TideLog Archive for January, 2009

Another PC port of one of my favourite games has arrived, Saints Row 2, and i like what i see. The original Saints Row was Xbox360 exclusive, so why they’ve decided to release the sequel on PS3 (JUUUNNNKK!), PC and 360 is beyond me. Not that i’m complaining, because i have a 360, and completed the original 4 times over, but it would be nice to be able to play it on Lucy alongside SR2.

On to SR2 and how it plays… Well, it runs nicely on my setup (see previous posts!), and i’m more impressed with it than the PC port of GTA:IV. Even with the settings on low as a stability test, the graphics were impressive, and the game runs smoothly. SR2 PC has a lot more graphics settings available, such as AA (Anti Aliasing), AF (Anisotropic Filitering) and depth, draw and shadowing. It works right out of the box with the Xbox360 wired USB controller too, albeit with the Setup A config, which i didn’t like on 360, i like the triggers as accelerate, brake and reverse, and the default uses Green & Blue buttons (A & X respectively). Changing the config isn’t as easy on PC, as you have to change each assignment manually, whereas the 360 has set schemes.

Overall it is a great game, and i’ll bring you some screenshots later, to do it justice!

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Since rebuilding Lucy, i’ve been excited to try the PC version of GTA IV, the latest in my favourite line up, the GTA games. I must say, i’m quite disappointed. You’re expected to install a load of extra software, such as Rockstar Social Club, then you need an account with this, otherwise you can’t upload videos made using the Replay feature, then you need a Windows Live account to play the game online, and recieve updates.

All this is well and good once you’ve waited for over an hour for the whole 13GB of the thing to install. Running it is another matter. You need to make sure your hard drive is defragmented, and that you’re not trying it in Vista, like i did, because it runs like a dog, because we all know how resource greedy Vista is. Use XP, and have plenty of RAM. I’ve only got a gig, and a dedicated gig for my HD4650 graphics card.

Ramping up the settings disappointed me the most. It looks worse than the PS2 Version of Driv3r, even having the detail depth on half made the textures look like they’re only half loaded. There are no anti-aliasing options, or even advanced settings. Doom 3 looks sexier, and that is coming of age, having been released in 2003/4.

Pics soon!

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I went down to Micro Direct last Monday, and bought all the parts for the new Lucy! Her specs are now:

1. Gigabyte EP45-UD3R Intel P45 motherboard

2. Hitachi SATA2 1 Terabyte hard drive

3. Gigabyte ATi Radeon HD4650 1GB Graphics Card

4. 1GB GEiL DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM

All i need for her now is a SATA optical drive, for now i’m using my old AOPEN DUW1616/ARR DVD Rewriter, which has served me excellently, apart from burning Xbox360 dual layer discs, all it’s ever done is coastered! I intend to upgrade the RAM to a minimum of 6GB for when i use the Intel I64 technology for a 64 bit OS, as the 32bit versions of XP & Vista don’t like up to or over 4GB.

My final operating system setup once i get the E-FIX dongle will be:

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7 (I currently have the Beta installed)

ReactOS (For my development and customisation purposes)

AdaOS (an Ada based OS)

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (Genuine Mac copy using the E-FIX dongle) I’ll use a pirated copy to test, then will go out and buy a copy from Apple.

So far, i have XP, the old XP and Vista repaired from the old Lucy, and Windows 7, and things run faster than ever!

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I’ve been making plans for the new Lucy, and she’s going to be a monster! I’ve recieved the processor, my new Intel Pentium Dual Core 2.5GHz E5200. It is an entry level dual core chip, but i intend to upgrade to a Core 2 Quad once the rest of the system is built. Something rather interesting happened today. My friend and Kitamura Co Director Greg mentioned the E-FiX dongle. It is a dongle that allows you to run Mac OS X on a standard PC. It conects to a USB header on your mainboard, and sort of emulates the Mac EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) after BIOS POST on your computer, a bit like a boot device. They are sold i the UK by a company called Orange Systems Ltd, for £134, and i want one! I’ve tried a few versions of Hackintosh, and they’ve all failed i different ways. Using this dongle means i can use a genuine version of OS X 10.5. The only drawback is it only works with selected hardware, the good news it is most of the hardware i inted to use!

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ReactOS is cool, and I love it! Currently up to version 0.3.7, it is stable, and supports quite a few Windows programs. I’ve had Firefox, OpenOffice, and KasSoft’s KomodoPlayer & Phone Diary running, with minor changes to ReactOS’s COMCTL32.dll and USER32.dll C source files.

Instead of downloading the ISO directly, i like to download the MINGW32 Build Environment, the ReactOS Build Environment, and do it this way:

1. Open ReactOS Build Environment, and at the command prompt, type “ssvn create” to download the SVN mirror of the source. If you already have a older copy of the source, you can type “ssvn update” and the latest source SVN mirror will be downloaded. To check your local revision against the online one, type “ssvn status”. For a failed build or download, type “clean“, and then “ssvn cleanup“, all without the quotes!

2. Once I’ve downloaded the source tree, I make any changes using Visual Studio, SharpDevelop (I have a custom KasSoft release designed specifically for ReactOS) or any C++ editor.

3. To see your changes, if you changed bits of source, open RBE, and type either of the following, depending on your preference:

make: Compiles everything. After any change to the source code, call make to update compiled objects.

make bootcd: Creates an install CD. If ReactOS has not been compiled yet, make bootcd will do the compilation. However, if there has been changes to the source code since the last make, make bootcd will not register them and build a new CD based off the last manual build.

make livecd: Creates a LiveCD. make livecd is identical to make bootcd in how it treats the source code.

make clean: Deletes all compiled objects and then does a clean build of the source code.

clean: A more thorough removal of compiled objects than make clean. In preparation for a truly clean build.

Then I like to run my finished product in VMWare, VirtualPC doesn’t like ROS, and I don’t like VPC, mainly because of its strange lack of USB support.

Thanks to Kassie and her wonderful programming expertise, she has helped me enjoy a great Open Source Windows clone!

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