Today is the first day of Freshman Orientation Week in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. FOW is where all the cadets who are incoming as freshmen get to come to campus a week early so that they can get fitted for uniforms, so that they can get haircuts (the guys, anyway), and so that they can get yelled at a lot. The idea is to get the “WTF?” mostly out of the way before class starts. In addition, without fail a certian number of incoming freshmen will suddenly have the epiphany that they don’t want to be in this Corps thing at all and they can politely and quietly leave before all the real fun starts (and hopefully before the haircut). Ironically, six years ago today was the Sunday before FOW for me, so six years ago today I was sick out of my mind and hated my life. I love FOW these days – gives me a laugh to remind myself of what I looked and acted like, and how badly I just wanted to go home.

This means then that Friday is the six year anniversary of the release of Windows 95. Not that that means anything.

So my adventures in DirectX have been foiled/delayed by the fact that the Direct3D samples won’t run – they either tell me they can’t create a Direct3D device or I don’t have enough video RAM. Now, this is kinda rediculous – every Direct3D anything runs on my system, and the people in this thread I started tell me all should be obee kaybee, but still no go. I figured it was a “rollback from WinXP” issue, since I’ve had some other problems, but a reformat/reinstall didn’t do the trick. Oh well, at least the other things I noticed seem to be okay now.

The part of the reformat/reinstall I hate is not the reformat/reinstall, nor is it the fear that you didn’t back up something important on the drive you have to reformat – it’s the reinstalling of everything. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, if I didn’t have so much shit. Office 2000,Visual Studio, FrontPage 2000, Corel Draw 7 (don’t laugh! it still works!), Adobe Acrobat 4.0 (not the reader), Nero, The stuff that came with my DVD drive, the drivers for my mouse, the drivers for the Zip Drive, the million or so little utilites, it’s annoying. I miss the old DOS days where you could just copy the contents of a directory – no registry, no shared DLL’s, no system directories. It was nice. And what I really hate is those games that don’t need to be reinstalled, but they think they do. Quake 3 runs more or less like the old Quake and DOOM did – you install it and it places an entry in your control panel to be uninstalled. Now if you reformat your hard drive you can still run Quake 3, but if you need to install a patch or the Team Arena mission pack it says you don’t have Quake 3 installed. The fuck you don’t! But since it’s not “installed”, it’s just “there” you have to reinstall it over your old installation. Then you can patch it. Annoying.

With any luck I can finally tinker with V12 and DirectX tommorow night.