Sunday, August 29, 2004

Generations 1985 - 2001: Part 3

Hello and welcome to this special entry, “Generations 1989 – 2005: Handhelds”. In this entry I really want to give the specs of Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance. I never owned a Gameboy until 2001. I should take pictures, and put all my handhelds up on my Angelfire site! I have two Gameboys (Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Advance SP). According to Wikipedia, GBA is Nintendo’s fifth generation of handheld. First was the Game and Watch (1985 – 1989), than came Gameboy (1989 – 1997), Gameboy Pocket (1997 – 1998) Gameboy Color (1999 – 2001), GBA (2001 – Present ) and GBASP (2003 – Present). According to the Geniis Book of World Records - the most successful handheld in sales is the Gameboy Color, and most popular handheld game to date is Super Mario Bros. DX. Keeping this in mine, GBA can play all the original GB and GB Color game carts. One Nintendo propaganda gimmick is to keep their Pocket Monsters franchise on the GB and GBA so kids would buy Game Boys. It works out for Nintendo, adult gamers will buy Gameboys. Those who still find playing games fun.

| Gameboy Advance |

As far as handheld specs go, the Gameboy Advance can slow 15-bit color (32768 colors). Features a 32-bit RISC processor (like PDAs use) and a separate 8-bit processor for Gameboy Color games. The GBA doesn’t use both processors at the same time. Not that that’s really important, but it does show that GameBoy Advance does not emulate GameBoy games rather read it with a real GB processor. One important thing about GameBoy is that the early games showed Dark on it. This is fixed by owning a 10 dollar mini-light that plugs into the GBA. I happen to own one. It works well. I use to play all my games in bed when I was 16. I can get at least 5 ½ hours of game play in with 2 fully charged AA alkaline batteries. I can get twice that with no light. I usually didn’t play sound and that saved me 40 minutes to 1 hour of battery life. With no light and no sound, I can play GBA for over approximately 7 hours. I haven’t tested my GBA SP’s longevity yet. I was fond of the back-light in GBA SP. That’s one of the reasons I bought it at Wal-Mart at a full 99. I never have to buy batteries for it. If the lithium battery ever wears out, I simply replace it with another lithium battery. I don’t think I played more then 5 hours with it since I bought. The GBA, however, I played almost everyday during lunch break in high school. I’ve grown old and I look on Gameboy as an expensive kid’s toy. People can buy several LCD screens for cars at Best Buy and Circuit City now-a-days, playing PS2 or Xbox in your car isn’t an issue any longer.

| Gameboy / Gameboy Pocket / Gameboy Color |

The original Gameboy ran on the 8-bit Z80 processor. Z80 was created in 1976 as a very powerful prototype. It was designed by Federico Figgin at Zilog Inc. The frequency of the Z80 was 2.5 MHz. The Z80a was introduced in 1977 and was clocked up too 4 MHz. The Z80 can do approx. 272 instructions per second. The processor is still used today in many mobile devices, Gameboy being to most recognizable. Gameboy supported the most powerful handheld processor in mobile gaming devices from 1989 through 1990 until the Sega Game Gear came out in 1990 in the US. In Japan it was out in 1989. The Game Boy was created by Gunpei Yokoi who later also created the Wonderspan for Bandai. Yokoi died in a car accident in 1997 while going to Kyoto, Japan. He produced and created the popular Nintendo character “Samus Aran™” seen in Metroid and Super Smash Brothers. Another character he created who isn’t as well known is Kid Icarus. I think that game use to be on the NES. Metriod is actually unlockable after Metroid Prime is beaten or if you beaten Metriod Fusion on Gameboy Advance and hook the link cable up to the Gamecube to unlock Metroid. I cheat by loading my Action Replay code which allows you to bypass both requirements stated above, and play Metriod on-the-spot!

Specs of Gameboy / Gameboy Pocket
• CPU: 8-bit Z80 at 4.194304 MHz
• RAM: 8 kbit internal
• ROM: 256 kbit, 512 kbit, 1 Mbit, 2 Mbit and 4 Mbit and 8 Mbit cartridges
• Video RAM: 8 kbit internal
• Sound: 4 channel stereo sound. The unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound
• Display: Reflective LCD 160 x 144 pixels
• Screen Size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
• Color Palette: 4 shades of gray
• Communication: Up to 4 Game Boys can be linked together via serial ports
• Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~35 hours)

Gameboy Color
• CPU: 4/8-bit Z80, ran in single mode (4 MHz) and double mode (8 MHz)
• RAM: 32 kbit (plus 128 kbit on cartridges)
• ROM: Cartridges up to 64 Mbit were made
• Video RAM: 16 kbit
• Sound: Same as Game Boy
• Video: Highly reflective TFT LCD, 160x144 pixels made by Sharp
• Color Palette: 32,768 colors; Supports 10, 32, or 56 simultaneous colors on-screen
• Communication: Serial or Infrared
o Serial: 512 kbit/s; up to 4 consoles at a time
o Infrared: Less than 2 meters at 45 degrees
• Power: 2 AA batteries provide 30 hours. An AC Adapter (DC 3V) was also available.

That question about Game Boy Advance worth the money I paid for it? It’s a no-brainer for me. Yep, it’s worth every penny. I don’t see any money wasted. The first GBA was a Birthday Present. In December 2003, I choice whether or not to buy a GBASP or a Gamecube. I think I bought it because it looked cool. You already know what I’ve chosen. I already made up the minor set back with chores I did around the house in January.

| SEGA GAME GEAR (1990 – 1997 USA) |

Sega’s first handheld was the Game Gear. It was in color! I see one in Toyriffic every time I go in the store and actually handled one for the first time 3 weeks ago. I really don’t know much about it. Toyriffic didn’t have a very good selection- in fact – the store had more used Game Gears than Game Gear games! We already know it was a failure. I don’t know why gaming sites keep saying that. I think everyone who’s into handheld videogames knows this. I call this anti-SEGA propaganda. Okay, yes, you’re absolutely right about Game Gear being a failure! Well I believe you said that [to site] because you took information off another site, and said “Sega Sucks” because you know you’ve would agree with 8 out of ten people, and the fact it makes you look good. Obviously, if the Game Gear did well enough, SEGA would have made a Game Gear 2. So I mean come on here. I am referring to Wikipedia’s description of Game Gear.
Majesco came in and manufactured the Game Gear Core System sometimes called the Game Gear Pocket due to its smaller design. Majestco also manufactured the Sega Genesis v3 in 1998. The difference is there is no difference! The buttons are configured the same, and the hardware quality is comparable to previous Genesis, and the price is a lot cheaper. It is rumored in 8 years, Majesco will publish one of the current generation consoles, and may cost as little as 40 dollars in 2010. On, I found out a neat accessory for Game Boy Advance that lets you send text messages up to 3 miles away using a wireless band called the Majesco Wireless Messenger. It uses very low power of the GBA, and can actually make GBA run as much as 3 times as long as it normally would when playing a game. It’s a good idea, but I rather talk through conventual’s 3 mile radius walkie-talkies. I do own a pair of walkie talkies that broadcast up to 2 miles. I’m cheap, I won’t even buy a weather band radio, and that’s pretty bad because those start at 50 dollars.

| Bandai Wonderswan 1996 – 2001 |

There are three versions of Wonderswan. The clunky black and white one. The Wonderswan Color (it’s in color what can I say?), and the Wonderswan Crystal (A Wonderswan that looks more high tech than it really is) The Wonderswan Color runs on one AA battery which is suppose to last 20 hours. The CPU is a 16-bit RISC like the Game Gear is. The most noticeable game on it is probably either Metal Slug or Final Fantasy 1 & 2. The game is identical to the Gameboy Advance versions. Remember, Wonderswan shared 2% of the market in 2000 in the USA. More importantly, Wonderswan owners usually also owned a Gameboy Color. A lot of kids knew that Gameboy had more games out so I’m sure they knew that Wonderswan was undergoing a slow death as soon as it first came to Toys R Us.

Technical Specs:
CPU: 16-bit (3.072MHz)
RAM: 512K
Colors: 4096 (241 on screen)
Resolution: 224x144 pixels
Sound: 4-channel mono (stereo with headphones adaptor)
Screen: 2.1" LCD, reflective TFT

| Nintendo Dual Screen |

Announced in 2003, rumors were defiantly floating around months after Gameboy Advance SP was released. Nintendo Dual Screen can be considered a 64-bit Gameboy except it probably won’t carry the Gameboy name. It won’t have the name Nintendo Gameboy Dual Screen. The system will feature a touch-screen based color LCD screens that can do high resolution polygon displays. Most popular games on it are Super Mario 64x4, New Super Mario Bros, and Metroid Prime (FPS for a handheld). Rumors going around message boards is Super Mario 64x4 is the first of many N64 ports onto the handheld. Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye, and Star Fox 64 may also find a 2nd home on Nintendo DS. The handheld has a d-pad (directional pad), 4 buttons (A, B, X, Y), and two triggers. It will use a lot less battery life than the Playstation Pocket will, and be priced 100 dollars less. Who wants a Playstation Pocket that sucks up tons of battery life, anyways?
Tech Specs:

• Dual Processors: ARM 9 clocked at 67 MHz and an ARM 7 clocked at 33 MHz. It will feature 4-MB of video RAM and can do about 120,000 polygons onscreen.
• Dual Screens both 256 x 192 resolution.

| Sony’s Playstation Pocket |

Second 128-bit handheld on the market (if you include the Tapwave Zodiac 2). It’s games will be based on mini-cd or mini-dvd, and the unit will market at 300 dollars US. It will have a 24-bit liquid crystal LCD screen and will play FMV. The Dual-CPUs is going to be 333 MHz, and the video card will be at least 16-MB. Rumored to not have very good battery life due to the graphics processing and the mini-dvd player, about half the time you get with an ordinary CD-player. The PSP is not on my list of things to buy next year.

MD(Universal Media Disc)

Laser Diode:660nm
Dual Layer :1.8GB
Transfer Rate:11Mbps
Shock Proof
Secure ROM by AES
Unique Disc ID


MIPS R4000 32bit Core
128bit Bus
1 - 333MHz @ 1.2V
Main Memory :8MB(eDRAM)
Bus Bandwidth :2.6GB/sec
I-Cache, D-Cache
FPU, VFPU (Vector Unit) @ 2.6GFlops
3D-CG Extended Instructions
PSP Media Engine
MIPS R4000 32bit Core
128bit Bus
1 - 333MHz @ 1.2V
Sub Memory:2MB(eDRAM) @ 2.6GB/sec
I-Cache, D-Cache
90nm CMOS
PSP Graphics Core 1
3D Curved Surface + 3D Polygon
Compressed Texture
Hardware Clipping, Morphing, Bone(8)
Hardware Tessellator
Bezier, B-Spline(NURBS)
ex 4x4, 16x16, 64x64 sub-division

PSP Graphics Core 2

'Rendering Engine' + 'Surface Engine'
256bit Bus, 1-166 MHz @ 1.2V
Bus Bandwidth :5.3GB/sec
Pixel Fill Rate :664 M pixels/sec
max 33 M polygon /sec(T&L)
24bit Full Color:RGBA
PSP Sound Core: VME
Reconfigurable DSPs
128bit Bus
166MHz @1.2V
5 Giga Operations /sec


3D Sound, Multi-Channel
Synthesizer, Effecter, etc
AVC Decoder
AVC(H.264) Decoder
Main Profile
Baseline Profile
@Level1,Level2,Level 3
2Hours(High Quality) - DVD movie
4Hours(Standard Quality) - CS Digital


USB 2.0
Memory Stick
Extension Port(reserved)
Stereo Head phone Out


Wireless LAN (i802.11)
USB 2.0
Earlier today was much like yesterday - surfing the Internet, looking at game reviews especially the SNES ones. I find it fun reading. So around 4pm yesterday I walk into the Game Store (Toyriffic, formerly known as Toys 4 Trade). Weird how the guy at the counter loves all the games I mention. He’s the same guy that cuts me deals off videogames. Ironically, River Falls store does not. What store you think most budget conscience gamers go to buy new games? Almost everything I told him he said he loves. For example, I ask for Super Mario World 2 – Yoshi’s Island, and he says it’s his favorite game on Super Nintendo. I mean what a quiescence. So I’m thinking of owning this game, since I hear it’s got good game play and Mario is in it. I hear the person who created Mario is extremely talented programmer / artist. His name is Shigeru Miyamoto. I end up buying Donkey Kong 64, Star Fox, and Yoshi’s Island at the Hudson game store. I’ve been reading reviews on Star Fox, and it was only 10 dollars over there. I had 10 bucks in pocket change – literally. I thought about buying 1080 Snowboarding along with 1080 Avalanche, but I only had enough money for one or the other. And I use to own Donkey Kong 64 for a while. I sold it to the Hudson game store a year back, and I wanted it back. Donkey Kong 64 is RAREWARE’s 3rd to last platform game for N64. I know have seven SNES games. Wow, I remember late last year when I only had two. I tested out Star Fox, Super Mario World 2, and Secret of Mana. As expected – all the games work fine. I took a pure alcohol solution and a couple of Cube picks, and cleaned the cartridges out by pressing against the insert feed. A lot of black stuff came off of the Star Fox cartridge. It’s almost like owning a brand new game. I really recommend everyone to clean their game out. Your cartridges last longer and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Remember clean them with a pure alcohol solution and not peroxide.

New Games I will add to my VG list:

• Star Ocean 3 (when I get it this week)
• Super Mario World 2
• Star Fox
• Donkey Kong 64

I went to a Bittorrent protocol site called Yes, it’s supposed to be spelled without a ‘e’. It has ISO rips of several Dreamcast, Gamecube, Playstation 2, Playstation, and Saturn games. I wish I could download some of them like the Panzer Dragoon Saga, but I don’t have the bandwidth. I also found Grandia on it! It’s times like these I wish I had a modded Playstation 2. Darn! All my console games are legit copies. It’s that not all my computer games are original copies. Suprnova also has plenty of movies on it too. I imagine that I can download 150 MB of MP3 easily on Monday. My first Bittorrent download is the Final Fantasy 1 & 2 GBA rom. I mentioned above this is one of Wonderswan’s most famous games. I downloaded Bittorrent, ABC v2.6.9 [Another Bittorrent Client], and Azureus over the school’s sever. All those programs are under 5 MB. I honestly do not think I’ll be able to download them. I found out by looking at my favorite open-source webpage, It gives me some ideas about what to download at school. Strangely, no students are at school after 4:30 PM on weekdays. I think I know why. In rural areas ppl need high speed Internet by satellite, even if it’s costs more than DSL, and has about the same bandwidth of it. That’s what I think. Other people who don’t care about satellite - I completely disagree. We need cheaper Internet out where I live.

Good Bittorent servers lists: http://members.chell...p.wiersema/list.html

Friday, August 27, 2004

Origin of Ian Goes back to 12th century Scotland

[First Topic #1]

I wonder why I haven’t thought of this sooner – my origin of my name. According to one site, Ian came from Iain (pronounced E N not I-in). Iain is the old English version of Ian or sometimes Iann starting sometime in the 1800s in Scotland. Ian was spelled Iain in mid-evil Scotland. The meaning of Ian is “God’s Gift.”

Anyway, Celtic/Gaelic versions of present day Ian before the 19th century was spelled Eion, but sounded exactly like today’s spelling of Ian. However, it’s a little confusing because Ian did not start it’s spelling at this time. Some Eions spelled Ian are found in the 14th century. It’s confusing. So in the 14th century we have Eion, Iain, Ian, and Iann. The first two spellings died out over time and today two spellings remain in present day. In English the only proper way to spell “E” is with an IA, EE, EA.

Also interesting is John and Ian mean the same thing. In 19th century Eion was translated into English as John which is a more popular American name.

Here’s how my name is spelled in Chinese:

Oh yeah, I tried writing an entry on CISCO about hexadecimals and binary, but it only got 2 hits in two hours so I realized that it was a bad entry, therefore, I deleted it. Simply put, binary and hexadecimal is the computer language down to the 1s and 0s. Standard of each character is 8 bits or 1 byte of data. 100 bytes make up one kilobyte.

[Next Topic #2]

I am sure that a lot of you know how to count in binary. I never had binary or hexidecimal math in high school therefore, I find it fascinating. Binary goes from left to right while reducing the number in half after each step. See how every number doubles after each step. I have to the 8 total steps backwards left to right starting dividing 128 into what number I need to ‘decode’ (seen below) until I get to step 8:


If my address was

For 192 I would take 192 minus 128 and that would equal 64. So 128 is less than 192 and that would be 1. Then I take 64 minus 64 and that would be 1 because it is excepted by 64. Since it equals 0, the other numbers will not apply.

Binary version of 192 is 11000000 (fixed)

For 100, the next group of digits in the IP address. I can not do 100 – 128 so the first process is 0. 100 can be divided into 64. [100 minus 64 equals 38] so the next digit is 1. 32 can be divided into 38 [38 minus 32 equals 6] We can not do division with 16 or 8. However, 4 works since [6 minus 4 equals 2] so the end result is also 1 in binary. We can do 2 (as seen above) because 2 minus 2 equals 0. As long as 2 can be subtracted into 2 the binary equivalent is 1. 1 we can not do so that binary step is 0. If 0 is subtracted by 0 to equal 0 - I could do this infinite times so that’s why IP addresses only have 8 digits/bits of binary.

Binary version of “100” is 01100110

For 189 I would take 189 minus 128 equals 61 or X so my binary number will be 1. The next step, which is dividing X minus 64 to equal Y. This is not possible since 61 is smaller than 64 already so the next digit must be 0. 61 can be minus by 32 to equal 29 so the third binary digit is 1. 29 can be minus by 16 which will equal 13 so the forth binary digit is 1. 13 minus 8 is 5 since 8 is already smaller than 13 and would counted as 1 as the fifth binary digit. 5 can be minus from 4 so that would be the sixth binary digit of 1. Next I skip 2 because it’s impossible for me to minus 2 from 1 so the seventh binary digit is 0. This would in fact get me into negative numbers. And 1 can minus 1 to equal 0 so the final digit is 1.

Binary version of 189 is 10111101

And the binary version of 0 is 00000000 once.

Binary version of is (11000000) . (01100110) . (10111101). (00000000)

Now yets say I wanted to decode 10111101 into decimal that is really easy. Just add these numbers: 128+32+16+8+4+1.

Now Hexadecimal is:

8 is first digit | 4 is second digit | 2 is third digit | 1 is fourth digit

1 = 0001 (1)
2 = 0010 (2)
3 = 0011 (2 + 1)
4 = 0100 (4)
5 = 0101 (4 + 1)
6 = 0110 (4 + 2)
7 = 0111 (4 + 2 + 1)
8 = 1000 (8)
9 = 1001 (8 + 1)
A (10) = 1010 (8 + 2)
B (11) = 1011 (8 + 2 + 1)
C (12) = 1100 (8 + 4)
D (13) = 1101 (8 + 4 + 1)
E (14) = 1110 (8 + 4 + 2)
F (15) = 1111 (8 + 4 + 2 + 1)

Now if 8 digits equal one byte. The Hex version is A5F1 That’s (1010) (0101) (1111) (0001). I can now decode Decimal to Binary or Binary to Decimal or Hex to Decimal or Decimal to Hex.

Some get binary confused with ACSI. The standard ACSI is used by default in the Text editor. ACSI is binary. But what’s confusing is I can do 1 through F in binary. What happened to G through Z and all the funky symbols like ? / ! @ $ % & * ( ) - = + ‘ . | Okay you get my point. For these you need twice the digits which will do 256 characters. Don’t ask me the grouping of 1s and 0s for those because I don’t know. Actually, there are only 255 characters in the computer translation of English language. Think of HMTL with all these 1s and 0s for one character that makes up source code. Actually, technicians don’t refer binary as this. Binary is simply the computer language called ACSI. Yes. Your keyboard can convert decimal to hexadecimal so the CPU and video card can make use of it. I didn't know my keyboard did the encoding!

Now for color we know them as pixels okay. In monochrome bitmap anyways black represents 1 and white represents 0. Now if there is 1000/1000 image. There are 1,000,000 1s and 0s in that monochrome bitmap. Let’s say you have a 4 bit color BITMAP.

Blue is 8
Green is 4
Yellow is 2
Red 1

0100 or 1010 is Green
0010 is Yellow
1000 is blue
0001 is red

0100 or Green is counted as 1 pixel. Now, 8-bit color is hexadecimal. I think this is so because there are 256 possible colors in 8-bit color. Think way back to APPLE ][e color screens in the 1980s. 8 digits can do 256 characters on the computer screen. But ACSI only uses 255 characters. One reason is you don’t want to minus 128 from 256 and get 128. You would run out of digits in hex. 16-bit color would be 256 to the 256th power to get the answer of 65,536 possible colors. Or add 256 [256] times. 32-bit color would be [256] to the 256th power, and then the next number again to the 256th power. his answer would be 4,294,967,296 colors. 16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit color is something else. It’s defiantly not binary or hexadecimal. T Since this is massive CPU color for GPUs only games have 32-bit color. The desktop resolution is usually 24-bit to ease CPU power. To display high resolution images all I need is 24-bit color.

Now for the confusing part. Compression like GIF and PNG is very complex. You must convert the binary BITMAP to compression compiler or “codec”. CODEC stands for “Compress Decompress” compiler. Some people think it’s “Code Decode” when it’s not. Codecs can be closed source (freeware or shareware) or open source. You must than have an image compression decoding compiler or “codec” in your computer. A compiler takes the compressed data and translates it to color. For this, the compiler is made in hexadecimal because the source code is made up of 255 characters. Don’t ask me how. In fact, I don’t why any open source image formats thus every image codec is copyrighted! Then I ask myself if the image compiler is closed source than why the hell can Linux and Unix have it? The answer to this is simple. The Internet uses these as a standard. A web browser must compile these so they must be free. This is why the Microsoft Anti Trust was concerning Internet Explorer. While Internet Explorer is closed source, open source browsers must have the right to read the same content. So the US Government actually stepped in and said to the organizations such as the “Joint Photographic Experts Group” to let Mozilla and Konquenor programmers see their closed source code to plug the CODEC into Mozilla, and Konquenor so they can include it in their web browser. Problem is Mozilla and Konquenor were created before the Microsoft anti-trust. This ment legal Internet competition. The Supreme Count realized that it couldn't make MS smaller using the web browser monopoly gimmick. Better luck next time supreme judge! JPEG had to agree to this. The deal was that the image CODEC must have tags in the source code giving credit to JPEG or GIF organizations, and can not be modified or it would be illegal.

-- End of Transmission --

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

"Counter Strike: SOURCE" beta now avaliable

I am sorry about the last 2 blog entries. They were filled with grammar errors - so therefore - they weren’t up to par with some of my other well-thought out entries. I am trying to quality control my site. Not just everything can be said here – it must have meaning in computer technology. There are days were I just write whatever on my mind. There is very little grouping. I found out that a lot of bloggers have shorter entries, and don’t modify them more than once. Shall I write shorter entries? There is no such thing of a short version of the long entry, but there is a long version of a short entry – at least in my mind. Short entries are for short reading. I like to read several paragraphs of something. Okay?

Today’s conversation is back on Half-Life 2 which has now been delayed until next year. Surely it’s because Valve is doing tweaking / polishing / and more tweaking until perfection. Valve confirmed “Counter-Strike: Source”, and “Half-life: Source” is included in the Half-life 2 box. As in buy one game and get 2 games free. Counter-Strike: Source is Counter-Strike 2.0 in discuss. I have never played Counter-Strike. I hear it’s fun. got a preview up of this game before I ever knew it existed. Actually, I knew Valve was going to port Half-life into the Source Engine – because they’ve would have hurt themselves otherwise. This is a free bonus courtesy of Valve. Counter-Strike: Source is a stand alone game meaning unlike Counter-Strike 1.5 and below, you don’t need another game installed to play it. I downloaded both Counter-Strike 1.5 and Counter-Strike 1.6 a while back. I know it’s popular, but haven’t had time play it. I just remember I heard some bad things about version 1.6 so I downloaded 1.5 too.

To download the beta (CS: Source), you must download the application that’ll download the game directly from Valve’s servers onto your computer. This is done for security reasons. I got CS1.5 and CS 1.6 off, and that’s not secure. Maybe there are loop-holes (in terms of downloading games)? The game is a 350 MB download - smaller than Counter-Strike 1.6. You’ll need a password from Counter-Strike: Conduction Zero to unlock the download screen. Plus, I don’t know why anyone would want to download the beta. It’s filed with bug crashes, and it’s going to come packaged with less glitches with Half-life 2 next year. It is rumored that’s exactly why Half-life 2 is delayed presently. I’ve been reading most of the reader reviews. It’s 50/50 whether or not it’s better than the Counter-Strike mod. Some say Condition Zero for Xbox wasn’t very good at all according to many Internet sources.

Today’s been chaotic. I went to CISCO taught by Joyce. Told her that my online curriculum wouldn’t show up at home. One of the student’s commented that my Internet Security is too high. I have to set it on “low” for CISCO online to show up. I’m sure it has to put cookies on my hard drive. Cookies aren’t bad – they’re just little files that have user data on them. Then I went to student services to get help in note taking for CISCO. I didn’t get any help. No one knows anything about Cisco. So I compromised and agreed for the teachers to look at my notes. My notes looked fine. Then I got home and started to read the first and second chapter in my Human Relations textbook. That took time out of my day.

On my slack off time I spared, I looked up if there were any new Half-Life 2 information. Which there was. I also found out what the new Counter-Strike is called (stated above). Next, I looked up Microsoft Xenon facts again. It tickles my hardware funny bone. Headlines: “Xenon: The PowerPC made by Microsoft.” Earlier, I found out the official specs, but just to make sure I was right, I reread the Xenon (really pronounced Zenon) article.


Monday, August 23, 2004

School starts recognized my JPEG 2000 plugin suggestion! It was a pretty damn good suggestion I think. JPEG2000 (JPG2) is state-of-the-art JPEG compression. JPG as many of us know – is a huge – it’s the second web browser standard (first was GIF), and now JPEG2000 is the forth. GIF (1993), JPEG (1995), PNG (1999), Macromedia Flash (1999), and JPEG2000 (2004).

On Saturday, I woke up and played a little Tales of Symphonia (Gamecube RPG). I’m currently on Chapter 3. My dad was in the other room watching baseball so I was afraid of him staring at the weird music in this game. I, personally like the game play, and I’m a little interested in the cut-scenes. Namco definitely didn’t rush through the voice-overs. I was right about the game playing a lot like Grandia II. That’s a big plus. Grandia II was really long, the battles were intense, and it had an interesting enough story that I played to the end. With the Dreamcast version, I was able to download hacked game saves from the Internet via Dreamcast. By hacked, I mean someone actually upped the stats of the characters and gave me 99 of all items. The bosses in Grandia II really bug me, as in a lot of them have physical and magic spells, which of course, is in a lot of RPGs. I played closely to the Walkthrough, so I knew what I was doing. Plus you can see your enemies on screen before activating a battle sequence. Tales of Symphonia is the exact same except it keeps the side view in the battles. The game is cell-shaded, and everything is in 3 dimensions including the battle sequence. After that, I played Wave Race. Not great, not bad. One thing I like about Wave Race: Blue Storm is the wave effects - they still look above average. I completed Normal Championship cup. The sequel makes me remember the old Wave Race 64 game that I also own. That game was cool even if it’s one of the first N64 games to come out, thus it’s has out-dated graphics on N64 near the end of it’s life. The Gamecube version looks photo-realistic. Well, of course, not as photo-realistic as Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero. My point is – it’s still a load of fun to play. Then I played Colin McRae 04 on X-box. My skills improve enough that I broke my own record a couple of times. Colin McRae is made by Codemasters, and was out for Xbox in 2003. Codemasters is making a Colin McRae 2005 coming out in December. Xbox has 2 big Rally games. Colin McRae is more of a realistic simulation like Gran Turismo 3 while Rallisport Challenge aims more towards an arcade simulation. Arcade simulations are about driving fast and beating your best time. Simulations are about realistic features, and are often prettier and challenging at the same time.

After my late dinner, I went over to see my friend Randy, whom I haven’t seen for more than a month. I came over about 8PM. He happened to be playing Madden 2004 on his new Playstation 2. I knew it was Madden because I know what John Madden’s voice sounds like. I joked about it barely looking high resolution. His TV is a little old so it doesn’t have as nice displays as a new television would. He had the sound hooked up to the stereo speakers to give it that boosted surround sound capability. Him being the Green Bay Packers, and the other team the Pittsburg Steelers. He said there was a Madden 2005 Collectors Edition for 60 dollars. So he just bought the normal 50 dollar version. Madden 2005 seemed to have a graphical boost compared to my Madden 2002. Then again, PS2 is already out of date. I don’t know if the hardware is ancient, but today’s computers look a whole lot better. Still, it’s high resolution and can support full 3D games. The PSone could do that – but not as well. I always find most average Playstation games having a lack of texture – don’t know why because Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo games always had great texture Then he showed me Need for Speed Underground. He loves the game – it’s all he plays. I brought Winning Eleven Soccer 6 and Mega Man Anniversary Edition over there. Winning Eleven (produced and developed by Konami Japan) is the top franchise all over the world in Soccer games. It beats EA Sports FIFA everywhere except USA. But WES6 was the first of the franchise to come to North America. In other parts of the world, it’s known as football. And NFL Europe is known as American Football. Anyways Randy commented that the game’s commentators really like their soccer which, of course, were British. The British are known to go crazy over their beloved soccer (in the stadium. In UK, it’s not just any sport – it’s THE sport! In US, we have the MLS, but it’s not as nearly as popular as NFL or NASCAR. Okay, so it’s more popular than NCAA (college) baseball, but that’s about all. It ranks below College Football, and College Basketball in ratings. Randy and I had a hard time scoring goals. I thought the R3 button scored goals, but soccer guy always passes it away from the goal. This makes me very mad. Whenever I use circle or square, it always goes above the net or the Goalie catches it. Our game went through the first, and second halves than both extended times to the shoot out. Randy didn’t control the net in the shoot out. If my ball didn’t hit the edge of the post, and bounce off, I would have won that game. Randy wasn’t even guarding that end of the net!

Then we played Mega Man and Mega Man 7. No comment on this. Winners can only brag, losers can not at least in gaming. It doesn’t sound right if the ‘underdog’ brags. In the gaming industry, it’s weird how small companies brag about their game. That’s what VG review sites are for…to reveal the truth of any of them. Neither one of us completed a level. Yes, we were that bad at it. I scored even were Randy was so we where even on skills. The game is pretty difficult for a 16 year old game. I told him I’ve beaten Mega Man through JNES with an invincibility code.

On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins ( were playing the Cleveland Indians. Twins won. The Twins are a small market team, one of the smallest in the National League. Their pay roll is about 30 million. Sometimes the Twins play really good, like they’ve done tonight against Cleveland. For an example - Christian Guzman hit a double with no outs. The Cleveland pitcher walks the 3rd batter so when the bases are loaded, the Indians could make a double play. Then one of the worst players on the Twins struck out (Ford). Torii Hunter almost hit a home run on STRIKE 3, but instead it bounced off the Metrodome wall below the stands which freed up all the bases. Best thing – it was a pitcher’s worst nightmare which put the Twins ahead, and the game was pretty much over then.

I went to the Toyriffic, and didn’t see anything good. I was looking for Rallisport Challenge II. They didn’t have it. However, I did buy ESPN Football 2K5 for 20 dollars.

I got home and played ESPN Football 2K5. This is the first time I played football since I bought Madden 2002 8 months ago. I picked Vikings as my home team against 49ers. MN Vikings are my favorite NFL team. I played picked a random selection for possible plays. I feel unlucky. I don’t know a heck a lot about football. I feel dumb at it because I read the manual, and did the plays threw the football with X button, and tried to catch it, but the quarter-back threw it out of bounds. I wasn’t even aiming towards the sidelines. When it was my turn, I couldn’t figure out how to make the catcher catch the ball. This would definitely help a lot if he did. I tried pressing X on the dual shock II controller, and the running back didn’t do anything to catch the ball automatically. Soccer, on the other end, evolves around no coaching so, therefore, it is more fun to play. Turning coaching off in NFL football would make the game harder, and I had it on the easiest setting. I’ve got frustrated and turned the PS2 off.

Then today I watched Star Wars – A New Hope, and Star Wars – Empire Strikes Back. Two very old movies. Oh, Star Wars fan base is huge. Internet sites everywhere. I am not a fan of the prequels. Star Wars doesn’t have very good actors – but its story and effects are questionable. I own the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition. Darth Vador is very cool. I like the part were he squishes the necks of those who disobeyed him. Carrie Fisher is a hottie in the early 80s. That scene in the beginning of Return of the Jedi when she was I was in a bikini (obviously propaganda) made her look a bit how should we say – out of the ordinary. I wouldn’t want to be close to a slimy disgusting slug neither. George Lucas has a sick mind having Luke Skywalker save a princess, who’s barely wearing anything. That slug definitely has issues. I was looking up the homebrew Star Wars sites after I saw Empire Strike Back. If I had a choice of which one is my favorite of all the Star Wars films – I would pick Empire Strikes Back.

I found out the name of Episode III – it’s called “Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”. We know Anekin Skywalker gets married, and turns to the dark side as Darth Vador. What will make people watch it is the fact it’s Star Wars, and that it has state-of-the-art special effects.

I just started “Fundamentals of Human Relations" today. I’m being thought by Dr. Kezner again. Dr. Kezner is a nice guy. It’s old about 60 and served in Vietnam War or so he told us. My dad also got drafted too, and may be as old as he is, but didn’t go to Vietnam. He was in Company C. Dr. Kezner was too short – he had to be at least 5.7 feet. He’s like 5.3. It’s odd because my dad’s dad was also in company C which didn’t go into the war itself. Company C was more a reserve. A platoon is 6 men. A Company is 600 – 800 men. My dad keeps his Dad’s WWII uniform that had Corporal signature on it. Yes, this is only one rank up from Private, but remember neither one saw action so --. Anyway, I entered class at WITC for the 2nd day. Everyone was talking, of course, because they can. Talking is aloud. It IS an American right and it’s human nature. They all know everybody anyways. I don’t know anyone. Then Kezner joked about when we had a discussion with someone, that’s 40% of the class right there. The book is much smaller than last year so – therefore - it should be easier? Answer to this: Yes and No. The language hasn’t changed at all in 25 years. So no. The book is much smaller therefore a little easier to comprehend and memorize. It always helps. So I’ll wait and see what happens. Phil Kezner probably knows this class in his sleep. He knows all this information in the textbook that cost me 80 dollars today, and than some. At school today - Kezner brought up John Kerry. I don’t believe that students there don’t know who the president elect runner up is? That is the most ridiculous news of the day.

At school - I downloaded Knoppix 3.4. The program took 2 hours to download, and nearly 10 seconds to the finished download, the computer shuts off and restarts. I know what it was too. The Novell Network Agent restarted the computer before it could achieve 100%. Why didn’t the agent restart when the download started? The answers to this….I have no idea. So I’m leaving that terminal on over night. I even made desktop wallpaper saying please don’t delete my download. Well, with any luck, my download will be there tomorrow.

I was thinking about my CISCO textbook today. My text book is long and it’s a lot of reading. I mean come on! I looked at the online course – it looks a lot higher tech.

Time to study CISCO – bye! The CISCO online course is only on at certain parts of the day! It’s not available at night. I found the curriculum off Emule today. I’m downloading it right now. Its 26 MB total compressed. It has all the content of the online Cisco course. Problem is I’m downloading the 3.0 version not the 3.1.1 version. I hope there isn’t too much difference.

I’m studying the PowerPoint that still may be useful. I was thinking of zipping all the content I have, but that’s illegal, and I probably do not have that kind of server space. 0catch has 100 MB though. 0catch is a free server. No one would want my outdated information. It’s still good information. Just that CISCO has improved somehow…I can’t figure how though. It’s a mystery.

This is Ian signing off.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Please support JPEG2000! Browser plugin is free.

Hello all. It’s me and I want to say I’ve seen the next best thing in graphic files. And it is called JPEG2000! Best of all, JPEG2000 browser plug-ins are free! JPEG2000 has a better pixel resolution for the file size. I want to use JPEG 2000, but am afraid it’s not standardized for most users. JPEG 2000 is state-of-the-art compression for images. JPEG 2000 files always have the *.J2C or *.J2K extensions. But I found out that Paint Shop Pro 7 and 8, and Adobe Photoshop 7, 8, 9 have support for it. You can also download Morgan Media's JPEG tool to make J2C files. This is a shareware program. I recommend anyone to download the free browser plugin, and forget about it. I have it installed and all it does is adds support for J2K files. I want to use JPEG2000 on my webpage, but I can’t because more than half of Internet users don't have support for it. There is enough pixel enhancements for this format to make a difference in Internet. JPEG is 14 years old. JPEG 2000 just came out in 2001. Please support JPEG 2000, and hope Microsoft Corp. standardizes it in Internet Explorer 7.0

I’m sorry. I can’t show you a JPEG2000 image on here because it won’t show up if you don’t download and install the plugin.

16KB JPEG file

PNG image acting as if it were a 16 KB JPEG 2000 image

This is the actual JPEG2000 image compressed at it :)

Below is the very useful image tag for J2c and J2K files :)

"embed src="image.jp2" width="400" height="300">

Please become supporters today!

Free Mozilla JPEG 2000 Plugin -
Free Internet Explorer JPEG2000 Plugin -

Download this Image creation tool (Morgan JPEG Toolbox V2 ) if you don’t have Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop installed. URL -

Friday, August 20, 2004

Kepler & ET Planet Finder | NASA S-Comp goes onlin

This entry is about life on other planets. Neanderthal could have been the aliens! But we destroyed them in the 2nd Ice age. All that remains are their bones. First, I’m going to get into satellites, particularly the Kepler satellite, and what planets they are going to search on. Co-existing with satellites are the telescopes NASA is developing with Lockheed. Telescopes are also satellites in a way. The military spy satellite such as titan is more of a telescope. That thing can magnify 5000x bypassing Earth’s Atmosphere looking at each one of us right now. Scary right? Have you seen the James Bond film, Tomorrow is not Enough? It had some fake satellite images taking of ground zero of the missile’s target.

While I was looking up stuff to put into my last post, I found a headline for NASA’s next super computer. A super computer is really the processor. I don’t know what they last one was, but this one is very powerful. Not to say the last one isn’t powerful. And there on reason not too use the last one too. This new series is called Kalpana. The first Kalpana arrived last year. SGI is developing the first of a series of super computers which will all be working together. This particular super-computer is using 512 Intel Itanium 2s. The first one was running last year. And 19 more are going to be shipped this month, each with 512 Intel Itanium 2s. I don’t know what it’s going to be used for? Perhaps space exploration, and a lot of simulations. NASA can license it off to research. The newest Itanium 2 clocks at 1.5 GHz, and has a 6 MB cache. All together the super computer(s) will have 500 terabytes of memory. They will all run Linux. The article didn’t say what type of Linux the super computer uses. I’m thinking it’s Red Hat. Linux OS only takes 2.5 GB of space. That’s 499,997.5 GB left of storage for miscellaneous applications. Such as classified space video and Hubble images.

Do NASA / ESA Satellites to use MJPEG codec for space video?

I wonder if they use MJPEG to compress their satellite images? Wink. I personally love JPEG in terms of compressing images. Everyone else must too, because it’s everywhere on the Internet. JPEG is a monopoly. It’s better than PNG and GIF plus all the other compression formats. High-end motion video cameras use M-JPEG where every scene is made up of compressed JPEG while still retaining highest possible pixel quality in the compression process. The quality is every bit as good as uncompressed video taken by a high-end industrial video camera. M-JPEG has a 1/2 to 1/3 compression ratio. Only high end equipment can handle this since JPEG takes CPU power for real-time broadcasts. It’s has a 1/20 compression ratio with no visible image loss. The Internet JPEG that we use can be resized, of course, and be compressed 1/50th the normal uncompressed size. Think of bit-map (BMP) than think of JPEG! I think JPEG will be around for another 100 years. MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 compression is a lot better than MJPEG and MJPEG2000. DVD video uses MPEG 2 compression. I spoke of this in earlier entry, the one talking about putting MPEG 4 video on SVCD and DVDs. That is a state-of-a-art movie-to-disc technique I use. An M-JPEG converter is found here: has a 60 day trial version of MJPEG2000 video codec. My guess is it plugs itself into Windows Media Player, therefore, available to every program that’ll compress video will be compatible with the MJPEG codec thingy. Good. We all understand. At this website - you can also find a free JPEG2000 for Internet Explorer, and also a Netscape/Mozilla plug-in on their webpage! Now what I found out there was a free one, I could compress images about 5 to 10 KB better. But is 10 KB really that much more too load? Not really. It does, however, make it easier on us modem users.

NASA’s exploring Alien Life on other planets with Satellites confirmed.

I found out what NASA’s next satellite is going to be which I commented on in my last entry. It’s called Kepler. Kepler (not the astronomer) will take close up pictures of planets when they are on the near side of the Star/Sun. Fine. But isn’t this information obvious? Of course, the lens in Kepler that Lockheed Martin is building for NASA, is a lot more powerful than Hubble. The image will probably be 10 tera-pixel. 10,000,000 mega-pixels. I don’t know for sure. At the moment, NASA is not releasing information on the final product. Anyways, it is possible for Kepler to view alien-made satellites within 100 light-years from Earth. Yes, that is right! This may prove alien intelligence is somewhere out there! Well, of course, the USA government will not release those photos of alien space stations or probes out there for many years. This is undoubtedly Kepler’s prime purpose. Star Trek may not be all fictional after all!

Still, NASA is building an even more powerful, and expensive, satellite called the Extraterrestrial Planet Finder [http://planetquest.j...v/TPF/tpf_index.html ] in as early 2015, which will take pictures of earth size planets in ultra high resolution. 500 tera-pixels? Anyways, it’s incredible! Real alien satellite photos! Except if there are any, it’s Top Secret. So don’t expect any confirmation of it unless it leaks onto the Internet. NASA’s official and only comment on it was, and I quote, “Conduct advanced telescope searches for Earth-like planets, and habitable environments around other stars."

"The discovery of life on another planet is potentially one of the most important scientific advances of this century, let alone this decade, and it would have enormous philosophical implications." * AKA we want to find to find aliens!

Life on Titan?

Oh yeah, I also found out there may have been life on the Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Titian is the only moon with an Earth-like atmosphere. By Earth-like I mean rivers, oceans and erosion. Jupiter and Mars have this too. This part I wrote after I listened to the Titan Planetary Radio episode. Fifty-one moons orbit Jupiter. This means the planet once had water. This stands to reason, since Yellow suns are less than middle-aged suns. When our sun is bright blue, it will be a lot hotter. The heat must reach Titan before it can make life. In a few billion years, Titan, as well as Jupiter, may have life on it. Titan is only 800,000,000 miles from the sun! Scientists are using Titan as a possible example of when Earth had no life, before the dinosaurs. Titan’s atmosphere is full of nitrogen, and carbon dioxide could support life. I never imagined that life could exist on a moon as well as a planet. Is a moon still a moon, if it’s orbiting a planet, and even the size of a planet itself? The answer to that is yes! Moons can the size of Earth, and as long as the Planet it’s orbiting is bigger than it, it’s considered a moon or satellite of that particular planet. Now, if an object is ‘orbiting’ around a moon than it’s called a satellite. Kepler’s 3rd Law states this as a fact. Scientist named the Moon - Titan, because Greek Gods sent titans to walk the Earth in Greek myth. Giant creatures such as Cyclopes. Titan can be observed from Earth with a small telescope if you aim it at Jupiter. If you’re lucky, the moon will be in front of the planet. In the audio commentary, I also found out that this new satellite from the ESA can do 100 feet per pixel on Titan. I am unsure what they mean? Surely a mega-pixel camera can not view the surface of a moon or planet so it must mean a digital image. The resolution is 1x1 per 10 feet so 1000x1000 would be approximately 10,000 square feet of planetary service.

Audio commentary of Titan - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040621.wma

Kepler’s 3 Laws:

1.) Each planet moves around the Sun in an orbit that is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus.

2) Each planet moves so that an imaginary line joining the Sun and the planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times.

3) The squares of the periods of time required for a planet to complete a trip around the Sun are proportional to the Cube of the average distance from the Sun.

A joint effort of NASA, and ESA will bring the European space probe to Titan. In short – NASA builds the rocket, and Europe builds the probe, and together the two space agencies launch it into space until it arrives to Titan. Then the rocket will also shield it from dangerous space, and the satellite will orbit the moon taking climate readings and pictures of the surface of it. We already know that water will be on it in 4 billion years. Titan will be like Earth in many ways. Of course, it’ll have different animals on it perhaps a species or two intelligent enough to create a civilization advanced enough to make buildings, planetary travel, radio signals to commutate. This would have been the case with Earth too. Yes, we would have co-existed with another species! We, as Earthlings, are lucky enough to not co-exist with another species. Who knows? We could have been a slave race of another race like the slave trade in America the 19th century before the Civil War.

If we did co-exist with another species it would mean that a.) Another species traveled to Earth via mother ship or b.) We co-existed with a fellow species that just happen to be another of Earth’s creation at around the same time period. For example, Neanderthal or half-ape people. Even stronger than man! Unfortunately, these species died out shortly after the 2nd ice age! Human’s simply made better spears than Neanderthal therefore Neanderthal went to WAR against our ancestors over land and lost. Not too much more than that. Neanderthal were dumb for the most part. If a Neanderthal and human had an arm strength contest, the Neanderthal would easily win. Ape-man was supposed to be just as intelligent as humans, and stronger as well. Have ya ever seen Planet of the Apes? The new one made in 2000? The 2000 version is better than the 1961 version. I think the end shot of Planet of the Apes where intelligent ape-man appearing in the 20th century is a quite interesting footnote.

Facts about the Moon, Titan

1. Orange atmosphere
Titan's surface is a mystery as the whole world is cloaked in a hazy orange atmosphere. It's made of nitrogen, with traces of other simple molecules, and forms a thick cloud around the moon, hiding its surface.

2. Even the Voyager probe was unable to see through the clouds. However, it was able to detect liquid methane on the surface.

3. Though parts of Titan's surface may be liquid, the Hubble Telescope has detected patterns beneath the clouds that may be continents of land.

4. The atmosphere on Titan could be identical to that of the early Earth when life began. If the world was warmer in the past, then life may have sprouted.
Yesterday was my first CISCO class:

I’m getting a little off topic here, but I started my CISCO class yesterday! Joyce talked about the CISCO 2600 and CISCO 3700 rack routers. The CISCO 3700 router is state-of-the-art, and obviously the one with the most features. Hmmm. I imagined that the students there would be nice to me there because there is a conduct rules there. In class, there are 5 other students. They seem to know each other. I knew that before. Anyways, I tried making friends, but they wouldn’t talk to me. We all introduced ourselves in the beginning. I knew this would happen so I resisted what I would speak of. I told them I was a gamer. There is something wrong with Gamers! I resent this! I realize that people don’t have time for games. But it would make perfect sense. To play games together – you need to set up LANs – which has everything to do with CISCO. I know gamers. They’re probably playing first person shooters. I wanted to get into asking them to my house so we could play UT2004. And I also made a mistake in class by clicking on ‘Yes’ on the dialog box to keep passwords for which is dangerous for me. I’m using a public computer. I know I had to ask for help because I didn’t’ know that to erase the passwords, I had to go through Internet Options / Content / Autocompete / Clear Passwords to clear passwords for Internet Explorer. I didn’t know that before yesterday! But as I first expected, they don’t want to know me. Why? Do they disagree with the gamer part? Or the fact that I’ve been here a year while part time? I don’t think all gamers are immature! Gaming is cool! I don’t game that much anymore. Not like I use too. Joyce doesn’t understand this. Why do people suspect that all gamers are immature, and therefore, lacking in intelligent conversation. I mean the conversation between me, and them is mute for the most part! And I wasn’t even being an asshole to them. I barely said anything! I believe people who are in the glass made the choice to do so, and CISCO even has to do with the Internet thus everyone. The truth is everything which CISCO’s teaching us can be accessed online with only a working user-name and a password!

I have a CD full of Power Point Presentations, and actual webpage files of the actual CISCO online course of version 2.9. I’ve been looking over the power point presentations memorizing the pictures. And no my memory isn’t photo-graphic, but if it was, I be looking at this in a day, and be passing all my tests the first time around!

Interesting radio broadcasts from Planetary Radio (all files are 6.75 MB - 7 MB ) To read the html over view, just replace “wma” with “html” for each radio episode Right click on your mouse, click ‘copy link location’, and paste it in your address bar. Also you can change wma to mp3 to get the MP3 version of the same thing, which is almost twice as big as WMA versions:

• Hunting for Extrasolar Planets - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040531.wma
• First Teenager in Space - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040524.wma
• Life on Mars - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040405.wma
• Salty Seas on Mars - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040329.wma
• Defending Earth from Asteroids - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040315.wma
• Opportunity Lands and Hope Builds for Spirit - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040126.wma
• Confirmed: Water Was on Mars! - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040308.wma
• Spirit Lands on Mars! - http://www.planetary...files/pr20040105.wma
• Steve Squyres Is Ready for Mars - http://www.planetary...files/pr20031222.wma
• he Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes To Mars Project
with Emily Lakdawalla - http://www.planetary...files/pr20031117.wma
• Moon Rocks, Martian Meteorites and More
at the NASA Astromaterials Lab - http://www.planetary...files/pr20031110.wma
• A Traveler's Guide to Mars - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030901.wma
• Four Decades of Mars Exploration - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030818.wma
• SMART-1 Goes to the Moon - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030811.wma
• The Envelope Please: Choosing the 2007 Mars Scout Mission, Part 2 - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030804.wma
• The Envelope Please: Choosing the 2007 Mars Scout Mission, Part 1 -
• A Microphone on Mars? - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030414.wma
• Phil Christensen Explores Mars in the Infrared - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030526.wma
• Journey to the Center of the Earth! - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030519.wma
• Getting a Rover’s Eye View of Mars - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030512.wma
• Deep Space 1 / ET Phones Home - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030407.wma
• Earth-Shattering Impacts - http://www.planetary...ary_radio_master.wma
• Star Trek Science - http://www.planetary...-23-02_pr_master.wma (warning expose to what’s real! Star Trek Fans! Hint – warp speed not possible! NASA hates Star Trek! *cough* *cough* )
• SETI - http://www.planetary...2-9-02_pr_master.wma
• SETI Has an Eye for Extraterrestrial Messages - http://www.planetary...files/pr20030217.wma

My Sources for this article:
Titan -
NASA’s latest Super Computer -
Kepler’s Law -
Kepler Satellite -

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Big Bang Theory

Hmm, more on the thought that the recent scientific discovery The Big Bang Theory may of existed 40 Billion years ago. I’m more into the fact that the there will be another more valid theory in the near future. What I mean by the near future, after my life has ended in the 2060s or something. If you put it into prospective, the Big Bang is just a current theory created when we ventured out into space for the first time. It’s a good theory, and I am sure some of the radiation, and hydrogen facts that I’m about the retell you are going to be true 2000 years in the future when people ‘supposedly’ pioneer outer-space, and landed on planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune. It would end up somewhat like Xenosaga (videogame, RPG). Again, after my life-time. I mean, if I’m lucky, I may see an astronaut set foot on Mars. The 20th century made more progress in technology, obviously, and then all the previous centuries combined.

Firstly, NASA states that the Big Bang theory will never prove itself. The big bang theory states that a cosmic explosion occurred 10 billion years ago, and like an atomic bomb, the radiation first imploded (as an atomic bomb would do), and spread radiation everywhere. Radiation was harmful, but it eventually formed all different types of Suns. The radiation turned into rock which eventually became suns. There are 4 types of suns I know of. Blue Sun, Red Sun, Yellow Sun, Brown Sun (dead sun) and Orange Sun. Also a recent discovery from a British scientist made the discovery of a brown dwarf or dead star in 1995. Brown Dwarfs are much smaller than Suns, but bigger than any planets. Parts of the sun can also be asteroids (much, much smaller). We have an asteroid belt before Jupiter. (The fact remains an asteroid hit Earth 20,000 years ago ending the dinosaurs existence, and began the first ice age.) In other words dead stars shrink. They are bright in the galaxy like suns, but they don’t burn hydrogen as Suns do. No one knows why they do that?

The smaller pieces of the sun could become planets or moons. I’ll get to suns in a minute. Ironically, the man who invented it was as much as a priest as a scientist. Priests are supposed to believe in God, therefore, it’s against Christian/Hebrew/Lutheran religion to think that our universe was created by an implosion. Arno Penzias, and Robert Wilson stated that radiation is moving around in space in 1964, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. The other big theory is about God creating the Earth in 7 days. We know that the Earth was not created in 7 days. In 1445 BC, when the final version of chapter one, Genesis, of the Bible was written in Hebrew, it was the only logical reason for people to bear with their existence. Funny right? Humans are biologically unchanged from 1996 BC to 2004 AD (4000 years) so the human brain is just as capable of understanding things then as now with the exception that most people aren’t brilliant thinkers. We are a lot smarter now than we were 4000 years ago, that’s obvious. In the 21st century, religion kind of ended up like the movie Dogma. If you’ve seen Dogma, then you might know what I’m saying here. The 18th through 21st century region is the thinking that there is a Master of the Universe as well as our own Earth. It’s just until recently – 100 years – that we’ve known how old our galaxy is. I watched Jurassic Park on Monday, and I remember this line. In Jeff Goldblum’s (played Dr. Ian Melcolm) line in Jurassic Park he says, “God created the Dinosaurs. God destroyed the dinosaurs. God creates Man. Man creates Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs destroys Man. Women inherits the Earth…..” Well, in Jurassic Park, it was true that cloning scientists created freaks-of-nature that soon got and rampaged across the tiny island due to a familiar double-crosser to most of us Americans. The point is we’re just another step in Earth’s revolution. In that film, we brought back the dinosaurs because it’s human thinking that it could bring back the past, therefore, go down into the history books as “Most Successful Cloning Experiment”. There is something about that fat guy from Seinfeld who purposely shut down the Jurassic Park’s live-wire fence so T-REX, and the Raptors could escape through the barriers. I thought this too. Hammond’s Butterfingers comment had double meaning. It could mean that he couldn’t eat ‘Buttlerfingers’, and be happy so he was a double-crosser or ‘double-agent’, and got the Dino-DNA, but failed to escape with it. In this case - it’s true that he gone through all the trouble of getting the cheap ‘technician’ job so he could steal the dinosaur DNA samples in the end. He looked kind of careless when he first appeared in the movie, but I think everyone underestimated his cleverness. Have you ever noticed that he and Ian weren’t in the same room together! The fat guy from Seinfeld was no-doubt in my mind the villain of the whole movie. Ian also was the main character in the B rated film not directed by Steven Stelberg,

I know this is really off topic and I said this on my version of the Big Bang Theory, but we probably have 100,000 years until a big asteroid hits, and we'll destroy it in time. Thanks to scientist and technology, it is possible to destroy any rock that comes in focus with the Earth. I do not believe that man hates another man that much that he would drop a nuclear bombs on one another so nuclear winter will not happen. Your God probably did not give anyone this level of hatred. I don't think we'll repeat Hiroshima, and Nagisashi again partly because the aftermath was too horrible to comprehend. In the 1960s we had the Cuban Missile Crisis. That was an extremely close call. This has only one thing to do with the BIG BANG theory. Our sun is a young child in the galaxy partly because the color of it is yellow. We are the 2nd intelligent species to living here on this water-filled planet. The first was the Neanderthal. We were actually aliens to them long time ago. It's a long story on why Neanderthal don't exist anymore. It is obviously because they couldn't reproduce their species. There was a long time where there were two intelligent species on Earth side by side. And I mean smarter than whales, dolphins, chimps, and the like. Then again dinosaurs were the dominate species before the 2nd ice age when we were fair game to saber tooth tigers. Again this was long time ago. It too bad the Bible existed before fossil diggers. We hunted down woolly mammoth like deer, and so did the Neanderthal. This was well before Christ was born though.

As our sun becomes older - we may see Earth no longer able to support life, and may see life on Jupitor's moon, Titan. The ESA (European Space Agency) is sending a probe to study Titan up close, and verify that it has the same mountainous terrain, river channels, some kind of weather, and erosion that Earth has. We made a recent discovery that Jupitor's moon, Titan, may have life on it in 40 million years. This doesn't mean intelligent life like us, but rather microscopic organisms. It's hard too imagine that we were more ape than human 600 thousand years ago.

Secondly, how did the Big Bang begin? The center of the universe imploded like an atomic bomb, and compressed matter shockwave through infinite light years. The reason why I say infinite is the Universe is continue to span. The structural integrity couldn’t hold the mass any longer so it expanded at the speed of light to the outer reaches of space. The universe is still expanding. Anyhow, the matter that was first formed is called plasma. Plasma is a type of radiation. The plasma eventually becomes pure energy or a form of electricity called “Maffei”. As gas cloud forms in the galaxy. The next 30,000 years, the universe cools itself to 10,000°K or Kalvin temperature. The Fahrenheit equivalent to this is 17540.33 degrees [F= ((K-273.15)*1.8)+32]. The protons eventually turn into hydrogen (we know the hydrogen is made up of one atom, the smallest matter known to man) No light is visible during this period. And the ‘H’ gas eventually forms planetary systems, and continues to harden into a solid to form various classes of planets. All planets have different type of gases that make up their atmosphere. To our knowledge, only oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen can make up an atmosphere or AKA air capable for life-forms. To have life, you must have plant life, which everyone knows, needs carbon monoxide to live. The by-product of plants is in fact oxygen. Earth is the only planet with these three ingredients. Also the Sun has to warm the planet above freezing so plant life can grow, and water can form. All life forms in water first before it’s far along it’s evolution to move across continents or land masses. It seems that all the planetary systems are red-shifting or moving away from our “Sol” planetary system. Blue shift planetary systems do not exist to our knowledge meaning that the planetary systems are moving towards us. Some sources say red-shift planetary systems are much like the sonic boom here on earth. Think it as if when I heard the sonic boom of an aircraft flying over me seconds before the sound hits,, and then the sound fades. Same thing with red-shifting. This also is known as the ‘Doppler Effect’. The sound of an aircraft is also a Doppler Effect. The site explaining this phenomenon used the whistle of a bullet-train as an example. The train whistles as it comes to a railroad crossing than the sound gets louder because the frequency is higher. The planetary system travels near us at light-speed, and then it breaks away from our solar system’s gravitational field just as quickly with its enormous speed. Our sun is small compared to other planetary systems so the likelihood of our “Sol” planetary system blue-shifting another planetary system is very, very small. I found out this fact today. To our knowledge, only yellow-colored suns can support life forms. Yellow colored suns are middle-aged suns. Blue suns are newly born suns, and red suns are almost dead suns.

Thirdly, evidence of the big bang:

• First of all, we are reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning.

• Second, galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. This is called "Hubble's Law," named after Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who discovered this phenomenon in 1929. This observation supports the expansion of the universe, and suggests that the universe was once compacted.

• Third, if the universe was initially very, very hot as the Big Bang suggests, we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. In 1965, Radioastronomers Arno Penzias, and Robert Wilson discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin (-454.765 degree Fahrenheit, -270.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for. Penzias, and Wilson shared in the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery.

• Finally, the abundance of the "light elements" Hydrogen, and Helium found in the observable universe are thought to support the Big Bang model of origins.

Fourthly, one of the popular spin-offs that astronomers make of the Big Bang theory is the red-shifting of planets. I don’t know if this is referring to the Hubble space telescope created in 1991 or a scientific term. Anyways it theorizes that radiation loses its speed over long distances when it continues to expand. The big explosion is over thus most of the universe is already created. It also states that if the universe is 10 billion years old, and continues to grow for another 10 billion it will be less than twice the size it is now.

Our Galaxy, The Milky Way

The universe is growing all the time with new planetary systems every day. When planetary Systems get destroyed - it’s usually because the sun is no longer a sun than it's considered a black hole or brown-dwarf. Everything in that planetary system is died. Anyways, the center of the Universe is a set amount of light years for 1 split second, and changes the next second to more. We do not yet know if our home, the Milky Way Galaxy, is being pushed further back into the Universe. Our Milky Way Galaxy is on the outer layers of the Universe. I don't know much other than the fact that we're a new galaxy in the Universe of 999,999,999,999,999, 999,999 total galaxies, and a 100 billion times that in planetary systems per galaxy. Yes, honestly, there are 100 Billion star planetary systems in our galaxy! We are the only one we know of with 9 planets. I got this information from my 6th grade Science class. Have you never looked up in a sky, and saw thousands of stars some nights? These are the sun's light that travels hundreds of light-years to our solar system. Most planetary systems have 2 suns also called a binary planetary system. Some planetary systems have as many as 4 suns.

The big bang theory is the only theory we have to state that the universe was created this way until we have any reason to make a new theory with known scientific evidence. It's just in 100 or 200 years in the future when something new is theorized. The Big Bang theory made just be another out-of-date theory? Perhaps scientists will discover that there isn't just one big bang, but several big bangs that happened at once like a chain reaction. Who knows? Maybe that evolutionary radiation explodes with contact of other gases to form Suns and planets. In our life-spans, this is the popular theory that human-kind has excepted to why everything is the way it is, and our solar system, like other planetary systems, were created from millions of years of evolution. And the evolution isn't over with. Perhaps human-kind soon dies out in 10,500 AD, and another species will take our place. They'll find all this ancient human civilization on the Earth. Perhaps they'll use our existing technology, and adapt to it so they'll eventually be smarter aliens than we are.

This article is all for fun. And remember I’m not an astronomer. I need extensive research on just to ensure there isn’t any false information. If I have states something wrong or am off-the-wall with my explaining, comment on it, please. Oh yeah – I don’t know crap about the Milky Way. Please reference on Google on “End of Humanity”, “The Milky Way”, “Red-shifting”, and most obviously, “The Big Bang”.

My Resources:
Maffei –
Brown dwarfs -

Monday, August 16, 2004

SUSE Linux 8.0 Professional Impressions

Suse Ltd was created in 1997 in Oakland, California. The four lucky people who created capital in Suse includes Hubert Mantel, Burchard Steinbild, Roland Dyroff and Thomas Fehr. Suse went into business with the goal of distributing a better OS than Red Hat. Red Hat publicly introduced itself in 1998, one year before Linux soared high on the stock market. (source : "Revolution OS" on IFC ) Red Hat has been making commercial versions that weren't sold in stores until 1998 (Red Hat 6.1). So it came together by a group ownership. With SUSe's Germany operation(s), Suse was able to create something competitive to Red Hat's OS. Suse bought the Jurix Linux source code, and renamed it to Suse making a much improved interface. By this time Linux was well established. Since the operating system was commercialized, it quadrupled in size. Now we are at version 8.2 with version 9.0 around the corner. Recently Suse went 64-bit instead of 32. This improved the interface, it booted up faster, and do more applications than it has done. Suse has an office sweep specifically designed for Suse Linux.

If you haven't read my Red Hat 8.0 editorial, you should read it, I mean I put weeks into that project. I described how Red Hat looked a lot like Windows. I don't know about copyright laws, but Linux in general has moved up the bar and broke laws. Windows applications are able to run on Linux! I think that is so cools. I talk about this later. Red Hat has recently been keeping up with the industry, surprisingly. They have both Gnome 2.2 and KDE 3.1 on their desktop. Red Hat supports both operating systems! KDE is entirely commercial in it's looks, and it's performance as a desktop shell. I knew Red Hat is good at what they do now. But I realized that their competition have had some interesting ideas. Suse, which is entirely profit driven, is unlike Red Hat who goes more towards the GNU Project, and is huge in industrial networking. Both operating systems use the same KDE Desktop, and it comes with all the applications. But Suse Linux is priced 20 dollars less than Red Hat. I choose the Personal version because it was cheaper.

Suse is already faster than Red Hat. The bootup is faster. I like this much better. Instead of commands being compiled, Suse has an upload statist bar. Opening applications is as fast as Windows XP. I have a 1.8 Ghz Athlon XP with 386 MB of DRam with a ATI Radeon 9000 video card. My processing speed is plenty fast. When the industry lowers it's price for 3.0 Ghz processors I'm going to upgrade.

The X factor [rating 9.5/10]

X as in Xwindows. Xwindows seems much stronger in Suse 8.2 than in Red Hat 8.0. Suse has a system were the MS Windows C drive is displayed on the KDE desktop. I shrugged at this massive accomplishment, for I have never seen the c drive on Linux before. Whether this option is in Red Hat 9.0, I don't know. But it makes it highly flexible to save things to the Window's C drive through Linux. Infact the C drive is listed on /root for easy access. You have the stability of linux to do your work without it crashing. I can do multiple stuff on the c drive that I couldn't of done in Red Hat 8.0. Personally I listen to MP3s on Linux that's on Windows. The sound quality is as good as it was on Windows. The drives for Red Hat 8.0 will also pop up. If you saved work in Red Hat 8.0, it'll automatically work in Suse. It was really weird, but it was really awesome. I know Suse did one thing right, they've added a full directory listing to Kstart so that you can directly access /root directory through the gui. I suppose I went sur-crazy for a mere 10 seconds. It's that cool. I don't have to make cdr each time I go on the Internet like I thought I had too.

Installation [8/10]

Installation (YaST) has a lot in common with Red Hat. No doubt it is a excellent and well set up Installation effort done by SUSE programmers. I liked Red Hat's latest installation wizard in version 8.0. By default, Suse 8.2 comes only with KDE desktop. What we really need is both Gnome and KDE. YaST will help you through the installation. If you have this by default. KDE runs faster than Gnome, slightly. Gnome has even more programs than Red Hat. All programs are installed in Gnome show up in KDE. The Professional version of Suse comes with 5 discs instead of 3 disks, and can add up to 3 Gigabytes instead of 2 Gigabytes. The source code has been shorten in the Professional version, and helps the computer load software faster. But the Personal version, what I have, has the exact same properties, but a little slower. The system will have to re-partition your current Linux partition whether it is Red Hat or Mandrake because Suse has to use the same partitions to create it's basis too. It's the damn competition way of saying, “ You bought me, now you have to use me instead of Red Hat” So at least Suse is kind enough to show file progresses that are installed to the Linux partition. Put this can easily be reversed by renaming the partition to a different Swap drive, and have Ext 4, 5 and 6 for Suse or vice versa for Red Hat. There is an option that allows the super user to check gnome, too. With gnome you get another desktop. The installation takes 15 minutes. It takes anywhere from 1 Gigabytes to 2 Gigabytes of hard drive space. KDE and Gnome are both 700 MBs each. With the huge, and cheap options with hard drives these days, it should be recommended by anyone for the full installation of both Shells.


The YaST asks the user to check his modem. The modem is connected in the COM1 of my computer ( bottom socket of the motherboard ) The only modem that'll worked in Red Hat is the common 3COM Robotics 56K Fax Modem. YaST needs to be updated further. If you have a Win modem, it won't work. So I went back to CompUSA to get an External Modem called the Creative Modem Blaster. That time it worked. Sometimes I think that PCI cards aren't viewable since they aren't in use unless you stick something in the serial port such as a external fax modem. I have had a odd connection viewing my fax modem inside my computer. There has been news off the web that Suse doesn't have the proper drivers for PCI modems. YaST will ask you if you want to download a patch for your Nvidia videocard. I know most people will go, and buy a Geforce II or IV. While others will go with ATI Radeon series. This patch will give your card compatibility with OpenGL.

Suse Personal version automatically asks you if you want to become a workstation in a LAN. Since most people will only own one computer, this isn't possible. So workstations work fine. Like in all The installation recognizes all 2003 hardware components, and earlier (video card, hard drive, monitor, mouse, sound card, speakers, processor, modem, network card, fire wire ports, USB ports, etc.) When Suse is installed I like to use Partition Magic 8.0 to create free space so Red Hat can detect it, and install according to it. I haven't seen a way that Suse can do that. No problem though.

The difference between SuSe 8.1, and 8.2 are noticeable. I don't know. I've never used Suse. So I heard: A lot of the bug fixes that comes with shell development are now fixed. Not so much a new release of the two desktop shells, but rather improved use of memory, and small application fixes. Suse 8 can now recognize newer hardware. Suse 8.2 never crashes. That's good news. To prevent extra work. Suse put more updates on the Programs on 3rd disc. I never needed to use the third disc.

The Internet on Linux [rating 8.5/10]

Unix has much Improved in the Internet field. Netscape Communicator has been whipped off the face of Linux distributions! This OS comes with Konqueror, Mozilla, Opera. Out of the three, Konqueror is the most advanced browser. It can open any webpage without a problem. Not to say that Mozilla or Opera don't have that ability. You can't read most javascript made by independent users that work exclusive for Internet Explorer seen on both iMac and Windows. Gaim is still the premiere instant messenger for Linux. It has everything : MSN Messenger, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, IRC. And is very reliable. There is more drivers that allow automatic detection like you see in Windows XP. That annoying “Hardware Found” icon on the Windows taskbar is in Suse 8.2. I don't know how long Suse had the technology though. It comes with Opera 6.0 and Mozilla 1.0.2. Opera and Mozilla are award winning programs. Both browsers use Sun's Javascript in bedded into each. This allows you to see some basic html javascript like popup menus and slide shows.

The Word Processor / html editing / programming [rating 9.0/10]

I recently talked about Open Office on Red Hat, and it's so good, that it's back on Suse 8.2 version. It is the preferred office suite of all KDE, and Gnome operating systems. KDE makes its own version of Koffice. And Gnome makes Abiword. But these word processors, although close, don’t have as many features as Open Office Suite. One enhancement is that it highlights your typing in blue and while you type and also displays the end result as you type. That's cool. Now I don't have a problem of missing words. In 1.0.1 for Red Hat, crashed once every time I use it. The only thing that kept me from getting mad at it is that it periodically saved my files to /home/students/ directory. It's better in Suse or Linux in general.

If you want to edit html, you have plenty of options. Linux comes with Mozilla Composer. It has much improved over the Netscape 6.0 composer. MC can view both gui style, and html script in the same program. Than you can use Open Office to create light html pages too. There are some free downloadable software like Bluefish 0.9, and Coffeecup HTML editor. Both a command line based html editor. People can use the Kate for easy access to their html script. It highlights different code in color so you can easily find your code. It's also used for Pearl, C++, shell script, and Python shell script. Best of all, when your system crashes, Kate will keep your work for you till you log in, and open Kate again. I seen this work in different Linux OS, and it isn't new to Linux.

One thing new aboard linux is Python 2.2 programming client. Python script looks like shell script, but has MSDOS commands are built into it, and some simple commands. It's available for all Linux distributions. The script is simpler than shell script for linux, and looks the same. Not like Korn shell. That's what the terminal uses now. What is Korn, you ask? Korn is a more advanced shell programming structure than Bourlen Shell script. It's a hybrid, to be exact. Python is included with SUSE under the programming tab of the statist bar.

The Multimedia Software [7/10]

With the ability to see Mp3s on windows partition, you can use a program called XMMS (looks exactly like Winamp), and play your songs. The XMMS can read all Winamp customized zipped skins. It's about the highest quality mp3 player out for Linux. XMMS comes with equalizer abilities, and a range of sound adjustments. I really like. XMMS is in Red Hat 8.0 too. So it's a Linux thing. Sometimes XMMS will play, but not show up, and than crash with the music still playing. At least XMMS is skinnable. Mplayer can show DVD movies not very well, but the idea is there. I haven't seen this program in Red Hat at all. Mplayer can read avi, and mpeg off DVDRs, so that's a plus. It's not as buggy as the Red Hat version of it's media player. Suse comes with Realplayer. Realplayer reads MPEG off cds, but also doubles as an Internet radio tuner, and streaming video client.

Picture clients are cool. I like Kuinkshow better than Image Viewer in Gnome. This program will read graphic files off Linux / Windows, and scrolls through them as you scroll the mouse wheel. Esc on the keyboard cancels Kuinkshow. It has many similarities with Irfanview. One thing that I find difficult in Suse makes it's file system so you can't bring up Kuinkshow first, and look at your photos, but have to find them on the desktop or even cut / paste directory shortcuts to the open statist window. I look at Kuinkshow so I can easily page through my artwork I made in Windows.

Many games have the same problem with Nvidia cards that use Direct 3D. Suse has an easier time using the video card to it's advantage, but SUSE stop supporting Nvidia drivers for what ever reason. The focus for Linux partitions is OpenGL, an open source graphics accelerator which should work as well as Direct 3D, and doesn't. OpenGL improved some since 1999, but it still doesn't look as good or have as good as frame rate as Direct 3D. However I was able to get a Geforce driver off, which improved graphics acceleration slightly.

Video editing can also be done on Suse with “MovieActor 3.7.” The Linux version of Microsoft's Moviemaker software, and still more filled out with options. It is still very basic. Some features that properly describe it is that it can move mpeg video around by croping the video, and export it to mpeg. It can add still images, and add slide transitions too.

New Games [7/10]

All the games are stable in Suse 8.2. Gnome's game package grown bigger in this version. Racer is a 3D Car Simulation (a 250 MB game) The game is much like Midnight Racer for the PS2. At least we know that 3D racers are supported by the operating system. There is also Fool Billiards, a pool game for Linux that uses real nice 3D acceleration.

Loki makes some affordable commercial versions of Neverwinter Nights, Civilization 4, Simcity 3000, Quake III, and Unreal Tournament 2003 for all Linux OS. There just isn't games to go around in Linux. I found a large selection of free games off Chronoium is a good 2D shooter, but it requires OpenGL. Should Direct X be on a Linux operating system, that will be the day. The frustrating time comes when 3Ddiag doesn't work with Nvidia's latest driver. The driver can come in a compact 1.3 format or a very large uncompressed .run format. Quadra is a new Tetris game put in Suse. It wasn't in Red Hat's distribution. It's fun, but Ksirtris is more fun, and it has somewhat better level adjustment. Quadra is impossible to keep up with after level 3. Grometris is Grome's version of Tetris. It's a basic game at best. KDE had come up with Kbattleship after the board game Battleship. That is a little fun too. The buttons in the game have been updated to look rounded, and shady that went well with the desktop anyway. This wasn't possible 5 years ago. Desktop appearance took a giant leap in the Linux department in KDE 2.0 and 3.0 AisleRiot is the only solitaire game on board Suse Linux. That sucks! Katomic is a fun games. It's a well known game in the Linux community. I am good at it. The game is about matching balls which move, and stop by hitting a wall. Than they have to be in the order of the matching screen to go on. There is 50 levels in this game. There is plenty of time to fool around. The higher levels are unreachable by the average person, I believe. Linux is about having fun. The more fun your having, the more you are educated about Linux, and that is the best part of using Linux. Patience is another solitaire game. Solitaire is relaxing. Thus, Solitaire is the bomb! Everyone agrees with it.

I've played Tux Racer, and it's a good game. It has a catchy jingle to it. It's more of a Penguin Grand Prix than a racer. It's a nice game though. A good effort. As a player, you can race 6 tracks. The tracks are better than most racers. It has various shades of tree colors, and snow cover. Good background artwork. It runs in high resolution. I wonder if KDE or Gnome plan to add Doom 1.1 to their 3D games. If so it would be awesome. If not, that's ok, I'll just download it off the Internet. If only I had a videocard that excepted OpenGL.

There was one game that worked with OpenGL well called Frozen Bubble. I love this game. It's new, and it's cool. Frozen Bubble most resembles the N64 game, Bust-a-Bubble. It's simple, it's stable, just line the bubbles up with the color, and there it all goes down. Do this all in time to move on. This game has 100. Newer versions should have more than 100. The program comes with mp3 music that is appropriate for this style genre. The music isn't that cheesy. Red Hat didn't come with this game. It was top rated on the web for most enjoyable game on Linux. So ... I rest my case. This is one of the best games for Linux off the Internet, period. This game deserves a 9.0/10 user rating. If you don't own a brand new computer like me, you can even lower the graphics quality so it'll run on your video card. You'll see once you find it.

If you like to download a lot of games, I advice you to download the compressed format .tar or .gz. Than you won't be missing files, and a lot of times, if your games come pre-compiled, you can get away with it. So download the zip format of your games. If you don't have an unity, which you should have if you’re running Linux is ARK.

Desktop Management [8/10]

Desktops in Linux improved slightly in the last 2 years. Linux has a good os shell recovery system (something that occurs in the kernel.) Applications can't crash as they would in Windows. It's a Linux standard, and gets better in every release of Suse / Red Hat / Mandrake. In the industry, there is an argument whether or not the latest versions of SUSE, Red Hat or Mandrake are as stable as they were 2 years ago. It shouldn't been true though, the kernel went up more than a 100 public releases since than. All of these curacy of the GNU Project. These companies release a new version every 6 to 8 months every year. They're always trying to put something new in there OS. I mean ,in Linux, SUSE took a more drastic turn than Microsoft did when they went from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. Now you can go to your folder, right click, and do renaming, moving of files to any directory. Use the terminal or use of the gui to make adjustments to your files is quick. If you right click on the desktop itself you have a broad view of many options. By the way, I found out all the screen savers that Linux is known for is in Gnome. In KDE, you get a scenic black screen that will enlighten your Desktop. You can change your resolution to look like Windows, Change your background image. I tried this on my mom, and she thought she was using Windows XP. It was so funny to watch. She did see something different about "Kstart." I didn't say anything. Like in KDE 2.1, you could change your title bars to look a lot like Windows 2000. There are a lot of Desktop backgrounds that come with Suse. Really cool screen savers appear when you don't' use the desktop for a length of time. I had seen these in Red Hat, though. Every thing has a minimum quality, for all screensavers have to look cool, and not crash. Linux also has an option where you can reserve energy by putting your computer into sleep mode. Sleep mode doesn't make much since to me when you can turn your computer off.

Installing programs are varied. RPMs usually don't have the the system files I need to install what I need. RPMs are the install wizard similar to EXE for Windows. Some programs come compressed in tar.gz format. I don't like these as much because there harder to work with. YaST gives me errors saying that the packages need to run the wizard is unavailable. A lot of times you need to be signed in as root to allow any rpms to be installed. Sometimes you can't install new versions over the old version (such as Mozilla) so you have to delete the directory Mozilla, and install the latest version over that. Suse has an uninstall wizard, but I have no idea where it is?

FIN : The End Result

The end result is that I much rather have Suse on my Desktop than Red Hat. Although in the future, I'll use Red Hat for school. I can have what I feel more comfortable with in Suse 8.2. I like the ability to see the Windows hard drive, it gives me more options I never had. I like Red Hat's smooth features like the screensavers. They both run the same version of KDE, and Gnome. But, Suse runs faster than Red Hat. So I have to like Suse more than Red Hat 8.0. I'll see what Red Hat 10.0 is like in 2004. But until then, I like what I have with Suse. doesn't have any selection of drivers for hardware what-so-ever. But they do have a toll free 1800 number to call for tech support.

Suse 9.0 came out a while ago. I own Suse 9.0 now. I feels exactly like SUSE 9.0. SUSE 9.0 must have a little more compatibility with hardware such as modems, and processors. It has some newer program versions. It’s all it is. Updated versions of the same old programs. And not something like version 0.4 to version 1.3 for programs. It’s more like version 0.8 to version 1.3. It’s only browser 5 releases. Like I say before, SUSE 9.0 is still a wonderful version of Linux except if you have 8.0 – 8.2 than you might as well wait until SUSE Corporation releases Suse Linux 10.0 in late 2004 or early 2005. Other programs that have changed since 8.2 are XMMS. It went from version 1.2.7 to version 1.2.8. See? It’s not the much of a change. With 9.0 I got a double sided DVD in the box which made an unbelievable amount of open source software on it.

Written by Ian on May 10, 2003 with | rev 1.0.5 |Updated August 24, 2004

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