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Windows Server 2003 SP1 Released
31 March 2005
For those of you who run Windows Server 2003, the very first Service Pack has been released for this OS - Windows 2003 SP1. Note that contrary to popular belief, Windows 2003 is not an OS you should use for normal desktop computing - it is not "faster and leaner" than Windows XP. However for those of you running server applications under this OS, upgrading to SP1 is a must.
Unreal Tournament 2006
31 March 2005
More details are emerging on the next Unreal 3-powered Unreal Tournament 2006. It's interesting to read about the proposed next version of the highly popular Unreal Tournament series, but what is most interesting to me are the screenshots of the Unreal 3 engine - especially since it will be used in other Unreal-engined games such as America's Army. Something to drool over, because it looks amazing!
29 March 2005
You may recall that earlier, I asked you to support OmegaDrive (see below) because of the situation he was in. Thankfully in his latest update he wants to let everyone know that he has indeed received a lot of support, and will continue putting out his famous Omega modded drivers. That's great news for all of us, and just goes to show that quality can win out over quantity on the Internet!
Battlefield 2 Tweak Guide Soon
28 March 2005
Hope you've all had a good Easter break! Just a quick update from me to answer several emails I've received on this topic: I will definitely be doing a Battlefield 2 Tweak Guide. As the author of the original Battlefield 1942 Tweak Guide and Battlefield Vietnam Tweak Guide I am going to pull out all stops with the Battlefield 2 Tweak Guide. The game itself looks great and by some accounts seems to have the potential gameplay to match its great graphics. A BF2 Multiplayer demo should be released soon, with the full game out some time in June 2005.
Valve Anti Cheat System Coming Soon
26 March 2005
Starting next week, Valve will start beta testing their Anti Cheat system. While there will be no noticeable impacts when playing, any cheats used in Valve multiplayer games will be logged and the cheater will be permanently banned. More details can be found in this ShackNews Item. This is good news in particular for CounterStrike: Source and Half Life 2 DM players who have been struggling against the cheaters ruining these and other online games.
Steam Update Released
24 March 2005
Valve have put out another update for CounterStrike Source and the Source engine via Steam. You can read about the changes here, and to download these updates simply restart your Steam client while online.
Firefox Version 1.0.2 Final Released
24 March 2005
The final Firefox Version 1.0.2 has been released. If you use Firefox, I suggest you update to this latest version. If you haven't tried Firefox, I really do think you should give it a go alongside Internet Explorer. Don't forget I have a basic Firefox Tweak Guide up at the moment, and will be completing the full thing shortly.
Do you own an Audigy 1 Sound Card?
23 March 2005
If so you may be very interested in this development: It seems a bunch of people have won a Class Action suit against Creative for wrongly claiming the Audigy 1 has true 24bit/96000 sound processing support. The upshot of this legal victory is that every Audigy 1 owner has the chance to qualify for a 25% discount (not to exceed $62.50) off any Creative product, as long as they can provide the serial number for their Audigy. To examine this offer and put in your claim, go to this website.
What do I think of this? Well it's great that someone finally took on a manufacturer for their many dubious claims and scored a victory over them. On the other hand, this victory is rather hollow - the results end up being a discount on the purchase of another Creative product bought through their online store. Not much point if you don't want to buy Creative again, and hardly compensation for those who were mislead into buying an Audigy 1. Now maybe it's time we started taking action against software companies that release buggy/half-finished games and then make us wait 2 months for a patch?
Wolfenstein Enemy Territory Version 2.60
22 March 2005
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a free multiplayer WWII First Person Shooter based on the Return to Castle Wolfenstein game. The latest version of the game - Version 2.60 has been released, updating the game's graphics and gameplay as well as a range of bug fixes. If you're bored, you can't go wrong with this excellent and completely free game.
KOTOR 2 Tweak Guide Released
20 March 2005
I've managed to finish off my modest Knights of the Old Republic 2 Tweak Guide and it is now available for you to have a look through. Aside from detailed descriptions of all the in-game settings and their performance impacts, it covers all the working advanced .ini tweaks for KOTOR 2, as well as a range of troubleshooting tips which should help you get more out of the game. Hopefully LucasArts will release a patch shortly to fix up the faults in the game which can't be tweaked away.
19 March 2005
If you have ever used any modded video drivers, you will have undoubtedly heard of OmegaDrive. He is a highly knowledgeable tweaker who has gone out of his way to make his excellent drivers accessible to the widest range of people. People like you and me who like to tweak and experiment. I've noted his work in my own ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide, and I trust his modded drivers more than anyone else's. They are the best out there and that's a fact.
However here is the down side of this "tweaking industry" that we share. There are many, many pretenders out there churning out copy-cat inferior products. I know from personal experience that there are a lot of people who slap together a few commonly-known tweaks and some shonky advice in a poorly-written document and call it a "Tweak Guide". While I've managed to survive the onslaught of these people and TweakGuides.com is thriving, it seems OmegaDrive has had the opposite fortunes. He is currently struggling to have his (superior) drivers stand out from the many dubious modded drivers flooding the market.
To top things off, he is currently unemployed and relying on donations to support his work. He is doing the honorable thing and keeping his product completely free, and his website free from annoying ads - so now it's time for those of us who use his drivers to return the favor and make a small donation to OmegaDrive. Remember, just because something is free on the Internet, doesn't mean it's not worth paying for.
A Tweak Guide Update
18 March 2005
For those of you curious what guides are coming up, it's simple. The next guide out on TweakGuides will be the Knights of the Old Republic 2 Tweak Guide, released in the next day or two. After that a Firefox Tweak Guide will be released, probably in a couple of weeks. I'm tossing up the idea of doing a Brothers in Arms Tweak Guide shortly as well, except that apparently it is based on the Unreal Engine and hence most of the tweaks in my UT2004 Tweak Guide should be applicable to BIA. If you have any suggestions Email Me, and of course bear in mind that this is a hobby of mine, and that sometimes I get real busy in my day job and with life in general, so I can't pump out the guides quite as fast as I'd like to.
Firefox in Trouble?
17 March 2005
I recently ran into this article which delves into the possible reasons why the Firefox Internet Browser may be in serious trouble. To add to that article, it must be noted that Microsoft is releasing Internet Explorer 7 which will be a major threat to Firefox. As regular readers here know, I personally use and recommend Firefox for a variety of valid reasons. Based on my server statistics, around 30% of TweakGuides readers also use Firefox as well. The only thing I want to say to Firefox users is that you should keep an open mind - if Firefox goes the way of Netscape, we can at least thank it for being one of the main reasons behind Microsoft improving Internet Explorer over the past year.
Call of Duty 2
17 March 2005
Just a quick heads-up for those of you who may not know, more details and screenshots have come to light for the much-anticipated Call of Duty 2. You can see the brilliant screenshots at Planet Call of Duty. It is scheduled to arrive some time in the next year or so, but looks like it will be worth the wait.
KOTOR 2 Tweak Guide Update
13 March 2005
Knights of the Old Republic 2 fans take heart. Even though a KOTOR 2 patch has not been released as yet, I have almost completed my KOTOR 2 Tweak Guide. It should be ready to release within the next few days, so keep an eye on the site - and once again, apologies for the delay. I've been too busy updating my existing guides to get around to finishing this one.
Nvidia Forceware 71.84 Released
12 March 2005
Nvidia have released the official Forceware 71.84 graphics drivers. If you run an Nvidia graphics card, especially using newer technology like SLI, it is strongly recommended that you download and install this latest driver version. I have updated my Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide to reflect the changes from these drivers.
Windows XP Tweaking Companion Updated
11 March 2005
Based on further feedback from readers, I've updated and refined the Windows XP Tweaking Companion (XPTC) - it is up to Version 1.04 now. The updates consist of clarifications of some advice in the guide as well as spelling out the fact that three of the tweaks in the guide are based on common XP myths (however harmless they may be). If you have an earlier version you may want to update to this latest version.
ATI Catalyst 5.3 Released
10 March 2005
ATI have released the official Catalyst 5.3 graphics drivers. If you run an ATI graphics card you should update to this latest version as it has a range of changes and fixes. I have updated my ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide to reflect these changes. Note that when I get the time I will update the guide to also include use of the ATI Tray Tools tweaking utility as Rage3DTweak is getting quite dated.
Steam Update Released
10 March 2005
Valve have released yet another update for CounterStrike:Source, the Source Engine and the Source SDK. You can read more about it here, and to download this update simply relaunch the Steam client while online.
Firefox Tweak Guide - A Start
9 March 2005
While I still haven't got around to doing a full Firefox Tweak Guide, I have managed to bring together the important tweaks which I have found into a 1-page Firefox Tweak Guide as a starting point. The current guide is really just a placeholder until I compile and publish a comprehensive TweakGuides-style Firefox Tweak Guide, so stay tuned for the real deal soon.
PhysX Processing Unit - A Boost for Games
9 March 2005
A company called Aegia has announced the PhysX Processing Unit, a chip dedicated to processing physics calculations, thus taking the load off your CPU. This means that in the future, games can implement much more complex physics effects without any major impact on your gaming performance. It may be a while before the chip actually arrives, but when it does it will be good news for gamers.
Potentially a Great Deal
8 March 2005
I don't normally post about these sort of things, but I recently noticed that the guys and girls on Australia's Whirlpool Forums are putting together a group buy to get this excellent 24" Dell Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920x1200 Native resolution, 16ms response time) for $1450 - or even less. If you're in Australia and after a great LCD monitor for your PC and/or a decent sized LCD TV monitor, join in the group buy. Who knows, if enough people jump in, Dell may lower the price even more!
Blocking Flash Popups on Firefox
6 March 2005
I've noticed recently that when using Firefox to browse the Internet I will see certain popups appearing despite my setting to block all popup windows. Then I saw this article on how to block Flash popups which tells Firefox users how to disable Flash-based advertising popups which are (ab)using the "backdoor method" to force themselves on us.
KOTOR II Tweak Guide Update
5 March 2005
Unfortunately, a reader has brought to my attention the fact that Obisidian, the makers of Knights of the Old Republic 2 have just announced the possible closure of their tech support forums. This is not a good sign, and certainly not a good way of dealing with the many complaints PC users have with KOTOR II. Hopefully Obsidian will release a KOTOR II patch soon, but I will try and finish my KOTOR II Tweak Guide as soon as possible to provide players with a central reference source for resolving problems.
Cool Free 3D FPS Game
4 March 2005
Saw this over at 3DGPU - you can play this cool free game on your Internet Browser: Phospor Alpha 4. I had a quick game and it looks great. It's a 3D First Person Shooter with similar graphics to Unreal Tournament or Quake 3.
Update - Seems the game no longer works as the "alpha build has expired". I can't seem to find another working version anywhere else.
XPTC Highlighted on Front Page
3 March 2005
Given the popularity of the Windows XP Tweaking Companion (XPTC), I've added a big bright button in the About box on the front page. This should make it obvious to all newcomers that the first place to start tweaking is by reading the XPTC. Make sure to press CTRL+F5 on your browser to make sure the new format displays correctly on your machine.
News Archive Added to TweakGuides.com
1 March 2005
Due to popular demand, I've added a News Archive to TweakGuides.com. That means now as older news items slip off the front page, they will be kept in the news archive, which you can access through a link at the bottom of this page. Thanks to those who provided the suggestion.
PunkBuster Website Defaced by Hackers
1 March 2005
In an effort to prove their "superiority", a hacking group has defaced the EvenBalance Website. For those of you who don't know, EvenBalance is the company behind the PunkBuster anti-cheat system used by most recent games, such as America's Army and Battlefield Vietnam. In case you missed it, to see what the hackers did to the website, check this screenshot. This is an unfortunate blow in the fight against cheating in online games. Cheaters basically ruin everyone's fun, and I sure wish these hackers would find something more productive to do with their time.
Important Windows Update
1 March 2005
Microsoft has released an Important Update for Windows XP. It addresses a conflict with the Comctl32.dll file which is used by a variety of Windows programs, so I strongly suggest you install this update. Note that it's not on the Windows Update site at the moment, but it will be soon - use the link above to download it from Microsoft.
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