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General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: December 21, 2021, 03:44:35 pm »
One more day before I see the movie, so we'll know all soon! This new clip, however, seems to confirm my theory that Neo is code that is being hidden/unknowingly hijacking Bluepills:

General / Re: The Matrix: Resurrections
« on: December 19, 2021, 02:23:46 pm »
Oh? Is there a limit to how many you can have in a virtual screening?  Have you gone through all of the movies, as well as Animatrix?  Let me know when you do the next one!
We've been making regular announcements on Discord to the FA group, so make sure you're a part of that and checking notifications! We still have Resurrections Revolutions left. We may can fit in Animatrix, but that's a lot to do before Wednesday!

Room can host up to 15 people at once, so no issues there.

Edit: Revolutions, not Resurrections

General / Re: The Matrix: Resurrections
« on: December 18, 2021, 04:52:06 pm »
We've been meeting in VR to watch the original trilogy and will probably do a screening of Matrix Resurrections as well, though probably not until after the holidays.

VR Gaming / Quest 2 Link Best Settings (Finally Better Than Rift S)
« on: December 15, 2021, 04:09:59 pm »
I've had a Quest 2 and Rift S for a long time, using the Rift S for PC gaming and Quest 2 for when I go out of town. I had tried Air Link to compare and the quality was horrible, so I stuck with Rift S. Well, there's been a few patches since then and I've finally sat down and tried to tweak the Quest 2 for PCVR. The Quest 2 has the better screen, so if you can get everything else out of the way, the Quest 2 can become one of the best PCVR headsets you can own. Getting there is a bit of a journey, but here's how...

  • Use a Link Cable, not Airlink
Yes, yes, I know. You want the freedom of wireless. You can do that, and you can THINK the quality is good enough, but be aware there are big tradeoffs. What we're attempting to do is crank up the bitrate to remove any and all artifacts, crank up the resolution to take advantage of Quest 2's pixels, and crank up the refresh rate to improve the overall experience. There's no way to do all three with Airlink, and certainly not at the threshold we need to meet. I got a cheap Link Cable for $16 and so far it's working great!

  • Oculus Device Advanced Settings
And so our balancing act begins. Let's get this out of the way. 120Hz refresh rate is great and can feel very smooth, but it's experimental for a reason. In my opinion the tradeoffs are NOT worth it. You'll have to lower the resolution to try to get a steady 120fps, and it actually drains the Quest 2's battery quicker (more on that later). I have a 3080 and still decided against 120Hz. As a result, my settings are:

Oculus Desktop Menu - Devices - Quest 2 and Touch - Advanced - Graphics Preferences

Refresh Rate (90Hz)
Render Resolution 1.5x (5408x2736)

You want to crank that resolution as high as your computer can stand. This is the best place to supersample, though you can push it further using OTT or ODT. 90Hz is a higher refresh rate and, therefore, an improvement over the Rift S, but you can lower it as a compromise if you have trouble getting the frames.

  • OTT or ODT Settings
Ok, here's where we're gonna get rid of the Link artifacts. You have two options. I recommend downloading Oculus Tray Tools but you can also browse to your Oculus installation and find the Support folder, Oculus Diagnostics folder, and use OculusDebugTool.

In OTT click "Quest Link" on the left menu. You'll find similar settings in ODT:

Distortion Curvature: Low (more detail in the peripherals)
Encode Resolution: 3970 3664
Bitrate: 480+
Link Sharpening: Enabled

Having the bitrate at 500 is important here. It gets rid of all streaming artifacts and achieves the same fidelity as if you were plugged into the graphics card itself. Any lower and you'll notice an annoying shimmering blockiness, especially on things in the distance. Even 400 will not cut it. Priority is to keep this at 500! You can paste in higher values. I currently have mine set to 800, but you can go as high as 960. The higher you go, the more likely you are to experience issues however.

In OTT go back to Game Settings. You can optionally set Default Super Sampling here if your graphics card can handle it. This will multiply with the resolution you set in the Oculus settings, so be very conservative here. I've set my default to 1.2, but for games such as HL: Alyx or Lone Echo 2, I'm leaving this at 1.0. If you click "View & Edit" under Profiles you can change the super sampling per game using OTT. This requires a bit of trial and error, but it allows you to really tweak the fidelity per game.

  • SteamVR Settings

The above settings will kill your performance in SteamVR as any attempt at supersampling from Steam's software will multiply what you've already done, tanking your performance instantly. Our goal here is to set the SteamVR settings as close to baseline as possible and let the Oculus software do all the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, it's a little counter-intuitive and took some trial and error and Googling on my part, but here's what you want:

SteamVR Settings - Video

Refresh Rate: 90 Hz (should be automatic)
Render Resolution: Custom
Resolution Per Eye: 62% (2556x2580)
Advanced Supersample Filtering - Off
Overlay Render Quality - Medium

Note: I've also heard 100% resolution per eye is the way to go here, so try both.

Your impulse is going to be to leave "resolution per eye" to 100%, but this is actually supersampling what you've already done. 62% is the closest real resolution to the Quest 2, and so you want to force that setting. I'm not certain what "Advanced Supersampling" does, but I'm just getting rid of any supersampling Steam is attempting. "Overlay Render" probably doesn't make a difference, but I'm just trying to avoid any hiccups when menu hopping.

You could stop right here and be good to go. Your settings may differ from mine, but I believe the priorities are:

Bitrate 500 > Render Resolution > Super Sampling > Refresh Rate

If you're sensitive to a lower refresh rate and really want that feeling of smooth presence, you may want to sacrifice super sampling before refresh rate - just remember 120Hz is currently a trap. There are also other ways to make the Quest 2 closer to feature parity with the Rift S...

  • Comfort
This is actually pretty important as the default headstrap for the Quest 2 is abysmal. I personally recommend a Halo style 3rd party strap for the Quest 2 to get it feeling like the Rift S, but I've also heard positive things about a simple head pad for the back of the strap as well. Some sort of counterweight on the back of the strap is also helpful, but this is where things get complicated. I had to 3D print an external battery mount that would be compatible with a Halo strap since the adjustment dial is directly on the back, but I believe there are now options of getting a Halo strap with battery holder already included.

Both the Rift S and Quest 2 lack headphones, and I recommend getting some Porta Pros and zip tying them to the sides of the strap (works for Halo - not so much of the OG strap of Quest 2). This improves the audio quite a bit! I also recommend feeding the Link cable to the back of the strap and attaching it there so that the weight of the cable pulls at the back of your head and not the side of your face. It's a lot of work, but the end result is a HUGE improvement in comfort!

  • Downsides
There are a few caveats to using the Quest 2 as your primary PCVR headset instead of getting an expensive one designed solely for that purpose. One major drawback was already mentioned - the amount of modding needed to make it comfortable and improve the audio. This, however, would be an issue even if you were using the Quest 2 as standalone, so it's something you'd want to deal with either way if you already have one.

The other glaring issue is the battery life. Despite the Quest 2 being plugged directly into the PC, it seems it still doesn't charge fast enough to stay at 100%. Your headset will still slowly drain while playing and plugging it into the PC takes up the charging port, so there's no way for you to have an all day marathon session. This is another reason to avoid 120Hz, as it drains even faster. I still need to do more testing to see how much it drains, but after 2.5 hours of watching a movie it was at 49%.

Finally the Link cable itself can be a bit of a crap shoot when looking for third party. This one has worked well for me so far, but they can be fickle and the official one is still a whopping $80. If you have trouble, try Google for a solution (I had to disable Air Link on the Quest 2 to get regular Link working).

News and Announcements / New Matrix Online? "Matrix Awakens" UE5 Demo
« on: December 10, 2021, 06:53:12 pm »
There's finally a new Matrix game! Well...a Matrix demo. And, well...not for PC. But man it looks good! Epic Game released a new demo for Unreal Engine 5, and it takes place within the Matrix! The city itself will be given away to developers to do with as they please, which makes me think that they won't actually turn it into the new MxO, but maybe someone else will! Check it out!

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: December 05, 2021, 08:07:55 pm »
Another angle of some of my theory:

The movie is about grief. Lana had the idea for it after the loss of her father. Neo, grief-stricken with the loss of Trinity, just asks the Machines to be left alone and forget about the whole thing. Zion finds Neo in the simulation, however, and they create a Morpheus program to try and help Neo remember. But they don't know that Neo doesn't want to remember.

Neo is so powerful that he can change things in the Matrix. Once his subconscious starts to come out, his grief creates Trinity to cope. In the real world this would just be a mental issue. In the Matrix, where everything is in the mind, Trinity is manifested out of thin air by Neo. In this sense, Trinity is just an extension of Neo.

It's possible the movie goes through the stages of grief:

1. Denial and isolation - Neo chooses to forget everything and live in isolation inside the simulation

2. Anger - Upon getting his memory back, Neo and his mind-Trinity lash out at the system, potentially threatening the truce and the people still jacked in.

3. Bargaining - Neo comes up with a plan to try and get Trinity inside her body in the real world - he perhaps strikes a deal with the Machines to do it.

4. Depression - Plan doesn't work. The full weight of the loss of Trinity finally hits Neo.

5. Acceptance - Some sort of resolution where Neo is able to find some peace or at least learn to let go.

There is also a possibility that the ENTIRE movie is in Neo's head or in a "therapy program" to help him deal with his grief. Everything and everyone could be symbolic of different sides of Neo. A quote from someone who apparently saw the movie (no spoilers other than theme, but be warned if you are even wary of that):

I cannot tell you what this film is about, but I could explain what it is not. It's certainly not yet one more sequel, but something autonomous that contains however the three Matrix that preceded in a really ingenious way. It's a very beautiful and weird creation. It also achieves a couple of things that we do not see in action films, meaning it subverts the rules of blockbusters."

So the movie could just be Neo coming to terms with everything that happened in the original trilogy and end up being a lot more of an internal, trippy, psychological experience than just a rehashing of the original Matrix plotlines.

It's possible Neo could be that bad guy of the film. He sees Trinity wherever he goes and is actually turning people into her inadvertently or purposely as a means to hold on to her. The "green eyed" people is either the Machines trying to prevent Neo from destabilizing the system or possibly even Neo's mental manifestation of Agent Smith as he relives his trauma. Basically Neo is dealing with some mental shit and it's manifesting as harmful things within the simulation.

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: November 30, 2021, 01:56:08 am »
Theory after watching the new "Zion" trailer:

Theory: The Matrix stores a backup of your code every time you jack in. This is essentially the digital you. At least Zion both probably the Machines and Exiles as well have probably found a way to access these backups and "Resurrect" digital versions of people from this code.

The resurrected code, however, needs a host. Of course Agents were always able to do this, and so this code can do the same - hijack anyone plugged into the Matrix. The Machines know how valuable Neo's code is and discover they can effectively hide and subdue it by keeping it in a Bluepill host. They potentially do the same to Trinity. After being hidden into a Bluepill host, Neo's memories are suppressed but the host he's in knows something is not right and Neo is slowly gaining control of his host and getting memories back.

Morpheus is dead (killed in MxO). Zion has his code, however. In the Animatrix Zion had experiments to reprogram Machines to by sympathetic to humans. The "fist bump" machine is most likely one of those and have probably been helping and giving access for Zion to some of this tech. They use it to put Morpheus' code into nanobots which might be the only way for him to take over a host and jack in. Zion not only finds Neo and Trinity's code but also discovers their bodies have been repaired and are plugged in (not sure why).

Neo and Trinity are told they are just code by Zion and that there may be a way to reunite the body with the mind and live again in the real world. They need to find whatever is using their shells or wherever their shells are and hijack them back. Bugs at some point lets Trinity use her as a host to aid in this. It's possible that Morpheus lets Neo hijack the nanobots. Not sure on the details, but essentially Neo and Trinity are trying to reconnect with their true selves and are potentially hopping around others that are connected to do it.

MEANWHILE someone or something is also piggybacking on Bluepills to try and stop them. I imagine the Machines (or an exile) studied Agent Smith's viral code and created their own version as a weapon, allowing them to control many hosts at once without relying on individual hopping like the agents.

Oculus Quest VR headsets will no longer require a Facebook account.

Quote from: Zuck
As we’ve focused more on work, and frankly as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so you can log in into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account. We’re starting to test support for work accounts soon, and we’re working on making a broader shift here, within the next year.

It's still unclear exactly when the change will happen and what it will be replaced with, but you can assume you'll probably still need some sort of "Meta" account. You'll just no longer be required to tie the account to a social media account like Facebook.

If you already have an Oculus account, you can get a Quest headset without fear of eventually needing to link a Facebook account to it (2023 WAS the deadline). If you don't have an Oculus account, however, currently a Facebook account is still needed to create a new one. This will eventually change - we're just not sure when.

Will they still require that you have a Facebook account in order to use their product?  If so, then unfortunately count me out.
No, they are phasing out that requirement.

I believe they've already taken away the Facebook Messenger icon from the Quest interface (replacing it with the Oculus version again). You will probably still need what will ultimately be called a Meta account (similar in function to an Oculus account) but you won't be required to link it with a social media profile. This info probably deserves its own post, honestly.

Today was the start of Oculus Facebook Meta Connect.

Most of it was talking about their dream for the Metaverse and how they plan to connect people in VR, AR, and a mix of both and create everything you think of when you think of the Metaverse. All of this is 5-10 years away, though they do have a few launched apps (their Horizon stuff) that is the initial building blocks. They're so dedicated to the cause of building the Metaverse that they are renaming their company to "Meta", so...there ya go. No more Oculus but also no Facebook branding either.

They did tease the launch of a new "high end" headset coming sometime next year, titled Project Cambria for the moment. All we know is it will have face and eye tracking, new optics using "pancake lenses", and additional sensors for a better passthrough that will be in color and allow for Mixed Reality. More details coming next year. They basically said this will be a separate product line that's more expensive that the Quest product line but will have more features.

No real announcements on the AR front other than to say they have a two pronged approach of seeing what they can fit into a glasses form factor now while working on features that they hope to get to a glasses form factor sometime in the future. Their only launched product are glasses that can take pictures and videos and play music (no screen).

The other thing to note is a VR port of GTA: San Andreas which will be coming, I believe, EXCLUSIVELY to the Quest 2 (similar to Resident Evil 4 which was just released). It seems if you want the best of what Oculus Facebook Meta has to offer, you'll eventually have to commit to their product line instead of depending on workarounds like ReVive.

Off Topic / Re: randomness
« on: October 21, 2021, 05:46:02 pm »

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: September 16, 2021, 10:11:59 pm »
There's a new promo video out today, with audio verifying "old code." This may flip the script a bit, suggesting the Matrix has new code and Neo/Trinity are old code?
Yeah, this would suggest wherever Neo is, the freed humans have a way to at least scan the code and check it out. This supports the theory that this is a new iteration of the Matrix and Neo and Trinity code is being masked.

Also I think all the "flashback" flashes are actually new footage. Even Trinity in the room when the cops rush in - her outfit is slightly different.

We also definitely see new footage of both Neo and Trinity in the Real - whether in pods or being worked on.

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:31:43 pm »
TLDR: The Machines desperately want to be prepared for the war to start again with humanity, this time wanting to solve the problem of The One, perhaps with some new code, that yellow tint being a solid hint... I'd agree with Tbone there. Trinity will be a "catalyst" for waking up and shutting down The One. Neo may even be used as a machine asset for a time, whether through simply existing inside of The Matrix as measure to keep a new "One" from emerging, or to actually take down crews that are freeing minds, breaking moral. -But humanity will get him out, realizing the machine's plans, while trying to prevent war again as well. How they'd get his physical body from the machine city is an entirely different concern, of course.
Yeah, I could see this Source version of the simulation being a means to perfect a new power supply for the Machines. They're basically trying to skip the growing part and start their batteries out at full power (adults). The biggest hint at that is Fake Morpheus's form appearing out of machines in the Real in the teaser. Looks like some sort of nano-bot Westworld stuff:

So maybe they are using Neo to try and perfect their simulated humans. Perhaps this is the alternate forms of power the Architect alluded to in the original trilogy. Or maybe Neo himself is powerful enough to be a valuable fuel source, though that would be a hard "pill" to swallow.

Maybe this all takes place within Neo's brain and the Machines are just trying to RESURRECT him and they realize plugging Trinity directly to Neo as a direct connection is the key to reviving that part of his brain that they want. I'm trying to find a justification as to why the Machines willingly saved Trinity and plugged her in with Neo. This does give a connection to the movie title!

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:13:30 pm »
Some further evidence that we are not in the Matrix but in a private simulation:

-Groff's character (guy at the very end) has the initials DM on his desk. We also see Neo running through a hallway of a building titled "Deus Machina". This would imply Neo has direct access to Deus Ex Machina (face swarm entity at the Machine City) from within the simulation. Previously Neo had to go to the Source to reach this entity, so it would stand to reason he is still at the Source. He might actually be in the virtual "Machine City", where all programs live and exist until exiled or deleted.

-Neo and Trinity seem to be fighting just about everyone. There are people with glowing eyes of Matrix code. This could mean that everyone else is either an NPC or a program. There are no other "red pills" in this simulation - only Neo and potentially Trinity. This means even fake-Morpheus and others are part of the Machines' attempt to control Neo. The biggest hint is that one Redpill has blue hair, so perhaps she isn't a Redpill after all. Fake Morpheus also sports a yellow gi, the color of the source code.

-Trinity's body is plugged in differently than the typical Matrix jacks. It's going into her neck instead of her head. The tube looks different. The pod looks different. Maybe the Machines have just evolved their tech and this is further into the future than we think or maybe she's not plugged into the Matrix but plugged into something else.

-In the teaser trailers we see what looks like Fake Morpheus being created in the Real. Humans are already grown in fields, so why try and create a full adult. Maybe this is just the way Machines communicate with each other in the real and they're just talking about the character, or maybe it's proof the character is fake.

Evidence against

-Neo's RSI (and probably Trinity's as well) has clearly been modified, as he appears as an old man that is NOT Keanu more than once in mirrors. The implication here is that the Machines have masked Neo's code so that Redpills are unaware he is in the Matrix. Everyone else sees him as the old man, even in "code" form. The question is, why would you need to disguise Neo if he's in his own private simulation or the Machine City simulation? Trinity also sports a completely different look when she screams and splits into multiple versions of herself. At least two of those versions look nothing like her. So they are both disguised, which would explain why they don't instantly recognize each other (along with whatever brain washing the Machines have done).

-There are brief shots of hovercrafts so we know Redpills are still involved in some way. Perhaps they are hacking into Machine City to try and retrieve Neo or maybe Neo is in the Matrix. We see no shots of humans in the Real other than Neo and Trinity in pods, however. We also may see a shot of Zion in ruins (hard to tell), which would beg the question where did the humans go?

General / Re: "Matrix: Resurrections" Theories
« on: September 10, 2021, 01:36:51 am »
This is the architect's second attempt to trap Neo in the source. His John Wick persona experiment ultimately failed (spoiler).
This time, don't you dare steal his rubber ducky.

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