Monday, December 27, 2004

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas once again. I said this once before exactly 1 year ago too. I am hoping I’m getting some sort of fancy flat-screen TV for consoles. I don’t know yet – that’s what’s so exciting about today. Here is the entry that was never published due to Modblog’s server change. I didn’t have the patience and made a new blog at my Blogspot site. That site is basically a replica of this site. I was worried that Modblog wouldn’t be online so I went to plan B. Now, that Modblog is back online, there is no need to update it.

I found out that the only Windows NT clone is 100% functional! Yes, you can copy Windows NT 4.0 CDs, but this is different – this is an operating system able to read Windows applications and games without Windows running it. Some people call “ReactOS” a Windows clone because it does or will do everything that Windows 98 does, though completely programmed under the GNU Project. This eliminates any possible stolen Windows code. The programmers shown they already got Quake 2 to be playable on React 0.2.8 proven by screen shots off ReactOS official page. This is not an emulator – it is either a partition-based or LiveCD-based OS for your computer. ReactOS has a great DOS emulator from what I read off the net. GPU also constructed an open source emulator compatible with MS-DOS software. There are other 3rd party DOS emulators - the most popular is DOSemu for Linux. Another was FreeDOS which is programmed by a University of Wisconsin, River Falls graduate, Jim Hall and works on Windows and Linux. The name doesn’t sound familiar, but I’ve worked at the UofW as a part-time tech intern through high school. I had to explain how to convert Quicktime to MPEG2 and burn it to a “NTSC compatible DVD” in a “do-it-yourself” booklet complete with pictures.

On the official page, ReactOS was the successor of the failed FREEWin95. Something happened to FreeWin95, and it could not see its first release. Two years later, ReactOS was released publicly. Nothing ran right, and it was basically a dysfunctional build for the curious I believe and testing stages of the program. ReactOS got some of its source code from OS2, Sun’s JAVA, and open source DOS emulators - all legal.

I suspect since it’s a Windows clone – you can install Direct X 9.0a onto the system directory, and it’ll run PC games. Direct X is the Microsoft software accelerator for and all PC games out are compatible with it. It’s 3 times better than OpenGL. While OpenGL runs decent on Windows, I have had a hard time running games on OpenGL through Linux.

A Windows Explorer clone called GNU Midnight Commander is used in it. Midnight Commander looks exactly like Windows 2000’s Explorer and functions similar I am guessing. Since I use Windows as part as daily life – it is safe to say I know how it functions.

ReactOS has first got used on the Xbox. With ReactOS on Xbox, gamers can probably surf the Internet now, use the world processor or play some older PC games. I read the NewsForge review on ReactOS, and the author said while it came with minimal software, IBM-DOS/MS-DOS is fully emulated in ReactOS, and all the commands work as well as Window’s Command Prompt from what I’ve read. I thought this was an interesting point he made. A Windows clone wouldn’t be complete without a terminal and that’s the truth.

Anyways, I have yet to download it – the best chance I’ll have of downloading the huge file is at school when next semester starts on January 14th. I’m going to try either the hard drive version or the Live CD version. The partition version will load faster and I could try to run older games on it. The Live CD is good because it can run itself on any computer without changing the existing file system on the hard drive. Just think about it for a minute… the near future, Microsoft’s main competition could be an OS compatible with it’s own software. If you can’t beat them – join them and the metaphor certainly applies to operating systems.

On December 22nd, I came up with different concept for my page, “Ian’s Quintessential Blog 3.0.0” The new template went online later that day. The site is fully redesigned for better or for worst. As soon as I get all the monthly entries on each page – that annoying mini window will disappear. I have the gallery, design, and all the blog entries working although it’s frustrated to see that some browsers don’t know how to word-wrap! It took me four hours yesterday and two hours today to complete the first fully functional template. Sorry, the waterfall background with Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII is the best I can come up with. Ian's Quintessential Blog 3.0

Yesterday, I wanted to buy some more games to play. I got a deal on Metroid Fusion and bought Prince of Persia - Warrior Within new (a darker sequel to Prince of Persia Sands of Time). So I was playing Metroid Fusion from 1AM to 5AM this morning. It was more fun than I thought. It improves on Super Metroid game play. I know because I played the ROM. On the Gameboy Player, it gives Metroid a better look than Super Metroid. With the screen stretching on TV, I thought it would look awful, but surprisingly it’s similar to any 2D shooter on Playstation. After I write this entry – I’ll go back to completing it. The other game I’m playing is Phantasy Star IV on Gens with a controller. Gens smoothed the graphics out a lot so any game emulates better on a computer screen. Phantasy Star IV is getting interesting, and I am planning to play it to the end. The game takes place 1000s year after an advanced culture was completely destroyed by war. All left behind was a “Mother-Brain” life support system on the planet. The advantage of playing this game on an emulator is the quick-saves. In the action-time battle sequences, I can save the game when it’s my turn to attack the enemy in the battle and prevent any deaths. It basically keeps my party immortal and saves a lot of time. Currently the planet’s progress is creeping around 1450 - 1500 AD. Lately, the life support system has been acting up since it’s 1000s of years old, therefore, the primary plot is to rescue an android from a madman to shut down all the dysfunctional life support systems before they completely destroy the planet by producing harmful genetically engineered life forms. The graphics are worst than most SNES role playing games, but above average in terms of Genesis RPGs. Strangely, this story line is similar to Final Fantasy X….

New games to add to my list:

Phantasy Star II

Phantasy Star III

Prince of Persia - The Warrior Within

Metroid Fusion

This is Ian Signing off.

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