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Ron Atkinson, how do I start this little piece, where do I start. The man is a baboon but he has that little thing about him that somehow makes me laugh. Sometimes I don't know what I?m laughing at. Some comments are so stupid I laugh, some are actually rather offensive, I laugh and some just ronninian in style. Ron or big Ron as he's sometimes known is continually a topic of discussion in the playground. He never fails to bring commotion to the 6th form centre on a Wednesday or a Thursday after the big match on ITV. The man is a legend. However why. As I?ve said before the man is a Burke. In the 1980's big Ron, with his huge sheepskin and huge, thick, tinted glasses looked like an IRA terrorist. He had that shady demeanour about him. He had a reasonably good managerial career, better than it should have been anyway, for someone who seems to know so little about football. He managed Man U, rather unsuccessfully but then went to Villa where he found success in the form of the coca cola cup, if I remember rightly. However, big Ron has found a new life. It's set inside the studio, that is the ITV arena. Now, I?m going to be as unbiased as possible here because I truly hate ITV commentary. Bring back MOTD. Big Ron nestles in beside a host of 4 other goons, the only one who makes sense being Robbie Earle. Ally McCoist, although funny on a question of sport is lost in this intellectual conspiracy. His Scottish accent and stuttering words does not lend itself well to ITV's rather polished finish!!! NOT. Then there is Andy Townsend who after last seasons performance in the TACTICS TRUCK (chuckle) has really made the seat beside Matt Smith his own!! Andy, his half-Irish half-English accent comes up with some blatantly stupid remarks, none of which I wish to remember and put down on this page. Then, one more seat, either Barry Venison or Clive Tyldesley (stick to the commentary Cl
ive) and go back home to New-----Castle Barry. Then on the very far seat there is the legend, the big man, it?s Ron. Now, I hope you appreciate that it is very difficult to talk about Ron without the accent but I?ll try. As I said earlier Ron is a topic of discussion regularly at school. In fact my mate and me laugh so hard that when we watch the footie Ron?s commentating on we take a note pad and pen and take down anything silly Ron?s said. As you can imagine there is normally a good ¾ side of Ron?s seething humour. We then compare notes the next day in school. I am now going to hit you with some: (try doing Ron?s accent when you say these) I tell you what?.. The little ginger fella (scholes) Magnivicent (correctly spelt) Late in the day (at the back post) Phenomenal Go on son, knock it out of your feet Full marks to the lad If there was anyone you?d want to hit it from there it would have to be this lad That is only a selection of my long notebook. I recommend you try it at home cos it?s given me no end of fun. The only problem with Ron is, he?s not always in the commentary position, and sometimes he?s in the studio, which is frustrating. I?ve noticed just recently that Ron has taken up a new role, on ?The Goal Rush? which if you like Ron in the afternoon is a special moment but it?s too early for me, I like to wait for the Premiership at 10:30. Now its not all rosy cheeks, Ron does come up with some rather offensive and sly remarks. For example, during the world cup he decided to call a German a twat for some reason. It was audible on air but he thought he was off air. He also remarked about Edgar Davids something to do with being blind when Davids suffers from Glaucoma. You?ve got to ask yourself, is this type of guy we want commentating on our footie. Especially when we?ve got Hansen on BBC whom is a fantastic commentator. I know he go
es on about defence too much, but he?s cracker. Then there?s Gary who?s very funny, let?s not get into Lawro or Trev but they play their part. One more thing, does Ron actually know anything about footie anyway. Every time there?s a decision made like a penalty or an offside decision Ron, despite having instant replays, always seems to get it wrong. A blatant foul has been committed, ?ohhh I tell you what the lads gone in hard there, but a cracking tackle? what???? Are you completely stupid Ron. I conclude that despite Ron being funny, either on purpose or purposefully he is fat, jumped up shady guy. He doesn?t know football and he can?t speak, blunt but probably true. Sorry to all you Ron fans out there. PS: big it up for MOTD
Minesweeper, surely the beautiful game of the computer. It combines, lateral thinking, quick reflexes, a steady hand and a cool demeanour. Every bareably decent computer these days should have minesweeper already loaded on it along with freecell, solitaire and hearts. You can find minesweeper in the start menu. You then go to programs, accessories, games and then there it is, the beautiful game. Once you are in minesweeper, you will see a screen with 8x8 squares in it. To start just begin clicking away. At the top of the screen you will see the tabs, game and help. The game tab will allow you to begin a new game, change level, see your best times, change the colour or hit the mark? button, not really sure what that means though. The help tab is rather self explanatory. Now, let's cut the small talk, let's get down to business!! THE GAME When you first open minesweeper up it will be on the beginner level. This level has 64 squares and 10 mines. The whole object of the game is to complete the level by finding all the squares with no mines on them. You use the left mouse button to click a square. If you are lucky enough to not hit a mine then you will be faced with a number or a block with numbers on the outside. These numbers are important, so listen up. If the number is a 1, then there is one mine beside that square, either horizantally, vertically or diagonally beside it. Once you find out the first few squares, the lateral thinking comes into play. Because the initial part of the game is complete and utter luck. After that you have to advance out into the rest of the screen by working out which squares are mines and which aren't. To help you in this you can right click the mouse and put a flag on the square to show that you think it's a mine. If you right click twice then you can highlight squares which you're not sure about by putting a question mark on them. Once you've mastered the te
chnique you'll be ready to move up to intermediate and expert levels. The three levels arecompletely different in every way. Apart from having a different amount of squares i personally employ different strategies. For the beginner level i like to flick round the corners and the top and bottom, in order to get as large a portion of the grid to pop up. This saves time but as you can imagine it doesn't always work. At the start there is a 15% chance of hitting a mine. My best time is 7 seconds. For the intermediate level i like to click round the corners, top and bottom and sides agin trying to uncover as much aspossible as quickly as possible. There is also a 15% chance of hitting a mine at the start in this level aswell. My best time is 43 seconds. The expert level is a level which requires absolute skill and speed of thought. There are 480 squares of which 99 are mines. This time there is a 20% chance of hitting a mine at the start. Once again i click around at the start trying to get a large chunk, then i work from there. However you can't be as greedy with this grid. You have to work most of it out and it'a very difficult. Despiteme playing for ages now i've only done this grid a few times and my best time is 164, and that was after staying up until 4 in the morning!!!! That shows the addictiveness of the game. It's also very frustrating. When you get down to the very last few squares you can get to a point where you cannot work out which square is amine and which isn't. Then, it'sa pure guess and of course most of the time i lose from that position!!! I see minesweeper as a combination of C&C (strategy) and doom (coolness under pressure). Minesweeper costs nothing, well you do need a pc but hey, it will give you hours of fun, but also sleepless nights. I also reccomend getting a group of people to have a wee competition as it adds a bit of competitiveness.
If you're a more mature minsweeperer then why not try the game without colour by hitting the colour tab in file, very difficult. Also there is a custom option where you can make up your won grid. The best thing about this is you can see a numeber 8, which i have to report is black for those who haven't seen it. Minesweeper is the beautiful game. Why not give it a go. By the way did i mention you need steady hands cos of you get near the end of an expert game and click the wrong mine by accident, i tells you, most annoying thing i've ever done
History, well what is it? It says here (Chambers Family Dictionary) "the knowledge of past events." Well, of course it is the knowledge of past events but it's so much more. I think history is the most fascinating subject I have ever studied. In fact it is my favourite subject. I'm currently studying hard (:p) for my A level history. I got an A* at GCSE and an A at AS level. At GCSE we studied superpower relations and the racial problems of America after WW2 up to about 1970. In the superpower relations course we studied things such as the problems, which remained after WW2 such as the relative strength of Germany despite losing, communism in Russia and foreign policy (a real favourite of mine!). We learnt that Star Wars wasn't just a film made by Steven Spielberg but was a policy used by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980's in which he provided money for American scientists to investigate the possibilities of America having the technology to be able to shoot down missiles or rockets in mid air, actually quite like what GBJr is doing at the moment. I learnt that the Bay of Pigs isn't just a silly name but a name of a place in Cuba where the American backed forces landed in 1962 to try to overthrow Castro leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I learnt that "start" wasn't just the word we use for the beginning of a race but that START is actually a treaty signed by America and Russia to stop building ICBM's, which are actually inter continental ballistic missiles for those of you who didn't study history!! How many of you know that Jimmy Carter (in my class he was known as cheesy, due to his smile, it'd blind you) was a PEANUT farmer, yes a peanut farmer from the South. Did you know that Stalin?s regime continued up until 1953 when he died. Of course the American race wars weren?t as interesting as real wars but we learnt about Rosa Parks, a black girl who
refused to give up her seat on a bus which created riots in Montgomery, Georgia. The NAACP was a group which was set up which gained a huge following after WW1 because blacks weren't allowed to be officers or even pilots!! The NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. Ahhhhha, just found my history exercise book America 1940-81 The growth and influence of the economy Social and cultural Divisions and their importance Political Attitudes and divisions in the USA There you go but back to ad lib!! Did you know that Martin Luther King once said, "they'd set them (black) free, but they didn't give him his busfare to get him into town" Did you know that not all Americans were racist, some like Truman believed "separate but equal" was the best way. GCSE was probably my favourite year due to the courses, which were so good. For AS level we studied dictatorships in Europe in the twentieth century. We studied Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler, all bad men of course. Stalin is possibly the harshest man I?ve ever studied, Hitler one of the cleverest, despite what everyone thinks and Mussolini, just plain stupid, In fact I can?t emphasise how stupid Mussolini actually was. For example, In the run up to WW2 he refused to build any aircraft carriers because h thought, and I quote, "Italy doesn?t need any aircraft carriers as Italy is a natural one!!!!!!!!!!? haha, loser! Hitler was able to exploit the problems, which lay in Germany after WW1 to win power in 1932. There are a huge amount of factors but the Nazi (national workers socialist party). In 1928 the Nazi party had 12 seats by 1933 Hitler had become the Chancellor and then in 1934, after the death of Hindenburg, Hitler made himself into the Chancellor and Reichs Fuhrer having absolute and complete power in Germany, making it into a totalitarian state. He then went
on to star t the war and of course to lose, yeoooooo. Stalin, many people know that he was a tyrant, but why, well basically he enjoyed a good purge. In fact a mate of mine made up a diary for Stalin for one day. Breakfast Morning Purge Lunch Afternoon Purge Dinner Evening Purge Bed Dream about tomorrows Purges Stalin was one of the bad guys in history. He purged (killed) 15% of his officer core, because he thought they were plotting against him. He was a maniac and a tyrant. He sent people to gulags (the first concentration camp of its kind) mostly in Siberia. He even forced people to address him as the ?shining sun of humanity? which is quite rich coming from a man who is said according to the historian Robert Conquest about 20 million people either directly or indirectly. We also did a bit on Lenin, who is one of these people I had heard of but didn?t know who he was or what he did. I had the idea of Lenin that he was a maniac like Stalin who killed people. Contrary to my beliefs Lenin was a man of principle unlike Stalin. He believed wholeheartedly in communism. He led the revolt in 1917 in which Czar Nicholas and his family were rounded up and later shot. He was a very clever man and wrote many books whereas Stalin was a hard worker who was his own man. Lenin was a one of the party and although he killed directly or indirectly a huge amount of Russians, he did it because he had to if the revolution was to succeed whereas Stalin killed for the fun of killing it seemed. Mussolini, the joy that man brought to our history classes. What an idiot. Another example of his stupidity is: Mussolini the Duce of Italy would not look at women in the face because he believed their stare could make his TESTICLES, yes his TESTICLES drop off. You can only imagine the fun and laughter that caused in a class full of 17 year olds. Basically this course was a huge slabber at Italy, Italy lost to Ab
yssinia in a war in 1898 and in revenge Mussolini invaded Ethiopia (as it is now called) in 1936. We learnt about how Mussolini, due to shortages, made house fronts out of wood, machine guns out of wood and repainted houses on the route Hitler took. on a tour threw Rome to impress him. I could talk on about a lot of really boring things about Mussolini but the rest of it?s quite boring, it is Italy after all. This year my A Level year we?re doing Hitler and Germany between WW1 and WW2 again. It?s really starting to bore me. I know it already and as I?ve explained it to you already, I don?t think you need to know about it again. The other course for this year is Irish History (excuse me while I?m sick). Most of you will probably know very little about Irish history, especially, I?m sorry to say you English, being ¼ English I think I can get away with saying that. But count yourself lucky you don?t need to study it. Whereas coming from Belfast predictably we do and we all hate it, not just me. It?s so boring and uneventful, it?s all this politics rubbish. I hope you have enjoyed this little story and I hope it has enlightened you about history at school. My only regret is that I can?t learn more. I mean, we?ve never studied the French revolution or Napoleon, American Revolution, Ancient Greece or even other history that you?d never dream of studying. However if i'm stuck i suppose i can read books! So, that takes us up to the present day, Irish history and yes, I?m still slogging it out. I got a C at the Christmas exams, but who cares, roll on the A level exams and then freedom and university.
1: The Barcelona Plaza (4*) is a modern hotel built in 1992 and located in Barcelona's best business area, a few metres from the Barcelona Trade Fair and the Convention Hall. It is also very near the main shopping and leisure areas of the city. There are 338 fully equipped guestrooms. The facilities include air conditioning which as you can imagine, in Barcelona is especially required!! There is a direct dial telephone, satellite television, safe deposit box, minibar and fully equipped marble bathroom. The rooms are absolutely beautiful and clean, the beds are comfortable and if you get a good room you can get a good view of the street below and the rest of the city. The rooms range in price from 104 Euro to 272 Euro depending on the date and the room you would like but for 104 euro that?s not bad. This is especially good as the hotel is situated in a central location not more than 1km from the city centre, the metro station and the train station. It?s also located about 10km away from the airport but the drive from the airport if you arrive that way and you can really get a feel for your new surroundings. Other hotel facilities include a restaurant which serves some cracking nosh!! and you don?t get any of that Spanish rubbish the food is actually good! There are 2 bars, the lobby bar and the piano bar both of which are equally good. There?s a swimming pool, a fitness centre for all you fitness freaks, a solarium, laundry and dry cleaning services and a fax service at the front desk. I had a thoroughly enjoyable stay here and I would recommend the city as it is beautiful. I also recommend a trip to the Nou Camp (footie ground) where you can see Barca take on another club from La Liga. However I was disappointed that few staff spoke good English but I suppose we get it too easy when we go abroad and that?s why more people should do languages at school! 2: Barcelona Universal (4*) is a deluxe hotel located in the leisure
and business area of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, the Great Liceu Theatre, the Port and Montjuic. It is also close to other places of tourist and business interest such as the World Trade Centre, the Fairground Enclosure and the Conference Hall of Barcelona. There are 167 guest rooms which are very clean, comfortable and there is a magnificent view of the city if you?re up high enough. There are sufficient facilities including air conditioning, a minibar, safe deposit box, an internet connection which is invaluable especially if you?re on business or need to communicate with a friend. There are sound proofed windows which I was impressed by so if any of you maniacs want to go you know you?ll be left alone in peace!!! or if anybody is messing about in the next room you won?t be able to hear as much!! There?s also a colour television in every room! The rooms range from 121 to 145 Euro but if I?m honest I had a wee look in the up market bedrooms and the one I was in was just as good, just a bit smaller. The hotel offers a restaurant, a bar, fitness centre, room service and a swimming pool. However I must point out that the car parking comes at a cost which in all honesty is a bit stingy! 3: Hotel Barcino (4*) is a historical building very well preserved, and apparently was renovated in 1998 (they?ve done a great job). It is located downtown in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, next to the Townhall and Palace of the Generalitat. The hotel is well placed for you to be able to explore the old town and the downtown shopping districts due to its centrality. The hotel has 53 rooms, all of which are well furnished and very comfortable. The hotel is less than 3 kilometres from the Ramblas, the Passed Colon, the Olympic Area, the Montjvic and the Sagrada Familia. The airport is 15km away and provides a lovely drive into the city. I recommend by taxi, as they are relatively cheap. The hotel offers fine facilities. There is a
private bathroom, a hair dryer, air conditioning, satellite television, a telephone, an individual safe and a minibar. Rooms cost from 127 Euro and the most expensive rooms are 170 Euro and once again there isn?t much difference in the quality of the rooms. If you want an extra adult bed or an extra child bed it will cost extra as I found out to my dismay. It?ll cost you up to about 80 Euro for it. The hotel offers car parking, a laundry service, a restaurant and laundry facilities. It must be said that the hotel offers very good wheelchair facilities and the car park doesn?t cost thank goodness!! Barcelona is a great city and although these are my favourite hotels. However, it must be said that the city is what you go to see in Barcelona and these are fantastic. I won?t tell you about them here, I might save them for another opinion!
These are my 4 favourite hotels to stay in in Rome. Contilia Hotel: The Contilia Hotel (3*) is in the heart of the historical center of Rome, a few steps from the Colosseum, the Basilica of St Mary Major and the Roman Forum. With the centrality to many of Rome?s tourist attractions this hotel offers a good basis to explore Rome to it?s fullest. The hotel is also only about 100 metres from the central train terminal, near the main taxi terminal and only 25 kilometres from the international airport. The hotel offers a wide range of facilities including bar, car rental, coffee shop, room service and a television in all rooms. It?s also good to know that pets are allowed and that there is good wheelchair access and facilities. My room cost about 112 euros per night but there are rooms available for more and less. Paphael Hotel: The Raphael Hotel (4*) is situated in the very centre of ancient Rome adjacent to Piazza Navona. The Vatican Museum, St Peters, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain are all within walking distance. The rooftop terrace on the hotels roof boasts a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The Rooms are completely refurbished and lavished with authentic Renaissance decoration. All rooms are air-conditioned, with direct-dial telephone, mini-bar and satellite TV. The Raphael's lobby is virtually a museum of authentic antiques, including a valuable collection of ceramics by Pablo Picasso. Believe me it?s absolutely beautiful! The hotel is within walking distance of the taxi and rail terminals and 12 miles from the airport. The hotel offers a large selection of facilities including air conditioning, health club, laundry services, minibar, room service and safe deposit box. All rooms come with satellite television. It is also of note that there are multilingual staff and good wheelchair facilities. My room cost 95 euros per night which is the cheapest room. Holiday Inn F
iano (3*): The Hotel is situated a few meters from the highway exit North Rome - Fiano Romano (A1). The hotel has 84 rooms, 18 of which are executive-rooms, all have king-side beds, satellite and pay TV, Internet modem adaptor, private safe and minibar. Warm colours and soft- coloured furniture perfectly combined complete the setting. The hotel is situated in the suburbs but the catacombs, the Colusseumano, the Etruscan historical site, Fiano Romano castelio ducale, golf course (very good by the way however the time I played I got +27, not very good!!!), ice skating, olympic stadium, water theme park and Rome itself are all within 20 miles. The facilities include car rental, health club, laundry services, restaurants, room service, solarium and safe deposit. There are also numerous public facilities in the area. There are handicapped facilities and babysitting facilities. My room cost 89 euros per night which is the cheapest. Forum Hotel: The Hotel Forum (4*) offers superior accommodations in the heart of the ancient city of Rome. One of the best ways to enjoy the city is to dine at the hotels roof garden restaurant which looks over the Imperial Forum ruins. The 80-room hotel is also close to shopping and other points of interest in Rome. The hotel is within 20 miles of FCO airport. Attractions in the area include, the Palatino, the S.pietro in vincoli, the Colosseum, Domus aurea and there are transport facilities including railways and subways. Facilities include air conditioning, baby-sitting, car rental, laundry services, room service, safe deposit box, room service, bureau de change, maid service, barber and doctor and numerous other services which are just too silly to put in eg shoes shine facilities!!!! (catch my drift!!) Wheelchair access and facilities are good. My room cost 130 euros per night which is the flipping cheapest. The Forum, all be it the most expensive is definetely my favourite but I
suppose when you don?t have to pay for the privilege it doesn?t really matter!!!!!
Fantasy football, what would i do with out it. I've played in a few different fantasy football leagues over the years but i've finally found the one for me. Unfortunately it's not available to everyone. It's been set up by a friend of a friends dad but basically the format is the same as most with a difference at the end. It's a mini league consisting of 40 different teams. Initially the 40 teams were split up into 4 tables, division 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each person then plays the other in their league, so after 9 weeks everyone has played everyone else in their own league. The top 2 teams in each league were put in division 1 along with the two highest points scorers. This happens the whole way down until everyone has been placed in a division. Thereafter money is at stake! The same procedure applies to the rest of the season. Each team plays the other in their own league and after 9 weeks the top3 in each division get's promoted and the bottom 3 get relegated. This continues for 36 weeks which is the equivalent number of games that are played in the premiership. The rules are as follows: 1. 3 points are awarded to any player given a mark of 7 or more in the Sunsport individual ratings with all Premiership, FA Cup Champions League, UEFA Cup and Worthington Cup match reports. 2. 5 points are awarded for each goal scored by any player in the Premiership and FA Cup. 3. A player scoring a hat-trick gets 5 bonus points, making a total of 20 points. 4. There are also 5 points each for a team?s keeper and 4 defenders who keep a clean sheet. 5. 1 goal conceded: the keeper and 4 defenders all score 0. If 2 goals are conceded each defender and the keeper collects -1. They pick up -2 if 3 goals are conceded, -3 for 5 goals and so on. 6. Any defender or keeper NOT PICKED scores 0 points. 7. Any defender or keeper who starts or who comes on as a
sub during any part of a game is deemed to have played in that game. 8. A played BOOKED is penalised -1, and a player SENT OFF picks up -3. A player sent off for two yellow card offences gets -3. 9. STAR MAN: Every match report in The Sun carries a Star Man award for the Man of the Match. The Star Man collects 5 points. 10. In European or cup matches, points won or lost in extra time will count but penalty shoot-outs will not. 11. If one of your players is transferred from one Premiership club to another he continues to score points. 12. If a Premiership player is transferred OUT of the Premiership or retires during the season his score is frozen from the day he leaves the club. 13. One transfer is permitted per week. This must be phoned through or preferrably e-mailed before kick-off of that weekends matches. So this year, if it is a 12 noon Saturday kick-off then, it must be received at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. It is the time of receipt that is relevant, not the time of sending. Watch out also as there may be Friday night matches this year. Any transfer received late will be ignored. HOW TO PLAY 1. 40 teams is the optimum number of participants. 2. All teams are divided into 4 divisions based on the final positions last season. New entrants start in the lowest division depending on the number of teams who do not re-enter. 3. There are 4 separate leagues of 10 teams. Fixtures are published and each team plays each other team once. 4. Thus at the end of 9 weeks, final positions for that ?mini season? is determined and the top 3 teams and bottom 3 teams in each division are promoted and relegated and a new league starts again on the same basis. 5. Obviously the top 3 in Division 1 and the bottom 3 in Division 4 will not be promoted and relegated. 6. Prize money is allocated at the end of each ?mini-season? but all is payable at t
he end of the season. 7. One transfer is allowed per week and this is effective from the following weekend fixtures only. Notification of the transfer must be received at the given e-mail address or by telephone prior to kick-off for the earliest of that weekends matches. This could be 12 noon Saturday, Friday night etc. 8. It is up to each individual manager to check that the team details, issued weekly along with the scoreboard is accurate, and transfers have been made accurately. Any queries must be notified asap and the decision of the committee will be final. 9. The scoreboard is issued weekly if there have been relevant matches during the previous weeks. Midweek matches will be included with the preceeding weekend matches. The scoreboard shows all of the fixtures for the season. 10. Scores for each individual player are totalled and the team results are noted and league tables updated. Please note that a team must win by 5 clear points or the match will be classified as a draw. 11. One transfers is allowed per week even if there are no premiership matches that week. It costs £20 to enter and last year i won £15 as i came second in one division and third in another
We are now in the post Napster age but has there been any change to download sites, in a word, No!!! The law changes which came in to ban and restructure napster have had no effect on other sites, in fact it probably highlighted the gap in the market and encouraged other sites of this nature to start up. Sites like Napster, Audiogalaxy, Morpheus and indeed Kazaa have set up in the last5 years with the onset of new technology such as MP3?s, DVD?s, CD rewriters and the players which go with the DVD?s and MP3?s. This software has although expensive has made it easy for people to listen to music. MP3 players allow you to upload music files onto them. The players are small and easily transported which has attracted many people to them and therefore attracted many people to sites such as Kazaa. DVD players, although very expensive on their own are now even available on Playstation 2?s and most new computers have DVD players on them. Playstation 2?s cost around £200 and a good computer about £800 yet the DVD players on their own are costing around £400. People have taken advantage of this and as the Playstation 1 did so well there was a flood of people ready to buy the PS2, including myself I must confess. With the on set of the availability of the new technology there was a vacuum which needed to be filled by the music and videos. CD?s are hugely expensive these days. A compilation CD or album costs around £15 and a single costs around £4. However these sites set up making the transfer of music around the world on a network hugely easy and inexpensive. It costs nothing to download audio or video files and they can be easily manipulated onto MP3?s or DVD?s which millions of us now do, be it legal or illegal. The downloading sites have certainly filled the vacuum but why has Kazaa filled Napsters shoes? Being so many different downloading sites out there why has Kazaa come to the for as opposed to Morpheus or Audiogalaxy or
others. The main reasons are: 1: the ease of navigation: Kazaa is very ease to navigate. It has 7 main different tabs at the top of the screen, Web, My Kazaa, Theatre, Search, Traffic and Shop. Web is the page, which appears when you open Kazaa up. It tells you some information about the site and tells you how many downloads last week etc and advertises. It gives you a Kazaa guide and info on how to check your privacy and just basics information that you would need. My Kazaa is the tab which you can open to see the downloads you have completed. It is split up into, audio, document, image, other, software and videos. When you have completed a download it is sorted into one of these categories. In My Kazaa you can also sort your different playlists out. You can hit tabs like more info and folders, which basically change the way the screen is laid out. Theatre is the tab, which is used to view all sorts of videos or pictures, which you want to view. However in the new version pictures are viewed in adobe, if you have it. Search, this is the tab you will use to search for a file, which you would like to download. You can be more definitive by filling out the search filter and then typing what you would like to search for. The search is very quick and once it has finished it displays all the files, which it has found. On the right hand side of the page it displays the files giving different categories which are of use, title, artist, size, ETA, bandwidth, quality and length. It is useful to know how long it will take to download. It?s also very useful to know how long the file is because eg if you want to download a film but the size of the file is very small you know that the file is not the right one. To start downloading a file just double click on it. Immediately that file will be transferred to the Traffic tab. This tab is where you can see what you?re downloading and what other people are uploading off your computer. The tab shows you
the progress of your download, the time left and the speed of the download. If you right click on the file you?re downloading you can pause, cancel or resume your download. You can also preview play your download. However I?ve found, especially with videos that you can?t preview play a lot of your downloads which is frustrating especially if you?re not sure whether you are downloading the wrong file. This doesn?t happen with audio files however. A good tip is to clear upload and erroneous by right clicking on a file which is being uploaded. This can sometimes speed up your own download. The Shop tab is a tab which you can use to buy music from Cornerstore which is a bit ironic when that?s legal but Kazaa isn?t!!!! 2 other tabs of note are tell a friend which explains itself and there is a link to Ebay. 2: The huge number of files: There are huge numbers of files which are available to download. I don?t know how many but there are about 3.1 million downloads per week on average. 3: The snowball effect: As some people got the Kazaa media desktop and saw how good it as, they told their friends etc and gradually everyone got it. There are now over 160 million media desktops in the world. This obviously increases the amount of files available. 4: Something for Everyone: People may think that there?s only recent music on the site but no, I?ve downloaded the likes if Gustav Holst and Edward Elgar. Every different taste is catered for. 5: I recommend that you use Kazaa along with a good Internet connection which most people seem to have now. Broadband works most effectively. The new version of Kazaa has a virus protection system called Bullguard Lite but I recommend that you combine it with another protection system as like other Kazaa is not alone in having numerous viruses on it. If you don?t have Kazaa it is simple to get, go to www.kazza.com and on the front page it tells you about the latest versio
n of Kazaa, it also has a link saying download it now. Click on the link and it will take you to the next page. Now this page takes you through all the steps you need to download it. Also, check the minimum system requirements to make sure that you fit in to the requirements and then you are free to download. Having said all that I must make you aware that Kazaa?s not just as rosey as it makes out. It has come to my attention that Kazaa although claiming in it?s disclaimers and privacy statements that there is nothing dodgy going on but it appears that there is different ?spyware? or software to that effect on the system. It?s all to do with monitoring your activity etc and sending you pop up adverts and the like. The information, which Kazaa gets back, is used for other purposes. Also there is a problem with pornography as this site is ridden with it and some innocent files even have it. So be careful and watch your children aswell. If you are willing to run the risk of all this spyware then you will have a very good, easily navigable media desktop ready at your disposal, which will give you no ends of fun and files to download. I highly recommend this site and despite the negatives the pros far outweigh the Cons. Enjoy
The Abel Tasman Park is situated at the north end of the New Zealand south island. Me andmy family got there by taking a flight from heathrow to Wellington and then took a boat from Wellington (north island) to Picton and from there a drive to Nelson and then on to our final destination of Motueka. We stayed in a hotel there and that would be our base for the week. Motueka is situated right on the coast and with outstanding views of the sea and the north island we were rather pleased with our choice of hotels, but our holiday wasn't about hotels but about walking, getting out in the bush and enjoying the scenery. The park was named after the first European discoverer Abel Tasman. It's main attraction is the combination ofmiles of deserted coastline and also miles of bush. We set off on foot from Motueka as this was the best way to travel asroad access is very limited. We mainly took the coastal path. We chose this as, only having a week on the island, we were told that this walk took 4 days to complete. We actually atarted out on this way and walked for miles around the north west coast of the north island. We took in the unbelievable scenery. The scenery mainly included birds of all shapes, sizes and colours. Unfortunately we didn't see any kiwis but we were told that not many people do. We were quite disappointed but this was made up for when we got within about 15 metres of a whole flock of beautifully coloured yellow and blue birds. Of course, the mother, only went and used the flash on the camera while taking the first photograph and the birds were off, but we've forgiven her since! We actually stayed in small huts every night we were out in the bush, these were included in the price of the holiday and we picked the keys up before we started out. These were comfortable and well equipped, with all the toiletries so you could feel good the next day knowing that you were clean as we got very sweaty and tire
d. Food is also provided in thes huts, they are well equipped with everything you need including, lamb (the traditional meat of New Zealand). It is a very good idea, combining a well balanced diet and the foods which the native people eat most commonly themselves. It was deliscious! Also good to know is the tap water is drinkable in New Zealand. For the las two days of our holiday we spent our time in the beautiful bush and foothills. These higher areas give exotic views of the sea and you can really experience the beauty of New Zealand. The las day of our week comprised of making the long journey back to Wellington, thankfully by car and boat, and not by foot! There is some disabled access, reduced transport in winter and there's a daily bus tour from Nelson. Tips for going to New Zealand: 1: Take lots of sun cream as believe me you will burn alive! 2: Take a lot of water with you on your walks and hikes, because dehydration is a big danger, remember you're miles from any help. If you want to take a mobile phone be discrete, it's the wildlifes habitat, not your own! 3: Take a first aid kit with you as remember you're miles from anywhere! 4: Notify the local search and rescue or someone in Motueka that you are on your trip and give your trail and what time you expect to arrive at your destination. 5: Take care not to litter or harm the environment. The New Zealanders as they have a right are protective of their country and their wildlife. 6: Be very careful and check the tides before you leave as if you wander onto a sand spit you could have your way back yo dry land blocked. 7: Take things that you think a camper or a scout would take, no matter how silly it sounds, eg a piece of rope, torch anything which could come in useful. 8: and last but not least, use your common sense and don't do anything stupid!
Well of course, I don't think there is a perfect dooyoo style, but there of course always things that you can do to not only improve your enjoyment but also rake in the money! You could be in dooyoo for a variety of reasons, maybe you want to make loads of money or meet people or just have some fun. If you're in the game for money, here's some tips to rake the money in. 1: obviously you should be writing decent length articles, because you do want your article to be listed as ver useful because this will allow your article to move up the long line of other articles in your chosen section, because people are less likely to read and rate your opinion if your opinion is useful or somewhat useful and at the very bottom of the list. Try and keep your opinion as a very useful. 2: dooyoo is a mutual web site, you have to put the work in to get something out, so try to promote yourelf as well as possible. You can do this by writing very useful opinions, adding as many people to your circle of friends, keep writing opinions so thyedy appear in the newest article in that section, add comments, perhaps even send emails to others and probably the most important, be friendly and don't offend anyone. All of these ways will make you money quite quickly, for instance, this is true, i made about £15 in one week, but because of exams i've had to concentrate on my studies. However dooyoo isn't all about money, it's about being part of a community and being able to participate in it and help people to decide whether a certain product is good or rnot worth buying. If you are looking to be a more long term member of the dooyoo community, like me, i say you should put everything into each opinion you write. Here are some tips: 1: again promote yourself by writing comments, adding people to your circle of friends, rating opinions and basically try to make your dooyoo name famous so people can say, tha
t guy knows his dooyoo. Almost like a big name label like versace or armani, you will become well known and people will read your opinions. If it's a really good opinion it will be honoured in the premier opinions list and you will have the honour of having a crown beside your opinion. 2: be friendly and don't offend anyone, write good opinions so you can achieve a very useful status. Now that's how to behave on dooyoo and to make some money but the single thing you have to do is be able to write good solid opinions which help people make a choice about the concerned product. Try these: 1: try to use suitable language in your opinions, which is informative, doesn't offend anyone, use punctuation and grammar and remember the spelling! 2: although length isn't too important the opinion must be at least 75 words but let's face it what can't you write 75 words on, that's only about 5 sentences! 3: try to space your work out well, use gaps and paragraphs as it gets very tiresome on the eyes reading lines and lines of boring letters, they'll go crosseyed, i assure you! 4: give a background and an introduction to the article. 5: give details and try to include advantages and disadvantages to the thing you're writing about. 6: remember to say what you thought and what you felt about the thing. this is important because people can empathise with you. 7: give a catchy title to your opinion. The title is the thing that will effectively attract or push people away to your opinion. Perhaps use a joke, alliteration or a rhyming scheme, the catchier the better. 8: you do not need to tell a story to bulk up the length of your opinion, however people tend to feel at ease with this and can again empathise with you. 9: Also remember a good first line or two as this is visible when you look at the different opinions. Again the catch
ier or perhaps even most confusing is the best! 10: also write a hard hitting ending as this is a very important part of the opinion, perhaps leave your final opinion to this point. If you succeed in doing all of these things perhaps you may even end up with a crown, i know i have. Have fun Dooyooing!!!
Many of you have written on the riots which are happening in the north of England, primarily Burnley and Oldham but i wish to express my views on the riots taking place in Northern Ireland, over this the 12th of July, the very day that William of Orange won at the battle of the Boyne in 1690. Of course the problems in Northern Ireland are highly publicised and many will know what is going on, on at least a general basis, but you don't actually kno what it's like to live here. It is actually a great place to live, it is one of the safest cities in Europe and the press hype the whole situation up completely. Of course there are problems but problems occur everywhere where there are 2 groups of different people, who cannot see the other's point of view, or in fact don't want to even know about the other's opinions and cultures. In many ways Belfast is similar to the problems which are being experienced in the north of England, with the race riots. Groups of people cannot except that people do live in their neighbourhood, who are differnet but for goodness sake we're humnan beings and as with every religion (i think) every person must respect everybody else. There has been increasing tension in the North of England because of the stupidness of thugs and armed gangs pure rascist hatred. This hatred has been harboured for many years and it has eventually flared up, with an ever increasing amount of refugees and immigrants entering the country. I certainly believe tat groups such as the Nazi movement certainly need handling and the 3 month marching banning bill which has been introduced to the law in the north of England was certainly a safe step by the government to lower the tension. As we've seen on the news mant families have been interviewed and they've all said that they've lived in the same street as other race people for years and have become friends but this has destroyed everything and many bridges wi
ll have to be rebuilt. Most people would agree that his has to be stopped so we can live in peace and relative harmony with different coloured people who in many cases have things to offer the whole community and not just their own. Now, Northern Ireland, is a very touchy subject and this is how i believe the Labour government ahs dealt with Northern Ireland. They have put idiotic people into power in the Northern Ireland office, like Mo Mowlam, who's best mates with Roisin McCalliskey daughter of Bernadette McCalliskey who was in the IRA and Sinn Fein etc and Peter Mandelson, what an idiot, the less said the better! and now Dr. John Reid, a Celtic supporter, which many protestnts would find difficult to deal with, although in fairness he hasn't done much wrong, oh that's right, he hasn't done anything yet! The Orange Order and similarly the Apprentice Boys were set up to commemorate victories won by King William at the Boyne and the siege of Londonderry respectfully. They are not as many people think armed thugs but they are simply commemorating the heroes which saved Ulster from James, but what many forget was he fought for many catholics as well, yes there were catholics in his army! Now, what is wrong with them exercising their right as free men to march the Queens highways of Northern Ireland? It is allowed everywhere else! Now many nationalist residents of course oppose this, why? to score a point against the protestant population. The march at the Garvaghy Road takes about 3 minutes and the march at Ormeau Road takes about 1 minute!!!! They, it seems cannot respect our traditions as British citizens and our right to walk the streets, after all who's country is it? especially as they have tricolour flags of green, white and gold hanging from every street light. Now you may think that this is a one sided piece of writing but it's the facts. They even want us to take down our own flag, the Union Jack, because it
39;s offensive, which country is it, oh yeah, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland! I'm sorry, but if they don't like it they can go down to the Republic and enjoy all the benefits of the European Union, sorry the Republic of Ireland. Then theirs the problem of decommissioning weopons and the BAD Fridat Agreement, where we voted for peace and to give the process a chance, the UUP's figures sored at the elections 4 years ago and now look at them, with the DUP taking 3 of their seats! People are changing and realising that we were all scammed, voting for something that we the people didn't get. Now what i don't agree with is the protestants in North Belfst letting some nationalist children walk down a small part of the Crumlin Road in West Belfastto get to school and let's not forget that the loyalists must also decommission. All these factors have led to the riots over the 12th. People come out to celebrate the 12th at bonfire displays and idiotic loyalists show their strength. Both Northern England and Northern Ireland have the same problems of not being able to live with each others different traditions and being able to live with each other and both have to start to live and understand each other better. I have many different race friends, including catholics, protestants, muslims and chinese people. We enjoy school and although there is a bit of banter, which is not serious at all we get on well with each other and we respect each other. The government needs to do more to integrate different races so young people can live in peace with each other and enjoy each others friendship. The riots are only the tip of the ice berg and the culmination of the tension which has built up over the years but we have to move on and overcome our fears. Next time when you go to make a joke at the expense of another race and just think again at people who you are offending and remember that you would dislike
anyone doing it to you. Thugs have no place in Great Britain and all should be brought to justice. May I also commend the police who as always do a fair and impartial job at putting their lives at risk to keep the peace and at catching the criminals.
This book is an old classic, although still, even with the slightly old form of the English language used in it, I found this book very exciting. It is written by Jules Verne in the 19th century, 1886 to be precise. The books main plot is of a 'monster' terrorizing the oceans, hot and cold, destroying vessels with its long 'tentacles' and basically causing complete havoc on the high seas, it was the talk of the towns and cities all over the world. "There had been many reliable sightings many leagues apart." The 'monster was described as," long, spindle shaped, and sometimes phosphorescent object, much larger and rapid than a whale." The 'monster' sank a liner, the Moravian, and tension sprung again, also the Scotia had been sunk by it as well. In anger a fleet of ships was assembled to catch the monster and on one of the ships was Ned Land, a harpoonist from the US navy, Conseil, the authors servant, and the author, who is 'I and is called M. Arronax' in the book. The ship they were on had traveled all over the high seas looking for the 'monster and after months of looking finally they caught up with it. A battle ensued and Ned Land harpooned it many times but they concluded that its skin was too thick, as the harpoon wouldn't stick. In anger the 'monster hit the hull of the boat and knocked Conseil, Ned Land and 'I' over board, right onto the back of the monster! However that was the beginning of a classic tale of adventure. The 'monster' wasn't actually a monster at all, it was made of metal and when the three were onboard, it swam away as fast as possible. When out of sight of their own vessel, the 'monster' stopped and men came up on deck to take the three terrified men below. The men were sent to a jail part of their new vessel and were given food and were made to wait. Finally someone came to talk to them, it was the Captain of thi
s new ship and he introduced himself as, Captain Nemo. He told them that this was actually a submarine, called Nautilus, and that no one else knew about it and that that's the way he wanted it to stay. But of course the only way the Nautilus was going to stay secret was if the three were kept on the ship. However he also added that as he did not want to keep them prisoner, as such, he wanted them to be free to roam the ship as they pleased. He told them that there was a library on the ship and that there were going to be some excursions later on and that they were welcome to come along. He went away and the three were very frustrated at the thought of spending a lot of time cooped up on this submarine. The three duly got up and roamed the ship, to see if they could find anything interesting to pass time with. 'I' went to the library as he was very interested in books and decided that he would study to pass the time. The only downside was that at night they were locked in their room, for securities sake. Ned Land was getting increasingly frustrated at the thought of being on the ship for years. This is the start of a great adventure, which basically spans every part of the ocean, from Ceylon, Red Sea, Arctic, Atlantic, the Med, and the Pacific. I would tell you more about this book, if they escape, do they get rich from it, does Nemo survive, what happens to the Nautilus but surely that would spoil it for you, wouldn't it! All that I'll say is that, I thought this book was a superb read, it combined the adventure story, great descriptions, a good plot and how did the author ever think of talking about this way back in the 19th century is unbelievable. Go out now and at least get it from your local library because I assure you it will enthrall you for many a night. This book is very definitely open to all age groups. There is now bad language in it at all and the old English, although some words are difficult to understand adds
to the sense of being an, old classic adventure story, Enjoy it!
Dreamsquad.co.uk is a site run by ntl to great effect! It is basically an average fantasy football league, but with a difference! The website is very easy and great fun. First of all you enter the site and you can join with considerable ease. You give yourself a username and a password. The great thing about this site is that not only do you compete against all the other people but you have th option to set up your own mini-league with your friends! Great. Now , you have to set up your team, unlike other fantasy football leagues in dreamsquad you are allowed to pick 18 players in your squad. 2 goalkeepers 6 defenders 5 midfielders 5 attackers From this you have to pick 11 players in a 4-4-3 formation ie: 1 goalkeeper 4 defenders 3 midfielders 3 attackers However you can't just play any attackers any time. You are given £100 million to spend on the 18 players in your squad and then each week you're allowed to use £60 million in your team each week. You are allowed to use as many players as you like there is no limit to the number of players in your squad from one particular club, you could have the whole United team if you wanted except you only have £60 million to spend each week. You can pick your team any time in the week as long it's before monday and from this you get your points from the actual Premiership results. You get awarded these points on Tuesday, which is quite a day on the phone slagging off your mates for getting no points! Any players get points for: Full match appearance:+2 Part match appearance:+1 Goals:+5 Assist:+3 Red card:-5 Yellow card:-3 Defenders and goalkeepers can get points for: Clean sheet:+3 Goals conceeded:-1 One of the best things about Dreamsquad is that during the season you're allowed 10 changes. This allows, for example, if one of your players ge
ts injured you can gett rid of him and bring someone else in. Dreamsquad also incorporates other services. Tables:not only can you check where you are in your own league you can check what position. There are over 15,000 teams entered in the league. Stats:this gives you all the stats, how many points the players got for thae previous week and for the whole season so far. It als o shows you the team of the week. This is the players who obtained the most points in their position. Chat Room:There is a chat room available at Dreamsquad mainly to talk about football and it isn't in all fairness the greatest chat room i've seen. WARNING:it's not moderated so it could be unsuitable to minors. It's also very slow. Team Admin:This is a very useful section in which you can check your line-up, position and you can even add your team to another league. Not only is this site for the full season of football but they also introduced a 6 nations option based on the same principles as above. There is also a mid-season game which started half way through the season which is great if you didn't start on time or you did rubbish first time around! This site is great and the fun is unbelievable, not only is it fooball but rugby as well which i'm not sure has been seen before! You're a bit late for this season but why not give it a go next year. Currently i am lying in 8600th and am one of the few who have had Marcus Stewart from the very start. By the way Marcus Stewart cost me £1.56 million and he's scored the second most points! Not a bad wee deal! Enjoy it!
Well by the end of this opinion i think you will understand that me and hospitals don't get on very well at all! I have been in hospital for numerous reasons over the 16 years of my life, firstly i will give examples of these and then i will answer the question, should the NHS go private? 1:playing rugby in my garden, a knee landed in my mouth, teeth went through my lip. I needed 6 stitches in my lip which i got from a very friendly young nurse who handled the situation very well, she told me she was putting 3 in and that's how many i thought went in. However i had to wait 3 hours to get this attention! 2:playing rugby at school and i actually broke down in the changing rooms and i couldn't stop my legs shaking and i was scared! walked out to my mum in the car and we drove straight to the hospital. We waited there for, wait for it, 7 hours all together!However i waited 7 hours to be seen and was then told to go home by the junior doctor, there was nothing wrong with me, apparently. Got home and had a phone call, the hospital? the head of accident and emergency told me to get up there immediately and i had to stay in hospital for 2 weeks and get numerous scans etc done and to this day they still don't really know what's wrong with me, they think it was discitis! 3:Fractured finger i got up to the hospital and waited for 5 hours to be seen and i was sent home to come in the next week to get a permanent cast. Got there the next week and got a cat but had to wait for 2 hours! 4:Stood on glass on a beach in Donegal had to come straight home because donegal hospital was shut! had to wait 4 hours to get the 6 measly stitches i needed! 5:Checkups for my fractured finger last week had to wait 2 hours and i had a bloody appointment! 6:today one of my mates through a hockey ball at me and it hit me on the elbow, i think i've got a broken bone in my elbow but guess what, i'm stayin
g at home, no way i'm sitting in a hospital doing nothing for about 6 hours. 7:Perferated ear drum in cyprus, taken to the hospital and i got seen straight away and i was put into a bed and stayed there for a week, my mum wasn't allowed to sleep in the bed beside me which was free! A joke! Right, first of all don't get injured like me. But really the state of our hospitals. Well really are they actually that bad compared to other countries. I was listening to the radio the other night and i found out that Canada's health service is private but there was a man who wasn't ensured and needed a life saving operation but the hospital wouldn't give it to him, that's an absolute joke. So first of all i believe that the NHS (national service) is the right option. Insurance would cost too much and many people wouldn't be able to afford it and then some couldn't get their operations. I think the main issue here is though there are problems, serious problems with the NHS. The waiting lists are huge because of not enough doctors and nurses and they can't cope. The doctors and nurses, very often young or foreign are forced to work late nights and get very little pay for the great job they do. Instead of encouraging people to enlist and be doctors and nurses the government has decided that the best policy is to rely on foreign doctors entirely. The government should be advertising the NHS and doctors and nurses on the tv like they've done with the new northern ireland police service, encouraging doctors and nurses to train that are actually from this country. The doctor i was referring to above could hardly speak english and he had no bed side manner, he told my mum to shut up and sit down! Money is being poured int the NHS in the wrong ways money is being wasted on extremely expensive drugs, that are being sold on the NHS to people for free instead of using that money to encourage doctors and nur
ses which will have an effect of reducing waiting lists, which would be great. I believe that most of the doctors and nurses of the NHS do a great job and are very committed and there pay should be increased, have you seen the hours they work! They are some of the most committed people i know and should be publicly acclaimed. Obviously the scandal about the organs being kept of young children is another blot in the copy book of the NHS but hopefully they will have learned from it. Another thing is that apparently the hospitals are in an awful state of repair, where's the money Tony! Can i just add one more thing, hospital food is disgusting and i think the idea of getting a chef in to try and change the meals is a good idea but remember meals are a minor thing it's the waiting list that most people care about. Waiting years to get an operation, often life saving is not on! In conclusion i believe the NHS is the way forward, a private system can often be discriminative against the less well off of society and in fairness the NHS is a really great system, it's just being run badly, money is going into wrong areas. Why should Viagra be on the NHS, it's a joke. In theory the NHS is great but in practice it's poor. Gordon Brown get your check book out now!
This is a list of my top ten PC games. Here we go: 1:GTA2 GTA2 is another great game by DMV. The prequel to Grand theft Auto GTA2 is basically a game for all you young future vandals, druggies and boy racers. In GTA2 you have to go round and do jobs for different gangs. There can be up to 3 different gangs at one time. Each gang has their own base and it's own type of car. However you must obtain a balance between all three. If you too many jobs and get too well liked by one gang the other two gangs won't like you and might even start shooting you for good measure! In GTA2 you get money for bashing cars, running people over, shooting people (with different guns you pick up along the way) and of course for completing jobs. The jobs include drugs and bombs and money and one of the best things you can get your car rigged with guns, bombs, nails and even get it painted to get the cops off your tail. If the cops come after you, which they'll probably do, don't get scared just run to a shop which will paint your car, that'll throw them off your scent! However beware, this game contains strong language and themes, which should not be shown to young children, but for the adult and the teenager this game is hot! If you think you're good enough give it a crack! 2:Grand Prix 3 This game incorporates speed, skill and the will to win, which I'm sure most of you budding Schumachers and Buttons will have! Grand Prix 3, I believe, is the most realistic formula 1 sim yet. You have the choice to be all the drivers from the circuit and drive in all the circuits in the world, my favourites Spa, what's yours? There are different levels of skill which allows you to use the breaks or just steer, manual and automatic and even the racing line is marked on for you if you're a beginner. Also not only do you race but you can practice, qualify and you can even pit stop with great ease. Everything is r
ealistic and everything is the same as the real life formula 1 racing season. You can choose different versions of the game, a championship season, practice, and one match race. I think the best thing about this game is the multiplayer function. Normally the race lasts about 12-15 laps on this game, not the full amount like in real life, but each driver gets to drive about half the race each. The computer actually changes control of the driver, regardless of what's happening and then changes you back later. This means you get laps like this, you get 3, friend gets 3, you get 3, and friend gets 3. The only bad thing about this game however is that when this game was introduced a new season had just started, so now the drivers could be up to 4 years old, in the wrong cars and Malaysia and American tracks are still as far away as ever. Great game though. 3:Championship Manager 3 Well what can you say about this game apart from, it's truly awesome! The game is the most realistic manager game and certainly the most popular. It requires patience, skill, and knowledge of the game, especially tactics and an eye for a cheap buy. I would encourage players to begin at the higher leagues like the premier league where it really is quite easy and progress down to the lower divisions where you can manage clubs that are no-hopers, (or are they with your skill?). I took Cambridge United to the Champions League, and I Won, GLORY, GLORY CAMBRIDGE! The game is so realistic you have to buy players, assign scouts, keep the board happy, win matches and most importantly get those tactics right! With ball and without ball are the difference between a great side and an absolutely shocking side. The game includes players leaving on the Bosman (fun at the end of the side just get all your players on free for nothing!) You can create shortlists of players you want and make scouts scout all the good players out. Jeepers is there a draw back t
o thi s game? Take your side through the divisions to success and glory and build up your stadium be the fans favourite and get accolades such as manager of the month, manager of the season, player of the week and team of the week, are all available. So you know all the good players there are lists of how many cads players get, how many goals the players scored and how many goals he's laid on. Oh yeah there's just one drawback, the game makes some unbelievably stupid decisions. E.g. I took Brentford from division 3 to the premiership in 3 seasons, I finished top of the 3rd, 2nd and 1st divisions and I even won the Auto windscreen shield twice and I was lying in 14th in the premiership and they decided to sack me, did they think I was superman or something. Like I was going to win the premiership after being in the 3rd division just 3 seasons ago! I hate Ron Noades (chairman at Brenford)! 4:Civilisation Call to Power 2 Again what can you say about this game? It is one of the most popular series of games of all time, from Activision. The game is all about management of your own civilisation. You start off with a settler and your first objective is to build a city. You must build many cities throughout the game. You must manage what your cities build, either units, city improvements or wonders of the world. You can obtain upgrades of these new buildings etc by researching different technologies. You must take control of your taxes, type of government, money in general, pollution, crime rates, researching, diplomacy and of course war! There are 2 ways of winning Civilisation, through the Gaia controller(a peaceful scientific race) or by war and conquering all other nations you are aware of! This is the greatest strategy game of its time and Civ 3 will be out next year (can't wait) but if you want a more in depth opinion on Call to Power 2 I have written a full opinion on it which is much more in depth than this. Why no
t read it? For all those strategists among you, this is the one for you! 5:Rally Championship Rally Championship, another driving game I know but again another awesome one. This is the most realistic rally simulation out and it incorporates, skill, tactics, driving ability, all be it with the keys or joystick, but most of all it's a whole lot of fun! The games graphics are pretty good and the cars all very realistic. There are a few of different ways you can play the game. A single race, which is basically a race against time, for your own satisfaction. A Mobil rally championship is when you attempt to win the Mobil rally over courses like rally of Ulster, rally of Scotland, Isle of Man, Italy and others. There is also an arcade option, which is so much fun, but there's also a bonus with each completed stage. There are 6 different stages on the arcade challenge and you must race against time over 5 courses on each level to pass a set number of cars in a set amount of time. Once you've completed each level you receive an A8 car which is basically a better car than you all ready have. These include the Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishis and the cute Peugeot. Once you've completed all the 6 levels on the arcade that unlocks the A8 championship, which is basically, the Mobil championship using A8 cars. I would say the best function in the game is the multiplayer for ultimate fun. The best of this is the split screen. There is also the chance to do one player's race at a time. The split screen is great because you can drive each other's cars off the road but it?s a bit tight with 2 people on the keyboard at the same time, although the 2nd player can use different keys. Superb rallying action. Great one for the lads to have a bit of fun on! 6:Links LS 2000 Links is a good golf game. You can play courses like St. Andrews, jubilee, old and new courses, Hapuna and there are also a couple more to
choose fr om as well. This game can be played at different levels for different capabilities. There are 3 types of swing one easier than the other but I warn you I think the 2nd swing is harder than the other 2. Once you've mastered the first one I would advise you went on to the power stroke. This game is great for a bit of fun and has a great internet option, it's very easy and quick and you can chat with the chat camera, you can tell each other how good a shot you just played, or how bad! You can play all the various types of golf, skins, stroke etc. The game is quite easy, like a regular golf swing. It's only draw backs are that there's not many courses to choose from and there's few players to play against, just Fuzzy Zoeller and some other bloke, ahhhhhhhh what's his name. The best things about the game are that you can make your own players and also you don't require the CD to play the game, so buy one CD between yourselves and each install it and away you go for some serious fun. 7:Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 This game like all the others in the command and conquer range is top notch, probably the best. In this game you basically strive to destroy your enemy before they kill you (Deathmatch). You use really neat weapons and units and you have to move your men all around the map and try to find the opponent's base. There are other simulations of course including the Campaign. In the Campaign you attempt to follow orders right from the top. This is basically a Cold War 2 scenario; it's basically Russia v USA. If you want any more info on this game go no further than my opinion on it called Cold War 2. It's worth it. I would definetely recommend this game to anyone but I think teenagers would get the most out of it. Enjoy! 8:Transport Tycoon Of course this is an old favourite but who cold refuse this game. A classic. Your job is to make it in the big world. T
his game is ver y similar to Sim City and basically the idea is to make money, lots of money! You start off with £100,000 and you have to build up your empire of rail, bus, truck, sea and air companies. At the start you have to decide which is going to make you most money, (normally rail) and you have to build stations from for example a forest to a woodpile or from coal to coal refinery. Every time your train or trucks make a deposit of coal on the producers station you cash in. Also you can carry passengers on the carriages and on airplanes and by ferry or on buses. But it doesn't all stop there. After initially setting up some routes you'll probably need some more money so borrow it from the bank, but pay it back later! Build some more high profit routes and the money should roll in. It's not that simple, though, you have competitors! Up to 5/6 of them. They start a couple of months behind you but are sooooooo annoying! They take your routes, build bridges over your lines, and create crashes especially using their blooming level crosses. The game can get a bit frustrating sometimes but once past the start you can advertise your companies in towns and cities which are dotted all over the place, you can even build a statue of yourself or buy the rights to that city for a year. This game gets really exciting later on when you advance into new types of trains, ferries, airplanes, buses and trucks. A golden oldie but still a great game! 9:Minesweeper I'm sorry to have to include this and bore you with it but I do actually like this game and I play it all the time. It's really good for the mind and it helps you think more quickly. Basically the idea of the game is to find out where all the mines are hidden under the blank squares. You do this primarily by being lucky. You must hit a couple of squares at the start; not knowing whether you'll die or survive the tension is unbearable! If it's not a mine
it should have a num ber on it. If it has a 3 on it for example that means that there are 3 mines beside it (includes diagonally beside). From this you need to hit another square and do the same. If you can see there are some mines in an area you know that it would be dangerous to open one of the squares, so using your mind and a bit of luck you have to open all the squares you know are safe because they either have no mines round them or you have already found where a mine is. If you know there is a mine in a square you must click on it with the right mouse button. From this start you can then go on to locate all the mines and win the game. There are different levels of the game. They aren't more difficult but they are bigger than each other. My best score (which is in seconds) is 10 seconds for the easiest level. Why not try to see if you can beat it, it's actually a good game. 10:Cashwars To end on a better note (better than minesweeper) I have an Internet game, which I think is brilliant. I've only just joined and it's called Cashwars. You'll find it at cashwars.com. The point of the game is to go round stealing Akzar gold from other people's bases. You have a better chance of stealing gold if you buy weapons from shops using the oil. To obtain oil you must navigate around the map looking for, at the start, fields which you can drill to get oil and later on, once you've bought a shovel you can dig on mountains, where you can find prizes and also get more oil. You basically work your way up getting more and more oil and buying more and more different things and you get stronger which you can defend your base more easily, attack other bases more easily and win more Akzar gold which can then be cashed in for money. You get 200 goes a day (4 fuel cells) and I can only say that it's great fun and why not join up today? Here endeth my top 10 lists. Phew, my arms are sore now!
Badminton, very often the forgotten racquet sport is actually one of the best. After Simon Archer and Jo Goodes success in the Olympic Games surely more people should be interested but at my club in Belfast we have had no new members at all. Why? Because badminton doesn't get the coverage on TV it deserves. It's not a wonder we're not really all that good at badminton as a nation! Badminton is a fantastic sport it incorporates skill, fitness, accuracy and power. The basic rules of the game are very simple and are different for doubles as from singles. In singles the server always starts from the right and must hit it cross court to the other box on the other side of the net. In singles the best option is to hit it high and long to the back of the court. In doubles it is best to serve short and low. The basic aims of the game is to hit the shuttle cock in the court and over the net and to where the opponent cannot reach it. If the opponent hits it in to the net or doesn't hit it at all and the shuttle lands inside the court then the person gets a point. The games go up to 15 points, so the person who gets to 15 first is the winner unless both players get to 14 and then the player not serving has the option to play an extra 3 points or to play the whole set again. After serving the first point if the server wins that point then he moves over to the left handside box and serves across again. If he loses it however the opponent starts to serve from his right handside box. think the best thing about badminton is that you certainly don't need the best equipment to be good at it, just a decent racquet, no more than £20-25 would be sufficient. Badminton doesn't look very fast but it is an extremely fast sport and the shuttle cock can fly throught the air at over 160 mph! It is also a very fit sport and there is a terrible strain on the body but if you don't really fancy going down to the boring gym th
en go out have a game of badminton and believe me you'll see the difference in your fitness! Go for it and you'll enjoy it i assure you!