01 Sept 98 - 07 Sept 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • More Bugs in HotMail
  • Microsoft Requests Bad Messages from Netscape
  • AOpen AX59Pro
  • IBM Ships Copper Chips
  • New Benchmarks from Mercury
  • Celeron 300 A Reviewed!
  • 11 Computer Speakers RoundUp
  • Recent Reviews
  • Quantum Computing
  • 1GB RAM
  • Glide V3.00
  • Sound Blaster Live! Value
  • Diamond Monster 3D II Drivers
  • Anand Reviews Celeron 300A
  • FIFA '99 Screenshots
  • Damn Hot! SBLive! To Be Updated With...
  • Riva TNT
  • Andy Reviews Celeron A
  • 3D ScoreCard
  • Asus P5A
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Sound Blaster Live! Review Updated!
  • New Mission For Secret Ops
  • Hercules Terminator BEAST
  • Civilization: Call To Power
  • Future of Creative & Aureal
  • Tom's 3D Chips Article Updated
  • Cyrellis Reviews Spectra 2500
  • www.sblive.com -Lots of Updates!
  • Planet AWE's Live! Review
  • Permedia 3 Sneak Peek
  • AMD K7
  • TNT Blues?
  • Amusingly Depressing News
  • Message Board
  • More Bugs in IE4
  • Anand's Spectra 2500
  • Let's Do the SLI - With Different Voodoo 2s
  • PCI-X
  • Tell Us About Yourself
7th September 1998 {Monday}
Tell Us About Yourself!  7th September 22:45 pm

Hi people! This is Wilfred here. Since we now have a pretty usable message board kindly put up for us to use, I don't think we should restrict its usage to only the discussion of computer related stuff.

In fact, I would be elated if all of you, visitors from home or afar, can drop us a short note. Aside from giving us invaluable feedback, you can tell us from which part of the world you came from.

Really hope to see the message board bustling with activities! Hear from you soon!

PCI-X  7th September 22:33 pm

According to News.com, IBM, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard are floating a computer design specification that, if implemented, would wrest some control over the internal structure of PCs and servers from Intel.

The PCI-X specification, as the proposal is called, reflects a growing frustration among server vendors with the slow pace of innovation around how data moves inside a computer, according to sources. Intel boosts the speed of microprocessors on roughly a quarterly basis. However, when it comes to boosting the speed at which data can be shuttled around from the microprocessor to other components in a computer, change has been glacial.

In fact, the chip giant has resisted changes in the current architecture, which it developed, and is said to be working on its own proposal.

The new PCI-X specification would quadruple the speed of the system bus--or the data path between the processor and the rest of the computer--to 133 MHz. The processor connects to the hard drive, networking cards, and other computer components through the PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus. The fastest PCI bus currently runs at 66 MHz and can pass up to 64 bits of information per clock cycle.

Let's Do the SLI - With Different Voodoo 2s  7th September 20:33 pm

Yap! This is it! It's not a typo and you don't have to click that refresh to check if it's some strange browser bug. AGN3D has news about this amazing new version of glide that'll let you SLI 2 Different Voodoo 2 Cards (having the same amt of memory).

Hmmm.... How about the getting a Canopus Pure3D II (for it's TV-Out?) to work with a more affordable OEM V2??? Sounds like a good idea, but be sure to inform me of any success you might have!

I ripped this off AGN3D, read it:

Liam Goodison sent me to a link (149k) to download a new version of Glide that allows for different cards to be ran together in SLI mode. I would appreciate it that someone who has a few different cards would give it a try and email and let us know about it if it works or does not. Here is the info from the readme from the driver:

Just copy the glide2x.dll over your existing glide2x.dll in Windows system directory. This new version will allow you to run any glide or opengl based application on SLI configuration with voodoo2 boards from different manufac- turers. D3D support (for the DirectX driver) is coming soon. Note that your SLI configuration must consist of the boards with the same amount of memory on each. Also bear in mind that this kind of SLI mix has some potential unsafety being caused by possible differences in board architectures I'm not aware of. So this binary is supplied as is. It is your responsibility to decide whether to use it or not. Regards, Andrei Osnovich.

Anand's Spectra 2500  7th September 20:16 pm

See what I told you? Canopus is sending their Santa all over the shop. Anand, the nice little boy, has received his gift. After toying with it (like many others), he has presented his review on it.

It is mostly the same stuff we've read in the zillions of Spectra reviews. But Anand has got some advice for everyone of you. So who is the Spectra for?

"High end Pentium II owners should eat up the Spectra 2500 as it provides outstanding performance, virtually identical to that of a single Voodoo2 while combining excellent 2D acceleration as well. While the drivers have yet to be finalized, once they are final you can expect the performance to only increase and stability to reach a more pleasant level, although no real stability issues were discovered during the Pentium II testing of the Canopus card."

"Finally, we have the Celeron A, if you don't mind overclocking your Celeron 300A, the Canopus Spectra 2500 is your dream come true as it will provide you with unbelievable performance and then some.   It seems as if the Celeron A and the Spectra 2500 was a match made in heaven."

More bugs in IE 4  7th September 19:57 pm

Microsoft on Friday posted a patch for a security bug in Internet Explorer that the software company says could allow the operator of a Web site to read the contents off your computer.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the security leak can occur when a browser — or other software that uses Microsoft browsing technology, such as the Quicken personal finance package — views multiple-frame Web pages. Specifically, if a page is authored to do so, clicking on a link in one frame that sends information to another frame can expose the surfer’s file contents to the Web page author.

It requires a special script, and the Web author can only view files’ contents if he or she knows the file’s name and location on the surfer’s hard drive. Still, since many strategic files have easy-to-guess names, such as your Windows password file or Quicken data files, there is risk to valuable data.

Message Board  7th September 15:30 pm

If you look over the left, you will realise we have a new Message Board. Down there, you can post questions/queries/feedback etc.

6th September 1998 {Sunday}
Amusingly Depressing News :-P  6th September 22:34 pm

I rolled over my chair reading this article at NEWS.COM.

Please be warned. Be very very cautious of your online time... NO! Not because of your stupid phone bills! But you'll be depressed. Very depressed. Boo hoo!

Spending just a few hours a week online appears to leave people feeling more socially isolated, lonely, and depressed, according to a two-year study of nearly 100 families with Internet access.

By posting this, I sure hope I won't see a drastic drop in visitors tomorrow! Else I'll really be the saddest man on earth (rather, on the Internet!)  :P

TNT Blues?  6th September 21:58 pm

After STB went on a crazy spree giving their Velocity V4400 to everyone in this world (except us?!) for evaluation, Canopus seems to want the same attention. Now we see Spectra reviews sprouting like wild mushrooms all over.

Now both Adrenaline Vault and RivaRave have thrown up their very own reviews of the fanciful Spectra screamer based on the RivaTNT chip.

Here's some very kind words spoken by RivaRave about the Spectra 2500:

From what I have seen and used, I believe the SPECTRA 2500 will be "the best" TNT card out this year. This is a very strong claim, and of course, I say this with caution. But, if previous RIVA products by other companies were any indication, the Canopus SPECTRA 2500 will beat all other TNT's in features and in performance.

Read them: Avault's TNT Review & RivaRave's TNT Review.

AMD K7  6th September 18:17 pm

Computers R Us got a preview of AMD's K7 chip posted. To support the K7, AMD is forced to push ahead with their own Slot-A design because Intel is not licensing Slot-1 to anyone.

Here's a peek at the K7:

It really looks like the K7 has the capability to be a killer chip.  Based on a .25 fabrication process, the K7 has to prove its worth in the market. The plan at AMD is to deliver the K7 processor in a module that is physically, but not electrically, interchangeable with Intel's Slot 1 Architecture. The K7 will run at clock speeds of 500MHz and 550MHz with a 200mhz bus when it is introduced sometime in next year's second quarter, according to AMD's roadmap. AMD has stated that the K7 will support Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP). If this becomes a reality, the K7 will be the first non-Intel x86 chip that is able to use more than one processor in a system. 

Permedia 3 Sneak Peek  6th September 17:21 pm

Frontline has put up their sneak peek of 3DLab's Permedia 3. It comprehensively covers all the features we can expect of 3DLab's chipset, which seems to come in direct competition with nVidia's TNT.

The .25 micron Permedia 3 will run at a core speed of 125MHz, support up to 16MB SG/SDRAM and run on an AGP 2x bus. With a 270MHz RAMDAC, you should be able to drive a monitor to 90Hz at 1920x1080 pixels (provided you can find a monitor big enough!).

On the 3D side of things, the Permedia 3 can chalk up to 250 Million dual-textured texels per second and 125 million pixels per second in raw fill rate (compared to the 3DFX Voodoo2’s 90 Mpixels/s). It will be able to do single-pass bump mapping with surface texture, ie, it can render a bump map AND apply a separate surface texture in a single pass.

Texture’s will be tri-linear filtered in a single pass and the Permedia 3 will do full-screen anti-aliasing to get rid of your jaggies. Combined with anisotropic filtering (to kill isotropic over-filtering effects) and non-linear Z-buffering for accurate depth calculations, we're expecting some QUALITY 3D to come out of this baby. All this in glorious 32-bit color!

Take a look at the complete preview. Click here.

Planet AWE's Live! Review  6th September 16:55 pm

This is another "Live! Friend" site put up by Creative. Visit Planet AWE for their very own SBLive! review!

Todd's review captures the Live! from a musician's perspective, which completes the other dimension of the Live! card.

There also was a playback depth or a pleasing sound character I didn't hear when the same bank was loaded into my AWE64. Let's attribute this to the 8-point interpolation and better reverb on the Live!

Unexpected Downtimes  6th September 16:38 pm

<Sigh> For those of you fuming (like myself) trying to load Hardware One for the past hours, I must admit how unlucky we must be that both our hosts' servers were down at the same time.

Don't lose your patience yet, because we are certain that access to Hardware One will be improved as time passes. We ask of your understanding and patience. Thank you for your support.

5th September 1998 {Saturday}
www.sblive.com - Lots of Updates!  5th September 21:46 pm

Well, I just noticed over at the Official SoundBlaster Live! website that there has been a number of significant updates.

1. Firstly, they've put up a fairly comprehensive article title "Unlock the features of the Digital I/O Card" that teaches Live! owners how to use the Digital I/O card effectively. It covers connecting it to a digital recorder, external DAC, and digital amplifier etc. Another part talkes about how to do digital recordings and using the live as a DAC for your digital playback.

2. Secondly, a short article described Creative's "Recommended Four Speaker Setups". The interesing part is this:

The general advice on purchasing rear speakers is to select a pair that is of equal quality with your front speakers. The extra subwoofer does serve a purpose as the rear bass signals are now channeled to the second subwoofer.

3. Thirdly, we are taught how easily it is to create our very own customised audio environments for our games. The steps are pretty simple to follow. Take a look at "Beginner's Guide to Creating Your Own Audio Environments"

?. Lastly. Hmm.. this time it is Hardware One related. And yes! You've guessed it, we found ourselves plugged right there on their "Live! Friends Websites/ Homepages" page. Most embarrassingly, they've asked you to take a look at my room!!!???!!!

Gosh! Aside from the fact that the speakers' arrangement is a general gamer's setup, you people must be noticing the mess in my room as well. Shucks!

Anyway, we are truely thankful that Creative has got us linked up. :)

Cyrellis Reviews Spectra 2500  5th September 18:38 pm

Cyrellis whips out their review on the Canopus Spectra 2500. As you should have already learnt, the Spectra 2500 is a TNT based card equipped with 16Mb of SDRAM and a 250Mhz RAMDAC. It comes with a TV-Out (similar to the Pure3D II), and features a reverse pass thru design similar to the WitchDoctor. Another nicety is the addition of a cooling fan on the TNT chip.

Here's some unique differences you can always expect of a Canopus card:

There are other features that are unique to the Spectra 2500 versus the rest of the Riva TNT products, one of which is the Canopus driverset. Working closely with nVidia, Canopus has been able to achieve Win95/98 desktop resolution support for up to 1920 x 1440 x 16 with the Spectra 2500, provided that your monitor can support such a high res. For desktop publishing buffs, this means that up to four full-sized 960 x 720 Word97 document pages can be displayed simultaneously on a 21" monitor.

Canopus also includes their nowstandard proprietary "in-game adjustment on the fly" software with the Spectra 2500. We've previously used and have grown to love the configurability of this software in using it with the Pure3D II.

The Spectra also has a port to allow for connectivity with an optional daughterboard used for video capturing from any device that has a standard RCA or S-Video Out ports. (This is expected to retail at US$99)

Tom's 3D Chips Article Updated  5th September 18:01 pm

Tom's Hardware has updated his previous article to include nVidia's Riva TNT. He's updated all his benchmarks to reflect the new board, so we can have a good idea of how TNT based boards performed (both Creative and STB are shipping TNT based cards already).

I've ripped for you 1 (just one ok?) nice chart showing you the performance of the cards in Quake 2 Demo 1. This is it:

TNT looks very good indeed, scoring higher than Voodoo2 at 800x600. Now I would almost have called TNT the ‘Voodoo2-Killer’ if the performance of TNT wouldn’t drop extremely when using a slower CPU as the Celeron 266.

Interestingly, he has a posted AGP Performance comparison of these cards, showing you the increase in speed using AGP over PCI. Both the TNT and G200 based board showed very good AGP implementation. (Read Tom's article here)

Future of Creative & Aureal  5th September 17:39 pm

3DSoundSurge has posted an article voicing their opinion of the future of the two highly successful sound card makers.

I thought their article drew a good comparison of Creative and Microsoft. Here's Creative has craftily done (correctly) to position itself in an advantageous spot even after a long lag time:

Creative Labs wanted experience in quality synthesisers – they bought EMU. They wanted speakers – they bought CSW. They wanted PCI audio, know how? – they bought Ensoniq. In effect – they "Did a Microsoft".

Some suggestions on how Aureal can remain successful and compete with giant Creative.

So, here’s my plan for the future and a bit of healthy competition for the market. ONE, just one of the Vortex licensees buy exclusive rights to the Vortex 2. Work VERY CLOSELY with Aureal – go the extra mile on the beta testing. Do a deal with a well known speaker manufacturer for matched speaker kits that work well with the card. Then bundle the card and the speakers at a silly price for the first week. NB The box should proudly proclaim on the front "Brand X Aureal Vortex 2 PCI Megaduper Orgasmicard", because Aureal has a very large following and needs to build on this advantage.

4th September 1998 {Friday}
Civilization: Call To Power 4th September 18:19 pm

OGR has put up a preview on Activision's Civilization: Call to Power. I heaved a sigh of relief having read this:

"Obviously not wanting to tamper much with a classic(s), Call to Power appears to be using Civilization 2 as its foundation - not the engine, but the basic gameplay and ease of use. What Activision has done is taken all the stuff that worked in the original, and improved it where possible. Then they tweaked, or changed, the few things that didn't work..."

"...But, judging from what I saw, the excitement I noted from other Civ players standing nearby, and the obvious dedication the team seems to have regarding this franchise, Activision knows how much these classics really mean to the game audience and will produce an appropriately intriguing follow-up."

Too many a times, the fun in a sequel is spoilt because the developer wants to impress by including a great too much detail or features. I'm really glad that Activision has NOT blundered in the same way after they bought Sid Mier's ultra successful franchise. But what will the gameplay be like?

"For example, while the game (like its predecessors) will be turn based, they took what was good, or helpful, from the best real time strategy interfaces. You can now order units to patrol, scout, or move to a destination with waypoints. You can access any city while on the main map. And you can customize the build queues to your own playing style. This promises to streamline some of the more 'chore-like' actions. Of course, if micro-management is your thing, you can always play that way too."

Check out also the screenshots! It looks polished!

Enough said, a true Civ fan would have gone over to read the full preview already! Why are you still here?

Hercules Terminator BEAST 4th September 17:15 pm

AGN3D has evaluated the BEAST from Hercules, powered by S3's Savage3D chip and 8Mb of SDRAM (clocked to 100Mhz). They've got lots of pretty screenshots of the fanciful tabs and panels that'll allow you to tweak everything to your heart's content.

"As you can see from the benchmark results, this little card packs a mean punch.  The card was faster that the Mystique across the board and posted some scores above what a 12MB Voodoo 2 is capable of.  Of particular interest were scores in Forsaken and Quake 2...."

"...As you can see, from the numbers alone, this is one next-gen 2D/3D card to keep your eye on."

Even though it has a very affordable price tag, the board has proven that S3 will no longer be bound to the low budget, under performing segment of the 3D market. Read the scope:

The Terminator BEAST carries a suggested retail price of $119.  Yes that's right, you can buy this board, which runs at about Voodoo 2 performance, with S3TC, and a .25 micron chip for under $120 bucks.  As far as what is on the market right now, that price may make the BEAST one of the most attractive next-gen boards in the price / performance category.   Now wait...there are some extra details.  Expect to see a drop in price shortly after release.

Well, this will be a good board to look out for! Grab a Savage3D card and a Celeron 300A processor, and you'll be in for some solid performance at a very affordable price. How about that? (Read AGN3D's full story)

New mission for Secret Ops  4th September 08:13 am

Avault had announced the release of Secret Ops mission pack 2.

Secret Ops follows the thrilling Wing Commander Prophecy storyline with 56 new single player missions split into seven downloadable episodes. A new Secret Ops episode will be posted on the Secret Ops web site each Thursday over a 7 week period, beginning August 27th. On the days leading up to each episode, new fictional experiences will be posted from the Secret Ops story which sets the stage for the upcoming downloadable episode.

3rd September 1998 {Thursday}
Sound Blaster Live! Review Updated!! 3rd September 23:31 pm

Whew! I've just gone back to update my past work. Now my Sound Blaster Live! Review is back with new glitzy pictures of connectivity diagrams, updated specifications as well as the inclusion of the announcements made in Creative's latest press release.

Intermittent Network Problems at GGN 3rd September 21:26 pm

Dear visitors that come from our US Mirror at GGN, as we have been experiencing some intermittent down times on the network, you may like to also bookmark our page on the Singapore's broadband network.

Anyway, both sites should be accessible from these URLs.

Anna Nicole Smith 3rd September 21:12 pm

Ah! I see I caught your attention (The same way it caught mine when i saw it on BGN). But too bad, it's not pornographic. :P

But it's definitely about our bosomy star who will starring in Paramount Picture's Tomb Raider movie. A news that Paramount announced at CeBit home at Hannover.

ASUS P5A 3rd September 20:45 pm

AnandTech has reviewed the ASUS P5A Super7 board. The board is based on the ALi Aladdin V chipset and comes with 1 AGP, 5 PCI and 2 ISA slots that should satisfy most people.

As long as you're not limiting yourself to the VIA MVP3 Chipset, the ASUS P5A easily carries its weight among the three most recommended ATX Super7 Motherboards.  How well will the sales of the PA-2013 and the Photon 100HC fare now that the P5A is a part of the show?  There is no way to predict, but be aware of the fact that ASUS has done a tremendous job with their newly released Super7 line of motherboards.  Let's just hope that the release of the P5A/-B isn't too late to help AMD's K6-2 sales.

The build quality of Asus' boards shows here and Anand has given it an overall rating of 95%.

3D Scorecard 3rd September 20:28 pm

GameCenter has posted their summation of the most recent 3D king wannabes. Their scorecard rounds up the 3Dfx Banshee, 3DLabs Permedia 3, ATI Rage 128, Matrox G200, #9 Ticket-To-Ride IV, Riva TNT and the S3 Savage3D.

Apart from the examination of the various chips that's coming out, Mr Propeller Head has also put up his study on the recent trends in graphics technology and a features chart showing you all the specifications of the chipsets.

Andy Reviews Celeron A 3rd September 20:01 pm

Andy Drake of The Unofficial Abit BX6/BH6 Page has not only given a fresh new look to his site, but he has also updated it with his latest Celeron A review. It's smack full of the usual good stuff:

The ultimate gamers chip? Well, provided you are willing to overclock your CPU, yes! The scores best the previous Overclockers favourite, the [email protected] x 100 by quite a margin!

RIVA TNT 3rd September 07:01 am

Yes, for those waiting for the Riva TNT, it will be out soon. Canopus announced the Spectra 2500 Riva TNT card. Creative is going to launch their Blaster TNT and STB has begun shipping its Velocity 4400 graphics acceleator card. Let us take a look at the Spectra 2500, which was snipped from Cyrellis.

Powered by a fan-cooled NVIDIA RIVA TNT 128-bit graphics chip, 16MB of high-speed SDRAM and 250MHz RAMDAC, the AGP 2X-based SPECTRA 2500 provides the ultimate solution for maximum 2D graphics performance and outstanding 3D game play. In a unique twist, the company has incorporated its WitchDoctor technology into the SPECTRA 2500, giving owners of 3Dfx Voodoo1- and Voodoo2-based boards a "reverse" pass-through connection to deliver improved desktop graphics clarity, TV-out capabilities, along with Canopus' acclaimed software utilities, Quick Control and Application Launcher. The SPECTRA 2500 also provides the highest maximum resolution of any TNT-based board - 1920 x 1440 - allowing for four correct aspect ratio windows of 960 x 720 on monitors 21" or larger.

"We believe the serious gamer will like using both a Voodoo2 and a TNT board. Our WitchDoctor pass-through technology allows them to get the most out of both boards," said Hiro Yamada, President and CEO of Canopus Corporation. "And now users can view their desktop graphics at much higher resolutions without the loss of quality caused by traditional Voodoo pass-through cables."

2nd September 1998 {Wednesday}
Damn Hot! SBLive! To Be Updated with.... 2nd September 21:30 pm

Whoa! Whoa! This is OFFICIAL boys!!! This came straight from Creative's press release! Was Sound Blaster Live!'s position challenged when the Diamond MX300 (featuring Aureal's Vortex 2) was announced?

To confirm rumours that Creative will be updating their Live! with many more features, Creative has said in their press release that they will through software updates in September, bring new levels of functionalities to the Sound Blaster Live! What do we have here?

The Live! will soon feature 32 Accelerated 3D Voices each up to 16-bit, 48 KHz fidelity! (wah!!!! not the present 8 or even MX300's touted 16 but a whopping 32!!) and the present 256 voice synthesis will be brought up to an INCREDIBLE 512 voices!!! (the MX300 will have 320 voices).

Also, Dolby Digital (AC3) will be supported. Read on... the very juicy parts are all here!

New Features and Functions

Announced today, as part of the Live!Ware program, are the following new features and functions for the Sound Blaster Live! family, which are planned to be released over the next few months as downloadable upgrades, beginning September 1998. These features and functions are planned to work with the existing, currently shipping Sound Blaster Live! and Sound Blaster Live! Value without any additional hardware.

* 32 Accelerated 3D Voices: To meet the future needs of game developers and gamers, Creative plans to provide more accelerated 3D voices extending Sound Blaster Live! hardware acceleration support from an existing eight to an incredible 32 DirectSound(R) 3D streams, each supporting up to 16-bit, 48 KHz fidelity.  This paves the way for developers to support more 3D voices in upcoming games and to more fully realize the true potential of Sound Blaster Live! and Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX(TM)).  This new implementation, combined with Microsoft DirectSound Voice Management Property Set - which lets game developers manage 3D sound buffers more effectively - will result in a better overall gaming experience and performance.

*  512 PCI Voice Synthesis: Music hobbyists who want a huge palette of voices for music composition will be able to utilize an unheard of 512 voices - an upgrade from the currently available 256 voices.  This new capability, combined with the 64 hardware voices of the EMU10K1, makes the Sound Blaster Live! the most powerful and efficient MIDI synthesizer currently available.

*  Connectivity with Surround Receivers: By adding proprietary surround sound encoding technology to the Sound Blaster Live!, Creative will allow its end-users to connect their Sound Blaster Live! or Sound Blaster Live! Value audio cards to their existing surround sound home stereo systems.   This breakthrough enhancement enables users to play back their 3D audio games and Environmental Audio titles on their existing home receiver and speakers, greatly enhancing the flexibility and potential of their computer entertainment system.  In addition, users can now play their existing DVD and VCD titles in full surround sound, without switching their existing set-up.  To enjoy the full surround experience of Dolby Digital (AC3) on the PC, users should consider the new Desktop Theater 5.1 system, designed by Cambridge SoundWorks.

*  2,500 High Quality Instruments: To complete the professional desktop music set-up offered by Sound Blaster Live!, Creative plans to make available an amazing 500 SoundFont banks consisting of 2,500 instruments.

*  Vienna(TM) SoundFont(R) Studio: Creative also plans to make available its award winning Vienna SoundFont Studio for the Sound Blaster Live! The Vienna SoundFont Studio editor is a powerful sampling and editing PC tool providing functions similar to today's professional music samplers. Combined withCreative's newly-available 2,500 instruments and SoundFont banks, desktop musicians will have enormous creative power, have the editing tools and a huge library of musical instruments, and be able to access up to 32 MB of SoundFont banks in system RAM.

Thanks to Frank (3DSoundSurge) for dropping me this wonderful piece of news!

FIFA '99 Screenshots 2nd September 18:48 pm

FIFA '99 Online has put up some exclusive screenshots of THE game. Just drool over all the new details added to the players, the stadiums and hmm.. even the pitch looks better! (Roll over to FIFA '99 Online, they've got even more of these!)

This is the game's feature list:

  • Quickstart Mode gets beginners and experts alike onto the pitch and into the action with two clicks.
  • Players now have different heights, increased shading and new uniforms.
  • 20 new stadiums from around the world
  • New chest trapping allows players more control over air balls than ever before, allowing them to shield the ball from defenders' attacks.
  • Game's artificial intelligence delivers better support for more realistic wing play and more responsive tackling.
  • New real-time lighting effects give players an unprecedented level of realism.
  • European Super League
    EA SPORTS' vision of the future-Play as or against the best club teams in Europe. Aa league with the best teams in Europe consisting of the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, Paris St. Germain, and 13 other European club teams to choose from.
  • New Graphics
    Bringing the game to life with player head-tracking, in-stadium lighting, night games, and improved player animations.
  • Play Your Way,
    Create and play in your own Cups and Leagues - select between 2 to 24 teams and apply a cup or league structure to test your soccer skills.
  • New Semi-Automatic goal keepers will allow you to tell the keeper when to run out for the ball.
  • Play as and against 250 Club teams from the greatest Leagues in the world. Including USA, Spain, England, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Scotland, Belgium and Netherlands Leagues.
  • PC (1 to 20 players); PSX (1 to 8 players); N64 (1 to 4 players)
  • Improved Control
  • PSX Dual Shock support
  • N64 Rumble Pak enable

Anand Reviews Celeron 300 A 2nd September 18:34 pm

Nah, the Celeron 300 A is not found wanting in this review either. As we have all expected. Anand has also delivered on what we all want to know (or already knew?).... How Overclockable Is It????!!

This part must be the portion of Anand's review that you want to read most:

It's time for the shocker, how far can the Celeron 300A be pushed?  Using two different chips, one purchased from Azzo Computers and the other from TC Computers, the highest achievable speed was a whopping 450MHz running each processor at the 100MHz FSB x 4.5 at the standard 2.0v core voltage setting.  Of course the intermediate settings, 75 x 4.5 and 83 x 4.5, were tackled without a problem, but the 450MHz limit of the chip seems to be a comfortable level for a chip that retails for under $200.  Running both chips at 112MHz x 4.5 proved to be unsuccessful as Winstone would often crash during its initial test run, upping the core voltage selection to 2.2v didn't enhance stability to a noticable degree, so for now the chip seems to be our favorite at 450MHz.  As far as stability is concerned, the Celeron 300A system ran rock solid at 450MHz for a continuous 24 hour day running Business Winstone 98 in a single loop(with the Task Switching tests disabled as they do cause a known crash with Windows 98 on all systems).  Is that enough proof?

Here's another short testimony :)

"...When overclocked, the Celeron A becomes a Pentium II under the games and applications we're used to running."

Whoa! Be sure to hop over to Anandtech for the full review. He's got many pretty charts showing you just exactly where the Celeron A stands!

Diamond Monster 3D II drivers 2nd September 16:46 pm

The Diamond Monster 3D II Series Windows 95 Drivers version with Glide drivers version 2.53 are available in our Drivers section.

Sound Blaster Live! Value 2nd September 16:39 pm

Well, here is a piece of news I grabbed from CoolInfo.

Creative Labs will be offering a Sound Blaster Live! Value for only $99.99. The card would be similar to the currently shipping SB Live but would lack the accompanying Digital I/O card and the high-end musician software.

Glide v3.00 2nd September 07:22 am

3Dfx Interactive(C) Inc. today announced Glide(TM) 3.0, the next-generation version of its low-level software interface that enables complete control of its Voodoo(TM) family of 3D graphics chips for consumer entertainment. Glide can serve as the primary application program interface (API) or may work in conjunction with another API to enable optimal acceleration on 3Dfx hardware. Unlike other APIs, Glide is designed specifically and only for 3Dfx hardware and allows full, unconstrained access to all the technical capabilities of Voodoo chips without requiring assembly language or register programming.

Currently there are in excess of 100 available games using Glide and over 250 more in development (see attached list for some upcoming titles). Some well-known currently shipping titles include Unreal, F-15, NFL(TM) Game Day(TM) 99 and Uprising 2(TM). According to figures from 3Dfx, over 54 percent of the hardware accelerated titles shipping during 1998 will have a version using Glide.

"Glide provides a decisive strategic advantage for 3Dfx Interactive," said Scott Sellers, senior vice president of product development for 3Dfx Interactive. "Glide provides enormous power and flexibility to game developers. Our intent is not to supplant other industry APIs -- we uniquely support all industry standards, including Glide, Direct 3D and Open GL -- our objective is to provide developers with the utmost in performance, features and overall control of even the innermost regions of our architecture. The goal is to give game players the very best experience."

You can get the file from here.

1 GB RAM 2nd September 07:02 am

Samsung, the world largest DRAM supplier, had announced a 1GB memory module consisting of 256-megabit synchronous dynamic random-access memory chips, following on the heels of a similar announcement by Japanese rival Hitachi.

The 1GB module, which incorporates 36 units of 256-megabit SDRAMs stacked in two layers, has already met Intel's PC-100 specification and is ready for mass production, Samsung said.

1st September 1998 {Tuesday}
Quantum Computing 1st September 23:23 pm

Chicago Tribune has posted an interesting article about Quantum Computing and its possible impact on the average every day PC we have today (what they'll call classical computers). While it may seem all far-fetched and fairy tale to many, there's some very serious research going on in this area. Read the snips:

... Using one to five atoms in varying quantum states opens theoretical possibilities of information manipulation unrivaled by anything ever dreamed of in classical computing. First postulated about 20 years ago by Paul Benioff, a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, QC has become a hot research area.

Because a QC could easily figure out encryption schemes that protect data stored in classical computers, it attracts funding from federal defense agencies.

If anybody ever really makes a working quantum computer, the defense people want to be there.

Recent Reviews... 1st September 22:57 pm

I thought I'll just post this again. Here's some of the recent reviews that Hardware One has done. Take a look!  :)

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live!
ABIT BH6 BX Motherboard
ASUS P2B BX Motherboard
Chaintech 6BTM BX Motherboard
Pioneer DR-U06S 32X SCSI CDROM Drive
Toshiba XM-6201 32X SCSI CD-ROM Drive
Seagate Cheetah 9.1 Gb Harddisk
Feel free to mail us any comments or suggestions you might have!

11 Computer Speakers Roundup 1st September 19:40 pm

COMPUTERS.COM has put up this long awaited review of PC multimedia speakers! They've done a fairly comprehensive roundup reviewing a total of 11 sets of speakers ranging from the affordable to the not so affordable ones. (Gotta Catch This!)

The results of the editor's choice would have surprised some of you as we see big names like Altec Lansing, Yamaha, JBL, Cambridge SoundWorks and EVEN BOSE being shoved aside to make way for some other kick ass systems. And here's another surprise: they don't really cost a you your arm or your leg!

Celeron 300 A Reviewed! 1st September 18:53 pm

Cyrellis has reviewed the Celeron 300 A! Not only did they put up their usual great review, they've even tried to explain Intel's clever strategies to out smart and out do their competitors.

It's plain to see that Intel has accomplished all of their goals with the Celeron 300 A, it's a fantastic CPU. We're talking super low cost for a super high return, as well as a super-extreme overclocking ability here. It's important to note that Cyrellis used an "OEM" version of the Celeron 300 A for testing, meaning that this is the type of CPU that will come equipped in pre-assembled PCs from various vendors.

From the value for money stand point, the new Celeron has absolutely no competition! From the performance stand point, how about rock stable 464 Mhz overclockability and PII-450 performance level? I don't have to explain further. Please take a look at the full report from Cyrellis.

New benchmarks from Mercury 1st September 15:49 pm

Mercury.org, the independent benchmark company released a new set of benchmarks. These benchmarks were obtained using WinBench 98 with DirectX 6.0. Apparently, the Riva TNT wins the top spot in both 2D and 3D.

IBM ships Copper Chips 1st September 15:45 pm

According to News.com, IBM will ship the first microprocessors based on copper instead of the traditional aluminimum.

The world's first commercial computer chips wired with copper instead of aluminum will begin shipping tomorrow, according to IBM, which plans to market the faster, more efficient chips for use in a wide range of computers and consumer electronics.

The world's largest computer maker said it would begin shipping its first copper-based microprocessors, including a PowerPC 740/750 model operating at 400 MHz. The chips are designed for use in both desktop and mobile computers.

AOpen AX59 Pro 1st September 15:39 pm

Hardwire posted a review on the AOpen AX59 Pro. Now, this is a Socket 7 motherboard using the MVP3 CD revision chipset. It features a 4PCI/2ISA/1AGP combination and support a FSB of up to 112 MHz.

Microsoft requests bad messages from Netscape 1st September 07:07 am

CMPNet had posted an article on how Microsoft has demanded "flame mail" messages from Netscape in a bid to scorch its competitor in next month's antitrust trial, The Wall Street Journal said Monday.

Hinting at one strategy it may use at the Sept. 23 trial, the Redmond, Wash.-based software company has subpoenaed internal electronic forums run by Netscape employees, the Journal reported.

One forum, known as Bad Attitude, is used to vent about everything from competitors to cafeteria food, and a second, Really Bad Attitude, is where a small circle of young engineers posted barbed messages, known as flame mail, about their workplace and products.

Microsoft may plan to use some of the more embarrassing of these electronic messages to show it was management errors or weak products that led to a decline in Netscape's share of the Internet-browser market -- not the predatory practices of a monopolist, as the government charges, the Journal said.

More bugs in Hotmail 1st September 07:03 am

According to News.com, Security-minded programmers are finding holes in Microsoft's Hotmail faster than the free Web-based email service can plug them.

Like the series of security weaknesses that came to light last week, the current one lets programmers introduce a "Trojan horse," or a malicious program that masquerades as a benign one. The programs are designed to fool users into handing over their user names and passwords by presenting them with a bogus "timed-out" page requesting that information.

The previous round of security holes relied on sending code within the body of an email message, and Hotmail and other Webmail services subsequently blocked various kinds of content--including JavaScript, Java applets, and metatags--from incoming messages.

The current bug plaguing Hotmail is transmitted via email attachments, rather than within the body of the message.

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

Copyright 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 28 September 1998 18:45