Etc.

So, uh, Jr. Damage my oldest son just turned 13, and for his birthday, he requested a UT2004 LAN party. Of course, that’s eminently do-able around here; I just spent part of Saturday moving around test rigs, reconfiguring Damage Labs into a five-seat LAN gaming setup. He we are shortly before the guests arrived:

Yeah, one poor kid got stuck with a 24" IPS monitor, but the rest were good to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you look closely, that tiny poster on the wall comes from this design featuring, well, the now-13-year-old sitting in the chair on the right. I have to say, his UT skillz have improved immensely since then.

Somehow, much of the rest of my weekend was spent working on computers, too.

The other day, I dumped a cup or so of Kung Pao sauce directly into my beloved MS Natural Keyboard during a lunch-at-desk attempt. Amazingly, the internal electronics survived, although I sat the thing outside for a few days, hoping nearby woodland creatures might give me some help with the clean-up. That didn’t happen, so I had to pop off every key cap and wash ’em with dish soap while cleaning the insides of the thing with a Q-tip. I think it may make a full recovery, once the key caps dry out.

Also, I did the family tech support thing once again, taking my brother’s old, Vista-and-malware-addled PC, tearing it down, and rebuilding it with all-new parts, including a faster CPU, SSD, and DX11 graphics card. The old build was inside of an Antec Sonata III, and the new parts were much lower power, so the thing is pretty darned quiet, all told. I just hope it stays trouble-free for as long as possible, which I suppose is how these family support arrangements boil down, eventually.

Now, to spend the rest of Monday finding ways to covertly avoid working on computers somehow…

Comments closed
    • jeffz6
    • 7 years ago

    Internet games and social media are suppose to make entertainment more social, but I come away feeling less social.

    I miss lan’s. These used to be social. Now I have to press a button to express my laughter

    • SuperSpy
    • 7 years ago

    “no way, Damage’s kid is only like six, it was only a year or two ago he posted that screwdriver pic… right?” o_O

    • rogue426
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like a good time! Can you do me a favor and box up all the stuff on the table in front left hand of photo and get it shipped out to ASAP, Thanks!

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    To the far left, *cough*, ummm, is that a girl?

    If not, sorry dude.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, looks female… I was born a decade too soon. ๐Ÿ™

        • Majiir Paktu
        • 7 years ago

        The Internet strikes again.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like fun. I remember having some of these myself. I had some pretty killer lan parties back when I was in high school. Over the years my friends have gotten ‘old’ and no one wants to play video games anyone else wants to play anymore. There really aren’t nearly as many lan party friendly games anymore either. Most games are made for like 8 or less people unless everyone comes equipped with a copy of a game.

    It’s sort of interesting how consolization and login servers have killed off a lot of lan parties. I’m not talking about big organized lan parties where everyone comes to play one game, but smalls ones with a eclectic mix. It’s impossible to do them as people need to login and usually play through the internet. To be honest piracy happens a lot at lan parties, but that usually only lasts till the people leave and they uninstall all the games they don’t normally play when they get home.

    So you usually end up playing old games, like UT2K4 because it’s one of the few newer ones that still works. This doesn’t hold true for lan parties with five or less people (so you can play coop in mobas and RTSs), but that really isn’t a lan party at all… more of a micro-lan party.

    Curiously I remember years ago you talked about what games you’d let your son play, is he still restricted to playing games without gore like UT2K4 with gore off and Legos Star Wars?

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Well, time certainly flies. I still remember the infamous theft article. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyway, for those who are still in the mood for some UT2K4. I have a semi-24/7, dedicated UT2K4 server running that is driving off a 10/2.5Mbps pipe. The redirect works fine.

    You can find it on the master web browser (“Krogoth’s UT2004 Server”) or at krogoth255.servegame.com

    • David
    • 7 years ago

    Man, I joined a year after the original Jr. Damage article. Now I feel old.

    Great birthday for Jr. though!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]my beloved MS Natural Keyboard[/quote<] I am so jealous that you guys got a black version of the MS Natural Keyboard Elite (the one with no media keys and the gimpy cursor keys). I took the tiny PCB and key sheets out of it on a few occasions and used to dishwasher it. Felt like new, every single time. The MSNK and the MSNK4000 just don't allow that ๐Ÿ™ [i<]edit: By 'you guys', I mean 'the US'. After about 20 years of using this keyboard layout, I don't want to give up things like my ยฃ or โ‚ฌ keys, nor where everyday things like \, ". and @ are kept.[/i<]

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Oh, man. You just sent me to the Internets shopping for a black Elite keyboard. Sadly, they’re not in stock anywhere–don’t even see any eBay listings.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Such a shame. Best membrane keyboard ever, and I know it’s largely personal taste (and possibly nostalgia) but I actually preferred the key action on those more than my Das.

        I’ve not seen these in stock for a couple of years, which is a shame because people are sick of silly “shopping/media/my documents” keys and there’s a definite market for higher quality, understated keyboards without the gimmicks.

        [url<]http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/Natural-Keyboard-Elite-Black/productID.216533200[/url<]

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    I would happily be the “poor kid” who got stuck with that 24″ monitor, but I’m stealing that empty computer chair in the middle of the picture while I’m at it.

    On that note I am using a 24″ TN monitor from about 5 or 6 years ago. Spent over 700 bucks on it at the time. So far I am still very happy with it.

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    “Now, to spend the rest of Monday finding ways to covertly avoid working on computers somehow…”

    really sucks when something you like all of a sudden turns into work doesn’t it ?

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Eh, not really. I consider myself very lucky to be doing this. My tolerance for this stuff is really high, but I do have my limits when I miss any down time on the weekend.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      What really sucks is when people complain about work doing something they love while others sit back and shake their heads because they’re too busy doing work they hate/dislike/tolerate to afford the hobby they love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • south side sammy
        • 7 years ago

        that almost sound like you don’t know somebody you never met.

        • ShadowTiger
        • 7 years ago

        What REALLY sucks is being unwillfully unemployed

    • thesmileman
    • 7 years ago

    The only lan parties I have went to in years has been Quakecon. I love that I just go and don’t have to worry about anything.

    • JAMF
    • 7 years ago

    One can clean the inside of a keyboard easily with a good rinse with a shower-head. A brush with a little cleaning liquid to remove and dislodge the solid bits. Plenty of luke-warm water will remove sugary bits too. It just needs to be dry before plugging back in… so a couple of days drying in a dry ventilated spot is necessary.

    • Walkintarget
    • 7 years ago

    Last LAN party I hosted, I had two friends over who had never played any online PC games, let alone a UT2k4 DM game. I set up both guys on the two comfy-chaired gamer rigs I had, then sat down to join in on my workbench rig.
    Unfortunately, that PC did not even have UT2k4 even installed, so I began the slow process of installing it, thinking they’d hit the 20 frag limit well before I joined in. Ten minutes later, I was joining their game and proceeded to beat them all to 20 frags – they had no idea I was even playing in that round until I couldn’t help but issue a huge S.E.G. and explain who had just whooped them so soundly.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Are you really bragging about beating people who never played video games?

        • Walkintarget
        • 7 years ago

        No, they have never played PC games. Just like every teen these days, they are console gamers, not PC gamers. That’s an entirely different discussion, so I’m not going to drag that back up.

          • SecretMaster
          • 7 years ago

          So basically Bensam123 was correct.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Good thing he set them straight! Wouldn’t want them thinking PC gaming was a better experience.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 7 years ago

    A UT2004 birthday was one the best I ever had. Of course, when my friends and I did it, the game had only been out for a few years, not close to a decade.

      • ultima_trev
      • 7 years ago

      And yet close to a decade, there still are no multiplayer shooters that can match UT2K4’s greatness.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        if only BF3 had modding….

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          If only BF3 had a lan mode so you could play it at lan parties.

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            Just for the record, I use to do online parties using online servers as long as the ping is low (less than 60ms) it still feels like itยดs a LAN server.

            • Firestarter
            • 7 years ago

            Less than 20ms or bust! Works great with < 6-7 players, but you’re going to saturate that link sooner or later.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            I wasn’t speaking about having to connect to online servers, although that can be very problematic on slower connections.

            Rather I was speaking the blasphemy of having to temporarily pirate a game so all people at the lan party can play it.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t know about that, I never did like the whole vehicle thing. To me the original UT still reigns supreme (along with a real sniper rifle instead of a lame lightning gun).

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          UT2004 had a sniper rifle in it. It does a little less damage than Lightning Gun, but has a slightly faster rate of fire. It doesn’t have a tracer, but it gives off a small exhaust cloud.

          It is far more balanced than UT99 version.

          IHMO, UT99 sniper rifle was massively OP (UT99 had a huge hitbox for the head)

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        I bought UT3 in the steam sale, hoping to recreate the awesome times I used to have with UT2K4.

        I was so disappointed – they ruined the old modes, added some new worthless game modes and somehow made the graphics [i<]worse[/i<]. Q3A, UT99 and UT2K4 were the pinnacle of fps gaming IMO; Pure, clean fun focussing on player skill without gimmicks to get in the way. CS:S comes pretty high on the list, but realism means you lose out on things like acrobatics, teleports, alternate fire modes and weapon variety.

    • obarthelemy
    • 7 years ago

    That’s a cool bday !

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like the guests get the worst chairs? ๐Ÿ˜›

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Dad of the Year material right there. Nice.

    • Dposcorp
    • 7 years ago

    Nice setup……how about a slow motion video during the lan party, with buttons to show the micro stuttering ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Flying Fox
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]I just hope it stays trouble-free for as long as possible, which I suppose is how these family support arrangements boil down, eventually.[/quote<] If you take out his Admin priviledges then may be it will be malware free for a little while. Although he may curse about the inability to use the system. ๐Ÿ˜›

      • Noigel
      • 7 years ago

      This has been my savior with my kids. A lot of upfront work to “allow” everything reliable, but after that I don’t have to worry about them crashing our laptop. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Now for a brother… that may not work… haha

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    woah…that baby is becoming a man…quite fast.

    • TheEmrys
    • 7 years ago

    I’d love to see how much power you use there. Any issues with blown breakers? Pretty sweet birthday present.

    • TheEmrys
    • 7 years ago

    dbl post.. wow, first ever.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t worry. It happens to lots of commenters.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      No, no breakers were tripped during this event. I’ve tripped the main one for this room before testing multiple SLI/CF rigs along with some CPU test rigs simultaneously, but we laid off the exotic configs for this one.

        • Damage
        • 7 years ago

        Uh oh. Wrong reply? I guessed and got burned!

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    I miss Lan Parties : (

    I gotta say though Damage, that room-set-up is sweet. So organized…

    I remember hauling our 17″ CRT’s all over the place with our monster boxes and setting them up where ever they would fit. Then having all the extension cords and lan cords snaking all over the room, just waiting to trip up some slightly (or heavily) intoxicated fool.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Had a couple of those with the original Xboxes…and some cross with 360 for a short time.

      But actually, I’m headed to a LAN party this weekend!*

      *I think w’ere playing games that are connected online anyway

    • Longsdivision
    • 7 years ago

    Hey neighbor!

    Can I borrow a cup of sugar…and a few Radeon cards you have laying around. Thx!

      • Firestarter
      • 7 years ago

      That? Oh, that’s just a couple of video cards, you know, could come in handy. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • kumori
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like the kid that got stuck with the 24″ IPS also got stuck with a really comfortable chair.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Nah, that’s a 27″ Korean IPS on the right, as is the other next to it. The 24″ is on the far left.

        • Noigel
        • 7 years ago

        Haha, high quality problem. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still know dudes gaming on 17″ CRTs… I’m very happy with my 24″ LCD.

        Gaming-wise, especially twitch games like Unreal, are you noticing any lag with the IPS monitors?

          • Damage
          • 7 years ago

          I mainly use the Dell 30″s and the Korean 27″ that I reviewed, and none of them have any lag that I can perceive.

            • Noigel
            • 7 years ago

            Great, thanks. I’ll have to try out an IPS one day myself, hearing promising things about them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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