Older blog entries for crudman (starting at number 9)

"Implosion"? I thought you said...

Spent a bit of time today trying to help icemonk get his game box working with the Nvidia 0.9-5 drivers. Aside from a few strange I840 messages during compilation (it's a BX motherboard), everything seemed rosy. At least until UT was installed and started. Hard locks galore.

Anyone have a working Linux UT (428a) setup and using RH7 beta? Just wondering if the very recent glibc that's included is to blame (noticed that Loki put out a patch for SC3K to correct a similiar issue).

There's quite a few arcade/console emulators about for Linux, up to 17 and counting. The guide I'm working on should be grande once it's finished (real soon now). That last pistol-whipping hurt. :(

Here's something: FPSE (The Free PlayStation Emulator) has Linux binaries and source now available. I'm completely lacking in any PlayStation titles, if anyone is able to test this out and report back any findings (especially screenshots), it'd be much appreciated.

crudman at penguinpowered dot com

Still trying to finish 101 various things. And the toaster decides to die on me. Damn.

Been thinking about placing the good ol' Voodoo 1 card back into my system, just to test out the glide functions in gsnes9x and a few other things (UT, Descent III, etc). Should be decent with a reasonably low resolution.

Mozilla M18 (okay, the nightly build of it anyway) is impressive to say the least. Uraeus posted up a write-up of the major changes over at LP.

Downloading the Debian woody packages of Helix Code as I write. Considering I've been using Blackbox for quite a damn long while now, this'll come as quite a change. The last time I tried HC was with a SuSE 6.4 system, and GDM was slightly screwed to say the least. Hope history doesn't repeat.

15 Sep 2000 (updated 15 Sep 2000 at 10:55 UTC) »

Choose life. Choose crud. Choose to turn off the Olympics. Choose to ignore the television station that's milking the sucker for all it's worth. Choose to ignore the one commentator who just happened to be part of the torch relay when it passed by his home town. Choose to locate, configure, test and write about emulators available for the Linux platform. Choose between nestra, tuxnes and DarcNES and attempt to work out which of them actually work correctly. Choose Ogg Vorbis. Choose to post a diary entry. Choose to avoid a pistol-whipping from katzj.

Choose your future.
Choose to advogato.

The mouse arrived today. Oh yeah. Smooth, but a little tricky to initially adjust to.

Shogo! The Linux port has been in development by Hyperion for quite some time, sounds like they're making good progress (OpenGL renderer, sound, etc). I can remember playing this resource-hogging game on a Voodoo 1 (and a short-lived i740) quite a while ago. Must set up a Shogo server when this gets released.

Discovered that SoF can indeed take advantage of S3TC (Display Options -> Texturing). Not nearly as a dramatic visual improvement as UT, but it does provide a noticable performance improvement. Less churn = more speed. Or something.

Slashdot has an "Internet Explorer" (with icon) section for their news now? Why? Surely a news item like this would've fallen under the categories of either security or privacy.

claudio: Ah, you'll be pleased to know that Gimp takes screenshots of GL windows correctly over here. That should provide you with some hope. :)


Thanks to a rather, well, stupid use of an extended IDE cable a while back (moral of the story, don't use extended IDE cabling), my local collection of MP3 files is now slightly corrupted. Thought this would now be a good time to start using the Ogg Vorbis audio codec. It's just crunchier.

Incredibily easy to setup, used the apt-get feature of Debian to retrieve the "vorbis-tools", "ogg123" and "xmms-vorbis" packages. Encoders and decoders all neatly installed. Found quite the useful page for configuring oggenc to work with Grip also. Need to slightly adjust it though.

The video card can indeed be overclocked, but the utility used to reprogram a BIOS file (BIOSMOD) requires a script file specific to the card's chipset (eg. TNT2, GF1/GF2). No script for GF2-MX at this stage, damn.

claudio: With regards to black pixels appearing when building mpeg movies, is this while using the new 0.9-5 drivers? I also had a severe black pixel problem with xmame.xgl, the new ones indicate that "color palette problems" are now fixed (from changelog).

Time to finish the emulation article. Right after sleep.

8 Sep 2000 (updated 8 Sep 2000 at 13:49 UTC) »

Three lots of goodness today:

  • Finally got xmame (Open-GL version) to co-operate with the drivers. Ended up commenting out the '-NVIDIA' flag in makefile.unix, and compiled as normal.

    Although cabinet view no longer displays (just a blank screen now), it damn well works! No gray-scale crap any more, and the bilinear filter can be toggled with a noticable effect.

    Don't believe me? Proof = Pudding.

  • Discovered the new video card can have the memory/core clock speeds increased to 210mhz each. Witnessed the difference on a win32 system (with similiar hardware specs to my own), it's a huge difference from the default speeds.

    The only way a similiar overclock could be applied to a Linux box would be to obtain a reference BIOS, adjust a few settings and physically flash the card with the newer BIOS (now with higher settings as the default). The first trick is obtaining the reference BIOS.

    Update: Arg, silly me. Just dump the existing BIOS and work from that. Damn lack of coffee...

  • Copied over the contents of the "Textures" directory from the second UT CD-ROM, and configured UT to use S3TC (S3 Texture Compression). OMG, it's beautiful. Not only do you get a significant speed improvement, but the larger textures are stunning.

    It's certainly noticable on maps such as 'LavaGiant', really must make a few before/after shots and post them up for the people to judge.

    I've just noticed this page. No S3TC in D3D? Boo-hoo. :)

7 Sep 2000 (updated 7 Sep 2000 at 16:20 UTC) »

A few packages arrived today, my first order from Copyleft (this kick-arse mouse pad, wrist rest and various Debian badges/stickers) and the GeForce 2 MX card from a local retailer (Asus V7100). After installing the card into the system (and compiling/installing the new 0.9-5 drivers), the system completely hard-locked when attempting to start X. No clues in the system log, the recent XFree86 log, etc.

Four hours later... :)

Turns out my motherboard (also by Asus) has two modes of "video caching": UC and USWC. USWC (Ultra-Speculative Write Combining) apparently provides slightly better performance, but naturally doesn't work with all video cards. Seems that the V7100 is no exception. After setting it back to UC, all is well.

Performance is pretty damn impressive for what you pay for. It's one of the 'budget' range of video cards, and even though "GeForce 2 MX" is mentioned, it just runs at about the same speed as a GeForce 1 DDR, though slightly more overclockable.

A simple Q3A benchmark (demo001 - 1024x768 @ 32-bit color, Vertex lighting): 55.8fps. A bit better from 30-odd from the old TNT2. Soldier of Fortune is far more playable, surprisingly Heavy Gear II has turned into liquid silk.

I've posted some info to www.mcdownloads.com about my little issue, I'll submit something to the Linux Hardware Database in a few days after a bit of testing.

Seems that OpenGL with xmame is still a little screwy (okay, a LOT screwy) with these drivers. I suppose I should be fortunate that there are about six other display targets I can use (including svgalib, standard X11 and SDL). Compiling is fun.

ErikLevy: Not one in a year or more? Consider yourself lucky... you'd might have ended up with an unhealthy addiction to "Counter-Strike" or something (cough).

Crap... 8 days to go until the Olympics?! This coming from the same television network who repeatedly made pointless adverts such as "874 days to go" all of these years.

I'm predicting two things to occur in Australia during the games:

  • milk/bread/essential supplies shortage
    (consequence of people glued to their damn televisions)
  • the slowest Asia-Pacific backbone response times ever recorded
    (consequence of International users all downloading Olympic-centric content)

Now if you'd excuse me, I'm going to stock up on bread and milk...

6 Sep 2000 (updated 6 Sep 2000 at 13:20 UTC) »

Ah, just managed to get UT 428 operational! Daniel Vogel released a small patch to the game, to fix an apparent driver problem with TNT cards and Unreal Tournament. TNT1/2 owners, you'd be wanting this file from the OpenUT site.

Nvidia released another revision of their Linux drivers, now they're up to 0.9-5. Currently available on Nvidia's FTP sites and via a DCC bot on #nvidia (irc.openprojects.net).

It's more of a stability release. The most significant of these is the fixing of the 'console switching' bug, where a simple switch to a Virtual Console would hard-lock the box. There's a mention in the changelog that certain 'palette issues' were fixed, I'd have to see how an Open-GL-enabled xmame fairs with this thing now.

Most people seem to suffer a slight (read 'very slight') performance loss with the new drivers, it varies from system to system and the video card used in each. You'd prefer stability first, and performance second, I'm sure.

Oh, the drivers aren't open-sourced yet either. We could go over the various issues here, but let's not. :) I'm thankful technology like this can be used under 'alternate' (cough) operating systems. ripperda (Linux driver developer) is probably overworked through all of this, /msg him your appreciation sometime if you use these pieces of goodness.

I feel for squiggy, it sounds similiar to my current situation (work hard and make sacrifices to obtain a position, and then discover it's nothing like you expected), though not nearly as severe. I hope that you work out what you'd like to do, and how to go about it. Your entry has made me think about my own priorities, thanks.

Thanks to those for certifying me, much appreciated.

Arg, I just had to listen to chad and trebinor, and try to get Half-Life working through WINE (via the Emulated Half-Life scripts). I've never seen X segfault during a "wine regedit.exe" command, that's for sure. Must try an earlier WINE release (instead of 20000821).

julian really has made a sweet purchase (Logitech Optical mouse). I've ordered myself the more compact model, which only has three buttons. Me likey small mouse very much.

Also ordered a GeForce2 MX card (Asus), more of a stop-gap if anything. This TNT2 simply can't cut it anymore, while the GF2 Ultra cards are going to be a while yet. The 0.9-4 Nvidia drivers currently support the MX, it'll be nice to test.

It's now been about two weeks since I've installed Debian 2.2, everything is still rosy. 'apt-get' is beautiful, instant security fixes are definitely a plus.

Arg, more work tomorrow. At least that Sim City 3000 demo would have completed downloading by now. :)

Ah, advogato! My thanks to ErikLevy for pointing out the site.

A 'things to do' entry would be appropriate here:

- update this article (for the new UT updater)
- complete the article on 'emulation' I'm working on
- test out the 'Emulated Half-Life' scripts (along with WINE)

It seems there's a few problems with the v428 Unreal Tournament (UT) updater from Loki, most involving TNT1/2 video cards. I'm using a TNT2 in my box, everything is quite damn slow (<1 fps) during the fly-by sequence and main menu. Sound jitters, very slow mouse, etc.

Looked through the OpenUT mailing list, the problem could be due to the new gamma code in 428. Those crazy Loki people will have a fix before you know it. :)

In fact, there's already an updated SDL/GL module (to bring the speed of other video cards up to the previous 425 version), but nothing for the TNT issue as yet.

I've been playing around with the various commands/options for a "Counter-Strike Beta 7" server (a modification for Half-Life). Just need to find the option to disable 'free look' and I'm set for the next LAN session. It functions a lot better than the win32 server that's available (the Linux server doesn't lag the entire game when typing in commands, for example).

Anime! Went to the final few movies of a "Japanime" festival in Melbourne over the weekend. Compared to the Sydney festival, the Melbourne offerings are incredibly poor (in terms of the number of films shown), but at least I saw 'Porco Rosso' and 'Vampire Hunter D' on the big screen. 'Spriggan' was also good, despite many unanswered questions (aren't there always?).

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