Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Bonus points to you if you recognize what (or who, rather) the title of this post is referencing.  The 'r' is intended to be rolled.


A while back some of the one of you may have noticed me talking about a neighbor giving us some computer stuff.  To be precise, a monitor, a keyboard, and the computer itself.  I really really wanted to use the monitor given that it's a widescreen flat panel LCD, but there was one hitch: they gave us the wrong power cord.

The computer itself arrived later because they wanted to wipe the hard drive before giving it to us.  It arrived with a note saying it had Windows Vista on it.  I did boot up Windows exactly once.  I poked around in it a bit, went "lol", and then installed Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit on it.  It's not exactly getting a lot of use right now, as I've set it up to be a home theater PC, but there's relatively low interest, and it needs both more RAM (it has 1GB, I dunno how much the motherboard supports) and a better graphics card (ANYTHING other than an integrated Intel GMA por favor, it has a PCI-Express x16 slot).  I use it periodically because I've moved my PS2 into the other room where it can be plugged into an UPS with a perfectly functional battery, where I don't have to worry about a power blip happening while I'm saving and corrupting my save file.  I also installed Minecraft on it.

Anyway, back to the monitor.  The computer (and therefore monitor) are of the Gateway persuasion.  Gateway, in whatever infinite wisdom was necessary, decided to use a non-standard power cord for the monitor.  Rather than having the five-sided deal we're all used to that goes with CRT monitors and desktop power supplies, it has a rounded end that kind of looks like Mickey Mouse.  My dad said he'd come up with something, and came home from work one day with a power cord that fit the bill.

After a bit of growling at either Windows or the nVidia drivers, I finally got it plugged in and recognized.  I actually had to swap which heads my monitors were plugged into in order to get it recognized.  Probably something to do with how it's a DVI monitor and the other monitor is a CRT, I'm not sure.  It runs at 1440x900, which is an 8:5 resolution.  It also has an uncontrollably bright backlight, meaning everything looks a bit brighter than it should.  For games, that's generally a good thing as for whatever reason most games are designed to have lower light levels in their environments, but the color difference between it and my sole remaining CRT is extremely noticeable and there's not a lot I can do about it.

This all came together quite nicely juuuuust before the three day headstart access to Guild Wars 2 began.  I had enough time to run all the games I have installed and configure them to run at 1440x900, which in a couple of cases involved hand-editing config files to force games to run at that resolution (UT2004, I'm looking at you, Y U NO have anything above 1280x960 in the options).  The other case was Beat Hazard, but after setting it to Fullscreen and restarting I'm not entirely sure it's necessary.  I just have it in there to force the issue.

Also, while poking around in config files I figured out why my install of the original UT was so fucked up: its config file was severely corrupted.  Made it generate a new one and re-set all my settings, and the game works so much better now.  Yes, I still play the original UT.  It's the only place where I can enjoy the original Domination gameplay mode, plus I have a bunch of funny player models for it that I've set up as bots.  So I can headshot Spider-Man, The Flash, and Big Bird if I want to.

Wow, this post is really scatterbrained.  One final thing.  Just like any other time I've changed display resolution, the criteria for whether or not a post on here gets the Wall of Text award changes along with it.  The layout is fixed in width, so only the height of the post matters.  Just like before, I'm not going to go through and re-evaluate old posts to the new criteria.

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