Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
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Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)

wilbyhillbilly 31 Aug 11 - 08:28 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Aug 11 - 11:49 AM
wilbyhillbilly 01 Sep 11 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Sep 11 - 10:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Sep 11 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Sep 11 - 08:57 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Sep 11 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Jon 02 Sep 11 - 05:14 AM
wilbyhillbilly 02 Sep 11 - 06:15 AM
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Subject: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 08:28 AM

Recently I had expert advice on here on how to set up a network between mine and Danny's pc and it works great.

However, at the moment he has access to most files such as "my docs" "my music" etc, but for some reason I cannot get him access to "my desktop" as there are icons on there he needs to click on to get into his American Farmer game that is left on my pc.

It won't let me transfer the games files to his as it then decides it is a new installation and requires the unlock key, which I got when I purchased it some 5 years ago, but in the meantime for reasons only known to the manufacturers they tell me it is no longer available in the UK and the code is no longer valid.

It works perfectly on my pc, but the whole reason of getting Danny a games pc of his own was so I could get all his games off mine and go back to full time access to my machine,lol.

If there is no solution to the desktop access thingy I'll just have to let him carry on playing it on mine, but it would be very nice to finally have a "games free" machine.

H - E - L - P    Please!

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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 11:49 AM

The game in question may be the one at John Deere: American Farmer and at numerous other places. Google gives at least a page of sources when I search for "American Farmer Game." My Norton gives a "green ball" (safe site) for all the results from my search, but of course your search will go through a different server so you may get a different list.

If it's the same one, it says you can download a free trial, and purchase for $19.99 (US). (Other sites indicate a possibly lower price.) If this is the same game you might be ahead to just buy a new copy and install it directly on his machine if there isn't an actual export restriction to block doing that. (The linked site doesn't mention any limitation, and I have no idea whether you'd have a problem completing the purchase from the UK, but there are apparently a lot of sources to try.)

If you haven't given the kid net access from his machine, it's often possible to choose whether to "save" or "run" when you do the download. If you can save it to your machine, copy the file to his, and then run it there it should install on his. The "purchase" usually just means they send you an activation code that you punch in the next time you open the program. (There are variations, but that's what I've seen in most cases.)

It's easy enough to make a copy of the shortcut that's on your desktop, and put it somewhere that he can access on your machine so he can click it from his machine, but the program will still run (and display) on yours unless you can move the whole program to the other machine.

There are programs that let you control one machine from another while displaying the same screen on both machines, but there are serious vulnerability issues with having this kind of stuff permanently on your computers, and that wouldn't really be much help.

Unless your computer is pretty potent, the programs that allow one machine to run a program from another machine usually run the program on the "parent machine" and display it and receive commands on the "slave machine" so you get your chair and monitor back but only "what's left" of your computer. I haven't seen enough value in that to have info on programs of that kind. Someone else may know more about that kind of stuff.

If you have to buy new, make sure to discuss how the kid will reimburse "value for value" for it before you lay out the cash. (BG I guess)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 10:06 AM

Thanks John, this is the game, but unfortunately ,as I said, for some reason it is now restricted, and not available in the UK.

They let you load the trial game, but when trying to purchase, thereby getting the unlock code, the restriction comes into force.

I actually have the unlock code for our game but when entered it just says "code not valid in your area".

After contacting the distributors I was told that it is no longer licensed for the UK.

I did try to transfer the whole file to his machine, but then it puts the date as the day of transfer, which in turn triggers the "not available in UK" message, so I will just have to let him use my machine.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 10:17 AM

I don't know what is available on Windows these days but there is nothing built in and it is just the file timestamps stopping it, I'd imagine you should be able to find a Windows version of the command line program touch that will change that for you.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 08:48 PM

You should have given the kid the old computer with all of the games and moved your programs over to a new computer. That's the parental trickle down trick.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 08:57 PM

I've found a Win32 version of touch here

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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 04:42 AM

The NTSF drive format makes significant changes in the "Attributes" and other information that can be recorded for a file, and Vista makes several additional bits of information available for viewing but provides no clear description of the "defining characteristics for them all. Some of these "expansions" were in OSs at least back to WinXP, but information available is uninformative.

There appear to be additional Attributes that are used by newer Windows versions, but there doesn't seem to be any information on how to use or edit them. I found one place where Microsoft states that NTFS "knows" 12 or so Attributes, but I haven't found anything on what they are. The ancient and venerable ATTRIB command in a Command Prompt window can display or change only 5 attributes. A whole bunch of other new file-specific information appears to be attached to each file, but with the same paucity of information in readily available sources.

If you go to Windows Explorer and Right-Click on the bar above the filenames column, you'll get a list of the "Categories" of information displayed, and if you click "More" at the bottom of the dropdown, there's a list of "Categories" that you can display. There appear to be about 279 column names you can use in Vista, and WinXP offered about 28, implying that each file knows whether the name applies, and if it does, what "value" to put up in the column.

(I'm calling the column names "categories" for discussion purposes, but I haven't found an "official" name for them.)

Among the things you can assign to Windows Explorer columns in Vista are 12 different kinds of "Dates." All of the dozen "look like" they would probably get the date/time value from the local clock any time a change was needed, but that's only a "reasonable assumption" and not a confirmed property.

I keep backup copies (not "backups" of a usual kind) of my data files using the Command Prompt XCOPY Command, and XCOPY, among other options, allows you to copy only files whose "date" is newer than a file of the same name already in the target folder, and ignore (don't copy) a file that "isn't newer." I've been casually poking about at trying to determine with some certainty which of the dozen dates XCOPY actually looks at to decide "what's new." It doesn't really matter a lot for my use, but satisfying a curiosity is a happy sort of thing to do if you can avoid being obsessive about it.

A very old gimmick, used quite a lot in prehistory, was to set the computer clock forward or back to achieve a desired result when moving or copying files. In former times, if you set the "date/time" on the source machine approximately the same as on the target machine you could copy files from one machine to another and have the copied file display the "date/time" on the local clock settings.

When it became apparent that some people were using this method to "redate" files in order to use "subscription" programs past their expiration dates, some unknown (to me) changes internal to the OS or in the files themselves made many files fail to copy correctly using the method, and lack of interest has precluded my investigation into what changed.

If, as Jon suggests, the program relies only on a date/time stamp to determine whether the program should install or run, by setting the clocks on both machines back to a time "when the program was legal" you might be able to copy the files from one machine to another in working order. If the reinstallation/activation of the program is blocked by almost any other method, copying this way probably will still produce a non-functioning copy.

An additional hurdle is that the activation code probably is stored in an encrypted file. Most encrypted files cannot be copied or moved without trashing the file. You generally need to "unencrypt" before copying and then re-encrypt the copy if needed. (BACKUP programs generally are "shredders" rather than backups for any files with a password attached - something that most backup programs (especially Microsoft's) don't clearly tell you.) Even if you have the code to re-enter it, the file it's supposed to be added to likely will be too corrupted to accept the new entry if it was copied whille encrypted.

Older programs, or programs that use older methods to apply an "expiration," sometimes could be run for an extended time if the computer's clock was set back before the expiration time arrived to a time after the file was downloaded, but if the deadline was missed, or the date set back too far, the program was - even in prehistoric times - trashed by some other method, so even attempting to do this with a "modern" trial version would be far too much hassle to be worth the attempt ....

And note that a wrong time on your "local clock" will be automatically "adjusted" each time you connect to the web, and sometimes with each "communication" made on the web, so resetting to a false time would be a nasty fight between you and the rest of the whole world to keep the setting wrong enough, even if such skulduggery had a remote chance of working.

Just not even worth trying ... of course.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 05:14 AM

As you say, John, there probably is something other than file timestamps hidden away somewhere...

Some information on Win system time settings here. It looks as if you can turn the automatic synchronisation off from Control Panel.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Home Network (Desktop Access)
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 06:15 AM

Thanks all for the input, but being fairly illiterate where computers are concerned, I think I better just stay as we are, otherwise I can see me messing up both PCs.

SRS, absolutely right, why didn't I think of that, blast!

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