Bongo Bongo

Plan A for the weekend was Blues Fest. No takers. Plan B was another Apple River Tubing adventure. A bit too chilly, so no volunteers. So it was just me and a friend going to Plan C, kayaking on the St. Croix.

We launched at Marine on St. Croix. We kayaked up stream beyond William O’Brien, then drifted back down to this State Park and hung out for an hour there. Then went back our port.

While we were packing stuff away, I watched as some poor yuppie was taking his canoe off the roof of his SUV. As he was taking the canoe off from the back, he gave himself a looong scratch on the roof of his car as the nose of the canoe scraped along. I yelled as this was occurring but he didn’t hear me. Ah, its only a car.

The night before (Friday night) I went to go see a band at Shamrock’s. This band played covers, with a mix from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The band’s name was Orange Whip. I was really surprised that the audience was so young. The reason me and my friend chose to see this band was in hopes of seeing people our age. About half of the music played came out before most of these kids were born. Oh well, we refused to feel old at this bar with the music that was playing. And of course the young girls were fun to look.

I managed to take 2 trips out to the berry patch over the weekend. Initially I enjoyed going out and picking the raspberries. It is fine line between communing with nature and thinking that you have turned into a migrant worker.

More Doom 3 fun

I discovered the scripts that Id Software made available for small mods to Doom 3. So I started a mod. I’m still goofing around with this mod. I did release a version for you to goof around with. Read this forum thread for more info. I have no goal in mind, We’ll see where this leads.

We had some cool weather in the Duluth area, earlier this week. The high on Monday was only 53 degrees, which was a record low maximum temperature for the date. On that same date, International Falls only hit 49 degrees. That was the only time in recorded history that the Falls didn’t get out of the 40s during a day in August. It’s still chilly, Hibbing hit 32 degrees last night under clear and calm conditions.

I’m done

Finished Doom 3 single player. Glad thats over with. Now I can move on with my life. I cheated – I was in “GOD” mode most of the game. Some day I will go back and try and beat the 4 bosses without going into god mode.

Apparently Half-Life 2 will be out some time in September. Then I have to do this all over again.

Another Weekend

Went to anther LAN party this weekend. Played the Doom 3 multiplayer. I actually won most of the rounds. I practiced more than the other folks though. I also managed to win one of the 10 rounds of Behind Enemy Lines – Call of Duty.

The stairs leading up to the master bedroom are made out of half logs (with the flat side up, of course). They had a slippery polyurethane finish. I was going to fall down those steps one of these days. So before I took off for the cities, I put down another coat of polyurethane, but with some grit mixed in. I did this Friday morning. I came back Saturday night, and the steps were still tacky, but I was able to walk on them. Much better grip, maybe I saved a life. Who knows.

No, not more demons. Dammit.

The UAC screwed things up on Mars in the mid 22nd century. Then DynaMars does the same damn thing a century later. Stupid fucks didn’t learn a darn thing, did they?

Okay. I picked raspberries today. I did this while the tree cutters removed the dead trees/stems from my back yard. I wonder what their opinion of me was when I was doing this? These raspberries will be donated to my sister and to whomever she decides to share them with. I will be driving to the cities for the weekend, and will be sleeping there again. Hopefully the berries will work as a rental payment.

I bought a disc golf starter kit. I have done some practicing in the back yard. Can’t get the damn things to fly straight. When I do a backhand throw, they always eventually go to the left. Even if I release the discs with an initial tilt to the right. They eventually do hook back to the left at the end. That is with the “drivers”. The mid-range and putter are not quite as dramatic. When I finally break down and go to a course, I don’t think I will touch the drivers.

The hot tub is about warm enough, I might have to take a dip before the night is out.

Okay I am trying to solve a problem, I mean feature, with Windows XP. Here is the thread. Apparently folks don’t understand what I am talking about. I will take the blame for that. Looks like I will need pictures.

More Doom 3

A perfectly sunny day, and I am inside playing a video game. How pathetic is that?

The only project I accomplished yesterday was to clean out the greenhouse enough so I could put my 5′ spa-n-a-box inside there. Hopefully by tonight, the spa will be warm enough for me to dip myself.

Other than that it was fighting with Doom 3 yesterday. No good anecdotes there.

Oh yeah, the Minnesota Twins have a 13 and 2 record since July 19. They are also beating good teams during this stretch. Their team ERA is now the best in the American League. Hopefully this good play will pass along into the post-season. The Twins play at Noon this afternoon. Might have to take a TV outside.

More Doom3

To prove I am doing other things besides Doom 3, here is a quick list of the other things I did yesterday:

1) A load of laundry
2) A load of dishes
3) New shower head for upstairs bathroom
4) Cut the lawn in the back yard
5) An hour and half of kayaking on Grand Lake
6) 2 mile jog
7) Yelled at the cat

Back to Doom 3… I set up a Doom 3 dedicated server, 4 player deathmatch. The name of the server as it appears in the in-game browser is “ZOYX Happy Doom Fun!!”. Actually got some opponents last night. I would like to the thank the folks at the PlanetDoom forums for help getting this thing going.

New beta drivers for ATi graphics card owners. The 4.9 beta drivers are specifically targeting Doom 3. Running Doom 3 at 640 x 480, 2xAA, high quality textures, I went from 36.6 FPS to 40.6 FPS, when I changed from 4.7 WHQL drivers to the 4.9 beta drivers.

When I installed Doom 3 on my game server, I also tested the frame rates on this. It only managed 19.2 FPS with its ATi9000 and Athlon XP 2100+. The new beta drivers did not help this computer at all.

I have only played multiplayer over the past day. I plan on playing the single player more today.

Doom 3 Goodness

I got a hold of a copy of Doom 3 last evening. Now I am all set to shoot demons, the possessed and the undead. Praise Satan.

Let me start out with helpful hints. Make sure you have the most up to date video drivers. My desktop and laptop both have ATi video parts.

On my desktop, the game worked fine. But running the built in Doom 3 benchmark, the game said that I was getting 35.6 frames per second (FPS). The in game settings were at 640×480 with medium quality (no AA/AF). I updated to the latest Catalyst drivers and that benchmark increased to 40.5 FPS. The desktop contains a Pentium 4 CPU clocked at 2.8 GHz and an ATi 9700 video card.

Concerning my laptop, the game was locking up or crashing to desktop after about 5 to 10 minutes of play. Updating the drivers fixed that. I ran the benchmark on the laptop and I got 44.8 FPS. I am using a custom resolution of 640×400 because it is a widescreen monitor. I have the game set at low quality. The laptop has an AMD 3000+ mobile CPU with an ATi 9600 mobile video chip inside. For instructions on setting a custom resolution, read this forum thread. Even though these instructions are for Quake 3 based games, they also work for Doom 3.

I suppose I should tell you how to run the benchmark. Once you are at the main menu of Doom 3…
1) press CRTL – ALT – ~ (that last character is tilde)
2) Now at the console, type “timedemo demo1”
3) The first time through will be all choppy because of caching. Run the timedemo a second time to get an accurate reading.

Now a quick blurb on early impressions. A very dark game. You will have to make use of your flashlight often. One plot problem I have is that all the people at this Mars station becomes possessed by some demon spirit. This possession happens right before your space marine’s eyes. Why doesn’t your space marine character also become possessed? I am not that deep into the game, so maybe I need to go deeper to have this plot problem get explained away.

So far I am being led by the hand by the game. The game is still linear as far as you exploring. But like I said, I haven’t gone very far, so maybe the game will open up and let me explore more.

Even though I have the game at medium or easy quality, the game looks spectacular. But I also see room for improvement. The animations of the characters still seem stiff and the speech animations are quite a bit off. But John Carmack (main engine programmer at Id Software) is already working on the next big thing, which will bring us another step closer to real life.

LAN Party Fun!

Friday and Saturday were Lan Party days. In this case, this meant huddling 20 or so guys with computers, put them down in a basement, then network them together so they shoot each other in various first person shooter games. We also had a BBQ, but that was only a couple hours out of the two days.

Friday I thought was just setup day. We got most of it setup by the end of the afternoon. Then people started showing up. These people were all set to camp out here. One guy brought a tent and another brought his camper trailer. They played all night. I left around midnight to go sleep at my sisters.

I arrived at my sisters at 12:45 am. You would think I would be waking up people by arriving at that hour. I unpacked my night bag out of the back of my wagon, then wandered up to the front door. I walk in and there is my sister, 2 nephews, and a friend of the nephews, playing “Lord of the Rings Risk” board game. There were other friends there also. These other friends had a bout of paranoia because they initially thought I was a breaking into one of their cars when I pulled up. So thats why I heard, “Oh, its only him” when I walked in the door.

I got 7 hours of sleep at my sisters. I then went on a 10 mile bike ride in the morning around White Bear Lake. I then trekked back to the party, got there around noon. Apparently some played until sunrise the previous night. Some folks fell asleep at their computer. But they were ready to play when I got there. I immediately fired up a UT2004 game on my server when I got there, and we were off and running again.

For those curious as to what we played, here is a quick list:

Battlefield 1942, Desert Combat mod
UT2004, Onslaught gametype
Battlefield 1942, Interstate mod
Battlefield 1942, Pirates mod
Call of Duty, Behind Enemy Lines gametype

They probably played some other games after I left Friday night that I don’t know about.

As far as my overall play, I did well. My kill efficiency wasn’t very good, but I am good at getting objectives in the team based games. As a result, I was usually high in the point rankings in the various games.

There were pictures taken. I will post a link in this post if a picture gallery finds its way on the web.

Update: Here is one of the pics from the LAN. I am the hairy armed gent in the foreground, playing on the laptop: