14 July 1999 - Wednesday
The Rise And Fall Of The Microsoft Empire 14:57 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion has got a few updates, and here's a piece worth checking out. I think Microsoft is far from falling, but more and more people must be seeing the light about the quality of their software.

The first company to feel the wrath of Gates was IBM, the technological behemoth that ruled the computer industry in the prehistoric era before the personal computer revolution. Ironically enough, IBM had breathed life into Microsoft by becoming their first customer. They had licensed the MS-DOS operating system from Microsoft after Gates had bought the system (formerly known as Quick & Dirty OS) for a song and repackaged it. IBM & Microsoft had been collaborating on the successor to MS-DOS when Gates decided that the product was taking to long & decided to quickly piece together his own system. His programmers threw together a system that ran on top of MS-DOS and made it easier to use the computers that IBM sold. This was Windows 3.1, which taught IBM a painful lesson: It doesn't matter how good the product is if it doesn't get out on time. Microsoft learned the corollary: It doesn't matter how badly the badly the product has been designed if it is the first one on the market and grabs enough market share. IBM had just created a monster.

Alienware's V3 & TNT2 Combo 14:45 pm - Wilfred
Thanks to Jarod for sending this piece news. The news release is out that Alienware has found a way to sell boxes powered by the two opposing forces of nVidia and 3dfx. By working with Metabyte's highly capable software driver writers, the 'super-card configuration' is possible.

Now Alienware offers an exclusive technology that will allow you to have both an Nvidia TNT2 and a 3DFX Voodoo III, in the same system, at the same time. You are probably asking yourself how is Alienware getting two (2) 2D/3D video cards running in the same system. Alienware in cooperation with Metabyte have developed special drivers that essentially let you pick and choose what video card you want to use when playing the game of your choice. Essentially we have taken the robust, full-featured set that comes with Nvidia's TNT2 and the powerful performer that is the 3DFX Voodoo III and put them in one system.

Canopus Spectra 5400 Benchmarks 14:40 pm - Wilfred
Singularity beat us to it! =) Heheh... check out their initial benchmarks on the Spectra 5400. The whole story will prolly be unveiled in Singapore very soon, though we promise no rush jobs. So watch this spaces in the coming days.

Elsa Revelator 3D Glasses 14:34 pm - Wilfred
Stereovision.net put up a 6 page review on seemingly the best 3D gaming glasses to have arrived, compared to the Wicked3D eyeScream. They love it...

The Revelator glasses easily earn our stereo award. If the competition doesn't act lightning fast, Elsa will be reigning consumer-level stereovision gaming very very soon. There are three main reasons why these glasses can make stereovision a mass market product and why the Revelator is your best-buy:

  • ease of installation and configuration
  • fantastic image quality (due to page flipping)
  • low price (especially for OEMs offering ELSA accelerator/Revelator combos in their machines this is the less expensive stereo available)

Windows 2000 Comprehensive Review 14:30 pm - Wilfred
The Review-Zone posted a gigantic writeup on Microsoft's Windows 2000 Professional Edition (build 2031). I can't think of any reason you would miss reading this article!

I like it! I really like this OS. It feels good and I do most of my work and surfing on it. Itís no nearer the command line level of computing than any previous version of Windows. If anything, itís even further away from it, so if thatís what youíre looking for, then this is not the OS for you. On the other hand, I have a command line recovery console which lets me access a NTFS partition. The interface is for once logically organized and I think this is a first for a Microsoft OS! In fact, it gives me a slight feeling of dťjŗ vu, itís ever so slightly reminiscent of OS/2 Warp.

Controlling Linux Remotely With X11 14:24 pm - Wilfred
LinuxPlanet has a new tutorial for you. If you are interested to know how to configure your Linux box for remote control, check this out.

A few years ago Linux systems were difficult to use and administrate because everything was set up via editing files and typing commands at a prompt. While this is still a convenient method for the experienced Linux user many people have found that the current crop of X based tools are far better. X11 offers an extensive range of other user friendly application programs too. However, if you are not physically using your Linux box locally then these tools seem out of reach. Access via a shell is then seen as the way to go, but this need not be the case.

Computer Video Settings 14:20 pm - Wilfred
This is a recommended reading for all your nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts... who are still stubbornly stucked with low-colour, low-resolution desktops on their home/work machines.

It has come quite clear from visiting friends and family, that the a large number of computer users out there are still running their computers at 640x480 resolution at low color depths. In turn, they have become used to looking at their screen with big buttons and cramped desktops. The reason for this little write up is to try and convince everyone to run their computer at nothing less than 1024x768 resolution at 16bit color depth. The reason for this being that I like to keep everyone on the up and up while letting you view the web, and your computer, the way it was intended to be viewed.

Skywell Magic TNT2 11:22 am - Kan
Another TNT2 review over at HardwarePros. It looks good too compard to the other TNT2 cards. 

Like many other companies, Skywell has chosen to build cards based on the leading 3D chips in market from 3dfx and Nvidia.  Since 3dfx manufactures their own boards now, Skywell is only left with Nvidia as a viable option for top notch video accelerators.  In this review, we will be taking a look at their Magic TNT2 card which is based on the Nvidia Riva TNT2 chip and comes with 32MB of Samsung 7ns SGRAM. 

Diamond Viper V770 11:19 am - Kan
Over at Like a Savage, the guys posted a review on the Diamond Viper V770 graphics card. 

The other area of differentiation of concern to some is over-clockability. This is a function of not just the graphic chip in use but is also affected by the cooling system provided. Memory also proves to be a bottleneck. In the case of the Viper the memory was very overclockable with the TNT2 Ultra chip being the limiting factor. One culprit here is the disappointing heat sink fan combo that comes with the card.

13 July 1999 - Tuesday
Unreal Engine To Hit PSX2 20:46 pm - Wilfred
This is something I wanted to post earlier but didn't. Anyway, it is about Epic's plan to port the Unreal engine to the Playstation 2. Read all about it at Adrenaline Vault.

ďThe PSX2 is very capable technically of running Unreal engine games, though there will be some tradeoffs, such as lower resolution textures, since memory, especially video memory, is more limited. On the plus side, there will be higher polygon counts,Ē he clarified.

ďThere will be other significant enhancements, almost all along the lines of increasing polygon counts and exploiting the massive floating-point capabilities of the machine. Other than the animation, the new features are just in the concept stage, so I don't want to go hyping anything yet,Ē Sweeney said.

How To Choose A Good USB Hub 20:43 pm - Wilfred
USB Workshop has an article teaching you just that. Yah, with all the influx of USB devices, I'm sure getting a hub is not a distant thing you have to consider.

Logitech SoundMan X2 Speakers 20:40 pm - Wilfred
This is the second review on the Logitech SoundMan X2 that I'd read. Visit Planet Hardware for their take, they sound disappointed.

"... the audio quality is indeed not up to par with the Logitech name. Audio quality was only slightly better than the previous Logitech set, which is a disappointment to say the least. The quality isn't terrible, but could have been greatly improved in the ten months since the first SoundMan line was released. Compared to similar speaker sits from Altec Lansing, Labtec, and Cambridge Soundworks, the Logitech setup left me with the most to be desired."

3DCool Monitor Cooler 20:37 pm - Wilfred
Well, yes we all know our monitors generate a tremendous amount of heat in use and if you are totally paranoid about things burning up, check out FPS3D.COM's review on 3DCool's monitor cooler.

3DCool was being modest with the 27dbA rating (a whisper is 23dbA according to their page). I could not hear this fan at all whatsoever from a normal distance from my PC. In fact, I had to get within 6 inches to hear so much as a small hum from this air pumping baby. It also lived up to it's high 38cfm spec. The cord is easily long enough to stretch to your PC no matter how far away the box is from your monitor in basdically any given room. I tried it on all 5 of the monitors in my house, and it worked great, and fit perfectly on all of them.

8-Way SMP Chipset For K7 20:34 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review sent word on their latest feature article about AMD's just announced 8-way SMP chipset for their Althon K7 processor.

Articles At The FiringSquad 20:29 pm - Wilfred
Firingsquad posted a 'buying cheap guide' as well as a review on Warzone 2100. Here's a snip from the first:

By cutting out the middleman, not only can you ensure the best prices, but you can also tap into other programs and special promotions normally only offered to resellers. You see, it is to the manufacturers' best interests to educate their resellers on their products. The more the reseller knows about the products, the more likely the reseller will sell and push the products. Hardcore gamers and techies know this concept well. You like a game or a product, and soon everyone around you will also like that game or product. In order to better educate their resellers, manufacturers offer resellers special deals on their products. For example, Intel has a program where resellers can buy most Intel products at a 50% discount. Microsoft has a similar program where resellers can buy hardware and software at substantial discounts. (NT Server for less than $100, Intellimice for less than $25, MS Office Pro for less than $80, etc.) In fact, most manufacturers offer similar programs, some more substantial than others.

Asus AGP-V3800 TVR Deluxe 20:23 pm - Wilfred
SystemLogic posted a review on the 'I-Have-It-All' TNT2 card from Asus. Yuppers, if you want all the frills, bells-and-whistles, then you should first look at this.

ASUS has put together a remarkably polished and very accessible package with the V3800 TVR Deluxe. The fact that they took the time to tweak the ease of use for the casual user will be much appreciated. Of course, not everyone is going to need all of the features that ASUS has packed in. It would be a waste of money to buy the TVR Deluxe version if you have no use for video in and out. For the users that fall into this category, Iíd have to point you toward cheaper and faster cards. However, for the occasional video editing buff, or the avid console/PC gaming freaks (of which my sorry behind is part of), the idea of having a consolidated environment for playing and editing is very attractive.

Editorials Galore 20:16 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion has got 2 new editorials for your reading, the first 'Busted' is about a bias review at InfoWorld and another titled 'Microsoft Works'. Enjoy...

Elsa Erazor III TNT2 20:11 pm - Wilfred
Kyle did a review on the Erazor III TNT2 card over at HardOCP. Well, it's a good 4 pages of OCP craziness. He plucked the heatsink and pasted a huge blower onto the card.

Well, the Elsa ErazorIII turned out to be quite a card. I wish they would have been a little more aggressive and installed an active cooling system straight from the factory. I think that any card in the $180+ range should come with a good $5 fan and heatsink unit. 

Did the card do what it was advertised to do? Yes, it lived up to the standards by which it was produced and more. It more than produced a gaming experience that was enjoyable and smoothly playable. The frame rates were excellent as was the color allowed.

IBM Sees Breakthrough in Semiconductors 09:35 am - Kan
Though this won't affect us now, but IBM sees breakthrough in semiconductors manufacturing process. According to Techweb, this breakthrough with new packaging technology will improve longevity as well as the performance of the chips.

In conjunction with Photronics, a company that specializes in the lithography portion of the chipmaking process,IBM announced plans to develop a "mask" technology. Masking, an essential part of the chip-building process, is a process akin to photographic negatives, etching tiny patterns on silicon wavers that represent the millions of circuits that make up a computer chip. The two companies unveiled the Mask Center of Competency, which will be located at IBM's Burlington, Vt., manufacturing facility.

July 99 TNT2 Roundup 09:33 am - Kan
Over at AnandTech, our dear Anand whipped up another 10 pages long roundup on the TNT2 graphics cards.

Unlike motherboards, TNT2 based graphics cards are not as tailored to a particular userís needs as manufacturers would like them to be. The fact of the matter is that most TNT2s are the same, the main differences being default clock speed, cooling methods, overclocking potential, drivers/support, and software bundle. The latter is probably one of the least important factors youíll have to take into consideration, as the value of a software bundle is a very subjective factor in any buying decision involving a video card. Luckily there is a solution, AnandTech rounded up a handful of the most popular TNT2 based boards, regardless of clock speed, and used them as both a helpful aid and example of what to look for in a TNT2 board.

Fujitsu MAE3182 09:29 am - Kan
Storagereview reviewed yet another hard drive, the Fujitsu MAE3182 7200 rpm SCSI hard drive.

As we've come to expect with all Fujitsu drives, heat and noise levels for the MAE3182LP are commendable. Though it doesn't come close to approaching the silent operation of its Fujitsu ATA cousins, the drive probably is the quietest of this year's SCSI drives. The drive also runs rather cool in our well-ventilated case; a drive cooler is probably unnecessary in many instances.

Oni 08:48 am - Kan
Pretty cute name. Anyway, Exxtreme3D reviewed this upcoming game called Oni. Oni is a 3rd person action/adventure game which resembles a lot like Tomb Raider.

The gameplay will be the best part of the game. As Konoko, you will be kicking and shooting your way through ninjas and thugs. Its called "full contact action", to be technical. Oni is like a Fighter and a shoot-em-up packed into one big game. You can run up can kick the shit out of a guy, and when his life is down to almost nothing, you can shoot him, or vise versa. The one-on-one brawls with roundhouse kicks and flips make it much like an intense fighting game, and itís mixing of guns and a story makes it very fun, as well as interesting.

New Creative Webcam 08:45 am - Kan
Jarod from ComputingPros kindly sent note on the press release of the new Creative Webcam.

MILPITAS, Calif. - July 12, 1999 - Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF), the leading provider of multimedia solutions for personal entertainment, today announced the latest addition to its family of video products, the Video Blasterô WebCam 3. The new, easy to use desktop digital camera is now available at the exceptional price of only US$79. Sporting a sleek new design, the Video Blaster WebCam 3 connects to the PC via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port and allows users to capture images and video, send video e-mail, create a personal Web site, and video conference via the Internet.

Elsa 3D Revelator 08:43 am - Kan
We have another Elsa 3D Revelator glasses review, this time it's done by Speedy3D

The 3D REVELATOR from Elsa is yet another fetal attempt to recreate a true 3d image from a 2 dimensional one (personally I don't think we will ever be able to do it accurately). We should Spend time on inventing holographic games! Elsa offers 2 versions of it's 3D REVELATOR glasses. 1 is the standard version that attaches to your Elsa video card via a standard cable, and another the connects via an infrared receiver.

Reviews @ AGN 08:27 am - Kan
Some new reviews over at AGN Hardware. First, it's the Dell Inspiron 7000 video review, followed by the FireBall 13GB ATA-66 hard drive. Lastly, it's the 4-way round-up of HOTAS Flight Gear for PC. 

Quantum has developed a means to prevent avoidable data loss by helping use drsetermine whether or not the hard disk is the cause of a system failure. Quantum's DPS system allows the user to run a set of diagnostic tests off of a boot disk that will determine if the hard disk has failed. This prevents the possibility of users returning perfectly healthy drives, which in turn lowers Quantum's operational costs, and hopefully, the cost of a Quantum hard drive. The DPS diagnostic software can be downloaded from the Quantum web site.

TrickStyle Preview 08:23 am - Kan
FiringSquad posted a preview on TrickStyle, a upcoming 3D hoverboard racing/stunts game from Acclaim and Criterion Studios

Trickstyle is being developed concurrently for PC and Dreamcast, so it has a definite console feel to it. You get four buttons - jump, luge, spin, and smash - which you use to control your chacarter. More complex moves involve button combos to pull off; for instance, if you learn to do a 360 while riding your board like a luge, you'd press the luge, then spin buttons to pull it off.

12 July 1999 - Monday
Logitech Wingman Gaming Mouse 23:43 pm - Wilfred
Extreme Hardware posted a review on the Logitech Wingman Gaming Mouse, well yes, supposedly the best deal for FPS games. So check it out if you think you haven't been fraggin' up to standard!

From a pure 1st-person perspective, the Gaming Mouse is an excellent device and gave me great response and precision in all three games. Quake 2 was especially interesting, since I booted up the game just for testing, and then ran through quite a few levels without dying once. It didnít hit me till later, but I usually step over a crevice, or do something moronic to cause the untimely demise of my game character. The more I use the Gaming Mouse, the more I like its smooth feel and button precision, and Iím definitely a better Quake 2 player with it. The only complaint I have is of the "no thumb button" variety, and I had to remap the strafe command to the middle button of the Gaming Mouse.

Hard Drive Guide 22:07 pm - Kan
Looking for a new hard disk? Not sure whether to get a SCSI or ATA-66 drive? Then check out SharkyExtreme's new Hard Drive Guide

As areal densities rose and rotational speeds jumped, hard drive manufacturers once again saw the need for a new standard. Similarly to UDMA/33, Ultra DMA/66 once again doubled the maximum capacity of the IDE chain. To do this, the clock speed halved, this time to 30ns, and a few problems arose. With such fast clock speeds across such a long bus, noise becomes an increasing problem. To combat this, an 80 wire model was created, and that is why UDMA/66 cables are different than anything we have seen for ATA drives in the last 6 or 7 years.

CPU Usage and A3D 2.0 19:05 pm - Kan
Our pals over at 3DsoundSurge posted a detailed report on the performance of A3D 2.0 and the CPU usage.

So lets cut to the chase.  Heretic II has a built in timedemo feature just like Quake II, however it does not come with a prerecorded demo.  I am using a demo called "NTDEMO" provided to me by David Gasior during his tenure with Aureal.  There is nothing special about this demo other than its goes out of the way to make use of the A3D 2.0 features so its an excellent test demo for our purpose.  To use it, you need to create a demo folder in your base directory and copy the demo file into it.    From the console, you set timedemo to 1 and then run "Demomap ntdemo"  All tests were repeated a minimum of three times and the system was rebooted between driver changes just to be safe.

Gigabyte GA-6BXDS 19:03 pm - Kan
AnandTech posted a review of the Gigabyte GA-6BXDS Dual Slot-1 motherboard with onboard SCSI controller. Looks like dual boards are the 'in' thing nowadays. 

The 4/3/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) slot configuration is a little dated these days, especially for the server/workstation market that this board is targeted towards. Only two of the PCI and one of the ISA slots are full length. An optional RAID port was also included on our evaluation board as well. Fortunately, four DIMM slots are provided to adequately cover memory expansion. ATX specifications are followed fairly closely, with all HDD/FDD/SCSI connectors located just in front of the DIMM slots. The ATX power connector is along the right edge of the board and shouldn't cause any cable clutter. The board is fairly small for a dual processor board, but much larger than most single processor boards. A few mid towers will be able to accept it without any trouble, but many will not, so be sure you check ahead of time.

P2 Heatsink to Celeron Conversion 14:29 pm - Kan
The babes over at TheTechZone posted an article teaching you how to convert your P2 heatsink (in particular, the GlobalWin VEK12) to fit your Slot-1 Celeron processor.

There are many good reasons for using the VEK 12 on a Celeron. The first is that it will out perform any Celeron coolers in its price range. The only cooler that is better is the Alpha P125, but that sells for over 2 times more money. For the price, you can't beat the VEK 12.

The VEK 12 gets its great performance by its sheer size, it's much bigger than the FAB28, and number of pin fins (260) the heatsink use. The FAB 28 has 21 fins by comparison. The VEK 12 fan's are nearly 2.5 times more powerful than the fans used by the same priced FAB 28.

Rise and Fall of OS Empires 14:23 pm - Kan
New article available over at osOpinion on the Rise and Fall of OS Empires. They also have another interesting article called ePOWER- the iMac Rip-off.

I submit that an Open Source OS will watch the rise and fall of the BeOS. It oversee the death of Windows 2000 and the death of the next rabbit Microsoft pulls out it's hat. And it will watch the end of the Mac.

Don't believe me? I submit the Amiga, OS/2, and Windows 3.1 as operating systems that have fallen like any ancient empire. At the time, they were revolutionary. They were The Next Big Thing. But now they have fallen, with ruins left in computer history. The BeOS and Windows 2000 will also fall. Linux will fall too, but with a difference!

Xentor 32 14:18 pm - Kan
Review of the Guillemot Xentor 32 TNT2 graphics card over at AbsolutePC. Here's a summary:

The TV Out on the Xentor 32 is a great feature and it works well with the card allowing gameplay and DVD video on the Television. It is nothing special however as the quality was not the best we have ever seen, it falls short of a dedicated TV-Out card such as those seen from Matrox and the latest G400 card seems to be a bit better in this area as well. It does throw in yet another feature lacking on many of the TNT2 Ultra cards and thus gives the Xentor 32 a few extra points.

IWill BD100-Plus 14:17 pm - Kan
SystemLogic posted a review on the IWill BD100-Plus Slot-1 motherboard. Nothing much to say, except that the IWill comes with a prettyta sndard motherboard layout.

The Iwill BD100Plus contains many features similar to the other second generation BX boards out there like the ABIT BX6 Revision 2, the AOpen AX6BC, and the Asus P2B-F. It offers a 5-PCI/2-ISA/1-AGP configuration which is becoming standard as more motherboards switch from the older 4-PCI/2-ISA/1-AGP configuration. The 5 PCI slots are all capable of holding full length expansion cards, which is definitely a plus. Unfortunately you're going to have to throw away all your full length ISA expansion cards if you decide to go with this board.

FPS2000 14:15 pm - Kan
Ben from WickedPC sent note on their new review on the Cambridge FPS2000 4-pt speakers. The thing I like about the FPS2000 are the speakers stand. :)

The manual was no slacker in the FPS2000. Clear and concise with detailed drawings of each installation method installation took roughly 20 minutes. It's a long install process, but what did you expect? You'll enjoy using true speaker wire to connect each satellite speaker, as well as the two sound cables to your sound card (for all 4 speaker support), and then finding a place to mount the separate handheld volume control. If you have a Sound Blaster Live! (not value), then you can use the DIN connector cable for pure digital output.

Trophy Bass 3D 08:17 am - Kan
For those of you who like fishing, but can't find the time to actually do it, check out the game Trophy Bass 3D ich was reviewed by Avault

I've always enjoyed fishing. Having grown up in a region peppered with small- to medium-sized lakes, my friends and I would often grab the opportunity to take up our rods and spend a day on the water in pursuit of ''the big one.'' For us, of course, this process mostly consisted of renting a small boat, stocking up on the cold beverage of our choice and sitting out on the lake shooting the bull. From time to time, we'd end up with a fish if one of them just happened to leap into our boat, but the experience was more about hanging out with good friends, enjoying the great outdoors and relaxing. A lot of fun, to be sure, but hardly grounds for a compelling gaming experience. That's why I could not, for the life of me, understand the motivation behind the release of fishing simulations when they began to appear.

Guide to Sim Lim Square 07:47 am - Kan
C|Net Singapore posted a guide to your favorite computer center, Sim Lim Square. Check out what they have to say about the place you visit weekly :)

But being the true-blue DIY aficionado that you are, you'd rather go for the latter. Firstly, it could be about $400 cheaper than investing in a full high-end system, which appeals to that thrifty part of the Singapore psyche. Secondly, you get a power PC in your own specifications.

Unfortunately, these days you need nothing less than a PhD to suss out separate components, put them together, and survive the venus fly trap that is Sim Lim Square. The local stores at Singapore's PC mecca will no doubt come close to delivering the exact configuration you want at a competitive price (if you know where to look).

TreadMarks Interview 07:44 am - Kan
Speedy3D scored an interview with lead programer, Seumas McNally on the upcoming tank racing/deathmatch game TreadMarks. 

KP: What engine did you build Tread Marks on?

SM: My own proprietary 3D engine, using OpenGL for hardware interface.

KP: If you developed your own, how long was it in development and will any other company be using it?

SM: Itís been in development as long as Tread Marks has, and we donít have any plans to license it at the moment.

Oxygen GVX1 07:42 am - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on their latest review on the 3DLabs Oxygen GVX1 graphics accelerator card. First thing that comes to my mind, it's an expensive toy (US$999).

Being a strong force in the graphics workstation market, the Permedia 3 was also supposed to bring a good deal of 3D rendering capability to the table as well. 3Dlabs themselves aren't a well know name in the gaming video card market that we've become all too familiar with in the past couple of months. The reason for that is simple. They are not a company that has heavily targeted the entertainment sector of video and graphics acceleration, instead catering to the graphics professionals.

Hidden And Dangerous 07:41 am - Kan
Review of Hidden and Dangerous over at ActiveWin. Here's some of the juice:

"Hidden & Dangerous" is an action/real-time strategic game, containing a combination of non-traditional features, elements of real time strategy, action games and partly tactical strategies. Plentiful new features and stunning true 3D graphics give the game original form and dynamic pace. The story is imaginative and full of reversals and forces the player to think ahead all the time.

"Hidden & Dangerous" takes place during World War II. The story begins in 1941 and, provided that you choose the correct course of action, you can get to the end of the war in 1945. Player's task is to lead a small group of Allies soldiers (up to 4 people) who carry-out difficult missions deep in enemy territory. Missions take place in six different localities.

11 July 1999 - Sunday
Soyo SY-6BA+ III 17:15 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme reviewed the Soyo SY-6BA+ III BX motherboard. 

Let's get right to it. The SY6BA+ III (or "V3" as the staff took to calling it) is an amazing piece of practical flexibility and technological implementation.

From its nearly perfect ergonomic design and layout to its seemingly endless amount of customization via simple BIOS settings, the V3 is a board that has easily vaulted to the top of our office's "favorite mainboards" lis

Benwin 2000 17:14 pm - Kan
Today is a slow day. Anyway, we have a Benwin 2000 speakers review over at 3DRage. Also, they have a review on the pretty niffy Onstream 50GB tape backup drive.

Personally, I was never a fan of tape drives. Their storage capacities coupled with their slow speeds just never seemed like much of an option so I found myself buying a new hard drive every time I needed more space. I eventually picked up a CD-R(W) for those files that I needed to transport from one place to the next, but even the 600+ megs of storage just wasn't enough at times. Well OnStream has stepped in with a viable solution to my back up needs with their SCSI 50 gig digital tape drive.

Viper 770 TNT2 10:41 am - Kan
Extreme3D reviewed the Diamond Viper 770 TNT2 graphics card. 

As with other products, this 3D card comes with fairly good 3D games to try and show off the card. You have some full version games, and you have some shareware games. The program that interests me most is "InControl Tools 99" provided by Diamond. This program helps you optimize your card better than using the applications that your Control Panel does. It helps you overclock the card if you wanted to, boost it up to as much as your card can handle, set the brightness, etc. All of these are very nice to use.

Call Waiting Modem 10:39 am - Kan
Speedy3D sent note on their latest review on the ActionTec modem which has call waiting features. Cool, now you won't miss important calls while surfing the net.

Installation was simple enough. All I had to do was shut down my computer, uninstall my current internal modem and then plug the external one into my serial port. Then I plugged a telephone into the E56kCWM, and the internet line. After that I plugged the power adapter into an outlet in the wall. When I rebooted my machine windows detected my new device and then preceded to install the drivers found on the CD-ROM that comes with the modem.

10 July 1999 - Saturday
TV-Out Comparisons 22:44 pm - Wilfred
AnandTech has a rare writeup about the TV-Out options you'll find on many of today's video cards. Find out the outcome and the variation in quality from different vendors.

As far as TV output goes, for games, the Brooktree BT869 just about covers your basic needs, however when it comes to presentations or text display you're much better off with the Matrox G400. The ATI Rage 128's ImpacTV2 does a fine job at games and doing the basic job of putting your desktop on your TV, unfortunately once you try and view some text on the screen you start to realize why the ImpacTV2 isn't used as a presentation aid too often. The old Chrontel chip can be used as little more than a reference guide for the rest of the controllers, however it is obviously a chip that was ahead of its time. 

The Voodoo3's quality was on the disappointing side as well, which was interesting enough considering that the Voodoo3 used the same Brooktree chip that was present on the TNT2 and Savage4 boards AnandTech tried. The quality difference between TNT2 boards was negligible, as all of them used the same chip, however the difference between the Voodoo3 and all other implementations of the BT869 was definitely worth mentioning.

Netgear Network Starter Kit 22:29 pm - Wilfred
Tech-Review did a review on the Netgear Network Starter Kit. If you're looking to set up a simple network in your office or home, have a look at this.

Netgear has produced a solid network starter kit for your home or office with the DB104. With 10/100 Mbps file transfer speeds, you will have no problem sending files or playing your favorite multiplayer games a incredible speeds. One thing to take into consideration however, is the high price of this kit compared to other starter kits on the market. If Netgear hopes to stay competitive, they need to lower the price of this kit by quite a few dollars. Other than the price and second place speed performance, the Netgear is an excellent network starter kit worthy of any home network.

No Escape Plan For Moon Astronauts 22:22 pm - Wilfred
Whoa! Just thought this link at Slashdot would interest you. It is about a 30 year old secret document disclosing that NASA had no escape plan for the astronauts in their first landing on the moon. President Nixon even had a disaster speech prepared.

The first astronauts on the moon would have been left to die in silence if they had been stranded by technical failure, according to documents just discovered.

The American space agency has confirmed that extensive plans were laid in case Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first two men to walk on the moon, were unable to return home. With no rescue mission planned, their communications to Earth would have been switched off and they would have been left to die or commit suicide, the BBC has learned.

3DLabs Permedia 3 22:11 pm - Wilfred
System Logic has put up a concise review of the Permedia 3 card. Looks like it is not exactly tuned for gaming purpose but more for professional usage.

The Permedia3 Create! does not have the stuff to compete with cards like the TNT2 and Voodoo3. At least not in speed...Permedia3 Create! has comparable image quality to the G400, which can make any game look fabulous. Don't expect any games to be played at high resolutions, even though the card does support it. If you are looking for a video card which will let you play games, as well as run proffesional applications, then this may be your top choice. Considering it is a pre-workstation card with a hefty 32MB of on-board RAM, and the 256MB virtual texture engine, then you may want this more than a card sporting the TNT2 or Voodoo3 chip.

Gateway's Amiga Prepares For Return 22:05 pm - Wilfred
CNet has a report about Gateway's plans for the return of Amiga. So you think they've disappeared from the surface of computerdom? Gateway's purchase of Amiga is suddenly making sense to us.

One project is a technology called AmigaObjects, which is similar in concept to "device language" technologies being developed by a host of companies such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Sony.

With it, any device on a network can offer up its abilities to another device and share the task of processing commands. AmigaObjects will first run on Linux, which is gaining traction as an alternative operating system for embedded devices, said Collas.

"There are lots of companies that have technology targeted at this vision, but few are pulling all of it into a single comprehensive environment," he offered.

Amiga is not trying to reinvent the wheel, he said. The company will use Java and work with Sun's Jini, Sony and Philip's Havi, and Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play. However, its homegrown technology will get everything to work together in an easy-to-use fashion.

AMD K7 Easy To Overclock 13:36 pm - Wilfred
Check out this article at The Register, AMD K7 is reported to be quite a good chip for hobbyists to overclock.

Rana Mainee, European research director at AMD, said: "We don't recommend overclocking but we haven't done anything in K7 to prevent it. If people want to do that, they can choose to do so at their own risk."

He said the majority of people using K7s would never want to open a machine but there were dedicated hobbyists who would want to tweak performance to its maximum.

He said he was unable to confirm the 750MHz K7 Athlon part, but added: "The K7 core is a great core and its very scalable".

Yamaha 6416S 12:08 pm - Kan
Our girlfriends over at Tech-Junkie reviewed the Yamaha 6416S CD-RW writer. Check out their fantastic review written using Macromedia Flash!

For a thrash test, we had 15 CD's worth of MP3's to be written as audio. Using WinAmp's default Disk Writer plugin, we converted CD after CD's worth of audio and pumped the data into two 9GB Seagate Barracuddas. Then we jammed as much audio into each CD as we could and wrote all 15 one after the other flat out. At the end of the test, the Yamaha was very slightly warm. The laser obviously had a rockin good time in there, but the little fan on the back panel must have dissipated most of the heat. "

Montego II Quadzilla 09:59 am - Kan
Our buds over at BxBoards posted a review on the Montego II Quadzilla A3D 2.0 soundcard. Pretty standard with SPDIF and 2 stereo speakers out as well as supporting A3D 1.0/2.0 and DirectSound.

First, the Montego II Quadzilla uses the A3D 2 chipset, just like the cards from Xitel, Diamond, and others. However, it differs in that Turtle Beach manufactures their own boards and the BIGGEST difference is that Turtle Beach doesn't use the reference design and drivers. This harkens back to the days of Canopus and 3DFX, when Canopus used it's own design for the Voodoo 1 & 2 which meant that while Canopus's custom drivers often offered a speed boost, gamers had to wait for the latest version when the reference drivers had long been released.

Diamond Stealth III S540 09:56 am - Kan
Another Savage4 review today, but this time this one is from Diamond. Check out FPS3D review on it.

The Stealth S540 really beats out the Creative Savage4 in today's popular games. It got about 5-15 FPS more than the Creative Savage4 in every resolution, which is amazing. Unreal basically didn't run in OpenGL mode, which was expected. But, when MeTaL is enabled, you can play Unreal with no visual bugs and at a speedy framerate.

Savage4 Review 09:55 am - Kan
Like a Savage posted a review on the Creative Savage4 graphics card. You might like to check it out if you are interested in getting yourself a S4.

The chip itself comes in several flavours, the Savage4 PRO, and the Savage4 GT as well as the mobile edition known as the Savage4 MX. The Savage4 PRO in itself has various versions, which are categorized by their core speed, the highest of which are the PRO and the PRO+. The difference here is that the PRO is rated at 110Mhz and the PRO+ is rated at 125Mhz. Initially there was a lot of confusion with the PRO+ and its actual rating, but that has now been clarified by S3 after Sharkyextreme made quite a song-and-dance about it.

Merlin VR 09:54 am - Kan
3DSpotlight posted a review on the Merlin VR 3D rendering software. 

Merlin VR is a program that lets you expand your imagination in the 3D realm. You can creat whatever you set your mind out to do and you can do it all in real-time fluid movement. Merlin VR takes full advantage of DirectX, so almost any major video card can run Merlin VR just fine. Merlin VR is so compatible and easy to use anyone can make 3D in no time.  Merlin VR does not carry the hefty price tag that other 3D rendering apps have either making it more accessable to those who are new to designing. 

Super 1GHz Athlon Review 09:49 am - Kan
We have a load of new reviews over at AGN Hardware. First, it's the Super 1Ghz Athlon review, followed by the Guillemot Xentor32 TNT2 graphis card. Then we have the CH ForceFX Flightstick review and lastly, a chance for you to win the G400 in their give-away contest! 

For those of you not familiar with the Super G K7, the computer is from the folks over at Kryotech and includes a speedy K7 Athlon processor running at 1000MHz or 1GHz. It seems that the new Athlon is much more overclockable then past AMD processors, allowing for them to bring the speed much higher.

9 July 1999 - Friday

QNX Delivering Promise For Amigans 23:02 pm - Wilfred
Take a look at this highly promising OS written from scratch for the Amiga. There's some very nice shots of the graphical OS and it looks very impressive indeed.

QNX is often compared to UNIX, LINUX and BSD. We do share the same POSIX APIs, and most code written for these systems ports easily to QNX, but the resemblance ends there. Based on 20 years of OS experience, QNX has a radically more advanced architecture. It's a massively scalable, multi-threaded, fault-tolerant, realtime OS designed for devices and computers of any type or size. QNX provides a unique network architecture where large full-service protocol stacks aren't required on each computer and devices plugged into the network are simply "discovered" automatically by other devices - all services and peripherals of the new device can then be used by any other device in the network. QNX is also the only self-hosted RTOS where the development environment and the runtime target environment are the same. And though we're not open source, we adopt an "open source" policy for hardware-specific drivers.

BIOS Optimization Guide 22:57 pm - Wilfred
Adrian's Rojak Pot posted the first parter of his BIOS Optimization Guide which you may be interested to check out. Maybe there's still room to tweak your system for better performance?

3Com Not Backing WAP 22:50 pm - Wilfred
Here's a story at TechWeb that heavyweight 3Com is not backing the Wireless Application Protocol that's supported by a huge group of companies.

WAP is a still-evolving open technical standard that offers communication between mobile devices and the Internet. Companies like Ericcson, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, and recent convert Microsoft, are trying to make WAP the de facto standard, but Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com, maker of the industry-leading Palm computing devices, is traveling its own road.

SMP On A Budget 22:43 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review posted an article "SMP On A Budget" which tells of building a cheap but fast SMP box. Roll over now!

Dungeon Keeper 2 22:40 pm - Wilfred
FiringSquad churned out another review. Have a look a their take on Dungeon Keeper 2. Here's a snip:

Dungeon Keeper 2 is a fantastic game that distinguishes itself from the rest with its unique premise, solid gameplay, but most of all, the signature wit and personality prevalent in every Bullfrog title. Some people have complained that Dungeon Keeper 2 is just more of the same as the original, but the totally revamped graphics, better single player campaign, useful first person ability, and free form dungeon building mode say otherwise. Besides, why fix what isn't broken?

3D Swindling 22:32 pm - Wilfred
Computer sent note that Reactor Critical has an article about how we may all be fooled by 3D chip manufacturers. They quoted "All that glitters is not gold". How appropriate... read on!

The prognosis is extremely negative. Manufacturers are interested in sales and that makes them interested in brainless advertisement of new capabilities.

FPS2000 Review 22:24 pm - Wilfred
GameWire took a look at these Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. Here's what they have to say about the digital speakers.

If the FPS 2000 could be one technology through out history, it would be Television. From top to bottom everything is refined to perfection. It is so perfect it took me days to think up a con and all I came up with was the fact that it didnít have an extra center speaker.

Intel Merced May Slip Further 22:15 pm - Wilfred
According to this report at CNet, the Merced may face further delays till mid-2000 instead of end-1999. Concerned? Check this!

The latest lag, which could put off Merced's release by a few weeks or months, won't be as significant as the delay Intel imposed last year when it shifted the 64-bit chip's debut from the end of 1999 to mid-2000.

Still, the revised calendar may sap Intel of some psychological momentum and will likely solidify arguments that Merced, the first Intel server and workstation processor designed to compete directly against the most powerful Alpha and UltraSparc processors, will primarily serve as a test vehicle. Customers and computer companies may buy it, but could hold off on migrating to Intel's 64-bit chips until McKinley, Merced's successor, comes out in late 2001.

Watch Out For The BeOS! 22:12 pm - Wilfred
Yes, that's the title of the editorial at osOpinion. The author thinks very highly of the highly evolved OS which has gained the support of sizeable number of people.

Niche market...Yes, for the moment. BeOS offers one thing that all the other OS makers cannot claim...fresh code with no legacy baggage. I know...I know...there is no software for the BeOS or at least not much as of yet. Things are changing though.

BS eO is no Linux in mass appeal, but it is extremely fast, clean, and fun to use. I run high end SG Unix boxes at the shop and to be honest, I can't see much of a difference in performance between my 400 MHz box and the mega-buck 320 SG box at 500Mhz. I work with serious animation and graphics and demand serious performance. BeOS has delivered this much-needed peorrfmance.

Now running V4, I am constantly amazed at what this fresh OS can do. Maybe no contender for the desktop as of yet, but watch out! Be is making serious inroads with the graphics community and with animation/ multimedia specialists. Be is also receiving droves of once happy Mac and PC users who are looking for something different to learn and play with.

Long Day 22:05 pm - Wilfred
Whew! After a sleepless night and wasting half a precious day wretchedly sleeping, finally got back to work at Hardware-One. =)

Spectra 5400 11:04 am - Kan
Yes, guys! This is the stunning box cover of the coming Canopus Spectra 5400 card. This is probably the only place you can catch a glimpse of this. So hang in there while we bring you more info on this card.

PetrOS 10:01 am - Kan
Are we seeing another OS? According to Techweb, a Australian company Trumpet Software will release an alpha version of its own operating system called PetrOS which will be able to run Windows 32bit applications. 

This will offer a smooth changeover and let the company aggressively go after the workstation market, said Simon Milburn, U.S. manager for Trumpet. Even if the company only managed to get a 1 percent market share in workstations, Milburn said, it would consider PetrOS successful.

PetrOS' main marketing advantage, Milburn added, is speed. Its kernel only takes up about 100 kilobytes.

Monthly Hardware News Overview 09:58 am - Kan
Spotted over at iXBT-Labs that they had posted their Monthly Hardware News overview. Check out their massive article and what they have to say for the month of June.

Well, this time we would like to start our monthly news overview with a very interesting observation: Cyrix, which seemed to be resting in peace, in fact keeps on being the main news generator of the month. At least this company marked the beginning as well as the end of June. It looked as if nothing unusual was happening to the company. Take for instance the Computex show, where Cyrix presented Socket-370 Gobi processor, which could provide Intel's platform with the 3DNow! support. It was actually a brilliant chance for anyone feeling risky enough to continue Cyrix's business and to start manufacturing Low-End PC processors. In fact, any large semiconductor manufacturer, such as the American IBM Company or the Taiwanese TSMC, could probably take up the matter.

ASUS TNT/TNT2 Drivers for Windows 2000 09:52 am - Kan
NT Game Palace sent note on the availability of the ASUS TNT/TNT2 drivers for Windows 2000. You can download it from here.

Aztech PCI 368 09:51 am - Kan
Our pals over at AGN Hardware did another new review, this time it's the Aztech PCI 368 soundcard.

Aztech has been established for thirteen years and claims expertise in developing modems, graphics cards, and sound cards for the PC market. In fact, at one point, Aztech was the second largest sound card manufacturer as well as the third largest modem supplier in the world!

Aztech's latest sound card, the PCI 368DSP offers EAX 1.0 and A3D 1.0 compatibility, support for two or four speakers, 128 channels of DirectSound acceleration, 64 channels of Q3D positional sound acceleration, and a 256-voice MIDI Wavetable.

Asus V3800 Ultra TNT2 04:37 am - Wilfred
Not mousing around anymore, Dan's Data put to the test an Ultra TNT2 card fron Asus. Here's a clip on this one:

An Ultra card doesn't have to have all of the fancy top-flight extras - video out, video in, partridges, pear trees - but many of them do, simply by virtue of being their manufacturers' flagship cards. The ASUS AGP-V3800 Ultra is one such card, with the Ultra chipset, on top of all of the other features of the V3800 Deluxe. That means 32Mb of RAM, composite or Y/C video in and out (see my digital video explanation page here to see what this means), and not just a connector for ASUS' VR100 3D glasses, but the glasses, too! Unfortunately, the glasses aren't actually very good (I review them here), but they don't add much to the price, and could be fun to experiment with

Cyberjaya 04:34 am - Wilfred
No this is not the next holiday destination in exotic South East Asia. Check out ZDNet's article about the new Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in Malaysia.

The MSC is a 9-by-31 mile zone located 20 miles south of the capital Kuala Lumpur and surrounded by oil palm groves. The government has planned and promoted the MSC as a magnet for world-class technology companies in hopes they will help develop the local information technology sector. It is also a testbed for information technology and multimedia systems.

Hercules Dynamite TNT2 Ultra 04:31 am - Wilfred
HardOCP has done a review on the Hercules Dynamite TNT2 Ultra. Yeah, the same usual concise goodness in 2 pages!!

The FPS rates showed us an EXTREMELY FAST card with EXTREMELY FAST memory that in my opinion is basically already overclocked. If the core would have had any thing left in it, I think for sure that Hercules would have upped the spec even farther. Hmmmm, already OC'd by the MFG. In a way that really rocks, in fact I gotta give it up to these guys. They are at least out there pushing the boundaries, just like most of us, trying to get that edge that will make our machines the best.

There is really NO WAY you can be disappointed with it's performance. I am sure that statement will solicit a few letters. Well if you can be disappointed with those numbers, you should most likely get off the crack rock. Remember that this card does allow real 32 Bit rendering which Brand X cannot offer. To many of you, this is a very important point. Also we are hoping that this chipset will take full advantage of the 4X AGP architecture when available.

Logitech Soundman X2 Speakers 04:23 am - Wilfred
Extreme Hardware reviewed this set of sleek black Logitech speakers and here's a quote from their review:

Priced at $99, the SoundMan X2 speaker system is clearly what most would think of as a "computer speaker system" and not a high-end audio system. Face it, you are not going to get high-end audio for $99, no matter whose speaker system you buy. However, for "computer speakers", the SoundMan X2 speakers sound pretty dang good. In fact, they are one of the best sounding low-end speakers that Iíve heard. The sound is clear for the most part and has a fairly strong feeling to it as well. While the X2 speakers often lack the punch often felt in high-end systems (occasionally a good thumping sound is created by the X2 speakers, but not often), they have enoughol vume to fill a small room. They do not have the power to raise the volume to a painful level, or even to the level where the neighbors begin to complain, but the X2 speakers are loud enough for most purposes.

8 July 1999 - Thursday
NT vs Linux/f 19:06 pm - Kan
osOpinion have some more new articles. First, they have the article on NT vs Linux for small-business networking. Also, they have an interesting article called FRY'S Mac Boutique. Totally wacky.

Fry's Electronics is a superstore chain with over twenty locations in the western states. When I say "super" I'm not kidding. I don't know the square footage, but these places look like blimp hangers. Think IKEA with nothing but electronics. They are the biggest single-floor store of any kind that I have ever seen. They are nifty in that each store is decorated in a different theme. The Fountain Valley, CA store is done in crumbling Roman ruins. So kitschy it's cool. My local store in Anaheim is done in Space Shuttle modern. There's a full-sized replica of the shuttle parked in the entrance. Any corporation that can be that whimsical deserves a look.

Beginners Guide to 3D Video 19:04 pm - Kan
Explosive3D sent note on their new Begineers Guide to 3D Video. If you don't know what-the-heck are Core and Memory speed etc, check the guide out.

The video card has two memory "clocks" which will be discussing quite briefly, namely the core clock speed and the memory clock speed. Core clock refers to the measure in MHz the Ďcoreí processes at or performs operations per second. 140MHz+ core clock is considered just good these daysÖ Some chips are shooting even higher! But let us move on- memory clock refers to the actual speed the memory is rated at, more often than not this number also indicates the overclock-ability of the chip.

TA: Kingdoms 19:02 pm - Kan
It's the third TA: Kingdoms review we had for the past 2 days. FiringSquad also posted their views on this strategy game. Check out what the babes have to say.

In some ways, I miss the bad old pre-internet days of computer game magazines and their two month lead times. Honestly, can you remember the last game that completely surprised you and exceeded all of your expectations? In my book, nothing is sweeter than having zero expectations for a game and having those expectations completely blown away-- and that's exactly what Total Annihilation did for me. 

620 Mhz Ultimate Gaming Machine 18:59 pm - Kan
Over at The Tech Zone, the guys has a step-by-step article on how to build your ultimate 620 MHz Gaming Machine. Pure madness again with the PIII-500 cranked up to 620 MHz.

The rest of the equipment has no problem working with the 124Mhz bus of the Abit BX6-2 motherboard, which I just love. This is THE overclocker's motherboard. When running on a 124Mhz bus, the PCI bus speed is set to 1/4. That means that the PCI bus is running at 31Mhz, which is 2 Mhz slower than what it is suppose to run. AGP speed when using the 124Mhz will be 83Mhz (2/3 or 124Mhz). This is quite a bit higher than the 66Mhz that the AGP port is suppose to run. However the Viper V770 Ultra has no problem working at that speed.

STB Desktop TV 18:57 pm - Kan
GameWire did a review on the STB Desktop TV. It comes with a TV tuner, pretty good if you don't have enough room to squeeze a TV on your table.

Have you ever wanted to watch TV on your monitor? How about listen to your favorite radio station while doing your homework? Sure you can use that dinky antique radio you have stashed up in your attic, but wouldnít listening through your computerís incredibly loud and static free speakers give you more joy? Now with TV/Radio Tuners you can achieve such happiness. Years ago this somewhat simple technology cost a couple hundred. Back then there was no such reason to invest on this expensive technology, since you could buy an average quality TV at the same price.

Fire And Darkness Preview 18:55 pm - Kan
Gamer's Crypt published their preview on Fire and Darkness, which is a strategy game similar to Starcraft.

The real-time strategy genre however as of late has seen a lack of decent titles. Not so much decent just a lack of them in general. Last year at this time gamers were battling away with Cavedogís critically acclaimed Total Annihilation and then this past winter Battle.Net was ablaze with gamers going at it with Starcraft. Both TA and Starcraft offered numerous innovations to an already innovative genre. However Cavedogís TA was a considerable leap in technology offering a full 3D environment that we have yet to see duplicated in the RTS genre since. 

11 Heatsinks Roundup 18:52 pm - Kan
Over at Overclockin.com, the guys posted a 11 Heatsinks roundup. You have brands like Vantec, Coolermastr, GlobalWin - Really pure madness!

The internal system temperatures for the tests were taken using the built-in system temperature sensor as well as the thermistor included with the ABIT BX6-2.  The thermistor was placed in contact with the processor core in order to get a consistent reading on all the tests.  All temperatures are recorded in degrees Fahrenheit.  The temperature readings were gathered after running at least 10 cycles of Unreal (1024x768 in software rendering mode). 

Video Editing with Matrox Marvel 18:50 pm - Kan
Our buds over at ArsTechnica wrote a review on the video editing aspect of the Matrox Marvel

The BeOS is a wonder.  Every time I use it, I marvel at how ingenious something is, or how cleverly functional yet beautiful that piece of the OS is. Sometimes I even intentionally type bad URLs into Net+ just so I can get a little haiku lovin'.  Needless to say, it was easier to install the new card's drivers in the BeOS than in Win98.  Why am I not surprised?  The only bad side to using this card in the BeOS is that there aren't any applications available which take advantage of the Marvel's video editing features.  Ah, but this grasshopper has patience.

Elsa Erazor III 18:49 pm - Kan
HotHardware sent note on their latest review on the Elsa Erazor III as well as the 3D Revelator Glasses. 

What's better than a hot new TNT2 based AGP card? How about a TNT2 based AGP video card bundled with 3D Stereo Eye Glasses? We recently received Elsa's new Erazor III TNT2, 32MB AGP card and it came with a nice surprise, The Revelator 3D Stereo Shutter Eye Glasses. The market first saw 3D Stereo Glasses with the early days of the Voodoo2. Since then, things have improve dramatically with increased resolutions and refresh rates.

SG Gaming Launched 10:40 am - Kan
My part time babe Red Dawn sent note on the official launch of SG Gaming. If you are a hardcore gamer, don't miss out this fantastic site with lots of new stuffs!

Singularity Gaming Website, the all games website, has moved to it's own server and domain. The new URL is: http://www.sg-gaming.com. We have revamped our system of news reporting and automated many aspects of running the site. Using an in-house developed news system, we are now able to provide timely news at a faster rate than before. One of our new focus now is to be source of gaming, hardware, technology and console news. We also have a dedicated section of the news for posting news of other sites.

Sharky's Private Eye 10:35 am - Kan
Over at SharkyExtreme, they have a new article called Sharky's Private Eye. Here's some of the juice:

We'd like to welcome you fine folks to this new column 'Sharky's Private Eye' (readers from Great Britain will have heard of Private Eye), which we're hoping will become a regular feature here at SE over the coming months. The purpose of it is to sum up latest/greatest happenings in the hardware world. We talk to lots of engineers, game developers, booth babes (erÖ never mind them) and personalities in the industry and usually end up with a barrel full (sometimes two) of information. Lot's of rumors tend to fly - some that stick and some that do not. We'll try our best to stick to the ones that stickÖWhat we absolutely won't do however, is break any NDAs.

Labtec APX 4620 10:33 am - Kan
Tech-Review reviewed the Labtec APX 4620 speakers. Pretty high end pair of speakers, check out the performance of this baby over there.

The frequency response of the 4620s has a nice range with the set reaching the 25Hz range and hitting the 20kHz range. With most higher quality speaker sets they will range from 20Hz-20kHz to give you maximum frequency response, but a range of 25Hz-20kHz is only slightly under this specification.

The power ouput of 70 watts is quite good, with 44 watts going to the subwoofer and 13 watts total to each satellite. As we will discuss in the sound quality section, you can definitely hear the power coming through this speaker set.

Entrega USBNet Review 10:31 am - Kan
USBWorkshop posted a review on the Entrega USBNet network kit. Basically, it allows you to network your computers using USB.

Entrega USBnet takes advantage of USB technology to simplify installation process and to lower development cost. It is ideal for network applications, such as file transfers, sharing peripherals and multiplayer gaming. USBnet contains an adapter, so-called bridge, two detachable (6ft) USB cables and a CD-ROM with installation drivers. The design of USBnet is perfect for computer novices and road warriors in need to connect their laptops to desktops for simple file transfer.  

Interview with Matrox 10:28 am - Kan
Spotted over at our pals iXBT Labs that they had whipped up an interview with 3D Architecture Engineer Juan Guardado from Matrox.

The first question, which occupies everyone's minds, is about the G400 supply, namely about the presence of OpenGL ICD in the G400 package. This matter is being rumored all over, and sometimes the forecasts are not that optimistic. And what's going on in reality?

A: At present there is just a beta-version of the drivers available. However, we expect the completed drivers version to be ready when they start mass sales of G400 based cards.

3D Graphics Card Roundup 10:24 am - Kan
GameCenter posted a 6 graphics cards roundup. Some of the cards include the Voodoo3, TNT2, Savage4 as well as the G400 Max. 

Matrox combines awesome speed with innovative features to make this one of the coolest graphics cards we've ever seen.

Looking at the bracket of the Millennium G400 Max, you can't help but feel a little confused. With two VGA-out connectors, it reminds one a bit of a 3D-only Voodoo 2 card. A little more investigation reveals just how clever those Matrox guys are. They've given the G400 the capability of outputting to two separate displays. They've also designed their proprietary TV-out chip to serve as both a RAMDAC for VGA-out and to offer standard TV output. The result? Multimonitor support in a single card.

Gigabyte GA-660 10:22 am - Kan
Our bud over at BxBoards posted their rieevw on the Gigabyte GA-660 TNT2 graphics card. Hmm, interesting that Gigabyte is also jumping into the graphics card bandwagon, just like AOpen and ASUS.

32 megabytes of 7ns LGS SDRAM is included on board. This memory is capable of stable operation up to 167Mhz. It has to be said that 7ns video memory is not fast in todays terms, with many Ultra cards coming with 5.5ns SGRAM. 7ns is par for the course for a non-Ultra card however, although this does prevent stable operation for overclockers at speeds much past 170Mhz.

Optimizing your Computer Memory 10:19 am - Kan
More optimization guides over at Hardware Extreme. This time, they whipped up a guide on how to Optimize your Computer Memory

Even though the swapfile has so many advantages, it has one big drawback : the dynamic swapfile capability. In this method, Windows deletes the swapfile everytime you shut dow the computer, and creates a new one when neccesary, making the swapfile as small as possible. Over time, this will cause the swapfile to become fragmented. As we all know, a fragmented swapfile means the harddisk has to spend more time seeking the data, which means reduced performance.

Logitech Quickcam Pro 10:17 am - Kan
WickedPC wrote an review on the Logitech Quickcam Pro USB camera. Frankly speaking, I haven't found much use for such things yet.

At first we had to do some tweaking to get the picture quality just as we liked. Its software defaults to the medium resolution with normal lighting. In the home-office here we found a bunch of colored specs on the video images it produced, and it drove it nuts! We found from Logitech's excellent support staff that it was from the low light in the office. So, one check of a box in the settings and the pictures remained movement-crisp as we call them. If the picture was fuzzy when we first used it, the turntable lens on the camera itself clears that up right away. Once configured, expect excellent quality.

Descent Freespace 2 10:15 am - Kan
FiringSquad did a preview on Descent Freespace 2. Descent Freespace is a space flight-simulation game, similar to Wing Commander series. One of my favorite games out there.

Freespace 2 is set thirty-six years after its predecessor. The imposing forces of the Shivans have surfaced again, threatening the survival of the Terrans and the Vasudans. In this post-war era, rebellion and civil war jeopardize the security of the colonies and the future of both the Terrans and Vasudans. While the rebellion rages on in the remote areas of Terran space, players serve as part of the Galactic Terran Vasudan Alliance (GTVA), monitoring and intervening in the interstellar skirmish.

FX Racing Wheel 02:47 am - Wilfred
Wow! Still thinking about conquering the tracks in NFS: High Stakes? Take a look at AGN Hardware's review on the FX Racing Wheel. Controlling your onscreen vehicle as you would a radio control car, how's that sound to you?

MP3 And MP3Spy 01:38 am - Wilfred
A pal sent note about this cool article on One Community about MP3 technology and the really nifty MP3Spy. Have a look!

What is the golden rule of proper MP3-ing? It's simple - "Listen for yourself". Don't think about impressing your friends by distributing them as freebies or birthday presents. It's both illegal and undesirable and you could get into some trouble if this advice is not heeded. Downloading music into your MP3 player and listening to it for yourself, is the best way to stay out of hot soup. Don't even dream of making a quick buck through any means of illegal MP3 distribution. So be good and listen smart!

Supermicro 370SWD 01:29 am - Wilfred
Hardware Upgrade did a review on the i810 based Supermicro 370SWD board. SWD? No it's not the Speed Warning Device? Hey! Get over those army daze will ya?

Supermicro 370SWD is a motherboard of good quality; it represents a good solution both in terms of stability and in terms of quality for every system with reduced size (letís think for example to PC used in office). Of course, i810 chipset isnít a solution designed for users who expect a lot from a motherboard, even if the quality of 370SWD is on the same level of that of the best motherboards based on 400BX chipset.

Bookmark 00:24 am - Kan
Thanks to my girl Red Dawn, if you are using IE5, bookmark Hardware One again and you will see our new nifty icon.

Unix vs NT War 00:16 am - Kan
Over at osOpinion, they have an new article called Unix vs NT War is getting Old. Oh yes, I do agree the flame wars between *nix vs NT systems is getting old, and you must have formed your opinion by now, so which OS do you think is better? :)

The Unix vs. NT war is getting old. Please! Let's put this thing to rest once and for all. Anyone who has any knowledge of operating systems whatsoever is under no illusions as to what the truth is between these two. Unix, as a group of operating systems has a 30+ year track record of being infinitely scalable, robust in all its flavors and the support Unix can offer to the enterprise is, well, astonishing.

CPUReview 1st Anniversary 00:19 am - Kan
Our pal William sent news that it's CPUReview first anniversary today. Anyway, you will like to check out their birthday greetings to the surfers out there. By the way, do you know when Hardware One was founded? :)

I wanted to thank you for all your feedback (which has been overwhelmingly positive) and apologize for the delays in answering your e-mail (I do read every e-mail that arrives here; and do answer every one of them). Your feedback helps me improve CPUReview.

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