iain-simpson.org

Listing posts published under ‘General’
Friday, 24 October 2008

I was excited. There was a lot of hype, and the teaser videos looked promising.

Far Cry 2, judging by the short length of time I managed to play it, has been good. SecuROM is not. SecuROM is a piece of flaky arse droppings, and is preventing me from playing the game that I paid for.

OH NOES - IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE USING A COPY OF THE DVD - USE THE REAL ONE PLEASE. The thing is, I was using the real disc. I should have twigged when it took a system restart to get my machine to recognise the DVD in my drive during installation. I should have known that there's no point paying for games these days, because the rights holders hold the consumer in such contempt that they don't care whether you manage to play the game once you've paid for it. Good luck finding a store that will take back an opened PC game, by the way.

I should have pirated Far Cry 2. At least then I would be playing it now, rather than venting my frustration here.

I can't even get into the UbiSoft portal to submit a support request, and the only telephone support they have is at 30p/minute; there's no way that I'm going to pay that for the privilege of struggling through a standard script, with some telephone jockey in another country. No thanks.

Perhaps I'll buy the game on Steam, and send the DVD to UbiSoft's UK offices in a ziplock bag, along with a fresh turd. That might go some way towards expressing my displeasure.

Truth be told though, all I want to do is play the game that I paid for. I don't want to buy it twice. Is that unreasonable of me? I suspect that another system restart will allow the DVD to be recognised again, but why should I reboot every time I want to launch a game?

AHA! There's a tiny disclaimer in almost illegible text on the back of the packaging:

"NOTICE: This game contains technology intended to prevent copying that may conflict with some DVD-RW and virtual drives."

Well that's OK then. At least they're honest about it. So which drives does it conflict with? Which drives are safe? Do you want me to buy a new DVD drive? What kind should I buy? How will I know that your game will work with it?

I can honestly say that I've lost my enthusiasm for the game - it's not worth the effort.

 
Monday, 23 June 2008

<Iain> if it's not been coined already, i'm going to coin: SCATTERCODE
<Iain> a php (or similar) project that pulls in includes from multiple levels of indirectly referenced files, which may, or may not be dynamically generated
<Iain> for maximum effect, the location of any database tables used should be masked, so that it takes 45 mins to trace back through the awful mess, just to verify that the system is doing what you suspect

You saw it here first!

 
Saturday, 29 March 2008

This should require no introduction:

 
Thursday, 18 October 2007

Dynamicisificationing(G) - the process of modifying an application or web page to replace a previously hardcoded element with a dynamically generated element.

You saw it here first!

 
Monday, 11 June 2007

Yay! I was reading BBC News, and saw that Apple have released a beta of Safari 3 for Mac OS and Windows.

Naturally, I hopped over to the Apple site to download it, and was bleeding from the eyes within minutes.

One thing that I've noticed about Macs, is that whenever I'm using one I feel as though my eyes are about to explode from the pressure of attempting to focus on the seemingly intentional blur effect applied to text. This is probably a personal thing, but I don't want to go back to the bad old days of dodgy CRT monitors that required manual focusing to avoid brain haemorrhage after prolonged exposure. I don't like the default softening effect that Macs apply to everything. Annoyingly, Safari on Windows applies it to all text rendered. Perhaps more annoyingly, there is no way to turn it off, meaning that I'm stuck with a multicoloured haze around characters, and the feeling that everything is in bold type.

Another problem I have is that Safari on Windows looks virtually identical to Safari on a Mac. Might be nice if you spend all day masturbating over Apple's latest product line, but very annoying if you like your UIs to be vaguely consistent. If you really want a Mac, you'll probably buy one anyway. Mac software should look like Mac software, Windows software should look like Windows software, and Linux software should look like whichever of the 101 or so widget sets that the developers decided to use.

Apple aren't the only offender here, but they're more relevant than Sony and the shitty custom apps they bundle with their PCs, or Nero with their increasingly shit "Media Center Solution" or whatever - what happened to Nero Burning Rom? - I couldn't find it on their site a few weeks back, and it looks like they only offer bundles of software that happen to have the ability to burn optical media.

I imagine that Apple try so hard to keep their Windows software looking like Mac software, is to get people used to the look and feel, and convert them to the way of the Mac. I still think that it's bad manners to ignore the look and feel of the system that your software is running on.

Unfortunately, I think Safari for Windows will be relegated to a place alongside Quicktime and iTunes, as software that I'll probably not use unless I have a file or site that won't work in anything else.