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Del_Boy

Del_Boy
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Member since: 28.07.2000

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    • KaZaA / Communication / 8 Readings / 14 Ratings
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      19.02.2003 20:14
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      • Fakes

      P2P software, I?m sure that the vast majority of you have heard of this before now. Just as likely is the fact that you have used some sort of P2P software, be it Napster, Audiogalaxy or one of the many other variants. In this review I am concentrating on what I believe to be one of the best for downloading Audio, as well as Movies. ABOUT KAZAA ============= Kazaa, or Kazaa Media Desktop to give it its full name is the creation of Sharman Networks. Sharman Networks are a company that is commited to creating P2P software applications. Kazaa is a legitimate application that is often used for illigitimate reasons, it has been blamed by many for allowing people to download pirated material. What is there to download on Kazaa? ========================== Basically anything you care to think of will be shared on the Kazaa network. However, just because the file is shared doesn?t mean you will be able to access and download it. This is due to factors that I will explain further later on in this review. The majority of files on the network are of the dubious legality variety. These include the latest games and applications as well as the latest MP3s and Movies hot off the reels. So this program is just about people pirating products instead of buying them? ======================================================== Well it would be churlish of me to say that the majority of users use this for anything other than illegal means, but there are legitimate reasons. Kazaa can be used as a platform for distributing legal material such as: Shareware, Freeware, Open sourced products and Music by unsigned bands Further to my above explanation, it would seem that Microsoft themselves used Kazaa as a distribution platform according the the official Kazaa site, here is a quote from a Microsoft representative: ?"We're really interested in how peer-to-peer networ
      ks can be used for the legitimate distribution of content," said Jonathan Usher, director of Microsoft's Windows Media division. A key question, Usher said, is whether Kazaa users will download an authorized, copy? Precautions to take when using Kazaa =========================== Better to be safe than sorry, so you?ll be needing to get yourself a decent virus checker. Try downloading AVG from www.grisoft.com, this is so that you can check the downloads ? as unfortunately Kazaa is well targetted by viruses. Do not be tempted under any circumstances to download Full version Virus software from Kazaa, as these can quite often be themselves infected (if you think about it, they are prime targets). Oh, and you may wish to take advantage of the filtering capabilities to block out Adult or objectionable content. Myself personally I have no problems with Adult content, however the times I have searched for something totally innocent and non porn related and been confronted with objectionable search results have been many. As a result I have made myself a nice list of filters (these can be applied via a menu in Kazaa). These filters incorporate stuff which I never want to see listed in the search results Window. More about the application =================== Kazaa can come in several different variaties from the bog standard version available from Kazaa.com, to the Kazaa Lite version available from a number of places. I would recommend that users choose Kazaa lite, as not only is it identical in most regards to the version from Kazaa.com, but it also has no spyware. The original Kazaa is well known to be a hotbed of Spyware, the latter versions to their credit have been cleaned up a lot, but I would still steer clear from recommending to you the original version. Kazaa also comes with a fully integrated Virus hecker called Bullguard Lite, I would advise that when you are using
      Kazaa that you disable this and instead use your normal Virus checker. This is because I have noticed that Bullguard Lite tends to find Viruses that don?t actually exist.... I am not saying it makes them up, but there seems to be a lot of false positives, make of that what you will. Kazaa lite not only has less dubious content than the original Kazaa, but this modification also comes with a number of useful utilities such as: Sig2Dat ? this can be used to create links to files that someone can click to get a verified correct file, you can find websites full of Sig2Dat links that you simply click and then download should start as soon as the file becomes available AviPreview ? this can be used to discern whether a movie file you are downloading is legitimate or a fake (more on this later) Speedup ? this can be used to automatically search for other versions of the same file at a user set time frame, thereby hopefully ensuring you download speedily all of the time. Kazaalite is not considered 100% legal as such I will not provide the link to it in this review, needless to say a quick Google search often yields wonders. About fakes ========= Guaranteed if you are going to go onto Kazaa and download several files such as a new movie, a new game and a new application the chances are that at least 2 of those will be a fake file. Fake files are usually just other files that have been named differently to trick users to download them. Fake files can be quite sophisticated for example sometimes they will appear to be legitimate until you try watching them, in the case of a Music file you may find that instead of the track playing properly it is just a series of loops of the beginning of the song. It is for this reason it is best to seek out verified Sig2Dats, thus assuring you that you are downloading a legit file. This isn?t foolproof, as certain versions of Sig2Dat have shown to ha
      ve a problem whereby links created with a different version of the software cause it to try to download a different file altogether. If you must download an unverified file you can use the preview function of Kazaa to test some of them out ? here are ways to help yourself: If you are downloading unverified software, then consider downloading a few megabytes and then trying to open the file with something like Winrar, or CDMage. If you are lucky you will glimpse some of the individual files for the program, thus giving you an idea of what it is you?re actually downloading. If you are downloading unverified audio, try using the Kazaa preview function to listen to the song as it is downloading ? also keep a sharp ear out for any hisses or clicks that may have been added deliberately or not to the song. If you are downloading unverified video then try using the Kazaa preview function to watch some of the file as it is downloading, you could also use AviPreview which is often able to preview files (.AVI only at the moment) that Kazaa itself can?t. So how does Kazaa work? =================== Kazaa works by allowing people to download the client and then once you have connected you are assigned to a Super Node ? this Node is a server that has many many users present on it. If a Node is down you are simply assigned another Node to go on. This has its problems. By their nature Super Nodes can be shutdown by such groups as the RIAA ? this has not happened yet, but in the near future it looks like it could well do. Other problems with this approach are wide and varied, the most troublesome for the normal user is the fact that 10 people may have the file you are after ? but if all 10 of those people are on different Nodes you will not be able to find the file, nevermind download it. What can be done about this? ===================== There are programs available that help you to change Node
      s on Kazaa, Diet Kazaa is one such program. Another thing you can do to change Node is to simply disconnect, and then reconnect (thus hopefully being assigned a different Super Node). For the technical amongst us, you could also block the IP address of the Node you are on using your Firewall ? this will force Kazaa to renogotiate the Node hence placing you onto a non blocked one. Download speeds ============= Download speeds are obviously dependent upon several factors, including the speed of your connection, and how common/rare the file is. If a file seems rare it is often a good idea to start the download and then use the find more sources for file option (right click over the file name in the transfer window) to well, find more sources. Download speed is also dependent on something called the Participation level, the participation level is a good idea in theory (rewarding those who share by giving them priority for downloads). The PL can be raised by uploading more data than you download, however this has been proven time and time again to be easy to hack. As such you could share all day and not download anything, only to be bypassed in the race for a download space by someone who has just cheated themselves the status of Supreme being (1000 PL Max). Sharing files ========= Sharing files is easy, just go to Tools>Find Media to share. It is advised to only share full files, and not any installed files. Also do not share your Windows directory, or the My Documents directory (unless you want people to look and download your personal documents and files). Advantages of Kazaa over other P2P applications =================================== Kazaa seems to have some of the fastest speeds maxing out download capacity regularly Kazaa has a lot of files shared, mainly in the music and video catagories Kazaa is easy to use and supports resumable downloads Disadvantages =
      ========= The main disadvantages with Kazaa are as follows, corruption and fakes: Corruption is common on downloads from Kazaa. For a movie or audio file this will manifest itself as perhaps a very slight visual or audio defect, but for the vast majority of cases the actual file itself will still be usable. It is a different story however if you are downloading a piece of software, this is because in most cases if something corrupts with a software download then the whole thing will usually become useless. There are ways to repair some corrupted software downloads, for example if it is a CD Image (Bin or ISO for example) then a program called CDMage will scan for, and hopefully fix corrupted sectors, this is not perfect though and in a lot of cases the corruption is too much to fix. Corruption can be made more likely by someone sharing a corrupt file, or by pausing/resuming/disconnecting/reconnecting Kazaa. Fake sharing as touched on earlier is also a big problem with certain companies and film studios being known to pro-actively flood the network with fakes, knowing full too well that there are plenty of gullible people out there that will share these files. Alternatives to Kazaa =============== I would recommend that people seek out Emule/Edonkey2000-Overnet Hybrid as an alternative for Kazaa. On the Edonkey/Overnet network it is often the case that files have increased availability over Kazaa, there also seems to be less fakes (because of a community that is able to spot them easier). The big selling people of the Edonkey network however is that it will spot any corruptions in files and instead of that download being useless, it will simply redownload that small segment from another user ? thus saving you a lot of time redownloading. Emule is simply a modification of Edonkey that amongst other things can compress a download as you are obtaining it ? some files are shared uncomp
      ressed and can weigh in at for example 700 megabytes. When compressed these files can sometimes half in size, so it?s a very nice feature. The Edonkey network also has another Advantage over Kazaa, this being the fact that it is extremely hard for people to cheat when using it ? thus ensuring that only those who share will get the rewards over those who don?t. Get Edonkey/Overnet hybrid from here: http://www.edonkey2000.com/ Or Emule from here: http://www.emule-project.net/ If you need download sources for these programs or serverlists then feel free to send me an email asking. I'd be interested to read your comments or questions regarding this review, if I have omitted anything then let me know and I'll do my best to rectify things.

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      • Grand Theft Auto III (PC) / PC Game / 4 Readings / 53 Ratings
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        19.06.2002 19:07
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        If it were true that violent games, breed violent people ? then I would be considered to be Public Enemy No1 after playing this game for a long stretch. Beating people to death, shooting them, running them over and stealing cars are all just ways to progress in this game. Now in real life I have never had the compulsion to do any of these things, nor would I ever ? but when you do these things in the game, you are surely not human if you don't cackle like a mad person when you first do these things. Grand Theft Auto 3, the third game in the series, which they tried to ban, is the first game in the crime series to be in full 3D. The main plot of the game is that you are a wannabe gangster making your way up the crime scene by doing jobs for gangsters that are much higher up the hierarchy than you. In order to complete the jobs, you have to complete objectives such as, going on massacres, stealing cars, rigging cars up with explosives, straight forward racing, disposing of dead bodies, even picking up pages of a 'Specialist' Porn magazine whilst driving in a Van for one Mexican gangster?. The games missions are nothing if not varied. WHAT OPPOSITION DOES A GANGSTER HAVE? You don't get the whole City to yourself you know. Along with all the ordinary pedestrians and drivers, there are people who don't like you very much and who take great pleasure in trying to kill you whenever you go near them or in their territory. These include, the Triads, the Mafia, a Columbian drugs cartel, and the Yakuza. S**T IT'S THE PIGS The Police are of course on duty to provide law enforcement, and to ensure that your main character spends as much time in Jail watching his back in the showers, as he does generally causing havoc and mayhem. The amount of Police after your character, and their level of activity is governed by a stars system. Stars are 'earned' as you do illegal activities, th
        e more you wreak havoc, the more you are on the Police wanted list. For example: 1 Star = You would have to be pretty rubbish to get collared, 1 Police car after you, not doing much in particular to get to you though Through to 6 Stars = The army after you, tanks, helicopters etc. You won't survive! In between these two extremes you will have to learn to deal with getting rammed off the road by the police cars, being chased by Helicopters, dealing with police roadblocks, SWAT vans and the FBI amongst others. There are ways to get rid of your wanted rating though?. These methods are for you to discover yourself. HOW DO YOU FIGHT BACK? You have access to many weapons, many of these are given to you for specific missions, some of them you find on dead bodies, and others you can purchase from the Ammu-Nation store. These weapons include, Pistols, Uzis (for drive by shootings!), Flame Throwers, Sniper Rifles, and Rocket Launchers amongst others. I SCREAM - U SCREAM As touched on earlier, the diversity of the missions is something to be commended. One of my particular favourites from the early part of this game is when you have to steal and Ice Cream van, rig it up with a bomb, and drive it into Mafia territory. It is then up to you to activate the Ice Cream vans jingle and retreat to a safe distance. Sure enough several of the Mafia go up to it to get an Ice Cream ? you then detonate the bomb from a safe distance, another problem taken care of. SOUNDS OF THE CITY When driving along in your stolen car, through one of the three very large and diverse cities you will have the pleasure of listening to some excellent in car entertainment. There is a variety of radio stations included in this game for you to listen to, each of them being very enjoyable to listen to, especially the phone in station, which is frequently hilarious. You also have
        the option to listen to your own MP3s, via the games MP3 radio station. WOW IT'S A BIG WORLD OUT THERE As mentioned there are 3 large cities in this game, each of these cities looks very different to the last. Cruising around the Cities is a game in itself, the aesthetics such as the gradually changing weather, and time of day further makes this a very enjoyable thing to do. You can only progress onto the next Island via completing all of the missions on the Island in which you are currently on. Once you have done this, the next Island will be available to go to. All of these Islands though are interlinked via Subway, Bridges, and Waterways. This means that you can go back to any City you want whilst playing the game, indeed this is essential in order to complete many of the missions. LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY PICTURES The graphics in this game are nothing short of stunning, from the wide open cityscapes, to the way that papers and leaves blow around the streets via the wind is a sight to behold. Also due to the way the time of day changes constantly in this game, you get to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and dusky nights. This combined with a range of weather effects such as Fog and Rain makes the game even more aesthetically appealing. I HAVEN'T EVEN SCRATCHED THE SURFACE! This game has a lot more to offer than I have described in this review, other things you can do if you wish: Steal police cars, and choose to do 'Vigilante' missions in your stolen vehicle Steal Fire Trucks, and choose to go and put out fires Steal a Taxi and go and pick up people, and drive them to their destination for cash Steal an Ambulance and go and help the dying and wounded Those are just a few more of the things that you can do, there is plenty more to discover, you can even earn extra cash for pulling off Insane stunts in your vehicle. Th
        ere is even a replay mode included in this game in which you can replay the last 30 seconds of action, and change the cameras to suit you, then you can save it for prosperity to enjoy again and again. By now you would have realised that this game isn't one for young children ? indeed this game has an official BBFC certification of 18. NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS This game requires some pretty hefty specifications I wouldn't recommend it to you, unless you have a system that meets or exceeds these requirements: Processor: P3 or Athlon 700mhz O/S: Windows 98 or higher Graphics: GeForce 2 or above graphics card (preferably a GF3 or 4) Memory: 128ram (256+ preferred, especially with XP) Theoretically you can run this game on a machine lower than these specifications. This is especially true if you for example have a slightly slower Processor, but a graphics card such as a GeForce 3. In that instance the graphics card will be able to handle most of the extra strain this game places onto your system. I'm off now to wreak some more havoc, Kev

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        • More +
          18.06.2002 08:12
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          An accusation often correctly leveled at reviews for Computer items, is that they are often written in pure technical jargon. This has 2 discernable consequences: a) Only the computer literate will tend to understand them, and to be quite honest a large percentage of those will already know a significant amount about the product being reviewed. This is especially true if it's a product such as a graphics card. b) The non - technically inclined will be at a complete loss as to what the review is about, or at the very least what the review means. This is a pity, as the product may genuinely interest the reading consumer, if they knew what the opinion writer was talking about! It is for this purpose, that I will always from now on do my best to cater for all users, for computer aficionados, and computer novices alike. In the main at the end of any of my future reviews, I hope that you at least know more about the product that I reviewed, and whether or not it would hold any value for you. There is always room for improvement for any writer however, so my tips for writing better Computer opinions are: 1) Ensure you are factually correct, and the information is relevant This is quite a big bugbear with me, I have read many Computer reviews in the past that have contained quite large technical inaccuracies or just glaring omissions regarding the abilities of the product. In this instance I will always comment to that effect regarding the inaccuracy, and more often than not I will rate low because of this. At the end of the day, if you are unsure about the technicalities of a product, it is best not to mention them at all, instead of just guessing about them. ~Relevance to the user~ Sometimes when I read a review it can go into immense detail regarding the packaging said product came in, this is unnecessary detail in my opinion. At the end of the day, it's all
          about prioritizing what does, and what doesn't go into your opinion. In short, I'm not too bothered about the aesthetical qualities of the box it came in; I want to know everything about the product that came in the said box. The only time when I consider the box to be a relevant aspect, is when you are talking about packaging for the sakes of protection of the item, an example of this is: Good usage = If I were reading a review on a Pre-Built Computer that was delivered by Courier to your door, then packaging detail would be relevant. Bad usage = Describing the box in great detail that your shop purchased card, peripheral or other such item came in. The main problem is that going into detail on such things is that it can detract from the actual opinion itself, and look like 'padding'. 2) Try to cater for all users - if possible include a definition of terms at the end of your review where necessary I have in the past been guilty of this aspect, of not catering for all users. This is why, from now on, my opinions will always be written in such a manner that is universally readable and accessible regardless of computer experience. Including a short definition of terms at the end of the review, or links to websites that carry these terms is also something that I would also consider advantageous. By the same token however, your main target audience for all computer reviews will always be those who are into the subject matter. So whilst catering for all levels and types of user is important, ensuring you reach the target audience is even more so. 3) Ensure you mention how much the product actually cost As per the title, ensure you mention how much the product cost you. If you got it from a specific retailer for a good price, then by all means mention make a small mention of that as well. At the end of the day adding price details helps the end consumer
          who may be interested in buying that product after reading your glowing review of it. Of course, even if the review is the opposite of glowing, the pricing information should still be added. If only to inform the reader of how much they stand to save by reading your review, and potentially shunning the product :-) 4) Include personal opinion These tips can be applied to virtually any Dooyoo category this one is no exception. If I wish to read a list of specifications and little else, then I can just as well do that on any other website, or from the side of the box in which the product comes in. Feel free to rant or eulogise about the product or service being reviewed, however be sure to not get carried away, particularly in the case of a rant. If you are particularly irate regarding something it is often good to type up the opinion in word, and then delaying posting of the opinion until the next day. This is because opinions can sometimes be clouded by bad feelings present at the time of writing. 5) If you have problems with a certain product, try to ensure that user error isn't the problem - rather than blaming the software/hardware straight away - I have read countless reviews whereby a reviewer has slated a product quite severely, from reading the opinion though it becomes readily obvious that user error is the determining factor involved rather than any fault of the actual product itself. - I hope these tips have been of some help to you, I will update this opinion with extra information as and when required. Thank you for reading, Kev

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          • MAME / Utility / 1 Reading / 45 Ratings
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            19.04.2002 01:22
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            • "Games can be tough to find
            • if you don't know where to look"

            Do you have any fond memories of any arcade games? Perhaps you can remember wasting away time when you were younger by blasting a few space invaders, or any of the other hundreds of games that would be found in Arcades up and down the country. If by any chance you do have an urge to play an old arcade machine, chances are you can do this now, just by owning a PC (or other supported platform), this piece of software and some ROM images for the games you wish to play (which can be downloaded from many sites). What is MAME? ============ MAME, is an emulator that emulates many different arcade machines, hence the name which stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. A brief history of MAME ================== The following text is quoted from the MAME Support document that is included with the emulator: 1997.02.05 - In the beginning there was Mame, the DOS text based program authored by Italian programmer Nicola Salmoria in 1996 and released on Feb. 05 ~Quote ends~ MAME as you can see has been in development for years upon years. This development was not inspired by an urge of to commit piracy to avoid having to pay to play the games. Instead it was started as a project to archive and keep playable games that have long since become extinct from Arcades. The same basic premise is around today, no currently viable Arcade Machine (i.e. one that is still amassing money) will be emulated until that status changes. As luck would have it though, the ones that fit into that criteria are the games that would be incredibly difficult to emulate, or ones that require specialized hardware peripherals in order to play. How has MAME evolved? =================== From humble beginnings where it emulated perhaps a few hundred games, the latest release emulates over 3,200 games (most of them perfectly). The first release of MAME, was *Disk Operating System on
            ly. This made it appear user un-friendly to someone who was unfamiliar with DOS. This review will be centering on the MAME32 version of MAME. This is basically identical in most aspects to the DOS version, but is ever so slightly slower. However nowadays the speed cost is not worth considering as a disadvantage. Computers are much faster now, and as such are more than capable of running MAME with an easy to use front end. MAME32 ======= This is the Windows user-friendly version of MAME. It runs over 3200 games, ranging from 1975 up to and including the year 2000. MAME is constantly evolving though, with new updates a regular occurrence. As of this review it is on version 0.59. Just how well does it play games then? ============================ Of course this all depends on which game you play, however the vast majority of games have near 100% perfect emulation. Some games don't have sound, some will have graphical glitches ? but for the most part you won't experience these problems. Examples of some games it can play, and the diversity between each game: Space Invaders (Do I need to say more? 1978 shooting game) Star Wars original (Vector graphics shoot-em-up Star Wars game from 1983) Ghosts 'N' Goblins (Popular game made by Capcom in 1985) Street Fighter 2 (Fighting game made by Capcom in 1991) Wrestlefest (A wrestling game that I am sure will be familiar to many; 1991) The Simpsons (Scrolling beat-em-up game based on everyones favourite family; 1991) Metal Slug3 (Platform, shooting action. Very funny, and well worth playing; 2000) Features of MAME32 ================ MAME32, has a user friendly frontend allowing for a large amount of configuration. Here I list some of those features: Filters ~~~~~ The games list which is present in MAME runs at over 3200 games. Findi
            ng the game you want in this list even though it is sorted alphabetically can still be quite a task. Filters can be used to narrow down your search they include, year, manufacturer and whether you have the game currently available for use. There is also a filter for Originals ~~~~~~~ This can be used to narrow down the search substantially. This is because some games have many different variants, be they slightly revised versions, foreign versions, or user hacked versions. Sometimes these hacks etc can make it tougher for you to find the game you actually want to run. This filter will ensure that only the originals are shown. Perhaps the best example I can think of, in which a game was hacked was for Street Fighter 2. If you are a gamer and are familiar with this Arcade machine, you may have seen several different versions of it floating around in Arcades. Some of the variants are official ones, but others are hacked versions that include amongst other things the ability to change the character you are using mid-game, this was a random change though! Screenshot support ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you so desired you could download pictures of every single game present in MAME (or create your own). These can then be displayed every time you highlight the games name in the MAME browser. This is a pretty superficial option, but is nice to have all the same. It can also be handy if you have a complete set of ROMS, so you can browse through the games and pick one if you like the look of it from the picture. There are that many games, you can't have possibly heard of, or seen them all before. Save States ~~~~~~~~~~~ Simply press the designated button usually F5 and you can save at any point during a game. F9 (by default) will then load that state in, this enables you to play the game in short stretches. This makes it an ideal stress buster :-) Hi-Score saving ~~~~~~~~~
            ~~~~~~~ To give those older games even more purpose you can save your High Score in many of the games. This is good to: a) Challenge yourself b) Show off c) Challenge your friends Other options ========== There are many other options in MAME, options such as ability to change display settings, sound quality settings, and input support. These options can be configured on a per game basis, or by on a universal basis. You can also if you so wished record AVI files of yourself playing the games, this is more of a novelty though rather than anything genuinely useful. Still it's a nice option to have! Another option that is available in game, is the ability to change various settings that were present on the Arcade machine. By pressing tab you get a menu up, it's all self explanatory - the best option being Dip Switches. Simply select this and you adjust the difficulty, amount of lives, amount of continues etc for the game. Summary ======= As I hope this review has conveyed, this emulator has compatibility with a lot of games. I could have gone into a lot more detail, but that is not what this review has been about. There is a comprehensive instruction manual that can be downloaded with MAME, as well as an FAQ that goes into more depth about it. If you have a desire to play old Arcade games, then MAME is for you. Recommended for children! ========================= MAME is also something that would be good to get if you have children, who constantly want a new game to play. There are sure to be many games that they will like, and thus could end up saving you a substantial amount of money :-) However it is advisable not to let Children on the Internet to search for Rom files. This is because some sites try to lure you to porn sites by including keywords like MAME, and Roms in the search criteria. System specif
            ications needed ============================ This all depends on the game to be played, however for the most part a P2-300 with 64mb of ram will be more than enough. Certain games require better specifications, though the majority will work fine on a low specification. This emulator is also available for other systems such as the Apple Mac, as well as other Operating Systems. Availability of ROMS (these are the game files you need) ========================================= This is a slight grey area, technically these files are illegal. However many of the Arcade machine makers don't seem to mind as the machines themselves are no longer profitable. For this reason I am unable to give out locations for Rom files in this review. ~~ If there is anything else you wish to know then please let me know in the comments section, where I will be happy to help out. Availability of the Emulator + other files you may need ======================================== This emulator can be downloaded from many sites, the sites I would recommend are: Emulator + other files (Such as sampled sounds needed for a few games such as Donkey Kong and Space Invaders) http://www.mame.net http://www.mame.dk Emulator sites http://www.arcadeathome.com http://www.retrogames.com Jargon buster ========== DOS ~~~ DOS is an operating system that runs purely from a command line. For example to run the program from a dos prompt would have involved typing lines such as: Mame32.exe dkong -r 1024x768x32 -refresh 85 ?effect That would have been the command to run the game Donkey Kong at the resolution of 1024x768x32 bit colour with a refresh rate of 85. As you can no doubt appreciate, the Windows version makes all of this a lot easier for beginners.

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            • PJ64 / Utility / 0 Readings / 33 Ratings
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              08.04.2002 00:22
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              • "Roms are Illegal
              • PD Demos are fine though"

              Project 64 is a program for the PC that emulates another machine and enables you to play games that were designed for that machine. So what machine does it emulate? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It emulates the Nintendo 64, a console that was released a while back and has long since stopped being sold in most outlets. Only a few specialist stores will sell the machine itself, although they are abundant in second hand shops. With so many brilliant games made for the N64, emulation of the system was inevitable, and was first made possible by an emulator known as UltraHLE. PJ64, plays more games; games such as Goldeneye, Conkers Bad Fur Day, as well as titles such as Perfect Dark makes this the emulator of choice. About PJ64 in general ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PJ64 was started as an exercise by the authors to see if they had the ability to be able to program an emulator for the N64. The way PJ64 was created is very technical, and to try to explain it within the confines of an opinion would be both irrelevant and too lengthy. Next bit is a little technical, so feel free to skip it: The main parts that needed to be coded for the emulator was something called the Core. The core is the main part of the console, and the part that instructs the machine what it needs to do. Once this was done several other parts were added, including something called RSP (Reality Signal Processor) emulation. This is another major part of the N64, and it is testament to the skills of the programmers that virtually every game will run using the core and the RSP they have made. So how come I said that all games weren't playable if the Core and the RSP emulation are so good. The problem lies in the system this emulator uses. Basically it is made in such a way so that other coders can make plug-ins for it. These plug-ins control how the sound works, what the graphics look like, and your
              controller settings. Unfortunately non of these plug-ins are perfect for varying reasons, mainly due to the fact that to make these plug-ins they have to code them in incredibly complex ways. The authors have to emulate specialized hardware chips that were used in the console via software manipulation. This means that for perfect emulation a very powerful PC would be needed (conservative estimation rates this as around 5ghz or higher!). So every plug-in has to be highly optimized and efficient, the problem is that optimizations that make one game run faster/more compatible could have adverse effects on other games, and even stop them working completely. Slowly though the quality of the Plug-ins are getting better. How well does PJ64 emulate the machine in question? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There isn't a hard and fast compatibility list, but around 75-80% of games are compatible and will play almost perfectly. There are around another 10% that work but with problems. Certain games are not emulated yet, these games include Resident Evil 2, but it is hoped that in the near future another Nintendo 64 emulator will be able to emulate this game adequately. How can I get this thing to work then? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well first of all you need to download the Emulator from http://www.pj64.net, alternatively you can download it from htpp://www.emulation64.com. As the program itself can be quite complex it would be silly for me to try to list all of it's modes and functions in this review. Instead the emulator includes a very comprehensive readme file with almost everything you could ever need to know about the emulator. In addition to the readme file, comprehensive support is available from other users via the Emulation64 forum, which is obtainable from this address, http://www.emutalk.net What other things do I need to g
              et this to work then? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First of all you need a PC of these specifications minimum (although a few games will work with slightly less high specifications): " · Intel Pentium 3 700Mhz or AMD Athlon 800Mhz CPU* · 128MB system RAM · 200MB free hard drive space · additional 20MB-100MB free hard drive space per game, depending on game and number of saves you make · 100% Microsoft DirectX7 compatible video, sound and input devices**. · Microsoft Windows 98 The recommended specification is: · Intel Pentium 3/4 or AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz · 256MB RAM · nVidia GeForce3, ATI Radeon · 1GB free hard drive space · Creative Soundblaster Live · Adaptoid and original Nintendo controller for each player · Microsoft Windows XP *the plugins contain SSE optimisations, early Athlons did not have SSE. **The video device must be a primary device, have at least 16MB local memory and two texture units. Depending on the features supported by your video card some content may not be displayed correctly and thus some games marked as compatible may suffer glitches or not be playable on your system. The exact features required vary from game to game. nVidia GeForce256 and ATI Radeon (early models) are suggested as realistic minimum video hardware." I am running the emulator on a 900mhz Athlon, with 384 megs of ram, and Windows XP. Most games run at full speed, with great sound and graphics. Other things you will need to run this emulator ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In order to play games, you will need the rom file images. These can usually be found on many internet sites (download sizes vary). However downloading roms is illegal, and thus I can't condone their usage nor can I give pointers to any rom sites in this review. There is some Public Domain demo
              s available though that are freely downloadable from: http://www.zophar.net/index.phtml Features of this emulator: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An easy to use frontend ======================= This can be used to select what rom you wish to load. If a game is compatible then the frontend will add a compatible note next to the games name. If their are any issues with the games, then the frontend will also tell you exactly what the issue is, and if their are any resolutions to it. Save states =========== Save states, can be used to save a game at any point during play, and not just at designated points. This is very handy, and can also avoid frustration when you are forced to play a certain section time and time again. It can also be used to save the game, at the favourite sections of your games, for replay time and time again. Full plug-in support ==================== As mentioned earlier this emulator supports plug-ins to add, sound, graphics and control. The best of the plug-ins are generally: Jabos D3D 1.4 Jabos Directsound, Zilmars, or Azimers audio (these are all excellent for certain games) Nrage Input plug-in (supports Rumble Packs, Memory packs as well as a whole plethora of input devices) Zip compression support ======================= Ability to load games from .Zip packages, without having to unzip them. Thus this ability can save you an immense amount of storage space on your HD - especially if you have a lot of roms. Very Stable =========== Although the Emulator can crash, it has never led to a system stopping crash for me. Not even when I used Windows98, which was very prone to crashing anyways (imho) The End ~~~~~~~ PJ64 is no longer being developed, though the source for the Emulator has been opened up and is freely downloadable for anyone knowledgable enough
              to take over the project. However, the only things that really need small improvement are the plug-ins, these are for the most part still in development. Although Jabo developer of the best graphics plug-in has stopped working on it for an indefinate period of time. I hope that this review has been of some use to some of you, if you need to ask any further questions then feel free to email me on: kevinliversage@btinternet.com, alternatively leave a message in the guestbook. Kev

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              • Ad-aware / Utility / 2 Readings / 65 Ratings
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                22.02.2002 19:21
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                Ad-Aware is a very useful program that aids in the detection and the removal of 'Spyware' from your computer. Spyware is often installed on your PC covertly when you install certain pieces of software. If you have one of these pieces of software, the chances are you have some spyware included on your computer: GoZilla, Audiogalaxy, Gator, Bearshare, Limewire, Grokster, Net2Phone, Realplayer, Bonzi-Buddy etc WHAT DOES SPYWARE DO? ======================= It can do a variety of things, the usual thing is that it will report back statistics regarding what browser you are using, what link on a particular website you clicked, what your IP address is, etc I honestly don't mind some types of spyware, as long as I am sufficiently notified of it before it is installed. Sadly this is hardly ever the case; instead it is put onto your computer without your prior knowledge. Spyware installed when you are not notified of its installation on your computer is often known as foist ware. SOME EXAMPLES OF SPYWARE AND THEIR SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS ======================================================= GATOR ~~~~~~ This is installed by a variety of programs, as well as being freely downloadable via itself on the Gator website. The problem with this form filling software is that it is one of the most horrid pieces of spyware around. Gators spying abilities come in three distinct sections, first of all there is: 1. The main program function, the main programs usage is to save you time by filling out repetitive forms on websites. This feature does work, but is useless to all but the laziest of people. Anyways auto-complete has been a feature in Internet Explorer since version 5.0 and does virtually the same thing. 2. Offer companion is an installed module with Gator; this thing is what is responsible for spying on you. Its purpose is to downl
                oad and display pop up ads, unfortunately just surfing the web can trigger these pop up ads. This module also reports back web browsing information, and is thought to compromise privacy in the most grandiose form by allowing transmission to their servers of your personal data 3. Trickler (fsg.exe, fsg-ag.exe, fsg*.exe) Trickler is a small program that is put onto your computer alongside other applications secretly. This is always loaded in via the registry whenever you start your computer, and its main purpose is to covertly download gator and offer companion whilst you are unaware. It does this by downloading the file very slowly, thus the name Trickler. TRANSPONDER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This spyware is actually very ingenious. It is installed on your computer without your knowledge and has a counter that goes up to 700 in the registry. When you are surfing the net slowly, then this counter will gradually deplete, when this happens no pop up ads will be triggered. However, if you are surfing with moderate speed, then the counter will go past 700; trigger a pop-up advertisement and then reset back to zero ready for the counter to go back to 700 again. This is clever as if you are surfing quite quickly, opening various websites etc, when a pop-up advert appears you will automatically assume it was from a site you had just visited. This spyware is detected by Ad-Aware, the program I am going to review now, unfortunately since this is so new, not even Ad-Aware destroys every file as of yet. However interestingly, some anti-virus software is now classifying this as a virus, and thus will remove it. A RECOMMENDED SITE AGAINST SPYWARE ===================================== http://www.cexx.org This has information on virtually every type of spyware known, alongside articles on how to get rid of them, what program installs them etc. It will also let you know of any
                impending legal action against vendors of this spyware etc, all in all an invaluable asset against the spread of this, spyware plague. ONTO THE REVIEW OF THE PRODUCT KNOWN AS AD-AWARE (100% SPYWARE FREE!) ======================================================== Ad-Aware is a software utility that can be used to remove the scourge of spyware from your computer, it's quick, effective and it's free! (standard version only) FEATURES OF PROGRAM AND USAGE OF THOSE FEATURES ================================================== AD-AWARE STANDARD FREE VERSION OPTIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When a scan has been completed of the spyware, it can mark all files automatically for deletion, it will save you time to enable this option. However some words of warning if you use GoZilla: ~Aureate spyware is installed with the GoZilla application, if this spyware is then removed without you having registered the GoZilla application, then GoZilla will refuse to work again. A reinstall of the program, along with the spyware would then be needed. This may also apply to several other programs, if worst comes to the worst though and one stops functioning, there are options to backup data before starting, then if something does go wrong - it is simple to reinstall the spyware. ~ Removing of spyware automatically is an option that I would advise against being checked; instead my advised setting is Safe Mode. This mode will always ask you for confirmation via a checklist of files before removing anything. You also have the options to scan on Windows start up, along with the ability to create log files of any changes made by ad-aware. Very useful in the rare occasion that you may need to troubleshoot a problem. AD-AWARE PLUS VERSION EXTRA OPTIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Add scan with "Ad-Aware" to explorer
                context menu ? a simple description of this option is to right click a file. You will have a selection of options; with ad-aware installed an option to scan the file for spyware will also be present on that menu. This can be useful to nip some of the more irritating pieces of spyware, such as Transponder in the bud. Automatically remove files after rebooting, basically if a file was in use when you ran ad-aware for the first time, the program will be unable to delete it fully. This feature in the Plus version, will delete the programs as soon as windows starts up. Normally I would advise you to do two sweeps with the normal scanner in order to remove all spyware. Playing an alarm if spyware found is also an option in the Plus version, this is the kind of option that would drive you insane though ? believe me! Note: ~Ad-Watch~ is also included within the Plus version and is a separate program from ad-aware. This offers you real-time protection and will monitor your Internet connection, as well as your hard drive, waiting for spyware to try to install itself silently on your system. If it spots something trying to install, it will block it, and give you the option of deleting it before it makes itself at home. SCANNING FOR FILES, AND KICKING THEIR DIRTY ROTTEN BACKSIDES OFF YOUR COMPUTER ============================================================ Using this is simplicity in itself. Simply choice the directories you wise to be scanned by Ad-Aware from a selection menu on the left of the screen. It will also give you options to deep scan your registry, and to scan your memory (highly recommended and quick; this is where a lot of spyware hides and resides). Once you click the Scan Now button, you will be treated to a screen that shows the ad-aware process in action. Alongside the bottom of this screen it will tell you about all the processes running (not all necessarily spyware, but many of them
                will be). It will also tell you how many components it has found, ignored etc. Once the scan is finished you are taken to another screen whereby you are able to remove the files that don't belong, this is done by simple tick selection boxes next to each entry. If you wish to keep a certain piece of spyware (as you know it will break an application if you remove it) then you can click on the exclude menu button to exclude certain files from future searches. You can also use the same process to back up files, simply select the files you want to back up, and select backup option. MY FINGERS ARE HURTING, SO THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THIS REVIEW :-) ======================================= I conclude this review by stating that if you have found yourself besieged with pop-up adverts, then this may not be, and is probably not anything to do with the sites that you are surfing. Instead spyware such as Transponder and Gator in particular are perhaps the reasons for this. ~IF this annoys you - install Ad-Aware Do you value your privacy? Do you like potentially confidential information about yourself being sent to unscrupulous spyware vendors? ~IF this annoys you - install Ad-Aware The program is available from: http://www.lavasoftusa.com and is completely free. Free updates are also available from the site, and are either installable manually or you can download an auto-updater program from the same site, that does it all automatically. Ad-Aware Plus is available for the cost of $15 from the Ad-Aware website. The advantages of the Plus version are: ~ Includes Ad-watch ~ Ad-aware plus application ~ Free lifetime updates ~ Full lifetime product support ~ Email notification on updates and new reference files ~ Support future development of Ad-aware This program is highly recommended, I scanned for the first time in a whi
                le last night and found 36 spyware files. Today I have 0. Thanks for reading this review, Kev

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                • GENS / Utility / 0 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                  05.02.2002 00:14
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                  Gens Win So what is an Emulator? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Emulators are pieces of software written by very talented people that harness the power of the PC to simulate the actions of hardware that other systems use. As a small note, emulators are available for a whole plethora of systems, basically any system over 3 years old has been emulated, including PS1 and the N64. The latest machine to have been emulated is the GameBoyAdvance. Due to the nature of how emulators' work they often require much a PC that is of a much higher specification than the original machine was. The chances are though that you are using a PC at the moment that can utilize Megadrive emulation. What is Gens? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gens is a Sega Megadrive (known as Sega Genesis in the US) emulator for the PC. With this little program you can play 92% of Megadrive games perfectly, 5% with minor glitches and the remaining 3% are un-emulated as of yet. It can also emulate the Sega Mega-CD, at the moment the emulation of this device isn't perfected, though it is pretty close, and in a few months time no doubt it will be. At the moment though it will play most commercial games 70%, for this though you will need the actual CD or a CD image such as an ISO file. Having used the Mega-CD emulation with both a CD and an ISO I can vouch that it is very accurate indeed, and as a bonus it doesn't require a hefty PC to run. Options, options and more options ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The main advantage of Gens over other emulators besides its compatibility is the fact that there are so many options that you can change. An example of this I will explain further before going onto describe the rest of the features: Hey good-looking AKA graphical settings section **************************************** By default the graphics are set to normal perfect Megadrive emulation.
                  However there are several other graphics modes that can be set to enhance the image, there are: Normal - Normal Megadrive emulation, pixels are slightly blocky Double - Doubles the size of the screen Interpolated - Interpolates all of the pixels on the screen, so that they tend to blend into each other more. This tends to remove the blocky pixels effect. For example if you have several lots of the colour blue all together it will interpolate them as to give the impression that they are blended evenly into each other Scanline - Imitates the lines that are seen on some TV screens. 50% Scanlines - same as above but only half the amount 25% Scanlines - again with only only a quarter of the amount Interpolated Scanline - Interpolation and scanlines mixed together I would disregard all of these modes however if you have a computer that meets recommend specification as detailed below. In that instance use this: 2xSAI (kreed) - This mode not only interpolates the pixels, it also applies advanced blending and filtering techniques. This increases the quality of the image substantially! This mode also has the largest impact on performance however, so people with slower machines may find this mode to be not worth the drop in performance. As well as all of these modes, there are also options to play games in full screen or in a window. You may also choose to stretch the screen so that the image will fill it up completely. A good feature for those with slower computers is the frame skip option; this will give you the opportunity to tell the emulator not to draw certain frames, thus speeding the emulation up. This has the side effect of creating a less than smooth effect but it's certainly bearable in the vast majority of games. There are quite a number of options and features that I haven't touched upon yet. Sound wise for example you may choose standard Megadrive sound emulation, or you
                  can enhance it in quality via a menu system. Also included are options to configure your keyboard or joy pad in order to enhance your games playing experience. But I'm no good at games, is there anyway I can make the games easier? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ YES! - included within Gens is Game Genie emulation. This device was used on the Megadrive for you to input codes. These codes would give you such things as level selects, infinite lives, invulnerability etc But I don't have time to play games ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The great thing about an emulator such as Gens is that it will allow you to save the game at any point during play. So if you fancy a quick 10-minute blast you can do just that, save the game, turn it off. Whence you come back simply select the load state function and you are back to the precise moment where you were in the game. Please note: ********* Sadly this feature is not available for Mega CD emulation at the moment due to technical problems inherent with saving states from that format. However you can still save in Mega CD games using the games designated save function I want to play with others at certain games, is this possible? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Indeed it is. A small program called Kalleria is included with Gens. Simply electing the netplay option within Gens whilst online will result in a server list being downloaded. From this you can choose a server to play online, usually there are quite a few people playing. I haven't tested this extensively as I find it's better to just play with 2 people in the same room. However in my limited testing of this feature, I have found it to be reliable enough. A fast Internet connection is something that is nigh on essential for speedy game play however. How do I get games for this
                  emulator then? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well obviously your PC doesn't have a cartridge port, so you have to download small files often a couple of megabytes called ROMs in order to use the emulator. ROMs are in essence direct copies of the games. ROMs however are still technically illegal, so I can't give out links on where to get them in this review I am afraid. For Mega CD emulation you will also need something called the Mega CD Bios, again I can't give out such information on Dooyoo I am afraid. -------------------------- Myths regarding ROMs -------------------------- A small note, many people seem to be under the impression that ROMs are legal as long as you either a) Own the original cartridge b) Delete them within 24 hours Both of these instances are incorrect. Downloading ROMs is illegal, even if you do want one as a 'backup' to an original copy you may have. In essence by downloading a ROM you are getting someone else's backup not yours? Specifications needed (Copied directly 'with minor amendments' from Gens help file) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * Minimum Machine for Genesis emulation - Pentium 166 (MMX is required for 2xSaI Kreed's engine) or K6 200. - 16 MB Ram - Video card 2 MB (4MB for triple buffer option 'smoother graphics') with DirectDraw support and 15/16-bpp mode. - Win9X / Win2000 - DirectX 7.0 * Minimum Machine for SEGA CD emulation - P2 233 or K6 300. - 16 MBRam - Video card 2 MB (4MB for triple buffer) with DirectDraw support and 15/16-bpp mode. - CDROM drive x1 - Win9X / Win2000 - DirectX 7.0 - Latest ASPI drivers. * Recommended Machine for Genesis emulation (60 FPS in full screen 320x240) - P2 266 Mhz or K6-2 333 - A good video card like TNT... - 32 MB Ram <br>- Win9X / Win2000 - DirectX 7.0 * Recommended Machine for SEGA CD emulation (60 FPS in full screen 320x240) - P2 333 Mhz or K6-2 450 - A good video card like TNT... - CDROM drive x4 - 32 MB Ram - Win9X / Win2000 - DirectX 7.0 - Latest ASPI drivers. Use the normal render mode (in 'graphics' menu) to get the best performance. So how much does this cost? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing, it is freely available and downloadable from: http://gens.consolemul.com It is cardware however. This means if you enjoy it, then you are invited to send a postcard to the author. You are not obligated to do this however, but I think it's a nice touch and a good way to thank the author for his considerable time and effort spent on this project. Please, please, please if there is anything in this review that you are unsure about, or that you would like to know then please ask me and I will be pleased to add or amend information. Thank you for reading, Kev For the Eagle Eyed amongst you, you may notice I have done an opinion on Gens Win before (totally different opinion). Nevertheless the product is virtually the same, hence I have emailed Dooyoo in order to remove the original opinion + points, and if possible to consilidate the catagories. This was a genuine mistake, I didn't realise I had already done an opinion on this emulator until I was about to post!

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                  • Sony D-EJ 725 / Portable CD-Player / 0 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                    18.01.2002 00:05
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                    • "Headphones not loud enough"

                    Sony D-EJ725 ~~~~~~~~~~~ I love music, and I love walking, so perhaps it's with an air of inevitability that one day I would like to merge the two pastimes and listen to music on the move. That day came and so I looked at my options, the options that presented themselves to me were: MP3 Player ~~~~~~~~~ I wanted something that wouldn't skip when I was walking at pace so I considered picking up an MP3 player. The low memory capacity, cost and battery life put me off considerably. So I thought perhaps an: MP3 playing CD Discman ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Would be more appropriate. I have a CD Recorder you see so I could burn MP3s onto a CD and listen to them on the move. The problem is the battery life, and the fact that these players because they are CD based rather than flash memory based like normal MP3 players made this an option I didn't want to choose. I then considered picking up a: Mini-disc Player ~~~~~~~~~~~~ But I have always found these to be quite costly both for the basic player and for the Mini-discs. Also there were for me concerns about battery life and the hassle of having to record anything I wanted to listen to onto Mini-disc before using it. So at the end of the day I had a criteria, but couldn't find anything to fit it, the criteria was: ~Something that wouldn't skip when I was on the move~ ~Something that had a good battery life~ ~Something that didn't use a proprietary media such as Mini-disc~ ~Something that had good capacity~ In the end, I resorted to checking out CD Discman technology. The problems I had associated with these players in the past though made it fail on 2 out of my 4 tests. Those were the non-skip test and the good battery life test, however then I lay my eyes on the: Sony Walkman D-EJ725 portable CD player ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Th
                    e specifications of this product meant that I just had to have it that is if it could fulfill those bold claims, the claims were: ~ Sony Jog proof technology anti skip - this in essence meant that skipping should be consigned to a thing of the past; this appealed though seemed like a bold claim. ~ 38 hours battery life with 2 batteries and a staggering 86 hours if you use a battery carrying attachment (included with product) that carried another 2 batteries. So for 4 batteries you get 86 hours of play. Look of the product ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The player is reasonably thin with several controls on the front of it, the controls are for basic functions such as play, skip back/forward, Bass control, stop etc Volume control is on the side of the player, as is a switch that when pressed will disable every other control, stopping the chance of you knocking a control whilst on the move. The colour of the product is Silver, although an option to have a blue version was available. The player also has an Optical Digitial Output for Digital Recording, although I haven't made use of this feature and as such can't comment on it. Sound quality ~~~~~~~~~~ Sound quality for this player is excellent, and is delivered using two in the ear headphones that are supplied with the product. Also on the headphones wire is a control that enables you to skip tracks, play, (stop/pause) and to raise or lower the volume. A hold control as on the player is also on the control, which again is useful to save you accidentally knocking it. One qualm I have with the headphones supplied is that they don't seem to output a lot of sound. I tend to have to have the sound up in the 70s/80s region in order to be able to hear at a good level. Perhaps this could be due to my hearing, but I have given the player to others also to check and they have agreed that the sound is far too low until you reach the regio
                    ns I have specified. This isn't a major problem as you can just raise the volume until you can hear perfectly, however the recommend level as set by the Auto Volume Limiter System (which is an optional switch on the back of the player) is around the 40 mark. I have tested this player with another set of standard in the ear headphones, and it does tend to output slightly more sound than with the standard headphones, so this is a fault with the headphones rather than the player. However, even when I have been listening to music very high when on the bus I have been informed upon asking that no one could hear anything, so that was comforting to know that even when it seems loud in your ears, not everyone else has to hear! Bass quality is set in two levels for this player, well actually 3. The settings are, off, low and high. To tell the truth the type of music I listen to doesn't demand mega-bass so I don't tend to use any. However when I have enabled the bass effect has been of good quality, and as such gets good marks from me there also. Other features ~~~~~~~~~~~ This player has all the standard features included, such as Repeat (single or multi), Random and program. Sadly there is no Radio on this particular model. Does the player skip then? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, the one I currently have hasn't skipped at all as of yet. I have even shaken it violently whilst it's been playing to test the Jog Proof technology to its limits. It passed with flying colours, so I can safely say that Jog Proof does work. Skip protection can be configured via a small switch inside the Discman. Amazingly enabling this feature increases battery life rather than decreases it Battery life ~~~~~~~~ On the player is a small LCD display, with such settings as track number, volume, time played, and the all important battery level indicator. It is worth noting that t
                    he same screen is also the screen on the little control stick that is on the headphones. When the battery life is full, it shows 5 bars and subsides when the battery is running out. However the indicator seems to stay on 5 for far too long, when it eventually goes down to 4 the battery lifetime seems to accelerate. This means the indicator isn't that accurate. Batteries do tend to last as long as the claim boasts. Accessories included with this player ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The accessories that come with this player are: An AC adaptor 2 Sony Rechargeable batteries A Battery Stick (you can insert two batteries into this, and plug it into the player, for even more battery life) Headphones When you use the rechargeable batteries the battery life is as follows: When 2 NC-WMAA batteries are charged for 3 hours the battery life is 10 hours when you enable G Protection Jog Proof ability. And 8 hours when this setting is off! When 2 NH-WM2AA batteries are charged for 5 hours, the battery life goes up to 22 and 20 respectively. Battery charging capability ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Simply plug this CD player into the mains using the AC adaptor and put 2 rechargeable batteries in the player. Then you press the charge button on the front of the player; battery charge lifetime will vary but is usually between 3 and 5 hours. Does it play CD-R CDs? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Certain CD Discmans don't work with home made recorded CDs. I am glad to report that this Sony Discman although it isn't advertised as such works fine with them. A Confession and plea for forgiveness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At this point, I have a confession to make. Argos and Index had both sold out of this product, and thus the only shop in Chester that had stocks of this product was the shop of Satan himself, yep "Dixons&qu
                    ot;. I will keep this short and brief here, but will update my Dixons opinion with requisite information, however: I purchased this player first of all for £100 and was aghast to find it was skipping even when I was sitting down (note this happened with all CDs, and non of them had scratches). Also worthy of note was the fact that the box for this player was a little scruffy when I purchased it, and non of the manuals or accessories including the player were in protective wrapping. I took it back, and after Dixons tried to say I was out of the 28 day guarantee period, and calling me a liar I stuck to my guns as I can add up and knew that I wasn't outside of it, in fact as lady luck would have it, it was 28 days since I purchased it exactly. So in the end, I got my money back. Then I seen the player in the sales for £69.99 and felt that even if it did skip again then £69.99 would still be worth it. As the skipping did only happen occasionally and as such I could put up with it, anyway I was missing listening to music on the move! So I purchased this again, and lo and behold everything was wrapped up properly and it was very noticeable that this player was new, whilst my old one I am pretty much certain was actually an old returned product! This one does work now and as stated earlier doesn't skip. Summary ~~~~~~~ I would certainly recommend this CD player to anyone who has similar criteria to mine to fulfill, however as you can no doubt tell I wouldn't recommend you get it from Dixons! I hope this review has been of some use to you, if you have any questions regarding this product then please ask me via the feedback section, and I will do my best to give you an answer, Kev

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                    • Pop-Up Stopper / Utility / 0 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                      17.01.2002 00:08
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                      Pop goes the World ~~~~~~~~~~~~ First things first in this review, there isn't an awful lot to describe about this product. In essence the name of the product gives its function away. Nevertheless I shall explain its function and its modes. Function of Pop Up Stopper ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Go on guess? Ok, well the purpose of this utility is to? Stop Pop Ups! Many apologies if you fell off your chair with shock at that revelation, I should have broken it to you with a little more subtlety. Once again many apologies, anyway let's describe more about this little wonder. Why do you need this utility? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You're using the Internet now aren't you? Well this stops pop ups ? and pop ups are generally very annoying. As such this should be indispensable. How does it work? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ After installation you simply double click on the pop up stopper icon, it then loads itself into your Systray (bottom right of your screen). Now whenever you are surfing the net this little beauty will stop all pop ups from running (apart from certain embedded ones using DHTML I believe). However how it achieves this is simply by not allowing Windows to open anymore Internet Explorer/Netscape windows. When a pop up window is successfully stopped from opening the icon will do a little flash of celebration (no not that kind of flash you dirty minded person). However, if you are a little sadistic you can choose to have a user designated sound play instead to warn you that a pop up has been successfully vanquished. The problem with the above mentioned option is that within only a few minutes you will be ready to be sectioned. As I am sure you are aware it would get very annoying very quickly. Still its there if you so wish to use it. General Options ~~~~~~~~~~ Here follows a complete list of options for Pop Up Stopper.
                      Do not enable browser pop-up windows ? simply click the pop up stopper icon to enable this option (the icon will have a red cross once enabled) or right click and select the option from the menu. This is the main feature of Pop Up Stopper and as such should be enabled. Start pop up stopper when Windows starts Display welcome screen when Pop Up Stopper starts Play sound when pop up prevented Flash systray icon when pop up prevented Set these options how you prefer, just make sure you don't enable sound when pop up is prevented, as warned earlier it could drive you insane. Tips for using this utility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you wish to open a new Internet Explorer when this is enabled, then you will sometimes need to hold Ctrl or Shift in order to tell Pop Up Stopper that you want this window to open. Otherwise it will steadfastly refuse to open up. Also if there are certain pop ups that you know about and wish to see, perhaps the ones on Dooyoo's web page then simply hold Ctrl or Shift down and the windows will be allowed to open. Warning ~~~~~~ I felt it would be wise to include this warning. If people continue to use Pop Up Stoppers all of the time on web pages this could mean many sites going out of business from loss of revenue. As I am sure you will agree this is wrong. Even if for example Dooyoo were paid for serving up the advert even though it was blocked it would still be bad, why? Because that would just be passing the buck in effect from web site to web site advertiser. Some websites are getting around this though, for example the advert pertaining to BTs new Answer Service that appears on the front page of Dooyoo when you first go to the site will not be stopped by this pop up stopper. So what am I saying? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By all means use pop up stopper, however do try to use it sparingly. Having it constantly ena
                      bled is detrimental to the whole health of the Internet industry. Or will force the usage of some of the more annoying or difficult to stop style adverts ~ think of ones that follow the screen about when trying to read something (sound familiar?) Installation and compatibility of this program ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Simply run the setup program and follow the onscreen prompts, installation went smoothly on both Windows 98 and Windows XP. Thus I can state that this program will work on any version of Windows from 95 upward. Where can I download this program? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pop Up Stopper is a utility that can be downloaded free of charge from, http://www.panicware.com the actual download of this program is less than 500k in size, so it won't take more than a couple of minutes at most to download. Other info ~~~~~~~ Online help is available via the website, also it is stated that this is a freeware product, however if you use it a lot and wish to acknowledge the authors of it, then a donation option is available. Note as I said this is optional and by no means enforced, so pop up stopper will never stop working. Conclusion ~~~~~~~~ If you want a basic program, that can stop basic pop ups, then this is the program for you. It's easily configured due to the lack of many options, because of this it also means that it takes up hardly any memory or resources when running on your computer By all means this isn't the best pop up stopper out there, but it is the most user friendly and the easiest to use. Some other types of pop up stopper such as POW enable you to configure exactly which pop ups are stopped via an exclusion menu. So for advanced users the above could end up being the better option, me I will just stick with this little beauty (used sparingly of course). So if you want to know anything more regarding t
                      his utility, then by all means please ask, Kev

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                        16.01.2002 00:06
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                        Chances are if you download programs and files from the Internet and/or from file sharing programs you will be aware of the importance of making sure you have adequate Virus protection. However many people are still not aware that they should also use something to check for Trojans also. The Cleaner is widely regarded as one of the best products to use in order to detect these Trojans, I will explain further about the product in this opinion. First of all: I already use a fully up to date Virus checker, why use a Trojan cleaner also? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Some Trojans will be picked up by conventional Virus Checking software but, only a small percentage will be, and those will generally be the better-known types. As such a Trojan scanner is in my opinion an indispensable utility to use. What differentiates a Virus from a Trojan? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well both can do extreme damage to your computer that is for certain. The differences tend to be that Trojans don't replicate themselves such as viruses do. Instead they are often hidden inside other pieces of often-benign software, which is where they gained the names Trojans; as in the Trojan Horse of Troy. A type of Trojan for example could be a program obtained from a file-sharing program such as Morpheus that purports to get rid of Computer Viruses. Instead of doing this, it will instead introduce a Trojan into the system. Trojans have numerous effects, more of which shall be covered later in this opinion via use of examples. Why use The Cleaner then? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I believe that The Cleaner is the best Trojan scanner and cleaner available. It is constantly being updated and is easy to use and can be used to scan on right click and selection demand rather than constantly monitoring your computer. Though the latter is still an option if you prefer it. Insta
                        lling The Cleaner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Installing The Cleaner is simplicity in itself; simply double click on the setup icon. Then follow any prompts. The Cleaner installed and ran without a hitch on both my old Operating System Windows 98 and my new one Windows XP Professional. The Interface of The Cleaner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The interface that The Cleaner uses is simple and is very easy to use. All options are fully labeled and have icons. Setting up your desired options ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ General ~~~~~~ Simply clicking on the options setting icon or taskbar menu will give you another box with several options, which are: ~Show splash screen at startup ~ - Simply whether you want The Cleaner picture to show on startup, you can turn this off if needs be without any side effects ~Scan Floppy Drive at startup ~ - If you don't use Floppy Disks then you can turn this option off. Even if you do I recommend you disable this as it can prove an annoyance ~Run TCActive at startup ~ - Enables you to turn on or off TCActive on System Startup; I will explain more about this setting in the relevant section ~Run TCMonitor at startup ~ as with TCActive I will explain further in the relevant section Scanning ~~~~~~~ This section enables you to choose file types that should be ignored when scanning. I recommend that *.mp3 is not scanned, as these types of files are not executable and as such can't transmit viruses or Trojans. This will save a small amount of time off scanning, however if you are unsure then don't change any option within this section. ~Scan inside compressed files~ This is an option that should be enabled if you would prefer maximum protection, this will come at the cost of a loss of speed when scanning however, as The Cleaner will scan within every compressed file archive. ~Scan fo
                        r hidden executables~ This is again something that should be enabled, as it will scan for well-hidden executable files, however again this comes at the cost of a speed loss. Cleaning ~~~~~~~ ~Make a backup instead of removing files~ Will make a backup of any files it considers may contain a Trojan and will enable you to keep it for further examination. This is helpful in the very rare case that you may get a false positive Trojan warning. It is theoretically possible that it could delete a file that doesn't even contain a Trojan, thus ruining the file. As stated however this is very rare, and is an inherent risk with every virus checker and Trojan checker. ~Automatically clean Trojans after scan~ Recommend saying yes, but it's your choice. Logging ~~~~~~ This section enables you to keep logs of what activities The Cleaner has done. You can choose where the log file is kept and keep a limit as to its size. Update ~~~~~ Gives you an option to check for updates automatically at startup, I disable this, as I dislike programs nagging me. However if you are the forgetful kind of person who likes being nagged, this option will be to your liking and as such should be enabled. There is also an option to change your Proxy, this is irrelevant to most Internet Users and unless you know that you definitely use a Proxy server shouldn't be messed around with. There is also an Update icon on The Cleaners main interface, which should be selected whilst you are online; this will launch Moolive, which will check for any updates to The Cleaner. You are recommended to do this at least once per week. Update files are usually very small. Scanning ~~~~~~~ After configuring your options, I would advise that you check for updates using the update manager first. Then you have two windows; one will list all the drives on
                        your machine. You can select any of these drives to scan by ticking the box next to it. Scanning will commence and will scan for Trojans at the rate of 80,000 scans per second, according to the help file. I can certainly concur with this, it is fast. It is also very effective and if you have a Trojan you can be pretty much assured that the Cleaner will root out the little bugger and exterminate it. Please Note: Virus checkers should be temporarily disabled whilst the Trojan Scan is happening, as not disabling it can cause problems such as very slow scanning. Help ~~~ Simple help file, with comprehensive information about using The Cleaner and all functions and features contained within it. For advanced users, there are also some command line parameters you can use to add The Cleaner to a scheduling program. Details of these are contained within the help file. Trojan List ~~~~~~~~ A list of all the types of Trojan that The Cleaner detects. Descriptions are available for each simply by clicking on the name, some examples of Trojans that are listed in this Database are: FireKiller - Tries to remove all major anti-virus and windows firewall products and damage their installations so that they require a re-install. ISP Dialer - Downloads software that will use your phone line and run up charges Death Penalty Suite - (a list of effects below) Electric Chair.EXE - Deletes all .EXE files in C:\WINDOWS IownzYOU.EXE - Damages the registry. KILLREG.EXE - Deletes SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT Poison Gas.exe - Adds a line to autoexec.bat, which formats the HD on restart. SystemCrasher.exe - Deletes win.ini, win.com and autoexec.bat TKO'd.exe - Causes the computer to constantly reboot. Those are just a small example of the types of Trojan that are contained within this database and that are detected by The Cleaner. The Database also states what type
                        of Trojan it is, such as: Annoying, Destructive, Server etc TCActive ~~~~~~~ This is a program that is included with The Cleaner and can be kept running in the background. If it detects a Trojan trying to run it will alert you via a pre-configured sound alert. It is recommend by the manufacturer that you run this, but I feel that if you practice self hex and scan all the files anyway once downloaded this is unnecessary. Further details regarding this program are contained in the help file; to explain them in this opinion would be unnecessary. Suffice to say, they aren't needed much. TCMonitor ~~~~~~~~~ This is much more helpful than TCActive. However I would recommend that this is only used by more advanced users. It will sound an alarm upon any changes to the system registry. However novice users could end up confused and fearful as registry changes happen all of the time with normal usage, such as installing and uninstalling programs etc. An interesting feature upon running this though, is that it will offer to repair file associations. If the registry has become corrupted or associations have become corrupted for one reason or another this utility will attempt to correct them all. Also something that should also merit further mention, is the Script disabler, this will disable all scripts when surfing the web: " TCMonitor can disable JavaScript and VBScript if you choose to do so. That will help prevent trojans that use these scripts." - A quote from the readme file. However not all scripts are malicious so this could have a detrimental effect on usage. However no harm will be done by enabling this, if it does inhibit your usage of certain sites then you can simply disable it. How to obtain The Cleaner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can download it from many sites, however due to the nature of this program it makes sense to onl
                        y download it from known reputable ones. http://www.moosoft.com is the official site. The Cleaner is free for 30 days usage, if you don't register after the 30 days the program will not work again until you register. So at that point it would be advisable to either register or uninstall it. Prices at the time of writing were $29.95 ? support as well as unlimited updates are included in that price. I hope that this review has been helpful, if I have missed anything out that you would like to know, then by all means please ask me via the feedback section, Thanks for reading Kev

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                        • Street Fighter II (PC) / PC Game / 1 Reading / 19 Ratings
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                          15.01.2002 01:31
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                          'Hadoken', 'Sonic boom', 'Spinning bird kick' No not the lyrics to yet another inane Vengaboys Ibiza fuelled exercise in banality, but the voices that could be heard emanating from each and every half decent arcade some years back. The reason being? Street fighter 2 - The World Warriors Take eight of the Worlds best fighters and pit them all against each other in a tournament. Yes, the plot was really that complex... Well ok there is some pretence at a plot, the crux of each being that they need to defeat the final boss to seek vengeance of some kind or to prove themselves. To be fair a game such as this needs little plot, what is present does its job well enough. This game is about out and out violence, to win the game you need to basically defeat 12 characters. 8 main characters, including bizarrely yourself, and then you need to defeat the 4 main bosses. The characters ranged from standard martial artist fare, to a green monster of sorts. Whence putting your money into the machine and choosing your character you were whisked away to start fighting in one of 12 locations throughout the world. These locations didn't affect the game in any manner, just the scenery. In order to succeed in this game, a whole plethora of moves were available for each character. These moves were in distinct sections, fierce, medium and strong. With these moves your character could perform many different moves, of which many were context sensitive. If your opponent were a certain distance away for example, a Strong kick would have perhaps resulted in your character performing a roundhouse kick. If however they were close, then a different style of kick would result, or if they were really close perhaps a throw would occur. The mastery of these basic moves were what separated the men from the boys in this game, or if you wish the casual gamer from the geek. By and large strong moves would be slow and s
                          trong, compared to fierce moves that were fast and weak. Combining these moves together would result in small combination attacks; the best of the type were unblockable attacks that would often weaken the opponent significantly. Mastery of these basic moves was essential in order to prove your dominance however you also needed to master moves of a different ilk. These were known as 'specials'. To perform these moves a certain sequence of joystick movement and button presses were needed. These ranged from the very simple, tap one button fast, to the often infuriatingly difficult rotate stick 360 degrees then press a button kind of moves. It was considered a sign of your gaming prowess if you could master a technique called, 'a spinning pile driver' that was employed by a character of immense strength and tortoise like speed called 'Zangief'. If you managed to pull that move off against a tough opponent with a crowd of people gathered to watch, instant kudos would often be gained. Speaking of the special moves, this would be something out of the ordinary in many cases. For example the most famous was the 'Ha-do-ken' employed by two of the main characters Ken and Ryu this was a ball of pure white energy that would be fired at your enemy. The graphics used to wow the captivated audiences that would often assemble around the machine to watch a participant try to complete the game. Sometimes one of these spectators would challenge the person playing the game to a 2-player game, winner stays on games would often ensue. These machines must have guzzled up a fair amount of money when the Street fighting game addiction was in its prime. All in all a wonderful game and one that I still have many fond memories of. There are ways of playing the actual arcade version(s) of this game on a PC through something called MAME. Download the game and the emulator from http://www.mame.dk I would recommend you
                          to do this ? a control pad or joystick however is essential in order to play SF2 though I reckon. This game was converted to the Super Nintendo and became one of the best selling games on that particular platform. It was considered to be virtually arcade perfect, and as such helped to take away people from the Arcades and get them sitting in front of their Console and TV Screen instead. Apart from the saving of money (eventually) by not playing this game on the Arcades all the time, gaming tournaments between friends became par for the course amongst fans of this game. Indeed my friends and I used to enjoy playing this game, and having a lot of friendly competition between us. Many of the other games in the Street Fighter Series were also ported to the Super Nintendo and were also virtually arcade perfect ? a perfect showcase of the machines power. This is one of the reasons why I have such fond memories of Street Fighter 2, and is one of the reasons I couldn't recommend it more. So if you ever wander into an Arcade and see this game, put 10/20p in it (which is what it should cost nowadays) and see what all the fuss was about. You can also get this game working on the PC in many different forms via a few small downloads, if you are interested in knowing how, send an email to: kevinliversage@btinternet.com Kev

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                          • eFront's Power Archiver / Utility / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                            15.01.2002 00:00
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                            I'm sure if you regularly download programs from the Internet you will be familiar with Zip compression technology. This is a method of compressing a file so that it becomes smaller and thus quicker to download. Once complete you simply double click the file and providing you have an unzip utility such as WinZip then it will extract the file for you, at it's normal usable size. Sometimes however you may download a file that WinZip seems unable to open, if that's the case then have you ever considered using a different Unzip utility? Of course it is true to say that maybe you don't experience much hassle when unzipping files, if this is the case then Power Archiver won't really affect you either way. If you are one of those people who have copies of WinZip, Winrar and Winace all contained on your computer then this is the utility to use to replace all 3 of them. Basic function ~~~~~~~~~~~ The basic function I hope is abundantly clear from reading my introduction, this program unzips, or to use the correct term decompresses a variety of different file types of formats. File formats it supports ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ZIP, CAB, RAR, LZH+ (.LHA), ACE, ARJ, JAR, ARC, ZOO, BH, TAR, GZIP +. TGZ, BZIP2 (+. TBZ2 +TBZ), UUE, and finally XXE What are all these files and formats? Well that would take more than this opinion to explain them all. They are all compressed formats; the predominant ones used are ZIP, CAB (Cabinet files; Windows uses these to store backups of system files), RAR and ACE. Most of the others you won't ever come across but, this utility will be there for you just in case. Features of Power Archiver ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Power Archiver enables you to not only decompress files, but you can also create your own compressed archives in one of many formats; this is useful for many reasons. Tip ~There is a vast help file contained w
                            ithin Power Archiver which will help you out with any problems you may have, or if you need explanations about one of its many features~ You can choose exactly how the power archiver interface should look, right down to adding new skins for it. This looks really good, and is a nice though unnecessary touch. Virus scanning files is also a feature of Power Archiver. If you have an External Virus checker to enable virus scanning of Zips etc simply select the program path to your Virus checker from with Power Archives interface; it will then use this whenever it uncompresses a file. Ability to create Spanned sets of disks with easy to use interface. If you have a program of any format and you wish to save it, however it's over 1.44 megs in size (which is standard Floppy Disk size) and you don't have a CD-Writer all is not lost. Simply use Power Archiver to split the file up into several pieces that can then be put onto media such as Floppy Disks. However whenever possible I would avoid using this for -very large files- for obvious reasons of using copious amounts of floppies. Also if just one Floppy gets corrupt (which is likely) then the whole spanned set will become useless without some serious file recovery software. You can create self extracting .exe files, this is useful if you need to send a file to someone who hasn't got an unzip utility on there computer. This simply needs a double click and it will uncompress itself. Files such as this are generally a little larger than standard Zip files due to the technology it needs to incorporate to uncompress itself. You can if needs be, change the compression from one format to another. This has limited usage though is useful for example turning an *Ace file which WinZip can't open into a *Zip file which it can. This would be useful in the situation of having to send a file to a user who had WinZip installed but not WinAce or of course Power Arc
                            hiver. There are many other features, which you can use in this software from creating custom file archives to testing the archives and in some cases repairing damaged archives. Installation ~~~~~~~~ Installation of this software was smooth and went without a single hitch. I have installed this on both Windows 98 and Windows XP both without problems as stated. Where to get this program ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.powerarchiver.com Also you can obtain this from many Shareware sites, such as http://www.tucows.com, http://www.download.com and many other sites such as those stated. Updates ~~~~~~ Updates to add even more functionality to this great program appear ever month or so, you don't have to download these but often they add something good to the program. Limitations of shareware package ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are no limitations, and the program will continue to function after the trial period without any problems. If you wish to show your support for the software you can register it for a cost of $19.95 via the registration screen in software. I do believe that $19.95 is a little expensive for most users and would think that a voluntary donation scheme would help them to gain more money for the wonderful work they have done with Power Archiver. Full support is available from the power archiver website even if you haven't registered the software, so full marks for that also. System Requirements ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ · Microsoft Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP or higher · >= Pentium 150 MHz or faster processor (recommended: Pentium 250 MHz) · >= 12MB or more RAM (recommended: 32MB) · A hard disk with at least 10MB free space (recommended: 50MB) · A Microsoft or 100% compatible mouse (recommended) · Microsoft HTML Help Update, Rich Edit Update v3.0 - available on the Power Archiv
                            er Web site No external programs are required to add or extract files to or from an archive. Summary ~~~~~~~ If as I said at the start of the opinion are needing of an excellent all round utility for making and uncompressing a very wide variety of files, then look no further. In my opinion this beats all comers, this is show by the wide variety of 5 Star awards ***** it has accumulated from many Internet utilities sites. The majority of these awards were user rated also, so that speaks volumes in itself.

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                              08.01.2002 00:05
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                              We have all done it, daydreamed about being able to make up laws and to fully enforce them, now thanks to Dooyoo we have the chance to share these made up laws with other people. So here are my laws. Some are non serious, some unworkable and some of the utmost seriousness. First of all a law that is of utmost seriousness, and of paramount importance and is needed so much in society at the moment: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Non Serious laws ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. ALL BOY AND GIRL GROUPS SHOULD BE BANNED ************************************* Please note this also applies to escapees from said groups, such as Geri Halliwell etc Arguments for the implementation of this law: **************************************** Groups such as Westlife, S Club 7 etc pollute the airwaves and generally make me very sick. Even worse is accidentally catching said groups doing a 'live' performance and watching them all mime; very badly I might add. What makes this law even more urgent to be implemented is that groups such as these keep genuinely talented people off the radio, and subsequently off the top of the charts. All people from groups such as these, loath as I am to say it, are talented. Talented in a way that a Red Coat is at Butlins though; so perhaps they should all go back to working there and thus leaving it safe to turn on the radio again. Arguments against this law *********************** I could say 'none', but I guess that children do enjoy these groups, and so they do have their place. 2. MOBILE PHONES SHOULD BE BANNED WHILST ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT ************************************* Arguments for the implementation of this law **************************************** Nothing is more infuriating than being on a bus and hearing a crescendo of Mobile Phone rings, some go for the doubly annoying approach of having mobil
                              e phone rings that sound like tunes that boy/girl groups do. Nearly every call then consists of the same thing, not that I eavesdrop but many people talk out aloud whilst using the mobile phone for some inexplicable reason. The call generally goes like: "I'm on the bus, be home in xxxx minutes" Sometimes the call will involve more complexities, but they are few and far between. Arguments against the banning of mobile phones on public transport *********************************** NONE! Having said that this is unworkable and so should be in the next section which is ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unworkable Laws ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. ALCOHOL SHOULD BE BANNED ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS *************************************** Arguments for the implementation of this law ************************************** Alcohol fuelled idiots tend to enjoy causing trouble. This isn't debatable, however to ban alcohol in general would cause widespread protest and generally put a lot of people out of jobs. What I would like is that alcohol isn't sold on certain occasions, and in certain places. For example, Alcohol should never be sold at Football grounds, as some people seem to abuse that privilege and end up drunk and disorderly and subsequently fuelling a riot. Perhaps a compromise in certain situations could be reached, cheaper alcoholic drinks for sale but ones that only have a percentage of alcohol that is generally quite low, 2% is around the amount I would aim for. This means you could still get drunk if you were so inclined to get drunk, however you would probably be too busy nipping to the toilet by that time to be concerned with causing trouble. Arguments against this law ********************* Admittedly this law is unworkable and flawed, however with some work done on it perhaps it could work ? if accompanied by several other
                              initiatives. These could be, certain places not letting in people if they are intoxicated above a certain level, again this is flawed and in certain places already used but?. These are my laws so I am allowed to propose the unworkable. 4. SMOKING SHOULD BE BANNED ******************** Arguments for the implementation of this law *************************************** Here is a small list: Smoking damages your own and others health Smoking pollutes the air ? it also smells incredibly bad Smoking is expensive Smoking serves absolutely no useful purpose at all ? anyone who says it is a relaxant is wrong. The only reason it relaxes you is because it sates withdrawal symptoms from the highly powerful addictive substance (more so than Heroin) Nicotine. Arguments against this law ********************** Some will claim it is an infringement of Civil Rights, and that smokers are being unfairly victimized and penalized yet again. Smoking also raised a high proportion of revenue in taxes; this would impact on public service spending. I believe that within 5 years of a law such as this being passed, the economy would still be strong (due to increased spending elsewhere), people would be healthier in general and would be thankful that this law was implemented. Alas this law will never work, and so I draw onto the next section and the most important: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE SERIOUS LAWS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. JUDGES HAVE TO GIVE AT LEAST 15 YEARS MINIMUM SENTENCE TO CONVICTED CHILD ABUSERS, ABDUCTORS, AND SEXUAL PREDATORS IN GENERAL *************************************** Arguments for the implementation of this law *************************************** There are certain crimes that once committed means that the offender should be sent to prison for a bare minimum of 15 years ? in the VAST majority of cases for life. In
                              this instance life should mean life and not 8 or so years it is deemed to mean at the moment. People have been outraged and rightly so at repeat offences committed by these 'things' that should never have been allowed to happen. Surgical or Chemical castration should be the only way that certain offenders can be allowed out of jail, this along with Supervision and Electronic Tagging should all be used to try to stamp out the vile scum and to stop them from harming anyone else. Naming and shaming of 'scum' does little but drive them underground and encourages vigilantes and lynch mobs. People should not need to resort to Mob Rule, the Courts, and the Prison service should ensure that this situation doesn't need to occur. Arguments against this law ********************** A select few 'Human Rights' activists would no doubt be up in arms over such a law, but these people do not matter and shouldn't be listened to. For me there is NOTHING that should stop this law being implemented. Certain states of America have already had this same type of law enforced and many more are set to follow suit in the next few years. 6. SENTENCING FOR CRIMES IN GENERAL SHOULD BE HIGHER ************************************** Arguments for the implementation of this law *************************************** I would pass a law so that the punishment for certain offences that are against the law should be higher. The reasons for this being, that there are many repeat offenders who laugh at the law as it is at the moment and cost society as a whole an abundance of money in Representation (AKA Legal Aid), yet they never get sent down for longer than a few months. An example, I used to work in a Magistrates Court, the same few offenders would be in on a weekly basis. These offences would be, public order, driving whilst disqualified, no insurance etc. The prob
                              lem was none of these crimes carried a high sentence and so they ended up just being fined. They laughed at the law, many times. I can't mention anymore on this. Lest it be said though that the Police were incredibly frustrated at having to arrest these idiots and then seeing them being released time and time again. Legal Aid costs for this family for the year must easily run into the tens of thousands. By locking offenders such as this up after several offences of this nature it would send a message that the law and the legal system were not such a soft touch. *Updated* Please note this refers to people who comit offence after offence of what are normally non imprisonable matters. It does not mean that I would impose sweeping changes to all kinds of offences. Arguments against ************ NONE - the majority of people are law abiding and would also be fed up at seeing people such as these released time and time again with nothing more than a fine and a verbal slap on the wrists. Combining this with my next law also related to this would send out an even clearer message: 7. *UPDATED* PRISONS SHOULD BE PLACES OF PUNISHMENT WITH CUT DOWN LEISURE FACILITIES *********************************** Arguments for ensuring this is the case *********************************** I feel I need to point out that this was meant with constant repeat offenders in mind, perhaps a shock to the system. However I can concede that my original viewpoint in this matter was verging on the draconian and have thus toned it down. Privileges should only be given to prisoners who behave or show willing to improve their behaviour. Arguments against ************* An arguement that has been put forward in the feedback section is that Prisons are tough enough as they are and the measures that I implied here would lead to more trouble and less effective prisons.
                              People would become wracked with hatred for society if the prison system was such as this. I have thus decided that this law would be completely unworkable in it's present state, I will however leave it here for reference. 8. DRINK DRIVERS SHOULD HAVE CARS IMPOUNDED INDEFINATELY ************************************ For *** Would stop people from drink driving when they risk losing their cars, and if their work involves driving perhaps their jobs as well. This would save lives. This system would be workable, but only if a certain level of leeway was given in ordering this to happen. Someone who is over the limit by only a fraction could be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to keep their car, although a ban of several months should be compulsory. Against ******* People would argue over whether or not their car should have been impounded, could result in many legal decisions being challenged. I hope that you have found this interesting, if you have any comments regarding these laws, their implementation and their feasibility I would love to hear them, Kev

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                              • More +
                                27.11.2001 20:46
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                                AVG As a new virus scare seems to happen almost everyday, it would seem foolish not to have a decent virus-checking program. What is AVG? ************ AVG is a virus checker that is developed and supported by Grisoft, and is recognized as being one of the best and most reliable Virus checkers in the business. It is also updated on a virtually daily basis, updates are easy to download and install. It is free to download from www.grisoft.com as long as you live in the UK. Any other areas of Europe can download a 30 days trial, after the 30 days is up however they need to pay. Features of the program *********************** Detects an incredible amount of viruses, also able to find viruses in Zip files, even double zipped files which some Virus checkers have issues with. Resident shield *************** If you wish to have Virus protection all the times, then this should be enabled. It will monitor your system for viruses, it will detect any virus presence and will automatically kick in to stop it doing any damage and offer to delete, clean or quarantine the infected file. If it quarantines a file it will put it into a secure area known as the Virus vault, you can leave it there safely ? maybe hoping that it can be cleaned especially if it's a vital file that is infected. Sometimes after the virus is detected an alternate program may be able to disinfect the file with greater accuracy than a jack of all trades virus program could. What is remarkable is that it doesn't noticeably slow down your computer in normal usage with this enabled, however it can cause troubles during scandisks, defragmenting and games playing. For this reason alone I disable the resident shield via the options. Email scanner *********** This option enables you to scan all incoming and outgoing mails. It also enables you to certify the outgoing message as being safe with a message
                                from AVG certifying that. This is good to have for the recipients peace of mind, although obviously they should still scan it at there end. Scan on demand ************* This is a standard feature of all Anti Viruses, and one that I tend to use the most. When I have downloaded a file, I will ensure to right click on the downloaded file and select the scan with AVG option. This for me is better than leaving the resident shield constantly enabled. Whether or not you use the Resident Shield or scan on demand is up to you, Resident Shield is obviously safer (and more foolproof) however. Automatic updating and scheduling ********************************* You can shedule tests and updates using the inbuilt scheduling manager. I don't use this feature, however I ensure that my virus detection files are always kept 100% up to date. An out of date Virus checker is useless. Other features ************** You can set the scan to run at system start up, this is useful to eradicate certain stubborn viruses, and will further improve your systems virus checking ability. You can also set AVG to scan memory for Viruses that are already active, viruses such as CIH for example. CIH is a very naughty virus, which will cause untold damage to your PC if left undetected, over writing of BIOS for one, which will stop you booting up! Creating rescue disk ******************** Using this option is nigh on essential, just in case something catastrophic should happen that stops you booting into Windows, the rescue disk will kick in and scan for viruses. It also backs up all vital windows settings, to hopefully reverse the effects of a virus. Virus database ************ Also included in this program is a database of viruses that are either widespread or cause interesting effects. This makes for both interesting, educational and in some cases scary reading! Exam
                                ples of odd viruses include: Casino - when run, makes you gamble using a crude fruit machine. If you manage to win in 5 goes your hard disk is safe and it will tell you not to turn on your machine until the next day when it will deactivate itself. If you lose, you will get an offensive message and the first 40kb of your HD will be overwritten forever, causing complete data loss! Ambulance - this is a simple virus that attacks certain files. On certain occasions a crudely animated Ambulance (think teletext graphics) will drive across your screen with it's siren blaring AVG works with Windows 95/98/ME/2K and XP. The latest version must be downloaded for XP compatibility though. The download is just under 5 megabytes and can be downloaded from www.grisoft.com Kev

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                                • myvoice.co.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                                  24.11.2001 18:08
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                                  First of all I am pretty confident this site will pay out, after doing some research into it's background history. To the best of my knowledge however not many people have been paid yet - this is because the site is in it's infancy (started July 01). The site of the Venture Capitalist group that are supporting this venture is: http://www.itochu.com/index_flash.html They have an annual turnover apparently of over $50 billion - that's quite a lot. A site that pays you to complete polls, wow that's innovative. But hold on a second this one is pretty enjoyable to use. All of the polls have some relevance, and give you a chance to voice your opinion on some pretty important issues, as well as some less important ones. The site is very easy to navigate, it's got a quite basic layout whilst still remaining viscerally appealing to the user. As soon as you go to the homepage you will notice the polls that are currently there for you to answer. Before you do though, remember to register, then log in otherwise you won't get paid anything. The registration process is simplicity itself, so you will soon be on the site answering the polls. On the top bar of the site are several links: Home ***** Takes you back to the homepage Take a poll ********* Self explanatory really, you should only need to use this link when navigating back from another page - if you have no desire in posting in the forums, checking the latest prize winners and poll results you will never use this link. By using this link however you can see what points are awarded for what poll so perhaps you may use it a tad more than me. Poll results ********* I find this link quite interesting, as will you if you are interested in current affairs. This has results of all past polls on the site. This will let you see just how your opinions on a subject match up with everyone
                                  else. Win prizes ********* This is a drop down menu, that lets you see past winners, current winners and information about the latest prize draw. I have been visiting this page several times a month to see if I have won; sadly not yet but I am optimistic :-) Forums ****** Two drop down choices for this, first of all you can check out news which is just news about the site. Forums is the other choice, and is quite disappointing as all of the forums are only sparsely populated, could be so much more if the community could become involved in some way. About us ******* Contains many choices, such as an FAQ, general news about the site, how the site works, an explanation about the points and the value of the points, and a contact link. I have used the contact link once and was emailed back almost straight away with a friendly email that answered my question properly. Join us ****** Takes you to the registration page ? use this to register. There is also a log in link at the top, a my account link which allows you to keep track of all of your earnings, and a help button; which links to the FAQ section. All of these sections as mentioned earlier are neatly contained within the top bar portion of the site. Polls come on the site at around 5 paying polls per week, this can of course fluctuate, as of course can the payment for each one. Sometimes they do quick polls that only contain 1 question, no payment is given for these ones but I still recommend that you do it if only to show that you support the site. The points awarded for a poll are usually of around the 25 or 10 point mark. Each point equates to one shiny new English pence. Once you have reached the target of 2000 points you may change them in for vouchers for a variety of different stores these include: Amazon, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Dixons, Virgin Megastore, WH Smiths, Tesco Stores, Cho
                                  ice vouchers (valid in Argos, Woolworths, HMV, Dolcis, Mothercare, BHS, JJB Sports, H. Samuel) and Leisure Vouchers (valid in Pizza Hut, TGI Friday's, Thresher, Victoria Wine Shops, Marriott Hotels, David Lloyd centres).* *taken from site Put all thoughts of quick earning out of your mind, you are not going to earn a great deal of money from this venture - well not just yet anyways. In future they should be doing some lengthier consumer polls that will be sent out to certain users. That would enable you to earn up to 500 points for a survey. I repeat for the hard of thinking: YOU WILL NOT EARN VAST AMOUNTS not just yet anyways. So forget earning enough to pay for some Xmas presents, maybe you will have enough this time next year for some though. Worth mentioning is that for each Poll you enter into you also get prize draw entries towards a monthly prize draw for a £1000 though they do offer different prizes at different times. For example they are currently offering £2000 to use to spend on a Holiday and then to use the remainder for spending money. I wouldn't mind winning that. Also at the end of the year there is a draw to win a Mazda MX-5 car very nice. There are also some forums on this site that would be very interesting to use, if it were not for the fact that no one seems to use them much. That's a pity, still theres always speakers corner at Dooyoo for that! Kev

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