News archive 2000
archived news: current    2004    2003    2002    2001

December 2nd, 2000
Big doin's here at the house of craig! Let's see... where do I begin... Oh yeah! My latest, greatest hardware upgrade yet is now complete! Let me tell you, this is the closest I've ever been to the "cutting edge" of technology. Typically, my rig runs about the middle range of available technology in terms of video, and cpu. Not this time dude! I'm now running an AMD Athlon T-bird 900 on a GigaByte GA-72x motherboard using Crucial Technology's 128mb CAS2 dimm with CardExpert's GeForce2 MX 32mb video card, of course with a 300w power supply. This setup is the exact recommendation for November from Sharky Extreme for their Value Gaming PC. They truly know their stuff. How fast is it? My framerate in Counter-Strike @1024x768 is ALWAYS PEGGED AT 72FPS! And that's because I cap it off at 72, it exceeds 100fps, but the net_graph doesn't! Used to be there were many scenarios where it fell below 20fps. Now, couple that with the new 2-way cable modem upgrade I just got and if you see the Beav (latest scores) on the server, you can kiss yer butt goodbye! Yep, went from 256k/36k to 512k/128k download/upload speeds, ping went from around 130 to around 60, it is quite noticeable. I've always wanted to be an LPB! Anyone living in the Frederick, MD area? I can now whole-heartedly recommend my broadband provider: GS Communications' GSCyclone, despite what the web page says, the two-way service is available in Frederick county, so: "Ride the Cyclone!".

In a related topic, they finally stopped allowing multiple users to log onto a CS server using the same cd key, doh! so I will be looking to acquire a copy of the retail version of CS soon...I'll let you know how it is.

Also, you may have noticed the Improving Your Ping page is now gone from the Half-Life area. I now recommend broadband (cable/dsl) users go over to PC Magazine and check out this article. Modem users check out this offering from

September 16th, 2000
Got myself a copy of WinRoute from TinySoftware. Get a trial copy for yourself here. I definitely recommend it. It's a NAT (Network Address Translation) Router for sharing your internet connection amongst the other machines on your internal network. Function is similar to a proxy, but the method is different. I had to go for the Pro version because of it's support for VPN connections using IPSec, but most users ought to do fine with the Lite version which is only $59. By the way as far as proxies go another shameless plug goes to my former method of sharing: AnalogX's fine, FREE Proxy, get it here. Anyway, to get to the point; This is the best way to connect multiple users on your network to the same (you guessed it) CounterStrike Server. This is LOT'S of fun, best use of the router, i think.

May 3rd, 2000
Downloaded and checked out the new FireArms MOD for HL. (download it here). Very nice work. The sounds especially are really cool. The gameplay is realistic without being overly annoying, in short: Nice Job Guys! One caveat: right now there aren't that many FireArms servers and the best ping i could find was around 260, can you say dead? Also the game appears to place too much of a bandwidth-demand on the connection but the jury is still out on that until i familiarize myself with some optimizations.

April 28th, 2000
Wow, been too long since any updates, slothful.

Anyway, the House of Craig steps-up again. Yup, that's right the Craig got cable! I would like to tell you that the lowered ping has made an already competent player even better. Sadly, this is not quite the case, you can see this over on the Killboard *sigh* I got good news and I got bad news. First of all, the installation was a breeze (NOT!). Actually the installation was easy. However, the cable company (who shall remain nameless) got my mac address wrong and i was unable to connect for 3 days or so. After exchanging the modem for a different one (with a different mac address) the process of having them update my mac address fixed the problem. I will state it here for the record: an ethernet card in the same machine DOES NOT cause this problem!

In actual usage all i can say is: when it's hot, it's hot (i've seen download speeds over 125k!), and when it's not it loses a bunch of packets. Not a problem that a non-gamer would probably notice i think, because they just get re-sent and the added speed covers up the lost info if you're browsing or downloading and such, but in a game your guy *freezes* up for a while and when you *thaw* out you're dead. Not fun. *sigh, again* My son and I have come to the conclusion that either this is their way of limiting my bandwidth (i hope not!) or the vastly different upload/download speeds of a one-way cable modem cause it. I can only hope that when the two-way comes this problem clears up. To sum up, right now, "it ain't all that". The good news is that it's only 2 bucks more a month than the two dial-up accounts i was maintaining.

April 9th, 2000
Installed a new CPU in my main machine, an AMD K6-2 3D 500, up from a 350. Of course, this wasn't the quick and easy operation that i have experienced before (once). Turns out, even though my motherboard is listed on AMD's *recommended and tested* list for that chip, my machine wouldn't recognize it as anything faster than 400mhz. *sigh* So-o-o-o, went over to the Asus site (i'm using an asus P5A-B motherboard) and found that i had to download new rom code and flash my bios before things were gonna run at 500mhz. Works well now and my informal benchmarks using QRAD (by Zoner) and my current map project show about a 30% speed increase over the 350mhz chip, not bad for $60 ay?

March 18th, 2000
Well, the House of Craig is stepping up! That's right: The Chapel has been published in the UK! Just received the package via air-mail from the UK yesterday. A while back, a representative from the PCZone Magazine, published by Dennis Publishing Company in the UK, emailed me requesting permission to put my map on a cd to be given away with an upcoming issue. Of course, I was excited and very happy to oblige. The representative, (one John Hudson who i would like to thank very much!), graciously offered to mail me the issue when i inquired as to where i might purchase it here in the US, and voila! it's here.

March 12th, 2000
Made a *little* headway on my new map, although all bets are off as to what gameplay mode it's for, just working on making trees and underbrush and other natural objects that don't kill the r-speeds.

March 10th, 2000
Yes-s-s-s-s-s-s-! Just downloaded the Counter-Strike Beta6 update! It just keeps gettin' better. The new guns: Mac10 and Steyr Aug are very cool. The new gameplay modes: Assassination and Escape are very cool also, played about ten rounds of both, fun! Go get this mod now, you will love the guns!

Here is a link for the full mod if you do not have a previous version.

March 7th, 2000
Have decided to re-think the missile-silo map for something completely different, I'm really not into maps based on the military/industrial complex. There's so much of that out there already, so I'm looking more to an assassination map with a natural setting. Hope the rspeeds won't get out of control. More on this later...

March 5th, 2000
New addition to the Half-Life Stuff. I call it the KillBoard. Just a few screenshots of some of my better online scores (obviously, you're not gonna see the bad ones ;} ).

February 28th, 2000
Begun the design-phase for a new Counter-Strike map, here's a shot of the scrawl so far...going to be a defuse-type map, (can you tell those are my favorites?). Also, hot off the "F5" key, full-body pics of me as various Half-Life player models.

February 27th, 2000
Completed the *functional* conversion of "the Chapel" to a Counter-Strike defuse-type map. Of course there's still a possibility of re-texturing the whole thing in CStrike-only textures...dunno, can you say "tedium"?

February 26th, 2000
Changed the pictures page to use a side-menu navigation similar to this home page's navigation, where the thumbnails are displayed in a small column on the right and when clicked the larger image is displayed on the left. Plus, just added pics of aimee's sixteenth birthday!

February 24th, 2000
Changed the look-and-feel of the navigation menu (the separated area on the left). Try clicking on the little folder icons to expand/collapse them, a lot like windows' explorer ay? I think this provides quicker navigation if you know what you're after. Also, reworked most of the site to display better for people with less-than-high resolution.

February 22nd, 2000 (happy birthday to me!)
-Shameless Plug-
Just got the Microsoft IntelliMouse with the IntelliEye. This mouse no longer uses a ball that rubs on the desktop, and unlike the other mouse that didn't use a ball, it has absolutely nothing sticking out the bottom of it. Instead it uses a led projecting out the bottom to track movement. Let me tell you it is the smoothest, most skip-free, effortless cursor-movement experience i have ever had. Not to mention the red glow coming out from under it really looks cool. Love it. Get one. 'nuff said?

February 9th, 2000
Went into one of the 'chat rooms' in Half-Life the other day, actually I hit the selection quite by accident, I have literally never been there before. Anyway, I was clicking back when something caught my eye, there were a great many people in there seeking technical support for all sorts of problems, all problems I'd had and found some solution to. So-o-o-o, long story short, I stayed and answered questions and made suggestions until 3am that morning. Never again. Near the end of this, I gave out my web address and asked people to mail me with their problems. One did. And I've decided to post my answering email here. His problem was typical of the many other people there. Check it out here (editor's note: ping page has been removed, check near top of page for explanation).

February 7th, 2000
Well, in case you haven't noticed, there's a new look-and-feel to this old site lately. All of the millions and millions of people who visit me regularly ;), please drop me a line and let me know how you like it, k?

February 4th, 2000
Yes, what we've all been waiting for, I have begun the adaptation of my half-life map 'the Chapel' for the Counter-Strike mod! This only makes sense since cstrike is what i play online 95% of the time anymore. This will be a defuse-type map with at least two bomb locations, one anywhere in the woodshop and one on top of the podium in the chapel (where the 'book of life' is now). Counter-Terrorists will spawn in the graveyard and Terrorists in the basement. I will probably limit the map to 4 or at the most, 5 on a team because of it's small size.