Living history

Current music: System of a Down - Atwa

Things change so fast in the computer’s world. It has been sad so many times but the fact still amazes. People who became PC owners last year speak about plain-looking appearance of XP and usually don’t suppose that there is something more effective than Libraries to manage their files. Those who have changed their PC once hardly believe that files with size more than 4GB some time ago were quite a problem and sound cards with ethernet adapters were not always integrated in every motherboard. Even ones who consider themselves veterans hardly recognize Norton not as antivirus software or pack of system utilities. Experience of using computer for such a long time makes one feel old and weary.

Yesterday I tried to run the game Thief: The Dark Project on my current gaming PC without any success whatsoever. I’ve heard and read a lot about it so my will to play this game brought me back to the past. Today I spent hours with my 10-years old computer. First I installed Windows ME (I really like this OS). Then after some dancing with a tambourine around I configured network, downloaded best suitable drivers for all the hardware. Making that aroused some kind of nostalgia. It was difficult to stop so I furnished the system with heartiness as if I was going to make my primary desktop. It took some amount of time to find outdated versions of software for long-unsupported operating system. After all I get decent machine capable not only retro gaming but surprisingly smooth web-surfing, playing variety of video and surely usual office work. GeForce 2MX can not be called powerful in any case but it easily performed FullHD in 2D mode with true color depth. Regretfully I could not use my external hard disk even with latest NTFS driver… System just freezed when it was connected. I think it occurred because computer failed to utilize such a massive disk space as 2TB.

Thief ran without difficulties but… Two minutes of training showed huge problem with partially or completely missing models of characters.  That’s what I call a really bad programming. Game was meant for TNT2 and two generations later it no longer works properly. GeFroce 2MX is too modern for Thief! It loses polygons on video card released two years after, it totally crashes on accelerators of modern era, it freezes on multi-processor PCs, it doesn’t support hardware EAX acceleration on any cards I know. To make sudden crashes more often game changes video modes all the time. You need to take a quick look on the map? Press M and… wait damn 10 seconds before monitor adjusts the picture. Then you are going back and having to wait 10 more while not seeing a shit and vulnerable to any attack.

My story has happy ending. Brainstorm, Google, manuals, faqs on fansites and hard-to-find utilities helped to run Thief the way I prefer, with acceleration, antialiasing and good display resolution on my newest computer. I’m not sure if beating the game will take more time than making it work but we’ll see…

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