Verizon Unlimited plan ads

Okay, I’m not normally one for rants (ed. yeah right) but watching Thursday Night Football lead in and the Verizon commercial comes on.

Unlimited: adjective ˌənˈlimidəd/   

Full Definition of unlimited (source: Merriam-Webster):

  1. 1:  lacking any controls :  unrestricted <unlimited access>

  2. 2:  boundless, infinite <unlimited possibilities>

  3. 3:  not bounded by exceptions :  undefined <the unlimited and unconditional surrender of the enemy — Sir Winston Churchill>

 
Verizon’s definition of unlimited: 
verizonunlimited
Apparently somewhere between 2GB and ~24GB.

Adding an already existing emulator as default emulator if RocketLauncher doesn’t recognize your system’s name.

When you add a system to RocketLauncher you have to choose the default emulator – but what if RocketLauncher doesn’t list the emulator you want to use? Note: this is not how to add a new emulator/system if the emulator was not previously added. That has been covered on the RocketLauncher page here

rl_defaultemulator

As you can see above, my System names (left column) don’t all correspond with “traditional” RocketLauncher names. In this case it’s because they were imported from LaunchBox. You can see that rather than being called “MAME”, the name (circled in green to the right) is “Arcade”. While that is because it was imported from LaunchBox, it’s a more descriptive name for the non-initiated. Not that someone would be messing with RocketLauncher if  they didn’t know what MAME was, but anyway.

Continue reading

Mednafen core for Sega Saturn emulation through RetroArch

  1. Download the two BIOS files you need (they are here in a zip file.)
    1. sega_101.bin (md5 hash is: 85ec9ca47d8f6807718151cbcca8b964)
    2. mpr-17933.bin (md5 hash is: 3240872c70984b6cbfda1586cab68dbe)
  2. Place them in the appropriate folder under RetroArch
    1. Typically this is the RetroArch/system folder
    2. You can place them where ever if you use per-core configs (I use RetroArch/system/mednafen_saturn_bios)
    3. If you just use one config file (i.e. everything is saved to RetroArch.cfg) then place all BIOS files for all emulators in the same folder (again, typically RetroArch/system folder.)
    4. You will have to set the BIOS location in RetroArch
  3. Open RetroArch and enter the Directory location
    1. It is in the second column – “Settings”; the one with the gears for the icon
    2. Near the bottom of that column is the Directory section
  4. The first directory option under the Directory section is System/BIOS Dir
    1. Set the directory to wherever you saved the two BIOS files in step 2.
    2. Save the RetroArch config.
      1. If you are using per-core configs MAKE SURE YOU’VE LOADED THE Mednafen Saturn config file first! Don’t overwrite the default RetroArch config file with a new default BIOS directory location – unless you’re going to put ALL emulator BIOSes in that directory (see 2.C. above.)

Compressed ROMs in LaunchBox (using Demul as example)

Using a zipped/compressed ROM in emulator through LaunchBox.

Allows you to save hard drive space, but does take a little longer to launch each game (about 20 seconds per 500MB depending on CPU and hard drive speed.)

You must have the setting checked to “Extract ROM archives before running” in the emulator setting inside Launchbox.

Example: Tools, Manage emulators, Demul (or whichever  emulator) then Edit. Bottom right corner is a checkbox for “Extract ROM archives before running”. In this image it is NOT checked, but you’ll need to check it and click the OK button for it to work.ExtractRomArchive

The audio is a little choppy in the game start…this is due to the slower laptop I was editing on and not indicative of the game play.

Bills at Ravens prediction

Bills at Ravens prediction: Buffalo Bills 28 – Baltimore Ravens 25

BillsAtRavens

Sunday, September 11, 1:00 PM M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 OT Final
Buffalo Bills 0 12 3 10 3 28
Baltimore Ravens 3 7 0 15 0 25

RetroArch

Tips and tricks:

1. When RetroArch is launched by RocketLauncher, it still will use per-core settings if you have it enabled in RetroArch. However, rather then naming the config file after the core, you have to name it after the gaming platform. The easiest way to make it work is to make a copy of the per-core config from RetroArch in the same directory/folder, but rename it to the name of the system used by RocketLauncher. Example:

  1. If you are using the Nestopia core and per-core settings in RetroArch, the config file is called nestopia_libretro.cfg.
  2. Make a copy of it in the same folder and rename it Nintendo Entertainment System.cfg
  3. Now when you load RetroArch and play an NES game, that config will load. You can even press F1 and see that config is loaded, and save changes directly to it (i.e. change to shader, controller, etc.)

2. In RetroArch the default exit key is the Esc button. You can set it to use one – or two simultaneous – controller button(s) in the Input Hotkey Binds. See video below:

 

 

 

RocketLauncher with Launchbox

 

If you’ve been using RocketLauncher with another front end (i.e. HyperSpin or the like) I recommend you look at Simply Austin’s video tutorial on integrating your already created RocketLauncher profiles: SA_RLwLB

Exiting games when using RocketLauncher as “go-between” using controller.

Works with BigBox version of LaunchBox as front-end. Does not seem to work when using the default LaunchBox desktop mode. Pressing “Esc” key still works from either. Update: It does work from LaunchBox. 

In LaunchBox, make sure you have the “use controller automation to control Windows outside of Launchbox” enabled. Then when you press down on the “Hold this button” selected button, and press the “Close the active window” button it will exit the emulator and RocketLauncher and return to BigBox.

Using buttons 10 as initiation button and 9 as the action (close) button on my Xbox360/Xbone controllers means when I depress the left stick, hold it down, and while holding it down depress the right stick it will exit the emulator returning me to BigBox.

LB_controllerAutomation

Per-game/Per-core settings when using RocketLauncher and RetroArch.

See the RetroArch post. Bottom line: RocketLauncher does use per-core and/or per-game settings natively, but you have to name the config file (XXX.cfg) to the name of the system rather than the core.

 Until my full post is complete, please look at my comments on the LaunchBox forums reference this discussion: http://forums.launchbox-app.com/topic/32919-issue-with-rocketlauncher-resetting-retroarch-settings/?#comment-199967

Retro gaming / Emulation

I’m a big fan of emulation on the PC of old(er) games; arcade, home systems, even older computer games.

This will be organized by topic concerning some of the larger groups that either allow you to play the games (i.e. the hardware emulator) or allow you to play them more easily (i.e. front ends or collections).

Generally speaking, you use a hardware emulator to run the game software for a specific system. If you only want to emulate arcade video games, you could use the hardware emulation built into MAME to run the software for each video game. If you want to run games on the Wii or GameCube you could use the Dolphin hardware emulator.

The hardware emulator is like having the actual console or arcade inner workings on your computer. You still need the actual game to play ON the hardware emulator – a ROM for an arcade game, or one of the CDs/DVDs/cartridges from the home systems. Just like you plug in a cartridge into a Supre Nintendo (SNES), you load the game software into the SNES hardware emulator.

If you want to emulate multiple hardware devices, it is convenient to have a front end. You choose the game you want to play, and it loads the correct hardware emulator and loads the software of the game into that hardware emulator.

Finally, in between the hardware emulator and the front end there are some systems – I call them launchers – that add to the experience either by allowing the front end to be used by you more easily, or adding features such as pausing, passing commands to controllers (i.e. using an Xbox360 controller with your Dolphin emulator to simulate using a Wii controller), etc.

I’ve added a separate page to keep these posts organized, rather than having to search through posts.

Note that I will not attempt to duplicate some of the fantastic training and set-up videos by such stalwarts as Simply Austin or the LaunchBox team. My intent is initially to add tweaks/fixes for these systems and games that I’ve found so I don’t have to remember them each time. I’ve found that some challenges I have are more common than one might think, so I’m collecting them in this page.

Without further ado, you can go to the tab for the retrogaming page at the top of the blog or simply click here: Retrogaming page

NFL on Xbox One

Madden 17. Xbox One. It happens every year.

But this doesn’t:

Bills Xbone

Microsoft has an Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Custom Console sweepstakes that could win you one of these sweet systems. Or a Dolphins Xbone, but that would probably RROD within a few weeks.

From their site: “We’ve designed 32 unique custom Xbox One S (1TB) consoles – one for each NFL team – and are giving fans a chance to show off their team pride like never before and win one.  So whether you’re a Cheesehead, a 12, a member of Steeler Nation or have your NFL allegiances sworn elsewhere, you’ll have three ways to enter the sweepstakes and claim a custom NFL Xbox One S as a trophy all of your own.”

A “12”? Is that a Seattle fan with an inflated ego? I still don’t get how Texas A&M, even being paid for the use, is okay with that. And really, the Seahags don’t have anywhere close to the best or loudest fanbase. They have to cheat with acoustics in their stadium to sound loud. They’ve won a Super Bowl. But I guess when a team is basically the official team of the company providing the official display for play reviews (yep – the iPad) you don’t get to be just a 10.

Anyhow, go Bills.

 

 

Install Windows using UEFI from a USB flash drive

*Update*

Windows 10 now has a new USB install tool which is supposed to work with UEFI. It is the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

It can also be accessed from Microsoft’s Windows 10 page.


Original post below:

If you’ve tried installing Windows in the recent past (since Windows 7), you’ve likely gone the install from USB flash drive route. It is faster and more convenient than DVD, and sometimes necessary as many smaller laptops and hybrid tablets don’t have optical drives. Likely you’ve used the very simple (if now somewhat anachronistically named) Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool (found HERE). This tool – which works for Windows 8, Windows 10, as well as Server 2008 or Server 2012 and later – creates a bootable USB flash drive and copies the install files from the Windows boot ISO.

All is good if you’re using a legacy BIOS or hybrid BIOS/UEFI. The challenge is when you use a UEFI only. The USB flash drive created by this tool likely will not be recognized as a bootable device by the UEFI boot process. Yay for new and improved technology.

I recommend using the Rufus program with the excellent steps provided by Windows Eight Forums here.

Warning: The first time I did this I followed the instructions and set the file type to FAT32, which is basically required for UEFI to load the drivers needed to boot and install Windows. However, upon selecting the ISO I wanted to use, it changed the file type back to NTFS. I didn’t notice this. I made the drive, went to boot, and nothing. Still didn’t recognize the USB flash drive as a bootable device. When I put the USB stick back into my laptop, I noticed it was NTFS formatted. Odd – I know I selected FAT32 as per the instructions. When going through the creation process again, I saw it make the change.

So make sure after you select the ISO to use for the USB install drive creation that you re-select FAT32 as the format option.