In case you didn’t know, Pingus, the open source Lemmings clone, has with its 0.7 release its first SDL port binary. Meaning, you can play it on windows too now. πŸ™‚ I’m lame, I know πŸ˜‰

As I were going to sleep, I thought I’d try out those tutorial island levels. After finishing the island I come to realise this is as far as the game is finished right now. =) That doesn’t mean the game has limited gameplay (how can an open source game have limited gameplay anyway? πŸ˜‰ ). After all,

  1. there were already 22 nicely polished levels, introducing the several types of pingi (?, lol).
  2. There is a level editor. Temporarily not included, due to the SDL porting process, I guess.
  3. There are loads of ‘unofficial‘ levels which you can load manually.
  4. It took me more time than anticipated, take a look at the clock. πŸ˜‰

I really love this project and I hope they keep on developing it!

P.S.: they even created a little storyline, very cute πŸ˜‰

Pingus on Tutorial Island

P.P.S: I just read this interesting interview with the Pingus developer. This guy has dipped his toes in all kinds of open source games! πŸ™‚

Fixing refresh rate bug in latest ATI radeon drivers

Last week I decided to try some new demos out (now is a good demo season, in case you didn’t notice yet ;)). So I thought it would be not a bad idea to upgrade my graphics card driver to ensure I’d squeeze the maximum framerate out of my poor radeon 9800 pro. πŸ˜‰

Of course, as with all ultra new drivers on old hardware, there start to be annoying side effects. This time it was a refresh rate problem. I run my desktop at 1280×1024@85Hz. After the upgrade, my card would think it switched to 85Hz while it surely was only firing at 60Hz! I could change back and forth between 60 and 85, and then it would be fine, but after the next reboot, I would have to do that again… quite annoying if you ask me. πŸ™‚

So after a few days, I thought, it can’t be that everyone is adjusting refresh rates after each reboot! Or, everyone is sane enough to not upgrade. Or, nobody still owns such a card. Or, everyone still owning one already died. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I searched ATI/AMD’s knowledge base. No result. Then I went on to ATI’s forum. Does not exist. Then I googled for this problem. No-one cares. BUT, then I found a very interesting tool that fixed another annoying refresh rate problem. The one that you always get 60Hz in an opengl game, no matter what. So I thought, let’s give it a try. Oh btw, it’s name is ATI Refresh Fix(ARF).

First thing this program says at startup: “ERROR: native modes in modetable”.

ATI refresh fix tool

Sooo..? It won’t work then? Then I see, there is this “Fix” button. Using a quite obscure 2 year old freeware tool (no offense to the Russian author, who kindly provided some English documentation) to fumble around with your vga driver, isn’t exactly what I call a trusted solution, but I thought, what the heck.

One reboot later, my windows boots in 85Hz! Wooha! I love you, Voron!

=== checkpoint ===

Then I got this insane idea to try out the program for what it is actually made for! First, be sure I only get 60Hz in opengl game. Fire up WOP, 60Hz, check.
Now start ARF and see the interesting refresh rate list. Let’s try out the autoconfig button… Seems nice. Reboot. PEEEEUT. Windows doesn’t like it and I don’t get to see my desktop. Luckily, somehow, the ARF tool got loaded and detected the problem and suggests to restore the previous settings. Yay! Reboot. Hmpff, there seems to be a persistent problem… Even after manually setting all refresh rates to very safe values, using the registry cleanout, driver reinstall, driver reinstall fail, windows system restore point? nah, I’d rather not use that system f*ckup tool, some more driver reinstall problems … I finally manage to get in my original situation marked by check point.

And then I thought, let’s just keep it like that for now… πŸ˜‰


You may have noticed you have this process running, even if you’re not using Internet Explorer (I want to distance myself from any IE usage by saying I installed the toolbar for my parents :)). This post explains everything in detail. It’s an agent which tries to keep google as the default search engine. You can simply disable it in the toolbar settings by unchecking the item “Notify me on settings change”.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work in my case… I disabled the checkbutton on all 3 user accounts. I did notice I have a slighter newer version than the one on the google system blog: I have 4.0.1020. This version is even not documented yet in the Google Toolbar Changelog?? I decided to uninstall since my parents probably don’t use it anyway. πŸ˜‰

The Rename util

You have like a total bunch of pictures from several camera sources, each with their own file naming convention, and you still want to give them an appropriate uniform filename which puts them all in the proper order? If you’re on KDE, you immediately think of KRename. But if you’re less fortunate (like me most of the times ;)), you may want to find a windows alternative. Search no more! THE Rename util is the answer.