September 28, 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.

Forceful mice.

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: ZapMan
Subject: logitech force feedback mouse

hi there i just ran across logitechs new iFeel mouse that lets you feel your desktop or items in your browser. i was wondering if anyone was thinking of making these functions available in first person shooters like Q3 or soldier of fortune? it would be damn cool if us mouse and keyboard guys got some new piece of tech that would make games more fun and not deprive us of our prefered method of play.


Actually, Logitech has had a Force Feedback Mouse available for some time now - it's not as spiffy as their upcoming optical model, but it does use the World's Greatest Mouse Design™ (the cheese wedge) and support is already built into Soldier of Fortune, Heavy Gear II, and many other games - just not Quake III Arena. Unfortunately, it's permanently grafted onto its mousepad, which makes it a bit clumsy.

Long Live the LAN.

From: Jan-Jacob Blussé

There was a story in the last mailbag on the death of LAN parties, because in 5 years everybody would have lightining-fast internet connections... Which is balderdash, poppycock, and, as i dare say, complete and utter BS. Because the fun of a LAN party comes forth mostly from the playing in the same room with friends, and being able to play together. Some cool music on the side, pizza, and 2 o'clock in the morning action beats internet connections that can potentially 'be equal' to a LAN. Who cares a about the pings if you can just have more bleeding fun?


Who needs innovation?

From: Jonathan C. Forster
Subject: simplicity

>From: gomitch
>Subject: Bring Back Simplicity to Single-Player Games

And while we're at it, dump that non-linear game play too. Yeah, right. I have come to the realization that I cannot ever play a linear game again. I bought SoF recently as there as nothing else out at the time and while it was a well made shooter I just gave up from boredom. For some reason the "story", for want of a better word, just wasn't getting conveyed -- but it didn't matter, there was no choice and it was just plain flat out boring. "What am I supposed to be doing now?" I would think, "Don't matter, I can only go down this corridor". Simplicity is dead, long live the likes of Thief and Deus Ex.


Well, some people (quite a few, actually) like linear gameplay. I count myself as one of them. Granted, I play almost everything, and while Deus Ex may have been a more satisfying experience because of the various paths, that doesn't mean linear games are worthless.

To Sprite or Not to Sprite

From: Roland O'Leary
Subject: Quake and Sprites

This is a little picky, but what can I say, I'm just a picky guy (who is bored off of his ass).

Anyway, this is for the guy talking about the death of LAN parties and the success of Quake I. He is wrong when he states that "... [Quake] was first to the field without using a single sprite in the game ...": Quake did use sprites to display the bubbles found in the water.

Doesn't really matter... I'm just in that kind of mood where ya wanna harrass people :)

Roland O'Leary

Actually, I believe there are sprite effects in Quake II as well (although I could be wrong, so don't send me hate mail).

Beware the C.H.U.D.s

From: Cyco
Subject: Bug Spray

>Flee? Heck no...that's just what the Mole People have been waiting for.

what about the C.H.U.D's?

Well, sure...but remember: they're not staying down there...anymore! Bonus geek points if you know what C.H.U.D. stands for - both versions.

Relax, people.

From: Jonathan C. Forster
Subject: Hey, don't do that!

Hey, don't do that! I _like_ the retro feel of Blue's News, I intensely _dislike_ the flash bullshit enhanced crap that every other web master seems to think is necessary. Don't get me wrong, the CGI search stuff is great, but it does something. If you plan to redesign the site to make it more readable, I guess we can live with it, but if it's flashy shit just to keep up with the Jones', forget it.


From: Ryan Eibling
Subject: overhaul?

I noticed your comment in the mailbag about an impending overhaul of the Blue's News website. Assuming you were serious, I just want to throw in my $.02 about the current design - it's nearly perfect. It loads quickly, it's well organized, it's attractive though minimally decorated, and I've never had a complaint about the site since all the way back in the Blue's Quake Rag days. I can appreciate the small improvements such as the formatting of the bulleted list items (reviews, interviews, etc.), but I sure hope you guys don't go nuts trying to fix something that ain't broken and end up ruining a good thing. I've always gone to Blue's for my gaming news because of the quality content but also because it's quicker and easier to use than most other gaming sites (uncomplicated and not bloated with graphics and other unnecessary B.S.).

Keep up the great site!

-Ryan Eibling (Diragor)

Don't worry...while we are working on a Blue's News 2.0 (we have for well over a year, so don't consider this any sort of confirmation that it's coming soon) we think you'll be very pleased with what we come up with.

Good idea.

From: Joseph M. Palermo
Subject: News Archive

How about an option of searching news archives from before February of 99, that seems to be as far as it goes back right now :)


That would be nice. Maybe some day. :)


From: Sypher999
Subject: Here's an Odd One...

This has NOTHING to do with gaming but this is very very funny...

A certain person my dad knows has a son that is, worthless, as he says. He and his girlfriend wanted time off from work and keep saying that his dad was sick and in the hospital. In the end they wrote an obituary and sent it in to the newspaper. The worst part about this is that the guy found out he was "dead" when one of his friend called his house asking about funeral arrangements.. This IS a TRUE story…believe it or not...


Point taken.

From: Jan-Jacob Blussé
Subject: It's a bird! It's a... Oh it's just a satellite.

Seriously, update the mailbag more often. Or I will be forced to send the Mira falling from the sky on your office.

After I find out what your address is of course.

Believe it or not, this time we would have had a Mailbag a week after the last one, but there wasn't enough mail. I usually have a healthy backlog, but because we went so long between mailbags before that, most of it was embarassingly out of date. So if you want more mailbags, send more mail. Of course, we probably had enough after a few weeks, but then I just forgot. :)

Some Win2K Advice.

From: holly chilcote
Subject: win 2000 installation failure

I have a machine that has win98se on it. I then proceded to install win 2000 on it as well. At boot up it selects win2000 as default operating system to go into, but then freezes in the win2000 installation after rebooting.

How does one select win98se as default boot up with a win2000 failed installation?

How does one delete the ntdetect, perhaps, or some file in the boot directory so that the operating system selector does not show up on boot, and win98se boots normally? How does delete a failed win2000 installation?

Right now I have to manually select win98se or it will by default try to load win2000, still the setup and proceed to freeze..

I thank you for your time and patience, and complete prompt response


Furn sez: "Boot into 98se and go to DOS mode, and run fdisk /mbr." I agree, although you could also boot from the Windows 2000 CD and choose "repair existing installation." That may not do anything, but it's worth a shot.

On Stromlo's Demise.

From: <name not listed by request>
Subject: the killing of splinter

I worked for Stromlo as well. Listen mate, Splinter was a month from beta, for over a year. Read between the lines.

Those pesky Windows keys.

From: Spyre
Subject: News?

This message isn't about news really. Still reading this? Good. I wanted to ask you guys for a strange request. I've been playin' since the good ol' days of Quake and Doom, and ever since then I've always used the same keyboard layout. Unfortunately my keyboard is dying (well,just my control key I use for a fire button.)

Is there any place on earth a gamer can get a decent keyboard without those stupid windows keys?

I'm sure countless players have found themselves in the middle of deathmatch only to hit the wrong key and exit to windows. Maybe you could make a poll asking how many gamers have had this experience? For now I'll continue my search for the "The Perfect Gaming Keyboard." Hopefully I can find one in an old computer parts store.

Thanks for your time,


Well, you have a few options: you could either just download software to disable the Windows keys, although if it's the layout that's annoying you, you could find a keyboard without them altogether. My advice is to look in the Mac section of your local computer stores. Ever since the Mac OS embraced USB, you can use the same peripherals on both platforms. Just be sure to avoid any keyboards made by Apple themselves unless you're into the cramped-keyboard thing. In addition to not having the Windows keys, Mac keyboards frequently have integrated USB hubs. Very swanky.

More on the redesign.

From: Julien Founier
Subject: design

>By the way, we always welcome feedback on site design issues.
>Particularly since at some point in the next decade the site will undergo a
> massive overhaul.

No white background plz, it hurts my eyes. thanks

Hey, me too. Give us some credit. :)

Be games?

From: AstrO
Subject: BeOS, more games please!!!!!

I would love to see more main stream games come to the BeOS, as it is one of the fastest operating systems out. Not only can you download this OS for free (for personal use only) but you can run it on both major computer platforms (eg PPC & PC). I support the BeOS (I even bought BeOS Pro edition) and believe that it could become one of the great gaming operating systems if it gets more developer support!


PS If Netscape want to put Navigator onto and OS which doesn't have IE then BeOS is a great opportunity for them!

Strange how all these games are being released for the Amiga but not Be, huh?

More semantics.

From: Wouter Teeninga
Subject: Sequels Prequels

Heya loonster,

Although I agree that prequel is an unjust term for Starlancer, I don't think prologue is the right term for it either. The best term I could come up with is 'predecessor', but it lacks the artistic feel of the others.

Wouter 'JinXter' Teeninga

Unfortunately, 'predecessor' also implies that it was released first. I've come up with a few others that might work: 'antecedent,' 'frontispiece,' 'preamble' (for that Constitutional feel) and possibly best of all, 'overture.'

Has internet gaming peaked?

Subject: story idea

Hello. I know you mostly report blurbs. Thought of an interesting idea for a story you could do. Always break it up over a week if room is tight.

How about a story on how the initial peak of internet gaming is over and a commentary on it? This idea was prompted by todays list of guides like sharky's memory price guide. Come on. Can you say pricewatch? If you have been to sharkey's site you know it is designed to maximize clickthroughs. As are lots of other sites.

My theory is that there are no good new games out to support all the sites and the hardware market is becoming monopolized with most competitiors going bankrupt in most areas. There has not been a new innovative, oh wow game since half life. What was that? 2 years ago? Video card market is NVidia, sound card market is Creative Labs, CPU is AMD. Nothing much to talk about on a web site. Most of these web sites would close if it was not for their revenue generation abilities.

The ones with cpu, memory yada, yada lists are the worst. I guess it is easier than going to pricewatch yourself?


Is progress slowing?

From: Pintonite
Subject: Dear Blue's News Brothers

I know you're real busy with your mission from God, but can you please update the mailbag. Here's a good topic for it too.

"Boring Ass Computer Games"

What's up with computer companies right now. There isn't a single computergame coming out that makes me want to say,"Hey I want that game!" What ever happened to the days of Doom when everyone had to have the game. I'm so mad right now about this whole situation that I'm about to go buy myself some boots to shove up all those damn programmer's asses that can't make a good game!

I've had my 450 mhz computer for over a year now and games still run fine on it! WTF WTF WTF! I remember back in the day with my 386 16mhz 2 meg ram machine. That thing could barely run dos. I can even still remember playing X-wing's expansion pack B-Wing and flying into a star destroyer, trying to destroy its shield generators, every single time I played because I got 2 fps. That game had innovation! That game actually made me want to go out and buy a faster computer.

That's when I moved up to a Pentium 120 with 32 megs of ram and a, you guessed it, 64 bit 2d video CARDDDD!! Yeahh heh. I finally beat that star destroyer mission with my new comp. Seeing how the fastest computer to date was a 133 I was cruisin' but it wasn't before long when I noticed I needed an even faster computer. The game that finally did it for me was Quake. what a game! that game had innovation the whole way through. I went out and bought the Pure3D and went to town on that game but I soon realized I needed something faster and this is where I am at today.

Now it seems, though, that I will never need a faster computer. I propose that all the smart programmers in the industry, which means all dumb programmers are left out, need to make an S-Class Benz of computer games. it needs to be something so outrageously packed with polygons and witty design that people, which can include woman, cream in their pants just hearing the word of the game. I've got to go now. I'm about to have an Email lan party where we send emails back and forth all night long consuming chips and soda. It's a lot more entertaining then the games out right now.


I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've heard someone complain that they haven't had to upgrade their computer in over a year. :)

The death of sound cards?

From: James Massa
Subject: Next generation of sound cards.

All you hear about these days is 'INTC vs. AMD' and what new features are going to be on the next generation of video cards. Something has been overlooked entirely for the last few years... Sound Cards. Watching all these 'spin-offs' of the SBLive! I wonder , sometimes, if sound cards has reached its zenith. We haven't seen or heard about anything that would be considered a next-generation card in over two years. I am hoping (since you have a load of contacts) that you have heard something, anything, on this subject.


Well, sound cards are a tough thing these days...the highest end sound cards support full 5.1 digital audio, which is something most people don't have on their computers, or in many cases, simply don't want (do you really want six speakers around your PC? I have a tough enough time with four). Positional audio still has merit, and hopefully the purcase of Aureal by Creative Labs won't put an end to innovation there.