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mmuk

mmuk
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Member since: 10.02.2001

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    • LMA Manager 2001 (PS) / Archive Game / 0 Readings / 14 Ratings
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      29.08.2001 05:01
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      Inside every football fan there’s a manger screaming to get out. LMA Manger 2001 is your oppurtunity to prove it. Football management games – aren’t they great. You take control of your favourite football team and the rest is up to you. Delve into the transfer market, build new stadia, sack your incompetent staff…but if you don’t win games you will be out on your ear faster than Michael Owen over six yards. Until the League Managers Association Manager series began the undisputed king of the sims was the Championship Manager range. However, the new king stepped in by dumping the evil nest of menus inflicted on us by the PC boffins, replacing them instead with a clean, slick and sparkly frontage. Not only was it nicer to look at but it was also simple and quick to navigate. Now don’t get me wrong I love(d) the Champ Manager series, but I prefer to play games on my Playstation so when I heard that LMA 2001 was out I decided to buy it. I ordered the game from Gameplay at a reasonable cost of £22.99 as soon as it was released. Now onto the game itself, it opens with a nice FMV showing a manger with his talented team scoring various wonder goals. Eat my Goal is playing and is also used when saving the game. The main menu is divided into two parts on your screen. The bottom and largest area shows the particular screen you are on. In the top section there are eight icons, which you toggle through with the R1/L1 buttons. There is also a current date, your name, team name and cash available to spend. Finally there is another group of icons – these are unique to whatever section you are in such as: Squad, Messages, Information etc. You toggle through these icons with the R2/L2 buttons. After you have picked your team you will be set a target. I will use Portsmouth as my example from now on. They are set the tremendous challenge of avoiding relegation. Next up you will want to chec
      k out the staff screen. BTW you should choose to have no staff when you begin the game because the ones you are given will be pants. Start off by getting as good an assistant manger as you can, a good physio and at least one good scout. Various other members will be up to your discretion and staff budget. You won’t need a commercial manager unless money is no object – all they do is decide to spend your money on your stadium, and pick sponsors – although not always the ones which pay the most money. Certain members of staff can be set tasks. There is a comprehensive training scheme you can use, but I leave this to my Head Coach. Other tasks include contracts, recommending youth players and sorting out your backroom staff. You need to trim your squad to save your wage budget or make room for new signings. If you don’t have much money keep an eye on your youth squad -- you can offer them a 2-week contact to see if they have potential. After your original squad is sorted you can delve into the transfer market. This is often a make or break part of a management game and LMA certainly delivers. You can set various criteria for a search, whether it is position, age, price range etc. The only gripe I have is unlike PC games you can’t search for specific players by name. Also you can only loan players who are listed whereas the computer can seemingly do it without this need. Unlike the previous game the money is not in one big pool, instead different areas are given budgets. There is a stadium budget for building a new stadium, staff budget, player wage budget as well as your transfer cash. If you want to upgrade a single stand you will have to spend your transfer money. Your budgets for each season will increase each season – although it will take a while till you can afford the 100,000 seater stadium (unless you use a cheat or two, see later in the op…). So now you have sorted you
      r team, got a good formation and are ready to move on. You can choose to move on a single day or up to a week. The game will stop moving through the days if you have a message such as transfer news or when you have a match to play. This feature is great as it means avoiding the boring task of clicking yes or no for five minutes to reach the ‘advance to next day’ whilst still letting your players train and the game continuing in the background. The tactics available in the game do offer a wide variety but the formations in particular are a little sparse. I think they could have had one with a holding player in front of the back four or a couple more basic systems rather than examples of famous teams. At the end of the day its matches which sort the Man Utds from the Colchesters and its here where LMA really shines. It keeps the same basic approach as the original, whilst improving the game engine. Something quite original about the game is actually watching the match unfold rather than following a bar with two colours moving up or down. Although it wasn’t the first to offer this (I’m thinking of Ultimate Soccer Manager) it certainly does it the best. You don’t need to read stats to see who is playing well, its obvious when your players have confidence because of little passing triangles set up and your teams surge forward in waves of attacks. I would like to have seen the vidi printer scrolling text from the original as it can be hard to see which particular midfielder is running the game although you can have numbers above their heads. At the bottom of the (match) screen scores will flash up – crucial if you need to win a game so you can adjust your tactics accordingly. You can use the shoulder buttons to give your team special tactics, such as long ball, all-out attack or keeping possession. The after match highlights are also flashier than ever and although after a while you will see the
      actions repeated there are still a vast number to see. I found it quite useful to turn off the non-essential highlights, so in true Match of the Day style sorry, The Premiership style you will not watch the main game instead just the goals roundup. One problem I had is that the game crashes after you have watched a highlight. This happens in the second season. I am not sure whether it is bug in my game or it might have something to do with getting Pompey promoted. Perhaps the developers never thought it would happen ;-) If you get bored of the normal game you can elect to compete in a challenge, such as a £100 million dream team or winning every division from third and finally the Premiership. Although the £100 million isn’t as easy as it sounds because the top players like Luis Figo and Zidane will cost a cool £32 million each. So is it perfect? Well not quite – it has a very solid engine with good graphics but there are a few things, which bug me. Crashing in a game is bad but in an unpatchable console version it is nearly unacceptable. The game is also slow, saving and loading takes an age not helped by the fact that it needs 15 blocks, which means a whole memory card. Also bad is the fact that the fan base doesn’t increase too much if you are winning constantly or move up a division – same thing with European matches; instead of a full house you will see more fans at a league match. Despite such imperfections LMA 2001 is a very good game, it lives up to and excels in many places its predecessor. Codemasters could have followed EA’s Fifa route, churning out a sequel with just a revamped graphics engine and new stats but I’m glad to say they haven’t. Not only is it a great management game it is a great Playstation game. Here is a list of cheats for the game. You enter them in the name section. Beware -- use them wisely because otherwise the game gets a bit too easy: § FILTHY
      RICH -- £500 million to spend § NO CONSTRUCTION – Stadiums built quickly § SUPERSTARS – player ratings go to 90% § BLIND REF – no bookings for your players § POTIONS – players recover from injuries quickly § EASY LIFE -- Best team and tactics § AMPHETAMINE – Faster players § HARD AS NAILS – Aggressive players § LUCKY STREAK – win every match – also most pointless cheat § YOU THE DADDY – all players come to you for whatever price you want, you can offer them whatever wages you want too – Best cheat If you enter the names correctly you will hear a sound. Thanks for reading this op ==== MMUK ====

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        08.08.2001 05:18
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        Final Fantasy VIII, sequel to the amazingly successful Final Fantasy VII, is the second of the monster RPG series to hit the Playstation. The title is a bit misleading though, the latest game is number 9 and number 10 is being made to be released on the PS2. As with its predecessors the game is completely separate from its past - you have a new world to explore and a whole new cast to control. You get to play with a varying compilation of characters, the main ones being: Squall – Cloud’s replacement, he’s the main guy. He is you and you are him. Squall is quiet and spends a lot of time thinking rather than speaking. His weapon is a gunblade – a mixture of sword and gun. A student of Balamb Garden, he's an introvert with little concern for his comrades; few can actually claim to understand him. A cold and mysterious guy. Seifer – Like Squall he is a member of the Garden. He is a natural fighter who would make an excellent soldier except he doesn’t listen to orders. He also uses a gunblade, which makes him similar to Squall - expect a big rivalry. In the amazing opening Full Motion Video Seifer and Squall are seen ‘training’, but they aren’t holding back the former gives Squall a big scar sending him to the infirmary (this is where the games begins). Zell – Another Garden student. He is a bit hyperactive; he can’t stand still and vents his frustration with his fists. He is reminiscent to Tifa from FFVII; his limit break is made up of beat-em-up style combos. He will be one of your other top attackers. Young and brash Zell aspires to be just like his grandfather, a famous military figure. His ambitions made him enter Balamb Garden at the age of 13. Zell doesn't give in without a fight, however his actions make him appear somewhat immature and rash. Selphie – she begins the game after changing Gardens; Squall can give her a tour at the start of t
        he game (if you choose to…). She is a very happy-go-lucky type of gal and has a main costume made up of short dungarees. Combined with her hair she has a very unique look. Quistis – she is 18, about a year older than the previously mentioned characters, she attends Garden too, although she is a bit of a prodigy – she is an instructor instead of a student. She has a soft spot for Squall. Her limit break consists of collecting materials, which give her access to blue magic. It is quite similar to FFVII’s Enemy Skills materia. Rinoa – Squall’s love interest, she is introduced in an FMV where she dances with Squall. She is leader of a resistance movement, The Forest Owls. Final Fantasy VIII's female lead, Rinoa, is both angelic and bubbly. She loves to speak her mind, and has the habit of acting on impulse. Her limit break involves her dog Angelo. Irvine -- he is full of confidence of himself and his shooting skills are unmatched by none. He hails from Galbadia Garden, and calls himself 'Garden's Elite Sharpshooter'. Easy-going and humorous, Irvine's also a big flirt. The Dream Gang – at certain times in the game the main party will fall unconscious and you will take control of three soldiers: Laguna, Ward and Kiros. A man with a strong sense of justice, Laguna believes in protecting the weak. Formerly a soldier, he's now a journalist with Timber Maniacs, having decided to trade in his sword for a pen. Optimistic and cheerful, Laguna is very much a people's person. Tough talking and ominous, Ward sports a scar (which seems to be all the rage nowadays in FFVIII) and a big, mean harpoon. Not someone you'll want to agitate. He's pretty at ease with his pals, Laguna and Kiros though. Looking much more refined than his fellow counterpart Ward, Kiros formerly served in the Galbadian army, with katals as his weapon. Both Ward and him have a very good
        working relationship with Laguna. The majority of the gameplay unfolds in superb pre-rendered locations. The characters are set against the still backgrounds but unlike FFVII the differences between the pre-renderings and polygon animation is much less noticeable. The deformed characters are gone and replaced with characters who look human, their heights and actions are much more proportional and realistic. The story is once again enthralling and begins with Squall, Zell, Seifer and Selphie attempting to qualify for SeeD, an elite mercenary force from which the Garden gets money from hiring out its members. The town of Dollet is under attack from the Galbadian Army, Squall, Zell and Seifer (the team leader) have been given orders to make their way to the town centre where they are to await further instructions. After waiting around for a while Seifer decides to go and find some action and so the epic truly begins… The graphics are jaw dropping, on its release it was the best ever seen on a console. There are hundreds of mini-locations, which drip with style and atmosphere. The level of detail is truly immense. There is now a consistency in the look of the game that was previously lacking. A not so important feature is seen when walking around with a party, all three characters will be on screen; there is no jumping-and-disappearing into someone’s trousers in this game. The all-important battles will still commence when the screen warps to a new location without warning; yes the random battles still exist. The huge array of weapons and equipment have been culled, now each character only has one weapon, which can be upgraded by gathering the right items then buying the new version at a Junk Shop (Weapon Store). Armour has been completely removed. Materia has also gone. Square made a bold change, introducing a junction system. Guardian Force’s are acquired and then junctioned to a character. Once you hav
        e this many more options are opened up. GF’s can learn 22 abilities, which include special menu abilities, character abilities and junctions. For example if you get HP-J you can junction a set of magic to your HP, which will increase the stat. Magic is obtained by drawing. I’m not talking about sitting down making pictures, but extracting the magic using the Draw command. It can be used on all enemies and on special Draw points situated throughout the game. This systems means you can create characters tailored specifically to your fighting style and prolongs the (already massive) longevity of the game. Something I don’t like so much is the fact that you can only choose 3 extra commands to use along with the standard physical attack. I prefer FFVII’s system where you can have many commands. It does mean that you have to choose whether to make a character an all out attacker or a healer which adds an element of judgement but I think it means fights can become frustrating. Once again you will gain EXP (experience points), which will level, up your characters when you gain enough. Fortunately this time the levels don’t get bigger and bigger each time, instead only 1000 EXP points is needed to gain a level. Also of note is the fact that the enemy levels are based on the average of your fighting party. This means that there is no need to level up and I recommend that you try to stay as low as possible. This way you can junction HP-Up, Str-Up etc., which will increase a characters stats by bonus, points each time they level up. This is how you can create super strong characters. I don’t think you should use this on your first time through the game as it means staying away from fights as much as possible until the later stages of the game. Recently I decided to complete the game again (that’s why I’m writing this op!) using the no-level up method. The results are good, and something surprising is shown ̵
        1; the characters I used least have the best stats, this is because they had more levels to up and thus have the best results. However, there are other ways of improving these stats such as a quirky command called devour which eats an enemy, certain monsters yield permanent stat boosts. The game exists on a stomping 4 huge disks and offers about 60 hours minimum, although you will be closer to 100 if your finish everything. I FINALLY completed my card collection – Triple Triad is a simple card game played on a 9x9 grid. It is simple in context but would take too long to explain the intricate details. When you learn the Card Mod ability (from Quezacotl, your first GF) you can gain items from the card. This is the main side quest although there are many others, however apart from Triple Triad the sub quests aren’t as good as FFVII. It just wouldn’t be a fair review if I didn’t mention the bad stuff…um, er…oh yeah The Draw system isn’t perfect, it can be very easy to gain a complete set of a certain spell, however the best spells are hard to find, often only from bosses where you won’t have time to waste so the game doesn’t become amazingly easy from the start. Although there are two special islands, called Islands Closest to Heaven/Hell which offer top class spells to draw. The monsters there are all level 100 so offer good EXP or a frequent showing of the Game Over screen. The junction system does appear abit overwhelming at first and can take time to get used to. But help is certainly available; throughout the first disks you can follow a couple of tutorials, which can be re-accessed via the main menu. There are also numerous opportunities to use automatic functions, for example Squall’s limit break. I have to admit that at first I did this but you really shouldn’t – it is a simple matter of pressing R1 when a moving block passes through a certain section - I didn’t real
        ise it was so straightforward. Despite the minor niggles, though, this is an excellent and massive game. By the end of it you will wonder how Square managed to fit it on to just 4 disks. To complete the whole game will take a helluva lot of time and energy, but its worth every minute and you should definitely give it a go. I like the futuristic style so I am unsure about whether to get FFIX, the medieval style isn’t my thing but I might get it anyway – I’ll have to read a couple more reviews! Square haven’t simply done it again – they’ve done it bigger and better. I would give this game 10/10 when it came out but drop one point at this moment of time. So I guess if I were to give it a percentage score it would be 99% - its that damn good. Thanks for reading this huge op on a huge game. ==== MMUK ====

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        • More +
          05.07.2001 02:55
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          Has anyone else noticed the similarities between Text Messenging and Instant Messenging? Both use a lot of shorthand and are popular everywhere. Me and my friends always chat whilst on the internet and since thru MSN. Before I downloaded MSN Messenger, I would have to pre-arrange a time to meet up with friends to chat but not anymore. *I’m gonna refer to Messenger as MSN throughout this op* There are other instant messenger programs out there notably Yahoo and ICQ. Oh by the way there is a program called Trillian, which is fantastic, it combines all three plus AOL and AIM so go and download that here: http://www.trillian.cc The thing is I only use MSN because in my opinion it is the best chat out there.You will need to get a login and password – you can just use a hotmail account if you have one. Then you will need to download the software. It is very easy to install, so I won’t waste your time here. An icon sits in the System Tray at all times, when you have no connection to the internet (or you are not logged in) there is a green person shape in the background with a white person in the foreground, with a red circle which has a cross in it. To login simple double click on the icon and type in you r username and password. As this process is carried out the white and green person become animated highlighting between the two, then when you are logged in just the green person remains. If like me you will use MSN frequently I suggest ticking the remember me box, then whenever you connect to the net MSN connects simultaneously. You will be presented with a window which has a list of your contacts in, the ones in red are offline, and the ones in green are on. Double clicking on someone will open a dialog window. This is where you will chat with someone. If they are not online it will send a page to their phone if they have set that option up. Something very annoying is the fact that somtimes it can be very
          hard to connect, for instance today I have been online for an hour but can't login. This only happens at peak times and is hardly a major concern. MSN can be customised to a high degree, you can change your username as frequently as you like, the font used, its colour, size of the font etc. Whenever someone connects to MSN a small window rises from the bottom right of your screen. This is not only used for “Mr X has now logged on” but also it tells you of any new hotmails (very good if you use hotmail a lot, although personally I don’t – too much spam!) and when someone begins a conversation “Mr X says: blah blah…”. One thing missing is “Mr X has now logged off” an advantage Yahoo Messenger has. You can invite up to 5 people in one conversation window, thereby creating your own little chat room. Also when a MSN chat window is not the one selected you will be informed with a sound and it will flash in the taskbar until you select the window. Btw you can change all the sound options – I had to do this because it was just too damn annoying and loud, I now have a nice subtle sound of someone writing with a pencil. Which does the job without me having to turn the volume down. One of the best features is to send and receive files thru MSN. You click File, then down to Send a File then select the document and hit send. The disadvantage is that this can only be used in a one-2-one conversation, if necessary you can open up a new window. I’ve heard some people use this when talking in a group, and then secretly chatting in another window behind someone’s back… As with all chat software these days you can bring the text to live with little pictures called emoticons. Universal to all are the smileys; that represent different moods, such as :-) = happy, :-( = sad. (They don't have Homer yet though!) Each software has their own extras thrown in, MSN's ar
          e activated by putting a character in brackets. For example (Y) = a thumb pointing up (Yes) and (N) = the opposite (No). There are lots of pics to discover which aren't restricted to the alphabet, (*)= a star. As already mentioned MSN integrates with Hotmail, I can see a pattern with Microsoft…you can also get a MSN browser which includes MSN very well, but personally I don’t like its design and will be getting IE6 where you will have MSN as an option in a similar way that favourites are listed. Overall, I think that MSN is the best chat software out there, my advice is get all of them and play about (alternatively use Trillian, although it is a little slow and I haven’t taken the time to use it very often, it’s a great application). It is global so if you meet someone in a chat room you can add them to your Contacts list very easily. You can soon have a variety of people from various parts of the world to talk too.

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          • The Sims (PC) / PC Game / 0 Readings / 11 Ratings
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            28.06.2001 04:51
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            The Sims…not to be confused with The Simpsons…although you could BE them. The Sims is a god game where you control a family and everything in their life. One of the best things about this game is the wide range available. You can select one of the created families or make your own. When you start the game you are presented with a view of the Sim neighbourhood. There are 5 houses already built, you choose a family and (if they can afford it) pick a house to move into. On this screen you can also evict a family if they are in a house you like or even bulldoze the house. If you select a plot of land, which doesn’t have a house on it you can build your own. I shall go into more detail later in this op. Creating a Sim – the first thing to do is select the surname otherwise used as the Family name. Then choose a first name. Next up you can decide what character you want your Sim to have. You can pick from any of the star signs, but I think it is better to choose their stats. There are 5 main attributes listed: § Neat § Outgoing § Active § Playful § Nice Each attribute has a maximum rating of 10, and you are given 25 points to play about with. If an attribute is low it acts as an opposite to the rating. For example: Neat/Sloppy, Outgoing/Shy, Active/Lazy, Playful/Serious and Nice/Grouchy. After you have decided whether to be a lazy coach potato or one of those annoying people who have too much energy or even Joe Average you get to decide what your Sim will look like. You can decide whether you want to have a Male or Female, Adult or child then you can select skin tone. After the basics you decide what face your Sim will have and then choose their default clothes. In the game you have a wider selection of clothes – swimwear, pyjamas, formal and then any of the clothes available at the start of the game. You will need to buy a wardrobe if you want to change your
            clothes. The final touch is to add a bit of history your Sim by adding a small biography. This doesn’t affect the game play though. Subsequently you can finish your creation and add other members to your family as you see fit. Now if you want to play with that family select them and continue to the Neighbourhood screen. Building a house – if you demolish a house or select an empty patch of land you can build your own little mansion or bachelor pad. The first house I built was a HUGE one-storey house with a swimming pool and decent garden. This isn’t the best idea. The Sims like space in each room as well as good furnishings but they have to be functional. If they need a pee in the middle of the night they don’t want to have to walk a mile to relieve themselves. You start by building walls; you can create one room at a time and build around it or make the outer walls first then split the inside into designated areas. You can build a staircase and then develop both floors. I have a large house so didn’t want to bother traipsing upstairs to sleep, but the choice is really up to you. The floor can be set to tiles or carpet, the walls can be set with wallpaper or stone covering so if you are a bit mad you can have the stone look on the inside and wallpaper on the outside. You will need a kitchen, bedroom, lounge, somewhere to eat, a study type area, game room and bathroom. Well maybe not all those rooms but that’s what I like! You can decorate with paintings and vases or if you prefer a Plasma TV and a relaxing sofa. A couple of tips for the beginner: Pressing P pauses and un-pauses the game. F1 is live mode – as long as the game is not paused the Sims will carry on in their lives following the instructions you give them. F2 is buy mode – here you select the items to furnish your home with. F3 is build mode – here you can build doorways walls, carpets, w
            indows etc. F4 is camera mode – you can take photos of anything you like. The computer automatically stores pics of important events such as weddings and burglars who have been caught. F5 is options mode – here you can save, go back to the neighbourhood and play about with the game options. The game is based around 24 hour days. Throughout the day your Sims various ratings will decrease. These are Energy, hunger, hygiene, bladder, comfort, fun, social and room. They can go up by keeping your Sim clean, happy, sociable and eating. All pretty obvious but will you be able to handle this in the precious time available. Relationships play a big part in this game. The first thing I advise you to do is go to each house in the neighbourhood and fit a phone in each and also occupy each house with a family. If a Sim doesn’t have a phone you will only see them by chance if they drop by. Clearly the more people you have in the neighbourhood, the larger your friendship circle can stretch. Sims are an interactive bunch so after they greet each other they can talk, joke, entertain, tickle and if they get friendly, hug kiss propose and ask to move in. If a man and women are close they can choose to have a baby. Same sex couples can’t have a baby although Maxis has made sure they can still have children - an important reason to have and answer the phone is you might get a call asking whether you would like to adopt a baby. If you choose to or decide to have a baby you give it a first name. Then for the next three days you have to nurture it and make sure someone is at hand to cater for the baby’s needs. If you neglect the baby social services will come round and take your kid away from you. The will baby will cry a lot and takes a far bit of work to keep it. Then after the three days if you are successful t will miraculously transform into a child. A mysterious thing about the Sim world is that people do not age ̵
            1; children stay as kids, adults don’t wrinkle and grow old. Don’t think that just because the Sims doesn’t age they don’t die. There are fires, electrocution and starvation to look out for. Better keep that fridge stocked. A couple of preventions are to get a bookcase – then read cooking and mechanical books to improve your cooking and mechanical skills. Hey this game doesn’t take a genius. Another way is to hire a repairman to fix anything or call a pizza man if you want food fast although it costs 40 Simoleans a pop. (Yep they have their own currency). Another tip is to place fire alarms throughout the house. The best places are in the kitchen and by the barbecue. Getting a job – a very important aspect of the game – building a career. You start off with a choices of careers, so what do you want to be? A newspaper is delivered each day with one job offer, I you have a PC you can search through about 5 jobs each day. There are 10 to choose from: a sports star, famous actor, successful doctor, devious politician, business guru, daredevil, international thief, ace cop, officer in the army and a science genius. Of course you can’t have great success over night, you will start at the bottom of the ladder. You can get promoted and later demoted but if you decide the pro Athlete is too much hard work you can decide to risk life and limb as a stuntman but you will start at the bottom even if you were at the top previously. There are a number of things, which can help you get promoted. Working hard, being on time, going to work happy, having the skills needed and having friends. A car will come an hour before you are scheduled to work, you don’t have to go straight away but if you miss the hour window you will have to stay at home. If you miss 2 days in a row you will be fired. Although, you can cheat this by only going to work every other day! So to get promoted keep your
            stats high and make friends. Each career also needs certain skills: These include: Mechanical, Cooking, Body, Charisma, Logic and Creativity. These can be improved by working out, swimming, reading, playing chess, painting, playing the piano and practicing speech in front of a mirror. You can control each family irrespective of the rest, so that choosing one family for a certain time then going back to another family will not interfere. Their time will have stopped from when you last saved it. www.thesims.com is a very useful official website. It offers tips and hints but some of the best things are the download section. You can download tools, which allow you to edit the game, such as the wallpaper and furnishings, as well as skins. This is the literal sense – you can create many more Sims however you like. For starters goto: http://www.geocities.com/laura_chase54/laura_chase.html here you can download Buffy and Angel characters which Laura Chase has made, she is still working on them and they do look just like their real life counterparts. I wonder if Angel can go in the Sun…have fun creating your own, if I can drag myself away from this site I will create some of my own and post ‘em on my website. The cheats – to enter a cheat press: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + C at the same time. This will open a small box in the top left corner. You then enter various cheat codes. Entering ! after a cheat has been done will repeat it, it can be used 60 times in the entry box. Separate ! with a ;. For example: !;!;!;!;! will carry out the previous cheat 5 more times. You can find them thru any search engine so I will only list a couple: § klapaucius – add 1000 Simoleans to your savings § set_hour 24 – sets the time in this case to midnight – very useful if you have been partying all night and need to sleep! § move_objects on – you can move any object – flood puddles, mess and even people
            – then go back to live mode and click on the character’s face and they will reappear and their stats will be replenished. Even better if you have to goto work. This cheat is very useful when trying to get a baby into a child. The only negative point I can think of is the game speed. It can seem to take a long time to save and to move between the different modes. Also the occasional crashes are very annoying. I do have a lot of junk on my comp but still… I also had a problem with Direct X. I think I may have moved the file when I was sorting my comp out a while ago. I have Red Alert 2, which came with Direct X 7. The game said it couldn’t find the Direct X so I tried to install it from the CD, it then told me that it detected a newer version so the installation was unnecessary. I think the game comes with version 6. Very annoying! I resolved it by getting version 8 from the Microsoft website, in the downloads section. The file was 11 Megs though so takes up a bit of space (I only have a gig of space left. Looks like I’m gonna have to do some more cleansing). This opinion is in depth just like the game, you can’t win this game you just play until you are bored (or have killed everyone!). Even though it was long there is still a plethora of options to tweak and loads of stuff to find out. Overall, a great game and will keep you occupied through those sunny days instead of going outside. Thanks for reading all of me now go get an espresso. ==== MMUK ====

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            • American Beauty (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 18 Ratings
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              12.05.2001 05:08
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              Every so often in Hollywood a film is produced which strays away from the norm, I could start to list them but I won’t because that would take your attention away from American Beauty. There was a lot of hype built around its release but it doesn’t disappoint. Sam Mendes has done a terrific job in portraying Mid-life crisis and how people deal with it. This film also portrays tearaway teens, reluctant homosexuals and obsessions. Intriguing no? *This may ruin the plot for some people so don’t say I didn’t tell you so ;-)* The story begins with a shot of Middle America suburbia (does that make sense?), the neighbourhood where the dysfunctional Burnham family live. This particular bit of scenery showing the trees in autumn seems to symbolise Lester Burnham, a 42-year-old man who is fed up of being average. Like him the trees are ready to shed their leaves and end up looking like they are coming to the end of their life, this is why I think the shot is used throughout the film. Kevin Spacey is the star of the show and for good reason. He is best known for roles in Usual Suspects, Seven and LA confidential – where is characters are a manipulative criminal, an evil psychotic killer and the celebrity cop who always had the press at hand when he was about to make an arrest. So how does he cope as the pathetic, vulnerable, loser Lester? The answer is brilliantly. Throughout the film Spacey has a narrative role as well as the part of Lester. At the start of the movie he announces he is going to die. The film shows the last year in his life up to the fatal moment He starts the day depressed before the highlight being masturbating in the shower, by the way this film is an 18 so has adult content! He then goes off to his equally depressing job and returning to his unhappy family. Annette Bening is superb as Carolyn the workaholic, artificially happy wife and mother of confused teenage daughter Jane played by T
              hora Hird. The Fitts family move in next door, they consist of Ricky Fitts, his mum and dad, Barbara and Colonel Frank. Throughout the film Ricky kept me amused as you see him obsessively filming every thing in sight and in particular Jane. Apart from Spacey I think that Wes Bentley gave the best performance in the film, I expect to see him as the lead in a couple of years. Although Ricky seems weird at first you can understand him more as the film progresses. His father (Chris Cooper) is a stern military man and on the outside is extremely homophobic although beneath the surface he hides his repressed sexuality. Ricky doesn’t seem to fear his dad – I assume that this is because throughout his life he has seen his dad as an intimidating figure and has gotten used to it. Barbara has a very small role, Allison Janney, who can be seen as CJ in the West Wing, plays the silent mother who doesn’t seem to feature in the movie at all. When Lester and Carolyn go to see Jane as a cheerleader at her schools basketball match, Lester is distracted by Jane’s friend Angela, who he quickly becomes infatuated with and starts having fantasies involving her being naked and a lot of roses. I am not sure whether these are used to symbolise the fact that the love is forbidden from the start or like Adam and Joe said just to cover her nips. Although later in the film we finally get to see them even though this doesn’t affect my rating of this film :-p This signifies the start of Lester’s rebirth – when the girls are round the Burnham’s house Angela tells Jane that her dad would look great if he worked out. Lester is eavesdropping and decides to wipe the dust off those weights. At a boring party Lester meets Ricky who is working as a waiter and they go and have some weed outside. A bond seems to form here and when Ricky’s boss starts having a go he tells him where he can shove his job, which rea
              lly seems to impress Lester. The next day Lester decides to continue his smoking habit and goes to see Ricky to get a supply. We see Ricky’s room which is filled with loads of videotapes, which I suspect is an indication of his obsession with filming anything, he finds beautiful. The room also has a great entertainment system suitable for any mans front room. Widescreen TV, video player, hi-fi all top class. We find that Ricky is a full time supplier and gets many perks, which he can call upon – such as a clean sample of urine. Yes his dad makes him take a drug test once a year to check it is, well, clean. What is truly funny is how his dad thinks Ricky could afford everything just for waiting tables. Lester quits his job getting a decent golden handshake and he decides to revert back to his student days. Listening to music from his youth, working out, smoking dope and getting a job in the local Burger Bar. Whilst working here he catches his wife who is having an affair with her business rival Buddy King. I will not ruin the rest of the film except to say it comes too a quirky conclusion. The cast are excellent, as is the direction, script and music. The dialogue is fast and witty and the use of Ricky’s camera as a view of his perspective on beauty provides comical moments and more poignant thoughts. First of all you will laugh at his filming of the plastic bag in the wind but I could see what he was thinking of when he did it. When Lester turns down Angela when she is offering herself on a plate, we see that he is a good man (and so is America!) and that under her flirtatious surface Angela is frightened of not being accepted or popular. Mankind can be good sometimes you know. This film should be watched more than once to catch some of the more meaningful parts and it is enjoyable enough for you to want to do so. ==== MMUK ====

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              • MS Word 2000 / Office Software / 0 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                03.05.2001 05:04
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                Microsoft Office truly is a genius software package. The basics include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The most commonly used is Word and the best version (until XP) is the 2000 edition. You can create simple letters, coursework, and even web pages. The best feature of Word is its simplicity. A child (or any newbie) can learn to use in a matter of minutes, whilst it has a plethora of options available for the more experienced. A brilliant feature is the spell checker, apart from catching typos and misuse of grammar it can help people who are not very good at or just can't spell. It can help stop you from embarrassing in official business too. The style of your writing can be played about with to get exactly to your liking. You can change the font in numerous ways, such as Font name, size, bold, italic, underline, and colour. Other features include easy to use/make lists, insert non-alphanumeric characters and play about with the layout. Microsoft office has been built to enable the use of all the different software, so tables from Excel, pictures from PowerPoint can be inserted into a word document with relative ease. There a couple of tools which I like to use and which I find to be very helpful. Word count – if you click on Tools>>Word count you will see a breakdown of your document. It includes the number of words typed, pages, characters (with and without spaces), number of paragraphs and number of lines. This is very useful when doing a piece of work, which needs to have a maximum/minimum word count. Sometimes you will see words or lines underlined with a green or red jagged line. The green highlights any grammar errors, whilst the red shows any spelling mistakes or unrecognised words. It can be quite annoying when your address is shown to be spelt wrong so you can add that to your dictionary and it won’t be seen as an error anymore! If you press F7 it brings up your spelling and grammar
                check. At the top of word you have a selection of drop down menus. Each menu offers a couple of functions, if you hold the mouse on the arrow (>> pointing downwards) it will bring up the full range of each menu. The idea is that you will only have the most commonly used functions at hand but the rest are there without taking up too much screen space. Just below this is buttons for the most common functions – stuff you shall use almost every time you use word. Such as B (Bold), I (Italic) and U (underline). To increase your speed that little bit more most common functions have short cut keys using the above examples Ctrl+B for Bold, Ctrl+I for Italic and Ctrl+U for underline. Pressing it once starts the function whilst pressing again will turn it off. The page layout can be changed such as the margins and whether you want the page to be in landscape or portrait. There is a lot of help available in the actual Help files and the maligned Office Assistant. Some people love ’em and some people well, set ’em to hide, however the Office 2000 is the last chance you have of keeping it. As of the XP range it will be no more. Rest in Virtual Peace Assistant. Microsoft have a monopoly over the IT industry as a whole which does actually have some benefits!! It is because of this that Word is so commonly used that many people can use it and show others how to. In my opinion Word 2000 is the best word processor money can buy and with all its features it will easily handle almost all the jobs you will use it for. I always use it to write my opinions and you probably should too! A final brilliant feature is the Synonym tool – it can be found by highlighting a word then right clicking, then selecting Synonyms – it will then bring up a list of similar words enabling to vary your vocabulary. For example – I like Word - like can be changed to: ‘similar to’ or ‘akin to’ or whatever you think
                is most appropriate. There is a site on the internet which has a funny example of how the Spellchecker isn't 100% accurate. If I find the URL I will update this op or if anyone knows it please drop a comment. ==== MMUK ====

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                • consumer-reviews.co.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                  30.04.2001 02:46
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                  Can you type? Can you read? Well you’re in luck. You can now earn money for it. Go and join Dooyoo…wait no I am talking about the new kid on the block Consumer-reviews.co.uk. This site is comparable to Ciao or Dooyoo, where you get paid for writing opinions and any reads generated from them. However, consumer-reviews is dedicated specifically to computers and associated subjects. When you write an opinion it says the word limit is 50 words minimum and 800 words maximum. I deliberately wrote an op which was over this amount then went to edit it but well, couldn’t! The all important money: §  £1 just for joining §  £0.30 for each opinion you write §  If your op is good it gets a star thing next to it - and an extra £0.70! §  £0.05 for each read §  Affiliate program - you get £0.05 for each click-thru The reviews are split into four categories: § Computer Hardware § Computer Software § Computer Books § Computer Vendors The search function isn’t too great and it can take a bit of work to find the category where you want to place a review. As of yet the prices are high, which is good but the churners have no doubt built up a few quid already whilst not much reading is going on. An annoying thing is you can’t search for a particular member and there isn’t a circle of friends to add any members whose work you like. There doesn’t seem to be much of a community but that is to be expected with a relatively new site. When I joined I can remember seeing the number 451, which suggest that there are probably less than a thousand members so you can probably pioneer the site and become well known quickly. Things I don’t like include the fact you can’t see who rated your review, so people probably won’t read as much as we do here. This will mean the reader is anonymous
                  so there will be no revenge rating although tactical ratings will probably increase dramatically. The site has a simple, straightforward design and is fairly easy to navigate – I have found a couple of pages where there seemed to be no way to get back to the homepage except using the browsers back button. I emailed them and they replied very quickly, so either they are committed to good customer service or they don’t have much to do. I suspect the former and give them the thumbs up. On the homepage you they have their logo, links to your account etc, a search bar, a bit about Consumer Reviews, a quick login box, one banner ad, the four review categories, a highly recommended review, a new review and a link to the last 10 reviews. Ciao do it, Consumer reviews do it, when are Dooyoo gonna doo it? Although it has only just begun, I expect the sites overall quality to improve especially when some of the good writers go and join. Until, then I thought I would point out a fault. When you read an review you can give it a rating of Not Helpful, Helpful and Very Helpful. This is not broad enough as a five wide range, and can make a rating a bit harsher than it should be. Anyway, I am pretty sure you can rate an opinion more than once and even rate your own ops! I am not sure whether they will crack down on this, or I might be wrong but still it’s a churners dream. I think it will have to nick a few ideas from Ciao and Dooyoo if it wants to become successful and build an all important community user base. Thanks for reading me, coincidently my user name is also MMUK ;-) ==== MMUK ====

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                  • Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 / Web Design / 0 Readings / 34 Ratings
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                    26.04.2001 04:53
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                    HTML – HyperText Markup Language – the building block from which websites are made, yep even Dooyoo. If you have no idea what I are talking about Click on View>>>Source (if you can’t find it I suggest learning to read, opening your eyes or ignoring my sarcastic comments and look above the back and forward buttons). This will open up a notepad document and shows the code used to make the page you are viewing. Anyway, you are probably wondering what the hell has this got to do with anything? If this is you and your eyes are shifting between the back button and this bland text have a little faith, perhaps think about organised religion then you will realise it makes more sense to carry on reading. I wanted to build a website and that’s what I have done, check out my homepage later if you are feeling risky, go on I dare you *wait* I double dare you. Haha nice work Rich. Not so interesting fact that is why MMUK is my username. As I was waffling on earlier, I didn’t have FrontPage so I had to learn HTML – although I am doing it the right way, it really bugs me when I see a site made by someone who has no idea about the language and uses his drop-and-drag. Oooh that made me mad. And then there was Dreamweaver 4. I had previously used a free text based editor, which was slightly better than Notepad. I will not bore you with the boring details but I ended up with a package, which included Dreamweaver 4 and Fireworks 4 – a companion graphics editor also made by Macromedia. Dreamweaver is similar to FrontPage in that it is a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) but it is so much more. There are 3 ways of viewing the pages you create: § Design View – the drop and drag mode. You see the page, as it would appear in your browser, although it doesn’t show images. You can type straight onto the page and it will appear exactly like it. § Code View – shows the HTM
                    L code, requires a bit of knowledge of the language or the place where you will cut and paste snippets of code. § Design/Code View – the view I use most. The page is split into a code section and a design part. You can edit using either method. You can switch through the views with ease, the actual setup of the program is similarly useful and logical to use. When you load it up for the first time it can appear a bit scary, I advise you to close those little windows, and start on the Code view or Design/Code. Then give your page a title, and think about Meta tags, which are used by search engines and the link for Key words etc. Next you want to sort out the background colour, I advise you to find a colour chart, especially if you want to get that particular shade of blue. In the body tag you can then add stuff like link colour, visited link colour and font. NB you should probably remember that as in life most things on the net are US dominated so use color instead. The tags you will want to know start with a < and end with >, a tag has a name then you set attributes. You end with the same sort of thing but a / before the tag name. I will give you an example. <a href="http://www.mmsystems.uk.com/makemoneyuk">Making Money UK</a> This is a hyperlink, that tells the browser it is an anchor tag. The ref attribute says where the tag is attached to (ie where the link will take you). This should help you to get started. Now the basics are over you can play about getting the design to your liking and getting the content sorted. A myriad of options are available to you, and one of the best is the ability to create a template. This is a handy little thing, which will save you loads of time once you learn how to do it. I won’t tell you how to do this specifically as it is only relevant to people who have the software, and if you have it I suggest checking out the help files. I found them amazingly in-depth a
                    nd very helpful. It is like they are there to help… Anyhow once you have a basic template and set the areas you want to edit for each page you can then base new pages on it. It is very useful if you add a new page to your site, so that if you want to add a link to you navigation bar you only need to update the actual template. Then when you save the file it will ask whether you want to update the pages based on that particular template. This saves lots of time and will become more important once you have built a site as opposed to a page. Dreamweaver is best used with Fireworks; with the two you can create a flash site, using DHTML (Dynamic HTML). These include such amazing things as rollovers, Flash buttons and other amazing graphical feats. This is the best version of Dreamweaver available (until the next update ;-)). So lets get down to the nitty gritty – price. Dreamweaver and Fireworks are available as separate packages at £300 each, but you can buy a bundle pack for *only* £350 (All prices are correct at time of going to press…the doo it button). This does seem expensive and it is, so I would presume the professionals to use it more than novices. Even if you can’t afford it and doubt you will purchase Dreamweaver you can download 30 Day trials at http://www.macromedia.com/downloads/ - it is a great page on the macromedia site – it offers downloads for all their products and there are a lot of good ones in there such as Flash, Shockmachine, and much more. So it has come to this the final paragraph. Dreamweaver is a brilliant tool for building HTML pages – if you can afford it or get a deal then go for it, you won’t be disappointed. There is tons of extra stuff for you to discover and give your page the professional look. It enables drop and drag as well as implementing HTML code and although it does make your code look a little messy when editing in design mode, although
                    not as much as FrontPage! If you have FrontPage then you probably won’t feel the need to spend your cash on Dreamweaver but it will be a great tool for any budding Web designer. Btw I don’t hate Microsoft, I love Windows --- except when it crashes for the 5th time. I hope you found this op to be helpful. I'm off to look for one of those mystical metal shiny things you can wear on your head... ==== MMUK ====

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                    • Interview With The Vampire (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                      26.03.2001 03:51
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                      This is one of those classic films, which can be enjoyed by a wide audience whilst having a cult viewing. I suppose it fits in with the genre. But where does it fit in, I suppose it could be called a Gothic/Horror/Thriller – although it is hardly something you have to watch with the lights on. The film does seem to drag on at times although this was only because I was watching it in drips and drabs from video. I advise you to watch from start to finish to fully appreciate the story. You can watch it more than once, although I would leave a bit of a gap between each viewing. The story is based on the book of the same title, written by Anne Rice. In my opinion you should enjoy both, but probably read the book first. This way you can see if the characters you pictured in your head match up with the Directors. The cast is absolutely amazing. Tom Cruise revels in his role as Lestat, enjoying his role as a bad guy. The story begins in modern-day San Francisco, where the Vampire Louis played by Brad Pitt tells his (2nd) life story to the journalist Malloy, played by Christian Slater. Pitt is the lynchpin of the film; he is the narrator and in the present is describing his past, which centres on him. Two centuries earlier in New Orleans, Louis is at a loose and careless end. His wife and children are dead, and he wishes to join them. Lestat spots him and when he gets him on his own he gives Louis a choice: Will he die or have eternal life, with this Louis is transformed into a vampire. I will try not to spoil all the secrets but will have to describe certain details so that the story makes sense. Louis does not want to kill people, instead feeding on rats whilst Lestat positively relishes in the killing. There are a few gory bits in it but that is expected considering the genre. I am not one to shy away from blood so I do not consider it to be excessive, in fact it adds to the film. After moving about between countrie
                      s and various decades, Louis feeds on a little girl, whose mother has died from the Plague. Lestat makes the girl, Claudia, a fellow vampire in a similar way to how he changed Louis. Kirsten Dunst is superb as the sweet but murderous little girl. Louis becomes very attached to her. Later she realises that she will forever remain a girl she becomes very jealous after seeing a fully endowed women, she murders Lestat although it is not that easy, he returns so they kill him again. Life’s tough being dead. She escapes with Louis to France where they finally end their search to find fellow vamps. They meet a group of vampires who are masquerading as actors. This merry little gang is headed by Armend. Antonio Banderas is another superb choice as he convincingly plays this relatively small part to a T. He orders his gang to capture Louis, Claudia and another women (who Louis was going to make as a companion for Claudia), he tells them to put Louis into a steel coffin whilst the women are burnt to death in a chamber when the sun rises. Armend frees Louis because he wants him as his own companion. He deliberately planned it knowing that Louis’ rage would get the better of him and he is proven right when he murders the actors. But things are not exactly to plan as Louis leaves and heads back to America alone. He can once again see the sunrise with the invention of film. The film is now pretty up to date and it flashes back for a last time to the present when his story ends. Slater isn’t happy and asks to become a vamp. With this Pitt leaves unhappy that his story has not been taken the right way. There is a final surprise at the end which I won’t reveal – so I guess this is the end of my story. Until next time…Muhahahahahahahahahaha

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                      • More +
                        21.03.2001 03:58
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                        This opinion does not contain explicit lyrics but the thought… OK now I have your intrigued attention I shall begin a frank opinion on Dooyoo. It shall be a search for the truth!!! I will be rambling about my own personal experiences, so if anyone does not agree I apologize. I am still relatively new to Dooyoo so have not gained enough recognition to tell you about everything the site offers, although from what I have seen it will be an enjoyable experience to all. Just what is Dooyoo I hear you cry, well it’s a place people go to write their opinions on, well everything and anything with the added bonus of getting paid for it! You will also be paid when your opinions are read and for inviting friends to Dooyoo. The Good ============================================ There are many things I love about Dooyoo of which I shall highlight my personal favourites. The mighty Crowns – This is a great feature of Dooyoo and justifies the efforts put in by those hard working writers. The opinions, which reach this Holy Grail, obviously gain a bit of extra money from the exposure, but I think it encourages people to put in the effort to try and distinguish themselves from the other mortals. Having never received a crown I can’t comment on the feeling of getting your first, although I will endeavour. You will get a 1000 miles for each crown as well as a little bit of extra respect :p Hall of Fame – again you will receive excellent exposure for about a week, with your profile on the Homepage. You will also be permanently stored in the list of Fame. You get a 1000 miles just for getting in there as well as the extra reads. A good thing about the Hall of Fame is you are nominated by other Dooyooer’s so you know you must be doing something right. (Or should that be dooyooing). The community – I think there is a great community spirit here at Dooyoo, with people often posting helpful co
                        mments and welcoming me when I first arrived. I have tried to join in, by reading as many opinions as I can and commenting quite often. I have now surpassed my own reads, which is kind of like saying Christmas is about giving – when secretly you don’t mind giving presents as long as you receive some back!! I do honestly enjoy reading and writing opinions, so I can’t complain. I think 50 miles is a good amount per read as it encourages the emphasis on reading. The All tag – this little Hyperlink is a gem. It is found on most parts of Dooyoo, for example if a writer has over 200 opinions you might want to have a search through all of them, rather than loading up a new page for every 10. This is also really helpful to people who want to make a purchase and want to search the whole category looking for the better opinions before deciding whether to buy. Your profile – this is great, adding a bit of depth to your character, rather than just a username you can have a picture and description to help add a sense of humanity. An extra bonus is the fact you can add a bit of humour with you pic, it doesn’t have to be lifelike, especially to people without a scanner or a good photo! The Bad ============================================= New opinions – these are only on the Homepage for a incoherent amount of time, it’s the luck of the draw. A method could be to list the last 10 or 20 ops, or all the opinions written in the last hour. I thought I had written a fairly good op on The Royle Family and spent a lot time on it, but only received 1 read! Ah, well I am not bitter, well no THAT bitter! Site speed – a very small annoyance, I will often go to the Premier Opinions page and read a couple of the crowned ops, when doing this I frequently have to wait a bit of time. It is not specifically Dooyoo’s fault; the Internet as a whole is TOO slow, but I think part of the site needs t
                        o be optimised slightly. However as long as it doesn’t mean taking away the good stuff I am happy to jog rather than sprint. Search engine – Is it just me or does anyone else find a fair bit of tripe before digging up that shiny nugget of information you were looking for. I recently did a search on Dooyoo using the word “Dooyoo”. I was looking for the appropriate category to post this opinion. It bought up a lot of stuff and something in particular caught my eye. A 97% accuracy result for ‘Cottages 4 You banners’ with the category: Home > Internet > Information > Reference > dooyoo.co.uk > Banners and buttons on Dooyoo, you do the maths - not quite 97% Overall, I usually find what I am looking for, even if it chucks out the odd strange result. Churn the other cheek – you will probably have heard the name by now, Churners. These are the skanks of the earth who churn out many opinions with little regard to quality of content just as long as they get their 100 miles. The worst ones copy other peoples opinions or use the same op but in many categories irrelevant of the subject matter. Avoid these like the plague. The 75 word limit is not gospel; feel free to indulge the author or crazy person inside you. Censorship – I have had a few opinions blocked and not by coincidence. All three concern the topic of football, which I feel strongly about. I have many opinions and not all will be seen the same by everybody. In all fairness I was being a bit harsh, as I am a Pompey man I have a mild hatred of our local rivals affectionately known as Scummers (Southampton), this rivalry makes up the heart and soul of football, the idea of belonging to a team. Also Man Utd, although I don’t dislike them as much as when I was younger, my opinions weren’t exactly pro United. If you are a Man Utd fan you will probably say I am jealous of their dominance and you know what – you are right. O
                        verall, I don’t mind about being told to change part of my op as long as it is justified. After all it is just my opinion it doesn’t hurt anybody. Revenge Rating – a very annoying feature, although it can be spotted. If you have rated an opinion as Not Useful the author of that op may come back and rate some of your ops in a similar vein – often unjustified. Apart from dumping your op down the list it is highly immoral and should be frowned upon. Practice those frown faces. This is also similar to tactical rating where someone writes an opinion and then rates the others in the same topic down to make theirs the top of the list. The Money ============================================= Its all about the money, its all about the dum-dum-du-du-du-dum I won’t bore you with all the figures about earning money if I haven’t mentioned it already, but here is some of the essential stuff. Ask yourself would you have found Dooyoo or still be here if you weren’t getting paid, regardless of whether you have become an addict the money counts. To get paid direct from Dooyoo, you will have had to earn £50 which is 50,000 miles. Don’t worry if you think this is a bit steep, there are a number of alternatives. In particular various vouchers and if you open an account with Surfmiles, you will only need £15 (15000 miles) which should mean you getting paid in the Queen Mums infinite lifetime. In the end the work you put in will be proportional to the money you earn. If you become integrated into the community you can be rewarded. You will soon pick up a decent Circle of Friends and earn a lot of reads. The community managers and Guru’s are there for help and do reply to email so are there to help you out. The community spirit is truly alive at Dooyoo. I look forward to reading more opinions. Thanks for reading me. I hope you haven’t fallen asleep alrighty bye bye. I will update a
                        nything I have missed – If you notice something or think my title is a pile of pants - please drop a comment.

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                        • another.com / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                          17.03.2001 04:34
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                          Take a minute to think what you do EVERY day that you go on the internet. If I was a betting man I would be putting my money on checking your email. Electronic mail is probably the most useful thing I have used on the web. So when you login for the first time you will need to sign up for an account. There are literally hundreds of different providers but you should really only consider 3: Yahoo Hotmail Another.com Each has plus points which I won’t bother to go through apart from another.com of course. I have an account with all three and use them for different reasons. Yahoo - offers geocities which if you don’t already know is a service, which lets you build your very own homepage and site. I used this when I started Making Money UK before moving to my mates domain at MMsystems, check out my homepage if you are interested in seeing my modest results. Although I don’t use geocities too often I still use it as my account when I sign up for anything to do with making money from the web. It is good at filtering dubious junk using their Spamguard. Overall I find Yahoo to be a reliable service, very solid all round. Hotmail – I am not particularly a fan of hotmail because they have a history of problems but I will skirt that issue as they haven’t had any recent trouble. Sticking to the plus points – after a while you will have built up a stack of mail (provided you haven’t deleted them all) and most companies will divide them up into 10 or 20 mails per page, which helps load up times. Hotmail actually store every mail on the same page which I find very helpful. If you received some info in the past you would have to trawl through all your pages to find it, which means lots of loading times – with hotmail on the other hand you can just search from the top and scroll down. The best part of having a hotmail account is the fact you can download MSN Messenger. It is a beautiful bi
                          t of kit which lets you stay in touch with all your mates. It tells you when one of your contacts signs in AND whenever you have an new email, very useful. (By the way Yahoo also have a messenger service which I don’t use so I cannot comment on it). Another.com - I joined these guys when they had their big marketing campaign a while back, they were offering a fairly innovative and unique feature; an email address tailored to your interests. For example you like football – bob@ilovefootie.co.uk there are literally thousands of domains available these range from the simple to the funny to the bizarre. Another quirky feature of another.com is the fact you can implement a different colour scheme. Which is especially useful around the holidays, for example some reds and greens for Christmas. One of my favourite features is you can have up to 20 different addresses in your one free account, which is especially great if you sign up for a lot of stuff, you can then see who is sending you what with a clearer idea. It means all the mail is sent to one inbox, especially goof if you use each of the addresses for different things. Their site has gone under a few redesigns, and they add new pictures depending on the time of year just like changing your colour scheme. Through all this I can barely remember there being a problem and I don’t think any of my mail has been lost. I have found them to be a very reliable service as well as being very unique. In conclusion, I have to say that if you are looking to get a web-based email account for free then get another.com it is great for personal email. Also get Yahoo if you want a website and definitely get hotmail just for MSN messenger alone – it is a fantastic tool if you have friends online.

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                          • The Royle Family / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                            16.03.2001 01:53
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                            The greatest show in British Television history. FACT. If you don’t agree go write an opinion. In all seriousness though you have to marvel at Caroline Aherne’s Genius in getting The Royle Family made. You can just imagine the pitch: “Well, it’s about a family and occasionally their friends, who sit and watch TV.” “Is that it?” “um…no they smoke and insult each other” “OK, we’ll put it BBC2 and give you 6 episodes” (By the way for any crazy people - I was not actually there. Don’t sue me for misinterpretation. Go and watch Ally MacBeal, wait even better watch North Square) Anyway back to the Royle’s. As I mentioned it was first aired on BBC2, the first series was a huge success and for the second series it was (rightly) promoted to the mighty BBC1. Since then we have had a 1999 Christmas special, Series 3 and the Christmas 2000 special making a total of 20 episodes. 20 episodes is about the same size of an American show, for example Friends is about 24 episodes, which is why those crazy Yanks call their series’ seasons. Confused? Lets carry on anyway. It would be good if some of our better shows had longer running times, however if it is the classic case of quality versus quantity I know which one I would choose. The script is packed full of one liners mostly from the star of the show Jim Royle played excellently by Ricky Tomlinson, he is married to Barb who is played by Sue Johnston. The old Brookie couple were reunited at the first script read. Antony, Denise and her husband Dave make up the rest of the family. Below is a full cast list; I think it has everyone who has appeared in the show so far, if you know of any I have missed post a comment. Caroline Aherne (Denise) and Craig Cash (Dave) write most of the scripts, they manage to come up with some of the funniest dialogue you could ever imagine. One of the best
                            things about The Royle Family is the visual comedy. It is constantly used by Jim, usually when he doesn’t agree with something, which happens a lot! High on the list is the friction between himself and his mother in law - Norma. - some of the looks are classic. One of my all time favourite moments is where Jim and Twiggy are stripping the wall, and Barbara is unpacking the shopping. They are listening to the radio and on comes Mambo Number 5 they start slowly but towards the end of the song they are all dancing away like in an audition for the Riverdance comeback. Well not really but if you see it you will understand. The Cast Jim Royle - Ricky Tomlinson Barbara Royle - Sue Johnston Denise Best - Caroline Aherne Antony Royle - Ralf Little Nana/Norma Speakman- Liz Smith Dave Best - Craig Cash Baby David – James and Matthew Hughes Joe Carroll - Peter Martin Cheryl Carroll - Jessica Stevenson Mary Carroll - Doreen Keogh Twiggy - Geoffrey Hughes Darren - Andrew Clyment Emma Kavanagh - Sheridan Smith Valerie Kavanagh – Sharon Duce Roger Kavanagh – John Henshaw Michelle (Twiggy’s Girlfriend) – Sally Lindsay PJ – John Delaney A common theme to the show is Jim’s toilet adventures. A lot of time must be spent on coming up with the various synonyms, one that come to mind as being so funny I had fallen on the floor, was; “I’m going to have a chat with the Arab’s” “What?” “Mustafa Crap” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA – fantastic I am sure you will agree. The sitcom is not filmed in front of a studio audience, which means we don’t get any crap laughter muffling the best lines. I have to watch some episodes more than once, because I laughed so much that I missed the next lines. It also leaves the viewer to decide what is funny and the actors themselves are fr
                            ee to adlib and inject their own ideas. The Main Characters Here I will delve a little deeper into the main characters: Jim Royle – head of the family and more importantly the remote! He is the best character and is the centre of everything that is funny. In the first episode he buys a pair of jeans and barely uses more than one set of clothes. Apparently Ricky Tomlinson insists on not washing his clothes whilst making a series. To add to his character I suppose. Very lazy, picks his nose and, many other areas of his body. Barbara Royle – Jim’s wife who ends up taking a lot of trouble from her man. Makes the dinner, washes up does a lot of housework and has a job! Although that is only when Antony isn’t around. Always smoking with Denise. Jim also is supposed to smoke although I can’t remember him ever having a ciggy in his mouth. Denise Royle – Lazy arse! Only person who can even compare with Jim. Although I personally think she wins hands down. One episode sees them passing the same insult back and forth, like children: “You’re the lazy one” “No you’re the lazy one” etc - you get the idea Her character is close in comparison to the actress who plays her, Caroline Aherne. She smokes and gets drunk a lot. Denise is married to Dave and they have a child, Baby David. Antony – personal slave to the rest of his family. Found a girlfriend to dampen the claims of his sexuality. Jim is always going on about this. Constantly gets called lazy, even though Lurchio is the most active of the family. Going out with Emma, who is now pregnant and the two are going to be married. Best mates with Darren. Dave Best – married to Denise and practically the sole parent to baby David. Usually sides with Jim, although he doesn’t always want to be involved. Local DJ and part time removal man. Denise has him under the thumb. Soft
                            git. Norma – known as Nana, mortal enemies with Jim, best friend Elsie died and she ended up stealing a lot of her stuff. Its what she would have wanted. Source of irritation to Jim by taking the remote control or paper in her bag when she goes to the toilet. Usually without success! She doesn’t drink. Except a brandy at funerals, Champagne at weddings, sherry at Christmas and stout at New Year. There is a lot of merchandise available such as t-shirts and posters, but the best stuff by far is the videos and scripts. I own the first series on tape, and recorded the rest of the episodes of the BBC. However, if you can’t be bothered then the videos are reasonably priced and I believe there is a box set or two that will have most if not all of the episodes. The scripts are great and you can learn some of the jokes and claim to be your own in front of friends. Alternatively if you haven’t got a video or a TV then you can use this and pretend you are the characters themselves. I recommend this option if you have no friends. This opinions getting pretty long now so I will round it off soon, although I want this to be the ULTIMATE Royle Family opinion. Plot spoiler ahead!!! The episode guide might ruin it for you if you haven’t seen some of the episodes. I will finish it with this brief guide so you can skip to the end now if necessary. Series 1 1. Jim gets the phone bill and is not best pleased. The momentous first ever episode holds its own as an epic in its own right, all thirty minutes of it. 2. Jim starts to worry about the mounting cost of Denise and Dave’s wedding, begins moaning about Dave’s dad not paying for it because he is on disability. 3. Norma is introduced when she comes round for Sunday lunch. Lots of arguments and you can see the hatred between the two. 4. Jim’s birthday. As expected he is the life and soul of the party! The episode ends whe
                            n they go off to the pub. Barbara seems a little shocked when she asks Jim if she is coming and he says “course you are. Don’t forget your purse” 5. Big bust up between Dave and Denise because of a big bust. Beverley Macca who is Dave’s ex is seen flirting with Dave at one of his gigs. The family get woken up and have a good old singsong late at night, which shows they lov…well like each other really. 6. The big day is here, Dave and Denise wedding. The family prepare to go off to the church and Jim gets a bit of ring sting. Series 2 1.Denise reveals the big secret. She is pregnant. Lots of the series sees her use her pregnancy as an excuse for not doing anything. The Royles celebrate in their own special way. 2. Twiggy comes round for Sunday Lunch so does Nana. Barbara is going through the menopause and gets a bit annoyed with Jim. Jim is shown to have more faces than Big Ben and everyone of ‘em is miserable. 3.Nana is going to have a cataract removed, which means Nana is coming to stay! 4. Nana has a cataract removed, and comes to stay for a whole week. Jim and Nana have their patience tested, which is at boiling point come this episode. Don’t forget she still has to have the other one done. She drops a lot of hints about moving in permanently, which Jim isn’t exactly best pleased about. 5. Barbara loses it big style. Denise talks to her then goes to watch telly. Barbara storms out and goes for a walk. A great quote is where she blames Jim for making Antony “a lanky streak of piss with no confidence. Jim, Dave and Denise watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Jim apologises by making everyone a cup of tea! 6. Antonys Birthday, he turns 18 the family and us are introduced to Emma, his veggie girlfriend. Everyone is round including the neighbours Joe, Cheryl and Mary. Joe sings a song that is quite moving. 1999 Christmas Special Extended episode. The
                            one-day of the year the Royles sit down to watch telly, and there’s just a load of site on! Denise gets a new mobile, for emergencies – she is heavily pregnant and surprise surprise the end of the episode sees them rush off to the hospital. Series 3 1. We are introduced to the newest member of the family, Baby David. Dave does all the work, whilst Denise doesn’t lift a finger. 2. It's Saturday morning and Ant & Dec are on the telly. Jim has a go at Denise for being lazy and not looking after her child. Joe and Mary pop round, after Joe cuts two fingers grating cheese. The fingers in question make the amusing V, say no more. 3. Jim, Twiggy, and Dave are stripping the walls of the Dining Room for the christening. There's no TV on, but the radio is...which sees them jigging around to Mambo No.5. They never do finish that wall… 4. Nana comes round after the tragic death of her friend Elsie. Jim is far from sympathetic and has a good rant. Barbara doesn’t cook dinner! They get chips! Cheryl is round and gets desperate for those chips when Antony is gone for…5 minutes. 5. Antony is going to London. He gets lots of abuse from the rest of the family. Then a real shock – Denise sticks up for him, then an even bigger shock – Jim sticks up for him! 6. It's the day of baby David Keanu Ronan Best's christening! Twiggy introduces his new girlfriend Michelle to us. Dave tells Denise that she IS a good mother really, and there's a surprise announcement – Antony is engaged to Emma! Is she pregnant? “Course she bloody is” 2000 Christmas special Emma’s parent comes round. Nana takes a shining to Valerie, Emma’s Mum. Jim doesn’t like Emma’s show off dad. At the end Jim is giving his Christmas present – Sky!!! p.s. Please excuse any swear words but they kinda fit in with the subject matter.

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                            • eformoney.co.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                              26.02.2001 04:58
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                              Yes thats right you can earn loads of cash just for reading email! Well a sad fact for you people, you will probably not earn loads of cash, well at least not from eformoney. How much can you earn? (Direct from their site) "First we pay 10p for each and every Email we send you plus you get an additional 10p if you ask for further information, that's a total of 20p. So if you read and respond to 25 Emails in one day, that's £5 we will send you in genuine real money!" Also you get 2p for each email one of your referrals recieves. However, in about 5 months i have recieved about 5 emails. They also offer a reasonable £1 for completing a survey. So after all these promises and after all this time i have a staggering <drumroll> £1.99!! OK i know what you are thinking - what a waste of time, and you know what you're probably right. But one day i expect i might get something hahahumph. The site looks good although i think it is annoying to navigate. For example, if you check your account then goto the main page then back to your account you will have to login again. Overall, a good idea especially the free shares, but and this is the big BUT the floods of mail you were expecting will really be a trickle. Don't expect too much.

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                              • getpounds.com / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                                26.02.2001 04:53
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                                You have to be careful about what you read and what you believe. Many things out there on the internet offer loads of money/per hour, but rarely will this happen. To get the fabled £1 an hour you will have to see plenty of ads, which won't happen; so there will only be potential earnings of £1 an hour. Plus it can be quite hard to actually get the bar going or i might just need a newer version! When I enter the password it says I need a live connection, which I know I have. I signed up with Getpounds a while ago but not a lot seems to have happened - but it doesn't cost you nothing so you might as well! The only ray of light I can see is that the site says it is down for a couple of weeks and is going under reconstruction. This will either mean they won't bother coming back or the program might actually start - I also joined bepaid.com a cool adbar which only comes up when there is an advert is for your viewing however I haven't had any ads for a while. Go to my homepage for info on stuff like this and Dooyoo, a company which actually does what they promise. However be warned that i am just starting and scheduling around coursework and stuff. The adbar industry does seem to have declined with Alladvantage the market leader, stopping the pay as you surf and only offering Sweepstakes for new members - I do believe that they have now stopped completely - but don't hold me to that. It seems that the pay as you surf will not be too profitable - but I suspect it will be like the .com industry, only the good ideas will survive. ==== Update ==== Important Information - direct from the site: The site will be shut down for the foreseeable future as we are facing critical funding shortage. It will not be possible to register during this period. We will email existing users when the Getpounds is operational. I think it is safe to presume that Getpounds is dead and completely buried. I guess this mean
                                s the rest of this op is now useless. The pay as you surf market is almost dead now. I think one or two will survive and maybe a few new ones will start up, but they won't be making anyone rich. If you are crazy and are still thinking of joining turn off your computer stare at the blank screen for 5 minutes then throw a cup of water over your face. When fully relaxed reboot your computer and read some more opinions!!! Health warning - rate this opinion before carrying out my advice! :-p

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                                • Three Kings (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                                  25.02.2001 04:53
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                                  ***PLOT SPOILERS ALERT*** Three Kings is set towards the end of the Gulf War, the story follows the fortunes of three US soldiers played by George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube. The war ends and we see lots of PoW’s. Another soldier played by Spike Jonze is a bit simple and imitates his hero Wahlberg. The real story begins when they find a map wedged in between an Iraqi’s butt cheeks. The map reveals the location of Kuwati gold bullion, and the gang sets off to find it before the US army or Saddam or a reporter (who Clooney gets it on with) notices. The style is very unique, the picture has been deliberately bleached out, which looks a bit grainy but is still excellent, particularly on DVD. Although you might think this is an all-out action film it is actually a deeply thoughtful morality tale. It does contain a couple of action scenes, and in particular the slow-mo shoot out is very impressive. After Wahlberg is captured they end up rescuing him and although he gets shot they make it with some locals to the border. They bury the treasure and leave it for the locals, which shows that they were good guys really, this also combines with the end when they help to free the locals who rescued Wahlberg, from Iraqi guards. Not the normal Clooney flick but also you might notice is that it isn’t a normal Hollywood job, which is a good thing. The difference between right and wrong is blurred. Best Bit --------- The use of camera and sound is remarkable especially in the shoot out between the US and Iraqui’s. One soldier sets it off by accident by reaction – which is then reciprocated with shots back and forth, all in amazing slo-mo. This is a great film, I don’t think it was a massive success (although it still was a success) because it blended many genres, not loads of action or too soppy, ironically although the masses didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as say Gladi
                                  ator (which I also prefer) makes Three Kings a better film. It is very individualistic and stylish - to the point of unique. You must see this film!

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