The Wii U is an interesting console (or why truth can be stranger than fiction)

Back in 2013, when gaming was ruined for the umpteenth time and when it was going to crash yet again, I had a stupid plan for a video that I never went through with making (I don’t go through with a lot of them for various reasons, from time to not having anyone to film with). Since I made a lot of parody videos with the equipment/editing skills I had (It’s harder to do it all by yourself with regards to filming, especially if everyone in your town doesn’t care), my plan was to make a fake console advertisement for a “new next gen console”, but instead show something like a Retro Duo, FC Twin, Sony PS2, or similar older or “retro remake” console. Eventually due to the lack of a tripod, and the fact that I had limited filming time due to parents being home all the time (I still need to get a tripod :c ), I gave up on the plans and made other videos.

However, those are only some of the reasons. You see, sometimes truth is weirder than fiction, and that is the case with the Nintendo Wii U. Marketed as a return to form in 2011, with a flashy E3 preview advertising a return to the “good old days” of third party with even third parties that had dumped Nintendo such as EA making a return, it was supposed to put Nintendo back on top and on the level of the Xbox One and PS4.

Just a reminder, this is how the Wii U was marketed.

The rumors of Nintendo’s return were heavily fueled by rumors as well, some of which were started by an IBM Watson team staff member who initially claimed the Wii U used a Power7 CPU, a CPU you’d find in high end workstations and servers, not consoles (Imagine if the new Xbox One or PS4 used a Xeon)

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So, what happened? Well, interestingly enough, IBM later retracted that and claimed the Wii U used a custom POWER based CPU, giving no other information about how fast it was for example. 

And then the console itself came out, after tons of speculation and rumors. As it turns out, the console used a PowerPC 750 (Also known as the G3, due to the fact that Apple branded it as the G3 when used in Macintosh computers) based processor, which added multiprocessing while leaving the main core untouched (source). While this sounds like a good idea if you want backwards compatibility, the problem is the system did poorly when it came to real world performance. Games like Call of Duty would consistently run worse on the Nintendo Wii U compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3, and while some people tried to damage control it with comments like this, as the console aged it became evident the system was underpowered.

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Now, here’s where it gets interesting. You have a system that all the nerds who called themselves true gamers are preaching for online, yet it’s underpowered, and not long after it first came out all the third parties jumped off like it was a sinking ship. And then to make it all funnier, you had these nerds trying to say how much more powerful the Wii U is and how underpowered the other systems are/were, before specs were even revealed. Despite developers calling it weak and underpowered, some people who’ve never programmed continued to praise this system, saying the developers just didn’t understand it. 

It got even more interesting when they started buying kids games for the console, from Lego City Undercover to Splatoon to all the casualized Mario series games, and as third parties stopped developing games for their console, they started lashing out at every third party, despite never buying a single game for the Wii U from a third party. And then, in behavior reminiscent of Bronies in 2011/12 trying to convince everyone why MLP was an amazing show and using “A SHOW FOR EVERY1” to describe a kids show to try to get rid of the kids show stigma (Spoiler: it didn’t work), Nintendo fans would convince everyone about how E rated games are somehow the best games ever and totally not for kids. Despite you know, playing games with low skill levels required and which included everything that would appeal to a kid.

And several years later, that’s the one thing the Wii U is good at doing. Why make a joke about “true gamers” online nowadays only wanting to play retro games and kids games? Just look at the Nintendo Wii U if it’s proof of anything. It’s a underpowered console, it lacks nearly all the upcoming games that aren’t published by Nintendo, most of the games coming out for it are for kids, the marketing tries to pander to the “ideal family” image you’d see in marketing years ago during an ad break on Cartoon Network instead of the gamer audience, and in fact Nintendo’s marketing has devolved heavily to the point where they’re marketing based off of how they were back in their golden years. Like you know, something you’d see with any other company on April 1st.  The jokes literally write themselves, that’s all that needs to be said.

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On fake gaming rumors and fanbases.

So, the other night, this rumor spread like wildfire on Twitter and similar Nintendo fansites, and considering how it seems like a shitton of furries are into Nintendo (Seriously, anywhere you go you’ll see GIMMIE YOUR FC FOR SMASH/POKEMON/MARIO KART), I was unsurprisingly reading them as well. This rumor? Rayman, a third party character being in Super Smash Bros 4, as DLC. Now, one character already got confirmed as DLC despite fan backlash which quickly turned to WOOO WOOO CONFIRMED on the day it was revealed, and of course, as usual there were the flood of memes trying to prove it was fake with photoshops.

Eventually, it was confirmed to be fake. The creator came out and said it, while posting a video on how he did it, using Adobe After Effects, a program that literally anyone can get either with money, or by going on a torrent site and using cracks.

At the same time, being a former member of the Pokemon fanbase, something I regret more and more as I see just how terrible it actually is, this is actually familiar. This has happened several times, from the fake Shaymin Sky Forme done by a well known DeviantArt user that everyone believed was real, including many of the top fansites (This was before Nintendo started cracking down on legit leaks and websites such as Serebii, after the one leaker leaked nearly all the Generation V Pokemon and the whole movie theater incident, pleasing fans and pissing off corporate slaves), to the whole shitstorm on /vp/ and similar websites on if Greninja was real, complete with ‘shopped memes. The Spiky Eared Pichu incident was another good example, with fans thinking the new Pichu was a new Pokemon, only for disappointment to set in once it was confirmed to be a quickly forgotten special Pokemon locked to one Pokemon game (It’s not even in Generation V).

Or in 2013, when a SonicRetro member, wanting to both have fun and to prove a theory that the Sonic Fanbase was less fragmented than it actually was perceived as being (It still is pretty fragmented though, but a lot of people will still happily buy the newest Sonic game, except with Boom), posted a fake rumor, Google translated to Japanese, on /r/gaming. The point he was making? Sonic Fans do in fact want something common, despite various members in the fanbase wanting another SA2/Colors/Advance/S3K/06 “bugfixed”/whatever thanks to Sega’s frequent gameplay changes.

Or the constant stream of Halo 3 PC rumors, ever since Microsoft “slipped” it several times on websites and after PC-only gamers never got to “finish the fight” despite Halo 2 being on PC and Halo 1 still being a popular game on the PC, even 12 years after it’s initial release. The Master Chief Collection rumor got big as well after the one GAF leaker posted it, and before it was even confirmed a frequent topic on Bungie.net was “Will there be a Halo 2 Anniversary” and even before that, “Will Halo 1 get a remake for Xbox 360.” Another rumor that spread but yet hasn’t ever been confirmed (and that’s probably fake) is a CoD MW collection in a similar style for the Xbox One/PS4, which also spread because of how highly regarded CoD4 is, with MW2 being like Halo 2 in the fact that everyone loves it for the nostalgia despite it aging far worse than 4 did.

The most major one however, has been the constant stream of new Nintendo/Sega console rumors, from Sega announcing a new console despite Sega’s finincial situation, to Nintendo canning the Wii U and announcing a new console which was supposed to be super powerful, with a spec sheet reading like a fanboy’s wet dream, and hardware that made no sense in the real world or even knowing Nintendo’s business philosophy (Cablecard? Cable input? A secondary CPU for no real reason? Power8, a high end server CPU you’d see on modern descendants of the AS/400 and RS/6000, something you’d see competing with Xeons, Itaniums, and SPARCs, yet less ram than the $350 Xbox One? The spec sheet made literally, no sense, and sounded like something you’d find out of a rabid fanboy on drugs who just got banned from a few major gaming sites for spouting bullshit.

At the same time however, this only proves one point. Nearly all the fanbases I named where the rumors spread like wildfire have a few things in common. People want something so badly, that they’ll cling onto any rumor whatsoever. Nintendo fans wanting a more powerful system than the Wii U which might actually have third party (Look at all the “Gaming crash” theories), Halo fans wanting remakes or Halo 3 on PC, Sonic fans actually wanting a half decent game deep down inside (despite eating up garbage anyways), with people more outside the fanbase really pressing for a good Sonic game (Generations doesn’t count, it played too much off nostalgia yet had all the same issues as Colors/Unleashed), CoD fans wanting to play the older CoDs again, with their friends (Lots of online gamers have a “peer pressure” mentality, refusing to play the older online games unless it’s remade for some reason or wanting to play the newest one, it’s why CoD is still around despite MW3/Ghosts, same with Pokemon and Smash), Smash fans wanting a certain character, or Pokemon fans usually simply wanting more Pokemon (and waifu material).

Desperation has taken over fanbases, like the ones I mention. People want something so badly, and while some are easy to fulfill (Want to play CoD4 or Halo 3? Put the disc in the Xbox. Want Rayman in Smash? Mod Brawl), others have to be done by the company, and while some can listen to fans for feedback, others simply continue to shit more and more on their customers, especially when it’s something like having good hardware, a port to the PC, or good games. That is all I really have to say on this.

Some franchises lack lore: Deal with it

In this gaming community, I have seen a very real and common misconception: That franchises such as Pokémon, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Sonic, and similar ones have some deep lore and backstory to them. The problem is, that is not only simply not the case, but that making up theories doesn’t fill in plot holes whatsoever. While most of this focuses on Pokémon, I’ll touch upon other franchises as well.

Pokémon is a Role-Playing Game series, which puts it in the same genre as games developed by companies such as Square Enix, BioWare, Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, Atlus, and other developers known for making role-playing games. While earlier RPGs didn’t have deep storylines, being influenced by pen and paper games and in fact there have been various games based off them from Shadowrun to Mechwarrior to Planescape Torment and Baldur’s Gate, by the end of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo era they had been known for deep storylines with some games even offering decision systems and character customization with stats, and CD based systems such as the Sega CD, TurboCD, computers, and the PlayStation gave way to sprawling 4 disc games with full motion video cutscenes, voice acting, and storylines being front-and-center.

Pokémon started during the PS1 era, coming out in 1996 on the Game Boy. It ended up selling through the roof worldwide, and gained wide appeal for a few years, propelling the original 151 Pokémon to iconic status, with sequels selling as well. Sales eventually slipped however, and Ruby and Sapphire sold less than the first 2 generations. While Diamond and Pearl, released in 2006 or 7 depending on the country, sold millions and came closest to selling like Generation 1 and 2 did, no Pokémon game since than has sold that many, and despite XY being billed as being the “fastest selling Pokémon game ever”, even BW has sold more.

This says something about a series that at one point was selling through the roof, was popular at every grade level, but now it seems the audience is thinning out. Now, what could possibly be causing this?

One of the causes is the serieses recent focus on storylines. Now, despite the fact you’re going to get little storyline out of a Pokémon game, since nearly every Pokémon game has followed the same storyline template since Generation 1, lately the game has been more linear, forcing you to do what the game wants you as the game shoves the same exact storyline down your throat, except it’s just that, the same storyline. Even Generations 1 and 2, the generations that happening to like them in 2014 will result in you being called a “genwunner” while being attacked with meme pictures straight out of KnowYourMeme, have at least a storyline that’s connected, complete with Kanto from Generation 1 several years later, with Generation 3 having the GameCube games and the Hoenn connection, and the remakes adding some more connections. Sure, it was simple, but at least you weren’t hurting from all the edge.

I’m going to start at Generation 4 however, since that’s where the origins of this shit began. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl had bits and pieces of lore scattered throughout the region, called the “Sinnoh myths”, complete with a Bulba article on it. Most of these are vague bits and pieces of the past of the region, hinting at what was going to be forced in the next two generations, stuff that you’d probably forget afterwards. However, one little bit that hinted at the shitty direction the series was going was “Sinnoh Folk Story 3”, which in the Japanese version went like this:

There once were Pokémon that married people.

There once were people who married Pokémon.

This was a normal thing because long ago people and Pokémon were the same.

Anyone who’s hung around the Pokémon fanbase for a while knows this confirms one thing: Your Pokémon waifu fantasies are in fact canon, and it also didn’t help that the PMD series, despite being better written than the main series (though still not having too much in the way of plot with bare details), never explained a lot of things.  A lot of potential was wasted on OH GOLLY MY RESCUE TEAM IS SO KEWL DUDES, with the backstory being very bare and vague, since we all know writing one that isn’t crap takes some skill.

It also didn’t help Generation IV had a straight up rehash of the Generation 3 storyline. Evil team wants X Pokémon to achieve X goal, with absolutely no connections to previous generations.

Than Generation 5 and 6 felt like Deviantart took over, with bad writing everywhere, quick excuses such as Generation 6 talking about multiple universes and the whole 3000 years ago event, Team Plasma from Generation 5 and that weird kid N, and of course, glossing over what could have been potential to expand and go in depth to make the evil team be the same exact shit as last time. There’s little/no connections with past games, besides having the same generation 3 storyline again. There’s no real lore, you’ll hear some quick thing about Mega Evolution and some war but you’ll never find out anything specific, and no TvTropes doesn’t count. Especially when there are other games in the same genre that go in depth on even events that happened thousands of years ago, Pokémon just pales in comparison.

To make matters worse, each form of media for Pokémon takes place in a different universe. Games (with the inconsistent storyline), spinoffs of the games, manga, the Anime, etc. Each one has it’s own storyline and universe, with differences in the roles of humans and Pokémon, with some involving Pokémon having full sentience (one many fans seem to prefer) and others having them as little more than animals that communicate like R2-D2 from Star Wars, by famously saying nothing but their own name. Or how Orre has few Pokémon being captured, with Pokeballs being sold in the black market under the counter early on in Colosseum, how the Ranger games featured you using your stylus to temporarily capture Pokémon, and how the Mystery Dungeon series had you recruiting Pokémon since you were a Pokémon and since everyone is a Pokémon after all.

In other words, there’s little/no continuity, and usually in each universe besides the very basics of the setting there is little going in depth, especially when compared to a game like Mass Effect which has detail on even minor planets and the whole galactic codex, or even something like Digimon Tamers which went in depth on the origins of the setting, both in the series itself and in official supplemental material. Pokémon on the other hand has had bits and pieces at most before the whole forced storyline stuff happened in recent generations, with recent generations forcing down a half baked storyline that doesn’t explain very much at all, especially considering how many “game theory” style videos and websites exist. Much of it leaves the player and fanbase to guess, making up theories for a kids game with little in the way of story, which doesn’t compensate for the fact that the story is badly written.

The same can apply to other game franchises however too. One good relevant example is Five Nights at Freddy’s. It’s as basic as it gets, a generic indie horror game where the whole point is to avoid the jumpscare (Remember Slender?) from Chuck-E-Cheese influenced animatronics at a shady run down pizza place which somehow has robots that can roam the premises at night. There’s literally no storyline whatsoever, besides a few bits and pieces saying that uh, you have a crappy job, years ago some robot bit some part of someone’s brain off, and apparently some other creepy stuff that’s edgy or something.  Apparently your main character never has the brains to quit, just like your average stupid horror movie or creeypasta protagonist. Yet tons of nerds online come up with theories that get passed around as if it’s official, to compensate for the poor writing, and the sequel takes it a notch further.

Besides being a lazy cash in complete with a 4 by 3 aspect ratio while the original was rendered in 16 by 9 and generic character designs that try to pander to the FurAffinity audience (Keep in mind, fA’s admin gave them free ad space on a site known for drawing pr0n of the characters), it has a story that makes less sense. Does it take place in the future, or the past? You can’t tell especially since it takes place in 1987, supposedly before the first one. As usual, people come up with crackpot theories about this simple game, which like I said, doesn’t excuse the poor writing.

I could name tons of other franchises and go on forever about how poor or nonexistent the continuity is, so I’ll end it here with this fact. Just because a series has tons of people making theories online doesn’t mean the story is good or the series has deep lore.  In fact, it’s just a sign of poor writing, and to make matters worse, it can encourage game developers to cut back on the story. After all, what’s the point of hiring a talented writer when you can write a poor story with plot holes and your fanbase will fill it in? It’s a very bad mentality and one any gamer should be afraid of. Pokémon is an example of this and a very good one, and despite people asking who plays it for the story, you have to keep in mind that it not only doesn’t excuse the poor story, but that Pokémon is in a genre where storytelling is big. That is all.

Exhibits of Fail: TvTropes

Online among fan communities, there is a popular (3,356 on Alexa) website called TvTropes. On the surface, it looks like a website, that as the frontpage of it claims, is “a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction”. It declares:

We are not a stuffy encyclopedic wiki. We’re a buttload more informal. We encourage breezy language and original thought. There Is No Such Thing As Notability, and no citations are needed. If your entry cannot gather any evidence by the Wiki Magic, it will just wither and die. Until then, though, it will be available through the Main Tropes Index.

As you can see, it sounds like nothing is wrong right? I mean, it is a wiki for cataloging tropes, and what can be wrong with that? Well, the first sign something is wrong comes from the paragraph below:

We are also not a wiki for bashing things. Once again, we’re about celebrating fiction, not showing off how snide and sarcastic we can be.

Now of course, that might reek of a hugbox, mentality wise. I mean, online there are people who can’t handle criticism, but then again news media and encyclopedias want to present the reader with unbiased reporting and documentation of other things, so maybe I’m just being paranoid…I guess.  Anyways, let’s start exploring with a movie I like, Akira. By now, it’s one of those “cult films” so well known that tons of people have seen that iconic movie poster, and it’s also gotten a rerelease various places, from the Criterion Collection Laserdisc (known for releasing many other well known “artsy” films), to the new Funimation Blu-Ray featuring both the 1988 and 2001 dubs, along with amazing picture quality (It’s the first blu-ray film I saw too). Nearly every Anime fan who doesn’t only watch shitty slice of life shows or Naruto has seen it as well, and among Anime fans it’s iconic.

akira_movie_poster

So, why am I talking about Akira? To compare it’s word count and the content of the page, with some “other” pages. First, I decided to paste the movie and general sections (I haven’t read the manga, but the Akira most people know is the movie) into Microsoft Word to let it count it. 3827 words. Alright, now let’s try something more specific, the “Nightmare Fuel” page. After all, Akira should have a long page. I mean, throughout the whole movie there is tons of nightmare fuel, from Tetsuo in general to all the violence and deaths on screen (It’s R rated for a reason).   A pathetic 293 words, for a movie that features tons of fluid, animated body horror, graphic hallucinations, and lots of drugs.

So, I decided to see what else had a nightmare fuel page. Next stop, Pokémon, possibly the most cookie cutter, safe JRPG I have played, especially recently, and what do I see. 22499 words and multiple sections, for a kids game. You can’t make this up, on a website that claims to analyze tropes in fiction, and on a page describing nightmare fuel, Pokemon has far far far more words than a movie where body horror is a key thing. Not only that, but it has several sub-pages too , for Mystery Dungeon, the Manga (probably the only one that should have a page out of the four), Black and White, and X and Y (Apparently there were people who found those stories deep, or more likely just overanalyzed it).

So, for the lulz I first went to the X and Y page, and wow, this was the first thing:

  • A glitch has been discovered that if you save in the outskirts of Lumiose (Saving inside buildings doesn’t seem to trigger it), it could permanently freeze your game and you’ll have to restart. All your hard work and fun could go to waste just because one time you saved in the wrong part of the wrong city. Fortunately, Nintendo has released a patch to fix the glitch, meaning it’s gone for good. Even if you stumble into this glitch as a result of not having Internet access/an SD Card at the time, don’t fret – nothing’s wrong with the save file. It’s the loading that fails, getting the patch will fix everything.
  • OH MAN, A GLITCH! THIS IS MORE NIGHTMARE FUEL THAN A CRONENBERG FILM! I mean good god, already this feels like I’m reading a more cringeworthy and unfunny version of RapGenius. In fact, this whole page could be summed up as OMG THIS RANDOM THING I SAW WAS CREEPY, and those were a good number of the entries, along with more edge than can be found on a Linkin Park CD.  They also had a LOT more spoilered out parts than Akira did, which makes it funnier considering that Pokemon never had a storyline that was ever deep. The main page also had a huge section dedicated to….glitches. Because a high frequency sound in your ears with garbage on screen is the same as some horror film and will give you nightmares, right?

    Just to confirm my impressions, I viewed the Dead Space Nightmare Fuel page. Only 1,993 words, for a series with far more nightmare fuel than any Pokemon game. Think about it for a second, a kids game having horror material than a horror game. Just for one last laugh, I went to the Five Night’s at Freddy’s page. 2963 words for the first, 3803 for the second, and 6766 for both combined. All for a game where the whole premise is Night Trap at a sleezy Chuck-E-Cheeses clone with jumpscares like Slender.

    But, before I jump to conclusions, let’s view one more page, the body horror page. You know, a genre dominated by gory Anime, Manga, Cronenberg, and other horror directors. Let’s see just what’s on that page…….

    body horror

    Man, look at all these notable categories. While many you’d expect, such as comic books (or graphic novels), Anime and Manga (Apparently they have to be separate from film and graphic novels), literature, you also have some categories that nobody gives a shit about such as Podcast, Toys, and of course my favorite, Fan Fic. Yes, apparently fanfics are so edgy they need their own section in the body horror page. So  I click that page and among the fanfics I see…Sonic and MLP fanfiction. It’s like this site is ticking every single box in the fail chart.

    However, one page makes it too easy. You see, there is a page called “Trope Overdosed”, which lists the franchises with the most pages on this site, now what could they be? Pokémon, Zelda, AND Sonic are “Saturated”, which means they have over 12000 “wicks”, while various other media franchises from Fallout to Mass Effect to Evangelion don’t have as many as Pokemon or Sonic do. That should tell you a LOT about this site.

    One more amusing page I decided to look at was the WMG page.   Now, the WMG page is where TvTropers overanalyze and type in their crackpot theories, with some being serious and others being bad jokes. Sonic has 49103 words. Serial Experiments Lain, an anime with a very distinct storyline that requires you to notice every detail? 11031 words. 1/5th the words for a series far more complex than a series about a hedgehog collecting rings running through loops.

    Noticing a pattern here? TvTropes users seem to obsess more over things for kids, and pages like this confirm it.  What also seems to confirm what I’m seeing is the ED article (NSFW obviously). It’s a long read full of cringe, but in the first part of the article, this line sums it up best:

    “just as how deviantART breeds hack artists and FanFiction.Net breeds hack writers, TV Tropes breeds hack critical analysts.”

    This is as close to the truth as it gets. For a movie that might come from the Criterion Collection with several essays,  you’ll see a TvTropes page categorizing a bunch of parts about it, but you won’t see as much detail as you would a page talking about Sonic. In other news, don’t expect a critical analysis of whatever you’re looking up on TvTropes, and especially if it’s not from mainstream pop culture and/or for kids. Considering how much fan fiction gets attention here, it’s an absolute joke of a site, and I didn’t even get into the article quality, where things that aren’t even tropes, audience reactions, or gameplay bugs are listed as tropes.

    And the worst part of this all? People spam links to this site like it’s critical analysis, when it’s merely hacks overanalyzing kids stuff. That is all I have to say.

    Fun with VMs: Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition.

    Since my HP Proliant lets me run VMs on it’s quad core Xeon CPU, I’ve decided to make use of it….by throwing various OSes running in VMWare on it.

    Windows NT (pre 2000) is probably one of the more obscure versions of Windows, especially online. After all, it was shipped mostly on business PCs, used in businesses, and only caught on with version 4 (3.x is even more obscure, and has issues running on faster/newer hardware). Only when the NT 5.x line came out did NT gain popularity with consumers, and only because 2000 and newer had better driver support, DirectX (OpenGL games such as Half-Life, Quake, and UT will work however), APM (Drivers were made by laptop companies for NT4 and APM), USB (There are NT4 USB drivers that even support flash drives), and NTVDM/DOS support (for XP).

    On the other hand, NT became popular in businesses, and eventually replaced the old, primitive, 9x Windows for a good reason (And later, Windows CE, with Windows Phone 8 and RT being based off the NT kernel). It was a far more modern and stable operating system than 9x ever wished it could be.

    While NT 4.0 had both a client and server version, the most interesting version is the “Terminal Server” edition.

    terminal server client

    Powered by licensed Citrix technology (Citrix and MS share code for RDP and Citrixes own products), and a modified version of Windows NT (The login screen looks closer to that of 2000/XP/2k3), Terminal Server Edition of NT4 allows you to use any PC (with a Pentium and 32MB RAM) or DEC Alpha capable of running NT4 to run a “Terminal Server”. Nowadays, this technology is called Remote Desktop Protocol, and it has a few differences from the current version. For example, you can’t connect with RDP 6.0 (or newer) to a NT4 terminal server. Likewise, you can’t use the original NT4 Terminal Services client to connect to RDP 6.0+ servers, you are set at a fixed screen resolution (RDP 5.2 for example lets you use any screen resolution, even on a NT4 server), you are set to 256 colors only, and you cannot share devices such as sound, connected devices, or files.

    terminal server client 2

    Installing it can be a pain as well, while installing it is the same as NT4, you need to grab a special version of the service packs (WTSi386.exe and WTSAlpha.exe, depending on which CPU you are running it on) which can be hard to find since MS seems to have pulled a lot of NT4 related files and a lot might be corrupt, so YMMV. While one of the corrupt files seemed to install fine, I’d try to see if someone can source another installer off say, an MSDN CD or something.

    Once you install it though, you don’t need to connect it to a domain whatsoever, you can just install your favorite NT4 apps and host them, as long as you have a client like RDP 5.2 or the one that comes with NT4 (In \wtsrv\system32\clients\tsclient, also available for 16 bit Windows and DEC Alpha). It’s good if you’re trying to run say, an old program that requires NT but isn’t a game without having to run a VM on your PC.

    Also notable: This is the only version of Terminal Services that doesn’t make you online activate CALs. You can actually crank the number up high without having to activate, of course breaking the EULA obviously.

    Good Free Apps for Windows Server (That don’t complain)

    One of the main snags anyone will run into while setting up a Windows Server based computer for home use, no matter if it’s a Windows Home Server or WHS 2011 install on a old Pentium 4 or cheap Atom/Via Mini ITX board, or a old server you got from a place throwing it out, or a server you snagged off eBay cheap, is that tons of software won’t work on it. You see, they will actually detect you using it on a server and cry about how you are some business who didn’t pay up for the commercial license and must do it to use it. Of course, there are plenty of apps that you can happily use on your server if you’re just a regular person who now has a server, and there are some surprising ones too.

    AntiVirus Program: Immunet 3

    immunet server 2k8 r2

    Based off the well known ClamAV AntiVirus, this AntiVirus sets itself apart from the rest of the free AVs for one major reason: It works on Windows Server 2008 R2 (with no special hacking or pro version needed). While other AVs charge a ton of money just for the Windows Server edition, Immunet 3 is free and uses a proven scanning engine, while also being low resource (especially compared to the Nortons and Mcafees). This is crucial if you’re having files pass through the server or exploits trying to run malicious code.

    While some people have hacked Security Essentials, it’s not only known to conflict with a lot of things on some servers, especially WHS 2011 ones, but also is extremely ineffective.

    VMWare Player

    VMWare

    One of the main things people do on servers is run Virtual Machines. No matter if I’m running 9x, NT 4 or the 5.x line (2k/XP/2k3), or the 6.x line (Vista/2k8/r2/7/8/8.1/2k12/r2), I can deploy a VM without having to reinstall my whole OS or use another physical machine just to run a few programs, or keeping

    It also runs just fine in Server 2008 r2, and I can use this with my ProLiant ML150 to run programs that usually require another PC. Surprisingly it hasn’t complained about me running it on a server OS.

    Remote Control: RDP (Included with Server)

    Windows Server 2008 r2 has RDP, and you can enable it easily in the default setup. VNC works as well. However, to use both, you will need to port forward. TeamViewer doesn’t, but from what I know it complains if you use it on Server and not normal Windows. It also works on “pro” versions of Windows, however all versions have a client, and you can even grab thin clients that can connect to your server on Amazon for not very much money, and for even less on eBay.

    rdp

    I’ll probably update this post as I find more programs for Windows Server, mainly Server 2008 r2 and WHS2011 in particular, mostly the former though.

    Why I have not yet bought a PS4

    As a gamer, I have bought tons of consoles. As for current gen consoles, I own an Xbox One (I like it) and a Wii U (A trainwreck), and I owned all 3 consoles last gen. At the same time though, I currently have not bought a PlayStation 4. A lot of things about it and Sony are keeping me from buying the new console for $400, especially as people become more and more picky online about which console to buy, and especially considering the whole Vita situation. First, let’s start with a major reason.

    The online is now paywalled

    One of the main reasons I played my PS3 a lot, despite it having a bland feeling was the online was free. Sure, it went down a lot, most notably with the great PSN outage, but also various other minor times as well. It also suffered from games being shut down, with many GameSpy games being unplayable on PSN too such as UT3 or Saints Row 2. Now however, you need to pay $50 for the same outages. At least you get game rentals for that cost too though, such as…..

    ps plus

    ……….some indie games and old AAA games? Not to mention you don’t even get to keep them either (if you cancel)? You might as well use GameFly or something.

    Limited game selection (And bad business moves with regards to BC).

    For starters, the console will NOT play PS1, 2, or 3 games. Not even digital downloads. Despite rumors promising them on PS Now (I’ll get to this later), they’re missing. While the PS3 can download games from all 3 consoles (Sony made an emulator that allows non BC PS3s to run emulated games, this is used for PSN, and people have indeed hacked it so it can run more games on CFW PS3s), along with the PSP, thanks to PS Minis (and of course hacks to allow more games too), and the Vita/PSP support both PS1 and PSP games (with the Vita having a whitelist Sony accidentally removed), the PS4 plays PS4 games. Only PS4 games. The library of PS4 games? Indie games and multiplats, sometimes even cross gen multiplats. No PS1/2/3/P games whatsoever. Even the PlayStation TV can do this. The games also happen to be mostly western games, as all the Japanese games Sony was known for are yet again MIA, even moreso than on the PS3.

    Speaking of BC, Sony, like I linked, has been known to constantly lock out backwards compatibility in the name of making you buy more games. While the PS3 only supports playing disc games on hardware/part hardware BC PS3s, the PS3 has no whitelist in place to let you play PS2 disc games on the PS3….however hackers can enable it and MS did it with the 360 too. The Vita has the whitelist, and the PS TV has even fewer games. It even lacks Netflix/Hulu/Amazon (for a microconsole.) Speaking of that……

    The Vita

    The Vita was a total disaster. Despite Sony promising console quality on the go and remote play, remote play on the PS3 was held back yet again and was a glorified version of the PSP remote play (which was crippled by Sony….and yet again enabled by hackers. Noticing a trend here?). The Vita also lacks console quality games (Western devs fled the system), memory cards cost a ton (Custom format), the system was so DRM’d that you have to use a custom content manager…..in an era of dragging & dropping in Windows Explorer, that is a pain in the ass to use too. You literally….have to touch something on the Vita to move a file from your PC to the Vita. The PSP? Drag and drop, universal memory cards with cheap readers available at Wal-Mart.

    The PS TV has been an even bigger disaster, earning poor scores from tech reviewers due to it’s inability to do even expected features and offering only 720p/1080i output.

    PS Now

    Since the PS4 lacks BC….you have to pay again for your games. This time renting them at a cost. You can pay high prices just to rent a older game…..for 4 hours. From 2-3 dollars for 4 hours only, to $30-40 for 90 days (Keep in mind, 90 days). You also get to suffer input latency, compression artifacts, AFK disconnections, and need stable internet. All for a digital game keep in mind. It’s an absolute ripoff and should be ignored.

    Fewer media options.

    It can’t touch the multimedia functionality of even the PS3, lacking CD support, DLNA, playing  movies off USB (Music support just got added though in an update), and the like. While MS has been aggressive patching the console and just added a USB video player, supporting even MKV files, Sony has not to the same extent. It is simply nowhere near as good as even a cheaper PS3 is with regards to multimedia.

     

    Due to these reasons and possibly more, I’m not going to be buying a PS4 for now. I’m going to wait till it gets more patches and games at this rate, at least.

    Tumblr is Trash (and this is why)

    I have been on the internet for a while, have seen various trashy websites come, and either go or fall into obscurity but stick around, and I have seen tons of dumb “hip” technology fads that became forgotten about as quickly as they became big. MySpace, LiveJournal, Geocities (and nearly all the “free homepage” style sites), Xat, AIM, and many others can come to mind. Now imagine there is this hip website that over the span of a few years has managed to take every bad idea from every website and roll it into one. Congratulations, you now have Tumblr.

    However, to explain everything wrong with this website would take a bit of breaking down what exactly is wrong with this website. I mean, there is so much wrong with it, it’s a surprise that it became so big….or maybe it isn’t, because it appeals to the lowest common denominator.

    The Concept

    By now everyone knows the concept of Twitter, with it’s 140 letters, and the ability to tweet/retweet/favorite posts, along with the fact you can post images and automatically shortened URLs, while searching/trending hashtags. Now, remove the word limit, similar to conventional blogs like WordPress or Blogger while pandering to the audience that uses sites such as LiveJournal, along with hipsters and random teenagers and you have Tumblr. Posts can be replied to, in message board quote fashion too, and GIFs can be posted. You can even create your own custom theme.  Sounds alright on paper right?  Of course, considering how it’s actually implemented, it’s a disaster, which leads us to our first point.

    It’s everything wrong with web design in one site.

    By now, everyone should have learned with MySpace, Geocities, and similar sites with 100% creative freedom that if you give users control, you will get shit. YouTube for example had backgrounds that made text unreadable on various channels created off low resolution, heavily compressed JPEG files. Tumblr, thanks to this audience I listed can be a nightmare to read. For every blog using a half decent default style, you’ll find 5000 blogs with unreadable styles. From the whole vaporwave trend and related blogs with styles trying to be ironic with 90s inspired website design (Keep in mind, as things such as the montage parody community showed, ironic usually means crap), to blogs with picture backgrounds, obnoxious mouse cursors that follow you like those old ads for spyware that said “FREE BLING CURSORS CLICK HERE” and autoplaying music (Usually either anime music, nu metal, video game music, or whatever Tumblr fad is big this week), your eyes and ears will take an assault. It’s Geocities/MySpace/Early YT all over again.

    GIFs, GIFs, GIFs

    At least I’ll say one good thing about Tumblr, it’s a great way to stress test your PC. Who needs Prime95, Crysis, and Intel Burn Test when you can just go to Tumblr and search up a tag of some TV show. You’ll see tons of huge, high resolution, 1-3 second loops of things even as mundane as a character talking, sometimes with a subtitle because you know, embedding is for losers. Oftentimes posts will have several gifs at once in them, along with the previously mentioned bad website themes with autoplaying music, sending Pentium 4s and similar into loud fans mode.  Don’t be surprised to see one of your CPUs stuck at max, or your CPU in general stuck at 100 due to the fact someone had to abuse GIFs.

    Oh, and as a joke I tried to load up a Tumblr GIF page on my phone. It had to reboot (and it did it on it’s own). On my Atom Z3735 tablet, it ran slowish.

    Pr0nz

    Tumblr has it, and of course reposts from other sites too (mostly). Sometimes it’s original but it’s mediocre either way, and I can get it from 50000 better sites.

    Fandoms

    Remember when I mentioned Livejournal’s audience? Yup, Tumblr panders to them too. With gif support, reblogs, and hashtags, you can easily find CPU destroying gifs from your least favorite kids show, along with free drama about shit nobody cares about and mediocre fanart straight outta dA.  Hell, this site works just like dA. If it’s fandom related, it gets big. If it’s not, it doesn’t or remains in obscurity. That is, until you piss off a special snowflake.

    Social Justice

    TumblrThirdWorldPrivilege

    The worst thing about this site? Social Justice Warriors. Take a bunch of entitled white people, usually nerds in college (or around college age), who have been raised with parents who hand everything to them on a silver platter, but then at the same time find out that reality isn’t so kind when they go into college/get a job. Now, throw them into an age of online activism, where online revolutions that happen in real life such as the Arab Spring fail to bring stable governments when they do overthrow governments (See: Egypt, or the whole Syrian Civil War feat. ISIS), when Kony 2012 and Occupy are flashes in the pan but show how easily these people are influenced, and where words such as “racism” and “homophobia” pop up all the time in the news, with some people getting special treatment on the news thanks to their skin color/origin/gender instead of being judged on the kind of person they are, and add a few buzzwords nobody but them and trolls will get. You end up with Tumblr’s special snowflakes.  Social Justice Warriors are professional victims, who spend tons of time bitching about stuff like content in a video game instead of women suffering and getting gang raped in India, or ISIS in general with all their war crimes and genocide, all while having a Pokemon avatar. Imagine if your favorite political commentator dressed in a Pokemon suit daily. If anything, they spend more time going on smear campaigns and talking about how oppressed they are for being crazy.

    When you have a pansexual dragonkin with several genders/pronouns, 3 headmates, and self-diagnosed Autism (Yes, people do indeed self diagnose themselves with this) telling you how much you are a cis white hetero male (All for mocking them for being crazy) with 5000 Pokemon Anime gifs in between, it’s hard to take them seriously. They are mostly harmless….until they go on smear campaigns against people/companies. While some companies budge, realizing that they don’t want to alienate any potential customer, many don’t realize that these kinds of people are never happy. Even if you pander specifically to them, someone will still get alienated. Even if you put females in your game and add 5000 gender pronouns, you’re still going to offend someone out there who will accuse you of stereotyping them, while not acknowledging them is bad too because you’re only pandering to white cis males and not including diversity.

    Social Justice Warriors in short….are only good as con artists and professional victims. Even as some have been exposed as being what they are against, they continue to play the victim card over problems nobody cares about and go on online hate mobs against people. They are just like “Pro-Life” abortion-activists, who will keep victimizing themselves but whenever they vote someone in, won’t do shit. Or they do minor things to make it harder and harder, but stop short of banning it because they know they won’t have a platform to use to make people vote for them.

    Anyways, that’s what I think of Tumblr. It sucks, ‘nuff said.

    I’m glad to be back on this site.

    Man, I remember back in like 2007 back when I was being the coolest kid on my beige AIO G3 with 128mb RAM and Mac OS 9.0.4 using IE for Mac 5 (Mozilla sucked and crashed all the damn time), how I first found WordPress. I was playing Club Penguin (Shitty game IMO), and there were all these websites offering hacks and tricks on WordPress. After I made a few laughable blogs that I abandoned fast (I seem to do that), I’ve had brushes with various blogging sites, from Tumblr (Crap, avoid at all costs), to Twitter (Amazing), to journals on dA/fA (crap), but besides Twitter I’ve never really tried to have my own blog.

    Well, now that I have decided to post random text posts that I couldn’t fit on twitter or make a video about on YT, I might as well start posting blogs here. After all, I won’t have to worry about dA admins, Tumblr SJWs, or certain people who have my fA. 😀

    Anyways, I’m glad to be back here~