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Old 10-22-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
bgbennyboy
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Quick and Easy Week - The Revenge

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Starting next Monday (October 29th), Quick and Easy Week will begin. Every day I’ll release a new tool or an update to an existing one.

I’m not going to reveal which tools are getting an update, or what the new tools are but if you take a look at the software page and previous news posts you’ll probably be able to guess. Anyone who’s contacted me over the past year to request a feature should be pleased. I’ve gone through all my emails and tried to fix every bug and implement every suggestion that was feasible. Vista users and those with 64 bit versions of Windows will also benefit, all tools released next week will be fully compatible with these.

As always the tools will be completely free, but should you want to show your appreciation and support my work, you can do so via a paypal donation. You can also help by spreading the word about Quick And Easy Week; Digg this post, start a thread on a forum, tell your friends - it all helps.

Long time visitors will recall that this has happened before. The last Quick and Easy Week was a nostalgia-inducing three years ago . This one will be bigger and better, I promise. Or your money back.*


*Offer subject to availability, terms and conditions apply.


Last edited by bgbennyboy; 10-23-2007 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:49 AM   #2
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Sounds awesome! Can't wait.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:20 AM   #3
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Superb! The mention of help for Vista users and 64-bit users sounds good, as those are the technical issues that seem to plague the Grim/Monkey forums the most.

If you're submitting the Digg post yourself make sure to use a beautifully tempting title like "Get old LucasArts classics working on Vista, 64-bit, and more!!!!!!!!!". ;D


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Old 10-23-2007, 09:33 AM   #4
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You know, that would have been a good idea. I Dugg it yesterday as this. Perhaps I can edit it to make it less boring.

I'm slightly scared of making grand claims about 64bit Windows though, as the only testing they've had was a quick test by me in xp64 and vista64 virtual machines. I had a group of testers, but that seems to have fallen through. I emailed 15 of them to ask if they'd test the EMI installer. That was 3 weeks ago and there's been no replies

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Old 10-28-2007, 10:15 PM   #5
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It has begun:

Quick And Easy Week Day 1

Grim Fandango Launcher and Grim Fandango Setup.

Quick and Easy week begins with an update and a new tool. First up, Grim Fandango Launcher has been updated. Its had a redesign to make it look better, has full Vista compatibility and now supports 64 bit versions of Windows.

Download it here.

The new tool is Grim Fandango Setup. Its a replacement installer (setup program) for Grim Fandango. The installer that comes with the game can be problematic with newer versions of Windows and refuses to work at all on 64 bit Windows. This installer doesn’t have those problems and comes with the above-mentioned Grim Fandango Launcher.

Download it here.


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Old 10-29-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
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Great news!!
I was wondering.. Does this fix problems with playing GF on dual processor machines?
I was having the classic stuttering sound issue when playing on any of my new machines.
For years I have had to keep an old PC just for playing GF : )
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:45 PM   #7
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It doesn't I'm afraid. There is a fix apparently, which I'll paste below, but I couldn't integrate it into the launcher because I don't have a dual-core CPU to test it.

The fix (someone posted this in the comments on my site):
Use the imagefix.exe program (http://www.death-web.com/files/imagecfg.zip) and use console command: “imagecfg -a 0×1 GRIMFANDANGO.EXE”

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Old 10-29-2007, 09:01 PM   #8
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Quick And Easy Week Day 2

Telltale Music Extractor.

Vista compatibility has been added, and it now supports all currently available Telltale games.

It does exactly what it says on the tin. Download it here.




Check back tomorrow for a much bigger update with a completely new tool.

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Old 10-29-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply..
I'll give it a whirl.
Cheers : )
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:12 AM   #10
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Does right clicking the Grim Fandango executable in your task manager and changing the CPU affinity so it can only use one help?

I can give it a go on my home PC tonight, but it's often a reasonable first step in games that don't play with anything to do with multiple threads (I think hyperthreading used to wreck Grim Fandango too).


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Old 10-30-2007, 09:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrik
Does right clicking the Grim Fandango executable in your task manager and changing the CPU affinity so it can only use one help?

I can give it a go on my home PC tonight, but it's often a reasonable first step in games that don't play with anything to do with multiple threads (I think hyperthreading used to wreck Grim Fandango too).
That does work for some people, but I've also heard from a few people for who the patch method is the only fix that works. I dont know why.

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Old 10-30-2007, 10:19 AM   #12
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the patch method disables hypertreading in the actual executable, while the other method messes with your actual cpu, doing this in the biossetup would be a more foolproof way to make this work, though i strongly recommend patching the file instead. I've tested this on several systems and applying imgcfg seems to be a more stable way of approaching this problem.

edit; doing this also actually made me able to run atni alliasing on a raedon 9600 card, something I know a lot of people have had issues with.

Last edited by Longcat; 10-30-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:39 PM   #13
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Quick And Easy Week Day 3

Telltale Speech Extractor.

It enables you to rip the voices and sfx from all games released by Telltale Games.

Download it here.

The tool plays the sounds, lets you save them as wav or mp3, can filter them by character and lets you search for specific dialogue. In short, it makes it really easy to browse and search the sounds, especially if you know what you’re looking for.

What makes this tool extra-special though, is its annotation support. See the screenshot below? See how for each sound it lists who said it and whats said? Those are annotations. To quote the readme: “Annotations are descriptive names given to sounds. They list what is said and what character says it. This allows the sounds to be easily browsed, filtered and searched“. The sounds don’t contain any textual information besides the filename, so all of that extra information has been added to the annotations, for every single game.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the annotations aren’t complete. In most games there are still around 50 sounds that don’t have annotations. Who’s going to fix this? Well hopefully you are. Annotation editing is built into the tool and its very easy to use. I just need people to finish the annotations for a game and then send me their annotation file. This is all explained in the readme, so if you’re interested in helping out, just have a look at that.



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Old 10-31-2007, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quick And Easy Week Day 4

Psychonauts Saved Game Editor.

There’s been some minor cosmetic changes, Vista compatibility has been tweaked and 25 new common tasks have been added. These allow you to change the ammount of ammo you have, give yourself items such as the cobweb duster, enable/disable Raz’s powers and much more. Many thanks to Bosam and Tobi Lukefisher for sending me these new tasks.

Download it here.



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Old 11-01-2007, 06:50 AM   #15
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Another superb tool. ;


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Old 11-01-2007, 12:29 PM   #16
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yea, I don't think ppl are giving bg enough credit for the hard work he's putting into this I'm glad there's still somene who keeps doing these things!
good job bg! keep it up
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:43 PM   #17
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Awesome!
Nice work..
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:04 PM   #18
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These'll be things that continue to really help people as time goes on, it's just a shame most people don't actually say anything unless it's to complain/seek help -- such is the internet.

I also really think Ben deserves plenty of praise for putting the time into keeping classics working properly and enhancing newer games.


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Old 11-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #19
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I agree: Quick & Easy is in the creme de la creme of the Mojo network! Really great tools that are helpful and imaginative. And he's a really nice guy. (I remember when he benny first came on IRC and would spent around seventeen hours a day helping people with their problems!)
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:57 PM   #20
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bgbennyboy, though I'm only familiar with Grim Fandango, I just want to credit you for the intensive work you're doing from a one modding toolmaker to another.

Go, man, go.


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Old 11-02-2007, 12:37 PM   #21
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Thanks for the kind words everyone! They're very much appreciated. And without further ado..

Quick And Easy Week Day 5

Curse of Monkey Island Launcher and Curse of Monkey Island Setup.

Day 5 features two tools - one updated and one new.

The Curse of Monkey Island Launcher has been updated. Its had a slight redesign to make it easier to use, has full Vista compatibility and now supports 64 bit versions of Windows. The full list of changes can be seen on the site.

Download it here.

Curse of Monkey Island Setup is the new tool. Its a replacement installer (setup program) for the Curse of Monkey Island. The installer that comes with the game can be problematic with newer versions of Windows and refuses to work at all on 64 bit Windows. This installer doesn’t have those problems and comes with the above-mentioned Curse of Monkey Island Launcher.

Download it here.


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Old 11-02-2007, 05:05 PM   #22
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cool! I may be asking a bit much here, but could you be a bit more spesific as to what canges you've made to the GF and CMI installers to make them Vista compatible? is this mainly to do with 64 compatability in the runtimes? or have you done anything to the actual games? thanx for another great app

edit; oh, and did you use the nullsoft scriptable install system to make the new setups?
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:20 PM   #23
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Its not so much that the installers are vista compatible, its that they are 64 bit windows compatible. The normal installers wont run under xp64 and vista64. I haven't made any changes to the games since they (apparently) run ok once installed.

The installers are made using Inno Setup and I'll be releasing the source for these and the other programs) at the end of the week.

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Old 11-02-2007, 09:13 PM   #24
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Quick And Easy Week Day 6

The last of the launcher/setup utilities - Escape From Monkey Island Launcher and Escape From Monkey Island Setup.

Escape From Monkey Island Launcher has been updated to version 1.5. The resolution patch has been reworked to make it much faster, the 6 different language versions of EMI are now better supported and Vista/64 bit Windows support has been added. The full list of changes can be seen on the site.

Download it here.

Escape From Monkey Island Setup is a new tool. Its a replacement installer (setup program) for Escape From Monkey Island. The installer that comes with the game can be problematic with newer versions of Windows and refuses to work at all on 64 bit Windows. This installer doesn’t have those problems and comes with the above-mentioned Escape From Monkey Island Launcher.

Download it here.


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Old 11-02-2007, 09:45 PM   #25
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Man, I haven't played EMI in absolutely ages.

Or any of the MI games for that matter.

Might have to go on a mega-marathon next year, equipped with all your goodies!


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Old 11-03-2007, 05:53 AM   #26
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That replacement installer looks like a good idea, I'll have to give it a try.


"Ixnay on the ornopay, jerkweed."
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:20 AM   #27
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Quick And Easy Week Day 7

Quick and Easy week comes to a close with the USB Disk Ejector.

This was originally a program that I wrote for my own use and released just to see if anyone found it useful. Apparently people did and it was surprisingly popular.

In response to user requests I’ve now beefed it up significantly. This new version has been completely re-written and has many new features. It now works on Vista, can run as a command line application and can eject drives from the command line based on drive letter, drive name or partial drive name.

The new command line options make it especially suitable for use with a flash/pen drive, especially if you use a menu such as PStart or the Portable Apps launcher. Eg. I have PStart setup to run the program with the command line option “/EJECTTHIS’. When I run it, the program loads silently, ejects the pen drive and exits. This works regardless of the drive letter that Windows assigns the drive. I strongly recommended that you check out the readme for more information on the new command line options and how they can be used.

The full list of changes can be seen on the site.
Download it here




I'll be uploading the source to all the programs later today. I'd also like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and especially Gabez for updating Mojo about this every day.


Last edited by bgbennyboy; 11-04-2007 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:30 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbennyboy
especially Gabez for updating Mojo about this every day.
*cough* I think Gabez fell asleep for some of it... :P
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbennyboy
Quick and Easy week comes to a close with the USB Disk Ejector.
Nice. The icons are great, even the "No Disk Found" one. Quality stuff -- it works exactly as described.

Once upon a time I was trying to write a USB ejection program with the goal of telling you which application was preventing it from ejecting. I then ran into a dead end with the APIs so I gave the whole thing up thinking it wouldn't be handy. You proved me wrong! Good job.


P.S.

Why this? (style.css, line 92):
Code:
a:hover {
color:#83A4B5;
text-decoration:line-through;  /* to trick new people? */
}

Last edited by tk102; 11-04-2007 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:45 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
P.S.
Why this? (style.css, line 92):
Code:
a:hover {
color:#83A4B5;
text-decoration:line-through;  /* to trick new people? */
}
Ah, that. That's one of those things that I've been meaning to change...for 2 years. I'll fix it eventually, first I've got to do something about the awful new paypal buttons that paypal's decided to switch to


I'm glad you like the USB Disk Ejector. Other features that are still on the todo/might do list are:
  • Checking what apps have an open handle to the drive (as you said)
  • Finding and closing explorer windows related to the drive (annoyingly, Vista wont eject disks if they still have a window open in explorer)
  • Detecting Windows shutdown/restart/logoff and halting it for 5 seconds while a (cancelable) warning displays reminding you that the usb drive is still plugged in (very handy for public pc's where I always end up forgetting my pen drive)
  • Adding an 'eject in x seconds' or a 'keep trying to eject for x seconds' command. If I'm using something like portable firefox and I try and eject the disk I'm not able to since p. firefox takes a while to finish closing. This would have solve that problem. Of course so would a bit of patience.
  • Configurable hotkeys to eject drives

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Old 11-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbennyboy
Checking what apps have an open handle to the drive (as you said)
If you're successful at that, clue me in on what strategy you ended up using. I couldn't find any USB function that returned the process id that held the lock.
Quote:
Finding and closing explorer windows related to the drive (annoyingly, Vista wont eject disks if they still have a window open in explorer)
I didn't know that. I considered that a feature of XP's intelligent handling of USB drives. You'd think that'd be configurable somewhere in Vista.

Those are all good ideas for features. Coupling the hotkey with the "keep trying to eject" would be a great combo.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:05 PM   #32
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Quick And Easy Week: The Epilogue

I’ve now uploaded the source code to all the programs released this week. I offer no guarantees on its quality, some of it is based on 5 year old code from when I was learning programming and a lot of it is ongoing development code, peppered with todo’s. Much of it shows a disregard for coding conventions and I haven’t yet found the time to refactor and clean it up. In short, your mileage may vary.

Download it here.

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Old 11-17-2007, 08:31 PM   #33
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Woo, this stuff is brilliant, especially the replacement installers! It's such a pain when you can't even get things installed because of silly compatibility problems with today's space-age operating systems. Great work Benzo!


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Old 02-28-2011, 11:56 AM   #34
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Disk Eject question

To whom it may concern:
I am using disk eject from command line and it works great...as long as USB drive is plugged directly into laptop. If it is plugged in to a USB hub it indicates that the drive is in use and will not eject it. Is there any way around this? Love the program!
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:50 PM   #35
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Try the latest beta version from the site.

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