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October-December 2001 (oldest-to-newest)

4 Oct 2001 - Ch-ch-ch-changes

I've decided to move on from VM Labs. I will be starting at nVidia later this month. I'm taking two weeks off in between. I will be on vacation so cannot update the site during that time.

Despite this, work on the game will continue. I've asked TPTB to take the necessary hardware home with me so I can keep working. Hopefully VM Labs can pull out of its financial woes so this work isn't for naught.

30 Oct 2001 - Hi from NVIDIA

I'm back from vacation and now into my second week here at NVIDIA. It's quite a different environment from VM Labs. It almost feels like going back to Intel - it has that "big company" feel. I'm still getting up to speed with my job which involves test generation for the nForce chipset.

I see VM Labs has released the NUON SDK to the public. This is great news as now people can start writing their own apps. It kind of stinks how you can't do realtime debugging and must burn a CD everytime you want to test your code. Still, it's a start. I hope they release something soon which allows direct downloading into the system.

No game progress to report. I'm still unwinding after vacation and getting accustomed to my new job. Plus now that I'm back to coding in the evenings & weekends things will progress more slowly. Ah well.

7 Nov 2001 - Up and running

Whew! It took some hair pulling, but I finally have my NUON SDK set up at home. The problem was due to my system at home. My wife and I use a wireless network at home to communicate with the router downstairs. So I have a wireless network card in my PC. Since the SDK needs a wired network this presented a problem.

I tried adding a standard ethernet card back to my PC. I had removed it due to conficts with the wireless card. At first I had the same trouble. I basically thought I was SOL. After some investigation on newsgroups I learned that having two network cards in the same PC should work. So I tried again. I finally got the two to coexist somewhat peacefully. The problem (I think) was some resource conflict on the motherboard (IRQs or some such). I shuffled the two cards around amongst the various PCI slots and found a combination that worked.

Game Progress After over a month off from programming it took me a bit to get my code up and running at home like it did at work (when I was at VM Labs). Two silly problems lead to crashes and hangs. Now it's running like a champ and I'm ready to dig into more coding.

I have decided to move a large section of code from C to assembly. Reason being that I have one whole MPE going virtually unused at the moment (well, it will be used for sound effects, but that doesn't take too many MIPs). Also, I'm not getting the performance I had hoped and am concerned I won't be able to implement all the things I want to. Moving code from C to assembly should help a lot.

What's an MPE? Download the NUON SDK to find out. It has all the docs explaining the NUON architecture. I'm happy that I can finally open up and talk about specific coding and optimization techniques.

19 Nov 2001 - As predicted

Finding time to program has been difficult lately. The new job is taking up quite a bit of time. Plus weekends are spent fixing up the house and going to see movies like Harry Potter :)

Plus, ICO has me enraptured. This is what "next generation" gaming should be. Beautiful scenery with loads of polys and an awesome draw distance. This is a world that just sucks you in.

My X-Box will be arriving this week sometime (hopefully before we leave for Thanksgiving). I did the preorder bundle thing, but it wasn't that bad since CompUSA had a very flexible plan. You got to choose the games and accessories to buy so I didn't end up buying anything I didn't want. I don't have a Gamecube yet, but that's only because I couldn't find a place to preorder online. I'll pick one up as soon as I see it.

26 Nov 2001 - Turkey Day gaming

I spent Thanksgiving with the in-laws and did some gaming of the more traditional sort. We played chinese checkers, bridge, croquet, and golf. I managed to sneak in some ICO while I was there and ended up finishing it. Great stuff. I guess MGS2 is next.

I finally got around to playing with the X-Box that arrived last Wednesday. I'm short one game (Mad Dash Racing is late), but got both Halo and Munch's Oddyssey. Halo looks okay, but it's not *that* great. I'll know more as I get further, but for now the graphics and gameplay are nothing special. I'm really early in the game though so time will tell.

4 Dec 2001 - Blah

I allocated last night for programming, but ended up playing Halo for much of it. I'm finding my new job is a lot more draining than before. As such I don't feel like programming in the evening. Kinda sucks.

11 Dec 2001 - Oops

Game Progress Got a bit of programming done last night. Unfortunately much time was wasted due to my stupidity. I was testing out a new feature and was tearing my hair out trying to figure out why it would lock up. Afterall, it was working fine when I last left it. I finally realized that I had overwritten two files with older copies which were not compatible with the current program. Duh.

I reverted back to the my most recent backup which was from a month ago. Luckily (I guess) I haven't done much work since then so it was almost good as new.

17 Dec 2001 - Good progress

Game Progress Things are rolling now! I got lots of good stuff done over the past week. I added what I hope are the last few features to the API. Now I need to convert a bunch of routines from C to assembly. This involves restructuring some of the data. Right now I use a lot of pointers to separate structures. I need to change this so that the data is located contiguously in RAM so that assembly only needs to pull in one big chunk of data rather than several smaller ones.

I'm leaving this weekend for Christmas so I probably won't update again until sometime in January. Happy Holidays!

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