The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘linux’

Windows BSOD Strikes Again

Posted by BigWords on July 11, 2009

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name:    BlueScreen
OS Version:    6.0.6000.
Locale ID:    2057

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode:    9f
BCP1:    00000003
BCP2:    83812BF0
BCP3:    838503D0
BCP4:    8389E9C8
OS Version:    6_0_6000
Service Pack:    0_0
Product:    768_1

Files that help describe the problem:
C:\Users\This Little Piggy\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-117999-0.sysdata.xml
C:\Users\This Little Piggy\AppData\Local\Temp\WERF517.tmp.version.txt

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Just when I thought that the billionth update to ‘fix’ Vista was unnecessary, the computer shuts down. Upon restart I get hit with the above message.

I’ll bite. What the hell is going on with Windows? Is it so hard to get an OS running properly? The alternatives are no use for me at the moment: Linux is on the main rig (and there is no way I’m carrying that sonuvabitch around with me) and the Mac is so old that I’m constantly worried that it’s going to explode with the work I make it do. I’m on the laptop at the moment, and I need the OS to work. There’s a fourth choice, of course, but I’m going to get to that later in the post, first I want to think about this…

Who decides a program is ready to roll?

In the old days, when I could squeeze an entire game onto one side of a cassette, I created a bunch of fun little platform games that NEVER ONCE crashed my Amstrad. They were as pointless as most ‘celebrities’ and as shallow as a boy band, but I liked making dumb time-wasting games. The sense of achievement in getting blocky groups of pixels moving in a way that simulated some form of ‘reality’ was cool, and I always considered the problems which may have occured with the coding. Not so at The House Bill Made, where the roof is leaking and the Windows are cracked.

I remember the first time I was in a crunch, and every little glitch had to be fixed ASAP. It wasn’t fun, but it was important. These days, with downloads and patches, you can get away with releasing  (or unleashing) something that is completely unsuited to the job and get away with it. Part of the problem – in my opinion – is the lack of focus in large companies. The more employees on the payroll, the more ways in which a company begins to stretch. People bring baggage to their code, it doesn’t matter what the project is, so the opportunity for problems is increased. A big company like Microsoft is asking for problems.

Ah, but there is the fourth choice…

If you have enough time, a rebel streak running through your bones (and a mind that can cope with complex systems) you can bypass relying on other people’s operating systems completely. I am, of course, talking about a custom OS. The architecture might not turn out as labyrinthine as you would get with a ‘name’ system, and the ergonomics could be crafted for each user’s needs individually. Who’s with me? Who wants to get the bastards at Microsoft where it hurts – in their fucking pocket? We’ll all switch over completely to Linux or a custom OS on a set date. We won’t tell Billy’s boys… We’ll just carry on as normal, and ignore anything they have to say.

How does the first of April, 2010 sound? It’ll be the best prank in history…

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Platform X

Posted by BigWords on June 25, 2009

When the concept of a single console to replace the multitude of competing platforms was first brought up, many years ago, I mocked. The idea was so utterly ludicrous that it could never work in practice. Now… Maybe now I’m ready to give it a bit of serious thought. The reason for my turnabout in thinking is due to a Mission: Impossible prop thinking it is a console – the old X-Box made a soft pop, fizzed for a moment, then released a single wisp of white smoke into the air.

Which means I really should get a new one. It isn’t like I don’t have enough consoles, but I have a soft spot for the black brick – it doesn’t sound like a Chinook taking off, it doesn’t scratch discs and it is relatively ergonomic. Do I really need another console? I can play most of the original games on the 360, and the space could be better used. I’m coming around to the idea of a ‘master’ console, but I would have to set some ground rules for anyone thinking of creating one-

  1. Make it future-proof for at least three years. I’m not going to buy a “slightly different but essentially the same” console in twelve months time. I don’t care if the new one has a few gigabytes more memory, plays Chopin on start-up and can recite the Iliad; the minor alterations which come along can be ignored.
  2. No larger than an average console. I’ve seen the home-made attempts at integrating 3 or 4 consoles into a single case, and they always end up being massive, ugly and totally impractical. If anyone can come up with a play-all system that isn’t the size of a small car I would buy it immediately.
  3. I’m not spending more than £450 on it. I’ve already spent more money than I care to think about on games (and this is not counting the PC software I buy / upgrade in an endless attempt to stay ahead of the game), so a reasonable budget is to be expected.
  4. As few essential add-on’s as possible. I bought the HD player for the 360 and used it twice, which makes it one of the most expensive items I have in relation to the enjoyment I have taken from a purchase. The Guitar Hero pack was used non-stop for nearly two months. Value for money means making add-on’s that I’ll actually use.
  5. No easily-breakable components. The PS2 controllers have very short lives in my house, so I’m not going to settle for second best from a next-next-gen console.

Sure, I’d splash out on one if the ability to play Wii, PS3 and 360 releases was incorporated. There was a plan in motion a couple of years ago to utilize a Linux-based OS for a multi-format games console, and I’ve never heard anything more about it. One of these days it’ll pop up again as The Saviour Of Gaming, I’m sure, but until then I’m stuck with the collection of boxes under my television. And on the floor. And in their boxes, piled atop one another…

Life was easier when the choice was Amstrad or Commodore.

Sure, I’d splash out on one if the ability to play Wii, PS3 and 360 releases was incorporated. Now, who wants to get to work on the software?

Posted in Over The Line | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »