August, 1995


24
Aug 95

Full On IP Provider

From: mvale…@draco.lnec.pt ()
Subject: HELP: PPP Leased Line Netblazer
Date: 1995/08/24
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 108770337
distribution: world
organization: Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.networking

Yo

We’re having problems connecting a Linux machine to the Internet.

We have a Linux machine ( 1.2.11 ) with PPP 2.1.2a connected to
a Motorola Codex 3266. This in turn is connected to a 4 wire leased
line which has on the other end a similar modem connected to a
Netblazer router.

We’re unable to get PPP to connect. LCP requests are sent continuously,
all with the same ID, but we get no response from the other side ( though
we can see the packets coming in on the modem RX light ).

We’d like to hear from people with same/similar experiences.

This is particularly mindboggling taking into account that we DID
get PPP to work ( same machine, same kernel, same PPP version, same
modem and leased line ) but we had another Linux machine on the other
end.

Any hints welcome.

Thanks in advance.

C U!

Mario Valente


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Et in Arcadia Ego
mailto:mvale…@lnec.pt http://leo.lnec.pt/~mvalente/


7
Aug 95

Waxing Philosophical About Games

From: mvale…@draco.lnec.pt ()
Subject: WHAT is a *game* ? ( was: What do game programmers want? )
Date: 1995/08/07
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 107645175
distribution: world
references:
organization: Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil
newsgroups: rec.games.programmer

: >> Now, the question is, what’s the next
: >> big thing in games (mainly in graphics) — more colors, higher
: >> resolution, or just more realistic engines with the current setups?
: >> Does everybody want to move to 640×480? 24-bit color? With Win 95
: >> giving easy access to SVGA, who will use it, and for what? How soon do
: >> you think this will realistically happen?
: >We can do a more realistic engine, with different effects (such as
: >reflections, semi-transparent objects, or shadows).
: >We can support more colors (16-bit color or 24-bit color).
: >We can support larger screen sizes (640×480 takes 4 times longer to
: >render than 320×240).

Allow me to put my 2 cents ( “centavos” here in Portugal ) and to
go into philosophical mode.

The quote above says “whats the next big thing in games” and goes
on to ask if its going to be “colors, resolution”. All hardware
stuff. The rest of the discussion, to sumarize, has been centred
around how much CPU power would be needed to get to higher resolutions
or better AI engines, how much time we have to wait for better graphic
cards, etc. All hardware stuff.

Now my question is: is all this that matters to make a good game ?
Faster CPUs, better resolution, 3D glasses, 3D sound ? All hardware
stuff ? Or is there something else that makes a game ?

IMHO ( going into philosophy mode ) games can be perceived in two
different ways:

– an approximation of reality

or

– a getaway from reality

The first means that the fun of the game is living/playing/using
some alternate reality, possibly different and possibly similar
to our “real” reality, without the benefits/disadvantages of our
“real” reality. This is the fun in RPGs: you can enter a fight with
a dragon ( or other mystical creature ) knowing that you wont be
killed in real life; you can kick the crap out of an enemy in
Virtua Fighter 2 without getting any “real” bruises yourself.

The disadvantage of this is that you need to reflect ( or
distort ) reality. And for that you need faster CPUs, better
graphics cards, better algorithms, more money, more time, more
people…

The second way allows the game to depart from reality and counts
on the user’s mind to go into what psychiatrists call “suspension”
mode, a mental mode where you’re led to believe a storyline and
fill in the voids.

The advantage of this is that you dont need 3D, faster graphics,
better colors, faster CPUs to get the player into the game. You
only need BETTER games.

Proof of concept: is Pacman a computer game ? Yes. Successful ?
You bet. Is it of the first kind or the second ( as described
above ) ? The second. You sure dont get around in real life in
a labyrinth eating dots and being persecuted by colored monsters.

The fun in games like Pacman, Rally X, Manic Miner, Space Invaders,
Galaga, Mr Do, Tetris, etc is that they have that magical, difficult
to obtain PLAYABILITY. They dont rely on “real” sounds, or “real”
graphics or “real” enemies. They just entertain you for a while and
serve their purpose as a way to escape reality. They dont need more
CPU, colors or algorithms to represent reality. They count on a better
computer ( the brain of the user ) to fill in the voids of a “sketch”
of reality they present.

In answer to the question “what do game programmers want” I would
answer this: first the question shouldnt be that; it should be
“what do game players want”; second, and IMHO, they shouldnt want
more CPU power, better cards, whatever ( of course thats also
important and I’m the worlds greatest sucker for new toys ); what
they should strive for and want is to discover/learn how to make
better, more playable and entertaining games.

Hints on how to achieve that magic Pacman *playability* on a game
are welcome ;-)

C U!

Mario Valente


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Et in Arcadia Ego


3
Aug 95

There Was a Firefox In 95

From: mvale…@draco.lnec.pt ()
Subject: Re: Webmasters: How cope with non-Netscape browsers?
Date: 1995/08/03
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 107444032
distribution: world
references:
organization: Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil
newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.browsers.misc

Andrew DeLancey (delan…@herbie.unl.edu) wrote:
: Elizabeth M. Gardner (exd00…@interramp.com) wrote:
: : I’m working on an article about whether and how commercial Web sites are
: : planning to adapt to the onslaught of new Web users from commercial
: : services (prodigy, aol, compuserve, msn) who will be using non-Netscape
: : browsers, especially sites now optimized for Netscape. I’m interested in
: : any thoughts from you who design and maintain those sites. Will you
: : create a non-Netscape alternative that looks OK with other browsers?
: : Adapt your site to less advanced browsers? Tell people to go download
: : Netscape? Ignore the new folks? I’ve seen all these tactics in use, and
: : would like to know people’s thoughts on the pros and cons of each.

: The questions you pose are phrased in very misleading ways. “Adapt your
: sites to less advanced browsers?” implies that Netscape is an advanced
: browser, when in reality it is merely competent. There are many truly
: advanced browsers. Netscape isn’t one of them.

Precisely.

How do I cope with the problem ? I just dont use Netscape extensions.

This is not downgrading for the sake of other (supposedly) less
advanced browsers. This is conforming to the HTML standard and not
going along with the Microsoft moves of Netscape.

Now I’ve been using WWW since the first times ( Jan 94 ) and I used
to apprecciate the work of Marc Andreessen. And I think that he/Netscape
have all the right to experiment and develop new extensions as testing
ground. But to try and force them on all of us as a standard as a way
to sell more server software just doesnt cut it with me.

Let me put this another way: I’ve been creating some pages with HTML 3.0
(which is the new standard and does all that “netscapisms” does ) and viewing
the pages with a wonderfull browser called UdiWWW ( get it from the URL
http://www.uni-ulm.de/~richter/udiwww/index.htm ). What is Netscape going
to do about it ?

: The *best* answer to all of these confused questions is also the simplest
: answer. Maintain sites that use *correct* HTML, and don’t stray down the
: “enhanced for Netscape” path. Ever. If anything, I’d attach a little
: header that instructs users to delete Netscape from their hard drives,
: and download *any* other browser.

I completely agree.

And I tell my users to download UdiWWW. They get a fine WWW browser with
support for HTML 3.0 and yes it even supports “netscapisms”…

: The notion of a site that is “optimized for Netscape” is very intriguing.
: What this phrase seems to mean (at least where I’ve observed it in practice)
: is that those sites use incredibly annoying and hideous background patterns,
: flashing text in colors that clash badly with the aforementioned backgrounds,
: and ugly simulated small caps and large initial caps created with .

I also agree.

C U!

Mario Valente


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Et in Arcadia Ego