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Author Topic:   Dedicated Server Problem
Random Chaos
Member
posted October 13, 1999 12:21 PM            
Remember the other day I was telling you about the server not always updating when you change an entity, well here is the full description:

The server only reads the most reacently updated file and changes those specs. All the others stay the same.

If you reboot in between, there is the same problem.

If you run the dedicated server too many times, it fills up ram and eventually crashes explorer and the most reacently run copy of the server. I ran into this while continually running the server after each file I changed in order to update that file.

If 2 or more files are changed since last server run, only the most recent of those files changes the server data.

It does however properly change all entities on the client to whatever the server thinks it should be.

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It sounds like the server keeps a data file in memory that it uses on each consecutive run and thats why memory gets filled up. It also seems strange that on a reboot of the computer, the server still remembers the old data!

Hopefully this is a fix that can be done -- otherwise costomized servers will be a pain to create.

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 13, 1999 09:17 PM           
Umm, that is seriously weird.

What version of Windows are you running the server on? Are there perhaps some Service Packs or Patches you have yet to apply?

When the server quits, it quits... If the OS isn't giving it the latest versions of the files its asking to read, all I can think of it being is an OS bug. A reboot should _really_ clear the system, too, unless it's a "fake" reboot such as the "sleep" mode on notebooks and some desktop systems.

As for the memory usage, I do notice that my 98 system has 100 megs in use with nothing running, after a number of solid days of running game clients and dedicated servers... Perhaps there is a leak of some kind, but if there is, my only guess is it must be within Windows, as once the app quits, Windows is broken if it doesn't free all the resources the app allocated. Resource Meter shows 80% free, even with the RAM usage in System Monitor, so it's not something like the logical palette leak in Particle Fire 1.1 (fixed in 1.1a)...

I can try and be a little more explicit about freeing resources when the dedicated server quits, but since it's the same EXE as the client, it should behave the same...

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Random Chaos
Member
posted October 13, 1999 09:55 PM            
Hmm, I'm running Win 98.2 - latest version with latest patches and updates.

I don't have any idea what the problem is, but I can try a hard reboot rather than just a soft reboot. If memory is getting data stuck into it, a soft reboot might not clear it.

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Random Chaos
Member
posted October 14, 1999 07:58 AM            
Heres the other odd thing about the server problem:

If you are running more than 1 dedicated server, it remembers the data from the last run of that particular server - not the genaric last one run! I have had multiple servers being used and which ever one I start up that day remembers its last used settings rather than that of the last server I ran.

??? ODD ???

If it were a memory or similar problem, each server would remember the last server run. Very odd!

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Random Chaos
Member
posted October 14, 1999 08:03 AM            
Also - haven't tested the problem with 2.1 yet. It is posible that some accidental fix of something else actaully also fixed this. Hopefully it did , if not

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mars
Member
posted October 15, 1999 04:59 PM            
Hey,
These server problems are odd since I am updated fully in Windows 98. And I mean fully; when you enter the update page Random Chaos, do you see any update options? Because I only see the mobile processor and the harddware disclosure one...that's it. Plus, DirectX 7 is out as of a few weeks ago but it is not on the update page I noticed. You need to go to the downloads page at microsoft for DirectX update. And I run huge amounts of things and have never ran into this 'odd' memory leak you guys have. Althought I do have 256MB, but Windows does take a chunk...no increments thought. I mean when I boot windows it might only be around 64MB use that first boot up then eventually after things load/unload it does go up but it stops at a certain point ALL the time and I think writing this reply I now understand why you guys haven't seen it yet...its around 192MB. However, this does go up further as I open things but it also goes back down around that when I close things. Honestly, I still think it's a Microsoft flaw and if you convince me otherwise the only other thing I would believe is a Microsoft greedy programming technique to get around small problems that would cause more code.
Anyhow, umm...don't mind my rattling Microsoft. I do praise their every success and the 'good part' of their products.
-MARS

P.S. Who cares anyways! The game ROCKS!! - and thats all that REALLY counts!
P.P.S. I hope it become as popular or more popular than Quake 3 Arena(or Quake in general)!

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 15, 1999 07:31 PM           
Random,

If each server (presumably each with its own entity directory structure) exhibits its own odd behaviour independent from the other servers, that definitely sounds like a file caching issue on the OS side...

I rebooted my 98 system, and it had 59 megs allocated fresh after a reboot, so the 100 megs allocated after running for a week or so was probably normal then.

mars,

I seriously doubt we'll surpass Quake 3 in popularity, but it's a nice thought. Heck, I could settle for 1 or 2% of their popularity, and 10% I'd consider a major success!

It's people like you who can help it happen though! Thanks for the compliments!

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 15, 1999 07:36 PM           
Oh also, Random, is that a fresh install of Win98, or is it an upgrade from Win95? Upgrades from 95 can be very flakey...

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Random Chaos
Member
posted October 16, 1999 05:05 AM            
It was a original Win98 system.

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orion
Member
posted October 17, 1999 03:56 AM            
if this is a memory problem, you might want to do the now standard virtual memory fix on your computer. full-harddrive swaps are never a good idea =)

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Random Chaos
Member
posted October 17, 1999 12:34 PM            
I think this is getting away from the original problem. The original problem was related to the dedicated server not properly updating to all changed entity files, the memory problem is not a major concern (who needs to run the server over 50 times if you can make the server update all at once?).

Also - the memory problem I belive I have traced to there being less than 100MB of free space on my HD for virtual memory. That has been fixed - back up over a gig. However, the problem still exists that if you run lots and lots of servers without rebooting, you will run out of memory. Since I reboot my system only 1-2 times per week...runing 10 servers day 1, 15 day 2, 20 day 3, 10 day 4, and 50 day 5 really starts to eat up memory. This is when one of those memory cleaning programs is needed!

I have yet to check to see if this problem has been fixed by v2.1 or not.

--Random Chaos

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 18, 1999 11:01 AM           
I think I know what's causing these problems...

The game searches the content directories AND the base directory from which the game was run, recursively, for .ENT files at startup. Thus if you have duplicates of the Entity directory tree inside the main Tread Marks directory, they will be recursively searched as well when the game starts up.

There should be two ways around this. Either have each dedicated server with customized entities live in its own directory with only one Entity tree inside it (e.g. have multiple installs of Tread Marks "side by side"), or, if you want the dedicated servers to all live in the main Tread Marks tree for clarity, just never run the game from the "default" location, and only run it from one of the sub-directories with customized entities. As long as the dirs.cfg files in those subdirectories do not mention any "entity" directories or the plain root directory (that is, so the ONLY .ent files the program can possibly recursively detect are the ones in its own "entities" directory), then everything should work.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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