Coded green.

Monday 18 March 2002

Screenshot DAoC

Pic of the day: GeForce 2 rides again! Actually, there's a reason behind this outburst. Read all about it in ...

GeForce day

Today I bought a GeForce 2 video card. It was fairly cheap, less than $100 even with the huge sales tax. I have mewled pitifully almost since I got this computer about how it crashes when I play online games. In fact, I never even got to start EverQuest, which I eventually renamed "NeverQuest" and gave up on. And even Dark Age of Camelot would crash after a few hundred yards of horse riding, and else whenever I wandered for a long stretch without saving and reloading. The faster I moved, the sooner it crashed, but it would always crash eventually.

Now those problems are gone. My character rode back and forth one of the longer routes with no problem. In fact, it was kind of fun. Then again, I played a female character. They like horses better than I do. I don't think I'd appreciate it that much in real life. (Then again, in real life it rained.)

By sheer coincidence, I did not lag much either, today. I don't suppose that video card influences lag; after all, it is not as if the graphics are actually sent over the Net. They are not. Only the codes for the various objects are sent, and the local client draws them. The card does take over some of the workload from the main processor, but the processor was never the limit in my case. It runs at 1 gigahertz or slightly above, more than enough.


Anyway, installation was a snap. That is to say, I succeeded eventually. I am quite talentless when it comes to hardware. I had no idea how to remove those metal bars on the back of the chassis where I would place the end of the card; but with brute violence and a couple tools, I eventually got one of them lose. The card actually fit into the slot. I put the computer back together, connected the monitor to the new VGA port, and turned stuff on. Plug and pray. Woot! It found the software - I did not even have to put in the CD. Evidently MicroSoft or someone had anticipated that people would buy a GeForce 2 eventually, and installed the driver beforehand. Nice.


The deciding push to buy the new card was probably the news that City of Heroes will be optimized for nVIDIA, which is the brains behind GeForce. They seem very confident in the ability to make it playable over a dial-up connection. But this is obviously an untested feature and will remain so for a long time; it is still months away. Until then, I hope to be able to enjoy Dark Age of Camelot.

Though lately I have been playing The Sims again. Incidentally, that game does not use video accelerators at all. The graphics are all done by the main processor. So for that game, processor speed and RAM is everything. Especially RAM, in my experience.

Funny fact: I tried to upgrade my 300 MHz portable from 32 MB to 96 MB RAM; this would have let me play the Sims expansion packs. There was space on the hard disk, after much compression and deletion. But because the Toshiba was defective, it could not be upgraded. So I bought a whole new PC to play The Sims. This computer worked well enough for that. But then I thought that with this great computer I could also play EverQuest, which seemed like such a social game. It may be, too, for all I know. Because the North computer was defective, it could not stay online while doing heavy tasks like playing games (or indeed stay online long at all before disconnecting). So I had online games but not a computer that could run them. That's why I bought this computer, which is only slightly defective. A defect I may have cured with the GeForce card. Rejoice with me ye my neighbors!

In a parallel timeline where the Toshiba came off the assembly line without errors and flakyness (if such a thing could even happen once among the trillions of possible worlds), I would probably still have the 300 MHz portable as my main machine and be quite happy with that. I would not have considered the online games since they were so way beyond my machine, and besides my time was already full with my favorite games. Hmm ... in that timeline, I would have $2000 more than I have now. Wonder what I'd squander them on?

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Departure
Two years ago: Maybe not shopping
Three years ago: 1960 was an innocent time.

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