Helping getting MaxiMiniGolf (AKA 3D Ultra MiniGolf Deluxe) patched for Windows 7/8.x/10

Readers of this blog might have figured out by now, that getting old devices and software to run under newer non-supported Windows version is one of my things.
I am happy that I have learned while working at my Scene World project, that reporting bugs to open source projects is king.

So I remembered Funk-Flitzer aka 3-D-Ultra-Radio-Control-Racers from childhood and wanted to buy its German release over Amazon Marketplace, an edition having this and the MiniGolf game on the same CD. The seller sold me a version only having the golf game on it. so I made a deal to get half of the purchase refunded and keep the CD regardless. They agreed, and this way I found that this is a re-branded different version than what Matt Jernigan was aware of, hence his patcher failed on me.

Opening a bug with him and digging deeper during further input from his and my side, he got it sorted out!

It only took a few games and now I can even play my version on newer windows versions, awesome, thanks Matt! 😎

Getting Dune 2000 to run in latest Windows 10 x64

Last October, I noticed that the Windows 64bit patches no longer worked with latest Windows 10 updates installed and latest Nvidia GameReady drivers.

I found there is a different way of getting it to work.
Here is what I wrote to Nvidia customer support on how I’ve fixed it:

I have fixed it. There is a mod available for Dune 2000 called “Gruntmods Edition” and when I installed it, I installed it in the same base folder as all my other “old games” (non-Steam) and it accidentally caused this to install it in the same directory the broken Dune 2000 (installed via these instructions) Install was.

And it made the old installation playable if I run the Dune2000.EXE instead of the .EXE of the mod. So I am not using the mod even, only whatever they fixed (last update was in April 2019 in contrast to the original WIndows 10 64bit Patch (which was from June 2016) which only works with all Windows Updates installed no older than June 2000, the mod patches the file to even run with a fully updated and current Windows 10 installation

Adrenalin (aka A-Race Extreme Show) – A blast from 2007

In 2006, I have put together another PC of mine, it was also the year in which I switched slowly to 64bit Windows. 1 year before Windows Vista, I had installed Windows XP 64bit. I put a 64bit CPU in this machine, so why not taking use of it?

I remember reading in a German paper mag at the time, that the game from a Russian game studio – the racing game “Adrenalin” was quite cool – errr…. not really. But I remember it for its cool rock music pieces by Russian artists.

I am doing regular backup of my stuff since year 2000. 2006 marked also the year I decided to go multi HDD, and multi OS for retro games or older game installations (A concept that I gave up since Windows 10 is the “last Windows” by Microsoft to be released – I still have a Windows XP 32bit running and a Windows 7 as a backup OS to boot if Windows 10 would fail on something) , so it happened to be that my main OS would still be Windows XP 64bit.

The German version was released by “Froggster Interactive” (Yep, the same publisher that would bring “Speedball 2000” to PC via Steam in 2008).

I remember complaining that the copy protection was not compatible with 64bit Windows XP. I was told “We support 32bit only”, so I was forced to use a no-CD patch 😀

Now just found out that the game is abandonware and can be downloaded in its English version (published by “1c”) without copy protection and supporting 64bit Windows!

Even the save game file from 2007 still works, so now I can resume my career from 14 years ago! Lovely! 😀

And of course it is fully Windows 10 compatible as well! Wow!

Getting the Thrustmaster Quadrant Airbus Edition Thrust to work in Flight Simulator 2020

So, as I got a Honeycomb Yoke, I had the problem that in contrast to HOTAS devices, yokes like the Honeycomb do not some with a Trust Lever.

The solution was for me the Thrustmaster Quadrant Airbus Edition and running is without the flight stick that is also available as a combo with that device.

Now, while installing the TFHT driver package made it working in Windows 10 and discoverable in Flight Simulator, nothing was assigned to it. As I tried assigning everything manually, I failed in doing so, so I asked Thrustmaster tech support for help and they send me a detailed PDF called “abnormal procedure” that I want to share with you:

Of course I had to avoid mapping of such buttons and switches that the honeycomb share with the Airbus Quadrant!

Hope this helps! 🙂

Happy flying! 🙂

Metro 2033 does not run on Windows 10 x64 for you? It could be your language settings!

I don’t know if it has anything to do that I bought my physical copy of Metro 2033 at Amazon Germany, but even the normal troubleshooting route, with the Steam Community, Nvidia or THQ Nordic would result in a working game for me.

A thread in German that was posted recently pointed me to the solution.

So here is what I sent to THQ Nordic, Nvidia and the Steam Community as a solution:

Hi there!

Hi there all, thanks again for going on with troubleshooting with me. Since neither a discussion thread on Steam Boards , nor NvIdia or THQ Nordic tech support could help me. I wanna share the solution which was posted recently in a German thread on this game’s Steam discussion forum: Go to the game properties in Steam and change language from English to German. The game will still be in English by the way but it will run flawlessly.

Why that is no idea. But I wanted to share that the said solution also worked for me! 🙂

Why Skype Cloud Recording only records 8 fps

If you wonder why the Skype Cloud Recording only records 8 frames per seconds, worry not, you are not the only one having this issue. In fact this change has been done globally for all users using Skype. Due to the pandemic, the amount of users signing up to Skype has risen a load and the server load skyrocketed. In order to balance out this load, the recording functionality has reduced the 15 fps to 8 fps temporarily until March 2021.

The team who made this decision didn’t bother to tell tech support department about it, hence nobody knew about it when I contacted tech support about this first.

I went through all support levels until I have reached T3 which just called me this morning, to inform me about the situation.

Also somebody started a thread about it on reddit, this is how I knew I am not the only one affected.

There will be an article about it on the Skype Blog informing all users about this shortly.

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/