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Everything posted by HalloweenDocument12

  1. Can't remember whether or not missile following was in the game. But ROTT did have RANDROTT and it worked like you remember, though I believe the first FPS level randomizer was for Wolfenstein in the Super Upgrades Pack, and that one had some sort of GUI while RANDROTT was strictly CLI.
  2. Oh, Outlook.com/Hotmail finally supports two factor authentication? Thanks for the video.
  3. I agree in a practical sense that Apple never competed with Microsoft, but part of the sickness of 90s Apple ecosystem (employees, writers, fans) was that they thought Apple would destroy Microsoft. Steve Jobs addressed this at , where it was announced he was taking over again, to a downright hostile audience (though they softened up a bit by the time of the index linked). Worked for Linux! Wait...erm, um, hmmm. After 15 years or so of receiving 20-30 "critical updates" in semi-monthly batches, one does have to wonder exactly what they do. All that stuff seems to have been forgotten and even assumed as features. FAT32 was absolutely necessary. The hard drive capacity explosion caught FAT16 with its pants down and by 4Q 1995 2 GB partitions with 32K allocation units, the best FAT16 could do without hacks, was beyond end of life. People were also sick of basically having to name files like hex codes. Personally I think the real surprise success was NT4. I think everyone knew 95 would be a hit but while NT3 had a growing market it was decidedly a niche product. NT4 was an overnight success and penetrated unforseen markets like computers used for word processing and gamer builds. There were howto sites detailing how to hack in DirectX and drivers into NT 4, and people were spending more on computers that were capable of handling NT. Businesses upgraded quickly, and some of them jumpted directly to NT4 and skipped 9x entirely (though that wasn't always practical).
  4. Count me in. I thought AltaVista was shut down when they redirected Babel Fish to Yahoo some years ago. For true nostalgia, they should make AltaVista return nothing but 404s and "Bad Redirect" notices.
  5. The shills are funny in these situations because they try to assert that these spokespeople don't carry the opinion of the company, even when it's a CxO speaking. If you can't listen to these people then who? Technology-wise, ROTT was an upgrade over Wolf3D and was originally supposed to be another Nazi game, which is evident in the game itself. The project was delayed, though, and Doom beat it to market. ROTT was still awesome, though, and was the best multiplayer FPS of its time. The influence on other multiplayer FPSes like Quake is obvious. ROTT introduced several staple multiplayer modes and had the most total modes at the time and allowed the most players, 11, over the usual 4 or so. Doom had pseudo Z-axis in that one could move up and down stairs, elevators, etc, but no objects could occupy the same space vertically, so Doom was something like 2.5D. ROTT didn't entirely eliminate this restriction as those platforms were hardcoded spites. As in, literally hex edited into the game because while they figured out how to remove the Z restriction, they couldn't build it into the engine. ROTT had unique weapons for its time. Doom had introduced the vanilla rocket launcher, plasma gun, and BFG, but ROTT introduced what you mentioned plus the baseball bat (and balls), dog mode, magic wand, god hand, and others I am surely forgetting. It also introduced begging enemies (that would get you back if you didn't kill them). Besides allowing character selection, there were subtle differences between the characters. Another first, I believe, but this is usually attributed to Goldeneye I think, probably due to Oddjob's obvious and extreme advantage. EDIT: ROTT also introduced modifiable environments (smashing pots, bullet holes) and disintegrating enemies (burning, explosions). Okay, I'll stop now.
  6. Are people really paying $100/key from essentially anonymous sources? The people I know who do this stuff give away the keys as comps to their best customers. Reselling TechNet products really doesn't seem to be a good method of supplemental income. Maybe there's something I'm missing. Also, a lot of people seem to be ignorant as to how much tech "capital" is brought on by employees. Sure, a company should be awesome and give their staff whatever it wants. What if it doesn't happen? Quit? In this job market? What if the company is good in other ways and just lacks this one thing? What happened to taking personal responsibility for enhancing job skills? While on one hand it's nice for the company to provide the best tools, it's another to make the company the ONLY source for tools.
  7. What did you think it was used for? I know this happened but I don't think it was widespread enough to be that big of a concern. It's far easier to use "Loaders" and other activation bypass methods than to gamble on TechNet keys. Even then, most people get computers through OEMs, which have their own VLKs. Second-hand licenses are for the realm of people who know it can be done but aren't quite knowledgeable to do it themselves, a pretty small audience.
  8. Why not? Happened to IBM. Their middle finger to their users was the PS/2 with its expensive, locked-down Microchannel peripheral interface and unfinished OS/2 operating system. By the time IBM gave up on the PS/2 people literally forgot that "PC" was short for "IBM PC", and the rest of the industry had formed consortia to handle standardization independent of IBM.
  9. In this particular example, the population group consisted of Firefox users, board administrators, maybe developers (wasn't paying attention to the board tags). While it's certainly understandable that they cannot dedicate resources to supporting a marginal system like Windows 2000 and must advance requirements due to practical realities of Visual Studio, it seems odd that the audience of Firefox, a product which competes with Microsoft, would be diametrically opposed to the product running on an old Windows version. Firefox running on Windows 2000 represents a decoupling from the so-called upgrade treadmill. At one point, supplanting the underlying OS was a goal of Netscape's, so it's odd to see friction when evidence of this is seen. Then again, this wouldn't be the first bit of evidence that the Mozilla organization has lost its way. I suppose certain attitudes become so pervasive and reinforced that it becomes difficult to recognize that having them is against the interests of those arguing. Such could partially explain the bizarre trend of pro bono evangelizing of large companies.
  10. Coming from a smaller organization, the biggest problem is tech support. Buying a fleet of business-class machines and cloning onto them a tested and locked down deployment image makes support manageable but using arbitrary hardware opens the business up to every conceivable issue. If it's simply the user's personal machine then he wouldn't care too much if it were down for some amount of time but being used for work makes it a missing critical piece of equipment, even though the purchase is not approached as mission critical. We tried it with VMs, but that radically increases the price to just about the point of two computers and non-tech people find VMs very difficult to operate, even if we leave hints like customized backgrounds and/or different themes. The issue is not that much better with Macs, especially Macs that have been through the upgrade process, which doesn't work any better there than it does with Windows. BYOD works best with tablets, which are significantly more locked down than PCs by default. But this tablet usage assumes the infrastructure already exists. For example, Salesforce's mobile version is competent. I expect to see more in the future but don't see how tablets, BYOD or not, graduate from companion devices. In our office, the iPads, which we provided, went from "I love it so much and use it for everything" to "I use it to check email on the road". After the initial euphoria wears off, which may take a few months, users start to notice suboptimal usage.
  11. Following up on the discussion about obsolete systems, I was going to post about how the anti-XP crowd will be sorely disappointed when developers don't abandon the platform overnight. As evidence I was going to use Windows 2000, which is either still supported or was dropped only fairly recently when its usage dropped below 1%. When looking up when Firefox dropped support, which was about a year ago, I stumbled across this thread. In it, the topic creator explains how to patch the registry and add DLLs in W2K to allow installation and usage of newer Firefox versions. I figured someone would have done something like this by now and found the information useful. I would think others would, too, but, instead, the poster gets dogpiled and vilified for deigning to operate Windows 2000. The author is a good sport about it and puts forth one reasonable argument after another as the mob moves goalposts from security to aesthetics to performance and he actually wins over a few of the overreacting commenters. What's funny, though, are the kneejerk posters claiming that he'll be part of a botnet any day now. The guy is part of a community that hacks installers and backports security patches from XP. He's clearly already done a far deeper risk analysis than any of them and it should be obvious he knows what he's doing. So when did this vilification of older systems start? I don't remember it being around past a few years ago. Sure, people were gently ribbed for holding onto DOS, Windows 3, and Mac OS Classic, but I don't recall the aggressive advocacy to drop stuff that is working after the user explained his case. Another user joins the thread and says he was dogpiled even worse. I didn't read that thread, and it didn't link properly from the forum but after reformatting the URL I got it to work. When I worked as a field tech I was still coming across NT4 machines a few years after support dropped, and I'm pretty sure its market share was higher than 2000's at the same point in the life cycle but could be wrong about that. I don't remember NT4 being an IT pariah but maybe it was and I didn't notice. It would be fun to setup Windows XP RTM and attempt to avoid infection. IE6 would need to be avoided. The biggest challenge would be bypassing the SP1 and SP2 checks on software, but that can be backported (forward-ported?) from the 2000 knowledge base. I have a feeling that once Chrome or Firefox is in place, it won't be a big deal. Office 2003 should work even without SP1 installed, but the service packs and 2007 converters do have SP2 checks.
  12. I don't think JorgeA was quite going here, but it's still a rider on the topic of VMs: I feel the industry consensus, or at least what seems to be a consensus, is misguided on the topic of old operating systems and their vulnerabilities. The most common opinion I hear is that unsupported systems shouldn't be used at all due to potentially unpatched vulnerabilities. However, with obsolescence, interest in exploiting vulnerabilities goes with it. Furthermore, until the mid-2000s the primary attack vector was attacking machines attached directly to the Internet. Not only have personal routers mitigated much of the issue but the default mode of VM software is to run machines NAT-inside-NAT, which means that infections inside a VM are unlikely to spread via network. The enduring popularity of XP may cause me to change my opinion after support ends, but I hypothesize that running behind a single NAT and avoiding IE8 will likely be enough to ensure a reasonable amount of safety with XP. Of course, XP is inferior to later systems when it comes to engaging in unsafe activity (e.g. warez), but I'm talking about "regular usage" (web browsing, word processing) and running well-established applications that may depend on XP. Another facet of of VMs is that even with the overhead they allow a more advanced platform than would have been available at the time. Getting Windows 98 to run on anything beyond a Williamette P4 is challenging due to driver issues with chipsets, etc. but with a VM we basically get to pretend that Windows 98 supports a Core i-series platform.
  13. ReactOS is based on Wine and has been around since the 90s. It hasn't accomplished enough to be taken seriously. It doesn't support .NET at all. Even that passage seems old and was probably written circa 2002 when .NET was new, which means they aren't taking documentation seriously. If developers are basically forced into dipping into this realm, they're probably best off working it out with Mono and/or winelib.
  14. Fascinating to flip the 1s upside down but they may be even more compressed by removing the tails, making it like the pipe character: |||||. I've heard of that, and it makes sense. Some of the reviews are so well written that it's obvious the author is a professional writer.
  15. The reason for the repositories is due to the decision to make dependencies dynamically linked. Old-time Windows users know this problem as "DLL hell". The Linux ecosystem is so fragile that all software has to be compiled against each other simultaneously and provided as a snapshot. Mixing and matching binaries is virtually impossible and even source gets "stale" alarmingly quickly. Commercial vendors used to offer statically linked applications that would work on a variety of Linux systems, but the core developers became increasingly hostile to this over time because they do not want closed-source deployment to be viable. The fragility of Linux is, in effect, a design goal. A parallel between the "Linux movement" and what Microsoft has become is an insular attitude that only the goals of the group matter and that serving the greater audience is not a priority. The Linux equivalent of #dealwithit is RTFM. Fun fact, the "magic number" for the Linux kernel in Hyper-V was, until recently, "big boobs". Microsoft should feel lucky that it was not them implicated in "donglegate". They missed the storm only by a few months.
  16. I come from the other side. The concept of "desktop Linux" as it has existed virtually unchanged since the mid-90s has zero chance of success. It probably has the longest failure history of any tech product ever. Android succeeded because Google took what worked (the kernel), added in heavy modifications to make it work for what they wanted (which LKML whined about loudly), and replaced the entire user space. NeXT, which became the basis for Mac OS, did something similar by taking BSD and deprecating all the UNIX stuff until it was unrecognizable. I think Google should simply put Android onto a laptop. I don't know why they're messing around with ChromeOS. They're doing the exact opposite thing Microsoft is doing, and, ironically, it's still wrong.
  17. Thanks. Didn't know there was a site that aggregated Amazon reviews. But I'm surprised the infamous Denon cable isn't at the top of the hall of fame: http://www.amazon.com/electronics/dp/B000I1X6PM Reviews on bad books are also a good source of entertainment.
  18. I don't know about Microsoft's policies, but the firms hired to do "blast" (shill) marketing tend to employ people who can write just well enough. Any worse and it becomes distracting and even suspicious because the hired guns are often foreign and will make different mistakes than native speakers. Broken English written by a foreigner stands out even to less critical readers. These marketing mercenaries are probably coached to say certain things and are encouraged to deliver a specific message in addition to general praise, which, again, stands out if you're aware that these people exist. But, again, I'm referring to the "day one" commenters posting at places like IMDB and Amazon when a new movie or book comes out. From what I've seen, Microsoft's underground marketers are a solid step up from the norm. In addition to having generally better writing skills, they tend to deliver a more "integrated" message, as if they formed their own approach after a attending company meeting rather than being handed cue cards. I haven't read many of the 5-star Amazon reviews, though, so I could be wrong about those being better than average.
  19. The most valuable Internet educational tool a school could offer is using critical thinking to place truth values on information received. Mostly this involves tracking down sources of information to see how closely they correspond with the nth iteration of reporting and looking for clues that establish or undermine credibility. Instead schools take the lazy way out and issue blanket statements like "you can't trust anything on the Internet". That would be a suboptimal yet acceptable stance, but then one cannot in good faith assert that Internet in schools is any kind of necessity.
  20. Without the current concept of the Internet, there'd still exist some sort of network, but it would more likely be provided by television or telephone companies and thus less amenable to consumer needs.
  21. Any gamers here? I see from the shills constant references to scratched discs and even claims of shattering. Personally, I've seen shattering only in demonstration videos where a motor spins the disc far faster than any drive on the market does. As for scratches, for me, it's only happened with bad used purchases and a disc or two that I played so much that I didn't bother putting it into a case when taking it out to play something else. Unprotected, of course it developed flaws. If it gets bad enough, I go onto eBay and buy another. By the time the disc becomes unplayable, I can get a used copy for $20 or something. It's a minor inconvenience, but I'd much rather have a free market than some system where I effectively can't buy games. I still mix in stuff from the 80s and 90s and can see myself playing classics for years to come. Similarly, I expect to pick up a few games during the Xbox One's reign that I will be playing long after the system's marketability and the ability to play games absent an online authentication service is important to me.
  22. I understand the mixed emotions, but think of the big picture: the Internet is a huge and effective weapon for consumers. This is exactly what is supposed to happen. I still expect Microsoft to be "punished" in that it's far more difficult to gain a customer than it is to lose him, and they have certainly lost many customers as a result of this fiasco. Even the more neutral parties will be pushed into a "wait and see" mode rather than an automatic buy. Put another way, how much closer to 1984 would we be without the Internet?
  23. Something that doesn't seem to have clicked yet with tech journalism is that selling one million units no longer makes the item mass market. Once upon a time, back in the 80s, selling a million of a device meant that "everyone had one", at least to the extent one could realistically consider the market. But now a million is niche. Wii-U has sold over 3.5 million units and the Vita over 2.5 and both are considered niche. These days, a vendor needs to sell literally an order of magnitude more to be considered at the same level as a few decades ago. 5 million is the new 500 thousand.
  24. Yes, back in the early to mid 90s you could get a lot of value through buying the "packs" and "chests" which were usually around $20. Some manufacturers went as far to load all the games onto a single CD rather than filling the pack with individual releases. Also from Techbroil: Kinda like how banks saved money on tellers by installing ATMs but still charged "convenience fees" for withdraws until a few years ago.
  25. I disagree with the sentiment that "Sony gets away with everything". They've lost on pretty much every front over the course of a decade. There will always be fanboys but the market doesn't lie. Sony rightly received mass criticism for their handling of the rootkits, batteries, and PSN hacking. But the way Sony is handling the PS4 thus far demonstrates that they're learning. Sony has lost much ground over the past 10 years and needs/needed a new strategy. We may be seeing it. Microsoft would be afforded a similar courtesy with a similar turnaround. I don't think people really like Sony all that much; they just look good by comparison. They haven't been a lifestyle brand since the late-80s save for a resurgence with the Playstation brand that ended before the PS3 was released.
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