Billco

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About Billco

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  1. Homemade Arcade Enthusiasts

    Cost ain't so bad, it's only money after all. What I find difficult with any arcade project is the actual woodwork required. I'm not qualified to be within 100 feet of any power tools, I am the clumsiest guy ever when it comes to woodworking. I can design the electronics and a custom GUI just fine, but where could I possibly go to have the actual cabinet cut, polished and built to my specs ?
  2. Best 2d Mario Platformer?

    SMB3, closely followed by SMW. Pretty much every kid back then knew the game by heart from start to finish, plus the many secrets and a thousand rumors. The glee of finding that hammer suit, only to play it for 30 seconds before losing it because it was such a steaming pile of dung, but it was all about the skill and knowledge required to find that coveted powerup. Good times!
  3. Companies are reluctant to use BitTorrent, in part because of its popularity with warez, and also because many people have transfer caps and limited upload bandwidth. World of Warcraft uses an adaptation of BitTorrent but they do have their own seeding servers that handle a significant portion of the bandwidth. Maybe one day Akamai will launch a BitTorrent distribution service to make this feasible on a large scale, but until then these big publishers are best served with static HTTP caches.
  4. Oh My God ....they Made A Psp Modchip!

    Boosting console sales is usually not a good thing for the manufacturer, as they are often sold as a loss leader, especially in the beginning of the console's life, as they make money on game licensing. The big reason why they don't epoxy the components is because this would trap the heat inside. Just about every IC on a board generates some heat, though many low-level components generate so little that they don't ever overheat and don't even need a heatsink, but designers will factor in tolerances and design the system to run with the least cooling possible. Anyone who's modded an Xbox can testify to burning their finger on the chipset right near the LPC pins. It runs hot, but not to the point where it cooks. If that same chip were covered in epoxy, it would make mods very difficult but it would also fry in seconds. There is no way to 100% stop modders, the best they can do is make it complicated and risky to slow them down. The PS1 and PS2 were very good at this, as each new revision changed a few things to make mod installation more difficult, and often made older chips incompatible due to slight signaling differences. One thing you have to realize is that the console manufacturers have access to commercial mods just like users do, so they study them and find ways to defeat the mod.
  5. This will probably go bankrupt in 6 months. I love their setup, it looks real spiffy and 200-player ad-hoc lan parties are sexy, but it is almost certainly funded by sponsorships and sales. Cyber caf?s are costly affairs because you don't make much money per square foot, and the costs are high - gaming rigs are expensive, and must be upgraded fairly often to support the latest games. Just because you and your mates have been playing CS for 6 years doesn't mean the average joe won't play HL2 or Fear. Part of the appeal of a gaming caf? is having access to high-end rigs you couldn't afford yourself, or can't justify the expense (yet ). I know, I tried running one years ago. It hurt my bank account REALLY BAD.
  6. R.I.P. UMD

    UMD was doomed because it's a Sony format Being the first to market doesn't mean crap if your format sucks and has no 3rd party or homebrew support. The whole appeal of VHS was that any joe could record his own tapes. Then DVD came along and it took a while before good DVD burners came out, but now they're here and many people have set-top DVD recorders to tape their shows and whatnot. UMD will NEVER have a personal recorder because that would open up the possibility of pirating or self-producing UMD movies and selling them cheaper than what Sony charges for them, which is a ridiculous price given the low quality and unportability - you can't even plug the PSP into your TV to watch the movie on a healthy-sized display. Watching movies on a tiny portable screen is a novelty for travellers and commuters, but it's not going to revolutionize the world of entertainment. That's why we have $99 portable dvd players!
  7. My New Computer

    There are ways around this, mostly involving hardware, but they are limited to text modes with no graphics. There is a product called the PC Weasel that basically appears to your PC as a video card, but sends the output over a serial cable. Since it emulates the VGA, you can go into the BIOS and do anything you could do with a real keyboard, it even has an internal connection to your motherboard's reset switch so you can reboot a hung system. It's great for running a Linux box in the closet. It's only available for serial comms as far as I know, but there is probably some other manufacturer that has a similar product for Ethernet or even routable TCP/IP. The downside to those networking options is that most true servers have other facilities in place to do boot-time configuration and remote rebooting, so having an expensive PCI card to do it would be redundant. For those who want to game with a remote PC (whyyy?), you can get a costly KVM that supports DVI and USB and go crazy. Or you could just get a second monitor for much less
  8. Wii To Have No Dolby Digital Out

    Just as a sidenote, DPLII takes advantage of the cheesyness of surround sound, as it is a simple mixing matrix. It extracts the center channel from the sum of L+R, the rear channels by subtracting L-R with various coefficients to derive a simulated stereo effect, and the the .1 LFE channel is merely a low-pass filter at 120hz. One of the benefits of this technique is that it will "enhanced" non-surround sources by throwing a tiny bit of sound from the rear speakers, as well as deriving the LFE channel algorithmically. It is also far easier to render surround content this way, as it still only requires 2 channels throughout the sound engine, and you can still throw in "fake" surround simply by running it through the encoding matrix, which is nothing more than one float multiply for each channel. This can be done in real-time without taxing the CPU much at all.
  9. Wii To Have No Dolby Digital Out

    I don't think that in 2006, having DVD playback on a console is an important selling feature anymore. The PS2 had it, but playback quality was quite disappointing. The Xbox had it, but you had to get the DVD Kit with the remote control. Nintendo has always stayed away from DVD playback because quite frankly, a dedicated DVD player is very cheap these days and it simply isn't worth Nintendo's time to design and support a feature that you can buy elsewhere for $29.99. The other big reason for not having Dolby Digital has to do with game development. Nintendo doesn't only want the console to be affordable, they want the games to be cheap too, and for that to happen, the cost of producing games has to stay low. It is a pain in the arse to produce DD 5.1 audio as it requires a rather elaborate studio setup. It's even more painful to have 5.1 in-game sound since that requires a fully-blown 5.1 sound engine from start to finish, which usually means licensing a 3rd party engine because 5.1 is more than just adding channels to a stereo mixer, not to mention the actual encoding process to spit out AC3 on the digital line, that eats up tons of CPU or requires a dedicated processor. DD 5.1 might be fine for a 400$ Xbox 360, or a million-dollar PS3 but Nintendo's 200$ console just can't stomach it.
  10. Yay it's done.. I boosted my max upload speed to help everyone else finish, we've all been waiting a long time for this one!
  11. Nintendo: Consistent If Nothing Else

    Critics always complain that Nintendo is a small player, but every console they've released has met its targets. Now I will exclude the GBA, because there were way too many crappy titles released for that handheld, but their home consoles have enjoyed very strong success in terms of game quality and selection. Even the lamest N64 or Gamecube titles aren't all that bad, compared to the flood of Xbox and PS2 games where 9 out of 10 titles are pure garbage. You can say all you want about Nintendo being a kid's console, but they've always delivered a great gaming experience at a great price. Nintendos don't cost $700, they cost $200. Games usually hit the $20 mark after a few months. It's less about cinematic visuals and more about pure gaming enjoyment. What costs the most in game development is the content, not the engine. Let's face it, we're playing the same games we had 20 years ago, they're just prettier and in 3D, but it's still run-jump-shoot. Any idiot can draw a high-poly human with big boobs and guns, it takes a master designer to create an experience worth revisiting time and time again.
  12. Building A Mega Server

    I've been in the biz for well over a decade, hardware and software, mostly in the high end Feel free to msg me for help anytime. Whatever you do, you will end up spending the most on the actual hard disks so it doesn't matter all that much what kind of PC you use, as long as it's at least 1000 mhz you should be fine.
  13. Best looking E3 game video. And its not on PS3

    What irritates me the most about E3 is so many companies "cheat" just to get attention. Many many years ago it was Nintendo previewing the N64, except it was a demo running on a crazy Silicon Graphics workstation that had much more power than the real N64. Most of the other companies just show pre-rendered cinematics, or glossy polished game scenes that are not representative of the final product. The truth is, we've been able to churn out these high-quality graphics on PC's for a few years already. The problem with the PC is that we're more obsessed with resolution than detail; people want to run their games in 1600x1200 just because they can, instead of running in low-res like a game console, but with prettier eye candy. If we took a Geforce 7900 GTX and ran it in 640x480 or 800x600, it would be capable of rendering absolutely gorgeous scenes in real-time, but in our race for numeric superiority we don't bother with any of that, we just want bigger, hotter, faster chips.
  14. Super Mario Galaxy (HUGE) Boss Battle Video

    Weeeeeeeeird butt game! The graphics are gorgeous, but the whole thing is giving me vertigo I also love the sound, it's got movie-quality audio... wicked!
  15. What Is Your Computer Specs?

    Well girls, here goes nothing.. I've got two machines, one of which will scare the living daylights out of you. #1 - for entertainment and web browsing AMD Athlon X2 4800, oc'ed to 2.8 ghz Windows Server 2003 ATI Radeon X800 GTO 256mb Onboard NVidia NForce4 audio for games Delta 1010 for recording and playing music 1.1tb total hard drives 4.0 GB DDR-400 #2 - serious work and bragging rights Quad-Opteron 870 Dual-Core (2.0 ghz x 8 cores) Tyan Thunder K8QE board Windows Server 2003 x64, Gentoo Linux for fun ATI Radeon X600 Pro 256mb + onboard video, 3 monitors Onboard audio 3.2tb hard drives 16.0 gb DDR-400 Internet Connection: sucky butt Rogers cable You should see how fast I can compile Gentoo on that thing But it's mostly for heavy processing and database work, I use my Athlon X2 machine for everything else.