Daily Archives: January 14, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of UDP

I would never go out and buy hardware just to be able to play a game.

Ha ha ha ha!

Yes, I know, what a kidder I am. I have as much as admitted on these pages to upgrading video cards and replacing my whole home system pretty much in the name of gaming.

But this time I am covered.

In my post “Into The Burning Sea,” I complained about the problems I was having playing the “sea” portion of Pirates of the Burning Sea. I complained of lag as my ship seemed stuck in place while the NPC ships sailed gracefully about me.

Potshot and Lady Pao corrected me, pointing out that this was not lag, but another issue. I was even pointed to a Flying Labs support incident describing the problem and its possible solutions.

It seems that Linksys routers in particular are susceptible to this issue, and older ones more so. There are issues with correct routing of UDP packets and such.

Of course, I have a 4+ year old Linksys wireless router connecting our network to our DSL.

Fortunately, the router in question is 802.11b and I was already planning to replace it. Both my work laptop and our new iMac support the faster 802.11g standard.

With the router being my issue, I had another reason to upgrade.

I went to Consumer Reports to check what they recommended. Normally I only look to them for reviews on appliances and the like, but routers are getting to be mere appliances, so why not? They rated the Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router (WPN824) as their top choice.

I opened up the Fry’s ad. What should be on sale for $59? Why, the Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router (WPN24)!

I think the planets were aligned as well.

So I dropped by Fry’s one my way home and picked one up!

I installed it after dinner and did a quick run through the tutorial again.

All I can say is “smooth sailing,” both literally and figuratively. The only thing goofy about the router is that the power switch on the back is only for the swirly LED lights on top of the unit. Not that I need to turn the unit off, just that I find it odd that they provide a full size button for a silly feature. The lights do look cool in the dark though. A very “Star Trek TOS” sort of effect.

And speaking of sailing, doing so in PotBS seems to be pretty fun. Gaff is comparing it to Sid Meier’s Pirates (old and new versions), which I can only see as a good thing.

More as I figure it out.

But the router, that was a planned purchase, right? Nothing to do with gaming.