December 1999 - Friday
Wilfred's Last Cough This Millennium -
17:45 pm Wilfred
going through final checks and I shall be porting my
PC system down into Hardware-One's Y2k Command Center
23rd basement floor in another 10 mins. So the rest of
you, be forewarned and ever alert , always take good care of your health
while merry making. Will be back to meet up after the
Millennium turn over (if nothing catastrophic
happens). Meanwhile, God Bless and Best Wishes For
You, World Peace and Happiness! Oh yes, Happy New
The End Is Near & More... More? Duh! -
15:07 pm Wilfred
I'm not your prophet mm'kay? osOpinion
updated me with several new editorials this last day
of the 19xx year. First, Stanislav Kelman wrote an article
both funny and potent regarding THE END. And lest you
are one of the CONFUSED (like myself! =P), Jeff Neel
posted a short
blurb that I can mention in full here, check them
both up, will ya?!
End Is Near
Nineteen hundred and ninety nine was an insane
year. Some go as far as to declare that it was a
high point in the history of mankind. Others claim
it brought irreversible changes to the way we think,
the way we live, and the way we interact with each
other. Maybe so, but I have yet to see any profound
changes in my own life.
year long, instead of simply enjoying the benefits
of the "new economy," I was desperately
trying to understand something that does not appear
to make any sense whatsoever. With 1 day left before
the Big Millennium Bash, I am still very much
bewildered by this whole "Internet
OFF The Millennium Bandwagon!
I, personally, am very annoyed at the number of
people that think that the new millennium will start
on January 1, 2000... Sure, if the first year was
"1," then it would be the new millennium.
However, if you count 0 A.D. as a year, it is *NOT*
the new millennium. We still have a year until the
amazing how many people have jumped on the ignorance
bandwagon. However, it is to be expected because
most people are sheep and are led around by
everything they hear or see, rather than forming
opinions for themselves.
will be funny to see how many people act like they
never pretended the new millennium was upon us and
say that they never said that the new millennium
starts Jan 1, 2000. Just like this century, which
started on Jan 1, 1901, the new century shall begin
on January 1, 2001, as will the new millennium.
do yourselves a favor and SHUT UP, because the new
millennium is still a YEAR AWAY!
Videologic DigiTheatre & DVD Player -
14:51 pm Wilfred
has got 2 reviews of products from Videologic. Check
out what they have to say about the DigiTheatre
DigiTheatre performs its job admirably, receiving a
digital audio source either through S/PDIF coaxial
or Toslink optic fibre, its onboard Digital Signal
Processing (DSP) chip churns through and delivers
very good decoding results. Dolby Prologic is
received through the stereo analogue line in of the
decoder and processed.
DigiTheatre can adjusts its decoding routine
according to your room's existing speaker set up.
For example if you have the full blown 5.1 speaker
system installed then the decoding box can be set up
to take advantage of a complete 5.1 speaker system.
If on the other hand, you are missing a center
speaker, the decoding box can be set up to create a
"phantom" center speaker by channelling
the center speaker's output to the two front
speakers. On the other extreme if your strapped for
cash, and have a plain 2-speaker stereo set up the
DigiTheatre can be set for that configuration too.
PIII Mobile Chips To Come With 'SpeedStep' -
14:33 pm Wilfred
pretty cool eh? Over at ZDNet,
report says that come January, Intel will release
new mobile PIII chips that will feature 'SpeedStep'
technology. The processor will detect when the user is
on battery power and lower it's core voltage and
clockspeed automatically. With AC power, Maximum
Performance Mode will be used. Cool eh? Of coz, if the
user so chooses, he can opt for max performance 100%
of the time via a software applet.
will keep battery life close to what users are
accustomed to -- three to four hours, on average.
When Intel made the transition from mobile Pentium
MMX chips to the mobile Pentium II, a lot of
notebook users lost 30 minutes of battery life.
of Intel's new mobile chips will offer SpeedStep
is expected to ship a 650MHz mobile Pentium III
later in the first quarter. A 700MHz mobile PIII is
expected to follow in the second quarter, with a
750MHz version arriving the second half of 2000.
forthcoming 650MHz mobile Pentium III will run at
650MHz in Maximum Performance Mode and 500MHz in
Battery Optimized Mode, Intel officials have said.
also plans to offer a version of its SpeedStep
Technology for mini-notebooks. Due in the second
half of 2000, the feature will reduce the core
voltage of those chips from 1.35 volts to 1.1 volts,
Intel officials have said.
14:18 pm Wilfred
is quite interesting. Chris of FPS3D.COM
did an 'assessment'
of the once great (still great in many's perception)
3D graphics card company, 3dfx Inc. On why he thinks
the company is headed for a downward spiral...
I'm going to assume most of you have seen the parody
auction on eBAY for the Voodoo 4 and 5 series video
cards. Most of you probably laughed, maybe cried,
and perhaps a select few even had an orgasm or two.
The sad thing about this is - the author's comedic
take on the 'amazing' motion blur technology that
3dfx is marketing is right on the money.
blur capability is for the most part a cheap anomaly
thrown into the usual 3D Rendering Arena. What value
does it have? Games are certainly not at the point
where such miniscule details of reality amount to
much. 'Motion Blur' is really not all that great of
a choice for marketing - especially since it can
result in such cynical portrayals as that on the
eBAY auction. We should really assess T-Buffer
Digital Cinematic Effects and Full Screen Anti-Aliasing
DVDROM 40X CDROM -
14:10 pm Wilfred
delved deep into the workings of Acer's latest 10X/40X
DVD/CD-ROM drive, writing a good
4 pages for it.
drive itself is as capable as most 40X Cd-Rom drives
for those chores. The drive has a quiet action and
that can be good after listening to several 40 to 56
speed CD drives that sound like Helicopters taking
off. I think that CD-ROM's are reaching the end of
their livelihood. The DVD-ROM drive is coming into
it's own as another piece in the PC's overall
concept of being a Multimedia platform. The Acer DVD
player does a pretty good job of all that is asked
of it. I would like to see a hardware decoder card
offered as an option for those people who have
systems of less than 400 MHz CPU speed. Since the
price of DVD drives is coming down you are starting
to see them on all the high end systems. Even some
of the middle stance systems have 2x and 3x DVD
drives. The appearance of the DVD-Recorder drives is
going to add another ripple in the lake of
computers. I wonder how long it will take for them
to filter down to our more price conscious level.
So, the 1040A is a pretty good drive.
CuMine At 807Mhz -
14:05 pm Wilfred
to me that the philosophy at HardOCP
is to push things harder than their best, and further.
Well, if they didn't risk destroying a perfectly good
CuMine chip, the Y2k might do it... so hell, why not? 650
=> => => 807Mhz!!
comes the fun bit. PIII-650ís only come in 100MHz
bus. My BH6 and RAM will do 133MHz rock solid
(tested with an unlocked PII-233 @ 1X multiplier).
With an ambient temperature of 23.4 deg C the system
would do 728 MHz (112MHz bus) no probs (no, not
the PII butthead). Can you say 760MHz (117MHz
bus) too ? YepÖ
solid with no special cooling or voltage tweaks.
here comes the madness. If I booted the system from
cold if would start Win98 and run a little bit of
Unreal at 806 MHz then crash. Well, fortunately,
Iím a nut like you and I wanted more. More of that
S2K In-Depth -
13:45 pm Wymun
himself, has posted an in-depth
look at the Savage 2000. So if you're
considering S3's Savage 2000 to pass the New Year in
3D gaming frenzy, suggest you give this a read to make
sure it truly is "Y2K graphically compliant"
for your needs.
the other hand, SAVAGE 2000 always uses a 16-bit
depth buffer in Quake III Arena regardless of colour
depth. It is, therefore, to be expected that SAVAGE
2000 will have a performance advantage because of
the lower depth buffer bandwidth. Comparing the
trends of both GEFORCE and SAVAGE 2000 at setting 1,
it appears that the smaller footprint 16-bit depth
buffer, manages to prevent the displacement of
locally stored textures to slower system memory
Cool That HDD -
11:30 am Wymun
too many 7200rpm drives in your casing? Then
check out GamePC's
shoot-out between 4 top-bay coolers for that
"over-cooked" casing today!
Overclocked To 850MHz -
11:20 am Wymun
folks at 3D Rage
had the privilege to test out a spankin' new 550MHz Athlon
rig from Gen-X Tech, overclocked to an
unbelievable 850MHz! This makes me drool for my
own little Athlon setup for the New Year! Just
need a sponsor...Hint...Hint...
Athlon really needs no introduction, as everybody
who is remotely interested in computer hardware
knows the reputation of this processor. The Athlon
that is being overclocked is at default 550Mhz, but
with a little soldering and a gigantic Globalwin
FKK32 cooler, the Athlon 550 will reach 864Mhz with
complete stability, and believe me when I tell you,
it's fast. If the system you buy doesn't make it to
864Mhz for some strange reason, then you could
settle for the lower setting of 848Mhz(what you're
paying for anyways), which brings in practically the
same benchmarks as the 864Mhz system.
11:00 am Wymun
chaps at 3D Alpha
have struck up their own little
take on the EPoX EP-USB66 controller card for old
motherboards, giving USB and ATA-66 support. So
if you're still chugging away with your trusty serial
cum ATA-33 interfaces, check this out as a viable
many of these new drives use standards such as Ultra
ATA/66 or Ultra2 SCSI. What happens to users who
have older motherboards that don't support these
standards? Often times, the user must either
purchase a costly new controller card or even a
brand new motherboard. For SCSI devices, the best
option is a card such as the Adaptec RAID Card Model
AAA-131U2. However, for ATA/66, the choices are less
easy, as fewer cards are available to compare.
Pro II Millennium Review -
10:40 am Wymun
like reviews of this millennium marketed motherboard
is popping up everywhere in conjunction with next
year's celebration. Anandtech
included, and they've just released their own views
on this "Calvin Klein" of
motherboards. And of course, don't miss the
chance to receive one of these beauties in our giveaway
competition. It ends on the last day of 1999
- that's today!!
Millennium Edition part of the equation is a series
of modifications to the AX6BC Pro II design that go
above and beyond the call of duty - almost into the
realm of the ridiculous. This includes the use of a
24 karat Platinum-plated heatsink and monster 2200uF
for better heat dissipation and enhanced stability,
respectively. Those capacitors are the same low ESR
(equivalent series resistance) capacitors from the
AX6BC Pro Gold and further enhance stability.
Emphasizing the limited edition status of the board
is a, "special military grade" black PCB,
Platinum-plated "Millennium Edition"
plaque, and the names of the board's designers
inscribed at the front of the board.
SlotKey Convertor -
10:35 am Wymun
has news on yet another SlotKey Convertor. But
this time round, Gigabyte has come up with their own
rendition that promises compatibility from a Celeron
to Coppermine and even the Joshua.
Sounds like the ideal benchmarker's dream to get one
PIIISCD Review -
10:30 am Wymun
like the folks at IXBT-Labs
have posted a pre-millennium review
of the new Supermicro PIIISCD which features the I820
chipset with SDRAM. So check it out
to see how it stands against the BX and Apollo 133A
Intel had to think of a better solution for those
who longed for AGP 4x and 133MHz bus support, which
was by that time introduced only in i820 chipset.
This solution turned out an additional MTH
controller supporting SDRAM, which the mainboard
manufacturers could easily install onto their
products. As a result, i820 based mainboards with
SDRAM support appeared the most popular ones and
were the first to come into the market. Among those
we have to point out Intel CC820, the first i820
based mainboard really available for purchase. Then
come some products from other manufacturers, such as
Supermicro P3SCD, which we successfully managed to
get for testing.
AMD's Super Bypass -
01:44 am Wilfred
has got a damn
cool article about AMD's new improved 750 chipset
that will feature "Super Bypass" - a
something that will greatly reduce latencies between
the CPU, PCI, AGP and memory buses. Gotta read this
bypass is a blessing because it more than balances
out the losses they took from moving to the new
cache setting. Why do you need to keep something
like this so quiet? Well, there are thousands of
non-super bypass chipsets out there that aren't sold
yet. Who would want a non-super bypass if they knew
about it? The results could be that the chipsets
(and motherboards) without super bypass would become
much more difficult to sell. It would be better to
secretly insert this new feature and as soon as the
old chipsets are flushed from inventories, begin
talking about super bypass. This is just a theory of
mine but it makes perfect sense to me.
at the performance benefit the Athlon platform gains
when removing some of the memory latencies makes me
anxious to see what the next generation chipsets
will have to offer, such as VIA's KX133 Athlon
chipset. Given that the AMD's 750 chipset is quickly
falling behind the times with their 800MB/sec memory
throughput and 532MB/s AGP 2X performance, VIA's new
chipset should breathe even more performance into
the Athlon platform. The KX133 will offer 4X AGP
(>1GB/sec) and a 133MHz memory interface
(<1GB/sec). It's important to remember that the
motherboards chipset is every bit as important in
regards to performance as the CPU itself.
December 1999 - Thursday
MSI 6163 Pro Motherboard -
23:37 pm Wilfred
sent word that they've got the 6163
Pro covered. This is certainly one of the most
popular BX boards along ABIT, Asus, AOpen and
Gigabyte. See what the chums have to say!
the bus speeds in the world arenít going to help
if you donít have control over the CPU and chipset
voltage. Using the initial BIOS revision, CPU
voltage selection was limited to an upper limit of
2.3 volts. The newest MS-6163Pro BIOS (version 3.3)
enables support for the new Intel Coppermine
processors, 37.5 GB IBM hard drives as well as
increasing the CPU voltage to a maximum of 2.4 volts
for Slot 1 CPUs, and 3.3 to 3.6 volts for the VIO
Annihilator Pro Review -
18:27 pm Wilfred
nV News got their
paws on the Creative
Annihilator Pro and Mike Chambers liked it plenty!
The performance doesn't disappoint, so if you think
the price is right, get it!
benchmark results make it quite obvious that the
Creative Labs Annihilator Pro is an extremely fast
graphics card that can extend the life of a gaming
PC. With an estimated retail price of $299 for
the Annihilator Pro and $249 for the Annihilator,
these cards aren't cheap. However, if your
systems feeling a little sluggish and you feel the
need to upgrade, an Annihilator Pro easily offers a
greater return on investment than upgrading to a
Cheetah And Barracuda -
18:23 pm Wilfred
3D Alpha has
reviews on two
very fast Seagate HDDs. Builders of any high-end
systems should definitely consider them, I think
Seagates are pretty overclocking-friendly.
Cheetah 18LP drive is a piece of equipment that's
worthy of worship, and that's even an
understatement. This drive sports an Ultra2
interface that has a burst rate of 80 megabytes a
second. That alone is the enticing part, but the
Cheetah drive is called that for a very good reason:
It's top RPM speed is 10,000 rpms. Count 'em all.
That's nearly 170 rotations to the second, with a
stated seek time of 5.9 milliseconds. In a word:
Fast. Fast as hell. There's no other word for it.
Reminder: AOpen Millennium Giveaway -
15:46 pm Wilfred
This is a reminder that the closing date for the above
contest will be tomorrow, 31st Dec 99 2359hrs
Singapore time +8 GMT. For the benefit of those who
haven't heard, check the contest
DHN-9100 Network In A Box -
15:43 pm Wilfred
wrote about their hot
date with D-Link's DHN-910 phone network kit. If
you don't need the exceptional speeds of a 100Mbps
connection, then this home phoneline network kit could
well suit your needs. Have a read!
D-Link DHN-910 finally offers a viable Home Phone
Network alternative to a common ethernet LAN setup.
Quality of the components is at the upper end but
could be slightly improved by a better finish of the
PCI connector. The installation software and the
instructions / manual are exceptionally well
conceived and laid out.
10MBs, the Home Network-in-a-box offers about 150-
200 times the throughput of a 56K modem which makes
it an attractive solution for any household
connected to cable modem or DSL. For those still
relying on old fashioned modem connection, but with
several PCs in the same household connected to
different ISP accounts, the modem sharing capability
offers a great way of multiplying download speed by
the number of modems connected at the time.
DVDROM Drive -
15:39 pm Wilfred
Been looking for a DVDROM drive? I noticed that almost
everyone is doing DVD these days, and you might be
interested to know which drive will give you the most
Hardware looks at the AOpen
AOpen 1040 Pro DVD-ROM drive is a pretty decent
performer. Sure, it won't break any CD-ROM speed
records, but its seek times are excellent, and its
DVD performance appears to be top notch. It carries
a pretty good price tag for a 10X DVD-ROM drive. The
retail price is $130, but Buycomp has the drive
listed for $94. If you are looking to upgrade your
old 2X DVD-ROM drive, look no further than the AOpen
1040 Pro drive. If you have a 6X DVD-ROM drive and
you are happy with its performance, then you won't
find much that warrants an upgrade to a 1040 Pro.
Athlon Overclocking Card -
15:34 pm Wilfred
This is hot! Gary of Overclockin.com
just informed me of a review
he did on this cool device Boon Kiat would love to
have (now, everybody with an Athlon will want one!).
With the GoldFinger, he managed the 500 to 750MHz
magic at default voltages, now tell me you don't want
GoldenFinger card from Trinity
Micro performed as advertised. I didn't have a
single problem while using it or testing it out. The
document that came with it was accurate and easy to
follow. Just find the speed (or voltage) you want to
try and check out the required DIP switch settings.
Then it is just a matter of setting them properly.
Very easy to do. It is actually much easier
than changing the DIP switches on the fully modified
processor, because you can remove the card and
change the DIP switches and then put the card back
on the processor. The card seems to be built very
well (although I'm not a soldering expert).
Everything held together very well during multiply
changes of the DIP switches and removing/replacing
the card on the processor.
Best Games Of
15:29 pm Wilfred
Just in time eh? FiringSquad
issued a sum
up on the year's best games giving credence to the
best in each genre. Some 17 games made their list,
perhaps you want to know what?
times, consumers will inexplicably ignore a
fantastic game. Battlezone was one example, but
perhaps the most egregious instance of this
phenomenon was System Shock 1. The original System
Shock got amazing reviews and anyone who played it
fell in love with the game. However, its sales were
abysmal and it got relegated to the status of a cult
classic, hardly what it deserved. Now we have the
sequel to it, System Shock 2, the most involved
first person shooter ever, with its elaborate plot,
puzzles and RPG elements.
its graphics aren't the best, right? It has blocky
characters and the design is kind of bland for a
spaceship - nothing special. But just the atmosphere
in the game is utterly terrifying. This simple
design seems to make it all the more real and that
realism lends itself to believability - and if you
believe, you're going to be scared. In the demo
review we said Half-Life was a campfire ghost story
compared to System Shock 2, and trust us, that's not
Special Report: Windows 2000 Review -
13:11 pm Wilfred
WinMag threw up a
review of NT4's successor to come, the gold finish
of Windows 2000, the OS many hoped will solve their
every problem. So just how does it fare?
all the waiting, the beta-testing, the revising,
rethinking, and re-engineering, Windows 2000 is
done. Microsoft delivered finished "Gold"
code to Winmag.com a couple of weeks ago, and we've
been testing it ever since. Cut to the chase:
Win2000 was worth the wait. There's a lot to like,
and also a lot to get to know, because this is a
very different version of Windows. And it's not for
everyone. Still, it might surprise you how well it
could work for you.
13:06 pm Wilfred
Those of you following the forums might have learnt of
my recent scanner woes. Here's a little rant. Ok, so
today I went to HP's Customer Care Center and sent in
that disobedient Scanjet 4200C.
guy at the center was pretty decent and very polite as
he took in the item for servicing. I seized the chance
to question if it was a common problem (judging from a
zillion threads posted at HP's forums by fellow
consumers using this particular model). Was told that
perhaps 2 out of 10 pieces get returned for a problem
(huh?! 20%????!!!!) on a "low-end model like
this" (as he puts it).
was a little stunned and probed further, "No
doubt this is an end-user scanner, but by no means
this is 'low-end' IHMO when competing products only
cost between SGD100 to SGD200. I remembered paying
good money for HP brand and quality."
really sorry. There could be many reasons. We'll have
it replaced as soon as we can establish the
problem." He apologized.
least he was nice and polite (I got a bag of sweets
and candy cane as well). I spared him. ;P
Quake III Arena FAQ -
12:55 pm Wilfred
It is heard that the official
FAQ for Q3A is out at the Quake
III Arena website. If you face any issues or
problems with the game, you might want to see whether
it has been addressed on that page.
12:51 pm Wilfred
Dan's Data did
experiments with 2 freakish rodents and you might
want to find out if Logitech won A4 Tech's
representative. Here's a blurb:
still have to say, though - is a cordless mouse
really necessary? The batteries last well, and the
mouses aren't very big or heavy, but I think a lot
of people that buy these things do it just for the
cool-factor. Not that there's anything wrong with
Linux, NT -
12:48 pm Wilfred
You've had enuf of the antagonizing Linux Vs NT
banter, but what can we do? osOpinion
has got a new
editorial on just THEM.
face brightened with the light of a devilish grin.
"Maybe, maybe not. That's the beautiful thing.
Everybody thinks those tests were a fiasco, but they
weren't. By the time everything was said and done,
most folks thought that NT was faster than Linux for
some things, but less reliable. Picture this. We let
everybody know how much more reliable W2K is and
then we compare its performance to NT 4.0. Of
course, we don't use the MindCraft results, we use
"real world" NT 4.0 numbers to show that
W2K is twice as fast as NT, but much more reliable.
People put 2 and 2 together and W2K is twice as fast
as Linux and much more reliable than NT. We won't
fool the techies, but the suits'll buy it."
Kan Yawns -
08:27 am Kan
I know, I know. Tomorrow is New Year's eve. Lots of
girls are calling to ask me out but I'm just too busy
yawning away (see, loser again). Sorry babes, perhaps
another time. So, what's your new year resolution? The
same one you made last year? ;)
ADSL bills finally came. The old woman was pretty
shocked (I was shocked too). Hmmmph....gotta do some
explaining and explain to her what exactly is ADSL
(she thought I called some overseas babes or sex
hotlines). This will be tough.
I will be busy for the next 10 days trying out
something funny (hope you don't end up in jail, Kan!)
and will be away most of the time. So I will leave it
to the clowns (*cough* err, editors??) Wilfred,
Yingzong and gang to continue to entertain you while
so run along and buy some rice, canned food, store
some water as well as purchase those portable gas stoves.
You may need it tomorrow. :)
07:50 am Kan
reviewed the Maxi
Sound FORTISSIMO. This one is based on the Yamaha
YMF744 audio processor and is able to handle A3D 1.0
as well as EAX. Do you realize that soundcards are dirt cheap
lately? The only lucrative business
is video cards and I can't imagine myself spending
$300 bucks (stingy) on a good video card.
has made it a well-known fact that the FORTISSIMO is
the first sound card on the market to accelerate
DirectMusic through hardware. DirectMusic is, as you
can probably guess, a part of Microsoft's Direct X
API. To make a long story short, DirectMusic works
with message-based musical data, which is converted
into wave samples, either in hardware or in a
software synthesizer, in this case, through
Prophet DDR DVI -
07:45 am Kan
their thoughts on the Guillemot
Prophet DDR DVI. Oh boy, we sure love to get our
paws on this one.
as the name clearly states, this is a long-awaited
DDR GeForce board, truly capable of Nvidia's 480
MPixel/second fill rate. DDR stands for "Double
Data Rate" SDRAM, which simply means that data
is sent on both the rising and falling edges of a
processing clock cycle, which theoretically doubles
the memory bandwidth that the GeForce chip can
utilize, hence the name, "Double Data". It
seems early on in the GeForce's development cycle,
Nvidia's engineers saw that current video memory
technologies couldn't handle the bandwidth that the
GeForce chip needed, and therefore have relied on
DDR as a way to give the best performance possible
from the chip, not being limited to a small memory
07:40 am Kan
published a blurb on the TransMeta
processor as well as some background info on the
company. This processor is due out in January 2000 and
is supposedly Intel compatible.
is known as one of the most secretive companies in
Silicon Valley, and it's current website confirms
this. After being intrigued by the few lines on the
I simply had to find out more about this processor.
Please note that information contained within this
article is based on second-hand information found in
the references mentioned (including several
less-than 100% reliable sources, including
TheRegister). In this article I will try to share
some of the knowledge I have gathered about
Ask the Dev's
07:35 am Kan
started a new section in their site called Ask
the Dev's in which users themselves can shoot
questions to the developers. Sounds kinda fun, here's
is proud to present our very own Ask The Devís.
This is your chance to ask the developers whatever
you want (besides info that is still at company
classified level) when you want. If you have a
problem with the industry and you want to see their
side on it, go on and send it in. Chances are, if it
is a smart question, it will be answered and posted
on the site.
SCV May Apply
for ISP License -
07:32 am Kan
Okay, the truth
is out. With the cut-throat prices and capped
bandwidth, SCV finally
released the cable modem prices ($96 per month)
for this cowboy country.
Cable Vision (SCV) said it might apply for a
domestic Internet service provider (ISP) licence.
traditional access market is not saturated yet. We
are talking to a couple of possible partners but so
far there are no firm plans," said Thomas Ee,
vice president of SCV's engineering division.
declined to confirm if SCV was in talks with
Gateway.net, the ISP arm of US-based Gateway
Computers, to establish an Internet presence in
Thrustmaster Nascar Charger Driving Wheel -
02:21 am Wilfred
everyone's into wheels lately? Are these what they got
for X'mas or something? So it seems 3D
Alpha also did a review
of a wheel from Thrustmaster (a division of
Guillemot). Anyway, this piece doesn't come with a
accelerator and brake pedal unit is fairly small,
but has full-sized pedals. The base is very light,
and, unfortunately, is the biggest drawback to the
Charger. In heated racing sessions of Need For Speed
III, I would have to slam on the brakes to get
through a turn, and found that the pedal base would
move along with the pedal. Naturally, I had trouble
locating the accelerator again, which made it much
more difficult to continue the race. The solution to
this was to get a large piece of cardboard and use
duct-tape to fasten the pedal unit down. This is
hardly an ideal solution for most users, however.
Charger's wheel was very responsive, and, unlike
other wheel's I've used, wasn't bulky. Thanks to the
clamp, it stayed securely in place during the
marathon racing sessions I put it through.
ForceFeedback Racing Wheel -
02:15 am Wilfred
took Guillemot's FFB racing wheel for a spin
(literally!), and posted a short
take on it. Have a look if you're into the racing
genre. Here's the snippet:
jumped back into the game, and went full throttle
down the freeway in the wrong direction. Suddenly
the wheel came alive in my hands. Every thing from
the bumpy grass to the harsh impact of a guardrail
at 120mph was accurately and realistically
telegraphed through the wheel, and the whole driving
experience was elevated to a new level. Now this was
several laps around the windy city, I loaded up Star
Wars Racer. Again the wheel was detected, and worked
flawlessly. The hum of the pod's motors was the
first indication of things to come. Flying through
the desert at 500mph was exhilarating with my old
wheel, but now it was almost unbelievable. G-Forces
pulled the wheel as I banked around corners, and the
pod shook violently whenever I smashed into another
I ran a few laps in Need For Speed High Stakes. Here
the subtle effects of traction and road texture were
even more clearly defined. This is what really makes
Guillemot's Racing Wheel shine.
Aureal Vortex SQ2500 -
02:08 am Wilfred
Hardware just told us they reviewed the
Aureal's Vortex SQ2500 sound card right
here. You cannot but expect the best gaming
experience from any Vortex 2 card.
terms of 3D positional audio accuracy, the SQ2500 is
identical to any Vortex 2 sound card on the market.
In other words, the SQ2500 offers excellent 3D audio
for headphones and two speaker output, as well as a
good four speaker output, although itís not the
best available at the moment (which is a toss up
between the SoundBlaster Live! Series and
Sensauraís 3D algorithms). Furthermore, its unique
Wavetracing technology helps to create a realistic
sound environment for any game setting.
December 1999 - Wednesday
Guillemot Jet Leader FFB Joystick -
22:06 pm Wilfred
Hardware delivered a short writeup
on Guillemot's ForceFeedback Joystick. If you need
some feel and tactile response in your gameplay, this
stick's got 8 out of 10 stars so be sure to read this!
Jet Leader FF comes with twelve programmable
buttons, an eight-way hat switch, dual trigger
buttons, a rudder function, and a built-in throttle
wheel. A cool feature of this controller is the fact
that it can be used comfortably by both left-handed
and right-handed players. This means that the
joystick is not built for maximum comfort for a
particular hand, so you might need to get used to
its button placement. Once you do though, it simply
becomes second nature. Another cool feature of the
Jet Leader is the fact that the handle is made out
of high-quality Kevlar. You know, the stuff used to
make bullet-proof vests.. :) The handle simply feels
great on the hand, and for a joystick made for left
and right-handed players, its fit and form are
superb. Smaller hands will have a tough time
handling this baby though, as the handle is quite
big. Still, you can adjust the height of the hand
rest, so you can also correct this problem without
Intel & Rambus' Relationship Distancing? -
21:52 pm Wilfred
all that we know, we didn't hear that the two partners
had some friction between themselves. The
Register has a story.
US electronics wire service is reporting a further
distancing of the relationship between Intel and its
memory design partner Rambus.
Buyers' News, Intel has not invited Rambus to
join a new consortium of memory manufacturers which
are bidding to thrash out the specs of the next
generation of synchronous memory.
II Review -
21:47 pm Wilfred
Depot has got a review
of the Savage 2000 based Viper II board from Diamond.
They've got some very interesting numbers in their
benchmarks. Want to know if this card is worth your
SGD$300, perhaps it's a relief to know it performs
competitively against the GeForce SDR.
we can see from the Benchmarks the Viper II's
drivers are obviously optimized for Quake III,
especially under 32bit mode where the SDR GeForce is
lacking as usual. Although the drivers seem to
not fair as well under Direct3D, they still don't do
too badly, and I'm sure they'll get better with
time. Notice that under Unreal Tournament (D3D
Mode) the Viper II starts to surpass the SDR GeForce
at the higher resolutions because of the SDR
limitations. Overall I was pleasantly
surprised by how well this card did, I mean after
all it's an S3 chip, and it's great to see them
finally come out with a product that can compete on
the high end scale.
JPEG2000 Compression Spec Approved -
17:01 pm Wilfred
over at Phil Askey's Digital
Photography Review that the new JPEG2000 Wavelet
Compression algorithm spec has been approved.
International Standards Organization's JPEG2000
committee has finalized specs for a new algorithm
that compresses images up to 200 times with no
appreciable degradation in quality. The JPEG2000
spec, which will become ISO 15444 when it's
officially approved in 2001, uses wavelet
transformations instead of Fourier transforms to
achieve the performance gain.
Wheel Of Time
16:58 pm Wilfred
posted a review
on Legend Entertainment's WOT. As you already know,
this is not your typical FPS game but one with
storyline and adventure. May be your cup of tea!
story is where The Wheel of Time sets itself apart
from the rest of the crown. While Half-Life may have
also had a very good story to back it up, it did not
have the story already wrote and made into highly
you are unfamiliar with The Wheel of Time, getting
use to the game is made easy by the intro sequence
that sets the story in place. You donít have to
know anything about the story in order to understand
the game. For those who have read the books, The
Wheel of Time conveys the story into a detailed
SuperG 1000MHz -
16:53 pm Wilfred
review notification system just beeped us about a
review they did on the SuperG
1GHz. If you don't live in harsh coldness of the Antarctic,
at least you can imitate that environment for your
Cool Athlon 900 was actually a bigger step than it
seems like for Kryotech. While the slower 500
and 550MHz parts are having tremendous success
overclocking to 700 Ė 800MHz frequencies, the
faster Athlon parts arenít having nearly as much
success. The 700MHz Athlon is having
difficulty making it higher than 800MHz and the
newer 0.18-micron cores are seemingly stuck at
around the 800MHz mark. We have been able to
get an Athlon 800 (0.18-micron) to run at 900MHz
with a core voltage of 1.80v using a 78W Peltier but
the operation was not nearly as stable as we would
like it to be. This will change as the yields
on the 0.18-micron parts improves, but, for now,
donít expect these 0.18-micron cores to go much
further. So pushing 900MHz definitely shows
off exactly how sophisticated and powerful
Kryotechís cooling system is.
next step in this progression was the release of the
true monster, a 0.18-micron Athlon 750 running at
1000MHz, dubbed the SuperG. The reason for the
name change is because the SuperG actually uses a
more powerful compressor and a slightly altered
design from the original Cool K6-X and Cool Athlon
series of systems to allow for an Athlon 750 to be
pushed to 1000MHz (and no, using an Athlon 800
doesnít allow for much higher clock speeds to be
Quake III Arena Game Guide -
13:46 pm Wilfred
whipped up a game
guide for id Software's Quake III: Arena. They
offer some hints and strategies to poor fraggers like
me wanting to improve the game. Have a look!
is the downfall of many a competitor - not vanity in
your looks, but vanity in your graphics. If you are
really bent on becoming a killing machine, turn down
your graphics settings until you can run around the
busiest of rooms without taking a big framerate hit.
Sure, ejecting brass and 32-bit color look good, but
if you're looking at them from a puddle of your own
remains, it's not going to help your score.
13:41 pm Wilfred
a review of the Fortissimo
sound card at Beyond3D.
Based on Yamaha's YMF744 chip, this is one underrated
sound board. While many focused on the numbers game,
trying to outdo each other in the number of MIDI
voices etc, the Guillemot Fortissimo uses a chip that
does it job well for at a very affordable price.
the Fortissimo is really a good board. As I said
before, like with all sound cards, the Fortissimo
has things both going for it and against it. When
you consider that the price is only $50 though
(compared to $99 for just about everything else),
the Fortissimo becomes a much better value. So, if
you're budget-minded and in the look for a new sound
card and the lack of internal amplification isn't
important to you, I'd have to say that the
Fortissimo certainly won't do you wrong.
Elsa Erazor X
13:36 pm Wilfred
threw out a review
on the Erazor X GeForce card. Bet many of you have
seen the cool blue box, now are the contents any good?
It seems like this company's attention to detail paid
the Erazor X is one of the most expensive SDR-memory
GeForces (as opposed to the faster DDR versions),
with a sleeker board design, great software
utilities, and the best onboard cooling that can be
found on any GeForce it can certainly be justified.
Especially becuase we have found it to be the
fastest SDR GeForce 256 available. Still the lack of
DVD software, T&L supporting games, and the fact
that those tempting DDR GeForces are shipping in
full quantity may give reason to look elsewhere.
Guide To Surviving Y2k -
13:29 pm Wilfred
boys! The optimists probably haven't done zilch and
the pessimists are already in bunkers stocked with
food and livestock. The Ars personnel has prepared a last
minute guide for the procrastinators amongst you.
You don't have much time left!
here it is, the last week of 1999, and you haven't
done a blasted thing about this whole Y2K mess.
"I'll do it later," you reasoned.
But suddenly, you realize that there isn't much
"later" left. So, we're offering a
quick and dirty guide to getting your Windows
machine into a compliant state.
Person Shooter Shootout! -
13:20 pm Wilfred
Extreme took 10
FPS games and rated them against each other. Whoa!
Yingzong will be glad to know who made it first on
Sharky's list! Wymun, Q3A's not 2nd either?! Check
you may have worked out we like Unreal Tournament a
hell of a lot. It has devoured much of our spare
time and even a bit of our work time (damn you
Epic). While there have been some outstanding and
highly recommendable titles this year such as
Outcast (which Jon loved), System Shock 2 (which
Pete loved) and Quake 3 Arena (which everyone loves
despite CD key problems), the sheer variety,
entertainment and extensive polish applied to Unreal
Tournament by the Epic boys has convinced us to give
it the Sharky Extreme Game of the Year Award. It's
that good. And if that isn't a high enough
recommendation we don't know what is.
Enabling Sidebanding -
13:11 pm Wilfred
to Julio of 3DSpotlight
who scoured the newsgroups for this piece
of information, that Creative will be making a
utility to enable sidebanding support in their
Annihilator GeForce SDR and DDR cards.
Elsa 3D Revelator -
01:12 am Wilfred
Mechanics posted a review
on Elsa's 3D Revelator shuttles and it's presently one
of the best stereoscopic glasses to get, so how does
it rate? Here's a blurb:
think the 3D Revelator by Elsa is a superb product.
It has some stiff requirements for the average
computer user, but for a die-hard gamer, this is a
must-get. Especially at a retail price of around
$80, this is cheap for 3D.
guarantee that once you get used to this thing,
playing a game in 2D will seem like sitting in the
yard watching the grass grow. I would definitely
recommend the 3D Revelator to anyone interested in
getting the most out of their games. For this, I
give the Revelator the Maximum3D Editor's Pick
Poll #37 -
What You Frag In? -
01:08 am Wilfred
Results of poll number 37 is out! Whoa, the numbers
between Q3A and UT are so close, it led me to believe
Yingzong voted more than 1000 times (for UT?!). 434
frags in Wolfenstein 3D, 919 are using 286s... =P
Intel Coppermine FAQ -
00:41 am Wilfred
mailed about an FAQ
they posted on Intel's Coppermine processor. Bet the
latest lines of CuMines must have stirred your
interests? Well, they made some good attempts to
answer some of the questions you might have, like
"Should I buy an Athlon instead?". Check it
I buy AMD's Athlon instead?
Again, yes and no. I had both personal and corporate
experience with the Athlon and to tell the truth,
I'm VERY impressed with the CPU, but the rest is a
nightmare. The motherboard chipset is still pretty
far from mature.