Guess what broke about a week ago. ‘Sright, my computer. All my attempts to resuscitate it have been met with failure. My attempts to commandeer my daughter’s computer this weekend were met with pleading and begging and tears (real, actual tears!)…so I decided not to do that.

Which left me with my laptop. Which, if you’ll recall is really just a netbook (a Gateway LT31, in fact). It’s got two gigs of RAM and a dedicated ATI Radeon X1270 graphics processor, unlike most netbooks which just use an Intel 950 Integrated Graphics Processor, which are cheap and work fine for web browsing but are nigh-unusable for games.

So I hooked my monitor, mouse, keyboard and speakers up to my laptop so I could at least compute in comfort.

Then I got out some games to see how well the rig would run them. The results:

Oblivion: Ran, but was unplayable even on the lowest graphical settings. This wasn’t a big surprise or disappointment. I knew I’d have to drop back a generation or two to get some results.

Morrowind: Ran fine; but I had to turn the graphics detail and the draw distance all the way down to get above 15 FPS outside. So it looks like Vvardenfell is constantly shrouded in fog. Interiors, on the other hand, run great – and dungeons are interiors so dungeon running is fine. Overall, playable.

World of Warcraft: Again, detail at the lowest settings. Large cities with lots of people like Dalaran are complete lag zones, but questing out in the wild greatly improves the frame rate. Overall, playable, if slightly annoying.

Deus Ex: The game defaults to 16-bit color mode, which I haven’t changed. Frame rate is good, if a little choppy in some places. Definitely playable.

Warcraft III: Perfectly playable on medium detail. I can even play on and watch replays.

Starcraft: Perfectly playable. Again, playing on and watching replays is no problem.

Half Life: Runs great, no changes needed.

System Shock 2: The big surprise of my experiments, this game runs perfectly without any need for tweaks (other than the minor ones necessary to get it running).

Fallout: Runs fine.

Tonight I’ll be trying Baldur’s Gate 2 and I might even be able to get away with Neverwinter Nights.

Oh, and Zeta development works fine, yadda yadda yadda.