Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wow, kewl!

The other night I caught Andrew checking out video cards on Newegg. He was looking at a PCI-E card for about $130 and when I asked why he replied that someone on World of Warcraft had advised him to get that model to improve his frame rate. A pity then that his PC doesn't have a PCI-E slot! I will admit that the AGP card he had was pretty long in the tooth; a Radeon 7000 series about four years old.

Perhaps I should have left it at that, having advised him that there was no way the chosen card was going to even fit into his PC let alone work. But it just so happened that we had a much more recent AGP card sitting around waiting for someone to use it. Not only that, my car still needed a wash!

So today, as I was relaxing over a plate of bacon and eggs, he brought the subject up. You should have seen the look on his face when I handed him a screwdriver and the card. 'You mean I have to do the work myself?'. 'Damn straight' I replied. No need any more to follow that up with homilies about the value of work experience; he's heard it all before. I reckon he could recite it back at me! Doesn't mean he believes it; just that he's heard it all before!

A few false starts and he had the old card out and new card installed. At this point I decided it was as well to become more actively involved; if he screwed up the driver installation guess who'd have to repair the damage? But as it turned out, he could have done that portion himself as well; finally the device driver installation world has cottoned on to the fact that not everyone knows or cares for the details of their hardware, they just want it to work now dammit! In short, it was a no-brainer install.

Thence to dxdiags, to check a few things. On the Display tab there's a couple of buttons, one to check 2D graphics, the other to check 3D graphics. Try em out. (Start button, Run, type in 'dxdiags' without the quotes and hit OK). The 2D graphics test (Test DirectDraw) draws some very boring graphics and asks, afterward, if you saw what it drew. The second test draws a bouncing white rectangle inside a somewhat larger black rectangle. It looks almost exactly like the bouncing ball in the old pong game from 1975.

Andrew saw it and said 'wow, kewl!' I couldn't believe my ears! Here he is, in 2008, surrounded by games such as WoW and he's impressed with a little white rectangle bouncing around inside a black rectangle, on the same screen that 5 minutes hence he'll be playing WoW on.

But I reckon if he saw a real pong game he'd yawn and pronounce it old fashioned. He'd be right.

Oh, my car got it's wash. By my reckoning he owes me 4 more car washes and he owes Mom 5 more. Sometimes, as he and I agreed, it sucks to be Andrew!

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