Posts Tagged ‘glorious times’

Download and Play Apogee’s Raptor (Call of the Shadows) DOS arcade game on GNU / Linux and BSD* with dosbox / Few words on Apogee and Shareware

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Since its early days dosbox has elolved a lot. For all those who haven't heard of dosbox, it is x86 Free Software Linux / FreeBSD DOS emulator

DosBox supports, almost all the game classics we used top lay in oldschool times when DOS (Disk Operating System ) version was running on top of most personal computer.

The most spread versions of DOS people used to use on their PCs were Novell (DR-DOS) more rarely used, and MS-DOS (The Microsoft DOS ver.).

I'm sometimes being sentimental about the past so I remembered for Raptor Call of the Shadows !

Having a bit of experience with DOSBox to run few DOS games I've decided to give a try with dosbox.

First I have to dig for this shareware, since this game is part of the sharewares, nowdays a binary version of it is freely distributed on the net.
Finding the game however took me about 10 minutes, as most of the download links for Raptor, were either dead or required some kind of registration. After a bit of look I found it on an old torrent with few seeders and succeded downloading.

For the convenience of people who would like to download run the Raptor arcade classic game check here

Nicely Raptor works out of the box directly launched with dosbox emulator.
Dosbox has packages for most Linux distributions.
I personally used it on my Debian Linux so installed via apt:

debian:~# apt-get install dosbox
...

The game works without any dosbox hacks, just download, unarchive and launch with dosbox:

hipo@debian:~$ wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/Raptor_Call_of_The_Shadows_Apogee_arcade.tar.gz
...
hipo@debian:~$ tar -zxvf Raptor_Call_of_The_Shadows_Apogee_arcade.tar.gz
...
hipo@debian:~$ cd Raptor/
hipo@debian:/home/hipo/Raptor$ dosbox rap.exe

Apogee Raptor Screenshot Dosbox Debian linux

Raptor Call of the Shadows main screen linux debian

Dosbox raptor level

People like me 😉 who lived in that glorious times when DOS was a standard for a desktop operating system pretty much like MS Windows is today, certainly remember the awesome games produced by Apogee Software a company later known as 3D Realms

Apogee until this very day remain one of the greatest game creation companies in history of games. 3D Realms played a crucial role in development of PC game industry as well as has a great santimental value to probably million of old school arcade game addicts.

They can be ben undoubtedly can be praised for having created some of the most awesome arcade games for all times.

Some of the early hit games they created you probably know, few of the titles are:

  • Duke Nukem I, II
  • Arctic Adventure
  • Monster Bash
  • Stargunner
  • Commander Keen series
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Blake Stone
  • Terminal Velocity (Terminal Reality)
  • Shadow Warrior
  • Death Rally
  • Blood

Apogee was also notable for being a company to had established the so spread mostly during the late 80s up to the early years of the second millenium.

ShareWare model of distribution is an interesting phenomenon, that co-relates more or less with the ideas of Free Software.
The idea of ShareWare games was games are distributed for Free and the end customer (gamer) is asked to pay for a game only if he likes it.

Some of the shareware published games was available for free download and play, however the game was only bundled with only a number of game levels to unlock the rest of the game levels you had to play some money.

The shareware games produced were then freely published and shared via dial up access BBS nodes (A text based Bulletin Board System similar to nowdays Forums).
BBS has historically been the major way of sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas and opinions preceding the massive rise of the WEB.
Today most computer users would probably even haven't heard about BBS, if you like to have a general idea on how BBSes seemed to look dahmer.vistech.net .

ShareWare started to loose speed with the decline of BBS and the emergence of Free Software.

Some of the conceptual ideas of ShareWare found its way in "Open Source & Free Software", and commercial companies like RedHat and SuSE.

If you have tried some other Apogee games with Dosbox on Linux and FreeBSD and you can positively confirm they work it will be great. In theory all of the DOS games of apogee should work fine with dosbox. Any feedback or game recommendations of your favourite games of the DOS years are mostly welcome in comments. I'm curious to hear what was your favourite DOS game. Maybe when I have time I'll prepare a list of my favourite games put them here 😉

Midnight in Paris (2011) -A tiny movie review

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Midnight in Paris Movie Cover 2011 review

Yesteday with Baky (my dear Orthodox Coptic Christian friend) and Kliment (a good friend from the old rock’n’roll years), we went to the Dobrich Cinema (sadly just one cinema for the city is available). The cinema in Dobrich is called Cinema Club Icarus (Ikar). For all foreigners who wants to enjoy some movie, the Dobrich Cinema does offer a plenty of English speaking movies (with Bulgarian subtitles).

Pitily the Dobrich Cinema website http://www.kinoikar.com/bg/info/2 is not existing in English, though anyone wanting to check the current projected movies in the cinema can use the movie trailers and the movie pictures to get the necessery info.

Anyways I haven’t been to a cinema for some almost two months, so going for a movie was really relaxing enjoyable experience. Besides that, we were lucky to see a movie which fitted quite well to my movie genre preferences –

Midnight in Paris

. Midnight in Paris is a Romantic Comedy for intellectuals and people who have a glipmse on art. Its a Bohemian movie so to say and I believe it wouldn’t hold a big interest for the avarage man who doesn’t keep interest in Arts, History or Philosophy.

The movie plot revives around a young engaged American couple who went to Paris for a business trip, just to find out there whole life is gonna be changed by this.
The main actor Gil a just grown man is writting a Novel book, trying to make a shift of his profession from being a movie directory to a novel publicist. Gil (Owen Wilson) is an odd Bohemian kind of man, who quickly fells in love with Paris rich culture architecture and old fame.
Next to that Gil is a dreamer who (just like me dreams about the old glorious times), when people were more respectable better moral and more idealistic than in the current age. After one night of heavy wine drinking, Gil’s fiancee wents for some dancing and leaves him on his own. Gil makes a round in Paris and losts himself and decides to stay for a while in front of sold old Roman Catholic Cathedral, a mysterious very old car crosses by the street and suddenly some “party” gang asks Gil to join. He has no idea where he is going and suddeny finds himself in the epoch of the world famous 1920 of great book publicists like the Fidgeralds family.
Night by night Gil is being transferred to a different epoch back in time to meet a world famous artists and authors, people like Ernest Hemingway, Picaso, Salvador Dali etc. etc. 😉

The movie shows many personages of odd world famous people with some of their strangeties known by the current age. It appears all of them are dreaming for all and the same thing, to live in a earlier age to live in the Golden Age of Arts and Poetry 😉

The movie is real fun in Gil’s personage I’ve seen a lot of “me”, also I’ve seen a lot of me in many of the other famous people as of course presented in the movie. I hardly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to take a break, have a good mindful laugh time.
Here is Midnight in Paris movie trailer as well to get an idea what to expect:

How to convert html pages to text in console / terminal on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

HTML to Plain Text Convertion on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

I’m realizing the more I’m converting to a fully functional GUI user, the less I’m doing coding or any interesting stuff…
I remembered of the old glorious times, when I was full time console user and got a memory on a nifty trick I was so used to back in the day.
Back then I was quite often writing shell scripts which were fetching (html) webpages and converting the html content into a plain TEXT (TXT) files

In order to fetch a page back in the days I used lynx(a very simple UNIX text browser, which by the way lacks support for any CSS or Javascipt) in combination with html2text – (an advanced HTML-to-text converter).

Let’s say I wanted to fetch a my personal home page http://www.pc-freak.net/, I did that via the command:

$ lynx -source http://www.pc-freak.net/ | html2text > pcfreak_page.txt

The content from www.pc-freak.net got spit by lynx as an html source and passed html2pdf wchich saves it in plain text file pcfreak_page.txt
The bit more advanced elinks – (lynx-like alternative character mode WWW browser) provides better support for HTML and even some CSS and Javascript so to properly save the content of many pages in plain html file its better to use it instead of lynx, the way to produce .txt using elinks files is identical, e.g.:

$ elinks -source http://www.pc-freak.net/blog/ | html2text > pcfreak_blog_page.txt

By the way back in the days I was used more to links , than the superior elinks , nowdays I have both of the text browsers installed and testing to fetch an html like in the upper example and pipe to html2text produced garbaged output.

Here is the time to tell its not even necessery to have a text browser installed in order to fetch a webpage and convert it to a plain text TXT!. wget file downloading tools supports source dump as well, for all those who did not (yet) tried it and want to test it:

$ wget -qO- http://www.pc-freak.net | html2text Anyways of course, some pages convertion of text inside HTML tags would not properly get saved with neither lynx or elinks cause some texts might be embedded in some elinks or lynx unsupported CSS or JavaScript. In those cases the GUI browser is useful. You can use any browser like Firefox, Epiphany or Opera ‘s File -> Save As (Text Files) embedded functionality, below is a screenshot showing an html page which I’m about to save as a plain Text File in Mozilla Firefox:

Firefox iceWeasel Opera etc. save html webpage as plain text on GNU / Linux, FreeBSD

Besides being handy in conjunction with text browsers, html2text is also handy for converting .html pages already existing on the computer’s hard drive to a plain (.TXT) text format.
One might wonder, why would ever one would like to do that?? Well I personally prefer reading plain text documents instead of htmls 😉
Converting an html files already existing on hard drive with html2text is done with cmd:

$ html2text index.html >index.txt

To convert a whole directory full of .html (documentation) or whatever files to plain text .TXT , cd the directory with HTMLs and issue the one liner bash loop command:

$ cd html/
html$ for i in $(echo *.html); do html2text $i > $(echo $i | sed -e 's#.html#.txt#g'); done

Now lay off your back and enjoy reading the dox like in the good old hacker days when .TXT files were fashionable 😉