Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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Dec 98

LAN Games

Something will always go wrong when you try to get a LAN running to play games. I went over to my cousin’s house a couple nights ago to give the recently purchased copies of Half-Life a go. Anyway, after dragging my computer over to his house (sans monitor), we found out that the null-modem cable was missing. No matter, he drove out to buy one, while I stayed back to figure out how to get the TV-Out working on his Canopus – I was going to use his monitor, whereas he was going to use his bigass TV.

Of course, he came back with, not a cable, but two network cards. We banged them in. The TV-Out was still giving problems, but after 20 minutes we managed to figure it out. The output was fuzzy, and it was hard to make out the words, but it made you realise how clear proper monitors are. And probably why we’re not hearing anymore about Gateway’s Destination system (computer shipped with a TV instead of a monitor, and other home theatre equipment).

Then the network wouldn’t work. Another half-hour of looking through crappy documentation, we found out that we forgot to plug the T-Connectors and Terminators onto the coax cable – we had just plugged the cable straight in, from one port to the other.

Right, now the network worked, but the computers weren’t recognising each other. We couldn’t figure this one out. At that point in time we had to leave the house, but on the way we picked up a null-modem cable to use instead of the network. I said jokingly to him, “Knowing our luck today, Half-Life won’t support null-modem.”

When we arrived back, the network was working. Somewhere along the line he changed a few input/output values for the card which “didn’t look quite right” and it started working, miraculously. It was just as well – Half-Life didn’t support null-modem. Then came the Voodoo card in my computer – I hadn’t loaded on the drivers, and the drivers we had weren’t installing. So, we had to connect to the net and transfer the files over the network onto my computer, and that was another problem down, and we were ready to play, but by that time it was so late that we only got a couple hours in.