Northwest Herald from Woodstock, Illinois on November 29, 2004 · Page 16
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Northwest Herald from Woodstock, Illinois · Page 16

Woodstock, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, November 29, 2004
Page 16
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f NORTHWEST HERALD BusmesSoTech Business Editor: Kevin Polzin 815.459.4122 ext. 4509 Section Monday November 29, 2004 Networkings New Java version can fix problem Here are questions and answers to computer problems that crop up among users: Q: My laptop will no longer run Java applications. When I try to load one, I get a weird "Error 1101" message. A: The fix here is to change the soft- RobPegoraro ware on your computer that runs Java applications embedded in Web pages. Download and install a fresh copy of this "virtual machine" software from Sun Microsystems Inc's Web site at, and you should be free of this gUtch. You also will get more reliable Java software than the obsolete version developed by Microsoft Corp. for its Windows operating system, Q: How do I move my mail files from my old PC to a Mac? I've been using Eudora since 1993 or so. A: First, download the Mac OS X version of the Eudora e-mail program at and install it on the new computer. Then, go to www.eudora .comtechsupportkb 1644hq .html for instructions on how to move the address, mail and filter files from one computer to the next Once you have copied : those files to the Mac, launch the Eudora e-mail program and make sure that it reads them properly. If you want to switch to Apple Computer Inc's built-in Mail program on the Mac, I recommend downloading a free program called Eudora Mailbox Cleaner at homepage .mac.comaamannEudora Mailboxaeaner.htmi It will prep the old Eudora files you just brought over so Mail can open them without any glitches. I can attest that this free-bie did an exceptional job bringing over about a decade's worth of e-mail two years ago. Are you going in the other direction, from Mac to PC? The process is a lMe more complicated, but the directions on the Eudora World Wide Web site should see you through. Go to www .eudora.comtechsupport kb1333hq.html. Q: I would like to transfer my Oudook Express folders to a new computer. Where are these files? A: They are buried several layers deep in a folder normally hidden from view. If you transfer them on a recordable CD, they will be ' marked "read-only," and you will have to reset them. A somewhat simpler option is to go to Oudook Express' File menu and select "Export . j." to dump your messages and address books. Choose "Microsoft Exchange Address Book" and "Microsoft Outlook" as your export formats. Then, save your account settings. Go to the Tools menu, select Accounts, click the Mail tab and click the "Export ..."button. t Once all those files are on the new computer, open Oft and use the same commands to Import them. " Another option is a free . program called Outlook Express Freebie Backup, avail-able at , oebackup, This can save all of your . messages and settings and reload them on a new PC RobPegoraro writes Jbr The Washington Post Hist-., ' If rTrfA A tr J j KB M if a r. . u This is scene from the uHai14Jfe 2" video-game sequel that recently was released after Success breeds challenges for Half-Life 2' creator By MIKE MUSGROVE The Washington Post If the video-game industry is beginning to rake in revenue that rivals the movie industry, it also is beginning to accumulate Hollywood-like headaches. Both industries have to worry about attracting star talent, containing production costs, and stopping hackers who freely trade their products online. And there are the lawsuits. For a game designer, coming up with the flashy technology that will impress jaded fans is only part of the job. Take "Half-Life 2," a hotly anticipated computer game that recently hit store shelves. The title features the latest adventures of a character named Gordon Freeman, a scientist who is going to save the world from aliens with the help of a stack of cool weapons and a couple of friends. With a list price of $54.99, "Half-Life 2" is expected to sell millions of copies. The original "Half-Life" has sold 8 million copies since its 1998 release. But getting the fearless Freeman on retail shelves has been a bit of a slog. Hackers at one point stole the source code to the game, forcing delays. Development was slowed further by a fitful creative process as game designers tried to come up with a worthy sequel And there have been legal battles. And all the while, Valve Corp., the maker of "Half-Life," and its publisher have been entrenched in an ongoing legal battle over issues such as late payments and which party has the right to sell "Half-Life" to Internet cafes. The troubles largely are a reflection of how valuable the "Half-Life" franchise has become. The game was one of the original first-person shoot-'em-ups that incorporated a story line and created a game world that seemed more interactive than the settings in other shooter games. Players had to recruit in-game characters, such as scientists and security CRT monitors hold own against LCDs By MIKE MUSGROVE The Washington Post This was supposed to be the year that bulky cathode-ray tube monitors for desktop computers disappeared. " They were supposed to be replaced by the svelte and affordable liquid-crystal ' displays that have been catching on among personal computer buyers. But it turns out that CRTs are not going away without a fight This year, according to researcher IDC sales of LCD monitors have nudged past those of CRT ' displays - barely. LCDs nabbed 50.2 per cent of the market : The early predictions were that CRTs would get slaughtered this year, but that hasnt happened." said Bob O'DonnelL an analyst at IDC. which is part of International Data Group. O'Donnell blames bad pricing moves by manufacturers of the flat-panel dis t if I i A review of "Half-Life 2" appears in today's Style section. Pag 6D guards, to be successful, and not every problem could be solved with the blast of a virtual firearm. "People responded really well to even the small steps we took to integrate character and story into a game," Valve founder Gabe Newell said. "They liked the cinematic feel - the richer and more immersive experience." Newell had worked for Microsoft Corp. for more than a decade before leaving to start his own game company in 1996. To help create a story line that would draw players in, Newell hired a science-fiction novelist among his team of programmers. When "Half -Life" became a hit, its style quickly was copied by other game makers. This year, there are scores of games, such as "Halo 2," that feature top-notch story lines, professional acting talent, great music, and immersive worlds. Most owe some debt to Valve and "Half-Life." The imitators have, in turn, put pressure on Valve to top its own success, company officials said. When the original "Half-Life" game was released, the company employed 20. It now has 65 employees, all working on "Half-Life 2." Valve marketing executive Doug Lom-bardi said it took 100 people to create the new game, when voice actors are included. Valve is a privately owned company and officials would not comment on how much it cost to build "Half-Life 2." But blockbuster titles often cost in the neighborhood of $10 million to develop, partly because developers hire proven talent and employ more sophisticated technology. For example, "Half-Life 2" has Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Guillaume and Robert Culp lending their voices. The program plays, which also go into laptop computers and some TV sets. "Basically, the LCD guys got greedy and kicked their prices up, he said. "But itturns out people are more price-sensitive than the monitor guys were willing to admit Prices were on the way down last year, and electronics stores had a hard time keeping the displays in stock. But LCD prices surged early in 2004, slowing sales momentum. : And although LCD monitors are less expensive than they were a few years ago, there still is a wide price gap between the two display types. I 1 For example, a 19-inch CRT display typically costs $250. A similarly sized LCD costs about twice that much. That price gap can shrink if you factor in operating expenses. Many industry an atysts estimate that LCDs cost about the same as CRTs over time, thanks to lower Ptmc prowuMtf the developers overcame several obstacles. ming in the new game is advanced enough to let players rip rooms apart with a weapon called a "gravity gun" or see the expressions on the faces of characters in the game - advances that lead to more complex game scenarios and a more complex story. Newell has criticized an industry that regularly forces developers to push out games that do not seem quite finished in the interest of meeting a deadline. When Valve missed its initial release date and made no immediate explanation, it was not a complete shock to "Half-Life" fans. But then news leaked out that hackers somehow had installed a piece of malicious software onto Newell's work computer and had taken a copy of the in-de-velopment programming for "Half-Life 2." Weeks later, dealers at underground World Wide Web sites purported to sell unfinished but playable versions of the game. The FBI eventually made arrests in the case - and fans did their part "They completely rallied," Newell said "They tracked down the culprits, gave us logs of them talking about the crime, and sent us their identities and their Internetl addresses." Nevertheless, Valve missed dates and kept pushing the game's release back as designers kept working on their creation. At one point. Valve and publisher Vrvendi Universal Games Inc., which distributes the game to retail stores, even made conflicting comments about when the game would hit the market Their partnership has been the subject of multiple legal spats as the pair fought over the game's lucrative rights. To date, their disagreements have generated some 200 legal filings. Valve alleges that Sierra Entertainment Inc., a division ofVrvendi Universal Games -which itself is a unit of musk and utility giant Vivendi Universal SA- overstepped its bounds by selling "Half-Life" to Internet cafes. Valve said the publisher thereby was infringing on "Half-Life copyrights. electrical consumption. - But for many shoppers, sticker price comes first "In terms of demand, I think everyone would like to own an LCD," said Rick Schwartz, senior product manager at San Diego-based PC maker Gateway Inc. "But the trend right now is for really affordable PCs. You're not going to see a $499 PC with an LCD monitor. Some think no price difference is too . small to have an impact Tom Anderson, vice president of worldwide marketing for consumer PCs at Palo Alto, Calif. -based Hewlett-Packard Co., remembers a few years ago when HP sold both 14- and 15-inch CRTs. The price difference between them shrank, but as long as there was a difference, many customers went for the slightly lower-priced set with the smaller screen. "People bought that 14-inch for a long, long, long time. Anderson said. Web Watch LiveDeal keeps its focus local A locally focused World Wide Web marketplace called LiveDeal has made its official debut The site, at f wwwJivedeal V .com, offers j - mm rreeiorme t storefronts to sellers and the f ability to V'ii' list any thing for Les&t Walker saleor rentatno cost The site is one of many Internet ventures exploring new ways to make money from local commerce. LiveDeal has been in testing for much of the past year and appears to be gaining traction. It drew 516,000 visitors in October, according to ComScore Networks Inc. Part of the attraction is that LiveDeal charges nothing to list items and collects its 5 percent commission on completed sales only if sellers offer a "buy now" fixed price and bill via eBay Inc's PayPaL Sellers who list something and simply invite offers can negotiate directly with buyers and avoid fees. Aside from PayPal, peopje also can meet in person ana pay however they like. "We bring the best of Craigslist and eBay into one site," said Rajesh Navar, the founder and a former eBay engineer. Craigslist another site focused on local commerce, also offers free listings in many categories, including apartment rentals, job openings and services. But Craigslist at www. craigslist com, operates only in big cities; LiveDeal is available nationwide. LiveDeal also offers sophisticated listing and browsing tools resembling those of eBay, without the auction formats. Navar said LiveDeal is aimed partly at the market for big, bulky items that are expensive to ship. When a user provides a ZTP code, LiveDeal presents a highly localized view of items for sale. Yahoo! Inc., testing people's willingness to pay extra for fancier services, has launched a pricier version of its dating service last Yahoo Personal Premiere, at personals, yahoa com premierinfo. costs $35 a month instead of the $20 fee for its standard matchmaking service. In return, people can play Cupid based on results from two new online self-assessment tests. One assesses a persons personality, and the other looks at relationship styles. The tests are free for anyone to take. But starting in January, a premium subscription will be required to factor test results into . searches for potential mates. Speaking ofYahoo, users of its Web mail service are getting i second bump in their online storage. The Internet portal has begun upgrading its free mail service at to 250 megabytes of mail storage, up from 100 megabytes. Yahoos move is part of an escalating battle among Web mail providers to compete with search engine Google Inc., which is testing a new ; Web mail service called Gmail with a gigabyte of free storage. v Leslie Walker is an Internet columnist at The Washington Post Her e-mail address is walkerl&wash . postcom. m r ... .fi

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