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First impressions - Getting back into Steam

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by PieceOfMind, May 11, 2010.

  1. Nictel

    Nictel Emperor

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    :goodjob:
     
  2. eireksten

    eireksten Protective/Organized

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    Actually

    Mb - Megabits
    MB - Megabytes
     
  3. White Elk

    White Elk 99 > 1

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    The consistent upload speeds are strange to me. Points to network problem in my unexperianced mind. Our providers modem also indicates that the incoming signal is faulty at these times. Yet the provider gives us the same ole reset router etc lines. Will charge $75 an hour to look into it. I've tested using both the FCC test as well as CNET, McAfee, and others. When I get download speeds slower than dial-up, my uploads are only marginally affected. When downloads are running good they register well over 5,000 kbps. Then uploads approach 3,000 kbps.

    As relates to Steam, I really don't want to run into one of these slow periods while Steam is phoning home or installing a client update. If Steam begins an update that doesn't finish, you can't play the games until the update is completed. When I lose the net, I want to be playing my games.
     
  4. Alki

    Alki Prince

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    I have several games with Steam and the only problem I have encountered is trying to connect just after a massive game has been launched. Seems that all the bandwidth is taken up and I'm SOL.
     
  5. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Be that as it may, it is highly uncommon for people to refer to megabites - or at least in common speech one rarely refers to megabits when one says mb. It is therefore not surprising to concluse that consumers can easely confuse the two, and that providers readely abuse this. Even if the distinction between Mb and MB is readely apparent to the people working with computers or who in any way uses these terms on a regular basis, it is not apparent for the layman and this distinction certainly did not make it's way into common knowledge.
     
  6. eireksten

    eireksten Protective/Organized

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    Totally agree. I don't find the naming very good either, but that's what it is :(
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    The MB vs Mb issue mostly comes from the fact that normal people use MegaBytes, but ISPs often quote speeds in MegaBits to make their service seem faster than it really is to poorly educated consumers.
     
  8. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    In fairness, I think it does make a bit of sense to talk about bits when talking about data transmission. Bits are also used in literature on encryption, again because it makes more sense than using bytes.

    If you really want to see an example of businesses taking advantage of non-standard units, you only need to look at hard drive specifications, but that's a whole nother rant.
     
  9. mtagge

    mtagge Clueless Tweaker

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    A little background then some questions about Steam.

    I'm in the Foreign Service of the US and can't say or predict where I will be serving 2-3 years in the future. Currently I am in Germany, but one scenario puts me next summer in Washington for 1 year (possibly with only Internet access through a hot spot) after that I would be in China for 2-3 years. Another likely scenario puts me in Moldova next summer.

    Will steam work for me? Will games I buy here, in DC, in Moldova, or in China work no matter where I go? I currently can't buy anything from Steam here in Germany without opening up bank account in Euros (which creates all sorts of hassles including extra IRS paperwork for quite a while). Will I have the same problems in another country? If I can't get Internet for 3 months at a new assignment will I be able to play Civ 5 through Steam?

    Thanks in advance for the clarifications.
     
  10. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Warlord

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    Your games will work. Only small problem is that if you buy games in russia, thailand china etc. where they offer them very very cheap (to combat piracy) you may need to contact Steam support when you move back to USA/europe because copies bought in those countries are locked to that region to prevent large scale expert of cheap licences. Steam support will unlock them shortly after they recieve your support ticket (if you provide all required info).
     
  11. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Well today, only a single day after installing Steam I have already run into the hung update problem

    Our internet connection was dropped for some reason or other (commonly happens). The client wasn't in offline mode but it was still open and the menus could still be navigated. I quit the client and ran it again. This Update box appeared but obviously wasn't going to achieve anything with no internet connection so I pressed Cancel.

    Pressing Cancel did nothing.
    I tried right-clicking the taskbar icon so I could close it there. Nothing. When software has a UI that can become unresponsive like that, it may not be a huge bummer but it's a sign a system is not perfect.

    After about a minute or 2 (didn't time exactly) it came up with Connection error and asked if I wanted to go into offline mode. I was starting to think more positively of Steam again for allowing me to do this.

    So I press the button to go into offline mode.


    Bam.

    The upper window in the image was on top of the lower one.
    I don't understand fully the meaning of why I got those two messages. The one underneath might have even been hanging there from earlier.
    In any case, at this point the Steam client is running its process but there is no system tray and no taskbar.
    I clicked ok on the upper box.
    This made the lower box disappear. I checked Process Explorer and the Steam process had been completely unloaded (terminated).

    Ok, maybe that was bad luck. Let's try again.
    Exactly the same thing happened. This time I timed it and it took exactly 2 minutes before it realised the connection wasn't going to work and asked me about going into offline mode.
    This is already a big problem. 2 minutes is a long time for a UI to be 100% unresponsive and useless to the user. From there, exactly the same as before happened.

    So, I'm stuck with a dud internet connection for a couple of hours or so perhaps. I can't connect to Steam online so its update hangs. I can't cancel it without actually going into task manager and killing it manually. Most importantly, once it does determine the internet is down and offers me offline mode, it doesn't even work. If I wanted to play civ5 right now (assuming I had it!) I would be a sad customer.

    One thing I would like to remind people who will perhaps be critical of this post is that I had no way in advance of knowing when my internet connection would drop, so "Put it in offline mode" is not really sufficient as a solution. If you do know a way to completely get around this problem though, please, I'd appreciate finding out.
     
  12. Rashiminos

    Rashiminos Fool Prophet

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    The above post is something that STEAM-users will be rewarded with on a too frequent basis. Your faith is disturbing...
     
  13. xenobiotic

    xenobiotic Chieftain

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    Disable auto-updates. Update overnight. No problem.
     
  14. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Warlord

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    PieceOfMind: restart your PC and disable your network, and try again. I use offline mode almost every day and I was always able to use it (sometimes all I needed to do was to restart PC, disable network and try again).

    Also make sure that your login is saves (if you dont save your login you cant use offline mode).
     
  15. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    How exactly do you tell Steam to not update itself? That's not an option anywhere; it checks for updates whenever you start it and attempts to install them automatically. The user has no control over this beyond never letting Steam contact the master servers.

    I asked Elizabeth about whether this would be a problem with CiV, and she said she would run some tests herself. No answer thus far.
     
  16. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Warlord

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    updates to Steam itself are not optional, onl\ updated to games are.
    If you (for whatever rason) dont want t update Steam, you have to run it in Offline mode - whenever you are in online mode Steam client will always update itself.
     
  17. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    How can I disable auto-updates when the client itself won't load?

    I will try your suggestion. I think my login was saved, but I'll double check.
     
  18. Chalks

    Chalks The blue pieces

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    You need to configure Steam for offline use while you are online, then set it to offline mode so it doesn't poll for updates etc.
     
  19. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Here's something I said already:
    If I'm to try and appreciate the wonderful features of Steam (that you like to champion) how am I going to do that if I'm constantly putting the game in offline mode out of fear that my internet connection could crash at any time.

    Please clarify this for me. If Steam is running and in online mode, and my connection drops out, can I then put Steam in offline mode? In other words, does it need to talk to Valve or somehow communicate to the outside world for it to have permission to be put in offline mode?
     
  20. Chalks

    Chalks The blue pieces

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    This is only an issue if there is a pending update being downloaded at the very instant the connection drops as far as I am aware.

    Restarting steam isn't required if your connection is lost, it should reconnect automatically when the connection returns. Any active games can stay active and I believe anything that is already prepared for offline mode can be run at this time.
     

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