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Everything posted by Raduprv

  1. Before I start, a short disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything in case this goes wrong. Do it at your own risk, and use some common sense. I've tried this on various Ipaq devices and it worked pretty well, but I have no idea if/how well it works on other devices. What is needed: 1. A PocketPc PDA with a broken screen. 2. Optional: some screwdrivers to open it. 3. The software Pocket Controller (30 USD, but has a free 3 days free trial). 4. A PC with Windows (should work with 98, 2K, XP and more) A quick search on eBay will reveal many PocketPC enabled devices with various flaws, most common being a broken screen. Their price is pretty good, usually about one third or even less than a fully functional device. However, make sure that the PDA comes with the following things included: Battery and docking cradle. A power adapter would be nice as well, although you can usually buy them separately from eBay. If one of those items is missing, do a search and see how much would they cost to buy, and see if the whole deal (broken PDA+ missing items) sounds good to you. One other hint is to actually contact the seller before you buy it, and ask if the PDA does turn on despite the broken screen. If it doesn't, don't buy it. The good news is that there is a way to use those devices, for many things such as: 1. Playing internet radio stations. 2. Using it as a portable phone with Skype. 3. If it has a camera, you can use it in conjunction with your WiFi connection to monitor various areas in/around your house. 4. As a 100% working emulator for software development. 5. All kind of servers. 6. Possibly other uses such remote control of a device via IR and various other things that require some electronics experience. The first step is getting such a device. The best source is eBay, you can find good deals just about anytime. Next, after you have the device, analyze the screen, and see if the digitizer is broken. You can check that by taping the screen and seeing if it makes any noise. Step 2 [optional]. If it is broken, you might consider opening the PDA and removing the screen altogether, it's going to save some battery power and about 20 grams. An advantage to doing this is being able to see inside the device, which some people find to be cool. Nevertheless, this is an optional step and removing the screen might cause further damage if you are not careful or do not have the right tools. Speaking of the right tools, you will most likely need some special screwdrivers. I recommend getting them from a store hardware store such as Sears, rather than buying them online. The advantage of buying them from a store is that you can take the PDA with you and see which screwdriver fits. Software installation: Download and install Microsoft ActiveSync (free, might even come with the PDA if a CD is included). The next thing is downloading and installing the software Pocket Controller from www.soti.net . It is not free, but has a 3 days free trial. I guess that you could always write your own software to emulate it, but I personally think that it's well worth 30 USD. Now it's time to connect your PDA to your PC. Make sure the battery is charged, connect the cradle to the PC, then place the PDA on the cradle, and turn it on. ActiveSync will pop up and say that a new device was detected. Follow the instructions and set a name for it and do whatever else ActiveSync asks you to do. At the end of this, the ActiveSync icon in the system tray will be green. Start Pocket Controller, go to Tools, "Install Device Software". It will say something about looking on the PDA's screen to see if there are additional steps required. Ignore this. Go to File, Connect, select ActiveSync(USB) (or COM, whatever you are using). Now, most likely what you will see on the screen is some welcome message asking you to calibrate the device. Oops, that program actually wants input from the hardware digitizer (touch screen) and you can't do it with the mouse on the Pocket Controller screen. No problem, just go to Tools, Explore. Once you are there, there will be a device "Mobile Device". Click on it, then go to the folder: Windows/StartUp. You will find a file called welcome.lnk or something similar. Delete it. Again, go to Tools, Soft Reset Device. The Pocket Controller connection will be lost. Wait for a while, then reconnect again. Now you should see the standard PocketPC screen, and you can touch it with your mouse. You can do a lot of stuff here, just use your imagination. Google for PocketPC software and you'll find a lot of free and not so free programs you can use. Most of the PocketPC 2003 devices already come with Windows Mediaplayer 9 so you can use it to listen to mp3 files and various radio stations. Skype has a PocketPC version which works very nicely, but it requires a relatively fast CPU (400 MHz or more) and a WiFi capable device. Fortunately many devices do have such a CPU, and built in WiFi is pretty standard now. I use such a PDA with Skype and it's really cool to be able to go around the house talking on the phone for free (or for little money). Good luck, and if you have questions or comments please post them here. Radu Privantu
  2. Playing with a Pocket PC

    While waiting for the EL test server to be tested properly, I was toying with developing for my PocketPC devices. The tools are free, from Microsoft, but they are the worst programs ever. For example, MS didn't really bother to implement some libraries in the emulated Pocket PC, so I had to download some 3rd party libs that had no documentation whatsoever, so it was a lot of guesswork involved. Basically, I had to copy a DLL file in the root of the emulated Pocket Pc device. That's not a big deal, however, the moron who wrote that emulator (because I can not call him anything but a moron) did not think it would be nice to actually be able to SAVE the files on that emulator. So what happens is, when it crashes (which happens quite often) restarting it will clear all it's memory, so you'll have to reinstall all the files again... Now, in all fairness, it does have an option to save the current state. Only that using that option somehow prevents the IDE from connecting to the emulator... No wonder there are not so many programs for an otherwise great platform. Yesterday I've spent a few hours trying to get SDL to work on it. I couldn't, there was virtually no documentation, no nothing. So I just gave up and decided to use GAPI, which is some low level, rudimentary API for accessing the screen buffer. There were some other libraries out there, but they were C++, and I was looking for a C library. On a positive note, I've been able to compile a GAPI sample and get it running on the emulator, and on an actual device. The problem with the actual device is that, if I keep it docked, it crashes my computer (the whole Windows freezes). So unless I want to restart my computer every few minutes, I have to use that idiotic emulator that is a huge time sink, and a source of terrible frustration...
  3. I am still alive

    But I've been too busy/lazy lately to updated my journal. As the Xmas approaches, I have more work at my fulltime job, so I was more busy than usually. While currently I make more money from EL than the 'fulltime' job, I do want to keep that job because: 1. It can get boring to stay home all day long. 2. Some extra source of income is always nice. 3. Some redundancy is good, in case El gets fucked up and we'll get no more money from it. One of my recent hobbies is to buy broken/for parts stuff off Ebay, and repair them. I am not doing so because I don't have the money to buy the stuff new, but because I love to hack and pervert the broken items. For example, I got two broken portable DVD players (same model). One had the backlight fucked up (actually, the ivnerter was bad) and another one had the backlight and screen OK, but it suffered a big fall, so the mechanic part didn't work. I combined them and got one working portable DVD player, and I have a spare LCD/controller board + an external inverter I got online (different model, won't fit in the case, but it works) that I am using as a very low resolution monitor. I plan to make in a solar powered TV, although I can't find a suitable TV tuner. Very frustrating. Now, what's good about broken items is that not only you learn a lot by playing with them, and get a huge feeling of satisfaction when you make them work, but you also don't feel guilty when you pervert them and use them for something else than what they were intended. I mean, I would feel kind of guilty to buy a 200 USD DVD player and then convert it in a mere TV monitor, while using the DVD motors for some other project. Some people in other countries don't have money to buy food, and I waste money on shit like that... Speaking of that, I decided to donate 1K USD to the Red Cross this December. I would feel bad not to, afterall this is the first year in my life when I can afford to buy some toys for me. So as the Universe took care of me, I should return the favour and help the less fortunate. On the Eternal Lands front, I finished the shared vision stuff, and the preliminary tests indicate that it works fine. Of course, the testing was very limited, and there still might be problems, but as long as the server doesn't crash those problems are relatively minor. Afterall, it is not cucial to see every single animal and player that your guildmates see. Nevertheless, it will not be implemented on the new server this year. It needs a client update, and for the time being our hands are tide behind our backs due to the fact that a finnish magazine that has EL on it's cover CD will come out on 10th of December, and I don't want to make the update before two weeks after that CD comes out (otherwise it would be rude to that magazine). And now it seems that another magazine, from UK (www.linuxformat.co.uk) might put EL on their cover CD, so I have to see if/when they do that and plan the next update accordingly. In the following days I will start implementing the random special days feature, described here. That's easy to do, and won't require a client update either.
  4. Moved my journal

    In the light of the recent events with gamedev.net, I've decided to move my journal to blogger.com You can find it at http://eternal-lands.blogspot.com This will be the last entry in this journal.
  5. Moved my journal

    I do not think that a change of policy is needed, because I do not think I broke the existing policy. I did not complain about my free speech rights either, because I know that I can not resonably expect free speech rights from a website, just as we do not offer similar rights to our users. Anyway, my decision to leave was not based entirely on that suspension, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Similarly, an apology would be nice, but wouldn't change much. The real issue here is the other members, and no reform to the rating system that me and many others have suggested. Namely, the option to see each rating and from what thread/post it has originated. I totally understand that you guys don't have the time to do that, we don't have time to implement everyone's suggestions either.
  6. Moved my journal

    Actually, the post I got suspended for was this: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=383429 (notice the edit, so it was not what I've originally posted). The original post was something like: "[...] and I've bought their CDs from Amazon after I've downloaded some of their tracks off eMule)"
  7. Moved my journal

    Is not that I want to leave, but there are some things I consider innaceptable. One of them being suspended for that particular post. And I am not fighting over the suspension, since now it's over anyway. I just voiced my oppinion about it, and that was it. Fighting would have meant sending PMs/e-mails to the staff members, which I didn't do because it is your site, and you have the right to set whatever policy you want.
  8. Moved my journal

    I perfectly understand your "no piracy" policy, and I have no problem with it. However, I do not think I've violated it. First of all, I did not post any links to warez. Second of all, I didn't tell people to pirate anything. And, most important, I do not think that buying the music you download is pirating. It is the exact opposite. if I wouldn't have downloaded songs from that particular band (Avantasia) I would have never bought their CDs. I mean, really, would you buy a CD that you've never heard before? Would you tell others to buy it? Given the stores policy not to refund CDs/DVDs that you've opened, I think it is fair for the customers to download the songs before deciding wether or not they want to buy them. Now, you might disagree, and I am fine with that. However, I think that suspending the users for doing that particular thing is wrong.
  9. Moved my journal

    Getting the traffic is not a problem, if I only announce it in my game I can get a few hundred views/day. One of the reasons I move it is because blogger just looks nicer (cleaner). Another reason is that there is more freedom of speech there, and you won't get suspended for saying that you try music before you buy it. The 3rd reason is that I've tried to move away from gamedev.net, and I came back because of my journal, then I got weak and started posting again :D @EDI: I did it before you did, so I own the copyright, trademark and patent on being the drama queen :D P.S. Something really funny is the sheep mentality going around here. For example, my rating dropped 31 points since I was suspended, even though I didn't post anything wrong or illegal, and Run_The_Shadows was 'nice' enough to edit my post and remove the part where I said I've downloaded some songs before I bought them from Amazon. So basically the fucktards see that someone is suspended, they have no clue what the fuck is going on, but they use the rate user link anyway.
  10. RIAA wants to kill YOU!

    Well, almost. Basically, RIAA and ohers (MPAA, BSA, etc.) want to make it illegal for people to uninstall their DRM rootkits. A group of fair use advocates asked the U.S. Copyright Office to make an exception from this abusive law, by not allowing DRM rootkits in systems where by doing so it could threaten critical infrastructure and/or human life. And the RIAA & co. lawyers are fighting that exception, saying it would be bad for the artists. Read the article here.
  11. Avantasia (heavy metal opera)

    It's a really cool band (actually it's a bunch of members from other bands that came together to make a metal opera that spans on two CDs). Their style is between Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian, so if you like any of those two bands, you really should buy their CDs. I've just ordered their CDs from Amazon, after happening to hear their songs. I'd personally recommend the tracks: "The looking glass", "The seven angels" and "Neverland". All their tracks are good, but those 3 are, IMO, the best. [Edited by - Run_The_Shadows on March 26, 2006 11:04:47 AM]
  12. Avantasia (heavy metal opera)

    Like Slayer or Sepultura?
  13. Games are responsible for PC developement?

    Except for games and specialized stuff such as image, sound and video processing and creation, a 233 MHZ CPU with 128 MB of ram is more than enough, if the programmers would actually bother to design their programs properly, and not use all kind of bloated, unnecesary features.
  14. The Tall Poppy Affect

    Why the hell would I pay MS 500 USD for Office, when I can get it* for free? *By it I mean an equivalent, such as Open Office. I don't hate Intel, nor do I hate the PCs. I don't love or like Ipod, nor do I hate it. I never had any feelings towards a company based on it's size. Yahoo is big, and so is Google, and I like (and use them) both. It is what a company does that makes me like it, hate it, or have no oppinion about it. And BTW, small companies that sue other companies because they broke their 'patent' are not on my favorite list either.
  15. Must indie developers pay taxes?

    Well, sure, that was the short version. But basically if you want to make a game, there is no reason to be anything else than a sole proprietor. As long as you have contracts with those who help you make a game, a sole proprietor is OK. If you make video games, it is very unlikely you will be sued. There is little libability involved, is not like you can kill or hurt people, destroy property, and so on. And unless you are REALLY successful, then no sane lawyer will come to get you for some BS reason, because they know they can't get much money off you.
  16. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Basically, this guy was selling his own WoW guide on Ebay. He wasn't stealing anything, didn't violate any copyrights, and his book, while containing WoW screenshots, they were under "fair use". Blizzard then starts sending DCMA violations to Ebay, and eventually get his account suspended. Now this guy is suing Blizzard, and I hope he wins, because it is innaceptable for big companies to harass the small guy like that. Link
  17. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Just because someone owns a trademark, it doesn't mean no one else is allowed to use that trademark. It really depends on how you use it. If I were to make a Worlds of Warcraft II game, without the permission, then it would be illegal, since I'd be violating Blizzard's trademark. However, if I have a computer shop and say: "Our computers can run MS Windows", then it is OK for me to do that. Similarly, if I say that my game runs on Linux, MS Windows and Apple, the trademark owners can not sue me because I used their trademark. A form of fair use also applies to using someone's trademark. Caterpillar sued Disney for using some Caterpillar bulldozers in a movie, and AFAIR Disney won.
  18. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Yes, but only if they sign a contract with that show specifying that their rights to their performance are belong to the show.
  19. cpu overheating issue

    Did you open it and see if one of the fans stopped working? Is the heatsink in place? Maybe the vibrations caused it to move or something.
  20. Yet another DMCA abuse

    They both own it, but I guess Tonight Show owns it more.
  21. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Quote:Original post by Conner McCloud It is clear that you have seen the errors of your ways, or else you would answer the question I continue to ask. Why is that line there, if the works commercial use isn't to be considered? I know you don't have an answer, but you can at least be a man and admit it. There are no "errors of my ways". The reason why I said that being commercial or not has nothing to do with the outcome is because there were many cases in which decisions were made regardless of the work being commercial or not. Examples: Blizzard was able to take down the "FreeCraft" project, even though it was free. On the other hand, the Barbie case, where Aqua was able to get away with their "Barbie Girl" song, or that photographer was able to get away with using Barbies in various poses, both those works were commercial. So in practice it doesn't really matter if something is commercial or not. Quote:Original post by Raduprv However, that was a bad analogy. It was very late. A much better one should have been immediately apparent: I can't sell copies of a textbook. It is clearly for educational purposes, there's no argument to be made to the contrary. But that doesn't change the illegal nature of the action. I can make copies of a textbook, and use them to teach, but the second I sell them to somebody else I break the law. And all this ignores the obvious trademark violations. CM Yes, but the analogy is still wrong. That guy didn't copy anything from Blizzard, he made his very own, independent guide, which was educational in nature.
  22. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Quote:Original post by Conner McCloud You either can't read, or are being deliberately idiotic. Being commercial *is* the purpose. That's the whole point of the clarification. It is instructing the courts to take special note as to whether it is being used towards commercial ends. No, it is instructing the courts to take special note on how it is used, such as for teaching, as a parody, or as a ripoff. And the commercial use is but a factor in the decision. The key word there is including Quote: And when I sell bootleg movies, I'm teaching people about black market economies. So you think that writting a book instructing people and teaching them how to play a game is equivalent with selling bootleg movies?
  23. "Free" Games - Revenue Generation?

    Quote:Original post by ROBERTREAD1 You could make an MMORPG free to play, but make the economics work by selling game currency online for cold hard cash. Yes, that's what we do (well, not currency but items and services).
  24. Yet another DMCA abuse

    Quote:Original post by Conner McCloud I don't think your opinion matters. Now answer my question: if it is so unimportant, why did congress see fit to explicitly mention that consideration? Why didn't it get delegated to the "everything else" category like, well, everything else? Quote:the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; So being commercial is just a subsection of the first subsection. It is the purpose that matters. Quote:Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair In this particular case, the purpose of that book is educational, teaching you stuff about WoW. Ktnxbye!
  25. Must indie developers pay taxes?

    The short answer: Yes (about 1/3 of your proffit goes in taxes). The long answer: At the end of the year, talk with an accontant. It's free (usually) if you are going to use him to prepare your taxes. You don't need lawyers and all that other crap. And you don't need to register as a business either, unless you have an office. Of course, this might be different depending on which state and country you live in.