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Topics - NERV Agent

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Completely unrelated / Linux n00b. Please gentle.
« on: 2018-06-16 10:29:59 »
After dealing with the nightmare of Windows 10, I've decided to finally switch to Linux.

Next week I'm finally gonna get my hands on my new Dell laptop that uses Ubuntu Linux 16.04.

But I got some questions, hopefully not too many as I hope to get the thing up and running in one week.

My most important question is: What is the best firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware for this OS?

Also, how do I install programs that I downloaded from places other than the Ubuntu Software Centre? I know it involves a command line, but I doubt its the same Windows command line of "CD [directory]" "[installer].exe", etc. I've been looking up some YouTube videos and the only clue I have is "sudo" something.

Is WINE already included with this OS, or do I have to install it?

Also, are there built in media players into the OS already that let me listen to music and watch videos? If not, what Ubuntu Linux media players should I download and install?

I also plan on using VMware to run a Windows XP virtual machine as some sort of "training wheels" until I get used to Linux. Is it preferable to emulate the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows XP?


I recently bought this laptop:

I tried to downgrade to Windows 7 Pro by booting to a Windows 7 Pro disc inside of an external drive connected to the laptop.

The Windows 7 installation stalls with a red bar on top.

So I called Eluktronics Contact Phone Number. "Will" told me to disable UEFI boot from the BIOS. So I did just that.

Afterwards, I get a BSoD saying that the BIOS is not ACPI compliant. "Will" tells me that this means that "Windows 7 is not an option with this computer."

I need to use Windows 7 for "reasons". My reasons being:

Privacy. From what articles I've read online, Windows 10 is basically adware sending out user information to Microsoft servers and such. Yeah, I know I can dodge this by:

A.) Never going online.
B.) Installing Linux, but I don't have the time to learn a new OS (but I really should someday, srsly).

How would I go about preventing this breach of privacy from happening within Windows 10 (aside from never going online)?

Another reason I want to stick with Windows 7 is resource consumption.

A few years back I used Windows XP on a laptop, and it ran just fine. Then I used Windows Vista on that same laptop, and it slowed down to a crawl. Even my current Windows 7 computer from 2014 (that I am typing this message on) has slow speed issues compared to my Windows XP computer from 2007.

What settings should I adjust to make Windows 10 less ravenous?

Otherwise, I pretty much have a thousand dollar brick on a table that I'm not sure if I should just send back for a refund.

I am dealing with the ".TIM" file that contains the hand cursor graphics in "WINDOW.BIN". This ".TIM" has 16 CLUTs, each with 16 colors. I would like to extract some of these CLUTs and have them in ".PspPalette" or ".pal" format that can be used with Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9.

I realize I can always take an existing 16 color Paint Shop Pro palette and just change the index values to match what is in the CLUT, but that is time consuming. (Also, if this was a 256 color CLUT, that would be an arthritis inducing nightmare.)

Is there a way to extract CLUTs from a ".TIM" and have it in a palette format that can be loaded into Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9?

Troubleshooting / psximager doesn't work. :(
« on: 2017-05-12 03:21:01 »
If you've been following my posts, you would know that recently I've been experimenting with modifying the hand cursor for Final Fantasy VII (PSX).

The data is stored in "WINDOW.BIN", and after working on the ".TIM" and creating a new "WINDOW.BIN" with my changes, the new file is larger than the original. You know what that means....

Simply using CDmage will not fix this.

I tried using psximager, and I can rip the file system off the ISO with "psxrip".

So then I replaced the "WINDOW.BIN" in the filesystem it dumped with my own "WINDOW.BIN" with my changes.

I then tried to rebuild the ISO with "psxbuild".

It seemed to be working as it did generate a new ISO. But when I load this ISO into a PSX emulator, the game doesn't run at all.

What could of gone wrong?

Is the problem with the ISO I was initially using (before using psximager)? If so, is there a proper way to generate a PSX ISO in ".BIN" format that can be loaded into psximager?

Or could there be an alternative to psximager?

I successfully made some edits to a ".TIM with multiple CLUTs, but now I've run into a new problem.

After fixing the headers in my file, it no longer loads in Tim2View. It still loads in TimViewer though.

But this is a problem because I want to edit the CLUT, but Tim2View is the only program I know of that can do that.

Are there any other programs currenty out there that can edit a CLUT?

Thanks to luksy, I was finally able to "edit" the PSX FF7 hand cursor, but not with total success.

I used Tile Molester to flood fill the area surrounding the field hand cursor (the one that points at the player's head), so I could see the box where the hand is located in.

Here is the ".TIM" file I modified:

I generated a new "WINDOW.BIN" using luksy's program.

The good part, the game no longer freezes (to my knowledge).

The bad part?

The hand cursors in the menu and field seem to be shifted. Also not seen in the picture, all the text is garbled in game.

What's going on? How do I go about fixing this? Has anyone else modified the PSX hand cursor before, or am I the first one?

Anyway, it's late and I gotta sleep soon.

I am trying to see if it is possible to change the hand cursor graphics, contained in "/INIT/WINDOW.BIN".

I decompressed it with FF7Tools unbingz, extracted the appropriate ".TIM" file, altered it, then renamed it according to the FF7dec syntax to join all 3 files together into a new "WINDOW.BIN".

I tried to reinsert the newly generated "WINDOW.BIN" into the game with CDmage.

CDmage gave me the warning that the file I was inserting was smaller than the file currently in the ISO, and that it was going to pad it out with zeroes.

I inserted the file, and the game freezes when I am supposed to get to the start menu.

How do I fix this?

Graphical Modding / [FF7 PSX] Changing the hand cursor?
« on: 2016-11-27 03:42:38 »
Like the topic says, how do I change the hand cursor that appears in menus? I want to see if I can change it into a sword, or a candy cane, or an entry plug, or something.

Is it as simple as changing a ".TIM" file somewhere on the CD? Or is it more complex than that?

This is related to this thread.

I ripped this opening logo with Tim2View from the PSX version from the file "" contained within "MOVIE/OPENING.BIN".

This file is 62,533 bytes.

I modified the palette with JASC Paint Shop Pro 9 and saved it as this new file.

All I did was change four colors, and the file is now 13,529 bytes.

What is going on? I guess some data is somehow lost? How would I retain that data?

It doesn't end there, as things will make even less sense as I go on.

When the original "" is lzss compressed, it is 19,050 bytes.

After converting the modified ".PNG" file back into a ".data" file with img2tim and lzss compressing it, it comes out to 19,059 bytes.

So somehow, compressing a smaller file made it larger than the original compressed file!

This doesn't make sense. What is going on and how do I solve this?

This is a follow up to the following threads:

I replaced the graphic in "" with a completely new graphic. But it only shows up for a short shot, then a completely black blank space stays there instead.

Trying to change this title screen is turning out to be a huge convoluted mess.

I suspect a CLUT problem, but I have yet to solve it.

What could I be doing wrong?

If I send someone a test file of what I am trying to replace it with, would they be so kind as to find out what is wrong and teach me the right way to do it?

How do I replace a 256 color CLUT in a PSX ".TIM" file with a 256 color palette from a ".BMP" or ".PNG" file?

I know Tim2View can edit the CLUT, but it seems that requires changing each and every one of the 256 entries one by one (and possible arthritis). Is there a faster way?

Other Modding / Opening logo layout analysis?
« on: 2016-06-12 02:20:10 »

I ripped this with Tim2View from the PSX version from the file "" contained within "MOVIE/OPENING.BIN".

As you can see, the image is chopped up and rearranged differently when compared to the way it is seen in game.

Has anyone done an analysis on how this is arranged exactly, down to the very pixel?

I might do this analysis some day by doing the following:

1.)   Draw “border lines” on the separate the chopped up pieces into marked sections.
2.)   Reinsert this into the ISO.
3.)   Make a 320 x 240 screenshot of this running, to see where the sections really do wind up.

But I was wondering if someone has already analyzed this in the past, which would save me the trouble.

I inadvertently posted this in the wrong forum. It would be a good idea if that thread was merged with this one.

As mentioned in that thread, the command line syntax for this program is unclear. I've tried using asterisks and plus signs, and get no desirable results.

I even tried doing "lzss [folder name]" and got this:

python lzss modifiedopeningcontents OPENING.BIN
Error opening file 'modifiedopeningcontents': Permission denied

Before someone tells me to "RTFM", I already did and it's still unclear. I scoured Google, and the only results I get are the message board posts I made on the subject! I even e-mailed cebix and and never heard back.

How do you use this program? It can't be an unsolved mystery.

Other Modding / FF7Tools lzss unclear syntax.
« on: 2016-04-24 23:33:21 »
I extracted "MOVIE/OPENING.BIN" from an FF7 PSX disc. I used "unbinlz" to decompress it, and managed to edit one of the ".data" files that came out to my liking.

But how exactly do I compress all those data files back into "OPENING.BIN"?

The README says this:

lzss / unlzss

Usage: lzss [OPTION...] <fromfile> <tofile>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Usage: unlzss [OPTION...] <fromfile> <tofile>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'lzss' and 'unlzss' tools compress and decompress individual files
compressed with the game's version of the LZSS algorithm.

Examples for such files are the field maps (FIELD/*.DAT) and all files
having the .LZS extension.

The command line seems to specify a single file, and not a bunch of files (or a whole directory). How do I compress all the ".data" files back into "OPENING.BIN"?

I tried doing this, but got this:

>python lzss + + + OPENING_03
.data + + + + + + + + + OPENING_ + + + +
+ + + + + OPENIN + + OPENING.BIN
Usage: lzss [OPTION...] <fromfile> <tofile>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Error: Unexpected extra argument ''

So I try putting it in brackets, and got this:

>python lzss < + + + OPENING_0 + + + + + + + + + OPENING + + + +
 + + + + + OPENI + +> <OPENING.BIN>
< was unexpected at this time.

I scoured Google and there is no information on the command line syntax for this program. It can't be unknown. How do you use this thing?!?

Other Modding / Still image data for FF7 PSX opening?
« on: 2016-03-01 08:52:09 »
A long time ago I used to do some game hacking, but stopped when more serious IRL circumstances happened.

Because of this prolonged hiatus, I've forgotten a lot and must re-learn!

I intend on doing some minor projects just to re-orient myself with all this. I probably won't release any of this, as this is for my own re-education.

My first project is to edit the title screen of Final Fantasy VII for the PSX. Where is the title screen data stored? I wanna see if I can scrawl stuff on it like "NERV AGENT WAS HERE!" I also want to mess around with that Buster Sword graphic at the "NEW GAME / Continue?" screen.

Also, is that Final Fantasy VII logo that appears after the title screen (with the "blue flames" cinematic between the two) a still graphic or part of an FMV?

I am going to assume these are ".TIM" files somewhere on the CD(s)?

I also found this on the CD(s)


Could this be it? I tried using qt-lzs 1.2 and LZSCompress/DECompress v0.9.6 to decompress SCEAP.LZS, but all I got was a weird 600 KB file. I opened that weird file in a hex editor, and it was mostly 0s with some data in the middle.

Where is this title screen data?

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