* Posts by RetroTom

27 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Dec 2011

RetroPie 4.6 brings forth an answer to 'What do I do with this Pi 4 I bought last year?'

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Behind the curve...

I've tried this, but emulation on a Raspberry Pi device doesn't feel like stepping back in time to the 80s and 90s and playing the classic games I remember and loved growing up, it feels like stepping back to the early 2000s and reliving the frustration of playing badly emulated versions of those games.

The gulf in quality between the software available on the PC and the software available on these things, especially for MAME & other arcade material is too wide for the experience to be rewarding, I'm playing through games encountering bugs I'd forgotten were even present in the crusty old emulator versions being peddled here.

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Re: Not Cloudy Here

not paranoid, that's the only sensible way to use Windows these days

All the modern buzzwords are toxic 'features' that if you understand enough about computers you know you're best to avoid.

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update team explains the hold-up: You little BSOD!


Re: Windows insider Program

also each time one of them fails and takes out a machine with a BSOD that user is less likely to jump back into the program, which means the number of cases with odd setups that might actually be useful for testing decreases with every single build.

More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey



I consider an ad-blocker a security patch.

near 100% of malware infections I've had to deal with on clients machines in recent times have come from, you've guessed it, ads exploiting browser bugs, or simply tricking the user into installing junk which then further opens up their system.

First thing I do is give them an ad-blocker (and recommend something like no-script if they can manage it)

Never had another problem, it's a better anti-vrius solution than an actual anti-virus.

Ad-blockers are the FIRST line of security, and the most important.

OK Google? Firefox to nibble Chrome extensions from 2016


Re: Firefox making progress on their endeavour

yep, NoScript is the real (the ONLY reason) I'm still using Firefox..

it's sad how they're slowly changing it from a cutting edge browser with real identity and individuality into what feels like (functionality wise) just another skin for Chrome..

Game over for epic 15-year-long console ban, China says


Re: What they didn't mention...

No big loss, that generation was the golden generation in recent history, the current generation is flashy, graphically mind-blowing in places but lacks a certain something. There's too much hand-holding in current games, and a general feeling that gameplay is second fiddle to 'modern features' with the system 'experience' getting in the way.

Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em

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Excellent news

Use the knowledge and experience gained from your R&D to create better products than the competition, even if others do copy you still have that edge, if you have confidence in your product then you don't need to protect it with endless lawsuits against competitors.

This should also help standardize things, another win for the consumer, the technology can be embraced without fear from both the point of view of the manufacturer and any buyers - if your kit is all made to certain standards it's going to be easier to replace if it fails.

Other parts of the tech industry (holding far more trivial patents) could learn a thing or two from this.

Microsoft Xbox One to be powered by ginormous system-on-chip


and mentions of Jaguar...

didn't Atari once name an system after those big cats?

good omen that one!

Attention, addicts: LEGO meth lab pays homage to Breaking Bad



does it come with a Lego fly? I can't see one..

Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

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Re: Just bought an RT

You said apps.

I don't want it to run apps, I want it to run software.

I want users to be able to freely create and distribute software through their own channels, with no Microsoft involvement.

A proper ARM based computing platform running Windows would be an interesting alternative at that point, you'd end up with a second potentially very competitive computing ecostructure running under a familiar OS, just different underlying processor.

Instead we got a crippled marketing drone in the palm of our hands and are expected to pay over the odds for that 'privilege'. The device is a product of anti-competitive greed, not innovation. It could have been SO much more with a few simple policy changes. It has been rightly shunned.

Steve Jobs' death clears way for '13-inch' JUMBO iPAD HYPEGASM


Re: Who would want a 13" tablet?

giants, giants I tell you

Microsoft lathers up Windows 8.0 Surface RT for quick price shave


Re: Hmm

I wouldn't even take it then, give me $549 plus a couple of hundred extra to make up for its complete inability to run the much of free software I depend on and I might consider it.

The product has a negative value to me because you're paying to buy into a scheme where you have to pay to gain any extra functionality, and can't develop your own solutions.

Windows RT is garbage and always will be garbage, and the license restrictions over locked bootloaders make the hardware garbage and worthless too.

Windows RT / Surface isn't alone in this, so many products these days fall into what I would consider negative value, and I wouldn't want them even if somebody was giving them away.

Microsoft announces $499 price tag, new games for Xbox One


Re: Personally

Sony could try forcing this by disallowing such systems in their TCRs, that would be a solid statement of win for the customer.

If Sony can do that, and manage to prize some of the key sports licenses away from EA Games then Microsoft may as well melt down every box it has built so far and cut its losses selling off the parts for scrap.

This week's BBC MELTDOWN: Savile puppet haunts kids' TV


Cultural value?

I like my Retrogames.

I don't care if some of them might offend some people, if they have Michael Jackson* prancing around rescuing llttle boys, the Twin Towers being blown to smithereens or anything else potentially 'offensive'. They're a part of our heritage and changing anything about them would be wrong.

I'm not for one second going to say Tweenies has any value at all on the same level, but it's not as if it's some horrific footage of Jimmy Saville abusing anybody.

If the BBC are out to cut, re-edit or erase from history each and every reference to the man isn't that more likely to do greater damage than is solves, culling entire episodes from libraries, trying to rewrite history? Isn't that what we need protections against, not some 'offensive' scene.

* I am aware that he wasn't convinced of anything, but people had serious doubts at one point.

Google to scan Chrome extensions, bans auto-install


Re: You do it, if you're so clever.

I did, until I accidentally forgot to untick the 'ask toolbar' during the install of something.

That weaves it's way into your browser in so many insidious ways it's worse than most traditional spyware, I can't believe some reputable apps even associate themselves with it.

Borderlands 2 review


Re: Inventory fatigue

you see I'm the opposite, making me put some thought into my inventory management and what I'm carrying is a major selling point and one of the many reasons I find the original Deus Ex infinitely replayable.

Nokia lops UK Lumia prices ahead of Win 8 phones



I'm not sure if my sarcasm detection is off today but yes, yes they do. It's one of the reasons an awful lot of people I know don't consider Linux to be a viable desktop OS, fragmentation. What works on one may not work on another, OS upgrades break entire dependency chains leaving software broken if it doesn't get updated too far more frequently than on Windows where you can quite happily run many of your old 32-bit Win9x apps on a brand spanking new 64-bit Win 8 system.

Apache man disables Internet Explorer 10 privacy setting

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Not a Microsoft fan...

but I hope Microsoft take Apache to the cleaners in this case. An option, provided and set to a default for the benefit of the customers is being specifically ignored.

This is targeted at, and directly harms the reputation of IE, open and shut case I'd say.

UK: 'We're legally bound to arrest Mr Assange'

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Hot Air Balloon

Just give the guy a hot air balloon and be done with it, maybe a Zeppelin? ;-)

Once he's over international waters he can bail and Ecuador can pick him up ;-)

Simply seeing jets scrambled to stop a big balloon would be worth it alone.

Microsoft: It's not Metro, it's Windows 8


'Windows 8 Interface?

Can I be foolishly optimistic and hope it means this turd of an interface has already been dropped from Windows 9?

Prototype 2


Yeah, might look out for this one on discount.

This is a good example of why the 2nd hand market needs to exist.

It looks like it could be fun, but not £50 worth of fun, maybe £15, it has no real long term value, no reel 'keep factor'. The above poster is bang on, inFamous 2 feels like a far better value product thanks to the in depth editor and greater possibilities.

I'm sure it's just another game which Activision, EA and the like will point to in an effort to show how 2nd hand sales are killing their market, but the simple truth is it isn't worth the asking price, very few games are. In this case I don't think it's even worth the asking price after being reimbursed by a trade it so I will be waiting until it can be picked up sub £20 and if I can't find it at that price point, I won't be buying it.

That's not to say it's a bad game, the review and rating seem fair from what I've seen of it but things need to be priced more realistically.

Braben sticks knife into secondhand games market

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The REAL problem

Why are people trading in their single player games so early to create this market in the first place.

I still have the majority of my SNES and Megadrive games, why? because they're timeless. I can play them over and over again, they have lasting gameplay value on reliable systems which have outlived numerous failing 360s, PS3s, and Dreamcasts.

360 and PS3 games with the same long-term appeal are rare, I have one or two which I'd never consider trading in, but that's it.

The problem with most AAA games if that they don't have this appeal, they're shallow games propped up by a bunch of pointless extra achievements and downloadable content in an attempt to keep you playing. Once I've played them through they get traded because I'd have no real desire to play through them again, and probably won't have a working 360 in a few years from now once they're out of production and all failed; look how quickly Microsoft dropped the original XBOX. Furthermore I don't really consider them worth the price I paid for them and the trade in money subsidizes that. If the trade-in option wasn't available I wouldn't have paid the 'new' price.

Current games are a short term fix, like a drug, not long term investments, and this is even more true of the downloadable content.. Due to this, I don't value them as long term investments, and trade them in.

Braben should be looking at the cause of the problem, not trying to treat the symptoms with an axe. I find his comments ironic when you consider that Elite and Frontier are two of the most timeless games around.

Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain


Off to Linux...

This was forced on the 360, no good there, tremendous waste of screen space, gimmicky and full of ads and not much fun to navigate.

I've tried it on the desktop and if anything it's even worse. Couldn't quite believe my eyes.

Unity at least is optional, I can download a distro without it and know it will be supported in the future. By comparison sticking with Windows 7 only grants you so much mileage, and the path away from a traditional desktop has been chosen.

My main reason for having a Windows desktop was games, but I haven't purchased a game for a long time thanks to the utter garbage DRM systems a lot of new games come with and in that time I've come to realise I'm not actually running anything which requires Windows anymore. The drive for everything to be web applications accessible on multiple platforms has made the choice of desktop OS almost irrelevant beyond the core interface / file management functionality, something which W8 gets very wrong by making it more awkward than ever for power users.

What compelling reasons remain to stick with Windows next time I switch OS? I've never used anything else but I no longer see the point, even the familiarity aspect has been stripped out with these changes. Not trolling here, genuine question.




Echoing the thoughts of others, this is taking the P I double S.

Syndicate, the original summed up a generation, it was a complex RTS game combined with business management elements. The game complex but well tuned beast which rewarded the player for thinking, had a great number of original aspects and merged everything into a thrilling, timeless experience which is still fun to this day.

Syndicate, this version sums up this generation. A generic FPS with nothing to offer which nobody will remember.

Creating something of the scale, complexity and balance found in the games of old seems beyond the developers of today.

20-25% is the highest rating I'd give this, it's worse than DNF which was at least true to it's roots.

Windows 8 hardware rules 'derail user-friendly Linux'


Real laws..

Hardware should be required to ship with a functional, free open source OS by default.

Commercial operating systems (including Windows) should be an optional purchase, to be installed by the user. (Insert CD, install away, not hard)

This should apply to Computers, Tablets, Phones etc.

The bundling and shady deals need to stop. The majority of people don't even need Windows, but are forced to pay for it because there are no other realistic options..

Clauses like the one Microsoft are trying to enforce on device manufacturers should be illegal.

Arcade emulator MAME slips under Apple radar


Another legal one...

Gaelco (Spanish arcade developer) also made their game 'World Rally' freely available from their official site


They actually worked on this hand-in-hand with MAME developers Manuel Abadia and Elsemi to ensure it got properly emulated. Probably also doesn't work in iMAME but if there are droid ports of newer versions you should be able to run it legally on those :-)

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New port of Old version

This is actually a port of Mame4All, based off Mame 0.37b8 which was released around October 2000.

That's 11 years ago, this is a really retro version of MAME. It's actually the same one that got ported to the GP2X and other mobile platforms, it requires less power to run than newer versions, but has a far smaller support library and inferior support for many games, with a great number of hacks added to get things up to speed on older mobile platforms at the expense of correct emulation. Don't expect it to be running your Street Fighter 3, Boogie Wings or Ketsui because it won't, even the emulation of classics like Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands leaves a lot to be desired in such an old version.