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  • BrainwreckedTech 4:14 pm on August 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , microsoft, playstation 4, ps4, , , xb1, xbox one   

    Xbox One: Microsoft Had It Coming 

    Since the XB1 DRM debacle, it’s taken me a long time to come up with talking points. Everyone else was expressing their outrage, and doing it better than I would have. I thought about how the DRM could have been done right, but that covers a lot of territory, and the Xbox One wasn’t alone in that regard.

    Today, it hit me: With the exception of the Atari, every company that makes video game consoles loses its God-damned mind between the second and third release of its home console.

    Let’s start with the exception: Angry Video Game Nerd already reviewed the Atari 5200, so I won’t elaborate here.

    In between the Super NES and the N64, Nintendo tried to come up with a CD-ROM extension like Sega had done, only to let the cooperative venture with Sony fall through. Nintendo came out with the N64 later, completely ignoring CD-ROM and forcing higher consumer price tags and dev licensing costs due to the insistance on using cartridges.

    In between the Genesis and Saturn, Sega also had a cooperative venture with Sony that also fell through. Additionally, the 32X was a complete debacle — Sega of Japan wanted to release an upgraded Genesis and Sega of American poo-poo’d the idea and convinced the board to release an upgrade module instead. Sega of Japan countered that by proclaiming that the Saturn was the future direction of Sega. To continue the insanity, Sega of Japan largely relied on arcade ports to sell the Saturn, which were meaningless to Americans due to the collapse of their own arcade scene.

    Sony found their way into the home console scene not so much by cleverness or marketing mojo, but by pulling the trigger on the hubris that Nintendo and Sega had on display. By keeping consumer game prices at $50 and dev licensing at $1 per copy of the game, who wouldn’t develop for the PlayStation? But the Playstation 2 marked a slow turn for Sony. First there were the over-the-top claims (real-time Toy Story graphics) Sony made prior to the release of the PS2. Then there was the laughable attempt at making UMD a media format with the PSP. Everything came to a head with the announcement of the PS3. A $600 price tag, an esoteric chip design, and a complete hand-waving of the online play Xbox & Xbox 360 were bringing to the table paved the way for Sony being last in the 7th generation up until the very end.

    Which now brings us to Microsoft. Just like Sony, Microsoft found good things that no one else was offering and latched on to them. Those good things were unified online play and DirectX. Heck, Microsoft went so far as to release XNA, giving smaller devs a toolkit for simultaneously releasing to Windows and Xbox 360. But the hubris settled in quick. First it was the shifting of the dashboard to match that of Windows Phone 7. Then it was the $10/year price hike of XBL Gold. Then it was the interface change to Windows 8, replete with ads. Then it was the yanking of XNA. So, is it any surprise that Microsoft is trying to release a console at $500 price tag that initially sported consumer-unfriendly DRM?

    There is a bright spot in all of this. While Sony may have lost their mind with the launch of the PS3, it seems they started learning their lessons part way through the console’s life span. The escalated hacks showed Sony that their system wasn’t as secure as everyone thought. And screwing consumers over only invites the general public to more pantsings. The first sign of this lesson learned was allowing Valve to build a bridge between PSN and Steam with Portal 2. The high-point of this lesson learned was to completely forego console DRM after watching how it was blowing up in Microsoft’s face.

    This 8th generation is going to be interesting for sure. At the moment, Sony is making Microsoft look like a fool. Sony has been giving games away for free with a PSN subscription, Microsoft follows suit at E3. Microsoft introduces console DRM, Sony says they won’t do it, Microsoft follows suit. Microsoft pushes indie devs to make games for Windows 8 first, indie devs flock to PS4 for Sony’s self-publishing, Microsoft follows suit. But it was just 8 years ago that the roles were reversed.

  • BrainwreckedTech 8:00 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dfo, , , microsoft, neople, nexon, , plugins, ,   

    Dungeon Fighter Online Won’t Launch After Re-Installing Windows 

    You know what I like about keeping my games on another drive?  Most of the time, you don’t have to re-install games to run them.  Steam is a great example, as running steam.exe directly on a fresh installation of Windows will prompt you that Steam isn’t setup and that it will re-launch itself to do so.

    Dungeon Fighter Online, however, does something funky. (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 10:56 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , compatibility settings, display scaling, dp, microsoft, , , vista, , , xp   

    Correcting Blurry Display Scaling Under High DPI Settings 

    Windows Vista Logo In pre-Vista Windows land, using a DPI setting higher than the default 96 was like inviting a clumsy person to stand next to your china cabinet.  Something was going to break, you just didn’t know what.  Thankfully it was usually something minor.  The most common defect that cropped up were programs that would size their text boxes and other elements by pixels.  Any programmer that gives two shits about their code knows not to do that.  But hey, this is Windows, the Easy Dev Land where All Are Welcome, so code quality is all over the place, even from sources that you would expect to know better.

    To address the issue, Microsoft introduced a flag in the application manifest called dpiAware.  If this flag is not set, Windows will render the application at 96 DPI and then bitmap-scale the entire window up to your specified DPI.  The place that this really sucks is in games, which really don’t need to be hampered by unnecessary scaling as it is.  Nonetheless, a game that doesn’t set dpiAware and tries to run inside a window at 640×480 will render at 960×720 when using a DPI of 144.  On a 1368×768 screen, that doesn’t leave much room.

    Chances are you’re using programs that all make an effort to be DPI-independent.  Some notable exceptions exist (Apple iTunes for Windows) but barring those exceptions, you may wish to completely forgo Display Scaling and leave it up to the application to worry about DPI.

    Step 1: Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers.  Here you will find any Compatibility settings that you my have already set.  Feel free to clear out all the individual entries.  (You may wish to keep the ones under Layers that say ELEVATECREATEPROCESS as those are the ones that you or the programs themselves have set to run as an Administrator.)

    Step 2: Right-click the desktop, select Personalize at the bottom of the menu, then click on Display in the left-hand column in the window that appears, then click Set Custom DPI Size from the new options that appear in the left-hand column, then check the box that says Use XP Style DPI Scaling, then click OK, then click Apply.  Log off and then back in for the settings to be applied.

  • BrainwreckedTech 7:33 am on March 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , metro, microsoft, , , windows 8, windows ce, windows mobile, windows phone,   

    History Repeats Itself With Metro. 

    Windows 8 Logo There’s been a lot of vitriol over WP7 and Metro as of late.  And a lot of doom and gloom predictions to go along with that hate.  To plagiarize Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw a bit, the masses are totally totally right…almost.  The reason I agree, however, is a reason that I don’t see brought up often if at all — that shoe-horning an interface for one type of device onto another type of device is never guaranteed to work.

    (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 4:34 pm on March 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , law, microsoft, piracy,   

    MS Lobbies For Anti-Piracy Law To Sue Companies Whose Oversea Suppliers Pirate 

    Microsoft Logo Details at GrokLaw here: http://bit.ly/h1j6em

    Synopsis: Microsoft is lobbying for a law to make it legal to sue someone if they receive products from someone else who pirates your software. Microsoft doesn’t have much luck discouraging piracy in certain areas around the globe. Lobbying for reform in those areas hasn’t met with much effect.

    (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 3:04 pm on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dvd drive, , , , microsoft, ,   

    Why Original Xbox 360 DVD Drives Fail 

    Xbox 360 Logo

    By now, everyone knows that the original Xbox 360 fails due to over-heating issues. Those that have ventured inside (or seen pictures or videos of those that have) know that criminally small GPU heat sink also played a role. And the introduction of the Xbox 360 Slim revealed another piece of the puzzle — the original Xbox 360s won’t shut themselves down if they get too hot.

    But have you ever wondered why the DVD drives fail? (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 8:08 pm on January 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , microsoft, rrod, ,   

    Just In Case You Think Xbox 360 Elite Systems Are Immune 

    Xbox 360 Elite RRoD

    This nasty little surprise hit me 5 days ago.

  • BrainwreckedTech 2:28 pm on October 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eff, microsoft, patents   

    EFF Sides With Microsoft On Pantent Invalidation 

    EFF Logo
    Microsoft Logo

    While it might seem like a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing (with Microsoft being one of the bigger filers with the USPTO), i4i is the company that finally gave Microsoft a big enough slap up alongside the head to realize something else was wrong with the patent process.

    (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 3:04 pm on September 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: astra, case study, microsoft, microsoft office, openoffice, rebuttal,   

    Astra Case Study Rebuttal 

    Microsoft Logo

    I don’t know why I feel the need to do this. By now, the only people that seem to take these things seriously are the Dilbert pointy-haired boss types. The media got sick of laughing at it and the computer geeks are sick of un-distorting reality.

    You can accuse me of cherry-picking the case study, but you’re more than welcome to read it yourself. It doesn’t take long before you realize the entire thing revolves around misplaced blame and a messed up definition of compatibility. There’s little reason to go over the same key points again and again.

    The case study can be best summarized as so:

    (More …)

  • BrainwreckedTech 11:05 am on March 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: microsoft, , , , , , ,   

    HOWTO: Set Up Windows User Accounts Correctly 

    Windows Vista Logo

    This has to be the single biggest no-no I see, even with Windows Vista and Windows 7: Users running with accounts with Administrator privileges. In version of Windows prior to Vista, this was asking for trouble because any malware you came across could silently invade your system with full access. At least in Windows Vista and Windows 7, you get a prompt.

    Which leads be to the second big no-no I see thanks to Vista and 7: Disabling UAP/UAC. I know it can be annoying, but without those UAP/UAC prompts, Administrator accounts revert back to the pre-Vista days of silent malware infestation. Worse yet, Standard User accounts get no “access denied” errors and Run As silently fails.

    One of the selling points of Windows Vista/7 is that your can run as a Standard User and get prompts when higher privileges are needed, so take advantage of it! Windows XP users can follow this advice as well, but will be faced with a few rough edges like getting “Access is denied” errors (forcing you to manually re-run the program with Run As) and not being able to change Windows settings through the GUI with a restricted account.

    (More …)

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