Thursday, September 28, 2006

Enemy Territory Tweak - Nvidia Direct 3D Render Ahead Settings

I love online FPS (first person shooters) and recently discovered the free game Enemy Territory. Even on this older machine it runs pretty good and I've tried the game using two different Nvidia graphics cards. However I couldn't seem to hit the side of a barn - the aiming and mouse response was sluggish even when the frames per second were high.

System Specs
  • HP Intel P4 1.5ghz
  • 384 MB DDR RAM
  • Windows XP Professional
  • GeForce4 Ti4200 128 MB
  • GeForce4 MX 440 64 MB

So I did a bit of searching and discovered that some Nvidia users suffer from "mouse lag" while gaming. That's where the Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead setting comes in.

How to find your Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead setting :

  1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Display
  2. Click the "settings" tab at the top right of the Display Properties window
  3. Click the "advanced" button at the bottom right
  4. Click the tab with your video card name on it
  5. Click the arrow next to "Performance & Quality Settings"
  6. Select the "Additional Direct 3D Settings" sub-category
Note : You can use the NVidia Coolbits tweak to unlock hidden settings like overclocking.


click for full image



A common fix for "mouse lag" is to set the Max frames to render ahead to a lower number. By default mine was set to 3 frames. Some of the pages I found said putting this setting on zero would actually hurt your gaming experience while others said a setting of zero would be the master solution.

My advice is find out what works best for you.

I set my Direct 3D Max frames to render ahead value to zero and then played Enemy Territory. I was able to do a lot better and could tell the accuracy had picked up a good bit. This tweak will only fix your "mouse lag" problem - it won't increase your frames per second.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Xubuntu : XFCE Menu Items

If you're using Xubuntu and are trying to add menu items to categories such as Games or Network you've probably noticed the XFCE Menu editor is of no use.

Here is the fix :

Xubuntu system menu items are controlled via files in the following directory :

/usr/share/applications

This directory contains a lot of files that end in .desktop

These are the files that control what menu items appear in certain categories.
  1. Open the .desktop file of the menu item you want to add to a catagory ( file A )
  2. Open the .desktop file of a menu item already in that category ( file B )
  3. Replace the "Categories=" line in file A with the one from file B.

You may have to restart XFCE for the changes to show up or perform some action that requires the menu file to be reloaded ( like check the check "hidden" for something in the menu editor then hit save ).

If there is no .desktop file for the program you want to add then create a new file (make sure it ends in .desktop) and copy the contents from a file in that catagory into your new file.

Then change all the important details and everything should work.

* Note

To open the .desktop file as root go to a root terminal and inside the
/usr/share/applications directory and execute :

"mousepad filename.desktop"

Or from the regular terminal inside the
/usr/share/applications directory execute

"sudo mousepad filename.desktop"

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

MySpace Phishing Scam

Hi Reddit dudes plz help me get my pw back! :)

Tonight when viewing a MySpace profile I noticed I got redirected and MySpace asked me to login.

No problem.

Except for when Firefox asked me if I wanted to save my username and password. Do what ? Firefox already has this saved for the MySpace.com domain...hrmm something didn't smell right.

A quick glance at the address bar confirmed my guess - it was a web site involved in a MySpace username and password phishing scam.





The page looks exactly like the MySpace login screen. I took the liberty of trying to sign in under the fake username "hey moron" with an equally entertaining password. Amazingly enough the page pretends to log you in then redirects you to your actual MySpace homepage.

This is able to work because you were never actually signed out of MySpace - they merely pretended you were. Then when you give them any username and password they send you back to your MySpace page because after all - you're already logged in.

Moral of the story - always make sure you're logging into myspace.com/ and not myspace.com.duh.net/

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[ MySpace Phishing ]
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