2, Issue 11
February 11, 1999
Back to Basics
off Id like to welcome Paul Steed back to the pages of loonygames.
I love Pauls writing style and Im always happy to
work beside a fellow philogyner. Hopefully he wont bore
us to death with modeling and animation tutorials. I love to see
messageboards across the internet blow up after one of his controversial
editorials. What a hoot.
also like to take this opportunity to give loonyboi a good kick
in the crotch. The man doesnt like mods and stated so in
his column this week. I still dont understand his reasoning,
thus Ill give him a kick just cause. When I think
about it, Ive played mods waaaay more than Ive ever
played the original game. Ive had addictions, at one time
or another, to each of: original Capture The Flag (Q1), Team Fortress
(Q1), Rocket Arena 1 & 2 (Q1 & Q2), Superheros (Q2), Action
Quake (Q2), and my current favorite Counter-Strike (HL). Oh my
god how many hours have I spent. Ratio of time spent playing Half-Life
deathmatch compared to Counter-Strike: 1:100. I think its
cool that Valve is funding some of these mod ventures, but it
scares me to think of what will happen to my spare time
as these mods only get better.
to the real topic of this column, helpfully titled Back
to Basics. I have two computers at home that I share between
myself and three hardcore gaming toddlers. Now, I dont have
a lot of money to spend on equipment, so if I have to buy something
new, I tend toward the cheap no-name brands. Curse me if you like,
but you gotta do what you gotta do. The headphones I use for my
main machine ($10 pair) finally gave up the ghost and it was far
past time I got them replaced.
usually do my computer hardware shopping at Radio Shack, but thats
where I happened to be when I laid my eyes on a nice pair of Koss
SX-20 speakers for $14.95CDN. What a bargain! While waiting to
purchase my goods, the ever-present salesman came up to me and
began his little spiel about how I should go with the more expensive
speakers; the ones with the built-in amplifier, the treble, bass,
and volume controls, the power button. No way man, I said. These
babies are perfect.
are! We dont need no steenking knobs on our speakers. Im
serious. I have another pair of speakers on my second machine
that does have all those options. And I have nothing but problems
with it. The sound doesnt work worth a damn, just spits
out noise when Im adjusting the volume, and I never get
anything out of the left speaker. The knobs are obviously just
meant to be played with, cause thats all my kids ever do
with them. The amplifier? Just another thing to plug into my power-bar
(and Im running desperately short on outlets).
Koss speakers, on the other hand, just sit there and work! No
knobs, no extra cables. Theyre powered straight off the
sound card so no need for another outlet. Sure, I cant crack
the paint with the deafening noise and I cant make the floor
shake with reverberating base, but Ive never been that big
on sound anyway. In fact, I used the 8-bit Soundblaster card for
years. I remember the day it went funky-doodaa and I went over
to Computer City to get a new one. My conversation with the clerk
on duty went something like this:
Soundblaster Pro please.
Did you saw Awe-64?
No, I said Soundblaster Pro.
What is that?
You know, 8-bit sound card. The one that every other company tried
Give me a break, Im only 14.
back to basics for me. I honestly cant tell the difference
between $40 speakers and these ones I got for $14.95. Why would
I spend more? As long as I can hear the guy sneaking up behind
me to harvest a quick frag on my ass, I really dont care.
This pathetic image is how RadPipe plays CounterStrike.
for another shock? I still use an original Pure3D from Canopus
in my main machine. Yep, thats first generation voodoo graphics
from 3dfx in there. I get decent visuals and frame-rates in everything
I play, so why should I upgrade? I could be on top of things and
bandaging wounds from sitting on the bleeding edge, but why bother.
Ill use this card until it breaks. I mean really breaks.
It does some pretty funky things right now, like mixing up textures
in games, so I suppose it wont be long. Yeah thats
right, mixes up textures. It creates the absolute funkiest designs
sometimes, so its kinda cool. Check out the screenshot.
I am such
a naysayer. I still use an HP IIIP LaserJet printer. Had the same
one for almost 5 years. My keyboard? A good old keytronics with
the soft-tap keys. Love it. I dont know how many million
words Ive typed on the thing, including 300,000 for my fantasy
novel. Mouse? Age old non-ergonomic 3-button Logitech. Heck, I
think the chair Im sitting in is older than me. Now thats
getting pretty old. I better stop soon before I start telling,
You know, when I was a kid... stories about my Vic-20
while resting my hand in the waist of my pants.
Am I back
to basics or just stodgy? I might be just stodgy, Im not
sure. I did splurge on a 17 TTX monitor, and Ill smooch
Roseanne Barr before Ill give up my precious cable modem.
Did I really need 128 Megs of ram? Well, try playing Kingpin without.
about wraps it up for this week. Id let you in on what Im
going to talk about next week, but I never know until about 10:00pm
Thursday evening when loonyboi starts sending me those Column?
emails and I think, Oh shit! So check back with me