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Weekend Tips, fanboy style

Xbox Guide buttonDid you hastily plug in your 360 without reading the manual? Wondering what sort of things you can do with it? Here are a couple of simple tips to enhance your gaming experience (watch this space for more):

Remote Power On
No remote control? Simply hold down the Guide button on your controller to power on the console without leaving your seat.

Appear Offline
Tired of all the messages? Press the Guide button, choose Personal Settings and Online Status. Select Away, Busy or Appear Offline to change how you appear to others.

Themes aplenty
The 360's hard drive is preloaded with a selection of themes from Halo to Kameo and beyond. Choose Personal Settings from the Guide button, then choose Themes to select your new look.

Notifications off
Those popups really getting in the way of your gaming? You've probably figured this one out by now, but you can turn them off by pressing the Guide button, choosing Personal Settings and then Notifications. Some notifications will appear regardless of your preferences, but you can turn off being told about your friends' every moves.

Multiple Gamertags
Just like the original Xbox, you can have more than one gamertag on your console, but you can't link them. Each will need its own Passport account, which you can set up from within the Xbox 360 Dashboard, and you'll need the credit card number and billing details used for the accounts. You can check this on your old Xbox, if you've forgotten which name or address you used. Plug in a USB keyboard to make filling out the details much easier.

Music Mayhem
Enhance your games by playing your own music instead of the in-game soundtrack. (Only available for Xbox 360 games, not emulated Xbox games.) If you're running Windows XP, download Windows Media Connect and share your music between your PC and your 360, or plug in your favourite portable music player via USB and the 360 will do the rest. Press the Guide button to access the music player options while you're playing a game.

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