Quake Live Open Beta

Quake Live went into open beta on February 24th, create an account and add me as a friend! My account name is “TinMan”

My old account was cleared from when I got invited to the closed beta and played at QuakeCon 2008, but now the name “TinMan” was available so I finally get to use that as my account name in a game instead of th3t1nm4n!

Seriously though, friend me and join me in a game of CA sometime.

~ Tinny

AMC Sport Steering Wheel

I recently purchased an AMC sport steering wheel that would be appropriate for an AMX Javelin from the 1970’s, but I think that it looks great on any AMC car so I watched eBay listings until I found a new old stock one in good condition for a decent price. Today I had the time to install it on my 1972 Gremlin.

Here is the old wheel

and the new one

Doesn’t it just look faster? 😀

15 Years of DOOM

Today marks DOOM’s 15th birthday, 15 years of BFG goodness. I’m pretty tired at the moment so I won’t say much, just a link here to last year’s DOOM post which pretty much covers it for this year, too.

Oh wait…what’s that? Epic picture.

That’s DOOM running on my Acer Aspire One that I got last week.

The Acer Aspire One netbook is model AOA 150-1777 with:

  • Intel Atom processor N270
  • 8.9″ CrystalBrite WSVGA
  • 1 GB DDR2
  • 160 GB HDD
  • Multi-in-1 card reader
  • Storage Expansion Slot
  • 10/100 base T LAN
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • VGA out

The size is perfect for portability while still being able to touch type efficiently, I haven’t gotten hand cramps from it yet. 😛

~ Tinny

Xubuntu Intrepid (8.10) Released

Xubuntu Intrepid
Xubuntu Intrepid

The Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10) release came today, and with it came Xubuntu 8.10! I like Xubuntu because of how light it is, which is the Xubuntu development team’s mission statement:

The goal of Xubuntu is to produce an easy to use distribution, based on Ubuntu, using Xfce as the graphical desktop, with a focus on integration, usability and performance, with a particular focus on low memory footprint. The integration in Xubuntu is at a configuration level, a toolkit level, and matching the underlying technology beneath the desktop in Ubuntu. Xubuntu will be built and developed as part of the wider Ubuntu community, based around the ideals and values of Ubuntu.

I just upgraded my laptop to the 8.10 release and will be upgrading my desktop when I am done with this post. To anyone with an older computer that wants to run a Debian-based Linux distro, I recommend giving Xubuntu a shot. I run it on my laptop and desktop which are definately not old or slow computers, but I dislike bloated software that takes a while to run and I do a lot of gaming so I like keeping my computer’s resources free for that and multi-tasking.

~ Tinny

PunkBuster Kicks for Mumble Overlay

I recently upgraded from Mumble version 1.1.5 to 1.1.6, started up Quake III Arena, and got kicked from a server running PunkBuster with the reason of “Violation (VIDEO DRIVER HACK) #90003.” I am on my new box that I won at QuakeCon, so I assumed it was an issue with the ATI Display Driver. I downloaded the latest ATI Display Driver, and then realized that it was the same version I already have installed. For the first time I have encountered a video issue on a computer that has an ATI chipset where the issue doesn’t have to do with lousy drivers! It turns out that Mumble’s overlay feature was triggering the kick. I can use Steam‘s overlay ingame, but I can’t use Mumble’s? Epic fail PunkBuster, epic fail.

I encourage anyone who encounters the same issue to file a support ticket with Even Balance and push for a fix to this annoying issue.

Here’s some of my console output from the issue:

TinMan PunkBuster kicked player ‘TinMan’ (for 0 minutes) …
Violation (VIDEO DRIVER HACK) #90003

RE_Shutdown( 0 )
Hunk_Clear: reset the hunk ok
—– R_Init —–
Trying SMP acceleration…

GL_VENDOR: ATI Technologies Inc.
GL_RENDERER: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
GL_VERSION: 2.1.7769 Release
GL_EXTENSIONS: GL_ARB_multitexture GL_EXT_texture_env_add
GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array GL_S3_s3tc

PIXELFORMAT: color(32-bits) Z(24-bit) stencil(8-bits)
MODE: 8, 1280 x 1024 fullscreen hz:60
GAMMA: hardware w/ 0 overbright bits
CPU: AMD w/ 3DNow!
rendering primitives: single glDrawElements
picmip: 0
texture bits: 16
multitexture: enabled
compiled vertex arrays: enabled
texenv add: enabled
compressed textures: disabled
HACK: using vertex lightmap approximation
Using dual processor acceleration
Initializing Shaders

In other news, I am registered to vote ;D

Mogwai in the Herald News

September 19, 2008

LOCKPORT — Homecoming is a time for visitors from the past, like student Scott Flounders’ 1971 Dodge Dart Swinger, one of four cool cars near the front of Thursday’s parade at Lockport Township High School.

Flounders, a junior from Homer Glen, and other members of the school’s auto club rolled down the track at the East Campus football field during a homecoming celebration. Thousands of cheering students filled the stands at the home of the Lockport Porters. The junior in his B5 blue-colored car was joined by Superintendent Garry Raymond, in his orange 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28; Brian Moore, in his red 2000 Chevrolet Corvette; and Dylan Jesernik, in his 1972 AMC Gremlin.

Gremlins are sick, man,” said fellow student Ryan Vintika of Homer Glen, expressing admiration for the white car with two red pinstripes.

After the impressive display by Raymond and the auto club, homecoming visitors got a look at what else was under the hood at Lockport — the dozens of clubs, organizations and sports teams that rev up this school.

In all, more than four dozen groups or teams — including the Marching Porters band, the water polo teams, the choir and the Great Books and Poetry Club — marched on the track.

So did the Air Force Junior ROTC marching unit, the sign language club and Snowball, a group that provides opportunities for students to build self-esteem in a drug-free environment.

Also marching were the Special Olympics Club and Best Buddies, which support special education students competing in Special Olympics events.

A Sept. 14 fund-raising softball game, to benefit the athletes who participate in the Special Olympics program at the high school, was canceled. The rescheduled event will be at noon Sunday at the girls varsity softball field on Division Street near Briggs Street in Lockport, said Kelly Urbanski, Special Olympics coach.

Urbanski joined fellow Lockport teacher Kate Melody, Best Buddies sponsor, and their two groups in marching Thursday .

Moore, a senior from Lockport, took almost two years searching for his 2000 Corvette. He finally found an automatic with low mileage and the right color. The red Vette looked sleek at the edge of the track. And a short distance away, the heartbeat of the crowd was Porter maroon.


View the original article for photographs.
Source – “What’s homecoming without a Gremlin?

QuakeCon 2008 Roundup

It has been about a month since QuakeCon 2008 and I have finally settled into my senior school schedule enough to have the time to write about it. 0v3rk1ll and I flew out to Dallas, Texas for QuakeCon and stayed at the Hilton Anatole from July 31st to August 3rd. We were pre-registered for the BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) so we only had to wait in line maybe 10-15 minutes to get our BYOC badges and update our list of belongings that we brought into the BYOC.

My brother, Cody, painted up a football helmet for me to wear as Commander Keen for the convention.

The Hilton Anatole is quite a sight, it is filled with amazing Asian artwork. There are a lot of statues of Gautama Buddha and there is even a piece of the Berlin Wall on display outside.

Here is a Ctrl+Alt+Del comic on convention hygiene and my BYOC pass.

0v3rk1ll and I brought our laptops and were glad that we did since they’re a lot easier to fly with than a computer would be.

The BYOC was full of interesting computers and case mods.

There were many vendor booths there as expected. AMD & ATI had the main booth in the center where most of the excitement happened at. They had a couple of AMD Build-Offs where two people go head-to-head at trying to assemble a computer as fast as they can. There were a lot of companies that just had computers set up for LAN play within the vendor area so you could try out their computers with games that you are familiar with. 0v3rk1ll got called up to the AMD booth from a raffle and won a motherboard, he talked them into shipping him a Radeon 4850 with it. We entered in some Quake 3 & 4 tournaments at the PNY booth, I came in 2nd place in a Quake 3: Arena tournament (lost by one kill!) and won 4 GB of RAM that I gave to 0v3rk1ll so he would have more parts to build a new computer with.

There were two Wolfenstien booths, one was playing the trailer to the new Wolfenstein that is coming out and the other was for Wolfenstein RPG on the phone. I won a Wolfenstien RPG t-shirt after trying the game out.

I got called up to the stage for a big AMD raffle with a couple of other people to compete for a computer that was assembled by Maingear. For the first round we played The Price Is Right and guessed at prices of selected computer hardware on Newegg.com, I guessed the closest prices on the first two questions without going over so I moved on to the next round with another con-goer. We then played The Dating Game. I ended up winning the computer and was very happy.

At the end there was a big party. There were ET:QW and QuakeLive tournaments, prizes were awarded, and the Frag Movie was played.

I had the computer that I won shipped to my house, it arrived within a week of returning home. I brought it to my friend Zildjian’s house for a LAN party and found out the hard way that lugging around a 55 lb full-tower computer is a real pain in the back. Since the case that the computer came in was very large, heavy, and lacked USB ports on the actual case, I replaced it with an Ultra E-Torque mid-tower case that is a lot smaller and lighter. It even has USB ports on the top of the case, which is the best place for them in my opinion. Here are some photographs of it with the original case and then some of it with the new case that I put it in.

The current specs of the system are:

  • Power Supply: 750W MAINGEAR Ultra Quiet Power Supply
  • Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum AMD 790FX Chipset
  • Processor: AMD Phenom X4 9950 BLACK EDITION (2.6GHz x 4)
  • Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC 6400)
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache – SATA II (I also added a 160GB SATA drive that I had in my old computer)
  • Optical Drive: 20X Dual Layer DVD.RW Drive w/ LightScribe Technology – black
  • Video Card: Visiontek ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5

Hopefully ATI will release some solid radeon drivers for Linux sometime soon so I can boot the penguin on that machine to play games instead of having to go into Windows XP.

That’s all for now. I am already stoked for QuakeCon 2009 😉

~ Tinny

Quake Live Beta and QuakeCon 2008

It’s almost here, QuakeCon is in 11 days, 23 hours, and such and such minutes! 0v3rk1ll and I are flying out to Dallas, Texas for it this year. We are registered for the BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) LAN party. We hope to compete in many of the tournaments and to get lots of free stuff from the sponsor booths. I will be bringing my camera and taking pictures, so you can expect to receive a report on our experience there.

Quake Live

Quake Live is what has been made of Quake Zero, id Software’s project to make a Quake III based game that is free through in-game advertisements and can be played from within the user’s browser using an application plugin. It was discussed in John Carmack‘s QuakeCon 2007 keynote speech.

Late Thursday night I received an e-mail to confirm my acceptance into the Quake Live beta. I had to reboot to Windows since it is only a beta and their website currently weeds out anyone who isn’t running Windows since the beta release is for Windows. I’m under a non-disclosure agreement, so let me just tell you that I like the weapon set and I couldn’t ask for a better set of maps for competitive Quake III playing. If you want to have a good look at it, check out the E3 Quake Live trailer.

Everyone who is registered for QuakeCon has received or will be receiving a Quake Live beta invite according to the QuakeCon News, I think this is a great idea and I can’t wait to play it there. It’s on the Quake III engine so it does look dated, but the point isn’t to make a new game out of it, the point is to make the game free through in-game advertisements. Quake III has been my favourite game engine for a while now, so I’m not complaining about it looking dated, as long as it plays well.

So far there haven’t been any promises for Linux gamers, but from John Carmack’s 2007 keynote and various interviews it has been made clear that id Software wants to make Quake Live available for Mac and Windows.

I still have many unanswered questions about Quake Live, hopefully they’ll be answered at QuakeCon.

~ Tinny