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tweak\'e
30-07-2002, 03:38 PM
A playable demo of Farscape the Game (http://www.bluesnews.com/files/demos/fsdemo.shtml) has been released. The demo is 63.6MB and contains an intro movie, a training level, and a part of the full game where you get to control team members John Crichton and Chianna. Get it from these links:
- Bluesnews (ftp://ftp.bluesnews.com/demos/fsdemo.exe)
- Planetmirror (OZ mirror) (http://www.planetmirror.com/pub/bluesnews/demos/fsdemo.exe)
- 3D Gamers (http://www.3dgamers.com/ad/welcome/blues/games/farscape/)

id Software programmer Robert Duffy has sent word (http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/finger.pl?id=313&time=20020729133241) that a new Quake III Arena point release is in the works. Here's the beef:
Just a quick note on future releases for Quake 3 Arena. We will be releasing a new point release in the relatively near future which includes a handful of fixes and updates and also includes full Punk Buster integration to combat cheating. No firm date on when this will be out but it should not be too far off

Raven Software has posted info regarding GL extensions support on the Matrox Parhelia being fixed for all Quake 3 engined games. Here's the scoop:
Attention JK2 players with a new Matrox card, like the Parhelia.
If you are experiencing slow performance you may be able to bring the game back up to speed by allowing GL extensions.
By default, extensions are disabled for Matrox cards because the drivers for some older cards would crash otherwise.
Matrox informs me that the new Parhelia will work fine with extensions on. You can enable them from the Video menu, or by typing at the console:

r_allowExtensions 1
vid_restart

Irrational Games has released a patch for Freedom Force (http://www.irrational.com.au/ff/downloads.cfm), bringing it up to version 1.1. The patch is 6.4MB and adds a new single-player skirmish mode with three game types, and gameplay tweaks, bug fixes, scripting improvements and other changes as detailed in the included Readme page. Get it here (http://www.irrational.com.au/ff/files/Freedom Force Patch.exe).

Crucial (http://www.crucial.com), the makers of some of the best RAM on the planet have announced their foray into the video card market with their first card based on the Radeon 8500. Here's some words from the announcement:

Meridian, Idaho, July 29, 2002 - Crucial Technology®, a division of Micron and one of the world's largest direct memory upgrade providers, introduced today the Crucial® Radeon™ 8500LE 128MB video card powered by ATi and featuring Micron® double data rate (DDR) synchronous DRAM (SDRAM).
"Crucial has a long-standing reputation for providing quality products that enhance system performance," said Crucial Technology General Manager Mike Bokan. "Our new video card features Micron DDR, giving our customers another great way to benefit from direct access to our high-quality memory and superior service and support."
"Installing a new video card is easy and it's the ideal method, in addition to adding more RAM, to get your computer ready for the latest graphic-intensive software," said Crucial Technology Technical Support Manager Mike Sanor. "In particular, gamers and those who use software for manipulating digital images or video will enjoy smoother and more realistic graphics with the new Crucial Radeon 8500LE video card."
You can check out the full press release on it here (http://www.icronticforums.com/showthread.php?s=3dc2d3c46e7bc2fa58be89b89b3eee1c&threadid=33097)

Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com) has posted up a 4-way 40x CDRW drives comparo, to help sort you're priorities in this ever increasing world of cheap burners. The review compares 40x drives from Plextor, Samsung, MSI and Lite-On. Here's a snip:

2002 is possibly the best year so far for CD burning. Twice this year we’ve seen some serious advances to burning speeds - and now the average drive being pushed by manufacturers is a sizzling 40X (with the 48X speed burners already being released by some pioneers). These new 40X drives don’t come with a huge price premium either - you’ll find them for around $30-50 more then for a 24X or 32X burner.
Read the whole lot here (http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Roundups/40xcdrw/).

AusPCWorld (http://www.auspcworld.com) has written up a 7-page review of the Everglide Giganta and Special Ops mousepads and the MouseSkatez feet for your mouse. Here's a bit of a peek at the review:
Ever seen a large mousemat? And I mean large.. A mousemat designed exclusively for game playing. This is the mat for you, The Everglide Giganta is designed for the hardcore gamer, made especially to give you just the right room to have every gaming advantage possible! Lets take a look at Giganta from Everglide Australia. We also take a look at the Special ops mousemat, and a handy addon for smooth mouse gliding and accuracy called MouseSkatez.
Check it out here. (http://www.auspcworld.com/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=19)

Here's something for all the oldies out there who remember what the game scene was like before the PC, Playstation and Xbox. You can now buy a Retro system, like an Amiga 1000, Atari 2600 or even a Nintendo running the latest PC software and yet be able to emulate your old 2600 or NES or Amiga games. Here's the blurb:
RetroSystems do hand built creations, built to order and your specifications. They take original console or computer cases, clean them up, restore them, and build a complete Windows/Linux compatible system .

RetroSystems use some of the smallest commercially available Windows/Linux compatible motherboards and parts as needed. In all of the three systems being offered, you're getting a machine that's decades beyond it's original design. You might be getting a supercharged Amiga 1000 that runs all Amiga applications as well as Linux or Windows applications.

This looks kinda neat... Imagine going to your next LAN party, and showing up with an Nintendo NES!
Check some more info and pics over at the RetroSystems (http://www.retrosystem.com/) website.

VIA have released a new Beta AGP driver version 4.30 with support for 8X AGP cards in VIA's 400 range of chipsets and anything later. Grab it from the following links:
- VIAARENA (http://downloads.viaarena.com/drivers/others/VxD430Beta.zip)
- Mirror (http://downloads.viaarena.com/drivers/others/VxD430Beta.zip)

BSplayer version 0.85 Build 488 is out for download. BSPlayer is a windows player for playing back avi/asf/wmv/mpeg video files or any other file for which you have a codec. The changes for this version are as follows:
Added options (and shortcuts) to increase/decrease playback rate
Added shortcuts for setting post processing level (for DivX 4.x, 5.x, DivX 3.11, ffdshow filters)
Temporary disabled Equalizer
Some internal changes
Download it here (http://www.bsplayer.org/dlfile.php?fname=bsplay085.488.exe&snred=1).

Asus have posted a new Bios for the Asus A7V333. The Bios version is 1011.001 and there is no word on what's new. Grab it here (ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/mb/socka/kt333/a7v333/1011-001.zip).

Hardware reviews:
ABIT and VisionTek GF4 Ti 4200 Video Cards on [H]ardOCP (http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=MzMy).
ABIT SILURO GeForce4 Ti 4200 Video Card on HardwareZone.com (http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/articles.hwz?cid=3&aid=476).
ASUS V8420 GeForce 4 Ti DVI 4200 Video Card on got apex (http://www.gotapex.com/reviews.php?rev=videocards/8420/index.html).
ATI Radeon 9700 Video Card on [H]ardOCP (http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MzMw).
Chaintech Apogee 7VJL Motherboard on VIAHardware Dot Com (http://www.viahardware.com/kt333apogee_1.shtm).
Hercules 3D Prophet 8500 LE Video Card on Beyond3D (http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/hercules/128mb8500le/).
Linksys BEFSR41 4 Port Router on Quadract.com (http://www.quadract.com/index.asp?open=reviews&load=page1&id=4).
Nexland WaveBase 802.11b Router on AwareMag.com (http://www.awaremag.com/hardware/nexland/wavebase/wavebase_1.html).
Plextor 40/12/40A CD-RW on Quadract.com (http://www.quadract.com/index.asp?open=reviews&load=page1&id=3).
Shuttle's XPC SS51 Barebones System on The Tech Report (http://tech-report.com/reviews/2002q3/shuttle-ss51/index.x?pg=1).
Thermaltake Volcano 7+ Cooler on OcPrices (http://www.ocprices.com/index.php?rev_id=82).
Triplex Xabre Pro Video Card on TweakTown (http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=review&dId=326).
Western Digital Caviar 1200JB Hard Drive on BlargOC (http://www.blargoc.co.uk/reviews/wd120jb/).
ABIT Abit IT7-MAX Motherboard (Intel 845E) video review on 3D Gameman (http://www.3dgameman.com/vr/abit/abit_it7/video_review.htm).

tweak\'e
30-07-2002, 06:09 PM
<bump> bounce.........booioioioioioooiiiiinng ;-)

-=JM=-
30-07-2002, 09:15 PM
I wouldn't mind a video card done by Crucial