Time to move on from XP

Time to move on from XP

Microsoft have just ended support for XP; there are to be no more updates which means it’s a growing security threat! Not all organisations have moved forward yet, and probably even less home user including me. Microsoft’s behaviour over the last two years has not been helpful to consumers. Firstly, the ‘upgrade’ to the new look and feel of Windows 8 trashes consumer’s self administration skills. Making new systems do what they want and knew how to do on XP is hard. Secondly, moving forward using virtualisation technology as advised by this article at hongkiat remains difficult, partly because of Microsoft’s aggressive digital rights enforcement . Microsoft’s behaviour is not unusual, nor illegal, but there’s a lot of people who aren’t happy and Microsoft’s historic success is based on consumer adoption. They’re changing up, we probably need to also. …

Adventures in Faerun with an Apple Mac

Neverwinter NightsAppleI finally got Neverwinternights running on my Mac using WINE. It is clear from the old Bioware forums that to get it working on recent i.e. Intel based Macs needs virtualisation technology. There are choices here, but I chose WINE since it seems to leave the game’s code ‘closer to the metal’ than alternatives. I also wanted it to be legally free.

There have been some rat holes in this project, but I started at http://winehq.org. This has lots of great resources including some “How To…” pages and a forum. The best advice at  the time I started was to install from source, so I got introduced to git. I came to the conclusion, after being advised, that macports was a better way of installing and maintaining WINE on the MAC. (I also downloaded Porticus which is a GUI front end for macport and I had to upgrade my version of the Xcode developer package.) This conclusion was aided by the fact the game now works.

An article at arstecnica, called “Neverwinter Nights WINE Tutorial” states that the installer won’t work under WINE and my early experiments had found this to be true. The article suggests copying a good windows installation which I did via a DVD. The compressed folders are between 3.4 & 3.7 Gb, depending on how many saved games and add-on modules are in the folders.  The ars article also recommends copying some of the Microsoft DLLs, but they used a W98 build as their source, I am using XP. I have not copied any of the DLLs onto my Mac.

It seems to be working OK.

In summary its a three step process,

  1. Install macports and porticus
  2. Install WINE
  3. Copy the NWN folder from a Windows Machine

The first comment is by me, and discusses how I got doh123’s Wineskin to work. DFL 22 April 2011. …

Centos 5, first thoughts

Most of yesterday I spent building a Centos 5.3 VM in virtual box on my Mac. This took longer than I’d expect, but I am not sure if its someone else’s software or me. Anyway getting the Guest Additions remade and installed was a pain, I had forgotton about enabling sudo, the keyboard selection is non-obvious and a Centos bug means that screens don’t auto resize, nor it seems can they be above a fairly intermediate size (1152×768). Still its usable and its what my hosting company use so I’d better get over it. For more see also my notes and links. …

Little Big Adventure

I have been struggling to get VRDP from Virtual Box working on my home network, of which more maybe later, but I took a break to install one of the greatest games ever on the home machines with the help of my younger son. We finally found a copy of Little Big Adventure that’ll run on modern machines. This is hosted at LBA HQ. It runs native but recommends running under DosBox. So that is what I did… …

Future of the Internet

In March, I attended the EU’s “Future of the Internet” conference. This was a meeting of Europe’s top computer scientists from both business and academia, planned to discuss future research and development. The meeting was jointly convened by the rotating Presidency (the Government of Slovenia) and the Commission, and held at Lake Bled. I attended a number of sessions dealing with technical, societal and economic issues together with the state of research in the European Union.  The original articles were written from notes taken at the time, posted the following week and back dated to the approximate time the speech was given; they were copied across to this ominbus blog in July 2016. It is now, really quite long. The sessions included, Dr Ziga Turk, who spoke of enlargement and the 5th freedom, Dutton on Privacy, Trust and economies of scale, Wyckoff Lovink, Johansen , Vasconcelos in a panel on economics and Heuser, Grégoire, Uddenfeldt , Nathan , Hourcade on the development of technology in Europe, and speakers from the US and Japan. …

blackbox is a video star!

Jonathan announced Project Black Box at the end of last month. Its a Data Centre in a shipping container and expanded on its unique value in his blog article “A picture’s worth…. Jonathan said that customer reaction has varied with equal measures of a) nervous laughter, b) incredulity, c) profound curiosity …