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[Q] Windows surface RT.

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egyptionsr2buff
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Default [Q] Windows surface RT.

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I bought a Surface RT during last Black Friday and i have been using it mainly for school. I just found out there was a jailbreak and i guess this whole world of mods. Just wondering what kind of things can a normal computer gamer and medical student gain by jailbreaking? What additional features do you get?
 
SixSixSevenSeven
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Windows RT cannot run desktop applications normally for 2 reasons.

Firstly it uses an ARM architecture processor commonly used in phones and tablets whereas your normal laptop or desktop uses an x86 architecture processor. The 2 are not compatible, same way my A+ blood is not suitable for a B- recipient (as far as my limited medical knowledge is concerned anyway).

Secondly, unlike windows 8, windows RT features digital signature enforcement. In order to confirm whether a piece of software is legitimate or malware it requires microsoft to add a digital signature to the executable. If the signature is missing or invalid then it won't run it. Apps you download from the windows store will come with this signature so its not a problem there. Unfortunately there is no way to obtain a certificate for desktop applications available to us at this time so only microsoft office, internet explorer and the other built in desktop programs that came preinstalled have the required certificate.



The jailbreak removes the signature checking on windows RT 8.0 only, it does not function on RT 8.1. Black friday is not a thing here so I have no idea when you got the tablet, it could have come with 8.1 rather than 8.0 in which case you can get an 8.0 recovery image and "downgrade" the device again. That solves the second issue and allows us to run software not authorised by microsoft.

The first issue. I don't know how much you know about software development but normally you take a human readable file(s), run it through a compiler and that spits out the executable binary. Of course existing software that you can just hop online and download or pull from a CD will have a binary for x86 processors not ARM. Microsofts C/C++ compiler with support for windows RT is available though so we can at least get binaries which will run on the Surface RT (and other RT devices). Downside, in order for us to port this software to RT it has to have the human readable source code available and that source code needs to work in microsofts compiler, if either of those requirements is not met then there is nothing we can do for a port.

If you are running the 8.0 version of RT rather than RT 8.1 then you can obtain the jailbreak tool from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2092158
A list of applications which have been ported to RT can be found here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2092348
So what do you gain as a medical student/gamer by jailbreaking? The ability to run the software in the list above, that is it (and if I was to pick up an RT device that would be highly important to me, but thats me, not everyone)
 
domboy
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Originally Posted by SixSixSevenSeven View Post
A list of applications which have been ported to RT can be found here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2092348
So what do you gain as a medical student/gamer by jailbreaking? The ability to run the software in the list above, that is it (and if I was to pick up an RT device that would be highly important to me, but thats me, not everyone)
I wouldn't consider myself a serious gamer, but the jailbreak gives me three game-related things that I use occasionally. First is Quake. I never actually played through the whole game back in the day, so I'm finally doing that on my Surface, which I think is really cool. Mouse not required so I can pretty much play it wherever (unlike Quake 3, which I've also played on it occasionally). Second is DOSbox, as I occasionally pull out some old games like Duke Nukem when I'm bored. Last is the super Nintendo emulator snes9x. Yes I know there is also a store app version, but it got pulled for while, so I like the knowledge that the desktop version is mine to keep.

Past that there are some very helpful desktop utilities that I use, KeepPass2 (password safe) I use for both personal and work passwords, so to have it on my Surface is awesome, and since there is also a subversion client, I can even check out the work safe directly using my Surface. And of course Putty.

Basically I would not have bought my Surface RT if it weren't for the jailbreak. And I will also not upgrade to 8.1 if a jailbreak isn't available. There are too many things I would rather do on the desktop, even on RT.
 
egyptionsr2buff
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Originally Posted by domboy View Post
I wouldn't consider myself a serious gamer, but the jailbreak gives me three game-related things that I use occasionally. First is Quake. I never actually played through the whole game back in the day, so I'm finally doing that on my Surface, which I think is really cool. Mouse not required so I can pretty much play it wherever (unlike Quake 3, which I've also played on it occasionally). Second is DOSbox, as I occasionally pull out some old games like Duke Nukem when I'm bored. Last is the super Nintendo emulator snes9x. Yes I know there is also a store app version, but it got pulled for while, so I like the knowledge that the desktop version is mine to keep.

Past that there are some very helpful desktop utilities that I use, KeepPass2 (password safe) I use for both personal and work passwords, so to have it on my Surface is awesome, and since there is also a subversion client, I can even check out the work safe directly using my Surface. And of course Putty.

Basically I would not have bought my Surface RT if it weren't for the jailbreak. And I will also not upgrade to 8.1 if a jailbreak isn't available. There are too many things I would rather do on the desktop, even on RT.

Thank you that sounds amazing. Yea I use it mainly doing work at a clinic, but there is always downtime throughout the day. Playing some Old school quake/snes would be tight. for SNEs are the roms all on there or can you just download everysingle one you want? also do you need a controller?
 
GoodDayToDie
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Redistributing ROMs is generally considered at least technically illegal, and thus against XDA rules. That said, I'm guessing you have them or can find them. No idea if it works with a controller (in general, Windows RT supports controllers, but no guarantee on app compatibility through something like DOSbox or an emulator).

There's one other advantage of Jailbreak that 6677 didn't mention: you can run an x86 emulation layer that (very slowly) allows running (a small number of) normal x86 programs. A few old games, like Heroes of Might and Magic 3, are known to work with it. It won't run anything very new or fancy - for example, even really old versions of Firefox don't work, although their installer will run - but sometimes something that hasn't been tested before is tried, and works out.

Something to consider about DOSBox: a lot of the games on GOG.com are 16-bit games that run in DOSBox. If you extract the DOSBox disk image and configuration and bring them over to the tablet, you can run them using the RT port of DOSBox as well.
Win8/Windows RT projects:
List of desktop apps for hacked RT devices

WP8 projects:
Native Access WebServer and Libraries
WP8 Interop Unlocks
Storage Cleanup tool

WP7 projects:
XapHandler, Root Webserver, OEM Marketplace XAPs, Bookmarklets collection (Find On Page), Interop-unlock hacks.


Do not private message me with questions that should have been posted on the forum! Not only are you wasting your time - I'm not going to bother writing an answer to such a question for only one person - but I will probably block you from PMing me in the future as well.
 
domboy
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(Last edited by domboy; 16th May 2014 at 02:57 PM.)
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Originally Posted by egyptionsr2buff View Post
Thank you that sounds amazing. Yea I use it mainly doing work at a clinic, but there is always downtime throughout the day. Playing some Old school quake/snes would be tight. for SNEs are the roms all on there or can you just download everysingle one you want? also do you need a controller?
Everything I mentioned I do with the Surface keyboard, and I've got the type keyboard. The Surface itself can make use of an Xbox360 controller, but I've never tried to configure it in snes9x. A quick search on Google looks like people have used the X360 controller with snes9x on regular Windows, so it may work. I know the store version (snes8x) can use, as I tried it briefly once. I just don't usually have my controller with me, so using the keyboard is much more convenient. The store version has touch controls, but that is really tricky to use when you need precise movement in a game.

ROMs are not bundled with the snes emulator, but that's typical in the emulation world. I don't want to go into too much detail since it's against forum policy, but again, Google it a bit as it's pretty easy to find info on the subject.
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