I upgraded the gaming machines (Athlon 1.4 GHz/133 FSB and Athlon 1.6 GHz/133 FSB) to Athlon 64 3200+ (Venice) with ASRock motherboards (transitional, with both PCIe x16 and AGP slots) and 2 GB RAM each. They run a bit faster (roughly 2.5 times) than what we’ve been using for the last three or four years.
The hardware installation was a breeze. The first snafu was a problem WinXP which required a repair installation so that the machines would boot into Windows. I performed this on mine, using my aging CD-RW which doesn’t like to eject disks if they’re in it when the machine reboots. I regularly have to use a paper-clip to force the CD to eject, and never had a serious problem until yesterday. My only original WinXP OEM SP1 disc now has the outer quarter inch of the disk surface scratched and unreadable. Buffing hasn’t helped very much and I can’t get a new ISO or CDR image from it yet. My other install of WinXP was based on an original XP CD which would only install onto Dell hardware.
I need to go out and by new DVD drives for our PCs, and I’m afraid I’ll also be in the market for a new copy of WinXP. I’ll need to restart the repair installation and hope that my wife’s machine isn’t too trashed.
Speaking of buying new things, Bilbo the wierd little rabbit my wife keeps in her knitting room lived up to his species’ reputation by slicing through one of the wires to my wife’s Sennheiser headphones. I’m in the market for bluetooth, IR, or RF wireless headphones for use with an iPod.
I’ll write more on game design or implementation later. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about message oriented middleware, how it works in web, mobile, GUI, and remote client applications and considering how to make it work in a game. I’ve also been considering how to prototype some of the systems designed for a cyberpunk MMO. Some simulations can be run as scripts or small apps, but some systems need to be playtested and evaluated with real user feedback. What would work best? A web app? A text MUD/MOO? A partial game implementation with a custom client? A serverless networked (peer-to-peer) client?