom
 
The virtual meeting thing does seem pretty dumb. Who wants to be looking at a clumsy avatar version of the person they're talking to? Now, if they could convincingly reproduce mouth movement and facial expressions, that might be a different story, but that seems like a long way off. I'm not particularly interested in watching movies in VR either, although it could be nice in a reasonably calm, space-constrained environment like an airplane. I imagine early adopters would be rather conspicuous but I could see it becoming commonplace in the future.

The coolest non-gaming applications of VR I've seen so far are in architectural visualization and virtual tourism/recon. Giving people the opportunity to experience your idea/concept in VR is potentially far more compelling and enlightening than just showing pictures or video. You can let people wander around a place or examine an object that doesn't exist yet. Or if it does exist - like a rental property or home/office for sale - even better.

On the virtual tourism front, I've already spent hours exploring all kinds of places with Google Street View on the DK2. Even though it's not officially supported yet, what people have managed to hack together is really amazing. It's by far the best way to experience Street View. You actually feel like you're there. You can naturally look around in any direction and there's a real sense of depth and scale. That bus in the next lane over? Feels like it's right next to you. That tall building nearby? You have to look way up to see the top. I've toured both indoor and outdoor spaces with Street View and both work extremely well. Going back to looking at it on a monitor later on was a real let-down.
 
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News Comments > New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk
14. Re: New Oculus VR Unit; Carmack's VR Talk Sep 21, 2014, 19:39 Tom
 
DrSquick wrote on Sep 21, 2014, 18:56:
Silly question, but can computers handle that? You would need to be able to do 1440p at 120FPS to have 3d 1440p at 60Hz per eye, right?
The short answer is yes, computers can handle that.

The long answer is, it's complicated. Basically the scene has to be rendered twice, once for each eye, but this doesn't have the same cost as doubling the frame rate. There is certain overhead associated with each frame that doesn't have to be duplicated for each eye. Then there's resolution. The Oculus SDK documentation says that for the 1280x800 screen of the Oculus Rift DK1, the scene needed to be rendered at 2000x1056 (about 2x as many pixels) in order to get the center of the view to not be too blurry, because of the way the FOV and lens distortion works. This amount is a tweakable quality setting and will help you get to the frame rate you want, if necessary, although it's obviously not good to have to resort to this. It's up to developers how to set this and whether to expose it as a setting the user can control.

Right now, on the DK2 with its 1080p screen, a single GTX 780 is enough to easily get a solid 75 fps in most things that were designed for VR. For things that were not designed specifically for VR, it varies - some require vast decreases in quality settings and still run choppy (DCS, Elite: Dangerous), while others can run at full frame rate with high or max quality settings (LFS, Bioshock Infinite). I expect that the new stuff from NVIDIA will go a long way towards handling the demands of VR on a 1440p screen, particularly the SLI work. Proper SLI support with each card working on the rendering of one eye should be great.

By the way, I was getting 60 fps at 1440p on a 2D monitor with a 570. Sometimes I could even get nice antialiasing. A 770 should easily be able to get 60 fps at 1440p on a 2D monitor. Will it be enough for VR at 1440p? Probably, but maybe at lower quality settings than you might like. Keep in mind the Samsung Gear lets you use a Galaxy Note 4 with its 1440p display as a VR display, and they have games running on that. Your 770 is way more powerful than the GPU in even the best brand new phone, don't you think?

If you're the type that absolutely must crank every quality setting to the max, you're going to need a very beefy computer to do that with a 1440p VR headset. But if you're ok with some medium settings, you may be surprised at what is possible on mid to upper mid range hardware. And forget about low end crap like Intel graphics, of course.

It will be a big challenge for developers to make their software efficient and scalable but it's not all that different from the challenge they've always faced on the PC. One of the defining characteristics of the platform. Although with VR, the penalty for a drop in framerate is far more severe right now than on a 2D monitor - you get terribly uncomfortable stuttering when turning your head if the framerate falls below the refresh rate of the display (75Hz for the DK2). This problem should be lessened for those developers that implement asynchronous timewarp properly. (NVIDIA says they're trying to help with this as well with what they call "asynchronous warp").
 
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News Comments > Sunday Safety Dance
3. Re: Sunday Safety Dance Sep 21, 2014, 18:10 Tom
 
Yeah well, it wouldn't hurt for them to be a little more proactive too. "We sell hammers." Great excuse...  
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus
57. Re: Elite: Dangerous Launch Pricing and Preorder Bonus Sep 13, 2014, 11:22 Tom
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 13, 2014, 10:45:
Sounds like spaces version of taking one to the knee.
Not really. Not being able to afford the insurance is completely avoidable with just the slightest bit of sense. That so many people get caught in this situation in Elite: Dangerous is a sad reflection of our society.
 
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1167 Comments. 59 pages. Viewing page 1.
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