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Comment Re:Having the internet connection isn't the issue (Score 1) 540

its having to connect to their servers to play the game single player and worse, you can lose access to your game which you are in no way playing with other people should their authentication servers have an issue or be down for maintenance.

Oh the horror! You might have to do something else for a little while.

Jesus Christ, get over it.

they could have very easily made it so you had characters on their service and characters not on the service with no chance for either to interact. They chose not to. They chose that because they wanted to increase their revenue stream by any method they could envision.

I think it's pretty obvious that they chose this because it makes piracy effectively impossible. And to be perfectly honest, I like it a lot better than any other DRM I've ever encountered.

Comment Re:Remote Stations (Score 1) 123

Does this result in noticeable input latency that you can feel through gaming, similar to the sort of input drifting feeling you get with wireless peripherals?

No. According to the USB spec, maximum allowed round-trip latency to any peripheral (regardless of the number of hubs) is 1.5 microseconds, many orders of magnitude below what a human being could sense. Electricity will propagate over a 32' cable in around 50ns, another couple orders of magnitude smaller still.

Also, do you use hubs on the end for the keyboard/mouse or do you run a separate cable for each one? If you use hubs, have you run into issues with using them? Do you have gaming quality peripherals on the end as well (high dpi and polling mice and high poll rate keyboards)?

I have a hub attached to each one, with a cheap keyboard and a Logitech MX518 mouse. Guests are welcome to bring their own peripherals if they so choose.

I ask as gaming peripherals tend to put more strain on USB connections then normal peripherals and can crap them out when they're operating on the edge (like the 32' repeater you mentioned). They draw more power and operate close to limitations of the spec in terms of latency.

The hubs are powered. They are USB 2.0, so they support many orders of magnitude more bandwidth than you could ever generate with a keyboard or mouse.

With all due respect, I think you're been fooled into believing the marketing of some companies that want to sell you expensive placebos. Keyboards are just not a significant source of latency in any gaming setup.

Comment Re:Your house is great! (Score 1) 123

Yeah they all end up with the same machine name. I disabled automatic network discovery so they won't broadcast themselves, since it would just lead to confusion. File sharing can be done by copying files to and from a share on the server machine. I don't see why games would care since they operate at the TCP/IP level, not using computer names. I have only tested a couple things so far, though, like UT2k4... will be trying more today (LAN party!).

Comment Re:God dammit (Score 1) 123

To a girl that grew up on a farm in China near the Russian and North Korean borders you may be an interesting technocrat with an impressive command of English and full of witty comments she's never heard before.

I'm not sure if you meant to say that you think this describes my girlfriend. But if so, that's extremely racist. Christina was born and raised in Boston. And I'm dating her because she's a gamer geek, not because she's Asian.

Comment Re:No.. (Score 2) 123

The question isn't "How", its "Why".. money doesn't seem to be the big issue here, so why not spring for Server 2008R2 and manage all the boxes from there? it does all this updating/registering/etc your hacking together, and for around $800, versus your hourly rate x hours hacking, seems less expensive and the result is a heck of a lot more manageable. I'm all for the do-it-yourself type, but managing disk images? Yeah I can spend my time better elsewhere

No, it really does not do anything like what I'm doing... and anyway, setting this all up was lots of fun.

Comment Re:Haha ... (Score 4, Informative) 123

"I purchased 12 copies of Windows 7 Ultimate OEM System Builder edition, in 3-packs. However, it turns out that because the hardware is identical, Windows does not even realize that it is moving between machines."

Yeah. I actually learned this after having purchased only one 3-pack, but went ahead and bought three more 3-packs just to be legal. With this much attention paid to my setup, I don't want to be caught pirating.

Comment Re:How well does that perform? (Score 1) 123

PXE, et al, use TFTP, if I remember rightly. In principle, there's nothing to stop the files being delivered by multicast FTP (yes there are at least three, they use Scalable Reliable Multicast, FLUTE or NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast respectively). Since OS images and the games themselves don't differ between machines, if you have N machines you get file delivery about N times as fast. (About because lost packets are resent, so it's not truly linear improvement.)

Indeed, as mentioned in the blog, I was at one point trying to develop a UDP-based blog device protocol that would broadcast blocks back, on the assumption that all the machines would be loading the same data at the same time. However, when I got the system up and running without that, and didn't see any performance problems, I decided to abandon that idea and focus efforts elsewhere.

Comment Re:How well does that perform? (Score 4, Informative) 123

I can't imagine a single machine serving out over iSCSI to have performance acceptable to play any modern, intensive game. How's it all work?

I couldn't imagine it either, but it turns out it works fine. Obviously the load times aren't blazingly fast but no one has ever complained about them being slow either.

Note that most games load all data upfront. Once they've done that, the game runs without doing much I/O.

Also note that an iSCSI image can be fully cached client-side, so if you load the same game twice, it's probably going to load directly from RAM the second time. (Most games are 32-bit so there's a good 4GB of RAM in the machines doing not much other than disk cache.)

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