DOS PC Retro games: The difference between the CD version and the CD version

having fully dug into PC gaming in 1995, the world was clear for me.

You had a CD version of games and disk versions.
CD versions were also called “speech versions” or “talkie version”.

prime examples for me were games like Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Simon The Sorcerer.

Now that Command & Conquer Remastered Collection got released, I started orienting myself backwards towards DUNE.

I understood that there is a disk version (1992) of DUNE the strategic adventure and a CD version with voice overs (1993). According to wikipedia it is also claimed at the time of writing this , that it was the first game ever released on CD-ROM.

Another Wikipedia entry says that however the game Star Trek 25th Anniversary was released in 1992 on disk AND CD with voice aka walkie talking version, weird. Just checking on another wiki, there it says the CD version was released 1993

Its successor Star Trek Judgement Rites however was even released in more CD versions than just the talkie one, i.e. the CD version would feature better graphics and more cut scenes like the “movie and sound pack” that was available for the disk version originally.

Then there was obviously another edition of the CD version released on CD in 1995 (The same year the Mac version was released) which was the talkie version of this game.

For DUNE e.g. you can find out that the CD Versions from the SOFT PRICE line, are simply 3.5″ disk version copied 1:1 onto CD, so the speech is missing here:

even if it says “CD-ROM Version” on the front, don’t buy it!

The While Label release however even mentions the voice performance on its back of the box:

Now having a look however on the White Label Start Trek 25th Anniversary / Judgment Rites CD Collection you find that only the first is mentioned for its voice performance on the back of its box:

Despite this was released in 1993, the same year Judgment Rites CD version was released, this does not contain a talkie version.

The talkie version was released in 1995 however:

So for some games, the CD versions are sometimes not the ones you are after!

Running “Emporer – Battle For Dune” on Windows 10 x64 2004

Looking upon the internet, there is no definite manual on how to get it working on Windows 10. Just the usual complains that the copy protection sucks and is the cause of all evil.

Anyway, I am running it on Windows 10 x64 2004 with an Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti with latest Game Ready drivers.

First of all what you need is the Westwood Install Fix as written here
We don’t follow the instructions there as they are not correct.
Instead, we do the following:

  • Extract the RAR archive.
  • Copy the setup folder from the Installer CD into a directory separated from the later game installation directory (this is important or else the game will fail to run later!)
  • Overwrite the old SETUP.EXE with the newer one from the RAR archive.
  • Run the Setup.EXE and install the game including all components (the shortcut is not needed) in your desired destination folder for the game to house.
  • Overwrite the EXPLORER.EXE from the game’s root folder with the one from the RAR archive.
  • Refrain from trying to get the latest patch from Westwood to get the game into its recent stage. The Westwood Patch routine won’t work and will fail with “Update Aborted”

Now enjoy and start EMPORER.EXE to play the game! 😊

Linking your Weibo International account to Pixiv

We all know it, badly or only partly translated international versions of foreign services like e.g. QQ or vKontakte (just to name a few).

A while ago I got myself a Weibo account installing and registering with the Weibo International app on iOS as this was the only means I knew contacting somebody at this time.

So when wanting to link my Weibo account to Pixiv I ran into issues. Entering my Weibo# 7082444339 resulted in “wrong username or password”.

Hmm. So I went to Weibo password reset, entered my Weibo# and the Captcha displayed. Resulted in “System is busy, our engineers are working on it, try again later”.

When trying again later it will say “For security reasons, please enter your username instead”.

So how to fix it?

Here is how:

  1. visit https://www.weibo.com/overseas#
  2. Login with your Weibo# and password – This will result in an error message saying “Your account hasn’t set a password, please reset the password for login” – Aha finally something we can work with!
  3. Click on “Forgot Password”
  4. Enter your mobile phone number that you used when registering for Weibo in the Weibo International app in the following format: “00<country code><your number as dialed from abroad>
    Pass the Captcha test.
  5. It will now ask you to enter a Captcha, but that is wrong. Instead it means to say it will send you a SMS PIN code – once received to your mobile phone enter it (there is a countdown so be quick!)
  6. Enter your desired account password!
  7. Success! Now your Weibo International account has a password assigned which can be used to login to Weibo from the homepage or connect to your Pixiv or other accounts! 🙂

Fixing Apple Watch Series 1 crashing constantly with WatchOS 6.2 and up

When WatchOS 6.2 was released, installing it on my Apple Watch Series 1 took a couple of tries, as it either wouldn’t find the new WatchOS version in the iPhone Apple Watch App on my iPhone 7 Plus or it would fail downloading. Once it was installed, it would crash and reboot the Watch Series 1 every 5 minutes. It took me two days but finally managed to do an over-the-air update on the Apple Watch Series 1 connecting to my home wifi to WatchOS 6.2.1 hoping it would improve the situation. It didn’t, the situation worsened.

So, now it would not only crash but be sluggish and almost not react anymore on inputs, if it crashes, it would crash without showing something on the screen, so I constantly force-reboot it!

Now googling for it, every site and solution guide said, to unpair it via the iPhone’s Apple Watch app, then go to settings app on the watch and select wipe all data. However once I confirmed this, the dialog would simply close and nothing would happen.

As I didn’t want to call Apple Support and spend hours on troubleshooting, I got an idea how to factory reset it using a trick:

1) Unpair it from the iPhone via the Apple Watch App.
2) Connect it to the home wifi network
3) go to icloud.com –> Find my phone –> Erase

This would factory reset the phone. Once it has been fully re-charged, pair it as an already existing Apple Watch by restoring from a backup!

A detailed description how to remote wipe a device including pictures, can be found at https://safeonline.ng/device/icloud-erase-device/

Getting the Beurer KS 800 Kitchen Scale to pair with iOS 13 and up

5 years ago, when my old kitchen weight scale broke, I have found myself being fascinated of the Beurer KS 800 Kitchen Scale because it has a screen inside and it guides you graphical through the steps of a recipe connected via bluetooth to your iPhone and it’s Beurer recipe app.

Now the problem with iOS 13 is, that the way it handles bluetooth connection has been slightly changed due to many security improvements apple did to the bluetooth stack in its iOS.

Though luck considering the latest udpate to the app has been over a year ago.

After a bit of discussion with the Beurer tech support, a workaround has been found.

There is another kitchen scale of Beurer, the KS28 without bluetooth and hence the app requires activation since the last update (which causes the issue with the Beurer KS 800 in the first place, as before you could simply say “send to scale” in any recipe of the app) but since the KS28 has noo bluetooth module inside, the KS28 ships with a QR code one can scan to activate the app!

For your convenience, find that QR Code here:

This will force activation of the app. Now select any recipe in the app and on the bottom select “Send to scale”.
It will force a request to pair your KS 800 to iOS 13.x and voilla, the kitchen scale works again! 🙂

English promo video

Migrating from an installed Max Payne 3 to Max Payne 3 – The Complete Edition on Rockstar Launcher for free!

When you were among the first who installed the Rockstar Launcher, you’d get GTA 5 San Andreas for free.
But for some reason it would not detect my already installed Max Payne 3 purchased DVD of the game.

Reason for this is, the one in the Rockstar Launcher has a few more DLCs for free included and installs in a different folder name than what was used by the original installation.

This is how you can migrate your installation to the one supplied by the Rockstar Launcher:

  1. Find the installation folder of your current Max Payne 3.
  2. Rename the sub-folder to “Max Payne 3 Complete Edition
  3. Launch the Rockstar Games Launcher > Click on “Install” for Max Payne 3
  4. Please choose the install location as a folder that has Max Play 3 installed previously.
  5. Next, click Proceed. The Rockstar Games Launcher should now start the download, but the download bar will move fast skipping all the installed files. Any missing files will be installed.
  6. Please wait until it is completed as it may take about 30 to 60 minutes depending on your internet connection.
  7. Delete the .EXE files of the now obsolete non-complete edition
  8. You can now run Max Payne 3 – The Complete Edition” from the Rockstar Launcher
  9. It will ask you if you want to move the local savegame to the cloud, you can decide for “Yes” here.

Migration of the Seagate DiscWizard Advanced Capacity Disk to a normal GPT partition

I recently switched from Sagate’s OEM version of Acronis True Image called “Seagate DiscWizard” to Acronis True Image 2020. It resulted in the setup routine detecting the OEM version (which is according to Seagate’s Knowledge Base from 2013)

 VirtualDiskSetup.msi will work in Windows 10 yes, but according to Acronis support this driver is from Windows 8 and not officially supported in Windows 10 and end of life since 2013.

So how can this be resolved?

From an email to Acronis Support in which I described how I have done it:

so I have continued on this as circumstances changed a bit:

I decided to get an addtional SATA III controller to put in an empty PCIe slot I still had in my computer and put an SSD onto it.

So here is what I have done:

As the HDD in question was 6 TB, 4 spread across 2 partitons with the Seagate DiscWizard Extended Capacity Manager and the 2 TB accessible on the front of the HDD was the Windows 10 system disk, I have done the following steps so far:

1) I have tried True Image 2020 Clone Disk Wizard, but as the new SSD is 1 GB smaller than the HDD (due to the nature of SSDs), I got warning messages saying there might be the possibility that Windows cannot boot after the clone is done as the destination disk is smaller than the source.
Despite I answered twice to proceed anyway, after the 2nd confirmation, the Clone Disk Wizard window simply closed without any further message on the screen.

So I gave up on this and instead used the free version of EaseUs Partition Master and cloned the 2 TB Windows 10 partition of the 6 TB HDD to the 2 TB SSD.

2) After that, I added the cloned Windows installation on the SSD via EasyBCD manually to the Windows 10 boot menu.

3) I booted my PC into an old Windows 7 installation I still have and disabled the Extended Capacity Manager. then I went to the Windows own disk manager and removed the 2 TB partition and then used EaseUs Partition Master to remove the 495 MB recovery partition too as windows own Disk Manager would not because of “not enough free diskspace to perform operation”.

4) Then converted the undefined partition from MBR to GPT.

5) Opened the Seagate DiscWizard again. A notification window poped up stating “No Extended Capacity Partitions found, you can partition the disk using “Add New Disc” functionality.

6) “Add New Disc” —> Was able to create a full 6 TB GPT partition

7) Booted back into Windows 10 onto the SSD.

8) Opened Acronis , went to recovery, said disk from the previously backed up extended capacity “Disk” stored on my NAS, to the unpartitioned 5.55 TB disk. However after 40 minutes of waiting, no activiy on the disk even. So I aborted this try and now create 2 partitions with EaseUS Partition Master that are both 3 TB and try again but this time recovery from partiton to partition instead.

I hope this will work!

Not quite the way it was supposed to work and I still have no idea why the clone disk wizard of True Image 2020 left me hanging with no clue, but it is busy recovering now

You are doomed when you have to report a bug to Apple – Here is why.

As a product and software tester myself, I am aware that products have bugs. Apple is not left out of this problem.

It all started in 2017 when I got myself an Apple Watch Series 1. 4 weeks into using the Apple Watch, I noticed that the feature to auto unlock my Apple Watch when I put it on in the morning and lift my arm and turn my wrist, no longer worked. So instead of my notifications, it would ask everytime to unlock my watch, which meant I would miss all notifications which is kind of bad as this is the whole purpose of having a smartwatch. I have tried 3 weeks in resolving this issue together with support after initally sending a bug report. Mind you, no solution was ever found.

So 4 weeks into the problem I lost my temper and patience and decided to resolve it by totally disabling the feature totally. I knew since it was a problem the day I did after applying the latest WatchOS that it must be a software issue, not a hardware issue.

Disabling fixed it in the way that I had to enter the pincode of my Apple Watch to unlock it for the whole day. And each time I received a notification vibration, I tapped the screen and it would light up and show the notification.

Now let’s step into my momentary problem with iOS 13, since day 1 of the update, I ran into massive problems with the iPhone Mail app. I explained this to Apple support yesterday the following way:

Hi there. I Reported bug in support chat 100912882154 on sept29th: What happens since the first release of iOS13 is, that emails that are received and have the same recipient and sender email address, are now displayed in the receive AND the Sent mail folder in the iPhone email app. Which is a huge problem, since almost all Internet-of-Things-devices that send status reports via emails out, do not allow to set sender email address, only recipient email addresses.

I was given https://support.apple.com/HT207132 as a work around which is of course BS as this does not solve my problem AT ALL!

With iOS 12 and below, emails from my devices where only appearing in the received mail folder (aka Inbox) AND NOT as unread emails in the Sent Mail folder as well!

Please fix this issue ASAP!

The response from the Apple Supporter for Apple Germany (I know they sit in Ireland) was, that the dev team who does bug hunting sits in the Apple HQ in the US and they cannot communicate with them at all (I was asked in the chat support conversation in September, to report the bug via the form https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html which of course I did! At the time of writing this, we are now at iOS 13.2.2 and nothing has been done about the different and nasty Mail App behavior. I have the same email address and setup since I first used an iPhone 3g in June 2008!
And unfortunately network devices do not allow you to setup a different sender address than the recipient, so both FROM and TO email addresses are always equal.

Whoever decided to change the behavior in iOS 13 did not take this into account.

Also, the filter suggested is not possible to set, even if it was, it would only change what would display in the iPhone Mail App once enabled via a toggle switch, but the dupe emails would still be stored on the IMAP mail server, stuffing up my email quota for no use.

Also, since AOL Mail does not support advanced filtering like GMail does, there is no solution here.

When I asked the supporter that I don’t want the bug report to be ignored and the bug fixed as it happened with my Apple Watch bug, he said if I think he lies to me, I can ask to talk to his supervisor. Not helpful at all. I ended the chat session then. No need to talk to an uneasy supporter who goes into the rude tendency.

It will probably be like in the Apple Watch case, it will either be fixed with iOS 14 or never at all.

So, I implemented a workaround in Opera Mail, with a filter and every couple of days, I would delete the emails falling under the filter.

Now you wonder, what happened with my Apple Watch bug that I reported 3 years ago? They fixed the problem by simply removing the feature from the Watch altogether! when they released WatchOS 6.1 for the Apple Watch Series 1 😀

Finally fixing the navigation issues on my blog!

okay. I finally tried again after a year to fix the navigation issues on nafcom.eu, worked out a solution and emailed it to the theme support guys, who helped me back in 2017 to fix one problem but then ignored me when I re-approached them in 2018 🙁

So here is how it’s done:

1) First set post page as home page: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/16508229/wordpress-how-to-set-my-posts-page-as-home-page
2) Then add your old “home page” to the menu at Appearance -> Menus (e.g. in my case I renamed it to “About” before I did that)
3) Then add a custom link as described in the youtube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlcpNMhka3M and post it to the home page
4) Trash the old blog page to avoid people who accessed nafcom.eu/blog in the past are not confronted by a white page but instead get re-directed to an actual blog post which is next closest to this!

Cheers! 🙂

New Windows 10 Soundblaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer drivers for 1903 aka 19H1 finally released

4 weeks ago, Creative Labs finally released a new driver package for their old X-Fi soundcard series finally.

(Myself having a Soundblaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer PCI sound card from 2007 myself) so finally the sound output for the analog output can be again selected in Windows 10 X64 1903 and the apps delivered with the driver work again, however some have been removed, so the package just only comes with the following tools:

-Creative Audio Control Panel
-Creative Software AutoUpdate
-THX Console

But better than nothing!

Info source and download URL