Saturday, 25 October 2014

Command to help remove a printer driver

printui /s /t2

Running Theme Park on Windows 8 and Windows 10

My copy of Theme Park World wouldn't work on Windows 8: it loaded and then displayed the error message "tp.icd has stopped working".

Thanks to articles here and the great work and hours spent by Adam Hearn I got it working again.

To ensure they are kept for prosperity I repeat the instructions here, but all credit is due to the authors above.

Installing Theme Park World on Windows 8

(Installing Sim Theme Park on Windows 8)

(1) Installation
(2) Patching
(3) No-cd TP.exe(4) Microsoft SafeDisc Patch
(5) Compatibility Mode(6) Mouse Pointer Issue


(1) Installation

Theme Park World should install without any issues on a modern PC. Simply insert the CD / mount the ISO and follow the on-screen prompts. If the CD / mounted ISO does not auto-run, explore the contents of the CD in Windows Explorer and run the “Autorun.exe” file. You should then see a menu allowing you to install the game.

(2) Patching (to version 2.0)

Before playing Theme Park World on a modern PC, you must install the version 2.0 patch. You can download the patch here. Simply run the patch once it has downloaded and the game will start.

(3) No-Cd TP.exe

In the event you have installed Theme Park World from a .iso file, you will need to switch the TP.exe executable file (located in your TPW folder) with a version that allows the game to be run sans disc (search on Google for Theme Park World Nocd Patch). Note that the original TP.exe file is approximately 260KB whereas the No-Cd version is approximately 3647KB.

(4) Microsoft SafeDisc Patch

Download and install this file:

(4a) Install Fonts (may be optional)
Run the Fix Fonts installer.
(5) Compatibility Mode
Right click on TP.EXE, select properties and then the 'Compatibility' tab. In the compatibility mode section, tick the checkbox (Run this program in compatibility mode for:) and select 'Windows 7'.

(6) Mouse Pointer Issue

If you have followed the instructions above at this point you should be able to launch into Theme Park World / Sim Theme Park. Unfortunately, due to an issue with 32bit colour (color) the mouse pointer in the game will not be visible. This is just a minor glitch and easily resolvable so with a little patience you'll be playing TPW in under 5 minutes :)

So, first step is to navigate to the TPW / Sim Theme Park folder on your pc - once there locate the Data folder and you will see a list of files. We are interested in just 3 of these, namely:


What you need to do is open every one of them using Notepad (double click on the icon and select to open using notepad), then set "GraphicalOptions.TEXTURE32" and "GraphicalOptions.RENDER32" to 1 (in place of the 0 that had been listed previously).

Take care to save .sam file as a .sam file (windows may attempt to convert it to a .sam.txt file). For example if you want to save the low.sam file, just do a normal save and type the file name as "low.sam". 
[In the event that while trying to save the .sam file you receive an error message, this is as a result of Windows' user privilege settings - What you will have to do is save the .sam files elsewhere, say the desktop for example, and then copy and paste them into the folder with the original .sam files. NB - Make sure to click yes if Windows requests your administrator access to move the files] 

[In the event it the .sam files get saved as .txt files... you will need to open up an explorer page (e.g. double click on 'My Computer', click 'View' in the top left hand menu, click options in the drop down ribbon menu which appears just below and then 'Change folder and search options'. You will now see a folder options popup box and here there are 3 headings - General / View / Search. Click on View. Navigate to 'Hide extensions for known file types' and unclick it. Next click apply. Now go back you your .sam.txt file and rename it to just .sam]
(7) Processor Affinity
For added security, once the game is running, go to Task Manager, select tp.exe in the Details tab and click "Set Affinity". Only check a single CPU (e.g. CPU 0) and this will ensure the game will run with one CPU only (the game may not be expecting the modern day multi-core processors).
(8) Set the Preferred Resolution
1) Exit the game if you haven’t done so already.
2) Browse to the games installation folder using Windows Explorer. By default this is C:\Program Files\Bullfrog\Theme Park World on 32 bit systems and C:\Program Files (x86)\Bullfrog\Theme Park World on 64 bit systems.
3) Find a file called _Resolution.sam and rename it to Resolution.sam (remove the underscore character at the start of the file name).
4) Click on the Resolution.sam file and choose to open it in Notepad. Inside this file you will see a note explaining how to activate extra resolutions. Amazingly for such an old game, Theme Park World actually supported high definition screen resolutions. However, the monitors at the time were not widescreen, so you probably want to avoid modes like 1600×1200 or 2048×1536.
5) To change to one of the extra resolutions, locate the line beginning “Res.RESOLUTION” at the very bottom of the file, then simply change the number on this line according to the instructions in the text file. For instance, to use 1280×1024 screen mode (works best on a 1080p monitor) use “Res.RESOLUTION 5″. Don’t forget to save your changes when you are done.
6) If you did everything correctly, next time you start the game it should start in your chosen screen resolution.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Rooting a phone does not invalidate a warranty


This is a joint blog post written together with Carlo Piana with the goal to disband some popular FUD that you lose your warranty if you flash or root your device.
Does rooting your device (e.g. an Android phone) and replacing its operating system with something else void your statutory warranty, if you are a consumer?

In short:

Just the fact that you modified or changed the software of your device, is not a sufficient reason to void your statutory warranty. As long as you have bought the device as a consumer in the European Union.

A bit longer:

Directive 1999/44/CE dictates 1 that any object meeting certain criteria (incl. telephones, computers, routers etc.) that is sold to a consumer 2 inside the European Union, has to carry a warranty from the seller that the device will meet the quality that you would expect for such a device for a period of 2 years.
A telephone is an example of such a device and is an object that comprises many parts, from the case to the screen to the radio, to a mini-computer, to the battery, to the software that runs it. If any of these parts 3 stop working in those 2 years, the seller has to fix or replace them. What is more these repairs should not cost the consumer a single cent – the seller has to cover the expenses (Directive 1999/44/CE, §3). If the seller has any expenses for returning it to the manufacturer, this is not your problem as a consumer.
If your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.
If your device becomes defective after the first 6 months, but before 2 years run out, you are still covered. The difference is only that if the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device. 4 But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused 5 the defect. It is generally recognised by courts that unless there is a sign of abuse of the device, the defect is there because the device was faulty from the beginning. That is just common sense, after all.
So, we finally come to the question of rooting, flashing and changing the software. Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software, rooting your device or flashing it with some other OS or firmware was the cause for the defect, you are still covered for defects during those 2 years. A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software – e.g. overriding the speaker volume above the safe level could blow the speaker.
Many manufacturers of consumer devices write into their warranties a paragraph that by changing the software or “rooting” your device, you void the warranty. You have to understand that in EU we have a “statutory warranty”, which is compulsory that the seller must offer by law (Directive 1999/44/CE, §7.1) and a “voluntary warranty” which the seller or manufacturer can, but does not need to, offer as an additional service to the consumer. Usually the “voluntary warranty” covers a longer period of time or additional accidents not covered by law 6. If though the seller, the manufacturer or anyone else offers a “voluntary warranty”, he is bound to it as well!
So, even if, by any chance your “voluntary warranty” got voided, by European law, you should still have the 2 year “compulsory warranty” as it is described in the Directive and which is the topic of this article.
In case the seller refuses your right to repair or replace the device, you can sue him in a civil litigation and can report the incident to the national authority. In many European countries such action does not even require hiring a lawyer and is most of the time ensured by consumers associations.
The warranty under this Directive is only applicable inside the European Union and only if you bought the device as a consumer.
hook out → I hope this encourages many of you to go and flash your devices with something Free! ☺

  1. EU member states must have by now imported the Directive 1999/44/CE into their national laws. So you should quote also your local law on that topic. 
  2. A consumer is a natural person who acts for their own private purposes and not as a professional. 
  3. Batteries can be exempt of this and usually hold only 6 months warranty. 
  4. E.g. a defect power button could be caused by spreading marmalade in it or hooking it onto a robot that would continuously press the button every second 24/7 – of course that is not normal or intended use. 
  5. Note that correlation is not causation – the defect has to be proven to be caused by your action, not just correlate with it. 
  6. E.g. if a device manufacturer guarantees the phone is water- and shock-proof or a car manufacturer offers 7 years of warranty against rust. 

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Can't install Project 2013 - Group Policy software restrictions

Local software restrictions were preventing me from installing Project 2013.

Errors were logged in %AppData%\Local\Temp.

"Error checking already running ose version. Error code 0x00000000"
"Unable to select Source Engine process to start"

Firstly System Restore was disabled by policy:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\SystemRestore

Then the Office 64 Source Engine was not started and local attempts to start it (OSE.EXE failed).

Access to C:\Users\ANDREW~1\AppData\Local\Temp\ose00004.exe has been restricted by your Administrator by location with policy rule {34ae1087-c2cc-409f-a442-e48e70e62efb} placed on path C:\Users\AndrewPotts\AppData\Local\*\*.exe.