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March 2007



Java 6.1

31 March 2007


A new Version 6.1 of Java has been released. Scroll down to the 'Java Runtime Environment' item in the link above and click the download button to get the update.



Game Patches

31 March 2007


  • The Ship - Update via Steam


  • Windows Vulnerability

    30 March 2007


    Microsoft is investigating an existing security vulnerability affecting all versions of Windows, concerning the way animated cursor (.ANI) files are handled. Browsing a page or email which takes advantage of this exploit could result in the execution of malicious code on your system, so until a patch is released extra caution needs to be exercised by avoiding untrusted emails and websites.



    Game Patches

    30 March 2007


  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - 1.02 Patch
  • Full Pipe - Update via Steam
  • Genesis Rising: Universal Crusade - 1.031 Patch
  • Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle - 1.3 Patch


  • ATI Catalyst 7.3

    29 March 2007


    ATI have released the Catalyst 7.3 graphics drivers for Windows XP and Vista. These introduce OpenGL Crossfire support and CrossFire enhancements, as well as fixes for games, under both XP and Vista. Note that I still haven't been able to update the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide, it will be updated shortly after the STALKER Tweak Guide is released.



    Microsoft Updates

    28 March 2007


    Microsoft has released several Updates for Vista, including a Junk Email Filter update for Windows Mail, and a Windows Media Player 11 update. There is also a new Change Analysis Diagnostic utility for Windows XP.



    Game Patches

    28 March 2007


  • Eudemons Online - 1.053 Patch
  • FIFA Manager 07: Extra Time - Patch 1
  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Genesis Rising: Universal Crusade - 1.03 Patch
  • Half Life 2: Deathmatch - Update via Steam
  • NHL: Eastside Hockey Manager 07 - 3.0.4 Patch
  • Source Engine/Steam Client - Update via Steam


  • STALKER 1.001 Patch

    27 March 2007


    The first patch for STALKER has been released, and you can download either the US Version or World Wide Version depending on your location. The changes include a range of single player and multiplayer bug fixes, so all STALKER players should update. Importantly however, saved games from the previous version are not compatible, so all your saved games will be erased and cannot be used with the patched version of the game.



    Oblivion Tweak Guide Update

    25 March 2007


    I've updated the Oblivion Tweak Guide for the changes Bethesda have made as of the 1.2 Patch. Aside from bug and quest fixes, the patch has improved the way distant terrain textures transition to the more detailed textures as you approach them. Instead of suddenly changing from blurry to detailed, the two are blended together smoothly. This is controlled by one of the new .ini variables added to the Oblivion.ini file called bLandscapeBlend. This new variable, along with a few others, are listed prominently as bolded updates on pages 8 - 9 of the guide.


    One of the most noticeable changes of the patch is the new Pepper Effect added to LOD (distant) terrain textures. Rather than actually include improved LOD textures in the patch, Bethesda has used a small 'Terrain Noise' texture filter to add fake detail. For the most part it looks OK from a distance, but as you get closer it looks quite blocky and poor. You can either remove it completely or replace it with a modded version as detailed under the 'Highly Recommended Mods' section on page 4 of the guide. The best solution remains the use of a Texture Replacement pack as covered in the guide.



    Oblivion 1.2 Patch

    24 March 2007


    Bethesda have released a 1.2 Patch for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This patch contains a range of improvements and bug fixes as listed here. I will update the Oblivion Tweak Guide shortly for all the changes.



    STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

    24 March 2007


    My initial impressions of the new FPS/RPG game STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl are that it seems quite atmospheric, with a relatively large, open, non-linear world similar in some ways to Oblivion. You have a fair bit of freedom in choosing who you side with, which tasks you undertake and whether you want to play the game at a fast or slow pace. The real highlight of this game is the artificial intelligence and the dynamic game world. The AI can be very challenging to take on, and they also eat, sleep and move around the game world, constantly interacting with each other. The game isn't perfect by any means, but I've found it quite compelling. I've prepared a few Basic Gameplay Videos to give you an idea of how the game looks and feels.


    In terms of performance, the game is running quite smoothly on My Machine at maximum settings, 1280x1024 under Windows XP. However there are various reports of slowdowns, bugs and problems, particularly on Windows Vista. On balance I'd recommend that you consider waiting for the first patch before buying this game. For those playing it right now, a few useful tips include the following undocumented keys: Quicksave (F6), Quickload (F7), Speed up passage of time (*), Return to normal time rate (/). To skip the startup movies/logos, right-click on your STALKER icon, select Properties, and in the Target box one blank space after the last character insert -nointro and click OK. Finally, your profile is saved as the text-editable file user.ltx under the \Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\STALKER-SHOC\ directory, along with your saved games. I'm preparing a STALKER Tweak Guide which should be here late next week and will explain all the settings, console commands and advanced tweaking.



    Game Patches

    24 March 2007


  • Anarchy Online - 17.2.1 Patch
  • Space Empires V - 1.33 Patch
  • The Sims 2: Pets - 1.6.0.277 Patch


  • America's Army 2.8.1 Patch

    23 March 2007


    The US Army has released the 2.8.1 Patch for the free America's Army game. This patch is an incremental update which includes four new maps, and a range of exploit and bug fixes. I've updated the America's Army Tweak Guide with the main change being the new Direct3D9 renderer on page 8.



    BF2142 1.24a Beta Patch

    23 March 2007


    EA Games have released a 1.24a Beta Patch for Battlefield 2142 which contains a range of changes and fixes to be released as a 1.25 update shortly. If you want to be involved in the public beta, the change list and instructions are in the link above.



    Game Patches

    23 March 2007


  • Eudemons Online - 1.052 Patch
  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Half Life 2: Episode One - Update via Steam
  • Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific - 1.1 Patch
  • Zen of Sudoku - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    22 March 2007


  • Post-Time - 1.02 Patch


  • Firefox 2.0.0.3

    21 March 2007


    Mozilla have released what appears to be the final version of Firefox 2.0.0.3 on the Mozilla FTP. The release notes are not yet available, though it should just be bug fixes. It will officially be on the main Firefox site shortly, I recommend you wait until then or when it's available via the built-in updater.


    Update: It is now available on the main Firefox Site. The Release Notes indicate security and bug fixes.



    Game Patches

    21 March 2007


  • Supreme Commander - GPGNet World Map Patch
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Dark Crusade - 1.20 Patch


  • Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide

    21 March 2007


    I've given the Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide a thorough update for the new features and changes in recent Forceware releases for both Windows XP and Vista. In doing so I've reduced the guide's size from 14 down to 11 pages, removing redundant or outdated information, and rewriting portions of it. Given the state of flux that the Nvidia drivers are still in due to Vista, the guide will need more updates but for the moment it should be easier and more accurate to use. I'll move on to the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide update shortly, but that will have to wait as I start on the STALKER guide in the next few days.



    Creative ALchemy 1.3

    19 March 2007


    Creative have released a new Version 1.3 of the ALchemy Project. This patch allows X-Fi sound cards to use hardware acceleration in D3D games under Vista. The latest version adds support for more games and fixes some bugs. For more details see the link above, as well as the Sound section of the Control Panel chapter in the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista.



    Realtek HD Audio 1.62 Driver for Vista

    19 March 2007


    Realtek has released the 1.62 HD Audio driver for Vista 32-bit and 64-bit.



    Game Patches

    19 March 2007


  • Conquer Online - 4341 Patch
  • FIFA Manager 07 - Database Update
  • Kudos - 1.22 Patch


  • DivX 6.5

    19 March 2007


    DivX has released the DivX 6.5 package for Windows. The changes include improved image quality and improved decoder performance from the DivX codec.



    Site Update

    18 March 2007


    If you're wondering where the new guides are, I can reassure you that I'm planning to release a guide for the much-anticipated game STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. The game is slated for release next week in most countries, and the guide will likely come out a couple of weeks after that. I'm still trying to finalize the Nvidia and ATI Tweak Guide updates as promised, but in all honesty I've taken a bit of a break over the past couple of weeks after the two hectic months working around the clock on the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista. In any case stay tuned as I focus on releasing more game guides in the coming months.


    Now for something completely different. I'm sure many of you know about the recently released film 300 which is based on a famous battle between the Spartans and the Persians. This film has angered me greatly for its many deliberate inaccuracies - indeed I'd go so far as to say the whole film smacks of propaganda. I've written a fairly rational opinion piece about it called The 300 - A Persian's Thoughts for those of you interested in understanding precisely why Persians are so incensed at this film. I don't believe it should be banned or censored, but sadly most people will never know just how wrong this film really is in almost every way.



    PunkBuster Services

    17 March 2007


    EvenBalance, the makers of PunkBuster anti-cheat software have quietly incorporated two new PunkBuster Services into recent PB updates. These services are called PnkBstrA and PnkBstrB, and they are not spyware. They're explained in more detail in the link above, but basically they're designed to allow people who don't have Administrator access to play PunkBuster-protected games online in XP or Vista without problems. Unfortunately they also start up with Windows, can be a bit resource-hungry, may cause problems, and require constant Internet access during games. If you already run your games with full Administrator privileges, you don't need these services. Go to the Services Utility and set both of them to Disabled. See the Services chapter of the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion if you need more advice on how to do this, and also see the UAC section of the PC Security chapter in the TGTC for Vista to see how to give a program full Administrator privileges, even if it doesn't ask for them.


    Update: Not everyone will have these services, but on my system and those of many others, these services were installed automatically without prominent notification.



    iTunes 7.1.1

    17 March 2007


    Apple have released a new Version 7.1.1 of iTunes which apparently improves Vista compatibility among other things.



    Trend Micro HijackThis 2.0.0 Beta

    17 March 2007


    Trend Micro has acquired the free HijackThis spyware detector/analyzer, and has released a HijackThis 2.0.0 Beta. It's still free to download, and though it can be hard to interpret the results, as always you can paste or upload your logfile to this HijackThis Analyzer site for more help.



    Game Patches

    17 March 2007


  • Eudemons Online - 1.051 Patch
  • Great Invasions - 1.07 Patch
  • Maelstrom - 1.01 Patch
  • Myth War Online - 1.0.48.32 Patch


  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Beta 1.05 Patch

    16 March 2007


    A Beta 1.05 Patch has been released for Neverwinter Nights 2. As with previous NWN2 Beta patches, it should be fine to use until the final is released.



    Game Patches

    16 March 2007


  • Age of Empires 3 - 1.11 Patch
  • Age of Empires 3: The WarChiefs - 1.03 Patch
  • Silverfall - 1.16 Patch
  • Sword of the Stars - 1.2.2 Patch


  • Windows Defender, Internet Explorer Updates

    15 March 2007


    Microsoft has released a new version of Windows Defender for Windows XP, and Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 64-bit



    Game Patches

    15 March 2007


  • Anno 1701 - 1.01.001 Patch
  • Half Life Deathmatch - Update via Steam
  • Half Life 2: Episode One - Update via Steam


  • Forum Shutdown

    14 March 2007


    As of today the TweakGuides Forums have effectively been shut down; they are now read-only and no new posts can be made. While unfortunate, I did not take this decision lightly. My reasons are covered in more detail here, and I apologize to all the members who were using the Forums in the spirit in which they were intended. Hopefully in the future they can be reopened. For the moment however I must focus on the guides, and also attempt to find ways to (ethically) generate additional income, otherwise the site itself may not survive for long. Regardless of what happens, one thing you can always be certain of is that this site will never be reduced to pandering to the lowest common denominator. I'll continue to bring you the latest news of genuine interest in a hype-free manner, and of course keep providing free unbiased guides for those who are willing to read them. If this proves to be insufficient to keep you happy dear reader, then we can part company knowing we both tried our best.



    Windows DreamScene Content Pack

    14 March 2007


    Microsoft has released the DreamScene Content Pack as an Ultimate Extra for Windows Vista Ultimate owners. It contains four new video backgrounds for DreamScene.



    Microsoft Updates

    14 March 2007


    Microsoft has released some updates of note, including a new Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, and a Junk Email Filter update for Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007.


    Update: SP2 for Windows XP x64 has also been released, as well as a Compatibility Update for Windows Vista. Make sure to run Windows Update to get any relevant fixes for your system.



    Game Patches

    14 March 2007


  • Birth of America - 1.11a Patch
  • Shady O'Grady's Rising Star - 1.04 Patch
  • Source Engine - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    13 March 2007


  • Eudemons Online - 1.050 Patch
  • Source MultiPlayer - Update via Steam
  • WinSPWW2 - Patch 2.0


  • Audigy 2.12.0002 Drivers for Vista

    11 March 2007


    Creative have released new 2.12.0002 Sound Drivers for Audigy series cards under Vista 32-bit and 64-bit. These drivers are not to be confused with the X-Fi 2.13.0012 drivers released a few days earlier.



    User Profile Hive Cleanup Service Updated

    10 March 2007


    Microsoft has released an updated version of the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service for Windows XP. This service helps resolve slow shutdown or log off issues.



    Game Patches

    10 March 2007


  • Championship Manager 2007 - Update
  • Half Life 1 - Update via Steam
  • Xiah - 380 Patch


  • Vista Ultimate Wallpapers

    9 March 2007


    Microsoft's Vista Ultimate website has released new 'Ultimate' Wallpapers. These can be downloaded and used by anyone.



    X-Fi 2.13.0012 Drivers for Vista

    9 March 2007


    Creative have released new 2.13.0012 Sound Drivers for X-Fi cards under Vista 32-bit and 64-bit. The drivers provide improved functionality, however some capabilities are still disabled.



    Game Patches

    8 March 2007


  • Birth of America - 1.11 Patch
  • Eudemons Online - 1.049 Patch
  • Legend of Mir 2 - 2.0 Patch
  • Titan Quest - 1.30 Patch


  • Diskeeper 2007 Update

    7 March 2007


    Diskeeper Corp has released a new Build 11.0.701 of Diskeeper 2007 for Vista which fixes several issues. You can get it through the Check for Updates feature in Diskeeper, and note that it will soon be available for XP as well.



    Ad-Aware 2007 Beta

    7 March 2007


    Lavasoft have released a public beta of the upcoming Ad-Aware 2007 adware/spyware scanner. It is designed for both XP and Vista, but because it's a beta it is not advisable to rely on it as your only adware/spyware scanner.



    Game Patches

    7 March 2007


  • Full Pipe - Update via Steam
  • World of Warcraft - 2.0.10 Patch


  • QuickTime 7.1.5

    6 March 2007


    Apple have released a new Version 7.1.5 of the QuickTime media player. This update addresses several bugs and security issues.



    Game Patches

    6 March 2007


  • Half Life I Engine/CounterStrike - Update via Steam
  • Settlers II: The Next Generation - 11757 Patch


  • nLite 1.3 Final

    6 March 2007


    The final version of nLite 1.3 for Windows XP has been released. This free tool allows you to create custom Windows disks which integrate or remove key components prior to installation.



    Sandra Lite XI SP1a

    6 March 2007


    SiSoftware have released an SP1a Update to the free Sandra system information & benchmarking tool. This update fixes minor database issues on 64-bit OSes.



    Site Update

    5 March 2007


    Having finished the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista, it's now time for me to update the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide and Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide to make them 'Vista compatible'. Furthermore over time these guides have steadily become bloated and disjointed, and duplicate information already covered in the TGTC. So I'll be revising them to make them easier to follow and at least 2 - 3 pages shorter. While I realise most people want me to do more game guides, unfortunately as a matter of priority I have to first maintain the 'core' guides here on TweakGuides, especially in the wake of Vista's release. These updated guides should be finished in the next two weeks.



    Game Patches

    5 March 2007


  • Dreamlords - 1.05 Patch
  • Supreme Commander - 3220 Patch


  • Nvidia Official Beta 101.41 Forceware for Vista

    3 March 2007


    Nvidia has released a new Official Beta 101.41 Forceware for Vista 32-bit and 64-bit. The changes include improved performance in OpenGL and SLI as well as compatibility fixes.



    TGTC for Vista Paperback Book

    3 March 2007


    For those of you waiting for the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista in paperback book form, I'm pleased to say that it is now available for purchase. The book is 320 pages, professionally printed and with great quality text and images. It's probably the best way of reading this somewhat large guide, plus you'll be supporting the site at the same time. The feedback from the release of the TGTC for Vista has been amazingly positive. It's the end of an intense 2-month long period for me, I'm now going to take a short breather and recuperate!



    Game Patches

    3 March 2007


  • Armed Assault - 1.05 Patch
  • Eudemons Online - 1.048 Patch
  • Operational Art of War III - 3.1.0.9 Patch


  • SpeedFan 4.32

    3 March 2007


    Almico has released Version 4.32 of SpeedFan, a free utility for changing system fan speeds, measuring temperatures and voltages and adjusting clock speeds.



    Game Patches

    2 March 2007


  • Alien Arena 2007 - 6.04 Patch
  • Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday - 1.3 Patch
  • Zen of Sudoku - Update via Steam


  • TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista

    1 March 2007


    After almost two solid months of researching and experimenting with Windows Vista, I've finally been able to complete the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista. The guide is designed for novice and advanced users alike, containing 250 pages of objective descriptions, recommendations and tweaks for every aspect of Windows Vista. It is all laid out in plain English, and while it may take you a few days to work through, I promise you that at the end of it you will not only have a better system, you will also have a better understanding of Vista.



    Game Patches

    1 March 2007


  • Madden NFL 2007 - Roster Update 5


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