Category Archives: General Info

Command & Conquer FREE on Origin – Be Back Soon

 

As we said before the game is available for free on Origin. The problem is that EVERYONE knew about it and stormed it. Was difficult to get a download going. RA2 Free

Due to this they had to take it down. They said it’ll be back soon but they realize that the demand for that game is much higher than they thought.RA2 Free BRBQuote from the site:

Looking for Command & Conquer Red Alert™ 2 and Yuri’s Revenge™?

  • Wow, you guys are loving Command & Conquer Red Alert™ 2 and Yuri’s Revenge™ On the House! The demand is so high that we need some time to cool down our servers. Command & Conquer Red Alert™ 2 and Yuri’s Revenge™ will return to on the house very shortly. Thanks for being patient!

FLOW & DVR Access

It has come to our attention that recently the ISPs locally have been making changes. One change results in all persons no longer having public addresses – this means that the access to view DVRs using other services such as DynDNS will no longer work. In order to fix this customers will have to call FLOW directly and request public addresses. While this should not be very hard to do it is an inconvenience. Please also note that persons with less than a 15Mb service will be required to pay an additional fee for a public IP address.

Hardware & Drivers – Gaming

So recently someone came into the store and had a new laptop.  That is – new for them but pre-owned. Wanted to get drivers for the GPU so that they could play a new game they got, but after some checking and downloading on their part they finally came back and asked for help. Turns out the game they want to play requires a lot of power and their laptop just couldn’t do it. So we’ve decided to give a quick rundown of hardware and drivers.

HARDWARE

This is anything that you can physically touch. Even if it’s something inside your PC/laptop that you can’t see, as long as it’s physically there then it’s hardware.

SOFTWARE / FILES

This is the intangible stuff that you can’t physically touch. The zeros and ones that are usually magnetically stored on your machine. Software and files on your PC/laptop don’t have a physical form, but they’re stored on physical media. Drivers also fall into this category and we’re going to get right into that next.

DRIVERS

These are the things that make your hardware work. Basically. Drivers are software packages or files that are used by your operating system (Windows) to learn and know how to interact with your hardware. Let’s say for example your sound/audio. If you just installed Windows on your PC/laptop and no sound drivers are installed then nothing you do would make it work. You just wouldn’t be able to hear anything unless drivers are installed. Windows can’t talk to your sound card and while it may know that it’s there, it just can’t utilize it.

Some persons may argue that they’ve installed Windows and everything works without installing drivers, but that’s not really the case. As operating systems advance they also include a larger database of generic drivers for various types of hardware. There may be some differences in the generic driver included with Windows and the driver directly from the manufacturer however, and we’ll get into that shortly. First, let’s make it totally clear that some of the drivers that are included with Windows may work flawlessly, but some – depending on the hardware – may require additional files from the manufacturer to be installed to access other features.

Using the sound as an example again, some drivers may be installed with Windows that makes your sound work with no problems. If you have a desktop with RealTek audio for example, Windows will install drivers and you will get sound from both the front connectors and rear connectors. In some cases you cannot use both simultaneously as the generic driver only allows sound from one at a time. This is where the drivers from the manufacturer would come in.

So basically – your OS may come with drivers to let your hardware work, but for more features or performance you need the drivers from the manufacturer.

STEAM-OS – Linux Gaming

http://store.steampowered.com/steamos

This is something that gamers have been talking about for a while now. Gaming on Linux.

Worldwide there’s an issue with software piracy – while games are pirated too the OS (Windows) is one software package that’s pirated the most. Even people that legitimately own Windows crack it at times due to Microsoft’s activation and licensing model. While games are also pirated there are a lot of gamers that buy their games but not their OS.

Valve Corporation is probably most known for their Half-Life game series. They are also the makers of STEAM which is a content delivery platform for games. What this allows is reinstallation of all your purchased games at any time with all your serials and installation files held in the cloud on your account. This means no need to worry about writing down serials or making multiple copies of installation discs – just remember your STEAM ID and password.

While Linux users have been using tools like WINE and CEDEGA (now under the GameTree Linux umbrella) persons that are not very Linux savvy would have issues getting things working properly.

Why would you want to switch to Linux? Well – for one thing – Linux is FREE SOFTWARE. There’s no need to purchase the OS and since it’s community driven it’s got drivers for almost everything. Support is in the community. And (mostly) Linux just works.

Valve has taken a huge leap into developing on Linux and has now released STEAM-OS. This is a Linux-based OS that gives you the freedom to play games without worrying about your Windows license. This means less crashes and more stability overall – but since this is new and still in beta, don’t expect miracles. Some things may not work the way you expect.

Head over to their site and get the necessary tools to test it out. Please bear in mind that the installation of Linux will require some computer know-how and may erase all the things on your current system. My recommendation is to have another machine to test this. If you have some computer knowledge or repair knowledge then use a different hard drive – disconnect your primary drive(s) – then do the installation. Remember to check the requirements for the installation as there are two options available. One will require a 1TB drive while the other will be setup just like a regular Linux (Debian/Ubuntu) installation.

Personally I’m glad that Valve/STEAM did this – more power to the gamer!

ALERT – Superfish On Lenovo

SOURCE: http://www.avg.com/campaign-landing-pages/ww-en/lenovo-superfish

Based on the information on that link you should remove this software immediately if you own a Lenovo PC.

Something to note – Lenovo and IBM are not the same company. IBM sold their PC business to Lenovo some time ago.

A copy of the information from the AVG website is below for your convenience.


 

How to remove Superfish
and its certificate from your Lenovo® PC

Superfish logo

What is Superfish?

Superfish is a piece of software that Lenovo has admitted to pre-installing on many of its laptops to “enhance the shopping experience” of its users. However, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team calls Superfish a “man-in-the-middle attack” because of how it “intercepts users’ web traffic to provide targeted advertisements.”

Why is Superfish so dangerous?

Superfish snoops in on your web browsing and secretly slips ads into webpages. But the really dangerous part is that it’s pre-installed with root certificate authority, which allows it to impersonate any server’s security certificate.

If this certificate is compromised by hackers, you could be tricked into logging in to a fake website and giving hackers your password. Because of Superfish, any of your accounts—including encrypted bank accounts—could be easily compromised.

Which computers are affected?

According to Lenovo, Superfish may have been pre-installed
on the following models:

Lenovo laptop

E Series:

G Series:

S Series:

U Series:

Y Series:

Z Series:

Edge Series:

Flex Series:

MIIX Series:

YOGA Series:

E10-30

G410, G510, G710, G40-70, G50-70, G40-30, G50-30, G40-45, G50-45, G40-80

S310, S410, S40-70, S415, S415Touch, S435, S20-30, S20-30Touch

U330P, U430P, U330Touch, U430Touch, U530Touch

Y430P, Y40-70, Y50-70, Y40-80, Y70-70

Z40-75, Z50-75, Z40-70, Z50-70, Z70-80

Edge 15

Flex2 14D, Flex2 15D, Flex2 14, Flex2 15, Flex2 Pro, Flex 10

MIIX2-8, MIIX2-10, MIIX2-11, MIIX 3 1030

YOGA2Pro-13, YOGA2-13, YOGA2-11, YOGA3 Pro

Will restoring from a backup help?

Superfish has been pre-installed by Lenovo. Therefore, restoring your computer to factory condition from either a backup partition or a backup DVD will not solve the problem if Superfish is also part of your backup. Superfish would only be reinstalled, too.

So if you ever use a backup to restore your system, you may need to again remove Superfish and its root security certificate from your system.


 

Accidental Spyware Installation

In a previous entry we talked about recent viruses and spyware that have been on the rise in 2015. Here we will go through the installation of a program that we want which is bundled with spyware.

PowerISO is a disc image application for managing ISO and other images. It can be used to modify an image (add/remove files) and mount images as well. The problem is that it has bundled spyware in the installer. While some installers may have good programs bundled, the fact is that you don’t want any third-party programs – just the one that you downloaded. So let’s start the installation from the downloaded file.

PowerISO Installation 01We agree to the license and continue.

PowerISO Installation 02This is something that we don’t want – so we skip.

PowerISO Installation 03We don’t want this either – so go to CUSTOM and uncheck this then hit NEXT.

PowerISO Installation 04TuneUp Utilities is a good piece of software and was acquired by AVG who makes an antivirus package. While it is good, personally I don’t trust installing through a third party – so uncheck the box and click NEXT.

PowerISO Installation 05After all of that we finally get to where the files will be installed – and hit NEXT.

PowerISO Installation 06Once it’s done – NEXT.

PowerISO Installation 07Once we get to this point we’re done! Set up the virtual drives if you want  – select the files you want to associate with the program and integrate with the Windows Shell if you want. I’d recommend unchecking the update option so that you don’t accidentally download and install anything you don’t want to. Just repeat the steps above if you do actually update.

If the options have changed in any newer versions in the future then just be sure you uncheck and skip all additional installations.

General Audio Problems

Recently we’ve found that persons have had some issues with audio – particularly in games. Turns out that at times either accidentally – or intentionally by someone playing a prank – the volume for a particular item may be disabled or turned down.

So let’s take a look at what your typical volume controls look like. From the desktop section of your PC (Windows 7 and below) you should see your speaker icon in the bottom corner.

Volume 06

If you’re using Windows 8/8.1 then you can access this by first going to DESKTOP after your device has booted.

Next you want to either click on the icon then click on MIXER.

Volume 05

Or – right click then go to OPEN VOLUME MIXER.

Volume 04

Once this is up your default view should look like the one in the pic below.

Volume 01

However – any application you launch may appear in the mixer. That happened even with the screenshot app that I was using – PicPic.

Volume 02

I had then launched an old game called ONI that the younger gamers wouldn’t know about. Even with this old game a separate volume control came up for it. So next I launched L4D2 through STEAM.

Volume 03

Here you can see that I’ve turned down the volume for L4D2while the rest of the system sounds are working. The mixer even put an entry for STEAM itself.

Now if you ever find yourself in a situation where a game or app gives no sound – but the sounds work everywhere else and in everything else – or if you find that the sounds are lower in one app or player than another – check the mixer. You may have to run the game then ALT+TAB away from it to check the mixer, but after this inconvenience once you shouldn’t have to do it again.

Hope this helps if you’ve had any sound issues. Let us know in the boxes below!