September 25th, 2003


Download times still suck.

So I'm trying to download the demo for Jedi Academy, because I really liked Jedi Outcast and this seems to be a lot like it, but with even more goodies - like Darth Maul style two-bladed lightsabers, etc.

My eyes bugged out when I saw the download size - 190 MB!! And this is only two demo levels. Even with my relatively high speed satellite internet connection, this is going to take at least a couple hours to download. And that's assuming the serving FTP server isn't slammed all to hell, which it most definitely is! (The download has been going for almost an hour now, and I have all of 17 MB. :P)

This reminds me of the bad old days when I used to BBS. When a 1 meg file took an hour to download at 14.4kbaud. That's when it occured to me. Just as traffic density increases to fill available roads - regardless of how many roads you build, so does file size continue to increase to fill available download bandwidth - no matter how great bandwidth becomes. If the average person has DSL, than the average file download is going to become a hundred megabytes, because that's the cutoff point where people will stop downloading it because it takes too long. Bandwidth and size are not the constraints - TIME is the constraint. If it takes more than about 90 minutes for a file to come down, nobody is going to take it, and the people attempting to give it away as free advertising will be screwed. So people giving away demos very consciously ride that 90 minute edge.

Today, LucasArts failed to ride that edge. Mr. download, meet Mr. kill -9. You two have fun!!

Guess I won't be playing the Jedi Academy demo after all. Too bad, eh?

The force is strong with this one...

Just updated my graphics driver with a newer bugfixed one from Intel - damn it made a big difference. Jedi Outcast used to be choppy, and saber fights weren't much fun at all. You had to do "timescale .25" (one-fourth normal speed) to hit enemies with your saber consistently. Now I'm getting about 70 FPS with no enemies, still 50+ with one or two on-screen. Saber fights are mondo fun, and I can consistently win against all but the hardest reborn. Maybe I don't need a better video card after all...