Archive forFebruary, 2007

The addiction.

So within the last few days, I must have played some 50 hours of games. I usually only get to play a couple of hours a week, but lately I put everything aside to play my games. Man, I forgot how much fun some of those games were.

The first game I played was CounterStrike Source. I played on the Calibrator Haven servers. The host three servers. A 24 man Server with 20 bots; a 16 man server with 8 bots; and a 20 man 24/7 dust/office server. I think they are going to get rid of the 24/7 dust/office server because the server is not getting used too much. They’re all a bunch of good guys. Most of them just want to have a good time and play the game.

After that, I played Command and Conquer: Renegade for 15 hours or so. Man, this brings back some good old memories. When I was a freshman in highschool, my mom bought me a computer. It was so great. This is when I fell in love with computers. The first thing I did was take it apart to see how everythig worked. After an hour of tinkering with the hardware, I turned on the comptuer and gamed around at the new operating system. It looked pretty much like Windows 2000 and 98 SE so I was fairly used to it right off the bat. The one thing I didn’t get, was the internet. So I was stuck to Windows and the stupid AI in my games. This would never do! I had a plan to get the internet! Since my mom worked at midnight, I would sneak out of my room at night and into my mom’s room. I installed my games to her computer and played on the internet. Problem solved! Well not really. My Grandma found out I was doing this so she would check my mom’s room in the middle of the night to see if I was in there. She caught me a few times, but I was getting good at knowing when she was coming so I could hide. Matt and I would be out there and we would see a light come on and instantly duck and cover. Ahh, good times!

It was good to be back in Renegade. That’s where my passion for online gaming began. I found a small server called Hazteam and quickly made that my home. They hosted two servers. A no snipers 24 man server and a no snipers 20 man server. I usually played on the 24 man server. It had the perfect balance of vehicles/ infranty ratio. you usually didn’t have to wait to buy a tank, and there was usually someone around to defend the base. Now, everyone is running anti-cheat software, like renguard and dragon-aide. Even beyond that, there are so many servers that just have horrible rules. Since the Hazteam server shut down, there have not been many good servers. The ones that were good, are gone or merged with others. For instance, Ren-Archives merged with Jelly-Server. Now there is so much camping and it makes the game go on and on… I do make it my personal goal to own the campers. I do a pretty good job of it, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy doing. It’s just something that has to be done in order to win the game.

Now it’s off to good old Red Alert 2 and Tiberian Sun. Two of the best Real Time Strategies (RTS) around! Red Alert takes place during the time of the cold war so you can image what game play is like. Yep, you guessed it. Soviets Vs Allies! Tiberian Sun is completely different. It’s a fight for the survival of humanity. The Global Defense Initiative (GDI) is trying to save the world and rid the Earth of of a materian called Tiberian. Tiberian came from space and started mutating the world. GDI has been working on ways to reverse or destroy the Tiberian while the Brotherhood of NOD has plans of their own. Out of the two, I like the gameplay of Red Alert 2, but I love the story from Tiberian Sun. I am looking forward to the new C&C game in March called Tiberian Wars. It’s going to be the sequel to Tiberian Sun.

I might go ahead and install Civilization IV. It’s probably the best turn based strategy out there. You control a civilization’s advance through the time. Starting from the biblically correct date of 4000BC. You travel through the eras making foreign policies, scientific discoveries, wondrous productions, and much more. It’s a good game for anyone who lovs political warfare.

Well, I must be off.

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Website Upgrades

I will be upgrading my website sometime in the week. It all depends on how much time I have. I have a rough draft for it in my head. I just need to get my ideas down on paper or get something put together in publisher or illustrator. I have the concept for the flash indexing software and I have a idea about getting dynamic music on my website. After all that, I will be making my homepage (finally)! It’s going to get the last entry from my blog, maybe some random music from my archives, or a random file from my flash archives. I have so much I can do, I just need to get started on something soon. I don’t want this site to start slaking.

The greatest thing about having your own webserver is how much freedom you have. I have my own @rob-meier.com e-mail account, 220+ GB storage of webspace with a monthly limit of 2.4 +TB! I can also put anything I want on here. That’s a fantastic feeling because now I have a place for me, just me!

Ohh, I thought of another thing I want to add to the site. Image directories for my renderings. You can’t seem to find many good renderings from games and anime anywhere on the net. There are nice collections, but it seems you have to search real hard for the really good ones. I will just make a catalog of my favorite animes and game renders. I will definatly be throwing out some good old Hellsing! That anime is awesome. There’s this one Vampire that is under the control of a church and he goes around killing the evil vampires. His name is bit of an enigma, but everyone calls him Arucard. I will also be taking some renders from Ah! My Goddess. I loved season 2. There were many great adventures!

So there you have it. I will be updating my site so it doesn’t look so boring and I’ll give you guys cool pictures!

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CPU Installed!

So, Ed and I finally got our new CPUs in our computers Friday. I am very impressed with how it performs. I can handle very heavy loads on my CPU with minimal latency. The Opteron sports a nice triple coherent Hyper Transport Link to the RAM. It might not handle one application better than the Athlon, but a multi tasker will see great performance increase with the Opteron. Think about it, you will be able to run your heavy resource eaters while playing your music and other media so you don’t get bored. Fantastic! Now, for the heavy duty gamer, the Opteron might not be that prefect buy. A gamer needs to crunch out the numbers as fast as it can.

When I performed the 3D Mark 06 benchmarks, my CPU scores doubled, my SM 2.0 score rose 50 and my SM 3.0 increased by 150. Not too bad. That’s about what I expected. The FX-60 showed a slight lead by breaking my CPU Score by about 100 points. I would assue it would because it is clocked 200 MHz faster. Then again, he was using 1600.1200 while I was using 1280×1024. Well actually, I think 3D Mark uses a default for the the CPU rendering tests. The FX-60 is fast, but I need something that can move large amounts of data in a very short time.

I just bought a new toy for Photoshop called Fluid Mask. It’s a very neat tool that can making masking easy within Photoshop. It takes the image and chops up the image into colors and areas so you can remove a certian part of the image. It was a bit pricey, but it is a very useful program, but it eats a significant amount of resources. The real reason I got it is because I wanted to see how much my computer could handle. I DivX encoded a DVD at 1400 Kb/s with lossless AC3 audio, rendered an image with 5728 colors, uploaded a few files to my web server at 650 kb/s while downloading BF2142 from EA, and I had CounterStrike: Source running in the background. With all this, I was still seeing good response times from the CPU.

My one beef with buying new computer parts, is I have to reformat. With pretty much any operating system, you will need to reformat after a major hardware change. Since I changed the whole core of the computer, I think it was a good idea to avoid any hardware issues. It usually takes a good four hours to get everything back the way you OS was before the reformat. It’s not that big of a deal, but when you get a new piece of hardware you want to test it out and do your system benchmarks and stability tests.

In my own Opinion, I would suggest a gamer going with the FX-60 for those reasons. The gamer needs the ability to crank out a number fast and send it to the other devices as fast as it can. The Opteron was built for load, not speed. As it may be close to the same speed as the FX-60, it doesn’t have that full 2 GHz FSB, but it has three 1 GHz links for fast transfer covering multiply links. Only get the Opteron if you plan on running 10+ programs most of the time. The FX-60 will be slightly better for running maybe a video encoder with music playing, or maybe a game and a downloading service.

Load times. Dual cores don’t really decrease load times. There might be an increase in about two seconds, but not enough to make you jump for joy.

To make Dual core work for XP, Microsoft released a patch you can install. When XP was designed, they didn’t have dual cores on the brain, so to speak. To get the patch, visit Microsoft’s Website and download their dual core patch. I’m sure non of you are running pirated software, but if any of you guys need this and can’t download it for any reason, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

The time is ripe for the final upgrade in 939. Right now, we basically need to build new computers if we want to upgrade. There’s nothing left. Only more AMD pulling out some BS and changing their socket ten times… This is getting old AMD. They have so many sockets because they think it’s better to make a new socket than to have others try to stick an AM2 CPU in the 939 edition board. They are completely different chips and can’t be run on the same board. That’s one thing Intel got right. Keep the same socket, only upgrade it. For the most part, it works. I don’t know why AMD can’t make their chips work together.

With that, I bid you farewell. Until next time.

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New CPU!

So here I am, on a Tuesday afternoon. My new processor came to my mother’s house in Greenville. Well, my brother and I looked at each other and we knew what we were both thinking. ROAD TRIP! Wahoo! So we pack our things and we were going to leave. Well we looked outside and it was snowing. The forecast called for dense snow for the whole trip. We were going to go for it anyway. He bought an FX-60 and he bought the Opteron 180 (Newegg didn’t have the 185 so I bit the bullet on that one smile.gif ) for me! What a nice fellow. We didn’t want to wait so we just hit the road! Well, once we got to Lima, the snow started coming down so thick that we couldn’t see fifty feet in front of us. It was getting bad. We were on I-75 going 40 mph unsure.gif It was pretty bad. Luckily, the roads were somewhat clear because there were a lot of cars traveling.

Well, we got to Wapakoneta and saw a waffle house. We had no choice but stop. I love my hashbrowns! Yeah, I’de like triple hashbrowns smothered and covered please! Yummy! Anywho, back to the road. Since we stoped, my car was covered with snow. I took the couple of minutes to clear off the windshields and wipers. Here’s were things get bad. The exit in waffle house was downhill… Snow + downhill = bad. So I wait there for a few minutes for traffic to completely die out and proceed down the hill. Well I got down the hill ok and everything, but since I was waiting there for a minute, snow built up on my windshield. I wiped it off with my wipers, but some of the snow stuck to the wiper and froze. Needless to say, my wipers didn’t work real good after that. Once I got back on the interstate, the speed of the car pushed all the water off the windshield and I could see again!

Not a lot happened till we got to Piqua. We got on 36 and started heading through Piqua. The roads here were very bad. You couldn’t go faster than 15 mph or you would slip off the road. Once out of town, we could go about 40 mph and not fall of the road. The ride from there was pretty boring. The only thing we saw was an SUV plow into a tiny car. I guess he thought since he was big that he could stop fast. Nope.

We got to Greenville A-Ok and raveled ourselves in our new computer eguipment! Ahh, it’s so nice to upgrade your computer. We have the best computers that 939 will offer. Our next upgrade will be an overhaul of the system. We need DDR2, our current graphics card is good; but we will be wanting DX 10 here in a year or so; our CPUs are the best 939 has to offer; we have plenty of HDD space, over 1 TB each; our motherboard is rock solid. I am very happy with our builds. I researched the parts for a total of about ten days before we bought our parts so we didn’t just jump the dun when we first built these systems.

So we packed up everything and left for Ada once again! Ohh, for the record, the first trip took 2 hours 30 minutes. Normal trip time is 1 hour 30 minutes. Ok, back on topic. We left Greenville and proceeded on 36 till we hit Piqua. This time, the roads were VERY bad. By very bad, I mean there was no road and the visibility was about null. Once we got back to I-75, the roads started clearing up, but the visibility was still not that good. After about ten minutes of going 30 mph, I decided to follow this big rig going 50 mph. I figured I could stop faster than it, and I gave myself plenty of distance. At times, I couldn’t see him but 20 feet in front of me which we promptly slowed down to 20 mph. Near Wapakoneta, we saw a huge wreck going southbound. All traffic was stopped for about three miles. Glad I wasn’t going down there. Well, we got into Lima and got back to Ada fine! This trip however took about 3 hours 30 minutes. We tacked on two extra hours onto the trip. How lame!

Well, we go inside and started setting up. Ed moved his computer table so we could use that to gut out computers. We were so excited! I’m still excited! So I started taking my components out when Ed asked where our Arctic Silver Thermal Paste was. We forgot the 12 g tube at my mom’s house doh.gif GAH!!!!! THE WHOLE TRIP WAS A WASTE!!!!!!!!! I was so sad I about cried. The roads were so bad we didn’t want to make the trip again. So here we are with our power house CPUs and no thermal grease to create the bond between the CPU and the heatsink. I think I am going to go and cry… My mom said she could meet us halfway in the trip and give us the thermal paste. So I guess we’ll put the CPUs in this weekend.

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