Talk:The Ur-Quan Masters Technical FAQ

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Revision as of 17:31, 11 September 2005 by (talk) (request for Windows experts)
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I just noticed that I didn't fill in the name of the check box to prevent the window from closing in the "When trying to start the game, I get a DOS box flashing on my screen, and nothing else (on Windows)" section. Could someone on an English version of Windows XP check the name and fill this in please. -- SvdB 20:13, 14 Nov 2004 (CET)

The "When I press multiple keys at the same time, some keys won't be recognised" entry looks wrong. The link in that entry, while interesting, doesn't seem to indicate a problem faced by modern keyboards (or any keyboards that wern't made at home with parts from Radio Shack, for that matter). If I recall correctly, the problem is a software issue with the Operating System, which ignores keypresses if three or more of a cluster of keys are pressed, i.e. because your cat just stepped on it, or you fell and your hand landed on the keyboard, or you dropped something on it. When this happens, no further keypresses are registered, and if this goes on for several seconds, a beeping noise is made by the computer. IIRC, the only workaround (in the manual or the readme (I think)), is to rebind your keys to something different, supposedly keys that aren't so close together.

Then again, this feature might have been implemented first in windows. Either way, I don't think it's a hardware issue (at least not the one referred to in the article by the web link).

This problem would occur if you were thrusting, turning, and firing or using the special weapon at the same time, and the keys were in conflict. Or some other occasion where you have to press three or more buttons at the same time. In fact, the Keys utility in the original PC version had a test feature that showed if all your keypresses registered. If any key you pressed didn't show up, there was a conflict. Tssha 11:53, 21 Dec 2004 (CET)

It really is a hardware issue. Switch your keyboard to another and the problem may be gone, or you may have the problem with different keys. The page linked to describes two problems, which it calls "ghosting" and "masking". It's the masking which people usually encounter (at least in my experience).

The beeping sound made is something completely different [cue Liberty Bell march]. This *is* an operating system issue (actually, if the OS changes nothing, the BIOS will do this). It occurs on DOS(-based OS') when the keyboard buffer is full. What the operating system receives from the keyboard (controller) is the notification that a key has been pressed (optionally repeatedly, when the key is held down), or released. When in character mode, the operating system places the character belonging to the key — which depends on the keymap (in DOS, this can be changed with the "KEYB" command), and the modifier keys (shift, control, alt, caps lock) — in the keyboard buffer. In DOS, that keyboard buffer only has a limited size (I think it was 16 characters, not entirely sure). When keys are pressed more quickly than they are processed, the buffer will get full, and no further keys will be accepted until there is space. The OS then sends a beep to warn the user.

In UQM, the keyboard is not placed in character mode. What the game receives is a notification whenever a key is pressed, and when it is released. The game uses this to keep a table of which keys are pressed at the moment (I think SDL handles that for us).

Btw, we know about the keys utility. We intend to bring something like that back for UQM.

-- SvdB 18:51, 22 Dec 2004 (CET)

Is "on Windows" really wrong? Because by changing it to "in Windows" in the title, you break all the links to it. (From the forum, etc). -- SvdB 16:18, 20 Jul 2005 (CEST)

I think the terms can be used interchangeably, as in "on the windows platform" or "in the windows operating system". I would reccomend a revert to restore the links. -Fadookie 07:08, 22 Jul 2005 (CEST)

The monitor switching thing seems to be something very specific to you hardware. I've never heard of the problem before. There is this letter "F" in "FAQ"... Too big a FAQ will only hide the other questions. — SvdB 18:08, 8 Aug 2005 (CEST)

Considering other things are delay in ability to play, and this thing fries monitors permanently, it might be considered important enough to be in the FAQ - even if the average user who has the problem can't ask the question due to his fried monitor or inability to regain any control whatsoever of his computer even after sending one computer to two skilled computer techies. If he realizes he must unplug the switch from both computers to regain control and perhaps buy another monitor, there is little chance he will remember what days earlier caused the problem and ask the question often enough for it to be frequent even if the problem was frequent...

If not in the FAQ, perhaps the game's readme should say something. There is a risk you'll get 10 or 20 people who lost 350$ like me at once when the game is officially released (or slashdotted). Even if you don't have a multimillion dollar game design empire to protect from bad publicity, prevention is still better than hoping slashdot won't be speaking about 20+ fried monitors sometimes next year, don't you think?

-Mr. FAMADA (Fried A Monitor And Damaged Another)

We've already been Slashdotted before, and the game has been downloaded thousands of times, but noone has managed to blow up a monitor with it. I strongly suspect your KVM switch was defective to start with. And UQM really doesn't do anything special with your keyboard.
— SvdB 22:56, 9 Aug 2005 (CEST)

In response to the speed entry, changing the priority through the task manager is labeled as "(on Windows)", but I know this isn't true for all Windows versions (not 95/98 at least). Could someone who knows what Windows this is relevant to please correct this entry? — 19:31, 11 Sep 2005 (CEST)