Microsoft to buy Bethesda

In the world of “If you can’t encourage an exclusive, buy it” here we are at this crossroad again. With the new MS console getting ready to be pushed out into the world, there is no doubt that we are not only in for a new deluge of Skyrim ports, but the much anticipated Starfield should be appearing on nextgen consoles, the best way to keep it exclusive is to just buy the beleaguered studio, and push onwards.

No doubt the fallout from … Fallout 76 has burnt a lot of people, so this may just further isolate their diminishing fan base, only time will tell. Or normies just don’t care about FO76 as it was some MMMMOOOORPG thing that normal people don’t care about, and all they want to do is kill dragons, and shoot lazzer beams from their hands.

One thing that is kind of fitting is that the culture of ‘release it and patch it in the field’ is in safe hands at Microsoft!

Praise be Todd!

Ну вот-Ну вот?

What what?

I don’t get how this is a search term, all about “Ну вот” so I guess I’ll poison the well.

Ну вот dolor sit amet, nu vot adipiscing elit. Duis ultrices fringilla turpis ac nu vot. Vivamus dignissim arcu ac arcu elementum, non condimentum neque scelerisque. Nullam et turpis non tortor Ну вот commodo. Ну вот vehicula lorem quis sem bibendum, eu efficitur tellus feugiat. Nam tempor, sem ac semper congue, felis mauris dignissim tortor, ut elementum ex leo gravida lacus. Maecenas imperdiet dapibus risus, eu rutrum felis feugiat eu. Nullam sodales bibendum porta. Ну вот diam justo, fringilla et nisi eget, mattis varius lectus. Nullam blandit luctus orci, a finibus arcu lobortis nec. Etiam accumsan fringilla quam vitae pharetra. Fusce consequat rhoncus elit, ut mollis velit egestas id. nu vot quis quam ac arcu efficitur blandit quis in augue.

Nullam vitae aliquet magna. Sed non augue diam. nu vot efficitur egestas quam, quis cursus felis euismod in. Ut ac dui erat. Donec at dui fermentum, fermentum dui nec, accumsan tellus. Vivamus cursus, ex in cursus lobortis, mi orci gravida metus, at maximus quam leo vitae tortor. Ну вот ipsum diam, tincidunt id luctus vel, ultricies nec tellus. In placerat quis neque sit amet facilisis. Sed sagittis nisl eget lectus fringilla laoreet. Ну вот rhoncus at urna vel mattis. Ну вот sed velit lorem. Sed orci mi, facilisis id neque non, sagittis malesuada orci. Cras blandit, tellus quis pretium imperdiet, nibh metus tincidunt dolor, suscipit vestibulum ligula felis Ну вот. Fusce mollis id enim eu faucibus.

Hope that ad buy didn’t cost too much bro, it was super ineffective.

Nulla ac tortor faucibus, tristique dolor gravida, tincidunt nunc. Donec tempus, metus at condimentum sollichttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o72pA1OPPqkitudin, risus orci egestas risus, et egestas est augue vitae metus. nu vot ultrices massa nec lacinia rutrum. Curabitur neque turpis, dignissim vel pretium ac, viverra et dolor. nu vot eu ligula dui. Sed neque ipsum, sagittis at nisi tempus, auctor pellentesque lacus. Aliquam pretium enim ac libero faucibus fringilla.

Mauris laoreet felis elit, nec viverra leo elementum id. Duis eget consequat quam. Duis at felis maximus, ultrices ex sollicitudin, fermentum mi. Maecenas cursus nu vot bibendum. Vivamus sit amet leo congue, vestibulum neque et, convallis purus. Nam sed viverra purus. Vivamus viverra sapien at rhoncus lacinia. Phasellus id justo fermentum, porta dolor eget, ornare lorem.

Nulla facilisi. Sed placerat convallis bibendum. Ну вот eu nisl est. Sed tempus eget nisi at blandit. Ну вот sollicitudin sapien et quam aliquet, ut mollis sapien scelerisque. Ну вот ex justo, condimentum quis gravida sit amet, finibus sit amet dui. Ну вот eget posuere nunc, id blandit sapien. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Ut euismod lectus eu leo sollicitudin, eget faucibus nunc vehicula. In quis fringilla ligula, mattis porttitor justo. Aliquam erat Ну вот.

Ну вот Ну вот.

How not to write a web scraping engine

Seriously, the sad thing is that they wasted all their time, and bandwidth. The good thing is that PHP7 is far better at this, than PHP5. I know it’s not hipster neaveaux but PHP7 is really awesome stuff.

I didn’t wake up to a million messages about being down, rather a look at what was going on showed me this:

Obviously something is up.

I checked Cloudflare:

All those hits, and no change in user traffic. So I’m not popular.

And it’s all from the United States. Going back to WordPress I can see it’s mostly from one user!

A look through the 30MB log, and it’s a broken site scrape

174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:39 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5C'https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/17/philip-pembertons-3b1-emulator-moved/%5C' HTTP/1.1" 301 - "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"
174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:40 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5Chttps:/virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/17/philip-pembertons-3b1-emulator-moved/%5C HTTP/1.1" 404 32750 "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"
174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:40 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5C'https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/12/the-price-of-commodore-64s-is-getting-out-of-control/%5C' HTTP/1.1" 301 - "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"
174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:41 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5Chttps:/virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/12/the-price-of-commodore-64s-is-getting-out-of-control/%5C HTTP/1.1" 404 32752 "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"
174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:41 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5C'https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/08/thanks-to-lgr-i-just-found-out-about-simcity-for-palm-pilots-was-a-thing/%5C' HTTP/1.1" 301 - "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"
174.127.114.00 - - [20/Aug/2020:20:43:42 -0400] "GET /wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/%5Chttps:/virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2020/03/08/thanks-to-lgr-i-just-found-out-about-simcity-for-palm-pilots-was-a-thing/%5C HTTP/1.1" 404 32751 "https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/category/windows-nt-4-0/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.106 Safari/537.36"

This is just terrible you are quoting the link to the link, having slashes going every which way. What the heck!? Don’t be a jerk, pace the thing, why are you trying to DOS it? While my hosting is clearly not robust, why can’t you wait a few seconds between each query? Also look at the output and URL’s it’s sending it’ll never work!

Oh and speaking of WTF:

[Sat Aug 15 02:54:16.376342 2020] [:error] [pid 2176618:tid 46981722752768] [client 5.188.84.35:0] [client 5.188.84.35] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 403 (phase 2). Match of "rbl nxdomain.v2.rbl.imunify.com." against "TX:rbl_ip" required. [file "/etc/apache2/conf.d/modsec_vendor_configs/imunify360-full-apache/001_i360_1_generic.conf"] [line "18"] [id "77140164"] [msg "Infectors: PHP Injection Low value||MVN:TX:rbl_ip||T:APACHE||MV:02-54.5.188.84.35||PC:74973||SC:/home/virtuall/public_html/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php"] [severity "WARNING"] [maturity "1"] [accuracy "7"] [tag "service_o"] [tag "service_i360"] [hostname "virtuallyfun.com"] [uri "/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php"] [unique_id "XzeGmAmHABK5lhefvTgiWQAAAQI"], referer: https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2019/07/25/c-beams-glitter-in-the-dark-near-the-tannhauser-gate/#comment-217724/<br>
[Sat Aug 15 00:59:09.378579 2020] [:error] [pid 2121712:tid 46981729056512] [client 5.188.84.25:0] [client 5.188.84.25] ModSecurity: Access denied with code 403 (phase 2). Match of "rbl nxdomain.v2.rbl.imunify.com." against "TX:rbl_ip" required. [file "/etc/apache2/conf.d/modsec_vendor_configs/imunify360-full-apache/001_i360_1_generic.conf"] [line "18"] [id "77140164"] [msg "Infectors: PHP Injection Low value||MVN:TX:rbl_ip||T:APACHE||MV:00-59.5.188.84.25||PC:71624||SC:/home/virtuall/public_html/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php"] [severity "WARNING"] [maturity "1"] [accuracy "7"] [tag "service_o"] [tag "service_i360"] [hostname "virtuallyfun.com"] [uri "/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php"] [unique_id "XzdrnVSmjfAxcRCyCxt4rAAAAIU"], referer: https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2019/07/25/c-beams-glitter-in-the-dark-near-the-tannhauser-gate/#comment-217724/

There is no comment on that page. There never was. Look I know it sucks he’s dead, but there is nothing you or me can do about it.

Microsoft to delete legacy updates in the great SHA-1 purge

Get ready to see this quite often.

From the article here, on August 3rd, (aka yesterday) the purge will be complete. Instead of introducing an update to verify SHA-2 into legacy systems, and re-signing old updates, instead MS has taken the path of obsolesce and pulled the downloads instead.

And we’ve been here before.

Microsoft movie maker was a popular download for Windows XP, and MS removed the download, as hosting it was apparently encouraging people to keep on using XP. Naturally this wasn’t taken as a message that people wanted this kind of product, and why fill a void when you can remove a product? So now the majority of downloads that you will find are infected, corrupted and just going to cause further problems.

And here we go again.

Office 2003 SP1 is no more

A quick search on BING for MS Office 2003 updates still shows links, but they are simply no more. The purge is in full force, and search pages haven’t caught up. And as you can see cnet is already in the top downloads, and will become the authoritative download by fiat.

Also the early .NET’s deployment packages are no longer for download, while .NET 1.1 SP1 is still online surprisingly. For reference:

$ shasum -a 512256 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
7b44095feff471dee9366a2153dfe2654d70754c21b7e5204ed950cdf4a3f15a  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe

For what it’s worth.

Calculating with shasum offers a few algorighims as this isn’t a simple one shot deal.

-a, --algorithm   1 (default), 224, 256, 384, 512, 512224, 512256

Naturally to add further confusion. Like everything with crypto, it’s so easy to mess it up.

$ shasum -a 1 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
74a5b25d65a70b8ecd6a9c301a0aea10d8483a23  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 224 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
18507f80722780ca477d7f10528ae28dd176f8d36cbce05a50cc7be0  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 256 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
2c0a35409ff0873cfa28b70b8224e9aca2362241c1f0ed6f622fef8d4722fd9a  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 384 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
c2372c71f93b5dc2a1c21c804bc74e27d82bfa45ee50fbc9037e713c156f1c591ffbe5e87f94022157906098916403b4  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 512 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
bbe643f447f49636732b12d23a052d02681ad41f6920dc1038b073fa600f7589b378ed8e7de97e811543d93ae89ce52871a85ee58aa3b6aeaddc01bc1617ad85  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 512224 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
63b2ffb0c5f1cd68abafba23997482b2087d486dcf60bec6fef7446d  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe
$ shasum -a 512256 NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe 
7b44095feff471dee9366a2153dfe2654d70754c21b7e5204ed950cdf4a3f15a  NDP1.1sp1-KB867460-X86.exe

Oddly enough a quick search for these checksums isn’t coming up with anything so I guess I’m first. Which of course is a further problem, is that there is no authoritative source from MS. I get the contract obsolescence thing, after-all the strongest competition to NEW MS products is OLD MS products. I still use Excel 3 & MS Word 2, despite having an Office 365 subscription, and various newer versions retail.

The sad thing is that many people will get screwed over from this action, and the only “solution” is of course move to Windows 10, embrace the new, and hope that you don’t have applications that actually require .NET 1.1 (or 1.0!).

So yes there was an outage

tickets had to be opened, vendors called, tickets escalated, and all that jazz. I’ve had to tighten some things with cloudflare, so FEED stuff is broken at the moment. I’ll try to turn it on later today.

So yeah, I know I need to move. again…. I’m just not in the mood to do so at the moment. I’m in the middle of a bunch of IRL shit, and just don’t have time at the moment.

Merry Christmas

From my daughter

It’s been a trying year, and despite the HKPF’s best efforts to make it a terrible one, we won’t let them. If anything the events of the year just make family and friends all the more precious, just is our time with them.

There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, and that list of could of, should have builds.. Its tough. In spite of it all I’ve still managed to do my own “out reach” helping kids where I can help with internships, books, food or even a shoulder to cry.

It’s been a trying year. But life, it goes on.

So Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas came early!

Iv’e been in Japan the last 10 days, but upon my return to Hong Kong this little 9kg box was eagerly awaiting me!

I know that ‘unboxing’ donation videos are quite popular, but I thought I’d do the blog equivalent. I don’t want to ‘out’ the sender, although I did email them back a big THANKS, although I didn’t get a reply. Maybe it’s an email thing but I wanted to tell them THANKS again!

To start is a bunch of loose CD’s including old SDK’s, and the infamous Windows 2000 RC1 set including Dec Alpha builds of workstation & server. Also in there is Beta 3 of Windows 98! Cool!

In the box was also Back Office 45, Visual C++ 6.0, a sealed copy of Windows 2000 Server, Visual Studio 2005 Standard and Expression Studio 2.

I’ve always loved this, it’s NT 4.0 and all the good bits of 1997, like Exchange 5.5 & IIS 4.0! Also in there is a copy of Outlook 2000, so this is a much later build/packaging of Back Office 4.5 . I’ve always wondered how many if any Back Office purchasers ever used SNA Server. I’ve seen it something exclusively used in real enterprises that have site licenses anyways.

Visual C 6.0 is the last x86 compiler that was ‘pure’ before the .NET invasion. Although you can with a bit of work get 2003 and onward to build for strict Win32, but who wants to work? This is getting increasingly hard to find, and getting far more expensive. But it’s great to have this in retail in the box again! (I used to have this and Visual Studio 97/6.0).

It almost feels wrong to break the seal on this, although I’ll probably do an active directory deployment eventually now that I have machines running in the USA, Hong Kong, and Japan.

I’m super thankful for all of this, and if anyone else wants to send me their ‘old / obsolete junk’ drop me a line!

Quake 2 for the RTX just got updated

Back when OpenGL accelerated hardware became a thing at the consumer level (and even non OpenGL, like the Rendition Verite v1000E !) games like Quake suddenly took on an entirely new life, with the amazing ‘realism’ that OpenGL could bring. And what an amazing change it was from the software renderer.

I had bought the Diamond Fire GL 1000, and it honestly kinda sucked. It did the OpenGL demo’s okayish under Windows NT, but Quake, not so much. But it was a sign of things to some, as I could run the 3D pipes screensaver without running the CPU at 100% But the Fire was meant more so for ‘adult’ or productive things, not for playing a game.

Oh how times haven’t changed all that much.

new glass!

At any rate, Quake II for the RTX, has been updated on Steam. It’s hard to believe it, but it looks even more so amazing than before. The ‘solid glass’ option looks pretty nice too.

At the moment I don’t have anything else really RTX ready so to speak. But it ssure looks pretty amazing!

It’s crazy how old computer hardware holds no value

But at the same time there is great value in old computer hardware.

In my opinion around 2006-2007 we basically hit peak computing. The biggest restrictions I see on older machines is memory sizes, and disk speeds. And for the most part these can be taken care of with ease, although many chipsets and formfactors of the time seem to have these incredibly tiny 8Gb/16Gb/32Gb limitations that just really are annoying in the distant future of 2019 when you may want to run a few things at once.

Yes, ‘Mouse’ computer is a thing

So I bought this used i640GA6-BDO, an i7 machine oem’d by mouse computer. Yes the name of the business is the same name as the 2nd most popular peripheral of all time. From the blurb:

From the “NEXTGEAR series” with high cooling and excellent maintainability, Intel® Core™ i7-4790K processor, dual channel 16GB memory, 1TB hard disk (7200rpm), DVD super multidrive, NVIDIA ® GeForce® GTX™ .970, 80PLUS® BRONZE certified700W power supply, pre-installed Windows 8.1 Update i640GA6-BDO” is 149,800 yen.

I paid just over 20,000 yen for this machine. So losing some 120,000 yen, or about 80% of it’s value over 5 years is certainly not a good investment proposition. It seemed like a good bargain.

Finding the corporate website was NOT easy, but thankfully they own mouse-jp.co.jp so one of those wild guesses turned out being right. They seem highly influenced by the ‘idol group’ thing that is popular and japan, and they have an extensive YouTube channel over at MouseComputer2010. And an extensive ad gallery.

They even have the making of videos. I could find so much about the advertising and various talent, but the machines… that was much more difficult than I could imagine.

The build quality however left a bit to be desired, when I turned it on and jumped into the BIOS the first thing that I noticed was that it ran HOT.

75c in under a minute!

So yeah 75c in under a minute is not a good thing. The water pump was making a weird noise as the bearings were clearly shot, and it’s just not circulating anywhere near fast enough.

Although I didn’t take a picture I was able to find one online, that shows that despite the bottom of the case has a big slot for the PSU fan, but the fan was pointing up into the case, not venting to the bottom.

I guess that the original owner got rid of the machine as it was overheating, and/or thermal throttling. I ended up going back out looking for a new cooling solution, and I was torn between a cheap fan thing for $10 or another all-in-one liquid cooler for $50. I decided to go with the all-in-one, as this machine was originally liquid cooled anyways.

I’m not sure why everything needs a cartoon..

The machine also had no storage, so I also picked up a M.2 drive, and a spinning rust disk. I have to say that even for this ancient machine, it’s great it had a M.2 slot, and WOW I thought SSD was fast, but this positively blows it away!

While I was out I see this former holy grail of GPU’s a Nvidia GTX 980 for ¥12,000. Now granted the machine I picked up has a GTX 970, a nice touch as I wasn’t expecting anything, but I can always use another DVI capable card back at home, so I’m probably taking that along with the i5 back to my HK office.

Now the real killer is that the card is a ASUS GTX, and looking around online it’s the STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5 model.

I look around and find it on Amazon, and if the ad thing is to be believed the new price on this thing was ¥70,900! Looking around on that part number also shows kakaku.com with a list price of ¥73,480!

So granted the card is 5 years old now, but wow what a drop in price! It’s one more stop away from the junk piles that the other 9xx’s currently are (I’ve seen boxes of Zotac 750’s and up).

Naturally of course, like the i7, this card also had issues the moment I put it into my PC. The screen was flashing with garbage, and it’d eventually lead to a system freeze after a few minutes. What a pain, bad memory I suppose. And like the PC, I took the card apart, cleaned up the old thermal compound, and added some new generic stuff, put it together, and left it running The Outer Worlds at ultra high settings just fine. Who knows, maybe it’ll break later on, I don’t know, but I now have a ‘high end 5 year old’ gaming system for about the same or slightly more than a PS4. And I could be wrong but i’d like to think an i7/980 would crush a PS4. Although I could be wrong.

Naturally running cinebench 14, basically shows that the 970 & the 980 perform so close to each-other it makes no real difference. Although the fan setup on the 980 is far more aggressive, and it runs much more quieter. So that’s a nice bonus.

And if userbenchmark.com can be trusted, the performance difference from the 980 to the 1080, isn’t all that bad. It’s unreal that now even with 2nd generation RTX 2080’s out there, the 1080 is still an expensive GPU.

So, sometimes it may be worth looking at the junk piles. Although at the same time if you have nothing, the new/lowend stuff like the 1030’s/1050’s really aren’t so bad either. But for some reason I always seem to like yesterdays powerhouse.