So while I’m in Japan, I bought this tiny and borderline useless Fujitsu Esprimo B532, powered by an i5, and not very much else. I upped it to 8GB of RAM, and put in a SSD and upgraded to Windows 10 to make it slightly tolerable.
The i5-3470T is ancient! And so old that newer versions of VMware and Hyper-V won’t run on it. The old solution was simply to use an older version of VMware. In my case the highest version that’ll run is 12.5.9, however when trying to launch it I got this fun message:
Well wasn’t that a big bust.
I guess there is something hidden somewhere, but I just renamed the executable, and set it to Windows 8.0 compatibility mode, and wow it works!
And there we go! Now the latest version of NT can run the first public pre-release of Windows NT. YAY.
I fired up Fallout 76, after all the $100 subscription nonsense to poke around, and yeah it’s still boring and empty. So It’s the 25th in Asia so I figured this was a great time to catch the launch and play the latest Obsidian opus, The Outer Worlds. Since I’m still in Hong Kong it’s restricted to the PS4 only? I mean sure, I have one, but I want to play it on the PC. Well at least I can select another region, say USA, and boom I can now choose between Game Stop (Are they still around, I thought they went bust?), Epic (LOL) or Microsoft’s game store (I thought they gave up after Games for Windows Live?). Anyways I’ll take the Microsoft one, shame it’s not on steam, I guess it’s one of those Epic things.
So clicking on the Windows Store, it’ll instantly let me choose where I want to be (Wasn’t that an old slogan, where do you want to go today?), and thankfully I can just choose. They have 香港 (Hong Kong) & 澳门 (Macau), 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese) or American English!
So nice of them to let me just choose! I go for the English as few things recognize the 2nd official language of Hong Kong (English), but I don’t care about censorship, mainland sensibilities, or anything to that effect. Great. Now time to pay, let me get out my credit card and…
Denied! Turns out they finally fixed the ‘feature’ that you could put in any random valid American address, and use any international credit card, and it’d just work! So you now need a valid mailing address. Or option 2, the more fun one is to buy a gift card on some shady place like E-bay, and try to get a gift card that’ll just email you the code after the auction, and hope that they are legit, as it’s all too easy money for them.
I went for some card that was closer to par value, and bought it expecting basically nothing, instead within 5 minutes of the auction ending as I’m paying they are sending me an email begging me to pay… Great so probably money wasted. I don’t hear anything back for the next hour, and just give it up as a bad choice, but at least it’s not a lot of money.
I wake up the next day, and behold I get the code, and much to my amazement, it activates! A few hours later and it’s installed!
I see Microsoft has some game pass thing, which sounds interesting but I need a ‘guarantor’ or something as a funding backup, my credit and out of country paypal /credit card is no good. Ugh what a PITA.
I’ve played the game for a few minutes, and my first impression is that the colour palette is just so wide, and the worlds feel so lush, it makes Fallout 76’s brown worlds just fell so lifeless unlike the vibrancy from the Outer Worlds. NPC’s are back, and what a difference that makes. Simply looking up and seeing the red rings of the first planet is just amazing, granted Fallout is doomed to being on earth, but it just doesn’t feel anywhere as magical. That said, TOW definitely feels more Jules Verne / 1860’s steam punk to Fallout’s 1950’s nuclear family, nuclear fallout.
I’d give it a recommendation in the brief few minutes I’ve played, it’s worth the hoops to jump through.
Oddly enough these things have been going on since 2001, and have been curated gardens instead of the mess that is usenet (which is still operational!), or private mailing lists.
The 2 that Im on are the Hercules 390 group which moved to group.io. While other groups like H390-music (MUSIC/SP the Canadian mainframe OS with internet hooks) that sadly died along with it’s author, is probably going to be purged from the internet.
Along with other things like pdos, or even the board game Supremacy.
I don’t know what the answer is, other than to always have downloadable mailing list archives, and never trust a single place. So much stuff is deleted to save trivial amounts of space, and neither corporations nor government institutions can be trusted to maintain anything.
Thankfully there is archive.org, but who backs them up?
Well actually I’ve had it over a month now, I picked it up before all the talks of shutting down the internet started, along with capital flight controls and other fun things (consequences of socialism/communism. yay!), and I didn’t have any time to look, but the rear foot was crushed into the case, making it not only have a massive wobble but it wouldn’t let me mount a power supply. I tried hitting with a hammer, which only made it angry, so I used a crowbar to attempt to straighten it out. It doesn’t wobble anymore but I was unable to bash the bottom enough to get the PSU to lay straight.
I know it doesn’t look it’s best but it’s the only way I could get the thing to mount. Also I liked having the power/reset & activity leds on my desk, so I left the test harness cable bundle and just wrapped it through the case.
Somehow in the move, I managed to lose the IO shield as well. How annoying. Even more annoying is the way I seemed to have laid out the fans, as the case felt nice and toasty this morning.. It’s defiantly needing some revisiting, along with more fans, or maybe some tiny liquid cooling setup to deal with dual processors.
I pulled the window off the case, and you can pretty much tell right away when it was removed in the graph. Maybe not overheating but it certainly was a lot hotter than I liked.
I could happily live without any of the RGB crap, and I’m kind of disappointed there is no drive bays in this thing. It’s not an incredible case, but it was affordable. it’s a big MEH from me, although if it wasn’t damanged I’d probably like it better.
Amazon shows this with only one seller, so I guess it’s already obsolete/junk.
And obviously if I want to close this thing up again, that means I have to do something about the cooling. Hours of fun. … 😐
Yeah! Over the MS-DOS collection over at archive.org is well over 2,500! Isn’t that great?!?
Well let’s take a peek at a few favorites…
Sadly DataEast’s greatest hit RoboCop doesn’t work correctly on the site, however if you were to do something evil like open up the inspector, and manually download the asset yourself it’ll load fine in actual DosBox. It’s a great side scroller, even 30 years later. Yes, 1989 was a long long time ago.
And speaking of SSI, Curse of the Azure Bonds and it’s ilk are available as well! I’m not sure how a board game company with a vast library (and IP rights licensed) could possibly fail so hard. Maybe the games were too difficult? Maybe they were too involved? I guess I’m guilty of it too, as I’m the uncleansed masses that preferred Fallout 3 to 1&2. Just as Diablo took off as it removed the clock, and turned it into action.
Project-X was a favorite shoot-em-up on the Amiga, although it being PAL was surprisingly significantly harder to play on my NTSC Amiga, with not being able to see all the screen, running faster, and the insane blinking of some timing with the sprites. I didn’t know there was a PC version, but yeah it looks pretty much like the Amiga version. And it was one of the larger issues that a 386 PC with VGA & a SoundBlaster really not only was as good as an Amiga, but was just plain better as PC hardware kept on improving while Commodore trapped in their downward spiral just didn’t innovate.
Rise of the Triad – The Hunt Begins, this was a soso shooter, but where it really shone was it’s multiplayer maps and combat. It was a awesome time waster on the LAN. I never tried it dialup, or even in modern times, but many fond memories of this game. And it didn’t need insane requirements, unlike say Quake. And it was surprisingly more fast paced than DooM. I wonder sometimes if they had released the source code to ROTT (2002) much sooner than ID released DooM (1997), or around the same time if it’d have achieved more retro popularity? Or was it more of as LAN game, and my experience with it kind of lacking in single player the prevalent feeling?
MechWarrior was at first this incredible 3D game where you could pilot a battle mech in the 31st century! How awesome! It changed the world from the table top rules of BattleTech – The Crescent Hawk’s Inception into something action based. Amazingly the genre for some reason never seems to get the massive appeal I always felt it should have. Although Mark Kern is trying to do something with Mechs & Kaiju over at Em-8er.
Turbo Out Run, a SEGA classic game. The graphics are … well caught in a world between 1987 and 1990. I guess they either didn’t want to push the PC too hard, or accidentally release a superior game on a non SEGA platform? It could have looked better. It should have sounded better. It’s ‘fine’ but I kind of call shenanigans. Golden Axe is way better.
So this is by no means an exhaustive list, I left out a LOT, as 2,500 is way too much to give any reasonable review without it turning into a book, but I scanned the first hundred or so and picked out what caught my eye.
I’d say my favorites here is Crazy Taxi & Jet Set Radio. While Nights was fun when the Saturn was fresh and new, it’s so annoyingly on rails, and without the special controller it’s just klunky. Sonic DX.. yuck. It suffers from all the 3d control issues that plauged the first gen 3d, although the worst ones are the PlayStation megaman, and that horrid ‘tank’ control of Resident Evil.
I’m thinking of doing something with the worst rated games on steam. So many people chasing the best, why not dive into the worst. Although I’m not AVGN but why not?
Seriously some people need to take life a little less seriously.
I ran into one of those weird things I’ve done before and needed the fix, and got this nice error from a customer site, ironically while they were talking about the latest South Park. Kind of funny TBH
Naturally my file archive is wide open. Go figure.
Yay pitiful censorship! And I’m not even talking about the Disney, Apple, Vans, NBA & Blizzard/Activision.
I know it’s been a long time coming but here we are. Such a shame compatibility isn’t a priority. No more crazy stuff like running GCC 1.3 on OS X.
I got this email yesterday :
If you use CrossOver for macOS, this information is VERY IMPORTANT for you.
Earlier today, Apple released the new macOS Catalina. Catalina does not support 32-bit applications. Currently, CrossOver still uses pieces of 32-bit code for every function and will not launch or install any Windows apps in Catalina. If CrossOver is critical to you macOS experience, we ask that you wait on upgrading to Catalina until we release a Catalina compatible version.
At this time, we anticipate that an alpha version will be available sometime in the next 30 days. We will continue to update you as development progresses.
So RSS on wordpress has been broken for ages now. Every time I add a video or audio sample to the page it’ll break. Also many times I’m using a NON US keyboard/OS/layout or something that’ll break the encoding apparently.
So I added some plugin to create yet another feed with bare minimum content, as again images/media and meta data break RSS.
Otherwise yeah, the whole ‘The internet is only a single program provided by a single company’ really sucks. As much as Id like to move to my own blog platform thing, I don’t have the time to watch it 24x7x365 for security issues, nor do I have enough money to hire a full time team to deal with it.