Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Re-paving WindowsXP & GameJackal RIP

I'd let the annual re-install of the main family's PC slide by a few months. You really notice when XP has been in constant use for more than a year - ages to boot-up and seemingly vast amounts of disk space gone (even when you've deleted those ten gig MPEG transport streams!). Anyhow - I got my list together of necessary software. I made sure I had all my licenses to hand and then removed the old C: drive, replaced it (just in case I had to go back to the old config), did some other hardware tidying up (including a new graphics card) and set aside a day!

My first observation is you should bin that original copy of XP that shipped with the machine (or if you bought a boxed copy like I did back in 2004) - the version with SP2 rolled in has a MUCH bigger set of recognised hardware - including the RAID controller on that motherboard. ALSO - the original XP installer won't install into partitions bigger than 137gigs.
Anyhow - once the OS was installed and all hardware recognised I set about installing the must-have stuff. GameJackal is one such app - well, it's an OS extension that watches what goes on when a game runs off a CD and caches it. Subsequently you run the GameJackal shortcut and you don't need to have the CD in the drive. It's ideal if you have boys who won't look after software disks and since all my machines are in the cellar it is a hassle to go down there just to change a CD Rom over.
I bought the Jackal a year ago and thought it was the best solution - not a single game resisted it's charms! Imagine my horror when I flailed on over to their website and found they are no longer selling the product due to legal pressure. Thankfully their forum is still up and I discovered a chap has started a Google Group where he was hosting the very last release for download. I snagged it thankfully, installed it with my license and all was good. I checked back there today for this blog entry and he's been told to cease and desist and so has removed the file! So - you can snag it from my server here - you need a license to make it work so if you'd never registered it in the past you're not getting a freebie. Interestingly it still seems to do updates itself so GameJackal themselves are still maintaining the code.

This is yet another example of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act targeting honest users of software over big pirates. No doubt apps like GameJackal are seem as devices that circumvent copy-protection. Makes my blood boil!

No comments: