xXx

By Pete | @kingpetey | 19 Oct 2002

Triple X is the big action film to his our cinema screens this October so we thought we would go along and take a look. The film stars Vin Diesel who you may remember from the hit film The Fast and The Furious. xXx is directed by the same person who directed the fast and the furious and has a lot of great stunt and action scenes.
I thought the story line was well thought out with plently of action all the way through.

Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander ?XXX? Cage, notorious for his death defying public stunts. He is recruited by an NSA agent named Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) to try to succeed where other agents had failed. His mission takes him to Prague where he becomes friendly with a group named Anarchy 99, which to Xanders horror intends to kill off major cities with biological weapons. Xander makes it his mission to stop this from happening thus saving the world.

My particular favourite scene had to be with Xander snow boarding down a mountain with an avalanche of snow right behind him, it was gripping and original though maybe not the most realistic of situations but what can you expect! The film has been greatly compared to the James Bond series that has its next film coming out next month. Though the similarities could be seen with the Bond series I still thought the film used a lot of good original stunts which kept it entertaining.

Overall I thought xXx was a good film worth seeing before the likes of Harry Potter comes out soon. If you like action then its worth seeing, if you like cheesy films its also worth seeing, though if your looking for a quiet night in maybe this isn?t the film for you!

Planetarion ? The Final Legacy

By Pete | @kingpetey | 19 Oct 2002

We?re now over a month into the new round however Planetarion has its lowest turnout ever with less then 6000 players. This may seem good but considering in Planetarion?s prime they had over 100000 players 6000 is poor.

The round seems as dull as ever with no major power blocks and most alliances running for themselves. My galaxy for one gets incoming every 2-3 nights and has a serious problem with trying to get any defence, this is a shame as we do have some good veterans to the game. The graphics have still failed to get an update and we haven?t heard from the creators it seems in weeks. Rumour has it that they are still working on another game or what ever they decide to go into after Planetarion finishes. The game at the moment seems to being run by what?s left of the pa crew.

It is unknown the financial status of fifth season AS at this current time but as the round did have a fairly poor signup its not looking good. It seems that Planetarion is coming to the natural end of its life cycle and people are a bit fed up with Planetarion as you do with all games. Planetarion has however lasted a lot longer then many other games and what it has created is a massive community on irc and the forums that will be around for a long time yet. The future of netgamers is still uncertain as it looks for more partners to continue to keep the irc network popular.

Linux #8 - Installation

By Pete | @kingpetey | 11 Oct 2002

Whichever distribution you finally decide on you will need to install it on your machine in order to take full use of the operating system. Once you have downloaded or brought your distribution and it is on cd the best way to start the installation is to boot it from the cd/dvd. This is done quite simply; enable the cdrom as the first boot device in the bios then put the CD in the drive and reboot your computer. Whichever distribution you install will probably give you a number of options.

SuSE for instance gives you a number of different boot options for different types of installation. You will want either graphical installation or simple installation. The installation program then boots and will try to configure as much as it can without any need for you to change anything. SuSE for instance will default select a package and attempt to rearrange your partitions for you, though if you don?t like anything it has changed you can always change it back at this stage.

Redhat and Mandrake will require you to change the partitions yourself this is normally the only difficult stage on the installation and I would recommend you use a program such as partition magic as described in the previous article. Once you have gone through the simple installation procedure you are ready to start copying files to your hard drive.

This can take anywhere between 20mins to 2hours depending on the speed of your computer and how much you install. A typical desktop system with office will take around 2gbs of hard drive space so there is quite a lot of copying to be done! After everything has been installed the installer will run a number of configuration programs to configure different bits of hardware such as network cards, graphics cards and printers.

Most devices will automatically be configured properly however you do have the option to tweak any settings you wish at this point. Its best if you look up your distributions guide while installing too as this guide is quite general into installation through out the major Linux distributions. Installation is the most nerve racking part of getting Linux but is also one of the most important parts.

UT2003

By Pete | @kingpetey | 10 Oct 2002

Today I got my copy of Unreal Tournament 2003 after ordering it online a few days ago. Not only did this save me a trip into town but also saved me almost ?10. After a lengthy install time and 2.5gig of my hard drive gone I was ready to play. My first impressions we great, the game is easy to use, easy to play and didn?t take too long to load (takes about as long as the original).

The graphics are stunning, the little effects make it look nice like swaying grass, moving clouds and more realistic gas textures. Though it took me a graphics card update to stop the larger death match levels from stuttering, but the 10mb download was worth it in the end with everything running very nicely on my GeForce mx420.

The overall play of the game is similar to that of Unreal Tournament, the graphics are a massive improvement and the guns have been upgraded. They have replaced the old sniper rifle with a more advanced weapon that still gives some nice headshots. The other amendments are that of the extra packs you can pick up. These now include bigger health packs and adrenaline, which if you collect enough gives you special abilities such as running fast.

The one feature I did turn off straight away was weapon bob, which to be honest just got annoying and made you feel like you were on a ship. It also took me a while tweaking the graphics settings to get everything working smoothly while trying to get as much out of my card as possible, however this normally has to be done for most games.

I was also disappointed with the lack of outdoors maps, this will probably be left more to one of the mods such as strike force but will mean a hefty download for me. The game is still in very early days, I had a quick look on the web for maps and couldn?t find anything yet the same I found about support which was also very limited. I can see ut2003 lasting for the next 2-3 years like its predecessor did, however it would be nice if the game was to get popular quicker then the original as it did seem to have a slow start.

Overall I think ut2003 is a very nice game which has great potential and flexibility within itself that can hopefully become a very successful and popular game. I have decided to give it 9/10.

Broadband Britain

By Pete | @kingpetey | 08 Oct 2002

Broadband has been becoming increasingly popular over the past year and it has now reached 1million subscribers. The numbers of people and businesses signing up for broadband has trebled since the start of 2002. Oftel estimates that 20,000 connections per week are being installed. Broadband can run upto 10 times faster then a usual dialup connection and there is no 2-hour cut offs like a lot of the major dialup ISPs impose.

The increase in broadband is said to be because of file sharing services such as Kazaa and GNUtella, which let users share music for free. Broadband enables them to download music at a much faster speed. This is in dispute in America in the courts as the music industry has said it is loosing lots of money, though this cannot be proved as America is suffering from a Recession. The UK on the other hand saw record sales increase last year, which some people say that people are still buying music if they like a song they download.

The music industry has replied by trying to shut down services such as Kazaa and was successful in shutting down Napster 2 years ago. Though Napster has tried to relaunch itself as a legitimate service the record industry are still not happy. BT have spent over ?30million on advertising over the past few weeks and there advertising campaign will continue on into the next few weeks.

BT who are not the cheapest of broadband providers are trying to get as many people to sign up for there service rather then their competition which includes Freeserve, AOL and F2S. Freeserve have said this is unfair competition as BT are a much bigger company and have a lot more funding from other areas of there business. Though not everyone is happy especially people living in rural areas as many of them cannot get broadband and unless they have big enough support for broadband in their area the chances of them getting it are very small.

In the UK most people currently get broadband access via cable suppliers such as NTL and Telewest, although the numbers using ADSL, which comes via phone lines, is rapidly catching up. Though the UK is still behind a lot of its fellow countries the government is looking to have ?broadband Britain? by 2005.

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