22 December 98 - 28 December 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • HighPoint XStore Pro
  • Mac Voodoo 2
  • Epox MVP3G Motherboard
  • FreeStyle Pro Review
  • Apple Shipping Linux - Part 2
  • Fighter Pilot Review
  • Total Air War Review
  • Digital Camera Vs Optical Camera
  • CPU Preview for 1999
  • How to Set Up a LAN
  • Tomb Raider III Review
  • Intelligent Virus on NT Servers
  • Intel Release Four-Way Xeon
  • Easy CD-Creator 3.5B
  • NTFS 5.0
  • Benwin Flat Speakers
  • CL TNT Review
  • Celeron Overclocking Guide
  • QDI Brilliant 1S
  • Live! Drivers for NT
  • Banshee Installation Guide
  • Faster Laptops
  • Intel Security Plans
  • ATI Responds to Rage128 Heat Concerns
  • Sound Blaster Live! Newsletter
  • Katmai Vs K7 Benchmarks
  • HyperSnap-DX V3.30 Beta 7
  • Are You An Overclocker?
  • "Frame Spoof Vulnerability" Patch
  • Netscape Is Dead?
  • Celeron 300A @ 504Mhz - Part 2
  • Half-Life Vs SiN ShootOut!
  • Dynamite TNT Review
  • New Canopus Spectra 2500 Drivers
  • MotoRacer 2 Review at Sharky's
  • Katmai to be Called Pentium III
  • AMD K6-3 Review
  • Linux Not For Everybody
  • Kyrotech Cooled K6-2 500Mhz Review
  • Intel vs AMD
  • Ace's Guide to Benchmarking
  • ATI Rage 128 Review
  • Baldur's Gate Review
  • Buyer's Guide to 3D Accelerators
  • Windows/Linux File Sharing
  • Diamond RIO PMP300
  • WinChip-2 Review
  • DiamondMax 4320
  • K6-3 Part 2
  • Cooling The Celeron
  • New Need for Speed III Drivers
  • Force Feedback Wheel
  • HP Scanjet 4100 Review
  • Voodoo3 vs Rage 128
  • RAID Review
  • Chipsets Roadmap
  • All about Lighting
  • 3D Video Comparison
  • SideWinder Salvos
  • Review on Rally Master
  • Hardware Therapy
  • Video Conferencing Kit
  • S3's 0.18 Micron Chip
  • Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review
  • Celeron Love
  • S-One VC Kit - What to Bring!
  • Sonic Adventure Arrives!
  • Adobe ImageStyler 1.0
  • Shuttle HOT-663
  • Kenwood 40X
  • Max Payne Preview
  • RivaTNT Problems & Solutions
  • Glide Wrapper
  • ATI Roadmap
  • CPUIdle 5.2
  • Gaming under NT4
28th December 1998 {Monday}
Gaming under NT4 23:24 pm - Kan

What? You didn't know it's possible? Read from VE that NT Game Palace had all sorts of hints and tips to get your games running under NT 4.0.

DirectX games under NT 4.0
First is that you need Service Pack 3 installed to add the DirectX 3 support. This support includes DirectDraw (acclerated), DirectInput (emulated), DirectSound (emulated) and Direct3D (emulated). Some DirectX 5 games like Myth: The fallen Lords, F1 Racing Simulation or Outwars work also fine with this build-in DirectX 3 drivers. 

DirectX games under Windows 2000 (aka NT 5.0)
The current NT 5.0 Beta 2 support DirectX 6 with full native Direct3D hardware acceleration under Permedia 2, ATI Rage and S3 Virge. I add NT 5.0 games on my listing after the release of the public beta (1999).

Run Glide games with a Voodoo Graphics or Voodoo-2 board
Download the Glide driver (found under downloads) and run them just like you would with Windows 95. The installer will automatically detect that you're in Windows NT and install the drivers. The new Glide 2.46 driver fix also problems with some games. Some older games like Pod or Pandemonium require the Glide 2.1.1 drivers.

CPUIdle 5.2 23:14 pm - Kan

CPUIdle v5.2 had been released. You can get it from here directly. New features include:

  • added support for new K6-2 processors (350MHz ...)
  • added support for upcoming K6-3 processors
  • added display of bus clock multiplier for these CPUs
  • added rounding for measured clock frequencies to 10s

ATI Roadmap 19:33 pm - Wilfred

A source, requesting total anonymity, sent me a mail with this roadmap of ATI Technologies. I'm not too sure if it is dated, but it mentioned the Rage 5 which I haven't heard of before and many interesting LCD options that ATI will be developing. You might wanna take a look:

Frontline Goes Offline Temporarily 19:25 pm - Wilfred

Yap, our friends at Frontline are ALSO doing a major renovation and restructuring of their website to bring you more jazzy news and reviews in the near future. Meanwhile, their site will go offline for awhile. Some words from them:

Frontline is undergoing major renovations. To focus our energies on the site restructuring, redesign and porting over previous content, we have decided to go temporarily off-line. We will be back in early January 1999. Thanks for the support! You guys are great!

We shall all wait in anticipation for a rejuvenated Frontline... You heard that people? Now that our present renovation works too are running a little off schedule, we certainly hope that work doesn't pile up anymore to necessitate such a move from Hardware One. Ok ok, we love you guys too! *mushy* *mushy* =P

Glide Wrapper? Wowz!!! 19:08 pm - Wilfred

Hold your horses! Not yet! But AGN3D pointed to this VERY interesting URL of this particular Khalid Shaikh person who was attempting to create a Glide wrapper for Direct3D earlier this year. He got to such a enviable point where 3Dfx Interactive sent him their lawyer's letter. Here's the cut:

Mr. Shaikh:

We represent 3Dfx Interactive in its intellectual property matters. We have been copied on correspondance between you and Mr. Bruce Busby of 3Dfx.

The problem before us is the continued availability of the file "glide2x.zip" on your website:
http://www.angelic-coders.com/kshaikh. This compressed archive contains the file "glide2x.dll" which was compiled from 3Dfx's copyrighted material. This use of 3Dfx's SDK and the publishing of this file constitute violations of the license agreement.

Since you have continued to breech the license agreement despite warnings from Mr. Busby, you are no longer authorized to use the SDK for any purpose. You must return any materials related to the SDK, such as program listings or documentation, and you must destroy any electronic copies. Further, we require you to remove the infringing files from your website immediately. Finally, you must inform us in writing that you have complied with these steps and that you will cease and desist using the SDK for any purpose. Failure to do so will force us to take appropriate legal action, pursuing remedies available under both civil and criminal laws.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact me at:

Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May
Four Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111-4106
[email protected]

Nathan Koenig

Wowz! Not impossible I suppose! Sheds new light about technical difficulties vs legal infringements.

RivaTNT Problems & Solutions 18:56 pm - Wilfred

Carcass has posted this Riva TNT problems and solutions guide. I do suppose there are lots of you out there who own the present king of the 2D/3D hill and interested enough to check this out.

Please note that these are only certain problems I have experienced that others may not know about! The solutions only pertain to the Riva TNT chipset. I own the CL TNT so your mileage may vary. 

Max Payne Preview 18:20 pm - Kan

Thresh Firing Squad just whipped up another new preview, Max Payne.

Imagine a dark, crime-ridden city, a place littered with hookers, pimps, junkies, dirty cops, and dealers around every corner, graffiti marring every wall. Nights are chillingly quiet here; the silence pierced only by the shrieking sounds of police sirens wailing down the street. Its inhabitants gather around burning barrels to seek shelter from the penetrating cold, occasionally shooting up when they can no longer fight their addictions. A moist stem rises through the sewer-grates, filling the streets with a vile stench only those who live here can bear. What is this place, Hell?! Close - this is present-day New York City, in Max Payne's world.

Future Is In Your Hands! 14:30 pm - Device

Tired of changing your disc on your disc man? Touch the future with your fingers on this MP3 Player. Look Out!

Click and you can hear your favourite music with the future technology. Throw away your old tape walkman and bulky disc man. The future MP3 player will have an ergonomic design to fit in your hand. The main feature of MP-Cl10 is to incorporate a popular existing storage media (Clik! from IOMEGA). Better than that, this device displays a wide LCD screen so that users can scroll MP3 file information such as titles and names of singers. Customers can enjoy MP3 files more simply and cheaply and it also allows you to store a large amount of data without additional stand-alone storage media. It also supports multiple languages like English, Japanese and Korean and uses parallel cable (25-to-18 pins).

Kenwood 40X 13:44 pm - Kan

Here we see another review on the Kenwood 40X CD-ROM drive by HardwareCentral. Are they available down here?

Most of today's CD-ROMs boast incredible speeds but don't actually achieve the 16X/24X/32X/40X speeds that they advertise. In fact, the advertised speeds only represent the performance of the drive when reading the outside tracks of the CD, where the speed is maximum. When reading the inside tracks of the CD, the speed is a lot lower, typically only about 12X or 14X. However, with the Kenwood 40X TrueX CD-ROM drive, the speed remains 40X regardless of whether it is reading from the inside or outside track. With a constant speed of 40X, the Kenwood 40X CD-ROM is able to achieve sustained transfer rates of 6MB a second, living up to its claims as the "fastest CD-ROM drive in the world".

Shuttle HOT-663 12:04 pm - Kan

Another new review available at AnandTech. This time, Anand reviewed the Shuttle HOT-663 BX Pentium II motherboard. I didn't even bother to read. Nothing comes closer than the ABit BH6. :)

The day of the BX chipset has come and is on its way out, in the upcoming months Intel's newest chipsets, including the unreleased Camino, and a major investment into the production of a high end BX board now would be on the futile level of a manufacturing decision.  At the same time, there is a fine line between rushing to get yet another product out on the market that will be obsolete in a matter of months, and rushing to get a more improved product out on the market to satisfy a company's faithful users. 

Determining Shuttle's motives behind the creation of their latest BX based motherboard, the HOT-663, is up to you, but in the end the quality, and effort that went into producing yet another Shuttle mainboard remains obvious.

Adobe ImageStyler 1.0 09:57 am - Kan

Our bud (flower?) over at Netigen posted a review on Adobe ImageStyler 1.0.

ImageStyler applies Adobe's all-but-ubiquitous Photoshop interface to the manipulation of Web graphics. The product is built around the notion of graphical objects to which you can apply effects and styles quickly and easily. You can work with the 100 professionally designed styles that are included, or create your own styles by combining dozens of attributes on up to five layers.

Everything you create in ImageStyler starts with three basic components: shapes, text, or imported graphics. The strength of the ImageStyler model is that these elements remain discrete, editable objects no matter how you alter them. The style, shapes, and texture palettes form the core of ImageStyler. Using them is as simple as changing font or type attributes (such as bold or italic) in a word processor. The only difference is that, instead of fonts, you choose graphical styles, textures, or shapes.

Sonic Adventure Arrives! 02:01 am - Krank

The highly anticipated Dreamcast game Sonic Adventures from Team Sonic of Japan has arrived in Singapore! I have confirmed that all shops in Sim Lim and Game Tokyo have them too. The game retails at Game Tokyo for $125 and definitely much higher at Sim Lim. (I was quoted for $215, beat that!)

Happy Days coming at Pacific Internet! 02:00 am - Krank

Well people, especially loyal users of Pacific Internet (That includes me!) should rejoice at this most heartwarming news. That's right people, Pacific Internet has actually announced that they are going to absorb Phone charges! Yes! yes yes yes yes! Check it out on their webpage! Its a small announcement but its gonna be big soon!

S-One VC Kit - What to Bring! 01:04 am - Wilfred

Are you intending to grab the video conferencing kit promotion for S-One users? Don't rush down to Funan's Zone A just yet! Foo mailed me to warn that Zone A doesn't accept the copied-down cable or ADSL modem serial number as proof. Here's the main portion of his mail:

I refer to your news about the offer from Creative for the Video Conferencing Kit. You cannot copy down the ADSL or Cable Modem serial no. you must bring along your ADSL or Cable modem registration slip along with your IC to verify your status and it will take at least 10 days to process and deliver to you by mail. I went there as the FUN web site advised and war thrown the wet blanket by the staff.

Surprisingly, when I went down to grab my pack sometime back, I only produced my SingTel Magix bill. Just to be on the safe side, you might wanna heed his simple advice to avoid disappointment, just bring'em ALL along.

Celeron Love 00:25 am - Kan

Ars-Technica posted another article, this time called A bit o' Celeron love. The article goes on explaining why the Celerons based on the Medocino core are so overclockable.

First, a little background on the semiconductor process (those of you who know this stuff should feel free to skip it). The difference between two chips based on the same core, but running at different clock speeds, is not a difference in chip technology, but a difference in manufacturing process technology.  Take, for instance, a P120 and a P166.  Both chips not only come off the same production line, but sometimes they're even cut from the same wafer.   Without going into to much detail, let me just say that when the wafers are made (before the features are etched in)  the silicon is sandwiched between dopants and placed in an oven.  The dopants cook into the silicon, and then round wafers are cut from the resulting column. 

27th December 1998 {Sunday}
Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review 20:41 pm - Wilfred

I don't think you can make out anything from the title 'cept that it's a chair. Yah! A review on a chair, are we nutz?! Not us, but the cool people at Thresh's Firing Squad has thrown up a SHOCKING review on yes... a chair!

In this new digital generation, Herman Miller has stepped up to the plate to create the first of it's kind -- A chair built for us, people who spend almost half our days sitting down. It takes a lot of Research & Development, creativity, and downright genius to create a chair that is so perfectly fit, for our lives, and for our bodies. Herman Miller has achieved this with the Aeron, and more. Its aesthetically pleasing, awe-inspiring design deserves no less than a 5-star rating. Anything less would be an insult to ergonomics.

Wow! At US$1000 (retail price), it's one expensive chair to own and this sentence "If you need to ask the price, you CAN'T afford it." comes to mind. Deserving people of this seat will of course be people like myself and Kan who spend hours each day updating Hardware One. =)

S3's 0.18 Micron Chip More Complex Than P2 20:21 pm - Wilfred

Caught this tasty bit off our affiliate 3DSpotlight about S3's upcoming 0.18 micron graphic chip. Interestingly, the chip will be more complex than today's CPUs.

Two graphics specialists - S3 Inc. [NASDAQ:SIII] and UMC Group - have announced a new graphics chip that officials said packs 2.1 million logic gates, or 8.4 million transistors, onto a single piece of silicon. Intel's Pentium II processor only has about 1.8 million gates. Said Kelly Morris, public relations director for S3, "What this means is that, for the first time, the graphics industry has surpassed the CPU (central processing unit) industry in terms of chip complexity."

Morris told Newsbytes that S3 made the announcement because an early sample of the working chip had come back from the fabrication plant. It will be officially launched during the first half of 1999, the firm says. Morris says the new chip is right on track with S3's normal development path, which she notes has historically quadrupled chip complexity each year. Such exponential advances cannot continue forever but, she says, at this stage in the industry, added complexity can bring many benefits.

As Ken Potashner, S3 president, chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman, put it, "This technology lead gives us significant advantages that we expect to quickly pass on to our customers in terms of higher performance, lower power consumption and increased levels of integration." "S3 and UMC have a history of delivering leading-edge technologies," said Paul Franklin, senior vice president of operations at S3. Most of the firm's competitors, he added are still taping their first 0.25-micron designs.

Details of the new 0.18-micron design have not been disclosed but the firm says it will disclose more when the part is officially launched in the first half of 1999. S3 maintains a World Wide Web site at http://www.S3.com .

While it is probably a technological achievement of some sort for the graphic industry (or S3 for that matter), I don't see how this will NECESSARILY translate into better performance or what have you. I'll be keen to see if S3 can truely make S3TC take off.

Video Conferencing Kit 19:35 pm - Kan

The great sale is ending! Caught this off Fun long ago, but I am just too lazy (or too busy) to post this up.

In case you can't get through the number in the previous news about Creative VC kits offer, you may go down personally to Zone A (or is it A Zone?) at Funan Center. The shop is located at the 5th floor of the building. 
Remember to copy down your ADSL or Cable Modem serial number before you go down to the shop, since you need that to complete the purchase. The offer ends on 31 Dec 1998.. so be fast if you want to purchase a cheap VC kits :) 

Hardware Therapy 19:19 pm - Kan

HardGame just started posted a new edition of Hardware Therapy where you can find the latest gossips on Hardware (No, not on how often I change my underwear, you pervert!). A must read!

Every few weeks, the hardware newsgroups get all up in arms over a perceived bias for or against certain companies or products. Tom's Hardware has been the target of a good number of these complaints, since he tends to vacillate between his favorite products, be they 3D cards or motherboards. This time it's a little different, as Nvidia has pasted a new "Nvidia Approved" button right on his front page, letting the world know exactly how "fair and unbiased" Tom really is. Here's a few comments on how some readers reacted to the new logo.

Review on Rally Master 16:12 pm - Kan

The jaws over at Sharky posted a short preview on Rally Master.

As was evident with Motorhead, Swedish based Digital Illusions, doesn't bother with anything not visually splendid. Along that same vein comes Rally Masters: Race of Champions, a colorful rally racer with less of an arcade feel than DICE's previous titles but with the same amount of eye candy. While not much is currently known about Rally Masters, it's safe to assume that a wide variety of realistically modeled cars and tracks will be available for players to abuse.
The game will run on most any Direct3D compliant video card (shots below were taken with an STB Velocity 4400) at almost all allowable resolutions. We'll keep you updated on the development status of Rally Masters, in the meantime however, enjoy the shots.

SideWinder Salvos 16:11 pm - Wilfred

The Techs Network just put up a threesome review on the MS SideWinder family of products - namely the Precision Pro, Freestyle Pro and the Force Feedback Pro. Even if X'mas is over, you can still spice up your gaming with one of these controllers!

Alrighty, I can do that! In this article, we'll review a few members of the Sidewinder family - the Precision Pro, Freestyle Pro, and Force Feedback Pro. Each has its own unique qualities, and how much you like each may depend on the type of games you play. We'll develop that idea a bit more later.

On to the Precision Pro Review!
On to the Freestyle Pro Review!
On to the Force Feedback Pro Review!

3D Video Comparison 16:09 pm - Wilfred

UpgradeCenter.net has posted an interesting 3D Video Comparison article that speaks about a great many video cards like the G200, the Banshee, the TNT, the i740, Riva128 and the Voodoo2. It lays out the features and the benchmarks on the table all for your consumption:

In the past months, there have been many old and new companies trying to make it in the extremely competitive market for 3D hardware, most of it for 3D Gaming, such as Quake 2, Final Fantasy VII, Forsaken, and most other games coming out today. Some of these boards wanted to be "VooDoo 2 killers" (referring to 3DFX's extremely successful VooDoo2 3D chipset). Some just wanted to be a winner on their own right, not by directly competing or comparing to another product.

All About Lighting 16:08 pm - Kan

Anand posted yet another article on lighting. If you ever wanted to know what is Radiosity, Phong Shading, Gouraud Shading etc, take a look at the review.

Why is Gouraud Shading so fast, yet so ugly? Well, the algorithm for Gouraud Shading will explain. Gouraud Shading calculates an intensity at each vertex of a polygon, and then LINEARLY interpolates the intensities along polygon edges and across polygon rows. When it comes to lighting, chances are if you see the world linear, it is an approximation. While Gouraud Shading looks good for lit polygons viewed at an angle. Polygons straight in front of the light source are generally shaded w/the same color throughout, since the intensities are about the same at each vertex.

Chipsets Roadmap 16:02 pm - Kan

Our pal over at iXBT Hardware posted a roadmap on non-intel chipsets which includes the VIA, ALI and SIS chipsets. However, the contents are in Russian. :)

RAID 15:53 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica posted an article on RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). Inexpensive? You can say that again.

Let's start with good ole' RAID 0, aka - the Striped Set (without parity). An array of disks, that is, several hard drives connected to a controller of some sort, are utilized to separate data into consecutive blocks that are each written to different physical drives (or spindles).  As a result, system I/O performance improves greatly because the data is spread out over X spindles, on possibly more than one channel (access to data theoretically increases X times faster). Of course, better performance will be observed as the physical disk - to - controller ratio approaches one.  It is important to note that this config is not a valid RAID as it is not fault-tolerant (and thus does not have the complementary overhead work).   Therefore, if simply one drive fails all data is the array is completely lost!   However, for those wanting to invest  little in time and money, this is good entry-level small environment alternative (especially applicable where I/O performance is more important than file redundancy). 

Dreamcast at SLS 14:20 pm - Krank

I've received some emails from our viewers out there about the pricing of Dreamcast in Sim Lim Square. Like in my previous post there are different packages for the Dreamcast. I've only quoted the standard package that means 1 Dreamcast, 1 Controller, 3 games and 1 VMS. The problem is that those dealers at Sim Lim Square are always constantly quoting different prices so we have no way of knowing how "fixed" the pricing are! But I have done some research and evidently WYWY Singapore is distributing the Dreamcasts and Game Tokyo is a reputable place to get your standard pricing from. For Game Tokyo its 1 Dreamcast, 1 Controller, 3 Games and 1 VMS for $950. For the standard Dreamcast set (no games) it would retail for $550.

Voodoo3 vs Rage 128 12:03 pm - Kan

That's a short article over at Voodoo3.net on comparing the performance of the Voodoo3 vs Rage128.

As you can see, it's true that moving the Rage128 from 16Bit to 32Bit mode causes a very minor performance hit. The problem is, that even the initial ~40 FPS will probably be "dented" by complex scenes. The Rage128 running Quake2's Crusher demo in 1024x768/32Bit produces 28 FPS, a rate that any hardcore gamer will tell you - is not enough. There's no point to even bring up 1600x1200 mode, the Rage128 just won't cut it. Heavier engines and more demanding games will come out(Remember Unreal?), and they'll most likely need more horsepower then the Rage128 can provide them with.

HP Scanjet 4100 Review 12:00 pm - Kan

Hardware Central posted a review on the HP Scanjet 4100 USB scanner.

The 4100Cse uses USB technology instead of SCSI or parallel. There are several advantages to USB technology. SCSI devices can be difficult to configure for many reasons. A SCSI adapter card is required for SCSI devices. The SCSI adapter needs a free IRQ to work properly and may fail to work and cause system lock ups if not configured properly. Another problem with SCSI is that the devices have to be terminated properly and each device must have a unique ID number. For the novice, this can be intimidating. Parallel devices are easier to install but the performance is much slower. Most computers come with only one parallel connector, so if you have a printer or other parallel device you have to operate off of a pass-through. Unfortunately, many parallel devices do not work properly with pass-through. USB solves these problems. USB comes built into most new computers and operates at a faster speed than parallel. With USB you simply plug in the device and install the driver. No need to worry about pass-throughs, IDs or IRQs. 

Wilfred Coughs 03:14 am - Wilfred

Since the dearth of news as people all over are recovering from their X'mas hangovers, I'd noticed that ALL our editors are doing their own rantings NON-STOP. So I decided to join in! Here's somethin' I just learnt and should have known long ago... I'm not sure if you've tried but:

I'd just tried this. If you are a Magix user, you DON'T need the MPEG-1 decoder card from Magix at all since MOST video cards these days are more than capable to do this easy job. Damn! And I thought the Oracle Video client is specifically customed by Magix to use the ISA RealMagic Card ONLY.

I vividly remember one of their hardware engineers tell me that THERE IS NO CHOICE but to use THEIR provided card. No choice even if I wanted to add a DVD Decoder... No choice but to do some SUPER LOOPBACKS behind. (Can u imagine? Video card => Voodoo 2 => MPEG-1 card => MPEG-2 card???? Totally ridiculous!). However skeptical I was at that time, his tone really convinced me.

Ok, whatever... you may like to test out your own Magix setup without the MPEG-1 card and tell me if the stuff still works for you!

Krank Sez 02:27 am - Krank

I've decided to start posting news on consoles....hope this doesn't hurt! I guess all of you guys should know about the Dreamcast from Sega, well its available right here in Singapore. But its price tag sure kills it all, a hefty price range of $950 - $1000++ for 1 Dreamcast Set, 1 Controller, 1 VMS system and 3 Dreamcast Games. So far I've seen different packages with different price ranges. I'm getting one soon, so its gonna be the first console review for Hardware-One!

Kan @ Rantings 01:32 am - Kan

Yes, we are onto something REAL BIG, which explains for the lack of news. Anyway, enjoy the festive season and we will try to satisfy you with our daily juice (wow!).

26th December 1998 {Saturday}
Force Feedback Wheel 18:36 pm - Kan

3DHardware.net just posted a review on the Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback wheel. If you are looking for the ultimate racing gig for your computer, take a look at the review.

With all these parts to the system, it might seem like installation is complicated, but this could not be further from the truth. Simply connect the AC adapter to the back of the wheel, run the cable from the pedals to the wheel, and run a single cable from the wheel to the joystick port. Unlike some other force feedback systems, the Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel did not require the use of any serial ports to transmit data - just your trusty old joystick port.

With Microsoft being one of the big proponents of USB, it's interesting to note that their force feedback devices do not offer USB support. Their latest non-force feedback joysticks and gamepads, however, do offer USB and game port support in a single package.

With Microsoft being one of the big proponents of USB, it's interesting to note that their force feedback devices do not offer USB support. Their latest non-force feedback joysticks and gamepads, however, do offer USB and game port support in a single package.

New Need for Speed III Drivers 17:53 pm - Wilfred

Hacked Speed III has posted about a new bunch of updated drivers for your Need For Speed III. Click here to grab it! Here's the low down of what it does:

Drive Pack 1.0
* Voodoo  ver. 1998.08.13.0018
* Voodoo2 ver. 1998.08.13.1642
* Native RAGE support (ver. 1998.08.13.1400)
* D3D ver. 1998.08.12.1521

Drive Pack 1.2
* NVidia TNT detect
* Rendition V2100/V2200 detected
* Chromatic Mpact 2 detected
* 3DLabs Permedia 2 detected
* D3D ver. 1998.08.24.1222

Driver Pack 1.5b
* Tripple buffer Allowed
* D3d Test Allowed
* Nvidia TNT & 128 optimization ... =) GoodZ!!
* 3DSetup Ver. 1.51
* Power VR dectected, but doesn't work, maybe in the next release. Sorry!
* Voodoo  ver. 1998.09.10.2330
* Voodoo2 ver. 1998.09.10.2330
* D3D ver. 1998.10.22.1443

Minor Annoucement 17:37 pm - Wilfred

Of course I'm back - fast too! I'd never expected to trash my PC on a happy X'mas day, but disasters do happen. The worst part is I lost every damn email I'd ever received. But fortunately I had my data and address book backed up somewhere. Now, most of everthing else is restored and I had to comfort myself by buying a new MS Natural Keyboard just now. =)

Cooling The Celeron 17:31 pm - Wilfred

It doesn't matter if this is not the first guide of its kind but this IS the MOST popular processor to overclock! Adrian's Rojak Pot has updated his "Cooling The Celeron" guide, a big-ass 14 page article that covers minute details that no one should overlook!

Kan @ Rantings 15:02 pm - Kan

Well, looks like Wilfred just trashed his computer again. Just called Singnet that I am unable to send outbound mail all of a sudden. Had a talk with a sweet little girl (who knows nothing) on the other side that it had nothing to do with my software configuration or what have you stated in their SOP.

Next thing I knew, I was disconnected! Hmm.... 

25th December 1998 {Friday}
K6-3 Part 2 21:46 pm - Kan

Anand just posted part 2 of the AMD K6-3 review.

One of the biggest advantages the Pentium II offered over the competitor was its high speed L2 cache.  By deriving the speed of the L2 cache on the Pentium II's processor card from the clock speed of the processor itself, Intel made sure that the Pentium II's performance increase to clock speed increase didn't experience any sort of diminishing returns.  On the other side of things, the Socket-7 market was quickly dying due to the inability of the 66MHz Front Side Bus (FSB), the speed which the L2 cache also ran at, to compete in the much more aggressive world introduced by the Pentium II. 

DiamondMax 4320 12:11 pm - Kan

Storagereview posted another review on the Maxtor DiamondMax 4320 5400 rpm IDE drive.

Though Quantum's (then) latest offering may have outshined it, the DiamondMax 4320 nevertheless provided solid performance. In its revised form, the 4320 delivers WinBench 98 figures every bit as high as the Fireball EX and Plus 2500. As an aside, we've been noticing that WB98 is starting to show its age. It seems that both hardware and software developers are finding ways to tweak for the benchmark that may not necessarily translate into increases in many practical applications. This is nothing against Maxtor; extensive use in both my own and the webmaster's systems have proven the 4320 to be a swift performer. A quick look at the bottom of the page will show WinBench 99 figures for the 4320. Though they exist in a virtual vacuum at the moment (comparable only with the [gulp] Hitachi Pegasus), these figures will soon be comparable to those of many drives to be tested in the near future. The next one, WD's latest Caviar, is right around the corner ;).

WinChip-2 Review 10:46 am - Kan

HPC posted a review on the WinChip-2 233 MHz with 3DNow! support.

The IDT WinChip 2 is IDT's second generation CPU that follows in the footsteps of their inexpensive WinChip C6 product. Previously, IDT had planned to release a WinChip 2 and a WinChip 2 3D. The only difference between the two was the 3DNow unit built into the WinChip 2 3D that the WinChip 2 would not have. However, IDT has decided to just produce one second generation chip by the name WinChip 2, and this chip will have 3DNow support.

The major changes from the WinChip C6 to the new WinChip 2 include 3DNOW! support, a pipelined FPU, and higher clock speeds. So far, IDT has not managed to improve the clock speed very much, though. I initially reviewed 225 MHz WinChip 2 several months ago. I was impressed with the noticable improvement that chip had over the WinChip C6 in the gaming deparment, but its 3DNow unit was lack luster compared to the AMD K6-2's 3DNow unit. At the time of that review, I assumed AMD's 3DNow performance was better, since AMD had developed the 3DNow patch foe Quake 2 that I was using as a 3DNow performance benchmark. However, IDT vowed to make improvements to their WinChip 2 so the WinChip 2 could enjoy 3DNow performance that was on par with the AMD K6-2.

Diamond RIO PMP300 10:43 am - Wilfred

Get yourself this nifty gadget to start your new year with! Adrenaline Vault reviews the Diamond RIO PMP300 portable MP3 player.

The Diamond Rio PMP300 is one of those cutting-edge products with a premium price tag. If you're looking for a way to take skip-free music on the most vigorous of activities (whether skiing, jogging, snowboarding, or climbing telephone poles), this is probably one of the best. While it is possible to squeeze the most out of the memory by using lower encoding rates (and thus slightly lower quality), I've found that it is simply more convenient to transfer the mp3 files as is to the unit and be happy with the play time; it may not be the best cross-country flight companion. Still, it delivers on its promise; sometimes big things DO come in small packages!

Windows/ Linux File Sharing 10:19 am - Kan

Wanted to share files between your Linux machine with your Windows machine? Avault had an article on how to do file sharing using Samba. Go read it!

You're going to do some heavy-duty work this week -- in this column we'll show you how to setup your Linux box on your LAN to share files with your Windows machine. This is very cool, because it gives you tools to move files back and forth, to access files remotely, and (with some work we'll cover in a later column) to share printers.
Samba itself is a suite of software to handle network traffic using the SMB protocol (which is what Microsoft networking uses for file and printer sharing). Samba supports using your Linux machine as a client, accessing files on the Windows box, or as a server, letting your Windows box get at files on the Linux machine. What follows is the procedure to get Samba minimally operating to serve files from Linux to Windows.

Buyer's Guide to 3D Accelerators 10:08 am - Kan

TCP posted a long article on a buyer's guide to 3D graphics accelerators. Included in the review are cards like ATI Rage Fury, Riva TNT, Permedia 2, Banshee etc.

Graphics cards continue to be one of the hottest product categories in almost every segment of the computer market. After all, every computer needs (at least) one, and who doesn't want to scroll faster, see more accurate colors, smoother textures, higher resolutions, faster games, etc., etc.? During the past few years, the 3D accelerator market has evolved enormously, taking us from the S3 Virge "Wow!" era to the S3 Virge "Blech!" era in next to no time -- at least in "computer years."

To get into the right frame of mind for this article, I dug into the Pre-Cambrian ooze and located an ancient ATI VGA Wonder card. Still supported by Windows 9x, it amply demonstrates how far we've come in such a short time. Without a word of exaggeration, the refresh rate on that card was so slow at 800x600/256 colors that it took almost two minutes (about one second per line of text!) to scroll through this article on our 300 MHz test computer!

My advice to all those still hanging on to one of these relics: let it go! Today, even an inexpensive video card, such as any of the under-$150 items mentioned in this article's "Value Card" section, delivers such a bang for the buck that it is an easy sell

Baldur's Gate Review 10:06 am - Kan

GameSpot posted a review on Baldur's Gate.

Baldur's Gate is the most important roleplaying game to emerge in the past two years. It's a fully fledged roleplaying game with all the character development, statistics and sub-plots that fans of the genre have been hungering for. It also has the gloss and presentation you'd expect of a modern game. And yet it builds in all the excitement of real-time combat. Is this the game that will do for roleplaying what Command & Conquer did for strategy gaming?
First and foremost, this game is huge. Do not expect to finish it in less than 100 hours. If, like many roleplayers, you enjoy seeking out all the game has to offer by exploring every square inch of every location, and completing every one of the hundred or more sub-quests, then you're looking at closer to 200 hours. Simply put, Baldur's Gate is offering real value for money.

ATI Rage128 Review 03:52 am - Wilfred

3DGaming has posted a review on the latest ATI Rage128 card. Check it out while they'll soon be updated with 3DMark benchmarks soon. Here's a terribly good bit on the heat issue for the undaunted:

One must discern between temperature and power before any conclusions can be made.  Imagine a single match and an entire matchbook being lit simultaneously.  Since both are fueled by the same wood, the flames from both will be the same temperature.  However, the entire matchbook will provide more warmth and release more heat to the single match will not be able to warm release as much heat or power to the rest.  Temperature is merely .  Power is measured in Joules/sec, energy released per unit time.  They are related, but inherently different similar to momentum v. velocity or angular v. linear acceleration/velocity/momentum.

The Rage128 only heats up during 3D applications and cools down very rapidly; I saw the same <30sec gradient that Dr. Pabst did.  This shows that the Rage128 is not generating a lot of power; it dissipates the heat too fast.

Ace's Guide to Benchmarking 03:49 am - Wilfred

Ace's Hardware has delivered yet another helpful guide, this time especially for reviewers on the net. Read their 'Big Book On Benchmarking'.

Benchmarking is an essential part of this industry, marketing departments have long depended on standardized (and some times not so standardized) tests to gauge and compare the performance of one product to that of another. Enthusiasts have also used benchmarks to test and optimize the speed of their machines. Regardless of the motivations behind benchmarking, however, it should always be done correctly to avoid false and misleading results.

Intel Vs AMD 03:42 am - Wilfred

Over at Thresh's Firing Squad, they've posted their latest edition of Face Off: Intel Vs AMD. More about what they think of the upcoming Katmai and K7 chips:

Deny it if you must, but Intel is definitely starting to feel the pressure from AMD. While I personally don't give a monkey's ass WHO ends out on top, at least I have the foresight to recognize that increased competition is good.

Can't agree more that more competition IS BETTER! Give it to me cheap and good!

Merry Christmas! 03:38 am - Wilfred

Otay! A late Christmas wish to all of you! Bet you were at some countdown party moments ago like I was! Hark the herald angel sing ...


24th December 1998 {Thursday}
DES-III FAQ 15:00 pm - Kan

The DES-III: Project Monarch FAQ is completed at distributed.net.

This project will involve testing the 2**56 (72,057,594,037,927,936) keys in a DES encrypted message in order to find the message. However, unlike the RC5 projects, we have only 24 hours to get the $10,000 prize. If we don't achieve that, we then have 48 hours to win $5,000. Next comes $1,000 in 56 hours. After 56 hours, we take our toys and go home empty-handed.

To help out, all you need to do is download one of the clients. Please see http://www.distributed.net/clients.html to obtain a copy of the client software.

Kyrotech Cooled K6-2 500Mhz Review 14:49 pm - Wilfred

Anand has put up his review on a Kryrotech Cooled K6-2 500Mhz system. Kyrotech uses a special form of cooling known as vapour phase change refrigeration that allows your CPU to be cooled to a mind numbling temperature of -40 deg C.

Kryotech claims that Vapor Phase Refrigeration is 50 times as effective as traditional forced air cooling (your standard heatsink/fan combo cooling device) and 5 times as effective as forced liquid cooling.   Using Vapor Phase Refrigeration, Kryotech has been able to allow their products to run at levels around -40 degrees Celsius, an achievement which opens new doors for desktop computing opportunities, the biggest of which happens to be overclocking.

Check out the review that has some awesome pictures of the internal workings of the cooling system.

Linux not for Everybody 13:18 pm - Kan

PlanetHardware wrote an article on why Linux will not be "on everybody's desktop".

I fully believe that there is nothing that can stand in the way of Linux gaining a large share of the server market. Not even Microsoft and any of its FUD can take away the momentum that Linux has gained. The Internet and intranets have thrived on the open standards that have been in place for years. Any attempt by Microsoft to "embrace and extend" these standards will be met with opposition by server administrators that will be unable to implement those standards without replacing their entire server setup with NT boxes.

So there will be no problem for Linux to take a greater share of the server market but I do not foresee that happening on the desktop for a couple of reasons

AMD K6-3 Review 11:44 am - Wilfred

Here's another salvo from Sharky's, they've put up a large review on the new AMD K6-3 "Sharptooth" 400Mhz processor. Armed with 256Kb of on-die L2 cache running at full core speed, the K6-3 is a turbocharged K6-2 raring to go...

Sporting 256K of full core speed on-die level 2 cache, the K6-3 shares most of the previously successful K6-2 class of CPU's core and technology. Much like the Intel Celeron A model of CPUs, which only incorporate 128K of on-die level 2 cache, the K6-3 has received a strong shot in the arm performance-wise with the addition of the on-die level 2 cache, which now operates at the blistering rate of 400MHz in the initial K6-3 400 CPU. That's a large upward jump from the just released K6-2 400's level 2 cache speed of 100MHz, and the benefits of speedy L2 cache show clearly in the testing we performed on our prototype K6-3 400.

Though a strong performer, the K6-3 appears to me to be a short term low cost performer to the current competition. Most of the weaknesses (FPU?) in the K6 line will only be addressed with the release of the K7 - the REAL competitor to Katmai.

Katmai To Be Called Pentium III 11:29 am - Wilfred

Straight off The Register came this news that Intel will call Katmai its Pentium III. Thank goodness they didn't call it Pentium 2000 or sumthin' like dat!

Intel will use the Superbowl game in mid-January to introduce its Katmai chip to a waiting universe and will call it Pentium III, it has emerged.

MotoRacer 2 Review at Sharky's 11:22 am - Wilfred

The guys at Sharky Extreme has reviewed Delphine's MotoRacer 2, the highly anticipated sequel to an extremely popular arcade racing game - MotoRacer. Well, did it live up to their expectations?

We were certain that Delphine and Electronic Arts would clean up the game enough so that it wouldn't be mistaken as merely an attempt to capitalize on a successful brand name... Tomb Raider, anyone? Unfortunately, our hopes are dashed. It's now seven months later and the completed Motoracer 2 lacks any major jump in innovation over the original.

New Canopus Spectra 2500 Drivers 11:15 am - Wilfred

Saw this at Voodoo Extreme that new drivers for your Spectra are available now. No time to lose, get them now:

Windows 9X driver version 1.20.03 (5.14MB). This release includes the latest drivers from NVidia and some needed fixes. Read the Release Notes for details about this release

Windows NT 4.0 drivers, version 1.20.01 (3.65MB). This self-extracting archive contains the driver files plus a self-extracting setup program to install the SPECTRA 2500 display utilities. Read the Release Notes for details about this release and Installation Instructions

Dynamite TNT Review 11:06 am - Wilfred

HardwareCentral has completed a review on the Hercules Dynamite TNT card, one of the recent TNT card to be raved by websites all over. Check it out!

Though the Dynamite TNT is missing many of the "frills" such as TV-out and software bundles, it is definitely a great TNT based card. The Dynamite TNT has a very nice fan/heatsink combo that works well to cool down the TNT monster. If you are looking for a stable, high quality low-cost card without all "the toppings", the Hercules Dynamite TNT is definitely the card you are looking for.

Half-Life Vs SiN ShootOut! 10:59 am - Wilfred

GameCenter has cooked up the shootout of this Christmas season between Half-Life and SiN. Ripped this lot about who gave the better eye candy... but there's much more.

Sin is not quite on the cutting edge, but it still represents a technological jump from the original Quake II. The graphics deliver a complex world and allow the player's character to move seamlessly from indoor to outdoor environments without cutting too deeply into the frame rate that the average 3D-accelerated system is capable of delivering. Lighting and textures are done well, but whether it's a matter of technological limitations or a question of style, the world has a sparse, overly sharp, almost cartoonish feel. The levels try hard to mimic the real world, but the graphics are just not quite up to the task. Sin's sound effects also strive toward the realistic, modeling ambient sound in such a way that explosions and conversations become clearer as you approach their sources. The game has some excellent sound effects, but too few of them are subtle; some of the quality can be overlooked easily during all the bang and crash. Sound cues tend to be either nonexistent or a dead giveaway.

Half-Life, on the other hand, delivers the gamut of visual and sound effects, from the spectacular to the barely noticeable. The Half-Life team did an incredible job of maximizing the graphic and audio capabilities of their acquired engine to produce something almost on par with Unreal. Half-Life's lighting effects are simply amazing; they add greatly to the game's overall feel. Moving from deep shadow to bright daylight can be as startling in the game as it is in real life. The texturing system allows for complex images that pay off mightily in Half-Life's chaotic battlefields, where shattered walls and gleaming structural beams look at once perfectly distinct and completely natural. The skeletal animation system used for character movement is another point in Half-Life's favor. The motions of Half-Life's humans and monsters are easily the best of any first-person shooter to date.

Celeron 300A @ 504Mhz - Part 2 10:54 am - Wilfred

PCPowerHouse has posted the Part 2 of their Celeron 300A @ 504Mhz article with a large portion of it concentrating on the cooling aspect. Need some advice to satisfy your overclocking crave?

Cooling the CPU does help in both reducing the temperature of the CPU and in allowing you to reduce the voltage needed to run at such high clock speeds. I have read where people using quality heatsinks and fans have been able to run at 464Mhz and 504Mhz with voltages of 2.2v, 2.1v, 2.05v and 2.0v without any crashes by doing this.

Do check out our very own benchmarks done on a Celeron 504A.

Netscape Is Dead? 01:40 am - Wilfred

MSNBC posted an article that Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp, said Netscape is dead and that Microsoft's campaign to kill off its rival has worked. (Full article)

Ellison had been asked a question by a Sun Microsystems Inc. representative about the role of his company following the proposed AOL-Netscape merger.

“I am going to surprise you with my answer,” said Ellison. “The most innovative company in the computer industry in the last 10 years is dead. “The merger with AOL means Netscape is gone. AOL is in a different business. It is not a software company but a media and a service company.

“AOL is not interested in Netscape’s technology. It is only interested in Netcenter,” Netscape’s popular Web portal.

"Frame Spoof" Vulnerability Patch 01:32 am - Wilfred

Microsoft has just posted a security bulletin on a new patch available via Windows Update to fix the glitch known as "Frame Spoof" vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Here's a snip:

Summary: Microsoft has released a patch that fixes a vulnerability in Microsoft® Internet Explorer® that could allow a malicious web site operator to impersonate a window on a legitimate web site. The threat posed by this vulnerability is that the bogus window could collect information from the user and send it back to the malicious site.

Issue: This vulnerability exists because Internet Explorer's cross domain protection does not extend to navigation of frames. This makes it possible for a malicious web site to insert content into a frame within another web site's window. If done properly, the user might not be able to tell that the frame contents were not from the legitimate site, and could be tricked into providing personal data to the malicious site. Non-secure (HTTP) and secure (HTTPS) sites are equally at risk from this vulnerability.

23rd December 1998 {Wednesday}
Are You An Overclocker? 22:53 pm - Wilfred

I know I had to post this! Didn't regret clicking that link found on Kyle's OCP page. Well, check out Millenium PC Kingdom's "10 Ways to Spot an Overclocker" and have a good laugh! Here's the first four...

  1. You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check your system and cpu temperatures.
  2. You decline your girlfriend's offer of rubbing aromatherapy oils into her back in favour of rubbing thermal grease onto your processor.
  3. Your mother is going into town and she asks you what the best bus to use is and you reply "112mhz with speed error hold disabled."
  4. Your best pick up line at a party is: "Hi babe, if you'll be my Slot1 I'll be your processor."

You can contribute to the list if you have some better stuff for us. *Chuckle!* *Chuckle!*

HyperSnap-DX V3.30 Beta 7 22:48 pm - Wilfred

Saw this at our affiliate ActiveWin that Beta 7 of the highly popular screen capture utility is out. Here's the new stuff to be found in the 1.1Mb download.

Further improved DrivectX and DVD capture. Added new "Quick Corp and Scale" function to Capture menu. Added "Toggle Cursor Capture" button to the toolbar. Fixed some more bugs. This release is feature complete for final ver. 3.30 release. Only the help text needs to be updated.

Note that this beta utility will expire on 31 Jan 1999. Meanwhile, grab it.

Katmai Vs K7 Benchmarks 18:04 pm - Wilfred

Simply amazing! Terry of Hardware Extreme sent word about some sizzling new benchmark results he obtained from pitting two of the HOTTEST processors that will be hitting town soon! He'd overclocked his Katmai from 450Mhz to 504Mhz, running it on a 112Mhz FSB while a 500Mhz K7 ran on a whopping 200Mhz bus!!!! Guess who won???!!!!

I wish to disclose the numbers here but I think not, so check it out yourself! Terry promises more benchmarks as soon as he finds the time, so stay tuned!

Sound Blaster Live! Newsletter 16:14 pm - Wilfred

3DSoundSurge posted a huge chunk of the Live! Newsletter that speaks of several new technologies that will soon make their debut:

Our aim is to increase features and usability for you, the customer. Let's take a brief look at some of these technologies that relate to audio:

  • Optical Digital I/O card - a new add-on board for Sound Blaster Live! and Live! Value owners that allows connection to popular MiniDisc players via an optical interface.
  • Soft-PCDVD - a new, integrated PlayCenter feature that enables playback of DVD movies using your existing Sound Blaster Live! and DVD drive.  Allows output of 4.1 audio mix or 5.1 pass through using the Digital I/O card.
  • 1394 Power Amplifier - this technology allows for multiple, full bandwidth streams to pass to and from the Sound Blaster Live! to an external digital amplifier and connect to Cambridge home theater speaker systems.
  • Personal MP3 Player - this hand-held unit can hold up to 60 minutes of compressed digital music in a package no larger than your hand. No moving parts or analog input makes music clear and skip free, even on the go!
  • Sound Blaster audio for Laptops - new audio chips from Creative will soon appear in laptop computers, bringing clearer sound, Environmental Audio Extensions support, and the Sound Blaster PCI standard.

Release dates for these technologies will be available soon.

Pretty interesting things to come, soft-pcdvd and optical digital I/O card for you?

Geek Walk at Sim Lim 16:04 pm - Wilfred

Yes, this rant follows another geek walk I had to take after a 7 day absence. I was a little lost at the stuff that's arrived at SL Square (pardon me!), came across the MX300 for the first time selling at S$180, a new batch of BroodWars to have arrived at TecDrome, some of the new Banshee and TNT cards from Asus, Skywell and also Maxi. Well, to do justice to ourselves and reward our hardwork *ahem*, we bought BroodWars. More sleepless nights.

ATI Responds to Rage 128 Heat Concerns 10:44 am - Kan

The Adrenaline Vault recently asked ATI to respond to recent comments on the web regarding the high heat output discovered in their new Rage 128 chips. The Rage 128 chipset is to be used in cards like the Rage Fury, Rage Magnum, and Rage Xpert 128. ATI's response follows:

"In response to your question regarding the statement on another web site that the RAGE 128 GL chip achieves a temperature of 91 degrees Celsius, these results are not only expected, but also completely within the operating parameters of the chip. The current running temperatures of the RAGE 128 GL do not introduce any potential for premature failure of the part, or any surrounding components.

"Based on an examination of the thermal impedence characteristics of the RAGE 128 GL package, an ambient temperature of 25 degrees C and the RAGE 128 GL operating in the normal range of power consumption (measured by ATI to be 2.5w to 4.0w), we expect the component to remain well below maximum operating temperature allowed by the fab's spec.

"According to ATI's calculations, we expect the case temperature to fall between 84 degrees C and 100 degrees C, which the web posting in question in fact reports. The internal junction temperature of the part is in a similar range, but does not approach the maximum junction temperature of 125 degrees C (for reliable operation). This proves that the findings in the web posting in no way reveal any reliability problems with the RAGE 128 GL with regard to heat dissipation.

"Further on the issue of potential for damage to surrounding components, all ATI designed graphics chips and add-in cards are designed and tested to operate normally in an environment up to 50 degrees C. In general, motherboards designed by most motherboard manufacturers at least equal this design parameter.

"It must be emphasized here that a case temperature of 91 degrees C by no means implies that the surrounding components and PCB will be subjected to the same temperature. Since this heat is being produced by a relatively small consumption of power (2.5w - 4.0w), the temperature gradient (i.e. the change in temperature as you move further from the surface of the chip) will be very steep. The temperature of the surrounding components, therefore, will be much closer to the ambient temperature in the system and would not be affected by the temperature of the RAGE 128 GL. The RAGE 128 VR, the motherboard-oriented version of the RAGE 128, which drives less memory, exhibits lower thermal characteristics than the RAGE GL and is also not a threat to surrounding components.

"ATI is committed to providing both OEMs and the retail customer with products that provide the highest performance, quality and reliability."

Intel Security Plans 10:36 am - Kan

An article over at EETimes talked about Intel's new security plans.

Intel Corp. will add new security and software functions to future chip sets in a move that will boost the profile of its upcoming Katmai processors as key silicon for multimedia and electronic commerce. But the plan is raising concerns among software, semiconductor and systems companies that fear the processor giant could wind up encroaching on their markets, extending its own reach deeper into the PC architecture.

Intel would not comment on its unannounced products. However, the key features of the chip are beginning to come to light based on reports from multiple sources. The firmware hub is "basically a flash chip with locks on its read and write capabilities that can be opened using a cryptographic protocol," said another source briefed by Intel.

Hardware security functions include a cryptographic engine to authenticate "digital certificates" that Intel or a third party could load in. The chip could hold multiple certificates, each with permission to grant specific features, such as to permit an operating system or an MPEG player to run. They would also ensure that a software program licensed to one user was not copied and run on another machine, a common practice. In addition, the certificates will act like unique serial numbers, identifying a given machine in any Internet or corporate network transaction, sources said.

Faster Laptops 10:30 am - Kan

According to an article from Techweb, Notebook PCs will get faster late next month when Intel introduces speedier versions of its mobile Pentium II processor. At the same time, the company will debut the first mobile incarnations of its Celeron chip for low-priced portables.

Most major vendors will have new Pentium II notebooks available for immediate delivery, and a smaller number will be ready with Celeron-based units.

The Pentium II notebooks will run at 333 MHz and 366 MHz, up from 300 MHz. But a bigger performance boost will come from integrating the L2 cache, which stores frequently used data, into the CPU; no other Pentium II chips have this feature.

Nathan Brookwood, an analyst for Insight 64, said the 366-MHz chip may be 22 percent faster than the 300-MHz Pentium II. New models of IBM's ThinkPad 600E will feature the 366-MHz chip and hard drives of 4 gigabytes to 6.4 GB. Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM will also introduce the 770Z, with a 366-MHz Pentium II chip and a 14.1-GB hard drive.

Banshee Installation Guide 10:08 am - Kan

Our helpful Bill just updated the Essential Checklist for Setting up and Getting the Most out of Your New Banshee Card. If you just got your new Banshee card, take a look at what the man had to say. Some of the juice includes:

  • Update your motherboard BIOS.  This is particularly important with Super Socket 7 motherboards and AGP Banshee cards and with boards using AMI BIOS.  Also, this will be helpful if you plan to use multi-monitor configurations under Win98.  Updated BIOS will give you better control over several functions that can make life easier for your Banshee.  Also, AGP cards require Win95 version  b or newer (OSR2+) as a minimum, plus other setup. See this page.

  • Make sure “palette snooping” is disabled in BIOS unless you have a specific add-on card, such as an MPEG decoder that requires palette snooping.  Palette snooping can cause color distortions of boot screen, DOS, splash screen and shutdown screens.

Live! Drivers for NT 10:01 am - Kan

Read it off from BetaNews. Creative Labs has posted new Sound Blaster Live! drivers for use with Windows NT 4.0. New in this release is:

  • Dual-processor support
  • Additional effect: Frequency Shifter
  • Live!Surround
  • Auditioning of Environmental Audio settings
  • 32 DirectSound 3D Streams

Wow! Dual processor support? Hmm...

On another note, Microsoft has released a beta refresh of the Windows 98 OSR1 to testers. This build is an interim build and will only be available for download, as the whole tester field could not be sent CD's over the holidays.

The build number is 2120 for the beta refresh, and appears to be packaged with Internet Explorer 5 build 5.00.1012.1004.

QDI Brillant 1S 10:00 am - Kan

3D Hardware posted a review on the QDI Brillant 1S Slot 1 BX motherboard. It comes in a 4PCI/3ISA/1AGP configuration and features a jumperless CPU setup.

Many people have never heard of QDI, yet they are the sixth largest motherboard manufacturer in the world. How can that be? Well, the key to getting so large is through OEM business and they must be doing something right to get it. Many smaller resellers use QDI boards because of their low failure rates and general lack of headaches. In fact, QDI stands for Quality, Design, and Innovation. We'll take a look at their i440BX board, the Brilliant 1S to see if we can find what makes QDI so popular.

Celeron Overclocking Guide 09:53 am - Kan

The Techs posted a Celeron Overclocking Guide. Don't you just love the Celerons? Included are screenshots on how to overclock to 374, 464, 504 Mhz. Isn't it easy with Abit SoftMenu technology?

Intel continues to make great products with their Pentium line. The Pentium 2 was one of the biggest steps that the computer industry took and then AMD followed up with their K6 and K6-2 processors. Then came out a processor with no cache at all, thus made the processor awesome for overclocking. Success stories of 400Mhz, even 464Mhz were noted with the Celeron 266. This had to be done under extreme cooling though. Then premiered the Celeron 300A and 333A with a whole 128KB of Level 2 Cache. People figured that this would destroy the overclocking capabilites, but it seems that it has helped the overclocking. The chip now runs cooler (realistically) and you have 128KB L2 Cache. I have prepared an overclocking guide for all of our readers, so you can see exactly how to setup everything.

Kan @ Rantings 09:47 am - Kan

Finally your favourite editor is back from Korea. Now I will just sit back and relax and play my favourite Brood Wars! :)

On a side note, I saw the Celeron 366 available in Singapore. I still haven't got my PalmPilot from Tricast (C|Net Singapore) yet (bad! bad! bad!). From the way things look, I probably won't get it.

Celeron 300A prices just dipped further. If you are planning to get one, better get one fast as stocks are clearing and before you know it, Intel is not them anymore.

CL TNT Review 09:45 am - Kan

AGN Hardware just finished their review on the Creative Labs Riva TNT card. This card is selling quite cheaply, is it the time to upgrade?

The Riva TNT chipset may have been around for a while, but that doesn't make the boards any less impressive or news worthy.   But in order to make the TNT more appealing, hardware manufacturers are going to have to slap more than their name on the back of a reverence board to make their product sell.  So again, the process of reviewing these boards is not an issue of speed, but one of proprietary designs in hardware and software, as well as bundled software.   Reviewers such as myself can't just rely on benchmarked speed, but have to take into consideration things like how well the manual was written and whether the company at hand can answer technical questions correctly over the phone.

So with all of that in mind, when the Creative Graphics Blaster Riva TNT graced my doorstep, I had to re-evaluate (again) how I was going to look at this product.   An assessment based purely on speed just wouldn't suffice.  So I'll take you through my experience from opening the box to the very last benchmark.  But first, I'm obliged to tell you about the card, and slap you with a features list.  So lets get that out of the way.

Transferring Server 09:09 am - Kan

We are pulling out of Webking and is in the process of transferring our server. This should be a pretty fast process (I hope).

Benwin Flat Speakers 03:00 am - Wilfred

PlanetHardware just pooped a mail to tell us a review they had done on this exotic pair of speakers from Benwin. There is a small pic on the sleek speakers reportedly to be the first consumer priced flat speakers at US$129.

With flat panel speakers, the audio signal is sent everywhere around the speaker. It sends the signal in a 360 degrees around the speaker, allowing for you to turn the speakers completely backwards and still have the same sound quality and volume.

Huh? Sounds impressive though I don't really comprehend how this is achieved. Ignore me.

Hello People! Hello Singapore! 02:45 am - Wilfred

Yo people! Home from my 7 day holiday at Seoul, S.Korea. Pretty fun, scenic places, babes and all. You haven't heard from me in days, but I was there man, watching from afar. =)

My only pity was that I didn't pass a single computer shop over there, didn't see the MPMan, the Digital I/O daughterboard for SBLive, didn't even see a single piece of Samsung RAM chip!

For a start, I'll be back working on another review as well as the ongoing news segment. The other big thing (since Kan already leaked this =P) we are working on is a new look that will hopefully see the light come early 1999... a little more on this:

Since we are not rich enuf to employ professionals to do the facelift for us, Hardware One is going through the pains of doing it ourselves. Thankfully, Krank joined us and kicked in some real energy into the team. He is currently devoting his efforts into the design of the new look, while I'm doodling with the layout and porting the old stuff over. "The City Never Sleeps..."

NTFS 5.0 01:00 am - Kan

The girls over at Ars-Technica posted Part 2 of the article on NTFS. All the talk about NT5/2000 makes me drool for it. I'm sick of Win98 !

What's in Part II?  Part II is all about NTFS as it stands in Windows NT5/2000.  I'm going to cover most of the truly exciting and very much anticipated features of the new filesytem, including Encrypting Filesystem (EFS), Distributed Link Tracking, Quotas, and more.  NTFS 5.0 is a an important and brave new step in the world of filesystems, and even folks who don't use NT should be interested.

As you may or may not have noticed, Service Pack 4 for NT 4.0 includes an updated ntfs.sys file system driver.  Beta-abusing freaks like us Ars-folk can now dual boot NT4 & Windows 2000 for fun.  Whoo!   But I wanted to say a few things right here up front about this new ntfs.sys driver and what you need to be aware of before installing Windows 2000 to dual boot on your system.

EasyCD Creator 3.5B 00:55 am - Kan

Just read from BetaNews that Adaptec released Easy CD Creator v3.5B. What's new include:

  • The last selected write speed is now saved as the default write speed. Previous versions of the ECDC always proposed the 2X speed as default.
  • On hard disk partitions larger than 4 GByte, only the space above 4GB is recognized as available temp space. This will be fixed in the next release.
  • A bug in creating a Disc Image with a file name of 33 characters or more.
  • The length of some very short audio tracks was incorrectly reported as shorter than 4 seconds, after the removal of the gap, so those tracks could not be copied with CD Copier.
  • Philips 3610 audio extraction hang problem. Easy CD Creator would hang while detecting the audio pause length when copying audio tracks from a recordable CD recorded with the same recorder. (Easy CD Creator 3.01x didn't have this problem because the audio pause detection routine was different.)
22nd December 1998 {Tuesday}
Intel Release Four-Way Xeon 19:48 pm - Kan

According to another article from Techweb, Intel will release a new four-way Xeon system on Jan 5 1999.

Intel will make a big push into the server market when it launches its new 450-MHz Pentium II Xeon processor for four-way servers, which sources said is scheduled for Jan. 5.

The new high-end Xeon chip follows the October release of Intel's 450-MHz Xeon for dual-processor workstations. Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will offer the new chip with either 1 megabyte or 2 MBs of cache, sources said. Previous processors in the Xeon line contained either 512 kilobytes or 1 MB of cache.

"If the Xeon is out there and can do multiple processors, for people who are looking to do thin client as well as heavy NT servers and even Novell this will be something to look at," he said.

Intelligent Virus on NT Servers 19:45 pm - Kan

Techweb posted an article on a new type of virus, called Remote Explorer which Network Associates said it is the "most destructive virus" ever seen.

Network Associates has uncovered what it says is the most destructive virus it has ever seen, capable of acting on its own to render data files on a network unusable.

The virus, called Remote Explorer, surfaced over the weekend at a Fortune 100 client of Network Associates. It infects Windows client computers at random over the network, encrypting data files with its own encryption algorithm.

Remote Explorer installs itself on a Windows NT server, then emulates the administrator's level of security, so it has access to all system-management tools and process controls. It infects the network by multiplying without requiring user access. While most viruses attach to a program or data file and don't become active until that file is opened or run, Remote Explorer runs on its own.

The virus code examines the layout of the network and determines its own path through computers, making it impossible to predict. It also stays dormant during business hours and is most active between 3 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Network Associates' engineers examined the virus and found it contains 120 kilobytes of binary code written in C, a large amount of code for a virus, which are usually just a few kilobytes in size.

Tomb Raider III Review 18:53 pm - Kan

Saw it over at Sharky that they had the Tomb Raider III review ready.

With Tomb Raider I & II marked by rather primitive 3D environments, awkward character controls and no aiming or AI to speak of, it would have been time for a major overhaul to address some of these issues. Sad to say that, for the most part, that has not happened and the tradition continues with TR3! (If you loved the earlier TR games, you can skip the gripes that follow and go straight to the game specs where you will probably be very happy with the TR improvements.)

It would appear that the learning curve in a Tomb Raider game isn't about the game as such, its about getting fluent on the controls and making Lara move through the environments with grace and style to match that posh English accent. This can be achieved, up to a point. After that it is trial and error. Jump, turn, dash, shoot and cross your fingers that she executes these moves as you desire. Timing seems to be a hit or miss affair.

How to Setup a LAN 14:28 pm - Kan

Thresh's Firing Squad posted an article on how to setup a small LAN in your home.

Imagine playing your favorite PC game against your pals, with absolutely no lag and no packet loss - the connection is smooth as silk. You're playing at the top of your game, not because you're having a good day, but because the instant you press a key, the corresponding action translates immediately onto your screen. You've never experienced true multiplayer gaming bliss until you've played on a LAN. While selling your soul to the devil may well help you reach these seemingly unreachable goals, there is an easier way to do it, and we're here to show you how. In this article, we'll teach you everything you'll need to know about a LAN, which is an acronym for Local Area Network

CPU Preview for 1999 14:21 pm - Kan

Ars-Technica posted another article, this time on the CPU preview for early 1999. Included are processors like AMD K6-3 as well as Intel Dixon.

First and foremost, the AMD K6-3 is imminent, and this sweet new CPU could, for at least a brief time, put AMD on the top of the x86 heap, performance-wise.  The K6 has gained a host of performance-boosting tweaks since its first incarnation.  Like the K6-2, the K6-3 packs AMD's single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) 3DNow instruction set for fast floating point instructions and a slightly enhanced floating-point unit.  Furthermore, like the K6-2 400 (and, it seems, pretty much all newly manufactured K6-2 chips), the K6-3 includes the enhanced CXT core, which makes better use of its caches for better performance.   Finally, like Intel's Celeron 300A and 333, the K6-3 includes an L2 cache on-chip running at the full speed of the CPU core.  Unlike the Celerons, however, the K6-3 has 256KB of L2 cache on board and, in most configurations, a 512K (or larger) tertiary cache on the motherboard.

Digital Camera vs Optical Camera 11:05 am - Kan

Digital Darkroom posted a review on comparing the quality of a digital camera vs a optical camera.

We have wondered how the output of a good consumer level digital camera would compare to that of a scanned negative produced by a good optical camera. There are inherent difficulties in planning such a comparison, in an effort to compare "apples to apples". Some variables that are NOT controllable are:

  • degree of compression employed in the digital camera (DC) image 
  • compression algorithm employed 
  • analog to digital conversion in both scanner and DC 
  • quality of the CCD in scanner and DC 
    lens quality in scanner and DC

It is difficult to scan an image at a DPI that yields an image comparable in both file size and pixel dimensions to that produced by a DC, because of the .jpg compression in the DC image. It took a considerable amount of "cut and try", both in the scanner as well as in Photoshop before I was satisfied that I had come as close as I was able in attaining this goal. 

Total Air War Review 10:34 am - Kan

That's a review on Total Air War at AGN3D.

DID has a long history of making flight simulations of excellent quality. Their resumé includes sims of the caliber of TFX, EF-2000, and F-22 ADF. Total Air War continues their track record of producing top-notch flight sims, but it does not offer much to current owners of F-22 ADF. What should have been a add-on disc instead was turned into a complete repackaging of F-22 ADF with the addition of dynamic campaigns.
Don't get me wrong. This is one of the best F-22 simulations currently on the shelves, and is certainly one of the most realistic, right up there with iF-22 in terms of realism. Even though no current F-22 sim can claim 100% since a lot of the data for the aircraft is classified, they just feel right. But maybe DID should not have backed down out of their plans to release Total Air War as an add-on disc for current F-22 ADF owners. This package simply does not offer enough new features to warrant an existing F-22 ADF owner to go out and shell out another $50 just to get flight planners and a dynamic campaign. More on this later.

Fighter Pilot Review 10:23 am - Kan

Warzone did a review on Fighter Pilot, a flight simulator game based on Jane's F15 engine.

Well folks, when you are a sim fanatic like I am, you know you are in trouble when the manual fits into the CD case. That is exactly what I found when I opened this title’s box. Not even pretending to be a sim or billed as one, (at least they didn’t pull a Novalogic marketing the "best flight model around" gimmick) the main question here is whether it makes it as a game. After a standard set-up session and loading the game, I was greeted by a "High Scores" screen, yet another sign that I was about to enter a game, and nothing else. As I picked my settings and went on my first mission, I was taken to the briefing room. At that stage you are tasked with the objectives for your mission, and trust me folks, they are never very hard.

Apple Shipping Linux - Part 2 10:20 am - Kan

Ars-Technica posted part 2 of their story on Linux shipping with Macs.

In 1995, Apple started to port Linux onto 68k/PPC. This was an official Apple sponsored project-- the result was MkLinux a rocking version of Linux. Apple's been doing Linux, much, much before most people knew who Linus Torvald was, or the L-word was hip. However, MkLinux has gotten behind times, Apple does not have the resources to support the project. The core device drivers for USB etc are not supported. But Apple's been great about giving away all the Linux code to developers. The result is multiple variants of Lin*xen. The most popular versions of Linux include- LinuxPPC (www.linuxppc.org) and Yellow Dog Linux. Aside from some installation quirks (hey, we actually have to edit text files to config an OS! Imagine that!) they run great.

Freestyle Pro Review 10:16 am - Kan

Our affiliates over at ActiveWin posted a review on the Microsoft Freestyle Pro. Did you miss our Freestyle Pro review? Read it from here.

The Freestyle pro comes with the Sidewinder Gaming Device software version 3.0. First thing it does it check what version of DirectX you have on your PC, once it does that, it will either install a newer version or just go straight into the gaming device software setup. Once there you are asked to enter your name, then it is just a case of clicking next a few times. Once installed you are asked to restart your computer, when the computer has rebooted you need to plug in the Freestyle pro, now I have a free USB port available so I plug the gamepad in there. Windows 98 detects that new hardware has been added to the computer and asks for your Windows 98 CD (For no reason it seems as I already had the files it needed), the it is all installed, or is it?. You will need to double click on the Sidewinder Gaming Device icon that is on your taskbar, this loads up the central area in which you control most of the Freestyle Pro' setup, click on the Sidewinder control panel option and make sure that the gamepad is installed correctly and that it states that the gamepad is connected (The version 3.0 software sometimes likes to say it isn't, this is fixed with the newer 3.02 software that can be downloaded).

Epox MVP3G Motherboard 10:08 am - Kan

Super7.net finished the review on the Epox EP-MVP3G Socket 7 motherboard.

The EP-MVP3G stands alone at the top of the pack stealing the title of "Best Super7 ATX Mainboard" away from Iwill's XA100 Plus.  It's speed and stability  unquestionably set the standard for the industry to follow.  EPoX' attention to detail both in design and the quality of the components chosen to outfit this mainboard make for an all-around high performance mainboard that can satisfy any enduser from the PC neophyte to those with masters degrees in  performance tweaking. 

The easy to follow manual, wide list of features and utilities, EPoX fine reputation for technical support and improvement all meld together into one great reason to own this mainboard whether you are new to high performance socket 7 systems or already a total geek.  If your not one already owning this board just may help you turn the corner...

Mac Voodoo2 10:06 am - Kan

Read from AGN Hardware that Fresh Gear posted a review on a Voodoo2-based 3D graphics accelerator for Macs.

OK Mac gamers, if you're tired of hearing all your friends with PCs brag about their amazing 3DFX Voodoo-based 3D graphics accelerators, we've got the product for you. Micro Conversions Game Wizard is the only board we've heard of that packs a Voodoo 2 processor (and 12MB of RAM for texture caching) onto a Macintosh PCI board. For $199, it's the ultimate 3D gaming board available. (OK, it's the only one.)
The Game Wizard will work with any PowerMac or G3 Macintosh with an open PCI slot. Our installation was pretty painless, (we don't mind opening up the machine and using a screwdriver). If that makes you nervous, grab your local geek! We had to leave our existing 2D graphics board in place. The Game Wizard uses a passthrough cable (think of a very short monitor cable) to take the 2D signal from that card, and overlay its 3D signal on top of it before it sends it on to your monitor.

HighPoint XStore Pro 10:04 am - Kan

Adrian posted an article on the ABit HighPoint XStore Pro bus mastering drivers. This "enhanced" drivers REDUCED performance by a whopping 22 percent! It's crap!

Nope! The results were not accidentally typed wrongly. As you can see, the bus mastering driver that came with Win98 beat XStore Pro 1.20 flat! This is no neck-to-neck competition... this is a total knockout!

I don't know what happened but XStore Pro is beginning to look like a decelerator to me. But wait! Perhaps WinBench 99 is not affected by XStore Pro's bus mastering technique. So, let's have a look at the Winstone scores.

[Beam me to the previous news archive!]

Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 01 January 1999 23:12