Ogre – an open source 3D graphics engine

Quake 3 levels viewed with Ogre

Ran across a cool, open source 3d graphics engine called
Looks like it’s been around for a while, not sure why I haven’t run across it before.
They’ve adapted bits of it to render files in various game formats like Quake 3 (see above) and Tomb Raider.

You can download
some Win32 demos
to see what the engine is capable of.

Click “More…” to see several more screenshots of various Ogre-powered games and programs.
Continue reading Ogre – an open source 3D graphics engine

Laser mouse

For the past 3 years I have been using Microsoft’s Wireless
IntelliMouse Explorer
on both my Mac and PC. My hand fits the
shape of this mouse perfectly. The buttons are well placed and
extremely useful. I swap batteries roughly once a
month but I am using rechargeable batteries so I do not have to deal
with the expense of buying new batteries (the Logitech
MX 700
has a built in rechargeable battery that recharges when
placed in the MX 700’s base station – a much better solution). There
is a noticeable delay if the mouse has to wake from
sleep but this only happens if the mouse is not used for an extended
period of time.

Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer MX 500

The biggest issue I have with the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer is
that the mouse movement on the screen is not as sensitive as I would
like when it comes to playing games. I resolved this by purchasing a Logitech
MX 500
. I always take the MX 500 to LAN parties but I
am so hooked on using the wireless mouse at home that I continue
using it for our Friday night gaming sessions. Space on my
desk at home is limited and the MX 500’s cord is always getting
caught. Another issue is that my finger positioning does not fit
the shape of the MX 500 as well as that of the Wireless IntelliMouse
Explorer. Apart from the cord and fit issue the MX 500 is one
sweet mouse. For games it rocks. The MX optical engine is
excellent. Logitech have since released the MX 510 with an
updated optical engine for improved sensitivity and accuracy.

If only someone would release a wireless mouse with the shape of the
Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer, the accuracy of the MX 510, and the
built in rechargeable battery of the MX 700! Hey, someone finally

MX 1000

Logitech has released the worlds first laser mouse (the MX
) featuring the Logitech MX™ Laser Engine, The laser
engine is 20x more sensitivity to surface detail—or tracking power—than
optical. With Fast RF™ cordless the MX 1000 provides for cordless
performance that equals USB corded connection. Add to that the
new tilt wheel for side to side scrolling and the rapid-charge base
station and it appears that we have the makings of the ultimate
mouse!  Holy smokes!

After reading a number of positive reviews
I took a chance and placed an order with Grey-Tech.


Much to my relief the mouse works as advertised. I am using
the MX 1000 under OS X and XP and the supplied CD provides configuration
software for both OS’s. When playing games such as Far Cry, Doom
3, Quake 3, Urban Terror, and Unreal Tournament 2004 the mouse
sensitivity and movement is superb. The mouse instantly wakes
from sleep. There is no lag of any sort! My hand fits
the shape of the mouse perfectly. Both mice have been in use for
two weeks and show 2/3 of a charge remaining.

If you are looking for a new mouse then this is definitely one to

Free Software

I am a fan of open source and
alternative software solutions. I have installed a number
of applications that are available for no charge and I thought I would
post my findings here on Tech Tok. I am very interested in any of your suggestions.

By the way, that thud you heard was Reid falling off his seat when he
discovered I had made a post.  :-)

Here is a list of apps I am using:

Mac PC
Browser Safari Mozilla
Video Player Video Lan Client Video Lan Client
Graphics The
HTML editor Composer (Mozilla) Composer (Mozilla)
Mail Mail Thunderbird
Office productivity OpenOffice.org OpenOffice.org
Music iTunes iTunes
IM Fire Suggestions?
No M$
No M$ on M$

AMD sockets

This is more to help me remember than a really sueful article for anyone else.

There are three AMD sockets around these days:

Socket A
Original socket, used for older AMD chips like Thunderbird through to Athlon 2800+
Socket 754
First socket that could handle Athlon64 CPUs.
Now relegated to low-end AMD CPUs like the Sempron, which are rated these days around 3000-3100+.
Has only a single-channel memory controller.
Socket 939
Current main socket, used in high-end Athlon64 CPUs.
I guess it has a dual-channel memory controller?

Ah, how I miss the days of there being one and only one socket.

I am completely lost on the Intel side of things.
How many incompatible sockets are there now for all the various flavours of Pentium 4?

HDTV PVR for ExpressVu

Today’s National Post has an insert called “marketnews Here’s How” with all kinds of HDTV news including the ExpressVu HDTV PVR announcement. In addition ExpressVu added several HDTV stations yesterday. I recommend a close look at a Yamaha Amp (with component video switching and S-video up-conversion) when getting in the home theatre system.