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Topics - Shockwave

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General chat / Windows is not genuine
« on: July 05, 2015 »

This is probably a long shot but maybe someone here has had this problem and overcome it.

I bought my PC from Novatech with windows 7 professional - Admittedly the computer is getting a bit long in the tooth and I plan to replace it later this year, but anyway..

The case was damaged last year and it destroyed the power button, at the same time I think that my motherboard was fried so I ended up getting my PC re-cased with a new motherboard.

Over the last few months I've been getting popup windows saying that my copy of windows is not genuine and offering me the opportunity to resolve online which then leads me to a page offering me the opportunity to buy a copy of windows.

At first I thought that this was a virus but after researching the matter it is actually a Microsoft anti-piracy initiative.  I contacted online support and provided them with my product key and explained that I'd made previous changes to my hardware.. They checked my licence key and confirmed to me that I was running a bona fide copy of windows 7, they then activated the key remotely and I thought that was the end of the matter.

Unfortunately it was not and I am still getting the popups so I went back to tech support who want to charge me $99 for an hours session with a microsoft technician!  I declined the offer.

The program causing the popups is stored in this location;

I am not allowed to remove the folder, it says I require permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to the folder.

Does anyone know how to stop this please?  I'm damned if I'm paying again for software I already own, especially to a bunch of money grabbing scumbastards like Microsoft and I'm not going to pay $99 for some inept M$ tech to remote into my PC either when it is they who installed this "feature" in the first place.


General chat / Website Issues!
« on: July 05, 2014 »
 :bfuck2: Welcome back to DBF! :bfuck2:

This is not the first time we've had a serious issue with the site and this probably won't be the last time either. 

Due to the nature of computing and the internet there is no way you can ever fully protect yourself against malicious people or software and hardware failures, you can take the best measures possible though and to that end I have learned from past experiences.

As for what happened, it's really quite impossible to guess.. It would be true to say that we were on an older (but not ridiculously old) version of SMF, but it's open source and it's popular which means people are trying to make exploits for it all the time - So it is possible that someone found a way of corrutping our database.  More likely though, is that something else corrupted the database, which is what I think happened, especially if a process was writing to it and it was being restarted.... Though the chances of this type of thing happening are small, these things still can happen.

After the incident with Hostpapa where they deleted our site and my backup had been made in ascii, I made sure we were on a host with automated backups.  Xilo has this service and our site and all it's databases get saved in the early hours of each morning.  Getting us back up and running should have been simply a matter of me rolling back to the last backup, however when I tried to do this I quickly realised that we had missing data... There were corrupt tables which were stopping the database being rolled back.

I repaired the tables and I then raised the issue with Xilo because there were missing posts, they've worked very hard to restore as many of the posts as they can, there may be some missing but there won't be many.  The private messages on the other hand have all been lost and there's nothing I can do to get those back.

I've run a lot of tests over the database, I've also updated the forum software to the latest version & have taken full backups of everything before my update in case I need to roll the site back.

I can't tell you how gut wrenching it was for me to see the site crashed like that... Obviously you all know I've retired myself from coding intros but I regard you all as my friends and this community has been around for over a decade. I want DBF to remain online for as long as people have a use for it and I apologise for the delay in getting it back up!

Anyway, welcome back and hope you carry on enjoying the site :)


Ps: Please also use this thread to report any issues that you find when using the forum and I'll do my best to fix them!

General chat / VB.NET
« on: March 09, 2014 »
Just wondering if anyone here uses .NET or has used .NET to write demos?

I'm thinking of having a bash to try and sharpen up my skills at work a bit... I've taken things a bit easy over the last few years and I don't want to lose my edge which demo coding definitely gave me.

General chat / LinkedIn
« on: March 09, 2014 »
Do any of you use LinkedIn and have you found it useful in getting work? :)

Feel free to add me if you like.

General chat / Hello and apologies
« on: November 10, 2013 »
Hi all,

It's been a long long time since I posted here and I do feel a little bad for not having been here but things change I suppose.  I think that my focus started changing when programming became my job and then when my son was born and I feel less and less inclined to do any graphics stuff when I spend my days writing pricing matrices and other exciting things that pay the bills.

It's a far cry from driving a van for a living and this has come a long way from the days of Yabasic and even further from the days when I was active on the Amiga, quite a scary prospect, in just 9 years my son will be a teenager and I'll be 50 years old and 9 years goes by so very fast.

I owe this forum and a lot of you a great debt which I can never repay, thanks to your wisdom and support I made the jump from driving a van into a dry office and it came at the right time in my life.

So I'm just popping in to say hello and to reassure you that the hosting is paid up for another year because as long as some people are getting some enjoyment or worthwhile help from here then it's worth me keeping it online even if I only look through the window as I'm passing nowadays.

Take care and if I don't pop back before then I hope you are all well and that you and your families have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

Take care,


Whether you find this immoral or not, it's really amazing!
Imagine if we were able to link our minds in this way what we'd find out about ourselves and what problems we'd solve!


Challenges & Competitions / 2013 UDG CHALLENGE VOTING
« on: February 25, 2013 »
UDG Challenge Voting Open!!!

This has been the first challenge that Iíve participated in for over a year.. I had a long time to think of a theme for the challenge and in hindsight I think that I picked quite a difficult one.   :o

It succeeded in putting off all but eight entrants, but the result is a very worthwhile and interesting batch of demos in a variety of styles, ranging from raymarching to 2D techniques, all have their own charms and they are all really entertaining.

Iíve certainly enjoyed watching them and appreciate the time and effort that youíve put into them.

The thing that is really encouraging is that we had three new participants who were not put off by the tricky theme which is surely a good omen for future challenges..

I already have a few ideas for the next one, but before we do that we need to decide the winner of this one, youíll have three votes to choose the three productions which you think should be on the podium this time so without further ado, please read the voting rules and vote for your favourites![/b]

Please pick your three favourites, please make sure you have watched them all before you vote, the entrants deserve it!

A small word about the sponsorship.  The cash prizes are made possible by the generosity of the people who donated to the treasury.  Even though it is very generous to abdicate from taking your cash prize if you win, please do take it.

To keep things fair, here are the rules for voting and votes are checked by administrators.

Voting rules:

  • Please vote for 3 entries, you MUST vote for 3, not 2 or 1.
  • If you do not vote for 3 entries your vote will be removed.
  • Please do not vote for yourself or you will be disqualified.
  • Voting is open for 6 days from now.
  • In the event of a tie break, there will be a vote-off.
  • Please view all the entries before voting.

Good luck everyone!

Challenges & Competitions / [UDG] Afternoon Voyage
« on: February 23, 2013 »
A really, really quickly coded < 40kb intro for the DBF UDG Challenge 2013.

Software rendered with some perhaps predictable effects and a looooong scroller.

Not a lot more to add about it really, but considering it's the result of about 5 hours work it's not too bad, even though I had planned something rather more grand I was defeated by my own apathy!!

Anyway I really hope you like it, it was fun finding out how much I have forgotten :)

General chat / No work for me today!
« on: January 18, 2013 »
Woke up today to heavy snow :) 

Time to draw some UDGs for the challenge I think!

General chat / Last Year's Stats
« on: January 07, 2013 »
I had a little bit of a surprise this morning when I was updating the showcase.. I think that a lot of this is down to strong Google Ranking but generally these are what the stats for 2012 boiled down to:

Unique Visitors: 112,275   
Number Of Visits: 225,804
Pages: 1,908,712   
Hits: 5,343,066   
Bandwidth: 38.79 GB

That's a huge amount of traffic for a niche site like ours!

Challenges & Competitions / 2013 UDG Challenge!
« on: January 07, 2013 »
:hi: THE 2013 DBF UDG CHALLENGE!  :hi:

  ;D Something New For The New Year! ;D

Some of you are probably too young to know what a UDG is, those who are in the same age bracket as me will remember User Defined Graphics in their old Speccy programs.  Put simply, they were a way of redefining the way that characters in the font looked and they were used to make sprites and scenery in Basic Spectrum games.  You'd define them using data statements as a grid of 1's and 0's.  Where a bit was set a pixel would be drawn... You get the idea I am sure!  :)



So.. Since a UDG is essentially a letter then the screen could be filled with them in the same fashion as tiles and this is kind of what the challenge is about but let's bring it more up to date!

How Can You Make A Challenge From This You May Ask?

The challenge this time is to create a demo - Any demo you like but the screen has to be rendered entirely out of a grid of UDG's with no post rendering effects and to make it more interesting and get the creative juices flowing there are some rules! ;)

In fact we're going to increase the capabilities of UDGs and let you have more colours!  Yay!

You may have two sets of UDG's which may not be changed throughout the demo, you'll load them in as images at the start of the demo or pre-calculate them before you show your first effect. 

Each set of UDG's can contain up to 8 different UDG's and each UDG must be of 8*8 Pixels in size.  There are two sets because each set can have it's own colour palette of 3 bitplanes (8 colours including transparency).  The UDGs must be drawn in grid fasion so if you divide the screen position horizontally or vertically by 8 you may only draw a UDG at locations which produce no remainder when divided by 8 - This will ensure you conform to the grid.

At all times during your demo, your screen display should be entirely constructed out of any combination of the 16 different kinds of UDG in your two UDG sets.

To allow people to actually see the effect, we'll limit the screen resolution to a maximum of 1024 * 768 on this one.

The idea then is not necessarily to create something that looks like a Spectrum program (though you can if you want!) but one that draws it's inspiration from a bygone age..  Think of it as a version of the reduced res challenge with a twist!


Some demo groups have been using the ascii character set for years, your demo can look even cooler because you can use more colours in each block!

Here are the rules.

  • Your Demo's screen display must be rendered out of 8*8 blocks.
  • You may have 2 sets of 8*8 blocks, each set can contain 8 blocks, each set can have it's own 3 plane colour palette ( 8 colours including transparrancy)
  • blocks may only be drawn at screen locations where x/8 produces no remainder and y/8 produces no remainder.
  • You may NOT use any other kind of graphics in your display apart from the 8*8 blocks.
  • The blocks must be defined at program start up, either loaded in at the beginning or calculated by the program at the beginning.
  • You may NOT redefine any of the blocks or change their colour palette at any time after you've begun to render graphics to the screen.
  • No post-render effects are allowed. The UDGs must remain in their unmolested form!
  • Maximum screen resolution of 1024 * 768 applies.
  • You must provide the raw image of the blocks you used in the archive attached to your post.
  • Colour palettes are to remain the same throughout the demo and may not be cycled.
  • You may write something for web browsers as long as it works in IE8 or Chrome or FF4 (or all!)
  • If you use flash, please provide a link where people can see your demo. If you are placed in the top 3 your .swf will be added to the site as a .zip file You should attach the .swf in a zip file to your post.
  • Wild entries are allowed and you may use any home computer / console.  Anything that is not windows based should be entered as a Wild.  Therefore you should upload it to youtube and post the video as your entry.  It's cool to post the binaries as well.
  • Please write something new for the challenge, no previously released stuff.
  • Do not use ripped routines. (dlls, libs, fmod, sdl, frameworks etc are fine but say what you used please!).
  • Entries to be posted in this forum please with the title [UDG] entry name.
  • Entries may be posted between NOW and Midnight of [Saturday 23rd Feb 2013] - UK GMT
  • The winner [S?] will be decided by a poll of forum users
  • If 1st, 2nd or 3rd places are tied there will be a vote-off to decide the winner.
  • Late entries absolutely will not be counted for voting, even if one second over the deadline.
  • Please PM any correspondence regarding rules to me, don't discuss them here such posts will be removed and not answered.
  • Please include a screenshot of your entry in your post.
  • Please only post finished work, if you update your entry the final one will be voted on.
  • After the submission deadline You may NOT post ANY further attachments to final or other versions of your entry ANYWHERE on this forum until voting has closed.
  • You may post a video of the entry along with the binaries (useful if you use shaders or linux etc).  In fact it is advisable that you do this if possible, especially if you use technology that not everyone possesses.
  • Prize money is by Paypal only. No other forms will be discussed. PLEASE don't refuse your prize if you win!
  • As well as appearing in DBF's showcase, your entry may be video captured and placed on DBF's youtube channel.
  • You may enter as many times as you like, you will however only qualify for the highest prize you win.  If you're voted as 1st and 2nd for example, you will win first prize and 2nd prize will fall to the person below you etc..

:carrot: Here are the prizes! :carrot:

  • 1st Place  £35 - Gold Signature Icon - 30 Karma
  • 2nd Place £25 - Silver Signature Icon - 20 Karma
  • 3rd Place £15 - Bronze Signature Icon - 10 Karma
  • All entries get 2 Karma

Good Luck!

General chat / Here goes then!
« on: January 02, 2013 »
I've got to re-install everything as all my dev stuff has been wiped during the fixing of the computer!

At least I have DBF as a code repository for some of my old stuff :)

General chat / Happy New Year 2013
« on: December 31, 2012 »
Here's wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 :cheers:

I'm really looking forward to getting back online here a bit more in 2013, I have been around - Just not posting much & sadly I've been unable to look at the code snippets and intros posted for a while, but I'll be back on an actual computer and not a mobile phone in a couple of days so I'm really looking forward to seeing what I'e missed :)

Hope you've all been well & see you soon!

General chat / Happy birthday Vain!
« on: June 29, 2012 »
Alles gutte mate :)

Projects / Excel Abuse
« on: June 29, 2012 »
Had a quiet hour in work today so I thought I'd see if I could make a demo effect in an Excel spreadsheet using the sheet as a screen..

It crashes after a few seconds and I can't be bothered to find out why but anyway just for curiosity's sake and plain weirdness here it is.

You'll need excel to run it :)

Projects / Abandoned projects
« on: June 03, 2012 »
Because I never seem to finish anything these days and haven't posted code for an age..

Anyway I have been drinking tonight and I got pissed off with the cheapo TV I have to use as a monitor.. Basically it can barely do 60hz and everything looks as choppy as hell on it so I had a bash at trying to make something that looked smooth.

The effect sucks but there's source in there for the brave (I'll surely never look at this code again)

It would be cool to see other peoples abandoned projects / code snippets..

General chat / downtime
« on: May 30, 2012 »
We were offline for a couple of hours there, sorry for the downtime.  Xilo seemed to be completely offline.

General chat / 100 Winners!
« on: May 27, 2012 »
We've had 29 competitions since we opened our doors and 100 winners on the podium and therefore 100 demos in the showcase :)

Considering that we get around 10 - 15 entries for each challenge, that's a fair achievement so give yourselves a pat on the back and long may the tradition continue!!!

General chat / AV software that doesn't suck
« on: May 27, 2012 »
I had my last false positive from AVG yesterday so I uninstalled it in a fit of pique.

What (free, good, resource friendly) software is everyone using these days?
I'm half tempted not to bother installing anything but since my computer is used by the whole family it's probably not a good idea.

General chat / First boot of Raspberry Pi!
« on: May 27, 2012 »
Been over Maplins today to buy some bits to get my Pi working.. I had to buy an SDHD card, USB Keyboard, USB Mouse, HDMI Cable, SDHD Card reader and a USB hub.

Some mistakes I made..

First of all I didn't check the ports on the board carefully enough before I bought my leads.. The HDMI lead you need is a normal HDMI to HDMI lead, NOT micro HDMI to HDMI (which is what I bought) - I had to rob the lead from the dvd player to get it working.

If you're going to use wireless to connect to the internet, be careful what dongle you get as they don't all work.  There's a wiki over at raspberry pi site, connectig via ethernet is a lot easier but if you're unlucky like me then that's not an option and you'll need a usb hub as there are only 2 usb ports.

Be careful what hub you buy, the one I bought has the ports too close together which means that only two of them are actually any use.

Despite all this, I've managed to get the Pi working, although there are going to be a couple of bits going back to Maplins tomorrow!

Photos attached :)

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