Tag Archives: OS

Haven Editorial: Running Red Alert on Windows 10

I love Command and Conquer, but EA shafted that franchise rather hard. Yet the games can be bought in a neat package at Origin. Electronic arts game platform. However making the older game run is a chore. 

Windows 10 64 bit is not the intended architecture at all. Even more problematic to record any gameplay what so ever. But I did find a workaround. One that can not be done with the origin version.

But first let’s look at the annoying issues.
Tiberean dawn can for the most part run, with the dangers of crashing. Compatibility mode is not very helpful here. Same rings true for Red Alert. Technically there exist an open Ra, which has a new engine and most of the missions. But I never got that bugger to work more than once.

There also exist a fan patch that even works with Dune 2. With custom resolution, but it crashed, then refused to start.

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Alt tab out of the games is a no go. The screen goes black with the sound still playing. I sincerely though the idea of using Origin was to make the games playable on modern systems.

Red Alert 2 has issues with a black screen that I fixed with a custom fan patch. It’s still very unstable and likes to tab out on its own and then refuse to enter the game again.

Multiplayer is no problem at all with Yuri’s Revenge, since CnC net fixes all of that. A quite good fan fix. Does not with well with the story mode though.

Command and Conquer renegade was an almost flawless experience. But as we all know almost is seldom good enough. It decided to crash after a while and the game could have been a bit better in the first place.

I have yet to fiddle around with Tiberian Sun, which is a fantastic game, but a bit poorly programmed and almost as neglected as an orphan.

The easiest way is to install Virtual Box, get Windows XP, then set it up to run virtually with Windows. In window mode, then record the window. For this to work I had to install the disc version of the games. Because the Origin version refuse to let me play then without the software itself installed.

This solution allows software like Obs (open broadcasting software) to record and stream Command and Conquer games without too many problems. It took me a lot of time to find the solution, but it works wonders. Or you could emulate the PSX version of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert, which runs at 15 fps, but has superior audio quality on the music.

Njål Sand

Tech Editorial: Windows 10 – Free for Pirates?

We were all sad that Windows 9 was cancelled and they began to push for Windows 10.
Soon after Microsoft announced that Windows 7 and 8 would be able to get a free upgrade
to Windows 10 and more news comes in that. Windows 10 upgrades may be available to
anyone with a potentially pirated copy of Windows!

In a phone call with Reuters Terry Myerson told them.

the reason for this was because Microsoft wanted to “re-engage,” with all of the hundreds of millions of Windows users in China.

Although he didn’t clarify if this upgrade will be for everyone in the world I think it would be a amazing move on Microsoft’s part! As I know a handful of people out there with a pirated copy of Windows 7 and 8 who just cannot afford a legit copy. It is true that they will lose a
fair amount of profits from this but. They would also gain a lot of positive feedback from this
and from their fanbase.
windows10
Personally I think only good things can come from this.

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-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Editorial: Where is Linux going with Gaming?

TuxYears ago, Microsoft decided that Windows would be the gaming platform. Currently if you own a gaming PC, it’s probably running Windows. There’s a lot of historical and technological discussion to be held over this fact that has held in the PC gaming community for countless years.

Really you could say it all began with Microsoft having a jealousy of the old timer consoles like Sega Genesis. They were running all sorts of neat games in the day. DOS did have games as well of course, but there was a fundamental difference. Look at today, if you make a game for the X-box 360, you know it’s going to run on X-box 360 hardware. If you write a game for PC however, there’s all sorts different types of hardware you could encounter. Nowadays encountering different types of hardware isn’t as problematic. In many languages such as Java, a programmer really has to think little of it. Even someone who writes their games in a lower lever language like C++ can for the most part avoid trouble with today’s fancy development libraries and engines. Back during the times of DOS though, developers had to do more of their own work ensuring that their games ran on different machines.

I mentioned libraries minimizing this issue, and a library was exactly what Microsoft created. DirectX was born at this time to give game developers a way to write games that could be built for Windows and be distributed. DirectX was especially important for Windows because it was an OS that enforced more rules than DOS, using resources to keep a more cooperative system. DirectX was designed so that game developers could still eek that performance they wanted.

  How this ties in with this article though, is the fact that DirectX was unsurprisingly only made for Windows. To this day it only runs on Windows, and not on Linux or Mac. There is a noble counterpart however (sort of).

OpenGL is a cross-platform rendering library, it in short runs on anything provided you use it compliantly. It doesn’t make sense to compare it directly to DirectX, as OpenGL is soley a graphics library, while DirectX encompasses things needed for a game in general. You’re better off comparing OpenGL and Direct3D.

You can make OpenGL today run on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android. Hell you could write OpenGL code for the Dreamcast still. The only catch being you have to interface it properly with the platform in question. There are however plenty of libraries nowadays that run with OpenGL and handle these kind of details for you.

The thing is, OpenGL and Direct3D have been competing for years, and there hasn’t been a victor. I say we should want OpenGL to come out on top, but it hasn’t. There’s already a lot of games and game engines written with Direct3D. It won’t just step out of the picture suddenly.

  There is plenty you can learn about the long standing conflict between OpenGL and Direct3D, but I feel it’d be out of the scope of this article to go too far in depth. So I’ll summarize below.

  Many games are written specifically for Windows (use DirectX) and cannot be simply ported to Linux (Don’t use OpenGL or know how to communicate with hardware on Linux). This means that either the game just doesn’t work, or you have to have software such as Wine to use it. Wine is always getting better, but in the end it’s a work around to an application not being able to run native to Linux.

  With the past somewhat explained, let’s talk about now and the future, and the implications of Linux becoming a key player in the gaming world.

  First of all, there’s nothing about Linux itself that makes it a poor platform for games. As a matter of fact, there are a few really nice pros with Linux, some obvious, some not so obvious.

  One that’s great and not known to all, is the fact that Linux distributions tend to be lightweight, some more so than others. The minimum amount of RAM you might need for a game could very well be lower on Ubuntu than on Windows 7.

  Secondly, and obviously, Linux is totally free. This is a no brainer, but I really must point this out. It’s an entire OS for free, Windows can cost a lot depending on which version you’re getting. So maybe in the future you could spend that money not on Windows, but for more RAM, or a better GPU, etc.

  Third point, games do have potential to run better within Linux. Now, I don’t want to get misleading here. Some games today run better on Linux, while some better on Windows. There can be all sorts of reasoning behind this. All in all though, because of the lesser overhead with Linux, there is potential for greater performance. We’ve seen examples with some of Valve’s AAA titles running superbly on Ubuntu, even better than Windows. The catch is some video cards don’t have the best driver support in comparison to Windows, and the games that do run well on Linux are very likely to be running on OpenGL, not Direct3D.

  Now, I just mentioned Valve, let’s talk about Valve. It’s no secret Gabe Newell decided Linux needed some love. It’s also no secret that Valve has actually created their own distro of Linux, creatively titled Steam OS. Valve promised to make their own games run on Linux, and they were serious about it. I was very happy when I switched out of Windows to (you guessed it) and found that I could still play Dota 2 just fine. Some of my favorite titles such as Mount and Blade: Warband also still worked. There are games being released with builds for Linux on Steam, and the number of these games are increasing. Valve is playing a huge role in Linux gaming, what I really believe is the needed push to make Linux gaming dreams come true.