Sunday, September 26, 2004

How would I go about uncapping my cable modem?

Sunday, September 26, 2004 0
You can't. Give up now; you're wasting your time! Data transfer restrictions are imposed on your ISP's side of operations, not yours, so there is absolutely nothing you can do to bypass such measures. Even if this were possible they'd likely be alerted to your misdemeanor and terminate your account. For more information refer to this Speed Guide article.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

How do I play the movie clips I find online?

Sunday, September 19, 2004 0

Because the Real Media format (files with an .rm or .ram extension) offers such a favourable compression ratio you will find that the majority of web movie clips are encoded in this way. To play them I'd recommend using the alternative Real Player rather than the official, bloated, spamware tool.

One thing you should know before jumping in with both feet is that the quality of the Real Media format is nowhere near as good as most of the competing formats or your TV. It is this diminution of quality that enables the files to be so small, and therefore convenient to download. The same files encoded using the mpg or avi codec could be up to ten times the size, so at least this is some consolation.

Pay close attention to the file sizes of these clips before downloading them. If they are very small you can expect the video to be played back in a microscopic window (at a 'low resolution' if you want to get technical). Often these will be completely unwatchable so are best avoided.

In my experience I've found that an acceptable file size/resolution trade off comes at about 200 megabytes per hour of video. In this scenario, the video would still be played back in quite a small window, but could be expanded without reducing the picture quality too significantly.

Only attempt to 'stream' (watch as you download) large movie clips if you have a fast internet connection - 56k just won't cut it. Dial-up users should instead download the whole thing first and watch it later. In any case, this will ensure your viewing pleasure isn't interrupted due to server congestion or downtime etc, and also you get to keep the file forever so you can watch it as many times as you like.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

How do I fix my corrupt DivX movie?

Sunday, September 05, 2004 0

One option you have is to use a tiny, freeware utility known as Div Fix. This is designed to enable you to watch partially downloaded DivX movie files, but will also allow you to correct the faulty index structure of complete movie files.

Using the program couldn't be any more simple: open the movie file you wish to correct using either the file menu or the 'add files' button and select 're-build index'.

To view an incomplete movie you would instead select the 'strip index' option and proceed to open it in your favourite movie playback tool. If you decide to continue downloading the movie you should re-build the index before resuming. This is very useful if you want to preview a movie file to check that it is what you expect it to be, or to see if the quality is up to par.

Always remember to keep a backup copy of the original file just in case anything goes wrong.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

How can I transfer Game Boy Advance ROMs from my PC to my GBA console?

Saturday, September 04, 2004 0

The usual disclaimer applies: this entry exists to help you play freeware, homebrew ROMs on your GBA, not commercial ones you've swiped from the net.

Software and a bit of old string won't cut the muster (it's not mustard - look it up!) I'm afraid - this is going to cost you real live money! I know, shocking, isn't it? What you need is a hardware kit consisting of two crucial components; the Flash Advance linker and the Flash Advance cartridge. The linker is a kind of external disk drive, a bit like a zip drive, and connects to your PC via either the parallel or USB port. The cartridges, which at the time of writing are available in four flavours determined by their capacity, these being 64mb, 128mb, 256mb and 512mb. Obviously the more megabytes you're packing, the more games you can squeeze onto a single cartridge - not that you'll need an endless supply of them as they can be reused as many times as you like. These cartridges fit snuggly inside the linker and data is written to them using the accompanying writer software. Having transferred your games to the cartridges, they can then be removed from the linker and played in your GBA console in much the same way as any other game cartridge, except for the fact that you select the game you want to play using the cartridge's built-in menu system.

Flash Advance kits can be purchased at a number of different outlets across the globe, though Lik Sang is probably the best known.

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