Pic o' the Whenever
My completed Evangelion case mod.  Cut entirely with a Dremel and lit with Glowire.


     QuakeCon 2006
I'll just pretend it hasn't been over a year since I last updated my site and provide you with some new, exciting content from QuakeCon 2006.  Since I'm lazy and don't feel like adding updates for each new page I add, nor creating stubs for the pages I haven't finished yet, simply read through until you hit a 404.  That means I'll have another page added there in a day or two.  Currently there are just 2 pages, but there is plenty more to come.

QuakeCon 2006

     Battlefield 2 Minireview
It's not the most recent of games, but it's not like there has been an update here since it came out.  I think BF2 can be summed up in one word: Bugs.  Bugs, bugs, and more bugs.  I honestly don't see how some of these bugs and exploits can even exist.  Things should be kept in check on the server side.  You should not be able to drop 20 vehicles at once.  It just simply should not be possible.  Also, the enemy name tag should always be the proper color.  Their code must be a nightmare for glitches like that to happen.

The gameplay can be fun if you have a group of friends together in a squad and use voice communication.  I don't really find playing solo that enjoyable, though.  Sadly about 70% of the players aren't smart enough to even join a squad.  The stats and rankings are a nice concept, but the hours needed to obtain some of them are extremely unrealistic.  Not all of us can play the game for 8-10 hours a day for months on end.  Also, while in theory they promote teamwork, many people just use cheap tactics to build up their stats and don't contribute to the team at all.  The classes are also very unbalanced.  You can rack up tons of points as a medic or support just by throwing med packs and ammo packs around, whereas something like engineer takes a good minute or two to get a single point.

The special forces addon was way overpriced.  I can't see charging more than $10 for something that just adds some more levels and weapons.  I don't understand why they charge 3x's as much for this addon as opposed to Euro force and some of the others.

I suppose this has been more of a rant than a review, but the game can be really frustrating.  It can be fun, but the design flaws and huge list of bugs sometimes make me want to give up playing it and hope something like Enemy Territory Quake Wars offers some similar gameplay without the annoyances.

     Paintball2 -> Quake2
It's strange considering the Paintball2 engine originally started out as Quake2, but I made a number of modifications with only Paintball2 in mind, and recently there's been some interest in getting the Paintball2 features back into Quake2.  I can see why.  While I was at QuakeCon, we played a few rounds of Quake2 deathmatch, and I just couldn't find a Quake2 engine I was comfortable with.  The colors and lighting always looked so bad, and basically none of them supported my Dvorak keyboard layout.

A few project modifications later, and I was running around fragging with my fancy new Quake2 engine.  It still lacks a number of basic Quake2 features (such as explosions), but it's nice to be able to play without some of the old ugliness.

Here are a couple screenshots for comparison:
Q2DM1 - Quake2
Q2DM1 - PB2Q2

     New Gaming Rig
I was drudging along on that horrid Radeon 9700Pro for a long time having nothing but trouble and finally decided it was time to upgrade.  I could only take freezing up in the middle of a tournament so many times.  I picked a pretty good time to upgrade, too.  Prices haven't gone down much since I built it in January.  I used an nVidia GeForce 7800GT and an AMD Opteron 144.  Built the whole machine for less than $1000.  There's a picture of it on the QuakeCon page linked above.  The greatest thing about nVidia cards is that they're rock solid.  I haven't had the system lock up or blue screen since it was built.

     Random Thought
"I looked up 'insanity' in the dictionary and it didn't say anything about trying the same thing expecting different results, so I looked again, just to be sure."

     Malfunction of the Moment
I got one of those 250 gig WD Caviar drives from woot.com.  It worked for a while -- long enough for me to start trusting it -- then it went belly-up.  I got a second one, just to tinker with, and it was broken right out of the box.  My friend also got one and it died, so 3 dead drives between the two of us.  The moral of the story: don't buy cheap hard drives.

     Spam of the Second
"Obesity is really widespread"

    Link o' the Day
Quake Expo has some pretty cool stuff on it.  It's interesting to see how many projects people are still working on for the old Quake games.  Quake Expo is held every couple of years so people can create "booths" to show off their projects.


     It's that time of year again...
... when I have to make a new image for the current year because I didn't make one last year, thinking I wouldn't still be using this shoddy old design a year from then.  Yet here it is, the same as it was back in 1999.  One of these days I'll get a slick new design up!

     Sorry About the Broken Links
There was a big ordeal that went on with the GameSpy Linux servers getting hacked and they had to disable all the accounts.  I think my previous request got lost somewhere, but I just sent them another email and got everything straightened out.  Hopefully I'll have this site rockin' with some dynamic content soon and actually do frequent updates!

     New Laptop, and Linux, too!
I had been thinking about getting a laptop for a while, and when this one-day $750 off coupon came along, I decided to jump on it.  I got myself a nice Dell 700m wide-screen laptop with 512MB ram, a 1.6 GHz Pentium-M, and doubled battery life for about $800.  Essentially half-price.

Since it was nice and fresh with nothing on it.  I decided to give Linux another try; Debian this time.  I used the net install, but it didn't come with the drivers for my network card.  That turned into a long, arduous process.  Fortunately, I burned Knoppix to a CD, and that just booted up and worked, network and everything, so I was able to download packages then reboot into Debian and install them.  I didn't even have make.  No compilers, no source, no network drivers, NOTHING but the very corest of core files.  I got it all figured out, though.  Had to apply some strange hacks to get the 1280x800 resolution to work, but it's all good now.  I've been hard at work porting the latest version of Paintball2 over to Linux now.  It's almost there.

     NFSU2 Minireview
The Good:
If you liked the first NFSU, you'll probably love this one.  More tracks, parts, races, and a lot more freedom.  Instead of simply being limited to whatever race you have to do next, you can freely roam around the city and start races with random opponents who are also driving around.  The game always keeps you busy with new upgrades, DVD covers, etc.  It's almost hard to find a good stopping point because there's always something going on.

The Bad:
The down side to being able to freely roam the city is that you have to drive to each location.  You can't just pick a location and race, or instantly add your new upgrade.  It keeps you busy, but takes away from valuable racing time!

The Ugly:
The music.  Thank goodness you can selectively disable tracks!  There were a couple songs I liked, but you might as well be dragging your nails down a chalkboard for the rest. *shudder*  Unfortunately the disabled tracks don't go into effect until you've opened your profile, so whenever I start the game up, I'm slamming the enter key repeatedly in hopes to avoid listening to Poop Doggy Doo.

Confirmation menus.  "Do you wish to return to explore mode?" "Yes."  "Do you wish to save your current game?" "YES." "Do you wish to overwrite the currently saved game?" "YES!@#@%#@%@$#FDIXPP>SRCIH SHUT UP AND LET ME PLAY ALREADY!"  Fortunately you can disable about half of these in the setup, but there's no way to get them all to completely disappear.
Although I put a lot in the "Ugly" section, it's quite a fun game, and I highly recommend it to anybody who liked previous NFS titles.

     Random Thought
"I'm on a vegetarian diet.  I only eat vegetarians."

     Malfunction of the Moment
I tried to get the MSVC6 files updated for Paintball2, but for some reason whenever I compiled it, the executable was invalid, even after doing multiple clean builds and rebuilding.  I keep getting the message, "'paintball2.exe' is not a valid executable file."  Last time I got that error, it was caused by the addition of a 32bit, which only works in VS7, but this time I changed the icon back to the old 8-bit one, and it still didn't work.  I finally got it to work again by adding and deleting a space from a .c file and hitting F5 (which compiles and runs it in debug mode).  It just magically worked.  I don't get it.

     Spam of the Second
"Bacteria: the only culture some people have."

    Link o' the Day
The Perry Bible Fellowship Comic Strip (archive).  Contrary to the name, a number of these comics are a bit dirty.  You have been warned.  I particularly like this one.


     Time for the Yearly "Scary" Update
I'm 23 now.  Scary.

     ...The Job Search Ends
Actually it ended a back in July, but I've been neglecting my page.  I'm working at Kodak as a software developer.  Ironically "databases" was the computer science class I never took in college, and here I am reverse engineering them.  It's not too shabby, though.  There are only about 8 people there, so the environment is really casual, and I certainly can't complain about the benefits (granted I haven't bothered taking advantage of them yet).

So I'm living out in the "real world" (aka, the "no free time world") now.  I've got a cheap little apartment in Monroe, NC (near Charlotte).  Life is good, but I wish I had more time to do... well, anything.

     Paintball2 Stuff
As usual, most of my free time has been dedicated to Digital Paint Paintball 2, so there have been plenty of updates over there.  It's up to build 12 now.  I also (fairly) recently organized DPCon2, which was a lot of fun, and the shirts I had printed turned out great.

Sure, why not!

     Doom3 Minireview
I hadn't been expecting much from Doom3 since most (if not all) previous id Software titles were just run around mindlessly and shoot repetitive bad guys.  I figured Doom3 would be the same thing... with prettier graphics and a horrible framerate.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only did the graphics look better than I expected, but the whole environment was extremely immersive.  The detail put into this game is amazing.  I thought it was just going to be zombies running around in a technology demo, but the gameplay turned out to be quite impressive.  If you need a tip on imp killing, here's what I do: Shoot 'em a couple of times with the pistol or machine gun while they're at a distance, then when they pounce at you, whip out the shotgun and blast 'em point blank.

     Random Thought
"Of course I'm full of myself! What else would I be filled with?"

     Malfunction of the Moment
This isn't really a malfunction, but it's really strange.  My modded case (which I've neglected to post completed pictures of until now -- and I already have a new computer with a new case) has this stuff called Glowire in it.  If I turn it on and hold the cover it's attached to, then barely touch my new case with my arm or some other part of my body that's less conductive than my hand, it makes this very distinct high pitched noise at the source of the contact.  Weird.

     Spam of the Second
"It is known, that cats eat elephants! tutored"

Is it?  I guess it is now.

    Link o' the Day
Are you aware of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide?


     E3 2004 Report (Part 1)
Well, the first part of my E3 adventure is up.  I have TONS of pictures, so there's plenty more to come.  Read and be entertained.

     New SLIDE Demo!
Yay! People still play it.  Rig-Jarl has an awesome new time for slide1.  The SLIDE records page is still being updated, so be sure to send in any demos you have.

     News Archived
Hopefully this will be the last archive before I get an automated system implemented.  I really need to update more.

     Random Thought
"A small light shines brightest in the darkness. That is, of course, unless you're using the Quake3 engine."

     Malfunction of the Moment
For once I'm going to post a FUNCTION of the moment, since it's like a monumental event that I got my ATi Radeon 9700 Pro working.  There were plenty of malfunctions along the way, though, so don't worry.  As I mentioned in one of my other updates,  I was having severe compatibility issues with my 9700Pro and my  Abit SR7-8x motherboard.  Eventually Abit released a bios update that mostly fixed the issue, but I was still having hardlocks after about an hour or so of play or when a program severely taxed the video card (Pretty much anything with the framerate cap turned off).  I tried so many different things to no avail: enabling/disabling fastwrites, AGP speed settings, tons of different drivers, bios flashes on the card and other hardware, etc.  Of course, since it seemed like an overheating issue, I had the case off with an extra fan blowing on it as well.  Still no luck.

Eventually I tried taking off the heatsink and putting a heat sensor and some different thermal compound on it so I could monitor the temperature.  That was more tedious than it sounds.  I don't know WHAT the used for thermal compound, but it was like paint or glue.  I had to sit there for like an hour or two carefully scraping this stuff off the GPU.  I was impressed I even got it to boot after all that, but the problem worsened instead of getting better.  Now instead of locking up after an hour or so, stuff locked up after about 3 seconds.  Following some suggestions, I tried underclocking the card.  At about 2/3 the speed, I could get non-taxing games to work for about an hour before hardlocking.  It was hard to tell if it was heat related because sometimes it would hardlock at around 72C, and sometimes it would get up into the high 80's.  If I underclocked the card anymore, I 'd get all kinds of visual artifacts -- static on the screen and polygons gone completely chaotic.

After finally getting fed up with the current configuration when it hardlocked while I was working on a 3D model, I decided it was time to take one of 3 actions:
1) $40 - Get one of those super insane heatpipe multi-fan hardcore overclocker-style heatsinks and hope it was a heat issue.  It'd be the cheapest solution, but if I had actually damaged the video card or it was still a compatibility issue, it wouldn't do much good.
2) $100 - Get a new motherboard.  It'd fix the problem if it were a compatibility issue, but it'd just be throwing money out the window if that wasn't the problem.  Not like I can do much with an extra motherboard.
3) $200 - Get an nVidia card.  This would be a definite solution, but also the most expensive.  It'd also be nice to not have to deal with driver bugs.

Now, before I did any of that, I figured I'd just tinker with what I had a bit.  I decided to go through the arduous task of taking the heatsink off again.  It turned out to be much easier the second time around and there was no *CRrrraAcck* sound to give me a heart attack this time.  Lo and behold!  There was a lousy contact between the GPU and the thermal compound.  I just piled the compound on now -- put everything left in the tube on there.  Booted it up, tried a game, and it hardlocked after a couple minutes.  I booted again, and this time it went bonkers even in the bios screen -- random characters and colors all over.  Even half-characters mixed with other half-characters.  Something was SERIOUSLY messed up.  I decided it was probably about time to go with option #3.  It was late, though, so I'd just wait until the next day to figure out what to order.

It's a good thing I waited, because the very next day it worked fine.  Better than it had ever worked before.  I was able to run games even at the default clock speed without a max framerate limit and had no hardlocks.  It runs at about 75C and my framerates seem kind of low, but I'm so glad to have it working at this point that I don't really care.  So in the end, it looks like it was ATi's fault for using a lousy thermal compound, and it wasn't just this card because I had RMA'd the first one I had.

So, if you're having troubles with an ATi card hardlocking, you might consider applying some better thermal compound.  Just be warned that this will void your warranty.  And while you're at voiding your warranty, you might as well flash the bios to the latest version if you have an old one.  I hear that fixes a lot of problems.  Info on all that can be found in the Rage3D forums.

     Spam of the Second
This is getting ridiculous:
 W32.Sober.G@mm worm email insanity.
My Yahoo account is getting completely bombarded with W32.Sober.G@mm emails (worms/trojan viruses).  That's just a day or two's worth, and the 4 that made it into my inbox were just spams that slipped the filters.  *sigh*.  All those worm emails are 67-68k each, meaning a total of about 2 GIGABYTES of email.  Good thing they don't count against my quota.  It took 11 minutes to empty the bulk mail, and when I finally opened it back up again, there were 21 new worm messages waiting for me.

    Link o' the Day
Where can you see lions?  Only in Kenya!

They also have a live version.


     E3 is Where I'll Be
Just a quick update.  I'm off to E3.  Check back in a few days for lots of pictures and info about it.

     Random Thought
"I wonder if it's a sign that you have A.D.D. when you start

     Malfunction of the Moment
I swear, Windows networking NEVER works on the first try.  After hours of rebooting, unplugging things, plugging them back in, changing settings, and changing them back, eventually it magically works, EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING IS SET EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE FIRST TIME YOU TRIED IT.

     Spam of the Second
"Penis broken? This will fix it. fksapl taoqfd"  Oh, man, I need to give this a try.  fksapl taoqfd.  Holy crap!  It works!  I can finally use the bathroom again!  I thought my bladder was going to explode.

    Link o' the Day
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Banana Phone!


/ /Apr042004
     The Job Search Begins...
Or continues, really.  I just haven't updated this page in ages.  I'm looking for a game development job.  Coding and textures are my strong points, but not by any means my limits.  If you or anyone you know is looking for a hard worker, let me know!  I have a portfolio and resume here.

     Flawless Victory!
Another late post, but I managed to fly through Clemson, get my BS in Computer Science, graduate a semester early, and never drop below a 4.0 GPA.  I just wanted to see if it was possible.

     Happy 04/04/04!
... because I won't get to say that again for another hundred years.  By then this site probably won't be around anymore.
\ ---

/ /Apr012004
     April Fools!
Hah, I bet you thought this was a real update!  Well, it's not.  It's a joke.  Everyone knows I don't update my website!
\ ---

2003 - 2002 - 2001

Jan.09-Apr.13 - Sep.20-Jan.06
Aug.05-Sep.13 - Jun.18-Jul.27
May.11-Jun.17 - Mar.30-May.06
Mar.11-Mar.27 - Feb.27-Mar.10

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