|18 February 1999 - Thursday
Corrections 23:48 pm - Wilfred
Thanks to Ken Hwee who popped me a note about
the news I posted on NT4 Service Pack 4. Yes, the patch is available for download but the
file is huge (at 32.7Mb) for many who might have to wait for the CD to be cut. Amended the
Also about the 9/9/99 bug, it was made known to me that
most freely downloadable Y2K testing software will check for this known bug. Yup, so
better have your systems checked... especially banks and firms yah? You've 6 mths!
Armageddon Sooner Than You
Think 19:00 pm - Wilfred
Urgent! Gotta think again if its the
Millenium Bug you are fearing first. Seems like the geniuses discovered a "Four
Nines" bug that's going to hit us sooner come 9/9/99!!!! Thanks to The Register once
more for the warning.
The disaster recovery group Safetynet has
warned that there could be problems in September when some older computer systems fail to
cope with the date change between Thursday, 9 and Friday, 10 September.
The "Four Nines Bug" -- so named because it is set to hit on 9/9/99 -- is likely
to affect systems that used 3GL and in particular, Cobol-based mainframes developed in the
60s and 70s. Larger organisations are particularly at risk including banks and insurance
"It used to be the common practice to
use a string of 9s at the end of a file when this code was originally written," said
spokeswoman Piper-Anna Shields at Safetynet. "No one back then ever imagined that it
would still be used today," she said.
To get round the problem, Safetynet is urging companies to check for this date anomaly
during their normal Y2K testing and to talk with their software suppliers. It's a view
endorsed by the UK's largest independent software testing consultancy, Tescom.
"Some systems may simply shut down," said Jordan Daniel of Tescom. "It's
impossible to say how big the problem is but if it nothing is done, it has the possibility
of touching everyone," he said.
Whoa! So is everybody ready for the 9999 bug? Are all our
dumb PCs and software 9999-compliant? *[email protected]!#[email protected]!
NT4 Not Y2K Compliant 18:48 pm - Wilfred
Register has it that Windows NT4 is not yet Y2K compliant UNTIL SP4 is patched on. At
the moment, the 32.7Mb file is available for download from Microsoft. Microsoft is denying
that they won't be able to re-cut the SP4 CDs for at least 3 more months. (Full story)
Anyone doubting that a delay in the release
of SP4 CDs could be serious, should direct their gaze to the Microsoft's own Web site.
According to the site:
"SP4 prepares the Windows NT 4 platform for year 2000 compliance by providing
critical year 2000 system updates in a single source." The Web site goes on:
"When Microsoft designed Windows NT 4, it did so with the year 2000 problem in mind.
When developing software as complex as Windows NT, however, a few year 2000 bugs may creep
into the product."
more: "Microsoft has identified the following problems with Windows NT 4 and the
- You can't set 29 February 2000 as a valid
date to expire an account using User Manager and User Manager for Domains. These utilities
don't recognise 2000 as being a leap year.
- The Date/Time applet in Control Panel may
jump ahead one more day than expected. The server's system date is correct but the applet
displays the date wrong.
- When the properties of Office files are
modified from the Shell, only 2-digit years are allowed and they're assumed to be in the
- The date entry fields in the Date Modified
tab of the Find Files or Folders utility show non-numeric data if the year is greater than
As The Register went to press,
Microsoft Connections was telling customers the delay would be between eight and 12 weeks.
Oops! A big rush for companies needing the patch for
implementation and full-fledge testing. <Sigh>
IBM To Sell Linux-based
Computers 18:37 pm - Wilfred
Noticed this info at CoolComputing that IBM will be offering computers
pre-loaded with Red Hat Linux operating system. (Full
IBM and Red Hat will work
collaboratively to optimize IBM personal system hardware for running Red Hat Linux,
providing customers with powerful and reliable enterprise and e-business solutions on the
Red Hat Linux platform. Both companies will work together to provide enterprise-level
technical support and will conduct joint marketing to enterprise customers. As a first
demonstration of high performing e-business solutions based on Red Hat Linux and IBM
hardware, several high traffic Red Hat web sites will be powered by the award winning
Netfinity line of servers.
Under the agreement, a development lab will
be established to maximize performance, reliability, and security for Red Hat Linux on IBM
server and client systems, including Netfinity servers, PC 300 Commercial Desktops,
IntelliStations, and ThinkPads. In addition to contributing developer expertise, Red Hat
will also perform hardware certification testing and provide dedicated customer training.
"IBM has long been a leader in
powerful, reliable computing solutions," said Bob Young, CEO, Red Hat Software.
"This is an important milestone in the rapidly growing acceptance of Linux."
Win for MS - Judge Allows
Independent Java 18:26 pm - Wilfred
of news that a federal judge has allowed Micrsoft to distribute Java technologies
developed independently of Sun Microsystems. This is a win for the Redmond software giant.
These are cuts off the full
"SEATTLE (Reuters) - A federal judge
clarified Thursday a ruling against Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news), saying the software giant is free to
distribute Java technologies developed independently of its rival Sun Microsystems Inc.
(Nasdaq:SUNW - news)"
"In November, Whyte backed Sun and
issued a preliminary injunction that forced Microsoft to modify slightly Windows 98 and
As of the close of business Thursday, the
judge's order was not available at the courthouse in San Jose. But representatives of both
Microsoft and Sun said they had seen faxed copies of the order. "The court clarifies
that it does not restrict Microsoft distribution of any Java technology that is not
derived from any Sun material,'' Whyte said in the ruling, according to the faxed copies
that were circulating among lawyers."
SimCity 3000 16:14 pm - Wilfred
Our buds at CoolInfo
has written a fair bit on
what they think of Maxis latest iteration of their incredible SimCity series - SimCity
3000. If you still cannot figure out what made your sis knock you out to play SC3000 on
the PC, here's what:
The Simcity series now in its third
installment has sold a mind boggling five million copies. I remember when the original
Simcity came out. I became so addicted to Simcity that I lost a lot sleep did not eat, and
homework was a mere afterthought. A few years later Simcity 2000 was released and boy were
most of us were bamboozled by the game. Naturally when I heard Simcity 3000 was going to
be released, I was skeptical and asked myself how could they (Maxis) possibly improve on a
great game such as Simcity 2000?
My sis hogging the PC to play SC3000 is one
of the reasons I'm unable to update Hardware One (yeah! bad excuse huh?)
On Hand Testing of FIFA '99
Patch 16:07 pm - Wilfred
Well if you haven't applied the latest patch (posted earlier on),
you should definitely use it if you got a V2/Banshee or an EAX compatible card. Some
workarounds to the problems I encountered with the patch and my Creative V2 12Mb...
During the installation, the readme file clearly stated
that Glide 3.X MUST be installed else your game won't work. I did. They said to look for
WinGlide 3.x Driver in the System Information tab of your V2 Display Properties. It was
To play safe, I rebooted the PC before going to FIFA '99
3DSetup, I upped the resolution to 800x600 (the highest I can go on my 12Mb V2) and
checked the Triple Buffering checkbox. Then I started the game - but it would hang with
Triple Buffering On.
After some trying, I went to do a SWEEP and renaming of
invalide Glide drivers... ta da! It worked beautifully after that! So this is something
you might wanna try if you have the same problem as me.
And yes, the patch supports EAX! As a whole, it
sounded more stadium-like to me with the crowd roaring and players' shouts heard with some
echo/reverb effect. But I thought the echo of the stadium was a little too much for my
Yap, this patch is a great leap forward to
all V2 owners. You have to play the game again at 800x600 with Triple Buffering turned on.
See the sharpness and vibrance with the new resolution.
Apache/Havoc Review 16:04 pm - Wilfred
Domain Review has put up a nice review
on Apache/Havoc. If you are into heli-simulations like Kan, you will probably want to
check this out!
Apache/Havoc is a dual helicopter
sim developed by Empire Interactive and Razorworks. What sets it apart from
the rest is the fact that you can pilot two distinctly different combat-helicopters into
battle: The American AH-64D Apache Longbow and the Soviet Mi-28N Havoc-B. Throw those two
against each other, add a load of computer-controlled craft and dynamic campaigns in three
different arenas, and youve got a damn good sim. There are, however, a few gripes as
BroodWars Review 16:00 pm - Wilfred
has a review of Blizzard's StarCraft
BroodWars. If you haven't played it, there'd better be a damn good reason!
The Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss are at it
again in Blizzard's expansion set for Starcraft,
Brood War. Spread over three distinct campaigns, Starcraft fans have more missions, new
units, new maps and tilesets on which to try their hand. In addition to the three new
campaigns, there are also a ton of new multiplayer maps to try. Of course, currently there
is no shortage of good multiplayer maps from other players or Blizzard. Still, if you are
looking for some variety and new challenges, Brood War awaits.
Kert Relooks At The SB Live!
14:14 pm - Wilfred
I'd been late on this. After a series of
enhancements brought about by new driver releases as well as developments at the
competition's side (namely the release of MX300), Kert had found it necessary to relook at
the SBLive! So here's a snip of goodness:
fall into two categories:
|Enhanced control of
environmental acoustics: Programmers can adjust room size and manipulate early sound
reflection parameters on a per source basis separately from the later reverberation decay.
Occlusion and obstruction effects: EAX's occlusion
properties simulate a sound source located in another room on the other side of a wall.
The properties provide parameters that adjust transmission characteristics to simulate
different wall materials and thickness. Obstruction properties simulate sound diffraction
around an obstacle to create the sense that a sound source is in the same environment, but
behind an obstacle.
|Thanks to the powerful
EMU10K1 chip, SBLive! is an effects engine, DirectSound3D and EAX hardware accelerator all
rolled into one. In terms of sound quality, it is unsurpassed. Its low CPU utilization
permits smooth gameplay with all bells and whistles turned on. For games supporting EAX,
SBLive! is the gold standard for EAX compatibility. To achieve greatness, 3D positioning
needs to be fine-tuned to match the accuracy of Aureal's algorithms.
New FIFA '99
Patch! 13:45 pm - Wilfred
Very freshly ripped off the news vine is that Electronic Arts released a patch that supports Creative's
PCI-64, PCI-128, Live! and EAX. The patch (downloadable at 3DFiles) also adds support for
Voodoo2 SLI and Banshee cards. Thanks to 3DSoundSurge
for the info.
Microsft & Rage to Make
Soccer Game 13:30 pm - Wilfred
Received this Media Alert late in my mailbox,
that Microsoft will be partnering Rage Software (of
Powerslide fame) to develop a soccer title for you people. Here's the scoop:
SOCCER IS ALL THE RAGE AT MICROSOFT -
Microsoft and Rage Software Partner to Develop Soccer Title for the PC.
Microsoft and Rage Software PLC today
announced that they have entered into a partnership whereby Microsoft has acquired the
rights to publish a soccer title for the PC, currently under development by Britain's Rage
The game will be available worldwide
later this year. In addition to English, the game will be localized into French, German,
Italian, Spanish and Brazilian-Portuguese.
"After looking at a number of
developers in this category, we felt Rage had the most talented development team and
leading-edge technologies to create an excellent soccer game that will appeal to a broad
audience," said Haresh Ram, product/retail development manager for Interactive Media
Group, Microsoft Singapore. "We are committed to our sports line and soccer, being
the largest participation sport in the world, presents a great business opportunity for us
to extend it to a wider sports gaming community."
"We look forward to working closely
with Microsoft over the coming months to build an exceptional soccer title," said
Paul Finnegan, managing director of Rage Software."With our strength on the
development and creative side and Microsoft's marketing and distribution capabilities, we
are confident we will deliver a game that consumers across the world must have."
Wilfred Coughs 13:23 pm - Wilfred
Hmm.. loads of things happening in the
background lately at Hardware One. Of course on the personal side of things there's CNY
visitations and stuff, but more like you already know - waiting for the move of our
servers to complete, tweaking the pages for display faults, adding a new Q&A web
board, adding the new polls corner, uploading the files to the new server... blah.
And after a bout of fits smashing my ADSL modem on my bed
post, I was fortunate enough to have the technical support guy knocking at my door (to my
surprise and horror! I was still in bed at 10am with a messy mob of hair!). Well, he's
diagnosed the problem to be - NOT MY EQPT FAULT! Arrghh! New finding? No! And they FINALLY
agreed that they had to check out their multiplexers, which meant MORE WAITING!
On the happier side of things, well my SingTel MobileData
service was activated last evening and I'd successfully ICQed a friend using PalmICQ
through the Palm III, Options GSM Modem and Nokia 6110 combo. Yeeaah! (Don't remind me
that the Palm V, VII will be hitting the streets soon! =P )
Pentium III Review -
Revolution or Evolution 13:15
pm - Wilfred
Andy of BXBoards
popped me a note that he's posted a fresh review
on Intel's Pentium III. Well, he's pitted the PIII (Katmai) against the Celeron
(Mendocino) and the Pentium II (Deschutes), obtaining some clever findings.
500Mhz!! It has a nice ring to it!
However for us Overclockers 500Mhz is really no big deal. I've been running at over 500Mhz
for some months thanks to my trusty P2-300 SL2W8.
Many people have also had good luck with the P2-333 SL2TV, which will often reach 560 Mhz with
excellent stability! So 500Mhz really is no big deal...
For those who must have the latest,
shinyest and brightest the P3 may well prove irrestible - but don't expect performance
improvements to match the financial outlay.
Baldur's Gate Review 13:12 pm - Wilfred
Computers 'R Us
sent word of a huge
review which they'd done on everyone's favourite RPG game - Baldur's Gate.
"Marvellous ground terrains
throughout and the characters are brilliant (some say a bit small), a nice but simple
feature is that you characters actually hold what they are equipped with, if you give them
heavy armour and a sword, thats what they have, a nice touch compared to
Diablos three armour, five weapon routine. The monsters are good and look the part,
and there are colour differences and some slight changes between classes (a Hobgoblin and
a Hobgoblin Elite look different) so its easy to tell who to kill first. The spells
even in the sofware mode look nice and the weather effect is very nice, the day to night
changes could have gone a bit smoother but are nice just the same."
Kan @ Rantings 04:23 am - Kan
Do you know it's mandatory to read my
rantings? Nothing seems to work these days. We got locked out from our account, we
couldn't check our emails and we couldn't do any updates on our US mirror.
We are in the process of shifting to a new server and the
DNS transfer is taking ages. :( In the meantime, our address is http://220.127.116.11.
Sleep is a privilege, not an entitlement. Here's some true
life blurb from my bud Uncle Chua.
'...For what seemed like hours we waited,
under the cover of the night, the rain had grew steadily worse, we struggled to stay alert
despite the cold and fought the sleepiness that had began to creep on us through sheer
endurance. It was a delay battle.....'
- TVMA, 0530hr, May 1997
Footnote: Apparently, Kan was
suffering from a caffeine overdose and is now in the hospital. Send any donations (no
wreaths please!) to [email protected]
Thoughts about Voodoo3
04:06 am - Kan
had posted their thoughts
on the Voodoo3. Is it really worth it? Take a look.
The V3-3500 pricing on the other hand is
just plain silly. While I can see the beauty of the idea of hooking it up with a LCD
screen which isn't capable of 32 bit color display (just as the V3 isn't capable of 32 bit
3D display), the use of a proprietary interface is a presumptous move and might kill that
idea before it even gets off the ground. Either people don't want a LCD screen they can't
connect to non-3dfx boards at a later time or they will be sold at a premium for the odd
Interview 04:02 am - Kan
sent note on their exclusive
interview with Stuart Denman and Tim Ebling of Surreal. These guys are the programmers
Tim Ebling: Deciding on a
musical format was certainly a difficult choice, as there are distinct pros and cons for
each of them. Although still an attractive choice, redbook was turned down as an
alternative primarily for two reasons: first, the inevitable seek time problem when
changing or looping tracks, and second, limited space on the CD-ROM (Drakan is after all
quite an epic game!)
DirectMusic offers a number of advantages
including low memory overhead, high performance mixing, easy integration with DirectSound,
and a great degree of control of the music's playback. In Drakan we use this control
primarily to create smooth transitions between musical pieces, based on the player's
actions and movement.
Turtle Beach Montego 04:00 am - Kan
had another fantastic review, this time on the Turtle Beach Montego II soundcard,
which is based on the Vortex 2 chipset.
The Montego II is heir to that throne,
built with the latest and greatest Aureal chipset-appropriately enough, the Vortex 2.
Unfortunately, it cannot yet be found on store shelves. In fact, the review card we have
is NOT the retail version, but the OEM version that can only be ordered directly from the
Turtle Beach website. The only Turtle Beach 'consumer' audio card you're likely to find on
store shelves today is the original Montego.
Celeron Super-Cooling 03:55 am - Kan
There is a Celeron
Super-Cooling Project going on over at the house of porn, HardOCP. If you want to learn some drastic measures to
cool your processor, do take a look.
The Celeron CPU running at 300Mhz, has a
total heat-dissipation of 18.4Watts, OCd to a whopping 558Mhz, that boils down to a
heat dissipation of 34Watts. This is when the CPU load is 100%. So its safe to say we can
use 30Watts as a nice average, because we wont be stressing it that much all the
So if we solve the equation for a Tc =
-10degrees, Th = 25degrees and Qc = 30Watts we end up with at TEC needing to pump 72Watts
of heat. The current drawn from the power supply will then be I = 72/12 = 6 Amperes.
Half-Life 03:52 am - Kan
CRUS had a
review on the popular game Half-Life.
Okay, so what I am still playing Space Invaders?
However it didnt last long in
single player, it didnt pack the rush of Doom 1 or 2, after this it took until Jedi
Knight came out to capture me again and while it was brilliant with excellent levels it
still didnt have the same feeling, even after the Add-on. However now we have
Half-Life, here to make up for Sins horrible curse of bugs. Now while Multiplayer is
always more fun overall than single, if a game has a bad single player mode most of the
people I know will ignore it multi too, With the exceptions of Quake and Quake 2 (which
should have been like Arena in the first place, I.D. used all their single player talent
in Doom it seems?).
AOpen AX63 Review 03:51 am - Kan
had a review on AOpen AX63
motherboard. One thing to note is that the AX63 is based on the VIA Apollo Pro Plus
The AX63 features a 5/2/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP)
layout with 3 DIMM sockets. The layout is exactly the same as AOpens AX6C, which is
the Intel BX version of this board. Since this board is so similar to even AOpen's own
Intel BX offerings, most people will be wondering if there are compelling reasons to
change chipsets. The VIA Apollo Pro Plus chipset does offer some interesting features, but
at what cost? We'll see.
ASUS V3200 Banshee 03:48 am - Kan
sent note on their latest review on the ASUS V3200 Banshee AGP card.
The board itself looks basic though. No
extra input or output ports except for the required VGA port. The only thing extra is the
heatsink/fan combo on top of the Banshee chip. I noticed that the fan was also thicker
than the one used in the V3400 board so I got a little excited thinking to
myself.."this card should overclock better than the V3400 since it's got a fatter fan
on". Well, we'll get to the second half of that story later. Anyhow the heatsink and
fan is mounted the same way as the V3400, spring loaded and easily removable if you prefer
your own parts.
Abit ZM6 03:46 am - Kan
whipped up another review on the Abit ZM6 ZX Socket
370 motherboard. This baby is based on Intel's new ZX chipset, which is basically a
"scaled down" version of the more powerful BX brother. If I am to choose, I will
get a BM6. If I'm really to choose, I will get a BX6 2.0 anyway.
ABIT was all dressed up with no place to
go with the BM6, the reason behind this being that ABIT's ultra stable, ultra
overclockable BM6 was utterly wasted on one of the most unoverclockable CPU platforms
Intel offers currently, the Socket-370 Celeron. Although the 300MHz PPGA
(Socket-370) Celeron apparently functions quite well as a 450MHz performer, the newer 366,
400 and upcoming 433MHz Celeron CPU's are about as overclockable as the old Cyrix 6x86
processors were, meaning that they aren't the world's best overclockers. So with the
ABIT BM6, you were essentially spending $100 on a motherboard whose features were about as
useful to you as a heatsink on your BIOS chip.
Microsoft SideWinder FF
Wheel Review 03:32 am - Kan
done a review on the Microsoft
ForceFeedback Wheel review. Is this type of thing really fun?
At first glimpse, Microsofts
SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel is an item of beauty, with its sleek, compact design and
black finish. The wheel unit itself rotates 270-degrees, and is host to six buttons on the
wheels face-- three on each side in thumbs reach, and two buttons on the
wheels backside for easy access, via your fingertips. In the middle of the wheel
sits a "force feedback" labeled button allowing you toggle the force feedback, a
useful feature if you become tired of being constantly thrown around.
|18 February 1999 - Thursday
Pentium III 550 MHz 21:00 pm - Kan
Read from the daily blurbs from Sharky that Intel is going to
announce the 550 MHz version of the Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon during the Pentium
III launch on 26th Feb. Did I read Xeon?
Pentium III vs AMD
K6-3 20:55 pm - Kan
Do we even need to compare? Anyway, The Techs again did an article on an analysis between
the two processors.
Slated for release next week, AMD's K6-3
will be the follow-up to the popular K6 and K6-2 chips. The K6, released on April 2,1997,
was revolutionary in that it was a viable alternative to the Intel Pentium MMX, and even
the Intel Pentium II, released a month later. Originally running at 166-233 MHz, it was
cheaper than Intel processors at equivalent speeds and sold well. Only manufacturing
problems, which caused the K6 to always lag behind the Pentium II in speed, kept AMD from
making the K6 into a major success.
How to Install your Hard
Disk 20:47 pm - Kan
Another article from The Techs teaching you how to install a new hard
First you have to consult your motherboard
manual and find out which IDE cable slot is your Primary one (sometimes called IDE 1).
Then you go ahead and attach the IDE cable and the power cable to the hard drive. Make
sure you have the power cable facing the right way, otherwise it wont go in right
and you will look dumb (dont worry happens to the best of us).
Cool your Celeron 20:45 pm - Kan
had cooled up an article on how to cool
your Celeron by using the Global Win fan + heatsink. Lots of pictures are included as
There is an extreme need for cooling when
you are overclocking an Intel Celeron processor. Whether it is the 266Mhz with no cache or
the 400Mhz with 128KB cache, this Slot I beauty overclocked is an amzing site. People that
do not want to pay $500 for a Pentium II/450Mhz can get the same speed (minus the 384KB of
Cache difference) processor for $70. This article will teach you how-to efficiently cool
your Celeron processor.
Kenwood True 52X 15:43 pm - Kan
The babes over at Ars-Technica had done a review on the Kenwood True 52X drive.
Check out the drive performance when reading CD-R medium. Interesting...
CD-ROM drives are getting ridiculously
fast. I'm not just talking about transfer rates, but rotational speeds. The newer drives
are tornadoes stuffed in a 5.25" drive bay that spin at 10,000 RPM or more, faster
than nearly any hard drive. While the performance is better than ever, there are some
problems with this approach.
The first is potential noise and vibration
problems caused by all that motion. Some drives are better than others about this, but
generally, if you have any rattles hiding in your case, a fast CD-ROM will expose them
quickly. Even without a rattling case, spin-up can sound like a muted jet engine, and
unbalanced discs can sound like they're going to exit through the side of your PC.
Problems Contacting Us &
New UBB 00:49 am - Wilfred
We'd been experiencing some difficulties
checking our mails at hardware-one.com, so please bear with us if you haven't received any
response to your mails. We'll resolve this soon once we made the move to our new host.
More details will be announced shortly.
Due to the move, we had to reset the web board. So please re-register yourselves to
make use of the fantastic web board service from The Ultimate Bulletin Board. We apologise
for any inconvenience caused.
New Tom's Monday Blurb 00:43 am - Wilfred
has just made available his latest "Monday Blurb"
for your consumption. I glanced through it and thought this particular portion about
"logo planting" to be a tat tasty:
Id also like to mention another thing
I came across when looking for benchmarkable 3D-games. I know that this is a
pretty old story, but it was never slapped into my face as much as in the last days when I
bought numerous games and spend major time in Frys and the likes. It is incredible
as well as ridiculous how many 3D-game boxes are displaying the 3Dfx-logo and even saying
that this game would only run properly with a 3Dfx chip. As much as I could congratulate
3Dfx for a beautiful and merciless marketing strategy as much am I disgusted about the
amount of wrong information that is given to the potential buyers of those products. In
the most cases it is simply FALSE that a game would require a 3Dfx-chip to provide full
3D-gaming pleasure, its just the same as if a car maker would tell you that your car
would only drive with one special set of tires. Whilst some seriously envious people are
guessing how much NVIDIA pays me for the display of their approved-logo on my
front page, which I never received and never would have taken even one penny for, am I
wondering how much money those game developers receive from 3Dfx for displaying this
competition-twisting logo. Maybe its about time that we start asking this question
Number 9 SR9 Series and
Savage 4 00:38 am - Wilfred
Caught this bit off VoodooExtreme that Number 9 had announced that they will be hopping
onto the Savage4 bandwagon. Here's the snip:
The SR9 delivers 3D rendering
capabilities that surpass todays best high-end 3D gaming accelerator boards, yet is
strong enough to satisfy the needs of those who need powerful 2D and video acceleration as
well. Full details of the SR9 product family will be forthcoming.
Built around S3s Savage4 128-bit
super pipelined 3D engine, the SR9 supports trilinear-filtered, single-pass
multi-texturing for high performance 3D special effects, S3 texture compression (S3TC) for
photorealistic image quality in gaming, entertainment and business applications, true
32-bit 3D rendering and support for Intel Pentium III and AMD K7 3Dnow!-based systems.
"S3 clearly outpaced the competition
by bringing industry-first AGP 4X technology to market with its Savage4 accelerator,"
said Ken Potashner, president and chief executive officer of S3 Incorporated. "This,
in turn, is enabling our strategic partners, such as Number Nine, to secure AGP 4X design
wins with major PC OEMs."
|17 February 1999 - Wednesday
Participate In the Poll! 11:53 am - Wilfred
I hope you people noticed the new poll set up
on the right side of this main page! Yeah, questions will pop up from time to time and we
hope to see lively participation! Poll results will be compiled weekly!
Palm V Debuts!! 11:49 am - Wilfred
Whoa! Cool! Take a look at this exclusive preview of the Palm V device! Smaller, better
screen and a new rechargeable battery!
The Palm V seems to be a
step in the right direction, continuing the evolution of the original Palm Pilot concept.
There is no-doubt, the technology hipsters will love it's new case and reduced size (now
if they could only fit a Montblanc pen into the extra stylus slot :)
However, some will certainly
see the Palm V as nothing more than a marketing ploy to exploit another segment of the
market by simply repackaging an existing, proven product.
Personally, I think it's a
cool product. Looks aside, the smaller size, better screen and rechargeable battery make
it an attractive upgrade path from my Palm Pilot Pro - However, not as attractive as if
they had taken a revolutionary step forward and incorporated some truly innovative
features like wireless connectivity (in the Palm VII) or integrated MP3 storage and
Permedia3 Sampling 11:38 am - Wilfred
Again, skimmed off Voodoo Extreme is this new press release from 3DLabs
about their Permedia3 chip. Yeah, this could be one of the primary 3D accelerator chip to
be found in your system this year!
PERMEDIA 3 provides a comprehensive
implementation of the 2D, 3D, and video components of the Microsoft® DirectX® 6.1 API.
In addition to triangle setup processing, PERMEDIA 3 also has a multi-stage rasterizer
that implements advanced features such as bump mapping, alpha blending, tri-linear
mip-mapping and Direct3D® 6 blend mode operations. For optimized digital video
performance, PERMEDIA 3 has a complete video subsystem including filtered hardware
overlay, colorspace conversion, and motion compensation for software DVD and MPEG2
Additionally, PERMEDIA 3 has a Triple-Blend
texture core that can deliver unprecedented realism at full performance. With the ability
to render up to eight Direct3D Texture Stage operations in a single pass, the PERMEDIA 3
Triple-Blend core can be used, for example, to apply a bumpmap on a surface texture map
with a glossmap all in a single pass operation. This capability will enable application
developers to deliver extremely realistic content to consumers while still maintaining
fast frame rates at high resolutions and color depths.
``AMD is very excited to have 3Dlabs
support our 3DNow! technology in their new PERMEDIA 3 chip. With the combination of 3DNow!
and PERMEDIA 3, users will have available to them an unprecedented level of performance at
great pricing,'' said Ned Finkle, director of Infrastructure Technology Development for
Advanced Micro Devices.
``PERMEDIA 3 has been designed to deliver
extremely high-performance graphics and includes a number of innovative features such as
Virtual Textures and Triple-Blending that will enable delivery of ever-more realistic
content and applications during 1999 by our software partners,`` said James Carrington,
vice president of desktop products at 3Dlabs. ''We expect PERMEDIA 3 to enable
3Dlabs-based products to further expand their presence in the consumer PC and game
Spiteful Microsoft May Drop
Java 11:33 am - Wilfred
I dunno if this is gonna happen, but I read
this story off Jesse
Berst's Anchordesk that Microsoft may abandon its own Visual J++Java development
tools. Here's the scoop:
Stung by recent court reversals, a petulant
Microsoft may abandon its own Java programming tool. If the courts uphold Sun's
first-round victory in the battle over Java purity (click for more),
Microsoft may cease further development of Visual J++.
What's more, the company may promote a new
technology as a direct competitor to Java. Click for
more. Microsoft has been working on project COOL (C++ Object-Oriented Language) for
years. Now it may position these C++ improvements as a Java alternative. Click for more.
New Detonator Based Spectra
Drivers 11:29 am - Wilfred
Ok, VE has it that Canopus has released a new
set of drivers + software for its Spectra TNT cards. So grab the stuff here:
Driver set plus software
(5MB) for Win 95/98:
Or the driver files alone (900KB):
Wilfred Coughs 11:38 am - Wilfred
Yeah, seriously coughing after taking too much
fried foods and CNY goodies! I'll be off visiting relatives this afternoon. I'd also given
up on getting my ADSL into action this festive season. Arrghh! Ok.. have lots of fun all
ATI Rage Magnum 09:58 am - Kan
done a review on the ATI
Rage Magnum. Nah, I prefer my M16 anytime.
The current running temperatures of the
RAGE 128 GL do not introduce any potential for premature failure of the part, or any
surrounding components. Based on an examination of the thermal impedence characteristics
of the RAGE 128 GL package, an ambient temperature of 25 degrees C and the RAGE 128 GL
operating in the normal range of power consumption (measured by ATI to be 2.5w to 4.0w),
we expect the component to remain well below maximum operating temperature allowed by the
Viewsonic VP150 15" LCD
09:56 am - Kan
Our pals over at CoolComputing done a review on the Viewsonic VP150 15" LCD
display. If only it's cheap, or rather if only I'm rich?
At the other two supported resolutions,
800x600 and 640x480, anti-aliasing reduced the jagged edges of fonts which made text very
readable although the overall picture does not look as satisfying as 1024x768. Note
that some LCD monitors in this price range do not even have the anti-aliasing feature
meaning very ugly text at the lower resolutions. Although featuring
anti-aliasing, the VP150, however, cannot accommodate those of you who prefer to view
800x600 or 640x480 in a reduced image area at the center of the screen
MS Force Feedback Wheel 09:52 am - Kan
done a review on the MS
Force Feedback Wheel. Hey! Is there a Ferrai Force Feedback Wheel? What?! Okay okay,
you didn't get my joke.
Finally, the force feedback effects were a
mixed bag. At first they were amazing and impressive, but as I used the wheel more, the
novelty started to fade off. Luckily, there is a force feedback button on the wheel that
lets you turn off the force feedback. Also, the wheel itself is top class, with an
ergonomic feel and responsive and realistic controls.
Intel Roadmap 09:45 am - Kan
This time round, Sharky brought us the Intel Roadmap for 1999.
Take a look and start savinig for those 600 MHz Coppermines...
Intel has already disclosed the Intel
Pentium III Xeon(tm) processor brand name, which is targeted for the server and
workstation market segments. And even though the Xeon 500/550Mhz will still be available
until the end of this year (again for servers), autumn should see the initial rollout of
the Pentium III 667MHz (so what's wrong 666Mhz? Everyone knows that the devil punches his
time clock over at Microsoft!). Speeds will be rolled up even further and Intel's plans
indicated that 800MHz would be introduced in the year 2000.
Pentium II Overdrive 09:43 am - Kan
finally completed the Pentium II overdrive
article. A very interesting processor, but I guess you will be better off buying a new
motherboard + Slot 1 processor. The overdrive is only for Socket 8 people.
By using the 0.25 micron Deschutes core of
the Pentium II, Intel managed to put a quick end to the 16-bit weakness of the Pentium
Pro, and in doing so, they also managed to double the amount of L1 cache on the processor.
If you recall, the Pentium Pro, like the original Pentium processors, was only outfitted
with 16KB of L1 cache split evenly between Data and Instruction Set caches. The Pentium II
OverDrive, like the Pentium MMX, the Pentium II, and the Pentium III, features a full 32KB
of L1 cache, once again, split evenly among its Data and Instruction Set caches (16KB +
Adaptec 2940U2W/Cheetah 9LP 09:41 am - Kan
Another review is by The Sanctum is the Adaptec 2940U2W and a Seagate Cheetah
9LP. Yummy...this is what I call high quality hardware.
Ultra2 LVD (Low Voltage Differential) moves
at blistering speed. LVD sends signals utilizing two wires instead of one. The
transfer Rate is almost doubled and the sound is lowered in the process. You must purchase
a Ultra2 LVD drive to take advantage of this Feature. The 80MB/s speed throughput moves at
rocket speed. In return Ultra2 drives run hot, and are louder then Your everyday IDE
drive. You dont need a hard-drive LED light on your case, the Noise emitted is
enough to tell you when the drive is being used. The 2940U2W is backwards compatiable with
prior SCSI releases.
AOpen AX6BC Revision 2.20 09:40 am - Kan
Sanctum done the AOpen AX6BC Slot 1
motherboard. One interesting thing about the motherboard is that it does not use a
battery to store the CMOS information.
The biggest feature that splits the Two
boards is AOpens battery-less feature. The AX6BC implements EEPROM And special
circuits that save the CPU and CMOS setup configs without using The battery. A battery
comes with the board, so you have the option of using Either feature you wish. Hopefully
other board makers will follow with the Battery-less design down the road. The down side
is the power cord must Always be plugged in.
|16 February 1999 - Tuesday
Users Demand Refunds for
Windows 22:33 pm - Wilfred
This made headlines on quite a few sites I visited
today, so here I serve it to you. About 100 computer users marched to Microsoft's offices
in Silicon Valley demanding refunds for the Windows software they said they didn't want do
buy or use.
I GOT STUCK WITH this software
because I couldnt buy a laptop without it, said Charles Lingo, a retired
maintenance engineer from San Jose. Its a ripoff by a monopoly.
About 90 percent of personal computers
sold these days come pre-loaded with Microsofts Windows software, which runs all the
other programs on the computers.
But Lingo and most of the demonstrators are
among a growing minority of computer users who dont care for Windows. They have
chosen to operate their computers with Linux, a system with a cherubic penguin mascot that
has risen to the forefront among the relatively unknown products that are alternatives to
the Windows operating system.
Media Lab ML-1 Speakers
Review 22:24 pm - Wilfred
did a review on Parasound's Media
Lab ML-1 speakers. Well, though arrived from a power amp company, neither the speaker's
design nor sound were inspiring - enough.
The ML-1s are a solid, no-nonsense pair of
PC speakers. They're quality-built and reproduce sound more than competently, but mainly
due to their slightly muddy characteristics, they weren't remarkable. In the areas where
Parasound paid much attention too - clarity in treble and smooth, roundedness in the bass,
they succeeded flawlessly, but the inherent problems with midrange in satellite/woofer
systems could be averted so easily. While the midrange was warm and notably present, it
sounded muddied and somewhat muffled, primarily due to the non-ideal size of the drivers
required of small-space satellite speakers.
Upstart Linux: Not Just for
Geeks 22:12 pm - Wilfred
In the March 99 issue of PCWorld, I just came across this interesting
article about Linux - about the momentum and support it gartnered.
System administrators and developers
seeking alternatives to NT 4.0 or the long-delayed Windows 2000 tout Linux's stability and
open source code, which simplifies customization and debugging. Red Hat Software and other
commercial Linux distributors have made installation simpler than ever, layering graphical
configuration tools over the basic OS's minimalist command-line interface. Red Hat's
costly around-the-clock tech support is intended for system administrators, but the vendor
is reportedly negotiating an agreement with IBM that could result in free support for IBM
PCs with Linux preinstalled. Though UNIX lacks a standard graphical user interface, both
Red Hat's upcoming Gnome and the freeware K Desktop Environment make Linux look a lot
Linux is also acquiring the feature users
care about most: applications. In December Corel started giving away WordPerfect 8.0 for
Linux Personal Edition for noncommercial use. Later this year, it will offer WordPerfect
Office 2000 for Linux as a free download. Computer Associates, IBM, Informix, Oracle, and
Sybase have all pledged to port server apps to Linux.
Sound Comparison: MX300
& SBLive! 21:31 pm - Wilfred
Just read this nice sound comparision writeup after
noticing the link from Alive!
Civerb, a Hollywoord sound engineer, gives his thought about the 2 cards. A must read!
I think all of you need to be reminded that
interactive four channel sound is here truly for the first time! This was "unheard
of" just a short time ago and we are all on the cutting edge of technology with
either card . I make my money in Hollywood as a sound engineer and this IS the wave of the
future. All Digital in Hollywood is passive participation. Both Aureal and Creative should
be applauded for there pioneering work in this field. Honestly people we ARE living in the
Im in Heaven with both cards.
Mistake! Sorry! 21:24 pm - Wilfred
Dear! Just got home from some visiting and
realised I left out the URL of GamesMania's Turok 2 review.
It's just fixed! Sorry!
ATI Rage128 Review 14:48 pm - Wilfred
World has done a review
on the ATI Rage128 card. All right, check out the details here:
To say the least, the Rage 128 boards
have everything going for them. The best 32 bit rendering in the industry (very important
for future games). The best DVD/MPEG2 decoding technology, built in. 32 MB of local memory
(SGRAM or SDRAM). The best quality and compatibility for LCD display technology (important
for 1999). You can arguably say that it currently has the best 3D performance available
today. It has the most value. Another thing you might not have considered is the
compatibility. It has drivers for every platform imaginable. Linux, MacOS, OS/2, all
flavors of Windows, even the BeOS has upcoming support.
Turok 2 Review 14:42 pm - Wilfred
Check out GamesMania's review on
Acclaim's Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Yap, so what's good and bad about it? Seems like poor
level design is still bugging the game:
The level design was somewhat poorly
executed in the sense that the levels didn't make a lot of sense. I guess you could argue
that the game is gear towards a younger audience who doesn't care for such things, but
good level design is something that I always look for in any game. The placement of
levels, ladders, doors, teleports and such made the levels all but unrecognizable as real
environment. The way in which one moves through the levels can either be viewed as being
done rather well, or not very well at all. You can either argue that it breaks up the
level into sections which makes it easier to complete, or you can argue that it breaks up
the levels and makes them less believable as actual environments. I guess it's a bit of a
Slot One Battle Royale 14:30 pm - Kan
just put up a new article called Slot One Battle Royale.
The processors compared were like the 300A, Celeron 366, PII 450 as well as the new PIII
The newcomer to this party, obviously, is
the Pentium III. It's distinguished visually by its half-cartridge enclosure,
more exposed than the utterly encased Pentium II, but not bare nekkid like the
cheap-seats-style Celeron. The PIII has a black plastic enclosure covering only its
back side, so it gets better cooling than the PII, but Intel still has a place to put its
hologram sticker. Also exposed in the Pentium III is the striking, bluish-colored
processor core. Without a metal cap like the Celeron, the PIII core can cozy right
up to a big ol' heat sink for cooling.
1998 Shooter Shootout 05:33 am - Kan
That's also a 1998 Shooter roundup over at Sharky.
1998 was no different. Almost every major
genre was represented by at least one banner game, in many cases more. Blizzard's
Starcraft and Bungie's Myth II stirred the stagnant waters of real-time strategies while
titles like Falcon 4.0, European Air War and Jane's WWII Fighters broke new ground in the
combat flight simulator genre. The sports category was especially refreshing this year
with the graphically impressive FIFA 99, the technically accurate Madden NFL 99 and the
outrageous NFL Blitz. The RPG genre was bestowed with two absolutely gripping yet
completely different games in the form of Final Fantasy VII and Baldur's Gate while
amateur racers everywhere were mesmerized by the likes of Need For Speed III, Indycar
Legends and Viper Racing.
Skywell MagicTNT 05:28 am - Kan
New review from Sharky on the Skywell MagicTNT.
As the Magic TNT is based on nVidia's
reference design, there's no TV-out at all. Neither is there any resemblance of a fancy
onboard fan, or any Witchdoctor capabilities to speak of. But don't let these facts deter
you from the MagicTNT. It's not an undesirable product- the TNT doesn't really require a
fan and who cares about TV-Out anyway? What you do get it a rather small AGP card with
16Mb SDRAM spread out over eight 2Mb memory chips which are capable of memory speeds of up
to 125Mhz and of course the TNT processor itself which still has a heat-sink slapped on
Apple OS Server X 01:20 am - Kan
had a first impression on the new OS Server X by
Apple. This sure looks cool!
Let me describe how it works (in a very
watered-down style). Grab yourself an OS X Server and some (stinkin') iMacs.
Yes, you heard me right - iMacs. NetBoot only works with the new, white and blue
Macs. Obviously, right now you'd be a fool to NetBoot anything but an iMac. Anyhow,
buy a bunch of these, and setup a little LAN or workgroup. Now, on the server, setup
the applications and the default system image you want these machines to have (say, with
MS Office, Netscape, and QuickTime). Define some users. Boot the
machines holding down the 'n' key, and voila -- the machines pull everything off the
server, including the preferences
|15 February 1999 - Monday
Windows Networking Setup 22:21 pm - Kan
had an article on Windows
Networking Setup. If you want to know how to setup your computers to network with each
other, go and take a look. Maybe I should come out with an article on how to configure IP
Masquarding etc er?
Your 200 ping over modem just doesn't do it
for you anymore; you need that 20 ping. So now you've bought all the necessary network
components and connected all your systems, but where do you go from there? How do you
configure the network in Windows? We covered all the LAN basics in our How to Set up a
Small LAN guide, and now it's time to follow that up with the really tricky part - Windows
networking configuration. It's not too complicated, but it's certainly a situation where a
little preparation and patience can make up for long hours of frustration.
Pentium III Review 22:16 pm - Kan
whipped up a review on the Pentium
III 500 MHz processor. Damn, they are expensive and not worth it.
Let's talk temperatures for a second. The
Pentium III comes as is with the new SECC-2 processor packaging, which is quite odd to
look at. On one side of the processor, we have the protective black casing that was seen
on the Pentium II, and on the both side there is the processor core and memory chips
exposed with no casing (see the pictures for a better understanding). This seems to be
some hybrid of the Pentium II and Celeron ideas, it has some advantages as well as some
disadvantages though. The side of the processor without the casing allows for direct
contact of a heatsink or a fan to the hottest part of the processor, the core. This was a
good idea on Intel's part, but for some reason they decided not to ship a fan or heatsink
combination with the processor itself, you have to go buy one on your own
Abit ZM6 Review 20:14 pm - Wilfred
Confused already? GA-Source has completed a review on Abit's latest
(or 2nd) Socket370 offering - The ZM6. It uses Intel's ZX/100 chipset which only supports
up to 256Mb of RAM (BX supports 1Gb) and 4 PCI slots. But...
Aside from some high-end business server
configurations, I do not see needing more than 256Mb for at least a year and a half; based
on this, the ZM6 is a decent choice, as -- in any case -- you would probably need to
replace your motherboard by that point to use newer processors. For more information on
this, see my article on upgrading. The 4 PCI slot limitation is overcome by ABIT by
allowing slots 4 and 5 to share a bus master line. The net affect of this is that slots 4
and 5 cannot both have bus-mastering cards in them. Since quite a number of expansion
devices do not need bus-mastering ability, this is usable.
And the all-important part on
Something that I am sure many of you are
wondering, given the fact that Intel has stopped production and shipping of the Slot 1
Celeron 300a, is whether the PPGA version is as overclockable as the Slot 1. I can
wholeheartedly say yes. Requiring 2.1 volts to reach 450 mhz, this motherboard/processor
combo was as overclockable as BX/Slot 1 combinations.
3DSS Interview With Aureal's
Toni 20:10 pm - Wilfred
The good people at 3DSoundSurge scored an interview with Aureal's
Toni Schneider. This is one impressive chunk (off the war of words
between Aureal and Creative!):
3DSS: Again from
Creative's Q&A we have the statement that:
"The exhaustive calculation of sound
reflections for multiple sound sources off many objects is complex. Although the
underlying physical principles of the geometrical model are simple (and provide only an
approximation of real reflections), it requires serious computing resources."
Based on my experience and the experience
of others, this is quite correct. Wavetracing calculations are currently resulting in
anywhere between a 10 and 20 percent hit on the overall game performance (typically
measured by FPS). While acknowledging that these statements as they pertain to A3D 2.0 are
stemming from one title (Half Life) can you comment on your progress in bringing
Wavetracing CPU usage down to the 5 percent level that has previously been stated as your
TONI: Yes, Wavetracing
requires a lot of computation. Our first working prototype of A3D 2.0 (spring 98) used
most of a PII233 to do a single 3D source with 6 reflections. Today, we do 16 sources with
60 reflections using just a few percent of a PII233. In other words, brute force
Wavetracing takes lots of CPU, but we have found lots and lots of ways to speed things up
dramatically. Half-Life was the first shipping example of Wavetracing 3 months ago. It
sounds awesome and uses up to 15% CPU on certain machines. We have since improved the
efficiency by another factor of 10. With all the latest drivers, we have reached our
target of sub 5% with the latest A3D 2.0 title, Heretic II. On todays average gaming
rig (300-400Mhz CPU), all youll ever notice is that your audio just got amazingly
better. And we're not done yet...
US Mirror Login
Problems 20:06 pm - Wilfred
Nah, not much luck lately. Now we can't seem
to login or check our mails on the server. Hmm... once the thing is up, we'll start
mirroring our updates again.
Benwin Flat Speakers
Review 20:01 pm - Wilfred
Flat is good! Purified3D sent word about a new review they'd done on
the Benwin BW2000 Flat Speakers. Here's a snip of their audio test:
Our audio tests produced mixed results.
Generally, all types of audio CD's tried sounded terrific, with the exception of classical
music. Not that it is real bad, but there are better options if that is the type of music
you're listening to while computing. The only drawback is that the overall sound is a
little drowned out by a weird, slacky bass tone, almost as if they needed an enclosure
box, yet that would make no difference on this type of speakers.
Wilfred Coughs 19:57 pm - Wilfred
Almost vomitting blood today... as I'm
suffering from the 5th day of ADSL outtage! Arrggh!! What the heck! All the working days,
Magix didn't solve my problem... I even bothered to bring the big black modem down to
their cramped up service center (Nope! Not my equipment problem!). Now their technical
folks and all are home celebrating Chinese New Year! Arrggh....
Kenwood TrueX 52X
CD-ROM 06:28 am - Kan
also bashed up the Kenwood
TrueX 52X CD-ROM.
As HardwareCentral discussed in our Kenwood
40X review, the main difference between conventional drives and the Kenwood TrueX drives
is that conventional drives are CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) drives while the Kenwood
drives are CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) based. What's the difference between the two?
CAV drives have a constant CD spin rate which means that CAV drives read the fastest on
the outer track (because of the larger circumference) and slower on the inner tracks
(because of the smaller circumference).
UltraPlex 40max 06:26 am - Kan
tested out the Plextor
Ultraplex 40max SCSI CD-ROM. This CD-ROM drive had a maximum rotation speed of 8,590
rpm and 512 Kb of cache.
The construction is very detailed. On the
frontal panel there is the box for the player, in plastics and with guides which allow to
retain the CD even when the player is on a vertical position. A the bottom, from the left
to the right, there are the jack for the headphones with potentiometer, two led showing
respectively when the disk has been introduced and the reading of the support, a small
hole which allows, through a small key, to force the ejection of the support in case of
problem, the forward-playing and stop-ejection buttons.
Unofficial Vortex II
FAQ 06:25 am - Kan
had updated their unofficial
Vortex II FAQ. Read on to find out how powerful the Vortex 2 is.
"Late order reflections will be
handled with reverberation. The rationale is stated in the white paper: humans are capable
of individually perceiving first order reflections while second and higher order
reflections usually combine to form late field reflections, or reverberation. According to
Toni, reverb works best for very large spaces that require long decay times. A good
example is a cathedral or large cave that you move around in slowly, exploring as you go
along, hearing everything echo for a long time. Late order reflection parameters
constitute a part of environment properties:
Increase Cooling Power 06:23 am - Kan
had an article on how to increase your cooling power by increasing the voltage of your
fans. Damn, we are now overclocking fans to cool your overclocked processor.
First, cut the 0V (ground) wire [usually
black colour] of the fan at the connector end. The connector end being the end which has
the small plastic connector which plugs into the mother-board. With this loose wire from
the fan you need to connect it to the White wire from the power-supply. This is the tricky
bit. I did it by carefully shaving off some of the insulation of the White wire with a
razor-blade and then soldering the black wire to it. Then re-insulate it by wrapping some
electrical tape (or heatshrink) around the joint.
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