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Thread: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

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    Tom Paine's Avatar Mr Common Sense

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    Jun 2005
    Silver Spring, Maryland (inside the Beltway)

    Default Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    State of the Thema Devia by [user]Aristophanes[/user]
    Another State of the Thema Devia by [user]Seneca[/user]
    Vestigia Vetustatis by [user]Scorch[/user]
    Basement by [user]Shaun[/user]
    Despatches from the Curia by [user]Ozymandias[/user]
    The TWC Wiki by [user]makanyane[/user]
    Editorials by [user]Lord Rahl[/user]; [user]Oldgamer[/user]; [user]the Black Prince[/user]

    Right, me lovely readers, we have a real treat for you today, a really superlative Helios, with some excellent "new" talent; in fact, the first article is from a talented author, and long-time (well, longish) Helios writer, of no small degree of success; Aristophanes on the Thema Devia!
    Click to view content: 
    State of the Thema Devia


    Kill me, I’m gay!

    According to the BBC, the US military ‘investigated building a gay bomb’ designed to sow confusion, and…well, confusion in the ranks. Ozymandias was quick to point out that the proposal smacked of bigotry, saying,

    “Apparently being homomexual is a blow for morale. How nice. And distasteful, too. Well, prejudice is alive and kicking in the Pentagon. Or was then, anyway.”

    Kanaric rebuts, and even comes up with a new adjective,

    “I'd say a lot of people in foreign countries, especially the middle east, would take a morale hit from an uncontrolable caligulaesque experiance.”

    Of course, some people maintain that the Middle East is already a hotbed of homosexuality. After all, getting a woman there…ain’t easy.

    More to follow here:

    More of the Same

    Wherein there is renewed discussion about Israel, the only country, other than the United States, which never fails to be brought up in a thread―no matter how tangential the connection or reference.
    There is renewed debate about Israel’s likely options now that the Gaza strip is formally in the hands of the thugs. Do not be surprised to find Ferrets54 here; JP226 joins in…and it looks like it will be a brutal, no-holds-barred affair. Clearly these personalities clash. JP is the ying to Ferrets’ yang, the calm to the storm, the apple to the banana, etc…

    If you don’t find these threads nauseating and pointless, go here:

    There are four other people who all feel the same way you do, have a flair for the dramatic, and despise each other equally.

    Someone Please Call 9-1-1

    To be perfectly fair, I could care less about Rudy Giuliani, or the Republican leadership. In fact, I don’t think I could conjure a subject less fascinating than the US presidential races, where members of one political dynasty face off against those of another to enact the same policies…and still find ways to be as rude, arrogant and offensive as possible to their so-called opponents―all the while portraying themselves as selfless and necessary. (It actually reminds me of the Hamas and Fatah gunmen shooting things out for a share of the loot)
    We in the developed world may laugh at Iraq or Nigeria’s tribal politics, but, in all truth, the only difference between ours and theirs is that, in our case, the groups are larger, and don’t refer to themselves explicity as tribes. Those acquainted with politics should know, however, that tribal and political are near interchangeable terms.

    In any case, the only reason I launched that tirade was so I’d have an excuse to post the bright spot in a lamentable discussion. Ferrets54, who I usually have a hard time tolerating, expresses himself nicely:

    “Man, the American media is controlled by so many different groups according to this forum it's a wonder they can agree on showing anything.”

    Which was, in all honesty, admirably said.

    If you, like most other civilized people, lust for a taste of the primitive, it can be found here:

    Ars Liberalis

    **** You, Pay Me!

    It’s the only line I could remember from a Scorsese movie. And no, I’m not going to tell you which one it is. You should know…you really should.
    Anyways, if you’re a typical young male, you probably like gangster flicks as much as you dislike anything overly artistic. So, while this topic hardly belongs in any forum claiming devotion to the Muses, it’s the only hope we have of dragging you into the social vortex of sophistication and taste.
    Of particular concern is that you correctly identify the Scorsese movies you like the most. If, like this poor chappy,

    “The Sopranos
    Reservoir Dogs
    New Jack City”
    you have no idea who Scorsese is, you might want to avoid the discussion of gangster movies amidst your peers…lest you become an outcast without home or country.

    If that’s your bag, come here:

    O Tempora, Oh Mores!

    Why, Oh Why, Did I End up in Chino?

    In “Why does the world make sense?”, moreduzionism ponders one of life’s central questions, namely, “why do we allow young people, hopped up on drugs, to open their goddamn mouths?”
    His line of reasoning is that, were the world created, there would be one thing completely magical or out of the ordinary. How he came by that line, we don’t know. I’m sure there’s a very deliberate, mechanical mind there, plugging away on the old neural abacus.

    To be fair to him, he makes some good points. If this sort of thing is of interest to you, it can be found here:

    (For those wondering, the title is borrowed from a song, and is possibly irrelevant to the subject at hand, if not completely non sequitur.


    Meanwhile, on Another Planet…

    I hate to single people out (well, not really), but NaptownKnight demonstrates why statistics classes ought to be mandatory in his latest thread, title “Europeans Dominating the NBA”.
    Here, good friends, is a fine example of anecdotal evidence:

    “If one were to look at this past NBA season one would see something rather peculiar: European dominance. Not only did Dirk Nowitzki, the German born All-Star, win the MVP, but Tony Parker, who is French, won the NBA Finals MVP. The team who won the NBA championship is comprised of many forgeighn players, including several Europeans. Finally, the best basketball player in the world grew up playing basketball in Italy (Kobe Bryant btw).”

    There are about 420 players in the NBA, and all but four of the best, are born and raised in the USA. How that translates to dominance, I don’t know. We must wonder whether this thread would still have appeared had Miami or Detroit won the playoffs.

    It’s not to late to share in the laughs,

    The Athenaeum

    A Plague on Both Your Houses

    Chaigidel, prolific as he is, is wondering which pathogen is most lethal, or has had the highest lethality over time…or, I don’t really know what he wants to know.
    If I were a betting man, I’d say that malaria, caused by protozoan parasites, is probably responsible for more human deaths than any other disease. Responses vary based on how the respondent interpreted the thread-creator’s intent.

    For example, ModernLifeIsRubbish cites AIDS as the most lethal. Ummon mentions the Ebola and Marburg viruses, both of which also have high lethality.
    In terms of deaths over time, Curtana cites influenza as a strong candidate, and both Curtana and The Fish believe malaria may be up there as well.

    I must admit to being fascinated by the topic. (I certainly read a great deal about infectious diseases as a young, impressionable teenager)

    If you’re into microbiology or immunology, this might be your best bet:

    So far the topic isn’t particularly technical.

    Wow. See? Wow. I told you he was talented, and now you see why he's such a longterm author. However for the first time so far, he is pitted against an equally talented author with the same writing style, rather than the incredibly different style enoch used; I am sure we will all welcome the return of the ex-reporter of the Thema Devia, returned at long last to the fold, Seneca!
    Click to view content: 
    The Triumphant Return

    (cue music)

    (waits for applause, finds it lack - cue akward silence)

    Thats right folks I'm back and not before time, sated after my rampant abuse of all things immoral during my break from the helios I come to report of a different kind of debauchery, the ne'er do well's of the treacherous common community.

    You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

    The Morass of the Mudpit

    Council in the UK Promotes Terrorism, Gives Chavas free bikes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary88
    ive just seen on the news that worcester town council has started an initiative called 'freeride'. its like what i believe happens in places in the netherlands where bicycles are left around town for anyone to use. 50 bikes have been placed about the town and they are all recycled old bikes to try and prevent thieves or vandals. i think its a briliant idea that i would love to use if it was in my city and a great idea to reduce congestion/pollution. i just know however every last bike will be stolen or vandalised by ****ing scallys. what do you think?
    In a supremely elegant style, Gary88 lays out a very plausible future for the most generous idealistic council of worcester town. I particularly like the word scally, it has flavour.

    A fool and his money are soon parted - Anon

    No Jokes - Just a two by four with nails in it, someone find me a paedeotrician

    Police smash Paedophile ring

    This is TWC at its highs and its lows. First a credit to Ferrets54 and RZZZA who are coming at this subject from a mature angle and discussing when and where it is or should be legal in a mature and sensible way. It is a sensitive subject and they have acted appropriately.

    An unamed star of TWC:

    on pedophilia:

    A by product of the liberal society
    Damn you Erik, you liberal hippy cause of all our problems. I blame cannabis smoking.

    I've been a member of many many forums, some even worse than this one when it comes down to the immoral drug taking society haters (Urban75)
    Right you guys, some who know me know I am an anarcho capatilist drug taker so if we could just keep this quiet I would really appreciate it. I don't want TWC tarnished with my anarchist tendencies.

    You standing by is the equivelent of allowing a junkie take drugs
    I'm worried by the presentation of a drug user being allowed to shoot up and pedophilia. You know where the thread is, please post sanely lest the vein in my head pops.

    “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance”

    The Erudite Ethos

    Can Satire be taken to far, Can you ever have to much fun?

    Is evan almighty taking it to far

    Quote Originally Posted by Juno
    Ahem yes well, there is actually a thread to read as well with cogent points made on either side.

    “When we realize finally that we aren't God's given children, we'll understand satire. Humor is really laughing off a hurt, grinning at misery.” Bill Maudlin

    Children at War - Heart wrenching tale of a Young Geordie striving to survive armed with only half a brick and a sock

    Children at war

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtana
    Sending children to fight is morally wrong.

    What is the cut off point between adult and child? Is a 17 year old soldier too young to fight in Iraq? (In the UK army the answer is officially yes btw.) In western societies people are staying more immature for longer. Sadly this includes emotional immaturity. My grandfather joined the working week age 12. I was almost twice his age. If we decide that young people aren't mature enough to analyse the risks properly then we'll have too few soldiers as more older men have lives they really want to keep. The answer to this problem is not obvious, I feel.
    This isn't I feel as cut and dried after reading that.

    “If we fight a war and win it with H-bombs, what history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for but the methods we used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of Genghis Khan who ruthlessly killed every last inhabitant of Persia.”

    Do you ever get heated up in an arguement over the internet?

    Well Duh, its TWC!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jankren
    One thing I learn from debating on the internet is that the one who loses temper the earliest tend to end up being the laughingstock.
    Its so easy to get heated up over the internet, at times it happens to everyone and with some every subject is an emotive subject. Its a curious thing, people who could discuss things quite rationally face to face just explode when sitting in front of a keyboard. I suspect Garb should give us some deep and psychological reasoning behind this to understand it.

    Do we feel safer behind a keyboard, therefore it is perfectly acceptable to detract the nearest right wing bigot or left wing liberal hippy, someone doesn't believe in god, rain down sulpher on the heathen! Mass genocide is one of the most exhausting activities next to soccer so take a packed lunch the mudpit is full of heathens. Can't stand the religous, attack them and the bible bashing horse of crazy beliefs they rode in on.

    I know in part it is frustration seeping through with me, not with TWC but real life. An internet forum is a good place to let go and see the defences drop.

    Let us know in the thread what your excuse is!

    Thats all folks:

    now calm yourself to a zen like state. Breathe deeply. Feel the breath, concentrate on only the passage of air. In then out. Feel each thought rise, note it then dismiss it.

    You will attain a sense of relaxation and calm. In this state you will be able to put aside the worries of the day.

    Now truly you are ready to go and wage war on the dissenters and diabolical hordes of the common community.


    Which is better is a question I do not propose to even begin to consider beginning to consider dealing with, its impossible; they are both awesome writers... and both like cutting it very, very fine in handing in pieces
    Now we have a reporter who last issue had more important things - real life - to take care of (real life more important than TWC? Bollocks, that's what I say!); Scorch has returned to set the VV to rights.
    Click to view content: 
    Well, to start off this edition of the VV coverage with an interesting bit of trivia. Did you know that apparently, Mickey Mouse was a Viking invention?

    Anyway, the VV has been booming with all manner of interesting threads lately. Most of which have considered of a series of 'Hero or Villain' polls, and right now the active (and last) one is one regarding the great Julius Caesar. You can find it here.

    Some of my other personal favourites this week include the Macedonians: Who were they? thread, the Oliver Cromwell: Hero or Villain? thread and the How would Roman legions fare against Medieval armies?.

    So drop in by the VV, and discuss all manner of things regarding the full spectrum of history. I'll see you there!

    There we are, a whistlestop tour of the VV, so fast it burns. Darkragnar is unfortunately held up by the same sort of "real-life" concerns as Scorch was last time and so has been Suspended On Request; therefore no Circus Maximus I'm afraid, meaning its straight on to the home of any true geek, the Basement, with Shaun, our guide to his domain!
    Click to view content: 
    bongo1210 created a thread 256 MB graphics cards, where he asks;

    can anyone tell me if they have a 256 Mb graphics cards? because i am getting stressed out between me spending 50 to 100 bucks more for a 512mb graphics card....also can someone who has had personal experince with a 8600 gt running MTW2 tell me how it runs?
    Well, I have to say that the amount of RAM your graphics card has is not the be all end all of graphics card factors. As Doono says;

    The only time you need a large ammount of VRAM is if you play at very high resolutions, and if thats the case your probably an enthusiast and don't care how much you spend.

    But as games get more graphically enhanced textures will start to increase in size and you will probably need more if you plan on running everythign on high.

    Still VRAM isnt the deciding factor in speed intill you hit the VRAM cap and few games fully utalise 256 yet.
    This is true folks, don’t be rushing off to buy that cheap 256Mb card just because its 256Mb! Some cards just don’t have the processing power to make use of more than 256Mb of RAM, and, as Erik says;

    Adding more memory than the GPU can handle is just a waste of money.
    An 8600GTS was recommended as a cheap DX10 card. Poor advice… the 8600GTS performs way too slow for the price, it really is not worth the little money that it costs. Doono again comes in with good advice!

    They are trash, they are slower than the other options in dx9. I personally don't think it has a hope in hell of coping with dx10 have you seen the performance on the dx10 demos?

    If you want a DX10 card you get a 8800 series card or a x2900

    If you want a card that handles dx9 well you buy a 7900/7950 or a x1950 they all cost roughly the same price and own the **** out of the 8600GT. The 8600GT is a poor quality card it dosent have enough memory interface or stream processors to make it worth the money.

    Either way unless your building a new system which i know hes not since hes upgrading a dell and i can guarentee it will not handle dx10 it's a pointless investment. He may as well just get a good dx9 card or better yet save the money and buy a new system later on.
    Now, on to something different;
    Can you install and then run your operating system on an external hard drive? Well, that is a rather unusual question to ask… although one does not have to think to hard to derive a reason why one would want to do it, for example: hard drive failure (I think my one is going to go soon). I would imagine it would be as simple as switching the boot order in your BIOS to prioritize the external device, but nothing is ever simple with computers…

    It appears Publius Clodius Pulcher agrees with me!

    I'm pretty sure you can, you'd just have to switch the boot order in your BIOS to prioritize your external over your internal. I wouldn't advise it though, as It'll bottleneck your P.C. because of the USB 2.0 transfer time.
    The last part being especially true! I can’t see why one would want to bottleneck his/her PC like this, except in an emergency, like hard drive failure.

    Now, on to some happy news, yay! Hadrian’s 7900GTX’s (plural, the lucky bastard had two!) got fried, they are now toast. Now, this is not what the ‘happy news is’, don’t worry I am not rejoicing in his sorrow…

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadrian View Post
    As some of you know, I had 2 512MB XFX GeForce 7900GTX's in SLI. Had, is the optimal word here. Unbelievably, both of them went bad at the same time! Unbelievable. My beloved 7900's were apparently toast. Fortunately, I purchased my twins from XFX because of their Double Lifetime Warranty.

    I RMAed both cards back to XFX, and after extensive testing of both cards they verified that both GTX's were indeed dead, after only one year in service. I had previously had to order 5 from Newegg to get 2 that worked, and now even those two were history. A truly sad, if not typical, chapter in tech history.

    So what does XFX decided to do? Well.....

    Because of my warranty, and my checkered RMA history with my original 7900GTX's, XFX is replacing them both with 2 640MB 8800GTS'!! Yeah baby, yeah! Hell yeah! Let's hear it for the boys at XFX and their Double Lifetime Warranty!! Woot!

    Lesson learned here.....behind every great video card, is a great warranty!!
    Lesson here? Never. Ever. Underestimate the usefulness of a warranty! Hopefully if my beloved X1950XTX ever fries, Sapphire will send me an X2900XT. Well, I can hope… although you should never fry your outdated cards before first checking the warranty! Er, actually, you should never deliberately fry outdated cards in the hope of getting a new one.

    Now, after that good new, here is some bad news.

    Quote Originally Posted by sander454 View Post
    Hi everyone. Recently we received CoH patch allowing us to play using new DX10 system. Apparently the tests runs by the guys from and polish version of PC World are not optimistic for gamers. It looks like you have to need absolutely sky end computer with the fastest graphic card to run the games under DX10

    DX10 Performance

    We love the performance test built into Company of Heroes, and we use it all the time in our graphics reviews. It's not exactly what we're looking for in an RTS benchmark, though. The CoH performance test runs through a few in-engine cut scenes that stress the graphics quite a bit but don't mesh with the overhead view and CPU-hungry pathfinding and AI that you experience during normal gameplay. Still, it's intensive and repeatable, so we'll use it to measure performance today. That, and because FRAPS doesn't work in DX10 yet. We performed all tests on the following system.
    Processor Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 @ 2.66GHz
    Motherboard chipset Intel D975 XBX (Intel 975X)
    Memory2 x 1GB DDR2 800 (5-5-5-12)
    Hard drive Seagate 7200.9 160GB SATA Drive
    Optical drive ATAPI DVD-ROM Drive
    Audio Sound Blaster Audigy 2
    Operating system Windows Vista Ultimate
    The new 1.7 patch offers two bits of advice. The first is that vsync is now enabled by default, and you must add the command line option –novsync to disable it, which we do. The second is to use Nvidia's latest beta drivers, version 158.45, available on the nZone site. Some earlier driver revisions will work, but with a few visual artifacts here and there. For the Radeon 2900 XT, we're using the just-released Catalyst 7.5 drivers.

    As a refresher, the game runs like greased lightning on both Nvidia and ATI's high-end graphics cards using the DX9 renderer. The Radeon HD 2900 XT turns in an especially impressive performance, even outpacing the more-expensive GeForce 8800 GTX until you enable antialiasing.
    Turn on the DirectX 10 renderer, and performance falls through the floor. These average frame rates are still quite playable for a strategy game, but remember that these are just averages. All these cards dip down into the single digits at points. ATI's impressive performance drops quite a bit, and the HD 2900 XT now runs slower than the 8800

    The DX10 mode makes a new "Ultra" terrain detail mode available, which looks to cost about 2-3 frames per second in the benchmark run. There's no reason not to enable it.

    More DX10 Disappointment?

    Clearly, the developers have chosen to use DirectX 10 in Company of Heroes to improve visual fidelity somewhat at the expense of performance. Frame rates in the performance test drop to around a third of the DX9 mode, which is huge. These high-end cards still deliver enough performance to make the game quite playable in DX10 mode at resolutions up to 1920x1200, but we definitely noticed some vehicle movement and scripted events looking choppy at times, while the entire game is smooth as glass in DX9. Unfortunately, with FRAPS not supporting DX10 yet, it's hard to get a real measure of performance during gameplay. Our impression is that the game is smooth enough to be playable, but does get noticeably choppy at times, particularly compared with the DX9 renderer. We wouldn't expect midrange or budget DX10 cards to be able to play the game in DX10 mode, except at very low resolutions.
    digg_url = '';This big trade-off of performance for a little extra visual fidelity is intentional and perhaps unavoidable. CoH was developed using DirectX 9, and shoehorning in DX10 after the fact is simply not going to be as efficient as if the developers had access to DX10 hardware for a good year before release. Still, we can't help but feel a little underwhelmed. The visual improvement you get by taking the leap from DX10 ranges from "I can hardly tell" to "I guess it's a sort of better," depending on the level you're playing and what's happening on screen at that exact moment. Perhaps it's all we can expect from a game that doesn't use substantially different art assets for DX10 and wasn't developed all along with DX10 in mind, but it's still a bit of a letdown. The modest-but-noticeable improvement in image quality certainly doesn't seem worth the huge drop in performance.
    Company of Heroes is in better shape with DX10 than the Lost Planet demo was. At least it works properly on both ATI/AMD and Nvidia's new graphics cards and does something with DX10 you can actually see. We can't help but hold out hope that there are major performance improvements to be had through driver revisions or maybe another minor update to the game itself, because right now the DX10 message delivered by the game is, "enjoy a modest improvement in visuals by sacrificing only two thirds of your performance!" That's hardly the DX10 experience we were all hoping for.

    And some news from polish test . First the system which was used for test:
    processor Intel Core 2 Duo X6800,
    mobo ASUS P5W DH Deluxe,
    2 GB RAM DDR 667,
    HD Samsung SP2004C,
    DVD Samsung SH-S183,
    Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio
    Windows Vista Ultimate PL

    They used 3 different graphic cards:
    GeForce 8800 Ultra (786MB GDDR3)
    ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT (512MB GDDR3)
    Galaxy GF 8600 GTS PCI-E (256MB GDDR3)

    and used them to test Company of Heroes and Call of Juarez. The results were as follow:

    Company of Heroes all settings max
    1280x1024x32 DX9 NVidia 60 fps ATI 46 fps GALAXY 32 fps
    1280x1024x32 DX10 36.7 fps 12.3fps 4.4fps
    1600x1200x32 DX9 59.4fps 41.6fps 24.5fps
    1600x1200x32 DX10 29.6fps 12.3fps 3.3fps[/B]

    Call of Juarez all settings max
    1280x1024x32 no AA Nvidia 30.6fps ATI 32.9fps GALAXY 4.5fps

    1280x1024x32 4 AA 25.8fps 25.9fps 2.7fps

    1600x1200x32 no AA 25.5fps 26.4fps 3.8fps

    1600x1200x32 4 AA 20.6fps 19.0fps 2fps

    They also were trying to play Lost Planet demo (Snow Test) GF 8800 Ultra was able to generate only 22 fps and GF 8600 was generate only 2fps. The conclusion is that only the most expensive cards are able to handle the games which will be required DX10, the weaker like Galaxy are nothing more than piece of junk which should be thrown away as soon as possible.

    I'm asking people who alredy got DX10 card are these tests true? Do I really need sky high comp with 2 SLI 8800 Ultra onboard to play games? Did anyone of you play any demos of these games? What are your feelings about performance?
    So… that post is pretty much self explanatory, it looks like I was right when I said, back in an earlier helios in a quick view of Vista, that DX10 was going to dissapoint before it impresses us. This reporter will be sticking with DX9 until this gets sorted out.
    Erik is spot on (he seems to have quite a few mentions in this helios, doesn’t he?);

    But DX10 is a Microsoft product, so you can expect it to take several years before it's sufficiently optimized and bug-free to become useful.
    Or maybe it will turn out like XP, and never get bug free and safe enough to become ‘useful’, although to be fair, no piece of software is ‘bug free’ either.

    Now, lastly, our very own admin Simetrical asked for Recommendations for new disk and memory

    Okay, so I switched from XP to Ubuntu (and am quite happy with it). Unfortunately, I've ended up with very little disk space, so I figure I'll go buy another SATA drive. I'd like it to be fast and large, of course, although it doesn't have to be overboard. I'm thinking 160 GB would be fine for the foreseeable future.

    As for memory, I have 1 GB, and while that's usually enough, it's only barely so, and of course the more disk cache the better. I have two 512 MB sticks and two remaining slots, and I was thinking I'd go for another gig. I know that it's faster if they're paired up, but I want to be able to upgrade to 3 GB when necessary, so probably I want a single 1 GB stick. On the other hand, maybe I should just go ahead and futureproof by buying a pair to give me 3 GB. But if I'm doing that, should I go for a 2 GB stick instead? What brands would you recommend?

    (Actually I'd like to buy four 2 GB sticks or something, just because I can. 64-bit OSes for the win! But I won't.)

    Money isn't a big concern for any of this, but it would be nice if this were kept down to two hundred dollars, maybe three.
    Freddie has an excellent response;

    In terms of performances there isn't many games or programmes that need more the 2Gb's of Ram, the idea of stick in a stick of 1 Gb or 2 1 Gb stick (giving you 3 Gb's) is a bad move in my opinion. If you do your memory will not run in dual channel mode and you will see a noticeable drop performance in all applications.

    Is your version on Lunix 64 bit? If so get 2x 2Gb's sticks and have 4 Gb's of ram running in dual channel (that's if they do 2 Gb's sticks in PC3200), but if your OS isn't 64 bits forgot it, stick with 2 Gb's and forget about 3 Gb's.

    As for the Hard drive as mentioned before the best performance hard drive is the WD Raptor, it's bad value for money but you won’t find a hard drive with better performance (unless you go SCSI). If the WD's are not for you your next bet is to look at 500/750 Gb's HD, performance on larger HD's is better on larger HD's because more data can be stored on the platters, so the head doesn't have to move as much, also it stands to reason that large HD's are newer and there fore more up to date with the latest technology.
    Nothing I can really add to that.

    Now, for the helpful links section!

    Harware buyers guide – Please. Read. Before. Creating a new thread asking what kind of hardware to buy!

    Registry cleaners;
    CC cleaner
    Eusing Free Registry cleaner

    So, you want to build a PC?

    Read before asking for help!

    And lastly, some General guides.

    This is why you don't pay for computing assistance, when you use TWC!
    Yay, long reports and politics time again; for those of you who think the politics of TWC is unimportant, this report should disabuse you of that notion, dealing as it does with Moderation staff and Hex secrets!
    Click to view content: 
    Consilium de Civitate

    Since the last Report in the last Helios the CdeC has seen some rather, well, unusual votes; these votes being on apotheosising certain members of the TWC community. Well, my readers, I can say to you now that one of these members was judged worthy of Curial review, and therefore Lusted (now a CA employee, no less!) has a vote on him in the Curia Main, as to whether to deify him. The other candidate, sadly, failed their vote, however.
    Happily no disciplinary actions can be reported, since none have reached their conclusions; less happily, of course, we have two which have not reached their conclusions. Well, que sera, sera I guess.
    Promotionally, two new citizens join the ranks, eventhorizen and Salvor Hardin under the patronages of Rhah and Publius respectively, whilst two further candidates failed their vote; a fallow fortnight it appears, though the atrium of the CdeC is bustling with potentials at present.

    Closed Votes

    The Curia has also been rather fallow in its voting matter, actually; apparently there is little to legislate on, or at any rate little that the Curia as it stands wants to legislate on. However the first vote I bring you is not legislative, in fact; the granting to tornnight of the rank of Opifex. I am sure we will all cheer this craftsman’s reception of this rank.
    In fact we also see the vote on Perikles close; he has been granted the Wiki contributor medal by an overwhelming majority of the members of the Curia, it appears, and this for excellent work as his editorship of the TWC Wiki; nice to see that, I think.
    On a related note, Perikles’ Medal Fixation Bill passed the vote; now, again, I have had to go through my Content Staff and work out who’s done what when, and so on – but at least now it makes sense and is very much clearly merit (or at least work) based; and hopefully it will also mean that the present arrangement will hold for a few days at least.
    Next we see an amendment rejected by the second greatest margin I have to report this issue; enoch’s Patronisation Amendment was rejected by a margin of 15 voters, and therefore another debate on the issue cannot occur for another month; whether one is, after that time, remains to be seen.
    Now for the highest margin of loss I have to report, and sadly on a Bill I strongly supported; Scorch’s Proposal to Open the Curia was rejected by a margin of 23 votes, almost double the number who voted for it; not entirely surprising, admittedly.
    Finally I wish to report on, for a change, a successful Bill, which could be entitled “End the Filibuster!”; Muizer’s []Legislation Repair Bill[/url] was passed by the Curia, and its effects (as usual) remain to be seen, but should be good, no?

    Ongoing Debates in the Prothalamos

    As usual, there are various contentious issues at debate in the Prothalamos, and the present time is no exception to any of the rules about Proth debate – even that which says that debate should focus equally on the proposer as the proposal. However the first issue I bring to you is in fact wholly uncontested at the time of writing, in anything but the appropriate names; University Medals. Publius, as present leader of University initiatives within the Curia and Hex, has proposed that those who complete courses in the TWC University have “degrees” granted to them in the forms of medals; Gold, Silver, and Bronze Diplomas. Of course, our friendly (and newly graduated… a link here, perchance?) Black Prince suggested alternative titles;
    Bachelor’s Degree in Modding, Master’s Degree in Modding, DMod (Doctorate of Modding)
    A good, strong set of titles they are too.
    Next, another uncontroversial unfinished debate; or, nearly uncontroversial anyway. As reported last time, wilpuri proposed some Mudpit reorganisation; this has got out of hand, more out of hand than it was last time – and, if you remember what it was like then, that’s impressive. The problem is, there are very few people posting in support of proposals; any Curia members who like the Common Community, and are active there, I’d ask you to wander over to that thread and make your feelings known – otherwise, the CC might change drastically without you ever making your voice heard or opinion felt.
    Now we move onto a debate that is controversial. Or more rather, that one might expect to be controversial but as yet has proven wholly uncontroversial; the idea of halfing the Speaker’s term. This makes the Speaker more accountable in his job (though as Fabolous points out in the thread, potential VoNCs ensure full accountability anyway) and ensures he has the support of the Curia, or at least, tries to. The measure has a vast merit, I feel, and should be passed post-haste – only one opponent, though tBP has as yet reserved judgement.
    If that was surprisingly uncontroversial, this next is surprisingly controversial ; long-term Curia fans will know that the issue of elections has been a bugbear dogging it for, shall we say, extended periods of time; with the majority, within the Curia, supporting such an idea. Well, they have been given the chance to get elections back for Tribounoi in a Bill proposed by the Speaker in line with various conditions requested by Hex; the Bill, of course, has undergone significant modifications since this point on many scores, from how many candidates should be fielded to the addition of “None of the Above” options; we’ve seen supporters of elections fighting against them, we’ve seen enemies of elections supporting the system. All in all, rather an odd situation, and one yours truly is (of course) stuck in the middle of – but I hope that, by the time I write my next despatch from the Curia, I will be able to say we have elections once more.

    Ongoing Votes

    Ehm, not much to see here, so I intend to do little more than list; Lusted has been proposed for Divus (that is, Jack Lusted, new CA employee, long-time TWC member); Hader is standing against Elrond for Modder Registrar elections; and We have ongoing Curator elections – here at least we might see sparks fly as Shaun, the Black Prince, and Ragabash all stand off against one another.

    Curial Miscellany

    The first issue I will bring up here is a very, very up-to-date issue: The Third Speaker’s Report to the Curia. Containing information about Hex activities which, otherwise, would be unknown to the world at large, and covering issues affecting the Curia as well as the site as a whole, it makes a good read for all those interested in and dedicated to the site – although I do say so myself; doubtless, many would disagree on all counts; sometimes, I would.
    Next, I report to you that Lusted has resigned from Moderation… to become a CA employee. Well this was really announced last issue but this issue we can link to the congratulatory thread opened by the owner of the site; champagne all round to celebrate the loss of a brilliantly talented moderator, and Creative Assembly’s gain of a brilliant mind.
    Finally, a Vote of No Confidence in the Speaker has been called. By the Speaker. Tired of having his efficacy, dedication, appropriateness, and ability called into action, the Speaker has opened a Vote of No Confidence in himself to see whether the Curia wishes him to remain as Speaker – so far, it appears that they do; whether this will change after this report is, as always, another matter wholly!

    Get Involved

    Perhaps more importantly than anything else in this Despatch, the Total War Center Moderation Team is expanding and looking for volunteers; if you have membership of the Curia, and are devoted to this site and want to express this devotion in a more concrete manner, volunteer yourself, body and soul! Get involved and join the moderation team! The pay is… well, awful, but the benefits are… also awful, admittedly. But it has its moments.

    And now that you have read this Despatch from the Curia, have a good fortnight, and… good politicking!

    makanyane was again asked to provide me with something on the Wiki - shockingly, she hasn't outsourced the job to anyone else yet, and I do mean shockingly, it is a surprise; so here we are, with another mak-authored piece on the TWC Wiki!
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    Power to the People
    Well that is part of what the Wiki is all about, "by the people, for the people" and all that. This Helios edition's Wiki comment is also all about people...

    There isn't a great deal to mention this time in terms of new content. Most of the regular Wiki contributors are 'bright young things', and most bright young things seem to have spent June studying for or taking exams, as has been noticeable on TWC from the increasing numbers of "suspended by request"s. I expect more action over the summer - what else could you possibly do with a six week holiday ?

    Mod Spotlight
    The mod in the spotlight for the next little while is Blood, Broads and... um... gentlemen of dubious parentage!. Which overhauls the traits and ancillary system for Medieval II and includes the promise of exciting princesses and more role playing elements for other characters in the game.

    People on the Wiki
    People are always curious about other users and the Wiki provides a way of presenting more information than can be included on a forum profile or signature. There is a whole category devoted to people on the Wiki here, which also links to the TWC Community Album and Interviews (WIP) sections. People pages can also be found be following links from other articles where they are mentioned; TWC history articles, mod pages, rank categories etc.

    Some pages are added by the users themselves and some by other editors. An excellent example of a profile page is Mimirswell's which gives some history about his time on the forums and links to interesting posts.

    I was about to say I'm surprised more modders haven't taken the opportunity to include more information in their profiles, then realised I haven't really done mine - that might get updated by the time you read this....

    (If you do add your own page please take note of normal Wiki privacy advice and register so you can log on with a user name. If you edit without being logged on be aware that your IP information is visible to other users in the history page.)

    Happy editing...

    Course, while "bright young things" make up the majority of the wiki staff, "bright not so young things" such as mak herself lead it. And still find time to write for me. Awesome. And now, editorialists at the ready!
    A new act is to be seen here. I am not going to present the editorials in strictly alphabetical order for a very simple reason: it'd be blindingly stupid of me, for reasons that shall be made apparent later. I want to open, therefore, with an editorial by Oldgamer on street racing and the attached (so called ) culture:
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    Oldgamer Reporting for Duty ...

    Muscle, Beer, and the Street-Racing Culture ...

    It was a dark night on Lawrence Avenue, in the Cook County Forest Preserves ...

    We drove up into the entrance to a public area, and saw that our protector was there. He was a Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff's Deputy. Everyone there gave him a crisp $5 bill, after which he drove his patrol car to the entrance to the public area, got out of the car, and lay back on the hood ... a six-pack of Schlitz on the hood with him.

    I went back and supervised the unloading of my car from the trailer. A pair of eyes watched this suspiciously. He was my opponent in the evening's entertainment.

    A few days before, he'd come driving up to a local hangout that I frequented, revved his engine, and shouted, “On the street, man!”. He was a young man, just out of High School, and had always felt an intense dislike for me. His wealthy father had just bought him his graduation present ... a slightly-used Chevy/Baldwin-Motion Nova SS. The engine ... a 550-hp 427 cubic inch L88 Chevy “semi-hemi” ... sounded wicked, to say the least. He was there to prove that Chevy was better than Dodge, and I was his target.

    “Why should I run you, man? You've got a Baldwin-Motion Nova, and I've just got Super Bee. What's in it for me?”

    “To prove that Dodge is better, man.”

    I replied, “That's not good enough. If I'm gonna run against you, on the street, with cops all over the place, and risk life and limb, I want some possible consideration.”

    “Like what?”

    “Like your pink slip”, I responded. As I suspected, he wasn't as sure about this race as he thought. He visibly winced. Everyone laughed, he winced some more, and said, “$500”.

    I said, “Get outta here, you're not worth my time.”

    Stung, he responded, “What's that matter? You chicken?”

    Several of the boys in my group spoke up quickly, all saying a variation on, “You're the chicken, man. If you've got the guts, put up your pink slip.” He finally gave in.

    I started working on the race, set for three nights later, almost immediately. Although my 1968 Dodge Super Bee (based on the Dodge Coronet model) was somewhat modified, it would be a rough race. The fellow's Nova was lighter, pulled more horses, and Chevies had the advantage in a drag race of an extremely short engine stroke, making them hard chargers off of the starting line. I would have to stay within five car lengths of him for the Dodge to have a chance, given by the long stroke of my engine (which would help towards the end of the ¼ mile run).

    Technically, I shouldn't have had a chance against him. The stock 383-cubic inch engine that came with the Super Bee pulled 335 horsepower, from the factory. To this, I had added a single Holley 650-cfm “dual-pumper” carburetor on an Edelbrock high-rise aluminum intake manifold and tuned headers (exhaust manifolds). The only other modification to the engine was a porting, printing, balancing ... a blueprinting of the engine. Everything else was stock. When it was put onto a Dynamometer, the engine pulled about 420 horsepower at about 6900 rpm.

    Thanks to Wikipedia for the picture (even though the car's a '69)!

    This is basically what Bob's car looked like, except it was blue.

    Add to that a very heavy pressure plate and clutch for the 4-speed manual transmission, and ladder bars (which attached to the housing of the rear axles, and then bolted to the frame (they prevented the rear gear housing and axles from torqueing clockwise. thus “tieing down” the rear end for drag-racing, forcing the maximum amount of horsepower and torque from the engine to the ground), and that was my car.

    Sweet! Candy-apple red, black vinyl top, black interior, 8-track tape player, and the “bumblebee racing stripes” around the rear of the car, with the Bee sporting his nasty look, my car was a largely-stock muscle car of the time. A 1968 model, it was about two years old.

    Over the next couple of days, I did a tuneup on the engine, adjusted the Holley carburetor, and ran all but about one gallon out of the gas tank. On “the day”, I took the car to my local Sunoco station, and ran ten gallons of Sunoco 260 into it. Note that “260” was its octane level (and it cost about 42 cents per gallon)! I drove that car back home and added ½ quart of a 3% solution of nitromethane in alcohol to the gas tank. The car would run about 30-50 degrees hotter, but would pull an extra 40 horsepower. That could be the difference in a close race.

    Later, my friend came over with his car trailer, and we drove the Dodge onto it. Before we went to the site of the race, we pulled the caps off of the headers, adjusted the timing, and the car was ready to rumble.

    I was part of the street-racing, muscle car scene of the very late 60's and early 70's. Because I had almost unlimited money, for the time, I bought four muscle cars in three years, from 1969 to 1971. The first was a 1967 Buick Wildcat (not technically a “muscle car”, but tell that to the people I “blew away” with its 430 cubic inch engine). The second was a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T, with the 426 Hemi engine. That car was easily the most powerful of the four, and should have been used in the race. However, it was a showpiece, not a racer, and had an automatic transmission, to boot. The third was my 1968 Super Bee. The fourth was also a Super Bee ...

    That car was a 1969 Dodge Super Bee Six Pack, so-called for its 440 cubic inch engine, sporting 3 two-barrel carburetors. This car became the most heavily-modified of all the cars I owned, and was in the shop when I had my race with the hapless fellow, above. Balanced, printed, blueprinted, with two Holley 650-cfm carbs on a cross-ram manifold, roller cam, a Nascar crankshaft that had been specially designed for this engine, headers, electronic ignition system (a novelty for the time), 4-speed transmission, and quick-change gear box, the engine produced over 700 horsepower at 7200 rpm. Add to that its look ... gold metal flake paint, a black fiberglass hood which was simply lifted off of the car, for access to its engine, it looked and sounded the part of a nasty street machine. I made a lot of money with this car.

    The purpose of the racing scene was partly pride and partly money. Pride came in the form of winning with your favorite brand of car. Mine was Mopar all the way (Chrysler products, generally). The money? You raced against “the enemy” for large amounts of cash and, sometimes, pink slips.

    For our friends outside of the States, the pink slip was the car's State registration. If you raced for pink slips, you were racing to take another person's car from them. If you won, the car would be transferred to you. Ofttimes, there would be one heckuva lot of fisticuffs after a race for pink slips, as people welched on their bets, and the winners tried to force the transfer. We usually went to the Forest Preserves on a Saturday night, because the County cop would be there, and would prevent the fights.

    As we brought the car off of the trailer, my opponent (whom we shall call Bob) came over and suspiciously shouted, “What the **** is this?”

    I replied, “You came to race, and so did I. We made no arrangement as to how the car would be brought to the drag, man.”

    I pulled a Stogie out of my pocket, and put it in my mouth (I've never smoked, it was for the look). I always did this before a big race, because my hero of the time did. His name was Richard Landy ... Dandy Dick Landy, as he was called. He was a professional dragracer, and put a Six Pack through its paces in 1969 for the model's tv commerical. The completely stock machine, weighing two tons, with its red-stripe tires, finished the ¼ mile strip with a time of 12.92, at over 130 mph. At the end of his run, Dandy Dick pulls up to the camera, puts his ever-present cigar into his mouth, and says:

    “When you get your new Dodge Super Bee Six Pack, take it down to the strip ... where the men are!”

    ... after which he roared away, burning his rear tires!

    I climbed into my car, and started it up, pleased with the sound it was making. Buckling up, I put my helmet on, and drove out onto Lawrence Avenue ... which was deserted at 2:00 am ... and pulled up to the starting line. Bob pulled up alongside, and we gave each other the evil glare.

    I yelled over the sound of the headers, “Looks good!”

    He smiled, “Thanks!”

    To which I replied, “It's a pooch!” Street-version of psychowarfare ...

    I heard him slam his Muncie 4-speed into first gear, and I responded by pushing in a recording of Jan & Dean on my 8-track, maximum volume, and smiling.

    The flagman got in front of us, and the linesmen lit up their flares, at the end of the quarter mile. We were ready. We brought our rpms up, ready to go.

    Nobody's gonna shut me down ... (Jan & Dean)

    The flagman, a friend named Gary, held the flag over his head. Clenching his other fist, he brought down his arm a first time (2 seconds to go), a second time (1 second to go), and then brought down the flag.

    Both cars roared from the starting line. As expected, he took me off of the line, getting about a 6 car length lead. But as I expected, his Muncie transmission failed him, and he had trouble getting it into second gear. Throughout second gear, we were neck-and-neck.

    We both shifted into third, at about the same time. The long stroke of the 383 started to kick in, and my car got about three car lengths on him. Then, near-disaster happened.

    As I shifted into fourth gear, the right ladder bar broke off, clanged into the ground, and shot off into the woods. I never saw it again. I started to lose control at about 90 mph, and he pulled in front of me again, by about a car length. I got my car under control, and the Dodge pulled him by about half a car length at the finish line.

    I turned my car around, and headed back for the public area, the County cop applauding me and giving a thumbs-up sign. In the “pits”, Bob didn't want to turn over his pink slip or his keys. He pleaded, and he begged. He said his dad would kill him. I wanted to kill him.

    Then, he started crying (he was 18, after all!) ...

    I asked him how much money he had. He pulled out his wallet, and there were 32 dollars in it. I grabbed the money and said, “Get out of here.” My inclusion in the Pantheon of street racing as a “legend” was then assured.

    Those days are long past. The days when you could walk into a dealership, and drive out in a brand new muscle car for $3500 are gone forever. Today, to perform like our machines will cost you at least $50 thousand US. And the age of 40-cent per gallon gasoline will never return.

    Damn Ralph Nader. May he break wind forever ...

    But they were good times. They were the days of my youth, after my stint in Vietnam. Perhaps, my love for the street-racing scene was an attempt to recapture youth that was lost, in the jungles of Southeast Asia. But I will never forget them, no matter what is coming in my life.

    I still want Ralph Nader to suffer from chronic flatulence, though ...

    I now present to you the traditional rainbow of colours, thoughts, and ideas that is the Black Prince's Queer Concern, on hate crimes with, of course, especial reference to homophobia (hands up all those surprised!);
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    Queer Concern

    Homophobia, its what's gay!

    Hate Crimes. A crime that attracts a higher penalty because of the motivation behind the offence. Racism, Sexism, Ageism, Islamophobia, Homophobia. By no means an exhaustive list, it comes in many forms, it can affect us all. In my previous editorials, i have very easily taken a predictable stance on the issues discussed. I suppose my criminal justice background influences my perspective here.

    Allow me, for a moment, to wear a rainbow coloured hat. As a victim of a homophobic assault, not only have i suffered the physical injuries, whatever they may be, there is an added psychological element to the offence. I've been singled out, targeted, for being a particular thing, in this case, for being gay, but equally it could be for being of a particular religion, for being a particular colour. A case of a majority group enforcing its status and making those people in the minority not feel equal, but scared, frightened, belittled, minoritised. This kind of prejudice cannot be, should not be, tolerated. NO ONE is less of a person for being black instead of white, gay instead of straight, and those people that target and harass people on the basis of their own bigotry and prejudice should face additional punishment.

    That’s the one side, but on the other, i cannot help thinking, is an assault any worse an assault because of its motivation? Does the law punish motive? Should it? We punish harsher for those who intend over those who are merely reckless, but that is the only extent to which a person’s mens rea, their guilty mind, is taken into account. Why then, do these specific crimes garner this special attention? Since the assault is the same, we are effectively making a crime of what someone thinks. In the UK, there has only been until now, one such thought crime in law, and i see no reason to expand the category. That crime is plotting to kill the monarch, and is the only crime in English law that can be committed by thought alone, thought without action, one would suggest it may be hard to prove.

    We say, in our free, pluralistic, multicultural society, that we are open to multiple ideas. We say that we have freedom of speech and expression, and that this is only limited and restricted where it harms another person who has an equal right to be protected from such harm. I believe in these freedoms, i believe they are fundamental, basic human rights, which is why they are enshrined in such statutes as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. I am happy to concede that if some modern neo-nazi teenager wishes to engage in anti-Semitism, if a Christian fundamentalist wishes to use his religion as a shield for his bigotry in contravention of Christ’s teachings, he has every right to hold those opinions, he has every right to believe what he does, and that if he wants to get together with a group of like minded people to engage in anti-Semitic or gay-bashing orgies in private, then so be it. So long as they don't mind me engaging in my equal right to protest outside their venue.

    But when they choose to bring their prejudices into the public domain, be it TV interviews, Church sermons, or simply roving gangs of teenagers engaging in some late night gay bashing, then that very clearly infringes upon our right to be protected from their hatred, and that should be punished. Their right to hate is qualified by our right to be free from it. This then is the justification behind hate crimes. We punish them for the physical offence they commit, but we also punish them for breaching our human rights, and for the psychological trauma the nature of their assault causes us.

    Bigotry and Prejudice, hatred of a minority group and their persecution, whatever its form, is wrong. Such persecution doesn't need to be as horrific as the holocaust for it to have a negative impact on the entire community affected by its perpetration. As a society, as members of a majority, we have a moral responsibility to stand up against the treatment of the few by an equally small group. Their crimes only become successful when the silent majority tacitly gives its consent to a vocal few who preach hatred. This applies equally to racism, to Islamophobia, to every crime of targeted hatred and prejudice that you may care to imagine, but for obvious reasons, homophobia is one that’s close to my heart.

    I've seen, first hand, what homophobia can do, I’ve seen the damage it can cause people, and i don’t just mean damage in the sense of broken bones and bruises, i mean the mental trauma. When a child’s own family turn on them and cast them out for being something they have no control over. When a child’s family tell them they are sick and twisted, are wrong in the head, and then pack them away to a special camp to be "cured", can you imagine the pain and anguish this causes a child? When every day they go to school and face the laughter, the jeering, the name calling... when queer bashing becomes the school bullies favourite pass-time... When a child is spending his youth wondering why he is different, searching the face of god and all existence for answers to the heart rendering question, why me? Why am i different? Why can't i be just like everyone else? I've been there, I’ve felt that pain, and been pushed to the point of no return. Pushed through fear, through pain, through loneliness. through hating being different. Childhood isn't exactly the best time of your life to realise you're not like all your friends. I had a very close friend whose love brought me back from the edge, who saved me from suicide when I was 17, but not everyone is as lucky as me. Most gay children don't have gay friends to help and support them at the time they need it most. Most gay children know of no other gay person they can turn to for support and advice. Surveys have shown gay teenagers are far far more at risk of committing suicide than straight children. A 1994 study in the US put the figure at 1 in 4 of all gay children will take their own lives. I sincerely hope and believe that that figure has fallen since then, but i also know that there is still a greater risk attached to gay children than straight.

    I speak not just in the abstract, and of my own experience, but also of the many many case studies that exist. This was provided to me by Stonewall

    Michael – 16 – from Hertfordshire
    "I came out to friends in school about a year and a half ago. It was between me and a few good friends but of course the whole school knew within a couple of days. The hassle I received was intolerable, to say the least. When I finally plucked up the courage to speak to a teacher, very little was done.
    Although my head of year was understanding, she acted as if it were a normal everyday case of 'teasing in the playground'. I gave her a list of names of people I knew to be causing a problem but when she spoke to them it got worse.

    When I started going out with my boyfriend things became even worse, though I'd not have thought it possible. We tried talking to the deputy head. We suggested many things to help alleviate the problems, but she always seemed hesitant to act. 'Just keep feeding me the names of the bullies,' she said, and that was it.

    I was sent to the school counsellor to talk about 'my problems'. I developed and still suffer from severe insomnia, for which I was referred to a psychiatrist, and was put on anti-depressants.

    The bullying did ease off eventually, it has never completely gone. It's not as intense now, but it always resurfaces. I can't honestly recall a single day in which I haven't had some sort of reference to my sexuality, or some form of negative view. I'm at a loss to know how every young person in the town seems to know about me.

    My boyfriend's been much luckier then me. He rarely got as much verbal abuse and he's never suffered physical abuse. He's now in the sixth form, he virtually never receives abuse now.

    I haven't been as lucky as him. Being in the year below, my year are less mature and still haven't grown up. I've also received physical violence twice. On each occasion I had to go to hospital. The incidents of assault were reported to the police but each time very little action was taken.
    This has all made me feel terrible. I've self-harmed and I've thought about suicide on more than one occasion."
    Tim – now 21 – from Hampshire
    “I was bullied for over 5 years, the worst was in year 10 [14yrs old] when I started my GCSEs. People kind of outed me and then it was hell for months. It got so bad, I was put on anti-depressants and had to see a psychologist. I never told anyone the real problem though for a long time (the fact that I was being bullied for being gay, not just 'being bullied') and to this day I have long term anxiety and self-confidence problems. Since then I've had several lots of counselling and regularly have prescription drugs from the doctor.

    I had serious panic attacks night after night and used to hit my head against the wall to try and make them stop. I'd cry myself to sleep every night, go to sleep feeling sick with anxiety and wake up feeling sick with anxiety. I lost lots of weight. In the mornings on the way to school I'd often sit on the train bridge but never had the courage to do it.

    It's difficult thinking about it now and so I don't very often but my anxiety and panic attacks are a reminder. I was also turned down from being an English assistant in French schools this year due to there being 'a history of anxiety' in my medical notes. Even simple things like early mornings and Sunday nights make me anxious. It reminds me of then, when I'd get up at 6.30am to go to hell and on Sunday nights when the luxury of not being bullied for the weekend was over.

    With regard to how the school handled it, at first they were supportive but as soon as the teachers found out I was gay, they became my enemies too. It was a Church of England school and one teacher even mentioned me getting 'cured' in a South American cathedral. I was often told I was to blame and that they couldn't help me. They said they didn't have any policy against homophobic bullying and that I just had to take it.

    Teachers actually permitted students to say things - one teacher told me that some of her year pupils were possibly going to beat me up but said she was powerless because it was all my fault. The school pretended nothing was going on - I was to blame for everything. My parents got called up because I was disturbing OTHER pupils by being so depressed. My parents almost took me out of school. As soon as teachers found out I was gay, it was like a switch - I went to see one of the nice ones after school one day and she said she couldn't help me anymore. References were made to 'certain legislation' [The now repealed Section 28 of the Local Government Act]. I begged the teacher who called my parents not to call them in case they found out I was gay but she did.

    Unfortunately I was the only 'out' gay person in a school of 1400 people, I felt totally alone. Most people, at least once, said something or spat or threw something. It became the most normal thing to be walking down a corridor and have everyone part like the Red Sea. Everyone would shout, 'Bums against the wall, Tim's coming'. On the 2 minute walk from the Sixth Form Centre to the main school (it continued till I left at age 18) I would have to get ready for all the groups of people to say things and shout things.

    Every day for years this happened, not one day went by for over five years when I didn't receive some sort of bullying. I can't start to describe how I felt, it's difficult to express. It's hard to talk about it which is why I blank it out. I really do fear that it has affected me for life."
    Be it the gay bashing that occurs on the streets of our cities, be it the lack of support and help for gay youth, be it the institutionalised homophobia in our schools and workplaces, homophobia is still by far the biggest killer in the gay community, with many many more who experience its painful effects. Each year, more gay people die from homophobic related incidents of treatment than they do from HIV/AIDS. There's no greater threat to the gay community than the fear and hatred against us found in the wider society. I do not doubt, nor do I deny, a persons right to hold such prejudice, but i will fight with every fibre of my being to prevent them from manifesting that in public in any way shape or form that causes a harm. I've seen too much of the damage it causes to do otherwise.

    But each of you reading has your own part to play as well. A 2003 Gallop poll in Europe put support for gay marriage (not civil partnerships, actual marriage) at 53% of the total population of the EU15. Support for partnerships lay in the 70s. In Britain, a youGov survey in May 2007 found 73% of parents would not mind if their child’s teacher was gay, 80% of respondents would not mind if a relative was gay, 88% would not mind if a member of the Royal Family was gay, 88% thought more should be done to tackle homophobic hate crime, and that an astonishing 85% of those questioned supported the Equality Act Sexual Orientation Regulations that caused such controversy with the catholic church in April.

    Those who inflict this harm on an innocent group of people are not the majority, and do not hold the majority view. They are but a right wing fringe, and should be opposed by you as well as us, lest you be tarred by the brush of extremism, and by tacit compliance be guilty of their crimes.

    the Black Prince
    With thanks to the staff of the Education For All campaign, run jointly by Stonewall and LGBT Youth Scotland.

    Gay Quote of the Week
    Straight Americans need... an education of the heart and soul. They must understand - to begin with - how it can feel to spend years denying your own deepest truths, to sit silently through classes, meals, and church services while people you love toss off remarks that brutalize your soul. - Bruce Bawer, writing in The Advocate, 28 April 1998

    Now, the special part. Lord Rahl's editorial sparked an urgent and wordy response from the Black Prince; and before I could pry them apart I had an editorial, a counter editorial, and the start of a debate - in a thread for Helios articles. Well, this won't do, and more than two articles on one issue is excessive, in one edition of the Helios. So the other posts can be found in this thread. Now without further ado, I present to you, the Helios Debate: Rule of Law and the War Against Terror, by Lord Rahl and the Black Prince;
    Click to view content: 

    Howdy everyone! For this Helios I've picked something that has gone under the radar in my mind. I guess everyone cares about Paris Hilton going to jail these days. This article will have a good amount of info and may seem a bit rantish but cut me some slack.

    Do you hear that? No. There is nothing to hear. There is no outrage, no anger, no concern. Well, there should be outrage my friends. There should be something to hear. There should be something to see. Let me tell you what is outrageous. There has been a decision which has been reported from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now this isn’t the entire 4th Circuit, rather a panel of three within. The 4th Circuit, generally speaking, is considered one of the best courts in the country but this particular panel isn’t, shall I say, the sharpest knives in the drawer. Let me give ya’ll some history behind this panel of judges, three judges to be exact. Two of the judges in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals were Clinton appointees named Judge Motz and Judge Gregory. Judge Gregory was picked in 2001 by President Bush to be on the court as a sort of “olive branch” to the Democrats. The Dems immediately confirmed Gregory and then blocked all of the Bush judges! We can see what good the olive branch did there. Now, onto the case. This case involves terrorism and is one of the worst cases, speaking about the defendant, that one will ever see. This man is the worst kind of terrorist an American, or any Westerner for that matter, should be worried about. He is an Al-Qaeda operative. This is not some man hiding in the caves in Afghanistan. This is a man who was, and still is, on American soil. This man is the type that makes 9/11 possible. This man’s name is Ali-Almari.

    The American people need to understand that 9/11 happened because the enemy managed to embed their people into the United States, into American society. Ali-Almari is one of those. He isn’t here to rob a bank. He is here to attack the US government, the people, the economy, whatever he so chooses or is ordered to. He is here to commit acts of terrorism, to commit acts of war against the United States. Now, here comes the outrageous part. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has made a decision basically saying that if you are a terrorist from another nation and you come here, you will be given full protection of all of the rights and privileges that American citizens have under the Constitution of the United States. Some will say that, “This is America and in America you have to give everyone due process rights to the enemy. We just can’t hold them forever. This is American tradition!” I don’t think so. The United States in its history has held millions of prisoners of war and never in that history until this war, the War on Terror and more specifically starting in 2004, has given the enemy systematic access to the courts of the United States. Up until 2004 enemy combatants could be held until the end of the war and let me give an example. If a German or Japanese soldier in World War II was captured he wasn’t allowed to walk into a district court in the United States and if the subject of the prisoner being held until the war’s end, as indefinite as a guess it could have been, then the courts would have said, “Good!” But, it seems that the current courts believe differently. With this history kept in mind it is obvious that the “American tradition” isn’t to give enemy combatants the rights of the citizens and so is, in fact, not American tradition. Why a terrorist would be given a trial worthy of an American citizen is beyond me.

    In the year 2000, and yes, you Conan fans can sing that like La Bamba if you so please, the United States Supreme Court decided on what is known as the Dickerson case that anyone who is arrested has a right to get Miranda warning and 5th Amendment privilege. If terrorists were arrested and brought in because they confessed and they were not given their Miranda warning then prosecutors cannot use what was confessed against them. Senator John McCain has insisted that we give foreign terrorists overseas 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendment rights. What that means with what the Supreme Court decided is that terrorists have Miranda rights. So, if we capture a terrorist overseas, he confesses, and is brought to the United States but was not given a Miranda warning overseas, then anything that was confessed couldn’t be used in court. I’m not talking about torture here. I’m talking about any confession from the prisoner that was given without a Miranda warning which we do not give to enemy combatants overseas. I would think that after 9/11 the people would figure this out. I would think that after 9/11 the courts would figure out that by dragging in these insane decisions into the justice system that we would be disarming ourselves in a way from defending ourselves as opposed to treating this like a war. This makes me believe that these idiot judges don’t think that we are in a war! Here is what people need to understand, from 1993 to 2001, from the bombing of the World Trade Center to 9/11, the United States was hit about once a year in terrorist attacks. Throughout that time Al-Qaeda grew by leaps and bounds. Also during those 8 years 29 terrorists were captured and dealt with. Most of those who were captured were that of low rank, the minions of terrorism. Osama bin Laden has been under indictment from the United States since June of 1998. This was before the embassy bombings, before the USS Cole bombing, the millennium bombing, and before 9/11. Evidently, adding counts to the indictment every time Al-Qaeda committed a terrorist act hasn’t deterred him much.

    What I’m trying to say is that if we use the criminal justice system to be the tip of the spear, or what seems to be right now as the full spear, to help stop terrorism is, for a law professor, something to be proud of because it shows that we can give due process to terrorists who are under indictment, but as a national security strategy it is a disaster. In Afghanistan and in parts of Iraq we’ve killed or captured more terrorists in a day or in a week than were from 1993 to 2001. So here is the question I have for the American people more specifically and also those who are undermining our war against terrorism, do you want to keep America safe or do you want to give due process to terrorists? Let me underscore the point. These terrorists are detained not as a form of official punishment but to keep them off of the battlefield, to keep them from attacking our country, and to interrogate them, all to protect the nation. These men have declared war on us and detention is a legitimate and traditional way of handling the situation. So when people may ask, “Are you going to keep them forever?” what should be said is, “Well, that depends. It matters how long they are fighting us.” What the human rights do-gooders wish to do is give the terrorists additional benefits and it is a natural law of humanity that if you reward bad behavior you’re guaranteed more of it. Holding them until the war is over is the whole point. If we keep them detained then they cannot go back to their side, we can collect intelligence, and ultimately bring the war to a quicker end. That is part of the law of war. It is time for people to realize that we are still at war and what it takes to win it.


    Click to view content: 

    My learned friend Lord Rahl once again makes excellent points in his editorial this week, but i fear he seems to be ignoring a certain fundamental fact of life that i wish to address. I once again remind readers that as with my last response to Rahl, this is not the left wing liberal view, but the view of a conservative moderate.

    My friend refers to the so called War on Terror, a war many here in the UK kindly acronym The War Against Terror (you can work it out...). Our Foreign and Commonwealth office last year issued a statement to all government departments and agencies asking to refrain from using this American term, as no such thing exists, and it ill-defines the state of affairs in which the ongoing fight against international terrorism takes place.

    Yes, we are fighting terrorism, but we are not in a war. I refer my friend to the definitive definition of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines War as "Noun - Quarrel between Nations or parts of nations (i.e. Civil War) conducted by armed force and suspending ordinary relations."
    I respectfully ask my learned friend to point out on an atlas for me where this nation, Terror, is, where lies its capital, who is its head of state? We went to war with Afganistan, and we fight a civil war there now on behalf of the Afghan Government against the Taliban. We went to War with Iraq, and we fight a civil war there now as allies of the Iraqi government against Iraqi militia forces and their allies. But a global war on terror does not exist, and the rules of war, the international and national laws governing warfare cannot and do not apply to to international terrorists.

    A captured terrorist has been arrested under a nations civil justice system, not under military laws, an arrested terrorist is not a prisoner of war, he is an arrested suspect, and entitled to exactly the same rights as would be any suspect of a crime, because that is what terrorism is, a crime. The War on Terror is a very misleading term like the War on Drugs, because its not a war, its an exercise in crime fighting, and the rules, principles, and indeed analogies of warfare have no place in sensible debate on this issue.

    A person arrested in America under the American criminal justice system is entitled to the full protection of all the laws, Constitutional, Federal, and State that govern that justice system. A terrorism suspect is no different to a murder suspect or a joyriding suspect, or a fraud suspect (and incidentally is therefore innocent till proven guilty by court of law.

    While not personally familiar with the Miranda warning, it would seem, according to wikipedia, to be the caution given to offenders when arrested. The British equivalent would be the phrase "You are under arrest, you do not have to say anything, but anything you do say may be given in evidence, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court"

    And yes, such a warning should be given to all people arrested. Its a basic right. Rahl comments that terrorists captured abroad must be given this too... well, if we persist in terrorism being a criminal offence prosecuted in a court of law, then a person captured abroad cannot simply be shipped to the united states anyway. That would be international kidnapping, and is the reason why extradition procedures exist. If US intelligence found a terrorist in, for example, France, or Britain, they would not, i hope, simply abduct him, but inform national authorities who would arrest him, and caution him under their own laws, before extradition, as for example, in the on going extradition case against British suspect Babar Ahmad at Bow Street Magistrates Court wanted by the US.

    Simply put, a terrorist is not an ememy combatant, he is not a taliban soldier, he is not a member of an iraqi militia, he is not in a comparable position to japanese and german WWII prisoners of war, and the American 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has not granted enemy combatants rights of access to the US Court System, they have merely affirmed the right of everyone arrested for a criminal offence under the jurisdiction of a US Criminal Court the right to due process, the right to a fair trial, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

    You want to fight international terrorism, go right ahead, we're not going to stop you. But if you want to use your own criminal justice system to do so, you have to abide by the rules and processes of that justice system. I would say yes, that the criminal justice system is fine for preventing domestic terror. Your FBI can arrest and indict people, and gather evidence and eventually get convicted these people, as the British Security Service, and Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Unit successfully did not so long ago.

    But international terrorists, domestic law has no place here. Until they set foot in the US, commit a crime in the US, the offence is ex-juris, out of the jurisdiction. The criminal process that applies is which country they are in, provided they committed an offence there... Why on earth are you bringing domestic courts and criminal process to bear? You can't fight a war against international terrorists with Tanks and Apaches, nor can you fight it with lawyers and Judges. You fight it with your intelligence agencies, its not a matter for law enforcement.

    But if you persist in making all terrorism a matter of domestic crime, and an issue for domestic courts, don't act all shocked and surprised when judges enforce, and certainly do not blame the judges for enforcing, the most basic, the most fundamental principle of the Rule of Law, that everyone is equal before the Law. Due process applies to everyone in the criminal justice system, Justice is blind to their offence, their status.

    Seriously awesome debate about an issue affecting us all and present to us all; I think the rest of it is well, well worth the read!

    So that's us done here; thanks for reading, see you again in a fortnight, and now go and rep my reporters; they deserve it all over again.
    Last edited by Ozymandias; June 18, 2007 at 05:29 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Everyone give three cheers for Ozy!

    In Patronicum sub Siblesz

  3. #3
    Oldgamer's Avatar My President ...
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Illinois, and I DID obtain my concealed carry permit! I'm packin'!

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Quote Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
    Everyone give three cheers for Ozy!
    Hip! Hip! ...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky


    (Ooops, spam!)

    In Patronicum sub Siblesz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky


    (Ooops, spam!)
    Under the patronage of Rhah and brother of eventhorizen.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    You can't have two Hooray's in a row (unless they are called Henry) you have to start again with the Hip, Hip....

    anyway great edition (except for one aged contributor )

    the DX10 stuff from the basement was very interesting, another topic going on here I hadn't noticed till reading the summary..

  7. #7

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    I really wish we had our own sub-forum! Pipe dream, I know. I'm very happy with the variety and depth of the content. Can't emphasize that enough!

    In Patronicum sub Siblesz

  8. #8

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Quote Originally Posted by Aristophanes
    I really wish we had our own sub-forum!
    I know I'm going to look like a complete idiot for asking this but.... I thought this was its own sub-forum!

    What was it you wanted to do that can't be done here?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Quote Originally Posted by makanyane View Post
    I know I'm going to look like a complete idiot for asking this but.... I thought this was its own sub-forum!

    What was it you wanted to do that can't be done here?
    I should explain better: I wish that the Helios sub-forum were divided in such a way as to make content more accessible and presentable. I think scrolling down through the articles is a daunting task. It would be much nicer if people could just browse a thread or a sub-forum devoted to a particular part of the Helios. It might also engender more views, discussion and feedback.

    In Patronicum sub Siblesz

  10. #10
    Denny Crane!'s Avatar Comes Rei Militaris
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    Sep 2005
    Newcastle, England

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Hmm expand on what you say sir for those who have been slowly dissolving their brains in alcohol these past few years.

  11. #11
    Tom Paine's Avatar Mr Common Sense

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Silver Spring, Maryland (inside the Beltway)

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Aaaand can you expand IN THE CONTENT FORUM? let's leave readers to their reading, the few we actually have...

  12. #12
    Darkragnar's Avatar Member of Ordo Malleus
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    Mar 2005

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
    Aaaand can you expand IN THE CONTENT FORUM? let's leave readers to their reading, the few we actually have...
    hehe i was wondering that my self , why this is going on here.
    Member of the House of Marenostrum
    They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ****, it's raining!

  13. #13
    NaptownKnight's Avatar Praeses
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    Feb 2007
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    Laugh at me will you!

    lol jk

  14. #14

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    I read most of it...well most of what interested me...

    Cool stuff. Cheers.

  15. #15
    Jiraiya's Avatar Libertus
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Niigata Prefecture

    Default Re: Helios 13: Not So Unlucky

    excellent read , i just discovered the Helios today and i am pleasantly surprised at the quality of editorials present here, maybe the world still has hope with fine gentlemen like your self populating it.

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