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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ultima IX Ascension on 64 bit Windows 8

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I’m writing this blog to chronicle my attempts to run this Windows 98 game from 1999 on a modern PC. Nothing that I could find on the Internet seemed to have all the answers in one location. I hope this will help others wishing to run this program.

First off my equipment.
• I own a licensed copy of Ultima IX. Due to some bugs at the time of its release, I also have a second install disk that was sent to me by Origin. This is an installation disk of the final version, 1.18.
• I also have access to two PCs, I will explain why in a short while.
• I found VMware Player a necessary asset but not for the reasons that you think.
• Lastly, I had a full version of Windows 98 Second Edition and a bootable DOS 6.22 CD.

Summary of my adventures.
First, Ultima IX Setup will not run at all on my Windows 8 PC. Not straight out of the box and not in any compatibility mode that is offered in Windows 8. I had feared that I might be dealing with the fact that 16 bit code won’t run on a 64 bit OS but Ultima seems to be a 32 bit game.

I kept reading on the Internet that people were able to get it running. Of those that said it worked on newer versions of Windows none ever mentioned that they actually owned the game. I don’t make a habit of stealing games or getting them from illegal download websites. Also, many websites mentioned a home brewed patch dubbed 1.19 which I did decide to try.

Since Ultima was made for Windows 98 SE, I decided to try VMware to see if I could get the old OS to run. Windows 8 comes with Hyper-V virtualization software which I had used to setup Windows XP. Hyper-V will not support old Microsoft Operating Systems like 95, 98, ME. Unfortunately, VMware cannot exist on the same PC as Hyper-V unless you want to crash your operating system or create an environment that looks a lot like a dual boot OS.

As a result, I installed VMware Player on my Windows Home Sever 2011. The install was quick and I knew enough about virtualization that running it was rather simple.

Getting Windows 98 installed was a relative pain. I could not boot off the 98 CD even though it is the full version for new PCs. My recollection was that you needed a DOS boot disk to start the process. Believe it or not, I actually created a bootable CD for DOS 6.22 about the same time as Ultima was actually released. I popped the disk into the DVD player and then ran FDISK to create a partition and then ran FORMAT /S to get thing going. Then I put the 98 SE disk into the computer and ran Setup.

This worked well until it was time to detect hardware and the associated registry entries and then I got a message that the computer could not read from drive A. (Bootable CDs are treated as the A drive.) I terminated the install and rebooted the virtual machine. The 98 installation resumed and finished with no further problems.

After starting 98 in VMware; however, my virtual machine had no sound. I hunted online and found that installing a driver for Creative Labs Sound Blaster fixed the problem. http://www.techbug.com/en/knowledge-base/289/

Now I was ready to install Ultima. I was able to get thru the two CD installation. The last step is configuring the video and that is where my hopes were dashed. After several days of hacking and searching on the web, I was crushed to learn that VMware does not support 3D video rendering in Windows 95, 98 or ME.

Ok, so here I am with Windows 8 not letting me install the program one my computer and Ultima on my Home Sever installed in a virtual machine that doesn’t support the game. It was enough to break my heart. And then yesterday I saw a post that was my epiphany. I then knew how to turn my lemons into lemonade. Here is the post.

Re: Autorun problems - can’t install Ultima 9
________________________________________
Problem is still not solved, but I found a workaround (at least for my game). Installed Ultima 9 on my wife’s computer and then copied the 1+ gb Ultima directory onto my 2gb flash drive and moved it to my computer. Works fine. In fact I don’t use or need the game CD in the drive.
http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f149/autorun-problems-cant-install-ultima-9-a-221631.html

 

Old games don’t modify Windows registry because back in the day there wasn’t one and they often did not copy files to C:\Windows\System. I knew this guy was right. I copied the entire Ultima IX directory from my virtual 98 machine to a flash drive. Then I copied it to the root of my C Drive. This is why bit torrent folks could run it and those of us with the physical media could not.

Things I did to modify the install before I tried to run on my Windows 8 computer.
• Modify Option.ini file per http://ultimacodex.com/topic/possible-fix-for-high-crash-frequency-in-ultima-ix/ I recall modifying this file when I ran the game when it first came out. A similar modification is need for some of the Command and Conquer games.
• Patch 1.19 http://ultima9.ultimacodex.com/forgotten-world/

Ultima worked just fine and at a much higher resolution than the 640 x 480 listed on the box. The only catch is that the play disk needs to be in my Blue Ray drive to run the game. I haven’t found a tweak yet to fix that requirement. Perhaps I will mount an ISO image and see if that satisfies the program.

 

Posted by william on 06/29 at 12:59 PM
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Fails Again

The US Supreme Court laid another stinky pile of manure today on its way out of town for summer vacation. To me this makes no legal sense. First they invalidated DOM (the federal Defense of Marriage Act) on the basis that states have the right to decide what their marriage laws should be. Then, in California’s Prop 8 case, they declare that the voters of a state do not have the right to decide what their definition of marriage should be. 

Clearly, this is what you get without a moral compass to guide you. Moral Relativism leads only to schizophrenia and unintelligible nonsense. Congress could fix this but they lack the moral will to act. The net result is that another institution that once held the West on solid footing has fallen.

We need reformation or rebellion. Perhaps the question, “Who is John Galt” is not in our future but the dystopia we are creating leads only to the Road to Serfdom. Liberals in our time truly believe the big lie that “Slavery is Freedom” because that is what they have in store for us.

A relatively unknown Christian rock band called Quickflight did a song called “Modern Romans”. I think the title of this song is in fact our future. In ancient Rome, citizens could worship any god they wanted as long as Caesar is supreme. I fear we are heading toward the same belief; thus any beliefs that present a challenge to ruling class will be viewed as treasonous and will not be tolerated. Thus Christianity will be illegal. Those who renounce the supremacy of the State will be punished. Churches will be regulated and those that refuse to conform to the moral principles of the State will be outlawed. (Can you see why a 501.C3 is a bad idea?) It follows that Christians that maintain orthodox biblical beliefs will be prohibited from government benefits such as student loans, social security, federal or state jobs, etc. Also children of believers will be removed from their parents and given to others because of their intolerance and hateful beliefs such as opposing abortion, homosexuality and tyranny. To declare “Jesus is Lord” and truly believe it will soon be the unpardonable sin in our society.

This will happen sooner than later. Ironically, those that proclaimed they would always remember the Holocaust, are among those that will be putting us to the sword. They have already forgotten the promise that they made to the world to oppose tyranny in all its forms. They are aligned with those in power so the whole “when they came for me” argument is a non-starter. Proof? Had they really meant what they said, Roe v Wade would never have been allowed to stand.


I am reminded of the Curses recorded in Deuteronomy Chapter 28. I believe that this is the future we will experience if we stay on the path we are following.  Here are a few highlights that will be visiting us:

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do , until thou be destroyed , and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. 44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand ;
50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:
51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.
52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst , throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

As I read this, I keep thinking of China & Islam carving up the West. Judgment can lead to either repentance or destruction. Thus far, we keep choosing destruction.

Posted by william on 06/26 at 05:16 PM
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Public Safety Risk Increasing

Yet another article on the threat to public safety by release of prisoners. Even I am surprised by number of bad guys already let loose on the public.

The state has reduced its prison population by more than 46,000 inmates since 2006, with more than half the decrease due to a 2-year-old state law that is sentencing lower-level criminals to county jails instead of state prisons. But the population remains about 9,400 inmates over the level required by the courts.

The state has said it can whittle the population further by the end of the year but would remain 2,300 inmates over the court-ordered number.

“It’s inevitable. You’re going to have people released to the community who are continuing to commit more crime and, as such, our population in the (jail) facility is going to be impacted,” said Sgt. Jason Ramos, of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

He added, there’s a 70 percent chance criminals released will reoffend.
Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/judges-gov-brown-must-fully-comply-with-prison-order/-/11797728/20650150/-/dpyo3p/-/index.html#ixzz2Wso78db5

Emphasis added by me.
Instead of building more prisons our elected officials are trying to disarm the public.

My solution is to release all the prisoners in the neighborhood where the judges live and see how they like living with their rulings.

Posted by william on 06/21 at 05:03 PM
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Friday, June 07, 2013

D-Day Remembered

Yesterday was the 69th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion at the beaches in Normandy France.
It also happened to be the day of our month meeting of my local California Republican Assembly chapter. As President, I took the opportunity to remember the soldiers that participated in this assault; especially the 9,000 men that lost their lives that day.

Launching the invasions from bases in England, I can’t help but think that for at least some of these men, the last thing they prayed was the Anglican Prayer In the time of War and Tumults from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

O ALMIGHTY God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We then had a moment of silence and began our meeting.

Posted by william on 06/07 at 03:07 PM
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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Switching Windows Phone 8 from Hotmail to Outlook

Moving my email from Hotmail.com to Outlook.com has involved some preplanning and a few minor heartaches. Here is what I have done and experienced thus far. I hope this will be helpful to others that plan to do likewise in the future.

I use my Windows Live account—or whatever Microsoft wants to call it these days—on my Windows 8 PC and my Windows 8 Phone. I found an article that claimed that by following their instructions that you can switch to a new Microsoft Account and keep your app purchases. Their method was to transfer everything from one Live account to another via an XBOX 360. I followed the instructions on the article found here
http://www.wpcentral.com/guide-how-get-new-live-id-and-keep-all-your-windows-phone-app-purchases

After following the instructions in the link above, this is what I experienced.
My XBOX points moved from one account to the other but moving the phone purchases was a bust. Only two apps have moved from the old account to the new. One was an old version of angry Birds which says it is no longer available for download and a tower defense game called SwampDefense. I had made a list of all apps on my phone prior to moving accounts so I know what I should have. After doing the Factory Reset as instructed in the link above, I found and installed the free apps that I had previously had on my phone. Many of my paid apps were originally downloaded at times when there was either a free introductory offer or they were on sale in the Store. Some posts I have read said that it can take up to three days for apps to be moved. I don’t think this is going to work, but I’m only halfway thru the three day time period.

*****
Update #1
About three and a half days after the switch, another group of old apps appears on my purchase history. However, there is still a gap from August of 2012 to June of 2013.This of course is the period that I most want to reinstall. Also, note on old entries that while the apps are on the list, the word “Purchase” does not appear in the payment column.

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Secondly, when I log into Hotmail—my old phone account—I see all purchases for both the Outlook and Hotmail accounts. Also, the Hotmail log in shows Other Phones as an option on the account. This gives me some hope that the switch is still in progress.

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Upon further review however, I found the other device listed was my old HTC Trophy phone. It was not removed from my Hotmail account when I bought the HTC 8X.
*****

Other posts that I read said that you will have the apps available but must go thru the motions to purchase the apps again and once you hit buy, the phone will say you have already purchased the app and can then download it without paying. This has not been my experience. I tried and ended-up buying an app that I had previously purchased.

I will not say that this method never worked but it certainly does not any more…at least as advertised.

Changing the login on the Windows 8 PC seemed easy enough. I changed from a Microsoft account to a local account. Once that process was completed, I then attached the computer login to the new Live account. The first change that I noticed was that my list of recent documents in Microsoft Office was reset and I had to setup my email accounts again. I don’t have any purchased apps in Windows 8 so I don’t know if they followed or not. If the few apps that I have installed still function and update then I think it is safe to assume that they are OK.

I went thru my list of usernames and passwords and updated my email information. In some cases, I could update them using the PC and test the change by logging into the app on my phone. An example of this would be Amazon.com where your email address is part of your login to the site.

The other issue I have with Hotmail is that there is no way to cancel the auto renewal of the account using any Microsoft website. You can either plan ahead by setting up the default credit card with one that will expire before the renewal date or outright cancel the account. There is no way to revert back to a free account without contacting MSFT. I am trying to use an email support feature buried deep in the bowels of the support website to see if they will cancel the automatic renewal but I have yet to hear from them.

*****
Update #2
Surprisingly, within about an hour, I received a reply from Microsoft and with a few more emails was able to cancel the auto renewal of my Hotmail account.
*****

The other Windows Phone question that I had was related to phone updates to the BIOS and Operating System. What happens when you do a complete reset of the phone? Do updates need to be installed again—like I would after using a PC restore disk—or do the master restore files get updated as part of the updating process? Surprisingly, the updates appear to be permanently installed. I never needed to update the BIOS or Operating System following the reset. Manually running the Check for Updates feature for the phone OS, states that the phone is up to date.

About twenty hours after I did the phone reset, I got a batch of updates that were phone specific for audio and other features. This update notification was via the Store.

Transferring my TechNet subscription was the simplest part. I just clicked on a link for this purpose and followed the steps. This was the most painless part of the whole process. My only concern was that after I was done, I could log on with my new account but the box with my name in it still was showing my old email address. Changing the TechNet login however does not change the email address of any Microsoft newsletters to which you may have subscribed.

Posted by william on 06/06 at 01:51 PM
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