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.


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

Sleepy Laptop*

My mail is telling me it is time to repost an article..

Reader Asks How To Adjust Sleep Mode

Q: My laptop goes to sleep too soon. How do I give myself more time?

A: You can quite easily adjust the length of the “inactivity” time allowed before your computer goes into a power savings mode, such as “sleep”. For those of you really concerned with power savings, you can make it kick in after 5 minutes of idle time – and power users can turn it off completely (It will still be available from the Start >Shut Down menu).

Vista and Windows 7 users will find the settings by clicking Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options

In XP it is Control Panel > Power Options.

powrplan

Here you can quickly choose from one of three power policies, (aka “power plan”) to fit your current usage — Balanced, Power Saver, and High Performance. In the picture above, I am plugged into the wall and I want every ounce of performance. When it is time to go mobile and I will be running on my battery, I want to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles, conserve battery, and stretch my time between recharging’s to the maximum, so I will click on middle radio button.
(Vista/Win7: A quick way to do this to launch the Mobility Center by pressing the Windows key + X)

To set my own times, I click on the “Change plan settings” link under the “Power plan” (Or, “Change when the computer sleeps” link in the left column).

powrplan2

Use the drop down arrows to select the length of time your machine is idle before the power is cut to your monitor, and when it general goes into the power-saving sleep mode. I have set a fairly typical policy here, but my advice for the reader who asked the question was leave the setting for the monitor (screen) to a short time, but extend the sleep time to an hour.. or longer.

[note: by using the “Change plan settings” link, I get a window that allows me to set different times for when I am plugged into an outlet and when I am on battery.]

Today’s free link: a good way to tell if your machine has picked up some malware – or some has slipped by your onboard AV – is a visit to Panda’s Infected or Not website and get a free scan.

* Orig post: October 16, 2007

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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June 22, 2010 Posted by | computers, how to, Microsoft, mobile, PC, Portable Computing, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Get 3.5

Today I got tired of waiting for Firefox to tell me there is “a new version available” — like it normally does — and so I manually told it to upgrade to the newest version... which has been out for a while now (ahem).

To do that, click on “Help”, and then click “Check for Updates”.
FF_Help

What’s New in Firefox 3.5

Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use. Some of the notable features are:

  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Support for the HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements including native support for Ogg Theora encoded video and Vorbis encoded audio. (Try it here!)
  • Better web application performance using the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to share your location with websites using Location Aware Browsing. (Try it here!)
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: downloadable fonts, CSS media queries, new transformations and properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 local storage and offline application storage, <canvas> text, ICC profiles, and SVG transforms.

Of that list of super kewl & neato doodads and gizmos and whatsajingies, I am really only interested in the topmost item — privacy (although, faster is always good!). I want it, and the first thing I did was to turn it on.

To do that:
1) Click on “Tools”, and then “Options”.
2) Click on the Privacy tab and place a check in the “Automatically start..” checkbox.
FF_priv

3) Click on “OK”.

Today’s free link(s):
RadarSync PC Updater – Free Driver Update Software

Are wireless keyboards secure?

Today’s free download: What? You haven’t tried Firefox yet? What are you waiting for? Click here and try Firefox 3.5 today!

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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July 5, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments