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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.


Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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What does Steam actually do?

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    What does Steam actually do?

    Can someone tell me what Steam actually does to activate a game?

    I know there are pros and cons to using the Steam service, but please assume I do not want to use Steam.

    I have a few games which require Steam to activate - I bought these by mistake having not noticed the Steam requirement. My game machine(s) will not be connected to the internet so the games are useless unless I find a work-around. So I was thinking...

    Assume I install a game requiring Steam activation onto a internet free game machine. I then copy the software over to another machine which is connected to the internet. Can I activate the game via Steam on that machine and if so, are there simply files I need to copy back to the game machine in order to activate it? Or is more complicated than that?

    Thanks...Joe

    #2
    Steam can run in Offline mode, but it'll want to associate the game with your account for verification to activate. Copying files likely wont work. AFAIK Steam doesn't modify the game, but rather talks to it and says 'yeah this guy has a license, go for it'. But I could be wrong for old games.

    If you're really serious about keeping the machine(s) off the internet forever, you may want to consider just playing cracked/pirated versions of the games you own. It's a bit like SimCity on my XT's, I have the original box and the little copy-protection black on red code sheet but I find it annoying - so I play the cracked version.

    Just keep those virus checkers/anti-malware handy.
    Last edited by SpidersWeb; January 27, 2015, 01:25 PM.
    Twitter / YouTube

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      #3
      You must have Steam installed and run the game through the Steam client for any game with Steamworks. You also have to activate the game online once. Games can be run in offline mode, but some of them have other always-on DRM that prevent you from playing the game if you're not connected to the internet.
      Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
      KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards

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        #4
        Originally posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
        Can someone tell me what Steam actually does.........?
        Like any other f***ing middleman -- it just gets in the way!!!
        PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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          #5
          Originally posted by Tiberian Fiend View Post
          You must have Steam installed and run the game through the Steam client for any game with Steamworks. You also have to activate the game online once. Games can be run in offline mode, but some of them have other always-on DRM that prevent you from playing the game if you're not connected to the internet.
          Assuming the game has no DRM mechanism other than Steam activation, are you saying that even after the game is activated (once), the machine must be connected to the internet even in offline mode or the game won't run?

          And if you don't need to always be connected, then Steam must do something during activation to allow the game to run without needing to connect back to Steam.

          Thanks...Joe

          Comment


            #6
            Steamworks games can be run offline, but they can't be run without the Steam client running in offline mode. If you try running them by themselves, you'll just get an error message.
            Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
            KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards

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              #7
              Here is the skinny, some games will run in steam or out of it. I can run half-life 2 without steam, though downloading it FROM steam. Rise of the triad 2013 won't, but ROTT '95 will.

              goto your c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common

              you should see a list of games, some gales folders will be pretty self explanatory, but others rely on steam outright to run.
              Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg

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                #8
                Old games and some indie games run without the Steam client, but the boxed games that require you to install Steam undoubtedly use Steamworks DRM, which do require the client. It would help if we knew what games you're talking about.
                Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
                KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards

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                  #9
                  As someone who has pirated software, I can say that Steam's DRM does little more than look your account up on its servers, if you "own" the game it lets what you have run.

                  I see you having two options. Either pirate the games you want to run w/o steam, or connect that computer to steam and deal with it.

                  Personally, #2 seems to be the only REAL option. I use my steam account over 3 computers, and it really has saved me a lot of frustration when it comes to settings and save-games, as you can choose to have these saved to steam. (only some games)

                  I can play CIV 5 on my desktop, save to steam, continue playing on my laptop, then back again. I've even used my phone for steam to "dial home".
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                    #10
                    Well, I didn't know much about what Steam was, at least now I know that if I ever want a game on a computer it shall not be a Steam one! You learn something every day..

                    -Tor

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                      #11
                      The only cool feature with Steam is you can have that license for that game installed on multiple computers. You're only licensed to play it on one system at a time (so it's not just a free lan party) but that's sorta cool if the vendor didn't allow that otherwise. Not that it stops many folks from installing it like that otherwise.

                      Good old Games gog.com I still haven't ever purchased anything from but they're legit with happy customers IF you're in to that downloading software as your hard copy theory. But they're DRM free and won't require an online connection. Legit way to get some obsolete games.
                      Looking to acquire: IBM 5100, Altair 8800

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                        #12
                        I've said it before and maybe this should be over in rants, but since I'm already here; I'm not about to pay $60 for a game, only to have to jump through a bunch of hoops and seek permission from some third party service vendor to use what I just paid for. Sooner or later people will get feed-up with the process and the economics of the day will kick-in. Gog.com is a great start.
                        Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
                          I've said it before and maybe this should be over in rants, but since I'm already here; I'm not about to pay $60 for a game, only to have to jump through a bunch of hoops and seek permission from some third party service vendor to use what I just paid for. Sooner or later people will get feed-up with the process and the economics of the day will kick-in. Gog.com is a great start.
                          Oh get over it. DRM has been around in some form from DAY ONE, its not going away either. With 20 years of computer use I can safely say that Steam is pretty awesome and practically non-existent compared to other types of DRM.
                          It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
                            I've said it before and maybe this should be over in rants, but since I'm already here; I'm not about to pay $60 for a game, only to have to jump through a bunch of hoops and seek permission from some third party service vendor to use what I just paid for. Sooner or later people will get feed-up with the process and the economics of the day will kick-in. Gog.com is a great start.
                            DITTO -- I won't buy that crap either. If it's got strings attached let the others buy it. I won't beg to use something I paid for.
                            PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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                              #15
                              I use Steam to play Age of Empires II HD (& the Forgotten Empires expansion) a few times a week and it is great. I do not see the issue with DRM either.

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