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    Steam Locomotives, SC4, Wargame series, Old Volkswagens, Tube Stereo Amplifiers
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    SimCity 4

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    Having been there in the flesh I can safely say that this is a very good representation of the original church; thanks for sharing this with us! The lotting work is very nicely done as well.
  1. Sometimes you need to be patient. If you have mods installed, it can take the game upwards of 10-15 minutes to load the necessary files into memory. During this time the game will show a black screen and be unresponsive as you describe. This is how it goes everytime I start the game. Subsequent starts are faster presumably because the computer remembers the necessary files to start until reboot. If you wait 5 or 10 minutes, what happens? The game should start up like normal after the Process's RAM usage reaches a certain point. Lately with all the mods I've installed this figure is about 340MB or so, though I have seen both higher and lower values. If you have an SSD this time should be greatly reduced but it still won't be instantaneous.
  2. Again, I think the issue is that a lot of diagonal commercial BATs are typically modeled as wall to wall structures and that increases the amount of math work and prep and lotting significantly. Residentials are usually standalone which makes them very straightforward.
  3. I imagine a good part of the problem is the fact that good diagonals rely on overhanging BATs a lot, and firstly, most BATters are not super proficient with the Lot Editor, and secondly, modding growable or even ploppable lots (e.g. residentials or your aforementioned parks) requires a bit of nonstandard modding logic, which is also not found by the majority of BATters (there are notable exceptions). Most assets that already exist for parks and such are also likely to be orthogonal only and not overhanging, which is not to say that it can't be done, but that immediately the process becomes significantly more difficult for the average lotter to create a diagonal park when it requires custom props that will overhang the lot the way that you want them to. I suspect the closest most come to a diagonal park is a triangular park, where some illusion can be done to hide the stair-steps alongside the diagonal edge, and then proceed with making the rest of the park orthogonal/aligned to the grid.
  4. SC4 is discounted again for only $5 USD.
  5. It can't be that hard to open these files into paint and use the bucket tool to change their values en masse, to quickly check whether or not a change to the correct values is saved by the program
  6. Have you tried opening and resaving your images in the most inane of programs, Microsoft Paint? That should strip out any fancy options if you resave your image as a Bitmap (.BMP), provided of course, that the color values are already at the aforementioned 83 and 84 Greyscale
  7. If you are running the disk versions, have you patched your game with the official Maxis patches? Both patches are available both on this site as well as Sc4devotion.com, and a lot of mods require them to work properly, as Maxis addressed a number of hard-coded issues with the game in these patches. Notably the BAT patch (which will update your game to version 1.1.640) allows your game to display nightlights for custom made buildings (i.e. Pretty much everything available on this site). It may also be worth noting that the power cheat 'fightthepower' won't actually provide power to custom buildings (plugins) and thus even with the patch installed you won't get nightlights on these buildings, if that happens to be important to you.
  8. It should be said that this is extremely outdated information. Experiments with the Traffic Simulator, in particular the Commute time graph, have shown that the original Maxis traffic simulator did not allow for 150 minute (2.5 hours) trips. In fact, the actual max commute time being used by the pathfinder was 6 minutes maximum. Evidently even Maxis thought this was rather low, so the commute time graph was scaled by a factor of 25 to yield more palatable commute times (6 times 25 is 150 minutes, or the 2.5 hour total). Furthermore, proper analysis of commute time graph behavior is not available. Following changes to the traffic simulator, it was observed by z1 and others that the graph, even when no artificially scaled, did not properly render commute times at extreme ranges, nor did any sort of alternative scaling factor seem to alleviate the issue. The NAM removes any such scaling factor in the graph's display, but as the graph is unreliable at properly predicting commute times using the NAM traffic simulator, the general recommendation is to observe congestion and abandonment/degradation among general development areas to get a better picture of actual commute times. Since the NAM also raises the max commute time from 6 minutes to 600 minutes, it's unlikely that Sims will be unable to reach their destinations in the given time frame, so the commute time graph itself becomes increasingly unnecessary as a measure of tracking city health. The destination finder still seems to prefer this 6-minute limit. In the original game, subways were the only network that could reliably transport a Sim from one large city's corner to the opposite corner within the very restrictive 6 minute time limit, and it was observed that in congested or heavily populated cities that the addition of subway stations and networks, even after the application of NAM pathfinding and other improvements, helped to reduce travel times, improve the quality of the pathfinding, and eliminate any remaining commute-related abandonment. This can all be read about in this thread, about the working and development of the NAM traffic simulator.
  9. @CorinaMarie It's still an improvement over what went before, where previously even trying to modify said game or other piece of software, or, in fact, even looking at said code, was deemed illegal. The article linked also has a link to another report where a manufacturer of diagnostic tools created a device to read the computer printout codes that are stored in your car's computer, and accidentally opened a number of copyrighted files (the "accidentally" part is that the data they were looking for was minimally encrypted, and contained near that data was a number of proprietary files--without further encryption--which were illegal to even access or view). Obviously decrypting and rewriting game code is difficult to detect or prosecute if you only ever keep the game to yourself, but of course that would not stop companies from trying. In fact, one of the things I look forward to with this ruling is how it may affect genetic modification, specifically in the agri-business, and how it relates to their closely-held patent monopoly and their worrisome quest to patent everything, including organisms that they did not develop (there has been a growing movement to patent naturally occuring species, for instance, not to mention the patenting of naturally occurring genes that are found in people with special resistance to disease or other unique properties). For software and game code, at least, what this looks toward is perhaps a change in the way that DRM-specific game/software licenses are written (because the Supreme Court upheld Lexan's right to pursue contracts about this kind of behavior), perhaps to more reflect the ability of people to resell or otherwise distribute content that they have purchased in a purely digital form. Notably, purchasers of physical copies of SC4 could always resell that copy, but people who have purchased a digital-only copy can never resell it, not least because of the limitations of the DRM or purchase agreements (I think there's a clause in GOG's user agreement that prohibits resale), but also because the distributor can retain ultimate control over distribution of their product. You can never properly share a game with a friend, and so on (Microsoft's initial limitations with sharing Xbox games comes to mind). I would, personally, be horrified if I discovered that I could no longer work on my car. Increasingly it's already the case that personal repairs are prohibitively expensive and difficult due to the amount of work involved, and the special equipment that is increasingly required, particularly on newer cars. Of course, generally speaking any such limitation like that would probably be ignored by myself and many others, but it would make finding help in fixing such problems very difficult (inevitably the accessibility of the internet is a double edged sword by which lawsuit seekers can just as easily find targets for copyright infringement or violation as the violators can find assistance; not that I advocate breaking the law, but clearly the threat of lawsuit is often more than enough to stifle even a pushing of the envelope--as it were--among most individuals who are too poor to even afford a consultation, much less a full-blown lawsuit over something that they have no vested long-standing interest in). Now perhaps as a patent holder I would be less than thrilled about this ruling, but then again I would hope that if I held a patent that it would be over something solid and sensible so that a case like this would have proper merit, rather than the obviously vacuous claim that the supreme court recognized it as. Anyone know how the vote split?
  10. Hi Mary, The NAM avenue roundabouts are really only designed to be connected to with other avenues. For road connections (single-tile networks; OWR is also in this boat), you should use either the road roundabouts (max 4 connections, at each corner, drag the road out in a 2x2 square), or the OWR roundabout (drag in the correct direction--counter clockwise if your Sims drive on the right--in a 3x3 square with a hollow middle; max 5 connections, and with the OWR roundabout you can plop a road tile in the middle to autoplace a fountain if you don't have something else you'd like there). As for the Avenue roundabout, I think the only place that single tile connections are supported are orthogonal connections made at the "corners" of the roundabout (where you might otherwise lead off a diagonal avenue connection). There are turbo roundabout puzzle pieces also available in the road menus, primarily for NWM networks (max 4 connections), but those are a little bit more specialized in application. As a final option, the NAM supports a truncated transition, where you can lead off the roundabout with a one-tile avenue stub, and then drag a road into the end of it; a shortened version of the road-avenue transition will show up, preserving the roundabout's shape (no deconverting) and also eliminating the need for an avenue network where you otherwise wouldn't need one. Haljackey, IIRC, does this a lot with his roundabouts.
  11. Er...The Constitution is actual law, and is actually stated as being the basis of governance for the country. The Supreme Court's stated job is to rule on whether legislation passed by Congress is Constitutional, so I would argue that although certain factions like the Tea Party have used the Constitution as a prop to support their social agenda, the constitution is not, fundamentally, a social construct. The constitution is what provides the federal government the authority to rule over the states. If it has been reduced to merely a social construct, then we have a serious problem with how our country is being run, and how it's functioning. The constitution is what defines what constitutes the valid and lawful federal government of the US. I would suggest that there is far less social commentary than a lot of people ascribe to it, but if it is truly outdated, then the solution is to make a new one or amend it properly, as ignoring it comes at the peril of basic rights like the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and protection from self-incrimination, among others. I notice most of these rights have already been abridged by acts of Congress, which I would posit shows the peril of treating the Constitution as a dead social experiment between a bunch of state governments and their combined federal protector.
  12. The longer the US resists full compliance with the ICC, the longer we as a nation will remain free from foreign influence. The ICC is the biggest joke there is (well, maybe the World Bank and the IMF are a bigger joke), and is not only useless but lacks the moral backing to even suggest that its rulings be followed. Remember that the alternative to Trump is Pence. Pence is a smooth operator with no drama and strong ties to Congress. Anyone that dislikes Trump's bill for Healthcare will note that Pence will run the thing through Congress however he pleases with no drama. Conservative policies? Check. Conservative environmental politics? Check. Right-wing tax reforms and government cutbacks? Check. Zero drama with which to nail him in the media? Check. Trump lacks vices. He doesn't drink, smoke, or do drugs, and I highly suspect that all his womanizing is of a nature which is borderline tolerant, which means you can't turn him into a Bill Clinton either. Pence also lacks vices. The liberals already tried to nail him on policy, but have shown that their focus was not of the right kind to either unsettle him or to sway public opinion about him any worse or better than it already was. Attempting to use economic threats against him when a religious freedoms bill came up in Indiana did not phase him; he signed it anyways, unlike his counterparts in Georgia and South Carolina. Most companies that have mobility between states do not have international mobility to move out of the country if he were to sign something similar on a national level, nor would they likely give up on the cash cow that is American consumerism. Pence is level-headed, and both lawyering experience in Washington and no ego to worry about, and would be unlikely to encounter serious resistance on his initiatives, which are likely to be more in line with the general Republican agenda than Trump's. Pence is the alternative to Trump. Remember that he's who you get if you decide to get rid of the devil you know.
  13. This cherry picking is inherently a falsehood. It's like saying I can cherry pick the bits of science that I want to consider valid, because some parts agree with my worldview more than others. If the Bible, or Koran, or Tanakh (Jewish Bible) are what they say they are, then they deliver philosophical truth about the human condition. If this is truth, and you accept it as such, then you cannot cherry pick it any more than you can be the arbiter of valid scientific knowledge. Of course, people can and will do as they want, but I think it is a falsehood to both suggest their validity at the same time that one denies their authority. One cannot be without the other, nor can you decide at a whim which parts are true or not, because then that religions' claims are no longer valid; a falacy if, and only if, you have already stated them to be true. This can be said of any ideology. More people were murdered in the name of Communism and Social Darwinism than were ever murdered in the name of religion. Over 100 million, by my count, if you consider Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. Justification is a thin veil with which people convince themselves that they are doing the right thing. Anyone who ever paid close attention to the New Testament would have found out very quickly that it does not allow Christians to kill evildoers, but they used it to justify their actions regardless of what it actually said. Even in the Old Testament, not only did one need to seek out a number of witnesses to secure a conviction, but in the case of a death penalty, the accuser/testifier/lead witness was required to throw the first stone; that is, they needed to have the conviction to have that person's blood on their hands should they have testified falsely. I didn't see this followed in medieval practices either; hangings and witch burnings and the like remove a lot of the physical action that make taking someone's life much more difficult, and require true conviction about the process and the guilt. Er...sure, I can't actually prove to you in physically a verifiable manner that God exists, but that's not the point. My point was that the Bible is really unambiguous about the validity of things like female pastors. People in Christian religions that allow female preachers and vicars don't use the Bible to support their position, and for good reason. If you were to crack it open and have a look, it says no. Now, again, you can argue that such a position is untenable and invalid, but not if you suggest that the Bible is truth from God. Inherently, if such a position is untenable, then it cannot be truth, and is therefore not from God. I suspect the next point about evil is an interesting one, laden with the trappings that follow the misguided teachings about the devil. I would suggest that most of the evil that exists in the world is because God gave man free will, and in an effort to provide humans with a source of redemption, God allows suffering and evil because the alternative is total annihilation, since man (who is evil) cannot be compatible with God (as the monotheistic religions portray him). Whether you believe that there is a literal devil or not (satan literally means 'adversary' in Hebrew), mankind has shown itself to be very capable of evil, and removal of evil would therefore necessitate removal of people from the world, which would be counter to the purpose of religion, which is to provide humans with a path to redemption and enlightenment (there's a whole lot of stuff I'm glossing over; it's not that simple, but for the sake of argument and generalization it's not inaccurate). I feel like the question of evil and despair is like the advice given to one of my favorite cartoon characters when he was getting his fortune told. Your future is full of struggle and anguish, most of it self-inflicted. If God gives us free-will, then evil in the world (at least that which is perpetuated by other human beings) is our own doing. If you have faith, then why is there a need to reconcile religious principles or teachings with modern social constructs or trends? That is not faith. That is justification of current ideology in context of faith (so the same thing as justification you previously mentioned, whereby religion was used to justify evils like the Inquisition, only with less "offensive" concepts). God says love everyone so he can't possibly mean that we should hate people who do wrong. Well, that's true, but that same section of the Bible tells you to abominate evil, which is still an order of magnitude less strong than the original Greek intonation. Either all is true, or none is true, but you won't hear most people talk about the second part. You can, of course, debate on what evil is, but the second part about evil comes up rarely enough that that discussion almost never happens. I'm really saying that cherry picking isn't a valid option iff. you are suggesting that the religions as delivered along with their texts are, in fact, true. If that is not the case, then of course this line of reasoning doesn't matter. Hopefully I never implied that religion was the basis for human moral inclinations. I would suggest, however, that religion provides a solid basis for interpreting human morality as it relates to application. Other bases can be made which serve as substitutes for those who deny religion's authority in the matter. Getting a solid agreement on an alternative basis for human moral agreement has been difficult, however; the law (of any given country; the UN is not an arbiter of justice, as the exclusion of Taiwan and the lack of membership of the Vatican should clearly show) cannot provide such a basis, and those who have suggested that it should have always been sorely disappointed, in particular because laws can be changed to either more or less agreeable moral terms for any particular group, whereas religious texts remain largely unchanged over time (interpretations will always exist but even in the Islamic and Jewish traditions the codified interpretations were never part of the original texts, but always distinctly separate entities which did not claim divine inspiration, but whose earthly authority was accepted).
  14. I've noticed a refresh bug when going to certain pages, where my browser will constantly refresh the page (about every 3-8 seconds), or try to continue loading even after all the assets on the page are finished. It's not doing it now, for instance, but it has done it notably every time I use the notifications panel to navigate somewhere. It doesn't affect my reading, because the page isn't actually refreshing, but it does accumulate a history log (so the back button only leads back to that same page because the back-log is full of the same page), and it consumes resources and data as well. I'm not sure what the trigger is. Reloading the page manually doesn't stop the behavior, nor does catching the "reload" with the Stop button in the browser, as it just tries again the next cycle (5 seconds?).