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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    I just spotted this over at WinInfo's homepage. Microsoft is offering 'Free Winter Fun Packs' for users of Windows XP, including holiday card templates, screen savers, and stuff for Windows Media Player 9. When I hopped over there the screen savers didn't work, but you can try for yourself at http://www.microsoft.com/holiday.

    Cheers!
    -Mark

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Thanks, Mark. I'll take a look. My wife almost certianly will like this stuff. <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23>

    Bob <img src=/S/flags/USA.gif border=0 alt=USA width=30 height=18>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


  3. #3
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    The screensaver link in now working. I just down loaded the 12.6 MB file.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I don't like either of the screensavers. It may be that my ATI video card is too old, but one of them (snowflakes) is so slow it would drive you crazy and the other one is just an advertisement.

    Big question: I now have something in Control Panel called ANARK CLIENT which they (MS) must have included in the installation. Anark.Com seems to be 3D graphics of some kind. Maybe they told me and I shoulda read the stuff before I clicked Install, huh?

  5. #5
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    You are NOT alone, I have seen MUCH better for half the price <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Yes Al, I'd agree that the advertisement screen saver is rather stupid. Thanks, Microsoft. Why do I need to advertise a product I already paid through the nose for? <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15> The snowflakes screen saver runs fine on later hardware, I don't know the vintage of your ATI card but the fact that it's ATI makes me want to <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25> <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    The Anark client is a plug-in for Internet Explorer to enable 3D rendering on web pages. It's also used for other rendering purposes, but to be honest I don't know if the savers installed it or not - I got it when viewing a NVidia demo, and it seems rather harmless. At least it's not as intrusive as Real or Quicktime eh?
    -Mark

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Hey, you don't suppose that 3D rendering thing came down with that latest hotfix I just D/L'd from the XP Update site, do you? It was labeled a security patch for IE 6. Hey, some of you other Loungers who have not downloaded these screensavers or other goodies, how 'bout seeing if you HAVE that Anark thing? I guess I'll not worry about it.

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Al, I can't imagine that it did - Microsoft may pass down some interesting things from Windows Update but this would be the first time that I'm aware of where they foisted a plug-in on you. I think it's more likely that it came from either the screen savers or a website thiat you visited, and prompted you for an ActiveX control. I guessing at the latter since the original 3D screen savers that came with the Plus! pack and from the website didn't use these controls, so it stands to reason that the new ones don't either. Could be wrong - it's something to check out. But as you said yourself, it's really nothing to worry about. It's not spyware or similar so you're safe as far as I know. Anark also documents their software fairly well, which is encouraging.
    -Mark

  9. #9
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Check the folder (G:Program FilesAnark) date, mine is today 12/10/2002, which is when I installed the screen savers. Also I do NOT have this folder on my laptop, which I have NOT tried the screen savers on.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Yep, your're right Dave. 12/10/02. Case closed! But the screensavers still go in the "unused" category.

  11. #11
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Microsoft Freebies for XP Users (All)

    Be aware that some of the free stuff requires you to install beta versions of software.

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