OK a couple of questions here that I hope someone answer. At my hostel we have internet. Shared internet. Consequently, there is a firewall. Even with the ports for Steam open, it will not work, we cannot figure out why. Valve Tech Support has no answer for me. When I open Steam, it gets to the checking for updates bit, finds that it can't connect to the server, and quits out. This has been fine for playing HL/CS etc, as we don't need it to play the games on our lan, but when it comes to patches etc, I can't get them (not that it matters for HL/CS really. Anyway, I hear HL2 is going to be fully Steam dependent. Having never used Steam, I don't know exactly how it works. Like how the patching system and everything works. Will I need to be able to connect to the Steam network to play HL2 normally (single player)? I don't mind if I need Steam to get patches, as I will be leaving my hostel and moving into a flat at the end of the year, and we will do whatever the hell we want with out internet, so will not have the problems of not being able to connect to steam. So yeah basically, what I am asking is, what is steam, and how does it work? Sorry if that's a really dumb question.