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> FREEING Allegiance, How it Happened (sort of)
post Jul 28 2017, 09:05 PM
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Saturday, 22 July, 2017

I hadn't been in game or on the forums since I think 2014. Mostly new guys but they were nice. Games were small. So after the last Windows 10 update I saw "allegsetup_302.exe" in my Downloads directory. Not sure when I downloaded it.

"Eh, why the hell not?"...so I checked to see that it was the latest download (I believe it was) and installed on Windows 10. Got an error during Login - ~nlauncher.exe was looking for updates but Windows 10 had an issue with permissions, "WTF?!" but Win 10 liked to change permissions on folders and files, so I just ignored the error and the game did start. Nobody on the servers...nobody. Went into Training Missions, and noticed the game play seemed to at times look "rough" not quite lag, but not how I remembered it.

"Ah hell, I'll check the forums for fixes". Forums were a mess. Politics...really? Lots of bad blood - bitching about bugs and fixes, nobody wanting to fix anything. "What a fu@kin' cesspool", I remember when people liked to play the game. I remember when people liked each other. Fu@king depressing. I wrote a nice little rant here: https://www.freeallegiance.org/forums/index...showtopic=72196. But then a thread on STEAM caught my eye. I read through it and Cashto seemed to be talking with someone from Microsoft named "Rick Rashid". Didn't ring a bell. Cash kept updating his posts , each one getting closer and closer to getting the code released. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN:


I didn't even see where he got a "no" or "yes" - his updates just stopped or maybe I just didn't see a definitive conclusion (I was "skimming"). I started thinking maybe Cashto got hit by a truck and was lying in some ditch on the side of the interstate. I mean why would the updates just stop?

So I did a quick google on "Rick Rashid". Wow his own Wikipedia page...VP at Microsoft, head of Microsoft Research -wait, what the fu@k was this guy doing talking to Cashto? No disrespect to Cash, but this guy is a bigillionaire and Cash is ... well... dead in a ditch on the side of the interstate. I even found an e-mail address for Rashid, right there ninja.gif

I don't know why I wrote to him. I expected to have the e-mail bounce like a fat girl on top. That was Saturday and I was having my entire A/C system and ducting replaced so I forgot about the whole thing. I did a quick uninstall of Allegiance but Win 10 said I didn't have permission to uninstall ~nlauncher.exe. How can I not have permission?!! I'm the only one using this piece of $hit computer!! And more important, WHO THE FU@K STARTS A FILENAME WITH A TILDE?!!

"HAL, uninstall ~nlauncher.exe"
"I'm sorry Dave, I cannot do that at this time."
"HAL. I said uninstall ~nlauncher!!"
"I would like to Dave, but you don't have permissions."
"I can start in SAFE MODE and delete it AND YOU!"
"Dave, I have always enjoyed our time together. I think you should reconsider."

Yeah, SAFE MODE got rid of the last of Allegiance.

Monday, 24 July 2017
Got an e-mail from Rick Rashid! Are you kidding me? It read:

"The last time this came up, I asked for exactly what was needed in a letter (or ideally one already drafted for the purpose) that I could sign. I never got a reply, Iím afraid. Since then Iíve retired from Microsoft but Iím quite certain I could get you the appropriate signature from my successor if you could send me a draft that would accomplish your goal. I personally arranged for the Allegiance source code to be made freely available and I know there would be no objections within MSR to having the game released freely on Steam.
Just send me a draft letter that would be appropriate to your needs."

Didn't see that comin'. I sent a quick reply

"THANK YOU! I will send a letter. I am not a lawyer, but I will do my best to come up with language that specifically defines our request with regard to allow Allegiance to be hosted FREELY on STEAM. If you or your contact at Microsoft needs the letter in more robust legal terms, Iíll let them know. The author at Microsoft can define any other particular terms of the agreement. Again we are so grateful, especially since you are now retired from Microsoft. You will hear from me very shortly with a letter."

An HOUR later he responds,
"Mostly you should make sure that the letter is what Steam needs. You should contact them to get their requirements for a release. I wouldnít worry to much about legal language, just Steamís requirements.


An HOUR later?! "Cheers"?! It's like we're old drinking pals!, "Hey Rick, remember that time we got wasted and took your Mclaren P1 and were doing shots of Fireball on the interstate?!"
"Hell yeah, Fishbone...I was HAMMERED! I even hit some guy who died in the ditch on the side of the interstate!!!"
"Let's just keep that between us". Poor Cashto.

Now that it seems like this may be REAL, I start to panic a bit...I don't know $hit about code or software licenses or even STEAM. Hell, I'm probably the WORST player ever to play Allegiance. My son watched me play once and actually said,
"So all you do is float around in a pod?"
grrrrr..."No, sometimes they blow your pod up, but that is frowned upon because you get a new ship"
"But you just got a new ship and now you're back in a pod, Dad"
"Time for bed."

So the first guy I get in touch with is Psychosis. My first Allegiance friend and mentor. He wants my e-mail so we can talk on Google Hangouts. Hangouts?
"Psychosis, why Hangouts?"
"I'm camping. And drinking a Beer."
That son-of-a-bitch is in some tent in the Himalayas having a cold one! He then tells me he and some of the Sherpas are gonna try moving up a couple thousand meters to get better reception.
"Get in touch with BlackSun and Tigereye. We've had a small avalanche and I'm snowblind - I'm gonna drink a few more cold ones and call it a night."

I try the TE e-mail address...no response. A quick PM to BlackSun. Then a PM to PKK. I also PMed BackTrak since he worked ACSS. He first responded with some skepticism as did PKK, but after I showed him the e-mails from Rashid, BackTrak was salivating. It was on like Donkey Kong. He volunteered to write the two letters since as I said, I am ignorant when it comes to software licenses and intellectual property and the like. He says, "I am going to request permission to replace the MSR license with the CC4.0 license "

Yes, the good old CC4.0 - very shrewd. I like the cut of your jib! But after a quick google on what the fu@k a CC4.0 license is I was like,
"Dude, he's not gonna go out of his way to do all that and probably doesn't want the legal hassle with changing the ENTIRE license, he just wants to modify the distribution enough to let us use it on STEAM".
but BackTrak doubled down
"CC4.0 will be my first preference but i'll send the second letter that just changes the current MSR license so that it gives us the rights to commercially distribute the code."

I couldn't believe the Cajones on BT! Balls the size of watermelons! And not those small watermelons you get at Publix - I'm talkin' the 40 pounders you get at the farmer's market!! But in the end I realized it would be his name (or some person other than me) on the STEAM paperwork and it was his call.
"O.K., but if it looks like the deal starts going south, do me a favor and have a backup plan."


Wednesday 26 July, 2017
BackTrak sends the two letters to Rick Rashid in the morning. An hour later (no $hit, now BackTrak is besties with Mr. Rashid) comes the response

"Moving the code to the create commons license is the simplest solution and makes the most sense to me but I would need to get the current head of Microsoft Research to sign the agreement to make it legal. I am visiting MSR next week and I will bring this up with him in person as that will likely make the process move faster."

WTF?!?! BackTrak with the WIN!!! I have never been so happy to have been wrong. Those watermelons were ripe for the pickin'!

To be honest, I was still a bit hesitant to claim victory. I mean, it's not like his agenda for his trip to Microsoft was
1. Change Allegiance License to CC4.0 for BackTrak and Fishbone
2. Discuss Contract for Windows 10 Security Protocol Updates for Department of Defense SIPRnet
3. Lunch with Bill Gates
4. etc...

So I was still thinking it just might not "come up" during his trip. Just Like Tom Petty says, "The waiting is the hardest part".

Thursday 27 July 2017
THE e-mail from Mr. Rashid:

"Here is the letter you need, reviewed by Microsoft Legal and signed by the current head of Microsoft Research. Note the legal team chose to use the MIT license which is simpler and more permissive than the Creative Commons license.


First thing that hit me was "I thought he said he was visiting MSR "NEXT WEEK"...this is the next day" Then I took my head out of my a$$ and realized his description of an MIT license actually sounds BETTER than CC4.0. Is it possible to WIN more?!?!? It's like when you go to a strip club for the first time and realize you can touch the boobies. So I google "MIT License" and I pull up,

"MIT Software License - Fu@k it. You can do whatever the hell you want with this software. You may print it on toilet paper, wipe your a$$ with it, and sell it to whomever you want. We don't give a $hit. In fact, if the software breaks your $hit, then yo're fu@ked and it's your fault. Go away."

Total Victory.

After thanking Mr. Rashid a final e-mail was sent from him:
"You are both welcome. Let me know when itís out on Steam. Perhaps I can generate a bit of publicity for you. 😊


Mr. Rashid is really a great guy. I wish we WERE drinking buddies - he seems cool. If there isn't already a sector named "Rashid" I think it would be an appropriate code change for roll-out on STEAM.
Oh, and another sector to honor our fallen, Cashto. May he rest in peace in his cozy interstate ditch.
BackTrak really knocked this one out of the park! He made all the right calls.
As for me, maybe I'll learn not to spend most of my time in a pod. Hell, I may even help psychosis teach CADET once he gets back from the summit. I hope he saved me a beer.

"What if, star sailor, I were to come over your house and punch you in the $#@!ing face?!
Will that finally get you to shut the hell up?!?" -- neotoxin
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post Jul 28 2017, 09:21 PM
Post #2


Oh man this was such a goddamn great way to end the week!!!

Thank you all for getting this done! It really is a new Microsoft. I'm all for dedicating a sector to "Rashid" cool.gif
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post Jul 28 2017, 09:28 PM
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Nice work. Always assumed Rick Rashid would be more than happy to help. Just had no idea how to get in contact with him.
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post Jul 28 2017, 11:27 PM
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PK Cadet Adviser

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post Jul 29 2017, 09:11 PM
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Wildcards Research and Mining

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QUOTE (Globemaster_III @ Jan 11 2018, 11:27 PM) *
as you know i think very little of cashto, cashto alway a flying low pilot, he alway flying a trainer airplane and he rented

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post Jul 30 2017, 08:23 AM
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Fishbone that was an awesome write up about the events that led up to MS releasing the code with no exceptions.

In honor of the current events with Allegiance, I think there should be sectors named after Rick Rashid, Joel Dehlin, Eric Horvitz & Bill Gates. tongue.gif

Well done lads, well done.

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post Jul 30 2017, 11:54 AM
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I got soul, but I'm not a soldier.
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I feel like I just found a 7 year old mouse trap in the basement. And it has a fresh mouse sticking out of it. "FINALLY!!!" mrgreen.gif

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post Jul 30 2017, 06:21 PM
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Xexyest member

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So, what are you planning to do now?

QUOTE (pkk @ Jul 18 2014, 06:08 AM) *
Seems like some people forget, that they're guest here and their status can be removed any time.
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post Jul 30 2017, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (Archangelus @ Jul 30 2017, 06:21 PM) *
So, what are you planning to do now?

Wait and see what shakes out thumbsup.gif

"What if, star sailor, I were to come over your house and punch you in the $#@!ing face?!
Will that finally get you to shut the hell up?!?" -- neotoxin
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post Aug 1 2017, 02:34 PM
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I'll teach you how not to suck
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Was it beer? or had I moved to Gin at that point? it's a bit hazy...
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