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    KleinesSinchen



    Warning: Using unsupported legacy Windows versions online is dangerous and could – in the worst case in conjunction with a VM-escape exploit – lead to infecting your host computer. This is – admittedly – not very likely because current malware in the wild probably does not have compatibility with DOS-based Windows systems (and maybe even not compatibility with 2000/XP).


    Do not use legacy Windows online unless you have a good reason! I do not recommend to go online with old Windows versions!
    Do not use legacy Windows online unless you have a good reason! I do not recommend to go online with old Windows versions!
    Do not use legacy Windows online unless you have a good reason! I do not recommend to go online with old Windows versions!



    Okay. I had to say this. Now to the actual content:

    This question bothered me in the last couple of days. But the ASK! section is not a place for long answers.
    The dos based Windows versions 3.1(1),9x and ME are not officially supported by VirtualBox. Although you find tutorials how to proper install e.g. Windows 98SE with ACPI support and additional graphic drivers (won’t link because copyright status is unclear to me), one key feature of the “Guest Additions” is missing: Shared folders.
    On any supported guest OS, one can install the additions to get automatic resolution adaption to the window size, shared clipboard,… and the nice possibility to exchange data bidirectional host⟺VM.

    But what to do with old Windows 9x?
    Getting files into the VM is easy. Put all files inside an ISO-image and mount it in the virtual DVD drive → The VM has access. Fine. No problem. We can go home now. But… How to get files created from inside the VM back to the host?

    Idea #1: Install Windows file sharing feature in 9x and just use SMB.
    Sounds good. Sadly it does not work. Windows 98 is so outdated and the SMB version so horribly insecure that modern computers don’t support it. Okay, you could look for registry settings in modern Windows versions to enable this (and settings for modern Samba on Linux exists as well)… but this is not a good idea. I do not want to make such settings on a productive system. ⟹ Fail!

    Idea #2: Burn to rewritable DVD
    The author of the above question stated correctly: “I can’t modify the inserted iso-image from within the VM”. Not surprising. This is a one-way road. But… what if I choose my real host drive in passthrough mode? Could burning software in the VM burn onto DVD+/-RW? Sounds ridiculous. But actually this works. In theory. I got it to work with Windows XP without any configuration inside the VM. But this is pointless. XP has the guest additions which are by far superior. When opening Imgburn under Windows 9x my VMs always froze with the message “Getting write speeds.” or similar ⟹ Fail!

    Idea #3: SMB shares with other VMs
    I attached my virtual network adapter to “NAT Network” (configure one first in the VirtualBox main preferences) in some virtual machines (95, 98SE, 2000, XP) . All VMs were on their latest patch-levels. And this worked like a charm!
    All this old Windows versions were able to push and pull data in all directions. Once configured like I remember it from the past, the transfer between 9x and 2000/XP was a piece of cake. A slight detour but not too bad. Paste all files from Windows 9x to 2000/XP and from there to the host.

    However transfer speeds are not consistent:
    2000/XP → 95 only about 3 MB/s
    2000/Xp → 98 about 6 MB/s
    95 → 2000/XP about 6MB/s
    98 → 2000/XP about 10MB/s (which is near the maximum; the virtual network card is a 100Mbit)
    VirtualBox95. VirtualBox2000.
    Success! Problem solved.

    But that is not the only way:
    Idea #4 Using the VirtualBox feature to attach USB devices to a VM.
    With Windows 95 this is probably not gonna work (did not even try). Few versions of 95 supported USB and this support was buggy. So my test only on Windows 98SE. It took a few tries, a bit trial and error, but then finally... VirtualBox attached USB-flash drives to the VM. After installing NUSB 3.6 (universal mass storage driver for 98) the legacy Windows found multiple drives and could read and write. (NUSB is not needed for ME as it has universal mass storage drivers included.) Only one problem with this: I had to set the USB interface to 1.1 because 2.0 (or even 3.0) did not work. Missing Win98 drivers.
    Okay, this is slow, but it works. My test drives were FAT32 formatted because 9x does not support other filesystems than FAT12/16/32 out of the box. Yes, I know third party NTFS drivers exit. But I did not test them in this usecase.

    Success! Problem solved again. A “little” slow, but hey, it does not need an additional slightly more modern Windows VM.

    Idea #0

    Closing comments:
    • I was too lazy to setup a complete Windows ME machine (I already had all the others). But ME was not much more than a service pack for 98SE. Probably everything that works for 98 can be applied to ME.
    • My 98SE installation has an unofficial service pack as well as KernelEx installed. This should not make a difference.
    • I did not try to connect Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Would be interesting to see if this is possible.
    • VirtualBox version was 5.2.22 with extension pack on openSUSE Leap 42.3 host.
    KleinesSinchen 1. My devices:
    If I buy a computer (this means PCs, smartphones, consoles, TVs,…), I may do anything with it I like, unless it violates laws. Clearly it is not allowed to smash a laptop onto another person’s head, or open the battery to dispose the chemicals into the wood or using it for criminal activities of any kind (this includes copyright infringement).
    Laws are not made by the computer manufactures; I hope so at least. Apple, Sony, Nintendo, Asus, HTC,… may not claim power over my devices!
    It’s none of their business if I paint my computer yellow with blue dots because I want it.
    It’s also none of their business what software I run on it. They are neither legislative, nor executive, nor judiciary. They can’t make any rules form my devices. Unless a law prohibits a usage, it is not illegal.
    (I'm not covering the topic warranty in this blog post)

    Nintendo, for example, calls every execution of unapproved code “unauthorized modification”. What? I need authorization for running code on my CPU? You’ve obviously lost all touch with reality… (That is what the doctors always told me, when I was a teenager – different story, not today but next time in the botched life category).

    They threaten the user by claiming any update may brick the console on purpose (they never did though… I wonder why?!) and/or remove unauthorized content. That is what I would call “Computersabotage” in the sense of the StGB §303b. (Again, translating laws is a nightmare. I’m not skilled enough to do this. §303b contains regulations/degrees of penalty for persons or organizations, who do physical and/or software damage to other peoples computers. A special case of damage to property, §303)

    You have to agree to this terms to update. You have to update to play a physical game you already paid for. You get to read this terms after buying. (Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, this is no legal advise). As far as I know, EULAs you get to read after paying, are completely null and void. Worthless. At least in Germany.

    I paid for the console → I may use the console in any way not prohibited by law.
    I paid for the cartridge → I may play the fu..... game no matter what EULA comes after I paid.

    “But you clicked on agree, so it is not void.” Yes it is void! I have no choice. If I want to do, what the law allows me to do, I have to click on “agree” but I do not have to agree with it. This is a kind of extortion.

    They may not come up with any terms I did not know before buying and a little text on the package like “You have to agree to the EULA inside to use the device” is clearly not sufficient. This text does not make me know beforehand what they want to restrict. I can’t consent to anything without knowledge. And also: I do not have any contract with the manufacturer. I have a contract with the retailer. I buy a computer and simply do not care about what the manufacturer wants.

    2. Not my devices:
    This is valid for my devices. Nowadays there is another problem: Most devices like smartphones or gaming consoles are tied to some kind of online service. I cannot judge whether the terms for online services are always valid – often enough big companies violated laws in the past – but in general I’m okay with that. If Nintendo says: “Only unmodified consoles may use the online services.” it is their right to do this. For me, they do not even have to provide any reason. The online services run on their computers. So they make the rules! Only they decide who may connect!

    The situation is different: The console already runs, my games are playable and if I want to use the online services, I can read the terms before doing so.

    Like here on GBAtemp: I read the terms and rules before signing up. I read. I thought about it. Slept a night. Read again… and agreed. And I do my best to not violate the rules. If I want to use this online service (which is true), I have to obey the rules – and not ask where to get any warez (not that I would even care…)

    Back to Nintendo. There’s just one problematic point: Banning users of modified consoles from the Eshop. They may do this, it’s their servers. But this is so stupid! Someone hacked their console and still wants to buy something (Not every user of cfw is not willing to pay!). “You modified your console. → You’re a pirate. → You may not buy. Go away and pirate the games!”

    My head → Desk… SLAM!

    On the 3DS they never enforced this – like they do on the Switch (I did not really follow the discussions because I do not own a Switch and probably never will because of their decision about banning from the shop and some other points.)

    Why is this a little problematic? It hurts small developers. One can modify their Switch and get banned and still buy Mario, Zelda, Pokemon,… but they cannot legally buy and support indie titles that get no physical release. While I prefer physical over download, many smaller games would simply not exist on consoles if there were no downloads.

    3. "Protection" at all costs:
    Many people object to my opinion. “The big companies are just protecting their intellectual property. It is their right to do this.” They may have some right to protected their goods from being used without a valid license. But they clearly do not have the right to dictate me what to do and what not on my computers. And they may not damage my computers. Damage? Would a big company damage computers with their DRM? Never… YES THEY DO!

    While protecting their intellectual property, big companies often go way too far. A well known example of this is the Sony rootkit distributed on various audio CDs from Sony BMG. This DRM was clearly malware (anti-virus programs do detect in nowadays!). And that is not all. They committed copyright violations on GPL licensed software!

    We protect our property at all costs! We control your computer! And we may ignore the licenses of others! Why does Sony BMG even exists after doing this?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Copy_Protection
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal
    bodefuceta, Subtle Demise and Sinon like this.
    KleinesSinchen 1.Preliminary remark
    As my avatar shows, I like the Mother/Earthbound series – although it was never released in Europe until the Wii U VC version. I got my Wii U at the beginning of this year and bought Earthbound and Earthbound Zero some months ago – and knew immediately I had missed something really good in the past. Now I even have the Japanese Mother 3 GBA cartridge with packaging and booklet (Earthbound for SNES is too expensive). I’ve dumped the ROM and will start playing the English fan translation on the 3DS soon.

    There is this song, Bein’ friends. I love it. Even if you’re not familiar with Mother/Earthbound you might know the melody from Smash Bros. Here it is with lyrics in the subtitles:

    “I'd follow you to the end of the Earth
    That's how much I think our friendship is worth
    Maybe now you have figured it out
    That's what bein' a friend is about”

    This part in particular, but the whole lyrics in general, is exactly what I used to think about friendship. This is what friendship should mean!

    2. Main part
    Sadly it worked (mostly) only in one direction. This is about a former friend. She’s only one example. Similar things happened with other people, too. The problem is, I trusted her ultimately. I thought: “No way! She’s not one of those!”

    She had trouble with her (now ex-) boyfriend. Suddenly she stood at my door and told me about her feelings/problems for hours. That’s what bein’ a friend is about. Other personal trouble? One e-mail and Sina was there. If a friend needed me, all he/she had to do is come over/call me. In the middle of the night, if necessary. This is still true – assuming one is able to wake me up despite of Mirtazapine (which has an effect on me like a mallet on the head).

    “Thank you, Sina, I will help you in return, any time you need.”​

    We used to meet often. But as my old problems from teenage times hit me again – out of nowhere – she gradually distanced from me. As soon as I was the one really needing help, the friendship went downhill.

    “Tomorrow is really bad. I’ve no time!”
    “Sorry, but in the next two or three weeks there is SOOOO much to be done.”
    “Did I really forget to answer your mail? Must have overlooked it.”
    When we met, it was never like before. But I still thought: “She’s not one of those! There must be a good reason for her behavior.”

    Then she finally left her boyfriend… and suddenly she had time for me. So that was the reason. Only the bad relationship. I knew it! She’s not one of those! We met often again. Then she started a new relationship soon after the breakup. I got to know her new boyfriend. He’s definitely okay. It did not take long for her to distance again from me.

    When I did not mail… for weeks… there was nothing. When I mailed, she had no time. Then suddenly a phone call:
    “Please come by tomorrow. I got to tell you something.”
    “Go ahead. I’m listening.” I said.
    “Not on the phone!” she answered like in a bad detective story.

    I have some serious trouble with my brain. Concentration is almost impossible at times. Learning new things is hard. Very hard. But I’m not a complete moron! Thanks to previous knowledge I was able to interpolate the missing information. Sure enough there was no crime involved. No detective story. “Dang it!” I said to myself after hanging up the phone. “Can’t she just say: ‘I’m pregnant.’ Where’s the problem?”
    Because her big surprise did not surprise me a bit, she got angry. I sat silently on a chair as she told me about her pregnancy and did not move a muscle. It did not impress me. I did not jump up from the chair and scream like mad. She was and is well aware of the fact that I do not burst out in ridiculous emotions. But she got angry anyway about my lack of madness.

    “You always told me you love children! Aren’t you happy about this? You can participate a little on this.” She was also well aware about the fact I can’t have own children. Before the friendship went downhill, I would have indeed believed that this was a chance for me. I already knew better. We did not meet very often after this despite she promised otherwise.

    Months went by. The baby was born – she did not tell me. More months went by. Then, all of a sudden there was a mail in my inbox. It was a little longer but similar to this:

    Hi Sina,
    I’m fine. <Name of her baby> is fine. The rest [sic!] is fine, too. Bla bla bla bla… Small talk… Unimportant story…

    I’ve a problem with the computer… want to come over?
    Greetings <her Name>


    If computers were sensitive to curse words, my computer would likely have exploded. You do not even want to know what I shouted at my poor computer. I waited a few days to think thoroughly about this. Forebonding… But I had to know the truth. There was no other way. I visited her. Boy, was she warm-hearted and friendly. So sorry for not mailing and calling, but pregnancy you know… (as if her behavior started to change with the pregnancy and not two years before).

    I fixed her computer. That was it. No change after this. But now… at least I know for sure: She is indeed one of those. Face it, Sina!

    The computer seems to have had no problems anymore since then. Or she found another idiot for fixing it. I now actively avoid her although there has never been an open conflict.

    Similar things have happened multiple times in my life. I’m so disappointed. So very disappointed.

    There is a brilliant description for this (it is not my own idea):

    The principle of usefulness.
    I want you around – if you’re useful at the moment; else… you may dissolve into the air.

    Attached Files:

    KleinesSinchen The first part is a little theoretical. I try keep it as short as possible – but nevertheless the text is quite long.
    If you’re interested in mathematics, computer science or rhetoric you should have heard about a logical fallacy named “circular reasoning” or “circulus in probando” (took that straight from Wikipedia)
    It is a form of wrong conclusion, where someone tries to “proof” a statement with other statements, that already assume the first to be true – equivalent statements. A⟺B. You could also say, parts of the statement you want to proof are used as prerequisites. Sounds complex if you’re not familiar with math, but is easily understood with (non-math) examples:

    The Bible is the Word of God because it’s written in the Bible: “But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” from wikisource

    The Bible is the Word of God because it’s written in the Bible that it is the Word of God.

    This is a matter of faith. You believe it or you don’t. May be true or false. But it is no proof.

    Asbestos is fire-resistant because you can’t inflame it.

    This is true. But the second half of the sentence means the same as the first part. So this is not a proof for the first statement.

    These examples are easy to uncover as stupid. But there may be many intermediate steps, so one can not spot the problem as fast: A⟹B⟹C⟹A.
    ======
    Okay, Sina, enough with the boring theory! Is this a logic class? What does this have to do with your life anyway? Maybe these circles are annoying, when you try to proof a mathematical theorem and make foolish mistakes. It has nothing to do with everyday life, so stop it!
    These preliminary remarks are necessary because I need them for the main part of my blog post. Just kidding.
    ======
    I wanted to introduce this form of logical error, because it can be dangerous if used by people with power! If some people have the privilege to interpret a situation and their word is treated like the Word of God. It almost killed me – no exaggeration. Yes, that’s right. It almost costed my life. Circulus in probando can be used to ruin someones life – if used by a psychiatrist.

    “You have to take these drugs!”

    “No! I do not want them. They are not good for me. They hurt my brain.”
    “You have to take these drugs, because you’re very ill.”
    “No. I’m not very ill. The drugs make me feel bad and tired and I can’t think properly.”
    “You can’t judge your own situation, because you’re ill.”
    “Why do you insist upon me being ill?”
    “Your behavior shows this. Now take your medicine.”
    “How can you call something that makes me feel so bad medicine?”
    “Because it’s going to help you.”
    “I don’t feel any better since you gave me more and more drugs, I feel worse!”
    “You will feel better – it will help because it’s medicine. It takes time. You can’t judge this, because you’re ill.”
    “I want to leave this place. You’re harming me.”
    “No. I’m not harming you.”
    “Yes you are.”
    “No.”
    “Yes.”
    “No, because I’m a doctor. I’m gonna help you. Doctors help. They do no harm.
    “I want to leave now.”
    “You can’t leave, because you’re sick and now stop arguing and take your medicine or I’ll have to call some nurses.”

    There you have it: Countless times circular reasoning. Recited like a mantra.

    1 Taking the drugs.
    2 Situation gets worse.
    3 Doctors say: “Still not better? We’ll have to increase the dose!”
    4 GOTO 1

    If was a self-energizing process, once started almost impossible to stop, because one thing was never considered: Errare human est – to err is human. I found this brilliant longer quote on Wiktionary:
    "Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum."
    "To err is human, but to persist in error (out of pride) is diabolical."
    Bull’s eye!

    Franz Kafka couldn’t have come up with a more disturbing plot. In retrospekt it looks truely kafkaesque.

    Homework:
    Argue sensible against these doctors while you’re constantly intoxicated and only 14 years old – get out of the endless loop. Anything you say can and will be used against you!
    Random piece of Idiocracy
    Gekkodox likes this.
    KleinesSinchen Last time I ended the text with “Backup copies are justified and technically needed, period!” I will always stick by this opinion although none of my Nintendo games/consoles has failed so far. But there’s more than Nintendo.

    In the worst case DRM can be the cause of failure. I do own an example for this statement: Command&Conquer Red Alert 2 for Windows 98/ME/2000. It came on two CDs, protected with SafeDisc 2.x.
    This disc based DRM scheme used something called “weak sectors”. Famous coping software is able to make working copies of SafeDisc 1.x which uses defective/bad sectors. But most writers are not able to reproduce the dreadful garbage used by SafeDisc 2.x and 4.x, so CD-emulation software or even No-CD cracks are necessary to back these games up.
    When you try to start with a copy, the SafeDisc executable refuses to decrypt the protected application – and silently exits after the CD-check. No error message. Nothing. Now my discs are old and they are not as shiny as they should be. Some kind of beginning disc-rot or the like can be seen inside. I do not know why. All other software I own is stored in the same place and has no disc rot.

    Bad pressing, bad materials, whatever. The discs are not perfect anymore despite good storage conditions. However, all the data is still readable because of the error correction in CDs. That’s the purpose of error correction: counter such flaws as good as possible. Keep the data intact as long as possible.
    The game installs fine. But the discs do not contain the weak sectors anymore. They contain bad sectors (big surprise here: weak sectors get unusable first when the disc is aging). Trying to start the game results in a silent exit after the CD-check. Isn’t that lovely? My genuine discs have somehow become illegitimate copies. The tests ran on old computers with Windows 98/XP, so missing compatibility with many disc based DRM-schemes on modern Windows >= 7 is not the issue, and I tried many different drives/computers.
    Yes, I did double and triple check this. I’m not making this up and I’m not writing this in a hurry while being angry. The malfunction occurred two years ago. The game does not work because of DRM. Only because of DRM! The add-on disc, Yuri's Revenge, does not have disc rot and is also protected with SafeDisc 2.x. Yuri's Revenge starts on any of my computers. If the SafeDisc protection is removed, the main game also works without any issues in more than 20 hours of playing (and it starts a lot faster without checking the disc for sooo long).

    Who thought that such non-standard discs would be a good idea? A foolish modification that intentionally ruins measurements which were designed to ensure data integrity. Let’s hope that these very intelligent people do not also build brakes for cars.

    Captain Falcon should someway materialize next to them… then… just press B. (Disclaimer: I do not really promote violence! Just letting off some steam with imagination. Fantasy and reality are not the same.)

    Next time I’ll get to more modern problems: My computer, my rules – or… not?
    KleinesSinchen It took me literally years to force myself to make an account here; my first account online ever (no Facebook, no Twitter, no Google, no anything). I experienced a lot of bad things(1) and screwed up in my life in almost every way(2) and therefore I generally feel useless(3). In my opinion (1), (2) and (3) are a chain of causation, despite many people in my environment disagreed in the past. The memories came back in an intense way while reading Noctosphere’s blog post. I have the plan to write about this later. Maybe it will help.

    Creating an account here was a good idea. I’ve seen much less trash here on GBAtemp than elsewhere. For the most the people here seem not to be like what is shown in the movie Idiocracy. When I click randomly into a thread in GBAtemp, the probability to find total nonsense seems a lot lower than what I found when clicking on Facebook links (if visible to non members) or the comments below articles on general news sites. So much stupidity everywhere. What I’ve seen on the internet and in my real life cannot be described.

    It’s a relief to read something like: “My 3DS does… and… does not work.” or “My Wii will not read the SD-card…”

    Yes, it only about gaming consoles. But even if it is not world literature or profoundly scientific, there are answers, counter questions and no matter if the problem actually gets solved, I see that some people on earth actually think about something and come to conclusions. If I look at some fools in the neighborhood and in my hometown, reading GBAtemp (and sometimes trying to be productive in the forum as far as I can) helps me not to despair completely of humanity.
    unimportant random example

    A forum, an online community, is not a replacement for “Get a real life!” but at the moment it is all I have and the possibility to help others (or at least try) makes me feel a little less useless – even if it’s only about video game consoles. And I learn a lot; which is a good training because my brain is a little faulty.

    I just wanted to say "Thanks for feeling a little less useless".
    ry755, VinsCool and Gekkodox like this.
    KleinesSinchen Nintendo told us: “Backups are not needed.” Now they are in fact admitting (on the German website) that cartridges and consoles can fail (surprise, surprise).

    Rough translation of their claim (I have a link and a screenshot but I’m not sure if it is a good idea to post either of them): “If only this game does not work, and if it does not work in another SNES, there is a dysfunction within the game. Repairing the games is not possible anymore.”

    Look at this two sentences:
    • "It is in no way necessary to copy a cartridge."
    • "Repairing cartridges and consoles is not possible anymore. (They say this also for the case of a depleted SRAM/clock battery!)"
    Nintendo used Confuse Ray!
    Sina is confused!

    (Sina sees little yellow birds flying around her head and is going to hurt herself with a 50% probability).

    Someday I’ll end up in the nuthouse – banging my head against padded walls wearing this nice white jacket which is closed behind the back. With each bang against the wall I will be constantly shouting: "Backups are not needed! Repairing is not possible anymore! Backups are not needed! Repairing is not possible anymore!” I really have to stop reading such a nonsense!

    Cartridges and consoles can and will fail, new TVs are not compatible with old devices. From this it directly follows that copying our old (and expensive!) cartridges to a rom file for usage with an emulator is required to ensure permanent usability/availability. I already got to this conclusion in part 2.

    Now, let me elaborate a little about this attitude concerning the false claim about the impossibility repairing in case of depleted battery. They could have written something like: “If your old NES/SNES/GB(C) early N64/GBA game does not save anymore, the battery is empty. We do not offer service anymore (But we did offer the service when the battery was still new and you did not need it. [NELSON]Ha-ha![/NELSON] ) Do it yourself or find somebody willing and able to solder a new one into the cartridge.”

    I consider this not only to be bad behavior but also pure evil.

    They deliberately lie to their unsuspecting customers! They do not even tell people about the batteries inside the cartridges. Not everybody knows about the technology SRAM and the need for constant power. While most SRAM-batteries still work, the ones that also powered clocks are done for. I think it is very possible, that many second generation Pokemon games have been thrown away because of the false claims on the Nintendo website.

    The only thing missing on there is: “You can buy Zelda/Super Mario World/Pokemon Silver… on Virtual Console again. If you have a non working game, which is not for sale in the Eshop, you’re out of luck. Do not download it from illegal websites or you will go straight to hell where you will be tortured for all eternity!

    And you, Nintendo can… read the third act of Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) if you want to know what. Backup copies are justified and technically needed and DRM sucks, period!

    Next time I will present a non-Nintendo example of a problem that only exists because of DRM.
    KleinesSinchen Last time I presented a short text snippet taken from an instruction booklet (Donkey Kong Country) and only briefly commented it. I repeat my translation of this text:

    "Warning
    Copying Nintendo-games is illegal and violates German and international copyright laws. This is also valid for so-called backup copies, whose production is incidentally not necessary in any way. Every copying of games will be prosecuted by Nintendo."

    Okay, let’s analyze Nintendo’s claims/propositions in detail:

    ’1. Copying a Nintendo game I own is a so-called backup copy.’​

    This is really easy. If somebody bought a legit cartridge of Donkey Kong Country and copies the content of the rom-chip (for his/her own usage) and keeps the original cartridge this is indeed a backup copy and not a so-called backup copy. This is impudent. Bah! So-called backup copy.

    ’2. Copying Nintendo games violates German copyright laws.’​

    I do not know enough about international laws, so I focus on the German ones. Downloading copyrighted materials violates German copyright laws. Yes. This is very true. Borrowing games from friends, copying them and then giving them back is clearly forbidden too. No discussion about that. All clear.
    But what about backing up my own cartridge? There is this thing with the anti-circumvention laws… and Donkey Kong Country uses a form of copy protection. It writes to an address in SRAM higher than 2KB. This fails on the original cartridge and succeeds on old copiers which provide more space, for games that have more SRAM.
    If more than 2KB SRAM → BOOM! Show stupid copyright screen. "It's a serious crime to copy video games… and so on."
    DKC is copy protected. But the anti-circumvention law is not relevant for software in Germany. I am not a lawyer, so I may not give legal advise. But I can read the laws. I use common sense (although this might not be a good idea when it comes to laws) and express my opinion - free speech. Look at the following copyright laws from the "Urheberrechtsgesetz". I will not provide a full translation; Correct translation of laws is a nightmare and I’m not remotely skilled enough to do it:

    Urheberrechtsgesetz(UrhG):
    §95a:
    This is the anti-circumvention law. It sounds like this: "You may not copy any copyrighted material if it is somehow ‘effectively’ copy-protected and you may not circumvent protection. Blablabla." It is not defined what is effective in the sense of this law (really clever, huh?).
    §69a:
    (5) The regulations in (many different §§) and §95a to §95d are not applicable on computer programs.
    §69d:
    (2) Producing a backup copy (by a person authorized to use the software) may not be contractually forbidden if it (the backup) is necessary to ensure future usability/availability.
    A video game is a computer program. Good. But what about the necessity of backups?

    ’3. It is not necessary to produce backups of Nintendo games.’​

    Mask ROM is very persistent. I have a lot of Nintendo games. None of the roms (the chips) has shown any malfunctions so far. Nintendo cartridges are long-lived. To a lesser extend this is also true for the consoles. I do not have any Nintendo equipment, that failed electronically due to its age. This is so awesome! Even the save battery (wear part!) in Zelda II, the stamp on the battery says 1989, is fully operational.
    The control sticks in N64 controllers wear easily and I read about bad capacitors in the N64 power supply (mine are still working tough, so no need to solder yet). The 72 pin connectors in my NES consoles are a little worn-out, and the mechanic for holding down the cartridge is not perfect anymore, but everything works.
    So they are in fact right. Right? It is completely unnecessary to make copies. Wrong. Incredibly wrong! Eventually the consoles will fail. It’s a matter of time.

    And guess what: The TV I had in the 90s is already broken. Oh, it broke long ago. Repairing was impossible: No parts available. And the next TV is also busted for the same reason. I looked at the TVs not long ago in an electronic store. Some do not have any analog input connectors anymore. So in a few years, when my current TV gives up the ghost, I will have to get an analog/digital converter to get HDMI output for the old consoles. If these converters still exist then. And if there is a model without much delay so games are playable. It may be possible to service/repair and keep the consoles usable for some more time. But it gets more and more complicated. As much as I love the old machines, at some point using an emulator is just the easiest way. Not everybody wants to invest much time (and money) in old equipment. I try my best, but there is only so much I am able to do.

    Conclusion: The text in the manual is complete nonsense.

    But this is not the end. No. Nintendo is telling us more rubbish. Not in this old instruction manual. On their current German website.
    jimmyj likes this.
    KleinesSinchen This is the first time I upload a detailed personal opinion on a topic. That alone is not easy for me. Plus: I have do to it in English. Although I read a lot in English on the Internet and watch videos in English, I’m not quite comfortable about writing or even speaking the language myself. I often feel very insecure and doubtful and use dictionaries (online and printed) a lot. So maybe my texts look a little odd sometimes and I choose the wrong words if there are multiple possibilities with different connotations or a slightly different meaning.

    There are two conflictive demands – I think both are justified:

    There! Already! Grrr! The LibreOffice spellchecker does not like the word ‘conflictive’. I have taken it directly from dict.leo.org! Maybe I should have chosen antithetic, oppositional or opposed.
    1. The copyright owners want to make money by selling licenses to the end user. They do not want their content copied thousands(or millions) of times without being paid. I will not highlight their point of view in my text a lot because I’m not a content provider/producer/publisher or whatever, but an end user. It is not my job to bring forward their arguments. They do this all the time by themselves (totally okay) and they use a lot of questionable statements and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in their texts and videos (not okay in my opinion, I’ll get to an example later on...).
    2. The end user who paid for the content license wants unhindered access to content he/she paid for. Unless the agreement is about renting access to content (e.g. Netflix, Microsoft Office 365) there are no time constraints. If I pay for a book (paper not epub with Adobe DRM or similar) I may read this book now, again in two years, in twenty years and my descendants may read it in a hundred years – without paying again. If I pay for a DVD/BD I may (for personal use of course) watch the movie as often as I like. If I bought Super Mario Bros. in 1986 for the NES, I have the right to play Super Mario Bros. in 2018 without paying for it over and over again.

    The user in trouble:

    From the perspective of an end user interested in keeping her/his content (her/his content in the sense: content the person owns a licenses for) over decades, there is a problem: Call it decay, call it aging, call it wear and tear, maybe degeneration or call it euphemistically technological progress. Whether it is done deliberately (planned obsolescence) or involuntary, man-made goods age, fast or slow, and they all will become unusable at some point.
    Data storage media like paper/papyrus, film/microfilm/microfiche, optical media (e.g. CD/DVD/BD), magnetic storage (e.g. tape, floppy disks, hard disks), electronic storage (e.g. SRAM, EEPROM, Flash, Mask ROM), are no exception. To keep our information (text, audio, video, software) we must copy it over and over again.
    This is my reason for opposing DRM in any form. I do not want to lose anything! I like my old stuff and I do not want to buy new licenses for content I already paid for; that would be ridiculous. There are a lot of books, movies and games in my collection that aren’t for sale anymore. So even being willing to pay again is not gonna help every time. I also do not want to give up old content just because there is new content (I will not stop playing NES games just because there are a lot of successors).

    For the next paragraph and my example I run into a problem, as GBAtemp.net is an English website and the rules say: “legible English language only” I want to quote a text from the last page of many instruction manuals of SNES games. This small extract made me angry when I was a child and it makes me furious now. I could go up the wall whenever I see it. Because I live in Germany, I have German instruction booklets. The example comes from Donkey Kong Country. So… I will risk it, quote the text and try my best to translate it:

    „Warnung
    Das Kopieren von Nintendo-Spielen ist illegal und verstößt gegen deutsches und internationales Urheberrecht. Das gilt auch für sogenannte Sicherungskopien, deren Fertigung im übrigen auch in keiner Weise erforderlich ist. Jedes Kopieren von Spielen wird von Nintendo verfolgt.“
    ======
    "Warning
    Copying Nintendo-games is illegal and violates German and international copyright laws. This is also valid for so-called backup copies, whose production is incidentally not necessary in any way. Every copying of games will be prosecuted by Nintendo."
    (I hope I got this translation right or at least good enough and understandable.)


    Sina, keep calm! Do not use bad words… There’s no reason to get angry. You’ve seen this countless times. Nothing new… Okay:

    This is a gigantic pile of BULL…!

    This was admittedly only a quick review of Nintendo’s statements. Next time I will try to analyze their claims/propositions in a detailed – and hopefully – realistic way.