Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Getting out of iowait hell

I have a problem that's really got me baffled. Some mornings when I get up to start work, I find my laptop is extremely unresponsive.

I ssh into it to have a look and see that the CPU is saturated with iowait. However, I can't for the life of me figure out which process is causing the problem.

The closest I've got is pidstat -d which should show IO hit on a per-process basis, but that doesn't seem to reveal anything of any significance either.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mouse sensitivity in FPS games

I've been playing Unreal 3 a bit lately and discovered that I'm still just as mediocre at this type of game as I used to be.

So I did some searching around for some tips, and found one about mouse sensitivity that caught my eye. I'd always tried to teach myself to be able to use a high sensitive setting so I could do everything I needed to do with the minimal of physical movement. However, this tip suggested bringing the sensitivity setting well down.

It notes that a lot of the professional players have their settings so low they have to frequently lift their mouse from the table when turning a lot; having to do this is one of the things I was trying to avoid by using a higher setting.

The pros don't mind this because of what they gain by using a lower sensitivity setting: accuracy. The lower the sensitivity, the more accurate you are. It's that simple.

So I thought I'd give it a try, and decided to halve my setting. After a bit of getting used to it against some bots I joined a game.

I finished mid-table in the game I joined, and stuck around for the next level (which just happened to be the same level: apparently this server plays "Deck" 24/7).

I shot at people and actually hit them. Quite a bit actually. And in the end I won the round by two points. I actually threw my hands up in the air in delight. Yay! I don't think I ever actually won a round at ut2k4, so this was quite an achievement for me.

I've not had time to play since, but I'm enthused; I really think this is going to make quite a difference. So if you're a casual gamer who has also been using a higher mouse sensitivity, give a lower setting a go and concentrate on being accurate: it might work wonders.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A solution too simple to find

I wrote this post's title back in January with nothing at all in the body to remind me of what it was supposed to have been about. Of course, now I can't for the life of me remember...

Rather than waste a good title, I'll forge an extremely tenuous link with version control software and bug tracking: always write a decent commit comment so that when you come read it later on you can have some clue as to why you did what you did, and if you close a ticket always write what you did to fix the problem to save future head scratching.

Thanking you... :)