February 23, 2000

Letters are (occasionally) edited for spelling errors , and may contain profanity.
This section contains normal correspondence as well as letters submitted to the MailBag.
Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.


Previous Mailbags
August 17, 2000
May 24, 2000
May 4, 2000
April 19, 2000
February 23, 2000
February 16, 2000
February 9, 2000
January 26, 2000
January 19, 2000

January 12, 2000
January 3, 2000
December 22, 1999
December 16, 1999
December 9, 1999
November 11, 1999
November 3, 1999
September 29, 1999
September 9, 1999
August 18, 1999
July 28, 1999
July 20, 1999
July 13, 1999
July 6, 1999
June 30, 1999
June 23, 1999
June 15, 1999
June 8, 1999
June 1, 1999
May 24, 1999
May 2, 1999
April 25, 1999
April 22, 1999
April 18, 1999
April 14, 1999
April 11, 1999
April 4, 1999
February 1, 1999
January 6, 1999

From: Johan Lindh
Subject: Silly disclaimers.

If you read the disclaimer on Creative's pages for its SoundBlaster product line, you'll find a pretty funny line in there:

"Creative makes no assurance that Creative's products are appropriate for any application by any particular customer."

Now, that *really* makes me want to buy their products. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.



Their entire disclaimer is below, if you want it....

Products furnished by Creative are believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Creative reserves the right to make changes in its sole discretion, at any time to the products. Creative disclaims all express or implied warranties for the products provided hereunder, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor does it make any warranty for any INFRINGEMENT of patents or other rights of third parties which may result from the products. Creative assumes no obligation to correct any errors contained in the products provided hereunder or to advise users of the products of any correction if such be made. Creative makes no assurance that Creative's products are appropriate for any application by any particular customer. Creative products are not intended for use in life support applicances, devices, or systems. Use of Creative products for purposes other than those set forth without the written consent of an appropriate Creative officer is prohibited.

Suggestions welcome.

From: Maverick
Subject: Thoughts

Noticed your mention of "Wanted! The Half Life Western Pack" in your most recent "out of the Blue"

We are very keen to develop this product WITH the consumer and not just for them. By that I mean.....if people would like to give their input into any part of the product then we welcome it. Naturally only positive thoughts are relevant !

This can be ideas for DM styles of play, weapons, DM players, monsters....anything.

We are not short of ideas but it would be nice to create a product that people like you and I would really like to play and have fun with......maybe worth a mention ?

Thanks for the comments.....

Best Regards

Phil Daniels

Maverick Developments :
Wanted! The Half-Life Western Pack:

For those with CTS...

From: Jonathan C. Forster
Subject: carpal tunnel mail bag

Well if carpal tunnel is your worry then the Logitech TrackMan Marble+ can't be beat, you don't move your wrist at all, your thumb does the moving. 'Course, you're gonna have to do a little bit of training there, wrist movement doesn't exactly translate to the thumb but it is possible as I'm still the reigning bad guy on a our LAN.


Ah...the TrackMan Marble. I used to love that thing (see my articles on Mice at this here site for details). Lately though, I've been using the Microsoft InteliMouse Explorer for my desktop (I hate the thing in games - it has no ball, so there's no resistance) and my Logitech Gaming Mouse on my game PC.

A response to the AntiELVIS.

From: Jason Frisvold
Subject: MailBag

In response to this post :

From: theAntiELVIS
Subject: English for game developers

Okay, they've finally driven me mad.


The word "technology" is inappropriate when referring to programming techniques.


Technology - "a.The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives. b.The scientific method and material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective. "

Nowhere in that definition does it say that technology HAS to deal with hardware. A technological advance could be adding real-time lighting to a game engine. I would think that almost any software advance is considered new technology.

I'm not gonna touch scalable.. As far as I knew, it did have to do with being able to scale across multiple platforms, not just that it was compatible..

Interface - "1.A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions, bodies, substances, or phases. 2.A point at which independent systems or diverse groups interact: "the interface between crime and politics where much of our reality is to be found" (Jack Kroll). 3.Computer Science. The point of interaction or communication between a computer and any other entity, such as a printer or human operator. "

Now let's think about this. COM would be an interface. It forms a layer between the device and the user. Making it easier to communicate with the device rather than having to create your own interface, or manipulate it on the lowest level. UI, user interface. Why? It's a device (in this case, a program) that allows the user to communicate with the device. Or do we speak binary now?

Just my $0.02



From: Ozh
Subject: Q3 / commands : undocumented feature ?


Found this in the default.cfg of the pak0.pk3 :"bind / weapongrabbed"

As far as I know, weapongrabbed has never been a command.

Has id forgotten something they planned to do ? =)

Have a nice day,

A Windows 2000 rant.

From: Tom McLeod III
Subject: Mailbag essay inspired by Fruit of the loon comment

I will preface this by stating that there is an intentional shift between the discussion of server level vs. consumer level products; the closing quote from the inspiring post walks this same line.

Below is a quote from a message posted in Fruit of the loon discussing his decision to install Windows 2000. Full message at:

The author discusses performance and reliability comparisons, about the advantages of UNIX variants over Windows 2000. I don't have any real issues with any of that, but at the end he adds this comment:

> Unix is extremely user-friendly. It just chooses its friends very > carefully. Win2K is very friendly too, but in a trailer-park whore
> kinda way.

If Windows 2000 as a server (or workstation) is really that much easier to learn and use than UNIX (I'm not sure that I necessarily agree), then one could easily extrapolate that it would certainly become more popular than UNIX. Performance is important, but it is not the only factor in the decision making process of a business, especially as performance differences narrow.

However, to move to the consumer side of the spectrum, the quote sounds no different from saying, "NASCAR automobiles are extremely user-friendly. They just choose their friends carefully. Dealership bought automobiles are very friendly too, but in a trailer-park whore kind of way."

It's this mentality that seems to be holding back computers from being more widely used. If more of the already intelligent die hard Linux-supporters/developers were more cognizant of the needs that computers could serve for people who have no desire to understand how they work (putting them at a level equivalent to driving a car (or, more accurately, using a TV or microwave)), the industry as a whole would have far more places to grow, and will become more useful in these areas a lot sooner.

This will happen eventually, and already is, with commercial support based distributions like Redhat becoming economically practical, but this "better than thou" mentality is why operating systems conceived of ease of use (e.g., Windows, Mac OS) will continue to dominate the consumer market for some time.

My thought is that certain Linux distributions will eventually reach this ease of use and become more popular, and many avid Linux proponents will proclaim "I told you so." When, in reality, it could have happened so much sooner.


Tom "Epstein" McLeod

I agree with you, but remember - the easiest OS doesn't always become the most popular. Microsoft Bob anyone? :)

I dropped the ball on that one.

From: .
Subject: Epic Fights Back?

Re: Last item on 21 Feb's news. Really now, shouldn't that be "The Epic Strikes Back"? Perfect opportunity for a Star Wars reference, and you blew it. Tsk tsk.

Seems TK-421 wasn't at his post... :)

oz, yer humble King of Kings

I know, I know. What was I thinking? :)

Don't look directly at the ads.

From: Ken Alverson
Subject: advertisements

Please, please, please demand that your advertisers create ads that do not induce epilleptic siezures (I am referring here to the "Win a custom car worth $150,000" ad that continuously flashes black to white)!


More Win2K.

Subject: W2K

I've been running W2K for quite awhile now and I've had no problems (other than Bleem not running on it). Thanks to the Update Microsoft just made for game compatibility, I'm switching my gaming system over to W2K now. As a server, it runs awesome; it's very stable. Just a little information to help you with your decision whether to switch to W2K or not.

ATTN: Conextant.

From: Scott Beattie
Subject: Modems and Windows 2000

Well I am desperate. I have been searching for Conexant modem drivers
now for a while. No joy. I am turning to you to request you "send out the call" .

I have a PCI Conexant chipset modem. PT-3515 (fcid) If have come across or could post a request I would be very appreciative. Of course win9x driver don't work. Nor do winNT... please help!!


There you go, Scott...maybe we'll turn up something. Otherwise, if you've got a network, you can do what I ended up doing: hook the modem up to a second computer and run Internet connection sharing under Windows 98 SE (or 98 with SyGate).

On the giant blue screen o' death.

From: hacker
Subject: Interesting Tidbit

(I see this paticular Blue screen on a fortnightly basis) Its actually in Melbourne,Australia on the corners of Swanston St and Burke St (swanston is the one that goes left to right).. Its a screen that displays various news, and ads in the middle of the CBD.. But it suprisingly has only worked on 2 or 3 occasions..

(Ive seen a few GPF's, a couple please put the CD back in the drive, and a lot of just frozen images on it..) Also the screen at the bottom crashes from time to time... I dont really know if this is really worth waisting any mailbag space BUT it was kinda a shock to see a picture of melbourne being linked to from your site (And I think that I may be the 2nd guy from the right waiting at the lights.. If I could see the date then I could tell you for sure..)

Damian 'Hacker' Nikodem

If it's going to be that much of a problem, someone should download that BSOD customizing utility and play with it a little. :)

Win2k Driver issues (or lack thereof).

From: Greg Crowe
Subject: aureal's new Vortex2 drivers


I know you're a busy guy, this is just FYI, I don't expect a response.

The new Vortex2 drivers from Aureal also support SMP under WinNT. The old Vortex2 drivers would intermittently die during game play under WinNT. I have been running their newest drivers since they beta'd about 3 weeks back. They are very stable (no BSOD), and Q3 SMP is all the sweeter now that I can *hear* what's going on! ;-)

-- Greg "Rev. LoveJoy" Crowe

A frustrated Q3A player.

From: John Smith
Subject: Fighting the calculator

Hunter on the higher difficulties is a ***** when she has the lightning gun. She's using 500mhz of calculator power, how am I, a lowly human, supposed to compete with that?!?!

Damned if I know...I was only able to get two or three stages in on the nightmare skill level.

This just in...

From: *****
Subject: (no subject)

this just in...
you people suck hairy ballsacks.

graeme devine is a pioneer in this biz and you guys don't know crap.
plus i think you're ugly.

Hey Graeme, you've got fans! :)

A server question.

From: Tom Nelson
Subject: Not enough Linux

Hey folks!

How about more info on Linux server set upping! sources on the net are scarce (suprisingly) when it comes to this. I am trying to set up a dedicated server but whenever I try to join it from my win2k box it says "awaiting CD authorization"

Whats up with that?

I have no idea - but I'm sure our readers know. They is smart about that Linux stuff. ;)

More Outlaws!

From: Randy Melton
Subject: Outlaws

Please keep mentioning the Outlaws petition now and then. It's a shame Lucas never invested in a second one, and with the awesome power of the Blue Tower, I'm sure you could help persuade them. It's a classic game that deserves an upgrade.


I've only very recently gotten into Western movies, but I was a big fan of the game when it first came out (now I'm appreciating it on a whole different level). A sequel would rule. :)

The inevitable Prey question.

From: Joshua Kuntz
Subject: The forgotten vaporware (or quietly put to rest)

Before Max Pane and Duke Nukem Forever, there was another game that has been in the works since Quake 1.

Whatever happened to Prey?

We get this question every now and then, so I'll say it again. Prey is on hold while Duke Forever is being worked on, but it's not necessarily cancelled, just being remade (the technology would be out of date by now anyway).