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David Monroe
278 followers -
The iron triangle must be broken.
The iron triangle must be broken.

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I started out troubleshooting some games for my kid this weekend and I wound up getting them to work everywhere.

I am really getting into ScummVM I've known about ScummVM for a long time, but I haven't done much with it. I knew some of the games in my Linux repo's were Sierra style classics that would work with it. I had not until this weekend realized just how far the support extended. My daughter, when she was little, loved the Living Book's series of computer games, I had them setup and running on a G5 Mac Pro for her back in the day. I discovered rather than keeping a copy of OS X Tiger with OS 9 as a guest OS I was better off using Windows XP since the games would all work on either, and running it on the Mac introduced headaches caused by executing Mac Classic in OS X. Not hard stuff, but things I don't want to have to deal with every time the kid touches the computer. I setup an Atom system for my son, using my now 14 year old daughters' games. She doesn't mind sharing. I even bought some more of those now ancient games online. I did a lot of this by making ISO files from the original disks and mounting them up to virtual CDROM drives so I didn't have little kids messing with CD media and doing what little kids do to it (I even did some of this on my grandparents computer back when my daughter was using the Mac for the same reason), in fact this is what I'm still doing for a lot of the games now. (Not all of them work with ScummVM) Turns out some of the earliest Living Books games were meant for 640x480 256 color screens. The computer I was on wouldn't even do that low of a resolution without a fight - probably something to do with the LCD panel. I also occasionally had a problem with 'Living Books Player' locking up on some of the games. I decided to see if there was a newer replacement Living Books Player or if I could pull some executables from the newer games and apply them to the older. That's when I found out ScummVM would do Living Books also. Once I figured out the simple part of how it worked - by adding all the games to a single player - I was in good shape. I ran into a few problems on the way - the Berenstain Bears Get Into a Fight disk kept loading up the demo no matter what. I copied the contents to the disk and actually got on IRC and asked the developers about it. They told me to just delete the Demo Directory and the Demo.512 file. I got pretty comfortable with deleting things at that point. In fact about two minutes before the developers gave me that fix I figured out another fix that may still be handy for some of you - a program called MultiRes, sort of like Qres but it still works right on XP. The difference being MultiRes didn't quite scale down as far as they wanted - hardware limitations - but it fooled the game into thinking it did and it ran as a 640x480 window on a screen set to 800x600, but it didn't complain unlike before. I would have been perfectly happy with this solution and I'm sure my son would have been okay with it. ScummVM ran full screen and looked sharper. I had a bunch of games that worked on an individual install of ScummVM that was included with the packages that I got from the Humble Bundle. When I put the 'full' install version on his machine it caused all of those games to give a sound error - probably due to a registry change or whatever when I did my install. So I added each of those games to the 'central' install and actually deleted the copies of ScummVM that were included in the packages from the Humble Bundle saving about 50 MB per game. On the games that I pulled in from actual disks I copied them to the HDD (and got rid of their virtual CD drives if applicable) and deleted all exe files, AOL trials, demos, and unneeded libraries as I saw them. Now some of the Living Books games are better off playing on their original engine - the game I've got in the PSP picture below doesn't fully work in ScummVM - it will get through on 'Read to Me' which is what my toddler likes right now, but it won't play the mini-games in the interactive mode. The interactive mode still works great, as long as you don't start a mini-game. Even if you try to start a mini-game instead of crashing or locking up it gives you a nice little message saying the mini game doesn't work and returns you to the story page. That's some classy stuff. I mentioned the PSP - I hacked my PSP right after I bought it new from the store many years ago. ScummVM works just like any other game you can dump on the PSP's Memory Stick Pro Duo. You just put the game folders in the ScummVM folder, then use the analog nub as a mouse. I have at least two games supported by ScummVM on the original Play Station. Never mind the fact I have these same games on Linux compatible platforms and I can put original Play Station games on my PSP without an issue, I'm thinking of seeing if I can pull them off of the Playstation disk and run them in the ScummVM engine, just to see if I can. I promise you, the PSP shot below was from a Windows 3.1/Mac Classic disk - not a PlayStation disk. Years ago I got Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers running in DosBox on a Mac Mini. I've had some of the Tex Murphy games run in DosBox on Linux. I'm going to do some experimentation when I have time. If any of you have little kids I can't recommend the games from 15ish years ago enough. There just isn't any really good modern stuff. There's some for tablets and what have you, but not much of it is really as well done as the old stuff. Kids don't care how old it is and reading is the same. If it helps them learn to read 15ish years old is fine.
I am really getting into ScummVM  I've known about ScummVM for a long time, but I haven't done much with it.  I knew some of the games in my Linux repo's were Sierra style classics that would work with it.  I had not until this weekend realized just how far the support extended.  My daughter, when she was little, loved the Living Book's series of computer games, I had them setup and running on a G5 Mac Pro for her back in the day.  I discovered rather than keeping a copy of OS X Tiger with OS 9 as a guest OS I was better off using Windows XP since the games would all work on either, and running it on the Mac introduced headaches caused by executing Mac Classic in OS X.  Not hard stuff, but things I don't want to have to deal with every time the kid touches the computer.  I setup an Atom system for my son, using my now 14 year old daughters' games.  She doesn't mind sharing.  I even bought some more of those now ancient games online.  I did a lot of this by making ISO files from the original disks and mounting them up to virtual CDROM drives so I didn't have little kids messing with CD media and doing what little kids do to it (I even did some of this on my grandparents computer back when my daughter was using the Mac for the same reason), in fact this is what I'm still doing for a lot of the games now.  (Not all of them work with ScummVM)  Turns out some of the earliest Living Books games were meant for 640x480 256 color screens.  The computer I was on wouldn't even do that low of a resolution without a fight - probably something to do with the LCD panel.  I also occasionally had a problem with 'Living Books Player' locking up on some of the games.  I decided to see if there was a newer replacement Living Books Player or if I could pull some executables from the newer games and apply them to the older.  That's when I found out ScummVM would do Living Books also.  Once I figured out the simple part of how it worked - by adding all the games to a single player - I was in good shape.  I ran into a few problems on the way - the Berenstain Bears Get Into a Fight disk kept loading up the demo no matter what.  I copied the contents to the disk and actually got on IRC and asked the developers about it.  They told me to just delete the Demo Directory and the Demo.512 file.  I got pretty comfortable with deleting things at that point.  In fact about two minutes before the developers gave me that fix I figured out another fix that may still be handy for some of you - a program called MultiRes, sort of like Qres but it still works right on XP.  The difference being MultiRes didn't quite scale down as far as they wanted - hardware limitations - but it fooled the game into thinking it did and it ran as a 640x480 window on a screen set to 800x600, but it didn't complain unlike before.  I would have been perfectly happy with this solution and I'm sure my son would have been okay with it.  ScummVM ran full screen and looked sharper.  I had a bunch of games that worked on an individual install of ScummVM that was included with the packages that I got from the Humble Bundle.  When I put the 'full' install version on his machine it caused all of those games to give a sound error - probably due to a registry change or whatever when I did my install.  So I added each of those games to the 'central' install and actually deleted the copies of ScummVM that were included in the packages from the Humble Bundle saving about 50 MB per game.  On the games that I pulled in from actual disks I copied them to the HDD (and got rid of their virtual CD drives if applicable) and deleted all exe files, AOL trials, demos, and unneeded libraries as I saw them.  Now some of the Living Books games are better off playing on their original engine - the game I've got in the PSP picture below doesn't fully work in ScummVM - it will get through on 'Read to Me' which is what my toddler likes right now, but it won't play the mini-games in the interactive mode.   The interactive mode still works great, as long as you don't start a mini-game.  Even if you try to start a mini-game instead of crashing or locking up it gives you a nice little message saying the mini game doesn't work and returns you to the story page.  That's some classy stuff.  I mentioned the PSP - I hacked my PSP right after I bought it new from the store many years ago.  ScummVM works just like any other game you can dump on the PSP's Memory Stick Pro Duo.  You just put the game folders in the ScummVM folder, then use the analog nub as a mouse.  I have at least two games supported by ScummVM on the original Play Station.  Never mind the fact I have these same games on Linux compatible platforms and I can put original Play Station games on my PSP without an issue, I'm thinking of seeing if I can pull them off of the Playstation disk and run them in the ScummVM engine, just to see if I can.  I promise you, the PSP shot below was from a Windows 3.1/Mac Classic disk - not a PlayStation disk.  Years ago I got Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers running in DosBox on a Mac Mini.  I've had some of the Tex Murphy games run in DosBox on Linux.  I'm going to do some experimentation when I have time.  If any of you have little kids I can't recommend the games from 15ish years ago enough.  There just isn't any really good modern stuff.  There's some for tablets and what have you, but not much of it is really as well done as the old stuff.  Kids don't care how old it is and reading is the same.  If it helps them learn to read 15ish years old is fine.
minds.com

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Found while walking the dog.

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I submitted a story, I could use some up-votes. Maybe I could even hit the front page for the first time in well over a decade I've been a Slashdotter.

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Thanks for the help if you gave it, I made the front page!

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I've been using it for years, and not as a piracy tool.  It's to keep my disks safely stored in the closet and out of the hands of my kids, family, and guests.  That and it's a lot easier than searching for the right disk in all the binders.

If you're one of the protestors hired by one of George Soros' organizations and you get injured by a flash-bang or rubber bullet while protesting and have to be hospitalized because of it can you sue for workman's comp?

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Sounds like he gets it to me. Why should one class of workers be supported by the rest simply because they can't make it in an open market? Cut this and more.
"The day before Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States – an actual event taking place in the universe we live in – news broke that his administration plans to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities..."

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Has anyone reading this done business on Alibaba?

I can't help but feel negligent not looking there to supply a business with computers if any of those deals are worth it, but everything I look at makes me wary of a junk purchase. I'm seeing a lot of stuff with Dell and MSI branding that I don't trust to be either.

I'm perfectly comfortable with no-branding or obscure branding, in fact some of my favorite brands these days are until fairly recently obscure/unknown Anker and Choetech - which I'm not certain aren't the same people.

This right here seems like a perfectly reasonable fleet laptop, and this particular seller has some transaction history - which I don't really trust either.

Any stories of good luck or getting screwed?


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Anyone else ever use the the Electric Sheep screensaver?

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