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    creaothceann Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for PC
    Before You Buy
    tomman Speaking about Socket 7 wonders, Debian 8 (Jessie) LTS ended a week ago, which means Saki is now completely unsupported by any of the currently maintained Debian releases*, as i686-class CPUs (Pentium Pro and later) became the baseline for the i386 port starting with Stretch.

    But... for how long Debian had actually supported my hardware?
    Let's recap: The M535/8 motherboard is a design from circa 1996, built around an Intel chipset design (i430VX/Triton II) from 1995 (as the copyright on the actual ICs silkscreen says). My particular specimen (a v1.3 board) was built sometime around early '97 - IC datestamps are from late January to mid-February, and since I can't just tear this thing down to find the PCB manufacturing date at the back of the motherboard, let's consider component supply lead times and assume an assembly date of late April '97 at the very latest (yes, this mobo was already outdated junk when its original owner bought it brand new).

    Now, let's check this handy Debian version release history page. The nearest release would be a couple months later (Debian 1.3 "Bo", released in 1997/06/05), nicely giving some time between the assembly at Taiwan and the arrival at your friendly crappy computers dealer on an unspecified Venezuelan location (which could have been several months in between considering how glacially slow were Customs back then), so let's assume support for VX boards was rudimentary on whatever 2.x kernel they were using back then (2.0.27 on Rex, .34 on Bo), but Good Enough™ to boot to a text console - maybe even to X and TWM if you knew which magical enchants to recite.

    Let's count: Bo->Hamm->Slink->Potato->Woody->Sarge->Etch->Lenny->Squeeze->Wheezy->Jessie
    11 releases in a 23-year time span!
    Not even Apple can claim such a great support!
    Sure, this machine stopped being able to boot to X at least 10 years ago (last time I tried, it was in 2006 - it took forever and a half to start KDE 3... but surprisingly it could even run NetBeans!)

    Compare to Windows versions likely to be run on this hardware: 95 (support ended in 2002), 98 (2006), possibly NT4 (2004), maaaaaaaaybe 2K (2010) if you maxed out RAM and had a suitable PCI videocard, and I guess XP (2015) would boot on this one with a lot of effort (but forget about service packs!). That is, between 5 and up to 18 years of support, depending on which degree of pain you were willing to endure. Thus, Debian is truly the "Universal" OS.

    No - Saki hasn't been running Debian since 1997: I became her owner back in December 2006 as a bunch of spare parts at the college dorms (I know absolutely nothing from her previous life as a desktop computer, but I guess it ran Win9x until being decommissioned). Original name was "p100crashbox", then shortly after became Saki as her first duty under my ownership was to record audio from dubbed anime at the regional Animax station (bittersweet memories indeed, and one of the many reasons I fucking hate $ON¥) - extra points if you guess the anime! No, it's not the "girls playing mahjong" one.

    Her first OS was Knoppix 5.0.1, which was based on Debian Sarge, IIRC (it couldn't be Woody as Knoppix used a 2.6 kernel, and it couldn't be Etch either as that one was released in mid-'07) Sid, from pre-freeze Etch vintage. Back then you could boot a live session and perform an HDD install, which would leave you with a heavily customized Debian that could -in theory- receive upgrades from the standard Debian repos. But since we didn't got the dorms hooked to the information superhighway until January 2009, said bastardized Debian became even more bastardized thanks to custom-built packages (including several kernels, naturally). Such hodgepodge of outdated shit would stay even after I graduated from college and packed my stuff back to home, where Saki assumed the router/print server/audio recorder/fileserver duties... until 2013, when I had left the prehistoric mutant EOL'd Fedora setups in the past and had fully embraced the Debian Way™ at home - Saki was the last convert, with a brand spankin' new Wheezy setup, that would get the systemDEEEs sometime around *checks* May 2015, when it would embark in its final Debian quest.

    But I guess the road is now over, now wondering what will die first: those failing capacitors on the VRM, or the about-to-pumpkinize kernel 3.16 and friends. But then, I'm no stranger to the eternal EOL'd road :P

    tl;dr: What would be the oldest computer that could run the currently supported Debian stable release?

    *There is ELTS which extends Jessie lifetime up to 2022, but it's strictly a 3rd-party program, and only a very limited selection of sponsored packages are supported. Plus I don't know if their i386 packages actually work on pre-i686 targets...
    Posted by CaptainJistuce
    I am kinda hoping the next step for the DVD-Video exploit is a DVD-V that installs the traditional memory card hack.

    its a matter of time, the paper goes over how to modify the iso to load a random elf
    CaptainJistuce I am kinda hoping the next step for the DVD-Video exploit is a DVD-V that installs the traditional memory card hack.
    tomman Some console hacking and emulation news:

    - Remember the GB emudev whose sole goal in life is to reverse engineer and emulate pretty much every GB/GBA accessory ever made? This guy has really ventured into the unknown, over and over and over. The latest achievement? Sewing machines. Apparently the GameBoy sparked the revolution of automated stitching and embroidery at home - some bits even reached American soil about 20 years ago! And now you can recreate this experience using virtual fabric and threads. You can now thread your fake thread into your CPU threads YO DAWG!

    - Speaking about dead but still popular consoles, this other guy managed to pull a Dreamcast on the good ol' PS2. After venturing with game exploits to launch homebrew from burned DVD-Rs, ROMkiddies complained loudly: "PAL-only?! Do I need to buy some long-forgotten demodisc from some eBay scalper? Fuck you!", he found yet another exploit... but this time on the PS2 DVD player application built into the system ROM. Say hello to the most legit PS2 Tetris DVDs ever made :P Yes, you can also anger Sony by using that to make your own self-bootable pirated game DVD-Rs... just like nearly every Dreamcast owner was rocking it in 2000! Well, I guess Sony will plug that one in the next patc-- wait, the PS2 is already out of production? Nevermind then. Mind you, this is not as convenient as HDD loaders, but then not everybody owns a fat PS2 with the requisite PATA+Ethernet adapter (and not all Slims can be modded to re-add the missing IDE port). But then, you don't need to buy a pre-hacked memory card or a modchip - all you need is a DVD burner and some blank media. Wait, are you a millenial that don't know what the hell is a "disc"? Fuck you then.
    tomman Fun fact: as you know, PC Chips only made junk boards, often using fake parts.

    Rebadged chipsets were one of their specialties: for them, everything was VX, TX, BX, or after Intel ditched the *X names, they just came up with nonsense like "GFXcel". The idea was to fool less-techy people making them believe that those noname chipsets were as good as the real Intel deal - sometimes trying to sell utter rubbish (VIA, SiS, Utron), or in rare cases, shadowing actually decent chipsets on their own merits (ALi).

    But once in a blue moon, they would actually came with legit Intel chipset solutions, like the VX/Triton II on my M535/8. Those are true anomalies, basically the best of crop from a otherwise unremarkable shit factory from Taiwan.

    My Saki is the living proof of that - sure, the VX was one of Intel lamest chipsets ever (seriously, 64MB caching limit so adding more RAM would actually make your PC run slower - all because the HX chipset was too expensive for econoboxes), but once again those things would basically survive the apocalypse just fine :P
    CaptainJistuce I wish I could get you a soldering iron and some new caps. Keep that socket 7 rolling for another twenty years.
    tomman In this episode of Bad Caps: The TV:

    Remember Saki's VRM woes? Last year, the onboard VRM on the M535/8 (to this date I'm not even sure what mobo I've got - all I know is that mine lacks the COAST slot) started pooping its pants, starving my Pentium MMXs from its precious life juice: in mid-2019 the 2.8V setting could barely got this P54C thing to boot beyond kernel panics or GRUB hangs, so I went and bumped it to 2.9V in -checks Samba panic logs- August 30, 2019. So far, so good. Those MMXs don't even mind the extra juice, and my stock Socket 370 Intel cooler manages to keep this thing almost ice cold. Plus, I do care about the yearly maintenance of my room aircon.

    Fast forward to last week, when daily blackouts made its return due to the (very delayed) start of rain season (we don't have four seasons, only "Eternal Summer In Hell" and "rain"). Of course Saki hates that because its ~22yo Taiwanese caps are in its last legs, and after the last 12-hour blackout today I got nothing but segfaults, panics, and more panics. The VRM is clearly dying, most likely due to those capacitors being run pretty much dry. Time to bump voltage again, because "2.9V" right now actually means "2.8V for no more than 60 seconds if noone is crunching numbers". The M535/8 series has the following voltage settings on jumper J9:

    - A: 2.5V (only for Cyrix CPUs)
    - B: 2.7V (mainly for K6)
    - C: 2.8V (default for Pentium MMX)
    - D: 2.9V (unused)
    - E: 3.3V (default for non-MMX P5 CPUs)
    - no jumper: 3.5V (unused)

    So there is no "3.0V" step, only the big 0.4V leap that in normal conditions would mean "fried MMX at POST". But nothing is normal at Soviet Venezuela anyway, so what the hell, let's try it - here are the possible outcomes:

    A) Fried MMX at POST.
    B) No POST.
    C) POST, boots... and severe overheating.
    D) "3.3V" actually means "~3V when the drunken onis party hard at the Trump Building", buying me a few extra weeks of life before the caps die because P55Cs are Toyota Tough™.

    Take your pick.

    Hint: the fancooler is barely warm.

    Too bad there is no retrocomputing scene here at Soviet Venezuela where I could just borrow another VX board for a few years :/ Ah well, Debian Jessie LTS runs into EOL in -checks on Debian wiki- June 30, 2020.

    Ah well, I'm fucked anyway :(

    No, I don't want to hear the words "Raspberry" and "Pi", thanks. ARM toys aren't compatible with Communism™.
    creaothceann cdak by Quite & orange

    platform: Windows
    type: 4096 bytes demo
    release date: august 2010
    release party: Chaos Constructions 2010
    compo: combined 64k/4k
    ranked: 1st (best quality)
    ndiddy While we're posting video recommendations this guy's channel is pretty cool, he shows how to see the world on the cheap.
    creaothceann Well, this looks a bit terrifying.
    tomman Speaking about Visual Basic Classic (and not New Coke Visual Basic), turns out Microsoft is committed to support your VB6 apps on Windows 'till the cold death of the universe at least:

    But as coins have two sides, at the other side, the IDE hasn't been supported since April '08, and even back then it has already been abandoned since New Coke .NET happened, six years earlier. But that hasn't stopped people from doing stupid things devising compatibility workarounds on every Windows version released since then.

    Relevant read: this guy wrote a book about doing stupid things with VB while working for Microsoft, became crazy during the process, burned all bridges before New Coke .NET, then moved to greener pastures, but every now and then he feels the temptation of the devil to go back and toy with Visual Basic .NOT. Oh, and his book is on the MSDN CDs that shipped with your copy of VB6, if you don't want to "spend $300 on eBay for a hardcopy".
    Posted by Kawa
    But the Delta updates sunset date has passed. You can forget everything you learned about them. Use that brain space to remember the names of more Pokémon characters or something.

    Next time, we clear out even more brain space for Pokémon characters by introducing Quality updates, which render all previous updates obsolete.
    This is why everybody loves Raymond.
    But the Delta updates sunset date has passed. You can forget everything you learned about them. Use that brain space to remember the names of more Pokémon characters or something.

    Next time, we clear out even more brain space for Pokémon characters by introducing Quality updates, which render all previous updates obsolete.
    This is why everybody loves Raymond.
    tomman Good ol' Raymond Chen talks about Windows update formats:
    - Full updates
    - Delta updates (which aren't actually "delta" patches!)
    - Express updates
    - Quality updates (the ones introduced during Windows 7 late lifecycle, and which looks surprisingly similar to BPS patches, since these updates can also use the source file as patch data - wonder what encoding they're using under the hood)

    ...and why tampering yourself with application or system files is a bad idea (they break patches, of course!)
    creaothceann This guy is hilarious...
    tomman Fun, the Soviet Bolivarian Supremo is now blocking Cloudflare:

    tomman@himawari:~/Descargas/androidshit$ traceroute
    traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
    1 ( 0.939 ms 1.194 ms 1.708 ms
    2 * * *
    3 ( 164.823 ms 164.861 ms 185.237 ms
    4 ( 194.135 ms 214.514 ms 214.535 ms
    5 ( 234.074 ms 253.791 ms 275.086 ms
    6 * * *
    7 * * *
    8 * * *
    9 * * *
    10 * * *
    11 * * *
    12 ( 1309.746 ms !H * *
    tomman@himawari:~/Descargas/androidshit$ traceroute
    traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
    1 ( 0.655 ms 1.017 ms 1.585 ms
    2 * * *
    3 ( 215.850 ms 235.067 ms 274.860 ms
    4 ( 324.704 ms 354.854 ms 395.767 ms
    5 * * *
    6 * * *
    7 * * *
    8 * * *
    9 * * *
    10 * * *
    11 * * *
    12 * * *
    13 * * *
    14 * * *
    15 * * *
    16 ( 47.463 ms !H * * => AS13335 Cloudflare, Inc

    So yeah, while you 'muricans bitch and moan about Trump being Trump, our very own Donkey-at-Chief just broke half the Internet.

    Also, that's what you get when people decide that centralizing everything behind the "sekuritah" excuse is an awesome idea.

    UPDATE: Only the services/hosts under seem to be actively blocked right now (wondering which opposition-led website pissed off the druglord regime enough to disconnect an entire /20). Other ranges work as usual, their spyware DNS is also reachable from here.

    UPDATE 2: Managed to check from a working CANTV DSL link: is reachable and affected sites DO work fine. Apparently it's only Movilnet that its blocking this part of Cloudflare, maybe due to a broken router somewhere in the Caracas HQ. Sites I can't visit anymore:

    - Danbooru
    - HDD Guru forums
    - GBATemp basically, there goes the three sites I most use daily :/
    tomman You can do it yourself at home, you know~
    You only need to be extremely bored. Oh, and knowing some Visual Basic helps.

    So far, I've tried with the following random pieces of VB3 shareware:

    - Cubix v1.0 (Scandere Software, puzzle): This is something that we would call today an "crowdfunding pitch", as there is nothing to unlock, just a bunch of unfinished code and the promise that "the more people pay, the faster we can finish the game". Does not use external controls at all.

    - Four Seasons v1.06 (Randy Rasa, cards): This one even has sounds! Oh, and the regcode is hardcoded inside the application code - how nice of him~. The decompiler barfed its guts during the late stage of decompiling, but I was able to pick up the bits and build a working executable. Uses PicClip and Sheridan's THREED controls.

    - KASINO KENO 2 v?? (Dennis Pipes, lottery): Meh, I don't understand Keno. No regcode, all you need to unlock the "Due System" (whatever that means)) menu is to just click the "Games Played" label - that's all. Does not use external controls at all.

    - Lottsa Lotto Picks! v?? (Stephen F. Nannini, lottery): Man, why all those lottery simulators for dumb people that has more money than common sense!? But if you just paid $12+$2 for shipping, you wouldn't even have needed the decompiler anyway! Nothing to unlock, but try typing "ZAXXIN" while you hould CTRL+ALT on either the main window or the about dialog. Does not use external controls at all.

    - AHORSEX v1.0 (Juan Carlos Torres Navarro, wordgame): Yay, an H-game with love... from Spain?! Well, you get real pictures of tits (scanned, not drawn!)... and an lameass Hangman game. All this at a rather heavy 2MB executable (and that's for the original VB3 build!), which was certainly a luxury back in the 14400bps BBSes, and the game ships with no documentation, timebombs or anything, but it does look like it has some hidden function to load your own words from external files. Does not use external controls at all.

    But those were straight-up decompiling jobs. For extra fun, I tested my luck with some random non-game stuff, and found a stupidass caller ID tracker application (kinda useless in the post-modem era) which came with some kinda overengineered license key validation routines. So overengineered that they're actually BROKEN and will cause the application to hang on an infinite loop if started up with the default placeholder shareware key, "Unregistered Demo Version", as the routines expect to only validate all-caps and numbers. Seven forms: a nagscreen, four dialogs which tell you how wonderful life would be if you order your own 25-character license key for yourself, an about dialog, and the actual application window itself (which contains more broken code for configuring your modem). I guess B***d B***n and Company should be working now for Microsoft Product Activation :D
    Nicholas Steel So... are you going to mention what games/software you're working with Tomman? Or just the process of dealing with mystery content?
    Posted by tomman
    (same story as Office formats, really)
    It might be more version-specific, but at least the later DOC files are more reminiscent of some sort of hard disk image than a memory dump.

    But that got NOTHING on the dreaded "Old World VB" -> .NET switch
    And that is why even the .Net team jokingly refused to call it "Visual Basic", and possibly related to why it's on the way out.

    pretty please opensource classic VB3/6
    oh yes please 🤤
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