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Posts with tag windows

Playing WoW with an Xbox 360 controller

Sins on the forums asks why he can't use his Xbox 360 controller to play WoW (on Windows, I assume). And the answer is that you can... kind of. But you probably don't want to.

If you've got a wired Xbox 360 controller, it's actually pretty easy. The controller just hooks up to your PC via USB, so plug it in, and you can then use a program called Pinnacle Game Profiler to recognize the controller, and even attach keyboard and mouse functions to the controller's keys. The problem here is actually making sure you have access to everything you normally would (a nearly impossible task, and probably the reason why WoW hasn't come to a console). But if you can do it, feel free.

The problem is if you have a wireless Xbox controller. Unlike the Wii, apparently Microsoft doesn't use the normal Bluetooth standard for its controllers, so you either have to buy a controller specifically for Windows, or an adapter to hook it up. And after you do that, you still might have to download the Pinnacle program to set it up right-- I've got a wireless controller right here, but I'm not about to spend more money for an adapter when I like using the keyboard anyway.

Have you had any success getting the Xbox controller to play WoW? I like the controller and all (although that D-pad is horrible), but why would anyone want to abandon the mouse and keyboard in the first place?

Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

New Nvidia drivers for Windows Vista may fix WoW problems

Reader Scott kindly dropped us a note (thanks!) that Nvidia released new drivers for Windows Vista on Tuesday, and hidden in the release notes is a note that the "low frame rates" within WoW have been fixed.

So if you're running WoW in Vista, have an Nvidia graphics card (with one GPU), and still having graphical problems, a driver update definitely wouldn't hurt. Things seem to have calmed down on the graphics issues since a few patches have hit, but maybe there are still a few of you out there looking for a solution.

As for us Windows XP users, looks like we're still stuck with an older driver version. If you've updated your drivers on XP and are still having problems, the best thing to do is probably just to let Blizzard know about it.

Update: Whoops, Slashrude (and other commenters) point out what I missed: these are beta drivers, which means installing them may not be such a good idea. Update at your own risk.

Filed under: Patches, Bugs, News items

How to protect your system from keyloggers [Updated]

It's raid night. You've farmed your mats, topped off your repair fun and loaded up on pizza and cola. But for some reason you can't log on. You're sure you typed in the right password, but no go. You IM you guildie: "Are the servers down? I can't get in." His reply sends chills down your spine: "We just saw you at the bank. Why was your toon naked?"

Years of hard work gone. Someone else accessed your account and stripped your main of all his gold, bank items and tradable equipment. "But I don't give my password to anyone!" you wail. You don't have to, the keylogger program knows it anyway.

What's a keylogger? It's a small, virus-type program that can accidentally be installed on your computer. How might a keylogger be installed on your system?
  • Visiting an untrustworthy web site. Some sites may have code in them that exploit your web browser and cause it to quietly install a keylogging application without your permission. (Note: even turstworthy sites can be hacked! The same hackers who are after your information can hack what you think of as trustworthy sites and add exploit code to them which could give you a keylogger.)
  • Downloading addons (or other files) from an untrustworthy site. Any executable file you download could contain a keylogger or virus, so before you download a file, be sure you're downloading it from a source you trust!
Once a keylogger gets installed, it starts recording every keystroke you make. And when you type in your account name and password for your WoW account, it captures that, too. The next time you access the Internet, it sends your private information to the hackers who use it to log into WoW and strip all your characters of everything valuable leaving you with a penniless toon wearing nothing but his trousers.

This all sounds pretty scary, but don't worry -- there are ways to protect yourself from keylogging programs!

Read more →

Filed under: How-tos, Odds and ends, Account Security

Keep keyloggers away: New Microsoft hotfix available [Updated]

Back on March 31st Eyonix warned us of a newly discovered Windows vulnerability that could have resulted in keyloggers landing on your system. At the time, Microsoft did not yet have a patch available, meaning that Eyonix's best advice was to "be careful." However, today Microsoft has released hotfixes for all versions of windows that should resolve the issue. So if you're running WoW on Windows, I highly recommend that you run Windows update or visit Microsoft's site to download the hotfix as soon as possible. Trust us -- keyloggers are bad, mmkay?

Update: Drysc has made a post regarding this subject highlighting the fact that this patch isn't a keylogger cureall. Says Drysc:

The patch released doesn't stop someone from downloading executables and running them without the proper precautions, and you can still be susceptible to keyloggers, viruses, trojans, etc. The update released by Microsoft is a very specific fix for a specific way that a keylogger could end up on a Windows machine, it doesn't protect you from obtaining a keylogger or virus, it merely patches one specific way you could get one. It's important that you be proactive about your computer and its security.

And for general security purposes, he advises reading this post on keeping your login information secure and Blizzard's support page on account security.

[via MMO-CHAMPION, which has links to more technical information]

Filed under: Cheats, News items

WoW + Vista = ????

So Microsoft had a little launch of its own yesterday (why can't they do these things at midnight like normal people?), and reader Scott Harris wrote in with a relevant question: "Has anyone tried to see how compatible WoW is with Windows Vista?" If the above banner snagged at CES is any indication, the fun is only beginning -- then again, something tells me they weren't thinking about Warcraft.

I'm not gonna lie -- I have zero plans to upgrade my XP box to Vista anytime soon, mostly because I'm primarily a Mac person (yes, flame on, people, flame on) and the thought of doing the upgrade to the only Windows box in the house sounds about as fun as major surgery to me. However, the trusty intertubes contain some accounts of compatibility, and so far the reports are mixed: Since the jury appears to still be out, we're leaving it up to you, dear readers -- has anyone had experience getting Vista and World of Warcraft to play nice? Any experiences to report?

P.S. If you want to snag a free copy, get your Need Roll in over at Download Squad.

Filed under: News items

Windows on an Intel Mac: WoW, what a difference

We've already seen WoW on an Intel Mac thanks to our resident Mac-user, but he's managed to go one better. Previously we saw the OS X Universal Binary version running at 50-60fps; running WoW under Windows on the same hardware, maximising all the graphics settings, there's actually a gain in framerate to the tune of 6fps.

Those of us with PCs creaking along on the default settings are justified in being envious. While keeping up with the vast succession of new PC games requires regular upgrades and a killer gaming rig, if your free time is taken over by WoW then you obviate the need to upgrade -- but miss out on the fantastic framerates such upgrades can afford.

Filed under: Odds and ends

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