31 August 1999 - Tuesday

Massive NVIDIA GeForce 256 Preview
22:30 pm - Sniper
Wilfred is not here yet so I guess I'll post this for him. Tweak3D has done a preview of the NVIDIA GeForce 256 (aka NV10). Wow, this baby ROCKS!!!  I guess getting a Playstation 2 might have to be shelved if this is any good!

The fill rate of the NVIDIA GeForce 256 is a stunning 480 Million Pixels/Second. This alone is over 50% higher than that of a TNT2 Ultra. But as I said above, the CPU was the main concern. I say WAS the main concern because the GPU now takes the role of the most power consuming 3D functions, which in turn allows the graphics chip to truly take advantage of the incredible fill rate. So before you think, "My Pentium II 300 is too slow for a card with that much speed. I will need to upgrade my CPU," think of the GeForce 256 in terms of CPU independence. Finally, a graphics chip that will take care of the graphics! Higher resolutions, color depths and neat eye candy goodies will be more accessible than ever before. 

NVIDIA GeForce 256 Annoucement 22:15 pm - Sniper
Ok, its officially out. Nvidia just made an official announcement of their next chip the GeForce 256. Come back later, we have more news for you tonight.

Building A Better Webserver
20:10 pm - Sniper
I guess a web server could be categorized as a necessity in this high tech world nowadays. Ace's Hardware takes a look at how to go about building a good one.

You'd be positively amazed at just how many different combinations of hardware and software mix it up out on the Internet. Just about everything from Windows NT with the latest version of IIS (Internet Information Server) to ancient copies of SunOS 4.x running Apache. Of course, the popular platforms are fairly obvious. Windows NT, particularly in combination with IIS and SQL Server is quite common these days, but so is Solaris 2.x on SPARC with Netscape's Enterprise Webserver or the freeware Apache server. Linux and FreeBSD, two
of the top-ranking opensource operating systems have made significant inroads as well and, suprizingly enough, they are turning up in many places you might not expect. 

Asus P3B-F 18:35 pm - Wilfred
The TechZone reviewed the Asus P3B-F mobo. I've always had very good impression of their boards, but from the sound of it, the reviewer seem to suggest the Abit BE6 over the P3B-F for overclocking stability.

The P3B-F is not as stable as the Abit BE6. The Asus was unable to run my Pentium III-500 at 620Mhz. The best it can do was 600Mhz (120x5) at 2.2V. It was able to run my Celeron 366 at 605Mhz but it required 2.2V to do it. The Abit BE6 can do 605Mhz at default voltage and can take the Pentium III to 620Mhz at 2.20V.

Wilfred Coughs: nVidia's GeForce 256 18:22 pm - Wilfred
Small blurbs have surfaced here and there about nVidia's super-duper GeForce 256 graphics controller chip. Just finished reading a popular site's preview on the damn cool processor, I just cannot wait to post about it. Watch this space later, I'll have the article's URL up (I'm not suppose to disclose the URL yet!) =) 

Free, Websourced Star Office 09:23 am - Sniper
The Register called this the potential MS Office killer. I don't mind switching if they could speed it up.

Sun intends to turn StarOffice into a Web-based application suite which can be run from any browser, anywhere. It will do this via a new version of StarOffice, StarPortal, which will be unveiled in October, and which will allow users to access applications across the Web via a Java applet. 

Sun is also making the source for StarOffice and StarPortal freely available, and will allow corporate users to distribute the existing version of StarOffice for free. Star Division already allows personal users to download StarOffice for free, but charges for corporate use. 

Socket 7 / 370 Heatsink Comparison  09:23 am - Sniper
Got a K6 or Celeron? Are you a die hard overclocker? Yes? Check out this post by Heatsink Guide then.

It compares the most efficient heatsinks for Celeron PPGA and K6 & Co: Global WIN FDP32 / VDP32 / CPM25603-32 / CPM25603-16, Alpha PFH6035MUC (tested with three different fan configurations - I tried to answer whether the fan should suck or blow), and TennMax MEGA7

Linus - The Liberator? 09:06 am - Sniper
Hero worship?  Well like him or hate him, there is an article on my favorite programmer in the world by mercury news

Like Elvis, like Madonna, like Barney, the world's most respected programmer has ascended to the level of fame where one doesn't need a last name. He's universally known as "Linus.'' But here among the New Agers, he is just another sweaty, naked soul. "About the only place I get recognized,'' he explains without a hint of complaint, "is at Fry's Electronics.''

S3 2000 Interview 07:40 am - Kan
Yes, more madness as AGN Hardware posted an interview on the S3 2000. Anyway, they also have more reviews today - Shadowman and Startrek: Starfleet Command.

Speaking of S3, with the release of the Savage 2000, to you plan on discontinuing the Savage4 line of cards or will they be kept on the market as lower cost and great performance cards?

The Savage 4 is now servicing a different segment of the market then the Savage 2000. We are shipping millions of Savage 4s today and we plan on continuing that through the year 2000. We are shipping it to several of the major OEMs including IBM, Compaq, NEC & Micron for example, and we will definitely be shipping to them as well as other parts of the market in high volumes for the rest of the year 2000.

AMD K6-2 06:59 am - Kan
I wonder how many of you guys are still using Socket7, but AMD just announced the release of the AMD K6-2 500 Mhz processor to pit against the Intel Celeron 500 Mhz.

The boost to 500 MHz could also represent the last speed increase for the K6-2 for a while. Analysts have said that AMD won't be able to mass-produce K6-2 or K6-III chips above 500 MHz with the current 0.25-micron manufacturing process. The company likely will be able to squeeze the chip to 600-MHz or more when it shifts to the more advanced 0.18-micron process, according to Linley Gwennap, publisher of The Microprocessor Report, and others in the industry.

Castlewood ORB Drive 06:56 am - Kan
Looking for extra removable storage? Our buds over at iXBT just posted their thoughts on the Castlewood ORB Drive

Before installing the device let's look through the manual, since we are not familiar with the product yet. The contents of the manual slightly put us on our guard. In the end there is the description of the LED signals of the diode the drive is equipped with. On the one hand, it is very pleasant that the number of red light flashes (as the number of BIOS beeping sounds) lets you detect the problem. And on the other hand, the manual says that if the red diode is activated, it means that the device is unable to eject the disk, which actually discourages from inserting the disk into the drive. And what to do if it decides not to return it? Then you will just get another 2.2GB HDD for your home PC! However, we managed to overcome our fear and started connecting the device

SoyoSY-6BA+ III 06:51 am - Kan
UpgradeCenter reviewed the rather popular Soyo SY-6BA+ III Slot-1 motherboard. Here's some juice to get it flowing:

Upon first look, the 6BA+III looks a lot like the typical high end BX design done by a host of other manufacturers.  There is the 5 PCI/2 ISA/1 AGP slot complement becoming almost standard nowadays.  4 DIMM slots give an up to 1GB of memory capability.  There are a few couple configuration jumpers to keep in mind, but most of the bus speeds, multipliers and voltage tweaks take place from within the SOYO COMBO setup within the BIOS.  There are more than just a few opportunities for tweaking CPU settings and probably even the most ardent over-clocker will feel at home with the 6BA+III. 

Jagged Alliance 2 06:40 am - Kan
Check out mummy ArsTechnica with their review on Jagged Alliance 2. Seems like it's quite a good game with a rating of 4.75 Woohoos.

You start the game with a loan of $35,000 paid to you by the deposed ruler of a small country called Arulco. Arulco's new queen, Deidranna, has her proverbial iron fist wrapped tightly around the country and she's squeezing the life out of it. Your mission, since you have already chosen to accept it by shelling out the cash for this game, is to usurp the tyrannical queen and restore the country to its original, peaceful state. You do this by hiring mercenaries from A.I.M. (the Association of International Mercenaries) and liberating the country one town at a time.

Sony MDR-7506 06:32 am - Kan
Not our type of daily news, but nevertheless DimensionX took a look at the Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Check it out!


30 August 1999 - Monday

Microsoft Reader To Be Released 
23:47 pm - Wilfred
Microsoft announced that it will be releasing their long promised software - MS Reader that will make screen text look clearer. For most of it ('cept the second para clipped below!?), I think I'm anticipating its release and hopefully my eyesight wouldn't further deteriorate squinting at this moment!

Microsoft Reader is based on a technology called ClearType that Chairman Bill Gates first showed off in November at the Comdex trade show. The technology is designed to compensate for the fact that the dots, or pixels, used to display text on computer screens are much larger than those generated by printers, making computer text appear jagged or fuzzy by comparison. Microsoft researchers found a way to increase resolution by dividing each computer pixel into three elements, made up of the red, green and blue light used to form colors on computer screens.

Besides ClearType, Mr. Brass said Microsoft Reader provides tools to help people read and navigate through documents, and will incorporate technologies to prevent unauthorized copying and let readers buy rights to access documents

Nice Macintosh Desktop Theme! 23:34 pm - Wilfred
Couldn't resist not posting about this! =) I came across this at my favourite Fun's File Exchange Center and it's definitely worth 1.2Mb of your download time. Since it is a theme designed for use with Plus!, and not a resident software 'hack', you can be assured that it is compatible with your apps. Grab this for a try?!

Massive Security Breach Affects Hotmail Users 23:28 pm - Wilfred
Uh-huh! The Register posted that millions of Hotmail users should just be careful about their privacy and mail confidentiality until the above matter is clarified. It's probably NOT a mere scare... and we should hear more of this breach very soon.

A catastrophic breach in Hotmail security means that anyone who has one of the freebie mail accounts can have his or her emails read by others. At the same time, the breach means that once people have logged into the system, they can send, receive and delete emails using that account to their heart's content.

The breach, just tested by The Register using one of our own writer's Hotmail accounts, and found to work, uses a Web address in which you type a hotmail handle. You then have full access to that Hotmail account, with all rights. For obvious reasons, we are not publishing the Web page address here.

WickedGL Drivers For V2/3 & Banshee Cards 23:20 pm - Wilfred
Hmm... interesting to note that Metabyte developed WickedGL drivers for Voodoo2/3 & Banshee cards even when they'd stopped producing cards altogether. BXBoards has smacked on its front page, an interview with Metabyte's David Cook about their superior drivers.

WickedGL with high resolution mode acceleration utilizes the excess of CPU power to help video card to render faster in high resolutions. The primary focus of this driver was to increase performace of Quake3 in high resolutions. It can give as much as 20% improvement over the already high numbers of regular version in some cases, although the average benefits are in the 5-10% range.

AC3 Out From Vortex 2/ SBLive! S/PDIF 23:12 pm - Wilfred
There's a couple of useful links for those of you with Vortex 2 or SBLive! cards equipped with S/PDIF connectors and are keen on getting them hooked up with your AC3 receivers... check them out!

More Pre-Release Static 17:30 pm - Wilfred
The FiringSquad also posted an article about S3's Savage 2000. There's a lot of buzz generated in S3's announcement for what seem like a potential killer (again!?). I will be keen to see them put their technology, expertise and money to good use and PLEASE deliver a serious contender!!! We'll just wait and watch for whatever they, as well as other 3D chip makers, can provide us with the next generation leap!

The next generation of cards will offer a real jump in performance over the current generation. None of this pansy TNT2/Voodoo 3/Savage4 stuff. We're talking new pipeline designs and onboard T&L like the Savage2000 and NV10. Judging by Ballard's hype over the Voodoo 5, we have a sinking feeling the Voodoo 4 might still be pansy card (unless it's God's gift to 3D gaming and the 3dfx boys are keeping quiet because they want to ambush the industry).

Voodoo 3 3500 TV 17:12 pm - Wilfred
This Voodoo 3 board has the prettiest box of the three (in my humble opinion!). That much to say, roll over the 3D Wars for their review on 3Dfx's highest-end offering.

The V3 3500 TV is the fastest 3D accelerator currently available. With blistering speed and solid driver support, it's hard to beat this setup. Whether your pass-time is fragging at 100+ FPS or watching the 6 o'clock news on your PC, 3dfx has an all in one solution that is ideal for everyone. With great support from the company, you can't go wrong with this one

ACT Labs Force Feedback Wheel 15:08 pm - Kan
3DSpotlight posted a review on the ACT Labs Force Feedback Wheel. Do check it out if you are a driving nerd!

Also in the box it said the Force RS had included the full version of F1 Racing Simulation from Ubi Soft as a software bundle, however the one I got came with Need for Speed III which also takes advantage of Force Feedback effects. I liked this bundle more than the F1 one since I like arcade racing games more than pure simulation, Iím sure some people will disagree with me.

Savage 2000/2000+ 14:46 pm - Kan
This is sizzling! SharkyExtreme took a look at the latest graphics chipset from S3, the Savage 2000/2000+ which is targeted for the high-end mainstream. Yum yum...

'Blazing quick' is not usually the term that springs to mind about S3 for gamers but S3 is touting the Savage 2000+ as a 'blazing quick' chip. How would a 700 MegaTexels per second fill rate and hardware Transformation & Lighting grab you (more on T&L later)? Impressive, when compared to today's fastest 366Mtexels (a Voodoo3 3500) fill rate- that's nearly double. The specs responsible for this should come via a 200MHz graphics clock and 64MB of memory clocked at 200MHz also.

FIC VB601-Z 13:03 pm - Kan
Overclockin.com finished part 3 of the FIC motherboard series and covered the FIC VB601-Z Slot-1 ZX motherboard this time.

Another interesting feature (common to all the VB601 series boards) is the auto-detection of the CAS rating of the memory you are using.  When the system boots up, you will see a message telling you the suggested CAS setting for the memory you are using. This could be a useful feature in case you forgot to go into the BIOS and make the changes or if you have some memory you are not sure about.  There are other ways to do that (the BIOS is just reading the SPD of the DIMM), but it is a nice touch. The BIOS will allow you to set it to automatically use the settings specified by the memory itself or to manually set the memory speeds.  

Slave Zero Interview 12:42 pm - Kan
3DsoundSurge posted an interview with the boys at Accolade on their upcoming game titled Slave Zero.

Slave Zero is giant robot action game in the style of Japanese Anime. The city will remind you of Bladerunner in places, and the robots owe a lot to famous Anime robots, especially Evangelion. The city in Slave Zero is alive. As you walk around, you actually feel that you are every inch of your 65 feet, watching tiny people flee from your giant feet. Tiny cars swerve to avoid colliding with you. You can even pick up the cars and people and fling them at your enemies. Of course, all these little things make noise. S1-9 (the name of the giant city Slave Zero stomps around in) is a very noisy and bustling place.

Creative Labs Webcam 3 12:41 pm - Kan
ExxtremeHardware posted a review on the Creative Labs Webcam 3. This thing looks rather cool but I don't have much use for it! A digital camera, however, would be really useful for our reviews purposes!

This is where the Creative Labs WebCam 3 comes in. Itís a great looking camera capable of both still and video image capture of up to 640x480, which is quite an improvement over previous both previous CL products and of their competition. Creative has also improved on the earlier WebCam 2 design in quite a few ways. First of all, the WebCam 3 has a high-resolution CMOS sensor, which delivers 3 times the resolution of previous versions. Lens quality is also higher and even the actual lens size has been increased. To cap it off, advanced capture/compression hardware helps improve overall image quality, colour depth, as well as auto-adjustment in different lighting conditions.

How To Make Your Own Round Cables 12:39 pm - Kan
You can count on our pals HardOCP to bring you more madness. This time, they have an article teaching you how to trim those messy cables of yours into manageable sizes so that they don't obstruct airflow in your casing. Yeah, why didn't I think of that?

Letís take a 40 conductor IDE cable for example. Count five of the little "humps" and place your thumbnail between conductors 5 and 6. Place your other thumbnail in the corresponding groove underneath the ribbon and using opposing pressure, "shear" the fifth and sixth conductors from each other. After you get a good tear going it is easy to separate the conductors all the way from connector to connector. Repeat this every five conductors until you have eight five conductor ribbons. Now carefully twist and stack the mini-ribbons on top of each other until you have a square bundle and using premium electrical tape (SlipKnot Grey if you can find it,) wrap the bundle equidistant from each connector. Wrap every two inches until the spread of conductors at the connectors make it impossible to continue. 

Western Digital 10,000 RPM Drive 10:54 am - Kan
More hard disk reviews from the gurus over at Storagereview - Western Digital Enterprise 10,000 RPM drive. Now now, please don't drool on your keyboard.

In a way, the Enterprise WDE18310 is a "third-and-a-half" generation disk. While current 10k offerings from other manufacturers feature 3 gigs per platter (or even 3.6 gigs/platter in the case of Fujitsu's model), the Enterprise takes it to another level, packing an almost ATA-like 4.6 gigs per platter. When it comes to 10k rpm disks, though, things get a bit fuzzy. Most manufacturers reduce physical platter radius to shave off precious milliseconds on their top-end units. Western Digital has eschewed this approach, arguing that a drive utilizing traditionally sized platters with a smaller platter count than the competition would yield a drive that's cooler, quieter, and more reliable.

RC5 Blocks for Sale 09:05 am - Kan
Darn, this is interesting. Saw this over at AnandTech that someone is selling 100,000 RC5 blocks for $25 in EBay. What a deal...

On a side note, if you wish to see which countries are churning out blocks for RC5, take a look at this link.

Creative 6424 CDRW 09:01 am - Kan
Tweak3D took a  look at the Creative 6424 CDRW which features 6W and 4RW capabilities. The specs look up to par with the competition!

Most CD-RW drives fail in re-write performance, but in this instance it was exactly opposite. Re-write speed was surprisingly better than the actual claim of 600KB/s, however write speed and read speed were a bit under. Overall, the performance was nice; if taken into consideration you plan on having a second regular CD-Rom. (Which is useful when directly imaging entire CD's).

Skywell Magic Sound Live! Card 08:58 am - Kan
DemoNews reviewed the Skywell Magic Sound Live! card as well as the 5.1 Magic Theater Pro speakers. 

It's a thrill playing a game with the Magic Theater Pro speaker set, if I'm comparing to the "normal" external speaker sets (also some of those who uses amplifiers).
Nothing really beats a set of good speakers with Dolby sorround that you have around you, and then playing Need For Speed III or Quake3 for instance. The feeling can't be more "real", just imagine hearing the other guys getting shattered by my fantastic 3D Sound Rocket moving across your room (the sound, not the rocket). Any other speaker set that I've seen can't be compared to the Magic Theater Pro. Everything else suddenly sound crappy.

Hoontech Digital Amp  08:55 am - Kan
Our pals over at ALive! juiced up a review on the Hoontech Digital Amp. Very interesting, especially for SB Live! Value users who are  not equipped with a digital I/O cardd.

Hoontech brings this one step further. By relocating the DACs outside the noisy environment of the PC to an external box, there is less interference. Digital signals from the sound card go out through the digital connectors, to a cable, which then conencts behind the Digital Amp which will pass through its DACs and converted into analog audio which the human ear can discern.

In this way, the sound signals from the sound card travel digitally all the way from the insides of the PC to an external source. Since digital signals are less susceptible to noise and interference, better sound can be obtained when using external DACs.

Techno-Tools 01:15 am - Wilfred
Surely the fiddly folks already have these tools at hand, but it is definitely an eye-opener for me! Never thought surgical tools could be put to good use dissecting your PCs? Check this out at Dan's Data!

Poll #24: Microsoft's Office Suite 01:03 am - Wilfred
Here's the results of our last poll. We had left out other software suites in the poll, and readers have indicated their wish to see suites like StarOffice, WordPerfect Office and Lotus Smartsuite. Yeah, our BAD. Nevertheless, this small poll showed that most people are still hanging onto Office 97 which is more than sufficient for anyone!

Western Digital 18Gb ATA/66 00:55 am - Wilfred
HotHardware sent note about their review on the WD-AC418000 harddisk. This drive sports a 8ms seek time, a huge 2Mb cache and 18Gbs of space. So read how it fares!

What you are looking at here again are some of the fastest numbers ever put forth from a drive in our labs. The only area, where the drive was not the absolute fastest, was the Front Page 98 High End Benchmark. Regardless, the high spindle speed combined with the hot new ATA66 interface have earned this drive a "keeper" position in the Hot Hardware Flagship Machine!

29 August 1999 - Sunday

Fastest Gaming PC 
20:43 pm - Kan
Something new brewing over at SharkyExtreme - the Fastest Gaming PC where the sharks slapped a Athlon 650 Mhz processor with a specially cooked 200/240MHz TNT Ultra2 card along with 256MB of SDRAM. Absolutely delicious...

Thanks to a pipelined and superscalar FPU, the Athlon 650 can handle up to three simultaneous floating point instructions per clock cycle. It also sports the fastest integer core speed level of any x86 CPU thus far, 650MHz.

Intel's Pentium III 600 CPU is a close runner up to the might of the Athlon 650 CPU, but for this PC we need the all-out fastest powerplant possible and the Athlon 650 is currently it.

Athlon vs Pentium III 20:35 pm - Kan
ReviewZone sent note on their giant 15 pages Athlon vs Pentium III article. Now we all know Athlon is fast, but the question is, what motherboard am I going to use and how much will it cost?

As you saw from the specs, the Athlon does offer many important features over Intelís Pentium III, such as a larger L1 cache consisting of 128KB over the Pentium IIIís 32KB. However, the L2 caches of both processors are the same at 512KB running at Ĺ the speed of the processor core. Also, both CPUs are manufactured with 0.25Ķ technology, though AMD has managed to produce a 650MHz part with this while Intel has only a 600MHz Pentium III. At the moment, the Pentium III lineup consists of 450MHz, 500MHz, 550MHz and 600MHz units. AMD has 500MHz, 550MHz, 600MHz and 650MHz units. So, clearly, the clock race has been won by AMD.

Single64 Fast Ethernet Card 20:35 pm - Kan
3DAlpha whipped up a rather rare review on the Adaptec Single64 Fast Ethernet card. One smell on the name and I know this card is not cheap. :)

Something that you should know about this NIC card in particular: It does work on a 64-bit PCI bus, but it is backwards compatible with 32-bit PCI bus slots as well. The back of the card has a set of LED display lights for showing transfer information. LEDs are labled "10", "100", and "ACT". Because it is a 64-bit Fast Ethernet card, the PCI connectors on the bottom of the card extend way past the end of a usual 32-bit PCI bus slot. In fact, at a first glance, you might think that it's an ISA bus card because the connectors extend to about as far as an ISA bus does.

512-bit RSA Key Broken 12:56 pm - Wilfred
The world's first factorisation of RSA's 512-bit key is completed after 9 calendar months. Definitely worrisome for your possessions that are transacted by thousands of banks and stock exchanges are protected by this. Remember that state-of-the-art computers haven't really been utilised in their experiment, just some 300 workstations! Hmm... imagine when the world gangs up on YOU via a distributed computing project?? (You must REALLY be hated!) =P

On August 22 1999, a team of scientists from six different countries, led by Herman te Riele of CWI (Amsterdam), found the prime factors of a 512-bit number, whose size models 95% of the keys used for protection of electronic commerce on the Internet. This result shows, much earlier than expected at the start  of E-commerce, that the popular key-size of 512 bits is no longer safe against even a moderately powerful attacker. The amount of money protected by 512-bit keys is immense. Many billions of dollars per day are flowing through financial institutions such as banks and stock exchanges.

Given the current big distributed computing projects on Internet with  hundreds of thousands of participants, e.g., to break RSA's DES Challenge or trace extra-terrestrial messages, it is possible to reduce the time to factor a 512-bit number from seven months to one week. For comparison, the amount of computing time needed to factor RSA-155 was less than 2% of the time needed to break RSA's DES challenge.

Slipstream Enhancer Kit 12:45 pm - Wilfred
3D Wars has a review on the Slipstream Enhancer overclocking kits for the Voodoo 3 family. Do these things work? Find out!

The performance increase that these kits gave was amazing. Having the ability to increase the performance of a V3 3000 by 31.8 percent and the V770 by 28.7 was phenomenal. The kits provided solid support and were fairly easy to use.

Are these the kits for you? It is all relative as to what your own abilities are. If you're a 'hardcore' overclocker that like to do things your own way, then this probably is not. You will most likely purchase the same setup elsewhere(not all at once) and use it on your video card. If you are fairly technical savvy, and want to get into overclocking, this is the best option for you. The company provides great support and the installation guide is a dream come true.

Darkstone 09:16 am - Kan
Latest game review from the production factory FiringSquad is Darkstone - a game similar to Diablo. Seems like since C&C2 is already out, we have one less game to wait for. :)

Your hero in Darkstone is controlled exactly the same way the hero in Diablo - mouse clicks, mouse clicks, and more mouse clicks. Gathering of Developers would have done well to bundle a mouse with this puppy - spare your good one from the certain death that awaits it after a bleary-eyed, no-sleep week of Darkstoning. Err, getting Darkstoned? Nevermind. There are a few important commands that will keep one of your hands rooted to the keyboard, as well. Those of you with three hands, well, we're sure you can think of a use for that free hand.

Star Trek - Voyager Elite Force 09:15 am - Kan
More game tidbits for you gals (now don't get too fat!) as Speedy3D previewed Star Trek - Voyager Elite Force.

This is not some mindless shoot-em-up where you can swiftly pull out a phaser and shoot Neelix in the head. We assume security would be all over you like hounds on a fox if you did. It's difficult at this point to tell just how far Raven are taking the whole real-time / real-life world concept, we believe there has to be a point where the story is lead and not totally independent. For example, shoot Neelix and for the rest of the trip home you end up stuck in the brig, oh what fun that would be.

Windows RC2 Delay 09:13 am - Kan
It pains me to receive this type of news from our buds over at ActiveWin. Delays delays delays...

Just few days ago, The Register reported, "Gates hints Win2k shipment will slip to next year". Somehow this 'nightmare' may be truth now. We have received news that Microsoft have decided to delay Windows 2000 RC2 until Mid-September. It was originally planned for early September. Does this mean the Final will be delayed? We don't know yet, but so far MS haven't changed
the RTM schedule.

YO!MP3 Player 09:10 am - Kan
3DHardware.net reviewed a rather interesting MP3 player, the Kaser Yo!MP3. This thing is cheap too!

A few years ago Sony came out with a new concept, the MiniDisc. The system was based on tiny little diskette-like cartridges containing a tiny magneto-optical disc that promised to merge the complete portability of the cassette with the sound quality of the CD. Truthfully, it did, and since then the MiniDisc has been the best choice for anyone who really values sound on the road. The MiniDisc also had the ability to change tracks instantly, like a CD, and was recordable in an even better way than a cassette, as it let you choose in which order the tracks would run after they were recorded etc.

GlobalWin FDP32 on a BP6 09:06 am - Kan
Not for the faint-hearted, our pals over at TheTechZone released an article teaching you how to fix those giant FDP32 heatsinks on the BP6. There's also info on how to lap your CPU to increase the effectiveness of the heatsink.

With your hacksaw, hack off the two outer rows of fins. Try not to think of what percentage of the total price you are removing. After removing the two fins, test fit the heatsink on the BP6. If itís still tight, use a large file and file it down. The notched out end goes on the side of the socket with the hinge. You should be able to bend the capacitors out slightly to get the fit right.

C&C2: Tiberian Sun 09:04 am - Kan
GameWire sent note on their latest review on C&C2: Tiberian Sun.

The game play is almost exactly like Command & Conquer: Gold. The units are almost all the same and the units that are new perform many of the same functions that the missing units from the first games did. The Devil's Tongue is basically a flamethrower. The stealth tank is still the same, and the basic infantry is too. The only new unit is the mutant hijacker who hijacks vehicles, somewhat useful but usually very short lived. They could have made this game an add-on for Command and Conquer, instead of making a whole new game out of it, the differences are negligible. The Gameplay is still as good as it ever was; just not enough has changed for me to hail this as the next best thing. The game is a lot of fun to play, both online and in the single player campaigns.

Ultra ATA-66 09:00 am - Kan
3DAlpha did some analysis on the new Ultra ATA-66 specifications and round it off with a review on the Seagate Barracuda ATA 28GB hard drive.

Ultra ATA/66, as the name implies, boasts a 66.6mb/s burst rate. SCSI has gone through many revisions over it's lifespan, and each revision, while bringing greater and greater new speeds, has been totally incompatible with previous versions. This has left early adopters with no clear upgrade path. From the first EIDE drives up through Ultra ATA/33, compatibility has been critical. This was, in large part, to keep costs down and to continue providing clear upgrade paths. With Ultra ATA/66, however, a wider datapath was needed, and this could not be obtained with the 40-pin, 40-conductor cabling that had been used with all prior IDE type devices. Upgrading to an 80-pin cable would have meant losing backwards compatibility, so instead, the decision was made to use a special 40-pin, 80-conductor cable. 

Vantec P3-D5030 Cooler 08:58 am - Kan
ComputingPros did a review on the Vantec P3-D5030 Slot-1 heatsink cum cooler. Looks rather cool and high tech looking.

The heatsink is constructed of Aluminum Alloy 6030 T5 and has 9 rows of fins in the middle section and 1 row on the outside of both sides that flare out halfway up. The outside fins also have ridges (maybe for increasing surface area? not by much). The bottom surface, which contacts the CPU, is completely flat along the whole heatsink. This would be cool if only the entire CPU made contact with it along the whole length. This means that you can't cool the cache which resides a bit lower than the level of the core lug. You can remedy this by using a penny that's sanded down and polished smoothly to serve as spacers.

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