08 Sept 98 - 14 Sept 98
Highlights within this period includes:
  • Micro Hard Disk
  • Burnt!
  • WinAmp 2.00
  • Intel Pin-Based Design
  • Office 2000 and Outlook 2000
  • 8.5 GB DVD-RAM
  • New Celeron
  • Pacific Internet to Pay for Downtime
  • National Software Competition
  • BIOS Upgrade for 2940UW
  • 56K/DSL
  • Diamond Motherboard
  • Hard Disks Benchmarking
  • Intel to Support Linux on Merced
  • The xDSL Party has New Company - HDSL-2
  • Andy And The Beast
  • Yamaha CD-RW. This is Hot!
  • 135Mhz TNT??!!
  • Netscape Communicator 4.5 PR2
  • Hardware One on the WitchDoctor
  • Cyberway wants to be No. 1
  • HP Unveils Portable Scanner
  • PowerStrip 2.26
  • Live! at the Frontline
  • Anand's TNT Overclocking Scrutiny
  • Celeron 300A - Consolidated Users' O/C Report


14th September 1998 {Monday}
Celeron 300A - Consolidated Users' O/C Report  14th September 22:53 pm

Your co-editor, Overclocker, has consolidated a chokeful of users' reports on their overclocking successes with the Celeron 300A - the hottest and most popular new kid on the block! Here's what one happy guy said:

I have successfully overclocked my 300a to 504MHz on a BH6 with Samsung original -GH Cas2 RAM (running at CAS2).

It has been running for about 5 hours now.  I get 121 fps in Quake2 with my overclocked Voodoo2 (95 MHz) at 640X480.  However, this is with most things turned off (such as particles, lights, etc).

You can find the full article over at his personal page, The Overclocker's WorkBench.

Anand's TNT Overclocking Scrutiny  14th September 21:11 pm

He's really done it this time guys, not without some cooling system he constructed (kinda mysterious here). Anand has put up his benchmark numbers on his Spectra performing the death defying feat of running Quake II at a whopping 125Mhz!!!

q2-graph.gif (11903 bytes)

At this tremendous clock speed, we saw the Spectra race passed his Voodoo2 12Mb and crept to within a leap of 2 SLI Voodoo2s in his Quake II demo1.dm2 benchmark (800 X 600 res). The king of the crusher.dm2 demo at 800 X 600 is clearly the Spectra... it holds the crown at ALL clock rates from 90Mhz to 125Mhz!

Live! at the Frontline  14th September 20:42 pm

Hey! I'd rather liked the title I gave... Anyway, I believe you understand what it means. No?! Sheesh! The guys at Frontline has stepped on the gas once more and coming your way this time is their latest review on the Sound Blaster Live! Now you got it yet??

Those of you who has never heard Unreal on a Aureal3D card will be totally blown away by what Sound Blaster Live! has to offer. Unreal is just so real with the Sound Blaster Live! :

PowerStrip 2.26  14th September 17:13 pm

It's out and available in our Utilities section or directly from EntechTaiwan.

PowerStrip 2.26 now have preliminary support for the TNT, as well as revised G200 clock controls and fixed S3 TV-out support. nVidia has considerably enhanced the range of their Windows 98 configuration options for the TNT, so the main focus in this release is on delivering the same degree of control to Windows NT users that Windows 95/98 users are accustomed to, and on ensuring that registered users can transparently upgrade to the TNT with only minor changes to their PowerStrip preferences. Also in this release are full color calibration controls under Windows 9x/NT for the Voodoo Banshee.

Note: The G200 support in the last version of the PowerStrip drew a bit of fire in Matrox user circles, so for this release the clock controls have been reworked and validated with a frequency counter on both a Millenium G200 (250MHz SGRAM) and a retail MGA-G200 (230MHz SDRAM). Needless to say, the clock controls in 2.25 were inaccurate and yielded erratic results; Matrox's actual default clock speed is a consistent 124MHz under DOS and NT, but automatically switches between 124.198MHz and 112.498MHz under Windows 9x, depending on color depth and resolution. Mea culpa, but please keep in mind this is all undocumented and further precision must await the release of register-level documentation by Matrox.

HP unveils Portable Scanner  14th September 17:00 pm

Hewlett-Packard done it again. The company will unveil the first portable scanner in the market, the CapShare 910.  The device is actually a combination of a portable scanner (about the size of a CD-ROM player) and a LCD screen combined together. For more information, read here.

CapShare can capture and store up to 50 letter-sized documents. The documents can then be transferred to and viewed on handheld devices, PCs, or other information appliances, or viewed on the CapShare's screen itself.

While the device functions in a similar fashion as scanners, HP is maintaining that the device will be far superior and easier to use because of new software, said sources. With traditional scanners, users have to comb slowly and meticulously over columns of text or images.

Cyberway wants to be Number 1  14th September 06:47 am

Here's what I read from CNet, Singapore. Cyberway, the ISP ranked last in Singapore wants to be number 1. How are they going to do it?

We are in the third place for the consumer market and this poses a challenge to the management team. That is why we have set ourselves a goal and it is all about analyzing the consumer market. We decided that since we are not in the consumer market today, what should we do in order to get in? What we came out with is that, to be in the consumer market, you need more than just clever marketing. So hiring a good marketing company and splashing clever ads do not signify that you lead the consumer market.

Read more from here.

Hardware One on the WitchDoctor  14th September 00:01 am

Working overtime to deliver this review on this rare gem from Canopus. I've finally finished my writeup on the WitchDoctor.

And I had spent the past day spiffing it up with zillions of full colour photographs of TV-Output games, and benchmark numbers compared to the Diamond Viper V330.

The WitchDoctor review is right here under our "Exclusive Reviews" section.

Be sure to check it out!

CoolComputing.com Affiliate  14th September 00:00 am

Hardware One is pleased to announce our new affiliate, CoolComputing.com. Please give us your support as we'll be sure to provide you with the latest and most interesting updates!

13th September 1998 {Sunday}
Netscape Communicator 4.5 PR2  13th September 17:34 pm

Yes, it's out and available from Netscape directly.

135Mhz TNT???!!!!  13th September 16:46 pm

Anand has posted a short blurb that he has gotten his Canopus Spectra 2500 (based on the TNT chip) to run at 135Mhz. However, it wasn't too stable to be recommended for normal use.

So what's the big deal? Yah, we hate hyping on things that cannot be achieved. What's the point of telling people that you witnessed your incredible machine POST at 1GHz if it freezes right after that? Tell people that at least you saw it POST? Duh!

It wasn't all hype here, Anand's Spectra has successfully gone from the default 90Mhz to 110, 115, 120, 125 and finally 135Mhz. I suspect that at 125Mhz, he got it to run reliably!

Read his blurb:

"Yep, you heard it here first, AnandTech has managed to get a TNT to clock up to 135MHz using a custom developed cooling technology put together by myself and my good friend, Manveer Wasson.    Unfortunately, 135MHz it isn't reliable enough for mainstream usage, however I do have benchmarks of the TNT at the 110, 115, 120, and the elusive 125MHz setting."

"... I'm concentrating on the motherboards now, but I will be able to tell you more about my experiences with the TNT at its 125MHz setting, it looks like nVidia is going to have quite a bit of explaining to do, especially in 5-6 months when the TNT actually ships at 125MHz ..."

I wonder what he meant by a "custom developed cooling technology"???

Back!  13th September 16:41 pm

The access to Hardware One on S-One is back on again. I was told of a router problem which they are trying to fix. Please bare with it.

Hope you haven't missed the Yamaha CD-RW review we put up late last night? :)

12th September 1998 {Saturday}
Yamaha CD-RW. This is HOT !!  12th September 22:36 pm

Hardware One brings you the latest review on the Yamaha CDW4260t (SCSI) vs Yamaha CRW4261t (EIDE) drive. These are probably one of the fastest CD Rewritable Drives in the world. Check out the reviews down here at our "Exclusive Reviews" section!

The Yamaha CDRW4261t is a new drive which is going to replace it's predecessor, the 4001t. This drive will be available in Singapore shortly.

How does the two drives perform? Is the SCSI version really faster than the EIDE version? Find out for yourself.

Andy And The Beast  12th September 13:30 pm

Andy Drake of The Unofficial BX6/BH6 Page has checked out the Beast from Hercules. If you remember, this board is based on S3's Savage3D chip. Even though it'll be offered at a low price, this card packs a punch!

I am not going to provide ratings for this product, due to its use of beta-silicon. Even though the product performed very well, it just woundn't be fair to Hercules or S3. Instead I will just provide you with some thoughts. Put simply, this card really is excellent! The 3d scores reach Voodoo2 levels for the most part, and supports much higher resolutions and 32-bit rendering that the Voodoo2 simply cannot do. The Beast scores much better than another 2d/3d combo card in its price range, the Matrox G200.

I think you should hop over to see all the benchmark scores which Andy has nicely put up for you.

The xDSL Party Has New Company - HDSL-2  12th September 13:17 pm

Level One Communications, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems and Siemens AG will be shipping chipsets for HDSL-2, a technology that promises to deliver symmetric data at 1.544 megabits/s over a pair of copper wires. (For the complete article, go to TechWeb)

HDSL-2 appears positioned to replace the T1 lines used by businesses and phone carriers today. HDSL-2 runs at T1-like speeds for a distance of up to 12,000 feet, but costs only a fraction of what T1 lines cost, Cordingley said.

Intel to Support Linux on Merced  12th September 13:12 pm

MSNBC reports that Intel will be offering support for Linux on its upcoming Merced processor. Both NT and Linux is slated to be available in 64-bit versions to run on the new generation chip.

Intel Corp. is planning to offer support for Linux on Merced at the same time as it supports Windows NT, which will be as soon as the 64-bit chip becomes available in mid-1999, said an Intel spokesman Wednesday at a San Francisco panel on Linux.

The reason for offering such support is obvious...

SUNIL SAXENA, PRINCIPAL ENGINEER of the Microcomputer Software Labs at Intel, said Intel’s support for Linux runs deep within its engineering ranks, where many staffers use it as their desktop development system.

Read MSNBC's Full Story.

Hard Disks Benchmarking  12th September 12:54 pm

The Storage Review has posted some tips and advices to doing benchmarks on your hard disks. Though it is more relevant to us than you, but it is a good read nevertheless.

The bad tools to use...

"While lurking in storage newsgroups and other popular BBS-type forums, I've noticed that many users like to benchmark their shiny new drives with programs like, say, WinTune. Much to their dismay, these users often find their shiny new 7200rpm Medalist Pros posting lower results than their old WD clunker. This is often accompanied by a plea for help; the user automatically assumes something is wrong with either the drive he purchased or the settings he used to install it.

Truth is, WinTune is a terrible measure of hard drive performance. You'll get wide variations accompanying results that are simply inaccurate. Bashing benchmarks and labeling them as totally misleading and useless is as popular a pastime as moaning and groaning about Microsoft or mail-in rebates. Much of this stems from benchmarks such as Wintune's disk performance measure...."

And the good...

Believe it or not, there are good benchmarks out there that reasonably approximate disk usage patterns for a large variety of activities. Just because some benchmarks end up reporting erroneous results doesn't mean that all should be labeled as invalid. Used properly, there are programs out there that report results remarkably similar to what I've found from "real-world" usage of many drives. WinBench 98 is one of them.

Lazy Editors  12th September 12:48 pm

<Sigh> Contrary to popular belief that your editors have gone on strike, they have actually been working late and sleeping little so as to deliver some more good stuff the next couple of days.

We will try to keep the updates coming. Stay tuned for some exclusives!

11th September 1998 {Friday}
Diamond Motherboard  11th September 10:22 am

Take a look at the new Diamond motherboard, the Micronics 400.

The Micronics C400 exemplifies efficiency. Capable of processor acceleration to 450MHz, this solution, based on the Intel 440BX AGPset, features support for both 66MHz and 100MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) speeds. Versatility is augmented by its support for the ISA, PCI and AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) bus. The Micronics C400 offers support for EDO and SDRAM memory, Wake-on-LAN, Ultra DMA/33 IDE hard drive protocol (up to 33Mbytes/sec transfer rate), and includes the manufacturing option of a Microprocessor System Hardware Monitoring device, which includes CPU and chassis fan speed sensors. Accelerate your performance with the Micronics C400, another consummate solution for your desktop/workstation needs.

10th September 1998 {Thursday}
56K/DSL  10th September 15:53 pm

Got this from News.com, a California-based company Virata (gee, looks like Virgra) says it has developed a single chip that offers high-speed digital subscriber line and 56-kbps modem functionality combined with networking capabilities.

Virata's new "Beryllium" digital subscriber line (DSL) chip could provide a low-cost means for PC vendors to offer systems that hook up to an increasing array of multimegabit networking and Internet services such as DSL technologies, which are being made available to businesses and consumers.

The Virata chip combines three features: a high-speed DSL connection, a standard 56-kpbs dial-up modem, and Ethernet networking. In most cases these features are offered separately.

"You are going to see more solutions along this vein where you have dial-up and DSL modems on the same [add-in] card," noted Beth Gage, director at telecom research firm TeleChoice.

BIOS upgrade for 2940UW  10th September 07:27 am

Anyway, just to sideline a bit. For those people who are using a Adaptec 2940UW, Adaptec posted a BIOS upgrade for the card to 1.34.3.

  • This BIOS version correct a BBS (BIOS BOOT SPECIFICATION) compatibility issue present in BIOS Version 1.32.
  • This BIOS version allows setting maximum SCSI transfer rates per device instead of globally. Using the F6 key to set defaults will set all devices to Ultra transfer speed.

Warning! This BIOS is not designed for motherboard embedded controllers or OEM Special adapters with an S (designating a 'Special' version) after the BIOS version.

Using this utility for OEM adapters, designed-in controller chips, or other Adaptec adapters may render those Adapters unusable.

I flashed mine from 1.34 to 1.34.3. Make sure you know what you are doing before you try it. Don't flame us if your computer fail to boot after that. :)

Remember, if it ain't spoilt, don't fix it.

National Software Competition  10th September 04:18 am

If you are free on 26th September, why not hop on down to Singapore Polytechnic to take a look at the 14th National Software Competition? Students from 150 Secondary Schools and 14 Junior Colleges will vie for top spot in this battle of IT knowledge and computer programming. Creative prizes up for grabs!

Pacific Internet to pay for Downtime  10th September 04:04 am

Singapore Internet service provider Pacific Internet (PI) is offering corporate customers double their money back should the network fail.

If there is a system outage or downtime due to a failure of its systems, PI will credit its customers double what they would have paid the company if the network was up. However, the refund will not apply to any technical failure which is outside the firm's responsibility.

This offer applies to its corporate network ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) dial-up access and corporate leased line access customers.

PI's CEO Nicholas Lee said this was meant to quantify Pacific Internet's commitment to its corporate customers to deliver high standards of service at all times.

Damn, why doesn't this apply to SCV cable modem as well? :)

New Celeron  10th September 04:00 am

This is an interesting piece of news which was yanked from CPU-Central on the new Celerons.

I was very amazed to see how fast Intel unveiled a new Celeron chip after the "old" Celeron proved to be a cripple. And (I remember someone mentioned it already) isn't it an amazingly fast development of a new chip (about 3 month) from design to production and even to delivery?

My guess is, Intel had this chip already in it's desks. I go even further and I state: "The Mendocino is the original PII design". Why? Well, 3 month is even fast from production to delivery. Not to mention the development.

One and a half years ago Intel had to hurry to throw a new chip on the market. AMD announced the production of 0.25 um K6 with 266MHz and more. And at this time (and the first time ever) the fastest CPU available was NOT an Intel CPU (K6-233). And AMD's K6 design was superior. So the not only had to increase the MHz but also the design of the PMMX to stay competitive.

But at this time Intel's 0.25 um process wasn't ready to production. And the 0.35 um process was far to big to include a on-chip cache. So they decided to make a smaller step and to produce a 0.35 um chip with off-die cache in seperate chips. At this time the didn't knew that AMD would have lots of trouble with their 0.25 um process.

But now, Intel's 0.25 process is nearly perfect. It is that perfect, that they now have to lock their chips because 95-99% (estimated) are 450MHz chips. And now they can throw in the original planned design with on-chip cache. The production costs of a Mendocino are (if at all) around 5-10% more than an "old" Celeron (estimated). And much less than a PII.

8.5 GB DVD-RAM  10th September 03:51 am

I got this from CoolInfo.

Panasonic's parent aims to offer the highest capacity rewritable DVD drive yet.

TOKYO -- Matsushita Electric Industrial plans to announce this week that it has developed a high-capacity optical disk technology, which might be used in future rewritable DVDs (digital video disks). A 12-cm version of the disk can hold 8.5GB of data, the company said. The same-sized disk can store six hours of video compressed with MPEG-2 (Motion Pictures Expert Group 2) technology and achieve an average data transfer rate of 3MB per second.

Matsushita has not decided when it will market the technology, said a company spokesperson. Japanese vendors including Matsushita, Sony, and Toshiba have been pushing DVD products as the successors to today's home video recorders and CD-ROM drives. Existing DVD-RAM systems in the market have capacities of 2.6GB and 5.2GB. The base technologies that will be used for larger capacity systems have yet to be decided.

Though the Matsushita technology can easily be made compatible with existing DVD systems, it must first be accepted by a standards group called the DVD Forum, according to observers.

9th September 1998 {Wednesday}
Office 2000 and Outlook 2000  9th September 20:28 pm

CNet had an article on the upcoming Office 2000 and Outlook 2000. They will be released somewhere early new year and the first beta were already shipped to some 20,000 people handpicked by Microsoft.

Microsoft badly wants you to find Outlook 2000 absolutely indispensable. Now that we've played with the first beta, we can say that it still works best when you buy into the total Microsoft lifestyle. For example, Outlook's tight integration with IE lets you surf the Web in Outlook's main message pane, and its ties to Office allow you to write and send email directly from any Office app--without launching a separate instance of Outlook. Even if your life doesn't revolve around Microsoft, you'll benefit from many of the enhancements, though not to the same degree.

Intel Pin-based Design  9th September 09:29 am

According to TechWeb, Intel plans to gradually move its family of Celeron chips to the old pin-based design, beginning next year.

In the first half of 1999, Intel will ship 300-MHz and 333-MHz Celerons that use a 390-pin chip form, called plastic pin grid array (PPGA). That form will make the chip about the same size as the Pentium Pro chip, but it will have a different pin configuration, according to Carl Larson, marketing manager in Intel's microprocessor group.

The pin-based form factor is cheaper than the slot-based design Celerons use now. The transition should take a few years, Intel said, so as not to inconvenience PC makers.

Intel's return to the pin-based form factor surprised one analyst, Fred Zieber, president of Pathfinder Research in San Jose, Calif. Zieber said Intel is responding to original equipment manufacturer complaints that Slot 1 is too expensive for building low-cost PCs.

Intel is also planning to introduce 300-MHz and 333-MHz mobile Celeron chips next year. The mobile Celeron will be cheaper than the standard mobile Pentium II.

The moves are part of Intel's effort to create a performance gulf between the Celeron and the standard Pentium II line, after several research firms showed the Celeron 333 and Pentium II 333 demonstrate almost identical performance.

WinAmp 2.00  9th September 08:54 am

Yup, you read it. It's available in our Utilities section. New features include :

  • New and improved docking code.
  • New slick looking EQ and playlist.
  • Ability to close main window and control Winamp directly from playlist window.
  • Visualization available in playlist window.
  • Nullsoft's fullscreen and windowed visualization plug-ins included.
  • Nullsoft's systray general plug-in included.
  • Nullsoft's basic audio DSP plug-in included (pitch control!!!).
  • Now supports Output plug-ins -- with DirectSound support (lets you mix multiple mp3s at once!)!
  • Much much much much more!
8th September 1998 {Tuesday}
Burnt!  8th September 07:52 am

I got this from AGN3D, which I find rather amusing.

"A possible reason to stop overclocking your CPU"

Micro Hard disk  8th September 07:29 am

You heard of microchips, microprocessors, but how about micro hard drive ? According to Techweb, IBM thinks 1999 will be the year of its smallest hard disk drive ever: the 1-inch "microdrive", which will be a 170- or 340-megabyte, 1-platter drive with a standard ATA interface, similar to the clik! drive discussed by Iomega.

The microdrive will fit within the CompactFlash small form factor storage footprint designed by SanDisk, and use either the CF direct interface or a PC card adapter to connect to digital cameras, mobile PCs, and other portable devices.

Measuring 42.8 by 36.4 by 5.0 millimeters, the new 5,400 RPM drive should ship in 1999. But the announcement, formally scheduled for next week, is a technology presentation only; IBM is busy persuading customers like Canon, Minolta, and Hitachi PC to evaluate the products before samples ship in the first quarter of 1999.

[Beam me to the latest news archive!]

Copyright 1998 Hardware One
Last updated 28 September 1998 00:06