• 06Mar
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on How People Used To Pirate Retro Software

    You will be forgiven for thinking that I am teaching you how to make illegal pirate copies of your software after reading the title above. Well rest assured I won’t be walking the plank as this article is for information purposes only. As a programmer I understand how software piracy can hurt companies so I do not recommend it. There is plenty of good software that can be downloaded for free, especially if you don’t need all the fancy features of expensive software. This article explains how people used to pirate software from retro computers such as the Spectrum and the Atari ST.

    SPECTRUM AND COMMODORE 64

    Spectrum and C64 software came on cassette tapes which were inserted into data recorders (or tape recorders) and could be loaded into memory by typing a command such as load””. These computers relied on a series of sound signals which were never pleasant to listen to as they were horrible screeching sounds. Quite often you would have to wait up to ten minutes (for a Spectrum 128k game especially) to load when it could crash, meaning you had to re-adjust the volume and start again. In case of a low recording, the game cassette would usually have a separate copy on the other side.
    Most people could copy these games by using a hi-fi system with twin cassette decks. By inserting the original game cassette in the first deck and pressing “play”, and inserting a blank cassette in the second deck and pressing “play and record” you could get a perfect copy. You could buy cassette tapes for saving data such as a C15 which allows you to record up to fifteen minutes. Some people would use a C90 which would allow them to store many games at once.

    If you didn’t have access to twin cassette decks then you could use software. On the Spectrum you could use something like “007Spy” which would allow you to load the entire game into memory and then back up onto a blank cassette. Some games had different ways of loading such as the pulsing (or clicking) loaders, a method used by many Ocean Software games. This led to the release of other software capable of tackling these loaders. The average Spectrum game would consist of a short piece of code (the header), a loading screen and the main code. This is the standard loader, easy to copy.

    When the Spectrum 128k +3 was released it came with a built in floppy disk drive. As there were only so many games released on +3 disks, methods were used to transfer them from tape to disk. The standard loader was easy. All you had to do was type merge”” to get into the editor code and save that to a +3 disk (save”a:program-name”). Next you would load the loading screen higher into memory (load “screen-name” code 30000) and save that to a +3 disk. Finally you would do the same thing with the main code and add the load commands to the main header code.

    For the more complicated loaders a suite of programs called “007 Trans-Master” was used to convert the files into the standard format so they could be saved to +3 disks.

    ATARI ST AND AMIGA

    The great thing about the Atari ST and Amiga computers was that you could lay your hands on hundreds of pieces of free software, no need to pirate commercial software. There were many PDLs (Public Domain Libraries) who would distribute free software for the price of a disk and postage, and for their distribution work. The actual software is free and covers anything from demos to games and pictures to music files. There was also the shareware method where you pay a small subscription fee to receive extras for full versions of the software and licenceware where the PDL would offer a small commission to the original contributor.

    Atari ST software was normally copied using dedicated disk copiers such as “Fast Copy” while the Amiga used the popular “X-Copy”. However some disks were protected and therefore other more powerful copying software had to be used.

    PROTECTION METHODS

    Software publishers have used many forms of production to deter copying such as the more complicated loaders on the Spectrum. Other methods would require the user entering a word or letter from the manual before they could get into the game, or choosing a series of colors or symbols from their book to match the ones on screen. Some games allow you to think you have copied them until you have played them for so long and notice some nasty surprise. The game “Shadow of the Beast” turns the screen upside down on certain levels for example.

    This lead to the rise of Cracking Groups such as the famous “Pompey Pirates” on the Atari ST who would hack into the game and remove the copy protection. They would then release a number of games (hacked and packed) onto a single floppy disk which were passed around to various users.

    CONCLUSION

    The battle between software publishers and pirates is an on-going one and people will always want free software if they can get it. Old retro software is freely available for download on various websites for people who want to re-live the old days so there is little need to copy them from originals. I am not going to tell you how to copy the latest PC software. I only wrote this article to explain how people used to back up their software for the older systems. I stated that there is a lot of free and in-expensive software available for the PC and I urge you to use that rather than resort to piracy.

  • 03Feb
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on Use Caution With Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) in Living Wills

    All people including lawyers need to use caution with Living Wills and the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clause. Our relative who was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for 17 years said he would not sign a DNR because he thought if he did that it would allow physicians to cause his death. We respected his decision but could not believe that physicians who mainly preserve life would be anxious to end life. However, it turns out he was correct, a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) document does give a nursing home or a physician a green light to determine when or if a person can get medical care to preserve life.

    When you are signing paper work to place your loved one in a nursing home they will tell you how humane a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clause is, not requiring Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and/or a defibrillator which can break your loves one’s ribs. However, they do not inform you how bad it is for your loved one if they lose their mental or physical faculties unable to communicate their wishes for medical care and uncaring people determine the DNR means that they do not want medical care to extend their lives. Although my wife had a power of attorney requesting medical care for her Father, the Nursing Home staff just ignored us and our attempt to preserve the life of our family member.

    It turns out they had our relative sign a DNR while in a mental fog of an infection. The physician made a misdiagnosis claiming this patient’s daughter (my wife) was mentally ill for trying to honor her Father’s last wishes. She could not adequately communicate with her Father so she had reservations about sanctioning an amputation of his leg without his consent which I thought was prudent. This physician had never even met or talked to my wife and had no psychiatric credentials we are aware of. But when a physician makes a notation in a medical file it has powerful weight with a Court even if the information is false. So the nursing home staff took the physicians view declaring my wife crazy for trying to preserve the life of her Father thus over ruling her rights as a power of attorney and were going to legally expunge the life of her Father who wanted to live.

    Thus, a DNR in some circumstances can be more powerful than a power of attorney. I do not believe we are the only victims of this abuse of a DNR clause that some misguided people use to prematurely extinguish the value of human life. The common practice with the fervent sales pitch to get family members to sign a DNR out of humanity may be valid to a certain extent, but it can also be abused by people who believe they have the right to determine when a person dies.

    Including a clause or adding a hand written notation that the DNR does not give any party the right to deny medical care to your loved one is advisable. A DNR has the ability to convert a physician or nursing home staff into a psychopath and you should have reservations about signing such a document.

  • 03Jan
    Categories: Uncategorized Comments Off on How to Structure Your Programming Code

    I remember my first fumble with basic on my ZX Spectrum computer back in the 1980s, ploughing through pages of basic commands and example code without any real idea of how I could write programs myself. It was like reading a dictionary where I could learn certain words and their meanings with limited information on how I could construct them into entire sentences to write a document. Every programmer who has dabbled in basic has probably come across the famous “Hello Word” routine which consists of a two-line program that prints this phrase unlimited times on the screen.

    Your program code needs to be written as step-by-step instructions using the commands that your choice of programming language understands. It means reading your programming manual to learn which commands you need to use for what you want your program to do. In the “Hello World” example you would first need a command that prints “Hello World” onto the screen, and then you would need a second command to print it again multiple times, without writing multiple print statements.

    Check out this example. To make things simple I am using old-school basic with line numbers – probably because I’m a retro-freak.

    10 print “Hello World”
    20 goto 10

    The best structure for writing any program code is to make it clear and easy to follow. Some programmers put multiple commands on one line which can make your code difficult to follow if you are trying to iron out bugs. Spreading your code over multiple lines actually makes the program work better and becomes more readable.

    Another recommended practice is to separate each part of your program code using REM Statements. REM (short for Remark) allows you to put comments before each section of code to remind you what each part does. This is especially useful if you wish to edit your code at a later date.

    10 rem Set Up Variables
    20 let A=1: let B=2
    30 rem *******
    40 rem Print Variables to Screen
    50 rem *******
    60 print A,B

    Anything after the REM command is ignored by the computer and you can use as many REM statements as you want to make bigger gaps in your code for easy reading. Other programming languages allow you to use blank lines or indent the first line of the routine.

    Now I will show you how to structure the entire program code. Remember that the computer needs to follow step-by-step instructions so you need to write each instruction in the order you want it to run.

    CONSTRUCTION OF CODE

    Set up screen resolution and variables: The first section of your program would set the screen resolution and the variables.

    Read information into arrays: If you have information you want to put into an array using the DIM command then you can use a For/Next loop and the READ command. It is best to place the data statements for the array to read from at the end of your program.

    Set up main screen: This is the section where you would use a subroutine (GOSUB Command) to set up the main screen. In a shoot-em-up type game you would have a routine that draws the sprites and game screen and then returns to the next line of the code it came from.

    Main Program Loop: Once the program is up and running the main program loop jumps to various routines using subroutines and then returns to the next line in the loop.

    Program Routines: It is good structure to place all the programming routines after the main loop. You would have separate routines that update the screen, check for joystick input, check for collision detection and so on. After each check you return to the main loop.

    Data Statements: Finally you can list all the data statements at the end of the program which makes it easier to find and correct if need be.

    CONCLUSION

    Creating your code with plenty of REM Statements and short lines makes your code look cleaner and easier to follow. There may be a time you want to improve the program or use a routine for another program.

  • 31Oct
    Categories: Agents Marketers, Insurance Comments Off on Insurance Industry Mailing List – 3 Ways to Bring Innovation in Marketing

    A protection industry mailing list is an essential in the event that one needs to complete viable limited time exercises in the protection area. The protection offices and agents associated with the outfitting of protection strategies make utilization of different specialty administrations and items to complete their business tasks. Numerous protection foundations depend on portability as a piece of their business conspire. Not simply that, the utilization of enormous information and systematic apparatuses has likewise been on a consistent ascent.

    As should be obvious, the protection business is a productive market space that offers various business open doors for goal-oriented advertisers. Notwithstanding, with always showing signs of change times, advertisers should likewise refresh their showcasing methods. Here are a couple of tenderfoot and profitable techniques that one can actualize to collect a higher rate of change and along these lines, higher deals.

    Co-promoting

    While promoting in the protection area it will satisfy to hold hands with another brand and lead publicizing efforts that take both the organizations toward positive advancement. Advertisers will blend their promoting sources and techniques to draw in prospects that are pertinent to both the brands. Likewise, the mix of different promoting insights prompts a battle that is doubly more successful in driving the prospects to make buys. In the protection area, advertisers can without much of a stretch charm every one of the leads that an objective arranged protection operators and dealers business list brings.

    Mechanization

    The different assignments that are completed in an advertising effort are dull. For instance, an advertiser sends a specific item’s commercial to 100 prospects. Later on, similar prospects can be locked in with communicates that discussion about the comparable items. In this manner, while showcasing to the protection business, it just bodes well to mechanize the promoting activity to make the capacity of continue advertising advantageous.

    Hashtags

    Web-based social networking blast is one to figure with. The total and adroit use of the web based life stages is an extraordinary method to fabricate mark perceivability. One must take care to use hashtags that are applicable and not very long. Additionally, a post that contains more hashtags than words will undoubtedly get a negative reaction. Advertisers must be liberal yet careful of the utilization of hashtags in their promotions to pick up the coveted outcomes.

    Publicize appropriate items and administrations to the protection part by propelling focused on multi-channel advertising efforts dependent on an outcome arranged protection industry mailing list and in light of the above expressed imaginative plans to get higher deals and achieve a high ROI.

  • 31Oct
    Categories: Grandparenting, Home and Family Comments Off on Grandad, My Schoolteacher Says Profit Is a Dirty Word

    Grandad, my teacher says that benefit is a grimy word. Is that right?

    It assuredly isn’t right yet perhaps he implies that some benefit is grimy in light of the fact that it is made by lying, tricking and offering trashy merchandise. This occurs however organizations doing this don’t keep going long and the general population doing it tends to be fined or sent to jail.

    Most organizations are superior to this. A fruitful business makes wage by offering things or giving administrations that individuals need. Consider a basic precedent, for example, an eatery. The nourishment must be great, the administration phenomenal, the cost not very costly and the entrepreneur needs to obey bunches of laws about wellbeing and security. He or she needs to pay providers, pay staff, pay power and gas, pay committee rates, make good on regulatory obligation and pay numerous different expenses.

    He needs to get cash from his clients and he needs to pay every one of his expenses. The cash coming in must be more than the cash going out. Else he won’t have the capacity to proceed. The distinction among salary and expenses is benefit. In this way benefit is a long way from being a grimy word. It is a fundamental sign that the business is being run effectively and will survive.

    There are a considerable measure of different advantages that outcome from a business making a benefit. Would you be able to think what they are? Right off the bat the entrepreneur will have the cash to put resources into the future – new gear, better furniture, possibly new or additional premises.

    Besides he will have the capacity to satisfy cash that he may have obtained to begin the business. He (or, obviously, she) will have the capacity to spare some cash or put resources into annuities for him and his staff. The agent who influences a benefit to can make gifts to philanthropy and numerous fruitful specialists do this.

    From the business perspective there is amazingly, one more explanation behind valuing the estimation of benefit. Benefit makes a business more significant, by placing cash in the bank as well as more critically making something that can profit later on. The estimation of a business isn’t just its property and its cash in the bank, it is the estimation of benefits it can make later on.

    Assume our eatery proprietor begins by purchasing a summary property which has an awful notoriety and for all intents and purposes no clients, in this way not making a benefit. It is such a wreck, to the point that he could get it for $50,000. By diligent work, great cooking and great administration he can construct an effective business that five years after the fact it is flourishing and making a benefit of $100,000 every year. He has most likely re-contributed a portion of his benefits every year to purchase the best kitchen hardware and burned through cash on stylistic layout and furniture, so his aggregate speculation may be an additional $200,000. The uplifting news for him is that he can, on the off chance that he wishes, offer the business for more than his aggregate venture of $250,000. Why? Since the business has benefits of $100,000, giving the business additional esteem. Such a business could without much of a stretch be worth $750,000 or more.

    This is the ponder of benefit. The entrepreneur is upbeat, the clients are glad, employments have been made, impose has been paid, the neighborhood a shrewd eatery, everyone has profited and nobody has been harmed. This is the enchantment of business that I will reveal to you much more about in the coming articles.