Frequently-asked questions about Geiss for Winamp

Note:   Before e-mailing me, please MAKE SURE you've done the following:
  • read this entire FAQ. It is short.
  • downloaded & installed DirectX 6.0 or later. About 50% of problems are solved by this!
  • downloaded the latest version of Winamp
  • downloaded the latest version of Geiss for Winamp - about 30% are solved this.
  • if the bug persists, then please e-mail me, and mention that you have tried these 4 things. My e-mail address is in the 'about' box of the config panel. Thank you.

Problem:   Winamp stops at the end of each song.
Problem:   My Z/X/C/V/B keys don't work.

Solution:   You need to lower Winamp's priority. Hit CTRL-P to go to preferences, select the "Audio I/O" tab, then set the slider marked "Process Priority Class" to the "NORMAL" setting. Click OK. The problem should be fixed. This bug tends to pop up for new Winamp users - older versions of Winamp had the priority set to normal, and when you upgraded that setting was kept. Newer versions of Winamp have it set to "Highest" by default.

Problem:   After I run the plugin, Winamp disappears... it's only visible as a tiny icon in the system tray, and I can't bring it back up.

Solution:   The Winamp window is hidden. To bring it back, right-click its system tray icon, and select "Main Window". Then **do it a second time**, and Winamp will pop up. To prevent this from happening in the future, hit CTRL+P to go to Winamp's preferences, select the "Options" tab, and in the bottom left corner, under "Show Winamp In:", select "Taskbar Only (like normal programs)." This should prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

Problem:   After I run the plugin, my mouse is misaligned... I can't properly click on things.

Solution:   In Winamp's preferences, uncheck the "Use Winamp Cursors" option. (This bug should be fixed in Geiss 3.50 and later when using Geiss's "Minimize Winamp before running" option.)

Problem:   When I run the plugin, it says something about 'DirectDraw couldn't set EXCLUSIVE or FULLSCREEN mode.

Solution:   Make sure you're not using the DIRECTSOUND output plugin underneath Winamp... you have to use the WAVEOUT output plugin. This very often does the trick. If it doesn't, either DirectDraw is not installed properly (try seeing if other programs can run it fullscreen) or your video card might have problems.

Problem:   When I go to run the plugin, the config panel pops up, and the plugin won't run.

Solution:   Download the latest version of the plugin. This was fixed in version 3.22. If that doesn't work, and you're sure it's version 3.22 you're working with, please be sure to e-mail me.

Problem:   When running the plugin, the screen flickers occasionally or a lot... it looks like the main Winamp window is still trying to draw itself onto the screen.

Solution:   Make sure you have Geiss 3.50 or later. Then make sure the "Minimize Winamp before running" checkbox is checked (from the Geiss config panel). If you still have problems please let me know.

Problem:   There are often artifacts (stray pixels) at the screen edges and they won't go away.

Solution:   During the plugin, press 'r' to refresh the screen. This will clear the edges. If they persist, see the above problem.

Problem:   I select a new video mode, but it just goes back to the default every time.

Solution:   None - your video card doesn't support that mode; you must pick another. Older video cards can't properly enumerate what video modes they support, so they just list them all. If you have one of these video cards, you might have to dig around to find a video mode that really works. 320x240x8 and 640x480x8 are the most common and are highly recommended.

Problem:   Geiss gives me an error message that says Ordinal Not Found - The ordinal 6 could not be located in the dynamic link library DSOUND.dll.

Solution:   You need to download and reinstall DirectX 6.0 or later. Click here to do so.

Problem:   When I try to run Geiss it gives me an error box that says, "Geiss executed an illegal instruction at..."

Solution:   You probably have version 3.60 of Geiss and a Cyrix 5x86 processor. This was fixed in Geiss 3.61.

Question:   Are you going to make a 3dfx version, or support AMD's 3dNOW! instructions? It would be a lot faster.

Answer:   No - 3dfx is not applicable to this program. Geiss is neither polygon-based or sprite-based, and therefore the hardware acceleration of 3dfx or other 2d/3d systems would offer it no benefits. In addition, it is mostly integer math, and 3dNOW! is only good for floating point math (which is much, much slower to start with, so I won't be switching to it!).

Question:   Why does it run so darn slow?

Answer #1:   Have you tried 8-bit color? This is the target color depth for the program. Higher bit depths (16,24,32) are there for posterity and the age of 1-gigahertz machines. They require 3 times as much processing: one for each red, green and blue buffer, as opposed to one monochrome (paletted) buffer in 8-bit modes; and then the blit (image copy) to the video card has to send about four times the volume of data every frame. As you can see, 8-bit color is going to be a lot smoother.

Answer #2:   Have you tried a lower resolution, like 640x480, or tried setting your "vertical screen size" to about 50%? The image is smooth enough that once you're at 640x480, you can't see much of a difference between it and higher resolutions. Also, the 50% vertical screen size saves a lot of CPU time and makes a cool letterbox effect.

Answer #3:   Are you running an AMD or Cyrix (as opposed to Intel)? That could be it. I've been able to tweak the main loop to very high frame rates on the Intel, but no matter what I try for the AMD, I can't get the same performance out of it. The AMD and Cyrix are good processors, but for this specific muscle of the processor, they don't hold up as well. Other related hardware could be RAM... slow RAM will hurt you, or a slow or small L2 cache will hurt very bad. Also, a cheap motherboard with a slow bus could drop performance too. Your video card shouldn't make a huge difference, though, as long as it has EDO or faster RAM, and is PCI or AGP (AGP is not taken advantage of yet... anybody want to buy me an AGP motherboard & video card so I can do it? :). Also, a 3d-accelerated video card will make NO difference.. What you see in Geiss right now is not hardware accelerated (nor can it be).

Answer #4:   Don't forget to minimize other windows first... this can make a huge difference, especially under '98.

I will add to this page as the questions roll in...

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