15 December 98 - 21 December 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Abit Introduces HighPoint Technology
  • DES-III Test Run
  • Celeron 300A Review & FAQ
  • Present Crop of Cards Running Quake III
  • New Creative Voodoo 2 Drivers
  • 3Dfx Acquires STB and More...
  • Got Problems Having Fun?
  • 3DLabs Permedia 3 Info
  • Tom's Rage128 Addendum
  • Overclocking Your iMac?!?
  • Hardware One: Deskstar 16GP vs Deskstar 8
  • 3DSoundSurge Reviews MX300
  • Katmai: The Inside
  • BeOS R4 GUI
  • Brood Wars
  • Optimizing Video Cards
  • Supercooling Project
  • Overclocking Special at Tom's Hardware
  • PowerPC with Linux
  • Hardware One review on Celeron 366
  • Removing IE from Windows 98
  • Diamond MX300
  • Digital I/O card
  • K6-2 vs Celeron
  • EPox P2112A
  • Diamond Rio
  • Digital Sound System 80
  • 3Dfx interview
  • Freestyle Pro review
  • 3Dfx: What are they thinking?
  • SB Live! Review
  • ATI Rage Fury
  • S3 and Intel
  • Starcraft 1.04 Patch
  • Tomb Raider III review
  • Populous III Patch
  • Live!Ware
  • Switch to SingNet
  • PC133 RAM
  • FirePort 40
  • Motorhead Review
  • Fifa 99 Review
  • Celeron 400 MHz
  • IE 4.5 for Mac
  • Logitech Wheel Mouse Review
  • Corel 8 for Linux
  • L2 Cache results for Katmai
  • New G200 Drivers
  • Kenwood 40X CDROM review
  • FourPointSurround
  • Diamond RIO
  • Cardex GX3
  • Motherboard Monitor 3.81
  • GenX 700K Joystick
  • Wicked3D Beta Drivers
  • EZ-Link USB Review
  • ACT Labs Force RS
  • Epson Stylus Photo 750
  • Benchmark Rodeo
  • Digital Photography
  • MSI 6119 Part 2
  • 3Dfx vs nVidia image quality
  • Medalist Pro Review
  • Five 21" Monitors RoundUp
  • Grim Fandango
  • Win-Tech WT-6IBX
  • K6-3 Review
  • Celeron 300A @ 504Mhz
  • Locked CPUs
  • SuperDisk LS-120
  • Need For Speed III Review
  • Unreal II
  • 100Mhz FSB Celerons?
  • Matrox Overclock
  • Iomega USB Zip Drive
21st December 1998 {Monday}
Iomega USB Zip Drive 23:26 pm - Kan

Yikes! How can I miss it? Our pal over at CoolComputing just posted a new review on the Iomega USB Zip Drive. The USB version is much faster than the parallel version and is almost on par with the ATAPI version. Good buy er?

At a glance, the Iomega USB Zip drive looks quite different than the other external Zip drives. Although the basic shape is the same, the casing of the USB Zip drive is a stylish translucent-blue, designed to emulate the appearance of the Apple iMac. The USB connection located at the back of the drive is tiny, and the supplied silver-ish USB cable is refreshingly thin compared to those clunky parallel and SCSI cables used by other external Zip drives. In addition, the DC power supply block measures just 2" x 1.75" x 1". Its small size means that it can comfortably coexist with other power plugs on conventional power strips. The external Zip drives many of you may have purchased a year or two ago have a much larger power supply block that was merciless in cannibalizing real estate on the surge protector. Note that, however, although the USB specification allows power be delivered from the computer to the USB device, the USB Zip 100 requires too much power and thus the power supply block is still necessary.

Matrox Overclock 21:31 pm - Kan

Saw from MURC that there is a new version of Matrox Overclock v2.0.8b.

  • Version 2.0.8b: 
  • Added ForceTV options (enabled / disabled) for G200 cards
  • Added 'Command Line' text box. This displays the command line options that MILLCLK/MYSTCLK is using
  • Added 'Reset' option for Powerdesk settings. This allows the user to reset all the Powerdesk settings to their installation defaults.
  • Added 'Remove' option for Powerdesk settings. This will remove the Powerdesk settings from the registry. This option is for troubleshooting and may require you to reinstall your latest Matrox drivers.
  • Added 'Default Clock' button. This displays information on how to obtain your video cards' default clock settings
  • MOC now displays the clock setting in the tray for the custom configurations. For example, Overclocked Setting (55)
  • Additional clock settings for G200 cards (126, 127, 128, 129, 130)
  • Additional clock settings for Mystique/Mystique 220 (supports all three factory clocked Mystique170's, 150Mhz, 165Mhz & 180Mhz). Added clocks speeds: 170 - 220.
  • MOC.BAT file support removed (Windows startup options now saved/removed directly to/from the registry)
  • Added support for 5 custom configurations. These custom configurations allow the user to store / recall different card and clock settings. Users can save clock settings for use with specific games, overclocked and non-overclocked settings, different clock settings for different resolutions, etc. Currently, this option only supports card settings and clock settings, future versions will support additional options including Powerdesk and Advanced settings.

100 MHz FSB Celerons? 19:37 pm - Kan

Read this off from The Register.

Intel said today that reports it was producing 366MHz and 400MHz Celerons with Front Side Bus speeds of 100MHz were spurious. As reported here last week, that doesn't mean that Intel will not produce 100MHz FSB Celerons.

It's just that Intel has not made its mind up yet. A representative said: "Let's speculate accurately out there, guys.." He added that the leak ub ZD Net US "was not up to its usual standard of accuracy".

Again, as revealed here much earlier, some Katmai products will have a 133MHz FSB but Intel is worried that if it produces a 100MHz Celeron, it will make people think twice about paying more for a Pentium II.

Unreal II 19:08 pm - Kan

This is good news for those Unreal fans out there.

GT Interactive yesterday unveiled its plans for the Unreal franchise in 1999 by formally announcing the signing of a publishing deal with Epic MegaGames for Unreal Tournament, Unreal II, and the Unreal Level Pak.

As Game News reported in October, Unreal II will be developed by Legend Entertainment working in conjunction with Unreal developer Epic. Legend has some experience working on both the Unreal engine and with Epic, as the company is currently developing The Wheel of Time, a first-person action/RPG based on Robert Jordon's famous series novels of the same name.

Interestingly, the announcement of Unreal II came earlier than expected. In an earlier interview in October, Epic vice president Mark Rein indicated that the formal announcement was as much as six months away.

According to GT Interactive spokesperson Alan Lewis, Unreal II will be done "when it's done." Before that happens, though, GT Interactive plans on releasing Unreal Tournament and the Unreal Level Pak, both of which are likely to ship in the spring. Unreal Tournament will be a standalone title with a multiplayer component. The goal of Unreal Tournament is to become the Unreal Grand Master by defeating both simulated human opponents (bots) and human opponents. Developed by Epic, it plans on incorporating all the latest multiplayer improvements found in the recent patches for Unreal.

Need for Speed III Review 18:52 pm - Kan

Our buds over at 3D Spotlight did a review on Need for Speed III. Since I cannot afford a Ferrari down here, the closest thing I can get is to play the game.

Reflections on the cars have been nicely done, lightning is impressive in this game, specially the copsī colored lights. Other cool additions like blowing leaves, tire spray in wet weather, mud splashes, fog and smoke from burning rubber make this game even better.

Also dashboards are back and they look good, I prefer external view though. When youīre playing in night your dashboard isnīt iluminated and looks very dark but when driving through an iluminated part of the track youīll notice that external light sources will iluminate it.flR

SuperDisk LS-120 17:55 pm - Kan

PlanetHardware posted a review on the Imation SuperDisk LS-120 floppy drive.

The SuperDisk drive we received (external parallel port), was actually about the size we expected, about the length of a cd-rom drive, and about as tall. It houses three plugs on the back, one for parallel port to system, as well as a pass through port to connect a printer or scanner through the drive, there's also a power plug, along with a clunky power supply. It also has nice rubber feet along the bottom of the drive, perfect for sitting next to your case, or on top of your monitor.

The kit comprises of the actual SuperDisk drive, parallel port cable, power supply, as well as a setup floppy disk, as well as one included 120MB SuperDisk disk which includes the Imation SuperDisk Accelerator program, for increased performance of the drive. Without the accelerator software, the drive's data transfer rate was slower than a similar parallel port Iomega Zip drive, but with the software, the rate increased quite a bit, pushing the rate to around 20k/sec faster than Zip.

All right, where's the HiFD drive I'm suppose to get for Christmas?

Locked CPUs 17:45 pm - Kan

Go to BXBoards again to find out all the juice on the upcoming locked CPUs Intel is cooking up to defeat hardcore overclockers like us!

I’m a 24 year old computer electronics engineer about to get his Phd. in micro-systems-technology, being an avid overclocker from day one, I have been following this Katmai anti-overclock-thingy closely. Even god almighty himself Dr. Thomas Pabst says it will be over in a few months, but I for one tend to disagree. Let me explain why and also give you a couple of ways to hopefully succesfully overclock the Katmai.

First of all things are going to be different, it’s going to need more than a fancy motherboard or an undocumented jumper setting, heck I’m even sure not everybody will be capable of doing this, but its not impossible. Things are kinda like back in ’95 when few people ran their CPU’s OC’d and they who did where considered dare-devils. Now that it has become common-practice people tend to forget it was those dare-devils that made it all possible, they paved the roads we now walk on. So today we face a new challenge.

A discrete setup is easy, reliable, cheap and if they use a PAL or GAL (programmable logic array’s) the bus-frequency can be easily programmed. This would mean that there will be a PAL/GAL in the Katmai-Cartridge. If they have placed it so that all of its pins can be connected to some sort of socket it can be read and reprogrammed, even when soldered onto the PCB (I’ve done this in other applications a million times, easy and simple). But then we’ll first have to know what it does and what pins are used to enable or disable the CPU (cause enable is what we want), furthermore they will have to have used the re-programmable type, cause they also come in a one time programmable-flavour only. Knowing what it does can be as simple as hooking up a logic analyzer to the PAL/GAL, and turning the PC on, and then follow it through its steps. This will reveal the programming and the internal structure, both normal and OC’d. Then we could analyze the data and draw our conclusions, reprogram the PAL /GAL and there you go, a brand new Katmai-600. This does mean that you’ll need an in-circuit PAL/GAL programmer and a logic analyzer. Luckely these can be made at home, if you’re handy with the soldering-iron, at minimum cost, but will need an extra PC to do the actual measurements.

Hey! I know all about programmable logic array. Yes, it's possible to 'blow' the circuit, but I do not think it will be easy though. One wrong move and you can kiss your Katmai goodbye.

Celeron 300A @ 504 MHz 17:43 pm - Kan

That's a new article over at BXBoards on overclocking the 300A to 504 MHz using a Computer Nerd's BCool-ER fan.

The use of the screw clamp type mounting brackets make it very easy to install and do a good job of securely holding it all together around the CPU and slot-one P-II vertical support brackets. The wiring harness consists of three 3-pin connectors from the fans, one 2-to-1 3-pin adapter and one 3-Pin to P/S adapter. Allowing the ability to monitor from the motherboard the RPM's of the center fan as well as other creative ideas for the outer fans. The unit is also supplied with a generous tube of XA1HTC Heatsink Paste, a Pentium II Retention Mechanism, a Celeron Support Fixture, instruction sheet, and a 5 year warranty.

Anyway, have you read our exclusive review of the 300A @ 504 MHz? Check out the benchmarks!

K6-3 Review 16:42 pm - Kan

AnandTech just had a new revamp (you should be seeing a revamp of Hardware One soon). Anyway, a new AMD K6-3 review is available down there. Seems like the K6-3 450 is even faster than the Pentium II 450 due to the 256 KB of internal full speed cache.

If a higher clock speed was all AMD would provide as an improvement over the K6-2 with the introduction of the K6-3, this review would have come to an abrupt end a few paragraphs ago, however it’s obviously not. Quietly learning from Intel’s experimentation with the effects of L2 cache on overall system performance, AMD decided to take a stab at including a set amount of L2 cache on the K6-3 chip itself, and from AnandTech’s experience with the unreleased K6-3, it seems as if they put their money on the right bet. Looking at the K6-3 itself, there is one thing you’ll notice off the bat, the K6-3 is around 1mm thicker than the K6-2…what’s the reason for that?

Win-Tech WT-6IBX 16:33 pm - Kan

PCTechWare just did a review on a rare BX motherboard, the Win-Tech WT-6IBX.

Small companies and small hardware sites (or letīs just say my small hardware site) have something in common: Not too many people know about them, and so they have to hope that if they deliver a good product, they will get the necessary reputation and sales. Usually, I pick the product I would like to review and try to come up with the financial means to purchase it myself. This, of course is not desirable; it would be better if the companies themselves send their product samples in, but we haven't gotten to that point yet. 

Letīs get a glimpse onto the product. Itīs a motherboard manufactured by a fairly unknown company from Taiwan called Win-Tech, and it uses the Intel 440BX chipset and has an ATX form factor. Itīs called WT-6IBX.

Grim Fandango 07:58 am - Kan

Gamers Central just did a review on Grim Fandango, one of the games I like but didn't manage to complete (because I have to update Hardware One!).

You are Manny Calavera, an ex-human sent to the land of the dead as a travel agent for the deceased. You see, when a living one dies, he or she goes to the land of the dead and journeys for four years until they reach their final resting place, the Ninth Underworld. Depending on how fulfilled and enriched their lives were, they are assigned a certain way to get to the Ninth Underworld. If they lived a horrible life with a police record and jail time, they would have to walk to their resting place, which isn’t the most pleasant experience (as you have to do that in the game).
If they lived a decent life, maybe got into trouble a couple of times, but also did some community service, they get the Sports Car of the Land. If they lived a very good life, the Boat of the Land is what comes their way. And finally, if their life was absolutely perfect, the speedy Train of the Land is what quickly takes them to their resting place.

Five 21" Monitors Roundup 07:16 am - Kan

Available from SharkyExtreme. If you are interested in getting a 21" monitor, take a look at the review.

With software houses pumping out games that offer unprecedented levels of visual flair and appeal, there has clearly never been a more prudent time to own a large size display. In previous years monitors 20" or larger were forbidden fruit for most gamers or mainstream PC users, as their sky-high prices limited their practicality and value. In addition, the technology and power requirements needed for propelling 2D or 3D apps at the higher resolutions that the large monitors provided wasn't widely available pricewise until earlier this year (Matrox Millenium 2 and 3Dfx Voodoo2 SLI products).

Medalist Pro Review 07:12 am - Kan

AGN Hardware posted a review on the Seagate Medalist Pro ST36530W Ultra Wide SCSI hard disk.

Hard drives, Hard drives, Hard drives.   Which one is the best?  This question is asked time and time again, and there is no real answer.  What Hard drive preferences boil down to is personal experience and success rates.  So how do we pick a good hard drive for our systems.  For starters, you should narrow your search down by specifications and price.  No sense pining over a drive that you can't use or afford.  Secondly, you should ask around.   Hearing a few horror stories may scare you, but will help you to put your finger on failure rates, and other peoples success rates (most people are more apt to complain about a bad drive than sing the praises of a good one...so keep that in mind as you collect opinions).  From there on out, you are on your own, and are free to start forming some horror stories of your own, or at least you hope not.

20th December 1998 {Sunday}
3Dfx vs nVidia 16:32 pm - Kan

Tweak3D posted an article on the image quality of 3Dfx cards vs nVidia cards.

For the most part, the results between the Riva TNT and Voodoo2 are very similar. There are no huge differences, but small differences from the reference picture stick out.

For example, look at the sky in each picture. I'm not sure if this is normal, but the TNT and Voodoo2 have a noticeably more stormy look, the clouds are darker - almost green in parts. The other differences from the reference picture are the well defined details of the vehicle. In the first picture, every line is highlighted and the overall image is incredible. In the other pictures, the vehicle still looks great, but not quite as detailed.

MSI 6119 Part 2 16:12 pm - Kan

Overclockers' WorkBench sent note on part 2 of the MSI 6119 BX motherboard review.

MicroStar is not a new player in the motherboard world. They have been building motherboards for years and major OEM manufacturers like Packard Bell are using their boards e.g. MSI 6119.

The local warranty is also something we should consider when purchasing a motherboard. All MicroStar motherboards comes with a 2 yr local warranty with first yr one to one exchange with the 2nd yr warranty free service & freight charges. So rest assured that MSI boards are well supported in Singapore. (Check with your local distributor about local warranty in your country).

Digital Photography 13:26 pm - Kan

If you are into digital photography, Phil Askey's webpage is a wonderful site to look for more information.

) Underwater casing for Olympus D400Z.

Found on the Olympus Japan web site was this interesting looking addition to the D400Z (called the C-900 Zoom in Japan) called the PT-003. Looks like it'll be available in Japan in January 1999... we can only guess if it's due to be released to the international market.

Benchmark Rodeo 11:05 am - Kan

The Benchmark Rodeo over at OCP is underway. There are attractive prizes to grab, so hop in to the den to know more details. Oh yes, Kyle posted some pictures of his new shoes too. :)

Epson Stylus Photo 750 10:51 am - Kan

Digital Darkroom sent more information on the Stylus Photo 750 printer.

The successor to the Stylus Photo 700. Previouly, news of this fantastic printer was only in the form of the Epson Japanese site, and the printer was known as the Super Colorio. Given that different product names are used by Epson for its products sold outside of Japan, it is not unusual for the Super Colorio to be given the "Stylus Photo 750" name. This is the first printer to make use of the smallest dot size - 6 picolitre and 6 inks to give unsurpassed photo-realistic printouts.

The new features are:

  • 6 picolitre dot size (the Photo 700/EX has a 10 picolitre dot size)
  • Variable dot technology
  • Built-in USB connectivity
  • Able to print 3mm from all sides.

If you wish to find out more on colour printers, especially Epson printers, go to Digital Darkroom today. These guys are good!

ACT Labs Force RS 10:42 am - Kan

Force-1 did a review on the ACT Labs Force RS wheel unit.

The Force RS comes with one of the biggest wall wart power supplies we've ever seen. This thing is bigger than SC&T's floor brick. It puts out 21 volts at almost an amp for the massive drive motor in the wheel. It's really big - like almost 4 inches (12cm) long, a couple deep, and a couple wide. It took up no less than two spots on a power strip unless it was placed on the end. It would have been a lot better if it had had a second cord to reach the socket. We can deal with it though - ACT's original plan involved running a power cable into the PC, using a y-cable and running the cable out of the back to the wheel. We're really glad ACT decided to do something different.

The wheel unit itself is a smooth, domed affair with a slot in the back for the cartridge. There's a couple of wheels on each side for the integrated clamps - they're recessed pretty far into the unit. Far enough to frustrate people with big fingers, actually. The clamps themselves are aluminum hooks that go under your desk - they're lined with rubber on the side that contacts the desk. The bottom of the wheel unit has a few rubber pads as well.

EZ-Link USB Review 10:31 am - Kan

PlanetHardware done a review on the EZ-Link USB kit. This kit allows you to network your computers thru the USB connector.

The EZ-Link USB kit is simple and straightforward, and comes with everything you need to network two systems together within a matter of minutes. The small kit includes the actual EZ-Link USB adapter, a ten foot USB cable to connect the two systems, along with a driver CD and startup instructions. The cable is just standard USB cable, so you can purchase a larger cable if 10 feet isn't long enough to connect your two systems.

Installation is simply a breeze, and one of the main selling points of this kit. I took out all the existing network cards, drivers, software, and reset all the settings on two of my Windows 98 test machines. Following the instructions provided in the foldout, I had the USB network setup and running in under 10 minutes. Literally anyone can setup this network, as there are only three main steps. 1. Install Software from CD on both systems. 2. Reboot Computer 3. Plug in the USB cable to both systems. Just like that, you've got a network setup.

Wicked3D Beta Drivers 10:15 am - Kan

Read from Sharky that new beta drivers for Voodoo2 and eyeSCREAM are available for Windows 95/98.  Here's what's new in these releases (common for all 3):

  • Based on the latest DX6 drivers from 3Dfx
  • Supports DX6 multitexturing
  • Supports AMD K6 3DNow! optimizations
  • Bug fixes and other enhancements

GenX 700K 09:21 am - Kan

Avault posted a review on the Quickshot GenX 700K joystick. This joystick looks cool er?

QuickShot's GenX line of controllers combines sleek looks with ergonomic controls for function AND style. The GenX 700K is a flexible joystick combining the typical analog control with digital feedback via the keyboard port. Such sought after features such as a rotational handle and large throttle control round out the package. But does it perform as well as it looks?

Motherboard Monitor 3.81 03:04 am - Kan

Saw it from BetaNews that a new version of Motherboad Monitor 3.81 and Lite 2.0 is available for download.

  • Added support for ShutDown NOW! so you have an option to turn your PC off when a selected alarm goes off, please read the help file about all the details
  • Under General 2 you now have the option to show the VUMeters horizontal instead of vertical.
  • Re-did some of the code in MBM.DLL, hope it works alright
  • Intregrated the SysInfo.DLL into the MBM.DLL, to reduce space since the SHDNLNCH.DLL is now included in the install for full support of ShutDown NOW!

Diamond RIO 02:57 am - Kan

The babes over at 3D Hardware also did a review on Diamond RIO, the portable MP3 player.

Installation is simplicity itself. You simply pop an AA battery in the player, attach their cable to the parallel port on your computer, and the hardware side is done. The software is just as easy, with the now standard Installshield taking care of everything for you.

The Rio is pretty much plug n' play... as long as you run Win9x. I know, I know, I always go off on companies that don't support NT. So sue me. If you run Windows NT, the Rio is pretty much useless. The software doesn't work in NT at all. For shame.

19th December 1998 {Saturday}
Cardex GX3 16:28 pm - Kan

Accelerate.org did a review on the Cardex GX3 Savage 3D card.

200 MB of textures in ONE scene ?! Sounds familiar ? Yea, that's the ever-present ad animated at hardware sites all over the Internet. The Savage 3D chip manufactured by good old S3 has been the talk of many gamers all around. Some had criticised the chip like it is dirt. While some had good things to say about the new chip on the shelves.

S3 releases the chip in midst of nVidia's Riva TNT and upcoming, ATI's Rage 128. Riva TNT has been proven a 2D/3D king at this point of time while Rage 128 have produced great features not evident in any chip. (i.e Full DVD support and 32 MB RAM on card). It makes one wonder what is there in Savage 3D cards that will make Riva TNT a second choice and Rage 128, a not-worth-waiting card.

Diamond RIO 16:24 pm - Kan

The guys over at Frontline also did a review on the Diamond RIO. Still thinking whether to get one for Christmas? Read the review to tempt yourself more!

The Diamond Rio PMP300 comes in small, robust and attractive box. I say "attractive" because, Diamond is aiming this product at ,not just computer geeks, but also mainstream consumers. You want the person to pick it up and go "Wow! Cool!" and Diamond has achieved this with flying colours. A far cry from the days when a mouldy hand with bad fingernail hygiene passed off as box design. ;-)

The size of the Rio PMP300 surprised me. I know everyone on the net has been marvelling at the dimunitive size of the Rio PMP300, but I wasn't expecting it to be THAT small. It is roughly the size of the LCD+Writing area of my PalmPilot and a tad thicker. It's also extremely light, which is quite important, more on that later.

FourPointSurround 12:21 pm - Kan

AVault did a new review on the Cambridge PCWorks FourPointSurround.

With soundcards like the Sound Blaster Live! supporting four speaker outputs, the 3-piece satellite/subwoofer package isn't enough to capture the whole experience. Cambridge SoundWorks has a solution for you, based on their popular PCWorks model, termed the PCWorks FourPointSurround. Distributed by Creative Labs, it may be a good match for any system with four speaker outputs.

Based on the PCWorks, the FourPointSurround set is almost identical in appearance and features; just with two extra speakers and a heavy-duty volume control. Again, the tiny satellites only measure 2 inches cubed and can be put almost anywhere. The instruction manual outlines a few different scenarios, ranging from mounting the rear two speakers behind you on the included stands, or even attaching them underneath your desk.

Kenwood 40X CDROM Drive 10:49 am - Kan

Fast Graphics posted a review on the Kenwood true 40X CDROM drive.

Most of today's CD-ROM drives work with CAV techniques, which stands for Constant Angular Velocity. This means that the disk is always spinning at the same speed (constant RPM). The results of this is that the tracks closest to the inside of the disk are read at a slower speed than the tracks on the outside of the disk. So a 40X Max drive would only read at 40x speed on the outer tracks of the CD, while at the inner tracks it would read with only 16X. So why do they make these CAV drives anyway?

Well, a normal CD drive (single speed audio) has a higher RPM on the inside of the disk than it has on the outside, to make sure that the same amount of data is read per second. Drives like that are called CLV drives (Constant Linear Velocity) drives. On a single speed CD drive, the disk runs at about 300 rpm when the inner tracks are read.. As you can imagine, a 40X drive would have to run a disk at 12.000 rpm to achieve a 40X speed on the inner tracks, which is pretty much impossible. Apart from that, when you would be reading several files, located at different physical places on the disk, the drive would have to speed up and slow down all the time, which would be pretty hard (and time consuming) at + 10.000 rpm

New G200 Drivers 10:44 am - Kan

Got it from Matroxusers that Matrox have released a new set of drivers for Windows 9x. You can download them from here.

This product includes a display driver and the Matrox PowerDesk for Windows 95/98 for the G200 AGP only (including G200 PCI).   DX6 support.  Fixes bugs for several games (e.g. Flight Simulator 98, Half Life, SiN, Grim Fandango).

L2 Cache Results on Katmai 10:40 am - Kan

Hardware Extreme posted some L2 cache results on the Katmai using C't PII Info program.

  • Actual clock rate : 450.1 MHz
  • ctP2info has detected : Pentium II 450.1 MHz with ECC
  • L2 Controller : ID:04, Step:00, Type:BSRAM
  • L2 Manufacturer : ID:09 = Intel
  • L2 Cache Size : 512KByte, 1 bank
  • L2 Latency Mode : 02
  • L2 Latency : 8

Some of you have been asking me about L1 cache increasements, but the Katmai I have got hold of only has 32K of L1 cache. I believe that the "extra features" have not yet been implemented in this beta-silicon.

Corel 8 for Linux 10:36 am - Kan

Corel 8 for Linux is finally out. You can download the 23.6 MB installation from here.

Corel WordPerfect 8.0 for Linux offers the same word processing capabilities as the classic version available for other operating systems, plus many features available only for Linux. New and enhanced features include context-sensitive toolbars, grammar and spelling correction, revision tracking, charting and drawing tools, table enhancements, and Internet publishing capabilities, which allow you to edit or create a document in WordPerfect and publish it to HTML, complete with hyperlinks and bookmarks.

Web files also can be converted directly into Corel WordPerfect format. A built-in file manager allows you to access files, create directories, change file modes, and more without having to remember Linux commands. This Linux version of WordPerfect uses the same file format as WordPerfect for Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 3.1, and Unix, and you can manage more than 40 different file formats, including Microsoft Word 97 files.

Logitech Wheel Mouse Review 10:24 am - Kan

Ah...the mouse which gave me some problems initially. AGN Hardware did a review on this USB wheel mouse.

The Logitech USB Wheel Mouse is the newest entry to Logitech’s PC controller line. The addition of USB support, offers advantages in performance and frees up the PS2 port for other controllers such as a trackball or digital pad. The mouse features a very small and contoured design that fits perfectly into the palm of your hand. Logitech has also bundled the Mouseware Control center software so that you may tweak the performance of the mouse and orientation of the buttons.
The USB mouse on the other hand updates its position with the computer 125 times a second, offering more precise control. This additional updating offers a USB mouse gamer and advantage that could mean the difference between being the low man on the totem pole like myself, or the owner of a used Ferrari.

IE 4.5 for Mac 10:22 am - Kan

Microsoft is preparing an update to Internet Explorer for the Macintosh that incorporates some of the technology first used in the Mac version of Office 98 and emphasizes ease of use for Mac's largely consumer customer base.

Apple has told Microsoft that 29 percent of customers who buy the iMac are new computer users attracted by the machine's simplicity. Microsoft has fine-tuned Internet Explorer 4.5 with those customers in mind, said Jody Ropert, group product manager for Microsoft's Macintosh business unit.

IE 4.5 is smaller, faster and more stable than IE 4.01, the version that shipped with Mac OS 8, said Ropert. In one test, one URL after another was fed into the browser. IE 4.01 crashed after a few hundred links, while IE 4.5 handled several thousand, for a 12-times improvement. IE 4.5 also stays up and running when it hits a site with bad Java code, while IE 4.01 is much easier to crash.

For the full article, you can read from Techweb.

Celeron 400 MHz 10:20 am - Kan

According to Techweb, Intel has accelerated the introduction of the 400-MHz Celeron by several months and plans to release the chip in January, sources said.

The 400-MHz Celeron will join the previously planned launch of the 366-MHz Celeron, sources said. Both CPUs are expected to be formally introduced on Jan. 4. Intel declined to comment.

The 400-MHz Celeron had been scheduled for introduction as late as April, according to an Intel road map. The early introduction could mean Intel is ahead of the production curve, or that it is concerned rival chip makers AMD and Cyrix are getting a longer lead at the low end.

As previously reported, the 366-MHz Celeron will carry a price of around $160 in 1,000-unit quantities. The 400-MHz will have a price of around $180 in similar quantities, sources said.

Although Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel already markets considerably faster Pentium II chips, its introduction of the 366-MHz follows by several months AMD's introduction of a 366-MHz K6-2 chip.

Fifa 99 Review 10:15apm - Kan

GameCenter put up a review on Fifa 99.

FIFA 99 kicks off in typical fashion, that is, with a blaze of eye candy and an assortment of tunes that weren't written specifically for a computer game--in other words, they're all way cool. Soon you'll find yourself in the midst of another EA Sports' trademark: an extremely deep menuing system that has more options than Brazil has soccer players.
18th December 1998 {Friday}
Starcraft 1.04 Patches 23:34 pm - Kan

Version 1.04 patches so many stuffs that I can only post the following. To find out what version 1.04 patches, look for patch.txt under your Starcraft directory.

  • Starcraft compatibility with Brood War implemented.
  • You can select all burrowed units of the same type or cloaked units of the same type by using the Ctrl+select method or by double clicking.
  • If you have multiple Carriers or Reavers selected you can build Interceptors and Scarabs for all of them at the same time.
  • Cooldown times of units being dropped out of transports corrected.
  • Stim Pack causing Firebats to fire slowly corrected.
  • Zergling adrenal gland upgrade effects corrected.
  • Fixed a bug where the muzzle flash on a full fire bunker aiming south  displayed incorrectly.
  • Air unit movement near the edge of the map corrected.
  • The Ladder directory has been updated with the Season 4 ladder maps. Retired ladder maps have been moved to the OldLadder directory.

GMB Speaks 23:24 pm - Kan

GMB from my favourite porn site VE just posted a answer to the below question. Please don't ask me such questions because when I start ranting, it will be more technical than this. Duh!

A lot of flight sims like Flying Corps and Longbow 2 use huge amounts of textures to give a realistic look to the terrain. Flying Corps uses real maps of war time France which have to be continuously streamed to the 3d card.

Why not use 2 or more small textures, repeated over large areas to obtain a variable pattern ? For example, if you have a texture map that represents a 5 meter square area of terrain and another that represents a 7 meter square area you can multitexture the terrain with a pattern that doesn't repeat until 35 meters.

In 1D, Pattern 1 = 12345, pattern 2 = 1234567

1234512345123451234512345123451234512345
1234567123456712345671234567123456712345671234567
                                ^    starts to repeat

So using 25+49 = 74 units of texture memory gives a unique texture that would consume 1225 units as a singe 35x35 texture.

Great idea, I thought, until I realised that most 3d cards only support texture maps which have power or 2 dimensions  eg. 2x4, 4x4,8x8, 256x128 etc

Would you like to see support for abitrary texture dimensions and would it make a big difference to the way developers use textures ?

Check what GMB has to say from here.

Motorhead Review 23:19 pm - Kan

The chups over at 3DAI just sent note that they had finished a review on Motorhead. A3D 2.0 and EAX are both implemented in this game. If you are one of those lucky chaps with 2 sound cards and a pair of good ears, you probably can listen to the differences.

With the addition of 3D sound support in the form of DirectSound 3D, A3D, A3D 2.0, and EAX, Motorhead brings about an opportunity for me to test out the new MX300 I received from Diamond Multimedia. The new and improved Motorhead ("now featuring A3D 2.0") has also added some graphical flair with some new Direct 3D features, and some gameplay features as well. Throw in some force-feedback support, and you've got yourself a good game if you pick it up and patch it. Since the game is a bit dated, you may be able to pick up the European/UK version cheaper than you might expect. Additionally, the U.S. version should be on shelves soon, if not already (published by Fox Interactive). Download the patch, and you will be grooving' to some aurally engrossing and visually pleasing gaming goodness with tactile enhancement.

Pacific Internet 22:13 pm - Kan

Just got news that Pacific Internet will also start to absorb the phone charges. Will Cyberway follow suit?

FirePort 40 20:22 pm - Kan

AGN Hardware did a review on the Diamond FirePort 40 SCSI card. Is this better than Adaptec? Read the review to find out!

The debate between SCSI and IDE is an old one, and one that will probably not be settled anytime soon.  It is an old argument, as old as personal computers, and with each new step for both competing technologies, the argument is refreshed with all of it's original vigor and spice.  IDE remains popular for two reasons: it is easy and it is cheap.  The more complicated SCSI (short for Small Computer System Interface) offers more flexibility, features and speed, but comes with a heftier price tag.  So how do you decide between the two?

PC133 RAM 20:20 pm - Kan

Read from Coolinfo on the availability of PC133 RAM from Micron.

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced samples of industry standard 133MHz 64 Meg synchronous DRAMs (SDRAMs) and modules (commonly referred to as "PC133"). All products currently available in standard the PC100 speed are also available in the 133MHz speed grade. This includes 8M x 8, 4M x 16 and 16M x 4 133MHz

SDRAM components, as well as industry-standard registered and unbuffered DIMM modules. Production volumes of 133MHz components and associated modules will be available in January 1999. "The 133MHz SDRAM meets the need for incremental performance improvements in today's evolving products," said Kit Fawcett, Micron's DRAM Product Marketing Manager. "This faster SDRAM is a cost-effective alternative for a variety of applications requiring higher bandwidth memory, and addresses memory needs in multiple PC segments."

Next generation processors with bus speeds of 133MHz require memory operating at 133MHz for maximum performance. This higher bandwidth memory will also facilitate graphics performance improvements in the unified memory subsystems of sub $1,000 PCs and fuel the increasingly larger memory requirements and ECC coverage needed by servers and workstations. "The 133MHz SDRAM is gaining momentum in both the high-end server/workstation and lower-cost desktop arenas," said Mike Seibert, Micron's Strategic Marketing Manager. "With multiple vendor support, fully deployed infrastructure, competitive pricing, and a simple migration path, the 133MHz SDRAM should quickly achieve high volume acceptance in the market."

Switch to SingNet 08:19 am - Kan

Good time to switch over to SingNet? SingNet dial-in lines will be toll-free from 1st Jan 99 onwards. That's good news! Too good to be true. In fact, people are saying pigs will be flying to the moon. Sorry, sorry, I got a bit carried away. After all, you will be like me when you are stuck in this lousy island. Anyway, here are the news:

From any time between 16 Dec ’98 till 21 Feb ’99, sign up with SingNet and enjoy free registration & up to free 6 mths’ subscription for any choice of Regular plans !

You will be pleased to know that SingNet

  • Now absorbs your telephone dial-in charges within the next 1 year from 1 Jan - 31 Dec '99 !
  • Increased our investment in fibre optic connections to give you even faster connection and stability than satellite alone. More fibre optic connections than any other ISP to give you faster connections Has both fibre optic connection and satelite connections
  • Has increased bandwidth to US & other regional links
  • 24 hours Technical Support from our capable HelpDesk Team
  • Offers you extra hours & savings with our TimeBank feature & TimeXtension scheme
  • Offers you more choices of plans and smart features such as Usage Alert & Intruder Alert

You can find out more on how SingNet absorbs the 40 million dollars and pass them on to the customers.

Live!Ware 06:39 am - Kan

Creative had updated their Live!Ware program, adding more support for Unreal as well as other games.

Populous III Patch 06:24 am - Kan

Got this news from 3D Spotlight. The patch for Populous III is available from here. Bug fixes include some of the following:

  • Shaman Autocasting From Balloons
    A problem occurred when first placing the Shaman in a Balloon. If there was already a follower in the Balloon and the Shaman was the second passenger, then she couldn't autocast, i.e. move within range of the target and automatically fire the spell. Only by selecting the Shaman and/or moving her would autocasting work again. This problem has now been fixed.
  • Version Number On Multiplayer Screens
    There is now a version number visible on all multiplayer screens in the game. All players in a multiplayer game must have identical versions and you will not be able to play a game using differing versions.
  • Encyclopaedia and Pop-up Icons
    While in the Encyclopaedia, you could still select and open the Pop-up Icons at the side of the Control Panel. This caused the Pop-up Icon to be printed over the Encyclopaedia and cause problems. Now, you cannot select a Pop-up Icon while the Encyclopaedia is open.
  • Maximum Buildings Problem
    The maximum number of buildings available in the game is 256. Unfortunately, the maximum number of buildings available to each player was 80 and this number, coupled with any damaged buildings, could potentially exceed 400. This caused some problems in the multiplayer game, including an out of sync. This problem has now been fixed.
  • Armageddon Crash
    Multiplayer Armageddon sometimes caused crashes when it was cast on busy levels (lots of spells, buildings, battles and effects). This problem has now been fixed.
  • Tutorial Fighting Problem
    During the Fighting section of the Tutorial, you are asked to train two Warriors. A certain proceedure sometimes caused the Tutorial to break and not proceed to the next stage. This problem has now been fixed.

Tomb Raider III 06:11 am - Kan

That's a review of Tomb Raider III over at 3D Spotlight. Damn, Lora is even sexier than the gal I have on my bed right now. Okay, here's the juice (what juice?!).

One of the best things Eidos could ever do for the new incarnation of Tomb Raider was to give the development of the game to a different group of developers and designers which were full of fresh new ideas for the Tomb Raider series of games, we might notice how totally new hot features have been added in Tomb Raider III specially in level design where new ideas are always needed and thatīs double for Tomb Raider kind of games anyway donīt expect a huge change, the levels are, like always filled with spike traps, big jumps and doors opened from somewhere in the level so that youīve look all around to finally understand which is the way to go.

MotorCross Madness 05:56 am - Kan

Microsoft announced today that they have released a special holiday collection of tracks for Motocross Madness.  Two entirely new tracks are available, as well as seven wild mutations of existing MCM Nationals tracks.

The new tracks include International Airspace and Megadrive Blues. Big jumps, bigger air, lots of wide-open spaces, and long turns make International Airspace a speed freak's fantasy.  Megadrive Blues is challenging with plenty steep hill climbs and tight turns.

Motocross Madness' outrageous Supercross racing offers a wide variety of racing and stunt environments, including indoors and outdoors stadiums, quarry and long distance Baja courses. Motocross Madness is the first motorcycle racing game that features separate driver/bike physics models. This allows for superior gameplay, because it gives gamers more control over their racing and stunts.

You can find more information over at http://www.microsoft.com/games/motocross/

Intel and AMD 05:25 am - Kan

Read this over at Coolinfo on the squabbling between Intel and AMD on 3DNow! and KNI.

A table released by AMD claimed that 3DNow beats KNI (Katmai New Instructions) by supporting functions in existing operating systems, DirectX 6.0 and current titles. But those claims are disputed by Intel. A representative said: "KNI will run with Windows 98 straight out of the box." He said, however, that Windows 95 will never support the instructions.

He said that Microsoft has already released a Windows NT patch to allow it to support Katmai CPUs and that DirectX 6.1, which is currently in gold code, also supports the instructions. Further, he claimed the Katmai family will have broad support. "We have shipped 500 systems to ISVs, with 350 of those being in Europe," he said. Meanwhile, further details of a K7 shrink have emerged. In the second half of next year, AMD will shrink it to a 0.18 micron process.

Why Linux on Mac? 05:12 am - Kan

Ars-Technica posted a note explaining why Macs are shipping with Linux.

Apple knows this, too.  And while PC OEM's are scratching their heads trying to decide if they should put Linux on the low end of the sub-$1000 PC market, Apple is going to do it.  Sure, Apple is willing to ship machines with Linux installed, because they get two things: a chance to reassert their presence in the educational market, and more PR. But this isn't, as far as we know, a retail initiative.  And I doubt it ever will be.  They wouldn't make it that easy to forsake their own OS.  Linux is the ultimate PR booster right now, but Apple profits are in the MacOS, not in Linux.  Think about it - why would a buyer be so stoked by an Apple machine with Linux?  Apple's hardware is practically PC, and last I checked, they were stalled on an older Kernel.

Starcraft 1.04 Patch 05:07 am - Kan

The patch is out. You can download them from here. Blizzard haven't release the fixes in this version yet. But if you like to see what bug fixes the previous versions fix, you can go to here.

S3 & Intel 05:00 am - Kan

Got this from The Register on a long term agreement between S3 and Intel.

Chip giant Intel is to buy a stake in graphics chip company S3, according to American reports. But the move, if the reports are true, are likely to enrage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a division of the US government.

Wire Techweb today reported that Intel and S3 have entered into a 10-year cross licensing agreement. It will cover all aspects of S3's technology, the wire revealed.  But S3 bought up many patents earlier this year, after a putative Apple start up fell flat on its face.

Intel refused to confirm or deny the reports, although it is an obvious move for it. Third party graphics chips suppliers form a significant part of the USA versus Intel show slated to start February, latest. 

Motor Racer 2 04:30 am - Kan

AGN3D did a review on Motor Racer 2.

Technically, this game has the capability to surpass the original in every way regarding the graphics. There are basically 4 types of tracks, forest, English countryside, city roads, and the desert. Let’s cut to the chase though. This game is ugly. The tracks are generic and totally devoid of the detail and style in the original Motoracer. Flaws in the new graphics engine include unfiltered sprites, warbling environment maps with visible seams, shimmering riders and a general look of just grunginess to everything.
It also appears that the game is only rendered in 8-bit color because the variety of shading and colors just isn’t there. There is an option for anti-aliasing but it only filters the riders and not any of the jaggy surroundings. It’s really baffling how this game can look so bad in comparison not only to other current titles but even to the original game.

ATI Rage Fury 03:58 am - Kan

Gamers Depot posted a review on the ATI Rage Fury. This card is good!

The thing that impressed me the most, outside of really good performance under 32bit rendering is the overall image quality we are talking here.  In both 2D AND 3D I have yet to see a card that provides this level of image quality and detail.  I guess for me, the whole beauty here is how ATI totally proved 3Dfx wrong by showing 32bit rendering can be done without a performance hit.  It's kind of funny because 3Dfx's Scott Sellars says that 32-bit color rendering is a "frame rate killer" and thus "pointless".  Well 3dfx, WRONG! :) The Rage Fury definetly raises the standard for other chipsets to follow.   Kudos to ATI for no longer playing "follow-the-leader" and acutally becoming a leader and example for others to follow!

SB Live! Review 02:38 am - Kan

There is a SB Live! review over at CRUS.

It's a half length 32-bit PCI card and it has a midiport, line in, mic in, front out and rear out on the rear panel. On the card you'll find 5 audio connectors for various purposes. One thing is especially useful, the SPDIF contact and the bundled audio cable which you can use to get digital sound from your CD-ROM, if it supports it.

This soundcard is based on the EMU10K1 Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and its the most powerful DSP on the market, for example the DSP on the AWE64-card managed 36 MIPS (million instructions per second) this DSP is capable of 1,000 MIPS, pretty impressive.
This leads to less CPU usage as the DSP does a large load of the work.
The card does the sound processing at 32-bits and it is able to produce sounds up to 48kHz.

17th December 1998 {Thursday}
3Dfx: What are they thinking? 19:01 pm - Kan

Next-Generation posted some comments on the merging of 3Dfx with STB.

But in doing so, 3dfx has left several companies high and dry. One executive in the graphics industry, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, put it this way "Diamond and Creative founded 3dfx by giving them their channel, reputation and sales. Overnight, 3dfx has dumped them." It's true that 3dfx has achieved a 5:1 sales dominance over other 3D brands in the retail market (a smaller market than OEMs, but a major one nonetheless) on the backs of Creative and Diamond boards. Now those companies are without 3dfx brand technologies and are lining up at nVidia's door. 3dfx is sending this clear message to the companies that once carried its chips: board makers have sold well at retail only because they have the 3dfx name on their boards. We'll put out proprietary boards with just our name, and we'll do just as well.

Simulate Attack on Iraq 18:52 pm - Kan

That's an article over at AVault on using Jane's Fleet Command strategy game to simulate the attack on Iraq earlier today.

NBC Special Reports has used Jane's Fleet Command, a naval strategy game from Jane's Combat Simulations, to illustrate the US attack on Iraq. The Jane's Combat Simulations team worked closely with NBC to prepare several hours of footage from Jane's F-15 and the upcoming Jane's Fleet Command. It was impossible to know exactly where and how the strike would take place so the team used the computer simulations to recreate likely scenarios. Fleet Command's detailed maps of the Middle East and intricate 3D models of ships and missiles made it possible for NBC to recreate today's conflict. For instance, Jane's F-15 was used to provide a simulation of today's most advanced fighter jets in action.

For years the critically-acclaimed brand has developed realistic military simulations and is a market leader in the flight simulation category. Jane's products are known for their detailed 3D art, accurate flight models and volumes of information from Jane's Information Group. NBC producers have indicated they plan to use Jane's products to illustrate breaking news stories on Dateline NBC and NBC News in coming days.

FreeStyle Pro 12:21 pm - Kan

VoodooExtreme (I visit them more often than my favourite porn sites) posted a review on Microsoft FreeStyle Pro. Anyway, have you read our review on FreeStyle Pro? If you haven't, read them here.

Microsoft has always been one to innovate (maybe it’d be more accurate if I said that they probably just stole a good idea that I wasn’t aware of). Their newest gamepad, called the Freestyle Pro offers something that I’ve seen no other gamepad offer – controlling movement without pressing anything. There is sensor inside the pad itself which picks up the "tilt" factor of the X and Y-axis. The position of the gamepad translates into analogue control that would replace the function of the digital pad.

3Dfx Interview 09:22 am - Kan

That's an exclusive review with Brian Bruning, 3Dfx Interactive Developer Relations Manager, over at VoodooNation.

Taking a look at the closest competition, in existance and announced, Voodoo3 will have to fend off the likes of Riva TNT, PVR 250 and Rage 128. From the developers point of view, what do you think of these chips?

They all seem like competent chips. I've only seen the TNT in action while the other two are just paper specs so far.

One of the things I and the development community love about 3Dfx is that we don't overhype the performance of our chips. Voodoo 3 wasn't even announced until we could show the press and developers it in action - running Quake 2, Glide and D3D games, and the usual benchmarks.

Other companies like to talk big in announcements but seem to hide those original specs under the carpet once the chip is released

Digital Sound System 80 09:19 am - Kan

Avault did a review on the Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 USB speakers.

Yes, USB. Unlike other "USB enhanced" speakers, the Digital Sound System 80 is capable of operating as traditional speakers with the analog input, or as digital speakers via USB under Windows 98. Essentially, when the speakers are in USB mode, a soundcard is not required, but more on that later in the review.

As a "traditional" multimedia speaker set, an analog signal from your soundcard goes into the input located on the subwoofer. One thing I don't particularly like is the fact that the satellites connect to the subwoofer via a fixed cable, making it difficult to extend the length if necessary. Not to say that the cables are too short, but the use of standard speaker wire would at least cater to any need. The speakers have an auto-shutoff feature that will power down the system when there is no audio signal. Thankfully, the set does wake up from the powered-down state very quickly.

Diamond Rio 09:10 am - Kan

BetaNews brings you the review on the new Diamond Rio MP3 portable player.

Diamond Rio. It is hard to go anywhere these days without hearing those words. No matter where you look, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post and even The New York Times have had reports on this new device. However, if you have been living in a box this past month, I will bring you up to speed. A few months ago, Diamond Multimedia announced it was creating a portable music device that would play MP3's that were copied onto it from your computer. The Rio as it is called, allows you to copy MP3 files directly from your computer into its memory banks, and then plays the music like a walkman would

Operation Desert Fox 09:01 am - Kan

This is no Hardware news. This is war.

A second round of explosions was seen and heard over Baghdad at 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

The explosions occurred shortly after U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he had ordered a "strong, sustained" series of airstrikes on military and security forces in Iraq, designed to degrade Iraq's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The first anti-aircraft blasts were reported over Baghdad at about 1 a.m. local time (5 p.m. EST Wednesday). CNN nightscope video showed specks of white light flashing through the air, as explosions thundered in the distance.

Emerging Web Standards 08:28 am - Kan

C|Net Singapore posted a comprehensive article explaining what terms like SMIL, XML, XSL, RDF, PNG etc meant. Sounds daunting eh?

Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) is to synchronized multimedia what HTML is to hyperlinked text. Pronounced smile, SMIL is a simple, vendor-neutral markup language designed to let Web builders of all skill levels schedule audio, video, text, and graphics files across a timeline without having to master development tools or complex programming languages.

EPox P2112A 08:24 am - Kan

BXBoards finished the review on the EPox P2112A Slot 1 motherboard based on the Apollo Pro chipset.

Like the more familiar Intel chipsets, the Apollo Pro AGPSET actually consists of 2 distinct chipsets. The VT82C596 Sorth Bridge controller provides support for Ultra DMA peripherals, while the VT82C691 (North Bridge) performs the "grunt work", co-ordinating bus contention issues, PCI buffering, SDRAM / AGP support including Sidebanding, and all the other ancillary functions that makes the chipset the "glue" to which the rest of the motherboard is built around

K6-2 vs Celeron 08:16 am - Kan

PCTechware done a comparison between the K6-2 (up to 400 Mhz without the CXT core) and the Celeron 300A. The 300A still rocks for such a good price!

The Intel Celeron with Mendocino core would be rated, therefore, for MHz speeds of around 400MHz. But since Intel locked the multiplier at 4.5 for the 300MHz version, only 300, 375 and 450 are possible choices. 450 is already pushing it, only ~30% run stable at this speed at the default voltage of 2.0V. Almost all of the rest are able to stabilize their 300As at 450 in voltage ranges of 2.1 to 2.5V. More is not recommended, mostly due to heat-related problems. The use of the Celeron 333 or 366 is not recommended, since only a few will be able to run a stable 500MHz core speed (100*5, C333) and even less, or rather almost none will do 550MHz (66*5.5, C366).

Digital I/O Card 08:03 am - Kan

Read from AGN Hardware that HoonTech sells the Digital I/O card for SB Live! and SB Live! Value.

We are sure you will find Digital I/O board II for SoundBlaster Live! and Live! Value and S/PDIF digital amplifier for SB Live!/Live! Value which shoud be of intersest to all SB Live! users. We are confident that we will be able to provide you with the very cheapest and high-quality digital products that much wider range of SB Live! users require.

Since Wilfred is in Korea, maybe we will call him to bring some back!

Diamond MX300 07:59 am - Kan

The Techs Network done a review on the Diamond MX300.

A3D 2.0 is the next-generation 3D positional technology (designed to blow EAX out of the water). A3D 2.0 is designed to take full advantage out of the Vortex 2 chipset, that they have designed

Vortex 2 is actually the chipset that the MX300 (and other A3D 2.0 based cards) utilizes. The old A3D technology used to render audio at 22kHz and the Vortex 2 will now render audio at 48kHz. This will increase sound performance and quality. Here is a clip from the A3D page (The red dot is the listener and the yellow dot is the audio source):

16th December 1998 {Wednesday}
Removing IE from Windows 98 19:44 pm - Kan

Despite Microsoft's insistence that Internet Explorer and Windows 98 cannot be separated, a Maryland biologist has done it and is willing to share his methods to anyone who's interested.

Shane Brooks, a researcher at the University of Maryland, began his Internet Explorer extraction project, called 98Lite, because Windows 98 ran so poorly on his Pentium 133-MHz computer.

"It seemed like overkill, that every time I wanted to browse files I was calling up this huge monolithic program," Brooks said. "It really just boils down to reclaiming performance that is lost when software is developed for the top end of the available hardware without adequate consideration for performance at the lower end."

Brooks first tried to install the Windows 95 Internet Explorer on Windows 98. After some experimentation, he determined that only three files had to be removed -- ComDlg32.dll, Shell32.dll, and Explorer.exe. Brooks wrote a small program to extract the older Windows 95 equivalents from the Windows 95 CD and install them in the proper directory.

For full article, read from Techweb.

Fly Fly Away! 19:34 pm - Wilfred

Hi people! Will be boarding my flight in about 3 hrs time (don't bother sending me off =P), and hopefully I'll be able to remain in contact via email till I return end of this month (as long as there are no technical difficulties!). Bye! Merry X'mas!

Not Katmai? 18:50 pm - Kan

Read this from PlanetHardware today on the Katmai chips the guys over at BxBoards and Hardware Extreme had.

... we have prototype Katmai's for three months now, so we can start developing software. The truth is, these ARE NOT KATMAI CHIPS! Nor are any of the other chips from the articles you mentioned. These are Deschutes cores with an additional KNI exec unit, so we can have the new instructions working. The "real" Katmai will have two such exec units, plus more cache, plus pipelined memory access etc.

The chips that were tested should perform exactly identical to PIIs in normal software, this is not "diminishing hype".

Kan @ Rantings 18:45 pm - Kan

Just went for a stroll around Sim Lim and I was surprised the Diamond MX300 is available for sale at S$199. Time to replace my ageing ISA AWE64? I think better not.

Hardware One: Celeron 366 Socket 370 16:57 pm - Wilfred

Yes! Thanks to our Russian friend Ilia Gavrichenkov of iXBT Hardware who'd translated his review of the Socket 370 Celeron 366 into English and posted right here at Hardware One for your consumption. Pretty pics aside, you'll have a chance to see the benchmarks of this upcoming Intel chip!

"Celeron 366, which costs something about a hundred, showed excellent performance in normal conditions. It proved the same efficiency as Pentium II 400 and left Pentium II 350 far behind."

"... at the beginning of 1999 we’ll witness the appearance of a very strong and promising competitor – AMD K6-3. This processor will also have a built-in L2-cache, working on core frequency, though its volume will be twice as big – 256 KB."

Check it out right here or go to "Exclusive Reviews" now!

Apple Ships PowerPC with Linux 12:19 am - Kan

Apple Computer continues to "Think Different."

At MacWorld next month, the company will announce a new line of PowerPCs, including one that runs a version of the Linux operating system instead of the traditional Macintosh OS, several retail sources said.

"Yes, they're coming out with a PowerPC loading Linux. They're really thinking different," said one retail source. "But it's a non-retail product."

Apple, according to analysts, is probably trying to please one of its strongest and most loyal customer segments: the education market. "Linux is catching on, especially in education," said Mike Kwatinetz, an analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in New York. "It's an opportunity for Apple to reassert itself in the college arena, where it is losing ground."

Analysts said Apple also plans to release a new crop of G3 PowerPCs in the first quarter. The systems, in the 333-MHz to 400-MHz range, will sport a sleek new form factor similar to the existing mini-towers and desktops.

Overclocking Special at Tom's 10:42 am - Wilfred

Tom is working hard these days, and he's just released a big 'special' issue on overclocking, with particular attention paid to the PII-300 SL2W8 (how to get the correct one!)

Those CPUs carry an almost complete 7.3 liter V12, but are sold as 1.8 liter 4 cylinders engine. In other words, these PII 300 CPUs are almost perfect PII 450 CPUs. Don't worry that Intel is losing money here, as a matter of fact they just enjoy people paying more than double for the 'real' PII 450, because that will increase their quarterly earnings considerably.

The SL2W8 is a great bargain. You get a PII 450 for the price of a PII 300. This may be the last chance that this is possible. Katmai will close the door for overclockers, the overclocking scene will mostly be dead by Fall 1999.

NeoMagic Sues Trident 10:41 am - Kan

NeoMagic contends in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, that Mountain View, California-based Trident is making graphics chips based on NeoMagic technology patented in 1997.

The lawsuit comes amidst heightened competition for a space in PC notebooks--a battle which of late NeoMagic has been winning with increasing regularity.

The two patents protect integrated circuits that combine control of graphics displayed on notebook or desktop monitors that include video memory on the same chip, according to NeoMagic.

"Trident's infringing activities [include] development, manufacture, use, sale, and/or offer for sale of integrated circuit chips having embedded memory features and capabilities," said NeoMagic, which asked a judge to affirm the infringement, stop Trident's use of the designs, and award unspecified damages.

Full article available from here.

Diamond RIO Review at... 10:25 am - Wilfred

BetaNews has thrown up a review on the nifty gadget from Diamond Multimedia. If you don't know what the RIO does, it is a portable MP3 player which will allow you to take your MP3 song compilation down the road. Check out what Nate Mook has to say:

Thanking the Diamond website for not explicitly saying the Rio wouldn't install on NT, I booted my laptop running Windows 98 and was in business. I immediately noticed the light weight of the Rio, even with a AA battery in. At about the size of a credit card, it is also extremely economical. After a nice transfer rate of 20 seconds per song, I had my 48 megs filled with 13 songs, the equivalent to a CD and was ready to roll. I plugged in the headphones and was blown away by its incredible sound quality. The interface was nice, the buttons on the front allowing for easy control. It was packed with great features like preset equalizer settings, an intro function allowing you to preview the first 10 seconds of each song, and of course repeat and random options. It also has a hold button which is extremely helpful since the buttons on the front can be bumped easily in your pocket. One of the Rio's most amazing advantages, I didn't notice until 2 days later, when after about 12 hours of playing time, the battery still had almost half of its life. The only thing I felt it needed was an ID3 tag reader, which would display artist and song names. But I must say, this thing was loaded.

Hercules Dynamite TNT 10:04 am - Wilfred

Remember how the last reviewers on this card raved about it? AGN3D Hardware took a look at it and gave it an impressive 9/10 score! Here's something special about the drivers which made the card a notch faster than most of its competition: (Full review)

Hercules drivers are based around a new, Hercules exclusive, technology. This technology, known as PowerDrive, speeds overall video performance by enhancing the way the memory on the board is used.  Unlike conventional AGP parts, where bit maps are restored from system memory, Power Drive uses the unused on-board memory to store off-screen graphics until they are needed. According to Hercules, cutting out the extra step saves valuable rendering speed and provides faster rendering.

SuperCooling Project 08:41 am - Kan

Dimension128 had a new article, the SuperCooling project.

This article was not really intended to be about cooling in general. What I really wanted to concentrate on is super-cooling computer components. By super-cooling I mean temperatures far below freezing point. Some of you may have heard of the super-cooling solution for AMD K6 processors provided by Kryotech, which uses vapour-phase technology to cool a hot CPU to temperatures of around -40°C. Well that is roughly what I am talking about. I had intended to gather some quick notes on various traditional and not-so-traditional cooling methods as background information for readers and food for thought, but the "notes" grew into an entire guide to various methods of cooling with the "super cooling" section coming as a nice finale.

ICQ 99a Build 1690 08:34 am - Kan

Out and available from our Utilities section or from the official ICQ site.

Elsa Erazor II 08:12 am - Kan

3DHardware.net posted a new review on the Elsa Erazor II, a TNT based card.

Elsa has long been known for producing high quality, high powered, and high end cards. In fact, they are one of the leaders in the professional workstation 3D graphics market. However, with cards targeted at the high end market, prices were also astronomically high, so many users may have never heard of Elsa. More recently, they have been trying to break into the mainstream consumer market more and more with their Erazor series, based on the nVidia Riva 128.

The Erazor II is their latest card and continues to use an nVidia chip with a target market filled with more mainstream consumers. This time it is powered by the Riva TNT and just like before, they have done some work to distinguish themselves from all the other reference designs out there. What have they done? Read on to find out.

Optimizing Video Cards 08:06 am - Kan

Ace's Hardware had an article which teaches you how to troubleshoot and optimize your video cards.

If you have problems when playing games or you experience after a few minutes or hours crashes or  you experience intermittent errors, your cooling is not adequate. 
If the chip is too hot to touch (for one second, don't burn yourself!), probably have a heat problem (don't confuse the chip with the heatsink, however, a hot heatsink is merely doing its job)!

The Canopus TNT has a fan is and is one of the only relatively cool cards out there. Other TNT cards are very hot and the same is true for the G200 cards, Matrox has put a very small heatsink on it. Banshee cards, as well as products based on the Savage-3D can also use some extra cooling. 

Brood Wars 08:05 am - Kan

Just got wind that Brood Wars, the expansion pack for Starcraft is out!

Starcraft: Brood War continues the saga of galactic warfare as the Zerg, Protoss and Terrans struggle for their continued survival. With the shattered Zerg hive torn apart by fierce in-fighting, the Protoss seek to reunite with their Dark Templar brethren and begin the rebuilding of their homeworld, Aiur. Terran Emperor Mengsk I, having achieved his goal of total power over the human colonies, must now turn his attention to both the rising power of the woman he betrayed-- Kerrigan, the infamous Zerg Queen of Blades-- and a conspiracy deep within his own ranks.

15th December 1998 {Tuesday}
BeOS R4 GUI 22:42 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica posted part 2 of the BeOS R4 review. This time they touched on the GUI of the operating system.  I must say BeOS looks pretty attractive, after Windows kept crashing on me. :(

If you're an ultra-compact, secrecy-lovin', clutter-hating kinda user, you may be more interested in the compact version of the default TaskBar.  Behold Deskbar Jr. on the right (that's just what I call it).   And yep, when you click on the little man on the right, the running applications list pops on out.  Now, you don't loose any clicks this way because this pop up list functions like a drill-down list.  So, one click pops up the applications list, and moving your mouse up to NetPositive will automatically pop up another list of the windows being tracked for that application.

Katmai: The Inside 19:49 pm - Wilfred

Terry of Hardware Extreme sent word about a short preview on Intel's Katmai complete with photographs of the dissected chip and preliminary benchmarks that he'd done. Beam yourself over now!

Roll over to see the blown up picture.

After testing the Katmai 450Mhz 512Kb cache, he has found that the performance for non-KNI enhanced software (there's none at the moment) was on par with his Celeron 300A at 450Mhz.

3DSoundSurge Reviews MX300 19:42 pm - Wilfred

After a long wait, Mark of 3DSoundSurge has completed his review on the Diamond Monster Sound MX300 soundcard, awarding it their "Surge of Approval".

This has been a great year for sound cards. In August I declared the Sound Blaster Live! the best card I have had the opportunity to review and now in December, the Diamond Monster Sound MX300 has knocked the Live! off its perch as my pick as the best gamer’s sound card on the market!. The reason is A3D 2.0. Take the best 3D positional audio that I have heard regardless of speaker or headphone configuration, throw in the effectiveness of wavetracing as a tool to immerse gamers in their environment and the MX300 has an edge against the competition.

Well well well... come on Creative, do sumthin'!!!!!!! I'm getting impatient!

Hardware One: Deskstar 16GP vs Deskstar 8 16:37 pm - Wilfred

Hail! Just posted up a short review comparing the IBM Deskstar 16GP 8.4Gb vs Deskstar 8 8.4Gb. There is a feature for feature comparison as well as some benchmarks scores on the two drives.

deskstr8small.gif (8467 bytes) "... if it wasn't my senses cheating me, the Deskstar 16GP does sound a tat louder than my Deskstar 8."

"... the Deskstar 16GP 8.4Gb is a very affordable solution that delivers the same great reliability, quiet and breezy performance. A very good buy at S$298!"

Check it right here or go to "Exclusive Reviews"

So much for now, I'd better get started on packing for my trip. Warm clothing!

Wilfred Ranting 16:31 pm - Wilfred

Haven't ranted in days. Last week had been a tremendously busy week for me and kudos to Kan for making everything run as they were. He has been thoroughly drained so much so that some hours back he informed me that he'd executed his PC.

To my horror, at this point when my boarding of the plane is less than 48hrs away! Ka-put! Zen! But he has reinstalled his OS and he's in the process of getting back in business. Well, getting back into business is very important for him and Hardware One! Wish him luck! :)

Overclocking You iMac?!! 14:59 pm - Wilfred

It's Chester again, who'd kindly popped a note showing me an interesting link! Overclock your iMac from 233Mhz to 300Mhz? Initially, I just thought it sounded absurd since anyone who buys an iMac is probably technically illiterate (No! Don't flame me!), but oh well I figured that if this prospect is made known, the more technical savvy iMac lovers may just benefit. Look at the speed increase!

Roll over to iMac Clock-chipping page at once. They've got specific instructions, pictures, benchmark results and how to cool your overclocked iMac! =)

Tom's Rage128 Addendum 12:13 pm - Wilfred

I'd just noticed (blame me for not being home!) that Tom Pabst of Tom's Hardware posted an addendum to his Rage128 review which sparked off quite a furore with readers who couldn't agree with his comments. One particularly 'hot' issue was the high temperature of the chip he reported that somehow didn't match opposite remarks from other sites, leading people to think he was biased. Whatever!

Long term readers of Tom's Hardware Guide should know that I am always very concerned about a particularly high accuracy of the words that I publish. I measured the temperature of the ATI chip with a professional thermal probe and an exactly calibrated device connected to it. The thermal probe was connected to the chip via a special thermally resistant tape that has particularly good adhesive strength. I used thermal compound in between the probe and the chip to ensure the closest possible contact.

... I would like to note that the review boards that went out are all the same, mine's not any different to the ones that went all over the place in the US. If others state that the chip is cool, then it's up to you judging about their reliability, instead of wondering if Tom's Hardware Guide would publish false results for the first time in history. This will never happen, but my thoroughness is one reason why my reviews take longer than the reviews of others.

Roll over at once to read his full addendum, it's a more thorough explanation of how he'd arrived at his conclusion. It's got a picture of the thermal probe he pasted on the Rage128 as well.

3DLabs Permedia 3 Info 11:59 am - Wilfred

Amidst the attention ATI has been getting with their Rage128 chip and the confusion at the 3Dfx camp, 3DLabs which has been moving quietly, may be the company to watch! The upcoming Permedia3 chipset may just upset the competition (who knows?!), read this chunk off Sharky Extreme:

3D Labs' upcoming Permedia 3 chipset's delay is due primarily to the chip's complexity and the transition to a new manufacturing process. The actual design, however, was completed months ago. Despite that fact, 3D Labs feels that the Permedia 3's all out raw performance will be equivelant to that of a Voodoo 3 2000. In fact, the chip will have many features not implemented by the Voodoo 3, including several Direct3D 6 multi-texture blend modes, stencil buffering, 32-bit Z-buffer, true color 3D, virtual texture memory and texture paging, AGP execute, 3D textures, OpenGL polygon-edge and line anti-aliasing.

If the V3 is going to be only a 3Dfx and STB affair, Rage128 only for ATI and OEM markets... That leaves board makers like Diamond, Canopus, and Creative with little to choose from doesn't it? So what do we have left? TNT-2? Savage3D 2? Rendition V3k? Or do you think Permedia3? :)

Got Problems Having Fun? 11:23 am - Wilfred

Problems accessing Fun's? I couldn't connect the whole of last evening when I was home. Well, it's back up today and the note here tells you what services are affected:

Our server hasn't been very stable for the past couple of weeks after adding an additional CPU and extra RAMs to our machine. We are nagging our hardware vendor to fix the problem ASAP. Hopefully, they can fix it in the next few days. Meanwhile, the following services are likely to be affected by downtime: 

  • Have Fun Home page
  • Files Exchange Center
  • Web based Message Forum
  • ONE Community Webtop
  • HOMEX personal homepages 

No! Don't let the all important Files Exchange Center go down. Lots of us depend on it for speedy downloads!

3Dfx Acquires STB and More... 11:23 am - Wilfred

3Dfx is trying to go the way of ATI in doing business. With this buyout, 3Dfx is set to move strongly into the retail as well as OEM segments of the market. Most interestingly is this bit I'd read off Hardgame about AGN3D's interview with Scott Sellers of 3Dfx.

AGN3D: Does 3Dfx eventually plan on not sending out graphics chips to 3rd party board manufacturers?

Scott: The plan now is to continue to support existing products for all of the current products including Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2 and Voodoo Banshee. Right now we have not made a decision on the Voodoo3 product, although it is likely that product will not be distributed outside of 3Dfx, and that the board level product for Voodoo3 will only be supplied by the combined 3Dfx and STB entity. So the long term vision is to be a completely vertically orientated company and have a model that is in someway similar to ATI."

Now is this good or bad news? Or NO NEWS at all coz' you don't give a damn anymore to the V3? Hmm... what does this leave other board makers with? Oh well you don't care? An interesting prospect nevertheless.

New Creative Voodoo2 Drivers 11:17 am - Wilfred

Yap! There's a newer, more updated release-candidate driver (dtd 14 Dec 98) for your CL V2 card. Basically, it fixed the incorrect identifying of the driver as DirectX5 in the Windows registry. Grab it here anyway!

Present Crop of Cards Running Quake III 11:12 am - Wilfred

Dear dear! Saw over at Voodoo Extreme this large chunk of plan update by iD's Brian Hook. Surely this preliminary benchmarks will give you an idea how freeaakin' powerful a graphics accelerator you need to even play the game! I don't think it's just another ordinary game, it's going to be affecting all the Quakers out there.

I finally got to run my benchmarks again with a newer build of our code that restructured quite a bit of the rendering internals. Running on a high polygon throughput map, I've broken down the scores noting fastest scores only for each and the manner in which they attained and other notes pertinent to the hardware and/or driver. Tests were run on a PII/300 w/ 96MB of RAM and AGP hardware when possible.

Benchmarks:

RivaTNT (current ICD) 14.3 glArrayElement,cva/mt, 16bpp
RivaTNT (current ICD) 14.2 glArrayElement,cva/mt, 32bpp
Savage3D (current ICD) 13.4 glDrawElements,cva, 16bpp/S3TC
Savage3D (current ICD) 12.7 glDrawElements,cva, 32bpp/S3TC
VOODOO2 (beta ICD) 12.4 glDrawElements,cva/mt
Intel i740 (Intel ICD) 12.2 glDrawElements,cva, 16bpp
Riva128ZX (current ICD) 9.4 glDrawElements,cva, 16bpp
BANSHEE (beta ICD) 8.6 glArrayElement,cva
VOODOO2 (current ICD) 8.3 glArrayElement

cva = GL_ext_compiled_vertex_array extension enabled
mt = GL_ARB_multitexture extension enabled
glArrayElement = we use GL_TRIANGLE_STRIP and glArrayElement and search for
strips when possible
glDrawElements = we use GL_TRIANGLES w/ glDrawElements and let the driver
optimize as much as possible

RivaTNT: I expected a significantly greater performance difference 16bpp and 32bpp performance, but since this test is primarily throughput limited, it makes sense that the difference between the two color depths wouldn't be that large. However, I'm a little disappointed that its performance dropped by quite a bit since our last test.

Savage3D: Holy cow! Phenomenal performance for this chipset, major kudos to the S3 engineers that worked on this. This is great performance, especially given that this is without multitexturing capability! The performance difference of S3TC vs. non-S3TC was actually very small, under 5%.

Voodoo2 (beta ICD): Much improved performance, but it still has room to grow. 50% faster than their older ICD, so props out to the engineers that have been working on this.

Intel i740: Probably the most impressive of the bunch, it pretty much has the lowest claimed numbers of ANY of the existing boards. 33% less fill rate than the Voodoo2, but it hangs in there. Shows what great drivers can do for you.

Riva128ZX: Decent performance, but it should be a little faster -- at least on a par with the Intel i740's numbers, since the Riva128ZX theoretically has higher fill rate and throughput potential.

Banshee (beta ICD): I'm fairly disappointed with the performance here, but it's understandable since this part lacks the MT capability of the Voodoo2 boards.

OTHER HARDWARE: We have not tested the Matrox G200 (waiting on video cards, and Matrox has warned us not to expect too much from their early drivers); we didn't bother testing the V2200 since it is pretty old tech. However, the V2200 drivers are very well done.

FUTURE HARDWARE: I expect the Permedia3 and ATI Rage128 to perform very well. The Voodoo3 has impressive specs, but their weak point has traditionally been their ICD performance, so hopefully when that is sorted out the V3 should kick some ass. Preliminary investigation of the ATI Rage128 is that it looks really good, posting significantly higher numbers than the above using beta drivers and pre-production hardware.

Fortunately they mentioned the importance of great drivers (probably the reason for weak performance by most of the cards), so we expect things to be rosier in a while. Whatever! Don't remind me it is 'Upgrade' time again!

Celeron 300A Review and FAQ 10:51 am - Wilfred

Got wind from PCPowerHouse that they've finished a large Celeron 300A review/FAQ. It has a substantial bit about S-Specs and their corresponding overclockibility - so if you're planning to get a 300A today, you will want to discern the specific codes to avoid disappointment!

So how do you determine which CPU's can run at the higher clock speeds. Well some people look to the S-Spec # marked on the CPU. If you really want to know about which S-Spec #'s are the best overclockers, check out the table below. You can find posts all over message boards and newsgroups about some S-Spec CPU's overclocking while others of the same S-Spec # couldn't come close to some of those speeds. You can also check out Intel's website to find out about the various Celeron S-Spec #'s. You will also find marked on your Celeron processor, the Country in which the CPU was made. I know of Costa Rican and Malaysia made processors.

DES-III Test Run 00:44 am - Kan

Just received news from dbaker that distributed.net is going to have a test run for the upcoming DES-III contest.

In an effort to fully test all of the DES components of our network in prepreparation for DES-II-3, we plan to run a full DES contest simulation. All clients with DES enabled will auto switch to DES during this time as they would in a normal contest. Purposes of this test contest:

  • Allow us to practice the DES-enabling process on the keymaster so there is no confusion on the morning of January 13th, the actual contest's start date
  • Test the rapid deployment of DES contest data and blocks across the network
  • Obtain an accurate network speed estimate, allowing us to predict the time required to check the keyspace in full during the real contest.

This simulation will begin on Saturday, January 2nd at 09:00 PST and will run until we find the key. There will be no cash prize associated with this test run, but your efforts and CPU power will lend a big hand in helping us prepare for DES-II-3.

If you are interested in joining RC5 (why shouldn't you??), our email id is [email protected]. To know more about RC5, go to www.distributed.net. Remember, it's FUN ! <tm>

Abit Introduces HighPoint Technology 00:33 am - Wilfred

Computers R Us just sent word about an exciting press release they've posted about Abit's new introduction of HighPoint Technology's XStore Pro and CD Xpress software in all their mainboard packages come 1999. What the heck are these, you ask?

XStore is a new Bus Master Driver and MMX Accelerator for Storage. If you hate to wait then XStore is for you. The XStore Pro is a hard disk enhancement utility which can improve the system performance. The basic concept is using read-ahead caching algorithm to improve the hard disk performance. It offers Performance, Compatibility, and Support. By getting rid of the Bus Master Driver you have now XStore offers better performance than Microsoft's default driver along with these additional features:

  • Supports and Automatically configures to the Highest Ultra DMA performance mode.
  • Supports and Automatically configures to the Highest Multiple-Word DMA performance mode.
  • Automatically recognizes and supports DVD-ROM
  • Automatically recognizes and supports the Latest Intel Chipsets (TX, LX, BX)

XStore's enhanced performance speed removes the burden from the CPU. Since intervention of the CPU is no longer necessary, data pathways are freed allowing the CPU more time to focus on processing other requests like MMX and AGP.

[Beam me to the previous news archive!]


Copyright Đ 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 23 December 1998 03:14