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November 2013



Shockwave 12.0

29 November 2013


Adobe has released a new Version 12.0.6.147 of the Shockwave player plugin for browsers.



Nvidia GeForce 331.93 Beta

28 November 2013


Nvidia has released the 331.93 Beta graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 8 and higher graphics cards under Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. It has an updated SLI profile for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as well as bug fixes. The driver package also contains the 9.13.0725 PhysX drivers.



CCleaner 4.08

26 November 2013


A new Version 4.08.4428 of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility has been released. Changes include adding cache cleaning for Firefox 27, support for several new programs including Nero Express 2014 and Photoshop Elements 12, along with a range of minor improvements and bug fixes.



Site Update

24 November 2013


Today I tried to use the new commenting system on YouTube, and was confronted (once again) with a prompt asking me to change my account to use my real name. The irony of course is that I already do use my real name for my existing YouTube account (KoroushGhazi). In any case, as most of you know, the prompts are mainly to fool users into unwittingly creating a Google+ page. It's similar to Microsoft's recent trickery in getting people to sign up for a Microsoft Account and SkyDrive integration during installation of Windows 8.1. The quality of YouTube comments certainly hasn't improved as a result of this measure; it's really all about data mining and advertising. It's unfortunate that major companies feel the need to trick people into using their services.


Anyway, the question I wanted to answer on YouTube is one that seems to crop up often, so I'll answer it here. People seem curious as to how I encode my videos for YouTube. There's nothing special involved, it's more of a brute force approach. I record all gameplay using FRAPS at 1920x1200 Full-size 60FPS, on the same drive that I game on. I don't edit my video content, but if I need to trim the start or finish, I use the free Virtualdub. I then compress the video using the free Handbrake, as an MP4 with either H.264 or MPEG-4 (if I'm in a hurry) at an average of 20,000 kbps and with Passthru audio, and upload the resulting file to YouTube. There are probably better ways, but this is what works for me. As for the gameplay content in my videos, well it's not always particularly glamorous. That's because it's aimed at demonstrating genuine unedited gameplay that an average person would experience, rather than only the best bits from a super-skilled individual that might look very cool, but is unrepresentative of normal gameplay for most of us :)



AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.4

23 November 2013


AMD has released the Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.4 graphics driver for the HD 5000 series and above on Windows 7 and 8. This updated beta may resolve intermittent black screens or display loss on the R9 290X and R9 290 series, improves CrossFire in COD: Ghosts, and updates AMD Enduro profiles.



Skype 6.11

21 November 2013


A new Version 6.11.0.102 of the communications utility Skype has been released. The change log is not yet available.



Winamp 5.66

21 November 2013


The free Winamp media player has been updated to Version 5.66. This update contains a range of minor improvements and bug fixes. This is also the final version to be released, as Winamp.com is shutting down.



AMD Catalyst 13.10 & 13.11 WHQL

20 November 2013


AMD has released the Catalyst 13.10 & 13.11 WHQL certified graphics drivers. The 13.10 driver is only for the R9 200 and R7 200 series, while the 13.11 driver is only for the R9 290 series.



Nvidia GeForce 331.82 WHQL

20 November 2013


Nvidia has released the 331.82 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 8 and higher graphics cards under Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. It is the recommended driver for Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag and Need for Speed: Rivals, provides a performance boost in several games, adds TXAA in COD: Ghosts, and has new SLI profiles and bug fixes. The driver package also contains the 9.13.0725 PhysX drivers.



Opera 18.0

20 November 2013


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 18.0.1284.49. This update adds camera and microphone access, themes, rocker gestures, tab enhancements, as well as stability and bug fixes.



Media Player Classic Home Cinema 1.7.1

18 November 2013


A new Version 1.7.1 of the free Media Player Classic Home Cinema player has been released. This update contains a range of updated filters and bug fixes.



Firefox 25.0.1

16 November 2013


Mozilla has released Version 25.0.1 of the Firefox browser. This update contains security and bug fixes.



Chrome 31.0

16 November 2013


Google has released Version 31.0.1650.57 of the Chrome browser. This version contains security fixes.



CPU-Z 1.67.1

15 November 2013


A new Version 1.67.1 of the CPU-Z information utility has been released. This version adds support for new chipsets.



VLC Media Player 2.1.1

15 November 2013


The free VLC Media Player has been updated to Version 2.1.1. This update provides a range of bug fixes.



Chrome 31.0

13 November 2013


Google has released Version 31.0.1650.48 of the Chrome browser. This version updates the Flash Player, along with providing security and bug fixes.



Microsoft Security Updates

13 November 2013


Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can download individually from here or get through Windows Update.



Realtek HD Audio 2.73

13 November 2013


Realtek has released Version 2.73 of its HD Audio drivers. If you have problems with the link, click the 'High Definition Audio Codecs' link at the top then select 'Software'.



Flash Player 11.9

13 November 2013


Adobe has released Version 11.9.900.152 of the Flash Player plugin for browsers.



Windows Updates

12 November 2013


Microsoft has released a new version of the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista and 7.



Microsoft Security Essentials 4.4

11 November 2013


Microsoft has released a new Version 4.4.0304.0 of its free Microsoft Security Essentials anti-malware package for Windows XP, Vista and 7.



Windows Updates

9 November 2013


Microsoft has released an Update to address the issue of the mouse pointer stuttering or freezing when playing certain games in Windows 8.1.



Opera 18.0

8 November 2013


The Opera browser has been updated to Version 18.0.1284.26. This update contains minor improvements and bug fixes.



AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2

8 November 2013


AMD has released the Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 graphics driver for the HD 5000 series and above on Windows 7 and 8. This updated beta improves anti-aliasing performance in COD: Ghosts, updates PowerTune for the R9 290 series, and resolves intermittent crashes in legacy DX9 applications.



Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7

8 November 2013


Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. While IE11 looks much the same as IE10, it contains a range of performance and feature improvements as covered here.



iTunes 11.1.3

6 November 2013


Apple has released a new Version 11.1.3 of the iTunes software. This update fixes a bug with the equalizer, improves performance when switching views in large iTunes libraries, as well as other bug fixes.



Microsoft Security Advisory

6 November 2013


Microsoft has posted a Security Advisory regarding vulnerabilities in their software, including Windows Vista, and Office 2003 to 2010.



Site Update

5 November 2013


Just wanted to let you know that I'll no longer be providing game patch updates on the front page. The reason is that as most games, and game platforms like Steam and Origin, are now self-updating, it's become increasingly difficult for me to find any reliable links to official full patch release notes. And for games which I don't play, I often get no notification of a patch release from my usual sources. The end result is that I've been missing more and more game patch releases, so it's better not to provide such updates in a half-assed manner. This shouldn't have any real impact on most gamers, because as I've said, virtually all games now automatically update, and should provide some details of the key changes.



Windows 8.1 Mouse Issues

4 November 2013


Microsoft has provided a Reply on its official Windows forum regarding issues with unusual mouse behavior in games under Windows 8.1. The reply notes that MS is investigating this issue, covers some of the symptoms, and provides some workarounds.



GPU-Z 0.7.4

3 November 2013


GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 0.7.4. Changes include support for new chipsets as well as bug fixes.



Foxit Reader 6.1.1

2 November 2013


The free Foxit PDF Reader has been updated to Version 6.1.1.1031. This version provides new features including area highlight, signature protection, extensive find and search, easier file attaching and appending, along with interface improvements.



Game Patches

2 November 2013


  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam
  • World of Warcraft - 5.4.1 Patch


  • Battlefield 4

    1 November 2013


    Battlefield 4 is finally out in most parts of the world. I'm quite impressed with the graphics given how well the game performs, even on my old i7 920/GTX 580 system. I'm running it on Ultra settings, but with MSAA 2x to improve FPS with negligle image quality loss, along with Motion Blur off and Post-Process Anti-aliasing lowered to reduce image blurring. I haven't had any problems with crashes or stuttering, but there are some major server-side issues in the multiplayer component at the moment, causing constant rubber-banding and intermittent audio loss for many players. So for now I've put up a BF4 Singleplayer Video to demonstrate the general graphics quality.



    Game Patches

    1 November 2013


  • Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm - 2.01 Patch
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • WinZip 18.0

    1 November 2013


    The archival utility WinZip has been upgraded to Version 18.0 Build 10661.



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