Archive for February, 2005

February 27th, 2005

There is now an official KDE 3.4 Release Candidate.

Get it here. It is most likely in portage by now, but if you are compiling from source, konstruct will help.

If you don’t want to install it, there is already a LiveCD released with it installed.

I will be trying it as soon as possible. Looking good.

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February 23rd, 2005

Click to enlarge.

Source Update

Source Update

Source Update

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February 22nd, 2005

Note: If you get errors when saving, try erasing all the quotation marks and re-inserting them. WordPress likes to mess them up. One error was also fixed below and is noted by [Edit] and [/Edit].

After checking out the optimizations in my last Optimizing Gentoo article, you may want to try a few of these.

Boot Time Optimizations

These tricks will speed up boot time, some more than others. To start out, let’s mount all local devices simultaneously instead of in a sequence.

Look for this in /etc/init.d/localmount:

mount -at nocoda,nonfs,noproc,noncpfs,nosmbfs,noshm >/dev/null

It may also say something like this:

mount -at noproc,noshm,no${NET_FS_LIST// /,no} >/dev/null

Whatever it says, just make sure it says mount -aFt in the beginning and it should work.

and change it to this:

mount -aFt nocoda,nonfs,noproc,noncpfs,nosmbfs,noshm >/dev/null

Not only can you mount drives simultaneously, you can even start services simultaneously.

In /etc/conf.d/rc, change this:




Now that all services will start simultaneously and all drives will mount simultaneously, we need to go even further by running modules-update and env-update only when needed.



if [ -x /sbin/ ]

ebegin “Updating environment”
/sbin/ >/dev/null
eend 0


if [ -x /sbin/ ]
if [ /etc/env.d -nt /etc/profile.env ]
ebegin “Updating environment”
/sbin/ >/dev/null
eend 0
einfo “Environment up-to-date”



ebegin “Calculating module dependencies”
/sbin/modules-update &>/dev/null
eend $? “Failed to calculate dependencies”


if [ /etc/modules.d -nt /etc/modules.conf ]
ebegin “Calculating module dependencies”
/sbin/modules-update &>/dev/null
eend $? “Failed to calculate dependencies”
einfo “Module dependencies are up-to-date”

Using rc-update

Gentoo has an unique initialization (init) system, but they have simplified it for users greatly. A great use of the system for a laptop is to use a different and minimized runlevel when on batteries as opposed to being plugged into an outlet. Runlevels may be changed while the machine is running or specified at a boot screen. Another situation is for gaming. If you don’t have much RAM and have unnecessary processes running, then it will slow your computer down slightly.

One of the best resources that tells you how to use rc-update and runtimes is right in the Gentoo handbook, or more specifically here

If you haven’t read all the extra documentation, I suggest at least skimming it. More to come, as usual, as I find it.

Filed under Linux by Clete R. Blackwell 2
February 21st, 2005

My Linux wallpaper and style have stayed the same for a while now, but here is a new Windows wallpaper. Maybe I will customize the look too, but not now. I’m not a fan of black in the least (maybe the background could be blue?), but I did choose a black background and do about once every time a tornado has torn my house down (never). First page of results on google for “Half-Life 2 Wallpaper.” Click to enlarge:

February Screenshot

Just some random facts:

I use Cosmos.exe to launch WoW, updating it to the latest alpha version on each load.
New Text Document (*).txt’s are my homework that I haven’t yet printed out.
Laptop Linux contains very old files from one of my first websites, or, including CBook, my first guestbook, which, surprisingly, still has some links to from some web pages.

Happy President’s Day here in the USA.

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February 21st, 2005

The intent of this alert is to provide you with a reminder about the upcoming deadline around the date on which Automatic Updates (AU) and Windows Update (WU) will deliver Windows XP SP2 regardless of the presence of the blocking mechanism. This dateline is quickly approaching.

Based on customer feedback, Microsoft provided the ability to temporarily block the delivery of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) via Automatic Update (AU) and Windows Update (WU) in August 2004, so that our customers can complete their testing and implementation of their deployment mechanism for SP2.

Beginning 12 April 2005 this temporarily blocking mechanism will expire and systems with Automatic Update enabled or interactively download SP2 via Windows Update will begin receiving SP2. Note that this is also the scheduled day for the monthly cumulative release of security updates.

Microsoft strongly encourage customers to take the appropriate steps to implement SP2 deployment decisions by that time. More information and guidance about this temporary blocking mechanism at source.


Time to turn off automatic updates, as Windows XP Service Pack 2 will be forced. What I mean by forced is not what it sounds, but you cannot “ignore” it as before, where you could uncheck it and tell it not to remind you of updates again. I would have to recommend turning automatic updates off by April 12th.

Filed under Old Archive by Clete R. Blackwell 2
February 17th, 2005

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, SDK, Source Engine Updates Available
February 17, 2005, 4:13 pm - cliffe
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Source SDK, and Source Engine updates are available and will be applied automatically when Steam is restarted. The changes include:

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

* Added SLAM, Stunstick and Crowbar
* Added dm_steamlab
* Fixed game_score entity not awarding points
* Added team specific spawn points ( info_player_combine, info_player_rebel)
* Optimized weapon firing effects bandwith usage

Source SDK

* Added source code for Half-Life 2 multiplayer (Run the ‘Create a Mod’ link)
* Added ability to create new shaders. See Authoring Shaders In Source for documentation
* Added new tool (source code included) called DemoTool.exe, which shows the high-level structure of .dem files
* Added Source code for Source Model Viewer included (in srcutilshlmviewer)
* Added source for Half-Life 2’s airboat model included
* Fixed issues with Steam account names with “..”
* Fixed Face Poser flex sliders
* Hammer limits framerate in 3D views to 300fps — elminates overheating problems

Source Engine

* Fixed screenshots/save games being saved in the wrong place
* Fixed hang in rcon server
* Fixed server crash where banned players could retry/cancel quickly during connection
* Fixed crash when a user specifies a heapsize that is too large
* Fixed “play” command crashing on dedicated servers
* Fixed bspzip’d assets in maps not loading properly
* Added FCVAR_CHEAT to r_shadowids
* HLTV port/server can be completely disabled by commandline parameter “-nohltv”

Still waiting on Day of Defeat: Source.

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February 17th, 2005

Last week, we welcomed a whole new continent to the World of Warcraft, and by all accounts, the game was an absolute success from day one. In just its first day of release, throngs of fans lined up in stores throughout Europe to purchase an estimated 280,000 copies of the game, a number that far exceeded what other experts estimated as the overall size of the European MMORPG market. As World of Warcraft’s launch proved, those estimates were clearly too low. By the end of the weekend, the number of World of Warcraft players only grew, with over 380,000 copies sold in its first weekend. By this first weekend, peak concurrency had hit over 180,000 players. We’re thrilled that our neighbors in Europe are enjoying the game as much as we are, and are excited at the successful launch of World of Warcraft in just its first weekend. To see first-hand photos of the European launch of World of Warcraft, click below.


380,000 in a weekent. 280,000 in a day. Wow (ok, bad joke ;) ).

It’s still selling crazily here in the USA, with copies hard to find. I have never seen one in a store and rarely see one in stock online — anywhere.

Tomorrow is exactly one month after the Battlegrounds Preview II was released. Exactly a month before part 2, part 1 was released. Let’s hope they continue the tradition.

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February 17th, 2005

Steam Update


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February 16th, 2005

Steam Update (HL2:DM Map Coming) is a Great Big Blog exclusive.

It’s looking great (pictures in link). I really do hope that the minor fix they talked about either in this one or the last will fix problems with Intel onboard video cards.

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February 15th, 2005

Blizzard has silently updated World of Warcraft with two patches this morning. Good thing they took the paladins down some, but is it enough? (e.g. no announcement on the main website) Check out the changes below (sorry, no battlegrounds yet):

- World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.2.3 (2005-02-15)

PvP Duels
Dueling across factions remains intact in the patch, in consideration
of players’ desires to duel members of the opposing faction.

*This is a minor patch to address localization issues discovered
during the European beta test. These changes affect localized text
strings for French and German versions of the game only, and players
in other regions will not see any changes to the game.

- World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.2.2 (2005-02-15)

Seal of the Crusader: Fixed a bug where damage per swing was
increasing instead of decreasing when Seal of the Crusader was active.
This resulted in a dramatic increase in damage per second (DPS) that
was unintended. The tooltip for the spell displays the intent of
the spell:

“Fills the Paladin with the spirit of a crusader, granting additional
attack power. The Paladin also attacks faster, but deals less damage
with each attack.”

The overall increase in DPS from Seal of the Crusader should only
result from the increase in attack power and not from the increase in
attack speed. We understand this is a significant decrease in the
power of this spell, but was a necessary bug fix to ensure both
overall game balance and the viability of different Paladin Seals.

- Various text strings and audio have been corrected for the French and
German versions of the game.

- Fixed a bug that incorrectly enabled the vertex animation shader
option on some GPU’s that do not support it. This bug was causing
player character models in-game and in the character selection screen
to appear invisible or distorted. The fix should benefit users with
NVIDIA GeForce 2MX or 4MX GPU’s and ATI Radeon 7000/7500 GPU’s. It
should no longer be necessary to manually turn off the vertex
animation feature on these systems - it should now be off and
disabled automatically.

Bug Fixes
- Group loot has been fixed to work as originally intended. It will now
work exactly like round robin does, with the exception that when an
item of threshold level or above drops, it will use the auto-rolling
system. (Prior to this fix, when in group loot mode, the round robin
system was only being used for items (all players could loot coins),
which was rather confusing).
- Fixed a group loot permission bug that was telling players they did
not have permission to loot.
- Fixed a bug that was causing the game to freeze when scrolling
through auctions in the Auction House.
- Murlocs play the drown animation when they die underwater now.
- Onyxia correctly hovers instead of standing in midair.
- You can target vocal emotes again.
- Pets and summoned creatures attacking enemies will now tap the
enemies for their owners.
- Fixed a bug with Troll Shamans and the Berserk ability. Troll Shamans
can only go Berserk when they are in the wounded state.
- Rogues now correctly gain Lockpicking skill from items picked in the
trade window.
- Quests that require you to follow/escort an NPC will only complete
when you arrive at the designated area.
- Horde and Alliance members cannot duel with each other regardless of
realm type.
- Herbs and mineral nodes will remain active if they are not fully
- Fixed a bug that was giving higher damage-per-second (DPS) to
Steelarrow Crossbow and Blackcrow than was intended.
- Sell prices on Hypnotic Blade, Illusionary Rod, Mantle of Doan, and
Robe of Doan have been lowered.
- Players who have completed the quest to summon Kirtonos may now
obtain the Blood of Innocents from Doctor Theolen Krastinov.
- The tooltip for the Warrior’s Intercept ability has been updated to
reflect the proper rage cost. Using Intercept now requires 10 rage,
not 15 rage. The tooltip now accurately reflects that.

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