08 August 98 - 14 August 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • DirectX 6 Exposed!
  • New Hardware Editor!
  • Abit BH6 Reviewed
  • Obsidian2 X-24
  • Tyan S1830S
  • WebTV
  • Dhabih Eng
  • ElanVital T-10AB
  • Toshiba Demonstrated 0.10 Micron Chips
  • Office 2000 to Ship Next Year
  • CPUIdle v4.0
  • TNT Vs Voodoo2 - The Benchmarks!
  • Overclocking Your 3D Accelerator
  • Microsoft Demos RealPlayers Bugs
  • AOL Super Network
  • Security Flaw in Eudora
  • DirectX 6 Article
  • Vortex 2 Announced
  • Wing Commander: Secret Ops
  • Chaintech 6BTM Mobo Reviewed!
  • PII Overdrive for Pentium Pro?
  • ASUS P2B Mobo Review Completed!
  • VIA MVP4
  • Faster CDROMs
  • More G200 love, This Time G200 SE
  • SoundBlaster Live!
  • TNT - A Quaker's Dynamite?
  • BH6 Reviews in Japanese & Chinese Versions
  • Feature Analysis of SBLive!
  • Sony NightShot Videocam
  • Feds Slams Geocities
14th August 1998 {Friday}
Feds Slams Geocities 14th August 08:51 am

In the first federal government crackdown on Internet consumer privacy, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has punished a Web company for allegedly violating the privacy of its customers. Meanwhile the company, which went public on Tuesday, denies any wrongdoing.

In the consent agreement announced Thursday, GeoCities, which offers free Web pages to consumers, agreed to a range of concessions for what the commission said were violations of its customers' privacy and misuse of personal information.

"GeoCities has misled its customers, both children and adults, by not telling the truth about how it was using their personal information," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection in a statement.

GeoCities offers free Web pages and email addresses to anyone who completes a form that details his or her personal information. The company had promised that this optional information, such as occupation, income, education, interests, and marital status, will not be disclosed without the member's consent.

But in fact, the complaint states, the information has been supplied to third parties, who used it to target solicitations not covered in the agreement.

Sony Nightshot Videocam 14th August 08:49 am

This is not really computer hardware related, but it interests me. Videocamera technology that allows people to capture images in sheer darkness also allows them to capture the human body in nearly naked detail. The unintended feature is sending shudders through Sony's execs, who have now halted shipments of the infrared cameras.

Sony said on Wednesday that its first-generation HandyCams -- loaded with NightShot technology that can zoom through light clothing to focus in on underwear, and make people wearing swimsuits look almost naked -- were being replaced with modified versions.

"When we developed this feature for the HandyCam, we were thinking of people filming night views -- their children sleeping, or perhaps the nocturnal behavior of animals," a spokesman for the Japanese conglomerate said.

But using the camera in the daylight, or with a special filter in a lighted room, allows folks to capture underlying visuals.

Sony said it first learned of HandyCam's surprise feature when reporters started asking for comments on the "new way" of using the camera.

Sony technicians then experimented and confirmed that the technology, once reserved for moneyed hobbyists and Gulf War troops, had the unintended capability.

The NightShot technology in the modified version now works only in the dark.

Feature Analysis of the SBLive! 14th August 01:06 am

Clarence is in the process of writing his feature analysis of the SoundBlaster Live! only officially launched by Creative yesterday. He has already posted a large chunk of it up on his page dedicated to the SBLive!. Hear what he says about this hot stuff from Creative Technology:

"As the current drivers stand, you can mix up to 8 sounds at 16-bit 44.1kHz, which is already a one-up from the current A3D 1.0 implementation, which does it at 16-bit 22kHz maximum. And don't forget that the SBLive! can add effects to the sound, while A3D 1.0 just positions the sound in a 3D space, adds other parameters like doppler and plays it. As Creative would say, there's no envorinment.

The good news is that Creative engineers are working to increase this number in future."

BH6 Review In Japanese & Chinese Versions! 14th August 00:53 am

Hey! International visitors, if you read Japanese or Chinese, you're in luck this time! Our coeditor's web page - The Overclocker's Workbench, has made available his ABIT BH6 review in 2 other languages, namely Japanese and Mandarin versions. (Visit them now!)

With the help of his kind international friends who's provided the necessary translations, we hope to reach out to an even broader audience. This is just the start. Do support him!

TNT - A Quaker's Dynamite? 14th August 00:16 am

Blue has updated their benchmarks on the STB TNT card a while ago after they'd received updated drivers from STB. Well, you've got to see it to believe me. But I really think the TNT rocks. The newest driver release has allowed the Riva TNT to come on par with the Voodoo 2 as the Quake's player's dream card.

Unless you're going to invest in a twin Voodoo 2 setup which will set you back another S$400, the TNT will be your next best bet to run Quake II at up to 1024 X 768 resolution. In Blue's latest figures, the Riva TNT board begins to show its grit at higher resolutions where a single Voodoo2 starts to choke. Hop over now!

13th August 1998 {Thursday}
SoundBlaster Live! 13th August 22:16 pm

Creative is doing some aggressive marketing. They are offering the Cambridge Soundworks 4 Point system free (worth S$188) with every purchase of SB Live (S$359). Offer valid till 23th July. Hurry and get one today!

3DAI 13th August 08:56 am

Ever wanted to know the latest news on Audio? Visit 3DAI today. Includes lots of reviews on speakers and sound cards.

12th August 1998 {Wednesday}

More G200 love, This Time G200 SE 12th August 19:38 pm

I read this off PC Fan, and it appears that Matrox is still dead serious to capture the CAD and NT markets with this high-end offering of the G200 SE, which is basically the G200 intergrated with a 320Mhz RAMDAC (wow!). Here's the post from PC Fan:

Matrox Graphics introduces the new Matrox Millennium G200 SE - a Special Edition of the award-winning Matrox Millennium G200 engineered to support resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 for the CAD and NT markets using the newest generation of monitors. The Matrox Millennium G200 SE will be bundled exclusively with the latest high resolution monitors, including the new Viewsonic P817. Matrox Graphics is the only company in the industry offering this cutting-edge technology and responding to the needs of this market.

Based on the MGA-G200 chip, the Millennium G200 SE integrates a 320 MHz RAMDAC for the highest possible refresh rate along with the unique 128-bit DualBus architecture for fast 2D performance even at the most demanding resolutions and color depths. A full-featured 3D rendering and setup engine delivers high levels of performance when accelerating real world 3D applications ranging from entry-level to mid-range CAD and animation packages.

The Matrox Millennium G200 SE will be sold to monitor companies to bundle with high end monitors and will be available in the Fall of 1998.

US Mirror down 12th August 07:18 am

We are sorry to inform you that our US mirror at http://hardwareone.gotgames.com was facing some difficulities for the past few days. If you haven't visit GotGames yet, why not do it now?

Faster CDROMs 12th August 07:12 am

Accordingly to News, Asustek, Behavior Tech Computer and Ultima Electronics, among others, are in the process of developing 44X, 48X and even 60X CD-ROM drives, according to Commercial Times, a Taiwanese business publication, as reported by Nikkei's AsiaBizTech web site.

The "X" refers to the speed multiple of a baseline CD-ROM drive. A few years back, the fastest CD-ROM drives typically ran at 4X or 8X speeds.

The fastest CD-ROM drives currently on the market run at 40X. AOpen has already completed its 44X CD-ROM drive, for instance, while Acer Peripherals is ready to manufacture 48x CD-ROM drives. Behavior claims to be working on a 60X drive.

The need for more speed comes because these companies want to squeeze out more drive sales before CD-ROM goes away. CD-ROMs will begin to disappear by the turn of the century as electronics manufacturers and PC vendors transit to DVD.

VIA MVP4 12th August 07:10 am

Just when the MVP3 was announced earlier this year, VIA Technologies, Inc., the leader in core logic chipset technologies, today introduced the high integration multimedia capable Apollo MVP4.

The new chipset includes the VT82C501 Share Memory Architecture (SMA) north bridge and the VT82C686 Super South bridge. It delivers next-generation feature set -- integrating 2D/3D AGP graphics engine with DVD hardware acceleration, 100MHz CPU and DRAM bus, AC-97 audio and support for SoundBlaster Pro and FM synthesis legacy audio, Super I/O, Hardware Monitoring -- to OEMs targeting the hot, sub-$1000 computing segments.

"Integration is the wave of the future in core logic chipset design. But we didn't draw the line at graphics," said Wen Chi Chen, VIA president and CEO. "With all the features needed for upcoming Basic PC designs, our Apollo MVP4 / Super South combo jumps the gun on next years integrated chipset roadmap, offering technologies that fully round out the feature set and drive down associated costs."

ASUS P2B Mobo Review Completed! 12th August 01:06 am

Whew! Yap! It's here! The ASUS P2B motherboard is exclusively reviewed at Hardware One. A superb board supporting multipliers from 2.0 all the way to 8.0, and CPU Bus clock of 66.8 to 133mhz! Find out my detailed experience in overclocking with this mobo and my experience in setting it up.

Read about this highly rated BX motherboard from our "Exclusive Reviews" section.

11th August 1998 {Tuesday}
P2B Review Coming Up 11th August 23:51 pm

Sorry people, I apologise for the lack of updates today. Sigh. I was not intending to update the page today as I'm very busy doing my review on the ASUS P2B board. If all goes smoothly, I should be posting it up by tomorrow. Watch out for it ok?

PII Overdrive for Pentium Pro? 11th August 23:47 pm

I caught this off Voodoo Extreme a little while ago, and well, it is quite interesting. Intel has released a new chip in their family of Overdrive processors. Here's the snippet off the press release.

Intel marks the completion of the OverDrive processor family of upgrade products with the introduction of the new Pentium II OverDrive processor. The Pentium II OverDrive processor upgrades existing upgradable 150- and 180-MHz Pentium Pro processor-based systems to 300 MHz, and upgrades existing 166- and 200-MHz Pentium Pro processor-based systems to 333 MHz.
The Pentium II OverDrive processor’s higher clock speeds, coupled with larger full-speed caches and Intel’s MMX technology deliver improved performance for data-intensive applications such as databases, computer-aided design, desktop publishing, imaging, and multimedia content development.

Chaintech 6BTM Mobo Reviewed! 11th August 22:36 pm

Thanks to Lester Sim, we've now got the review of the Chaintech 6BTM Mobo right here at our "Exclusive Reviews" section.

While it is not a dream board for an overclocker, it is a true quality board that is all rounded but does not come with an intimidating price tag! It'll surely appeal to many looking for a good buy! Read the full review here!

10th August 1998 {Monday}
Overclocking Your 3D Accelerator 10th August 22:24 pm

David Yee of CoolComputing has written this fairly uncommon article about overclocking your 3D accelerator using utilities like Entech's PowerStrip. It explains and shows us how much performance gain we were able to get from overclocking our video cards and the recommended limit of overclocking.

For many performance freaks, they'll usually like to squeeze every ounce of power they can from their peripherals. But in some cases, such as the Voodoo 2, it may not be worth it as we sacrifice stability for a marginal improvement.

If you derive joy from seeing 1-2% increase in frame rates, then think about how much pain you'll get if your card blows! So never forget the 3 most important words for an overclocker - COOLING, COOLING, and MORE COOLING!

On his test system, David also showed us some of the invisible stability threshold that he's discovered in the various cards. Read the article for a full picture before you try to push your 3D card any further!

TNT Vs Voodoo2 - The Benchmarks! 10th August 22:08 pm

Blue has done a benchmark test of a STB TNT board vs a Canopus Pure3D II. From his benchmark numbers, we were able to see the TNT beating the Voodoo2 in almost every aspect except for Quake II.

Playing Quake II at 640 X 480, the Voodoo2 has a clear lead in terms of frame rates (that's not to say the TNT's frame rates are low). But the margin greatly narrows as they went from 640 X 480 to 800 X 600. The TNT was very much on par with the V2 at this resolution.

I would just like to point out that the TNT is also able to run these games at 1024 X 768 (or higher), abeit at less than ideal frame rates.

Hop over to see the numbers for yourself!

CPUIdle v4.0 10th August 19:13 pm

CPUIdle v4.0 is released. In case you do not know what CpuIdle does, it runs a HLT command in an idle-priority thread under Windows95. This allows modern microprocessors like Intel P5/ P5 MMX/ PPro/ PII, AMD K5/ K6/ K6-2 or Cyrix M1/ M2 to save power and stay cool. It helps to create a more stable system when CPU temperature is an issue with overclocking and helps the environment.

However, please do take note that from version 4.0 onwards, it has change from a freeware program to a shareware program. You can download this from our Utilities page.

Hardware One did an review on CPUIdle before. To read it again, click here.

ElanVital T-10AB 10th August 13:11 pm

You might not have heard about ElanVital, a new designer company specialising in PC Case making, that's part of the ASUS group.

Well, many would disagree with spending the extra bucks on purchasing a brand name/designer casing when a cheap one will do the job. But lets take a look at why the T-10AB has won rave reviews for its design and workmanship.

T-10AB Classic T-10AB Elegant T-10AB Avant-Garde

The ultimatePC has done a great in-depth look into this award-winning ATX casing from ElanVital (Heh! I've got one myself but haven't had the time to do a write-up on it!). A short snippet here:

"...The T-10AB is made of some of the thickest sheet metal in any case I've worked with. Not only is the sheet metal sturdy, but it's been cut carefully and the edges rolled where necessary to minimize sharp edges. All the panels fit together perfectly and do not bend easily. The bezel is made of very solid plastic and the clips that hold it in are not likely to break off easily."

"...The ElanVital T-10AB is one of the best ATX mid-towers I've ever worked with."

Where can I find it in Singapore? Find it at Ai-En Enterprise, Sim Lim Square. (Read the full review from the ultimatePC!)

Dhabih Eng 10th August 12:02 pm

Have you read some PC gaming magazines and wondered who did some of those beautiful art work of evil monsters and heroic fighters for them? Here's the man!

Actually, I came across Dhabih Eng's site a couple of days ago (quite accidentally) and was mersmerised by his exquisite site design and his kick-ass computer art work. Incredible!

Ok, you must be wondering who this strange mysterious person might be. Well, it's just Dhabih Eng, a superb computer graphics artist (as you might call him!).

Rumaging through his folio of past works and images that he's drawn, you'll soon discover that this young man's talent is extraordinary! He has done cover artwork for PC Gaming World, EGM and many other computer games companies.

I'll urge everyone of you to hop over and take a look! (Dhabih Eng's page)

Office 2000 to Ship Next Year 10th August 11:27 am

Microsoft announced that they would be shipping Office 2000 first quarter next year, as reported by NEWS.COM. Also, Microsoft will be integrating Office 2000 server side management tool with Windows NT 5.0.

Office 2000 is a radical departure from previous releases. Microsoft will recast Office as a series of application components, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook, which can be distributed and managed from a central server and will include closer ties to Microsoft's Internet Information Server Web server software and NT 5.0.

Well, in case you don't have an idea of what Microsoft plans to incorporate into their latest business application suite, this is another article (that I've missed some time back) which briefly outlined the product feature set.

Toshiba demonstrated 0.10 Micron Chips 10th August 11:08 am

Toshiba achieved 0.10 micron feature sizes in their chips using a combination of lithography tools. Even so, the industry continues to look at other lithography options from companies like Lucent, IBM and Intel in search of a viable tool fast enough for general production. Here's a snippet from CMP.NET's full report:

TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. here has demonstrated chips with 0.10-micron feature sizes using a combination of a deep-UV stepper and direct-write electron-beam lithography tool, Nikkei reported today.

The two tools working in tandem can process seven wafers an hour, according to Toshiba. The firm claimed this is twice as fast as current e-beam tools used alone, but some observers initially believed the rate was still too slow to be viable for production.

WebTV 10th August 10:33 am

For a full two years now, WebTV has been virtually alone in selling Internet access over the television set. But at long last, the Microsoft subsidiary is about to get some company. A spate of deals involving such upstarts as WorldGate, the Interactive Channel and ICTV provides new options for some U.S. consumers. As a result, analysts are suddenly raising their projections for interactive-TV use by year-end.

Several companies have finally stepped to the plate to provide a new class of TV service. WorldGate Communications, which offers e-mail and Web browsing over cable TV, recently launched commercial service in St. Louis, and the adoption rate has been surprisingly strong — more than 8 percent.

Just last month, the Interactive Channel — offering a collection of interactive services over a single cable TV channel — gained its first cable commitment, meaning the service eventually will be available to more than 500,000 subscribers of Insight Communications. And then early this week, ICTV — providing both Internet access and CD-ROM games through cable TV — signed up its first customer, St. Joseph Cablevision in Missouri.

Tyan S1830S 10th August 10:29 am

It looks like Tyan motherboards are back again. Anand did a review on the Tyan S1830S BX motherboard. This one features 4 PCI/4 ISA/1 AGP slots. Coming up next is the Tyan Trinity BX motherboard which comes with a whopping 6 PCI slots, built in sound as well as onboard SCSI.

Sounds good to me.

Obsidian2 X24 10th August 10:21 am

HardwareTechs did a short review on the Obsidian2 X24.

Quantum 3D has made a big dent in the 3D video upgrade world with its Obsidian2 X-24 Single SLI board. With 24MB of 100mhz ram (which also only takes up one PCI slot) you will not have to upgrade for awhile. With complete S-video and TV output you will enjoy this board with your nice big screen TV.

9th August 1998 {Sunday}
Abit BH6 Reviewed 9th August 21:57 pm

Gotta read this! Your newest editor - Overclocker, has served up Part 1-5 of his detailed experience in testing and benchmarking this grand mobo. He's spent a great deal of time and effort toying around with it so as not to miss out a single detail for our loyal readers! Check it out right off our Exclusive Reviews section.

abitbx1.jpg (13411 bytes)

Yes. Even Part 5 is here now. Cheerios!

New Hardware Editor!!! 9th August 20:34 pm

We're very happy to announce that a new partner has joined us! Known to everyone as the Overclocker, he'll be taking over as Hardware Editor specialising in reviews etc.

What you'll soon be able to find over here will be his exclusive reviews on the ABIT BH6 motherboard and his overclocking guides! So watch out for his tentalising reviews that'll come by soon! Stay tuned!

DirectX 6 Exposed! 9th August 16:41 pm

Gamer's Alliance has just thrown up their review on Microsoft's DirectX 6. In a little benchmark that he had ran, the API was found wanting! In his P200 rig, only a tiny improvement was noticed over DirectX 5. Here's what they say:

I couldn’t really notice much of a performance gain, or decrease for that matter, in any games. However, the Windows Desktop performance, navigating around the start menu and related activities did feel somewhat crisper and a tad faster.

That's that for the present generation games. But I'll say that since DirectX 6 supports much more features, we'll expect richer gameplay etc with newer generation video cards and games. Whether DirectX 6 can take over from Glide as the dominant API of choice remains to be seen.

8th August 1998 {Saturday}
Happy National Day  8th August 23:31pm

Hardware One will like to wish all Singaporeans a Happy 33th National Day!

Wing Commander: Secret Ops  8th August 16:40pm

Yeah! We can look forward to the free add-on for Wing Commander Prophecy pretty soon. Are you tired of waiting? Well, Origin sure has found a way to whet our appetites. They will be releasing the missions episode by episode via downloads from their website. Here's the post from PCME:

They plan to launch Secret Ops officially on August 24th, when they feature first installment of the dramatic story line, via Shockwave on the Secret Ops website. They'll use Shockwave to air the fiction side of things every week, before they release the episodes for download.

Then on August 27th, you'll be able to download the base installation of the game, which we're told may be anywhere between 50MB-70MB. They originally claimed it would be around 50MB, but that ended up growing a bit when we asked Origin about how big the initial download would be last week.

The episodes shouldn't be much bigger than 5-6MB each. The initial base installation should be the largest download you'll have to make. Since it's FREE, I doubt there will be too many people complaining about download sizes. They'll be releasing 56 missions, in seven weekly installments. This is also based on the Wing Commander: Prophecy engine, so it looks really nice and features support for 3D hardware.

Yes. You'll probably have to tear your hair out downloading 50-70Mb of the base installation files and then groan each time you have to grab a new episode. But heck! Don't you just love this game???

Vortex 2 Announced!  8th August 11:47 am

Aureal announced the availability of their Vortex 2 PCI audio processor that'll support A3D 2.0 positional audio technology. It is PC'98 compliant and sports more than double the processing power of the original Vortex chip. Here's more of it:

Vortex 2 provides hardware support for Aureal's A3D technology - the standard for high-end 3D audio used in a multitude of PC games, as well as support for Microsoft's DirectSound3D. Aureal's recently announced A3D 2.0 provides additional 3D audio features, including Aureal Wavetracing -- the ability to add wall reflections and occlusions to model the acoustic characteristics of the environment. The Vortex 2 processor is configurable for up to 320 wavetable voices and accepts DLS 1.0 sound samples, making it an excellent platform for accelerating DirectMusic and MIDI-based audio.

DirectX 6 Article  8th August 11:10 am

Games.net just posted this great read about DirectX 6. Find out what DirectX 6 can do for your PC in terms of CPU, 3D Performance, 3D Audio and music!

"...DX6 adds extra instructions to the API, permitting developers to make games that recognize what CPU is in your computer and then optimize the game for that chip. For example, if you buy a K6-2 CPU that features enhanced FPU (floating point unit) performance, you won’t get the full benefit of that FPU boost unless you upgrade to DX6."

"...The guts of DX6 are six times smaller than DX5’s, and the remaining code has been optimized to handle a broader range of 3D functions. Microsoft claims this reduction and optimization will improve stability and speed. DX6 will also supposedly increase the number of D3D features available to most D3D accelerators."

Security flaw in Eudora  8th August 03:40 am

Just over a week after a serious security flaw was revealed in two popular electronic mail programs, an equally troubling vulnerability has been discovered in Eudora, the most widely used e-mail software, the New York Times reported Friday.

The Eudora flaw makes it possible for a malicious computer user with little or no programming expertise to booby-trap an e-mail message by inserting a seemingly harmless link to an Internet location that in fact executes the malignant code.

This could permit an attacker to destroy or steal data or to otherwise tamper with a personal computer. The security flaw was discovered early this week by a Massachussets-based software company. There are no known instances of anyone actually taking advantage of the weakness to send damaging e-mail.

AOL Super Network  8th August 03:36 am

America Online Inc. is trying a new tactic to address lingering concerns about the speed of its network with the deployment of a data pipeline that provides a direct link to the network backbones of the company's Web hosting partners.

AOL's new "TeraPOP" data pipeline allows Internet traffic to bypass a series of intermediate traffic exchange points that can slow down data transfer, said Matt Korn, AOL's senior vice president of network operations.

The TeraPOP pipeline can transfer more than 4,000MB of data to AOL users from the Internet each second, Korn said.

The pipeline uses optical carrier lines and digital signal lines to speed bandwidth to and from the company's Web hosting partners, including Concentric Network, GTE Internetworking, PSINet, Exodus Communications Inc., and Winstar Communications.

Microsoft demos RealPlayer Bugs  8th August 03:30 am

According to Wired News, Microsoft made its case by identifying a bug in RealNetworks' software, thereby disputing its competitor's allegations that Redmond was somehow to blame for the glitch.

In a demo on Thursday, Microsoft officials used Netscape's browser software to download different versions of RealNetworks streaming-video software, along with Microsoft's own Media Player.

"[RealNetworks is] not yet acknowledging that it's a bug, and that's a bit of a head scratcher," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Windows Marketing at Microsoft.

Microsoft countered that a bug in RealNetworks' software was to blame. The spat sent RealNetworks' stock price reeling

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

Copyright 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 28 September 1998 00:06