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January-March 2005 (oldest-to-newest)
I hope everyone had a good holiday week. I haven't
had as much time to work on NUON stuff as I would have
liked. Still, things are happening behind the scenes
for a post-Christmas goodie. Stay tuned to all the
I just placed the order for my laptop today and will
have it by the end of the month. I also ordered some
upgrades in the form of extra RAM, a bigger/faster hard
drive, and a slimline DVD writer to replace the stock
unit. I'll be taking my time setting up this bad boy
and hope to be ready to rock by some time in February.
In the meantime I will be using my existing PC for
Game-wise I won a trio of Gamecube games recently.
Ikaruga is fun, but frustrating
in a way that Gradius V isn't.
Wario Ware Inc. is fun for a
while, but loses its charm as a single-player game.
Maybe it's better on GBA, I don't know.
Mario Golf Toadstool Tour is
pretty sweet. It doesn't simulate golf accurately enough
to be played as an alternative to the real thing, but it's
fun in its own way. I wish I had those guide lines when
putting on a real green.
I've received a few more survey submissions since last
time. Here's the latest, sans comments. Difference from
last results are shown with larger asterisks. Nice to
see more N504 owners out there!
|Have you played Decaying Orbit either on PSOne or NUON?|
|Yes, the Yaroze version||* (1)|
|Yes, the full NUON version||******* (7)|
|Yes, one of the NUON demo versions||******** (8)|
|Not yet||*************************** (27)|
| || |
|Would you buy an enhanced version?|
|Yes, definitely||**************************** (28)|
|Yes, likely||******* (7)|
|Not sure||**** (4)|
|No, probably not||** (2)|
| || |
|If yes, what version would you get?|
|The cheaper one||**** (4)|
|The deluxe model||******************************* (31)|
| || |
|What model NUON player do you have?|
|Toshiba SD-2300||** (2)|
|Samsung Extiva N2000||** (2)|
|Samsung N501||**************************** (28)|
|Samsung N504||****** (6)|
|Samsung N505||** (2)|
|I don't have one yet, but plan to get one||*** (3)|
|I don't have one, nor do I intend get one||(0)|
Wow, it seems HP/Compaq removed the X1000 laptop from
their site. Glad I ordered it when I did! And I got the
ship notice today. Joy!
However, I'm almost freaking out with worry about dead
pixels on the LCD...
Kevin and I have been working on a disc containing
a ton of NUON homebrew games & apps and a bunch of the SDK
demos. Check it out on NUON-Dome.
We're selling these babies at cost to make them as
affordable as possible. Head over to the ND CafePress store
to grab a copy.
I'm still waiting to receive my copy because UPS wants
a signature and refuses to just leave it at the door. I
friggin' hate UPS...
I've been fighting my laptop since I bought it.
Everything seemed okay at first. I swapped out the hard
drive, DVD drive, and RAM for the upgrades I purchased
separately. I created separate partitions for WinXP and
Win98 and installed Boot Magic. The I installed RestoreIT.
That was a mistake.
RestoreIT tracks changes on your hard drive and lets you
revert back to a known good state if you install something
bad or get hit by a virus. Unfortunatley it does this by
creating a separate hidden partition on your hard drive on
which to store the backup. RestoreIT and Boot Magic
conflicted and made things rather unpleasant.
So I tried wiping the drive and starting over. Funny
thing is I still got a Boot Magic error on boot up. I
guess it altered the master boot record and still existed
in some form on the disk. I found the fix on the web
was to boot from the WinXP CD and run the "fixmbr" command
from the repair console.
Ever since then I have not been able to successfully
install WinXP. I always get one error or another during
the install process. I'm reverting my hardware upgrades
back to the stock system to see if that fixes things.
I'm hoping it's just a bad RAM or something equally
fixable. If it's still flaky then I'll likely return the
All seems to be well now. I went back to the RAM that
came with the laptop and the errors disappeared. I'll be
returning the dimm to get my money back. I guess I'll
live with 256MB for the moment. It would have been nice
to have a full 1GB. I'll try again later.
In the meantime, now that I have the laptop mostly set
up I will migrate over my NUON dev tree and get cracking
on that fancy shmancy Decaying Orbit thingee. Bah, I've
wasted a month out of 2005 already.
In case you couldn't surmise by now, updates will be
more infrequent as I work on the updated Decaying Orbit.
I will definitely give out info, but want to wait until
later before showing too much. In the meantime you'll
have to deal with random ramblings.
I'm still playing Mario Golf
regularly. I've unlocked a couple extra characters, but
there's a few more to go and I'm running out of minigames
to complete - I completed all the side games and ring
challenges. At the moment I'm trying to finish all the
star tournaments. They are extremely difficult in that
you must use your power shots quite regularly. If you
haven't played the game, you get six power shots at the
beginning of a match. However, if you hit a power shot
just right the supply won't decrement. So if you're good
enough you can use them quite often throughout the entire
My main problem with the star tournaments, as opposed
to the normal ones you start with, is the putting. The
bar for timing your shots is half the size as usual,
leading to many missed/botched putts. It's frustrating
that the designers chose this method for increasing the
difficulty. It feels like a cheat - like the designers
couldn't think of a better way to make the game
With the NUON Games & Demos disc done I figured it's about time I released
a new Boot Loader with all the new features.
Hit the links on the left to download. The zip with
just the executable and demo bootload.dat has been
updated as well as the source. Here's the rundown on
- Works with NUON.CD files. This kind of makes my statement about how
NUON.CD files may never be supported look silly - especially
since it was quoted in the Gaming Hacks book. Ah well,
better to have it than not.
- Allows larger number of app images. You know those little screen shots
that appear next to the menu? Earlier versions would
crash if you had too many apps in the list and tried to
load all their images. Now the Boot Loader dynamically
deallocates the unused images as needed.
- Sections. Since the
Games & Demos disc has tons of apps I figured we needed a
faster way to navigate the list. You can divide your list
into sections and the user can then skip around to the
start of the next/previous section.
- Arrows indicating when more
apps are above/below the current view. Just a
nice UI improvement to show you when more apps lurk above
- Custom initialization screen. We had to have something different than
the boring blue init screen. It's kind of hard coded for
the Games & Demos disc at the moment, but I can walk
someone through how to customize it if they like.
As always, check out the README in the zip.
So what the heck is going on? It has been over a month
since my last entry and I'm sorry to say I haven't gotten
much done on Decaying Orbit. Work has been super busy for
the past few months. As you
know I work at NVIDIA. I've been putting in some long
days getting our chip ready for launch. I'm working on the
nForce 4 Intel Edition, or whatever they end up calling it.
We showed it off at IDF and CeBIT this month as kind of a
preview thing (which is why I can even mention it here).
Anyway, during the week I end up going to work twice
each day. Once in the morning and then again after my son
has gone to bed. This isn't very condusive to outside
I don't want to turn this into one of those sites that
appologizes about how busy things are and only update
every three to four months. Things are tapering off at
work now such that I won't have to do the double shift
thing as often. Until the next project of course.
The year is a quarter over already so I'm way behind
if I want to get Decaying Orbit done by Christmas. My
first focus, and I have started on this a bit, is to allow
24-bit graphics to replace the 4-bit variety that DO uses
now. It shouldn't take too long to implement, but it's
tough when you can't put a couple consecutive hours
together. Darn it, there I go again whining...
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