Recent Comments

Halflife2 Memory error/Direct X error ”fix”

I’ve been playing Halflife2 recently. Its a great game, fully deserving of all the praise its been receiving.   Unfortunately, it was crashing a lot for me. And I was seeing different symptoms, making it hard to try to debug   Sometimes a level would “corrupt” itself, which showed up as not being able to move on to the next level. If this happened, I’d also suffer from the fact that the save/load game interface would be “garbled”: basically, the menu would sort of collapse in on itself into an unreadable/unuseable mess.   Sometimes the game would “crash” to the desktop, with a “memory read” error dialog box. And occasionally, I’d end up back at the desktop with a dialog box saying something like “Internal driver error in IDirect3DDevice9::present()”. It was all very frustrating   I did some digging around on various forums, and found a fair number of people who seemed to be experiencing similar problems. The general recommendation: upgrade video drivers, test memory, make sure you have the latest DirectX9 (dx9c). None of it seemed to help me.   I should note a bit about my configuration. I’m running an AMD 64 3400+ processor on an Asus K8V Deluxe motherboard. I have 1 GB of Corsair paired DDR memory. And I have an ATI X800 Pro video card. I’m running Windows XP SP2, fully patched and up to date. My ATI drivers are version 5.3, and Direct X is the latest version: 9.0c. My Via chipset and Creative soundblaster Audigy drivers are also fully up to date.   I finally “fixed” the problem. I put quotations around that, since I can’t claim that this is an absolute fix since it seems like so many other users of Halflife2 are finding different solutions. In my case, I went into BIOS and changed the video aperture from 128 MB to 256 MB. I came across the suggestion to try this at the World Overclocker’s website.   Before making this change, I was crashing once or twice on each “level” (between each load…there are usually several “loads” per level, so this was ugly). After changing my video aperture from 128 MB to 256 MB, I didn’t have a single crash through a dozen or more “loads” worth of play.   In fact, I managed to finish the game- so it was definitely worthwhile for me! […]

Product Warnings

Product warnings are getting silly. “Warning: product in this container may be hot!”…on a cup of coffee or a hot apple pie. Or how about “Warning: side effects of this product include drowsiness” on a sleep aid.   Its all about litigation: someone sued the product manufacturer once, and probably won, so the warning on the container is intended to prevent other idiots from saying they weren’t smart enough to figure out that coffee might be hot. Its all part of the gradual dumbification of our society…the assumption that we must all be freaking idiots, because there is so much evidence to prove it.   I was reading a little “joke” posting on Slashdot today, which lead me to the Enchanted Mind site, which I found has some interesting humour. But the thing that got my attention today was their list of warnings based on modern physics, which I shamelessly repeat here.   NEW CONSUMER LAWS The combination of modern physics and consumer protection laws leads to a new wave of product labeling.   NOTICE: Due To Its Mass, This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.   WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Object in the universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses Divided by the Square of the Distance Between Them.   CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. The Manufacturer warrants that this product is to be used only as matter and will not be responsible for injury or damage if it is converted into energy.   HANDLE WITH CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.   CONSUMER NOTICE: Due to the “Uncertainty Principle,” it is impossible for the User to know precisely and simultaneously where this product is located and how fast it is moving.   ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Remote Chance That, Through a Process Known as “Tunneling,” This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Other Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor’s Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damage or Inconvenience That May Result.   READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.   THIS PRODUCT IS 100% MATTER: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result. The Manufacturer cannot be held responsible for resulting injury or damages.   PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Aggregate Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Assumed Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to a state of “Warm Death” of the Universe.   NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a “Gluing” Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power, therefore, Can Not Be Guaranteed Indefinitely. No responsibility is therefore assumed for the structural integrity of this product.   ATTENTION: Notwithstanding Any Listing of Product Contents Found Hereupon, the Consumer is Advised That This Product Actually Consists of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.   NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: While the Manufacturer is Technically Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are “Rolled Up” into Such a Small “Area” That They Cannot Be Detected.   PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That, When Unobserved, This Product May Cease to Exist or May Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. Therefore all warranties are in effect only while this product is under the direct observation of a human being.   COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and Competitors’ Claims to the Contrary are neither Justified nor Legitimate.   HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User. The manufacturer cannot be held liable for injury or damage resulting from relativistic mass increase.   IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe,Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe, and its performance and suitability for any purpose, Cannot Be Guarantee   […]