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26-05-2002, 09:39 PM
Seagrave.org has posted up a Grand Theft Auto Tweak Guide <http://www.seagrave.org/articles/GTA3/GTA3%201.shtml> to help extract every last bit of performance out of the new game which is to released here in Oz this coming week.

Activision has released new patches for Return to Castle Wolfenstein, bringing the version number to 1.32. The patch includes a new map called Tram Siege, new support for moving objects, support for the PunkBuster Web Tool, enhanced support for ATI Truform technology, and some bug fixes. The patch has only been released as a 16.9MB full upgrade with no 1.31 to 1.32 file released. You can get the patch from the following links:
- PlanetMirror <http://www.planetmirror.com/pub/bluesnews/rtcw/patches/Wolf_Update_132.exe>
-
Filefront <http://3dgamers.filefront.com/3dgamers/games/returnwolfenstein/wolf_update_132.exe>-
3D Gamers <http://www.3dgamers.com/ad/welcome/blues/games/returnwolfenstein/>- FilePlanet <http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=86686>
-
PlanetQuake3.net <http://www.planetquake3.net/download.php?op=viewdownloaddetails&lid=924>- Gameplex <http://www.gameplex.ch/index.php?KID=25&nid=998&gid=202&rid=660>

Sony has begun shipping a kit for turning the PlayStation 2 into a Linux console, at this stage the kit is only available in the US and Europe and includes hardware and software for essentially turning the PlayStation 2 games console into a Linux PC, with a 40GB hard disk, 10/100Mbps network adapter, USB keyboard and mouse, monitor cable and a Linux installation DVD-ROM. The hard drive can't be used with PS2 games.

Beta-testing for Windows XP SP1 is expected to begin in the next few weeks, with the release due sometime around August. The service pack will include bug, security, and compatibility fixes, which can be mostly downloaded separately now. This update will also include all the changes recommended in the long running court case between Microsoft and the US government. These changes will allow PC vendors to ship systems that use browsers, media players, and other tools from Microsoft competitors like Netscape and Opera instead of Microsoft's own utilities. The service pack will also include a facility that affects all those warez copies out there. Cnet has reported that SP 1 will have the following included:
Another change seeks to curb about 90 percent of Windows XP piracy. Microsoft introduced Product Activation with the operating system, which uses a numeric key to lock the software to the hardware. But a stolen code from a large Microsoft customer allowed rampant illegal Windows XP copying. People using Windows XP with the stolen key will not be able to apply the service pack or any future updates available from Microsoft's Web site.
'Basically we're freezing their computer where it is,' Cullinan said. 'We're not preventing them from using it, but obviously one of the benefits of having a license is keeping your PC updated.'
Read the full story from CNet <http://news.com.com/2100-1001-922066.html?tag=fd_top>. No doubt, piracy developers will find a way around this.

AMD is preparing to have a big price drop on Monday of all it's existing AthlonXP processors in preparation for the release of the new Thoroughbred processors on June 10. Read more about the price drop over at the The Inquirer <http://www.theinquirer.net/25050201.htm>.

AMD is set to release the server Athlon MP 2100+ in July. The new processor will support the faster system bus 166MHz. This may be well and good for the processor, but at this time there are no chipsets on the market yet, which could work at this frequency officially and be certified for server usage. Stay tuned for more info.

nVidia has announced that they will not produce the nForce 620/615 chipsets launched and showcased at CeBIT 2002. The nForce 620/615 chisets were supposed to support dual-channel DDR333 (PC2700) memory and AMD Athlon/Duron CPUs. According to nVidia, their R&D department is instead focusing mainly on nForce2 chips with the integrated GeForce4 graphics core supporting AGP 8x, DDR333 and other up-to-date features of the kind. You can read more on the release here <http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/story.html?id=1016492037>.

On word that AMD is reducing their prices on Monday, Intel has also sent word of a price reduction on Pentium 4 CPUs with the faster Pentium 4 processors except Pentium 4 2.53GHz getting the biggest cut. The cuts are expected to be as much as 29% less for the 2.4B and 44% less for the 2.26. This according to Intel's roadmap will be the last price drops before autumn in the US (around October 27), when they carry out their autumn price reductions.

TheDigitalResource.com <http://www.thedigitalresource.com> has got there hands on a copy of the DirectX 9.0 Beta 1 which you can grab here <http://www.thedigitalresource.com/download.php?op=getit&lid=10>. If you would like to see what is included in the new DirectX, check out this <http://www.xp-erience.org/out/misc/dx9.zip> Powerpoint presentation over at XP-Erience.org <http://www.xp-erience.org>. Beware this is strictly a beta version and should be installed at your own risk.

Microsoft has released a new build of Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 to its testers which includes some minor improvements and a security update. You can download it here <http://www.itrgaming.com/~cubed/6.0.2800.1041_nt_xp.rar>. Once again, this is beta software and I strongly advise against installing it unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Microsoft has just released an update for its XP add-on program Microsoft Plus! <http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus>. This update includes new Plus! CD Label Maker templates and Plus! Speaker Enhancement speaker profiles. It also fixes minor issues with Plus! MP3 Audio Converter and Plus! screen savers, discovered since the release of Plus! for Windows XP. Get it here <http://download.microsoft.com/download/plus/sp1/1/WXP/EN-US/PlusServicePack_01.exe>.

Evga has posted an article showing off nVidia's new multimedia software program called nVDVD. nVDVD combines the ultimate video and audio playback with advanced features and intuitive controls to enable a home theater experience on any desktop or notebook PC. The program says it will guarantee to deliver smooth and crisp, video and immersive surround sound, allowing end users to enjoy a complete movie theater experience ? on the road, at home or at their desk. Go check it out here <http://www.evga.com/articles/public.asp?AID=89>. Strangely enough there is no word on when or how this application will be available.

A trailer for the new Red Faction 2 has been released for download in Bink format. The movie is 51MB in size and offers smooth CGI mixed with in-game model cut scenes. Go grab it here <http://www.redfaction2.com/files/RF2_trailer_large-bink.zip> and have a look at the Official website here <http://www.redfaction2.com/>.

NVRefreshTool, the refreshrate fix program version 1.0 has been released with the following new features:
Startup Feature added
Installer Program
Older Detonator Support
New and improved help file translated in 7 languages.
Direct3D-based Vsync testing tool
Code cleanup and UI changes
Custom Resolution/TVTool support
Debugging text file for better support
Get it here <http://www.nvrt.net/>.

System Mechanic the easiest most comprehensive way to keep your PC running smooth and error free, version 3.7c is out with no word on the changes. If you have used this program before the update is probably well worth a look and can be downloaded here <http://www.iolo.com/download/default1.htm>.

Fresh UI version 2.8 is out. Fresh UI is a fresh solution for configuring and optimizing Windows. Loaded with hundreds of useful hidden settings in Windows XP/2000/ NT/98/95/Me, this software covers the customizing and optimizing techniques that you'll be glad to know. Unlike any other similar utilities, this software is 100% free. The new version offers more hidden settings in File System and Task Scheduler sections and reported bugs fixed. Download it here <http://www.freshdevices.com>.

Here's a tip on how to enable the gore features in the Soldier Of Fortune II SP demo. This comes from 3DGpu.com <http://www.3dgpu.com/> and is done like so:
On your shortcut, right click -> Properties -> add '+set lock_blood 0' to the target line.
When you start the game, pull down the console by pressing 'shift' and '~'.
Type 'menu lock'.
A new option on the bottom menu will be activated (it has a pic of a lock). Click on it. It will promt for a password, you can just press ok.
Turn on all of the gore and set a new password (or keep it blank).
Restart and play with gore.

Roxio has released a new update for the basic version of their Easy CD Creator 5. This update will bring all versions up to version 5.3. It can be installed in all Windows Operating Systems. It adds new drive support (Including DVD +R/RW and DVD -R/RW) and some fixes. This update will install Windows XP specific drivers and make the necessary registry entries to allow Easy CD Creator to operate correctly in Windows XP. Download the update here <http://www.roxio.com/en/support/roxio_support/ecdc/ecdc_basic_xp_updt53.html>.

new version of MusicMatch Jukebox has been released. There's no word of what's new yet, but you can download the new version from here <http://mmdl.vo.llnw.net/llnw_cdn/01068ABAASAAAAAYDQwgesxStRqUChyZLWwH1u7mnzL9EyA734 tGKgLlPrAjSdGyh05cXkqwcIlwtzTBCbNgHyH16U0paEp1mVbi 8GJTijA--/builds/MMD/PC/DNL/999990000/mmsetup_7101070.exe> or use the in program updater.

Mozilla.org have released version 1.0.0 RC3 of their Mozilla browser. The new release has the following new features:
- 139 bug fixes since RC2, including fixes for plugins, usability, crashes, and internationalisation issues.
Go here <http://www.mozilla.org/releases/> for the download links for all OS's.

Hardware reviews to finish the week-end:
ABIT KX7-333R Motherboard on VR-Zone Hardware <http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/ABIT/KX7-333R/>.
Altec Lansing Speaker System on Gamersclick <http://www.gamersclick.com/hardware.cfm?p=v&id=361> and Legion Hardware <http://www.legionhardware.com/html/doc.php?id=175>.
ECS K7VTA3 v3.1 Motherboard on t-break <http://www.tbreak.com/hard/mobo/ecs_k7vta3_31/index.html>.
ECS P4IBASD Motherboard on accelenation.com <http://accelenation.com/?doc=148&page=1>.
EPoX 4G4A+ i845G Motherboard on TweakTown <http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=review&dId=269>.
Intel Pentium 4 1.6A Northwood CPU on AMDWorld <http://www.amdworld.co.uk/p416.htm>.
Leadtek GeForce 4 Ti4600 Video Card on Hardware Pub <http://www.hardwarepub.com/reviews/video/leadtek_gf4_4600/>.
Lian Li PC-6083a Case on Tweakers Asylum <http://www.tweakersasylum.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=5>.
Samsung SW-232B CD-RW on MBReview <http://www.mbreview.com/sw232b.php>.
Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black Motherboard on Active Hardware <http://active-hardware.com/english/reviews/mainboard/kt333-ultra.htm>.
Thermalright SLK-600 Cooler on Phlux <http://www.phlux.co.uk/articles.php?aid=8>.
Thermaltake Volcano 7+ Heatsink on Deviant PC <http://www.deviantpc.com/reviews/volcano7/index.shtml>.
Tyan Thunder K7X 760 MPX Motherboard on Amdmb.com <http://www.amdmb.com/article-display.php?ArticleID=183>.
AOpen AX4B Max Motherboard on Active Hardware <http://active-hardware.com/english/reviews/mainboard/ax4b-max.htm>.
Hercules Gamesurround Fortissimo 2 Sound Card on OcPrices <http://www.ocprices.com/index.php?command=view&ID=1672>.
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU on OnePC.NET <http://www.onepc.net/index.php?view=docs&doc_id=129>.
Iwill P4R533-N Motherboard on t-break <http://www.tbreak.com/hard/mobo/iwill_p4r533-n/index.html>.
JoyTech Bloody Monster II Ti4600 Ultra Video Card on [H]ardOCP <http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=Mjk1>.
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus D740X Hard Drive on Mikhailtech <http://www.mikhailtech.com/articles/storage/maxtord74060/>.
NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti4200 Video Card on PC PowerZone <http://www.pcpowerzone.co.uk/reviews.php?id=103&page=1>.
SOYO SY-P4S DRAGON Ultra Motherboard on I am Not a Geek <http://www.iamnotageek.com/cgi-bin/reviews.cgi?name=p4s&p=1>.
S/U/M/A/ Platinum GeForce4 Ti 4400 DVI and Platinum GeForce4 Ti 4600 SE Video Cards on Digit Life <http://www.digit-life.com/articles/sumagf4ti/index.html>.
Thermalright SLK-600 Cooler on Systemcooling.com <http://www.systemcooling.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=29>.
Thermaltake Hardcano Cooler on Viper's Lair <http://www.viperlair.com/reviews/cooling/thermaltake/hcano5.htm>.
Triplex GESTAPO GeForce3 Ti 200 and Millennium Silver GeForce4 Ti 4600 Video Cards on Digit Life <http://www.digit-life.com/articles/triplexgf34/index.html>.
Visiontek Xtasy GeForce4 MX440 Video Card on TechSpot <http://www.techspot.com/reviews/hardware/xtasy_gf4mx440/index.shtml>.
VisionTek Xtasy GeForce4 Ti 4400 Video Card on Sharky Extreme <http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/videocards/article.php/1143561>

26-05-2002, 10:11 PM
My prcrastination pays off. I very nearly ordered an XP1800+ on Friday. :-D

JM