Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DirectX


DirectX explained...

Ever wondered just what that enigmatic name means? Hurm... I bet not many knows bot it.. Hahahaa...

OK, DirectX is an interface designed to make certain programming tasks much easier, for both the game developer and the rest of us who just want to sit down and play the latest blockbuster.

How it works?
At the most basic level, DirectX is an interface between the hardware in your PC and Windows itself, part of the Windows API or Application Programming Interface. Let’s look at a practical example. When a game developer wants to play a sound file, it’s simply a case of using the correct library function. When the game runs, this calls the DirectX API, which in turn plays the sound file. The developer doesn’t need to know what type of sound card he’s dealing with, what it’s capable of, or how to talk to it. Microsoft has provided DirectX, and the sound card manufacturer has provided a DirectX-capable driver. He asks for the sound to be played, and it is – whichever machine it runs on.

From my point of view as gamers, DirectX also makes things incredibly easy – at least in theory. You install a new sound card in place of your old one, and it comes with a DirectX driver. Next time you play your favourite game you can still hear sounds and music, and you haven’t had to make any complex configuration changes.

Originally, DirectX began life as a simple toolkit: early hardware was limited and only the most basic graphical functions were required. As hardware and software has evolved in complexity, so has DirectX. It’s now much more than a graphical toolkit, and the term has come to encompass a massive selection of routines which deal with all sorts of hardware communication. For example, the DirectInput routines can deal with all sorts of input devices, from simple two-button mice to complex flight joysticks. Other parts include DirectSound for audio devices and DirectPlay provides a toolkit for online or multiplayer gaming.

Upgrading DirectX
All available versions of Windows come with DirectX in one form or another as a core system component which cannot be removed, so you should always have at least a basic implementation of the system installed on your PC. However, many new games require the very latest version before they work properly, or even at all.

Generally, the best place to install the latest version of DirectX from is the dedicated section of the Microsoft Web site, which is found at www.microsoft.com/windows/directx. As we went to press, the most recent build available for general download was DirectX 9.0b. You can download either a simple installer which will in turn download the components your system requires as it installs, or download the complete distribution package in one go for later offline installation.

Diagnosing problems
Diagnosing problems with a DirectX installation can be problematic, especially if you don’t know which one of the many components is causing your newly purchased game to fall over. Thankfully, Microsoft provides a useful utility called the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, although this isn’t made obvious. You won’t find this tool in the Start Menu with any version of Windows, and each tends to install it in a different place.

The easiest way to use it is to open the Start Menu’s Run dialog, type in dxdiag and then click OK. When the application first loads, it takes a few seconds to interrogate your DirectX installation and find any problems. First, the DirectX Files tab displays version information on each one of the files your installation uses. The Notes section at the bottom is worth checking, as missing or corrupted files will be flagged here.

The tabs marked Display, Sound, Music, Input and Network all relate to specific areas of DirectX, and all but the Input tab provide tools to test the correct functioning on your hardware. Finally, the More Help tab provides a useful way to start the DirectX Troubleshooter, Microsoft’s simple linear problem solving tool for many common DirectX issues.

Dont forget to email/comment me for any issues...

1 Comment:

  1. hantu_air said...
    panjang nyer penerangan... huhuuuu...

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