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online Flash game -- Learn to fly.
Another flying game, in the same vein as Fly Hard (see
below), but this time you are trying to get a penguin
With each flight you make, you earn money, which can be
spent on gliders, rockets, fuel, acceleration, lowering
air resistance and ramp upgrades. The objective is to
achieve a glide of 6000 feet, in the least days possible,
the best I managed was 26 days.
Your penguin starts off very slowly,
basically just falling off the end of a ramp. So you need
to buy the cheapest glider as quickly as possible.
There are five different ramps to use and a new ramp is
unlocked once you have completed two tasks on the current
ramp. It often pays to move to a new bigger ramp, before
finishing all the tasks on the previous ramp, as the new
ramp will pay much higher bonuses.
The game is pretty good, once you have managed to buy
your first glider, although it would have been nice to
have some bonus items to collect when gliding, as there
isn't much to do, on the longer glides.
will need Flash enabled in your browser and loading time
is approx 9 minutes on a 56K connection.
online virus scanner -- Quick DNAScan
The majority of online virus scanners are of little use
to those computer owners with a slow internet connection,
as they usually require a virus signature download of 50+Mb.
Quick DNAScan is far more useful, with just the scanning
engine to download, which is around 400KB.
The reason that DNAScan is so
compact, is because instead of comparing each file
against a signature database, it analyzes the structure
and behaviour of a file for characteristics commonly
found in malware.
DNAScan doesn't scan your entire hard drive, limiting
itself to those areas most likely to harbour malware.
This makes scanning very fast, just a couple of minutes
on my computer.
DNAScan does have a couple of downsides, it doesn't cure
any problems it finds and there is no mention of exactly
which areas of the computer it is checking.
However the small download and fast scan, makes it far
more useful for a quick check, than any of the other
Note: You want the second scanner on the
page, Quick DNAScan, not Quick Heal Online Scan, which is
a normal online scanner.
Explorer to run and installs an ActiveX.
online Flash game -- Fly Hard.
The Earth is under threat from an approaching comet (although
it looks like a meteor to me) and you must build a space
rocket to intercept and destroy it.
You begin with a very basic rocket, which struggles to
get off the launch pad. But you can earn money to upgrade
your rocket, by collecting crystals, achieving altitude
and speed goals and bumping helicopters, planes,
satellites and flying saucers.
The game starts rather slowly and
will only suit those players with a modicum of patience.
But after day three things start to get more interesting.
Your success is measured by how many days you take to
save the Earth, I managed after several attempts, to do
it in four days.
The game is a mixture of luck and skill, if you don't get
enough fuel and speed powerups, you wont get very far.
And a poor choice of upgrades will also impair your
rockets performance. Careful throttle control is
essential, particularly when using the more powerful
stages, it wastes fuel to keep burning when close to full
As well as saving the Earth, there is a survival mode,
where you start with a fully equipped rocket and travel
as far as possible. There is an online score feature, but
some of the ridiculously high scores are obviously cheats.
The best I managed was 58,228.
An entertaining game, if you don't mind the slow start. I
particularly liked using the spring launch pads.
will need Flash enabled in your browser and loading time
is approx 23 minutes on a 56K connection.
actress makes her own film
Born Of Hope
I thought this was rather interesting. Thirtyone year old
Kate Madison enjoyed the Lord Of The Rings films so much,
that she decided to make her own.
The film cost just £25,000 to make, with everyone
working for free. The sets and costumes look just like
the original films and what I saw of the film seemed very
well made (I didn't watch it all, as I'm not a big
Just shows what you can do with lots of determination.
Note: By default the film starts in HD,
adjust in the settings (bottom right), unless you have a
super fast BB connection.
online Flash game -- One Button Bob.
Your task is to help
Bob reach the treasure, by avoiding pits, bombs, spikes
etc and the boss at the very end.
The game has a nice and simple
control system (I hate lots of buttons), just the left
The only problem is, you don't know what Bob will do when
you press the mouse button. He may stop, run, jump or
throw his boomerang. And you cant waste too many clicks
finding out, as your score is the number of clicks you
make, the less, the better.
The game is quite fast, as Bob darts from level to level
and I found timing some of the jumps particularly tricky.
My best score was 271 and I got a silver award, which
unlocks some goodies on the web site.
will need Flash enabled in your browser and loading time
is approx twelve minutes on a 56K connection.
The game loads an advert before the game plays.
Web site link -- The Straight Dope.
A web site that attempts to answer questions that may, or
may not have puzzled you. Such as "Could you be
frozen solid, then broken into a million pieces?",
or the somewhat ambitious "Could we move Mars or
Venus into Earth's orbit and live there? "
The questions are answered in depth and seem to be
researched very thoroughly. You can even ask your own
utility -- Sumatra PDF reader.
Sumatra PDF is a fast and compact alternative to Adobe
Reader. Weighing in at a trim 1.2Mb it can be either
installed, or if you download the zip file, run as a
portable app. The online help file shows how to set the
installer version as the default PDF file viewer, so
files open in Sumatra if clicked on.
PDF files are displayed almost instantly and when
scrolling appear smoother than with Adobe.
Printing works, but does take a long while to start, so
if you regulary print PDF documents, Sumatra may not be
the best choice.
I have been using Sumatra for a while and have been
impressed with its speed and page rendering. It has
displayed all the PDF files that I have tried, with no
Free (open source) -- Download 1.2Mb -- Win 7, Vista, XP,
game -- Red Ace Squadron Pro
I normally stick to freeware games and utilities for my
reviews, but I greatly enjoyed Red Ace and the demo has
quite a lot of missions, so I decided to make an
Red Ace is an WW1 arcade type
flying game, rather than a simulator. So is easy to learn,
using just two buttons and the mouse. There are three
training missions and ten full missions that follow a
simple story line, five as the Allies and five as the
Once you complete all ten missions, you can play the
master mode, which is the same missions, but with more
enemy fighters and anti-aircraft guns.
The graphics are definitely not cutting edge, but they do
the job and look quite nice (imop). As my computer is
well above the graphics requirements, I did try setting
the graphics detail higher. But for some reason this made
the plane much harder to control, so I stuck with the
There does seem to be a slight problem with the menu
screens. My mouse pointer was very jerky, which made
selection a bit tricky, but that may be an issue with my
The sound effects are reasonable, with some engine noises,
firing and crashing effects. The background music is
stirring military music.
I managed to complete all ten missions on the easy
setting (enemy planes can take more damage and go faster
on harder settings) and most of the master mode missions.
The variety of missions kept the game interesting and the
dog fights were the best I have played, with the enemy
planes moving more naturally, rather than just going in
circles after your tail, as is often the case in flying
A thoroughly enjoyable demo, I was even tempted to buy
the full game but managed to restrain myself. Should you
succumb, the full version has 14 more missions and a
multiplayer online mode, which I would love to try.
Demo -- Download size 16.1Mb -- Price $19.99 -- Windows
95b / 98 / ME / 2000 / XP
p.s. I have finally completed all the
Master Mode levels, apart from the last German level,
where an British fighter ace, with flames painted on his
wings, shoots me out of the sky every time .
I found that with a bit of practice, it is possible to
amuse myself, by flying through the caves.
security protection the answer?
Beta test of Norton 360 v3.0
17 Jan 09
Please note: this is beta software, so
is less reliable than the finished product.
I was given the chance to beta test the next version of
Norton 360, an all in one security system. Being
penniless, I'm usually restricted to testing freeware, so
I leapt at the chance.
Norton 360 strives to cover all aspects of your computers
security. It incorporates antivirus, antispyware,
antiphising, firewall, secure online storage, drive
cleaning and maintenance tools and the option of antispam
and parental controls.
Installation was straightforward
and mostly automated, with no options. A fairly large
antiphishing toolbar was added to Internet Explorer, to
help you surf safely, but this can be turned off by right
clicking on it.
The main interface is divided into four sections:
PC security, handles virus scans and the firewall.
Identity Protection, guards against identity theft and
checks the safety of some web sites.
Backup, performs automated (or manual) backups to hard
drive, disc, or online.
PC Tuneup, cleans temporary files etc and defragments the
You may have noticed the label CPU Usage, at the bottom
of the window. This opens a window that shows the recent
history of Nortons CPU and memory usage. Obviously Norton
are proud that the software is no longer a resource hog
and didn't impact on even my modest computers performance
(apart from when the beta software threw the odd wobbly).
The default set up is quite good, with most features
fully automated, which would appeal to those users, who
want a fit and forget system.
If however, you like to delve around in the workings of
the software and set it up, to suit yourself, then it's
not so good. When moving beyond the main window, lots of
the settings are tricky to find and most features open in
separate windows, which is messy and annoying.
I liked the antivirus scanner, which is superior to most
of the freeware antivirus software I have tried,
producing no false positives, although it did delete
three programs without asking. They were a password
revealer and two joke programs, so it is acceptable to
class them as a mild risk, but Norton should ask before
deleting (restored with no problems) items.
The identity theft features I didn't really try, as the
web site checker doesn't work with Opera and although the
identity safe offered to store a couple of passwords, I
prefer to store them in my head.
The backup feature was rather buggy (which is why I have
disabled it) on this beta version and tended to slow my
computer to a crawl. But I did manage to backup and
restore a few MB, to the free online space.
The PC tune up feature cleans your computer of temporary
files, internet files and history etc. It can also clean
the registry and there is a useful startup manager. The
defragmenter appears to use Windows own system and caused
a massive crash the first time I used it, although
subsequent attempts were successful.
The firewall seems to be good at blocking incoming
traffic, but in my tests appeared to let all outgoing
I prefer Zonealarm, which queries anything unusual and
shows its internet activity icon in the system tray.
While testing I ran a program called Scoundrel Simulator,
which simulates the actions of a possible threat, writing
to the start up section of the registry, changing your
homepage, etc. Norton let it perform all five actions
without a peep, which was a bit worrying.
In conclusion, I liked some of the Norton 360 features,
the antivirus scanner and PC tuneup tools were good. But
I didn't really trust the firewall, I didn't like the
interface much and the software does tend to make a lot
of decisions for you, not something I'm very keen on.
Personally I wouldn't buy it. But if you want an all in
one solution to your PC security and prefer it to quietly
look after your computer, without asking any confusing
questions, then it would be a good choice.
Price $79.99 -- Down load size 71MB -- Windows XP, Vista.
Freeware puzzle game -- Rubokube
Rubokube combines the colours of Rubiks cube, with the
grid pattern of Sudoku, to produce a game that's simple
to play, but hard to complete.
To complete the puzzle, just rearrange all the coloured
blocks into 3*3 blocks of the same colour.
Move a block, by clicking on it and
then using the arrow keys to move the entire row. As you
can see from the picture I've already completed two
colours and proceeded to finish the game less than a
If you enjoy Rubiks cube, this should be entertaining. If
like me, you enjoy Sudoku, it will probably drive you mad.
Freeware - Download size 4.35MB - Win ME, XP, 2000,
Note: If you find optical effects disturbing
please skip past the next image.
This effect works really well, just blink, or move your
head to the left, or right, to alter the rotation of the
Free online Flash game -- Super Stacker.
In this simple, but entertaining game, you must stack a
variety of squares, triangles and circles. You can stack
them however you like, but the stack must be stable for
ten seconds, to complete the level.
twelve levels, with some quite tricky ones toward the end.
The time you take for all the levels produces your score,
which you can submit online. I took about ten minutes and
was ranked about 440th
Note: You will need Flash enabled in
your browser and loading time is approx nine minutes on a
The game loads a thirty second advert before the game
begins to load (you need to click play at the bottom of
the advert, twice).
through the eyes of those who lived it.
Eyewitness to History.com
History made interesting. Rather than a dry description
of events, this site provides eyewitness accounts of
important historical events.
The site covers ancient times, up to the mid 1970s. As
well as text reports, there are a few videos and some
voice recordings (the voice recordings require Real
A very interesting site, I'm still working my way through
Sentry, one of the new generation of antivirus software.
Drive Sentry v126.96.36.199 -- free for home users.
Drive Sentry is one of a new generation of antivirus
programs, using not only virus signatures to protect your
computer, but also a community based whitelist of trusted
software and HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System),
which monitors the behavior of programs and intervenes if
the code appears to be performing suspicious, or
Drive Sentry is a pretty hefty download, at 42MB and the
installed size is 260MB!! (look in documents and settings
-- all users -- application data -- drivesentry)
After installation, Drive Sentry updates its definitions,
or synchronizes its data base, if you want to be geeky.
The update took quite a while on broadband, so I would
imagine that Drive Sentry would not be practical on
For the first 30 days Drive Sentry will update using
"trickle feed" technology, which updates in the
background, after that it switches to manual updates,
although you can upgrade for a fee.
Drive Sentry runs in
the background displaying an icon in the system tray.
Right clicking the icon gives a menu, or double clicking
opens the main window.
Drive Sentry monitors your computer while you work and
displays a popup if a new program is run, or if a program
tries to perform a possibly virus like activity, such as
writing to the registry. You then have the option of
allowing, or blocking the activity, rather like setting
the rules for a firewall.
You can perform a virus scan of your computer, with the
options of a full, quick, or custom scan. Suspected
infected files are quarantined, rather than deleted,
which is just as well, as it quarantined seven files on
my computer, but only one was a threat (the Eicar test
virus). So treat scanning results with caution.
Drive Sentry did have a few problems. The interface is a
bit buggy, never displaying the righthand side of the
window correctly. I thought this could be because my
monitor runs at 800*600, but altering the resolution made
There was also a problem with the use of system resources.
Most of the time Drive Sentry would use 10 to 15MB of
memory, but sometimes this would jump to 150MB and it
would be using 90% of the CPU, slowing my computer to a
crawl, with the only cure being a computer restart.
Overall, Drive Sentry has some good ideas, I particularly
like the system of granting program permissions. But it
needs some more development and the system resources
problem makes it too unreliable for everyday use (IMOP)
and I wont be keeping it on my computer.
Free for home use -- Download size 42MB -- Win 2000, 2003,
Drive Sentry proved tricky, it just didn't want to go,
lol. It caused Windows to crash very badly and I
eventually had to use safe mode to remove it.
I always create a image of my drive before testing this
type of software, so it wasn't a great problem, I just
reloaded the image to repair Windows. But I would not
advise trying Drive Sentry, unless you take similar
perplexed, confused, I am????????
This picture puzzle was sent to me by Jan.
The picture rearranges itself every ten seconds, or so.
Count the men and wait!
Count them again after the picture has changed.
The number of men has changed, where does the extra man
come from, or go to?
I've watched this for
ages, I even took the picture apart in my editor, but I
still cant figure it out. If you know the answer drop me
game -- Command & Conquer Red Alert*.
To promote the imminent release of C&C Red Alert 3,
Electronic Arts are giving the original version of Red
Alert away for free.
I haven't actually played the original version yet, but I
am a big fan of Red Alert 2 and C&C Generals.
From the few images I was able to
find, the original version looks quite similar to version
2, if not quite as polished in the graphics department.
So it should be a good strategy game and will run on a
low specification computer.
The download is rather big, at two 500MB disc images, but
depending on your browser, you can pause the download, to
spread the load on your bandwidth over several days (which
is what I'm doing, broadband is great).
Red Alert will run on Windows 95/98/Me/XP and possibly
Vista. The web site has tips for getting Red Alert to run
on XP and Vista.
Additional note: I have now tried Red
Alert. It's showing its age rather, but is still playable,
although I did have to fiddle with the control options,
as my computer was too fast (never thought I would say
Red Alert 2 and C&C Generals are much better games
and not very expensive nowadays.
online Flash game -- Totem Destroyer.
Totem Destroyer (surely that should be Totem Saver) is a
skill/puzzle game. Your task is to remove the specified
number of blocks, without allowing the totem (the gold
idol) to touch the floor, or fall from a great height.
The game has twentyfive levels of increasing difficulty.
Your progress through the game is saved and you can
return to any level you have unlocked.
There are three types
of blocks, normal, slippery and indestructible. Only the
first two types can be removed, by clicking on them.
The game is entertaining and moderately difficult, with
some levels requiring several attempts, a little puzzling,
some quick clicking and a dash of luck.
Note: You will need Flash enabled in
your browser and loading time is approx ten minutes on a
edition -- Easeus Partition Manager personal v1.6.4
It can be very useful to partition a large hard drive, if
only to reduce the amount of time required by your
antivirus software, to scan everything on your hard drive.
For example I store about 17GB of software, music,
pictures etc. But because I have my drive split into
three partitions, my antivirus only needs to scan my 8.5GB
"C" Windows drive, which is naturally much
faster than scanning the entire 25.5GB of data.
There are other benefits, creating a image of the "C"
drive is quicker and uses less strorage, defragmenting
can be quicker and stored data is safer, if Windows
throws a wobbly.
Easeus Partition Manager is a very good free partition
manager. Amongst other features, it enables you to create,
delete, resize, move and format partitions.
I successfully reduced
the size of partition "E", created a new
logical partition "F", formatted to Fat32. Then
deleted "F" and added the unallocated space
back onto "E".
The software is very easy to use and experienced
partitioners will hardly need the very good help file.
Easeus, reboots the computer to apply changes and then
Windows insists on rebooting every time as well, which
gets a little wearing, but everything does progress
Only Fat and NTFS file systems are recognized, Linux
formats are ignored, but this isn't a great problem, as
most Linux distros come with their own partitioning
A useful feature is the ability to password protect
Easeus, which prevents anyone you share the computer with,
from fiddling with the partitions.
There is also the option to create a bootable floppy, or
CD, which contains a basic version of the partition
Easeus Partition Manager is very good and easily a match
for Acronis Partition manager, which I usually use. It
doesn't have all the features of the open source software
GParted, but it is a much smaller download and its easy
to use interface and useful range of features, make it a
winner in my opinion.
Free -- Download size 4.53MB -- Win 2000 Pro SP4, XP
Like all partitioning software, this program can
damage your computer if used incorrectly, do not use it
unless you know what you are doing and have taken
sensible precautions. I take no responsibility for any
damage you may do to your computer.
site -- Fred Langa: What comes next?
Some readers might remember Fred Langas excellent
computer help and advice column, the Langalist.
Sadly, some time ago Fred Langa merged the Langlist with Windows Secrets,
(which isn't a patch on the Langalist) and then seemed to
Well I was looking at Windows Secrets the other day and
decided to Google for Fred Langa, as I thought he might
have restarted the Langalist. He hasn't, but he has got
an interesting new blog, covering lots of subjects and
with the odd article about computers.
You can find it here: http://fredlanga.blogspot.com/
game -- Vibrant.
Vibrant is a puzzle platformer. To escape the world of
Vibrant, you must guide your character (a block with legs)
through fifteen varied levels.
I'm not going to
describe much of the game features, as it would spoil the
game. But the levels are quite logical (even if they don't
initially seem to be) and clues are often given in the
To complete each level, you must touch the purple star,
if there is more than one purple star, you need to touch
the correct one.
Vibrant lacks any presentation, or help file, but it is a
bit different and kept me entertained for ten minutes.
Freeware -- Download size 5.6MB -- Win ME, XP, 2000,
game -- Rox v1.4
Rox is a primarily a puzzle game, but does require speed
and dexterity on some levels.
You control a toothy character called Thresher, who
munches his way through levels, looking for unids, once
he has collected all the unids, he can exit the level via
Along the way Thresher has to negotiate falling rocks,
explosives, spider like creatures and annoying gnats.
There are also one way conduits, switches, keys and a
Thresher does get some help, with a selection of powerups,
invulnerability (my favorite), freeze, missiles and
The graphics are
pretty good, with some nice animations and effects,
although I did find everything a bit on the dark side for
my taste and found myself getting closer and closer to
the screen (getting old).
The background music tracks (4 included, more on the web
site) are quite catchy and there is the option to set the
There are 69 levels in the standard game and there are
hundreds of fan made levels available on the web site,
simply unzip the level file and drop the .clvl file into
the levels folder, then select your new levels using the
"collection" option in the menu.
An easy to use level editor is included with the game, if
you are inspired to try your hand at creating your own
It takes a while to learn all the features of Rox. But
once you have mastered useful techniques, such as
pressing space and an arrow key to eat a nearby object
without moving, the game becomes very interesting.
There is an excellent help file, which is accessible in-game,
by pressing F1.
Rox is a very polished and entertaining (if somewhat
frustrating) game and with the addition of fan levels
will provide days, weeks (months, years!) of fun.
Freeware -- Download size 11.1MB -- Win 98, ME, 2000, XP.
burning software -- Romeo Lite v188.8.131.52
Romeo Lite is a (very) cut down version of the full Romeo
burning sofware and can only produce data discs. The main
interface is very simple, just drag and drop files, or
folders to the window. Or you can use the file selection
After you have made
your selection, use the burn button to open the burning
window, where you can choose whether to make your disc
multi-session, or add to a previous session. You have the
option to erase (quick, or full) rewritable discs, before
I liked Romeo Lite, it's quick and fuss free and
maintains the folder structure on burned discs.
There is a downloadable help file for the full program on
the authors web site, which gives information on the data
burning options, but the mouse over hints should provide
enough help for most people.
If like me, almost all your burning is data discs, you
might find Romeo Lite to be a good choice.
Note: A command line version is also
included, for those people who like that sort of thing.
Free -- Download size 2.61MB -- Win 2000, XP, Vista
Note: You will find the Lite version in
the downloads section
burning software -- ImgBurn v2.4.1.
ImgBurn, as the name suggests, is focused primarily on
creating, reading and burning image files (ISO, BIN etc).
But it can also burn data discs, audio CDs (from a wide
variety of file formats) and DVD video discs.
The initial interface, with just six options is very
simple, but this hides a plethora of options and settings,
which appear on the secondary interfaces.
To reduce image file size, this is a simplified graphical
representation of the program window.
ImgBurn isn't the easiest burner to use and it doesn't
follow the standard layout of most burning software. But
it is remarkably powerful for its size and offers a lot
of control for keen burners.
There is no built in help file, but there is an online
help forum with comprehensive guides, describing the
various burning features and after some study, I had no
problems performing basic data and audio burns.
However, ImgBurn does not appear to support multi-session
data discs, which limits its appeal for me (I may be
mistaken, but I eventually got fed up of wading through
the reams of information on the forum) and creating audio
discs is a convoluted process.
Overall, ImgBurn is an impressively featured burner, when
working with image files and advanced users will
appreciate the control it gives you.
But for burning standard data and audio discs, there are
simpler and better choices of freeware.
Free - Download size 1.8MB - Win 95, 98, Me, NT4, 2000,
XP, 2003, Vista
game -- Block Manoeuvers v2.0
Block Manoeuvers is a puzzle game. Your task is to
complete all fifty levels by collecting the strawberries
(if there are any) and reaching the exit.
To accomplish this task, you can push blocks and boulders
out of the way and use them to bridge water, or as
numbered keys in later levels. There are also pop up
walls, rolling balls of flame and flamethrowers.
29 completed, that was a lot of block pushing.
The graphics are very
basic and a bit too small for my tastes, but they do the
job. Sound effects are minimal, which is sensible with a
puzzle game and the background music tracks are quite
good (you get more tracks, as you progress through the
The help file is very basic, but there are additional
comments as new objects are introduced. Your progress is
auto saved and you can skip levels by pressing "S".
The games learning curve is perhaps a little too long and
the puzzles don't become taxing until around the
twentieth level (depends how good you are at puzzles).
But the later levels are varied and challenging and gave
the grey cells a good workout.
Freeware -- Download size 3.02MB -- Win 2000, XP, Vista
antimalware software -- Spybot Search & Destroy v1.5.2
I was updating the entry for AVG Anti-Spyware (formerly
Ewido), when I realised that I don't list Spybot S&D,
which is odd, because I have used it for years, so I
thought that I'd better give it a review.
Spybot S&D is one of the longest established anti-spyware
programs. It has two modes, default and advanced and I
would advise using advanced mode, as it has lots of
The main feature is a manual drive scanner which scans
for and (hopefully) fixes spyware problems. The results
window can be split in two, so that the right hand pane
shows additional information on any possible threats.
The immunize feature
adds potentially dangerous web sites, to the restricted
zone in Internet Explorer, preventing them from running
possibly malicious code, through IE. Known tracking
cookies are also blocked. Immunize also helps to protect
the Opera browser, from bad plugins and cookies.
Spybot has a good selection of tools, the most useful
being the Secure Shredder and System Startup, which lists
all the programs that start with Windows. System Startup
often gives a description of the program, but I would
advise double checking an item using Google, before
disabling or deleting it.
Spybot has some real time (resident) protection, in the
form of SDHelper for Internet Explorer, which blocks bad
downloads and TeaTimer which monitors the processes that
your computer runs and keeps a watch over some sections
of the registry.
I use SDHelper, but not TeaTimer, as RegProt protects my
registry and I'm not convinced that continuously
monitoring running processes for spyware is necessary (depends
how paranoid you are ).
Updating is straightforward and you can select which
items you wish to download. Note that if you update the
immunize database, you have to manually immunize again,
never really understood why it isn't automatic.
Spybot used to have a problem with updates failing, but
since its recent major overhaul, it seems to be better
and I've had no recent problems. If the update does fail,
just select a different update location and try again.
Spybot is my favorite antispyware software and the only
antispyware application that I always keep on my computer.
Its reliability, reasonably accurate detections, useful
selection of tools and comprehensive help file, combine
to make it an excellent program.
Freeware -- Win 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista.
Note: Spybot also has an "easter
egg" (a good one for a change), you can read about
it here: misc.htm
game -- Icarus Flight.
Icarus Flight is based on the story of Icarus, who flew
too close to the sun, melted his wings and died. In this
3D game, you zoom around the sky collecting feathers and
points, while avoiding birds, typhoons and water spouts.
Also, true to the story of Icarus, you mustn't get too
close to the sun, or your wings will melt.
You stay aloft by
flapping your wings, using the mouse button, but your
finger doesn't get tired, as you only have a very limited
amount of flaps. You can replenish your flapping reserve,
by collecting feathers.
You can also fly through speed rings, to give yourself a
boost, but be careful, as it's easy to boost yourself
either into the sea, or too near the sun.
The 3D graphics are pretty good by Game Maker standards
and there are some nice sound effects.
The menu system is excellent, with a good help file. Note,
F4 switches between running the game full screen, or in a
At first I wasn't very impressed by Icarus Flight, as it
takes a while to get used to the controls and the 3D
perspective is a little tricky. But after a while, I
found that I was soaring around the sky collecting
feathers and points and was quite pleased with myself
when I managed to score 830 points.
So I went online and submitted it to the online score, I
then saw that Gullesnuffs had the top score of 4696!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well, I thought I was doing well.
Freeware -- Download size 4.33MB -- Win 2000, XP, Vista
Note: Does not require installing, just
unzip and play.
Advisor -- IE, Safari, Flock, Opera and Firefox: tested
PC Advisor, the web site of the popular computing
magazine, has an interesting article on site, detailing
the pros and cons of the latest browser versions.
It focuses primarily on IE, Safari and Firefox, although
Flock and my favorite, Opera, do get a mention.
game -- I Wanna Be The Guy.
After my review of The Worlds Hardest
Game, Ovrkllr suggested,
that for a very hard game, I try, I Wanna Be The Guy (IWBTG).
After a quick Google, I found the game site and
downloaded the demo version, as the full version is a
whopping 68MB! and the author doubted that I would get
past the first few screens anyway.
IWBTG is a very unforgiving platform game, where your
character, resplendent in a red cape, must avoid a
variety of deadly (and very quick!) obstacles.
This is as far
as I got.
I was mown down by
spikes in the first few seconds and then died numerous
times, trying to complete the first section of the game,
before giving up in disgust (the computer nearly went
through the window).
The game doesn't come with a help file, so you might want
to save the web site pages. Note that you can alter the
game difficulty when you choose a game save slot.
IWBTG is so difficult, that I doubt many people will
enjoy it. But highly skilled gameplayers that sail
through normal games, should enjoy the challenge.
Freeware -- Download size, demo 15.5MB, full 68MB -- No
spec given, tested on XP.
Game suggested by Ovrkllr:
Comment: "TWHG isn't even close
to the hardest. I Wanna Be The Guy is definitely harder".
online Flash game -- The Worlds Hardest Game.
The Worlds Hardest Game is quite a title to live up to.
But TWHG is certainly in the top ten for difficuly.
It is a very playable game and the thirty levels are
possible, they just require speed, timing, coordination
and sometimes some thought.
The object of the game
is simple, using the arrow keys, move the red block to
each green area, collecting any yellow dots and avoiding
the moving blue dots. The less times you die, the better
your score (which can be recorded online).
The difficulty, is that space between obstacles is often
very tight and your red block doesn't move very fast.
Your progress through the game isn't saved, so you would
need to complete the game in one sitting, which is a pain.
But apart from that, it's a playable, if very frustrating
Note: You will need Flash enabled in
your browser and loading time is approximately 3 minutes
on a 56K connection.
Note: You will find
more freeware game and utility reviews in the Freeware section of my site.
Rob Goldfish Web Site