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Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life
 
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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Time Event
10:26a
Mutter, Grumble, Atari
As some of you know, I like the train/transport simulation game Locomotion, for all of its faults. (One of my if-I-won-the-lottery fantasies would be to bankroll Chris Sawyer to design Locomotion 2. The game was not a sufficient commercial success to justify a sequel, alas.) Unfortunately, the CD-ROM I have of the game cracked. It's sufficient to let the game start (it requires the disk when it starts, although not when running the game); however, I can't install a new copy, nor can I copy the CD-ROM. (I will try making a copy of one of Lisa's copies of the game and see if that will work.) So I spent $10 to buy a download license from Atari; this version doesn't require the key disk.

One of the interesting things about this game is that there's a two-player version, and you can connect two machines directly by Ethernet cable with a crossover plug (no internet required). I have to turn the firewall off to let it happen, but that's okay -- the only time I'd do it would be when the machine wasn't connected to the internet. However, both copies have to be the exact same version of the program.

Lisa has the most-recently patched version (1.76), so last night when we tried to connect the two copies, we got a version-mismatch error. We patched my copy to 1.76, and to my annoyance, my copy now wanted the key disk! We could get around it by using Lisa's key disk to get me started, and we played for several hours (not a bad way to spend the afternoon when it's pouring buckets of rain outside). But it's still very annoying. Checking Atari's support forums, I see someone else has had the same problem, and there's no posted answer. I've created a support ticket. I have a feeling that support will say, "You shouldn't patch the game," which will be even more annoying. I was actually intending to use this game to make the trip across the Pacific later this year go by relatively quickly -- I know from experience that when I get to concentrating on a game of Locomotion, hours seem like minutes.

Yes, I'm such a geek. My Day Jobbe is as a supply-chain solutions designer, and I spend spare time playing board and computer games that are essentially supply-chain management.

Current Mood: annoyed

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