Dec 95

Getting The Internet Copyrighted

From: mvale…@esoterica.pt (Mario Francisco Valente)
Subject: O uso do nome Internet
Date: 1995/12/04
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 120873906
organization: Esoterica, Portugal
newsgroups: pt.internet


Nao que a Esoterica nao tenha tentado o registo do nome Internet
Portugal :-). Nao. Tentamos. Foi-nos recusado. E’ uma estrategia
obvia. Mas como foi recusado nao o usamos.

Mas calculo que o mesmo tenha acontecido ‘a IP Global.

Agora vir a publico usar o IP como Internet Portugal, e’ que nao
acho bem. Nem etico. Nem bonito.

Pergunto-me o que acham os utilizadores e o que acham os responsaveis
de outros ISPs ( PUUG, RCCN, Comnexo, etc, etc ).

Mas ha’ mais: a Telepac tem a palavra Internet como marca registada.
E o registo foi aceite. Ninguem contesta ? Ninguem diz nada ? No’s
nao concerteza: nao nos queremos perder num buraco financeiro/legal.

Mas nao me parece bem….e falar ainda nao paga impostos.

C U!

Mario Valente

Et in Arcadia Ego

Nov 95

CG Mode On

From: mvale…@esoterica.pt (Mario Francisco Valente)
Subject: Re: Octrees
Date: 1995/11/18
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 119646778
organization: Esoterica, Portugal
newsgroups: comp.graphics.algorithms,rec.games.programmer

John McCarthy (r…@jecalpha.ka.sub.org) wrote:
: : Space looks like: Tree looks like:

: : +——————-+ _____________
: : | Quad 1 | Quad 2 | / | | \

: Ok, we could do this, and I understand what an octree is. But what good is it?
: Why is it important to have only 1 vertex in a section, and how can this
: informtation be used for better/faster rendering/plotting/whatever?

OK, lets see if I remember my work on octrees :-)

As said before an octree is a data structure built to represent
reality. Now this “reality” is in fact a cube, enveloping your universe.

The octree root node represents this universe and has 8 children nodes.
Each node represents a 3D quarter of the cube ( you divide each dimension
of the cube in half, as represented in previous BUAG that I’m not going
to repat :-)

In turn each of these nodes has 8 chidlren representing its own subdivision
in 8 parts. You repeat this until you get to the pixel level ( until you’ve
subdivided cubes so much that their dimension [ you’ll have to keep track
of the universe dimension and the number of subdivisions ] is now the
dimension of a pixel [ you choose what a pixel represents, 1 milimeter or
1 km ] ).

What good is it ?

Well, if you render the octree you’ll only have to plot the REALLY
needed pixels. Lets suppose that in your universe there’s only a ship
in the left-backside-superior quadrant/octant. You eliminate 7/8 of
the space ( and volume of pixels ) you’ll have to render.

Furthermore, if this is done in the right way ( meaning, from front to
back and with some testing ) you can eliminate lots of other pixels because
they’re hidden pixels.

Also furthermore ( and this is the area where I’ve done some work )
you can use the recursive rendering process to introduce a fractal
process, thereby incorporating fractal textures into the process with
no loss of speed.

The need to have a vertex in each section means that when you reach
the pixel level subdividing cubes you have to be able to determine
if the pixel is a filled or not. Notice that starting in the upper
level cubes the state of a cube can be 1 of 3: empty ( a chunk that
you can ignore when rendering ), filled ( a chunk you can ignore
because at the pixel level all the pixels will fill this area ) or
crossed ( a cube you’ll have to subdivide to get finer “grain” ).

Let me just add ( to finish the rather long post ) that I used
octrees in my work together with a different form of representing
objects: no CSG, vertex lists, etc; I used hyperplanes ( read geometric
mathematical definitions of surfaces ) to define obejcts; a cube for
example is defined by the intersection of 6 hyperplanes;; the advantage
of this is that you get the normal for each pixel easily ( its in the
plane’s equation ) thereby being able to do lighting easily, without
any convoluted calculations.

Thats it. Hope I was able to put it through.

C U!

Mario Valente

Et in Arcadia Ego

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


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

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/

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
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


– 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

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

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
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.


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