With the release of Adobe Flash Player 188.8.131.52 The flash player Plugin finally supports Internet Explorer 64-bit. This is a useful feature for users of Microsoft Windows (Vista and 7) 64-bit. I wonder when Firefox and Chrome will get around to releasing 64-bit versions of their software.
With the recent release of Star Wars on Blu-Ray I had the urge to Replay Star Wars Rogue Squadron for the PC. I also chose this game to see if this game would run on a newer Windows Operating system. It installs and starts up just fine. I didn’t have to do anything special. For a game developed with Windows 98 (and the Nintendo 64) in mind, runs stable enough. UAC doesn’t seem to affect the game after the initial install is completed.
The System Requirements are:
Quoted from www.roguesquadron.net
Operating System: 100% Windows 95/98 DirectX compatible PC.
CPU: Pentium 166 MHz or faster required.
Memory: 32 MB RAM or higher required.
CD-ROM: Quad speed or faster required.
Graphics Card: 3D accelerated video card required–PCI or AGP with 4MB or higher, Direct3D or Glide compatible required.
Sound: Supports 100% DirectX compatible 16-bit or better sound cards.
Input Device: Supports joystick, mouse or keyboard. Joystick recommended. Also supports Force Feedback joysticks. A joystick is not required to play, however, it is highly recommended that you use one. This is a flying game, after all.
DirectX: DirectX 6.0 or higher. DirectX 6.0 is included on the CD and must be installed prior to playing Rogue Squadron 3D.
I really do enjoy these Arcade space shooter games. Flying through Star Wars themed locations, and missions. You play through the game as Luke Skywalker (who is not voiced by Mark Hamil.) Accomplishing various tasks during the course of each mission. Having that medal reward system for completing levels in the game adds some replay value. The ships you would expect to be playable are here…
- V-Wing Air speeder
- Millennium Falcom
- Naboo Starfighter ( w/ update 1.2)
Using the Air/snow Speeder’s tow cable has caused me much frustration. They seem to break away from the target no matter how I adjust my ship’s speed. The terrain detail and draw distances in general are quite bad. Then again, this is a game from 1998, that just happens to be running on a more powerful machine. The sound in the game is still good. Laser fire, and other sounds.
Overall, Rogue Squadron II is still my personal favorite.
I wonder why Lucas Arts hasn’t made a new Rogue Squadron (X-Wing or TIE Fighter) game for the current generation of gaming consoles.
Use : Audio editor and recorder
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Current version: 1.2.6 (stable) , 1.3.13 (beta)
Audacity is a freeware audio editor and recorder. It supports importing and processing of mp3, wav, ogg audio files. You can also use it as recorder, if you have microphones and/or headsets. Working on multiple tracks is possible, as seen in the screenshot above. Various effects can be applied to the audio. Fade, normalize, amplification.
The Memory usage for me was around 20 MB and the hard disk usage is just under 9 MBs v 1.2.6. Even though the Audacity website states that 1.2.6 is not supported on Windows Vista. I am able to run, process, and save/export audio files just fine. 1.3.13 (beta) is giving me a little trouble due to compatibility issues with LAME.
So Firefox 6.0 has been out for a few days now. Seems to improve security, stability, and a few other features. As usual, Just be cautious if you’re the type of user that has a lot of extensions. You may encounter extension compatibility issues, forcing the extension (s) to be disabled/unusable.
Some time last month I took on the task to repair a computer that belonged to a friend of the family. The specifications are as follows:
Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.8 Ghz
1.0 GB DDR
160 GB 7200 RPM
Onboard Intel graphics
Windows XP Home Edition
I haven’t regularly used a Pentium 4 powered computer for a few years now, so I kind of wondered how it handled today’s websites and other tasks.
The user already started repairing the computer, software-wise at least, reinstalling MS Windows XP with Service Pack 1 and a few of their favorite applications. I continued from that point bringing Windows up to Service Pack 3, downloading 98 additional (post-sp3) updates. One of the key updates was the Installer for Internet Explorer 8. version 9 is not supported for Windows systems running anything earlier than Windows Vista. XP SP2 also adds the Windows firewall to a little more security. For free anti-virus software, I decided to go with Avast! free 6, but Microsoft Security Essentials would have been fine as well.
The temperature and fan speed readings looked fine for a system of this kind. Ran diagnostic utilities and they didn’t report any errors either.
I took some to to test IE 8 and Mozilla Firefox on this system and while it’s still usable on the Internet for web surfing, streaming audio and Youtube. The low amount of memory and old processor doesn’t leave you much computing power for anything else. Having more than one user logged on at one time would be a terrible idea. The user only does web browsing, music listening, image viewing and office productivity tasks.
There were a few other pieces of software I installed for them…
Microsoft Office 2007 (they provided their disc and product key)
Windows Live Photo Gallery (Far better than what’s included with Windows XP)
Upgraded Windows Media Player to 11
Upgrading IE to 8 from the included 6
VLC Media Player
After a few final checks, I decided to hand in back to the user to take home. This experience just shows me how great even lower clocked (more power efficient) dual core processor can provide a better computing experience. Versus this system.
I decided to Jump on to the Firefox 5 Beta testing wagon. Can’t say I notice anything different in terms of the UI. A few of my plugins are incompatible and every time I run the Acid 3 test, I get a 97% rating. I’m guessing it’s just improvements for HTML5 and general browser performance.