Archive for February, 2011

Quake LAN testing done (onto the consoles)

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Late Sunday was the testing of the Mac Quake LAN, or at least part of it, using the more recently acquired machines to make sure there were not any underlying (hidden) issues with the setup in general. After hours of playing, there was only once application crash, which honestly isn’t bad for OS 9 running a LAN game. In all, it was a good and also rather fun test, which just shows how this old game is still a blast to play. Here’s to Quake at the MGC ’11 show.

And now, as time permits, I move onto getting the console (and a few computer) systems ready and announced officially for the UC ’11 exhibit (which will probably have to wait until at last early next week). Till then, keep gaming… 😉

Quake LAN testing (Erica, Joel, Rod [and hidden to the right is Todd])
slot load iMac battery

Quake (pretty much) 100% ready for 2011 MGC show!

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

I know I wasn’t going to do it, but I just decided to take a short break from homework, and pulled out Frosty (iMac G3 600MHz) to take a look at it. To my surprise, it still had a working batteyr in it from last year, and it was already upgraded to the maximum RAM it can take (1GB)! I honestly don’t recall upgrading the RAM in this unit at all, but I’m not complaining one bit. So, I didn’t have to do anything to get this iMac ready for the show, and Quake is now officially 11 for ’11! Outstanding in my book!

Now back to my homework (LAN testing later on Sunday afternoon).

Move along…

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Nothing to see here, move along now…. 😉

Be rather busy doing schoolwork, so not much to report at this time. The only thing I did today, between waking up and getting something to eat, was rearrange some of the RAM in some of the iMacs I have. Why? Because I found a stash of RAM chips I bought sometime last year, and just decided to bump up certain iMacs to their max RAM capacity. As I originally stated back in 2007 (yeah, I was thinking about it back then till now), I still want to try moving Quake over to OS X. To so so involves two things: Better RAM, and bigger hard drives. Working on the RAM early this year, and maybe do the hard drive over the summer. I already have bigger hard drives, I just don’t have the time before MGC ’11 to format, install, and test them. Would love to, but hopefully some year it’ll happen, if it works decently enough (I haven’t tested the updated OS X version of Quake on a LAN yet).

Enough though. Schoolwork to do (and hopefully a short LAN test on Sunday).

Quake now at 10-players!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I know I mentioned that I wasn’t going to add them until cleaned up, but I feel better doing it now, as the main work is done. So at this point in time, the Quake LAN for the UC display stands at 10-player (will be 11-player within a week and that will be it).

Today Agent J (Graphite iMac G3 600MHz) and Stretch (Grape iMac G3 333MHz) have been added to the Quake LAN. They are named after things that go with their color. Agent J from Men in Black (aka – Graphite), and Stretch from one of the California raisons (aka – Grape).

The Graphite model was a very easy FireWire transfer from my Ruby iMac to the Graphite model, via Target Mode (I love this ability of FireWire Mac computers). I truly wish it was always this easy to copy systems. The Grape model was a bit more complex. I had to take the hard drive out of my Strawberry unit, use my drive adaptor, and copy over OS 9.2.2 to the Grape unit. This took a lot longer with USB 1.1 than FireWire, but it worked. I did have some trouble putting it back together (along with bumping up the RAM a bit), but after another Cuda power reset, it now works just fine. Both need cleaning and polishing, which will be done to the best of my ability when I have a bit more time. I can only do so much with older computers. (Now back to getting some much needed school work done)

Here’s to 10-player Qauke (soon to be 11)!!! 🙂

Copy to Graphite iMac – Grape gets an OS
copying system from Ruby to Graphite iMac copying system via USB to Grape iMac

Further work on last few iMacs

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I still have three iMac computers to get ready for the Quake LAN (with an additional one possible to run single player random games). One is pretty much done (Graphite unit), but it needs a good cleaning (marks, tape, and the like). Once cleaned, it gets announced, but not until then. Details!

I’ve got a Grape iMac that I just dug out my spare ‘Universal Drive Adapter’ for, so I can clone over the drive from an older iMac that only has USB for transmitting data. This will be a tad slow, but it will work, as I did it last year. Lucky I have my spare Adaptor though, as I cannot find the original (I bought a 2nd one by accident about a year ago – yeah, it happens, even to me).

After that, there is a Snow iMac, which is setup from last year. It just needs checking over.

I plan on testing newer (but still old) iMacs this coming weekend with a few friends, to make sure that they will perform just fine during the show (stress test as I call it). This comes in handy, as I’ve come across some odd things in the past, including a bad CD-ROM drive, bad network cables, and even a different network game that seemed cool but failed in a large LAN environment (this was prior to the Quake LAN).

Later folks…

Theme update

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Just another quickie here, but I went and finally (after too much time), updated the ‘theme’ of Ramblings to have that ‘green and gold [yellow]’ look (and if you want it to be like WI football colors, that is your choice). That way, it matches (to an extent) the look of the UC area on the MGC site. I choose green a while back, and now it is here too.

I’m famous (kind of) ;)

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

I’ve been officially announced on the Midwest Gaming Classic website! You can catch my area in the museum section of the site, or just click here to have a look. I know it is just an announcement, but I always like seeing my UC section posted on the MGC site. Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. 😉

P.S. While I’ve not officially announced all my consoles yet, the list on the MGC site shows all ten of them (ten for the tenth anniversary of the whole show). This is what I’m shooting for, but as they put the note at the bottom, it is subject to change (as in case I can’t get a system to work).

Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Quick note. I found the problem with the battery in the Ruby iMac (and in the Indigo and Frost too). I had the batteries in backwards! I did catch this, just wish it had been a tad sooner (but still glad I caught it) 🙄

Going to bed soon, but cloning over new FireWire port iMac as I write this, from the Ruby iMac. Will burn-test the new(er) “Agent J” (iMac G3 600MHz) Tuesday night. If all goes well, on my way to at least a 10-player Quake LAN! 😀

Getting ready for last iMacs

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

I dont’ have time today, but I’m getting the equipment ready to prepare the last few iMacs for the Quake LAN. I’ll need to take the hard drives out of two computers, and clone them over to the drives from the other computers. At least that is how I did it last time, using some special equipment I have. I may be able to clone one system over user FireWire boot-mode on the newer iMacs, which would simplify things. As said again though, this will happen later in the week. I don’t have time now to do this (schoolwork comes first – and some needed sleep too).

As for consoles, the next announcement should be coming before weekend. Fingers crossed (I need to get these done).

P.S. Ruby the iMac still isn’t working well with batteries (2nd one now). I will try one more time. If this fails, then the unit has an issue with the battery connection (or I may have to zap the Pram). Not a biggie, but I don’t like having to set the time every time I turn a computer on.

More snow…

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Winter is back in WI. Of course, it never left, as warm weather always fakes too many people out. Not me though (I know better).

That aside, I had a little bit of time to get Ruby (iMac G3 600MHz) up and running for the Quake LAN. Had a slight glitch with a battery that decided to bite the dust, but otherwise the unit is running perfectly (and quietly too – less noisy drive than most of the older computers have I have). This now brings the LAN up to eight computers, with 2 or 3 more to go (depending on how things work out). Hopefully will move that up a notch in a few days. I will then switch focus for a bit to get some more consoles announced (I’m behind on that).

Back to shoveling… in the rain… 😐