Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oblivion on Wine 1.1.32

Well, it's been a while since my last report, so I'm gettings things underway with my report on Wine 1.1.32. As usual, here's my test system's specifications:

Processor: 2.6ghz AMD Athlon X2 5000+ Brisbane
Memory: 4gb of DDR2-800 SDRAM
Video Card: BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT, 1gb of video RAM, overclocked out of the box
Operating System: Arch Linux 2009.02, x86_64 architecture
Linux Kernel: 2.6.31.4
Video Driver:
185.18.36-2
Wine: Version 1.1.32, compiled with the standard i686 flags for Arch Linux: "-march=i686 -mtune=generic -O2 -pipe"

So, what's different in this version?

Performance: A bit better from what I can see, but I don't know if this is from a newer nVidia display driver or improvements to wine itself. It could be both, as Wine has had a number of direct3D improvements in the past few versions.

Stability: Major improvements here! No crashes during startup or when loading a saved game. The crash when opening the local map still exists, however, but it isn't as common. It seems to originate from opening the local map too soon after an indoors-to-outdoors area transition. So, in this case, the crash is one that can be prevented. As well, the Magic of Midas mod is still unusable, due to the crash that occurs when casting a touch spell on the aurum reactor.

OBSE: I have not tested it yet, but I will be doing a follow-up report on 1.1.32 in the next day or so, where I will include testing data. I've seen a couple of reports on Wine's bug tracker that OBSE is starting to work at random, but I haven't seen any direct evidence myself, so I will be looking into it as well, and see if I can grab any useful debugging data so that the problem can be fixed. For more info on OBSE and WINE, go here for the bug report: http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13915

As well, I'd advise anyone wanting this bug fixed to vote on it. You will need to register if you haven't already.

Construction Kit: In the follow-up report on Wine 1.1.32 and all reports following it, I will also be doing reports on the stability of the TES Construction Kit. As memory reminds me, it was very unstable under WINE, so hopefully the stability improvements made between versions 1.1.24 and 1.1.32 of WINE will also improve the construction kit.

nVidia Display Driver: The new 1.90 series of nVidia's display driver has made it onto Arch Linux's testing repositories

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Day of Hard Work

Today I just finished my work on setting up a chroot environment on my system. The result? Instead of relying on 32bit compatability packages to get 32-bit software to run in a 64bit environment, I can just instead run it within a self-contained 32bit environment. No compatability packages, and it's almost like running the software in native 32bit.

The biggest benefit I've seen so far is working audio and video streaming in second life. To get that, I had to run native 64bit versions of omvviewer or meerkat, which had problems with random freezing that didn't exist in the 32bit versions.

The other big benefit I see is being able to run Wine without issues, as it doesn't work as well when run inside of a 64bit environment. In the past, I had done biweekly testing with Elder Scrolls IV, Oblivion, with each new release of Wine. Due to bugs from running 32bit Wine under a 64bit system, I couldn't do any testing. Now that I have a chroot environment, I can run Wine without problems and can continue testing.

EDIT: Well, wine is unusable in the chroot environment. On the other hand, after clearing my .wine directory and starting from scratch, Oblivion has stopped crashing after the opening movie, so I should be able to resume testing now.

Another Failed Hard Drive

Well, after a long period of being unable to play or test Oblivion, I have had a 3rd hard drive failure. Since then, I've been stuck on Arch Linux x86_64, which is installed on my backup hard drive. Today, I had an opportunity to try out Oblivion on Wine 1.1.31. The results? Disappointing. I've been completely unable to get Oblivion to run past the opening movie shown when you start a new game. Soon as it tries to do anything 3D, it crashes. Right now, I'm assuming it is because I'm running Wine on a 64bit system.

So, at this point, I have to get a replacement for my 3rd failed hard drive. The last one they sent me was a refurbished drive. That means that it is one that had already failed and was fixed. So, in all likelihood, they sent me back a refurbished drive for the other replacement. This would explain my bad luck with hard drives.