Ok, first up is What’s Playing for Winamp 2 and 3. It’s a plugin that lets you send a list of, surprise, what you’re playing to a html file, perl script or some other content form. I asked chip about it and I might beg him to figure out an easy way to make it part of my webpage once its redesign is finished. Apparently it’s pretty easy but I’ll let you who are more skilled than me be the judge of that. The author provides plenty of explanation and documentation so it might just be do-able.

Second, CS skins. For those of you who play CS (and there’s only a few that read this that do) this is for you. Over the past few days I’ve been putting together Matt’s CS Pack v3.0. If you’ll remember correctly, about a year ago the place I (we) used to get replacement models and skin thought it would be a good idea to start charging. Now, this is obvious BS since they didn’t make any of these models and you could find them elsewhere. Their point was that you could, but that they were the ones spending the time to put them together into a collection. Basically it was a convenience thing. The problem is that I never really used 100% of their collection. I would use about 80% and then add my own favorites to round it off. So, I decided to go ahead and put together a collection that I would be 100% happy and thus v1.0 was created. Originally it was about 200Mb worth of weapon models, character skin replacements and maps. Now, it’s nearly a CD full and covers everything from maps to models to cross-hair replacements and everything in between. Now, I’m not going to take any credit for any of it (unlike that afore mentioned website) because a: I didn’t create any of these and b: I would have put the collection together anyways. But, since it’s so large, I’m not going to offer it up as a download, I wouldn’t want to kill our poor server. So, if you want a copy, you’ll have to ask me for it. BUT what I will do is provide a few links to some of the things in the collection. That was, if you don’t feel like installing a whole ton of stuff you don’t need, you don’t have to. And this way, you can make your own collection, which is always better in the first place. Anyway, here goes.

Now remember, these are all 5 star, top notch, A+ type skins. Of course, peoples opinions as to what an A+ skin looks like will probably vary. These are simply my top picks as to what I’ve seen as well as used. Please, by all means, if you think you have a better version of something, send me a link and I’ll take a look at it.

Weapon replacements:
USP .45 – nice, simple and awesome texture
Glock 18 – hands down the best glock replacement I’ve ever seen
57 – really slick replacement even if it’s not the same gun
XM1014 – wow.
AK47 – nice and simple, the way I like it.
M4A1 – with extraswithout extras – same skin, different versions.
Scout – clean.
AWP – dang, thats pretty…
SG550 – good replacement for such a crappy gun

Now, you may have noticed that all the weapons aren’t represented. That’s because I either couldn’t figure out where I originally got them from or it’s been so long since I changed them that I’ve completely forgotten. My MP5 skin for example, has been the same since CS 1.3. Why? Because it’s the best MP5 skin I’ve ever seen. For all the categories I’ve skipped, visit the CS-Nation Archives or CS-Skins.net and I’m sure you can find some that you’ll enjoy.

Player skins:
CT players – well, this is sort of a “choose your own” kind of deal. There are 5 seriously good model replacements, all by the same guy and all of great quality. You just have to choose whether you want the good guys to look like the FBI, NYPD, US Marines, UN Peacekeepers or the British Paratroopers. They all play very nicely and are very recommended.

T player replacements – well, there’s really only one pack and it’s not a surprise that its by the same guy who did the above CT packs. Everyone really likes his stuff and for good reason. There’s also a runner-up pack but in my opinion they get a little confusing if you’re playing with CT skins that also wear camo.

Last but not least there are a few little touches that make the game simply that much more interesting. First up are some cross-hair replacements. Why would I replace a cross hair you ask? Because instead of this, you could be using this. See, that’s why. This is Arrowhead’s cross-hair pack (note: direct D/L link) and it’s fantastic. A welcome change from a big X in the middle of the screen. Grenades are also something that can be fancied up a little bit… at least until they explode that is. Give these a try.

I was going to mention a whole host of places to get maps, but nearly every site that I had bookmarked doesn’t exist anymore. So, I’d suggest visiting some of the links below and trying to find some there. Also, look for themed packs floating around the net (ie: desert maps, ice maps, 30 versions of de_dust maps, etc). You’ll find some.

Also, you simply must check out RzE’s CS Helper. It’s a vgui based binding system that makes life SO much easier. Take a look.

Lastly here are some links in case you get bored and feel like browsing for you’re own. Warning, this may suck up more of your free time than you’d care to admit. You’ve been warned.

C.o.D.G Gun Shop – older models/link but still good.
CS-Nation – home of the “Skin of the Day”
CS-Skins – not regularly updated but still pretty good
CS Central – another good one.
Counter-Strike Center – a little bit of everything

Thats about it. Hope someone finds all this useful.