Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Day: September 20, 2004

No game for you… if you have CD burning software installed

Very interesting thread of conversations (and anger) happening in The Sims community these days.

EA says The Sims 2 will refuse to run if you have Nero, CloneCD or Roxio’s EasyCD installed on the same PC. Although they link to a patch to bypass this, a lot of people are upset by this. One person in the thread has filed with the BBB of San Mateo county. Some people are experiencing the problem, others don’t see it so it’s a crapshoot. A lot of people had the same problem with Doom 3 and CloneCD.

It’s interesting as I don’t have my normal software installed yet, after a few bouts with re-installing XP, I just haven’t got around to it. Normally I would be running Daemon tools so I can mount images that Microsoft sends me and I have Nero installed for burning data backups. I also find it interesting that the Sims 2 support message found here says that the game will not run if it detects “CD/DVD Emulation Software”. They list CloneCD, Nero, and Roxio as some titles. Maybe I’m just green but CD emulation software is what Daemon Tools or Virtual CD offer. Something that lets you mount an ISO image as a real image. I don’t see Nero or Roxio being these as they just offer you the ability to burn CDs.

I do agree with some of the masses. You should not have to uninstall legally purchased software to be able to run a legally purchased game title. I’m somewhat on the fence in that Maxis support is trying to do a balancing act here, but as one posted put it, the warez kiddies and crackers already have a fully working version that doesn’t have this problem. So now I can see there being a large number of legitimate users out there that are in the dark.

Feel free to add your pithy observations about this incident.

Much ado about nuttin’

The last few weeks has been pretty active, and strange, for me.

First, I have re-installed no less than 3 full revisions of Windows XP. The first install I got hit by some happy-go-lucky hacker who decided he was going to use my system as a public file share. He snuck in my system as I was going online to get the updates from Windows to get patched. I spent the better part of an hour fighting with him, bouncing back and forth denial of service attacks and on-the-fly created virii (viruses? virus’?) to try to take each other down. In the end I got fed up and unplugged and came back later after he gave up and found an easier target. The second install didn’t seem to quite work because I had been infected by something on the first attack so all my executables were hit and with each browse using Windows Explorer, it just made it worse. I got a copy of PC-cillin up and running but it was too late. Too many files infected and too much damage. Another reformat and re-install. Finally third times a charm and I got everything back up and running after a frantic 20 CD backup of all my files that I hadn’t got around to looking at yet.

Next it was a graphics wars. A few months ago I (reluctantly) went on a salespersons advice that a GeForce 5700 FX card would be a good deal. This was against my wish to stick with ATI. I’ve been using them on all my systems and never had a problem. Don’t get me wrong, nVidia makes a great chipset and they’re right up there. I never had any problems when Diamond was around and worshipped my Viper series cards. These days it’s nVidia or ATI but I’ve been sold on ATI since the 7000 series and really haven’t looked back. Also the salesperson was well respected and I valued Memory Express‘ opinon (over something like Future Shop where they barely know the difference between a video card and a hard drive, but that’s another blog). However I’ve had nothing but problems with the card. The performance was fine and I was getting 60+ fps in Doom 3 on my gaming computer, but drivers were just ugly and I would constantly get booted out of old games that worked fine and new ones like The Sims 2 that I just picked up. So another trip to Memory Express, a new 9600XT and I’m a happy camper. Everything is working fine and I got a nice copy of Raven Shield to boot. The GeForce is off to the server machine where I can reel from the speed at which the text screens go scrolling by as hackers pummel my Linux firewall.

Then, I get knocked down with an emergency trip to the dentist to remove 2 wisdom teeth that had gone south. Armed with a load of Tylenol 3s and Penicilin, I was out for 20+ hours a day sleeping off the high. This is directly inverse to my normal routine of sleeping for 4 hours and being active and awake (okay, not so active but at least awake). So off work for 3 days and I’m now just catching up with various people hunting me down because I’m on the “critical path”. Whoever invented that term needs to be shot.

Finally last night my kitchen sink overflows and fills up my kitchen with, well, water. Nothing like having a plumber with a serious case of butt-crack in with his 50 foot snake. Hmm. That didn’t come out quite right. Then the cleaning people are in, blowing my carpet. Hmm. Never mind. Anyways, at least I get a free steam clean of the entire pad from it so there is some good to all of it.

Let’s see. 3 full re-installs of XP. More hardware (like I need it). 2 wisdom teeth. 1 broken sink. Yup, it’s been a busy week.