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BIGEYE Production Log

This production log is taken directly from Razorback's Discord server. Now you don't need a membership in order to get an insight into the production of Bigeye!

May 13, 2020 at 2:28 PM

I figured I should start up a new text channel so a few more people can see it; this is a production log of Bigeye, the playthrough of Quake that is to span 31 different hardware configurations.

Yesterday, I was working with my original VLB 486 computer (which originally didn't have any VLB cards), and now it's almost in a working state. The main issue with it is the multi I/O card I'm using; the serial ports are faulty and won't let me use a mouse. I do happen to have one spare ISA I/O card handy that I could try, but as with too many cards, it seems to not have described any of the jumpers on the board and finding documentation for it online is basically impossible. So, to do things the cool way, I'm getting a VLB multi I/O card to additionally get a much greater disk bandwidth. Recording will have to be postponed until I get it in a number of days.

One very familiar computer, the Gateway 2000 P5-133, has also been completely prepared for Bigeye as the second in the queue. It may not need that much of an explanation, although I will note that it can be quite picky with IDE hard drives since it tends to get stuck in POST if you have one in there that it doesn't like. I assume you'll have better luck with Western Digital and non-Conner Seagate hard drives.

This third computer will mark the first appearance of a glorious Asus motherboard, the P/I-P55TP4N. It also has one of two hard drives I recently repaired; they had broken Molex power connectors. I've only gotten MS-DOS 6.22 installed to this machine so far, and it's strangely stopped POSTing all of a sudden. Wonder what's up with that.

Computer with Asus P/I-P55TP4N motherboard installing MS-DOS 6.22

3:11 PM

It might just be bad memory or the CPU overheating. It didn't have these problems before, so I suppose it's just a matter of finding a better combination of everything. Or... maybe I could consider removing the EEPROM from the network card, as it was never flashed properly for PXE booting.

It does work when I leave it off for a while and power it up again, and just now has had a tendency to require a soft restart when it gets stuck in POST. I'll try to get this resolved tomorrow; may just throw in a different CPU.

5:58 PM

I think I may have gotten the computer all stabilized again after having popped in a slightly faster CPU. I'm so sleepy, and yet I wanted to get it over with so I would have an easier time sleeping tonight. Of course, I can expect things to go wrong somehow when I actually get around to recording this thing...

May 14, 2020 at 11:11 AM

So, I was just doing the usual sorts of putting together a couple more configurations, only to find out that the Enlight power supply that came with this case is as weak as I've heard it was. It fails to make the P55TVP4 POST no matter what I use, and I had only previously used it with a 100MHz Pentium on a Socket 5 board. I guess this thing will have to be set aside until I get a better one for it, hoping it'll work with my Cyrix 6x86.

Inside of computer containing Asus P/I-P55TVP4

For now, I'll have to shift focus over to the P6NP5, which has a very strong 300W power supply made by Athena Power. I got that power supply a couple years back to power a Coppermine build; its construction feels a bit cheap, but it works without any issues apart from coming with a bad push button switch, which I quickly replaced.

Open computer with Asus P/I-P6NP5 motherboard, going through POST

1:26 PM

One special little thing that's on the way happens to be an MS-6135, a dual Slot 2 motherboard which takes Pentium II/III Xeon processors. I've been wanting to get a working Pentium II Xeon system for a long time, but in all honesty, after finishing Bigeye, I see myself just giving it to someone who could potentially develop a retention mechanism for it, like the guy from Tech Tangents. The board I'm getting won't come with one, so it needs to be laid flat and I can't trust putting it in a case. If whoever I give it to starts selling 3D printed Slot 2 retention brackets, maybe that'll give me a reason to consider getting another Slot 2 motherboard in the future.

2:46 PM

Another computer I plan to use at the end of the first episode uses an Asus TX97-LE and some other components. This computer will be used for two maps - one showing off WinQuake and the Tseng Labs ET6000, and another with GLQuake and the Diamond Monster 3D, leaving the exact same configuration intact. I have a pretty good idea of how all the setups will be organized now; episodes 1 and 2 will illustrate the general evolution of PC hardware from the 486/Pentium to the Pentium III/4, while episodes 3 and 4 will delve into more unusual configurations.

Open computer with Asus TX97-LE motherboard

May 22, 2020 at 3:01 AM

The last piece I've fit into the first episode is a computer with an Asus SP97-V motherboard, using the SiS 5598 chipset. It's a pretty fun little machine for its integrated onboard video that can be easily tweaked to use more or less system RAM for allowing more screen real estate. Fun fact: I left this writing in the message box for a week and never sent it until now, because I was too lazy to take a picture of that computer. You'll see it when I start recording with it.

In more recent news, I finally got a VLB multi I/O card for my 486DX2 machine, so I should be able to start filming Bigeye soon.

4:21 PM

Now that I have the VLB card in my DX2 machine...

DC-2000VL-2C VLB multi I/O controller with IDE and floppy cables, also a DB9/DB25 serial bracket

...it begins.

Gonna torture myself and this machine with this game, but I will most assuredly move to faster ones as I go along.

7:43 PM

Started filming the first computer sporting a DX2.

9:11 PM

Recorded the Gateway 2000 P5-133.

May 23, 2020 at 12:56 AM

I've been running into a hiccup with the third computer, largely because I switched out the network card for a more appropriate EtherLink III and couldn't really install the drivers like I hoped. And now what? I'm reinstalling DOS... same ol' floppy disk method.

1:04 AM

...and my P55TP4N is struggling to POST yet more. Oh, there it goes... how long can I sustain it? Something tells me that power supply is bad, too. Or the motherboard itself. Things can be going on their way out from time to time, but if that's the case, there's always recapping that I can do.

2:50 AM

Realistically, it's gotta be the power supply. The motherboard never had problems POSTing in another case. I did order another new AT power supply a while back... it might just so happen that I need more, but for now, I can just move an existing good one over.

6:33 PM

So, I switched out the power supply to no avail, and in the midst of that, a Molex pin was pulled out of the hard drive again, so I had to go and apply a lot more solder on there to really make sure it stays in there. After reviewing the POST codes, I found that while the Dallas RTC still retains the time and settings, it appears to be on its last legs. Right now I'm just trying to get the software all reinstalled for the third computer. Later on I'm either gonna have to get some new Dallas RTCs or a dremmel for modifying existing ones to use coin sockets; the latter seems more cost-effective.

Generally, motherboards from the 486 to the Pentium Pro era use Dallas RTCs of models DS12887, DS12887A, and DS12B887. There exists another model DS12C887; it has one less pin, but works just as well. Still, I need to get back in the computer to try to get a working CD-ROM drive in it. Only then will I finally be able to record from it.

9:21 PM

Finally recorded the third PC.

9:21 PM

Recorded the fourth PC containing a Pentium Pro.

All I can say about this project is that it really does work both ways... it's fun to sit in front of a 19" CRT in the dark playing on an old DOS computer, but once that map's over, I have to get back up and go through the same process of unplugging, replugging, and sometimes switching parts around.

Given it can take quite a while for me to go through a map, I think the videos uploaded to Vlare will have to be split into one or two episodes each.

May 24, 2020 at 2:03 AM

The Cyrix machine is running into its own turbulence... I can't get the DOS network client to start, and the serial port might not be working, either (I didn't plug in a PS/2 header here).

3:48 AM

Even when switching out the Cyrix for a Pentium (hopefully temporarily), I continue to get an error saying "The password list file is corrupt", and I can't figure out where that could possibly stem from. There could very well be some faulty components on the motherboard itself that are preventing it from being fully functional, and if that's the case, I'll have to try some other board... QDI SpeedEasy might be interesting, but I think its serial ports might be fried, too.

I find it bizarre because the Asus P/I-P55TVP4 I'm trying to use has worked just fine before with a PCI network card and a PS/2 mouse... is that really what it insists on using? Or is this a memory-related issue... hard to say.

4:27 AM

After removing one SDRAM module, I can finally connect to the server with the Cyrix 6x86 installed. The serial header had to be replaced with a working one, but now the machine should be good to go.

The Cyrix 6x86 seems to choke a lot more heavily than the Pentium sometimes when playing Quake, but otherwise it's pretty fast; I got ~24FPS on a timedemo at 320x200. I'm not going to record until later, though. I'm really tired now.

3:49 PM

Recorded the fifth PC sporting a Cyrix 6x86.

4:44 PM

Recorded the sixth PC using SiS 5598 onboard graphics.

I guess a case like this is confirmed to be authentic 1995 computing. (These were very popular in Europe around this time)

Small computer with Asus SP97-V, POST initiated
YouTube screenshot of video DOOM2 Deathmatch. Prefinal 1995. by Alexey Usachev

6:42 PM

Recorded the seventh computer with software rendering and 3D acceleration.

And with that, Episode 1 has been completed across seven different machines!

I've had to carry my main workstation over to the other room so that I could capture all the footage, and as such, it's been stuck here for three days. I initially planned to record from the camera and through direct VGA output simultaneously, but canned that idea early on since it was too easy for my other computer to get caught in the shot. Now, it's all just direct VGA capture with a Blue Yeti microphone next to the computer I'm recording.

Episode 1 mainly focused on the kind of hardware that would've been at its prime in late 1996 to early 1997, save for a 486 VLB machine from 1994. In Episode 2, I'll advance further into the evolution of PC hardware, primarily focusing on components from late 1997 to all of 1999. You'll finally get to see me use an AGP slot!!

Quake Episode 1 end screen

There's still some work I need to do before I get seven more systems ready for Bigeye; it's really nothing more than taking pictures of the hardware I've used.

11:03 PM

I did want to use an Asus KN97 in the second episode, but I checked its state again and it most certainly has a non-functional super I/O chip as well as a damaged ISA slot. Those will be repaired in another time, so I'm leaving it out. I feel like my muscles have become a bit strained from moving so much hardware around, so I'll have to stop for the day and only work on one computer tomorrow.

May 25, 2020 at 10:12 PM

The Shuttle HOT-433, a 486 motherboard with a PCI bus and an AMD X5 which I acquired in 2012, is now ready to go again following a Dallas RTC replacement. It'll be the next thing filmed in Bigeye, but I do want to spend maybe a few hours with it before I move to preparing some other systems...

Shuttle HOT-433 POST screen
Shuttle HOT-433 POST complete, ready to boot OS

It'll have Windows 95 installed for the sake of replicating the same experience I had previously, but Quake will be run in MS-DOS mode for the highest possible frame rate.

Shuttle HOT-433 system installing Windows 95A

May 28, 2020 at 7:02 AM

I finished preparing a 450MHz Pentium II system with Voodoo2 SLI and am now doing the same for a 450MHz AMD K6-2 system with an ATI Rage 128 AGP... it's practically an endurance test at this point, but at least Windows 95 is easier to deploy with what I've got set up on my domain controller now.

Tyan Trinity 100 AT computer, formatting hard drive in DOS

One thing I've done with my network share containing the Windows 95B setup directory is integrate some patched files that allow Windows to successfully boot up on faster CPUs, such as any K6-2 over 350MHz.

8:17 AM

Not sure if it's Quake's total absence of MMX/3DNow optimizations, the poor implementation of AGP on the MVP3 chipset, or just the Rage 128 being that slow (I recall it was faster on a Pentium II), but I've found it runs into severe lag at some parts when running at 1024x768. Might have to experiment a bit and decide if 800x600 will do or if I'll have to settle for 640x480. Also, why is GLQuake so dark by default? It's impossible to even change the brightness using that program, so I have to adjust the gamma in the display control panel instead.

7:48 PM

It has to just be the fact that the implementation of AGP on this motherboard is pretty bad; really, 3dfx cards are much better suited for Super Socket 7 motherboards. One last thing I'll try, though, is installing Windows 98 on there to see if that provides any substantial improvement. I ended up overclocking the K6-2 to 500MHz, gaining only about 1.5FPS in a benchmark.

8:47 PM

Well, installing Windows 98 on there is proving to be a nightmare already. On the second boot, it freezes before it can even load the GUI, probably because of the chipset; the same thing happened on the first edition and the only immediate solution I have on hand is to use an older, clunkier Hierma. I can't wait to finish my total rewrite of Hierma so that I can finally put an end to all the headaches involved in installing Windows.

My current setup for over-the-net installations proves itself to be a giant mess that's so difficult to maintain; lots of manual INF editing, sometimes forgetting what exactly does what, and, well, every attempt I've made to install Windows NT over the network to an SMP system has failed, and it's so hard to figure out why.

In fact, automating Windows NT Setup in general has been the most complicated by far, as it feels horribly inflexible compared to Windows 9x. I'm preparing two computers at once now; the K6-2 running Windows 98SE, and this other one next to me running Windows NT 4.0 on a 500MHz Pentium III.

9:26 PM

Now Windows 98 Setup crashes during device detection. What a waste of time... back to 95 OSR2, it is. Also, always a great sign when every sound is literally delayed by at least half a second in GLQuake with the Sound Blaster Live under Windows NT...

I don't even have a CD drive in this thing yet. I did try installing one, but it was that one that always forcibly ejected whenever I tried to close it. Ended up chopping the CD audio cable, what with how tightly cluttered the space in the drive bays is.

May 29, 2020 at 2:30 AM

I don't even have a CD drive in this thing yet. I did try installing one, but it was that one that always forcibly ejected whenever I tried to close it. Ended up chopping the CD audio cable, what with how tightly cluttered the space in the drive bays is.

11:06 PM

Filmed the eighth computer containing everyone's favorite Shuttle HOT-433.

11:51 PM

Recorded the ninth computer that uses a Pentium II and an AGP card.

May 30, 2020 at 12:33 AM

Recorded the 10th computer with a Voodoo2 SLI configuration.

12:44 AM

Recorded the 11th computer...?

...well, maybe. The card seems to have a tendency to come loose, and it might have done so again to a point where Windows doesn't recognize it. Also, this seems to happen with this card regularly...

Windows 95 desktop, distorted size in capture card

1:21 AM

Finally got that one out of the way. GLQuake crashed once as I recorded, making it extra cumbersome.

Now for the next machine... I still need to install a CD drive. I think I'll end up doing it the cheap way where I have it just laying outside and connecting it to the computer with the case open. Yeah... something like this!

Old black computer case containing a Pentium III, beige DVD drive standing vertically to the left side

And so the 12th computer is recorded at 2:41 AM.

3:54 AM

The 13th computer containing a 650MHz Athlon is recorded.

5:50 AM

The 14th computer is recorded at a whopping 1600x1200 resolution. Took an hour after several failed attempts.

The entirety of Episode 2 has been completed on seven different computers, this time all in one day. Apart from some hiccups here and there, this run was a lot cleaner than the last, what with the generally more refined procedure of quickly installing Windows 9x to machines over the network compared to MS-DOS. A new Hierma really would've helped a lot more, but this is about as good as it gets for now.

Quake Episode 2 end screen

9:48 AM

Encoding all the clips from this last machine has been taking a very long time, what with the 1600x1200 resolution it was using. It's almost done at this point, so I'll be moving my main computer back into my bedroom and start preparing the third batch of computers tomorrow. Next up... a different Am5x86 gets an FSB boost, a Voodoo2, and a considerably later motherboard!

May 31, 2020 at 4:39 AM

So, what is it like to play Quake on a 160MHz 486 with a Voodoo2? It's actually quite tolerable for the most part, a little bit more so given gl_flashblend is set to 1. With that option, I got a result of 23.8 FPS when running a timedemo at 640x480. The Voodoo2 really does an amazing job offloading a lot of rendering work from the CPU, but the Am5x86 is still bound to choke when looking into a large, detailed, open space or somewhere where there's a bunch of enemies. The audio will stutter at times, but generally plays back smoothly.

In the first two 486 recordings I made for Bigeye, I used the lookdown technique, which is better known in the Goldeneye speedrunning community as a way to speed up rendering time (and RTA runs in turn) to compensate for the Nintendo 64's puny 3D hardware. By no means do my recordings attempt to display Quake being completed as quickly as possible, but for the 486, it is pretty useful. With an Am5x86 and a Voodoo2, however, I find that lookdown is basically unnecessary.

There's already a video from 2013 showing how Quake can run on an Am5x86 using what appears to be a Soyo 4SAW2 motherboard... yep, the peak of 486 boards. How can you not love it? And from two years prior, his video of Quake on an Am5x86 using software rendering, with absolutely no surprises included. I think I recall seeing his Winamp video in 2012, and that must've really compelled me to get an Am5x86 that year.

9:21 AM

I have that one machine out again, the one I used for overclocking a Pentium MMX to 291MHz at 2.9V. I thought it was simply a matter of having a late stepping and/or disabling UltraDMA, but it turns out another SL27S I have happens to reboot only a few seconds in to running Windows 95. I guess that one I've been using really is a good sample... I'd really like to push it beyond 300MHz, but the extra multiplier jumper doesn't seem to affect this CPU last time I checked.

11:20 AM

A Super Socket 7 board might be able to get this thing up to 350MHz, possibly... I should look into it a bit more, assuming I can get my FIC SS7 board working.

June 4, 2020 at 3:59 PM

One of the computers I prepared some hours ago might be really interesting... it has a Voodoo5 5500 PCI in it, but also a 75MHz Pentium. It's sure to cripple a fast card, but even then, I still get 30FPS in all resolutions.

June 6, 2020 at 11:56 AM

Well, this is pretty interesting.

So I got a batch of Soyo 4SAW2 motherboards yesterday, one which I plan to use in Bigeye. I wanted to be able to incorporate a Pentium Overdrive in the video, but kept running into problems with booting from a floppy disk on this board. Quite a letdown, right? I tried another instance of the 4SAW2 to see if maybe one had a faulty super I/O controller. Well, same thing happened, only now it doesn't seem to be aware of the floppy drive at all.

I thought for sure there was no way the CPU could be causing this, but it turns out it was. Popping in an Am5x86 allows my Windows 98 boot floppy to go through all of its routines without ever freezing. I moved the Pentium Overdrive to my Asus PVI-486SP3, and it seems to cooperate much better with that. A couple of reinstallations are in order now...

I've decided the Pentium Overdrive machine will run Windows NT, which in turn would make Bigeye the first known online video showing Windows NT on a 486 machine... almost.

1:35 PM

I still can't get either of the serial ports to work on one of the 4SAW2 boards, possibly because there might be some corrosion on some traces which the original RTC battery left; haven't actually looked all that closely at it right now. At the very least, the PS/2 mouse port works.

4:15 PM

Scratch the whole Windows NT thing. Installing the sound driver is a delicate process which I may have screwed up, so rather than bothering with trying to get it to work through many slow reboots, I'm just gonna put Windows 95 on it. Ya know, the "when all else fails" solution. That's not to say I won't ever do Windows NT on a 486, just that I will do it later in another video.

5:51 PM

By putting Windows 95 on there, I've already gained 2.6FPS. Strangely, the timedemo result isn't that much different from that of an Am5x86, but a Pentium Overdrive appears to draw frames at a more consistent rate. I would modify mine to run at 100MHz, but I don't have the resources to accomplish that as of now.

That might have to do more with the fact that I ran the benchmark in WinQuake when I ran my Am5x86 benchmark in DOS mode.

June 10, 2020 at 6:58 PM

It's been a while since I last touched on this project, but I've just put my trusty 291MHz Pentium MMX into a computer with an Asus P5A motherboard and turned it into a 315MHz Pentium MMX - still without objections at 2.9V! I'm only able to get the system to boot into Windows 95 with at most a 105MHz FSB and a 3x multiplier, so nowhere near the 350MHz I was hoping to get, but hey, it works pretty good. Paired with a Voodoo4, it'll run GLQuake at 1280x1024 around 60FPS. Some AOpen MVP3 board might allow for a higher FSB, but this will do for now.

I'm not sure where to find good chipset drivers for the Aladdin V, though. AGP is not of concern here, just the unresolved "PCI bridge"... or maybe that's what it is.

June 12, 2020 at 7:20 PM

One thing I was waiting on besides Vlare's uploader going up was a Slot 2 motherboard, as I've wanted to show off a Pentium II Xeon for a very long time. Unfortunately, the overseas shipment has been taking a very, very long time; I happened to buy it before I even got started filming Bigeye. With such a long delay and no recent tracking updates (it definitely was shipped, let me note that), I have no choice but to replace it with something else unless it does end up arriving soon. I expect to resume filming tomorrow at the earliest.

June 13, 2020 at 4:06 PM

Recorded the 15th computer, 160MHz Am5x86, Voodoo2 and everything.

4:32 PM

Recorded the 16th computer with an overclocked Pentium Pro.

5:50 PM

Recorded the 17th computer with an overclocked Pentium MMX.

7:38 PM

Recorded the 18th computer with a 533MHz Mendocino Celeron.

Unfortunately, GLQuake freezes here. I think I need better nVidia drivers for NT4.

9:01 PM

Recorded the 19th computer, one of the fastest AT-based systems around.

11:01 PM

Recorded both the 20th and 21st computers, forgetting to report the completion of the former immediately.

I got so carried away with the voice chat stream that I forgot to update my Discord status to "#22: Some Pentium 4 machine".

And that's Episode 3 down. This one in particular was quite fun since by the end of it, I was streaming my work with some of you here in a voice channel. Getting the Pentium 4 machine working right was a pain in the ass since I had to switch some cables around on the VGA splitter in order to receive any video output, as well as grab another CD audio cable for the drive in that computer. I'm probably going to start working on Episode 4 tomorrow, as I do have quite a bit of work up ahead in regards to preparing a few more computers. For now, I'm just going to do some more streaming, then get myself ready for bed.

Quake Episode 3 end screen

June 14, 2020 at 1:55 PM

I made one last change to my last 486 computer to be used in Bigeye. Other than the fact that it sports a Pentium Overdrive which brings its 486 status into question, it now has a larger L2 cache installation to allow addressing 64MB of RAM with write-back caching, which is faster than the standard write-through method. Under normal circumstances, a 486 should not need 64MB of RAM, but being the sucker that I always have been for such an old platform being pushed to its limits, I went with it. The cache memory is also faster (10ns vs 15ns), which permits me to use the fastest possible memory timings in the CMOS setup utility, and thereby make important frame rate gains. Once this is all done, I should really see how well this fares with an Am5x86.

If you want to get such a cache upgrade yourself, you can look up something like "ISSI 1024Kx8", which should return some of these 10ns modules. Keep in mind, though, that these are most likely counterfeit and may not be 100% reliable compared to the typical 256KB configurations from genuine manufacturers that come bundled with motherboards.

5:40 PM

Given how well last night went, I've decided to shake up the formula a bit for recording the last 9 computers... the raw footage will include live commentary from #voice-chat when I join it in an hour or two!

9:41 PM

This setup I assembled didn't help with the booting problem at all. I'm overwriting the CF card with zeroes now, hoping it doesn't take that long. Just for a simple installation, though... I didn't see how much of a nightmare this would turn out to be.

AOpen AX6F motherboard and various components sitting on a box

I can very much see this carrying over into tomorrow. Wiping the CF card in Linux was taking an abnormally long time, so I'm trying to do it from my main workstation.

10:06 PM

...and finally, I can boot. Was the partition ever set as active? I don't know, but I'm not putting this all back in the other case to find out.

10:28 PM

It took an eternity, but the Pentium II machine with 8MB of EDO RAM is ready to go. If you're not sleepy yet, I will be on the voice chat channel now.

11:26 PM

To recap, I tried using a 400MHz K6-2 on my 430HX motherboard from late 1996. That worked before, but now it doesn't, so I basically decided to use a Pentium MMX... but it's boring and not unusual enough, so I will have to pull out my TX97-LE again tomorrow, as it supports the 2.1 volts the K6-2 expects. E4M4 will be redone.

I will post machine specs for Epsiode 4 after all of Bigeye is completed. We will return to voice chat tomorrow...

June 16, 2020 at 2:02 AM

Sheesh, the hell I have to go through just to get sound working right in Quake under Windows NT! In the six hours of live troubleshooting I've gone through, so far I haven't even managed to get two computers all ready to go, out of the six left to be recorded. To recap:

The 400MHz K6-2 CPU must have been fried already even when I tried using it in the TX97-LE at the correct voltage. So, I threw in a 450MHz K6-2, and it interpreted the 2.5x multiplier in a way that would permit setting it to 500MHz on a 66MHz FSB! I find that to be really cool, as I thought the highest I could go was 400MHz... so anyway, that one's all set.

As for this next computer which is actually rather far in the queue, it's been an absolute horror to work with. This dual 450MHz Pentium II system was initially being used with a leftover Barracuda SCSI hard drive I had laying there on a table, but it ran into severe slowdowns due to some I/O operations failing. So I tried another SCSI hard drive that wasn't even detected by the onboard controller, and then I settled on an IDE hard drive from another system. Now this system doesn't freeze up awkwardly, but it wouldn't output any sound at all to a Sound Blaster Live card. That was super annoying, so I popped in a Vibra 16, probably the most straightforward and cheap way to get working sound in a computer. I used the default SB16 driver; it allowed me to finally hear sounds on the desktop, but not in WinQuake or GLQuake. I basically have to restart the Windows NT installation from scratch yet again. This better work... I'm gonna try a few different things like a later Sound Blaster driver and an earlier nVidia driver.

2:34 AM

Okay... so finally, after using Creative's own sound driver and the same video driver from before, GLQuake works. WinQuake displays garbled output, probably because the driver is too new or something, but I've found it largely impossible to find nVidia drivers prior to version 50 for Windows NT 4.0. There are now four computers left... I will be back tomorrow, preparing them out of order from hardest to easiest, starting with this Dell Inspiron laptop with a Pentium II and a broken LCD. Out of sheer laziness in regards to drivers, I will install Windows ME.

porting note: somehow I forgot to type "Windows ME" in the last message

June 17, 2020 at 12:33 AM

I've gone through the rest of the computers, and am ready to finish filming Bigeye. To make sure as many of you can attend the recordings, I will do them on June 17th at 7:00 PM EST in the same voice chat channel. You will see some very fast computers running, as well as some badly crippled ones. Let's finish the job!!

4:37 PM

I have my K6-2 machine all ready to go in a few hours, and I'm using it to practice the final map. Fortunately, it's very simple; it's nothing more than going through a few obstacles and putting a few badguys to sleep to effectively accomplish the task of wrapping up Bigeye. But to do it at what I can only see as ONE frame per second or less with budget 1993 hardware... can it really be done?! We shall see soon!!!

June 18, 2020 at 1:17 AM

The fourth episode has seen many hardware-related nightmares that prompted three days of live troubleshooting, but it has finally been completed...

Quake Episode 4 end screen

1:28 AM

...and, we've finished up Bigeye on an Am386 DX-40 paired with an IIT 3C87-40. With 128KB of cache and a Tseng Labs ET4000/W32i as well, it's one of the faster 386 systems you could pick up. Playing the final Quake map on this system was painful, but it's been completed in one clean run despite Demo1 returning a frame rate of 1.4 FPS at a full screen size with a full HUD. Shrinking the screen size helps considerably, of course, but not by much.

Since I first came up with the idea behind Bigeye in January of this year, it's been a long adventure trying to rack up a great variety of hardware to show off here. Here we are now; Quake has been completed across 30 different computers, one which was used for two maps. Editing will commence soon, and hopefully the full video will be ready to watch on Vlare by the end of June. Many thanks go to all of you here at Razorback who joined in the very lengthy voice chats to be a part of the last set of recordings as well as put up with all the software/hardware troubles I ran into. In due time, we will see if a project of this scope brings more attention to Vlare or not!

Quake final level end screen

June 19, 2020 at 2:15 AM

Man, that enter key sure hits itself hard.

2:32 AM

Last night, the configuration information for my Adobe CS6 software broke itself, and I had to reinstall the application manager to open them. Then, I ended up having to reactivate the software again, and when I did, it appears it didn't go through, so naturally, I tried reactivating it again, and then it told me I activated it on too many computers. This is not the first time I've run into activation hurdles, and as such, I'm getting really tired of the charade of product activation.

I have no choice but to postpone Bigeye further, so I cannot project a release date of June anymore. Once more, I will have to try out alternatives; I'm considering either Kdenlive (the last editor I tried) or DaVinci Resolve. Since Microsoft wants me to get off of Windows 7 so badly, and Windows 10 will always be horrendous, I want to opt for a Linux installation that will run along smoothly without needing hardware acceleration to carry out pointless eye candy tasks. I might try something GNOME 2-like, but might want to use KDE 5 instead since I've heard about it being pretty lightweight; otherwise, I might even settle for something like IceWM.

I don't envision myself getting started until some time in July, as I would rather get a new, clean SSD to install to so I can leave my existing Windows 7 installation untampered while also being further ahead in the transition from NTFS to a native filesystem; I'm not up to date on all of this, but I'd assume ext4 still makes sense for desktop usage. For anyone who's used Kdenlive or DaVinci Resolve, and those who use Linux and/or FreeBSD, I'd like to hear from you on what might be the best way to go about it in #modern-tech.

To reiterate, digital rights management is objectively bad, and forced updates are objectively bad. Even with the student discount, Adobe CS6 was not cheap, and if I suddenly can't use the software I paid for, what am I supposed to do? Opt for an expensive subscription? No, I will not.

June 25, 2020 at 4:02 AM

A little thing I whipped up in Olive, the GPL multiplatform video editor I've been getting into. With no native "dip to white" transition available, you might see I had some pains in trying to pull it off, but this editor demonstrates so much potential even given its alpha state. I might have to make the actual video in Resolve (or Blender in combination with either) to pull off everything I want, but I will be closely monitoring the progress of Olive!

The background music is "Children of the Son", released by Pipe Choir under a CC-BY license: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pipe_Choir/SGONS_1764/Pipe_Choir_Children_Of_The_Son

Floppy disk Download the teaser trailer in Cinepak format

No release date confirmed yet, but I might end up shooting for August.

July 20, 2020 at 7:13 AM

Trying to use GIMP and Olive together to implement the old-fashioned hard annotations I've decided to settle on. It does feel a bit cumbersome; here's hoping Olive will have an improved title editor in the future.

First annotation in Bigeye, overlayed on AMIBIOS Setup at bottom right corner

July 21, 2020 at 8:23 AM

Here's a test of the format I'm expecting to use. Nothing much to it, it's fully focused on the gameplay while providing annotations to describe each machine.

Floppy disk Download the annotation test video

July 22, 2020 at 3:23 PM

Finally got all of my annotations in place; the fourth episode will not have annotations, as it opts for live commentary at #stream instead. One thing that sorely sticks out is how much slower the gameplay for the first and second episodes are compared to the third and fourth. After filming the second episode, I was stuck waiting on some things, which gave me plenty of time to practice the last sets of maps.

There's no way I can go back and do everything all over again, though. I went through 30 computers, sometimes having to take them apart and switch out hardware due to the limited number of cases I have for the job. It was enough of a strain as it was.

July 23, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Okay... all the title cards for each machine are in, all 30 of them. I still need to add audio fadeouts after each recording and review how the clips are laid out carefully so as to avoid throwing viewers off rhythm from one clip ending too abruptly or waiting too long. Then of course is the intro and credits... those will have to be worked out separately, hopefully using Blender if I can figure out how to use it for 2D effects.

The Bigeye recordings are very long, so the uploads will definitely be split up by episode and put on a staggered upload schedule to Vlare. The end of this seven month journey is in sight... some time in August, you will begin to see an experiment in both hardware demonstrations and the use of GPL software in video production.

3:15 PM

Starting off kind of basic here, creating a credit roll with a 3D perspective.

Blender 2.8x with a project open, many clips of raw Bigeye footage stacked across the Z axis facing the camera

July 24, 2020 at 1:16 PM

Ran a test render... seems like it'll do. Olive was used for creating the backdrop video that's affixed to a large plane. Now for the full thing! This may take a while due to the unsophisticated use of large video files.

Test render of a frame of Bigeye's credit roll, showing the unique count (processors = 22, video cards = 29, operating systems = 7, resolutions = 9

6:41 PM

Something real crazy-lookin's a'brewin'... I'm getting too sleepy to continue working on it today, but will probably drop it here by tomorrow night.

July 25, 2020 at 7:33 AM

When I said my Windows 95D Lite demo was pushing the limits of Olive, I lied. THIS is what it's really capable of!

Floppy disk Download the second teaser trailer in Cinepak format

Still needs some sweet ass Vlare branding and additional refinements, but once I get in touch with a Vlare dev regarding when the premium signup page will have its functionality restored, I can confirm this will release in August. (porting note: the downloadable clip is the final version of the teaser with the sweeet ass Vlare branding)

9:14 AM

The first episode is now being encoded in x265. This is sure to take many hours, but it is all in preparation for when the time comes!

August 19, 2020 at 12:58 PM

Nearly another month has passed, and Bigeye has largely been finished for some time. The reason why it's been held back this time around is because I've been unable to upload in 1080p60 for a long while, as Vlare's premium signup/renewal page is still broken. With the downtime Vlare's been experiencing, hopefully it's being used to fix up all of the thing that have been going wrong with it. Given the wait has been so long (as is the case for many other Vlare fixes), I have no choice but to provide a temporary unlisted upload of the first episode to YouTube. I say temporary because I noticed a small error in one of the computer's title cards; I keep getting the 430FX and 440FX chipsets mixed up.

Many months were spent building this up as a means of helping prop up Vlare yet more, so whenever it does get back on track, I will be sure to upload the full series over there.

August 25, 2020 at 8:13 PM

So, with Vlare getting hit by a DMCA notice they never received and possibly needing to fall under plenty of downtime as they restructure and rebuild, Bigeye is forced to roll out its entire series on YouTube, regrettably. I announce with little enthusiasm that the first episode will premiere on October 9th, for it will probably suffer the same fate as Arowana.

September 24, 2020 at 1:09 AM

For those who don't know yet, Bigeye will have extensive written commentary available on my upcoming website, which I imagine will go live in November or December. I intend to have the Razorback website contain many more bonus materials providing insight into the production of some of my other videos, past and present.

BIGEYE Episode 2 web page in Internet Explorer 5.5

September 29, 2020 at 11:09 PM

I'm also in the midst of porting this entire production log to the Razorback website. Future production logs will be made with the website in mind, rendering this entire channel category obsolete.

September 30, 2020 at 11:02 AM

I've gotten all the pictures I need into the Bigeye HTML documentation. There is one last thing I want to add to the lineup of Bigeye's hardware configurations used, something that arrived at my house after nearly four months. It's a rather unusual kind of computer that uses a 450MHz Pentium II Xeon with 1MB of L2 cache. It will not be part of the playthrough, but I expect to use it for a QuakeWorld deathmatch with some of my friends, and it will be spliced near the end of the series.

Inside of Pentium II Xeon build with MS-6135 motherboard, plus Voodoo2 SLI

October 9, 2020 at 6:34 PM

Thanks to everyone who was in tonight's deathmatch! Here's the demo... Bigeye is premiering now, go watch it!!!

Download Razorback's server recording of the Bigeye deathmatch (requires a newer engine like nQuake)

7:25 PM

Another big round of thanks to those who were there for Bigeye's first premiere. The series returns on October 16th... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T8EqbcI0Q0

October 10, 2020 at 6:28 PM

Given the extra last-minute content that was added to Bigeye, I've expanded upon the credit roll quite a bit. More lengthy reencodes ensue...

October 24th, 2020 - The Final Transmission - 10:35 PM

ATTENTION - THIS IS A SIGNAL.

ALL REVISIONS TO BIGEYE ARE FINALIZED. PLEASE PARDON THE LACK OF LIVE UPDATES REGARDING CHANGES TO THE THIRD AND FOURTH EPISODES; ALL OF THE SYSTEM'S CYCLES WERE LOCKED TO THE TASKS AT HAND. BIGEYE IS NOT GETTING A LARGE RETURN, BUT YOU ARE WHAT MADE IT IMPORTANT. TRANSMISSIONS TO THIS CHANNEL WILL CEASE IMMEDIATELY. THE FINAL BIGEYE EPISODE RELEASES ON OCTOBER 30TH AT 6:30 PM EST. SEE YOU IN PROJECT CISCO (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE BRAND)...

GOOD BYE

a mirage of mind #2 (Credits Roll) [Metal Black Arcade rip]