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June 30, 2008

Microsoft Student Partner | Posted at 10:08 PM

I applied to be a Microsoft Student Partner for my university a few months ago. I am excited because they’ll start calling people for phone interviews soon. It was supposed to be by June 30 but I guess they got a lot of applications.

I would be happy to get the “job? (it is about 5 hours a week paid) since there are some great perks. First, it will open a lot of doors after graduation. If I could work in the Xbox division at Microsoft, that would be sweet. Second, it comes with a free MSDN subscription. How awesome is that? I need Windows Server 2008 for my server now.

I applied for the Marketing position. If their advertisement was serious and I get to plan a Halo 3 Gaming Tournament, that would be amazing. They asked a lot of questions on that application. I feel like it was a bit subjective because new ideas for marketing an event would come up when I talked with people about it. I mean, advertising on Facebook is a given. Anyone should do that, I’ve seen how well that works. And then putting up flyers in high traffic zones around campus is a great way to advertise. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen ads just walking on the bridge or through campus.

Since I have some people who’d be interested in helping me with these events, leveraging them for word-of-mouth or just chalkin’ up the paths works wonders.

How this all will work with my current job and classes, I am not sure, but I tend to have at least 5 hours of free time a week minimum so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hats off to thee.

How Much I Save Using Audible | Posted at 9:47 PM

If you don’t know, Audible is a subscription-based audiobook website that offers thousands of books for your download and listening pleasure.

I have been a member since December 2007, so it’s about high time to see whether or not it has turned into a good investment. I have the Audible Gold Membership which means I get 1 credit a month for $14.95/month and 30% off regular prices. That’s basically any audiobook of my choosing per month plus my member discount for regular non-credit purchases.

So, let’s take a look shall we?

Book I Spent: Real Price:
Lamb 1 Credit $23
A Thousand Splendid Suns 1 Credit $20
The Diamond Age 1 Credit $25
Snow Crash 1 Credit $25
Wyrms 1 Credit $17
The Pillars of the Earth 1 Credit $30
Screwtape Letters $6.46 $7.66
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 1 Credit $20
Shadow Divers Free ($25 gift) $25
Membership: $82.27 --
Totals: $88.73 $192.66

So, let’s see, by subscribing to Audible for $15/month (and $8/month for 3 months) in 7 months I’ve saved $103.93, assuming I would have bought these separately (which I would not have). I did not add the accidental order of Snow Crash the abridged version for $13. I accidentally used a credit there when I forgot I had already bought Snow Crash. If I had known and used that credit for good, that would have added a nice $25 to that final total.

That means I saved more than what my subscription was worth (I saved 54%)!

Then let’s add the priceless sum of knowledge and worldliness granted by reading books and it turns out the Audible subscription is well worth its price.

That means that you should subscribe to Audible. It’s awesome!

Thank you to TWiT for introducing me to Audible.

Nightly Update [6-30-08] | Posted at 8:15 PM

ebay

eBay still won’t let me (and other people) use Buy It Now. What’s with this? I talked to a support person again today and they said it’s still not resolved but they’re working on it.

I am --[ ]-- that close to murder (not really). Still, it’s been 2 weeks, not counting how long before then it didn’t work.

In other news I had a dentist appointment today so I stayed home. I made good use of my time by finishing Day of the Tentacle and getting to Part 3 on Secret of Monkey Island 1.

Seriously, I missed out on some awesome games. This summer I will finish all the Monkey Islands, Grim Fandango, and Psychonauts (I am almost done with ‘nauts) because I am addicted to puzzles.

Worms arrived for my DS and I still haven’t beat No More Heroes. SO MANY GAMES.

Later this week, my girlfriend is coming from North Dakota for the 4th and staying the weekend, how exciting! This will be a very busy week. Tomorrow my friend is supposed to come over and we’re supposed to watch B13, the french action movie. Thursday have to pick up the girlfriend at the airport, Friday is the 4th so busy all day, and Saturday we’re supposed to go to a waterpark. The weekend of the 12th I am going up to the cabin with like 8 people, so that should be a blast, too. Then the night of the 15th I am going to go visit my girlfriend for a week. So yah, July is pretty much non-existent in my calendar.

How do people usually handle telemarketers? One just called and asked for my dad, except he butchered the name. I just said he was busy (he’s napping) and “Goodbye.? Usually if they start sales-pitching I just hang up. I figure it just makes their life easier because they don’t have to hear someone straining trying not to stab them through the phone.

One Sentence Review: 10,000 B.C. | Posted at 8:03 PM

10000bc_teaser

Title: 10,000 B.C.
Type: Movie
Blurb: Who the hell knows?
Review: I watched an anime while sparingly paying attention [to Evolet] during this movie, that’s how bad it was.
Grade: D

Well, I’m Getting Rock Band 2 | Posted at 8:45 AM

rock_band_2

IGN has an interview with one of the lead designers of Rock Band for information about Rock Band 2. All I needed to know was a few key things:

Will Rock Band 1 DLC be playable in Rock Band 2?
"Yes."

"And yes, all of your Rock Band instruments will still work with Rock Band 2."

That’s all. Everything else I know will be bigger, badder, and sweeter. But as long as I can slowly upgrade my instruments, one at a time, then I’m sold.

You can pick it up in September.

[via IGN]

June 28, 2008

Retro Gaming: Day of the Tentacle | Posted at 11:02 PM

image

Thanks to this Flickr set posted on Digg, I downloaded Day of the Tentacle for DOS yesterday. I seriously played it for like 6 hours straight. It’s a lot of fun and challenging (for me?). I had to peek at a walkthrough a couple times (only in dire circumstances!)


DoTT is from the mind of Tim Schafer. You may know him as the idea and go-to guy for Penny Arcade Adventures and many other awesome adventure games including Monkey Island and Psychonauts. I fished out my The Curse of Monkey Island CD that my friend borrowed to me years ago so that I could install it. I had installed it on a computer at some point a long time ago and never made it past the opening scene. Hopefully I will be able to now!

If you want to play (and you should) do this:

  1. Download it at this site. It’s abandonware so it’s free. Click the Download link under the game title.
  2. Download DosBox to play the game.
  3. Run DosBox.
  4. Type in “mount c c:\dott? or the path to wherever you extracted the files. I recommend a short directory. Mine is in D:\Games\DoTT so my DosBox command is:

    mount d d:\games\dott
  5. Type in “d:?
  6. Type in “tentacle.exe? and play!

Here is the list of keyboard commands. Have fun!

Time to Play Some Diablo II, Huh? | Posted at 1:48 PM

I am going off to my best friend’s high school graduation party today but since I have yet to leave I am pouring over all the Diablo III screenshots and videos. I am downloading the 800MB 19-minute HD footage right now, in fact. It should finish when I get home.

So now this means that I will have to finish Diablo II with my friends on the Nightmare difficulty since we finished it on the easiest.

One thing that I think is silly is the fact that many of the people who were going to kill because they wanted Diablo III are now claiming to be angry at the footage of D3 for small changes. There’s no pleasing you, is there? If you wanted a Diablo II clone, play Diablo II. Blizzard isn’t going to release Diablo II in new clothes, they are going to spice things up a bit.

D3 is an entirely new engine, new particle effects, new everything. It’s not just “Diablo II in 3D,? since that would be a waste of effort. If you’re going to create a new engine you’re going to add new gameplay elements. The whole idea of environmental physics sounds awesome, destructible elements, etc.

The beauty of it is, it’s good it looks so much like Diablo II. D2 is a tried-and-true formula, a top-notch game. It has its own feel and D3 looks to match it. If they had added radical new changes some people claim to want, those same people would probably be mad if they did. Blizzard knows what fans want and they’ll deliver. They know how to keep the same feel for the game.

Just stop pouting and be happy that there is a Diablo III!

It’s Diablo 3. Told You So. | Posted at 9:20 AM

diablo3

Who called it? Oh, that’s right, me. And many other people. I am so fucking excited I just swore.

[Diablo 3 via Blizzard]

June 27, 2008

Blizzard Splash Image: Starcraft, Lich King & Diablo? | Posted at 3:40 PM

There’s a lot of speculation on what the Blizzard splash image is. Now it’s Day Five and there is a strong indication it’s just about Starcraft II. I think it’s a little more than that.

Day Five Splash Image

First, the eyes look just like the Protoss image that Kotaku compares it to and the Lich King’s face which I think is supposed to be ambiguous to point at both of them:

Protoss and Lich King eyes

And the rune in the bottom left is easily this same one in this image pointed about by this astute commenter for the Protoss from SCII:

Protoss Rune

The rune on the top right is definitely the “Hel? rune from Diablo II:

Diablo II Hel Rune

The rune on the left is obviously the rune on the Lich King’s sword:

Lich King Sword Rune

As for the other runes, well I think it’s apparent that we’re dealing with more than just a Starcraft II announcement.

Remember, June 29th is Diablo II’s 8th anniversary and the Diablo3.com site was just bought by Blizzard.

Here’s what I think:

  • They will announce information for Lich King
  • They will announce a release date for Starcraft II
  • They will announce Diablo III

Furthermore, if you connect the runes together with straight lines, you get a pentagram. If they just decided to put five runes on the image then that really doesn’t matter, but if it was on purpose perhaps there’s more to the story.

If you were Blizzard and you wanted to announce Diablo III, you would know that tons of people would be psyched. Why in the hell would you reveal that for sure outside of the official announcement? My take would be to do exactly what they’re doing. Make the splash image primarily focused on another previously-announced game and incorporating subtle elements of a surprise to come. Since Diablo III isn’t the main take on this image, it could very well be a sly maneuver to hint at it.

All I am saying is that it would awesome if there is going to be a 3rd Diablo. The splash image has elements of Starcraft, WoW, and Diablo. Am I really that crazy?

PS. Check out some of these old responses to the first day that the Starcraft II countdown began, another splash image fiasco:

“It will almost definitely be something in the diablo series. Might as well accept it now. Blizzard cannot release a Starcraft game because they lack the resources to make it properly.?

“I highly doubt it will be Starcraft related. Either Diablo, or milking their precious WoW some more.?

Little did they know.

We’ll see how this ends up tomorrow.

Update: Uh huh, see what I'm talking about? I am probably not the first to claim a tri-announcement:

Blizzard WWI

Thank you to this Kotaku reader for pointing it out.

This definitely means something related to all three franchises I mentioned. Diablo III is upon us [I hope]!

Ubisoft: 20 minutes of Far Cry 2 | Posted at 1:49 PM

Wow. Far Cry 2 might actually be as good or better than Crysis. And by Fall I should have the horsepower to run it properly.

http://www.shackvideo.com/?id=12374

I feel like the same thing they said about Assassin’s Creed, it being an open world and such, will still come up with the same problem. Too much fluff that just gets in the way of going places. What good is it to have a huge 50 km world but only like a few interesting places? The video says 60 places so in theory there should be things to do but still. At least in GTA there’s tons of havoc you can wreck because there’s people everywhere. Here there are… animals. And only once you get into an outpost or village there are people.

But hopefully I am wrong and it will still be a lot of fun to play through.

How To: Fix Windows Vista Parental Controls “Access Denied” Preventing You From Playing Games | Posted at 8:30 AM

My friend had a problem when he first started using Windows Vista where he would try to play a game like BioShock and Vista said he wasn’t allowed to play the game, it said “Access Denied?.

This made no sense because Parental Controls weren’t enabled at all and we could find no setting to disable it.

The unfortunate part is that I don’t know how to fix it. The way we fixed it was by formatting.

I don’t know if this was a problem with early Vista and has now been fixed, but if anyone is running into this problem, I don’t know how to fix it.

However, some people over at the 2K forums might have fixed it. Here’s a post that explains how to make it work (presumably). I edited it to provide maximum readage and helpfulness:

I’ve had this problem with a few games, and I am using a custom install of Vista.. basically you need to restart the parental controls service to make them work:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type in “Services.msc? in the search box, Press Enter
  3. Find Parental Controls in the list
  4. Right-click it and choose “Start?

That should enable the game to work, you can also change the default option from Manual to Automatic to make it work from now on.

To do so, double-click the Parental Controls  and change “Manual? to “Automatic? in the drop down menu.

Hope this helps enjoy Bioshock. I know this is an old post but when I was researching a fix I wasn't able to find one and had to work it out for myself and I figure this is the best place to put the result.

[Original Post via 2K Forums, Thanks nerionix!]

Hopefully that might fix it.

June 26, 2008

Why I Prefer Single Player Games to Multiplayer | Posted at 6:12 PM

Because I suck at multiplayer. If I play Rock Band, like I was just doing, I seem to get paired with people 10x as better as me. Once in a blue moon I will get someone at my skill level and it will be a close race. Out of the 10 or so matches today I beat 2. You know, it just becomes disheartening and frustrating after losing 5 times in a row.

Maybe I suck at guitar? If I tried drums I might be better.

The one game I can play and not get angry at is Team Fortress 2. Somehow dying in TF2 isn’t so bad. It’s comical. I see myself get blown to bits and funny remarks abound. Maybe it’s because I die in a way that doesn’t make me feel retarded, like getting a flamethrower in my face.

Still, I much prefer the tried and true single player experience. I played Morrowind for hours and hours when I discovered it. I even started playing again, since it is the one game my computer can play at max settings (well, alright, it can play a lot of games). Also I can win.

The one exception to mutiplayer is when it’s a LAN party or playing with friends. Then I am all for MP because even if I suck it’s a lot of fun.

It seems like if I want to have fun playing a game online I have to play 24 hours a week to be able to do anything, otherwise I just keep dying. I like matching better, games like Halo 3 or [sometimes] Rock Band, where I can get on randomly and beat a few people who are as bad as me.

June 25, 2008

How To: Get IPX Games to Work in Vista | Posted at 11:04 PM

Update #1: Looking for information on how to get Red Alert 2 working on Vista? Try this RA2 patch.

If you are a classic gamer, someone who plays the old Command and Conquer series like Red Alert 2, Yuri’s Revenge, and prior, you may have realized that trying to LAN on Vista doesn’t work.

That’s because these games use the IPX protocol, not the new TCP/IP. Since Windows XP, IPX has been supported on Windows but now the new Vista doesn’t support IPX.

I did find a post about how to maybe get it working. I can’t vouch for this as a solution because I don’t use Vista (old habits die hard) but perhaps it will work for some of you.

If I had Vista, I’d post a walkthrough with his steps but alas, I do not.

Alternatively, I have my own idea (that my friend mentioned):

Use a virtual machine with Windows XP and LAN over that. That would entail everyone having the virtual machine installed (or using XP) and running XP… but… if you’re really that hardcore…

You could also dual-boot XP and Vista, switch to XP for those classic games. When you can buy 750GB for $99, well, there’s no reason not to!

One Sentence Review: The Golden Compass | Posted at 10:45 PM

goldencompassposter

Title: The Golden Compass
Type: Movie
Blurb: A little girl and a bad ass polar bear kick some serious alter-dimensional butt.
Review: Well, I bet the book is better because it went fast, but it was still pretty good, better than that Narnia crud.
Grade: B+

O Sweet, Sweet Metal! | Posted at 12:40 PM

In my earlier post I mentioned a free metal sampler from Nuclear Blast.

On the sampler is a band called “Equilibrium? who I've never heard of but are in the same vein as my favorite band, Ensiferum.

One thing is for sure: they are awesome. I hopped onto Amazon at once to see if I could buy the CD but apparently their new album, Sagas, isn't available until July 8! Sadness.

I marked my calendar so I can get it when it's released. In the meantime, I can listen to the one full track and the previews of the others.

["Sagas" via Amazon]

One Sentence Review: Devil May Cry 4 | Posted at 10:29 AM

dmc4

Title: Devil May Cry 4
Blurb: You play some other annoying kid for half the game.
Review: Meh, it was cool at first and then just got tedious and annoying.
Grade: C

June 24, 2008

How to: Play Age of Empires III over Hamachi/LAN | Posted at 7:16 PM

I ran into a problem a while back where me and my friend wanted to play AOE III over Hamachi.

If you don’t know, Hamachi is a virtual private network program but it’s real easy to use. It creates a LAN between you and anyone in your server (in my case, some of my friends). You can password protect your server and invite only people you trust.

Naturally, this means you can easily LAN with people when they aren’t on your home network. Sometimes this can be tricky but the first method I’m going to show you should work for almost all the games.

Method 1: The Windows XP/Vista Route

Windows XP

There is a little known feature in Windows that lets you specify what network adapters are most important. Many games like Age of Empires will use the network card with the highest priority.

  1. Click Start and go to Control Panel
  2. Go to Network Connections
  3. In the menu at the top, click Advanced and then Advanced Settings.
  4. You’ll see your Wireless or Local Area Connection in the list and Hamachi under “Connections.?
  5. Click Hamachi and click the Green Up Arrow to move it to the top.
  6. Click OK to close the dialog.

Now Hamachi should be configured as a higher priority connection.

Windows Vista

  1. Click Start and go to Control Panel
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center
  3. On the left side, click Manage Network Connections
  4. Press the ‘Alt’ key and click Advanced then Advanced Settings at the top.
  5. You’ll see your Wireless or Local Area Connection in the list and Hamachi under “Connections.?
  6. Click Hamachi and click the Green Up Arrow to move it to the top.
  7. Click OK to close the dialog.

Run Age of Empires 3 and try to host a LAN game. In the top corner should be your Hamachi IP address.

If it’s not the right one, then you’ll have to set it manually for the game…

Method 2: Set AOE 3 Manually

Before using this method, update to AOE 3 1.04 or above! You can find the patches here.

Here’s a way to force AOE 3 to use a specific IP address:

  1. Go to your My Documents/Documents folder.
  2. Go to your My Games folder.
  3. Go to the Age of Empires III folder.
  4. Go to the Startup folder.
  5. If there is not a user.cfg file, open Notepad. Do File > Save As… and save it as user.cfg (make sure to use “All Files *.*? not “Text Documents *.txt?) in that folder.
  6. In user.cfg (right-click, Open With Notepad) add the following line:

    OverrideAddress="5.x.x.x"
  7. Change “5.x.x.x? to your Hamachi address. This can be found by opening up Hamachi and seeing what the big numbers at the top say.
  8. This will force AOE 3 to use the Hamachi address instead of your LAN IP address.

Now start AOE 3 and host a LAN game. You should see your Hamachi address now, for sure!

[View the Hamachi AOE 3-specific wiki entry for details and also the general Gaming wiki entry for more than what I’ve covered]

Troubleshooting Network Problems

If the address shows up but your friend still can’t connect, first make sure their IP address is showing correctly.

  • Use the same version. All users wanting to play AOE 3 over network need to have the same version. To see what version you have, browse to where you installed AOE 3 and open up “patch.rtf.? At the top it should tell you what version you have.
  • Make sure your EXE is the same. If you’re like me and buy games but don’t want to keep putting in the CD for them when you want to play, you’ve “cracked? your Age3.exe file. Make sure your friends all have the same one, otherwise it probably won’t work.

Cheap $2 HDMI Cables | Posted at 7:49 AM

Grab them over here. Dirt cheap, I wish I knew about this a few days ago.

[via Amazon]

Amazon’s Daily MP3 Deal: The Police | Posted at 7:42 AM

Amazon’s Daily Deal for MP3 downloads today is “Synchronicity? by The Police for $1.99. Can it get better, people?

Grab it over at this here link.

There’s also a FREE 10-song sampler from Nuclear Blast for people like me who enjoy metal.

June 23, 2008

User Experience Design | Posted at 10:49 PM

At work (SUA), we’re revamping the entire Events & Conferences sub-site because it’s nigh unusable for our users.

We conducted a handful of usability tests and while it wasn’t horrendous, there was definitely stuff we could improve on. Audio and video package rates were hard to find, policies were hard to find, the whole finding a room process was convoluted. A bunch of things.

One of my favorite parts about my job is revamping a sub-site. I’ve done two revamps (well, three if you count the entire site-wide template design) so far, one for the Student Groups site and one for the Events Calendar.

The E&C site is real exciting because we’ll probably be doing an AJAX JavaScript application to easily browse rooms. We’re also revamping the room-specific pages, probably doing PHP arrays. I suppose if it becomes unwieldy, we might do MySQL instead.

I don’t know why, but I really enjoy making designs better. You saw what I did to the Facebook Application, GamePie. I think it’s fun to see if you can make things more usable. I should consider doing fun mock-ups of big name sites with better usability and accessibility design.

I mean, have you seen Amazon without CSS and JavaScript?

amazon_no_css

That’s not even close to usable or accessible. Granted, they do have an accessible text-only site, but it’s much less toned down than the “Amazon PC? homepage.

amazon_accessible

Did I mention I didn’t see a link to the accessible page on the Amazon homepage? Maybe it’s buried somewhere but I couldn’t see it.

Plus, I’ve heard that not all products are on the text only site. Yah, way to think of the disabled population Amazon. There’s no excuse to not have a good, usable and accessible website. They make billions of dollars, it’d take a month to just redo everything (alright, not really, but to actually make a usable design and code a static page, seriously…).

I know that there’s bureaucracy and maybe the site designers do want to make their site better, but it has to happen at some point. I don’t understand why the “greater web? (i.e. corporate big wigs) don’t listen to reason. Hasn’t anyone told them that accessible design will make their business increase, SEO rank increase, and generate buzz? Disabled users can’t shop effectively at Amazon… that’s pretty lame.

SUA is a top Google ranker because of how well we’ve done on the usability aspect. It’s compatible with screen readers, text-only browsers, and all major (and minor) web browsers except MSIE 4 (test it out with BrowserShots.org). If you search for “SUA? we’re no. 3. Cross-site linking and lots of content will do that for you.

Anyway, I’m thinking doing some small mockup projects for sites like these just for fun. See if I can make their pages better and more usable. It would be fun!

More eBay Delays | Posted at 10:01 PM

So I got my fifth positive feedback today from the item I bought. Thinking, “Alright, now I can finally list my item with Buy It Now,? I go to finish listing my item.

I still can’t and it’s 9pm, I got my feedback in the morning. Does it take that long for eBay to update my seller account? I talked with a support person and they said it might be delayed and I should send an email to their Trust team, which I did.

I suppose I’ll have to list it tomorrow.

Update: A support representative emailed me back:

Kamran, I would like to inform you that, there is a problem going on from our side and that is the reason you are not able to find the option of "Buy it now".

Thank you for your message. I've forwarded the information you provided to our Tech team and they're working to correct this.

Thanks again for taking the time to alert us to the problem. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Well I am glad I told them… some people seem to be having the same problem because I’ve gotten Googled with similar search phrases.

One Sentence Review: Snow Crash | Posted at 9:58 PM

Title: Snow Crash
Type: Audiobook
Author: Neal Stephenson
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Blurb: A cyberpunk meets awesomeness about a half-Asian hacker who kicks ass.
Review: The ending is true to its name because it doesn’t tie up all the loose ends but it’s still very satisfying.
Grade: A-

June 22, 2008

eBay’s ID Verify Broken | Posted at 10:43 AM

I was on eBay yesterday trying to sell my two video cards, and of course for Buy It Now you have to have more than 5 feedback. I have 4. So, I looked at eBay’s help pages and there’s a little known application called ID Verify, you pay $5 at the end and you can get all the seller perks. So naturally I wanted to because I wanted to sell my stuff tonight (Sundays at 7pm PST seem to work the best).

Naturally, it didn’t work. I fill out the information, most of which is pre-filled, and try to submit it. It says I have to fill in my address information. Great except you know what? It’s already filled in. Big help, eBay.

I emailed support because why would they have a Seller Support Line like Amazon, that’d make too much sense (which is, by the way, available 24/7). So now they won’t get back to me ‘til tomorrow, after the best time to sell passes.

I did buy something to get the extra feedback but I don’t think they’ll leave it until Monday. Grrr.

I guess I’ll have to make due selling Monday night.

Update: For future reference, it isn’t necessarily the address you registered with eBay, rather more like the USPS address. Since I live in a suburb, I had to use “Minneapolis? as the city instead and then it worked. By that time I had my 5 feedback, though.

June 21, 2008

Run Crysis (and other games) in SLI [How To] | Posted at 3:44 PM

On Friday, I spent most of the day figuring out and tuning my system to properly use SLi. I had been having below par performance and I thought that SLi probably wasn’t working.

Before I delve into the details, here’s my rig specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ @ 2.4Ghz
  • 2GB DDR400 RAM
  • (x2) eVGA 7900GS 256MB Video Cards
  • Windows XP SP3
  • nVidia Drivers 175.16

I’m going to go through the different things I did to get Crysis (and my other games) properly running in SLI Mode.

The first thing I tried was updating my drivers to the latest, 175.16. In short, that didn’t seem to help. I was messing with the profile and nothing really seemed to be working, I was getting about 10-15fps. Unplayable.

Here’s what I did to make it all work:

Uninstall all previous nVidia Display Drivers from Control Panel.

Use Driver Cleaner Pro to remove the nVidia files (it’s just called “Nvidia?).

Restart the computer.

Cancel all of Windows’ driver installation boxes.

Install the nVidia drivers 175.16.

Download and install nHancer.

If you don’t already have FRAPS, download and install it to measure your FPS.

Restart the computer.

Now, here’s how to make sure SLI is actually working:

  1. Open up Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Make sure you have SLI Enabled
  3. Click 3D Settings in the menu, click “Show SLI Visual Indicators?

slivisual

Open up nHancer. It should scan your computer for installed programs. In the profiles list, scroll down to Crysis and select it.

nHancer

It should look like mine above. If it doesn’t, click the profile and click the Delete (X) button above it. It should say that this is a predefined profile and you can’t delete it fully, but it will reset it to the driver’s default. That’s what you want. If the preset is still different than mine, then change the Hex Value at the bottom to my value to turn on the proper compatibility flags.

Now that we’ve enabled the SLI Load Bar visual indicator, you can start Crysis up (with FRAPS running in the background). Right away, you should see the vertical SLI bar on the right side. It’s a green bar that grows from its center, indicating whether your system is using SLI. The bigger it is, the more efficient SLI is being used. If it’s close to the center, that means that it’s mostly using a single GPU.

To test it out, load up a save game. To really test your system, you should probably keep the same settings each time you use it. My system uses these settings:

crysis1024x768

If the green bar is moving and is pretty large, SLI is working. If FRAPS shows you a decent FPS, then you know everything is as it should be.

crysis_ingame1

crysis_ingame2 

There are a few things to know if you’re still getting crappy FPS:

  • Make sure you’re using the latest Crysis Patch 1.2.
  • Crysis is very GPU intensive. I get an average of 30fps using my settings and that’s good performance. It frequently is choppy, probably due to all the physics and effects, but it’s not horrible enough to make me lower the settings. Also, I don’t have an up-to-date PC by any means hardware wise.
  • Don’t install a mod like the Natural Mod, it cut my FPS to about 20 normally. It’s meant for high performance PCs.
  • Be sure to close all open programs and ones you don’t need from the system tray. It all uses up valuable memory Crysis needs.
  • Try using the 169.44 or 169.09 drivers. They are beta drivers but they might work. I tried the 169.44 drivers and SLI first started working then. However, it was probably because I used nHancer to reset the Crysis profile to its default settings.
  • Crysis is not GPU OC friendly, try disabling your overclock.

For some reason, my water is flickering and it’s annoying. It started doing that once I used SLI. It happened in the 169.44 drivers and then when I removed them and used 175.16, it still was there. It has to do with the Shader setting being set to High (or above). If it is on Medium, it doesn’t flicker.

Whatever, it works doesn’t it?

Note: In the title I said “and other games.? All of this made my other games work properly too, like Call of Duty 4, Oblivion, and Gears of War. All of which are now playable at 1680x1050 and full effects. GoW even can reach 60fps average! Oblivion is about 30-40fps average. CoD 4 can be 70fps in good areas and dip to 20s in really crazy areas.

June 20, 2008

Animoto: Pretty Fun Web App | Posted at 11:05 AM

I found this via Superficial Intelligence, another U blog.

Basically, you use a number of pictures and a music file and Animoto will create a video based on the pictures and music. It’s pretty neat, check out the 30 second clip I made:

It creates 30 second clips for free, otherwise it costs money for full ones.

What I’m Reading and Playing | Posted at 12:02 AM

Right now I am reading Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash from Audible. I listen to it on the way to and from work so I get a good hour and a half or so every day. I’m about an hour and a half close to finishing it.

snowcrash

Despite the book being crazy and humorous, it has some interesting ideas. The detail that Stephenson goes into about biological vs. technical viruses is very intriguing. It’s only fully explained at the end and I won’t ruin it for you. There are certain portions of the book that are about 20-30 minutes of straight “history.? I don’t know anything about Sumarian society or culture, so I can’t say whether or not it’s all true. Although when I was listening to it in the van, my mom was talking about some of the deities and cults that the book was mentioning.

What’s even more interesting is the Metaverse idea. It was Stephenson’s idea to a successor of the Internet. It’s basically Second Life with better avatars, graphics, and millions of people, and more like a real life mirror.

If the history bores you the characters are what get to you. The rebellious YT and the hilariously geeky yet bad ass Hiro are pretty lovable. It’s even more fun listening to the book because the narrator, Jonathan Davis, does an amazing job (I mentioned how awesome he was in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao). He nails the accents and makes the whole book fun to listen to.

When I can, I am playing Devil May Cry 4, No More Heroes, and GTA IV (still).

I’m not sure what I think about DMC 4. It’s cheesy… but the fighting is pretty decent. Still, I’m not a real combo-Ninja-Gaiden-button-masher type person. I think it warrants about a B- or C+… I plan to finish it but some parts really piss me off so I stop playing. I stopped trying the secret missions altogether. It’s one of those games that I just want to finish to get through it.

I’ve only played about an hour of No More Heroes. Very interesting game, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand the style is old-school and on the other I have to shake the Wiimote a LOT.

I’m still trying to beat GTA IV. I am only at 60.74% right now. It says I’ve played about 40 hours. It would have been more if I didn’t have to avoid my siblings to play it… as it is, I can only play when they’re not around. All that swearing and such, you know.

I was playing it yesterday when they were gone and my mom was in the background, fiddling around on her computer. She’s hearing some of the vulgarity-laden dialogue with Jimmy Pegorino and she goes:

“You didn’t buy this, did you??

Haha. Poor mom.

June 19, 2008

First Amazon MP3 Purchase | Posted at 11:38 PM

I wanted to buy a true DRM free album today, so I browsed Amazon MP3 for some of my favorite artists. Surprisingly it found all of the bands (and their albums) that I was looking for.

I ended up getting 3 Inches of Blood’s “Fire Up the Blades.? It’s a really nice album… I’m not finished listening to it though, I just bought it about 5 minutes ago.

Fire up the Blades

Amazon’s setup is surprisingly simple. A small program is downloaded that gets the MP3s, then it places them into your My Music folder properly organized and adds the songs to either WMP or iTunes. I had to modify the preferences at first because it defaults to iTunes and saves it in My Music/Amazon MP3.

Damn, between Amazon MP3, Rock Band, and Audible I will be spending a lot of money on music and books…

June 16, 2008

Comcast vs. Satellite | Posted at 5:36 PM

My family is getting tired of paying out the nose for Comcast cable. We get charged about $88-$90 per month just for cable. We only watch a handful of channels like TLC, HGTV, Discovery, CNN, Cartoon Network, Nick, Disney, Comedy Central, and some HD channels.

Now that we have a brand spankin’ new HDTV, I realized that Comcast’s HD lineup is really terrible. Half of it is sports and the a third or so is premium channels that we can’t watch. What use is that?

So I’ve been researching a bit and I think we might go with Dish Network’s DishHD package. It comes with about 40 good HD channels (including 90% of the ones we only watch), for about $30/month base price.

My dad wants to have two receivers for two rooms since he wants an HDTV upstairs eventually too. I suggested we get the free HD DVR for the entertainment room TV and then just buy a nice HDTV antenna to get all the local HD channels and analog channels for the other TVs. That way they can enjoy their news and TV shows upstairs in HD and come downstairs to view their special satellite-only HD shows. Besides, the free HD DVR has a dual-tuner, so it can at least output some standard def to another TV separately.

Hey, for $30, not bad? Plus with a NetFlix subscription and an Xbox 360… well, streaming movies!

Comcast, just because you have “more HD channels than satellite? doesn’t equate to them being better. Quality over quantity, buddies.

June 15, 2008

Grad Party and Baby Rabbits | Posted at 11:26 PM

I went to my friends' grad party today. That's two friends, both of them held their party together because they will be related soon since one of them is marrying the other's sister.

Anyway, we played some volleyball, ate food, and had an all-around grand 'ol time. The highlight though has to be the baby rabbits in the yard.

Rabbit 6-15-2008 6-21-56 PM

It's a tale of life and death, since one rabbit had died before we came upon them, and one died in our arms as we tried to nurse it. Sad...

Rabbit 6-15-2008 6-22-06 PM

The good news is that they are taking care of the other ones even though they technically can be by themselves. Hopefully that will go over well!

One of the male members of our party decided it would be humorous to put a little critter in a, more tasteful, environment:

Rabbit 6-15-2008 6-47-42 PM

As you can probably guess, female members of the party were decidedly angry about said show of male humor.

Rabbit 6-15-2008 6-47-50 PM 

What? I thought it was funny.

June 14, 2008

Mega Review: Toshiba REGZA 42RV530U | Posted at 10:25 PM

Product: Toshiba REGZA 42? LCD TV
Price: $1200
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889253124

Product

A few weeks ago, my family and I bought this TV for our downstairs entertainment room. I had been researching TVs for awhile and I ended up on this model. Now they have a newer, more expensive 120Hz version which I’ll get into later.

I’ve had some time with the unit, played some games, watched some movies, and TV so it’s about time we had ourselves a review. Let’s go, shall we? Read the review after the jump!

Continue reading "Mega Review: Toshiba REGZA 42RV530U" »

New Design | Posted at 7:22 PM

When I started this blog, I used a theme that someone else had designed. I figured that since I’m a designer, it would make sense that my blog should have its own unique design. So yesterday and today I spent some time and came up with this. It’s simple but effective.

Now I have something to call my own!

I hope you like it.

June 12, 2008

One Sentence Review: You Don’t Mess With the Zohan | Posted at 10:41 PM

zohan

Title: You Don't Mess with the Zohan
Type: Movie
Blurb: Adam Sandler + Stereotypes + Not Very Funny
Review: Besides a few funny moments, the whole idea of an Israeli barber making love to old women in a Palestinian salon while also trying to be funny with a stupid accent is just a retarded movie premise.
Grade: D

P.S. Emmanuelle Chriqui is so effin' hoooooot.

My Custom Rock Band Guitar | Posted at 11:14 AM

If you want to see the epitome of nerdy, I bought a decal for my Rock Band guitar because I wanted it to stand out… and if someone stole it, I’d know it was mine.

Behold, the Inked Out Guitar:

Rock Band Guitar Body

Nice, eh?

Guitar Neck

Another guitar body picture

I have to be honest though, I think that I will take the decals off the fingered frets because it makes it hard to slide my finger over, plus it catches on the edge of the vinyl. Not fun!

You can buy yours at Digital Camo, but it took a long time to come. I think about 3-4 weeks. Shipping was fast, but to actually make the order took awhile. Still, it’s really sweet!

My Generation and Video Games | Posted at 12:49 AM

I think that many of my fellow generation Y can relate to the following scenario:

You’re playing Warcraft III, you’re in a clan match. Everything is going according to plan, your fellow mates are getting ready to push center and get rid of the enemy’s defenses.

Suddenly, you hear from upstairs, “Kamran!? Oh, great. “Yah?!? you yell, only slightly turning your attention away from the chaos. “Come up here.? Oh no. If you leave, it’ll most certainly spell the death of the match or at least cause severe casualties, and you can’t just leave your character unattended, you’ll be a feeder. But what can you do? “Just a second!? Quickly you type out your intentions to your teammates, getting sarcastic and sometimes unfriendly feedback.

“Kamran!?

“I’m coming!?

You head upstairs.

This is a scenario I see being played out with my brother all the time. He’s more into multiplayer games than I am; Warcraft III and CS:S mostly. Often times he’ll be in the middle of a match and will get called up to go to bed or come eat.

From experience, I know its hard to let go of a match. Especially if it’s a clan match or a ranked match. It might seem banal to non-gamers. “So what?? they might say. Sure, in the game of life it’s not such a big deal to lose some points and go down a rank in the ladder but I suppose in that moment it’s important to you because that’s what you’re working towards. I can’t imagine what it’s like to leave a Warcraft Raid in the middle of it, I bet some guilds are so strict you get kicked out. I wouldn’t be surprised.

This makes me wonder how I will handle my kids’ gaming habits. Luckily I will get a few years before they reach that stage and who knows, online gaming might evolve to cope with such scenarios (with FPS, the whole “click to spawn? usually works and you can stay un-spawned until you get back). You can vote pause a game in some titles already. Handy for LAN games, I’ll tell you that.

I think as a gamer myself, I might be more empathetic to my child’s plight.

“How much longer??

“The round ends in 5 minutes, dad!?

“Oh, alright. Hurry it up!?

Of course, that translates to 15 minutes, right? So on one hand, I can see how parents can get mad but on the other, I can understand why its hard to quit.

If it’s multiplayer, I can handle some leeway unless its really urgent (“TORNADO!?) but I expect them to pause it right away if it’s just single player. There’s not much excuse there unless you’re in a fight or in a solo on Rock Band.

What a conundrum. I think I should subject my kids to the same upbringing I had. No computers and video games until 8: send them to grandma’s to put together puzzles, LEGOs, and watch Sesame Street.

It did me good.

PS. I still can be proud of my youngest brother who played Oblivion (and read the dialog) when he was 7 and hooked up his computer by himself now as an 8 year old. Right now he plays Assassin’s Creed, Oblivion, Pokemon, Rock Band, Paper Mario, Fire Emblem, and Devil May Cry 4. He has as much taste in different genres as me!

June 11, 2008

A New Way to Waste Time | Posted at 11:06 PM

My co-workers and company have created a neat little site called, simply, Scribbls. Scribbls let’s people do collaborative drawing by adding pictures together to equal something else.

One thing is for sure, it’s a lot of fun.

Check it out!

Handy Andy 2 is here! | Posted at 10:01 AM

Since last year, my co-workers and I have been asked to create a web game for incoming freshmen to the U of MN to learn about the Student Unions & Activities. SUA encompasses most of the activities that are held on campus, as well as student groups and the game rooms.

Last year, we released Handy Andy’s Key Quest which was our first try and it came out pretty good if I say so myself. The style was supposed to be in the vein of old-school Nintendo with pixel graphics and 8-bit music. Obviously its a hybrid text adventure and … eating game? I had a lot of fun creating the graphics which might be apparent. I’m not the best artist, but pixel MS-Paint style graphics I can do. That said, Handy Andy 3 might be… more “modern.?

The engine is made up of JavaScript and CSS using YUI and other magic. The beauty is that anyone can use it to create their own similar type of game. It works in Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE (6 and 7!).  And if someone has trouble playing, the engine is set up to make an Alternate Text version available easily.

Even if you are not a UMN student (or freshman), the game is fun to play anyway. As a developer or designer, you might be interested to check out the Javascript and CSS design.

And with that, let me present to you Handy Andy and The Ampersand Trail!

P.S. There are Easter eggs (*ahem* watch the credits). We will be implementing a secret level this week. That secret level will be a sneak peek into what Handy Andy 3’s art style will be, my new found talent! How will you find the secret level? That’s for you to find out. (Compared to previous installments, it took me an entire day to design the level instead of the usual hour and a half or so).

Keeping up-to-date on your favorite TV shows using your favorite RSS reader | Posted at 8:07 AM

For those of you who have never heard of Hulu.com, it's a site that is sanctioned by major TV networks to host their shows. And I mean, Full Episodes, not just little puny clips.

One of the cool features Hulu has is the ability to generate RSS feeds for shows' episodes.

You can also embed the video in an enclosure so that Google Reader (my preferred RSS reader) can play it without you having to visit the site.

Unfortunately, it embeds the player, not the video, so you can't use it with programs like TVersity which can stream video podcasts to your TV.

To see an example, check out this RSS feed for The Daily Show!

http://www.hulu.com/feed/show/902/episodes?enclosures=1

Notice the "enclosures=1" attribute. That adds media enclosures to the feed.

I am currently subscribed to The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and the Office. Too bad they don't have lost, but then again, ABC.com has full HD episodes so it's no biggie.

June 10, 2008

Publishing to UThink using Windows Live Writer | Posted at 1:08 PM

I am testing out this neat way of publishing to my blog. I dislike the interface for Movable Type that this blog uses, so I wanted to see if I can publish using Windows Live Writer.

You have to admit that Microsoft did  good job with the Live software. This program is pretty darn neat.

Anyway, if you can see this, well it's been a success!

Using SLI with Assassin's Creed for PC | Posted at 10:48 AM

I recently acquired Assassin's Creed via Steam and I had a chance to test it out (using my friend's account). When I booted it up and turned on all the settings high and lowered the resolution, I got OK performance. It was playable but not as I'd like it. So I decided to try and use my SLi configuration that I paid over $300 for to try and increase my frames.

I have a 7900GS SLi system and Assassin's Creed for PC doesn't support SLi out of the box, but you can manually add a profile for it.

To do so:

1. Open nVidia Control Panel
2. Go to Manage 3D Settings
3. Click 'Add'
4. If you're using Steam, you need to browse to [Your SteamApps Folder]\common\assassins creed\
5. Depending on what DX version you're using, add the appropriate exe (mine is AssassinsCreed_Dx9.exe).
6. Scroll down to SLi Performance Mode.
7. Select 'Force alternate frame rendering 2'

I've tried 1 and 2, and 2 gives me a good extra 15-20 frames bringing it from barely playable to definitely playable (19 to above 30) in the temple intro. I have all settings High, Multisampling 1st level, and 1024x768. It brought the Animus screen from 30 to over 50.

To be fair though, I still can hardly play the game when in a city. Yuck.

I hope this helps someone get more performance!

Frets on Fire: Better than Guitar Hero? | Posted at 10:36 AM

Now, if there is one thing I am certainly a fan of, it is banging away on small plastic guitars to some of my favorite songs. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me out there in this respect.

That is why I need to share this with you:

What if you could get most of the songs you love that aren't on GH and play them? Well you can. All you need is a keyboard. Or, if you're like me, any 360 guitar controller.

It's called Frets on Fire and it's a free game that lets you play songs GH-style using your keyboard or any other input device.

As you can see, you can have a LOT of songs.

Here's a quick rundown of what you have to do:

  1. Download Frets on Fire.
  2. Download RF-Mod (version 4.15) for Frets on Fire. It has to overwrite your FoF folder.
  3. Install your USB 360 controller or use a keyboard.
  4. Obtain songs. These can be found on the web, in packs that be can be gotten from BitTorrent.
  5. Shred.

RF-Mod is a sweet, sweet mod that enhances the core functionality of FoF. Namely it installs a bunch of useful mods like the Guitar Hero Theme mod which I use, change the 5th fret color to orange, and some other graphical enhancements. The default themes are just ugly.

When installing my Harmonix Rock Band guitar, Windows XP detected it but still failed to install it. Apparently for most people using the Guitar Hero controllers it works fine but for me, it did not. This driver worked perfectly except that it's in French and I had no idea what was happening. After it installed though, it worked fine!

So my friends, happy shredding!

One Sentence Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao | Posted at 10:22 AM

oscarwao.gif

Title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Type: Audiobook
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Review: An awesome book, it's dark humor and very enjoyable plus Jonathan is an amazing narrator (he also does Snow Crash).
Grade: A

Buy it from Audible

Update on my Tyson Motsinger experience | Posted at 10:13 AM

Update 1/22/10: Tyson responds to complaints.

There are a lot of people hitting my blog looking for information regarding the Nebraska Books Company scam and Tyson Motsinger.

Here's my latest update:

Motsinger ordered a book a few weeks ago from me and I called Amazon Seller Support to find out what to do. I was told to send the book with signature confirmation, just in case something happens. So I did. So far, I haven't had any problems and that was over 3 weeks ago.

I think that problems arise when you send them a book that doesn't exactly match your description and condition and ISBN number. If you are accurate, I don't think you'll have any problems.

Since that order, he hasn't bothered me, so I don't have to deal with that anymore.

For up-to-date discussions, check out the Amazon Seller Community forums.

June 9, 2008

Using a dual screen wallpaper with nVidia DualView | Posted at 11:22 AM

Yesterday I wanted to use a wallpaper that would cover both of my screens but I couldn't figure out how because I am using nVidia's DualView with my monitors. When I set the wallpaper, it made it stretch on both screens so I had two.

The fix is actually pretty easy. You can resize the picture to your dual monitor dimensions (in my case, 3360x1050) and then set the wallpaper to "Tile" in the Desktop tab of the Display Properties. I don't know why it works, but it does!

June 4, 2008

How to: Use Linux to Save Windows | Posted at 6:25 PM

Uh oh, it's happened again. Windows has gone beserk, giving you blue screens of death, not letting you backup your files, and has all around gone down the drain. What do you do? You want to reformat, but you don't want to lose your data.

Besides storing important documents and files on a separate hard drive, I have my own solution:

Knoppix.

Knoppix is a Linux OS that runs from a single CD. Put it in the drive, boot it up, and you can backup your hard drive over the network, to an external, or to a jump drive.

You can download the Knoppix distro at this site.

Use it to browse the Internet, navigate the network, and backup files for your poor OS. Of course, it only works if your hardware is not the problem, only Windows. Obviously, if your hardware is bad... well, you can always hook up the hard drive to a working computer!

Tip: To browse your network, simply start Konqueror and type in the address bar: "smb://[your computer name]" the SMB protocol is what Mac and Linux use to connect to Windows servers. Handy!

Happy fixing!

June 2, 2008

How to: Play Red Alert 2 (RA2) or Yuri’s Revenge (YR) over LAN using Windows XP/Vista | Posted at 9:58 PM

Update #1: Try using this RA2 patch that makes the game use UDP instead of IPX. It claims to make the game work on Vista.

Update #2: The other link doesn't work, use this ModDB page to download the patch. Confirmed working for RA2! This will work in Windows 7 and Vista.

---

Today, I had my friend over and we decided to play some Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge. This is my favorite CNC game of the whole franchise, but it did come out in 2000-2001. As such, playing it over LAN can get complicated and confusing. That's why I created this post. To help out people who are having trouble getting LAN to work.

Step 1: The set up

I have a router in my network configuration that is hooked up to a Network Switch (not a "Hub") that all my computers plug into.

When I first tried to network our game, my friend was using my laptop on my wireless network. This didn't work, at all.

Here's what did work: I plugged both computers by LAN cable into my Network Switch, not directly into the router. A hub might also work.

Step 2: Network Configuration

The next step is to make sure the network protocols on each computer are configured. Red Alert 2 is an older game and instead of the regular TCP/IP protocol that today's games use, it uses the IPX protocol.

Hey, Windows Vista Users!

Windows Vista does not officially support IPX. In fact, from the research I’ve done it looks impossible to get IPX working. However, there’s a great WikiHow article on how to apply a 3rd-party patch to replace the IPX functionality of RA2 with UDP instead. See if that works!

The Rest of Us

For the rest of you, by default, Windows XP doesn't install IPX on your network.

Alternate Solution without using IPX: WikiHow: Play Red Alert 2 Over the Internet

To install the IPX protocol on your network connection, do the following on each computer:


  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections

    Control-Panel
  2. Find your Local Area Connection. This is the network card that you've plugged your LAN cable into, it's usually just named "Local Area Connection."

    Network-Connections
  3. Now, right-click your Local Area Connection and select Properties.

    LAN-Properties
  4. If "NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol" isn't listed, then we need to install it.
  5. Click "Install..." then select Protocol, then click "Add..."

    Network-Protocol-Install
  6. You should see NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol listed (I already have it installed). Select it and click "OK".
  7. Return to the Property page, you should now see the new protocol listed just above "TCP/IP."
  8. Select it and click "Properties"

    IPX-Properties
  9. For the field "Frame Type" select "802.2" and for Network Number use "00000001"
  10. Click OK and Close to exit out of the dialogs.

What we've just done is added the IPX protocol to your network connection. If you don't add this, Red Alert 2 will not go to the Network page when you click Network, it will bring you back to the Main Menu.

Step 3: Configuring RA2


  1. Start up Red Alert 2.
  2. Click Options and then Network
  3. For Network Adapter, select the one that begins with "00 00 00 01" and then a bunch of numbers and letters. That's your Local Area Connection.
  4. For "Destination Network" type in "00.00.00.01"

RA2-Network-Settings

Click Back and Back again to return to the Main Menu screen. Now click Network to go to the Network Lobby. Stay there. Repeat all of the above steps on the second/third/fourth/etc. computer. Once all is said and done, you should all see each other in the Network Lobby.

If you don't see each other

If you don't see each other, make sure you're all connected through the hub or switch. Make sure all the "Network Number" fields for the IPX protocol are the same. Make sure no one is accidentally connecting to your wireless network.

Try disabling your firewall. I don’t use Windows XP Firewall when I play, so the wireless issue was a strange one. However, if you are using wired ethernet, make sure to disable any Internet Security or Firewall programs.

These were the settings and conditions under which we played successfully. You may not even have to edit the Properties of the IPX protocol if you are connected through a switch. I just made them the same just in case, I didn't test it using default settings. I think it may have to do with your router, that's why I said to connect them to a switch or hub.

Anyway, I hope this helps people in the future!

Update: A lot of people hit this page, so I’ve added pictures to help!

June 1, 2008

Selling an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ | Posted at 12:16 AM

I'm selling an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ CPU, the listing starts tomorrow at 7PM PST:

http://tinyurl.com/4u9hgo

I'm also selling an Xbox (original) that comes with two wireless controllers and an HD cable for $20 (local), $10 shipping (for out-of-state). If you're interested, leave a comment with your real email and I'll contact you.