Lucky escape.

was very lucky this morning. I cycled in in the dry but between the time
I parked my bike and the time I got to my office a couple of minutes later
it had started bucketting it down with rain.

Little lucky things like that help make the days far better.

I’ve paid my Microsoft tax.

after weeks of trying to get my favourite flight simulator to work after
a game demo forced me to upgrade to DirectX 9.0a I totally failed. The game
itself relies upon extensive use of the mouse and the keyboard to actually
fly the plane, in addition to the joystick with throttle and rudders so it
was just a little unplayable when both the mouse and the keyboard input would
be ignored for a couple of minutes at a time at close intervals.

I have tried getting in touch with the developers via the game’s web site
by the e-mail address bounces back. The main web site for the company is
stuck in development hell and an e-mail to their postmaster asking that my
bug report for forwarded has come to nothing.

So, seeing as you can’t uninstall DirectX or downgrade it I had two choices.
Either I re-installed Windows 98 from scratch followed by all the drivers
and all the applications and fly my flight sim until I had to upgrade to
DirectX 9 again and be back at square one again, or I pay the Microsoft tax
and get XP Home upgrade. The latter is what I decided to do last night.

I really didn’t want to be forced into going to XP. It’s a resource hog.
It’s a security nightmare. It doesn’t run MSDOS games properly. Still, it’s
something I’d have to do someday, at least upgrade to it or one of its decendants,
so I did it.

Well, the upshot is that I now have a working flight sim. It took a bit of
doing to get it to work as I had to set both it and the config program into
Win98 compatability mode and it still displays an annoying dialog box when
it starts up, but it works.

The only thing which doesn’t work on the machine now is the TV card I picked
up last year as part of a defunct machine from a scrap yard for a fiver.
The company went out of business in ’98 so they aren’t making drivers for
it these days. Oh well.