What's New? - September 2000

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 - 11:11 PM

The JNTU examinations for I Year Engineering are over!  Our college, however is conducting one of the practical exams the day after tomorrow, so on that day I have one exam left, Engineering Drawing.

I was expecting to see Part I of the season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Graduation Day" today on STAR World, but for some reason they repeated the episode "Band Candy" (an episode shown some months ago).  Anyway, I did see the episode "Nob and Nobility" of Black Adder the Third, which I had recorded last Friday.  As usual, it was very good, and you can read my summary of the episode on the Black Adder Episodes Page.

Some interesting downloads yesterday, first the Doom level editor DoomCAD, which I'm going to have to learn to use, then the Blood 2 Source Code and Blood 2 Editing Tools.  Using the tool Lithrez, I extracted out all the 1300 or so entries in the B2DEMO.REZ file.  I got all the sounds from the game as individual .WAV files.

On TV this time - Forrest Gump (HBO, Saturday, 9:30 PM), Con Air (STAR Movies, Sunday, 9:30 PM), and this month on HBO we've got The Cable Guy and The Truman Show as well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 12:23 AM

[Written with reference to 25 Sep.]

I haven't really added anything to the site in the past few days, but anyway, I felt I had to atleast write something here (besides I'm downloading a 4 MB file now and have nothing to do but wait for the whole thing to finish).  What I am happy about is that my Semiconductor Devices exam got over today.  It wasn't a very easy exam, though, and many of us found it quite difficult.  I only have two more exams left, that is, C & Data Structures, and Engineering Drawing.  So after coming home today I played Doom for a couple of hours, then slept for a while.

Right now I'm downloading DoomGL, which is a port of Doom I want only because you can use nice MD2 models with it.  Otherwise my favourite ports are ZDoom and Boom.

I was reading the latest news at Doomworld a few minutes ago, and Linguica had quoted an article that is strange, to say the least... well... see for yourself.

Computer gaming usually is strongly futuristic, but what about the future of the games themselves? To find out what’s ahead in the next two to five years and beyond, I sat down with John Carmack, one of the designers of the legendary Doom. In 1993, his company, ID Software of Mesquite, Texas, pioneered the practice of providing free samples of games on the Internet. And in a bold move six years later, he created the first Web-only game, Doom III.

The complete article is at: http://www.popularscience.com/computers/news/000918.c.html.

Doom III released in 1999?  It won't be out until 2002!!  New Doom.com is a site you might find interesting if you want the latest information about the new Doom game.

Meanwhile, in between studying for my final exams, I got a good look at all those Doom demos I was talking about earlier.  They're absolutely excellent.  I must also mention that Varun also recorded some terrific Doom demos, with some Doom Tricks!  He's now done the E1M4 ledge run, E1M9 exit jump, and my favourite (and a very difficult trick to do), the E1M8 exit jump.

I missed the first 15 minutes, but thoroughly enjoyed the remaining two hours or so of The Mask of Zorro, which premiered on HBO on Saturday, 9:30 PM.  Forrest Gump is on HBO on 30th, and M:I-2 releases here on 29th in many theatres around the city.

Saturday, September 23, 2000 - 01:19 AM

Finished 5 exams, have three left.  Since I'm removing 13th's post off this page, here's the schedule again -

Three more exams, and then I'll have three days of free time before the Engineering Second Year starts.  I've done quite well in most of these exams, and I hope I do well in the ones that are left.

As for what I added to the site today, there's been some reorganising and additions to the TV Page, which I'd left idle for a while.  There's now information about the Black Adder series, as well as Martial Law.  There are episode listings for both, listing all episodes that STAR World has shown.  I also got a Message Board for my site, as soon as I configure it properly, anyone who visits can leave messages for me and in general, post whatever you want.

I've downloaded some themes from Themeworld, two of Dark City and Nathan Marchesi's Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Desktop Theme.  I also got some more Doom Demos from The Compet-N Home Page, which is a collection of the BEST demos of Doom from around the world.  I've yet to watch these demos that I got, but just look at the kind of skill that these represent - 100% Nightmare demos, Pacifist and Tyson style and more...

If all this Doom talk is confusing, have a look at my Doom Pages for now, but everything will be explained in a Doom Site that I'm working on... after the exams.

And oh yes, before I forget, I've got a new email address, karthik@slayme.com.  I will still be primarily using my Yahoo address, karthik_abhiram@yahoo.com but you can send me mail to anyone of these two addresses.

Monday, September 18, 2000 - 11:24 PM

The Physics exam got over today, the day after tomorrow I have the Information Technology exam.  The past two days I added some things to the site -

  1. I finally finished writing a review for The X Files.  Yesterday the movie was shown on STAR Movies as the Sunday Night Premiere (9:30 PM).  I saw it although I had two more chapters to study...
  2. I downloaded the Doom Source Code, the official code released by id Software in 1997.  I've put up the code on my site for download on the Games Page.
  3. For those of you who've downloaded a source port of Doom and don't have a gamedata file to use with it, I have the Doom 1.9 shareware WAD file for you.  It's there on the Games Page, 1.69 MB zipped.  Saves you the trouble of downloading the 5 MB or so complete shareware.
  4. I also added a Movie Pictures Page.
  5. The Pic of the Moment script has been updated to display more pictures.
  6. The Movie List for 2000 has been updated - I saw Child's Play on 16th at 11:45 PM on STAR Movies.

I've now got yet another source port of Doom, which is MBF (Marine's Best Friend) by Lee Killough.  I also downloaded ZDoom Beta 7 by Randy Heit and The ZDoom Launcher by Jeffrey Cuenco.

And to those people who have an ALS-4000 32-bit Sound Card and are unable to get Boom or MBF to play MIDI music, I found a setting that works.  Start the Allegro Setup Program (ASETUP.EXE) and click MIDI Driver.  From the List, choose MPU-401, click OK.  Leave the default settings for the port and other settings, click OK.  Then click Test, click on MIDI, you'll hear the beautiful Beethoven's Fur Elise play!  Save the settings and exit.

Friday, September 15, 2000 - 09:00 PM

The updates this time -

  1. New Colours
  2. New Logo (designed by Varun)
  3. Many new MIDIs added (when you open the MIDI page a small window pops open, telling you exactly what MIDI files were added!)
  4. Movie List for 2000 updated

Two exams over, 6 more to go.  I did well in English, but not that well in Mathematics.  II Year, I Semester of Engineering starts on October 3rd.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - 07:20 PM

The schedule for my final exams is as follows -

I'll be updating this site in between whenever I have the time.  Yesterday I saw on HBO A Perfect Murder, starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen.  It's based on the play Dial M For Murder by Frederick Knott, the script for this movie was by Patrick Smith Kelly, and it was directed by Andrew Davis.  I liked the movie a lot, because of its excellent acting, script and direction, not to mention a terrific music score by James Newton Howard.  There are some other good movies on TV this week, with Child's Play (16th) and The X Files (17th) on STAR Movies.  The Mask of Zorro is also on HBO this month.

Updates on this site -

  1. Changed the Random Music Javascript.  Previously, I had declared two large arrays to hold the path of the MIDI music file and the description.  I'd then check for the browser, and write the tag to the page accordingly.  Now, I check for the browser first, and declare the arrays ONLY if Internet Explorer is being used.
  2. I also split the top frame into two so that changing songs and stopping them is faster.  The site logo is displayed no matter what happens.

Ganeshan has uploaded some files to his new page at http://ximor_iksivich.tripod.com.  The site is not fully functional yet, but he will have lots to read and download.  I'll have more information on that soon.

Monday, September 11, 2000 - 12:20 PM

New additions -

  1. A new movie review page has been added - The Frighteners (1996)
  2. Movie Reviews now have more information about the objectionable content in them
  3. Movie Lists now have links to corresponding reviews

I'm also working on a review for The X Files (1998).

Monday, September 11, 2000 - 08:51 AM

I've changed the colours yet again!  Now in my new style sheet I can actually control which links are underlined and which are not!  The page also looks almost exactly the same in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, and Opera.  After all those modifications the style sheets are actually smaller in size!  I also modified the Doom Enemies Page a little, to correct some errors.

On TV last week, I saw the first episode of Martial Law ("Shanghai Express", written by Carlton Cuse and directed by Stanley Tong) on Thursday, but I didn't like it that much.  The martial-arts scenes were good, but the story wasn't.  Maybe the later episodes will be better.  There were a couple of good movies on TV this time - on Friday, Kindergarten Cop on HBO (9:30 PM), on Saturday, Godzilla on HBO (9:30 PM) and The Frighteners on AXN (9:00 PM).  Last night at 9:00 PM on HBO - Beverly Hills Cop III.  I only saw the last 15 minutes of that movie.  The advertising has started for The X Files on STAR Movies on September 17 at 9:30 PM.

My final exams start on September 13.  The exams are on alternate days, and go on till 27th.  On 29th I have my Engineering Drawing Practical Exam.  So I'll update the site when I have time (in between the exam days).

Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 03:20 PM

New stuff -

  1. Added a page describing the Doom Enemies.
  2. Added a page describing the Heretic Enemies.
  3. Added a Heretic Screenshots Page, with large, 800 x 600 pictures!
  4. Site also tested with Mozilla M17, Netscape 4.74.

Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 02:38 AM

I added some more demos on my Doom Demos Page.  There are a couple more in Nightmare skill, and some played in a difficult style - no running, no strafing, using only the keyboard (that is, using the default.cfg file that came with shareware Doom 1.9 without any modifications).  Go over there and download them!

This week's episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Earshot" written by Jane Espenson and directed by Regis B. Kimble) had Buffy given telepathic powers after killing a nasty demon.  Giles and the others try to find a way to silence the voices that are troubling Buffy, and they must also stop someone who's planning a mass-murder the next day.

Thursdays 11:30 PM on STAR World - a new series starts... "Martial Law" starring Samo Hung.  I won't miss it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2000 - 03:30 PM

Site updates again...

  1. Changed the colours and fonts a bit
  2. Style sheet size is smaller now
  3. Added a Doom Screenshots Page
  4. Added an old picture of my site to the Siteshots Page
  5. Added some more MIDI Files
Click to see larger image I also got this month's CHIP issue.  The CD was very good as usual, I installed Netscape Communicator 4.74 and Mozilla M17 from it.  Mozilla is the browser technology that will be used in Netscape 6.  This new version is less buggy than the previous M16 version.  The CHIP CD also had a great M:I-2 desktop theme, by Steve.  You can see a preview of what it looks like on the left.  The CD also had some nice games - I installed the Road Rash Demo (hadn't played this in a long time!) and some others.

The CD has the Quake II demo also!

I recorded another Doom Nightmare demo yesterday, in which I played half of E1M3.

Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 11:48 PM

I added some things here since the last update...

  1. Added a page demonstrating how to enter command line parameters in Windows for Doom (or any DOS program)
  2. Modified the Games Page, so that it looks more organised
  3. And I also changed the poll to ask what you would like to see on this site in the future, so you can vote for your choice.
  4. Changed the Javascripts a bit (slightly different colours)

Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 07:35 PM

Yesterday we had our final practical exam in Computer Programming.  I had to do a program on all operations of a doubly linked list, which was a very nice program I wrote (it had a nice-looking menu also!).  Today was the practical exam in Semiconductor Devices and Circuits, the experiment being Zener Voltage Regulator.  I hadn't done this experiment before, so I didn't do the exam all that well, although I did get all the readings right.

After coming home I played three Doom demos in Nightmare mode, which you can download and watch here.  I reach upto E1M3 in each one.  Varun played a Nightmare demo today in which he reached E1M4.  I'll put that demo on this site also, as soon as he finishes writing a readme/description file for it.

I also changed the look of the site again.  I like this design, so I will keep it like this for some time (atleast until I change my mind yet again).  Since I keep changing it so many times, I've put a page here where you can see all the different colour schemes I've come up with.  I call it the Siteshots page.

Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 12:55 AM

[Written with reference to Sep. 02]

Today we had a Network Theory exam, after coming home I played some levels of Doom in Ultra-Violence mode and Nightmare mode using ZDoom, which is now one of my favourite source ports of Doom.  Our prefinal exams are finally over, and now our final practical exams are starting on 4th.  I have Computer Programming on 4th (9:30 AM - 12:30 PM), Semiconductor Devices on 5th, and then Engineering Drawing on 29th.  The final theory exams are starting on 13th.

Varun played 3 levels of E1 in Nightmare skill yesterday!  I always enjoy watching him play Doom, but this was better than ever.  He wasn't recording at that time, otherwise I'd have put up that demo here.

Yesterday's episodes of Black-Adder II ("Chains" written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton) and Goodness Gracious Me were very good too.  I also saw Wednesday's episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Enemies" written by Douglas Petrie and directed by David Grossman) - what a great episode it was!  In this one, the Mayor and Faith plan to rob Angel of his human soul, and the Mayor (a hundred year old demon) is preparing for his ascension on Graduation Day (yes, just a few episodes left for the end of season 3).

Varun is the FIRST person to find the secret on this site!  Congratulations.

Yesterday I didn't do any updating on this site, but today I made some changes, mostly to speed up the loading of the site...

  1. Changed the stylesheet - the fonts are different (Windows users, you'll see Tahoma used, if you're using Linux or another OS there won't be much difference.)
  2. Got rid of the background image (too many components on the page to load!)
  3. Also changed the script for random music - there are some newer songs, and I eliminated a few.  Total number of songs at present is 53.
  4. I also made a slight change in the way the secret is generated.
  5. Added MIDIs to the MIDIs Page - there's now some files from Commander Keen!
  6. Fixed a wrongly linked MIDI song.
  7. Made messages appear in the status bar for the side navigation links.

Go and download the new MIDIs!

Friday, September 01, 2000 - 03:24 AM

A quick update before I sleep - I finished the entire Movie Lists!  So now you can see a list of all the movies I saw in 1998, 1999, and the list for this year.  As I write more and more movie reviews, they'll be also linked from these lists.  I also updated the Doom I Soundtracks Page - with more detailed information on the songs.  I've listed the songs on all the levels of Ultimate Doom (all 4 episodes).  And just sometime ago I downloaded EDGE - Enhanced Doom Gaming Engine.  More about that later.

Friday, September 01, 2000 - 12:46 AM

[Written with reference to Aug. 31]

I was happy today after getting my Computer Programming Record Book corrected and signed!  Today we had the C and Data Structures Prefinal and 6th Internal Exam.  Like yesterday, I returned home just a little before 7 PM.  I made a few changes around here...

  1. Changed the background image's size so that it tiles better (thanks, Varun, for the idea).
  2. Changed the format of the News here - no more tables, things are a lot easier to manage with just headings.  This also makes the site look better in Netscape.
  3. Of course, there's a new page for September 2000 news, you can read all of August's news here (if you really want to).
  4. There's now a page explaining all about Doom Source Ports.  This page doesn't actually list any ports, just tells you what they are.  More information soon.  The page has some great screenshots from Doom Legacy and ZDoom.  Just see how nice Doom looks at high resolutions!
  5. And I don't want to keep this a secret anymore, but there's a secret hidden in this site somewhere!  No one has been able to find it yet.  You've heard of super secrets in Blood?  This is something like that, hard to find.  Find it, and you'll be mentioned on this site as >> The person who found the secret << !  The reason I'm talking about this is, I modified the code for that today, and I'll probably modify it more, and make it harder to find.

I've got some uploading to do now, but I'll probably add something to the Movie Lists for 1999 while I'm at it.  It's a list of all the movies I saw in 1999, and lists for 2000 will be coming soon too.