ATI Radeon owner? If yes, get 2 Half Life games for free!

Steam has got a free limited time offer! πŸ™‚

If you own an ATI Radeon card, then Steam is offering 2 Half Life games for free for you! (okay according to source one of them is more like a demo).

The setup prg will automatically detect whether you have an ATI card running. Also notice that you cannot change the destination drive and directory of the games downloaded. So if your system HDD is almost full, then install the Steam client on another drive which isn’t!).

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SkypeIn for the Dominican Republic!

Skype has recently added the Dominican Republic to their SkypeIn service.

Skype seems to support more the countries outside of the EU yet. Belgium, Italy e.g. are waiting since ages for SkypeIn, same with Canada.

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Silicon Image really did it: 64bit drivers for XP and Vista!

A while ago I asked Silicon Image for 64bit drivers for my SiI0680A IDE controller card and here is what they wrote to me:
Β΄

“Dear Mr. Joerg Droege,

At this time Silicon Image does not support the SiI0680A with 64bit Windows XP or
64bit Windows 2003 Server.

On your behalf, I’ve submitted a request to produce a SiI0680A Windows 64bit driver.

Regards,

Mikhail Amchislavsky
Service Engineer
WW Services and Support
Silicon Image Storage Division”

And I found out recently that they did it and released 64bit drivers for all 64bit Windows versions including Vista and of course also for Vista 32bit!
However, instead of just a few months, it took them over a year!

Well, better late than never, right? =)

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Vista X64 driver: Strange driver placement at Epson homepage

UPDATE: Also works in Windows 7 X64! Thanks to the guy in the comments for new download location!

You won the scanner Epson Perfection 2480 Photo flatbet scanner (or it fell off a truck or whatsoever), and you are proud owner of the new Windows Vista X64, then you will have some troubles to get the twain driver for it.
Why? Because, first of all, Epson told me there will be a driver, then they told me maybe when there are free resources left and finally they told me there will be no driver at all.

And so, I searched for alternatives and took VueScan just to find out that Epson had already a driver in the making but never released it just until recently.

Here is the catch: If you search for Vista X64 driver on either Epson hoempage, there will be “Theree is no driver available, maybe that means it is already supported natively by Windows Vista X64” well, I can promise you, it’s not!

If you search for Windows drivers in general at Epson USA, you will find a Windows Vista driver, that is – according to the homepage – only working on 32bit!

Now, what to do? Solution: Do the same on the hoemapge of Epson Germany, you only find the selection “Windows Vista” (if you selected “Windows Vista” AND NOT “Windows Vista X64” in the previous product selection menu!!!!!!! Otehrwise you get NO VISTA driver to download!!!! , no difference between 32bit and 64bit and the driver works indeed on Vista X64! The date of the driver and the version number on Epson America differs: EPSON Scan Utility v3.04A posted on 02/15/07 while Epson Germany’s one is EPSON Scan (3.0u) posted on 31. January 2007

This means:

If you:
-select Epson USA you get no X64 driver (according to homepage – didn’t try on X64 myself)
-select Vista X64 at Epson Germany you get no X64 driver

You only get the X64 compatible driver if you select “Windows Vista” on Epson Germany page

A few words about EPSON Smart Panel: It will work in Windows Vista X64, except for the Copy Utility 3, so you can uinstall that in the Windows Control Panel.

Also notice that the drivers auto detect the language in use and install accordingly.

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The unwritten Windows driver rules

I am fiddling with PCs since 1993 and figured out that there are some unwritten Windows driver rules I want to share with you here:

My personal general rule is: Copy all manuals,tools, firmwares and drivers that are available for your devices on a CD!

Sort them by: Device type, manufacturer & device name and model, Windows version and language (English and your native language if it applies).

Before you burn them on a DVD, check whether there are newer versions available on the internet.

There are 5 kinds of companies:

1) Never making any driver for newer Windows versions: Pearl or finding to provide as few drivers for the new Windows as possible: Netgear

2) Making new drivers on request like Silicon Image

3) Companies who intentionally make drivers for newer or all devices still on sale like Logitech, Hama, Canon.

4) Companies who deny that they will make a driver for your device, eventhough they already have one but didn’t publish it yet, like e.g. Epson.

5) Companies who remove drivers from devices published for newer Windows version without any prior notice or any appearant reason (drivers were working 100% fine!). ViewSonic and Acer did that to me!

Especially because of 5), it is important that you burn them on a DVD!

ViewSonic removed the Windows XP X64 “drivers” (i.e. colour scheme and inf files) for my VX 924 and Acer did it with the Windows XP driver for my external Modem Surf II

If you search for a driver and cannot find it on the manufacturer’s homepage, ask their customer support and request one.

Simultaniously, use Google to search the internet and driverguide.com. Often other users had the same problem and found an alternative driver, or a coder coded one himself and added it to DriverGuide. Last but not least, sometimes Windows Update has it or there is a generic driver for all devices containing the same chipset.

If you follow all those rules, you will not run into problems so fast anymore if you plan to upgrade your Windows version or reinstall your exsisting Windows!

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Microsoft worker explains what IPv6 is!

I have recently found this video in which a Microsoft worker explains what IPv6 is that is enabled in Windows Vista at default and which causes problems with some routers!

Enjoy watching it! πŸ™‚

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resell Skype – open now. & Small Business Pack

Skype allows now companies to resell Skype vouchers for them. More info about that on http://www.skyperesellers.com/, you will get a discount on the packages of 5% or something.

They also have got a Skype “Small Business Pack to sale to you.

Info on that one:

“Get Skype for your business for only €99+VAT.

The Small Business Pack for Skype can slash your communication costs and transform the way you do business.

Get this:
-Latest Skype for Business software.
-€50 of Skype Credit.
-10 Skype Proβ„’ subscriptions worth €120 – get local and national phone calls and pay nothing per minuteΒΉ.
-Getting started CD and Tips and Tricks Guide.

Only €99 (excl. VAT) – total pack value is €170

Plus all this:
-Free Skype-to-Skype calls to anyone else, anywhere in the world.
-Central credit allocation – allow one administrator to distribute credit to colleagues.
-Make international calls from as little as 1.7 cents a minute.
-Send SMS messages to your clients/customers/contacts on the move.
-Free 10 person Skype-to-Skype conference calls.
-Set up call forwarding so you never miss another call.
-See who you are talking to with free video calls.”

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Netgear WPN824v2 supported for Windows Vista, WPN824v1 not

Netgear WPN824v2 supported for Windows Vista, WPN824v1 not.

The tricky thing here is, that the version 1 of the router is still widely spread and even sold as new without pointing out whether it’s verison 1 or version 2. This happened inside my family even!

I have got v2 of the router while my mother got v1 in the shops for her WLAN network!

Netgear here again follows their weird excuse for not supporting 64bit, which is bad, because it really makes troubles in Windows Vista!

Quoting the source:

“WPN824v1 has been discontinued, no updates planned.”

. The support CD for v2 can be downloaded at source.

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