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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: V Returns on: October 26, 2009, 02:36:29 AM
NBC also had a plan to bring back the original cast to reprise their roles in Kenneth Johnson's sequel to the original miniseries, however those plans seem to have fallen flat now that ABC has charged ahead with the reboot.
2  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season Four on: October 13, 2009, 01:35:55 AM
To expand on the Evil Claire point mentioned earlier, Season one had an excellent subplot that was never really expanded on: alternate egos. It was evident in season one that Hiro and Peter were creating a very real paradox by messing about with time travel. Of course, the writers simply forget about the cause and effect once everyone saves the cheerleader, Good Claire, along with New York City. The idea that alternate Hiro, Peter, and all the rest could actually still be out trying to "fix" history the wrong way has been abandoned for this silly carnival of monsters. Didn't Mulder and Scully already interview the freak show on the X-Files years ago? :p

3  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Freespace widescreen? on: February 18, 2009, 06:27:21 PM
Are you using the updates from the FreeSpace Source Code Project? There is the FreeSpace port that updates the original so that it uses the engine from FreeSpace 2. There are also quite a few other visual updates to both games that have been made. The wiki site links to the latest installer and provides instructions on configuring your FreeSpace 2 directory for the modification.

So, essentially, with everything installed, FreeSpace will become a total conversion of FreeSpace 2.

An installation walkthrough from the FreeSpace Wiki

Hard Light Productions - information on a bunch of mods and improvements
4  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Some Sad Dr. Who News on: September 07, 2007, 07:33:12 PM
David Tennant is taking a break from the show to do a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hamlet will be playing while weekly Doctor Who is on a brief hiatus. No one is really sure what Davies has planned for the special episodes, however rumors are running wild in the British press. There have been stories saying the Paul McGann and Peter Davison were approached, but both of these rumors are baseless.

Whatever we get as filler, I don't think this is bad news. Rather, I think Davies and BBC Wales are being quite flexible in allowing Tennant to keep the lead roll and focus on other pursuits. If a U.S. company was still funding things, then we might already have another regeneration on our hands.
5  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Hardware upgrades, smashes head against wall. on: August 25, 2006, 02:45:13 PM
Heathkit was a company dedicated to the electronic hobbyist from the 1940s to the 1980s. They sold a variety of do-it-yourself project kits to consumers. My Dad put together a couple of their Hi-Fi Stereo pieces, as did one of his brothers. They also offered a computer kit, a bunch of HAM radio stuff, and some test equipment among other things.

Here's a nice virtual museum for anyone that is interested.

- David
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: And your 2007 Transformers are... on: August 18, 2006, 07:44:23 PM
Yeah, Volkswagen won't hand out a license for the bug's likeness.

It would have been nice to see both Soundwave and Shockwave on the Decepticon list.

I'm missing Wheeljack and Prowl on the Autobot list. And what happened to Jetfire? I guess he's too Robotech.

No doubt, the 1980s are long gone...

- David
7  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Diablo 2: Animation Skip/Stutter with Direct3D? on: April 06, 2006, 07:15:52 PM
The best solution is to build a system around an old 3Dfx card and run Diablo II exclusively on that computer in Glide mode. If you can find a Glide Wrapper that works well with your current video card, then that is the second best solution. Glide was based off of OpenGL anyway, and all a wrapper does is match the Glide calls with the appropriate OpenGL calls. Glide hasn't changed at all since 3Dfx went out of business, so the wrappers that work don't really need further updates.

Direct3D animations are not as jerky if you play Diablo II on an ATI card. An nVidia card actually has the worst performance in this mode. This has been the case for years now and Blizzard is quite comfortable telling everyone to use DirectDraw.

In other words, wait for Diablo III.
8  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is Gamingtrend dying, or we are all just on a break? on: March 28, 2006, 03:45:45 AM
Until the new Doctor Who thread caused an unnatural spike in my post count, I was pretty content as a lurker. Honestly, though, I'm not fond of forums where the majority of topics turn to debate. There is something to be said for staying on topic, even when we're discussing something here in Off-Topic land.
9  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / TV: Doctor Who *finally* comes to the US on: March 21, 2006, 03:03:55 PM
Yeah, the old show got around the 12 regeneration limit with the Master rather insidiously. It will be interesting to see how the writers work around that limitation when it's the Doctor's turn.

Paul McGann was a decent Doctor if you could look beyond some of the controversial additions the U.S. production team made to the Doctor's history. FOX was originally going to film a collection of made-for-tv movies starring McGann, but they marketed the show poorly (as they seem to do with most of their sci-fi properties) and it never really got an audience. McGann is still involved reprising the role of the eighth Doctor in audio format.

A lot of fans in the U.K. and the U.S. were hoping that Davies would give McGann a proper send off or a couple of his own episodes on the small screen, but Davies wanted to start the new series without any past baggage. Personally, I was slightly disappointed, but Davies' decision was perfectly understandable. Besides, it seems fitting to have the show back under the direct supervision of the BBC now that internal politics won't get in the way.
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / TV: Doctor Who *finally* comes to the US on: March 20, 2006, 04:04:01 PM
The Doctor's past was intentionally kept mysterious in the original serial. That said, the writers have provided hints as to his origins over the course of the entire work. As a quick summary, JCC's description works well, but there are some details that are worth filling in. Mind you, the show has been around since the 60s and quite a few of the early episodes have been lost due to the BBC's lax archiving practices.

The Doctor and his granddaughter, Susan, were exiles from their home planet. The two refugees had procured a time machine and had taken temporary residence on Earth. Susan attended the local schoolhouse, apparently for cultural education; however she often butted heads with her teachers, Ian and Barbara, over matters of science and history. Concerns for Susan's well-being brought the two teachers into a direct confrontation with the Doctor himself. As the show progressed, the audience learned that the Doctor was a Time Lord and that his actual home planet was called Gallifrey.

The Time Lords have a rather sordid history. Initially, they used their advanced scientific knowledge to wage war with other races and manipulate lesser species. The first notable war mentioned in the show was the Great Vampire War. In it, the Time Lords extinguished all but one of the Great Vampires. The war nearly devastated Gallifrey itself, and was the last war that the Time Lords were actively involved in before the Time War. Instances of manipulation that were mentioned in the show include the Death Zone from The Five Doctors, the xenocide of the Minyans in Underworld, and the whole of Genesis of the Daleks in which the Doctor was directly involved.

The events before Genesis are generally cited as examples for why Time Lord Society adopted a culture of removed observation. Of course, as Genesis proves, certain special interactions were still advanced at the highest levels of government. The television show, however, never really gives a clear picture of what caused the Doctor to leave in the first place. And the books and audio plays aren't always considered canonical.
11  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Say what you want about Monster Cables... on: February 08, 2006, 06:14:19 PM
Quote from: "warning"
The Monster Cable I bought was actually marked at $19.99 even though it retails for more.  It seemed like a good deal for the price.  Oddly enough their corresponding PS2 S-video cable cost $39.99.   :evil:

Yeah, I expect to see higher prices like that from Monster Cable. At $19.99 you got a nice deal on the GameCube cable.
12  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Say what you want about Monster Cables... on: February 07, 2006, 05:23:56 PM
Wait a second, the GameCube uses a proprietary connector. So are you using an off-brand all-in-one cable or did you pick up a basic S-Video cable from the Shack with an RCA to S-Video converter? If you are using the converter, then you are adding noise to the signal. If one of your cables is also going bad, then quality will definitely suffer.

I'm not saying that Monster Cables are junk, but the hefty premium is more about the brand than it is about how the cables are manufactured. Nintendo also sells its own S-Video cable on-line. I wonder how that would fair against the Monster?

- David
13  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Cheap video card? on: November 18, 2005, 06:29:18 PM

Since the latest AGP cards are keyed as universal, you shouldn't have to worry about backwards compatibility as long as the card fits in the slot.

The only AGP motherboards that I would caution as having issues are those that follow the original AGP 1.0 specification (1x/2x and are keyed to 3.3 volts). Some of the old P3 boards don't always play nice with new AGP video cards. Likewise some of the older AGP 1.0 video cards aren't all to friendly with the latest motherboards.

As it seems your motherboard supports the AGP 2.0 specification (2x/4x speeds) I would be surprised if you had any difficulties.

A detailed explanation on compatibility can be found here:

Wikipedia also provides a short summary and a nice set of links.

- David
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Intelligent Design = Creationism on: October 05, 2005, 03:45:14 PM
Quote from: "Blackadar"

To me, it's like teaching about the inhumanities of WWII and requiring teachers to refer students to some pro-Nazi literature and saying ther are other points of view out there.  Or talking about how the Earth is round and then having the teacher read a statement and referring students to some flat-Earth literature.  Both are patently absurd and ID isn't any better.

Taken out of context, those examples may seem to prove your point, but within the context of history they are poor points. Forgive the cliché, but there is always another side to a coin. And to truly understand the movements behind the rise of the Third Reich, and its crimes against humanity, you can't ignore the propaganda. Similarly, to understand how important the discovery of a spherical earth was, you can't ignore the fact that our ancestors certainly felt that this blue ball was a quadrilateral back in the day.

Whether or not you fall on the side of Intelligent Design, Darwinian Evolution, or some other proposed idea or theory explaining how things came to be, the fact of the matter is that these ideas exist. By blocking children from certain sides of the discussion that we are uncomfortable with are we truly teaching them to think for themselves or is it a kinder gentler form of brainwashing sponsored by a different group of individuals who feel that they know better?

Then again, perhaps we are selling the flowers of this twenty-first century short? Back when I was in grade school I had no problems reconciling what I was taught with what I believed. The debate is moot from where I'm sitting. Children will grow up and believe what it is they want to believe for better or for worse.

Once again, children are just pawns as adults argue over what security blanket they want to use to smother free thought.

- David
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Battlestar Galactica Season Finale (Spoilers) on: September 28, 2005, 04:03:12 AM
I don't think it is that difficult. Up until the Pegasus showed up, Adama was the military leader and Roslyn was the political leader. At this point, no matter what Admiral Caine thinks of Roslyn's sudden promotion, the fact remains that she is still President. Adama, on the other hand, has now been reduced to a subordinate. Adama and Roslyn have had time to foster a working relationship as well as a sort of friendship. Caine and Roslyn have only just been introduced.

At this point, I don't believe the differences between the crew of the Pegasus and that of the Galactica is a strict good versus evil analogy. In my opinion, it is a study of isolation in the midst of chaos versus the struggle to keep society intact. Since the destruction of the colonies, I think Pegasus has been on a neverending counter-attack, trying to deal the Cylons a vengeful blow. They had no idea that a normal life was possible. I believe Caine was being very candid when she said that finding the Galactica with its rag-tag fleet was a miracle. Galactica, on the other hand, has been living the role of defender since Roslyn took her oath. I think that is a very important distinction. Both crews are elated to know that they aren't fighting the Cylons alone anymore, but their philosophies are fundamentally different.

It will be interesting to see how Adama's latest stunt plays out in January.

- David
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Battlestar Galactica Season Finale (Spoilers) on: September 27, 2005, 07:52:00 PM
I have to agree. Edward James Olmos has taken the new character of Commander Adama and has made him just as charismatic as the old. Now that I'm used to him in the role, I can't think of anyone else better to take Lorne Greene's place.

Oddly enough, another character that I'm warming up to is Colonel Tigh. His beaten-down knee-jerk attitude is such a contrast with the Tigh of the old series. Saul reminds me of the faltered old salt (Captain Ahab, anyone?). It's obvious that Adama trusts him and feels that he has potential or he wouldn't be the XO. I keep hoping that we will see Tigh break out of the tragic mold in at least one episode. Of course, I also think my opinion is in the minority. And, with the new series sticking to its dark atmosphere, the chances of Tigh stepping out of this charicature are slim.

- David
17  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Revolution's revolution a tilt controller? on: September 16, 2005, 02:03:34 PM
I won't speculate on the new Nintendo controller but, to go slightly off topic, I will say that the Gyration mice are a favorite in the HTPC community. It isn't a gimmick at all in that market and the mice are quite ergonomic.

Now, the question is will Nintendo take all of the good things from this technology and make something useful for a next-generation console system? That remains to be seen.

- David
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The real Revo controller on: September 16, 2005, 01:50:06 PM
If you watch the video closely, the B button is a trigger on the underside of the "remote" piece. A is on top below the d-pad and there are two additonal buttons a and b. My guess is that you would use a and b if you were using that controller horizontally since they are out of the way in the upright position. The analog stick has two trigger buttons underneath. I think they were labelled Z1 and Z2 in the video.

Nintendo definitely has my attention, but I can't say whether I like or dislike the design at this point.

- David
19  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / What is this video card? on: August 10, 2005, 03:32:46 PM
AGP 4x is backwards compatible with the 2x specification. There may be a slight compatibility concern with older AMD-compatible motherboards, but a Geforce 4 should work on older Intel motherboards without a hitch.

There is actually more of a danger when upgrading an old motherboard with an old video card. The original 1x/2x AGP specification used a 3.3v AGP slot. The 2x/4x and 4x/8x specifications call for a 1.5v AGP slot. The good thing is that the 3.3v and 1.5v AGP slots are keyed differently. Intel has a short informational paper here:

[Edited to correct scatter-brain advice.]
20  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 10, 2005, 01:07:22 PM
Having a working linux distro is a lot better than futzing about on the command line. I am glad I was able to help a little bit, even if gentoo didn't work out. I'll be installing gentoo again myself on a new system starting today or tomorrow, but I might hold off to see how Ubunto works since you've peaked my curiosity. :idea:

- David
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 10, 2005, 04:12:54 AM
From what I've read, it looks like nVidia dropped support for legacy video cards in their latest linux drivers. This means that the latest files in portatge won't work with your TNT.

Remove your current nvidia-kernel and nvidia-glx packages, add ~x86 to your /etc/portage/package.keywords file, and re-emerge the nvida packages. If you run a pretend emerge, you should notice that you are getting older drivers when you re-emerge the packages. The older drivers should support your TNT card.

If you choose to stick with Ubunto, that's cool too. You can always try gentoo again at a later date.

- David
22  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 09, 2005, 04:20:39 PM
Okay, the mouse isn't an issue anymore, but you are having difficulties getting Xorg configured? Or is this specific to the framebuffer?

To get Xorg running, you have to make sure that all of the appropriate nvidia video drivers are installed. If Xorg -configure is dumping you to the command line, then you can try editing the xorg.conf file manually. Post a copy of your xorg.conf file and I'll see if anything looks off. Xorg doesn't really care about framebuffer support. Having framebuffer support and following that HOWTO is nice if you want to enhance the command line, but it isn't required to get Xorg up and running.

To get Xorg running on your system, you have to have the following packages emerged:


And did you add nvidia to the module.autoload.d file for your kernel?

- David
23  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 08, 2005, 03:47:46 PM
Sorry about the delay, I was elsewhere over the weekend.

I'll paste a copy of my make.conf file later this evening.

That C compiler error seems odd. I would think, if the compiler was misconfigured, that something would have gone haywire before you tried emerging the sandbox. Perhaps some system file was replaced? Or maybe user privilegdes are off? I'll see if I can find somehing a little more helpful on that one.

Edit: Raven VII, when you have a chance, could you please post a copy of your make.conf file too? The answer to your compiler errors may be there.

- David
24  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 06, 2005, 01:24:46 AM
This guide might help you install your TNT card:

Personally, I haven't had the opportunity to install gentoo on an nVidia-based system. I have a lot of experinece setting up 3dfx cards.

- David
25  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 05, 2005, 03:16:13 PM
I completed my first gentoo install using stage3 off of an old LiveCD. For my second install, I decided to start at stage1 for the hell of it too. Since then, I always install using stage1 just to keep the system clean of unnecessary software. The standard documentation doesn't really get into setting up a boot time splash screen, although there is a nice guide on the forums that is maintained by end-users:

"what should I do to keep my ethernet working after rebooting into Gentoo itself?"

Essentially, the LiveCD is setup to scan your hardware and load drivers automatically to ease installation. Your basic gentoo system isn't setup to do this at default. After you install the base system files, mount your root directory, and configure the kernel you decided to use, you need to configure your network for real. At this point, the LiveCD is out of the loop, so it's time to use the keyboard again.

The /etc/conf.d/net file is setup to use DHCP by default. If you need specific network settings because you aren't using DHCP, then you need to edit this file first. Most people are going throuh a router, or getting IP  settings dynamically from their ISP, so editing the file in those cases isn't necessary. At the command prompt, type:

rc-update add net.eth0 default

Your ethernet card should work as before with the LiveCD once you reboot. If, by any chance, it doesn't work, then your kernel is probably not configured correctly.

what should I emerge to get the fancy graphics?

Check out the link above. All of the instructions are in the first post of that thread. It is a little more advanced, but it should be straightforward. Let me know if you have any questions.

how do I boot straight into Gentoo?

Have you emerged the latest version of grub? Or are you booting off of the LiveCD? If you are booting from your hard drive, it sounds like grub is setup to dual boot. You need to change some settings to get rid of that screen, so mount your boot partition and open the /boot/grub/grub.conf file.

To avoid the boot menu, make sure you only have one kernel or operating system listed. You should see something like the following:
title=Gentoo Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel /kernel-2.6.11-gentoo-r3 root=/dev/hda3

If you have a title=Windows section, or a section pointing to another Linux distribution in grub.conf, then delete them.

should I emerge nvidia-kernel before or after reboot?

If you already have a kernel setup, you can emerge the new kernel whenever you want. If you don't have a kernel installed, then you definitely want to emerge the nvidia-kernel early in the process; so, in that case, do it before you reboot.

- David
26  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 05, 2005, 04:19:00 AM
Starting from stage1 will give you an opportunity to grab the latest and greatest software, but I would stick with stage2 or stage3 until you are a bit more familiar with creating a stable gentoo installation. Gentoo is very minimalist, so once you are done copying things from the LiveCD, there isn't a nifty GUI to guide you the rest of the way.

Bootstrap errors may be the result of a memory issue or they may be the result of missing a step somewhere durring installation. You should be able to scroll up and down by either using Shift-Page UP and Shift-Page Down or Shift-Up Arrow and Shift-Down Arror. How are you setting up the kernel? What video card is installed in the system?

Actually, what are the complete specs for this system? That's a good place to begin.

- David
27  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any Linux/Gentoo experts here? on: August 04, 2005, 03:45:55 PM
Yes, the base install of gentoo doesn't work exactly like the LiveCD and all you have to start out with is the command line. You can build your installation to mimmick the LiveCD, but it isn't necessary. The good news is that you haven't failed. You just need to setup your ethernet card in order to use portage.

I do have a couple of questions:

What stage are you installing from (stage1, 2, or 3)?

How far do you get during installation before the documentation gets confusing?

- David
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