Monday, June 30, 2008

Bill Gates Retires

I just read Tom's Hardware article about Bill Gates' retirement from Microsoft. 0_0

Yep, you don't need new glasses: the 53-year old visionary has indeed left Microsoft. This caught me by surprise. Like so many icons, I thought he would always be there. Oh well, goodbye Mr. Gates; I've always appreciated what you have brought on the table for us gamers.

Now, kick ass with your philanthropy efforts! :D (Kick ass. Philanthropy. That didn't sound right. Lawl!)

Bill Gates retires. Dang.

>>>Click here to

Sunday, June 29, 2008

GeForce (Forceware) 175.19 Doesn't Detect Games

[Another "WHQL" kunuhai. Tut.]

Hmm, the rumors are true, Nvidia has dropped the "Forceware" label and has now simply named their drivers "GeForce." (Or at least they have erased the Forceware label from their driver page.) It's a bit confusing for PC beginners IMO.

Anyway, I've been using the latest 175.19 drivers for my humble Palit GeForce 7300 GT 512Mb video card and right off I noticed this bug:

Yep, that's right, no games were detected. I had to browse and add the executables for the single- and multiplayer components of F.E.A.R. myself.

Also, I'm not too sure if they really went crazy with the image quality (IQ) of this one, or maybe the "Texture Filtering" settings are simply not "sticking" --- I purposefully dumbed down settings that involved textures because of a problem I am having. I got surprised though because everytime I start the game, the textures still look sharp, which is odd, since activating all the "Texture Filtering" settings in the Nvidia Control Panel really waters down the graphical quality of one's games (and boosting performance in the process).

With version 175.16, the textures really looked dull when the said changes were applied. With this new version though, F.E.A.R. still looks good. (Well, "good" to one who has been accustomed to lowered graphical quality because his game stutters lol!)

High Performance setting applied with all Texture Filtering settings activated. Take a good look at the wall on my right. Activating High Quality in the Nvidia Control Panel (thus turning off all Texture Filtering settings) and (for good measure) resetting the game and...

... voila! No changes at all. This wasn't the case in 175.16. In that version I even exclaimed "F###! I have to wade through this ess just to eliminate stutter somewhat" the first time I activated all the Texture Filtering settings.

I'll be doing benchmarks tomorrow if time allows. Happy weekend all!

>>>Click here to

Some of my Friends are now Looking at the High-End Range


I got surprised --- and quite excited --- when GadgetGeek, a friend of mine, put up an article about the Nvidia 9800 GTX. With memory and core speeds reaching up to the Ghz level, this is one monster that's going to crush your neighbor's system (if you think that way haha!) . Maybe my friends are going to dabble into the high-end range now! Can't wait to see what their LCD screens will churn out!

Which reminds me --- I still have to update my Budget Gaming PC article. Busy these days. Tut, tut. (And how many times do I have to remind my other friends about the 8800 cards sitting there: those are for my New Yorker friend. He can afford. Quit whining "We can't afford it. Why is it there?!" The guide is for all my friends, not just for a select few. Anyway, what with the 9600 GT's presence in the market, I'll be deleting those in the next days so hush now.)

One last bit: Gadget Geek, I don't overclock; my video card's still under warranty. Thorax might read this post haha! (/me adjusts my Kevlar jacket...)

>>>Click here to

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homeworld Sequel?

[All this fuss about copyright]

Don't get your hopes up though. It's still unconfirmed and this news was released almost a full year ago. Still, for Homeworld fans, I am happy to share this with you --- there is NOW a possibility that there can be a Homeworld 3! Vivendi had given up its rights over the Homeworld franchise and it's now back in the hands of Relic, the series' developers! (This all reminds me how copyright issues can affect a game in one way or the other. Case in point: the official sequel to F.E.A.R. doesn't have the word in its title.)

I have just stumbled on these goldmines:

Homeworld Wiki: Homeworld 3

Homeworld Wiki: JPEG Image showing a news header proclaiming: "Homeworld Franchise Returns Home"

Eurogamer: THQ Does own Homeworld

Screenshot is not mine and is taken from the official Homeworld 2 site for the purpose of inciting renewed interest in the game. If there will be complaints about the presence of this pic on my site, I will promptly remove this.

And no, I still have not finished Homeworld 2. Will those saying I'm one of those neophiliacs cease and desist? You wanna play new games everyday, knock yourselves out and have a good time. Me? I stick to a few. (And if I finally find a game as perfect as Starsiege: Tribes, I'll stick to that until its servers close.)

It's getting old.

>>>Click here to

BSOD: Stop: 0x0000008E


It's been a week. Tut. Last Sunday after playing a 3-hour marathon of F.E.A.R., I surfed the Net --- and forgot to turn AVG 7.5 back on. I know --- 3 hours is a marathon? AND I forgot to turn my AV back on? Sue me. Haha!

Just 30 minutes after surfing, my PC restarted --- and started a confusing ordeal of restoring from several restore points, registry cleaning, and reinstalling drivers. These were all for naught --- my PC still randomly BSOD'd. It would intermittently stop and show the "Stop: 0x0000008E" error message when I scanned or surfed.

It wouldn't pop the "Stop: 0x0000008E" BSOD in Safe Mode however, which led me to believe that a vital driver file had gone kablooey and scattered the remnants of its digital hull all across the virtual Hiigaran galaxy that was my OS, lighting up the spacescape with minute but myriad novas of 1s and 0s.

This is so ironic since a few days ago just after this happened, I was editing an article about how malware are now finding their way to numerous (not all!) legitimate sites. (Read: Turn on your anti-virus even if you surf legit sites.)

After three (? Four? I can't remember) years of faithful service, it was time to reformat the aging hulk that is my PC. Now I'm back up and running and so far, no BSOD "Stop: 0x0000008E " error message has shown up.

Which is just as well, I know my registry was as bloated as a Warcraft undead abomination.

>>>Click here to

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gamespot's "Cheaper by the Dozen" --- an Article About Free MMOs

Some of the best --- and worst (*cough* grind-based MMOs *cough*)--- things in life are free.

Gamespot has published an article about free-to-play (F2P) massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. The article details several MMOs categorized by several genres namely sci-fi, fantasy, "eastern promises" (asian-made MMOs), and a few ones that can't be classified under the above.

>>>Click here to

SpywareBlaster 4.1 is Out

Javacool Software has released v4.1 of their passive anti-spyware and adware freeware. Get it from the Javacool Software site.

>>>Click here to

Budget LCD Monitors for PC Gaming Still not Cheap for Budget Gamers

In the quest for budget LCD monitors for PC gaming --- Google is your friend

For gamers not willing to shell out more than $220 dollars for an LCD monitor, here's bad news for you. The latest (as of June 2008) "budget" LCD roundup article from Xbit Laboratories grudgingly recommends the Samsung SyncMaster 2053BW LCD monitor for gamers and home users alike. The problem is Amazon sells the 20-inch LCD monitor for $270. If you don't order from them and instead purchase the thing from your local neighborhood suppliers, the price WILL be higher. To make matters worse, that article has the caveat "None of the monitors is blameless" looming over its roundup.

Another cheap LCD monitor I came across months back is the 19-inch AOC 193P but I doubt there are still stocks of this model. It has a reduced resolution (a disheartening 1280x1024) and an increased response time (an 8ms one >> worse) compared to the Samsung SyncMaster 2053BW though.

Doubtless, there are a lot of budget LCD monitors out there that can handle PC gaming but I'm apprehensive about buying anything that has no reviews going for it. (or is reviewed by sites that are not popular. THEY DON'T COUNT --- that to someone who once told me there's a review for a certain product and recommended a site that didn't even discuss the various aspects of the thing. That was surreal. 0_o)

As a digital artist, I value image quality. As of the present, LCD monitors --- while offering low power consumption and conforming to the prevalent green movement nowadays --- is just way expensive for me considering that dollar for dollar their color quality is inferior to CRT ones.

See also this link

No pictures for this one so here's one I did with only Paint and an ordinary mouse. I hope you like it.

Paint is just too unwieldy; I left this unfinished. And no, it wasn't done with an LCD monitor. :p

>>>Click here to

LCD Monitors (How to Choose What LCD to Buy)

See this forum post from

Supplementary resource HERE.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Defraggler --- a Freeware Hard Disk Drive Defragmenter

Updated: See end of article.

Piriform, the makers of the popular CCleaner --- a freeware PC optimizer, has released an RC1 for its freeware hard disk drive defragmenter, Defraggler. Take note that it's still a release candidate and as such is still in the development phase. It's not finished and until it's completed I am not using it. Use it at your own risk.

Still, being a Piriform product, I am quite intrigued by this one and am keeping tabs on the Defraggler forum. You can be sure that when a v1.0 comes out, I'll be all over their download page like a Bengal tiger on a water buffalo.

Update: It seems that v1.02.077 still has bugs. Darn, methinks it'll be a while before they release the software.

>>>Click here to

Lavasoft's Freeware Anti-Malware

Read the warning at the end of the post.

I updated to Ad-Aware 2008. Here are the steps I made:

1. I went to the Add/Remove Programs interface and removed Ad-Aware 2007.

2. I made a restore point using ERUNT.

3. I did a registry cleanup using RegCleaner 4.3.

4. I manually cleaned my registry.

5. I then installed Ad-Aware 2008.

I took the extra steps --- no, wait, I follow that routine everytime I uninstall something mwehehehe! --- to (hopefully) avoid the scan bug that some people have run into while using the freeware anti-malware. I'll be doing a full system scan tomorrow if time permits and see if it'll work like clockwork or come apart at the seams like an overstuffed homunculus.

In the meantime, I'm pleased with the new version as it contains skins with which to tailor the user interface:

Nice but too fiery for my taste.

Yeech. But maybe ladies will find this one appealing.

If I can just get over the impression that I'm looking at the front end of my microwave oven, I'd stick with this. Could someone banish those grille-like textures?

Still they do away with the monotony of the all-things-must-be-blue ideology that more and more software developers seem to have embraced.

I came upon the article "The Origin of Skins" In the Lavasoft Blog, which discusses how the developers of the freeware anti-malware came up with the various skins for the software.


>>>Click here to

PC Power Supply Unit Article

"Going to source." --- Tesla Trooper

I stumbled upon another article about PC power supply units (PSUs) entitled "PC Power Supply Wattage." It's a good read given its conciseness and is meant for PC beginners.

>>>Click here to

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Nvidia Drivers Benchmark Results Article" Updated

[As exciting as a new audio driver]

I've put up the benchmark results of the Nvidia Forceware v175.16. As mentioned in a previous article, it's one of the best to come out in months. Results and views can be found HERE.

Goodbye stutter. Some of it that is. (The picture shows a Replica clone soldier who's firing a 1omm Penetrator rifle taking a hit from a beam weapon. It's in bullet time hence the hazy screen edges.)

>>>Click here to

Mozilla Firefox 3 to be Released this June 17th

[Almost as exciting as a new audio driver]

I received a mail from the developers of the popular free browser that Mozilla Firefox 3 will be released tomorrow, the 17th of June.

>>>Click here to

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nvidia Forceware 175.16 WHQL -- Amazing Performance Gains!

I finally found the time to update to Nvidia's Forceware 175.16 and I got to say eff|ing cool! It has been a very long time since a driver upgrade had yielded such an improvement in gameplay --- F.E.A.R. has never been this smooth! Stuttering has been, to an extent, reduced and the difference really shows. I have also noticed they have upped the brightness of light sources. Two thumbs up!

(To those new to PCs: Please take note that Nvidia Forceware drivers are only for Nvidia GeForce video cards.)

>>>Click here to

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Instances of Ad-Aware 2008 Scan Problems Abating

It's now (probably) safe to go back into the water

I've been keeping tabs on the Ad-Aware forum and the instances of users running into the scan bugs seem to be abating. The new version of the anti-malware freeware had been beset by scan-related bugs --- it froze during full system scans for a great number of users who consequently deluged the Lavasoft forums with posts about the problem. While the problem still persists for some, it seems to be caused primarily by an improperly uninstalled Ad-Aware 2007, the predecessor of the current version.

I think I'll upgrade sometime next week.

For now, for people who are still plagued with the scan bug, here are two threads put up and recommended by Txnnok, a tester of Ad-Aware 2008:

Uninstall Guide for Ad-Aware Se and 2007

Install Guide for Ad-Aware 2008

If you have any problems regarding the product, please go to the Lavasoft forums. I am just an avid user of the freeware, not its proprietor/developer and needless to say, cannot give technical support.

For now until the middle/end of next week, I'll still be using Ad-Aware 2007.

>>>Click here to

Friday, June 13, 2008

How to Clean Your Registry After Uninstalling

Important: Read warning at the end of this post.

PCWorld's "Clean Up What a Messy Uninstall Leaves Behind" article is, in my opinion, one of the best PC tweak articles ever written. I have used the procedure several times for years now, tidying up my PC's registry after each and every uninstall. (There are of course, registry cleaners, but they are designed to function within safe limits, often leaving alone bits of registry entries that uninstalls leave behind.) The information contained in the article has saved me several times when restoring my PC from a registry backup was impossible (forgetting to do a registry backup before the installation, etc).

A caveat though: (read: WARNING!!!!) Messing with the registry is no light task; deleting the wrong values could render your computer inoperative. While I have done so for several years now, it's plain impossible to guarantee that one PC procedure that worked for one will always work for others without hitches. DO THE PROCEDURE AT YOUR OWN RISK. IT IS NOT MINE AND I WILL NOT GIVE TECH SUPPORT NOR WILL CLAIM ANY RESPONSIBILITY IF SOMETHING ADVERSE WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR COMPUTER.

>>>Click here to

Thursday, June 12, 2008

War Rock Update: New Map and Weapon

Seventeen megs --- this is one large update!

It's been a long time since I've made an article about War Rock Philippines --- my country's leading MMO first-person shooter PC game --- ever since they did something that rendered the game unplayable for me in my favorite server. Tsk. Methinks I may need to change my ISP. Anyway, here's

... a new War Rock map, Pargona. I haven't checked it out yet, but by the looks of it, I think it features land, sea, and air combat. And yes, there's a new and shiny helicopter thrown in to boot! There's also...

... a new War Rock weapon, the anti-air stinger. It comes with a nifty lock-on feature. Heh! So long Rickenbackers! This should be fun!

And oh, the blood and gore I mentioned a while back that had parents flying into fits of frenzy and despair? It's baaaaaaaaaaaack!

>>>Click here to

Cabal Philippines Goes Commercial

Despite a short downtime that ended this 3pm, Cabal Philippines has now been officially released to the gaming public. And no, this is clearly not a first-person shooter PC game, but the combo system is drawing me in. Must.... resist...

If feedback is good, I hope to make this my first MMORPG to play in.

>>>Click here to

GameSpy's Dawn of War 2 Preview

"Bad-@$$ m0f0$"

GameSpy has released a preview article days ago about the sequel to the Dawn of War series. It details a discussion between GameSpy writers and lead designer Jonny Ebbert. The article reveals that the upcoming sequel, which uses the Essence engine that powers the real-time strategy game Company of Heroes, will do away with the base-building approach and instead will have the player take control of a handful of troops.

This scheme reminds me strongly of the gameplay of the first Ground Control. While certainly not bad, I was a bit disappointed as I'm an avid fan of the whole capture-the-flag-to-gain-more-resources gameplay of the first Dawn of War real-time strategy games. However, the article reveals Dawn of War 2 to be very interesting. One of the highlights of the highly anticipated sequel is the developers' fusion of the widely-used Havok physics engine into Dawn of War 2's game engine; this should give players nearly unparalleled eye-candy once War Bosses and Assault Space Marines --- not to mention bridge supports and temple facades --- start getting flung helter-skelter.

They have also once again, utilized the "War Gear" system they implemented in Dark Crusade.

The article can be found here. It also contains some high-resolution Dawn of War 2 screenshots.

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How to Convert RGB to Hex

Amazing how a simple header change can teach one new things. I got perplexed on how to change the background of my ads in the header as I wanted it to match the background color of my painting. The problem was, Blogspot shows only hexadecimal values while standard editing software show RGB values. To solve my dilemma, I called up my friend Google and he came up with this.

>>>Click here to

How to Put an Image in Blogspot's Header

I accidentally deleted the Header page element when I put up a revised copy of my painting. Luckily I found this article. I didn't change the maxwidget count though and instead left the default value of 4 alone but changed "yes" to "no" in the showaddelement line. My thanks to the owner of that site. That one was close!

>>>Click here to

My New Header: My (Unfinished) Painting

It's true what they say about riding a bicycle.

Well, it's been years since I shed my digital artist skin and entered the world of editors and writers that I often wonder if I still have the skills. Sure, I've made numerous paintings in the months before but I usually get stuck in the flat coloring phase. (It's boring and it makes drawings look dull.) Now though, my F.E.A.R. addiction got the better of me and I decided to draw a Replica Elite during the 15-minute break of my shift this day. What started as a doodle became a full-fledged mini-project when I landed home.

Pardon the lineart but it was hard to draw with only a 150-peso mouse, a 15-minute limit, and with only Paint to boot!

Here are the stages the painting went through:

5-minute office doodle using a (relatively) cr@ppy mouse and cr@ppy Paint. Tee-hee!

Lineart changed at home with a GFX tablet. (Still not a good alternative for the good ol' wooden pencil.)

Lineart further "refined" --- or what passes for refinement for this doodle lol!

First flat colors laid.

First shadows and highlights laid. Time to go though --- I'm beat. If I won't be devoured by work, I'll finish this piece. Too bad the header resolution is too big for the original though.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

War Rock Bygone Days: Blood and Gore

Ach! My spleen!

***Warning this article shows blood and gore! ***

There is a popular thread in War Rock Philippines about bringing back blood and gore to the MMO first-person shooter PC game. I was one of those who played back in the game's open beta phase and I must admit I miss the gory graphics:

Once upon a time...

There lived a disdainful sniper who kept her long hair tied up in a bun under her helmet and lived atop the central warehouse in Emblem. She wouldn't let her hair down. A valiant prince long fed up with waiting below, climbed up and filled her full of lead. The princess spilled the red porridge she was eating and revealed that she was Goldilocks in disguise and that her three bear friends would clobber the prince. And so...

The prince climbed down and took care of Yogi...

... and Booboo and the friend that he brought along. Oddly enough, Suzie --- the grizzly bear --- was nowhere in sight. Methinks she is in Youtube...

Oops. Sorry, wrong game.

>>>Click here to

Tomshardware's "Fix Your Own PC" Article

Nothing exciting for veteran PC users but PC newbies may want to check out the article.

My comments on two sections of the article:

1. On unfinished software - Right on! Some "finished" software also have bugs in them so I usually wait and scan the company's forums for any prevalent bugs current users may be having problems with. If I see lots of complaint, I wait until they find a way to solve the problem(s). See one of my articles about a scenario like this.

2. On updates - What the writer may have meant is avoid rushing into major updates (sofware engine overhaul, etc). Certainly updating your anti-virus software is a must and must be done periodically.

>>>Click here to

SpywareBlaster June Update

Javacool Software has released an update for their passive anti-malware freeware, SpywareBlaster last June 3. I have listed this freeware in my "Best Free Anti-virus Anti-spyware I Use" article, which you can find HERE.

>>>Click here to

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why my BFG 6600 GT Fried

I was right.

As I suspected, a loose washer really did kill my old video card some months back and not the heat as I first thought. I cleaned my PC today and found the missing gdanged piece sitting on the bottom of my PC's case. Yati na washer.

It's just as well though, as the G73 core of my replacement card (a 7300 GT 512Mb) is more advanced --- I have noticed that bloom is more pronounced now. And the thing actually performs equally well than the BFG 6600 GT I once had so it was actually a blessing in disguise.

The washer fell from a 3-inch screw that was holding one corner of my exhaust fan. It's really strange how it twisted out of the tiny, 3-inch metal shaft on which it was attached. 0_0

Anyway, this is one thing to keep in mind --- check your screws/washers that hold your exhaust fan once a month or better yet, find some way to make them more secure. (Rubber washers? A tiny dab of instant glue that can easily be chipped away if the need arises?)

>>>Click here to

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dawn of War 2 Preview by Gamespot

Gamezpot iz da bezt!

Gamespot has just released their preview of the sequel to THQ's wildly-successful Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series. It can be found here.

The new engine features destructible environments and totally pounds the graphics of every real-time strategy game to date --- including the upcoming Starcraft 2. That's just my two cents though; don't take my word for it. The preview contains screenshots. See and judge for yourself.

>>>Click here to

Yahoo Messenger's Sign-in Seal

Some of you may not have noticed Yahoomail's anti-phishing tactic. They call it the "sign-in seal" (Waitaminit, did I get that right? Anyway...). It enables users to upload a picture and choose a color. Yahoomail will then associate the color and the pic with your computer. Everytime you visit Yahoomail, the color and the pic should appear, otherwise, it could very well be a phishing site and users should not attempt to login. Take note that if you visit Yahoomail in another computer, the color and the picture you picked will not be displayed.

Here's mine. I picked the color red and an abstract image. If memory serves, deleting Yahoomail's cookie will also sever the association; the pic and color will no longer be displayed.

>>>Click here to

Friday, June 6, 2008

Black Mesa Half-Life 2 Mod - A Half-Life 1 Remake

Reanimating a PC first-person shooter classic

(I am sure this is old news to hardcore HL players but for those who do not know here's news that will knock your eyeballs so far back into your cranium you're gonna yell "headcrab attack!!!")

When Half-life: Source came out gamers were not so elated to find that the HD models and textures used in Blue Shift were not integrated into the official remake of the first Half-life. I was disappointed for a time as I was planning to buy the Half-Life 2: Game of the Year Edition just so I can play the remake. In my daily scouring of the 'Net though I stumbled upon the Black Mesa mod, which is a modification for Half-Life 2 that will put players once again into the power armor of bespectacled Gordon Freeman in the first Half-Life. This time though, the maps will all be swathed in the trappings of the relatively new Source engine.

I searched YouTube for videos of the thing and sure enough I came up with a lot of vids about the mod. The mod, if it ever comes out and if it will faithfully recreated the gameplay of the original, will be nothing short of awesome, judging from what these clips depict:

"Black Mesa Teaser Trailer" uploaded by PolarisCZ. The first place shown, the Test Chamber, has undergone such a massive graphics overhaul that fans of the first half-life be left feeling as if they're choking in vacuum.

"Black Mesa: Bullsquid Animations" uploaded by Cman2K. The bullsquid is one of those extra-dimensional aliens you have to contend with in the first Half-Life. Here's one shown with improved animation.

>>>Click here to

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On-Demand Registry System Restore Freeware

(Some of my friends might have read my post about BlackViper's tweaks and disabled their System Restore. While the deactivation is more than justified, no one wants to have a PC that has no ability to make restore points. Interested? Read on!)

Something better than Windows XP's System Restore

It's called the Emergency Recovery Utility NT or ERUNT. It's free and a lot of reputable sites recommend it. Why do you need this? Well, two things:

  1. It's an "on-demand" software, meaning it doesn't do anything if you don't tell it to. Hence, it doesn't run in the background and doesn't consume system RAM.
  2. It's better than the built in System Restore Windows has. Here's Steve Bass's article about Windows' System Restore. Read the comments.

Of course, you can back up your registry using both means but it will take up a substantial amount of hard drive space (ERUNT consumes about 30-48Mb per save point) and what with System Restore's memory usage, I decided to dump the latter and use ERUNT solely.

Here's a page detailing how to use ERUNT.

Why do you need to use it? Here's a comic strip that --- lol! --- greatly illustrates the concept of save points. I also made an older (and more convoluted) explanation about the importance of the software here.

Just remember to clean out very old ERUNT restore points periodically!

Watch the dates --- if a restore point is 2-3 weeks old or more, I usually delete it. No sense in wasting hard drive space. (All the restore points in this screenshot have just been made recently though.)

>>>Click here to

Technorati PostClaim Article

This article will soon be deleted.

Username and password? No thank you. I opted to use PostClaim instead. Here's my Technorati Profile. I hope this gets over soon; this feels weird, posting an article like this. Eeeeuw.

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

AVG 7.5: Still Updating

AVG 8.0: Not coming to a PC near me

I'm not budging from 7.5 until the day it uses up all its nine lives. I've been reading forums and reviews around the web for views about AVG 8.0 and what other free alternatives are there. As I thought --- and is only natural --- reviews and opinions vary. There seems to be a consensus however, that AVG 8.0 really consumes more computer resources than its predecessor. Even an officemate complained about his PC slowing down after he upgraded to 8.0, confirming the prevalent buzz. (There is a way to trim it down however. Follow the link in this article. I just don't like the fact that I need to tweak it to disable its resident shield. Tut.)

Judging from forums and reviews, I got this impression that the best free anti-virus are, in descending order: Avast!, Avira, and AVG.

Since I have not been infected nor have I seen my PC exhibiting odd behavior like slowing down, etc., I'll stick with AVG 7.5 for the meantime.

>>>Click here to

K-lite Codec Pack for Audiophiles

From my other blog site. Date written: 102907

UPDATE: V5.7.0 has been out for quite some time.

Scroll to the bottom of this article to know what a codec pack is.

I just downloaded and installed the latest version of the K-lite Codec Pack from and as usual, the more recent versions render clearer audio than the previous ones. As of September 2K7, I have used versions of this codec pack for three months or so and have experienced no problems so far. (This is to be installed on TOP of your audio drivers for integrated sound as I have not read that you have to uninstall anything. Take note that I have no experience using this pack with sound cards as I have only integrated audio.)

It is free to download.

As rigs have too many variables (tweaks, driver versions, hardware makeup, etc), one system may not behave like another one, but as stated, mine works perfectly with these.

Thanks to Lyndon for the heads-up on this one. While not really a pro, to a certain extent I am an audiophile and I appreciate the additional sound variations that before were unclear or were totally nonexistent. Thanks man!


K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools. Codecs are required to encode and/or decode (play) audio and video. The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for playing all your movie files. With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play 99% of all the movies that you download from the internet.

In addition, the newer versions have this ability to detect and delete (they show you a pop-up window) corrupt codec registry entries:

>>>Click here to

Windows XP Tweaks by

UPDATED: See the bottom of the article.

Windows XP tweaks. Need I say more?

It's amazing how games that are strenuous on one's system can pry a gamer from his comfort zone and spur him to research once again on Windows XP tweaks to improve PC performance.

Here's's "Windows XP Super Tweaks." A lot of tweaks nowadays can be found in various sites but BlackViper is one of the authorities when it comes to tweaking Microsoft's highly-successful OS. The page also has an advantage over the others in that everything is on the page --- no need to download pdf files.

Take note that that site is not mine. Use the tweaks at your own risk.

UPDATE: I applied the System Restore and Indexing Service tweaks (as I also saw my friend Anjing disable the latter in another friend's computer just days ago) and I must say the changes are impressive. Hitching has been greatly minimized and I can now make like a whirling dervish in F.E.A.R. without feeling like I have attempted to pry my eyes out with a monkey wrench. I still need another gigabyte of RAM though haha!

>>>Click here to