Stop Popup Ads For Free Newsletter (Winrag) - ( 14th May 2004 )

Season 2 - Issue 1

 (c), Mark Walmsley 2004

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Welcome, its time for issue 1, season 2. Its now a year since our newsletter first appeared on the web, its popularity is still growing and growing, and soon we are going to compile the subjects covered and send them out as specials.

With our growing popularity I would like to welcome all the readers of "The Sunday Journal", "Sunday Democrat", and "Sundays People's Press" who I am presently a columnists for, and writing weekly articles on computers usage and guides.

There is a website associated with these pages, and it can be found at

If this is your first newsletter then feel free to read previous issues. Click here to go to the main index page.

Remember at anytime you can unsubscribe. The subscribe/unsubscribe link is at the bottom of this page, click here.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this issue, if you wish to have a subject covered, wish to send feedback or have an article of your own you want featured then mail


1 Hardware Guide - Graphics cards


A graphics card is used to display images on your monitor. Without one you will not be able to see what your computer is doing.

There are three main types, AGP graphics cards (requires an AGP slot in your computer), PCI graphics cards (requires a PCI slot in your computer), and onboard video (this is a video card that is merged with the motherboard.)

The more powerful the graphics card the quicker and smoother images will appear on your monitor.


2 Hardware Guide - Sound cards & Speakers


Sound cards are a very important part of computing in the modern age. Without them you will have no music, no effects and no voices when using your computer. Making the experience very bland and business like.

Fortunately in the modern day 99% of computers are supplied with sound cards, usually part of the motherboard, but only able to supply a basic 2 speaker set up with audio, but this can be changed. Enhance your computer experience by upgrading the sound card and your speaker system.

With speakers placed around the room you will create a new gaming, and movie experience, with noises coming from all directions of your room. Imagine a helicopter flying around you in a game, well with the correct speaker set up this experience will be much more real, by just closing your eyes you will feel like you are actually there. Someone walking behind you in a game will have you looking behind in real life. The experience can be unbelievable and unreal.


3  Buyers Guide - Graphics Cards


So when buying what do you look for? If the budget is tight and you are buying a computer, you will find the cheaper range will have onboard video. Make sure that you ask if an AGP slot is available inside, for future expansion.

AGP cards are the choice for graphics, but can only be used in an AGP slot. Without this expansion slot you will find yourself replacing the motherboard as well, incurring a larger expense.

Buyers Guide Part 8 - Graphics Cards

Picture is a free brown AGP slot

When buying a new graphics card, always look for what was top of the range 6 months previous. This will allow you to buy a card that was maybe £200 plus for less than £100. This will save you a lot of money.

PCI cards are best avoided as they usually only provide minor performance enhancements.

Laptops come with onboard video, remember this cannot be upgraded so look for the best that’s available at time of purchase.


4 Buyers Guide - Soundcards & Speakers


So what do you look for? Well its quite simple, soundcards and speakers, come in several formats, all of which will be written on the box. They are rated as 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1.  For example 7.1 means 7 satellite speakers and 1 sub-woofer, 5.1 means 5 satellite speakers and 1 sub-woofer. (I hope you get the idea) The more speakers the higher quality the sound will be, and the more amazing the effects.

When it comes to sound always buy quality. Creative Labs Sound card and speakers series is well recommended, and always buy the speakers that match the sound card.

An important note, when buying is to check your DVD’s, Games or Music CD’s to see what they support. Most say 5.1 audio, this will work fine on all cards and speakers 5.1 and below, but you will only receive 5.1 audio on a 7.1 system. So if you have 7.1 set up, don’t get annoyed if two of your speakers don’t work. 


5 Virus & email Warnings - Sasser Worm Virus


Recently a shy German teenage student, after being egged on by his friends, created the Sasser worm virus, and released it to the world.

This virus has created havoc throughout the world, and has caused computers with Windows XP, 2000, NT server to crash. You may think that you are safe if you have another version of Windows, although not infected your computer can still be used to spread the virus, slowing down your internet access. So no mater what operating system you have you must remove it and protect yourself.

So watch out for slow internet access, and a file called LSASS.EXE crashing on your computer.

To remove the virus, follow these instructions:

First type in the web address that is below into your browser address bar, and download the file to your desktop.

Windows 95,98 and ME users should now boot into “Safemode” (To do this tap the F8 key on the keyboard as the computer starts, and select “Safemode”).

Windows NT,2000 and XP users, just boot up as normal, but make sure you are logged in, in and account that has Admin access.

Run the file, FixSasser.exe from your desktop.

Finally if you find the virus or not, make sure you have anti-virus (AV) software installed and updated. AV programs that are not up to date are useless.

You can use our online virus check, which can be found at:


6 Games Review - Vanguard: Saga of Heroes


 Filename: VanguardLogo.psd
Type: PhotoShop file
Dimensions: 991 x 271
Resolution: 300 dpi
Colour depth: millions
Size: 502K

Title: "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes"
Publisher: Microsoft® Game Studios
Developer: Sigil Games Online, Inc.
Format: CD-ROM for the Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) and Windows XP operating systems Direct X 9.0 compliant video card
ESRB Rating: Pending
Availability: TBD
Pricing: TBD

Click on image to enlarge 
"Vanguard: Saga of Heroes" represents the next evolutionary leap in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) from the original producer and co-creator of EverQuest. Building on their many years of development expertise in this genre, Sigil Games Online is committed to delivering players the full grandeur of life in a fantasy world – from exploration of faraway lands to intense battles with fantastic creatures all the way up to changing the very landscape and society in which they live.

"Vanguard" is a high fantasy themed MMORPG with a heavy focus on character advancement, an immersive world, and player interdependence.

Click on image to enlarge 

A vast, detailed universe of fiery swords and powerful sorcery, dragons and knights, "Vanguard" involves a myriad of sentient races and creatures, many of whom players will be able to choose to play as their own.

"Vanguard" is a dynamic world where players can follow different paths of advancement, including assuming the roles of adventurers, crafters and merchants. They can make their mark on a world while ultimately shaping and forming its future.

Players will travel with trade caravans across deserts and fight pirates on the high seas. They will ascend the highest peak and explore the eerie depths of the darkest dungeons. "Vanguard" will offer a next-generation online experience in which players will actually experience what they have only previously imagined possible.

Click on image to enlarge 

Features: The following features have been announced to date:

Executive leadership and creativity. At the helm of the "Vanguard" team are Brad McQuaid, Jeff Butler and Steve Clover. Vanguard represents the logical evolution of their original vision for online role-playing, started in "EverQuest," but fully realized in "Vanguard."

Third generation MMORPG. "Vanguard" is a premier third generation massively multiplayer online RPG. A vast, seamless, immersive virtual world filled with elements of both familiar and exotic high fantasy, all depicted using cutting-edge graphics technology. Sigil Games' expertise and experience in the field will introduce groundbreaking static and dynamic content to the genre.

Unparalleled adventure. "Vanguard" revolutionizes the MMORPG genre with an Advanced Encounter System. These next generation game mechanics build upon party-specific threat scaling and scripting technologies. Dynamic spawning and non-player-character (NPC) populations ensure deeper story and quest driven adventures for players, while also addressing many of the problems with current MMORPGs such as camping and kill-stealing. Players will experience the magic of "Vanguard" thru classic hair raising dungeon crawling and social camaraderie.

Breathtaking landscapes and environments. Enter a vast and detailed fantasy world, passionately designed and art-directed by award-winning artist Keith Parkinson. Parkinson is bringing "Vanguard" to life by combining his unique artistic vision with next generation 3D graphics to create realistic fantasy. Exploration will take players across multiple continents with strikingly different environments that will directly impact gameplay.

Exciting and visceral combat. While still very much a traditional role-playing game, "Vanguard" also introduces more tactical action and decision making into combat. Timing as well as working with other players during combat will play a significant role. Cooperation during melee combat as well as casting 'ritual' magical spells will lead players to victory.

Multi-class an adventurer and crafter. Characters in "Vanguard" can be adventurers, crafters, or both. Players can work on their adventuring experience one evening and their crafting skills the next. "Vanguard" also takes crafting to the next level by integrating "risk and reward" into harvesting materials, refining and assembling goods.

Player owned houses, vendors and workshops. Players won't stop at just exploring the world of "Vanguard," they will also create buildings in which to create, store, and house their belongings. Homes can be built and decorated, while workshops are used by artisans to craft valuable items. Player run vendors can sell and buy goods, providing for both online and offline gameplay.

7  Games Review - Zoo Tycoon 2

Fact Sheet

Title: "Zoo TycoonTM 2"
Publisher: Microsoft® Game Studios
Developer: Blue Fang Games LLC
Format: CD-ROM for the Microsoft® Windows® 98, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) and Windows XP operating systems
ESRB Rating: Pending
Availability: Fall 2004
Pricing: To be determined

Click on image to enlarge


Product Overview: "Zoo Tycoon 2," the newest addition to the massively popular and award-winning "Zoo Tycoon" franchise, provides the ultimate zoo experience, and now allows players to step into their zoo where they'll be face-to-face with animals and guests in an all-new 3-D world. Enhanced building options and more management choices allow players of all ages and skill levels to be even more creative in building and managing habitats and zoo attractions so that guests are happier and animals are more entertaining.

Key Features:

Click on image to enlarge

  • Get closer to the action. Players can now step into their dream zoo via the all-new Zootopia functionality and enhanced 3-D graphics to experience it all first-hand. Walk around with guests and enjoy the zoo via Zoo Guest mode, or come face-to-face with animals while caring, feeding and improving their happiness in Zookeeper mode. Finally, take pictures of the animals in action and create a photo album to share online with friends using the Zoo Photo Safari.

  • New ways to build. "Zoo Tycoon 2" features more than 300 building objects including exhibit materials, themed buildings, guest attractions and toys. Creating an exhibit is easier than ever with the new Habitat Builder tool that allows players to build moats, waterfalls and more. The Biome Brush provides the final touches on a new exhibit, painting different landscapes instantly to create natural deserts, rainforests, arctic tundras and wetlands.

Click on image to enlarge

  • Deeper gameplay. Random and Dynamic challenges in the Campaign and Freeform modes allow players even deeper, more interesting gameplay scenarios. Take on additional challenges, such as nursing an animal back to health through Random challenges presented to players during the course of zoo building, or accept Dynamic challenges which relate directly to the scenario or map the player is currently playing. How players design and build their zoos determines the type of animations their animals perform, while balancing the changing needs of both guests and animals is paramount to having the ultimate zoo.

    Click on image to enlarge


  • Downloadable content. Free downloadable content including more building objects and animals adds variety to creating the ultimate zoo, with ongoing updates all available at

8  Conclusion


Well that's it for this month, I hope you all enjoyed this issue, and we look forward to seeing you next month, 

Best Regards


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