CAVEX AND DIRECTX
CaveX makes use of a new Microsoft technology called DirectX.
This technology is relatively new and so you may have trouble
making it work properly on with certain computer systems and
with certain video cards. This is because the manufacturers are
stilling learning how to write drivers that work properly with
Here are some suggestions that may help you solve any DirectX
problems you may be having:
1. WINDOWS 98. Windows 98 comes with DirectX Version 5
installed. Although CaveX was written to be compatible with
Version 5, there appear to be bugs in the version that cause the
screen freeze after drawing just one image. If you are using
Windows 98 you should install DirectX 6 or 7.
2. Microsoft's Trouble Shooting Wizard. Microsoft has a
problem solving wizard for DirectX on their web page. It attempt
to solve your DirectX problems by walking you through a series
of tests and adjustments that are designed to fix the problem.
The web page address is:
3. Re-Installing DirectX. Some people who have had
problems with DirectX have been able to fix it by re-downloading
and reinstalling the DirectX package from Microsoft. I don't
know if this is caused by DirectX needing two installation to
get it right or where there were fixed programs in the new
download. Here is a letter I got from a european caver who
solved his problem this way. He had some interesting
Well, at first I didn't download anything because I was
already on WIN98. Since it didn't work, I followed the link
that you supplied in your page to DirectX and downloaded
DirectX (a file named 'enduser.exe', about 4.4MB). But, as I
said, installing this didn't give the wanted result either.
After your mail I read the troubleshouting pages of MS. They
talked about a file named 'dxdiag.exe' while I only found 'dxinfo.exe'
So, I surfed around a bit on Micosoft's site until I got on
a "WIN98 Update" page were I also found DirectX . Strange
thing was, by the way, that while using my default Netscape
4.5 browser, I did'n get this page at all!! Apparantly, it
only works with IE, which I used finally. It does a smart
update, after examining your system first. In this case, the
download was also 4.4 MB but it installed automatically
after having downloaded. After this install, the 'dxinfo.exe'
was gone, I had the 'dxdiag.exe' and everything worked
4. Video Cards and Video Drivers. DirectX gets its
name from its ability to "directly" access the video card. This
is what gives it its speed. For this reason, every video card
needs a special DirectX driver. When you download the DirectX
installation package, it is supposed to have drivers for the
most common video cards. If it doesn't have a driver, it will
use something called the Reference Graphic Driver. It is
supposed to work with any video card, but it may not work with
It is very important that you use the latest drivers for your
video card. I have a brand new video card and it did not work
correctly under DirectX until I loaded the latest drivers.
Microsoft and the DirectX installation package doesn't
necessarily have the latest drivers for you video card. You must
go directly to the manufacturer's web page.
If your video card is old or an off-brand you may not be able to
find a video driver that works properly. In this case, it may
make sense to upgrade your video card. There are lots of
inexpensive video cards available and they usually have recently
upgraded DirectX drivers.
5. PCI and AGP Video Cards. If you are using a PCI or AGP
based video card, you may want to make sure it is being clocked
at the correct speed. Some of the newer Pentium class computers
allow you to adjust the CPU, Buss Clock, and PCI/AGP port
clocks. If you run the PCI or AGP clock to fast, it will cause
the video card to fail when you try to run DirectX. The tricky
part is that can change this clock without knowing it. This is
because the adjusting of another clock like the CPU clock can
change the the PCI/AGP clock. These clocks can be set via
jumpers on the motherboard or changing setting in BIOS. Refer to
your motherboard manual for more information.
6. Memory. I have found that DirectX requires a lot of
memory to operate. DirectX has to store the whole image in
memory because it has to display the image many times per
second. Windows has two kinds of memory, hardware and virtual
memory. With virtual memory, Windows keeps part of the
information on disk and only loads it into hardware memory when
it really needs it. With most programs, this works just fine
because most programs only need to access the data periodically.
On the other hand, DirectX has to redraw the image many times
per second, so it can't wait for the information to come from
the disk. For this reason, DirectX needs to keep everything in
Windows always locks a certain amount of hardware memory for its
own uses. On my system, it about 25 megabytes. The left over
memory is available to CaveX. If you select "Cave|Process Cave
File," the dialog box will show the amount of hardware memory
available. I have 56 megabytes of memory on my computer and
Windows leaves about 31 megabytes for CaveX. If the dialog box
shows that you have just a few megabytes available for CaveX,
adding more memory to your system may solve the problem.
7. Speed Issues. If you load a cave that is too large for
the system, you may have problems. If the cave is too large, it
may take many seconds or even minutes for the program to redraw
the cave. This will make it appear as though the screen is
You can get an idea of the problem by examining two numbers on
the tool bar. The first is the number of frames per second that
are being displayed. This number normally should be greater than
one. If the number is less than one, it indications that either
the cave is too large or the computer too slow for the