January 7, 2018

Early Map and Dungeons Exploration in Risen Game

I really like Piranha Bytes' Risen game, even though it is a pretty old game from 2009. Many players may not have heard of this game since it launched without much fanfare. I too first found it by chance and was quickly absorbed by the open world gameplay, much like a medieval Grand Theft Auto. 

Unfortunately, due to other commitments, I did not go very far in my first play. Since then, Risen 2 and 3 were released. Even though I have them all in my Steam library, I never had the chance to play the series anymore. Recently, I decided to revisit the first Risen game again and wanted to share some interesting observations from my second play.

Risen is unlike most RPGs, at least for its time, in that it is not very linear. While it is true that you have your usual main and side quests, except for small parts of the world which is locked out by magical barriers, you can actually visit most of the places right from the get go, after waking up on the beach.

The only limitation put in place was tough monsters which blocked access to secret treasures or dungeons, Given your initial outfit of rag tag clothes and probably a stick or broken sword picked up from the beach, you would do better to heed the game tutorials and not venture too far from the guided path until you get to the Bandits' camp or Harbour Town. In fact, given your lousy state of affairs, it is unlikely you can explore many places in the beginning.

October 19, 2017

Installed Dot Net Framework Security Patches Repeatedly Prompts After Reboot

Recently my Windows 7 windows update kept prompting me to update dot Net framework security and quality rollup patch. It started off with KB4041083 for September 2017 and then later included KB4043766 for October 2017. No matter how many times I install, it will always show successful in "View Update History" but upon next boot up, I will get prompted again to install the same patches while other patches that I apply do not show up anymore.

I initially tried to download KB4041083 from Microsoft Update Catalog, which gave me 4 separate patches to download:

September 24, 2017

How to share a Xiaomi webcam/video camera to multiple Mi accounts

Recently got a Xiaomi Home Security Camera 1080p, needed to add it into 2 different Mi Home accounts. The setup process suggested that each device can only be tied to one account, so I had thought it was not possible. But after tinkering around a little, I found the "Share" function which does the job I need. This should also work for other Xiaomi video camera products like Mi 360 Webcam (Xiao Bai), Mi Home Security Camera 360, Xiao Fang Webcam 1080p, Yi Smart Webcam. Apologies that I have to link to the Chinese Xiaomi website, as the US and International websites do not seem to have any information on the Xiaomi webcam products.

So here's a pictorial guide on how to do it:

July 30, 2017

Google Adsense Violation for Malicious Software

I recently received an email from Google Adsense, complaining of new violation on another website of mine.

In the last 24 hours:
  • New violations were detected. As a result, ad serving has been restricted or disabled on pages where these violations of the AdSense Program Policies were found.

I was confused to say the least, as I have not been making any new posts or changes recently. Logging into my Adsense account to check "Policy center", (Adsense > Left Panel > Settings > Policy center), it shows:

"Violation: Malicious Software"

with a funny web address containing a random and unrecognized "proxy9747.my-addr.org" plus one of my post links. This left me with even more ???.

June 13, 2013

How to install AHCI drivers in existing Windows XP

*Update* 25/07/17 : Windows XP is officially no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning there will be no more security patches released. However, with the recent Petya and WannaCry ransomware targeting critical MS vulnerabilities and causing so much pain and "cries", Microsoft had chosen to take one for the WWW and released a XP patch MS17-010. If you have not done so, please update your XP quickly, unless you really WannaCry (pun intended). But my main recommendation would definitely be for you to move on. If you are still on Windows XP, please upgrade soon. For the record, my Win XP died a natural death when the disk became corrupted and I moved on to a Windows 7 + Windows 10 dual boot, so another moral of the story to share, backup your data frequently or you have another set of reasons to WannaCry (yes, pun intended)!

I recently decided to upgrade my PC with a SSD and install Windows 7, at the same time do a dual boot with my existing Windows XP on an IDE drive, so I wanted to enable AHCI for the XP installation too. I will not discuss why is there a need for AHCI, you can refer to the excellent write up here and this Wikipedia article.

As the XP installation was done without AHCI (i.e. IDE mode), I wanted to find a way to enable AHCI without all the hassle of registry edits and stuff that I read online.

And I managed to find a simple method: