22 Nov 98 - 28 Nov 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Linux 2.2 Due On Christmas
  • P55C Vs Socket 370
  • New BH6 BIOs
  • MP4?
  • K7 Picture
  • GetRight 3.3 Preview 6
  • Power Outlet Networking
  • Cooling Your Voodoo 2
  • Tweaki
  • Creative Banshee Drivers
  • Liquid Audio
  • Sharky - Video [email protected]
  • Exclusive Review
  • Delta Force Patch
  • Celeron 300A Vs Pentium II 450
  • CPU RoundUp
  • Copy Protected CDs
  • Need For Speed III Patch
  • Thunderbird 128 Preview
  • DiamondMax Plus 2500 Review
  • OCP's Interview with Abit's Jeremy Smith
  • HP CD Writer Plus 8100i Review
  • Linux Lovin' at Frontline
  • RealPlayer G2
  • Evolution of NTFS
  • Voodoo3 Review
  • Dual Xeon Review
  • Windows Blind
  • Motherboard Monitor v3.75
  • Shogo: Mobile Armour Division
  • AOpen Memory Modules Review
  • Creative SBLive! vs Diamond MX300
  • Hardware Therapy: Special Voodoo 3 Edition
  • HyperSnap 3.30 beta 5
  • RealPlayer G2 Final Release
  • Stripping the Celeron
  • CuteFTP 2.6.1
  • GetRight 3.3 Preview 6
  • AseTek vs KryoTech
  • Savage 2
  • AOL Buys Netscape. It's Official!
  • Singapore: Microsoft Gaming Contest
  • A Universal Computer Language
  • QCI for ICQ
  • Voodoo 3 Preview Aftermath
  • Half Life Experience in Brief
  • Asus P2B-LS Review
  • Win95 Patch for K6-2 Free
  • New SBLive! Drivers
  • Microsoft & RealNetworks Apart
  • What's New in WinAmp
  • FIFA '99 & Environmental Audio
  • Logitech Wingman Formula Force
  • NEC PowerVR Series 2
  • Wearable PCs From IBM!
  • Gainward Dragon 4000 Review
  • IBM Deskstar 14GXP UltraDMA
  • Internet Explorer 5. Surprise!
  • PC Shopping Guide
  • Monaco Racing 2 Patches
  • New Edition of SoundOff
  • Intel PII-400 Confidential
  • K6-2 400Mhz
  • K7 Vs Katmai
  • Banshee Vs TNT
  • Optimise the Celeron 300A
  • Netscape Smart Download
  • AFS File System
  • Big Mac
  • 2D/3D Cards Roundup
28th November 1998 {Saturday}
2D/3D Cards Roundup 19:12 pm

FastGraphics posted a large update on 2D/3D cards. Included are the benchmarks for the various cards as listed below. Seems like the TNT is a winner.

  • Asus V3400 TNT
  • Creative Labs Graphics Blaster TNT
  • Creative Labs 3D Blaster Banshee
  • Diamond Monster Fusion Z100
  • Diamond Viper V550
  • Diamond Monster 3D
  • Diamond Monster 3D II
  • Diamond Monster 3D II SLI
  • Guillemot Maxi Gamer Phoenix PCI
  • Guillemot Maxi Gamer Phoenix AGP
  • Hercules Terminator 2X/i
  • Hercules Terminator Beast
  • Hercules Dyamite TNT
  • Leadtek WinFast 3D S350ZX
  • Leadtek WinFast 3D S900
  • Leadtek Winfast S800
  • Leadtek Winfast S320TNT
  • Matrox Mystique G200
  • Matrox Millennium G200
  • Megabyte Wicked3D Vengeance
  • Number Nine Revolution IV
  • Real 3D StarFighter AGP
  • Hercules Terminator 2X/i
  • STB Velocity V4400

Big Mac 18:37 pm

Nope, not the MacDonald's Big Mac, but the more powerful iMac from Macintosh. Here's an article from Techweb:

In the same time frame, Apple plans to introduce a second, higher-end iMac model for $1,299. The new system will use the same form factor as the original iMac, but it will feature more hard-disk space and a faster processor, the sources said. The existing iMac offers a 233-MHz processor and 4 gigabytes of disk space.
"The higher-end machine will have the same look [as the current iMac], but it will have a larger hard drive and more processing power," said one source familiar with the company's plans.

AFS File System 18:27 pm

Gosh. There are HPFS, NTFS, FAT32 etc. Now comes AFS from IBM for NT and Linux systems. For the full article, read here.

IBM will begin selling a version of a program that lets Unix computers share files for the Linux and Windows NT platforms beginning December 1.

The AFS file system is a program that lightens some of the burden of storing and sharing computer files that many users need to access. For example, it frees users from having to know which particular server computer is storing a file, lets several different computer platforms use the files, and lets administrators control different users' access to the files, said Gail Koerner of IBM's Transarc subsidiary.

Until now, the AFS server product only ran on Unix systems, but the new edition, version 3.5, will be able to run on Windows NT machines and Linux machines, she said. In addition, version 3.5 comes with Control Center software that uses a graphical user interface that runs on Windows machine, which makes the program easier for less experienced administrators who don't want to use a command-line interface of traditional Unix machines.

Netscape Smart Download 18:24 pm

Got this from BetaNews.  Netscape has released a small application called SmartDownload to work together with their Communicator browser giving more download control, much like GetRight. Here's a description:

    SmartDownload is a new service from Netscape Netcenter designed to assist you with downloading files from the Internet. Key features of SmartDownload are its ability to pause and resume downloads, recover from a dropped Internet connection, and show informative content from Netcenter while downloading.

Optimize the Celeron 300A 18:20 pm

Adrian @ The Phoenix Project posted an article on how to optimize your Celeron 300A with the Viper V330.

In this test, the system was tweaked using the following methods :-
a) by enabling the Video RAM Cached setting in the motherboard's BIOS
b) by installing and enabling the FastVid utility
c) by enabling the Fast Timing feature in PowerStrip
d) by overclocking the Viper V330 card to 133MHz

Banshee vs TNT 10:42 am

That's a side by side comparison in terms of quality at AGN3D using the game Half-life.

The Banshee is obviously a great OpenGL performer when compared to the TNT, the card runs neck and neck with the TNT in every one of the tests. The Direct 3D version of Half-Life works well at 640x480 and 800x600 but becomes very buggy at the 1024x768 resolution. I could not control Gordon at all with either of the cards when using 1024x768. The Direct3D version of the game also has other image related problems as well, proof that Microsoft's D3D API is still net ready to compete against OpenGL

K7 vs Katmai 06:56 am

Ace's Hardware put up an article on K7 vs Katmai.

When I saw the presentation of the K7, I was stunned and my first thought was "awesome KILLER CPU", but let us keep our heads cool. Is the K7 a revolution or an evolution? Has the K7 got much more to offer over the PII/Katmai family and the K6-2/3 family?

They also have a new article on the new Digital's Alpha 21264 processor.

The 21264 is a major improvement over the current 21164. The next-generation Alpha CPU is roughly twice as fast as current DEC Alpha chips. SPECint95 performance is estimated to be around 40.0, while floating point performance is estimated to be around 60.

K6-2 400 MHz 06:48 am

Anand had released a new review on the AMD K6-2 400 Mhz. This K6-2 support the new CXT core which increase the overall performance of the processor.

The K6-2 400 will probably be the last K6-2 processor of the year, and therefore the last K6-2 processor to ever leave AMD's fabrication plants as their K6-3 is planned for an early Q1 launch in 1999.  It is always a good thing to leave any situation with a memorial bang, and as the industry has shown us time and time again, such an exit is possible.  ABIT gave the old Intel 430HX chipset a just farewell with their revamped IT5H Revision 2.0, and let's see if AMD can show the K6-2 processor a proper good-bye before it shoves off into retirement with the revamped K6-2 400.

27th November 1998 {Friday}
Intel PII-400 Confidential 23:25 pm

First off, our affiliate Hardware Extreme has moved. Click here to visit the new place. With the move, they've posted news about this mysterious new Intel PII-400 chip with an unknown Q561 stepping that's rumoured to be able to run stable at 598Mhz!!!!!

This stunning piece of news just in ! Intel has a confidential version of the PII 400 with the Q561 stepping that is currently unknown to us all. It appears that this CPU is capable of being overclocked to 598MHz using the 4.5 X 133MHz setting and can run stable ! This mystery was discovered by one of Hardware Extreme's loyal followers and we are currently trying to bring this CPU to 598MHz in our labs.

(Roll over to HE for the enlarged image!)

New Edition of SoundOff 22:44 pm

Hardgame has kicked off another issue of SoundOff. So what's in discussion this round? Well, as you'd expected - the Live! and the MX300, EAX and A3D. Read it!

While EAX 1.0 is a good sound API, it has received its fair share of criticism for not being a real 3D sound API, because of its lack of any unique 3D sound positioning effects. In fact, it only really adds reverberation settings to the DirectSound3D API calls. Creative just announced EAX 2.0 and it looks to be a much stronger competitor to A3D 2.0 (which has always offered 3D positional audio). We might even see a battle similar to the OpenGL vs. Direct3D one.

A main benefit to A3D 2.0 is that it is the only API (so far) to support reflections. Reflections are currently the most realistic way to create a 3D environment, but they are also the hardest for developers to impliment. Most current games that have A3D 2.0 support are including it because Aureal has done a large amount of the audio coding. But is the realism worth the extra effort? Personally, since games are continually pushing the limits of technology, I would say that the extra audio realism is worth it.

Monaco Racing 2 Patches 22:12 pm

George of Purified3D just sent word of the following. Ubi Soft has released patches for Monaco Grand Prix Racing Simulation 2 (currently only available in Europe and Quebec).

Direct 3D version (3.4 MB): Corrects bugs with DirectX

3DFX Version (3.3 MB): Corrects graphics bugs with Voodoo2 and the uncompatibility problem with the Cyrix processor. ftp://ftp.ubisoft.com/pub/monaco/patch/3dfx/RS2-102V.exe

PC Shopping Guide 21:55 pm

This is not the usual PC Shopping Guide. This is Tom's Hardware Guide's PC Shopping Guide. He touched on almost every component you'll ever put into a system.

If you want the highest frame rates possible you should consider two Voodoo² boards, which have to be used additionally to an existing 2D or 2D/3D card. I recommend teaming up the Voodoo2 cards with either a Riva TNT or a Matrox G200 card. If you fancy video editing abilities go for the Matrox Marvel G200.

Internet Explorer 5. Surprise! 19:02 pm

ActiveWindows just sent news about Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. Here's the surprise!

We mentioned on ActiveIE a few weeks ago that there would be no Internet Explorer 5 beta 3 - We can now confirm that the next release will be the final, and for once it is ahead of schedule.

Yes, I suppose you read right. "AHEAD OF SCHEDULE" were the three words. Surprised? Fell off your chair? This don't happen very often, so you might wanna slap yourself a couple of times. *chuckle!*

IBM Deskstar 14GXP UltraDMA 18:57 pm

Frank has sent word about his review of the above harddisk drive at The Sanctum. Space freak? Get the 14GXP for more breathing room... here's the snip:

The Deskstar packs with 14.4 Gigabytes/13.4 after A Windows98 FAT32 Install, 512KB Buffer, and SMART Support. This Ultra DMA Rocket soaks the Ultra DMA Bus with Speed. In testing TheSanctum hit 27.4MB/sec with the Bus topping out at 33MB/sec. Want more speed? 7,200 RPM will make You almost forget about The SCSI Interface. The CPU Utilzation was also down, hitting 3.4%. Talk about having Your cake, and eating it too. The Deskstar doesnt ask for much, but gives plenty in return. It only asks for You to install it in your System.

Gainward Dragon 4000 Review 18:44 pm

PlanetHardware has thrown up a review on the Banshee based Gainward Dragon 4000 graphics accelerator. It's not a reference design Gainward decided to go with, so you might wanna know if their stuff works better!

"... it all boils down to the 3D aspect of the card, which performs to the usual Banshee levels, pretty good in OpenGL, but it really shines in Direct3D. With the lack of the second TMU (Texture Memory Unit) originally found on Voodoo2 boards, games that would use it (Quake II, Half-Life, SiN), perform less than the Voodoo 2, and TNT for that matter. The case is very much different with Direct3D, where the faster Banshee clock, and memory speed really can take charge. In our Final Reality and Forsaken tests (which both use Direct3D), the Dragon 4000 smoked both our Voodoo2 and Voodoo2 SLI setups in speed and image quality, but still did not beat the current king of Direct3D, the Riva TNT."

Had been playing around with my friend's Banshee lately, and dammit, it is one smoking card! Smokin' in terms of performance and SMOKING - quite literally! It's very hot! (I think it feels much hotter than the Canopus Spectra 2500 I tested awhile ago). Have a fan and fire extinguisher ready! :P

Lack Of Updates 18:38 pm

Whoops! No updates till now. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Lazy people! Lazy people! Bad! Bad! Bad! Blame the work! Blame the weather!

26th November 1998 {Thursday}
Wearable PCs From IBM! 23:13 pm

It'll soon be reality and not science fiction anymore. CoolComputing has nicely linked to this article by PC Week, saying that IBM will soon be releasing a wearable PC to be called Visionpad. Here's a snip:

IBM's prototype, for example, uses an Intel Corp. 233MHz Pentium with MMX Technology and includes 64MB RAM and an IBM microdrive, which can squeeze 340MB of data on a drive the size of a CompactFlash Type II card. IBM plans to rely upon a head-mounted display supporting 800-by-600 resolution and 16-bit color, although the current display is still in development. For input, IBM is forgoing a keyboard in favor of its ViaVoice voice-dictation software, though a USB (Universal Serial Bus) keyboard will be available as an accessory.

NEC PowerVR Series 2 22:50 pm

In case you've been wondering what happened to the highly hyped, but never released PowerVR Series 2 chip (or have u totally swiped it off your mind?!), Sharky Extreme has got a skinny of it.

"The Series 2 PC chip engineering samples are out of FAB. Customers and top developers will receive samples in November. 2nd tier developers will receive their parts soon after. We expect to be entering volume production by the end of the year and anticipate board level products at retail by end of Q1 '99. Performance is impressive."

Performance had better be VERY impressive. The delay has been unacceptably long... so they'd better prove that it had been worth the wait! (Read the article)

Logitech Wingman Formula Force 14:46 pm

Once again, it's the guys at Force-1 to deliver a first in-depth review on Logitech's Wingman Formula Force USB wheel and pedal set. This may be one of potential product to match Microsoft's Forcefeedback Wheel offering. Well, the reviewer liked it: "OH MY GOODNESS! HOPE THEY DON'T WANT THIS BABY BACK!"

There's no question that this product is absolutely worth the money they want for it. It does exactly what they say it does, and more. It's well made, is durable, and it's even a little sexy. Logitech has a way with making sexy-looking products, we'll give them that.

This is one of the most impressive pieces of hardware to ever cross my desk. Thanks for a great product, Logitech.

FIFA '99 And Environmental Audio 14:28 pm

3DSoundSurge put up this scoop saying the Electronic Arts will be supporting EAX in FIFA '99 via a patch. This is the snip from the press release:

A download for Creative Labs' Environmental Audio™ technology will be available later this month for consumers interested in an enhanced audio experience. Using the EAX™ API, Environmental Audio will deliver a superior audio experience by highlighting on-the-pitch and in-the-crowd sounds.

Yaahhooo!!! More goal scoring with my speakers thumbing away... my virtual stadium of ecstatic crowd.

Noticed anything different? 12:59 pm

Did you notice some changes in our homepage? You DIDN'T? Well, we are undergoing some minor renovations, which should not bother you at all.

What's new in WinAmp 12:53 pm

Got this from BetaNews on the upcoming new features in WinAmp.

  • (experimental) continuous playback output plug-in. Will have some severe limitations, but should be kinda nice for some things. Should proably include optional silence in between tracks (for recording to minidisc), as well as cross-fading (perhaps, it'll require a lot of buffering if so).
  • a general purpose loggin plug-in. The plug-in will log what you play and in what order, then we can make a log parser that figures out what music you like and in what order, and will generate "favorites" playlists.
  • the installer will soon (optionally) gather metrics. It'll tell ya how many people installed Winamp today, ever, and so on. Kinda neat. It'll also let you sign up for our up-and-coming mailing list.
  • Complete HTML documentation. I'm outlining it now. Documentation is a pain :)
  • The 'read extended track info on load' option will disappear. Instead, a new info-on-demand system will replace it. I realized that the only time you need ID3 info when you aren't playing is when you're using the playlist editor. Even then, why get 200 song titles when you're looking at 10 at a time? More on this later.
  • Language DLLs. Winamp goes native!

Microsoft and RealNetworks Apart 09:49 am

Considering the acrimonious relationship between Microsoft and RealNetworks, Microsoft's decision to sell its 10 percent stake in the streaming media company took few by surprise.

The partnership had been rocky since October of last year, when RealNetworks' released version 5.0 version of its technology without support for the ASF format Microsoft is pushing as a Web standard for streaming media.

This week, RealNetworks released the final version of its G2 player -- which backs the SMIL streaming media format that Microsoft said is unnecessary. That won't do anything to warm things up between them, although RealNetworks said it actually would prefer that Microsoft remain a shareholder.

For the full article, read here.

Win95 Patch for K6-2 Free 09:46 am

The problem comes because of a "software timing loop" incorporated in Windows 95.

The Windows 95 operating system was not originally designed for processors running at speeds of 350-MHz or more, said sources. As a result, computer users with Windows 95 and a 350-MHz chip would occasionally get a "Windows Protection Error" when booting up. A similar problem existed with 333-MHz Pentium II chips that ran Windows 95, but it was fixed early on

A patch for the problem was issued in September and published on both the AMD and Microsoft Web sites. Initially, however, Microsoft charged customers $35 for a support incident to repair the patch.

Now, AMD has taken the matter into its own hands and is offering repairs for free, according to a spokeswoman at AMD. The patch is available at an AMD Web site.

Asus P2B-LS Review 09:37 am

SharkyExtreme had came out with a new review on the Asus P2B-LS. This is a BX motherboard which has on-board U2W SCSI as well as 10/100 Mbps LAN support.

Other specs are fairly standard including the 2/4/1 setup (2 ISA slots, 4 PCI slots, and 1 AGP port). Users wishing for a 5th PCI slot would do well to remember that the LAN and Ultra2SCSI controllers are built into the board itself, thereby eliminating the need for additional slots beyond what is already given. We found that in reality the 4th PCI slot on the P2B-LS is dead when the LAN and Ultra2SCSI controllers are activated (they each occupy the resources of one PCI slot, even though they're integrated on the mainboard). This makes the P2B-LS one of the first boards from ASUS that supports a total of 5 PCI devices simultaneously, even though two of them are forced. When all 4 of the external PCI slots were loaded with peripherals, and both the LAN and Ultra2SCSI controllers were activated, the 4th external PCI slot on the P2B-LS just shuts down and fails to detect whatever peripheral is placed in it. (Due of course to the fact that the user is trying to run a total of 6 PCI devices at once).

New SB Live Drivers 09:34 am

Creative just released the new SB Live drivers. New features:

Upgrade your Sound Blaster Live!/Live! Value with the latest Sound Blaster Live! files/drivers.

New features added:

  • Frequency Shifter Effect - allows you to create bizarre distortions, phaser, and rotating speaker effects.
  • Number of software voices can now be adjusted.

Also included are other important features from previous release:

  • Hardware acceleration support - from the existing 8 to 32 DirectSound 3D Streams.
  • Live!Surround - allows you to connect your Sound Blaster Live!/Live! Value to your existing surround receivers and speakers.
25th November 1998 {Wednesday}
Half Life Experience in Brief 23:47 pm

Good pal and co-editor Toh Boon Kiat has mailed me his first hand experience with Half Life and I just html-ed it into shape. No, this time you don't find a writeup heavily peppered with screenshots. This is just pure simple user experience with the game. Makes a good read!

I can attest to the EAX reverb support. In the training level, where you practise in your mech(?) suit. The sound changes when you move into your suit and when your footsteps are clanging on the metal floor. The echoes accompanying the shells from your gun are also very well done.

Well these are his concluding words about his overall impression on Half-Life. Catch the real thing by clicking here.

The graphics are much better than Shogo's but the storyline seems a little hackneyed. Even so, what I have seen of the game so far, makes me want to proceed further... Now... how on earth am I supposed to get out of the damned lab... Catch you all later. =)

Time to go grab my favourite Fifa '99 and Half-Life from the shelves at Sim Lim Square tomorrow!

Voodoo 3 Preview Aftermath 22:41 pm

Alex 'Sharky' Ross just pooped a mail in. Well, the man has written a follow-up article after their preview on the Voodoo 3 card. He says:

After the preview I knocked up, a bunch of readers/press folk expressed concerns into the features that were lacking on the Voodoo3.. You know SLI, 32MB etc... so I wrote up a follow up with Gary Tarolli, CTO etc.. who tried to explain why they did what they did and why they didn't do some of the other stuff.

The possibility of SLI-ing the Voodoo 3? See below, but don't go frenzy yet, they are merely speculating. So perhaps it is technically feasible on the V3? I hope so too.

Tarolli hasn't totally decided against doing some of the more ambitious SLI set up. If 3Dfx don't do it, will Quantum 3D try it? They've done it before with their Obsidian line of products so anything is possible. Either way it looks as though 3Dfx has left the door firmly open for implementing further TMUs (texture memory units) via SLI on either a single board or indeed with the aid of a daughter card. Either way the fastest you're most likely going to get in Q1 1999 is a Voodoo3 -3000, albeit minus SLI. And if you're still craving for SLI it could still return sometime late next year (let's hope?).

Read about what Tarolli had to say about the general unhappiness that the V3 came with a less than shocking 16Mb of SDRAM (instead of 32Mb or 64Mb???!! :P ).

Well, again, the main reason we chose to stick with 16 MBytes was because we feel the target resolution for Voodoo3 is 1280x1024 at 60 fps -- we continue to evangelize that games running less than 60 fps are below "gamer" update rates. The difference may not turn up in a static screen shot, but it quickly becomes obvious when playing a game. Gamers realize that something is "off," things just don't look right and movement and responsiveness is not what it should be. Since we don't support 32-bit external rendering (which has been largely discussed elsewhere) there really is not a need for additional memory beyond 16 MBytes. And, it allows us to hit extremely aggressive price points that would not be possible with 32 Mbyte solutions. We've also increased our bandwidth and can support higher speed memories.

Oh what the heck! I had smiled like a satisfied baby when the V3 announcement was made, but today... I thought again, "CLAMOUR FOR MORE!"... "CLAMOUR FOR MORE!" Gimme 32-bits colour, gimme 32Mb RAM, gimme 1600x1200 at 60fps. Gimme affordability. Gimme EVERYTHING. Gimme MORE FOR LESS!

QCI for ICQ 19:37 pm

Reinstall your OS and lost your ICQ contact list? Backup your ICQ list today!

QCI for ICQ is a simple yet useful utility for backing up and restoring your ICQ contact list(s). If you reinstall ICQ, just restore a backed-up copy of your list. You'll be spared the process of adding every contact again, and you won't lose any. Everything is backed up, including message history, sound settings, ignore lists, invisible lists, and more. QCI has a simple, attractive interface and is a valuable addition to ICQ. Note that this is a beta version. This version has not yet been reviewed.

A Universal Computer Language? What? 19:22 pm

English? Nah! Slim chance. You have to read the cut below from Reuters taken off CoolInfo. What do you think about using a Universal Networking Language-enabled ICQ to chat with people in their 'native' tongue? Cool huh?

More than 120 computer and linguistics experts are working on a computer language to enable people to communicate over the Internet in their mother tongues with people who speak other languages. The Universal Networking Language (UNL) is being perfected at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Tokyo-based United Nations University. Unlike machine translations, which translate one language into another, a text in one language would go through a software application called an "editor" that "enconverted" it into UNL and could then be "deconverted" into other languages.

Singapore: Microsoft Gaming Contest 19:19 pm

Age of Empire & Outwars fans read this! Edelman Singapore has just sent word about the following contest to be held at Funan Centre. Here's the details:

Microsoft will be holding a gaming contest for Singapore gamers for two of their popular titles - Age of Empires and Outwars. The contest will be held at Microsoft Christmast Bonanza on 5 & 6 December at Funan IT Mall.

Those interested in checking out the contest can go to the following webpage: http://gaming.singnet.com.sg/msregistration

Official online registration starts from 12 pm, 27 Nov, Friday. Alternatively, interested gamers can also register on the spot at the atrium of Funan IT Mall from 4 to 6 Dec.

AOL Buys Netscape. It's Official! 19:15 pm

Dear! Dear! I wonder if this is good news or bad news. But it's sure big news! AOL buys up one of the hottest internet tech company. Read this portion I ripped off CoolInfo:

America Online will buy Netscape in a $4.21 billion deal that turns the world's largest Internet provider into a new superpower of the high-tech industry. It also effectively concludes Netscape's dramatic rise and fall as an independent Internet pioneer. The agreement, announced today, includes Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq:SUNW - news), which will distribute Netscape's business-level software in exchange for AOL's purchase Sun's powerful computers. AOL, already with more than 14 million subscribers, becomes the distributor of Netscape's hugely popular Internet browser software and the owner of two of the four most popular sites on the Web.

Netscape's site alone draws 20 million visitors each month. The other three most popular sites are operated by AOL, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) and Yahoo!

Savage 2 19:13 pm

Got this from VoodooExtreme on Savage 2. The guys over at the "first French Hardware Site", Hardware.fr have scored some info. on S3's Savage2.  Here's a taste:


  • Samples: Nov '98, Production: March '99
  • Supports AGP 4X (Savage 2+) and 2X (Savage 2)
  • Major features:  AGP 4X, 32MB memory, 32/64-bit memory i/f
  • Improved 143 MHz SGRAM i/f (up from 125MHz with Savage3D), continues to use block-write feature
  • Video capability: unchanged from Savage 3D (i.e. h/w subpicture blending, motion comp, 60Hz VIP port for HDTV)
  • 270MHz DAC:  [email protected], [email protected]

AseTek vs KryoTech 15:31 pm

Alright, KyroTech has a competitor now. I got this peice of news from The Heatsink Guide.

By far the best CPU cooling system available today is the vapor phase refrigeration system, first introduced by KryoTech. This Freon-based system cools the CPU down to below minus 40°C, allowing extreme overclocking.

The only problem with KryoTech was that their cooling system is extremely expensive, so the price/performance ratio is not necessarily very good.

But now, there's a new competitor! ASETEK Computing, Danmark, will be offering vapor phase refrigerated (they call it VapoChill) barebone systems at very competitive prices. They do not accept international orders yet, but the price of the cooling system (including case and motherboard) is expected to be about US$615. The system is capable of running a Celeron 300A reliably at 504MHz, so it provides better performance than a P2-450, but at a lower price!

Keep in mind, however, that a 300A can often be overclocked to 450MHz using conventional cooling, so you're paying a lot for the 50Mhz more. On the other hand, the supercooled system will be really reliable, and not just "quite stable, most of the time", like many overclocked Celerons.

The ASETEK system can also be used with other CPUs than the Celeron. The manufacturer has already run a Pentium-II at 600MHz using the cooling system.

GetRight 3.3 Preview 6 13:50 pm

Seems like we have a lot of file updates today. GetRight 3.3 Preview 6 is available for download from here. Changes include:

  • Major speed improvements. Adding a new download and other things are much faster.
  • FTP Search. GetRight will now perform searches using FTP Search sites to find other addresses where a file may be downloaded.
  • Enhanced and added more items to the Web Page Processor.
  • Added a button in the titlebar of the individual download windows to minimize to the tray icons.
  • Added more scheduled hanging up options.
  • Added When Done configuration tab so you can setup file types that should be scanned for viruses, and file types to be opened.
  • Added to the Limits configuration tab so you may limit the number of downloads from the same server at the same time.
  • Re-recorded the sounds for better quality.
  • GetRight 3.3 also fixed some bugs and made not easily visible enhancements.

CuteFTP 2.6.1 13:45 pm

One of the all time favourites CuteFTP had a new release. You can download the file from here.

This excellent FTP program has a lot more than just a pretty interface. In addition to previous niceties such as drag-n-drop capabilities, bookmarks, auto rename scheme and resume download, this version of the long-time favorite now offers a powerful macro that records your activities so you can play back specific transfers and automate your work, directory compare for optimal Web site maintenance, fast remote file editing for HTML documents, force lower-case or upper-case option, delete entire remote directories, keep alive command to maintain server connection, quick connect 'remembers' last 5 sites, advanced filtering and more!

Stripping the Celeron 11:36 am

For those who want to take out the default heat sink and fan on the Celeron but do not know how to do it, our buddy at Overclocker's Workbench just posted some photos on how to do it.

I tried it myself. After some chipped fingernails and 5 minutes of struggling with the processor in my paws, I finally got them off. :)

After I got them off, I realised how easy it was to actually take them off. Five seconds, that is what you need. Oh well...

RealPlayer G2 Final Release 11:31 am

RealNetworks just released the final version of the G2 player. Click here to download it.

RealNetworks, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK), the recognized leader in streaming media, today announced the final release of RealSystem™ G2, the next-generation media delivery system which provides broadcast quality, reliability and scalability for the Internet and corporate intranets. RealSystem G2, including RealServers™, RealPlayers® and RealProducers™, delivers a number of new features since the beta release designed to connect consumers to content and improve the quality of their audio experience. New search and 3D audio technology are the first RealPlayer Add-in products, leveraging the open and extensible architecture of RealSystem G2. RealNetworks today announced that Excite, Inc. has developed the first search technology for RealAudio® and RealVideo® which has been incorporated directly into RealPlayer G2 (see separate release), enabling consumers to quickly and easily search and connect to the broadest range of media content on the Web. RealNetworks also announced today that iQfx from QSound Labs will be available as an enhanced feature of either RealPlayer G2 or RealPlayer Plus™ G2 (see separate release), giving users access to digital 3D audio sound.

HyperSnap 3.30 Beta 5 11:02 am

Hyperonics released HyperSnap v3.30 Beta 5. You can download it from our Utilities section or by clicking here. Changes are:

Good news is a new way to snap DirectX screens, including games, videos, DVD etc. It is no longer necessary to start HyperSnap-DX and enable DirectX capture first, before the target program. HyperSnap-DX can be started or stopped at any time, and it will capture these screens correctly. DirectX and Glide capture is now a lot more stable, should not cause game/computer crashes or lock-ups.
Other changes: Added a setting to change picture resolution, in dots per inch (dpi). This setting affects how images are printed or pasted into other documents. Also: fixed a problem with color captures from 256 color applications using entire system palette.

24th November 1998 {Tuesday}
Hardware Therapy: Special Voodoo 3 Edition 20:57 pm

Our friends at Hardgame has delivered on nursing our unquenched desire (No?) for more Voodoo 3 goodness! In their latest issue of Hardware Therapy, they've come up with this 'Special Voodoo 3 Edition' with some really interesting insights about 3Dfx's decision to call the chip V3 instead of Banshee 2.

"Let's see, my SLI setup does 360mp/s. Next years VD3 3000 does 366 mp/s. Wow, a whopping 2% increase in speed! Hmm...that can't be right, let me double check. OK, with VD3 3000 Q2 runs at 32 fps at 1600x1200 with a P2-400. That scales to 78 fps at 1024x768....wait a second, my SLI does 80 fps with a P2-400! Hey, 3DFX, what the heck have you guys been doing for the last year? You think all we wanted was a smaller package for our SLI rigs with no increase in performance?? Todays announcement was about as important as the Oct. 12 fiasco when the 'big announcement' was that you can put two VD2 together and do something called SLI. Gee, really? I didn't know that!" - Joe M.

Hmm... apparently, many people are not too happy about the announced performance ceiling of the V3 which was - instead of being significantly faster than a V2 SLI setup... it gave only comparable performance. I guess I belonged to this particular group Vince had described coz I don't friggin' own an SLI setup:

If you're one of those people who are saying "what's wrong with Voodoo2 SLI in one card at the cost of a Banshee today?", I say nothing.

I'll be very interested in a low cost card delivering both excellent 2D and stellar 3D performance (V2 SLI class? Why not!?)... though I can understand the disbelief and disappointment for lucky V2 SLI owners. But heck! Do you have so many PCI slots to spare? I don't! But Don't allow me to influence you yet, and I'm still on the look out. For now, if any other company can muster enuf juices in their card to kill a V2 SLI setup, they have also effectively killed the V3. Period.

Creative SBLive! vs Diamond MX300 19:44 pm

The Thresh's FiringSquad.com has just thrown up a kickass comparison between the Creative SoundBlaster Live! and the Diamond Monster Sound MX300 cards. One of the most anticipated side-by-side comparative review I had been watching out for! Catch this - surely!

To get an idea of how each card performed under high CPU load, I ran multiple 128kbps, 44.1kHz stereo MP3 files, again measuring CPU utilization. Here, the SB Live appeared to have a much easier time, showing up to 34% less CPU utilization over the Diamond card with four simultaneous tunes. It also easily passed the 12 track test, while the MX300 failed at 8 streams, for some reason complaining that the wav device needed was currently in use.

In Thresh's benchmark tests, even though the Live! stood out a little faster than the MX300, but do you really care about a 1 frame/s increase in speed? Then again, in the multiple sound stream tests, the Live! was substantially faster than the MX300 (might be a driver issue). More tests... Half-Life showcases EAX & A3D 2.0:

EAX: Audibly, the sound effects were more subtle, and in my opinion much more realistic than without EAX. There are still a few instances where the customized software renderer had more interesting effect, for example the "twangy" echo from inside a long steel pipe, but for most other sounds, EAX provided a much cleaner experience. Note also that Half-Life is an exceptional title, with meticulous detail applied to every aspect of the game. The Valve programmers told me specifically how easy it was to add in EAX support, and for game developers without the time to create their own sound engine, EAX provides a simple, painless solution to adding environmental sounds to games.

A3D 2.0: Respawn/enemy sounds were fine, but if I fired a weapon, I didn't get the benefit of hearing the game's excellent sound effects at full volume. Bummer. Maybe gunshots were occluding through the barrel of the gun or the HEV suit? Nah. What I did look out for was a noticeable difference in realism as I ran and slunk through single and multiplayer games. What I found was in certain situations, wavetracing did make the game more realistic, but the effect is very subtle, and sometimes even puts you at a disadvantage. In one instance, I was in a narrow corridor overlooking a room. I heard faint gunfire, only to see my opponent (Thresh no less) appear a second later, guns blazing right at my hiding spot. As he cleared the concrete wall and burst into view, the volume of his gunfire exploded voluminously, scaring the hell out of me.

Now, what about DVD support so hyped in the MX300 and the lack of it on the Live!? Read the paras:

"The Zoran software will decode DVD Mpeg2 and Dolby AC-3 audio on the CPU (it's a pretty processor-intensive process, and isn't as clean as a hardware solution), and virtualize the 5.1 output to 2 or 4 speakers through the MX300."

"Personally, if I were to buy a DVD-ROM drive, I would go for the Creative PC-DVD, and not worry about processor-sapping software decoding at all. For those wishing to save a little money (or a PCI slot), Micah mentioned that Creative was working with Zoran SoftDVD, and might include it as a Liveware! update in the future - each Dolby Digital channel would be rendered into a DirectSound 3D stream and sent to the appropriate speaker for full surround support."

Finally, Thresh awarded both the Live! and the MX300 with a 4 star rating. Sitting on the fence yet again? Don't forget EAX 2.0! More to come, I guess!!!

AOpen Memory Modules Review 19:29 pm

Ed just sent word about his review posted at HardWire about AOpen memory modules. Not quite just AOpen, he's piled in a little on LGS and Samsung for comparison. Check it out!

Quite often, memory modules are advertised incorrectly. This was the case in this incident. Many manufacturers will rely on the markings of the chip rather than specification sheets, which can often mislead. In AOpen's case, there were a pair of errors. The speed advertised is "Access Time in ns, which should actually read "Cycle Time." The second error is the actual times given in the table. For the modules I received, both should be rated at 10ns, as the LGS -7J chips on the 128 MB module and the Samsung -GL chips on the 64 MB module are both rated at 10ns cycle time, 6ns access time, the bare minimum to meet the PC100 specification

Shogo: Mobile Armour Division 19:24 pm

Julio of 3DSpotlight has done a review of Shogo: MAD. Obviously one of the most popular first person shooters out there with a fantastic storyline. Read it!

I´m sure that it was because of Microsoft development participation that the LithTech engine uses full advantage of DirectX6´s D3D API instead of the more popular in FPS games OpenGL API.

The LithTech engine has got all the features today´s engines should have: colored lightning, fog, coronas and the best is that it can handle huge outdoor enviroments without dropping the frame-rate a lot which are great news for owners of low-end machines.

Motherboard Monitor v3.75 19:14 pm

Motherboard Monitor v3.75 and 1.11 Lite is available for download from our Utilities section or from here directly. New features include:

  • Large font issue with the Full version is fixed.
  • All sensors can now have a negative compensation for those who can't get the correct correct NTC compenent

Windows Blind 19:08 pm

The makers of Object Desktop - Stardock - just released a beta version of Windows Blind v0.35.

WindowBlinds 0.35 is released. WindowBlinds is a superset of the WindowFX component found in Object Desktop.  WindowFX contains the core features found in WindowBlinds. 

Basically, WindowFX and WindowBlinds have in common the features that change Windows 95/98/NT into a particular personality. WindowBlinds goes beyond those features and adds additional system enhancements like changing the toolbar styles to flat, giving folder windows backgrounds and other goodies we come up with along the way.

Dual Xeon Review 17:02 pm

Anand posted probably the only Dual Xeon motherboard review around here.

All you gamers, and tweaker junkies can back as far away from this product as possible, it's not your realm.  For all of you network server administrators, internet hosts, or high end CAD enthusiasts, if you've set your sights on Intel's powerhouse of a processor, the Pentium II Xeon, then let's bring on the first of the competing motherboards ever to be reviewed on AnandTech.  

In the past, Supermicro has been known for producing, obviously large motherboards. However, rather than being crowned the bloatware king of the motherboard world, Supermicro packs much more than empty space onto their high quality PCB's.  Their motherboards have always been top notch in terms of performance, expandability and definitely stability in do-or-die workstation or server situations.  With the rate of Supermicro's growth surpassing the offerings of Intel's Pentium II/BX chipset combination, it was time for a change, and walking hand in hand with Intel's latest "monsterpiece," the Xeon, Supermicro managed to bring it to the public once again with their Supermicro S2DGU; but with the competitive nature of the market increasing, can Supermicro stand up to the demands of the community they once dominated?  There's only one way to find out...

Voodoo3 Review 10:28 am

SharkyExtreme came out with a full blown Voodoo3 review. Check it out!

One of the highlights at Comdex '98 was undoubtedly 3Dfx Interactive's 'big announcement'. At Sharky Extreme, we were all entirely sure that the announcement to be made at Steven Spielberg's (3Dfx and Sharky Extreme agreed that Spielberg doesn't cut it in terms of coffee) Dive Café was the second generation Voodoo Banshee (Banshee2 or the like). Instead 3Dfx announced the Voodoo3. In all honesty we were at first rather startled. But after speaking to Peter Wicher, the Voodoo3 Senior Product Manager, we realized that what we had been speculating all along in our Voodoo Banshee reviews (that the next Voodoo banshee product would be on .25Micron with two TMUs and 32MB) was actually close to being spot on.

Evolution of NTFS 04:17 am

The guys over at Ars-Technica posted an article on the evolution of NTFS. A good read for those who want to know more about Windows NT file structure.

The road of maturity for NTFS, (or the New Technology File System for those of you who are not in a rush), has been a long and intriguing one.  Compared to some of its “evolutionary” cousins like FAT (File Allocation Table) and HPFS (High Performance File System), NTFS maintains a certain level of feature correlation while striving ahead to offer the first truly robust file system available for high-end and workstation-class Intel systems.

RealPlayer G2 03:20 am

Got this from AGN3D. Apparently, RealPlayer G2 will have a plug-in to integrate QSound's 3D streaming thru the net.

QSound Labs, Inc. and RealNetworks, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK - news), the recognized leader in streaming media, today announced the release of iQfx™, which integrates QSound's new 3D streaming Internet audio solution into RealPlayer® G2. When installed, iQfx integrates seamlessly within the RealPlayer G2 and RealPlayer Plus™ G2 and can be launched directly from the RealPlayer itself. iQfx is immediately available and can be purchased from https://realstore.real.com/specials/iqfx/.

iQfx is one of the first third-party plug-ins to be integrated into the RealPlayer G2, making it easier than ever for RealPlayer users to enjoy a dramatically enhanced audio experience over the Internet. Based on QSound's first Internet software product iQ™, the innovative iQfx converts mono signals to stereo and stereo to 3D, adding rich, immersive audio to the already powerful RealPlayer G2.

23rd November 1998 {Monday}
Linux Lovin' at Frontline 23:52 pm

dk of Frontline sent word about the return of Doc Straggo with a new article for savvy Linux users out there. And very well, the topic for <Linux Lovin'> this week talks about "IP Masquerading in Linux". Hop over if this doesn't sound greek to you. :)

"... this week's topic is closer to home, sharing a cable connection on multiple machines. I've tried many methods, including using software such as Wingate, Winroute, NAT32, SOCKS4 etc. But they all have one limitation or another. Then I discovered IP Masquerading on Linux. Whats IP Masquerading? Simply put, it lets you share that speedy cable connection without the hassle of configuring any client software."

HP CD Writer Plus 8100i Review 23:40 pm

Frank of The Sanctum has posted his evaluation of the HP CD Writer Plus 8100i, which is a 24X Read, 4X Write and 2X ReWrite drive.

The 8100i is a dream.It can read at 24x, as fast as most regular CD-Rom Drives out now.It can write at 4x speed, and rewrite at 2x. I have a Toshiba 32x, and the speed difference is not highly noticable.In testing I havent created a CD Coaster yet.The 8100i is very stable, and the software by Adaptec is easy to use, and features many options.The HP Software that packs with the 8100i is also very usable.

Certainly the HP is another reliable drive worth serious consideration if you're looking for a CD-RW drive. Also take a look at our Yamaha CRW4416s review as well as our Yamaha CRW4261t vs CRW4260t article, before putting your money down.

OCP's Interview With Abit's Jeremy Smith 23:22 pm

What did the MAN talk to him about? So well, he's not been politically correct most of the time, he hasn't this time too! Kinky Abit products coming your way!!!!!

JEREMY: ... and we will also have a new version of the BX6.
KYLE: Now you really got my attention with that last bit of info. What do you mean by "new version of the BX6"?
JEREMY: I am talking Super BX6, BX6 II.
KYLE: WTF does that mean?
JEREMY: It is gonna be a BX6 that will knock you on your ass, but that is all I can tell you at this point.

Did you read BX6 II??? Twinkle your eyes a little? Oh give it to me! All of it! Faster! (Read OCP's long long interview!)

DiamondMax Plus 2500 Review 22:57 pm

Our friends at Hardgame has reviewed the 10Gb Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 2500 harddisk drive which has a 7,200 rpm to boast about (and more!).

In Winbench ‘98 testing, the DiamondMax maintained a 30% lead over the 5400rpm drive in Business and High-End Disk tests. Where the Winbench testing differs from the other benchmarks is in its measurement of the data transfer rate at the beginning and end of the disk. The performance of many drives drops off towards the outer tracks. This occurs with the performance of the 5400rpm drive. However, the DiamondMax kept up its high transfer rate throughout the test, only dropping slightly at the outer tracks.

In recent months, Maxtor has been coming up strong with many new class-leading drives in its lineup! (Read the review)

ThunderBird 128 Preview 22:48 pm

Kert, a home grown whiz has previewed the ThunderBird 128 soundcard by QSound & VLSI Technology. The card supports QInteractive 3D (QI3D), QSound Multi-Speaker System (QMSS) and QSurround. (Read the full preview)

The ThunderBird can concurrently process 64 hardware streams. Each stream can include simultaneous music synthesis, positional 3D and special effects. Each stream can have an independent sample rate and resolution. Sample rate can go as high as 48 kHz. Since the CD quality audio streams are supported, a maximum resolution of at least 16 bit is expected. Up to 64 additional DirectSound streams are available using QSound’s MMX host processing algorithms. 64 hardware plus 64 software gives a total of 128 audio streams.

Need For Speed III Patch 22:40 pm

This is what we'd missed yesterday, but nevertheless go patch your game with it. EA's latest patch was apparently meant to fix some EAX problems in the game. It also comes with a new car, so Live! or not... you should get it.

This patch extends more complete support of EAX reverb functionality, as well as a few minor bug fixes.

Apologies for Wrong Formatting 22:35 pm

Thanks for putting up with us for a formatting error which caused some of you the pain of having to scroll left and right. Oh well, it's been corrected now. I must thank so many of you who's kindly feedback to me on this. :)

Copy protected CDs 18:37 pm

The end of CD-R copying! The follow article was taken from ZDNet.

Making a copy of your favourite game using a CD writer is about to get tricky thanks to new encryption technologies on view at this week's ECTS.

Californian firm, Macrovision, Friday announced its SafeDisc anti-piracy solution for CD-ROMs that, says UK managing director David Simmons, "has yet to be broken."

SafeDisc is a software solution that requires no changes to either PC or CD-ROM hardware and works by placing a digital signature onto the master CD that cannot be copied by CD recorders or mastering equipment. The signature, explains Simmons, is "embedded by the laser beam recorder at the time of mastering." This is backed up with encryption.

"Once you put in the CD, if it is a copy, the PC can't read the digital signature," says Simmons, "so you can't play the game."

According to David Horton, vice president of Prosoft Labs - a service provider in the US - SafeDisc is "probably the most stable software we've ever tested" and withstood Prosoft's "rigorous attempts" to crack it. However Simmons concedes that all software algorithms "eventually attract attention [from hackers]. It's our job to stay ahead."

"This is a serious issue," says Simmons. "And it's not just the games world that is being threatened by piracy." Hollywood is bracing itself for the battle to prevent DVD films being copied onto ordinary video tape. "Think of it like this," says Simmons. "Once DVD takes off, there will effectively be a digital master available for anyone to copy."

CPU Roundup 18:33 pm

Sharky had posted another CPU roundup during Comdex. Chips include the K6-2 400, K6-3 400, K6-3 300 Mobile and the K7 500.

Sporting more sexy features than Jenna Jameson, the K7 pulls out all the stops to lay the lumber to Intel's upcoming Katmai line of CPUs. The K7's publicly disclosed features include a 200MHz Digital created EV6 compatible system bus, 128KB of L1 cache, up to 8MB of L2 cache, a core that offers a nine-issue superscalar microarchitecture and a pipelined floating point unit.

All of these things point to a strong player, and the 500MHz K7 we saw running on an AMD developed mainboard chipset appeared to deliver the goods big time. The test unit we saw running Winstone98 was slightly handicapped by a lack of 200MHz SDRAM, but other than that lone problem the CPU appeared to be far along in its product development cycle

Celeron 300A vs Pentium II 450 14:39 pm

The guys over at AGN Hardware came out an new article on the Celeron 300A vs the Pentium II 450 Mhz. Seemed like the 300A outperform the 450 Mhz due to the 128K cache running at full speed (Tot you knew this already!?).

The Celeron line of processors has been one of the most overclockable processors to hit the market. The reason for this bounty of performance for low prices is the fact that the Celeron 300A has such a small cache. The secondary cache on the 300A is only 128k, compared to the 512k of the Pentium 2. The larger cache of the Pentium 2 gives the processor higher performance in some applications, while at the same time limiting its overclocking ability. Since the Pentium 2 uses the larger cache, it is harder to keep the chip stable at higher than intended clock speeds.

Delta Force Patch 14:33 pm

For those frantic Delta Force fans, a new patch had been released by Novalogic. You can get the files from here.

Exclusive Review 00:58 am

The weirdos over at Hardware One are pleased to announce the shortest review they (we?) ever did. The Creative Banshee 16mb AGP. The card was tested on a Celeron 300A o/c 450 Mhz running 3DMark99 at 800x600x16bpp.

3DMark99: 2209 3DMarks
CPU Geometry Speed: 6094 3DCPUMarks
Rasterizer Score: 928 3DRasterMarks
Game 1: 41.3 FPS
Game 2: 32.3 FPS
Fill rate: 83.4 MTexels/s
Fill rate with Multi-Texturing: 83.9 MTexels/s
2MB Texture Rendering Speed: 159.6 FPS
4MB Texture Rendering Speed: 150.6 FPS
8MB Texture Rendering Speed: 121.5 FPS
16MB Texture Rendering Speed: 7.4 FPS
32MB Texture Rendering Speed: 3.6 FPS

Sharky - Video cards @ Comdex 00:53 am

Those lucky guys (sharks??) at Comdex wrote a formal article on what video chipsets they saw during Comdex few days ago. The chipsets include Voodoo3, Vanta, TNT 2, NV20, Savage3D 2, PowerVR Series 2 and the Rage.

Sharky Extreme went into Comdex knowing that video card coverage was the absolute top priority to most of our readership. Luckily the show didn't disappoint and there were several medium to large stories coming from the show floor over the course of the week

Liquid Audio 00:45 am

Here comes the ultimate solution to stop MP3 priacy.

Liquid Audio gives the music industry unprecedented control in managing its copy-protected work. "MP3 has no protections," said Diamond's Wirt. "[Liquid Audio] is like Fort Knox."

The format creates files called Liquid Tracks that are compressed and encrypted so they can only be played back on a single user's device. Liquid Tracks are also digitally watermarked, so that even audio recordings of the music have a signature.

"A Liquid Track not only has the music on it, but has the album cover, the notes and a button so you can order more music," said Rick Fleishman, senior marketing director for Liquid Audio.

Server woes 00:44 am

Yes, we are aware of it. Our mirror site over at http://www.hardware-one.com seem to be down since morning. We are trying to bring it up as soon as possible. Hang on...(to where??)

Creative Banshee Drivers 00:40 am

Bill over at Bill's Workshop posted a short note on the latest Creative Banshee Drivers RC4.

The acceleration slider in the Blaster Control panel appears to work "properly" now when set at values above 115.   Strangely, it only boosts the memory clock, while leaving the graphics clock at the default 100MHz.  However, it will provide very noticeable acceleration.  But BE CAREFUL!  If you push the slider a bit too far you could end up with a completely non-functioning Windows desktop.  If you have the full Blaster Control panel installed from the installtion CD (not just the Banshee extension from the current drivers), you can reboot to Safe Mode and run the Creative Blaster Control default reset from the Start, Programs, Creative, Blaster Control menu item.

If you own a Banshee card, this is the site to visit to get yourself updated.

Tweaki 00:34 am

Ars-Technica posted an interesting review on the Tweaki software. This software, similar to Tweak-UI, allows you to tweak and enhance your Windows 95/98/NT.

I find many of these options oh-so-handy.    If you work for a company or university that wants to promote a nice, clean "sterile" environment for shared computers, options like the one to clear the document history is a god send.  The rest of these options, serve to "lock-down" a box so that a user cannot easily corrupt the environment for themselves and others.

These options include taking away the user's ability to access the Control Panel, the Run command, and so on.   Additionally, these options are also useful if implementing a node-like environment where only one or two applications are used.  Enabling nearly all of these options yields an environment where users basically can only run what you explicitly offer to them (thus an app station or terminal, if you will).

Cooling your Voodoo2 00:27 am

No, someone better don't read this (you know who you are). CPU Central posted an article on how to cool your Voodoo2 using conventional heat sinks pasted on the chips.

Deciding which chips need extra cooling can involve extensive research and temperature measurements. Getting the thermal specs for a chip is not a bad idea but I prefer an easier method. I feel the surface of the IC case. If the surface is very hot (I call this 'ouch hot') then extra cooling is most certainly required. If the surface is very warm then it should be OK but if you're overclocking then a heat sink might be called for. If the surface is barely warm or at ambient then extra cooling is not required. The touch test should be done while the chip is being heavily used, for example when checking the Voodoo II card be sure to be running a very 3D intensive game.

Power Outlet Networking 00:25 am

The chumps over at PlanetHardware posted a review on the Intelogis PassPort Kit. This kit allows you to network your computers using your power plug!

The concept of this technology is rather simple, but amazes people that it can actually be done. Simply put, the standard 115 volt power outlets can also carry data signals, not an incredible amount, but they can. Since these power sockets are all hooked together for a single house or small office space, these signals can be sent to these other sockets in other rooms, or in some cases, over multiple houses. With the Intelogis Passport powerline networking adapters, the signal is sent through the power socket, into the adapter, and sent to your system or printer through a standard 25-pin parallel port cable.

GetRight 3.3 Preview 6 00:14 am

Just read from BetaNews that GetRight v3.3 preview 6 is available for download.

GetRight 3.3 Preview 6 has just been released. This great download utility includes the following changes since Preview 5:

  • Fix WPP so handles spaces in FTP directories.
  • Increase login password lengths--and let them be "remembered".
  • Fix so shows resume count right.
  • Show different tray icon if don't know the size of the file.
  • Added some more verifications to hopefully avoid some rare crashes.
  • Changed some things so hopefully won't lose downloads.
  • Fix server limits so work on first connection.
  • Fix re-using FTP connections not cleaning up some things right.
22nd November 1998 {Sunday}
K7 picture 13:03 pm

CPU Central posted a picture on the upcoming K7.

The K7 uses a 200-MHz bus technology pioneered by the high-end Alpha processor but fitted to be "mechanically compatible" with Intel's Slot 1 CPU interface. Using this design, AMD officials said, manufacturers can use parts already available on the market to build K7 motherboards, though the new motherboards won't be able to support Intel CPUs.

MP4 ? 13:00 pm

The copyright-protection issues pushing a thorn into the side of Diamond Multimedia may also prod Sony Electronics and Creative Labs, as they develop similar MP3 devices for listening to music.

As a pre-emptive strike, Sony and Creative Labs are working to implement technology that will prevent the mass reproduction of copyrighted music that's downloaded via the Internet and stored for future use.

Micah Stroud, Creative's audio product marketing manager, said MP4, the next generation of audio-compression technology that will replace MP3, should contain a level of content protection high enough to satisfy the RIAA.

"MP4 has a watermarking technology...that can stop a second copy from being made or disable the fidelity function to stop an exact duplicate from being made," Stroud said.

Creative Labs unveiled its "Walkman-like" device at Comdex last week. The product uses flash memory to store music downloaded from a PC, then plays it back, Stroud said. It is expected to ship "in the near future," he said. Pricing was unavailable at press time

New BH6 Bios 10:30 am

Andy had posted a note on the new BH6 GY Bios. They are available for download from here.

It restores the LS120/Zip option and also adds an Keyboard clock option, which may solve some keyboard problems. It does'nt seem to fix any of the ACPI issues, so unless you need any of the above fixs, personally I'd stay with the shipping BIOS FL.

P55C vs Socket 370 10:24 am

Here's a picture of the P55C vs the new Celeron Socket 370.

Linux 2.2 due on Christmas 02:14 am

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has released the latest version of the OS kernel, but he isn't ready to call it version 2.2 yet.

This kernel, which Torvalds described as "the much-awaited, perfect and bug-free release," is dubbed 2.1.129.

"The only reason I don't call it 2.2 is that I'm chicken," said Torvalds. The end-user Linux kernel has not been revised since 2.0 appeared in late 1996. All 129 of the 2.1.x kernels are for developers only, to help them find bugs and test new features.

There is still one serious bug to be tested, but other than that the kernel is stable. "The showstoppers are done," Torvalds said. "It's obviously a matter of pride to lots of people to try to make the .0 releases be as stable as humanly possible."

Torvalds plans to release a "pre-2.2" kernel in another week, then take a vacation while others tinker with it. He'll add any last-minute fixes and officially release the 2.2 kernel before Christmas.

Linux 2.2 will support Intel x86 and 64-bit platforms like Sun's Sparc64 and Compaq's AlphaServer. This release will offer significant improvements to SMP, the sound and graphics subsystems, and support Ethernet and ISDN devices, cable modems and V.90 modems.

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 30 November 1998 19:03