Strands are not working?

Changing settings for Strands in the Links and Pipeline tab have no affect on my render, what am I missing?
I have gone through a couple tutorials and I cannot get the strands to taper or have transparency.
I am trying to get the hair particles to render properly.

try this tut
you shoud get good resutls
Tutorial at http://animationbytim.com/smf/index.php#2
Salutations

Thank you for that tutorial link! In the Particle Buttons tab (F7) you must have the proper material selected under Render! This was not mentioned in any of the other tutorials I’ve been running through and the selection kind of skipped by me…