Saturday, July 30, 2016

Testing old PC games on Floppy Disks and old CD-ROMs...

Months ago, I acquired some old PC games on 3.5" floppy disks and a few CD-ROM's that would have been compatible with Win9x, Win2000 & WinXP. They came from a friend of mine who is also one of my professors from college. I have bought a number of old games from him over the last few years including...

  • A Sears Tele-Games branded version of the Atari 2600 'Light Sixer' model
  • A Model 1 version of the Mattel Intellivision
  • A mint condition, complete-in-box NES Action Set
  • A complete-in-box, virtually never used black Nintendo Wii that doesn't have backward compatibility with GameCube...
  • A number of games for all these systems, some of which were also complete-in-box. (Especially with the NES & Intellivision games...)

This individual's contributions to my 'Game Room of DOOM' have been quite extensive over the years. So, he thought I might be interested in some of these old PC games he had laying around. Some of them were interesting for various historical reasons. There's the shareware version of Doom, all 5 disks of v1.7 of Doom II, Lemmings and a demo version of Star Wars TIE Fighter  on floppy disk. The CD-ROMs were just PC Gamer sample discs with demos for old Star Trek games and a full copy of Duke Nukem 3D. In addition to being welcome additions to the collection, they would also make great museum pieces too.

However, they would need to be tested first...

At first, I thought I'd have to break out some old hardware running WinXP. It would have been either an old laptop named Majel 1 or a cheap netbook named Majel 3. I named all my computers after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the wife of Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry, and the actress who lent her voice to all the Starfleet's computers. Yes, I really am that much of a nerd.

Then, my inner Mad Scientist had an epiphany and I suddenly realized that wasn't necessary. I'd be testing those floppies with a USB floppy drive that I bought in 2004, not an internal floppy drive in a machine itself. I didn't need to actually install and run the games to make sure they work, either. All I have to do is make sure I can access the files on them. Then, if I really want to try and run it on Majel 5 (my current Desktop), all I have to do is rip the files to a SD card/USB Thumb Drive/Whatever and open the files in DOSBox.'

So, that's what I did. I plugged the floppy drive into Majel 5 and proceeded to test the disks. They were read and I could access them. That means that they all still work. The miracles never cease, heh? I then tried the CD-ROM discs. Same happy result. They all read and I could probably do a native install of Duke Nukem 3D on my new desktop without using any emulators or backward compatibility tricks. So, that means that I now have a few more DOS & old Windows games to sit in the game room and collect dust on the shelf with my other PC games. Sweet! :P

Speaking of which, I then remembered that I have a number of old computer games that people just gave away. Not all of them are for a Microsoft OS like DOS or Windows, either. There's a plastic case full of cartridge software for the TI-99/4A, which I can't test since I don't have one of those computers. And, there's also several complete-in-box games for the Atari ST, all of which came on 3.5" floppy disks. There are both U.S. and U.K. releases in this small stack of complete-in-box ST games, comprising several genres ranging from strategy to space shooters and (I think) at least one platformer.

I remember reading somewhere that a floppy that was formatted for Atari ST would also read on an IBM-compatible PC back in the day. Since all modern PC's still have varying levels of backward compatibility with the old IBM PC's of yore, I decided to see if they would read. Windows told me that the disk would have to be reformatted before it could be read. I quickly removed the disk before Windows started getting any bad ideas.

I then did a little research and found that I was wrong. Atari ST computers with a double-sided floppy drive could read MS-DOS formatted disks but, MS-DOS PC's couldn't read the Atari disks. Dammit. There was 3rd party software that copied data between the two computers' disparate operating systems and file formats. Atari also built that capability into later versions of the ST's operating system, starting with TOS v1.4. However, that doesn't help me any since I don't have an Atari ST yet! It's one of those old classic systems that I have been trying to find for years without success. Same could be said for the TI-99/4A, Colecovision and Atari Lynx, to name a few. Arrgghhh!!!

So, for now at least, I am still unable to read any of the disks for the Atari ST in my collection. That sucks. I wanted to see what those old games were like, and if any of them were any good. Online reviews, Let's Play videos and discussion forums can only tell you so much.

However, one day, I will get my hands on the appropriate hardware. Until then, maybe I'll quit being lazy and go find an Atari ST emulator to see what those games were like and if I want to keep or re-sell them...

- Lord Publius

Looks like someone got the message...

Looks like the Sierra Bravo I talked about in the last post finally got the point. He even went so far as to change the name of that little 'fan page' he created for this blog. And all I had to do was threaten to go to his chain of command and file a complaint. Maybe I should have done that a lot sooner? I really am too kind to people sometimes.

Anyway, it looks like he's a little sore about being jilted. Can't say that I blame him since that does suck. However, it's his own fault. He took things too far and also wasted time falling for someone that was never going to reciprocate his homosexual feelings. (Assuming that was what was really going on...)

There was even this passive-aggressive little post on that page, expressing his negative feelings on the subject...
Posting a link to a PanterA video is supposed to upset me?
That's probably one of the only things that sorry ass page is ever likely to do right.

Also, how exactly was he supposed to be helping anyone? I'm not really convinced he can even help himself in a lot of ways. It's sad that so many people I once served with turned out to be such terrible people. There's this guy we've been talking about since the last post... A BDSM fiend that dragged me to a fetish party without telling me what kind of party it was... Another that was a sad little tool who got mad that I pushed him away and then got rid of the BDSM fiend too... And, of course, that female Ginger that I wasted time falling in love with while serving in Korea...

I won't bother going over what happened with that certain female friend I had in both AIT and my first post in Korea. Needless to say, I found her less and less appealing of a Human being as I got to see more and more of her personality over time. She was a deeply flawed and troubled young woman. Saying anything else about her here is likely to make her look really bad so, I'll refrain. I'm not interested in demonizing her. I know for a fact that she was under a LOT of stress for various reasons. I'm also pretty sure that she was mentally ill. If so, I hope she got the help she needed and found her way to the proverbial light.

I sincerely hope this is the last time that I have to worry about some asshole that I used to know in the Service getting all butt-hurt at the fact that I moved on with my life. On occasion, there will come a time when you have to make a radical change in your life, kids. I used to call it a 'Paradigm Shift' since I didn't know what other term to use. Turns out that term was actually correct too. I've had several of these shifts in my life. They used to happen on an average of every 4 years but, lately have been happening almost every year since 2010. I'm not going to list any examples here because that is really private.

Life will take you down some very strange paths. There will also be times when you have to backtrack on a few paths and start over again. So, when you see someone have to do that, don't criticize/ostracize him. Don't act like a cultist and try to shame him into going back to what you think he should do. Be a real friend and help him along his way. Every man must walk their own path. It is not ethical, logical or even possible for someone to exactly follow in another man's footsteps. Don't try to force that bad idea on them.

- Lord Publius

Sunday, July 24, 2016

'The Legend' speaks once again...

Some people just can't take a hint. And the one person in particular that I'm thinking of will likely see this pretty soon since he tries to cyberstalk me...

After posting that '17 reasons why I left the Army' blog almost 2 years ago now, one of my former co-workers from that job didn't agree with me. Ordinarily, that's not a concern since all people are entitled to their own opinions. In the case of this particular Sierra Bravo, it started getting out of hand pretty quick.

For whatever reason, this poor demented ass-clown is rather obsessed with me. The operating theory among those Army buddies that I am still willing to talk to is that he's a queer that's after my butt. At this point, I'm not really willing to rule out any possibilities. He certainly didn't seem like a faggot when we were in Basic Training at Fort Knox circa 2009-2010 but, DADT was still in effect. He may have just been keeping that to himself until Obummer lifted that restriction.

At first, he tried to convince me to go back to the Army, saying that I was 'a Legend' at Knox. That failed pretty spectacularly considering that I wasn't legendary for ANYTHING at any point in my service except developing some severe anger management issues. He even tried to write a more philosophical approach with a rebuttal to my '17 reasons' blog in a note on his personal Facebook page. I shat all over that too, and not just because of the poor grammar.

To make a long story short, he became enamored with the Army because he thinks it saved him from a life of failure. He came to feel this way even after freely admitting that, like me, he also dealt with a shitload of toxic leaders. That included some that threatened to chapter him out over a difference in musical taste. He prefers Punk Rock. That unit's good ol' boys club were all a bunch of rap-loving ghetto assholes that should be in jail instead of the uniform. He put all of this in the rebuttal note on his page. You should have taken that as the bad omen that it was, dude. I sure would have... And no, you are NOT going to change the system from within by making the Army your career. Fixing that kind of corruption would take an act of a POTUS and Congress that gives a shit. We haven't had that in a long time.

I can understand that he was pretty desperate when he enlisted and was also damned near homeless too. I wasn't all that much better off at the time. However, I never let the Army brainwash me or started acting like a cultist. He and several other soldiers I once served with did end up that way. It's actually quite sad. I was faced with a moral dilemma and made a very difficult choice after nearly two years of internal deliberation. He doesn't seem to understand that or, perhaps, just doesn't care. Whatever the case may be, my days of wearing a uniform are OVER.

However, like I said at the beginning here, some people just can't take a hint. It started with him acting obnoxious and posting the YouTube video for the KISS song 'Lick It Up' on virtually everything I posted in my status. That annoyed me and left many friends of mine pretty disturbed. He also started trying to fuck with a few of my Facebook groups and made some memes of me with pictures of me in uniform. After that, I had enough and removed/blocked him from EVERYTHING on FB that was mine.

Sadly for me, that's not where it ended. In the summer of 2015, He decided to impersonate me, add a few of my real life friends to that fake profile and report mine as a fake. I contacted FB about it and they removed him, both his actual account and the impostor site he made of me. After that, I moved on with my life. In early spring (or was it still late winter?) of 2016, I get a message from this guy with a new account using his real name. He apologized to me, blamed it on 'his craziness' (as if I needed an explanation of something so obvious) and promised to clean up some of the mess he made. The 'mess' being the memes he made of me using a few pictures taken of us by photographers at Knox. I blocked that profile immediately after reading the message he sent.

Those pics were his lame attempt at trying to shame me into re-enlisting (a common tactic among cultists when someone decides to leave the group) and the reason he got kicked to the proverbial curb. There's a reason why I avoided taking pictures most of the time, especially when I was in uniform. If the enemy has no idea what I look like, it will be harder for them to know when I am in their midst. Obviously, he never thought of that and wound up inadvertently violating OPSEC. You'd think he'd know better after getting a lot of the same training I did. I guess he didn't pay much attention when the Army taught us all to remain low-key and unobserved wherever possible. Dumbass.

If you think he's learned his lesson, you can think again. He recently created some more fake pages using aliases that were all too obvious. One of them was a moniker he used before: Peter McNally. The one I just discovered tonight is a 'fan page' for this blog. That fan page also refers to me as a Legend. Both decided to 'like' the car group and music group that I have on Facebook. Both have been reported to Facebook by now. Other people are also reporting them as I write this post.

However, that is not where it's going to stop. Facebook can't really do much to keep this shithead from creating more fake profiles with fake e-mail addresses. However, his unit's Chain of Command and Concern sure can!

I'm sure they would love to hear a complaint about one of their soldiers from a Dysfunctional Veteran... Especially since all of this constitutes cyber-stalking under UCMJ, via Article 92 and/or 134. Accusations under either of those articles usually results in court martial. Punishments usually include jail time, dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay, et al. Simply put, his life would be FUCKED.

At this point, Shitbag, I strongly suggest you fuck off and go away for good. If I came to a point where I didn't even care about my own career anymore, there's no reason why you should expect that I'd care about yours. After all, you aren't the first ACU-wearin' jackass to try this shit. Hell, you're not even the first soulless Ginger in ACU's to try this shit. I've already got all the experience I need to deal with you in a very harsh manner.

I have your name.

I have your ass (and not in a way you'd enjoy.)

You will not laugh.

You will not cry.

You WILL learn by the numbers and I will teach you.


Lord Publius

Angry Veteran/Contractor/Destroyer of Worlds/Insurance Professional/IT Guy/Mad Scientist Extraordinaire, etc. etc. etc.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton is an INCREDIBLY nasty person.

The real Hillary in her actual words:

1.) "Where is the God damn flag? I want the God damn fucking flag up every morning at fucking sunrise." - Hillary to staff at the Arkansas Governor's mansion on Labor Day 1991. 

SOURCE: "Inside the White House" by Ronald Kessler, p. 244

2.) "Fuck off! It's enough I have to see you shit-kickers every day! I'm not going to talk to you, too! Just do your Goddamn job and keep your mouth shut." - Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with "Good Morning."

SOURCE: "American Evita" by Christopher Anderson, p.90

3.) "If you want to remain on this detail, get your fucking ass over here and grab those bags!" - Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident.

SOURCE: "The First Partner" p. 25

4.) "Stay the fuck back, stay the fuck back away from me! Don't come within ten yards of me, or else! Just fucking do as I say, Okay!!?" - Hillary screaming at her Secret Service detail.
SOURCE: "Unlimited Access" by Clinton 's FBI Agent-in-Charge, Gary Aldridge, p.139

5.) "Where's the miserable cock sucker?" (otherwise known as "Bill Clinton") - Hillary shouting at a Secret Service officer.

SOURCE: "The Truth about Hillary" by Edward Klein, p. 5

6.) "You fucking idiot!" - Hillary to a State Trooper who was driving her to an event.

SOURCE: "Crossfire", pg. 84

7.) "Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those fucking sunglasses! We need to go back!" - Hillary to Marine One helicopter pilot to turn back while in route to Air Force One.

SOURCE: " Dereliction of Duty" p. 71-72

8.) "Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can't fuck her here!!" - Hillary to Gov. Bill Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female.

SOURCE: "Inside the White House" by Ronald Kessler, p. 243

There it is, folks. Book, chapter and page... The real Hillary Clinton. Are you Democrats absolutely sure that you want this person to be the face of your party? Do you really want her to be your candidate?
I knew she was an evil narcissist but, this is just beyond even my wildest nightmares. It's VERY clear that she has no respect at all for anyone that works with her. She doesn't even bother to try to motivate any of her subordinates. That means that she doesn't even want to try to be a good leader. She just wants the power that comes with the position. I doubt strongly that she'd ever do anything good with it, either.

Number 1 almost sounds like she's trying to act like a Drill Sergeant but, only the Hollywood variety: the nasty asshole NCO that's also supposed to train new soldiers. Most of them don't act that way because they know better than to act like a dick all the time. It doesn't encourage, inspire or help to confer good leadership to the subordinates.

Number 7 shows a very healthy dose of narcissism. Did she really need to land Marine One right away just to get a pair of sunglasses? Couldn't she just have a White House staffer or somebody else on the ground retrieve them for her? 
I could understand Number 5, if it was in the context of looking for her husband after he humiliated her with his adulterous scandals. However, Number 8 clearly shows that she knew about Bill's wandering eye for a long time and simply did not care.

If there was just one nasty quote from a book written by one of her former employees, I could probably write it off as Hillary losing her temper or having a bad day. However, with this many sources all telling us the same thing (i.e. that she's a really nasty and unpleasant person), I can only draw one conclusion: She really is as EVIL as she appears to me. 
If there was ever ANYONE who is definitely NOT qualified to be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it would be her. As far as I'm concerned, she's not even qualified to be the leader of a girl scout troop. Don't vote for this vile, evil person. If you do, then you are the living personification of America's problems.

And before ANY of you Libtards start with your little non-sensical rants against me that you'd call 'a rebuttal', the answer is No. I am not even considering casting my vote for Donald Trump. He's already well-known to be just as nasty as Hillary. The only difference is that he's more honest about it and does it in public on TV, Radio and Social Media. Hillary would rather lie to my face and hope that I'm naive enough to believe her Bullshit. That hope is in vain.

- Publius

Saturday, July 2, 2016

What it's like to get an Asperger's Diagnosis as an adult

I haven't done an Asperger's post in a while so, here we go...

After coming across an article about several adults being diagnosed with Autism, I decided it's time to share my story. I'll also comment on the parts of the stories of the 3 people in this article. It's a foregone conclusion that I will have had at least some experiences in common with them. Their words will be italicized and mine will be plain, ordinary text.

John Consentino

I was a little emotional — this explained a lot. I thought, why couldn't this have been uncovered, you know, a decade prior? This would have helped so much! Why couldn't anyone except me see this?

Yeah... That's DEFINITELY the way I felt after being diagnosed. I had plenty of trouble paying attention in class as a kid too. I didn't have that problem in college, though. I loved college. I still wish that it led to a career in my chosen field of study, though. Designing video games would be a LOT better for me than the Army, Construction, Insurance Adjusting and now Insurance Sales. However, I might do well with the Insurance Sales. We'll see how that goes...

Emily Paige Ballou

I had always had a lot of trouble that other people didn't seem to have. Things felt like they were always hard for me and easy for everyone else. I spoke late, and speaking was never easy. I had a lot of sensory difficulties: issues with food, clothing, noise, light and touch. I had a lot of motor planning issues that made basically everything hard.

Well, it turns out that I have some pretty horrible physical coordination in some circumstances. Running during PT was always a nightmare because of that sad fact of life. (Not to mention the severe sensory overload...)

It was like I was blind and deaf to things that were socially obvious to others, like I was never actually speaking the same language, and it left me just feeling really, irreparably alone.

I'd like to say it gets better but, that's not always true. I'm hopelessly inept with 'office politics', as my time in Insurance Adjusting clearly demonstrated to me.

[After receiving the diagnosis] I was elated. I was so relieved. I felt vindicated. So much of my life had always been such a mystery, but I had a real answer now.

Yeah, that is exactly how I felt after finding out. I was quite relieved. And since I had already studied Asperger's years earlier, I knew what I had to do to 'shift fire and adapt', as my old Soldier self once said. Other people around me in that particular unit were amazed at how rapidly my behavior and public persona changed. I wasn't. Once I know what the problem is, solving it is usually pretty easy and quick.

Sam Harvey

I graduated in 2012 and started teaching. In the first six weeks, a supervisor who taught autistic students asked me if I was autistic, and I had to pause because this was a person who would know. I replied, "Possibly," and that was the last thing I thought about it because I remembered what I had read on the Autism Speaks website.

A year later, in my second year of teaching special education, one of my students asked me if I was autistic. Now I was seriously wondering if I was. During those two years of teaching, I was socially disciplined for being "unteacherly." My supervisors and fellow teachers set out to "rid me of my unteacherlike qualities," qualities like my struggle with face-to-face communication, talking on the phone, being obsessed with movies and analyzing them and talking about them for hours, etc.

I never became a teacher. I probably should have since several of my High School teachers and College Professors recommended that I join their profession. At the time, I didn't see it but, I do now. I can relate to Mr. Harvey here when he talks about being 'socially disciplined' for being different. I wonder if his bosses would have acted differently if they knew he was on the spectrum?

My own experience...

Where do I begin?

I was diagnosed in 2011, at the age of 29, by an Army psychologist. I was serving in Korea at the time. I had been seeing her for several months by that point. I want to say at least 3 but, it might have been 4. My unit commander CPT Brown sent me to the Mental Health clinic on a nearby base since the facilities on our base were quite limited. She was concerned about me since I was not having a good time there. The general incompetence of many of my NCO's and constant PT struggles were making my life a living Hell. Instead of falling into despair/depression like ordinary people, it just made me very angry. That's why CPT Brown was worried.

After talking with the therapist and one of her assistants, they strongly recommended that I attend anger management classes twice a week and therapy once a week. I didn't object because I knew something wasn't right. That, and any excuse I could use to get away from the assholes I worked with was quite welcome. What led to the diagnosis was, oddly enough, my misadventures with a female soldier that was a friend. I made the mistake of falling in love with her. I say a mistake because, in hindsight, I can tell that relationship would have never worked. Anyway, her actions (which often seemed quite crazy to me) just left me hurt and confused. So, the Therapist did a test and we confirmed our mutual suspicions: it was a 'slight' case of Asperger's Syndrome.

To make a long story short, I eventually got sick of all the miscommunications, games and generally flaky behavior from that female soldier. I figured there was no point in chasing after someone that clearly didn't know what she wanted in life. Her behaving like a Runaround Sue didn't help matters. She wasn't really happy with that decision since she mistakenly thought that I wasn't interested in being her friend anymore. All I wanted to do was end the ultimately fruitless romantic pursuit. She even went so far as to try to stalk me on Facebook with a few different fake accounts. In either case though, leaving her behind was the best course of action. Not only was she confused, she was also emotionally unstable. Psychologically healthy people don't act that way.

Since that time, my misadventures in life have led to me leaving the Army with a pretty bad taste in my mouth. As much as the media and Uncle Sam portray Service members as heroes, I have learned that this is simply not so with many of them. My replacement career for that, being an Insurance Adjuster, hasn't been all that great, either. I don't handle office politics very well. I did recently get a new job as a Life Insurance salesman here at home in New Orleans. So, I very well might be able to leave adjusting behind too. I really do hope so because I am so tired of being away from home for months or years on end. Travel gets old after a while. The world outside of New Orleans tends to get pretty bland and boring too.

One day though, I will have my affairs in order. I'll be able to play by my rules for once and actually succeed in life. Just plodding along the best I can playing wage slave is not what I call 'success.' Being my own boss, running my own company and making money that way is much closer to that goal.

- Publius