IMPORTANT: I cannot believe I just now remembered this, but when I was on the tour, Gabe told me that Steam would begin to send Half-Life 2 the game to individual's hard drives a week before it released via Steam. I'm assuming this is for people that choose in advance to get it from there. A Steam employee also told me that the material sent to your hard drive would he heavily encrypted, in order to prevent anyone from playing any of the game early. And obviously, people would be notified in advance that the material was being sent to their hard drives. If this is the case, then an announcement would need to be made no later than next tuesday (the 22nd) for it to be sent by the 30th via Steam.