Friday, June 26, 2020

Lords of Conquest - A Commodore 64 Risk Like Game

Every now and then, my brain tries to think of the name of a game I used to play with my friends. I can describe it perfectly, but the actual name escapes me.

The game is laid out on a grid with very rudimentary landforms. It plays basically like Risk, where players take turns trying to attack/defend other players from taking over their land. It also has a cool feature where you can actually build your own maps!

I search and search on Google, trying to come up with the right phrasing that will expose the game and its long-forgotten name. Alas, one day, I am searching for "Commodore 64 risk like game" and nothing is coming up other than Risk or other like games but not the one I am seeking. I flip over to the image results to see if anything stands out. A few screens down, and there it is!


Unfortunately, the link to the image's hosting page leads to some weird Instagram curation page and the image above is nowhere to be found in the mess of images.

So, I save the image and do a reverse image search. Basically, you go to images.google.com and click the little camera icon to upload a picture. Google then tries to find your image compared to the rest of the internet. BINGO!

The game, as it turns out, is called "Lords of Conquest." Now, I have to say, I do not believe that is the name of the game I played. I am almost certain the game I played had to be loaded with the command:
LOAD"DELUXE",8,1

But, that doesn't matter! I finally found what I was looking for. Not only that, but I found a d64 disk image and fired it up on a C64 emulator (I didn't have easy access to my breadbin Ultimate 64 Elite at the time).


And there it is! The game plays like an overly complicated version of Risk. Players get resources (gold, iron, horses, weapons, etc) and they can use those resources to help with attacks and defenses.

The C64 Wiki has a great write-up on the game, so I will spare you the details.

The main reason I am posting this is so that in the future when I forget the name of this game, I can search my blog and find comfort in knowing the great mystery had been solved.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Force Zoom to QUIT Instead of Minimize!


Since the makers of Zoom don't play by the rules of 99% of the programs out there, I decided to make my own BAT file that will launch Zoom and provide a way for the user to force-quit Zoom after the session is over.

I have created a Windows batch file called "Quit Zoom." It has its own installer/uninstaller and it works very simply:

  1. Download the installer (qz-setup.exe)
  2. Run qz-setup.exe
  3. Once installed, double-click the "Quit Zoom" icon
  4. A window will open that launches Zoom
  5. Leave the window open until you are done with your Zoom session
  6. After the session, click in the window and press any key
  7. Zoom will exit (instead of being minimized to the task bar/system tray.)
  8. Quit Zoom will exit
 If you wish to remove the program, simply use Programs and Features to uninstall Quit Zoom.

Note, this program is a simple batch file. It doesn't collect data. It doesn't write anything to your computer other than the program itself. It's not elegant, but it works. I offer it for free. you can install it on all the computers you want. If you edit the file and/or share it, whatever happens from that point on is *NOT* my responsibility.

I will try to monitor this post for questions/problems, but I'm letting you know right now that you are more than likely on your own. I built this for me to use and am sharing it with anyone that wants it until such time the people at Zoom make their program work like 99% of the other programs for Windows: The X means EXIT!

Notes:
  • You may still see the Zoom icon in your system tray, but the program is not running. As soon as you hover your mouse over the icon, it will disappear. 
  • You may need Administrator-level rights on the computer in order to install or run this batch file.
  • This program invokes the "Taskkill" command in order to terminate Zoom. Access to that process may be blocked by your computer administrator. 
  • Terminating Zoom with this brute-force method may cause unintended consequences. Use at your own risk. Your mileage may vary.
  • This batch file will *NOT* run when clicking a link in email, calendar, etc. For what it's worth, it appears that the program exists normally when closing from a linked launch. Go figure.  
  • You can replace your Zoom shortcut by copying the command from the batch file to replace the launch command inside the program's shortcut. I am not providing the steps to do that here.