My Old Sierra Games

Does anyone remember Sierra Online Entertainment?  I certainly do.  How could I ever forget?  They were the very first computer based video games I had ever played, and that was in the 80’s and 90’s.

I played King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella on my old Apple //e that I bought from my brother-in-law in 1989 for $750.  It didn’t have a tower with a motherboard or a hard drive, because it got destroyed before I bought it.  Long story, it was my friends fault lol.  Anyway, I remember that this was the very first game I bought and I had so much fun with it.  I sold the computer a few years later.

In 1997 when I bought my very first Windows-based computer, I wondered if they still sold it, so I looked and found the King’s Quest Collection at a computer store for $20 and I bought it.  I also bought many other Sierra game collections and loved them all.

I have been very hard at work rebuilding my old website to make it new and fresh, and while looking in my CD book for a CD with a backup file, I came across all of my old Sierra games and it occurred to me that maybe I should make a page that showed all of them and mention how much fun I had playing them, so I did.

Shiver’s 2 is one of the games that I couldn’t remember playing.  I have the 2 cd’s, but I just don’t have any memory of playing it.  I tried to install it, but it wouldn’t let me.  Every attempt at installing it resulted in a crash.  I didn’t give up though, I did a Google search looking for Sierra installers and I actually found a website.

New Installers for Sierra Games.  I installed the King’s Quest collection using their installer and it worked.  Although some of the games crashed, not all of them did.  I ran the 4th and 5th game, but the 7th one crashed.  I even had it install Mixed Up Mother Goose and I tried playing it, but it wouldn’t do it.  I think the reason is because it needs to be in 256 colors.  I can only do 16 and 32 bit.  I do remember when I played some of those games in the 90’s that I had to physically change my resolution to 256 colors before I could run the game.  I don’t think I will play them so I uninstalled it.

They had the Shiver’s 2 installer and I was successful in installing it, but here is my issue, when I run the game, it’s mostly video footage and it freezes up on me.  I can hear the sound perfectly, but the video freezes up too much.  It’s basically unplayable with my computer.

There are a few games that I never got to play, like the Police Quest Collection and the Quest for Glory Collection, so I may end up trying to install those and see what happens.  If they play then they play, if they don’t then they don’t.

I did have to install 2 programs for this.  DOSBox and ScummVM.  I’ve heard of DOSBox, but not the ScummVM one.  There is one annoying thing though.  I have avast anti-virus, and every time I tried running one of the games, avast would pop up on my screen saying it had never heard of Sierra, so it was checking it to see if it was a virus.  So I would suggest if you do have these Sierra games and intend to play them and you have avast, you could either wait for it to allow you to run it, or just close avast down.  I mean, you won’t need the internet with these games, usually, so you don’t have to worry about getting a virus.  If it only hassled me once then I’d say let it add that particular game to its list of approved programs, but if it does it every time then it’s annoying, shut it down.

I will try to play those other games and if/when I do, I will update my Sierra page on my website.

Windows 8 Installation Issues

Do you ever feel like your stick in a situation you can’t get yourself out of when you try to install a new operating system that doesn’t want to work properly?  Yeah, me too.

My first computer in 1989 was an Apple //e.  It didn’t have a tower with a hard drive, it did but my friend asked my brother-in-law to put a sound board in there that would make the computer talk when you typed and when he tried taking it back, it fried the motherboard.  All he was left with was the clunky keyboard, 2 floppy drives and the monitor.  He sold it to me in 1989 for $750.  It didn’t have a mouse or any icons, it was all dos.

My second computer was an IBM, but it had a tower with a motherboard and a hard drive, but it didn’t have windows on it.  I only had that for a couple of weeks in 1997 before I bought my very first Windows-based computer which had Windows 95 on it.  When 98 came out, I upgraded and when ME came out I upgraded to that too.  When XP came out, I had already built my first computer and put that on it and gave the one with ME on it to Darrin when we moved to Bakersfield.  Over the last 12 years, I have rebuilt my computer and given Darrin my old hand me downs and I am now on my 4th XP based computer.

I never upgraded to Vista when that came out because I heard nothing but horrible things about it from friends that I played EverQuest with.  When Windows 7 came out I wanted to buy the upgrade, but the upgrade adviser told me that my hardware wasn’t compatible (that was before my latest upgrades).

I tried looking for the Windows 8 upgrade adviser, but they didn’t have one.  All I could do was download the preview from the Microsoft website and try to run that to see if it gave me any clues about my hardware.  Before I did anything, I backed everything up on my backup hard drive in my computer.  I spent hours doing that because I knew something bad was going to happen if I didn’t and I was so right.

When my backups were all done, I bit the bullet and said just do it and I let Windows 8 preview install.  It took 2 hours to install before rebooting.  When I saw the new Windows logo, I got chills because I knew it had worked, but then that went away and all I had was a blank black screen.  I figured it was probably still installing, so I will give it awhile.  I gave it 2 more hours before deciding nothing was going to happen.  I rebooted it and got the Windows logo again, but this time the blank black screen was replaced with a blank blue screen.  I was overjoyed, until that blankness never got filled with words or logos, then I knew I was screwed.

I decided to run the installation again which meant going into the BIOS and making the DVD drive the first drive that runs so it runs directly from the disc, and it did.  It asked me for the code again and I thought SHIT, it’s on the desktop…  I didn’t write it down.  But, luckily it was on the website still.  WHEW!  I entered the code and thought everything would be OK  but it wasn’t.  It found my 2 hard drives and asked me which one to install it to and I chose the one that had my previous Windows installation, but it wouldn’t install.  I figured it didn’t have enough free space, so I had it format it, but it still wouldn’t install.

My only option was to put the Windows XP cd back in and install that, and I did and all was good until I installed the Router software, and then I couldn’t get my internet working.  I spent 3 hours trying to get my internet working to no avail.  I thought it was the router, but it wasn’t because I had the cable modem plugged directly into my desktop.  You don’t need a password, it’s instant on with a cable modem.  It’s like when you plug the cable into a TV, it’s instant on.  Right then I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was more screwed than a hooker who worked for free.

I didn’t know what else to do.  For some reason I thought there was something wrong with my computer, so I reformatted and reinstalled Windows XP again and it still wouldn’t connect.  I called our cable company and they transferred me over to Road Runner support and walked me through it.  He reset our connection from there, but had me unplug the power and then the coaxial cable from the box for 30 seconds and then it worked.  VICTORY!

Well, I was feeling victorious until Internet Explorer wouldn’t stay on for more than 2 seconds without crashing.  I was finally able to get it to stay on when I went into the start menu and clicked Windows Update.  Then my heart sank when Windows Update wouldn’t give me any updates.  I was able to download and install Google Chrome and the updated Linksys EasyLink Advisor to get our wi-fi back on.

I think I read somewhere that Microsoft isn’t giving any more updates to people who have Windows XP, so my only option is to find a way to get Windows 8 to install properly.  Now I am forced to upgrade which probably means a bigger hard drive.  If I am forced to upgrade, then I better get on that bigger hard drive as fast as possible, because that $40 upgrade deal expires in January 2013.

This sucks for me big time!  I hope Microsoft releases an upgrade adviser program for me to install to tell me what hardware will work by scanning my computer just like Windows 7 had.  If they had that, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this crap.  I will have to see what I can do and what I can afford to get this done.

Update: Good news, Windows Updates are downloading and installing, so I’m thankful for that.

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another…

Norton Small Business by Symantec

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Norton Small Business by Symantec for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Mashed potatoes and gravy.  Peanut butter and Jelly.  Computers and Anti-virus software.  There are some things that are better when combined with another thing.  You wouldn’t eat a peanut butter sandwich without jelly would you?  You certainly wouldn’t eat mashed potatoes with gravy.  So why would you have a computer without anti-virus software installed?

I can’t count how many times my Norton Anti-virus software saved my computer from viruses that I downloaded when I got my first computer.  Not only did it stop the threat, but it wiped it before it destroyed my computer or emailed my personal information to a hacker.

You couldn’t run a business without anti-virus software, and why would you want to?  You need Norton Small Business by Symantec to keep all of your companies computers safe, especially when you cannot control the websites your employees go to or what files they download.

Norton 360 v5.0 has many more features than Norton Antivirus 2012 and Norton Internet Security 2012 and it’s only $20 more.  You can also get 30% off Norton Small Business Products now so you can save even more money.  You cannot afford to pass that up, can you?  No, I dare say you cannot.

How has Norton helped you with your security issues?  Please let me know by leaving a comment telling me which version of the software would most benefit you and why.  I would love to hear your feedback.

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Bike Light

I think it was the day before yesterday or something but I noticed that the light generator wasn’t touching the tire when you flip the switch and so I fixed it and then checked out the lights to make sure they were ok by pushing the peddles.  I noticed that the back red light was working fine but the headlight wasn’t working at all.  I flipped the bike upside down and pushed the peddles with my hand to make the back tire turn and the light was just not coming on.

I took the light fixture off the bike and took it apart to see if the light bulb was just out and when I went to turn it to remove it the glass part came off and the metal was just not unscrewing at all.  I’m pretty sure it’s because the light set that I bought was old, it was made in 1991.  I searched high and low trying to find a new bulb, I went to Albertson’s, no go.  I went to Walgreens, not there.  I figured that maybe an auto parts store might have them because they have little tiny lights too but alas the car lights were the same size but no threads.  The guy at the counter told me to try Home Depot or Floyd’s hardware store.

I decided that since I can’t use my bike anyway I might as well wait until I can to worry about it.  But then I noticed a Halloween tap light sitting in a drawer and noticed that the light bulb looked the same.  I unscrewed the 3 screws on the bottom and was able to unscrew the bulb and sure enough, the exact same light bulb.

I brought it to the bike area (this was yesterday) and screwed it in and flipped the bike over and plugged the wire into the generator and pushed on the peddles but unfortunately it didn’t turn the light on.  I put it back in the tap light and put some batteries in there and tapped it and it turned on just fine.

I went searching in a computer drawer with old computer stuff and found some old mic’s from when I got my first computer and never used the mic’s and was all ready to strip the wires to use it but it was late at night and I couldn’t find my scissors so I waited until today.  This morning after Darrin went to church I got up and went out there and my scissors were by the bike so I got all the stuff ready and sat down on the stool out there.  I tried it one more time with the wire that came with the light set but this time I stripped the wire that touches the light to see if it was just messed up there but no go.  I then thought, well what if the light has to be on the bracket on the bike frame so I just placed it on there and turned the peddles and sure enough the light came on.

At this point I’m not quite sure if it’s just sheer stupidity or if my ADD is really that bad lol.  At any rate I’m glad I finally figured it out and got one more problem out of the way so I can get back on with my life.