THEY SAID THEY weren't going to give out RC3 to anyone but the technical beta sites, but Microsoft just made this last release candidate available to MSDN Universal and Professional subscribers via the MSDN Subscribers Download Web site. Thanks to Michael Part and Chris Walker for the tip.
MY WIFE USES Hotmail in Outlook Express for her personal correspondence and because she's married to the biggest geek in the world, her system is always completely up to date with the latest releases and hot-fixes. Sometimes this is a good thing--I'll back up her data and keep her system optimized and all that--but sometimes I get the feeling I should just leave well enough alone. Recently, I "upgraded" her Windows 98 system to Internet Explorer 5.01 and now Outlook Express displays an advertisement pane in the bottom of its window, a pane that you cannot remove (so pane = pain in this case). She's not happy about it, of course, and had I just left the damn thing alone she wouldn't have to deal with it. I realize it's free and we should be happy to have it, but come on: There was no warning of this "feature" during the upgrade and you'd think that Microsoft would be happy enough to have yet another person locked into their Web/email solution without resorting to ads. It's almost as stupid as the AOL ads you see in AOL Instant Messenger: You'd think AOL would give an ad-free version to its paying customers, but no.
QUAKE III ARENA is now available at retail in North America: I'd ordered my copy electronically, but I've received word that retailers have just received the first copies of the game, which will go for about $50 a pop (European players can expect the game on December 15th). Id Software's master servers are back online too, so it's time to start fragging friends and foes alike. The company has also released the final version of the Q3A Demo; this version syncs up with the full version. No word yet on when the final version of Q3A for Linux or the Macintosh will become available