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January 2007



Windows Live Messenger 8.1

31 January 2007


Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Live Messenger 8.1.



Windows PowerShell for Vista

31 January 2007


Microsoft has released the PowerShell for Vista. This utility allows advanced users to do a whole range of tasks from a command line.



Game Patches

31 January 2007


  • Rainbow Six: Vegas - 1.04 Patch
  • Heroes of Might & Magic V - 1.41 Patch
  • Heroes of Might & Magic: Hammers of Fate - 2.01 Patch


  • Nvidia Beta Forceware 100.54 for Vista

    31 January 2007


    Nvidia has released an Official Beta Forceware 100.54 for Vista 32-bit and 64-bit. The release notes are a bit confusing, as they mention support for GeForce 6 and 7 series cards, but the driver itself appears designed primarily as a beta for 8800 series cards. Nvidia also mention that a newer driver will be out tomorrow.



    Realtek 1.56 HD Audio Drivers for Vista

    31 January 2007


    Realtek have released 1.56 HD Audio Drivers for Vista, covering both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.



    Logitech SetPoint 3.3 for Vista

    31 January 2007


    Logitech have released SetPoint 3.3 for Vista mouse drivers. The drivers come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.



    Vista Upgrade Edition - More Issues

    31 January 2007


    Some more controversy has arisen over the infamous Upgrade Edition of Vista. This article points out that when you use an Upgrade Edition of Vista over a previous version of Windows, you lose the license for that Windows version. In other words you are upgrading your previous version of Windows to Vista using the Upgrade Edition, and once done you can no longer use the old version. While this is not pleasant, I have to admit that it seems logical - this is why the Upgrade Edition is substantially cheaper than the Full Edition, because you are transferring an existing license across to Vista rather than buying a separate new license. Obviously MS can get away with the steeper pricing on Vista due to lack of competition, but if you really object to this the best advice is to stick with XP for now and hope for further discounts; I doubt MS will change the license conditions in this case.


    Update: Microsoft will have to clarify what happens if in the future Upgrade Edition owners need to reformat and reinstall Vista. That is, they first need to install and activate their earlier version of Windows, but clearly cannot if they transferred the license to Vista.



    Neverwinter Nights 2 1.04 Patch

    30 January 2007


    Obsidian have released the 1.04 Patch for Neverwinter Nights 2. You can obtain this patch through the built-in autoupdater, and the changes include a range of bug fixes and feature improvements, so the patch is recommended to all NWN2 players. I'll update the NWN2 Tweak Guide shortly.



    Vista FAQ

    30 January 2007


    I've put together a brief Vista FAQ which answers the basic questions most people have when considering the purchase of Vista. Obviously the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista contains much more information, but this small FAQ should tide people over until the guide comes out.



    Vista Updates and Ultimate Extras Released

    30 January 2007


    Microsoft has released a range of updates for Windows Vista. To get these, either run Windows Update in Vista, or look through and download from the list here. These updates include the first batch of Windows Ultimate Extras: BitLocker and EFS Enhancements and Hold Em Poker.



    Game Patches

    30 January 2007


  • Space Empires V - 1.25 Patch
  • The Ship (Steam Client) - via Steam


  • Windows Vista Released

    30 January 2007


    Well here we are, Windows Vista has been officially released to the public after many delays and much anticipation. Australia and New Zealand were the first to hit the 30 January release date, and other parts of the world will soon follow. I'm writing this at 3:30am Australian time, so for us the "Wow" started a few hours ago. If you thought there was already enough hype surrounding Vista in the past few weeks, buckle up and prepare yourself for an onslaught of Vista, Vista, Vista. As I intimated to you earlier, I'm steadily becoming more impressed with Vista the more I use it, it is performing at least on par with XP without any major tweaking (and yes, I've done actual FPS comparisons), and it has been totally stable despite the fact that I'm using RC2 Build 5744. But aside from those who are habitual early adopters, or who like to tinker, there is no urgency for anyone to upgrade to Vista just yet. And as usual, neither Microsoft nor anyone else has responded to my requests for a review copy of the final retail build of Vista Ultimate, so if a generous person or retailer could arrange to provide one, their contribution would be greatly appreciated and acknowledged in the upcoming Vista guide. Further, if any of you have any Vista tips or experiences you wish to share, make sure to Email Me as such feedback is extremely useful while I'm still compiling my guide for Vista. But for now, just relax and think back to a time when 'Vista' wasn't the most commonly used word in the English language...



    ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Vista

    30 January 2007


    ATI has released the Catalyst 7.1 for Vista graphics drivers. These drivers support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista, and contain a range of improvements and features including native OpenGL support, a new install manager, an improved Catalyst Control Center, performance improvements, the ability to playback Blu-Ray and HDDVD content on an HDCP compliant display, and Crossfire support under Vista. Clearly if you run an ATI graphics card in Vista then you should install these. I will incorporate Vista-specific details in the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide when I get the chance, though it may take some time.



    New Windows Vista Home Page

    29 January 2007


    Microsoft has launched a new-look Windows Vista Homepage with a range of information about Vista. Give it a read-through if you're considering purchasing Vista.



    Vista Upgrade Editions Cannot Be Clean Installed (From Boot)

    29 January 2007


    After some initial confusion, Microsoft has made it clear in this Support Article that unlike previous versions of Windows, you cannot do a clean installation of Windows Vista using an Upgrade Edition. This means that you must already have a qualifying previous version of Windows installed on your system, boot into that, then launch the Vista boot procedure from there and do an Upgrade Install. Before getting too upset at this, it needs to be kept in mind that Vista has a new image-based installation method, so an upgrade install is not going to create the same mess and problems that it has in the past. But a clean installation is still the most optimal, and clearly this makes the full retail editions of Vista the best long-term value despite their steep price, since OEM editions are limited to a single machine.


    Update: Confusion is rife over this at the moment, but it appears that you can do a clean install using an Upgrade Edition, you simply have to boot into a qualifying previous version of Windows first, then start the installation process and choose a clean install to your selected hard drive.



    Site Update

    28 January 2007


    Time for another update on the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista. The good news: it's coming along extremely well, lots of good solid information on how the new Vista features really work and how to configure them properly. The bad news: the guide is unlikely to be released by January 30, it's looking more like at least another week after that before it will be released. It's taking a lot of effort, and I'm keen for people to read the real story behind a range of new Vista features, but I also want to make absolutely sure it's accurate and does not miss anything important.


    Update: Take a look at this Technet Article by Mark Russinovich explaining the new features of the Vista Kernel. As I hope to show you soon, there's much more to Vista than meets the eye.



    Windows Sidebar Styler

    28 January 2007


    Windows Sidebar Styler is a free utility which allows users to customize the Windows Sidebar in Vista, creating custom styles and gadgets.



    MS HD Photo Format

    27 January 2007


    Microsoft is hoping its new HD Photo picture format will eventually replace the popular JPG image format. Despite having major support, and despite the format being technically better than JPG, history has shown that popular formats are hard to replace. For example MP3 persists as an audio format despite several better open source alternatives such as OGG being around for many years.



    Unreal Tournament 2007 Renamed

    27 January 2007


    The much-anticipated Unreal Tournament 2007 has been renamed to Unreal Tournament 3, and is coming out in the second half of 2007.



    DivX 6.5

    27 January 2007


    A new Version 6.5 of the popular video codec DivX has been released.



    Game Patches

    27 January 2007


  • Europe Universalis III - 1.1 Patch
  • Knights of Honor - 1.05 Patch
  • Nexuiz - 2.2.3 Patch
  • rFactor - 1.250 Patch


  • MS Word Security Vulnerability

    27 January 2007


    A new security vulnerability has been found in multiple versions of Microsoft Word under various platforms including Windows XP. Until a patch is released do not download or open any untrusted documents - which is of course standard advice for keeping your PC secure.



    Game Patches

    26 January 2007


  • Anarchy Online - 17.0.4 Patch
  • Dangerous Waters - 1.04 Patch
  • Payback GP2X - 1.1. Patch

  • Update: Apologies for the confusion on the Civilization IV patches - they were for Mac only so I've removed them



    Autoruns 8.61

    25 January 2007


    Microsoft has released Version 8.61 of the free and highly useful Autoruns system startup analysis software.



    NT Backup Restore Utility for Vista

    25 January 2007


    Microsoft has released a new NT Backup Restore utility which allows Vista users to restore a backup made using the built-in Backup tool in Windows XP.



    QuickTime 7.1.3 Vulnerability Patched

    25 January 2007


    Apple has released a Security Patch for a vulnerability discovered in QuickTime 7.1.3. At the moment only the Mac version of the patch is available, Windows versions should receive it shortly.



    O&O Defrag 8.6

    25 January 2007


    A new Version 8.6 of the O&O disk defragmentation utility has been released, and now includes support for Windows Vista.



    Skype 3.0.0.209

    25 January 2007


    A new Version 3.0.0.209 of the communications utility Skype has been released, with the changes being bug fixes.



    Game Patches

    25 January 2007


  • Steel Panthers Main Battle Tank - 3.0 Patch
  • Lego Star Wars - 1.2 Patch
  • Xiah - 3.72 Patch


  • Diskeeper 2007 for Vista

    24 January 2007


    Diskeeper Corp has released Diskeeper 2007 for Vista. It's a free update for current Diskeeper 2007 owners, however you'll need to read the details in the link above to see how to obtain it. The trial version will be available shortly for everyone to download. An update for XP/2000/2003 users of Diskeeper 2007 will also be coming out shortly, available through Diskeeper's built-in updater.



    NTune 5.0.5.22.00

    24 January 2007


    Nvidia recently released Version 5.05.22.00 of the NTune utility for Nvidia-based motherboards. This version runs under both XP and Vista.



    Creative ALchemy Project

    24 January 2007


    Creative have started an interesting project called the Creative ALchemy Project. They claim that changes in Windows Vista's treatment of DirectSound/3D mean that audio will be rendered in software mode, not hardware-accelerated mode, effectively removing a range of advanced audio effects like EAX for games which use DirectSound. Fortunately these changes don't affect the OpenAL sound API, and hence games using OpenAL are not affected. Regardless, the ALchemy Project has created a workaround for games that use DirectSound by translating them into OpenAL. You can download the small Creative ALchemy patch at the link further above. At the moment this 'fix' only works for X-Fi sound cards, but there may also be support for Audigy 2 & 4 cards in the future.



    Game Patches

    24 January 2007


  • Steel Beasts Pro PE - 2.328 Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 2.06 Patch


  • Site Update

    24 January 2007


    You may have noticed there are a fair few Vista news posts being made here recently, and I expect that for those of you not interested in switching to Vista right now it may be getting quite annoying. I need to explain that unfortunately for the next few weeks, maybe even months, the entire Internet is going to be flooded with Vista stories of all kinds. Already while researching Vista I've found dozens of new sites springing up foisting all sorts of rehashed Vista news and tips, and even the established major sites are jumping onto the Vista bandwagon.


    I will try not to overwhelm the front page with Vista stories, as I'm always looking to report the most important news of the day for all readers. However the reality is that Vista will dominate the news and the site's focus, especially with my own major guide for Vista coming out soon. Remember that the last time there was a new consumer version of Windows was back in October 2001 when XP was released, so Vista's release definitely rates highly on the hype-o-meter. If you're wise, you will sit tight and ride out the initial wave of overly-exaggerated good and bad news stories regarding Vista. Meanwhile I'll do my best to filter out the hype and report the genuinely important Vista news and facts here.



    Vista Upgrade Advisor

    24 January 2007


    Microsoft has released an updated version of the Vista Upgrade Advisor utility which helps Windows XP users work out whether their PC hardware is suitable for Vista, which edition of Vista they may want to choose, and the particular Vista features which will run on their PC.



    Microsoft Photo Info 1.0

    23 January 2007


    Microsoft has released a small utility called Photo Info. This utility runs on XP or Vista and adds a new 'Photo Info' right-click context menu item for editing the metadata of digital photographs quickly and easily within Windows Explorer.



    Hackers Find New Ways to Defeat AV Tools

    23 January 2007


    In a disturbing turn of events, it seems hackers are becoming ever-more sophisticated in outsmarting the anti-virus makers. The details of the various tricks may bore you but the underlying message shouldn't: don't assume that virus and trojan scanners alone are protecting your system. A combination of scanners, vigilance on your part for system changes and odd behavior, and of course utmost care in what you download and where you visit are all required. This also makes a strong case for the increased (albeit annoying) level of protection that Vista provides.



    Game Patches

    23 January 2007


  • AirStrike 2 - 2.45 Patch
  • AirStrike 2 Gulf Thunder - 2.62 Patch
  • Alien Arena 2007 - 6.03 Patch
  • Kenny's Adventure: Scuba in Aruba - 1.20 Patch
  • Warcraft 3 - 1.21a Patch
  • Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne - 1.21a Patch


  • Retailers Releasing Vista Early

    23 January 2007


    Some online retailers are releasing consumer versions of Windows Vista earlier than January 30, the official release date. A word of warning though, these editions are all OEM, meaning you can only ever use them on the first PC they're installed on - no major upgrades or moving the OS to another machine. Secondly, be aware that some of the genuinely useful features of Vista are not available in the Home Basic or even Home Premium editions. I strongly recommend not rushing your decision as to which edition of Vista to buy; don't get caught up in the hype.



    Site Update

    21 January 2007


    Just a quick update to explain that the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista is taking up an enormous amount of my time and effort, but it's coming together quite well. A few aspects of Vista are very difficult to research due to the lack of documentation from Microsoft (or otherwise). However I'm still hoping to have the guide out around the time Vista is launched at the end of this month, maybe a week after that at the latest. I feel confident that you will like it.



    Game Patches

    19 January 2007


  • Faces of War - 1.04.1a Patch
  • Ship Simulator 2006 - 1.7 Patch


  • New Ways to Get Vista

    19 January 2007


    Microsoft has announced three new ways for consumers to purchase or upgrade Vista: Microsoft Anytime Upgrade allows an existing Vista user to upgrade it to a higher edition of Vista online for an additional fee. Windows Marketplace will offer online purchase of Vista via direct download. Finally, MS has a Family Discount program which means that purchasing a retail copy of Vista Ultimate allows you to buy two additional copies of Vista Home Premium for $50 each. I encourage you to wait until Vista is released and more practical details about Vista become known before committing to purchasing a particular edition of Vista.



    Security Patch for Excel 2000

    19 January 2007


    Microsoft has released a Security Patch which fixes a vulnerability in Excel 2000.



    Battlefield 2142 Booster Pack(s)

    18 January 2007


    It appears that EA Games are to release two new Booster Packs for BF2142: one called Northern Strike, and another called Infantry Storm. These non-free booster packs will contain new maps, new vehicles and new unlocks, however the date of release is not clear. This is hardly a surprising move, and it seems EA are following the same path as Battlefield 2, hastily releasing new content for BF2142 to generate additional revenue despite the game still having important outstanding issues yet to be patched (such as significant Titan Mode lag), and of course the in-game advertising which was supposed to give consumers some sort of benefit but never actually did.



    ZoneAlarm Pro 7.0.302.000

    18 January 2007


    ZoneAlarm Pro has been updated to Version 7.0.302.000. The changes include a user interface refresh and better anti-spyware.



    Game Patches

    18 January 2007


  • Caesar IV - 1.2 Patch
  • Half Life 1 - Update via Steam


  • Steam & Source Engine Update

    18 January 2007


    Valve have released a general Steam Update which includes both an update for the Steam Client as well as the Source engine.



    Leaked/Modded Nvidia Forceware 100.30 for Vista

    17 January 2007


    I don't usually report leaked or modded driver releases, as I don't recommend their usage in general. However given driver support for Windows Vista is so difficult to come by, particularly for owners of GeForce 8800 series cards, it is worth mentioning that a Leaked Forceware 100.30 driver set has been released, allowing proper 8800 support in Vista. It has also been modded for non-8800 cards, and user feedback indicates that these drivers, though missing a lot of functionality appear to work reasonably well. Note that this driver is not the final version of the anticipated Forceware 10 series driver, and is clearly beta in nature so it may cause issues for you.



    Debug Diagnostic Tool 1.1

    17 January 2007


    Microsoft has released Version 1.1 of its Debug Diagnostic Tool, or DebugDiag for short. This tool is useful for troubleshooting any issues with processes, such as unexpected termination or memory leaks in a particular process. Some basic usage instructions are here, however it is aimed at more advanced users.



    Windows Media Player 11 Updated

    17 January 2007


    Microsoft have released what appears to be an updated version of Windows Media Player 11 and its Multilingual User Interface. However no changelog is provided and user feedback indicates nothing significant seems to have changed. If you're not having problems with WMP11 there's no need to install this.



    Game Patches

    17 January 2007


  • Rainbow Six: Vegas - 1.03 Patch
  • World Series of Poker - 1.14 Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 2.05 Patch
  • Age of Empires 3 - 1.10 Patch
  • Age of Empires 3: The Warchiefs - 1.02 Patch


  • A-Squared Free - Major False Positive

    16 January 2007


    For those who use the A-Squared Free 2.1 Trojan scanner, please note that in a recent signature file update the scanner has been falsely detecting the legitimate system file winlogon.exe as a trojan, when it is not the case. The very latest signature file update resolves this issue, so make sure to update your signature file before scanning.



    Realtek AC97 3.97 Driver

    14 January 2007


    Realtek has released the AC97 Version 3.97 driver for all their ALC onboard audio chipsets.



    Site Update

    14 January 2007


    So where are the new guides you ask? Well right now I'm working solely on writing the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista, and let me say it's no easy task. This is particularly true given I want to get the guide out by January 30 to coincide with Vista's official public release. The good news is that there is plenty of information, tips and tweaks to go into the guide. Furthermore I'm determined to do a proper job of it, rather than just haphazardly throwing together a bunch of random tweaks. I want the guide to not only be a compilation of all the major tips and tweaks, but to also provide background information on Vista's new features - as much an unofficial manual as a tweak guide. Hopefully my ambition won't outshine my abilities, but the results should be out soon enough for you to judge for yourself, and as always will be free to download.


    On the topic of the OS itself, the more I work with Vista, the more I'm starting to like it - and not just because of the eye candy. There are a lot of nice little touches in Vista, some of which are not obvious, and all of which I cover in the guide. Even Vista's security features while annoying at first quickly become intuitive and even desirable once you understand why they work the way they do. Performance-wise it seems at least as fast and responsive as XP, even with all the eye candy. It's not a perfect OS, but I'm starting to believe it's a good evolution from XP, and fortunately it appears to be just as customizeable as XP. Don't take all this to mean that you should rush out and buy it when it comes out though; I'm fairly sure that it will take at least another couple of months for some basic compatibility and driver issues to be resolved. You may even want to use my Vista guide to peer into what Vista really has to offer before committing yourself to purchasing it. I'll do my best to get it out as soon as possible.



    Creative Beta 2.12.0001 Audigy Drivers for Vista

    13 January 2007


    Creative have released new Beta 2.12.0001 drivers for Audigy 1, 2 and 4 sound cards under Windows Vista. All users of these sound cards running Vista must update to this version, as the previous beta drivers will stop working as of today.



    Microsoft Says Crysis Will be Vista's Halo

    13 January 2007


    Microsoft apparently believes that the heavily anticipated next-generation game Crysis will do for Windows Vista what the game Halo did for the XBox. This is because Crysis will be one of the first games to take advantage of DirectX 10, the graphical framework which will be a major reason for PC gamers to upgrade to Vista. Microsoft and EA claim that Crysis will not only look better but also perform better under DX10 than on the current DX9. In any case it seems that it is not only Crytek who are banking on Crysis being a huge success. However to date everything we've seen from Crysis previews makes me believe it is likely to live up to the hype.



    Neverwinter Nights 2 Beta 1.04 Patch

    12 January 2007


    Obsidian have released a Beta 1.04 Patch for Neverwinter Nights 2. As with the previous 1.03 beta, this should be safe to install, especially given there is an official 'uninstaller' available in case things go wrong. There are several new features and bug fixes, but I will update the NWN2 Tweak Guide when the patch is finalized.



    Game Patches

    12 January 2007


  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines - Unofficial 3.3 Patch


  • ATI Catalyst 7.1

    11 January 2007


    ATI have released the official Catalyst 7.1 graphics drivers. These drivers include a new AFR mode to improve Crossfire performance in most games, as well as resolving some bugs and issues. I will update the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide shortly for any changes.



    Nvidia Official Forceware 97.92 for 8800 Series

    11 January 2007


    Nvidia have released a new official 97.92 Forceware driver set specifically for the 8800 series graphics cards. It is recommended that all 8800 users update to this version as it has a range of game and application compatibility fixes.



    Adobe Reader Security Patches

    11 January 2007


    Adobe has released a Security Update with solutions for the recent vulnerability found in earlier versions of Adobe Reader. This advisory contains details of where to get patches to resolve this issue for various Adobe Reader versions.



    Game Patches

    11 January 2007


  • Original War - 1.07.2 Patch


  • WinRAR 3.70 Beta 1

    11 January 2007


    A new 3.70 Beta 1 version of the WinRAR archival utility has been released containing numerous changes, including Vista compatibility improvements.



    Intel Matrix Storage Manager 6.2.1.1002

    11 January 2007


    The Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver has been updated to Version 6.2.1.1002. This driver is suitable for people using SATA RAID arrays on recent Intel chipset motherboards.



    Realtek HD 1.55 Driver

    11 January 2007


    Realtek has released the Version 1.55 driver for their onboard HD audio chipsets.



    Microsoft Security Updates

    10 January 2007


    Microsoft has released its monthly set of security updates which you can get through Windows Update, or by viewing and downloading them from here. There are several important updates you should install as soon as possible.



    NSA Helped Microsoft With Vista's Security

    10 January 2007


    Microsoft has publicly acknowledged for the first time that the National Security Agency (NSA) helped in developing Windows Vista's security. However this is not the first time MS has worked with the NSA, nor is the NSA the only agency Microsoft has consulted with - NATO has also advised MS on security issues. While this announcement is obviously designed to reassure customers that Vista is more secure than ever, it cannot be denied that MS are taking the operating system's security very seriously.



    Game Patches

    10 January 2007


  • DEFCON - 1.3 Patch
  • DOFUS - 1.16.4 Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 2.0.3 Patch
  • The Ship - Update via Steam
  • Half Life 1 - Update via Steam


  • Major Steam Client Upgrade

    9 January 2007


    Valve have revamped their Steam client with a range of new features. The interface has been returned to a minimalistic look; the client can now download upgrades in the background without having to be restarted; you can categorize certain games as your favorites; and a neat new feature called 'Guest Passes' allows you to invite friends to play full Steam games for free for a limited trial period. To get this major update simply restart your Steam client while online. If you don't have Steam yet, you can download it from here.



    Microsoft Future Products & Services

    9 January 2007


    Speaking at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has revealed a range of future products and services MS will be delivering. You can read the details in this Microsoft Press Release or view the Streaming Video of it. Of most immediate significance was Windows Vista, which was a central feature of the presentation. The PC is the number one gaming platform with over 200 million gamers, and hence Microsoft stressed its commitment to making gaming on Vista better than ever.



    Game Patches

    9 January 2007


  • Soldner: Secret Wars - 33675 Patch
  • Xiah - 3.71 Patch


  • Windows Vista Ultimate Extras

    8 January 2007


    With a little over three weeks to go before it comes out, a new official Microsoft Blog for Windows Vista Ultimate owners has opened. The first thing the site offers is details of three new official enhancements for Vista Ultimate, including Windows Dreamscene animated desktop, Bitlocker Encryption, and Hold 'Em Poker. You can view these extras here, and after January 30 they will become available on Windows Update to Vista Ultimate owners. Note that I've checked the site and verified that it is indeed legitimate and owned by Microsoft.



    McAfee Rootkit Detective Beta

    8 January 2007


    McAfee have released a new Rootkit Detective utility, formerly known as AVERT Stinger. This utility is still in Beta form and is currently recommended for use by more advanced users. It is yet another useful tool in detecting Rootkits which are a particularly insidious form of malware.



    Oblivion: The Shivering Isles

    8 January 2007


    Just a quick heads-up for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion fans - a new full expansion pack called The Shivering Isles is due out in a few months. The expansion pack is supposed to provide over 30 hours of gameplay, and is set in a new land called The Realm of Madness. Bethesda has yet to provide more official details of this expansion.



    Nvidia Vista RTM Forceware Drivers

    7 January 2007


    Nvidia have released a final set of Official 97.46 Forceware WHQL drivers for Windows Vista RTM. These drivers are only compatible with the final version of Vista Build 6000 and above.



    DirectX9.0c December Update

    7 January 2007


    Microsoft has released a December Update for Direct9.0c. It is recommended all users upgrade to the latest version. Note if the web installer doesn't update any files, wait for the full Redistributable download of the December update.


    Update: The Redistributable version is here and is recommended to ensure you install the proper December Update.



    Game Patches

    7 January 2007


  • Warsow - 0.21 Alpha Patch
  • Eve Online - 2.14.28296 Patch
  • Sailors of the Sky - 6.19 Patch


  • Vista 'SP1' Patch Links

    6 January 2007


    This page contains a handy set of descriptions and links to all the available Windows Vista hotfixes, which it dubs 'Vista SP1 Preview'. It's worth bookmarking, but note that the real Service Pack 1 for Vista is slated for release around June 2007.



    OpenOffice Security Patch

    6 January 2007


    A security patch has been released for the free OpenOffice productivity suite, due to a major security flaw. It is recommend that users upgrade to OpenOffice 2.1 as soon as possible.



    Game Patches

    5 January 2007


  • FIFA Manager 07 - 1.0 Patch
  • Neverend - 1.1 Patch
  • Half Life: Deathmatch - Update via Steam


  • Adobe Reader Security Flaw & Adobe Reader Speedup

    5 January 2007


    Security researchers have discovered a new security vulnerabiliy in earlier versions of Adobe Reader software commonly used to view PDF files. For this reason I now strongly recommend that all users update to Adobe Reader 8.0 as soon as possible.


    To improve the speed and reduce the resource usage of Adobe Reader 8, once you install it you should download the new version of Adobe Reader Speedup. Extract the archive contents to an empty directory and run the Reader SpeedUp.exe file. Make sure the 'Speed Up' option is selected, then click the Next button. On the Plugins page you can leave all settings at their default, but make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the list and tick the weblink.api box. If you're aware of any other plugins you need for specific features, tick them as well - click the 'Plugin Help' button for details of what each plugin does. Once done click the Start button to complete the optimization. Adobe Reader SpeedUp does not need to run in the background for the changes to take effect.


    If you don't wish to use Adobe Reader at all, you can download the free Foxit Reader which does a similar job but is faster.


    Update: The security flaw is more serious than first though, so I again urge users to upgrade to Adobe Reader 8, use Foxit Reader, or wait for Adobe to release patches for earlier versions.



    Game Patches

    4 January 2007


  • Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express - Patch 1
  • Xiah - 368 Patch


  • Top 20 Anticipated Games of 2007

    4 January 2007


    Firingsquad have compiled two lists of their 20 most anticipated games for 2007; one for PC Games and one for Console Games.



    Game Patches

    3 January 2007


  • Heroes of Annihilated Empires - 1.1 Patch


  • Google Security Flaw Fixed

    3 January 2007


    A recent Security Flaw in Google services such as Gmail and Blogger has been fixed by Google after first being identified and published by a young blogger.



    Impact of Vista's Aero Interface on Performance

    3 January 2007


    A recent report sponsored by Microsoft claims that the Aero interface for Windows Vista doesn't impact on performance as such. The report found that Windows Vista and Windows XP were "roughly equally responsive" in most tests. Note however that the tests measure Aero's impact in "common business tasks", such as opening Outlook or doing a search in Explorer, not more strenuous tasks like gaming; and secondly the differences can often be up to one full second or more, which is actually quite significant in terms of tasks which are already quite fast, such as opening an application. The full report PDF can be downloaded here.



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