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Posted on Dec 10, 2008 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter, Issue #019 –, – 5 great games for Christmas!


Seasons greetings! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially on the television where you simply can’t escape all the festive commercials/adverts. If you still have some Christmas shopping to do, we have a few suggestions for some perfect stocking fillers for the videogame fanatic in your life.

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In this months issue:-

1) What’s New at
2) Five Games for Christmas That Won’t Ruin Your New Year
3) Tip of the Month – Not Backing up Your Data Yet? It’s Time to Start!
4) Free Utility of the Month – Firefox Showcase
5) The New Top Windows Tutorials Experience!

What’s New at

Most of our time this month was taken up with bringing you the new experience, but more on that later. We still found time in our busy schedule to bring you a Stardock Impulse installation guide and tour and a Stardock MyColors installation guide and tour. Impulse is the best way to buy software digitally across the internet and MyColors can transform your drab Windows desktop into something spectacular, so be sure to check out those guides.

Five Games for Christmas That Won’t Ruin Your New Year

Many of our readers were shocked with the article we published in our last newsletter, “Are you Buying Computer Games This Christmas or Just Renting Them?”. If you missed the last newsletter, we revealed how new anti-piracy measures (known as digital rights management or DRM) are limiting the number of times some games can be installed. Once you reach your limit, you won’t be able to install your game again, without contacting customer support and convincing them you are the legitimate owner.

Unfortunately, we’ve found that this is only the tip of the iceberg. SecuROM, the technology behind this consumer unfriendly new anti-piracy drive has proven to be buggy, unreliable and if some reports are to be believed, potentially damaging to your computer! In our own lab tests we were unable to recreate any permanent hardware damage to our machines due to SecuROM, we were however able to find two SecuROM games which conflicted with each other, rendering them both unplayable. Because of this and other evidence available on the web, we recommend all our readers avoid SecuROM and Starforce protected games wherever possible.

So, which games can you buy, without worrying about causing software problems on your PC? Luckily, there are still several excellent PC games available that won’t mess up your system. We’ve chosen five of the best here:-

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead (L4D) is a new action title from Valve, creators of the popular Counter-Strike and Half-Life games, that promises to re-define the co-operative genre as those titles did for multiplayer and single player action games.

The co-operative gameplay of L4D casts four “Survivors” in an epic struggle against hordes of swarming zombies and terrifying “Boss Infected” mutants. The Survivor Co-op Game Mode is played out across four sprawling campaigns, set in urban and rural environments. Each campaign has an over-riding team objective, and is comprised of five large maps. The campaigns link together to tell the story of the Survivor’s escape to safety. The team of four Survivors may be comprised of 1 to 4 human players, allowing for single player and multiplayer co-op games.

Definitely not one for the children, this exciting zombie fest is out now!

Does it include any DRM?

The game requires an on-line activation. You are not limited to how many times you can install it. Left 4 Dead uses the Steam service which is not known to have any negative effects on your PC or other software installed on your PC. The game is also available as a digital download.


Multiwinia is the sequel to the cult-hit “Darwinia”. The Darwinians are small, artificial life-forms trapped inside a computer. Set in the world of Darwinia, Multiwinia combines the unique retro-visual look of Darwinia and mixes it with six hugely entertaining, action-filled, multiplayer game modes.

Does it include any DRM?

No, Multiwinia is a DRM-free game.

Sins of a Solar Empire

A real time space strategy game on an epic scale. Assume ultimate control over one of three galactic powers; an ancient alien civilisation running from the terror of their own creation, a loose coalition of traders forced to annex their own people or an exiled empire of powerful psionics bent on revenge.

Does it include any DRM?

This best-selling PC game is free of DRM. A simple check is done when the player goes on-line to obtain updates, that is all. The game is available from retailers or as a digital download through Impulse.

Unreal Tournament 3

The definitive multi player ‘deathmatch’ first person shooter returns in this latest stunning sequel. Compete with players all around the world in exciting, intense and frantic matches with a huge variety of weapons and vehicles at your disposal.

Does it include any DRM?

As far as we can tell, Unreal Tournament 3 does not include any destructive or potentially problematic DRM. A serial number is required during installation which is validated when the player goes on-line to compete. The game is available from retailers or as a digital download through Impulse.

World of Goo

World of Goo is a multiple award winning physics based puzzle / construction game that is suitable for all ages. Drag and drop living, squirming, talking, globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins and giant tongues. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo are curious and eager to explore – but they don’t know that they are in a game, or that certain creatures find them extremely delicious!

Does it include any DRM?

No, World of Goo is a DRM free game. Currently the game is available only as a digital download, you can download it through Impulse.

So, as you can see, avoiding dangerous and unfriendly DRM is not difficult! There are plenty of great games that you can buy now and enjoy for many years to come. wishes you happy gaming this Christmas!

Tip of the Month – Not backing up your data yet? It’s time to start!

Frequently, our PC workbench at Top-Windows-Tutorials/ACEL Systems acquires a PC with a faulty hard drive. The first question we ask the unfortunate customer is “do you have your files backed up?” Sadly, the answer is all to often “No!”. Hard drives are mechanical and will always fail after time, if they continue to be used. Most drives last around five years, but if they fail before that time, while you might get a warranty replacement drive, chances are you won’t be able to recover your data. Stop putting it off and plan your backup strategy now. See this page for more information.

Free Utility of the Month – Firefox Showcase

How did we manage without tabs on our browsers? It is so much more convenient to open a new tab than open a new browser window. When shopping at Christmas, browser tabs are fantastic for comparing prices across multiple on-line retailers.

Then again, as you get more and more used to using them, don’t you find that your opening just a little too many? This is where Showcase can help. Install it into Firefox and with a click of a button, showcase will show you a thumbnail of all your open tabs, letting you quickly and easily select the one you want. An essential add-on for the busy power-surfer! You can download the showcase add-on (for Firefox only) here.

The New Top Windows Tutorials Experience!

We couldn’t let the newsletter be published without at least mentioning our new look website. On the 27th of November 2008 we officially launched our new look site. We’re sure most of you have already had a look at the new layout. Improvements to the site include:-

A 3 column fluid with layout designed by a professional html/css programmer. The new design is able to take advantage of all monitor sizes, though we still recommend at least a 1024×768 resolution for watching our video content.

An improved navbar, with separate categories for each different section of our site, making it much easier to find what you want.

Improved Google search facility, making it even easier to find content.

Better HTML standards compliance on our pages, meaning pages render more quickly and accurately no matter which browser you choose to use.

We’re continuing to improve things behind the scenes, including tweaking all our pages for our new wider, fluid layout and of course we’ll continue to add new content. We also hope to launch our site forums in the new year (yes we did promise them for this year, sorry!), so there’s still plenty to look forward to!

That’s all for another month, nay, another year! We hope that you enjoyed our newsletter, if you didn’t then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy! Until next month, keep checking and from myself and all the staff here, thanks for supporting us in 2008 and we wish you a happy, safe and fun Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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