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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Run HL2 on a MacBook with CrossOver
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

A forum post on the CodeWeavers website details how Freeverse Software's Justin D'Onofrio managed to load Half Life 2 on his MacBook (not Pro) using the CrossOver Mac beta. Although reverting to DirectX 7 was necessary, and a variety of glitches still occurred, the game was playable.

Anyway, just in case anyone else wanted to get things running on a MacBook, here's what to do:

1. Install Steam and install HL2 through it.

2. Set launch properties for HL2 to:

-console -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 70 -width 1280 -height 800 -novid +cl_drawmonitors 0 +r_shadowrendertotexture 0

(Depending on your amount of ram, you may want to cut down heap size to 256000. I'm running on 2GB RAM.)

3. In-game, you can set the following options for a good prettiness/framerate balance:

Models @ Medium
Textures @ Medium
Shaders @ Low
To read more about the process click on the links below.

CrossOver Mac Beta Forums: HL2 on a MacBook?

Macgamestore : Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday Digital Download
2:39 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday is now available as a digital download purchase from for $24.95.

As the German war machine falls, two great nations rise to claim power. In the West, there is the United States, leader of the allied nations, and in the East lies the Soviet Union under communist rule. As both nations attempt to claim superiority, a new war is waiting around the corner; this time, the conflict will decide who will be the remaining superpower.

Play as the ruler of one of 175 countries through World Wars II and III. As the Allies and the Soviet Union clash in Europe, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

• Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday includes the original game and improvements requested from the previous title’s worldwide audience.
• World War III – Decide the remaining superpower to claim domination in world politics and warfare.
• Expanded tech trees with considerable detail in a new decade of warfare, allowing you to develop tactical nukes and other kinds of nuclear warfare as well as escort carriers and much more.
• Improved Diplomatic/Intelligence System reflects the increased political tension of the 1950s.
• Significantly improved AI.
• Tradeable Weapons – Equip your allies with the latest technological advances or get other nations to surrender their secrets to you.

For more on Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday

Apple Posts New Hot Deals
2:36 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

PowerMax has deals on a variety of Mac compatible products including: Kensington RDS FM Transmitter/car charger for iPod for only $68.88!; IOGear MiniHub 7-Port USB 2.0 hub for only $28.88!; Xitel Audio Ground Loop Isolator for only $29.88!; Altec iM3C inMotion iPod Speaker System (Black) for only $109.88; Griffin Radioshark USB AM/FM Radio and timeshift recorder for only $47.88!; IRISPen Executive pen scanner for only $178.88; Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac w/one-touch controls for iTunes and iPhoto for only $78.88; Canon Powershot S2 IS 5-megapixel digital camera for only $319.88!; FrameForge 3D Studio 2 digital film studio for only $279.88!;  and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Ramjet has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on Mac compatible memory upgrades including: 2GB RAM Upgrade Kit (2x 1GB modules) for MacBook Pro for only $273.00!; 2GB RAM Upgrade Kit (2x 1GB modules) for the Intel-based iMac for only $273.00!; 512MB RAM module for the Mirror Drive Door PowerMac G4 for only $71.00!; 1GB RAM Upgrade Kit (2x 1GB modules) for the Intel-based Mac Mini for only $140.00!; 1GB DIMM module upgrade for the original iMac G5 for only $127.00!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Small Dog Electronics has deals on a variety of Mac compatible products including: Ultimate Ears 3 Studio Earphones- a Hot Deals Exclusive price of $89.00!; Miglia TVMicro USB TV tuner and DVR w/remote for a Hot Deals Exclusive $79.00!; Wacom Intuos3 6x11" USB Tablet w/pen and wireless mouse for a Hot Deals Exclusive $314.00!; LaCie 250GB Mini Hard Drive and USB Hub w/FireWire for a Hot Deals exclusive $159.00!; M-Audio Podcast Factory podcast recording kit for only $139.00!; BenQ FP92G+ 19" LCD Display (Black) for only $233.00!; Kingston Data Traveler 2 USB Flash Drive for only $49.00!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Click to enlarge
10.4.8 Speeds Up Games?
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Barefeats conducted some early testing on Mac OS 10.4.8 and discovered speed increases in Doom 3 due to multi-threaded OpenGL support in the game and newest Tiger release.

We tested some key apps just before and right after the 10.4.7 to 10.4.8 upgrade. Here's some interesting gains we saw:
DOOM 3: Low resolutions (640x480 High) ran 26% faster. We saw a 13% gains with 1024x768 Medium (no Shadows). Reason? Multi-threaded OpenGL is supported by Doom 3 in combination with the newest Tiger release. Doom 3 is currently the only app we know that takes advantage of this but don't be surprised to see patches for other OpenGL apps to appear shortly.
PHOTOSHOP CS2: Our MP2 action file ran 11% faster. We assume there are some improvements to Rosetta.
The tests were performed on a 17" MacBook Pro 2.16GHz. Barefeats plans to release an expanded report including other systems early next week.

Barefeats: Quick Takes
id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Click to enlarge
Bejeweled For iPod Reviewed
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Playlist magazine has posted a review of Bejeweled for iPod, one of the recently released games for the hand held multimedia device. Bejeweled is one of the more popular "match three" puzzle titles which awards points for the number of like colored jewels placed in a row. Playlist gave Bejeweled a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Maneuvering across the board and switching the position of gems is simple—you use the click wheel’s scrolling action to quickly move yourself across the board, with a reticle around the gem showing your position. Touching the click wheel up, down, left, or right will switch the gem you’re currently on with the one in that position.

This gives you the freedom to make moves without a lot of frustrating clickwheel motions. And while it’s easy to overshoot your target or make positioning mistakes when you first start playing, you adapt very quickly. One thing I’ve noticed that’s pretty consistent with all the iPod games I’ve tried—thumb fatigue. My hand starts to ache by about the fifth or sixth level, which makes Bejeweled’s “exit and save” feature particularly handy—it gives me time to rest my thumb for the next go.

To check out the entire review follow the links below.

Playlist: Bejeweled Review

Vortex For iPod Examined
9:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Pocket Gamer recently reviewed Vortex, one of several games available for Apple's iPod. The game challenges players to clear the screen of bricks using a paddle and ball. Pocket Gamer gave Vortex a score of 7 out of 10.

On paper, Vortex is yet another in the long line of Breakout clones. It's got a bat. It's got a ball. It's got bricks. And it's got a bunch of power-ups to help you through.

There's a saving grace, though. Instead of the traditional setup, where your bat is at the bottom of the screen and the bricks are at the top, this game is played in 360 degrees. Your bat zings around the outside of the screen, hitting the ball at the bricks that are arranged in circles in the middle. It's like looking down a tunnel – presumably the 'vortex' of the title.

As you may have already guessed, this is tailor-made for the iPod's scroll-wheel, which I'm guessing is what Apple had in mind when commissioning the game. Rather than fighting against the controls as you do with iPod Pac-man and, to a lesser extent, Tetris, this game wouldn't work as well on any device other than the iPod. Good thinking!

The full review is available at the link provided below.

Pocket Gamer: Vortex Review

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 3, 2006

IMG Reviews Virtual Villagers11:58 AM
Funkitron Releases Poker Superstars II11:48 AM
Apple Games Features Redline8:06 AM
D2X-XL Update8:06 AM
Macgamestore: Ancient Tripeaks II Now Available8:06 AM
Proposal States ESRB Must Play Games in Entirety8:06 AM
True Combat: Elite Released for OS X8:06 AM
WoW Harvest Festival This Week8:06 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 3, 2006 on one page

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