Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Play Your Steam Games Offline

This tutorial is for those folks who, like me, have no interest in online ‘deathmatches’, but prefer to play their games against the computer in Single-player mode. Or .. otherwise do not like Steam. I have not had time to try this yet myself, but a reliable source told me it works. Source ~ It is posted on the Call of Duty Black Ops forum.

[note: this applies to games you own.. and are in your Steam “library”.]

Offline Mode allows you to play games through Steam without reconnecting to the Steam Network every time you wish to play – this is particularly useful if you do not plan on playing over the internet and would prefer not to download new updates for your single-player games.

1) Start Steam online – make sure the Remember my password box on the login window is checked.

2) Verify that all game files are completely updated – you can see the update status for a game under the Library section (when the game shows as 100% – Ready it is ready to be played in Offline Mode).

3) Launch the game you would like to play offline to verify that there are no further updates to download – shut down the game and return to Steam once you have confirmed that the game can be played.

[NOTE: Mine never showed “100% Ready”, and I had to download an 8012.4 MB file (which I believe is the entire DVD contents) to complete the update process referenced in Step 3.]

4) Go to Steam > Library then right click on Call of Duty: Black Ops and select Properties. In the Updates tab, choose Do not automatically update this game under Automatic updates.

5) Go to Steam > Settings to ensure the Don’t save account credentials on this computer option is not selected.

6) From the main Steam window, go to the Steam menu and select Go Offline.

7) Click Restart in Offline Mode to restart Steam in Offline Mode.”

And, yes, I am going to implement this mucho muy mas pronto. I am not a fan of Steam, and successfully managed to avoid it for years — until my favorite game title, Call of Duty, required Steam to install.

Call me an old dinosaur if you want, but I do not enjoy running around arenas, getting knifed in gun battles and sniped by campers — and trying to guess if what just killed me was a hack, a bot, or a lucky/good player. I leave online gaming (and Steam tracking everything I do..) to the teenagers-of-all-ages, gladly!

My sincere and profound thanks and regards to the person who alerted me to this. (You know who you are.)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

February 5, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Gaming, how to, Internet, PC, privacy, software, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

CoD 5 Now On Sale

Some of us are just great big kids at heart, and I have to confess to you that I have a little bit of that syndrome too. Besides being a World Renown Tech Journalist and Ace Computer Support Technician and all that other grown-up stuff– I am also a gamer.

game_rig Yes, it’s true: looking at a the insides of an “UG rig” (high-performance computer specially built for 3D video game excellence) makes my pulse quicken.

No, I have not ever attended a LAN Party (or convention) and generally never play “multiplayer” games online… and no, I did not spend more on my rig than I did on my car. But I have been a gamer since.. well, let’s just call it “the beginning”.


“Hail to the king, baby.”

Everybody has their favorite game, or at least, a favorite genre. Whether that be cards– like Solitaire, Texas Holdem, and Pinochle, or puzzles– like Sudoku, Mah Jong, and Scrabble, or simulators– like Need for Speed, The Sims, and Combat Flight Simulator 2 or Sports, or Strategy, or Arcade.. or Fantasy/Adventure.. (am I forgetting any?)

Mine happens to be the Call of Duty series, which is a combat simulator of the “first-person shooter” ‘genre’, and is affectionately known as “CoD”.
Infinity Ward rocks.

The latest release of Call of Duty was CoD 4 — Modern Warfare, which if I remember correctly, was released in time for Christmas last year. I think it did pretty good in sales… (over 7 million units in 2007).

This year, Activision is again releasing its big title in time for the Holiday shopping season, and CoD 5 — World At War is set to hit the shelves November 11th. But you can “pre-buy” it now.

That’s right, I said pre-buy. Pay now, and get the actual game later.

Some of you might find that concept a little odd, but us gamers know that this ensures that we won’t have to stand in line or face an empty shelf, and that we sometimes get a special bonus for pre-ordering (and, it gives us something to talk about to our gamer friends/rivals).

I was determined not to let myself get too excited about a game that isn’t even out yet.. especially when I had read that CoD 5 was not a Infinity Ward title, but a Treyarch (they were the authors of CoD 3, which was never ported to the PC, and generally received bad reviews). But I have seen the trailer and YouTube videos of gameplay, and I’m hooked.

I know what I’m gonna ask Santa for this year.

Today’s free link: for those of you who prefer arcade style games, download Mega Mario. Featuring the Mario Brothers — first introduced in Donkey Kong — this classic arcade game works on all versions of Windows.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

Share this post :

October 16, 2008 Posted by | computers, Gaming, PC, software, tech, Xbox 360 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soggy Holiday musings

Technically speaking, Tech–for Everyone is still on vacation. But I think today that I will jot down a few thoughts on the state of computer gaming, football…and maybe publish a new free link. For those of you who would prefer to see the re-posted prior Tips & Tricks article (one you may have missed) which I would normally have published here, click here. Again, I sincerely hope you are all having a safe and a happy holiday. My online Tech Support business is open as usual.

I am a guy. And when I say “guy”, I am basically saying, “a big kid”. Because I am a guy, I like football and I like video games — as Loyal Friends and True already know. So I was delighted when Santa delivered to me the latest release of my all-time favorite FPS, Call Of Duty 4 from Infinity Ward (and released by Activision).

As happy as I was to get this new game, and as much of an admirer of the good folks at Infinity Ward as I am, I was disappointed when I actually played the game. This latest installment exemplifies the direction in which games are evolving, and I think the gaming companies should take a second look at some of their decisions.

First, let me say that I was not disappointed enough in CoD 4 to tell you not to get it. That’s not what I’m saying. CoD 4 is (to me) a “must have” if you’re into the combat genre. Its graphics are impressive and it’s a blast to play. But. (Have you ever noticed, in life, how many unsaid “but”s there are?)
Let me preface this transitional thought here with a reminder that I am a computer geek: I play my video games on a PC, and not a game “console”. I have a ‘souped up’ computer to play these games on (although it is getting elderly, and by that I mean it is about a year and-a-half old) — it has plenty of RAM and dual 256MB graphics cards. Please keep the PC angle in mind when considering my critique.

1) Is it just me, or can everyone complete a new game in less than a day?
This is my biggest disappointment in Call of Duty 4, specifically, and the new games in general. I have been playing computer games since their inception (Star Trek on a teletype terminal) and I think this progression will state my case clearly enough: It took me about a month to get to the final scene in Duke Nukem 3D (1996), and to this day I don’t believe I have found all the secret locations: It took several days — almost a week — of intense sessions to get to the final scene in the original Call of Duty (2003): and it took about 5 hours to complete Call of Duty 4 (2007).
Quite a bit less “bang for my buck”, wouldn’t you say? And over far too soon.

2) Too durned big. Call of Duty 4’sinstall required 6 GB’s of hard-drive (six!), and is the first game that required so much effort from my dual graphics cards that I found myself accepting the relatively mild defaults (such as 800 x 600 dpi) to keep up a playable frames-per-second. Typically I can crank up the resolution and turn on every special effect (every “bell and whistle”) to its highest setting. My system is no slouch. This means the average person, with an average PC, simply cannot play CoD 4 (..and for those of you who are wondering, I have dual 7600 GT’s).

3) There are glitches in CoD 4 because it seems pretty clear to me that there’s been a major shift in the way games are being written (I could be wrong here). It used to be that games were written for the PC and then “ported” to run on the various consoles, and that now the reverse is true– a new title is written for one, specific game console and then “ported” for other platforms. If I’m right, this is a colossal mistake in strategy (which will ultimately hurt sales).

I believe all these things are due to a desire to make the graphics in games as “realistic” as is technologically possible. In the past, this has a been a “good thing”, and because of it we are no longer looking at two-dimentional Ms. Pac Man-type graphics…

but are can wander through very realistic ‘virtual’ environments that are quite impressive in their ability to make you feel like you’re there.

But I think too much is being sacrificed to attain this level of “realism”, and I for one, would rather have more maps/levels, secret rooms, and a longer game than a short game with accurate shadows. (For instance, there is no ‘level’ in CoD 4 where you get to drive a tank, a feature expected from earlier releases.) And, yes, I know, it is this evolution which has pushed the development of other PC technologies… but.
As a point of reference, I have developed a new sense of admiration for Far Cry (2004) from Ubisoft, which seems to be the perfect blend of reasonable realism and (seemingly) endless maps and challenges.

And now to football:
Having been born and raised in SF Bay Area, it is only fitting and proper that I am a 49ers fan.
Man… what can I say? It a job that it is getting harder and harder (and harder) to do.

It is somewhat comforting that there seems to be only two really good teams this season. But (there’s that “but” again!) something has changed in football, and it hasn’t been for the better. The refs are changing the outcomes of games more than ever before. “Parity” is a joke. Certain “football fundamentals” seem to have vanished from the scene. It seems — to me — that football has become “entertainment” and not a Sport. There has been… some sort of vague decline which I cannot put my finger on.
Perhaps I am just becoming an old fart… but I haven’t been enjoying watching football (for some years now) like I used to, and it is not simply because the niners aren’t the “Dynasty” niners any longer.. it’s something else.
There..enough kvetching for one day. Anyone else thinking these things… or am I all wet?

Today’s free link: for those of you for whom the Ms. Pac Man screenshot brought back nostalgic and happy memories, or for those of you who prefer arcade style games, download Mega Mario. Featuring the Mario Brothers — first introduced in Donkey Kong — this classic arcade game works on all versions of Windows.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

December 29, 2007 Posted by | computers, Gaming, hardware, PC, tech, Windows | , , , | Leave a comment