Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ok, What the HELL, ATI/AMD? AGP x1050-x1950 Problems Ignored Again!

Alright, the problem is this, if you own an ATI AGP card, anywhere between X1050 to X1950 and beyond, and you install ATI's Catalyst driver set from 7.9 and up. It will effectively cripple your machine. DirectX will no longer function and directDraw, AGP Texture Acceleration, and Direct3D will disappear. They couldn't have not known about this problem! It's been plaguing users since Cat 7.8 in August! Thankfully there is a solution on the XP side, using Omega Drivers (Unofficial driver set built for ATI & nVidia cards), you will be able to install the latest Cat's. However for Vista users, you're screwed, the latest Catalyst driver sets you can install are 6.8, which is damn near criminal, considering there are a very large amount of performance increasing tweaks to the latest Catalyst drivers, increasing gaming performance by a very large measurable number.

My question to the general public on this one, is how the hell can AMD getting away with this one? Isn't anyone pissed off enough to raise hell about this problem? I know I'm not the only one having this problem, and in fact, there are about several hundred thousand of us who are having this very same problem. Why are they completely ignoring their AGP users and crippling their machines with little to no warning!

Scenario: Someone buys an older machine from eBay, equiped with an ATI AGP video card. Someone who doesn't have a great deal of knowledge about machines. They look at their computer, see that it's an ATI card, and are like.."Oh ok, I need to hop over to ATI's website to grab the latest drivers and software! :D". They deal with game.amd.com's AWFUL organization, and website interface. Find the card's driver for their particular operating system, and proceed to install. Since they probably want to rush through install, they choose the express install and get Steam(ing pile of #$@$) installed on their machine. On top of that, upon restart they find that they can't actually play any games since their machine's graphics card is CRIPPLED! So is their operating system, and guess what folks! It's OS independent, meaning you'll botch up a Vista machine too if you use an AGP ATI card.

With that, I would recommend not getting an ATI card, as they apparently don't give a single damn crap about their customers. Also, if you're experiencing this problem, run over to http://www.omegadrivers.net/ and grab yourself a copy of their drivers, you'll be glad you did, especially since it fixes this issue.

As food for though, have fun ATI, you're losing a lot of customers this way, and I'm pretty certain you'll end up getting a lawsuit filed against you sooner or later..

Friday, November 16, 2007

Canning the review?

Simple answer, not completely. Long answer? Because at the present moment the review would have been used for Stardock advertisement without compensation, which I don't want any part of. I also feel as though I should distance myself from AeroXP, for the main reason that they have no idea who the leader is over there. You have Rob, who is a pretty responsible leader, got nothing against him. Then you have this other person, who ACTS like he runs the place, gets OVER DEFENSIVE when you question him running the forum, and runs his own little drama club in the background. He contacted me yesterday.. "Write a good review, and you get to keep your Expert ranking". I didn't think I deserved it to begin with, but what the fuck? Didn't the admin(s) say that there wasn't going to be anymore pseudo-admins? I certainly don't want to deal with some kid with a power trip, and someone with about 12 hours of MY constant writing flicking it around like it's a damn advertisement. Granted I WILL write a review for TweakVista, it won't be associated with AeroXP, and it'll contain a page or two of information, rather than 10 pages (12 posts) of information.

TweakVista Review Coming Next Week, as well as COMPLETELY free and unbiased reviews.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How-To: Windows Live Mail & Gmail

There won't be as many pictures in this guide as in my previous one, but if you follow the instructions in this guide as closely as possible, you'll be on your way to enjoying your email from Google Mail in Windows Live Mail soon. :)

First thing right from the begining, you'll notice that the typical "Menu Bar", you know the one with File, Edit, View, Tools, Ations, and Help is missing. In order to allow us to EASILY add gmail over to Windows Live Mail, you'll have to rectify this. Click the Show Menu button, the button next to the Paint Brush, and the question mark on the right hand side of the client, and choose Show Menu. Ugly isn't it? Don't worry, you can set it right back once your done importing the email accounts.

Next thing to do, is to go to Tools in the newly revealed menu bar, and go to Accounts. You'll be presented with a new dialog box labeled Accounts. On the right hand side, choose Add, and then you'll be presented with an Add An Account box. Highlight email account, because that's the one you'll be wanting to import obviously, and choose Next.

In the Add an E-mail Account, where it shoes "E-mail address", type your gmail addy in there. Followed by your password, check remember password if you want. Next put your Display Name into last box. This part is important though, be sure to check Manually configure server settings for e-mail account, then click next.

Incoming Server Information----------------------------------------------

Ah there it is, slightly different, but still quite the same. The next part is where all the fun (sarcasm) settings go. We'll go ahead and go through it step by step.

"My incoming mail server is a (POP3) server." - Gmail uses POP3 forwarding in order to send your mail over to any mail client, so be sure to check POP3, not http.

"Incoming Server (pop.gmail.com)" - Pretty straightforward right? If you've configured any POP3 email address in the past, or followed the previous guide for Outlook 2007, you'll remember some of the settings from before, most email servers use a similar address with little variations, for example Comcast uses pop3.comcast.net. Leave the Port option alone, WLM will automatically set it to the correct setting when we check the next option

"Add a Checkmark to This Server requires a secure connection (SSL)" - You'll notice as I said above, that the port will automatically correct itself to 995 once you check this box.

"Log on using: Clear Text Authentication" - You'll want to choose Secure password authentication option from this select box, as Gmail requires this setting in order for your logon credentials to go through.

"Login ID (if different from e-mail address)" - normally it should say your username, but you'll need to change this so it reads Myusername@gmail.com.

Outgoing Server Information----------------------------------------------

"Outgoing server smtp.gmail.com" - Set this to smtp.gmail.com, and change the port to 465.

"Leave Checked This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" As above, leave this checked, or check it if it isn't already.

 

If there are any problems with these settings, please leave a comment and I'll investigate it and fix it. I was able to retrieve my email with these settings and you should also be able to aswell. Be sure to allow POP3 in your gmail settings before attempting to send/recieve your email.

Additional Links and Resources

Printable Copy - You'll need Microsoft Wordpad (Included with Windows) in order to view and print this. Hosted by Mediafire, as I don't have another HTTP mirror.

More Coming...

The popularity of the blog entry for adding Google Mail accounts to Outlook 2007 went through the roof. I'm still getting comments on that, mostly positive thankfully. I was hoping Google would have updated their importing information for the newer versions of Windows Live Mail, but it looks like they have not. So I'll go ahead and post a How-To in similar fashion to the Outlook 2007 post, and add it to my blog as soon as possible.

 

I'll also post it in easy to print .txt format, because, well, white text on black background will likely drain a printer cartridge faster than printing out a black text on white background. So thanks for the feedback on that one. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Computer Rant

I'm really unsure at this point, I've had to yet again move back to Windows XP in order to have a functional PC and I've always been a PC gamer, rather enjoying that part of the computer world more recently than ever. This isn't a regular rant about how I dislike Vista, I honestly don't, I just wish it was more usable, lighter and as vibrant as Windows XP. Now I know you'll say, "Vibrant? Aero Glass?". Honestly, I know, I love Aero glass, but at this point it bogs down the system so badly that using it on this older machine is a chore, even though it's smooth. The OS feels jagged, unfinished, unpolished, and I know a few friends who have moved away from the PC world entirely, finding sanctum on the Apple OS X front. I will be honest with the 2.3 users who read my blog, if I had the financial means to make the move, I would in a heartbeat. Leopard is very impressive, and even Tiger at this point, in comparative to the ageing Windows XP. Hell I even started using Ubuntu 7.10 Linux more than Windows, just because it's a breath of fresh air from the seven years of being a Windows XP user.

In all honesty, I believe Microsoft blew it, they were going very very strong, but they've locked down the PC hardware world and because of that, more appeal has moved to Apple's OS X, especially since it made such a huge impression with Leopard. You have Microsoft bringing in their proprietary multi player service, Xbox Live, to the PC platform. You know what that means? The day of free multiplayer of ANY sort on the PC platform soon could be coming to an end. If Microsoft locks it down anymore than it is now.

What's my game plan? Gaming on a console, while computing on the PC, especially since my next PC purchase will be a Mac Mini. I'm going to TRY and persuade my mother to get a Mac instead of a PC, she's trying to buy one herself, and I feel that at this point, it would be a waste of money, time and effort to buy a PC with Windows Vista included on it, or any other type of Windows solution. Oh, and to add another little tidbit of information in, the number of Hackintosh computers (Computers built and manufactured by Dell, HP, and others that were built to run Windows, that run a hacked or modified version of Apple's OS X software) is increasing. That should tell you something right there