29 August 98 - 31 August 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Our Very Own Sound Blaster Live! Review!
  • The Future of 64-bit Architecture
  • Windows 98 Vulnerable to Attacks
  • STB Velocity V4400 Shipping Tomorrow!
  • Dune 2000
  • Unreal D3D on G200
  • Matrox TV-Out/DVD Options
  • Secret Ops Previewed
  • Intel Plans PC Overhaul in 1999
31th August 1998 {Monday}
Intel Plans PC Overhaul in 1999 31th August 21:21 pm

PCWeek has the latest scope about Intel's baddest plans ahead. Together with the imminent release of the Katmai 450Mhz processors and the arrival of it's in-built KNI (short for Katmai New Instructions), Intel plans a complete redesign of the PC. Here's what:

... Intel is calling for new systems to require a faster, more expandable memory type known as Direct RDRAM (Rambus dynamic RAM), developed by Rambus Inc. with input by Intel. Direct RDRAM is the successor to 100MHz SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) memory, which is used in today's higher performance PCs.

Intel's new 440JX chip set, due in the second quarter of 1999, will support Direct RDRAM, sources said. It is unclear whether the chip set will support both Direct RDRAM and today's SDRAM.

The forthcoming chip set, also known by the code name Camino, will also support 4X AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port), which will improve performance by providing a fatter pipe to the 3-D graphics controller.

<Sigh> It's sad talking about the speed of computer advancement... At this rate, I'll have to throw away my PC every 1 or 2 years? Now can I afford that?

Some more fleshy parts on DVD support and the cancelled plan to support IEEE 1394 on the BX chipset. (The full article)

Additionally, Intel will provide information on implementing software-based DVD (digital versatile disk) and audio, which also cut costs. These technologies should show up in systems next year.

Although Pappas said that the IEEE 1394 specification for a high-speed digital bus is a critical element to completing external plug-and-play capabilities, Intel canceled plans to support it in a more extensive version of its 440BX chip set due late this year, due to lack of demand and high cost.

Secret Ops Previewed 31th August 20:41 pm

Read Adrenaline Vault's Secret Ops preview. It'll give you a good reason to die waiting for the 112Mb to finish downloading. Here's a spicy bit:

There are a number of other features being introduced in WC: Secret Ops, including new weapons, new fighters, new capital ships, and new enemies to fight. Other than these features the gameplay is best described as a small step forward from WC:Prophecy. The graphics seem about the same, although the new weapon effects for both the Aliens and Confed are really nice. The new capital ship Cerberus is enormously beautiful, and the detail implemented with its cannon-fire is the best I've ever seen. If you've played WC:Prophecy then you know exactly what to expect, and you'll be pleased to find that the gameplay is even faster than before.

Matrox TV-Out/DVD options 31th August 14:14 pm

Matrox announced it's latest upgrade additions for the Matox G100 and G200 family. They include the TV-Out, DVD Video and Flat Panel modules. Here's the press release. Anyway, here are some juicy parts :

"Today’s end users are demanding flexibility and versatility they want scalable solutions and protection on their investment," says Dan Wood, Senior, Product Manager, Matrox Graphics. "These new upgrades continue our tradition of providing PC users with high-quality, low cost upgrades taking advantage of the latest technology."

Matrox TV-Out
The Matrox TV-Out upgrade, based on the MGA-TVO chip, is the most complete PC-TV encoder on the market. The Matrox TV-Out chip provides sharp, crisp, clear text and graphics for viewing a multitude of applications on a big screen TV

Matrox DVD Video
The Matrox DVD Video upgrade is a hardware DVD video daughter card for hardware-accelerated MPEG-2 video playback for image quality on television that is nearly three times better than conventional VHS machines. The Matrox DVD Video is ideal for computer-based training and video kiosks providing the ability to maximize impact with minimal space constraints.

Matrox Flat Panel
The Matrox Flat Panel daughter card supports the latest based ergonomic and space-saving monitors. These monitors take up less space, consume less power and do not flicker or emit radiation

30th August 1998 {Sunday}
Unreal D3D on G200 30th August 22:54 pm

Whoa! Take a look at these! Here's 2 screenshots of Unreal running in Direct3D on a Matrox G200 card. Got "mini pics" from Sharky Extreme, click them to see the amazing detail on their blown up picture.

Saw that??? You mean D3D can look so nice? You mean we don't have to own a Voodoo 2 to play Unreal with these awesome details?! Maybe we can all just settle with one good 2D/3D card like the G200 or a TNT from now on? (Roll over to Sharky's to see the his whole collection of screenshots in their full splendor!)

Dune 2000 30th August 21:32 pm

Yes, you read it. Dune 2000 has gone gold. Here's a press release from Westwood :

LAS VEGAS, NV, August 28, 1998 -- The game that ushered in the era of real-time strategy gaming is once again prepared to answer the call to battle. Westwood Studios today announced that the eagerly anticipated Dune 2000(TM) has "gone gold" in advance of its Sept. 3 ship date.

The update of the classic Dune 2 features all the action and strategy of the original and adds new features such as high-resolution graphics, Internet/LAN play, and a Command & Conquer-style interface for quick and easy gameplay.

Dune 2000 has all the multiplay features that gamers demanded, including support for up to four players over Westwood Online, eight players over a LAN, and a skirmish mode against up to seven computer opponents. Westwood Online is the free Internet gaming service featuring games like Command & Conquer(R) and Command & Conquer Red Alert(TM).

Dune 2000 offers all the familiar units of the original: Deviators, Fremen warriors, the Sardaukar, Sonic Tanks, Ornithopters and many more. Players can lead the noble Atreides, the sneaky Ordos or the evil Harkonnen.

Dune 2000 also features new video mission briefings inspired by the sets and costumes of the movie, which make each battle more dramatic and create a rich game environment. Actors, such as John Rhys Davies of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sliders fame, added their talents to the game's video sequences.

STB Velocity V4400 Shipping Tomorrow! 30th August 18:04 pm

In a press release titled "STB Ships World's Fastest Multimedia Accelerator in V4400", STB Systems Inc announced that they will start shipping the board tomorrow and even shipping drivers will be made availalable on their website. Here's a choke full of the exciting bits:

... STB’s Velocity 4400, which will soon be available at Babbages®, Best Buy®, CompUSA®, Electronics Boutique®, and Fry’s® features high-performance 128-bit 2/D graphics, high quality video playback, and impressive 3D rendering for Direct3DTM and OpenGLTM API’s. The Velocity 4400 has a 250 MHz RAMDAC that supports a maximum refresh rate of 160Hz. True color display of 16.7 million colors is supported at resolutions up to 1900 x 1280 for crisp, clear photo-realistic images. With this combination, the Velocity 4400 meets or exceeds global standards for ergonomics. The ability of the Velocity 4400 to display images on a standard television allows business users to deliver presentations, and game players to play computer games on a large format television in addition to a PC monitor. The Velocity 4400 is available for the AGP 2X or PCI platform with 16MB of high speed SDRAM, and is targeted at the high-end performance PC and professional PC segments.

“We are seeing scores on 3D Winbench 98 over 1700 while Diamond is posting a 1490 score on their website1. Creative Labs traditionally ships a copy of the chip vender’s reference design, and we are almost 50% faster than the reference board2,” points out Nathan Bozeman, Executive Director of Product Marketing at STB. “Knowing that we outperform our two biggest competitors, I am confident the Velocity 4400 is the fastest 2D/3D accelerator available today.”

Windows 98 vulnerable to attacks 30th August 02:19 am

News.com had an new article on the security of Windows.

An old feature of the Windows operating system which enables networked PCs to access shared files may expose users of the newest Windows software to hackers, although there is disagreement as to how likely the scenario is.

The problem lies in the fact that Windows 98--like Windows 95 and Windows 3.11 before it--allows users to create shared files without passwords, although not easily. But once those files are created, anyone who can access that system's IP (Internet Protocol) address can access private documents, spreadsheets, or other sensitive data residing on that system's hard drive.

While Windows 95 became the operating system (OS) of choice for many in the corporate world, Windows 98 has been targeted more at the less-sophisticated consumer market and, importantly, is more Internet-centric. This means that some consumer users may be more vulnerable to attacks as they are less knowledgeable about creating a secure connection to the Internet.

The future of 64 bit Architecture 30th August 02:16 am

CPUMadness had posted an article on the Future of 64 bit architecture. Here's a piece of the juicy news :

64 bit is undoubtebly the way of the future as far as the CPU is related. Since CPUs are becoming so powerful, bandwidth is becoming one of the limiting factors. 64bit architecture eliminates most of the bandwidth problems. Currently three major companies are selling 64bit processors, with a 4th company in the midst. That 4th company being, of course,  Intel, the CPU giant. So, what is in store for us in the future? Will Alpha still rule? Will Merced really pack as much as it was expected to?

29th August 1998 {Saturday}
Our Very Own Sound Blaster Live! Review 29th August 22:30 pm

Well, Hardware One has joined in the fray to throw in our very own Sound Blaster Live! review. Though we are a little late at it, I've taken time to enjoy the card before I started to write the articles.

It's a full 6 pages of it and it took me a full week to write it (ok, I lazed around and went for movies... but come on!). Please take a look at it under our "Exclusive Reviews" section!

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

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