Category Archives: Linux 2.2

SimCity 3000

The next installment of the popular SimCity series of games, where the goal is to build and maintain your own city. All aspects of city-building have to be managed, from the power stations to building roads and zoning for different houses/buildings, all whilst being prepared for any disaster that might strike.

Playing SimCity

Residential:
Where sims will live, the density relates to how large the buildings are, with low density being used for small houses, and higher density for apartments.

Commercial:
Shops and businesses, where sims go to work and spend their money

Industrial:
Another place where sims can work, but also where materials are manufactured and produced, and also helps with jobs for your sims.
Farms are one of the types of industry available, but they are difficult to actually have them be built. Every time I zone for farmland, it does start to build a farm but eventually, it will lose out to dirty industry with farm lots being replaced with a bunch of smog-o-matics. I cant see why they would not just give farms their own industry zone?
Supposedly the key is to not give them any water, just power and roads. But then the news ticker will keep bugging about sims being too far from any water.

Have no idea why the text is missing…

Versions / Ports

SimCity was ported to most of the popular PC platforms, even a port for Linux operating systems. Sadly a port for OS/2 was not released, as IBM had phased the operating system out by then.

SimCity 3000 was not released on any consoles of the era.

Windows (Original Release)

The Windows release only supports Windows 95 or 98 onwards, it does not support NT 4 unless service pack 3 or higher is installed. DirectX does not seem to be used, running solely through the Win32 API.

Windows (Unlimited/Edition)

Released a year later and features a few changes compared to the original release.

  • The user interface was changed slightly, with the query button being moved to a more prominent place on the UI
  • The music was changed with some tracks being added and others being removed
  • This version of the game is available on gog.com and will run effortlessly on modern Windows versions.
  • New city templates have been added which are based off real world locations, like Liverpool, London, Berlin, Madrid, etc
  • Some existing cities have been renamed, Metropolis has become Europolis but remains the same
  • Some exisiting cities have been removed in favour of the new cities: Littleburg, Big Mountain City, Sim Isle
  • New scenarios mode has been added, which are small ccities that have objectives to complete
  • Outside of the game, new tools have been made like the scenario creator tool whic uses the Microsoft Access engien to create and customize customs senarios

MacOS

Simcity 3000 was released for the PowerPC Mac OS platform and was targeted for the classic Mac OS. The Mac platform only had a port of the original Windows version, it did not receive the updated unlimited edition that was released for Windows and Linux.

Compared to the Windows version, there are a few differences, the opening FMV seems to have less compression compared to the Windows version and appears to be of higher quality, the animations on the menu buttons are much more fluid on the mac (Is this due to the graphics card?), lastly the close button on the menu box is on the left side for the mac, and on the right side for the PC.

Playing this on modern Macs is a challenge as modern MacOS does not have native support for PowerPC or applications using the older mac libraries. You must use emulation software like QEMU (screenshots above) or Sheepsaver. The last version of OS X to support PowerPC applications was OS X Leopard (10.5)

Linux

Corel Linux

The installer worked, but the game would not run.

Ubuntu

A Linux port of the game was released by Loki games in 2000, and is a port of the Windows PC version. It’s mostly accurate to the Windows version but is more difficult to install and get working, depending on the distro and the libraries/packages installed. I’ve tested it on a few distros of the era, and some more modern distros.

Installing and running the game on Ubuntu

  1. Install the game as normal, remember to note the install directory – you will need it later
  2. Download the official Loki Simcity 3000 patch
  3. Run the patch installer, preferably as root. Easy way is to open a root terminal session (Should be an option in your Linux application launcher) Easy way is to copy the patch file to your home directory/folder, open the terminal and run the command: sudo sh sc3u-2.0a-x86.run -keep (Why you cant just double-click to run the installer in Linux I do not know)
  4. Once this finished, you should see a success message
  5. Now you need to run the game in a specific way, in the terminal you have to run the below command: LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.26 /usr/local/bin/sc3u

Hopefully, it should now start the game and you should see the intro movie play. This worked well on Ubuntu 4.04 running inside a VirtualBox VM, although there were a few issues. The sound was rather high-pitched and played too fast, and would stutter at high resolutions or when having a busy/large city map. Also running in a windowed mode wasn’t perfect, since it would display in the upper left part of the screen whilst the Ubuntu desktop remained in the background. The fullscreen mode works fine though. This could be due to the lack of drivers in my Ubuntu VM, it’s likely using stock/fail-safe drivers which provide little to no acceleration.

You could just use the Windows version running through Wine, although where is the fun in that? Plus it’s nice to play a native Linux game and in early 2000 there was a push for certain developers to embrace Linux as an alternative to Windows, That said, I can see why this didn’t take off…

Mandrake 7

Worked but had issues but these could be due to the emulation in 86box. The game installs and runs mostly Ok but some of the colors are messed up, the game also runs very slowly. Interestingly this uses a graphical installer which is missing when running in either Ubuntu or Corel Linux.

Corel Linux

An early Linux distro, this time by Corel who also developed Corel Draw and is known for PaintShop Pro and WordPerfect office suite

Install

The installer has a very Windows-like look to it, at least going by the window styles.

Originally I tried using the Cirrus Logic GD5440, but the X Window system would not start up with that card. Instead, I tried S3 Vision968 instead, which actually worked fine. I guess certain cards have issues running under Linux

Boot

The logon screen on the left, and the default desktop after a fresh install. It seems that most drivers for the hardware were detected and installed, all except for the sound.

Sound

This was an issue trying to get the sound to work with this distro, at first I tried using the SoundBlaster AWE32 (both normal and PnP versions) and using the sndconfig command in the terminal to configure it but I had no luck. The PnP version said it was detected and set up but after rebooting there still wasn’t sound. Using the regular AW32 resulted in no devices being detected, even after using the –noprobe switch to force it into selecting the soundcard values.

Lastly, I tried using the Ensoniq that 86Box emulates and although this is automatically detected by the OS, I still had no luck getting the sound to work.

Meanwhile, everything else seemed to work, the network card & the SCSI adaptor.

Applications

There are a few applications bundled with the OS, some will also appear in other distro’s

Games

kblackBox (0.3.0) No idea how this game works…

Konquest (0.99.1) Not much luck with this one either

Mahjong (0.4.1) Typical Mahjong clone

Minesweeper (kmines 1.0.1a): Standard Windows minesweeper clone

Patience (0.7.3) Looks like another solitaire clone

Poker (kpoker 0.5)

Reversi (kreversi 1.0.1)

SameGame (0.4) Objective is to clear the board by clicking on groups of colours

Shisen-Sho (kshisen 1.1): Looks like Mahjong, objective is to move pairs of matching pattens/tiles that are on the same line, within 3 spaces of each other

Smiletris (Ksmiletris 1.1) Sort of like Tetris, but blocks drop in pieces of three. According to the help documentation, at least two blocks vertically have to have matching patterns to be removed.

Snake Race (0.2.1): A bizarre take on the snake game formula, you have to control your snake and eat as many apples as possible, whilst avoiding the computer-controlled snake. There is a ball flying about, but I have no clue as to what that does? Annoying it you open the menu to change difficulty, the game does not pause and will continue playing in the background.
You can also customize the game itself, like changing the background image. Or set the amount of computer-controlled snakes.

Sokiban (ksokoban 0.2.2) A game where you have to push the diamonds into the correct holes in order to progress to the next level. Same as what was included in Mandrake 7.

Graphics

the GIMP (1.0.2) Image and photo editing application

PS Viewer (kghostview 0.7) Simple image viewer

Multimedia

CD Player: Standard CD Player, I couldn’t get this to recognize any mounted CD audio formations (They were mounted as BIN/CUE)

Media Player (kmedia 1.0) plays back WAV format files

MIDI/Karaoke Player: Starts up fine, but unable to test any MIDI files due to the lack of working sound

XMMS (0.9.5.1): X Multimedia system, sort of acts like WINAMP. Has support for MP2 and MP3 files.

Network

KVIRC (1.1): An IRC client that asks a lot of questions on startup, like where you want the config files to be saved, and if you want an icon placed on desktop.

KRN (0.6.0) : Newsgroup client

Samba Server Wizard: Sets up your computer to share files within a workgroup, and to share printers if needed, Samba is the protocol that Windows uses to share files within a local network.

System

Corel Update: Searches for updated packages and new components to be installed. No longer functional since the update servers are now offline.

Event Viewer: Similar to the Windows event viewer, shows any issues or events logged with the system. Very useful for troubleshooting, here it found that the AWE32 soundcard was not being detected properly.

Font Manager: Shows X11 and KDE fonts currently installed on the system

MIME Editor: Change application file type defaults, i.e which program to open DOC files in

Process manager: Like the task manager, shows running processes and how much resources they are consuming

User manager: Add and manage user accounts, and any background users for specific processes.

Utilities

Archive Administrator (0.5): Create and open tgz files

Calculator (kCalc 1.2.7): Functions as a regular or a scientific calculator, looks very similar to the one found in versions of Microsoft Windows

Console: Enter bash terminal commands here

Format Floppy (kFloppy 1.1.2) : Formats a floppy disk, supports both 3.5 and 5.25 inch drives

Hex Editor: View hex value for certain files

Note (knote): Similar to sticky notes, you can add different post it notes to the desktop

Text Editor (kwrite 0.98): Text editor, like Windows notepad

Online Services

Corel also bundled a few links and utilities to online services, these were typically links to products Corel had developed or had sponsored.

Other Applications

Netscape Navigator (4.7): The default web browser for the system.

Most of the built-in links have expired and do not return any proper webpages, some even throw up a phishing warning by my ISP (CorelCity).

Still, I was able to load Richard Stallman’s own website, although the archive version works better

Acrobat Reader: I’m surprised that this was here, I didn’t think Adobe developed Acrobat for Linux, unless this is a Wine port. Sadly it refused to work, with only an error message appearing.

Control Center

Various elements of the Corel Linux operating system can be configured here, and details of the system will be shown here. In essence, it’s the systems Control Panel.

There’s a variety of themes to choose from they add style to the windows, taskbar and background image. You can also stick with the default theme, and just use a different preset colour scheme, or you can modify the individual colours themselves.
There are also system sounds, but I could not get the soundcard to function in this operating system.

Sample Themes


Screensavers are also offered here and there is a good selection compared to a typical Windows install.

Window minimizing effect

86Box Configuration

  • 86Box Version 3.3
  • Motherboard: Intel Advanced/ZP
  • CPU: IDT WinChip 2 – 240Mhz
  • 128MB RAM
  • Video: S3 Vision968 (SPEA Mercury P64V) 4MB VRAM
  • Sound: None (Tried Ensoniq AudioPCI ES1371 and SoundBlaster AWE32)
  • Network: Realtel RTL8029AS
  • SCSI: NCR 53c860
It’s now safe to turn off your computer