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Mailbag
June 15,1999 -- Previous Mailbag

Letters are edited for spelling errors only, and may contain profanity. Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

Joke? What joke?

From: James Boswell
Subject: Virginha Incident...

"the new game uses the power of the Intel® Pentium® III processor to enhance human behaviors and artificial intelligence, contributing for a deeper virtual experience"

Deeper virtual experience?!?!

Is it my imagination, or are these guys in on the joke and trying to milk it as much as possible?
--
James Boswell

I have no idea what you're talking about. Yeah...that's it. ;)

Woopsie.

From: Nigel Swan
Subject: Star Wars

>From Blues News:
Episode 1 Racer Demo [loonyboi-2:04 PM EDT]
GameSpot has the Episode 1: Racer demo available for download. The reasonably sized (15.5 meg) demo shows off this hardware-accelerated racing title based on the movie everyone and their brother has seen by now

Please guys - you are I assume trying to be a world-wide game site (and very good at it you are too) so please don't put in general comments like this. Maybe "everyone and their brother" have seen the movie in the USA but it has not even been released in the UK yet in fact not many places in the world outside North America have seen it.

Peace
--
Nigel Swan

Woopsie. That would be my goof...I forget sometimes that not everyone (and likewise their siblings) lives in the US. Or, for that matter, that Star Wars isn't out everywhere yet.

Dhabih Maul?

From: Nathan French
Subject: Darth Maul Link

I just thought I'd mention that Dhabih Eng, who drew that Darth Maul picture, is one of Valve Software's employees (I believe he worked on Half-Life to some extent on a contract basis and was later hired for real). If Lucasarts were smart they would try to steal him, that pic looks better than the actual movie.

Pesky Windows...

From: buzard
Subject: Comment

Your comment about not ever having problems running DOS as opposed to windows really hits home. I think I had to adjust my DOS settings 5 times in something like 6 years. And only ever had one game that I could not get to work. Since I started in on W95/98 I've done neat things like take 5 days to get a HD to format, watched W95 install an additional modem 14 startups in a row. I have to update drivers almost weekly. I truly spend more time getting things to work than I do using the computer. One of my 2 computers (I've been networking for about 5 years) will soon be Linux. If I don't like that I will end up with a MAC. There is something to be said in "freedom from choice" with the MAC.

Just wanted to let you know it's not just you!
buzard

I agree that I probably had less unexplained problems with MSDOS than I do on a regular basis with Windows 9x, but I don't know about not changing my DOS settings repeatedly. I have many horrible memories of memory management under DOS, not to mention the uber-pain in the tuchus that came along with DOS-based sound cards. *shudder*

Life in a can?

From: ahart
Subject: Gamecenter's The Top 10 Games You'll Never See

I'm not sure what was funnier... the top ten list or some of the links in them (I never really wanted to know there was a "Joanie love Chachie" page)....Reading through them though, I thought "Fish: Life in the Can" was actually a good idea for a game. It would definitely be challenging... though you would probably have to make it an futurisitc alien prison so people didn't whine their ethnicity was improperly portrayed in the game.

Defrag your memory.

From: Skippy
Subject: memory in Win98!

I think we all know about win98 and how it uses memory, I happened upon this nifty little app that "defrags" memory, clearing out clutter and giving your system the "FRESH reboot feeling" (shameless plug from their web page....sorry)

its called memturbo and can be found at www.memturbo.com, there is a free trial period, and it does work. it also allows you to tweak a few other things in your system. I hope Blue will give it a try, maybe Win98 wouldn't be so bad after all if we all used this...........

Skippy
Skippy@total.net


Who does this guy think we are?

From: LIEN KNIGHT
Subject:

Hi, I'm ANDY I bought one of your games. I played very hard on that game. Your game broke, it wasn't me cause I kep't good care of it. The game I bought was DUKE NUKEM TIME TO KILL the game always freeze after a level and cause of that I have to save after each level. This bothers me cause when I find a surprise I can't paly it and if I can't play it I can't get a beter gun. So can you email me my email adress is ******@*******.com

You know, it never fails to amaze me how letters like this get sent to every site i've ever been affiliated with. And the strangest thing is that 3/4 of them are Duke Nukem related. Hm...

Sick of interviews.

From: Phreakus
Subject: Lame id interviews!

Hey Blue,

Here's my beef...what's with the abundance of horrible interviews of id personal. I mean I can not be the only one who thinks the questions asked to these video gaming celebrities are total crap. For example read the latest interview of Christian Antkow. The first question asks "...what you do at id?" COME ON! I can go to id's web site and find out that kind of information. How can somebody who has the honor of interviewing an id-ster ask such lame questions? Why don't we just ask what John Carmack does at id? The next question in the interview is just as good.

"...what is the best feature of the new engine?" I think that almost every interview of an id person, which I've read; has had that question. And guess what the answer always is....CURVED SURFACES!! Wow! Isn't that a big surprise?

Do any of these people bother to read any of the interviews that have already been posted? Note the last two recently posted interviews of Graeme were almost exactly the same in content. One of these interviews had such questions as "...when will the game be released?" We all know the answer to that question. It's the same answer we
have gotten from every other gaming company for the last two years..."When it's done". I'm not asking for a lot. I just wish people would ask questions that would provoke an answer with some good content. Content that we can't easily find on id's web page or figure out on our own. If you look at Rust's recent interview of Paul Jaquays you will see exactly what I mean. This is a great interview with lots of good information. At the very least I wish these interviews would make their questions a bit more interesting. For example I've been dying to know answers to the following questions....There are still fans out there that swear by the quality of the original quake and it's net code.

These fans will never be satisfied with anything other than original quake. Similar to the many fans of the original team fortress mod that will probably be playing the 2fort map when they're eighty. What do you think of Quake super-fans and strong loyalties toward one mod or game?

...or...

The open source movement seems to be gaining stronger support these days. It seems viable that the gaming industry could be part of this movement by releasing the source of the game when it goes gold but still sell the precompiled binaries with the games content (i.e. level, graphics, sounds). What is your take on open source, and it's effect if any on the gaming industry? If you're going through the effort to interview someone in the gaming industry you might as well spend some time to prepare intelligent questions.

Steve

Step by step directions.

From: Tony Fabris
Subject: How To Read Blue's News

This is going to sound silly, but I've got a tip for readers of Blue's News (or any other news site, for that matter). It's something I've been doing for years now, and although it's pitifully obvious, I'll bet that many readers haven't thought of it yet.

Some of us have discovered that reading through the daily 3D gaming news can be time-consuming. There's so much information, it gets hard to keep on top of all the latest developments. When reading a News page such as Blue's News, each day there will often be more than one link you'd like to check out. But if you follow the link immediately, you'll lose the "flow" of scanning the news page, and you'll have to go back and pick up where you left off. If you read all the way to the end of the News page first, you might forget which links you wanted to follow in the first place. There's also the pain of waiting for each page to load.The solution? I have a dead-simple technique that I use every day to scan all the important news quickly and efficiently with virtually no waiting, and no going backward to chase forgotten links. Here it is.

How To Read Blue's News:

1. Go to Blue's News.

2. Begin reading through the News page.

3. When you see a link you're interested in, right-click on the link and select "Open in new window" (or whatever similar command your particular browser has for this feature).

4. A new window will open and begin loading the page that Blue linked.

5. Don't wait for the new page to load. Immediately switch back to the Blue's News window and continue reading the News page. (If your windows are arranged properly, you should only have to click on the title bar of the Blue's News page to do this. Or you can press alt-tab.)

6. Continue reading the News page and repeat this procedure for each link you're interested in.

7. The other linked pages will continue loading in the background while you leisurely scan the News page for more cool stuff.

8. When you're done reading the News page, close that window. The other windows you opened will be sitting right there, all loaded and ready for you to read and close in sequence.See? It's like having the news digested and organized for you, right on your desktop.

Now, as I said, this is one of those "Well, DUH!" techniques that no one should have to be told about. But I'll bet that many of your readers haven't tried it yet, and would be very grateful for this tip. What do you think?

I think you deserve a nomination for "saint of the web" for this Tony.

Yeah, but does it play Tetris?

From: Alan Mullin
Subject: BSGI 540

Blue,

A SGI 540 with every bell and whistle(as follows)
Quad Pentium III Xeon with 2MB cache
(3) 18.2 gb 10,000 rpm hard drives
2048 mb ram
20 gb tape drive
17.3" flat monitor
SGI SD1100 video card
SGI DA1100 sound card
Polk audio speakers
4hr, 7x24, 1-3 onsite service for the 540
4 hr, 5x9, 1-3 years onsite service for the flat panel monitor
SureAccess 25 resolutions 7x24 Operating System support
And Graphics Development Kit

comes to a grand total of $46,651 American.

Holy crap, college for me won't cost that much.

well, a little bored and in a sharing mood,
Alan Mullin

"Worker ants"

From: Apartment
Subject: We live in a sad state of affairs

Thats it, i have decided that the world is going to shit. I mean I live half a block from the stock exchange I and see the worker ants running all day in and out thinking their lives are significant, now this. This guy that came up with this PEZ stuff, is definitely on a thin line. Who the hell comes up with this stuff, OMG someone please direct him to some professional help,,,,,, Maybe Bellvue?????????????

[77] HUMP

On a more serious note...

From: Rob Sayers
Subject: Important request

Hi there Blue, I was writing to ask if you could mention somthing personal. You see, I live in a small town and we have a little group of guys who play quake on a regular basis, we're a close knit group of friends and have lan parties regularly as well as other nerd related activities, Yesterday one of our friends was killed in a car accedient, we miss him alot, he was a great guy who smacked my ass around in many games. I was just wondering if you could mention it briefly, his name was Ricky 'Grifter' Nicholson.

Thanks

-Rob 'Balaam' Sayers

More big issues.

From: Benjamin Hyatt
Subject: More of the "The big issues."

I would just like to say Mr Gasior, that I found your mail to be very insulting.

While loonyboi might be giving you some rope, and stating you're on the fine line, I think you went way over it. I mean, come on here, for one thing, I doubt the last thing Blue wants to do is turn his mail into a massive religion debate :-)

Although, I did like seeing the quote from Marilyn.. that's a first: no doubt about it ;-)

Anyway, to address some of your points.. I think you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn if you tried. Let's see.. "...their own holy book is so mired in hypocrisy..."

Where? When you make an accusation, please.. PLEASE give a reference. Words alone don't carry any weight at all. And quotes from rock stars who hurt themselves in public don't count.. if I got a quote from Hitler, how much weight would it carry? :-) Now we're not perfect, I admit.. no one can follow the Bible to the letter.. no one but God himself. But the Bible has yet to be proved wrong, so your assumption (again, I say assumption, theory, and so on, because it can be no more than such :) about the Bible can not be proven. If you're going to insult someone, you should include the reason why they were insulted, and on what grounds you insult them :)

I don't mean to insult anyone further here, afterall, I'm a right-ring righteous bigot who is doubtless so perfect.. no? :) But we already *know* that the two kids; erhm, homicidal kids killed a lot of other people. Now, don't take this the wrong way, but let's get on with it. They're dead. It's over. What we need to focus on is not the fact that "they killed other people" but what made them kill other people. This is where we get to the "we're all violent by nature" stuff, but c'mon.. that's just another scapegoat isn't it? The entire human race is always searching for a scapegoat.. a particular president comes to mind ;-)

Now, if we're all truly violent by nature, then why don't we all go around blasting things, killing people, dropping nukes, and what-not? I wonder... could it be because our parents teach us how to play by the rules? I believe the only true source moral is the Bible, and could give you numerous reasons why.. but I don't wish to turn this into a religion debate (regardless of the fact that you seem hard-pressed to do just that). The fact is, our parents teach us how to act... we act upon the things we see, and what the kids in school do, etc. We see our parents, maybe they have a home-business.. a lot of kids grow up in the footsteps of their parents.. they continue the business, or they'll do what is "cool" with their group of friends. Our decisions are based upon input from other people, atleast most of the time.. when you're a kid, and someone asks "What are you going to do when you grow up?" Well, you've never had a job before, so how in the world would you know?? You wouldn't. You would give them an answer ** based upon input from other sources **

Other people shape our lives, and parents are our biggest role-models, for a long time to say the least. If these parents paid no attention to the shot-gun lying around in a 16 year old kid's room, or to the automatic weapons they doubtless saw, what does that say to you? To me it's a big fat sign on their forehead saying "I'm the dumbest person
on earth.. and btw, I'm blind too."

These parents should have taught their kids a lot better.. true, the final decision to kill other people was the child's.. but tell me... have you really seen a lot of kids with guns lying around, and their parents ignoring that? For all I know, their parents encouraged the kids to, ah.. reach out and hurt someone :-)

If the parents had swayed their children in a proper manner, towards.. dare I say it.. righteous morals, then the chance of such a thing happening would be about 10%.

A person who doesn't swear, to me, represents a smart man... and I respect people like that. From my gaming experience (gaming life, whatever you wish to call it :), 90% of the people I've met online who don't swear are the following: Good players, good friends, and good people. I know, right off the bat, that if this is their true character, they wouldn't kill someone.

If I see a guy on the net swearing every time he dies, everytime the enemy team scores, and swearing everytime he types something; I look at that person, and think "What a jerk." Or what I'm really thinking, is.. he's a nasty guy. I wouldn't even be phased if someone like that went around killing people.. in fact, I would.. *expect* it to happen eventually.

Ah, *whew* enough of that. I did my best not to insult you, and I hope you do the same in the future. If you're applying for a job, and your boss is a Christian, take some advice: Don't insult him so bluntly, or his beliefs, or you'll get a quick response: "You're fired."

Now, as for the stereotype computer kid, I'm not half surprised. When you look at leagues, whether it be Tribes or Unreal, the top players are…what do you know, the ones who play the most: or waste the most time. It's not surprising that it is the current view of computer kids, I mean look at it.. the top players probably have a good amount of skill, but more importantly, they play almost 24/7! Have you ever played all day in a game? Most of the time you'll get at least 5 people telling you "You have no life" or "You're still here?"

Go ahead and make a poll.. you'll find that people who concentrate more on college & school get ahead, and people who play games most of the time drop back.

Moving right along here, in answer to the letter about the media.. I fully agree with you. Most killers, if you would ask them, "Why shoot a guy?" they might say, "I might be hanged, but atleast I'd be world famous." Well, how do they become that? The media.. I fully agree with your view, but I think one day of coverage is apt :)

The only other thing I hated was the fact that I watch the news to get news.. not reruns of the shooting, and the weather. Fine, they can show a lot of crap about the kids, but I want to see other news too. :)

Of course, I don't know if this will be posted on Blues' mail bag, but if not, I would like to ask loonyboi to forward this to Mr Gasior. Thanks :-)

- Benjamin Hyatt


From: Chris Lawer
Subject: Columbine and Christians

Hi,

This is in response to Geoff Gasior and his comments about Christians and Columbine. First your quote from the illustrious Marilyn Manson, hit it right on the nose where he said "Man is violent by nature, and he doesn't need inspiration for what he's going to do." This has been the staple of Christianity since its very foundation. Christ himself taught us that we are evil. Our evil had separated us from God. That was the whole reason that Christ came to earth, not to condemn us for our evil but to save us from it.

As for the scapegoating your right that is annoying, and it is wrong. The only reason these two did what they did is simply because they wanted to. Even acknowledging that fact, anyone should be able to realize that there are things that could have been done to prevent these two from going off in the first place. However focusing on what should have been done gets us nowhere, and we achieve nothing but hopeless lawsuits, and finger pointing.

So where do we go from here, if not in the direction of finger pointing and lawsuits? How about back to where it all started, home. As Mr. Manson pointed out the first violent act took place in the family. How about learning from the mistakes of these young men and taking those lessons back into homes and start communicating with our children.

When I was in high school, and college, I used to work with young children in the summers. I know from having met many parents and children how hard it is for many of the parents to spend time with their kids. Generally they are so wrapped up in trying to earn a nice living and provide for their kids, that they forget to spend the time needed with there kids. I am not saying this is true of the boys in Columbine, I know nothing of their personal lives but what was shown on the news. My comment is not made to point blame at the parents, instead it is meant as a suggestion as to what we can do to prevent such things from happening. While there may well still be other children who, no matter how much time you spend with them, will act out in a similar fashion. If we can just prevent one more child from dying then that is a gift in itself.

How about taking the pure and strong faith of a young woman whom died for that faith and learning from it. Just learning the pure joy of who Christ really is, and the joy of having a relationship with him. She knew that joy and was accepting of Christ enough that she gave her life for him. After her death 75 people came to Christ at her service. That in my book is a miracle in its own right.

So in the end I agree with Mr. Gasior that we need not to scapegoat. I also agree with Mr. Manson that we are basically evil. However, I firmly believe that we do need to start taking our responsibilities to ourselves, to our families, and to each other more fully and make sure that things like this become the exception rather than the rule.

Yours in Christ,
Chris Lawer

Regarding Hired Guns.

From: Lockup
Subject: Hired Guns screenshots

Stephen,
I just wanted to drop you a line and say those about the coolest screenshots I have seen in some time. They rate right up there with Unreal Tournament and WoT screenshots...of course, they are all using the same engine.

Pure beauties...thanks for making my day!
Sandy
~Lockup~

That mysterious head.

From: Wiseman
Subject: Freaky head invading my "Address:" bar! AHHHH!

Howdy there. After finishing with the news about a week ago, I though I'd look at some lesbian porn- er... more quake news (yeah, quake news.. right.) So I went up to my address bar (in IE5 that is) to type in the address for planetquake, and what do I see staring at me? Not the usual symbol next to the url, no, it was a creepy little head! At first glance, it looked like a badly colored and overly contrasted Denis Rodman, but on my second look, it (almost) sort of resembled, well... You. (As depicted in "Blues News: All the carnage fit to post" logo).

Now, I'm sorry to say, but to my dismay, Blue's News can no longer be where I get my news for each day, until the damn head will go away, okay?! (whoops, I'm rhyming). I mean, that puppy is just weirding me out... I can't read the news with it staring me... laughing... mocking my pathetic existence! AHHHH!

Is this some type of freaky Java trick? (if it is, lemme in on it!) Or what?
Hmm
Later-
Wiseman

It's actually that voodoo that he do when we do that voodoo. Dig?

Don't go questioning the Teeny PrintTM

From: Pablo J. Nevares
Subject: floccinaucinhilipilification

Blue and/or Loony-

Is my friend wrong? Because I damn well know you guys can't be wrong!! =)

Does antidisestablishmentarianism count even?
Pablo J. Nevares

(Attached letters deleted for space)

Your friend is wrong. Oh, so wrong. When spelled correctly, here's how they break down:

floccinaucinihilipilification = 29 characters

antidisestablishmentarianism = 28 characters

The teeny printTM is law.


From: Johan "SirReal" Lindh
Subject: Re: A broken clock is right at least twice a day. Think about it.

...so if my alarm clock gets stuck at 23:35, it's going to be night twice a day?

Scary thought. I'd better go get it overhauled; wouldn't want it to stop, no sir.

Johan "SirReal" Lindh

Wise ass. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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