08 Oct 98 - 14 Oct 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Matrox Unified Drivers
  • QSound Creator
  • AMD Taps Direct RDRAM
  • Intel Roadmap
  • SingNet Increases BandWidth
  • Simplifying Web Addresses
  • Man Banned 5 Years From the Net
  • 3Dfx Vs TNT
  • Introducing: Flashman's Toy Garage
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 Beta 1
  • Increase System Speed
  • Secret Ops Episode 7
  • Forsaken patch released!
  • Busted!
  • SCV mail server down
  • Sony Mavica MVC FD81
  • Shiny's Messiah Screenshots!
  • Netscape Smart Download
  • Singapore ISP Market Liberalised
  • TAS Survey on Internet Services
  • WinAmp 2.03
  • Digital Darkroom
  • AMD K7
  • Magix Offer
  • Hayes Declares Bankruptcy
  • MP3 Device Sued
  • Building Your Gaming Rig
  • GUI-based GlideSwitcher RC
  • PowerStrip 2.29
  • Sony HiFD
  • Benchmark Limitations
  • Removing the Celeron Heatsink
  • Cooling Your TNT
  • PowerStrip 2.29.2
  • Canopus Spectra Arrived in S'pore!
  • Flashman's Freestyle Addendum
  • Frontline's Dreamcast
  • New Speakers RoundUp!
  • How DVD Works!
  • 3Dfx Announces Price Cut
  • Hot V2 DirectX6 Reference Drivers!
  • Video Accelerator Comparison
  • Home Networking
  • K7 could KO Katmai
  • Limited Stock of Spectra... Where to Find?
  • Redline Racer
  • Sharky Video card Shootout!
  • AOE Expansion: The Rise of Rome
  • 5 Amazing Inventions Still in the Labs
  • Our Most Recent 3 Articles
  • BXBoards' Seagate ST36530A Review
  • Voodoo2 DirectX6 RC1 Drivers Reviewed???
  • IBM China Lab Gains In Speech Recognition
  • Another IE Bug
  • More AMD K7
  • HyperSnap 3.30 beta 1
  • NT 5.0
  • OpenGL RoundUp!
14th October 1998 {Wednesday}
OpenGL RoundUp! 14th October 21:02 pm

FastGraphics has put up a review on many high-end OpenGL cards, many capable of knocking you over just by the sight of the card length and no. of chips onboard. Interestingly, they've included in their roundup entry level cards based on 3DLab Permedia 2, RivaTNT and Intel i740. Here's a snip:

OpenGL performance under NT is still dominated by the high-end cards. Both in features, performance and image quality they surpass the 3rd generation gaming cards. Sometimes by quite a margin, sometimes only a little bit. There is however one big disadvantage to professional cards: Their price: Only people who need a card like that really hard might thing about buying one as they generally cost as much as all the rest of the PC.

For those who just like to play around a bit in OpenGL applications, there are basically two choices: Riva TNT or Permedia II... TNT is significantly better in low-polygon scenes, while Permedia II takes over when the polygon count increases.The choice is up to you...

Ok, this article is probably NOT for you or me, but it's nevertheless a good read. Makes you aware of how many "can't touch you" boards there are out there.

News Trickle 14th October 20:51 pm

Hey people, news is just trickling in today. That's good actually, for we're quite caught up with our work. We'll keep you updated for sure, and I'm looking forward to some new articles very soon. Hint! Hint! :)

NT 5.0 14th October 17:09 pm

In his opening keynote to 6,000 software developers at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates predicted that when Windows NT 5.0 ships, it will have more available applications than any previous operating system.

"This kind of applications support is unprecedented," Gates told developers of some of the 60,000 applications expected to be ready for NT 5.0. He added that within 18 months after Windows NT 5.0 is released, Microsoft expects availability of more than 100,000 supporting applications forthe new operating system.

"With Windows NT 5.0 and COM+, Microsoft offers the best integrated platform for building distributed applications in the marketplace," said Bread Wunder, vice president of research and development for Avio, a provider of information technology for physicians' organizations.

Developers attending the event saw a sneak preview of MSDN Start, the new home page for MSDN Online, designed to give one single point of entry into all Microsoft programs and offerings for developers. Based on feedback Microsoft will relaunch MSDN Online early next year to provide improved searching, easier access to technical information and a richer online membership program. More than 2 million developers use resources provided by MSDN to create applications and solutions for the Windows operating systems, the Microsoft BackOffice family server application suite, Microsoft Office desktop applications and the Internet.

HyperSnap 3.30 beta 1 14th October 16:46 pm

HyperSnap v3.30 beta 1 is available for download from here. One of the new feature is the ability to capture from DVD movies.

Many of you asked for ability to capture screens from DVD movies and other video devices, that play their picture in hardware overlays. If you try to capture such screens with traditional screen capture techniques, you get only pink (or other color) square. HyperSnap-DX ver. 3.30 employs advanced technology to try to capture such screens correctly.

HyperSnap-DX 3.30 will capture pictures from DVD movies and other similar software, if the player is using DirectX technology to create and handle the video overlay. If the player uses something else than DirectX, you will still only capture color square though. We need to test this technology on a wide variety of hardware and software, so here is this beta-test version.

More AMD K7 14th October 07:20 am

Advanced Micro Devices' new processor for personal computers could give the company its first performance edge over chip kingpin Intel.

New features in the K7 chip, unveiled Tuesday at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, enable it to outperform Intel's Pentium II chip in certain areas.

"It's a pretty aggressive design in terms of its performance characteristics," said Keith Diefendorff, editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report, host of the Silicon Valley conference. "It should perform as well or better than anything Intel has coming up in the near future."

The processor serves a computer's central nervous system, carrying out the millions of instructions that run software applications from Web browsers to word processors. AMD hasn't released the K7's specifications, but it is reportedly up to 20 percent faster than the Pentium II chip.

Among the K7's features is the industry's first mainstream 200 MHz system bus and what AMD's chief technical officer S. Atiq Raza calls "the most architecturally advanced floating point capability ever delivered in an x86 microprocessor."

The chip also has the ability to execute incoming instructions faster than current designs and holds larger amounts of on-chip "cache" -- a kind of way station inside chips for frequently executed software code.

The K7 is expected to run at a speed of 500 MHz when it is released in the first half of 1999, and could surpass the performance of Intel's Katmai, a chip with an instruction set that supersedes its MMX multimedia technology. Katmai is also due out in the first half of 1999.

Another IE Bug 14th October 07:10 am

Another malicious bug had been detected in Internet Explorer.

A demonstration of the newly discovered hole, dubbed "Cuartango" after its discoverer, is posted on the Web.

Windows product manager Mike Nichols said Microsoft would post the patch as soon as possible, and recommended that in the meantime users turn off active scripting under Internet Explorer's security zones. Nichols noted that no customers have reported actual incidents of the bug's being exploited.

A Web site operator taking advantage of the hole would have to know both the name and the path of the file he or she wanted to swipe, Nichols said, making the hole an unlikely menace for most users. The hole uses scripting to access the file and send the information back to the hacker.

But Nichols also said the exploit could be executed via HTML-email, such as Microsoft's Outlook Express and Outlook 98. Nichols recommended the same temporary work-around for the email programs.

"They all have to do with scripting, but take advantage of different commands within IE," Nichols said. The command at issue with the Cuartango hole, "document.ExecCommand," lets developers use menu functionality from IE in their Web pages. In this case, the Cuartango hole puts the contents of the name and path of a desired file into a Web page field, then uses the "document.ExecCommand" command to copy and paste that file to be sent back to the Web site operator.

13th October 1998 {Tuesday}
IBM China Lab Gains In Speech Recognition 13th October 21:31 pm

EETimes has this to report about the advances in Chinese speech and handwriting recognition technology. (The full story!)

Some of the tremendous amount of work they had put in to improve the accuracy of the English-to-Chinese translation algorithm:

Language translation is one of computing's most computationally intensive functions, and is based upon complex modeling techniques. To master China's bewildering array of accents and dialects, IBM CRL collects statistical samples across China's many regions.

“We get a sample from one person who speaks or reads for 20 minutes and we get 500 samples from every region. We're improving the way the system deals with the accent,” Wang said. The process includes refining the ability to understand language within context by using acoustic modeling techniques and by building acoustic language data bases.

“We're working on improved acoustic modeling and we're looking into the Cantonese dialect, which is even more challenging than Mandarin,” Wang said, due to the nine “tones” of the language for China's southern region, as opposed to only four or five tones for Mandarin.

I found it a very interesting read (... being a Chinese myself!). It must have been a proud achievement for the scientists at IBM's China Research Lab.

Voodoo2 DirectX6 RC1 Drivers Reviewed??? 13th October 21:23 pm

Oh wow! AGN3D actually reviewed these drivers released today! It wouldn't have been worth mentioning if it didn't give VERY tangible improvements in EVEN TODAY's DX5 games!

As you can see, I saw as much as a 19% increase in performance in some areas (Quake II), while I saw only a 6-7% boost in others.   Hopefully 3Dfx's claims of up to 40% performance increase will shows its face with this season's latest titles, but until accurate benchmarks can be obtained from those games, they can not be used in testing.   

It's a short one, but they've got the numbers you want to see. Go download the drivers!

BXBoards' Seagate ST36530A Review 13th October 20:12 pm

Craig has posted his review on the Seagate's 7200 rpm harddisk drive. As usual, we expected a note on how well this drive takes overclocking stability and heat issues in its stride. So here's the verdict from BXBoards:

The ST36530A is a great drive when you compare it to older 5200 rpm UDMA/33 drives. It leaves them in the dust in every aspect. When compared to the new line of hard drives from IBM, however, it just don't cut the mustard in the performance an sustained rate transfer dept. But in the over clocking dept, It proves it self to be stable and reliable. My recommendation is that if you are need of a new hard drive, don't have the cash for the IBM Desk Star and don't need all the space that the IBM drive offers, then give this drive some thought.

Our Most Recent 3 Articles! 13th October 20:05 pm

The amount of news dumped into our News Archive everyday makes keeping in touch with the most recent really difficult, unless you came by everyday. :P

Our Most Recent 3 Articles

5 Amazing Inventions Still In the Labs! 13th October 19:34 pm

Reading today's dose of Jesse Bersts' AnchorDesk, this article blew me away! Gotta catch this. It has got some info on a few really amazing stuff like research in...

Light-Etched Chips : The process etches circuitry on microchips by reflecting intense beams of light off a pattern and onto a silicon wafer.

Holographic Storage : The technique saves data in an optical -- not magnetic -- medium, such as a sugar-cube-size crystal.

Motion Recognition Processors - The motion processor's ability to recognize and detect the movements of hand images point the way to a more natural, gesture-based interface between people and computers.

There's more, please check the full story here.

AOE Expansion: The Rise of Rome 13th October 19:11 pm

Yin Khoo of Microsoft mailed regarding Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome. Can't wait for AOE 2? Get this first!

TRIAL VERSION FEATURES ANNOUNCED FOR AGE OF EMPIRES EXPANSION: THE RISE OF ROME

Singapore, 13 October 1998 - Microsoft announced yesterday the specific features to be included in the trial version of Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome, which will be available for immediate download later this week. This trial version will be standalone, meaning players won't need the original Age of Empires to play it, and is highlighted by the following:

  • Guide the Carthaginian into battle with the Romans in a classic "Punic War" campaign
  • Battle friends on the Zone (http://www.zone.com) in Multiplayer
  • Command new units such as the Slinger, Camel Rider, and Fire Galley
  • Shape empires with the all-new Roman building set, including the Roman Wonder of the World -- The Colosseum

Numerous awards and millions of hours of global gameplay later, Age of Empires remains one of the top real time strategy games on the market with over a million units shipped. Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome is an expansion pack for Age of Empires that focuses on the ancient Roman Empire. The expansion pack is being developed by Ensemble Studios, and features the expertise of Bruce Shelley, co-designer of Age of Empires and the hit strategy game Civilization, and Sandy Petersen as lead designer.

The official Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome Web site is at: http://www.microsoft.com/games/aoeexpansion/

Sharky's Video Card Shootout!  13th October 18:57 pm

Talking about violence, why's everybody into some kind of shootout? Ha! Just a little while ago, I posted news about Anand's shootout, now it's Sharky Extreme's turn.

They've posted one on the TNT, Banshee, G200, Savage3D and Voodoo2 cards. Yah, it's complete with thorough benchmarking too! Most interestingly, SE has given them a ranking! Go find out who came in FIRST in their shootout!

Redline Racer 13th October 18:41 pm

Julio just sent word that he has posted his Redline Racer review on 3DSpotlight. Peppered with screenshots, makes a good read here. Check it out!

Finally Redline Racer might be fun for a day, maybe a week but then you´ll feel really frustated because of it´s limited boring gameplay.

Limited Stock of Spectra... Where to Find? 13th October 18:30 pm

Michael has sent me a list of places where you'll be able to find the Canopus Spectra which is of limited quantities at the moment. Don't say I haven't informed you, sales should be brisk with a reasonable price of S$365.

Get the Spectra from the following dealers in Sim Lim Square now!

  1. #02-19 B&H Trading, Tel : 334 5168
  2. #04-52 Fuwell, Tel : 339 3901
  3. #04-64 Unlimited Electronic & Computers, Tel : 332 1556
  4. #04-72 MarketPlace, Tel : 339 5055
  5. #05-74 Interactive Media Solution, Tel : 337 0370
  6. #05-78 Tec-Drome, Tel : 334 6300

K7 could KO Katmai 13th October 17:54 pm

Three of the industry's largest chipmakers are set to announce new generations of microprocessors that could challenge the longtime leader, Intel.

At this week's Microprocessor Forum in Silicon Valley, one widely anticipated briefing will be held by Advanced Micro Devices on the K7, its seventh-generation processor to compete directly with Intel and one that could help AMD leapfrog ahead of its rival for the first time.

"They will be putting out a seventh-generation processor, probably even before Intel ships its seventh-generation," said Linley Gwennap, editor of the Microprocessor Report, which is hosting the meeting. "That could give them a chance to get ahead here, that would be a big change for AMD."

AMD's K7 is expected initially to run at a speed of 500 megahertz when it is released in the first half of 1999, and it could surpass the performance of Intel's Katmai, a chip with an instruction set that supersedes its MMX multimedia technology. Katmai is also due out in the first half of 1999.

Other companies will also detail major new microprocessors at the conference. National Semiconductor's Cyrix unit will discuss a new microprocessor core, code-named Jalapeno, which is also expected to use 0.18 micron technology.

Jalapeno is a completely new architecture for Cyrix, which seeks to speed up the flow of data by streamlining the design of the processor.National will discuss its MXI processor, due sometime in 1999, a chip that will add more functions onto the main processor.

Home networking 13th October 17:52 pm

The Home Networking API group, which includes Intel, Microsoft, Compaq, Honeywell, Mitsubishi, and Philips Electronics, is working to form open standards that would let computers control televisions, VCRs, security systems, lights, heating systems, sprinklers, and other equipment.

The standards, called application programming interfaces (APIs), will encourage the development of computer software to control the appliances from a centralized point.

With home automation systems, software can perform tasks such as automatically turning off a central vacuum system when a phone call arrives. A house also could be set in specific lighting and/or alarm modes for events such as vacations, romantic interludes, or parties. For more information, read here.

Video Accelerator Comparison 13th October 17:49 pm

AnandTech has cooked up this detailed article comparing the Banshee, Voodoo2, Savage3D, G200, TNT, Verite V2x00 chipsets. He's also done some cool benchmarks on all the cards. Here's the snip from his final thoughts:

For Pentium II owners, regardless of clock speed, if you don't mind using two cards to handle your video tasks, the 3Dfx Voodoo2 still seems to be the best solution from an overall performance standpoint.   Unfortunately, this doesn't carry on into the value standpoint as you are throwing much money away when you choose to go with a Voodoo2 due to its 3D-only nature.

If money is a definite factor, as it is for many of us, the 3Dfx Banshee is the best overall graphics accelerator for the money. While the best overall graphics accelerator regardless of price may be the nVidia Riva TNT, for the money, it seems as if nothing can beat 3Dfx's Banshee.  The only chipset out of the roundup which was never intended to dethrone a previous champ, the Banshee proved to be an excellent performer on all platforms, offering support for Glide based games in addition to Direct3D and OpenGL titles as well as the backing from the largest company of its kind, 3Dfx. 

Still the V2 for most gamers, won't go wrong yet! How about the Banshee for the cost conscious? It still packs a wallop! (Read my article on 'Building Your Gaming Rig')

Hot V2 DirectX6 Reference Drivers! 13th October 17:47 pm

More from 3Dfx. They've released their latest V2 DX6 Release Candidate 1 drivers. This is what I ripped off 3Dfx's page:

There are two files available for download from this site. Click on a link to begin downloading.

  1. Voodoo2 Software Kit v3.01 (Release Candidate 1)
    Run-time drivers for Voodoo2 on Win95/98. They include: Glide 2.5x, Glide 3.x, Direct3D, DirectX (Complete DirectX 6.0 support) and the Voodoo2 Control Panel. This is the minimum set of drivers that you'll need to run your Voodoo2 board.
  2. Voodoo2 Control Panel
    This file will allow you to use the enable/disable the VSync feature, but it will overwrite the Control Panel (included in #1 above) in the process (it does not include any of the components included in File #1 above).

When you are done downloading the files you'd like to install, locate and run the file by choosing the Run option in the Start menu. (You need to point to the location your Web browser saved the file in.) Extract the files to a floppy or directory on your hard drive. See the README.TXT file for information on installing the driver.

Providing Feedback

We're interested in your comments on these drivers. If you'd like to make comments or report bugs, please send mail to: [email protected].

3Dfx announces price cut 13th October 17:44 pm

Quoting sharp drops in the price of memory, 3-D graphics chip maker 3Dfx Interactive Inc. announced on Monday that it would kick off its "Power of 2" campaign for 3-D graphics boards that use its Voodoo2 chips.

Under the campaign, the price will drop from an estimated $500 for two boards to under $300, if bought together. Unlike other 3-D graphics boards, boards made with 3Dfx's chips can be paired for better performance.

Another possible reason for the price cuts: The company announced in mid-September that its quarterly earnings would be below expectations.

Maintenance 13th October 07:27 am

Hardware One @ Singapore One will be down on 18 Oct from 2pm - 4pm. Other affected services include:

  • Have Fun Home Pages  
  • LionCity and all the SIG Web pages  
  • Files Exchange Center  
  • ChatZone  
  • Mahjong Online  
  • Kali Server  
  • Meeting Point Server  
  • Netmeeting Server  
  • Singapore ONE Community Forum  
  • Quake Server  
  • Mud Server  

Meanwhile, you guys can visit our mirror site at GotGames.

12th October 1998 {Monday}
How DVD Works! 12th October 20:51 pm

Aik Phiang has contributed a short technology overview on 'How DVD Works'. DVD being Digital Video Discs. Duh! Forgive me for insulting your IQ here. But here's the tasty bits:

"DVD player designs incorporate novel dual-focus lenses to support 2-layer operation, yielding 8.5 GB in a single-sided DVD, or 17 GB in a double-sided disc."

"Microsoft has made public a specification for how DVD video players can be made compatible with systems running Windows 98."

Got the picture now? Check out the whole article now! (Or look for it under 'Exclusive Reviews')

New Speakers Roundup! 12th October 20:09 pm

These are not the few speakers you've already grown acquainted with. PlanetHardware has posted a fresh review on many new sets that you can lay your hands on!

Sets like the Altec-Lansing ADA305, Logitech SoundMan Extreme, MidiLand S2/4100, Labtec 2612, Microsoft DS S80 and Benwin Pure Accoustic speakers were reviewed here. Please roll over NOW!

Frontline's Dreamcast 12th October 19:49 pm

Sega's next heart-winning game console is set to hit the markets 27 Nov 98! I'd missed this for a few days... and I must apologise to the nice Frontline guys! (Okie, coffee? The treat is on me!).

Powered by a 200MHz Hitachi SH-4 processor, VideoLogic/NEC’s PowerVR Second Generation (PVRSG) graphics processor, Yamaha sound processor and Microsoft’s Window’s CE Operating System, the Dreamcast will no doubt, provide many sleepless nights.

Here's a tremendous overview they have done on the Sega Dreamcast. WOW! Console gaming like its never been. Check it out!

Flashman Freestyle's Addendum 12th October 19:40 pm

Seemed like Flashman got a lot of user responses after we posted his SideWinder Freestyle "review". Since many queries were repetitive, he's written this Addendum to serve as a short FAQ for all of you.

Here's something for you to attempt with your new toy, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart.

"... take the corner at full speed, then jam the steering to the direction of the corner and press the accelerator all the way. Your backside will fishtail into the correct position, and you just power away..."

Hey! Thanks for the positive feedback to Flashman's kooky style! FLASHMAN! FLASHMAN! FLASHMAN!

Canopus Spectra Arrived In S'pore!!! 12th October 19:33 pm

THE WAIT IS OVER! Michael of Convergent Systems just sent word that our long awaited TNT card has arrived! Ok! But what's the DAMN PRICE????? Read on, read on!

Hello People. The Canopus Spectra 2500 is finally in Singapore and available in various locations in Sim Lim Square. There are only very limited stock, so rush down to Sim Lim Square to pick one up today!

This is a great Riva TNT board, but so what, you say? ALL the TNTs are the same, you say?

Well, not so much the same here! With a super cooling fan built in, and future expansion option VideoPort 600 front panel Video Capture for S$150, you have the ultimate 2D/3D combo card a price of S$365.

The VideoPort 600 will be available at the end of the month. The Spectra is available now. Go get one! You know you want one!

PowerStrip 2.29.2 12th October 07:22 am

EntechTaiwan just released the new version again. It's available from our Utilities section or here.

Cooling your TNT 12th October 07:07 am

Tweak3D had an article on how to cool your TNT so that you can overclock it. Their idea was to use a 486 fan to cool the chip instead of the standard heatsink found in the STB TNT.

It is a well known fact that the TNT runs at a high temperature. The main reason for this is the usage of a .35 micron instead of .25. According to sources, this was because the .25 micron was not completed yet. Perhaps it would have been to expensive at this time. Although the original clock speed was dropped from the spec'd 125 MHz to 90 MHz, with a little work you can get it right where it is supposed to be.

11th October 1998 {Sunday}
Removing the Celeron heatsink 10th October 17:27 pm

CPUCentral posted a short note on how to remove the heatsink on the Celeron. There was also a article on the Glacier 4500C Slot-1CPU fan which features 3 fans and a massive heatsink.

Yes it is possible to remove the heatsink/fan unit from the retail Celeron, and although it is still a bit tricky, it can be done much more easily than with the Pentium II.

Take a pair of long-nose pliers and place them on one of the four metal clamps, between the PCB and the heatsink. Pull the clamp towards the CPU core, and the clamp should come loose. The first one or two are relatively simple, but the third and fourth are much harder. Make sure the second one you remove is diagonally across from the first one - this will make it easier to remove the third one. Once you remove all the bars, just pull off the old heatsink, and clip on your new one. Make sure you don't bend the PCB in the process of this, as you could cause permanent physical damage to your CPU.

Benchmarks Limitations 10th October 09:18 am

Anand posted an article on the limitations on benchmarks and the limitations they expose.

Demo1.dm2, Demo2.dm2, Crusher.dm2, Massive1.dm2, Unreal timedemo, Forsaken Nuke.dem, Forsaken Biodome.dem, Mon2.dm2, etc. What is the difference between all of these benchmarks? What limitations do these benchmarks expose? Why are Crusher results always lower than demo1.dm2? How come Mon2.dm2 runs faster than a Voodoo2 on just about any AGP board? All of these questions will be answered, in detail with this article.

10th October 1998 {Saturday}
Sony HiFD 10th October 21:37 pm

It's been delayed for a long time, but Sony's promise of delivering a viable replacement for our venerable, decades old 1.44Mb floppies is now closer to reality than ever. Here's PCWorld's scoop on the things to come.

If speed and capacity were all that counted in this horse race, HiFD would quickly move to the head of the field. Sony blends floppy and Winchester drive techniques to achieve a spindle speed of 3600 rpms--about that of a cheap hard drive--and a transfer rate as high as 3.6MB per second for its internal EIDE version. (The parallel port version achieves a standard 600KB per second.)

On a per-megabyte basis, the 200MB HiFD media could work out to be about 40 percent cheaper than the 100MB Zip disks, says Peters.

I'm hoping to get a sample piece for review within the next 2 months. Hoping. Hoping.

PowerStrip 2.29 10th October 21:24 pm

It's updated again. Don't ask me what's new... I've lost track of it, oh but here's something EntechTaiwan said about this new version:

PowerStrip 2.29 has been released, with a handful of minor improvements and fix-ups, a broader monitor database, and hardware LUTDAC support for older cards with a TVP3026 (Permedia, Millenium, etc.) to allow color calibration under NT. (Banshee users with Voodoo cards may prefer to download the current beta instead, since it also includes a simple method for switching between Banshee and Voodoo Glide support

It's still the kick ass utility you know, so click on the above hyperlink to grab the file straight off EntechTaiwan. Meanwhile, I'll be uploading the file to Fun.

GUI-based GlideSwitcher RC 10th October 21:13 pm

Creative has just "upgraded" its text based Glide Switcher which they posted last week with this graphical version. It is meant for people who owns the Banshee together with the Voodoo 2. A release candidate, so use at your own risk. :)

Building Your Gaming Rig 10th October 12:54 pm

Due to many user requests, I've been working on this short writeup for the passed days and it's here all right! In this article "Building Your Gaming Rig", I've attempted to advise on getting the best buy to suit your gaming needs.

"The astounding rate of technological progress in the field of graphics accelerators makes it such that you simply have to get the best for the lowest price!"

"There is nothing that beats the Celeron 300A + Abit BH6 bundle now. Absolutely no competition!"

Click here to check it out at once... or find you under our "Exclusive Reviews" section!

MP3 Device Sued 10th October 06:53 am

From News.com. Music industry trade group the Recording Industry Association of America is turning up the heat in its fight against the MP3 format by suing a multimedia firm, claiming it is promoting the illegal distribution of copyrighted music off the Internet.

The RIAA today announced it is seeking an injunction against San Jose-based Diamond Multimedia to halt the release of its Rio PMP300 player.

The case underscores a number of issues regarding copyright and intellectual property law that have pitted record industry stalwarts against underground Internet music distributors.

Hayes Declares Bankruptcy 10th October 06:49 am

Gosh, got this from CoolInfo. Veteran modem maker Hayes Corp. declared bankruptcy today, saying it will continue to operate while looking for additional funding. The company had announced a restructuring in August amid losses of $14.2m (£8.7m). At the time, Hayes said it planned to put its Norcross facility up for sale and focus on cable modems and other high-speed devices.

Hayes said today that it would continue to "resize" its operations and narrow its focus on the broadband, remote access and voice-over-IP markets. The company filed petitions to reorganise under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under Chapter 11, Hayes will continue to operate under court protection from creditors, while seeking to work out a reorganisation plan. The petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Hayes has secured interim financing and is negotiating for permanent financing, officials said. "We made the decision to seek the protection of the Bankruptcy Court in the belief that this action would provide the most viable means of achieving our key goals of refocusing our business strategy and operations," said CEO Ron Howard in a release.

For more information, read here.

Magix offer 10th October 06:46 am

For those of you all waiting to jump into the highspeed wagon, SingTel Magix has an attractive promotion which ends at the end of October.

Yo-yo Email server 10th October 06:33 am

<grumble mode on>

The SCV mail server is down again since last night. Don't they ever have a backup server ?!?

The mail server is shut down for bi-monthly major maintenance. The service will be restored as soon as possible.
Services affected : incoming mails - pop.singa.pore.net.
Outgoing service : smtp.singa.pore.net is not being affected.


AMD K7 10th October 06:32 am

Advanced Micro Devices will provide the details surrounding its next generation microprocessor, the K7, next week at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, and in all likelihood ignite a debate on whether the company has come up with a way to expand into the performance computing market.

The K7, which will be commercially released in the first half of 1999, will come close to the performance of Intel's future Katmai chips, and may even surpass these speedy processors in certain respects, according to Linley Gwennap, publisher of Microprocessor Report, which is published by conference host MicroDesign Resources.

Among other features, the K7 will run at 500 MHz and higher and use a new technology for the "system bus," a conduit which allows the processor to talk to other components in the computer. The new EV6 system bus is from Digital, according to the company.

Unlike current K6 processors, the K7 will connect to PC circuit boards through a "Slot A" design, which will be mechanically equivalent to Intel's Slot 1 connection technology used today in Pentium II processors. AMD will also give an update on the K6-3, a 450-MHz version of the K6-2 with integrated cache memory.

9th October 1998 {Friday}
Digital Darkroom 9th October 21:34 pm

We are proud to announce a new affiliate, Digital Darkroom. It is a site concentrating on printers, scanners, video capture and all kinds of digital imaging products. You can also find the links on our "Net's Finest' section.

The webmaster Kok Leong will be working closely with us in the future and Hardware One welcomes him on board. [Drop him a visit now!]

WinAmp 2.03 9th October 20:03 pm

Yup, it's out and available from here. As usual, I will try to upload a copy to Fun.

TAS survey on Internet services 9th October 18:18 pm

For those of you all who are displeased with your ISP services, you can fill in the TAS survey at here.

TAS conducts independent user opinion surveys regularly as part of its efforts to continually monitor and improve the standards of the telecommunication services in Singapore. In addition, we would like to conduct an opinion poll via the Net, to obtain information from Internet users in Singapore on their satisfaction with the quality of services provided as well as their feedback on how the service could be improved.

Singapore ISP market liberalized 9th October 17:06 pm

SINGAPORE--From today, any company wanting to provide Internet access in Singapore can do so provided it meets performance standards and pays for the license.

This is a break from the previous policy of restricting provision of Internet access to only three operators--Singnet, Pacific Internet and CyberWay.

In addition, the government said it would liberalize other segments of the telecommunications market when the time is right.

Communications minister Mah Bow Tan announced these today at the opening of Nokia's new Asia Pacific headquarters. He said they were liberalizing to grow the Internet market and to give existing public telecommunication licensees a chance to enhance their offerings.

"We believe that there a lot more room for growth. Growth now seems to be plateauing and we wanted to provide an impetus so we are trying the free market approach," he said.

Those interested in setting up an ISP in Singapore can check the TAS Web site for the full licensing conditions.

<grumble mode on>

Now, I cannot wait for SCV to be an official ISP. Then TAS will slap fines on them for not meeting the performance standard and hopefully they will wake up their ideas! I still do not have email access and cable access is as fast as my 28.8k.

<grumble mode off>

Netscape Smart download 9th October 17:00 pm

A new program that allows consumers to interrupt the download of a file over the Net, then pick up where they left off, will be based on a file format that its developer, Netscape Communications, intends to submit for consideration as an Internet standard.

The program, SmartDownload, will be shipped with the next version of Netscape Communicator in early November and will also be available on Netscape Netcenter, the company's Web index site.

Netscape developed SmartDownload and the new file format, called Internet Download Profile, with the help of Software Builders International, an Atlanta-based software developer. The company has worked with Netscape in the past to develop plug-in technologies.

"One of the most frequent complaints we get ... is people losing their network connection and having to start [a file download] over again," said Netscape group product manager Eckert Walther.

Shiny's Messiah Screenshots! 9th October 15:12 pm

Our affiliate, 3DSpotLight has cast their attention on Shiny's Messiah and they proudly bring to you some exclusive screenshots of this game! To be fair, I'll show you one. You gotta see the rest!

Sony Mavica MVC FD81 9th October 15:01 pm

Overclocker has posted this review on Sony's hot gadget! Not only is the quality of the photos taken great, this camera uses the cheap 1.44Mb floppy as its default medium, doing away with the need for expensive flash memory cards. Check this out!

The main improvement is the higher picture resolution. It records images up to 1024x768. Besides this, the best features is of course the MPEG sound and movie recording. The MVC-FD81 can record and store up to 1-minute of MPEG movie recording or 4 minutes of sound with a frozen pictured on a 1.44 mb floppy.

Hmm... 9th October 14:49 pm

<grumble mode on>

What is the world coming to? Disk quota imposed on Hardware One all of the sudden?? This might necessitate a revamp of our Utilities and Drivers sections (with less files).

<grumble mode off>

SCV mail server down 9th October 14:37 pm

Nothing new, except that the mail server is down again for cable modem users (which includes me). <grumble mode on>

The mail server was shut down for unscheduled service maintenance. All incoming mails, pop.singa.pore.net, will be affected.

The cause of this failure had been rectified to be a faulty hardware and we are now looking into it. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this incident.

Busted! 9th October 08:21 am

Got this from Singapore CNet.

Singapore police have seized 450,000 pirated movie, music and software compact discs worth S$5.4 million (US$ 3.2 million) over a two-day raid. The raid started on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday this week.

Among the items seized were pirated copies of language learning programs, children's programs, computer software, movie VCDs and pornographic VCDs.
During the raid, 18 people, aged between 23 and 35, were caught in simultaneous raids in Tai Seng Avenue, Defu Lane 3, Tampines Street 93, Katong Shopping Center, Sim Lim Square and Toa Payoh Central, where the items were either sold or stored, reported The Straits Times.

Piracy is a worldwide issue that is hurting music, software, and movie industries worldwide. According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the industry software watchdog, the software industry loses more than S$18.4 billion (US$11 billion) yearly worldwide.

Forsaken patch released 9th October 08:09 am

For those fans of Forsaken, the patch is released. It solves numerous bugs and added new features. One point to note is the new patch requires DirectX 6.0. They are available for download from here.

For those for those high speed S-ONE users, I will upload a copy to Fun later.

Bugs fixed:

  • Choppy FMV bug under Windows 98 and 95 now fixed. Now uses Direct Show to play FMV. All necessary DirectX components now automatically installed.
  • Ammo on all levels now regenerates properly
  • No cheats allowed in multiplayer games.
  • SLI 1024x768 mode for Voodoo 2 is now fixed and is a selectable setting in the launcher.
  • A cure has been found for the Starfighter AGP card crash. Please download the latest drivers from the Real3D website. www.real3d.com
  • Crashing when re-spawning in a multi-player game has now been fixed.
  • SetViewport failed crash bug has now been fixed.
  • Flying backwards with nitro bug on the sidewinder joystick is now fixed.
  • The lumberjack cheat no longer leaves stationary Mug missiles in mid air for single player games
  • The power of a Trojax for a quick tap of a button has been corrected (it used to be far too powerful). Now to get full power you must fully charge the Trojax.

Secret Ops Episode 7 9th October 08:06 am

Yes, the last episode of Secret Ops episode 7 is out. You can download them from here.

Increase System Speed 9th October 08:02 am

Got this from Agn3d. Apparently, there is a memory program called MemTurbo that is able to optimize the memory. Sounds like Quarterdeck QEMM from the good old DOS days.

We are entering Beta3 of MemTurbo, and would like to get more testing with hardcore game players. We are hoping this utility will serve to enhance game player's experience by increasing frame-rates and reducing gameplay delays. If you think it would be of interest to the game players that frequent your site, I would be more than happy to provide a registered copy for you to review! Feel free to link to the beta version in the meantime, though, we need as much test coverage from game players as possible!

Get that "just-booted" feeling with a single keystroke! The safe, easy, and effective way to increase your system performance. Defragments physical RAM, recovers RAM from the operating system and applications, recovers leaked memory, and fine-tunes file caching to your specific usage scenarios. Does NOT use compression, nor does it install any drivers or VxDs, or anything outside of its own directory.

Internet Explorer 5.0 Beta 1 9th October 08:00 am

Internet Explorer v5.0 beta 1 is on public beta.

It is available for download from here. 

8th October 1998 {Thursday}
Introducing: Flashman's Toy Garage 8th October 21:35 pm

Flashman's Toy Garage - It's a strange title, even I thought so. But this will be the new column introduced at Hardware One. Our new anonymous columnist will be known as none other than Flashman. You'll see his column prominently featured on our left navigation bar. More about him:

This is a first issue of a series of stuff I will write about my new toys, review of old toys, and what I see. This means, I write anything I want about anything in the world regarding toys, toys and more toys.

In Issue 1 of Flashman's Toy Garage, he gives his thoughts about the USB version of the Microsoft SideWinder Freestyle Pro. A niffy new device with motion sensor technology that is bound to thrill you. Some tasty bits!

"He was gyrating, screaming curses, howling and he was jumping around like a blithering idiot."

"And I don't wanna write anymore `coz I have to continue my Motocross Madness with the Freestyle. "

3Dfx vs TNT 8th October 18:22 pm

Read the exclusives from TomsHardware.

Times are changing in the graphics business. Prices of graphics cards are dropping and this might change a lot in the card makers business. We shouldn’t be surprised if the company structure of well renowned businesses as Diamond or STB should look a lot different in twelve months from now. The trend is going towards cheap card productions and designs from Taiwan or even better the combined chip and card production by the same company, as e.g. very successfully done by ATI. The price awareness of the people is a lot higher than 12 months ago and why should anyone be surprised about it? Who likes to spend a lot of money for a product that’s obsolete in 3-6 months?

Man Banned 5 years From the Net 8th October 18:18 pm

Oh gosh, imagine being banned from visiting Hardware One for 5 years?!?

A man who pleaded guilty today in an online child pornography case will be banned from the Internet for five years.

In a plea bargain arrangement, Thomas Baskind, a 29-year-old former insurance agent, will not be permitted any computer access to the Internet and his credit card and telephone bills will be monitored, according to a ruling to be handed down by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Renee White. Baskind pleaded guilty to two charges, possession of child pornography and attempting to distribute pornography to a minor

As another part of his sentence, Baskind was banned from using the telephone for explicit sexual conversations, ordered to see a psychiatrist once a week, and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He also was banned from seeking any job, joining any organization, or frequenting any area that would include unsupervised contact with minors, including video arcades, toy stores, playgrounds and pet shops.

Simplifying Web Addresses 8th October 18:15 pm

Is http://hardware.s-one.net.sg difficult to remember?

Well, a system of simplifying Web addresses may be on its way to widespread use thanks to a pair of recently proposed Web standards.

The Internet Engineering Task Force this week took under consideration proposals by Centraal and Network Solutions (NSI) that would standardize the way firms replace Web addresses, or uniform resource locators, with common or proper names.

The NSI proposal would establish what the company calls "human friendly identifiers," while the Centraal proposal would standardize the use of "human friendly names." Both add up to essentially the same thing, according to Centraal chief executive and founder Keith Teare, who noted that the authors of the two proposals spoke frequently on the subject in the process of writing their drafts.

With Centraal's current RealName system, a database matches up URLs with common or proper names for firms, groups, or individuals who pay to be included. For example, a Web page on a certain car model could have as its RealName address the name of the car, rather than a full URL.

Singnet increases Bandwidth 8th October 18:10 pm

SingNet, one of Singapore ISPs is going to increase their bandwidth to the US from the current 25 Mbps to 75 Mbps.

With our additional 45Mbps via satellite, we will soon have a total of 75Mbps bandwidth by the end of year to the USA! This translates to surfing on the Net even faster! SingNet is the first Internet Service Provider to bring you 75Mbps bandwidth to the USA, offering you, our valued customers, the best in Internet technology.

With the increase, Singnet will have the largest bandwidth, followed by Pacific Internet. Lagging behind by a great deal is Cyberway.

Intel Roadmap 8th October 18:03 pm

News.com announced that Intel had detailed a roadmap for upcoming microprocessors that will extend variations of its current technology well into the next century and range up to 1000 MHz in speed.

Most prominently, technology code-named Foster will represent a new processor "microarchitecture," according to Fred Pollack, director of measurement, architecture, and planning and Intel's microprocessor products group.

Foster will be a 32-bit design, very similar to a chip design dubbed Willamette. Foster will be intended for high-end PC servers and Willamette targeted at desktops, Pollack said.

Foster chips could hit speeds of 1000 MHz or higher when they come out late in the year 2000 or early 2001. "This is our target," Pollack said. Currently, the fastest megahertz rating on Intel chips is 450 MHz.

AMD taps Direct RDRAM 8th October 17:57 pm

From PCWeek, AMD said it will license the Direct Rambus DRAM memory interface for future chip sets.

The company's decision to use Direct RDRAM will help put its systems on par with Intel Corp.'s in terms of performance.

Direct RDRAM, developed by Rambus Inc., is the successor to synchronous dynamic RAM. It is the same memory type around which Intel is designing motherboards and that it plans to support in its 1999 chip sets.

According to AMD, Direct RDRAM will enable peak bandwidth of 1.6GB per second.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., said that Direct RDRAM will be the main memory interface for its future PC platforms, and that it already has working samples of the chips.

QSound Creator 8th October 08:45 am

Got this from CoolComputing.

QSound Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSNDF - news) Internet World-QSound Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSNDF - news) today announced the launch of the Company's newest software product, QCreator(TM), to debut as the world's first 3D audio authoring tool for consumers and professionals.

Using normal WAV or AIFF mono sound files, QCreator creates dramatic audio effects by allowing the user to position sound within a 3 dimensional space - all in an easy-to-use, affordable program. ``We've had numerous requests for a product like this,'' said Bob McLauchlan, Director of Marketing for QSound Labs. ``QCreator showcases our technology in an easy to use, straightforward application. The principal distribution channel for this product will be the Internet. As a result, this product will go a long way in further solidifying QSound's position as the 3D audio technology leader on the Web.''

QCreator is targeted to web design professionals, radio stations, musicians and most importantly, consumers. Information on the product can be found at www.qsound.com/qcreator. QCreator will sell for $49.95 and will be available for purchase from the QSound Website at www.qsound.com as well as the RealNetworks' (NASDAQ:RNWK - news) Web site at www.real.com.

Matrox Unified Drivers 8th October 08:29 am

Latest 3.63 version for NT 4 is out. These unified drivers support the Matrox Mystique, Mystique 220, Mystique G200, Millennium, Millennium II AGP, Millennium G200, Millennium G200 SD and the MGA-G200 SD.

They are available for download from here. 

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]


Copyright © 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 17 October 1998 10:37