21 July 1999 - Wednesday
Voodoo3 2000 for the Mac 14:11 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted their review on the Voodoo3 2000 for Mac computers. If I'm to get a Mac, I won't be playing games on it anyway.

The current situation regarding video cards for Macintosh is not good (it's about 12 months behind the PC). The current PowerMac G3, Apple's desktop computer, comes with the ATI Rage 128 video card. While the Rage 128 is fast, it's not exactly breaking any records. ATI has a faster version of the Rage 128 for retail, but the performance of even the newer faster Rage 128 just does not reach the level of less expensive cards available for the PC market. Cards such as the Voodoo3 blow away the lowly ATI in terms of performance in both 2D and 3D. The 3dfx Voodoo Banshee has just entered the Mac market through several different vendors, but it, like the ATI card, is really last year's technology.

Gigabyte 810 Socket-370 microATX 14:09 pm - Kan
AnandTech reviewed the Gigabyte 810 Socket-370 microATX motherboard. Actually, I don't mind getting one of these next time. Kinda nice to downgrade once in a while. :)

The GA-6WMM7 isn't quite your typical i810 board with quite a few features that stray from the normal, barren boards based on this chipset. The first thing that you'll notice is that Gigabyte actually included an ISA slot - quite a rarity in this new market segment. The other biggie is the inclusion of true hardware based sound based on the Yamaha YMF744 PCI chip - most i810's only have software powered AC97 codec's. The addition of true sound adds to the price, of course, something that is quite critical for the target market. Gigabyte realized this as well and the onboard hardware audio is optional with AC97 software sound available in its place.

Open Source vs Free Software 13:58 pm - Kan
So, what's the difference? Check out osOpinion article on it along with many others like the PowerBook 400 MHz review and Commercial Security Vendors and Linux

So, where do I think the free software philosophy fits best? Operating systems. Why? Because it gives everyone a level playing field upon which to build apps. There's none of this hidden API stuff, made infamous by MS. There's no denying anyone access to the OS source code who wants it (again, a practice made infamous by MS). It also opens the OS up to anyone in terms of tailoring it to custom needs, or just an aspiring programmer can modify the OS however he/she may please. Outside of the OS, I don't think that the free software philosophy has much of a place. Many times, I feel that it does harm where it's intentions are good.

Ultimate Gaming Rig 13:57 pm - Kan
Our buds over at The Sanctum posted a 10 pages whopping guide on how to build your Ultimate Gaming Rig. Check it out!

The first and most important choice you will make in building your system is the processor. Everything else after the CPU should be built around it. The CPU is the heart of your system and it's brain and processing power should not be overlooked when planning a gaming system. Games crave high math FPU and processing speed, after that all your components come into play. Don't make the mistake by getting the best processor money can buy, then skimp on the rest of your system. A fast CPU will only get bogged down by slow and cheap hardware built around it.

TA: Kingdoms 13:55 pm - Kan
GameWire posted a review on the game TA: Kingdoms. This one is a classic.

A big complaint about the original Total Annihilation was the absence of a decent plot. You knew you had to destroy the other side, but as for why you were fighting, well, to get through the missions, get new units, and finish the game of course! This didn't sit too well with some people. If they wanted pointless destruction, they could have played Quake 2, or Minesweeper. An RTS is about depth of gameplay and immersiveness, which plot certainly contributes a lot to.

HP 8200i CDRW 13:54 pm - Kan
Our pals over at FPS3D mailed us about their review on the HP 8200i CD-RW. I rather get a Yamaha anyway... :)

Most of you already know that CD-R's are one time recordable media, but you might be wondering what makes CD-RW so different. CD-RW is Re-Writable media, which means it can be recorded on more than once. You can store and erase data on CDs for playback on CD-ROM drives, CD-R drives and CD-RW drives. CD-RW is a new technology, but people are catching on fast, and it looks like it might overtake CD-R completely. 

MSI 6163 Revision 2.0 13:52 pm - Kan
Over at HotHardware, the guys sent note on their latest motherboard review on the MSI 6163 revision 2.0

One small note of caution. The BIOS, while it is jam packed full of additional features, does not have the ability to set the AGP multiplier/clock division from the FSB speed. As a result, I am not sure what the AGP clock was that we tested the board at based on our 124 MHz. FSB. It does have the ability to select various PCI clocks however. Regardless, this may or may not affect overclocking of your system if the video card you are running can't handle the speed of the FSB setting.

Road to CD Burning Part 2 13:51 pm - Kan
Over at ComChip, the chums finished their 2nd installation of their CD Burning Guide. So drop over for a visit!

Instead of copying from CD to CD, it will be more stable if you defrag your harddrive and create images to be burned on CD. For example, Adaptec's EZ-CD Creator, you make an ISO image (.iso) and with CDRWIN, you make a BIN image (.bin). This is not that important though, as most of the time it's the Protection in the CD that is causing you not to be able to burn. 

ABIT BE6 13:49 pm - Kan
Review of the ABIT BE6 located at Explosive3D. Actually, this board is slowly replacing the existing BH6 in the market and it comes with ATA66 interface.

No better way to start off a review of a great product, than with great comments about it. Once again Abit has made a great motherboard! As with past motherboards presented by Abit; quality, reliability, performance, and price are a given... With their latest BE6 Motherboard, they didn't leave room for disappointment. Easy installation, support for new technologies, and all the little features like System Monitoring that we have come to know and love are included.

Problem with BE6 Motherboards? 03:18 am - Kan
Just received news from SysopSolutions that apparently there are some problems with the BE6 motherboards and the core voltages. Check out the below:

We just got of the phone with ABIT USA a few moments ago with regards to some information we recieved from Gary at Overclockin.com and Alex at Motherboard Monitor. It has become evident that some ABIT BE6 motherboards have a problem with the BIOS setting for the core voltage of the processor. Regardless of what this is set at (e.g. 2.1, 2.2, 2.3V DC), the setting always reverts back to 2.0V DC when the BIOS is saved and re-booted. ABIT has acknowledged the problem and has issued an early recall on these boards. Apparently no more than 200 boards were released to the public with these faulty characteristics. Better check your boards peeps! This could make for some unhappy overclockers who need voltage settings in excess of 2.0V DC. Don't worry, I was assured that ABIT will promptly take care of your problem.

Quantum Fireball Plus KA 03:10 am - Kan
Over at HardwareUpgrade, the guys posted a review on the Quantum Fireball Plus KA 7,200 rpm hard drive with ATA-66 interface.

The construction of Fireball Plus KA is almost the same of that of other Quantum hard disks, particularly those of the CR series: on the upper part there is the label showing the mechanical and electric features of the disk as well as the configuration of the jumpers; in the posterior part there are the connectors for data and power supply, as well as the jumpers to configure the connection to the EIDE channel (Master, Slave, Cable Select). In the inferior part there is the electronic circuitry where you can note the memory chip of the buffer, a Panasonic one.

EMS HSDRAM 03:04 am - Kan
Absolutely good stuffs over here. Our bud AGN Hardware reviewed the EMS HSDRAM PC-133 memory modules. You may need to get PC-133 memory when the Camino chipset is officially out at the 4th Quarter of the year.

Both the Camino and the new chipset for the Athlon reach beyond what we just adopted as standard FSB (Front System Bus) of 100MHz to deliver faster system speeds than we have ever seen before.  These new systems, operating at FSB speeds of 120 - 133 MHz, will deliver on the promised breakneck speeds that their developers have claimed, but they will only be able to do so by requiring that the components of the computer's sub-systems are capable of making the leap to the faster FSB.

BP6 Review 03:03 am - Kan
It's a day where we see BP6 reviews all over the Web. Our dear Anand also posted his thoughts on the fabulous BP6. Check out what he had to say:

And more relevant to the topic at hand, the delay of the Camino chipset has opened up the fields yet again for a mainboard manufacturer to step in and take the crown for best BX board. For a while that champion was ABIT with their extremely successful BH6/BX6 solutions, however with an apparent lack of attention from ABIT, companies like AOpen, ASUS, IWill, and Soyo stepped in to take what they felt belonged to them. With updated BX boards from those four companies and many more, and with a large portion of them featuring very ABIT-esque tweaking utilities (i.e. wide range of overclocked FSB settings, core voltage tweaking, etc...) it was time for the unofficial king of overclocking to make a return to the throne.

K7 Technical Preview Part 1 03:02 am - Kan
Our pals over at ArsTechnica posted a K7 Technical Preview Part 1. Damn, I just love them when they talked about FPU, pipelining and stuffs like this. 

The K7 doesn’t really offer the kind of generational leap and ground-up rethinking that the P6 did when compared to the Pentium. When you look under the K7’s hood, you’ll find that the operant word is “more”: more FPU units, more independence for each FPU unit, more ROB space, more pipeline stages, more FSB bandwidth, and hopefully, more performance. When AMD included more of everything in the K7’s design, they didn’t just do it because more is better. They did it so that a K7-based system can push code and data through the CPU faster than any other x86 system that has come before it.

Knowing the Celeron 02:59 am - Kan
Over at Speedy3D, the guys wrote an article called Knowing the Celeron. Now, I must say the Celerons are the King of overclocking with their awesome overclockability.

The Celeron's are not that much different than Intel's line of Pentium2 chips. There are some differences though and I will cover them in this paragraph. First off as I have mentioned earlier the Celeron is equipped with 128kb of full-speed Leve2 cache. This is contrary to the Pentium2's which have 512kb of level2 cache clocked at half the processor speed. Many people thought that this would cripple the Celeron compared to the Pentium2 but benchmarks have shown that this is not the case.

The Games Men Play 02:57 am - Kan
TheTechZone slapped up an interesting article called The Games Men Play. So, what do we actually play?

Men.  Children.  Is there really much difference in those two terms?  When it comes to playing games, the answer is a resounding no. This fact is not, necessarily, a bad thing.  It, merely, points out that a lucky few of you never completely grow up. Taxes? Mortgages? Fifty-hour work weeks?  Ppfpfffff….I say, give them Quake!

20 July 1999 - Tuesday
Xentor32 TNT2 Ultra 22:41 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review checked out the Ultra TNT2 card from Guillemot, and did a concise writeup on its performance and features. A snip:

The Guillemot Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 is an outstanding graphics card; the best one I've had the pleasure of using so far. As you can see, there is a heat sink and fan on the TNT2 chip; unfortunately the heat sink / fan combination is not sufficient to cool the card (at least the specific one I was testing!) during July. After 10 minutes of 3D testing the triangles forming the images "cracked" and bitmaps became corrupted... a classic sign of overheating.

Computers Buyer's Guide 22:37 pm - Wilfred
There's a Buyer's Guide on Tech-Review for just about everyone with the intention to grab a new PC. Check this out for some recommendations.

Alien Vs Predator: Sound Review 22:35 pm - Wilfred
Yes, a review on the game with special attention paid to the sound department. You can read this at 3DSoundSurge who'd used 6 sound cards for comparisons.

The Live together with 4 speakers was my preferred card in this game for day gaming but the 4DWave-NX comes in as a close second with the 368DSP in third place. The 368DSP also lacks a quad codec so the CD-AUDIO in this game will only come from the front speakers if you use Windows95 or have a CD-ROM that doesn't support Windows 98's digital mode, e.g. all DVD-ROM drives.

Alpha Cooler Review 22:31 pm - Wilfred
FiringSquad finished their testing of the Alpha P125C heatsinks. Looking more like designer fans for aesthetics than anything else, how do they fair in terms of cooling performance?

The Alpha heatsink has established itself as the premier heatsink for overclockers. It is a bit overkill if you are not overclocking, but who ever said overkill was bad never took a look at the Alpha heatsink. As a registered technophile, the Alpha will probably remain on your upgrade list, even if it does nothing more. At the very least, it will give you additional piece of mind knowing that your CPU is safe. Cooler CPU's will probably last longer as well, although I don't care much for this argument as most people upgrade before these components ever fail.

AOpen AX6BC Pro 22:25 pm - Wilfred
Our buddy Kyle just did a review on the highly acclaimed AX6BC Pro board, and you will want to know how it faired in the hands of an insane overclocker.

I think that while there are some definite improvements to be made on this board, AOpen's first "overclocker's board" is a success. I can say this could be a board we would purchase and fell good about it when we got it home. The AOpen AX6BC Pro Gold mainboard has proved itself to rank in stability right up there with the other leading manufacturers of quality equipment. The board is a performer and up to just about any task you could want to throw at it.

More MIPS Or More Chips? 22:22 pm - Wilfred
PCParadox has a short editorial titled above and certainly worth a read if you tired of typical reviews. =) Have a look:

In the world of videogaming most people believe that sophisticated gameplay and realistic graphics sell each new generation of software. In the world of semiconductor chips, most people believe that Moore's Law (performance doubles every 18 months) sells each new generation of hardware. Since chips perform the computations that act as the bedrock for gameplay and graphics, one can see that 'better' chips probably means 'better' games, especially given the horsepower hungry computations necessary for the kind of graphics realism consumers demand. This leads to the current debate among hardware designers whether current and future Pentium MMX processors can do the job alone, or will they continue to require graphics adaptors, and where in the computer's architecture the next generation of adaptors will reside.

Overclocking Comparison 22:16 pm - Wilfred
Digital-Clips.com posted an overclocking comparison between yesterday's overclocking champ vs the present day's highly overclockable PIII-450Mhz chip.

After 15 hrs straight of testing, re-testing, and B-grade cable movies, we finally got sick of watching the expendable timedemo and drinking beer. Sorry, not supposed to tell you that. The results that we got surprised us so much that we started to kick each other’s asses.  Why did we waste money on a PIII-450? It performs slightly slower that an overclocked Celeron and it costs a frickin boatload of money in comparison.  I’ll go straight to my point. Unless you really need to overclock to 600 mhz, don’t bother with this baby.  Unless you want SSE instructions, don’t bother with this baby. Unless you render graphics with 3D studio max or some CAD application and needs cache, don’t bother with this baby. Only get this CPU if you are reviewing it, or if you want bragging rights. Its as simple as that. 

Summer 1999 ATA Drive Roundup 06:48 am - Kan
Over at Storagereivew, the guys posted a Summer 1999 ATA Drive Roundup. Looks like the Editor's Choice goes to the Western Digital Expert for the 7,200 rpm family. Check all of'em out!

Though 7200rpm drives have captured all the glamour and attention, 5400rpm lines also continued to evolve. Limits in head technology have demarcated a split: 7200rpm drives boast better access times, but it's the 5400rpm disks that bring higher areal densities and thus barrier-busting capacities to the table. There are indications that this may change in the near future: the next generation of both 7200rpm and 5400rpm disks from all major manufacturers feature the same areal density (6.8 GB/platter). Releases will be staggered, however, with delivery of the 7200rpm units a month or two following 5400rpm introductions. 

BP6 Review 06:45 am - Kan
If you haven't read it, remember to catch AGN Hardware's review on the ABIT BP6 as well. 

The biggest benefit of BP6 is the overclocking love that you are able to fulfill with running your processor at higher levels. This allows you to get faster speed out of a slower processor, while saving money. On the overclocking front the BP6 is the best motherboard I have seen for the Celeron community, giving you a wide assortment of Celeron overclocking options. As higher Celeron speeds come out, your multiplier speeds are increasing as well. This leaves you in a dry space when you think of overclocking, because your 83MHz FSB option no longer works. Your other option is only 75MHz so you are pretty much limited at setting the speed to your desire.

Violence in Games 06:44 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D penned down their thoughts onto an article called Violence in Games. Do you think games like Q3Test are too violent?

After recent school shootings and their link to teens, the government has gone on a crusade against the gaming and media industry saying that games, movies, television, etc. are too violent. They have made the movies and the games their preliminary targets. They want to pass stricter laws against games and the media regulating how much violence that they are able to portray. They found that these socially outcast teens escaped the harsh reality of life and entered the dimension of the movies and the games.

Diamond Rio 06:15 am - Kan
Review of the Diamond Rio over at Mars Technologies. Hmm, enuff said about this MP3 player.

On the short note, mp3 is a compression algorithm, which can compress audio around 12 times the normal digital format while still maintaining CD quality. mp3 files are compressed at certain bit rates. The higher the bit rate the more true the sound is. You will find some disagreement on the net about bit rate. It is generally agreed that less than 128kbit/s is less than CD quality, say 112kbit/s for instance. Disagreement usually lies above 128kbps. I think it's the quality comparison that throws people off. For instance one would think if CD quality is 128kbit/s why would you record at anything higher, since your file would be larger in the end.

Card Cooler 06:12 am - Kan
Our pals over at ArsTechnica posted a review on the Card Cooler which mounts near your AGP/PCI slots to cool your cards. Using the card cooler, they are able to gain a 10% increase in frame rate for Q3Test 1.06 thru overclocking. Pretty cool.

In a nutshell, all it does is blow lots of air over your slots (hehe, slots are cool). The unit consists of two 8cm ball bearing fans on a nifty bracket that allows you to mount it over your PCI and AGP slots without having to do any modifications to the case.  The fans are very high quality, and did not increase the noise coming from within my system by any amount that I could discern. 

19 July 1999 - Monday
Hardware One: ABIT BP6 Dual Motherboard 22:36 pm - Kan
We have a new review on the ABIT BP6 Dual Socket 370 Motherboard. With more and more applications and games supporting SMP, is it the right time to get a dual board now? Read the review to find out more!
Now, running two processors does not mean doubling your PC's performance. Usually, your mileage will vary according to the applications you run. You need to be running a SMP-capable operating system (e.g. Windows NT, Windows 2000, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2 etc). Windows 95/98 will not utilize the 2nd processor.

Alpha Kit @ HardOCP 21:18 pm - Kan
Our pal Kyle sent note on his latest review on the Alpha cooler slapped on top of a P3. The Alpha is probably one of the best coolers around, and they look impressive!

A local bud of ours, Jason Lee from IMS Computer, recently purchased an Alpha heatsink that he wanted to put onto a PIII instead of the PII it was designed for.  Well he gave us the honor of trying to screw up his schtuff.  Honestly, all that needed to be done was drill two holes and strap the HSF on.  It made a VERY nice assembly that kept Jason's PIII-450 extremely cool at 600MHz.   Check out the pics....

Interview 21:17 pm - Kan
The guys over at Speedy3D scored an interview with Seumas McNally, lead programmer of treadmarks.

KP: Can you please describe the multi-player features it will have? Like will it have something besides Deathmatch?

SM: You will be able to play multi-player in both the Race and Battle Match modes, and if we have time we may add capture the flag and other interesting team games 

Oni Preview 21:14 pm - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on their latest game review on Oni, the upcoming 3D action fighter/shooter from Bungie.

Oni takes place in the year 2032, a dark/tech oriented future setting. The protagonist of the story is Konoko, a highly trained agent of the Tech Crimes Task Force (TCTF). Your goal is to penetrate and eliminate a mafia type criminal syndicate, so the story starts out with a basic police premise to it. As you progress through the levels, the story expands a lot with focus on skeletons in Konoko's closet.

Everything We Asked For And More! 19:53 pm - Wilfred
Here's another editorial at osOpinion, about the OS wars to come and how we all hope for a single do-it-all OS.

Windows 9x users want to be able to leave their computer on for more than a month (or was it 34.5 days, can’t remember…). Windows NT users want to have FUN with their OS. Pinball and minesweeper alone do not equal fun. Linux users want to run everything Windows runs without running Windows. MacOS users want to be able to use more than two apps at once and BeOS users want to run something other than NetPositive and "Boing!".

Elsa 3D Revelator Glasses 19:48 pm - Wilfred
SystemLogic just threw up a review on Elsa's 3D Revelator glasses. Perhaps this is the next 'IN' thing to enhance gaming? =)

I was very surprised to see that the glasses would actually work. Elsa has a great product on their hand, and with a surprisingly low price, it is a new breach in the technology. If only they would make it compatible with cards not made by Elsa, it would be the ultimate product. The drivers are efficient and well made, and it definitely differentiates any other video card bundle.  A quick change in design would make the glasses actually look neat, and until video cards and monitors can handle super high refresh rates constantly, you are always going to have eye sores because of the flickering that occurs. 

16Mb TNT2 Vs 32Mb - Is There A Difference? 19:43 pm - Wilfred
The TechZone put up an interesting article pitting a 16Mb Diamond Viper 770 vs the 32Mb version. Is there a performance difference?

Both are Viper V770s. They are identical in every way except one V770 has 32 megs of ram and the other has 16 megs of ram.

Which Viper V770 is better? Is the extra 16 megs of ram in the 32 meg V770 really worth the extra money? That's what we're going to find out in this 16 megs Vs 32 megs comparison.

2 * Celeron 366 Mhz PPGA 13:58 pm - Kan
Not our type of daily news. But I've got 2 pieces of Celeron 366 Mhz PPGA for sale at S$80 each. There are only 5 days old only. For more info, please email me.

3DLabs Permedia 3 Create! 09:57 am - Kan
Anand posted his latest review on the 3DLabs Permedia 3 Create!.

During the announcement phase of this last 3D accelerator competition, 3DLabs had very little to say about their next generation product, the Permedia 3. Supposedly a very solid and promising solution, the Permedia 3 was designed to bring workstation power down to the desktop PC, a goal the hardware industry has always set and often times met in the course of technological development. Unfortunately, the months went on and the Permedia 3 never made it to market. The tiring 3dfx vs NVIDIA battles raged on in newsgroups and Matrox released the first press releases on the G400, however nothing was heard from the once popular 3DLabs

Castlewood 2.2GB ORB Drive 09:55 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme reviewed the Castlewood 2.2G ORB drive. Portable and near hard disk speed, they are pretty useful, but the cartridges are extremely fragile. 

An overused buzzword, convergence in this context means the merging of computing and home entertainment. For the ORB drive, this means digital VCRs - a VCR that takes an ORB disk and records high quality MPEG video. At MPEG-1 quality, this could be as much as 3.5 hours. The convergence doesn't stop here however. While these new digital VCRs are already going into production in Japan, so too are the set-top MP3 players. These players will sit atop your CD carousel or your tape deck, and plug into your component stereo just like any other component.

Berwin BW2000 09:52 am - Kan
We have the Berwin BW2000 flat-panel speakers review over at ComputingPros. High tech looking, it will go well with a LCD monitor. :)

Conventional speakers create sound by causing cone-shaped speakers to move in and out in a high-speed piston-like motion. Benwin speakers use an exciter disk mathematically positioned on the back of a flat surface. This exciter sends an electrical current through the flat panel, causing a complex series of vibrations in all planes over the entire panel. The Benwin speaker system includes a compact powered sub-woofer unit, which also incorporates the volume, tone and power controls and a headphone jack, to increase the definition of the bass sounds.

Viper 770 Ultra TNT2 09:50 am - Kan
Over at SysopSolutions, they guys finished their review on the Viper 770 Ultra TNT2 graphics accelerator card. They were able to achieve 128 Fps under Q3Test at 640 x 480 resolution. Damn, there's 3 times as fast as my TNT (I only managed 40++ fps).

Although this 150MHz core frequency is set as default when the card is installed Diamond decided that they should cater to the "speed freaks" of the world and include a software based core clock speed selector that allows the user to pump the clock back up to 175MHz in increments of 5Mhz. God bless them! The question remaining would be the stability of the card when set at the maximum output frequency. The memory speed remains set at 183MHz with no tools offered to push this any further in the Diamond software interface (InControl Tools 99).

3D Guide Part 2 09:49 am - Kan
Over at Explosive3D, the guys posted part 2 of their 3D Guide. This time, they focus on 3D Audio technology.

After purchasing a super duper video card (That's after reading my excellent video card guide), you decide to go and visit the local computer store to check out what new cool and randy stuff they have to offer you! Suddenly it happens... You hear a gunshot behind you and instantaneously you roll behind the counter so that you wouldn't be hit. Luckily you are packing heat so you put a hand on your gat, and hence, start to shoot (wildly) at the fictitious assassin.

Q3Test Athlon / SMP Benchmarks 01:19 am - Wilfred
FiringSquad posted very interesting scores using the just released Q3Test v1.06, the AMD K7 Athlon as well as some SMP goodness.

Well, if you're looking for ultimate performance, we think the Athlon might be the best choice (barring any disastrous compatibility problems) once released, especially once some high-quality 3rd party motherboards are available. For techies running NT or folks wanting to experiment with dual processors, a dual-Celeron setup would be an extremely cost-effective and fast solution, unless Intel takes umbrage to the fact and smites it from the CPU design completely.

We're still waiting for SSE to make a monster benefit to computing, but we've seen the benefits that it brings. The only Pentium III we would recommend at this point is the 450Mhz for ~$250, overclocked to 500 or 550.

Kingpin 01:13 am - Wilfred
Our buds at 3DSpotlight posted a review on Xatrix's Kingpin. They seem to like it a lot, giving it a 8.9 out of 10.

Kingpin is a great game. I loved how realistic it was. Kingpin is definitely addictive and may cause you to soil your shorts because its gonna be hard to stop playing and after a few hours you will probably have to do a double duty, but that’s just the sort of thing I look for in a good game. Kingpin is definitely one of this year’s greatest hits and is definitely worth the fifty bucks.

18 July 1999 - Sunday
BP6 Review 17:57 pm - Kan
I'm still waiting for an auspicious date to launch our BP6 review. Anyway, hop over to FPS3D for their ABIT BP6 review first. This board rocks, especially if you are a RC5/SETI craze. :)

The comparison shot reveals that the board is a little wider than your standard Socket 370 board. Of course that's understandable, considering the extra space needed by two 370-pin sockets. Even with the extra width it won't fill up your case, so that's not a worry at all. Everything is controlled by Intel's 440BX chipset, and it's got Abit's standard (albeit kickass) 1 AGP / 5 PCI / 2 ISA configuration. 

The Future of 3D Accelerators 15:31 pm - Wilfred
eXplosive3D wrote about 'The Future of 3D Accelerators' - environmental bump mapping, texture compression and all.

With the AGP 4X and AGP 6X bus welcoming us soon, it would be a great boom if more data can be sent to the video card without sending too many big textures through the system bus (i.e. big textures clog the bus). I would expect the big companies to start spending tons of money in their Research and Development Department because they know that texture compressing is the way to go for 3D now! (Pun not intended…) Oh and if they don’t want to make their own Texture Compression technologies, then spend a few bucks and license S3’s, damnit!

Pentium III 600 Mhz Pics 13:53 pm - Kan
Thanks to AbsolutePC who sent note on some pics of the Pentium III selling in Japan. 

Turtle Beach Montego II Quadzilla 13:46 pm - Kan
Sound card review on the Turtle Beach Montego II Quadzilla by Gamewire.

When it comes to sound cards few companies can actually say they have been around that long. A few that come to mind are Creative, Aztech, and Adlib. However among those is Turtle Beach. They have proved their name doubtlessly, and Turtle Beach is almost a synonym of quality.

They were one of the first to jump on the A3D bandwagon. Always at the top of the line, always making innovative steps to a better product. These people before then had mainly focused their cards to Musicians, but now it seems they are making a shift or extending their other arm to cover gamers as well. 

Elsa Erazor III 13:46 pm - Kan
We have another Elsa Erazor III review in the net done by the babes over at Speedy3D.

Never venturing too far away from factory specifications, and Nvidia reference board design plans, Elsa's boards never seem to have anything very innovative about them. The ERAZOR III is no exception. The board looks almost exactly like the reference board, the only thing that is missing is the fan. The drivers are also not to different from the Nvidia reference drivers either. Elsa only added a couple of branding logos to make the drivers display seem authentic.

What's After Windows 2000? 13:45 pm - Kan
Our pals over at BetaOS wrote an interesting article on what will follow after Windows 2000.

Windows 2000 Data Center Server "will feature advanced clustering services such as robust fail-over and load balancing features as well as support for 16 processors out of the box... and some OEMs may push the envelope by incorporating as many as 64 to 128 CPUs."  Microsoft spokesperson has also declared that "the Windows 2000 Data Center will feature 8:1 failover support, which means any one of eight CPUs can jump-start an NT process in the event that one fails. The basic Windows 2000 servers currently offer 1:1 support only."

Road to CD Burning 13:43 pm - Kan
There's a guide called Road to CD Burning over at ComChip. You may like to take a look if you can't decide between a SCSI or IDE CDRW drive.

In my opinion, having a CDR drive is where the SCSI bus is most useful. In the old days when most of the CDR drives were IDE with a small buffer, half the CDs would get errors while burning, usually this bad CD is referred to as a coaster. Let me explain what buffer is here. Buffer can be compared to the antishock system in your discman. Most of the time your computer actually passes data to the CD recorder faster than it is needed. The CD recorder's buffer memory stores some of this extra data as it arrives, to help maintain a steady flow of data to the writing laser

ZyXEL Prestige 100MH Analog Router/Hub 13:38 pm - Kan
Wow! Upgrade Center did a review on the ZyXEL Prestige analog router/hub. ZyXEL was indeed a popular brand back in the BBS days and I happened to own one of those 19.2K modem. 

Networking and more networking right?  That seems to be where we're headed these days and it's happening at a enormous rate.  It's not just offices and schools that are networked now, but more and more homes are becoming multi-user.  I personally enjoy networking, so my house is littered with cables, hubs, servers, routers etc, but most home/offices want the all in one solution for Internet access, remote access, and LAN access as well.  Well I have the perfect solution here in the ZyXEL Prestige 100MH Router/Hub.  This router as a very robust feature set, lets see if we can break them down.

ActionTec 56K Internal Modem 13:36 pm - Kan
Biznizzy posted a review on the ActionTec 56K internal modem with support for call waiting. Finally, no more missed calls while surfing the net.

Through the included call waiting utility, you have 3 options. The first is to have the modem automatically disconnect itself from the internet, and let the call ring through. The second option is your standard disable call waiting, where the caller will just receive a busy signal. The third, and most important call waiting feature, is the ability to have the modem alert you when someone is trying to call you while you're connected, let you pick up the phone and talk to the caller (for approximately 7 seconds, depending on your ISP), then hang up the phone and continue surfing without the need to redial. This is an industry first in the modem world.

Elsa Erazor III 13:34 pm - Kan
The guys at 3DRage also did a review on the Elsa Erazor III TNT2 graphics card. 

The ELSA ERAZOR III is not known for its performance or overclockability, but its plethora of features. Cohereing to NVidia's recommended specifications, the ERAZOR III's clock speed is set to 125Mhz while the memory is set to 150hz. Residing on the board are 4 8MB SDRAM 7ns memory chips. This 7ns RAM will be one of the downfalls of the ERAZOR III and hinder not only its performance, but its ability to be overclocked.

EZLink USB Home Network Kit 03:24 am - Kan
3DRage whipped up a review on the EZLink USB Home Network Kit. Actually, I prefer to get a decent NIC than those USB kits. Once you go USB, you are generally confined to Windows 98/Windows 2000.

Once everything is installed the ezlink USB works in the same tradition as the Ethernet LAN using a variety of protocols such as IPX/SPX, TCP/IP and NETBEUI. So this means that if you plan on using the EzLink for games you have to assign IP numbers to each computer, but for those of you who have never done this the EzLink Help will walk you right through it. Personaly, I encountered no problems installing the EzLink.

Updated 3DNow! Game Titles 03:20 am - Kan
More AMD goodies as 3DNow.net sent note on the updated game titles that support 3DNow! Seems like 3DNow! is gaining popularity while at the same time, we haven't heard much from Intel's SSE instructions yet.

17 July 1999 - Saturday

Videologic Neon 250 23:06 pm - Wilfred
Ohmigawd! KACHardware has got a review of Videologic's Neon 250! You want to know why the guys gave it a 99% overall score? Do you see what I see from the pic below???

AMD Athlon Ships 22:53 pm - Wilfred
Well yes, thanks to Terry for sending note on this one. The superb AMD K7 Athlon ships to computer manufacturers today! Let's hope the supporting infrastructures of top quality motherboards will be ready when it hits the markets!

Diamond Viper 770 19:53 pm - Wilfred
Dan's Data has cooked up their Viper 770 serving. The benchmarks aren't shabby especially when it's overclocked.

Again, even with the crazy Crusher timedemo, 1024 x 768 remained playable. These are average framerates, so sometimes the framerate will go under 30 fps, which is when the average human eye can tell the screen flickers because it isn't being refreshed fast enough, but overall, it is still above 30 fps.

Q3Test v1.06 16:15 pm - Kan
What are you waiting for? Time to start fragging'em! Singapore mirror available at here, other worldwide mirrors available at here. Anyway, QuakeCity emailed us on some screenshots for Q3Test 1.06. Take a look at them, they look awesome!

Amiga With 'Exciting Linux CPU' 11:53 am - Wilfred
The Register has a technology brief of what Amiga has in store as well as plans to release a CPU highly tuned for the Linux/Java code base. Check this out!

He said that Amiga has evaluated a range of operating systems including QNX, BeOS, JavaOS and Linux. After comparing QNX and Linux, Amiga concluded that it would be hard for the former to attract broad industry support, because it is proprietary.

Collas said: "Linux is probably the most stable OS in the market." Despite size and scaleability concerns, he said that Amiga was "subsetting" Linux to meet its needs. He pointed to a Linux version for the Palm Pilot as an example of what could be done.

Amiga will adopt OpenGL and it will use the latest Linux X Window windowing system. It will support Prixim's 2.4GHz digital wireless networking and will also adopt Sun's Jini technology. Pentagram will do the industrial design for the Amiga MCC, said Collas.

Collas said that Amiga has adopted "a very exciting CPU" for the MCC platform, highly tuned for a Linux/Java software base. But he won't tell us what it is.

Slowpoke To Screamer 11:46 am - Wilfred
There is a little PC tuning guide at GameSpot which you might wanna take a look at. Perhaps all it takes is a little tweaking and you'll get more lifespan and performance out of that machine.

Payphones Go Online 11:25 am - Wilfred
According to this news story at BBC News, BT is rolling out the installation of Payphones with Internet Access in UK, which also doubles up as multimedia information kiosks.

  • ISDN2 connection, providing 64K bps Net access on one channel and phone calls carried on the other.
  • Free information is provided on the screen without a Net connection such as the latest news, sport, travel and an entertainment service.

MSI 6163 10:46 am - Kan
Some new reviews over at SharkyExtreme. First, it's the MSI 6163 BX motherboard, followed by an article on Intel Plans: A New and Improved Roadmap.

Another interesting feature MSI opted to include on the MS-6163 comes in the form of four multi-colored LEDs that are lined up in a row above the fifth PCI slot. The four LEDs flash red/green depending upon the status of the PC at bootup, assisting installers in locating a possible error or hang-up within the machine that's keeping it from booting.

The decoding key to understand the visual signals from the LEDs is smartly located in the MS-6163's included manual, there are approximately 20 different messages that can be relayed to the board's owner via the four lights.

Descent Freespace 2 10:36 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D previewed the coming game Descent Freespace 2 from Volition. This is one of my favorites, just like the Wing Commander series. Fans, don't miss this preview out!

The target systems in the new FreeSpace 2 will allow you to destroy sub-systems such as, engines, weapon systems. Like in the original FreeSpace, you will be able to disable ships, capture them in missions, and so on. The missions of FreeSpace 2 will have World War II style dog fights. 

Windows 2000 3Com Drivers 10:32 am - Kan
Our pals over at NT Gaming Palace sent note on the availability of new 3Com drivers supporting Windows 2000. The models are the 3C590, 3C959-TX and the 3C959-T4.

Voodoo3 New Drivers 10:30 am - Kan
HotHardware posted some exclusive screenshots on the coming Voodoo3 drivers which will be release on 19th July. Seems like the Voodoo3 will support Alpha Blending in this coming release.

Alpha-Blending: Alpha-blending is the most common and one of the most important methods of blending 3D accelerated games. It is used primarily to create visual effects like transparency (water or glass), translucency (artifacts that partially obscure objects, such as smoke, clouds or explosions), lensflare and reflections. By optimizing the Alpha-blending settings and employing a new Alpha-blending technique, we're allowing users to select the image characteristics that most closely meet their idea of how games should appear.

Diamond Rio 10:27 am - Kan
Over at AbsolutePC, the guys reviewed the portable Diamond Rio MP3 player. Somehow, I prefer the Normad now... :)

The first thing that struck me about the RIO was how incredibly small and light weight it actually was. Diamond’s slogan for the product really is true: "Internet Music in the Palm of Your Hand" could not be any more realistic. The RIO easily fits in the palm of your hand, or for that matter, a shirt pocket or pants pocket and it’s light weight make it virtually unnoticeable.

16 July 1999 - Friday
Athlon 600 Preview 23:39 pm - Kan
Those babes over at FiringSquad whipped up a new preview on the Athlon 600 Mhz processor. Also, they have a exclusive review of the game Kingpin. Take a look at'em!

Unfortunately, in today's world, it can be argued that integer performance is at an all-time low. The killer app of 1999 is 3D, and where 3D is involved, floating point is king. The entire K6 series has been based on a well-designed but rarely optimized low-latency floating point unit. Seeing that a theoretical good design is less influential in practice, AMD's engineers have returned to the drawing board, and are now attempting to prove they know jack, by creating the most powerful floating point unit ever seen in an x86 CPU.

Reviews @ AGN Hardware 23:36 pm - Kan
We have a whole load of new reviews over at AGN Hardware. First, it's the ABIT HotRod ATA-66 hard disk controller card, followed closely by the ABIT BE6 and lastly the DPT SmartRaid V Decade RAID controller card. Totally awesome, take a look at their reviews.

Since the release of the BH6, overclocking has became a need for countless computer lovers such as ourselves all around the world. The BH6 took away the need for the pain in the behind jumpers, and allowed us to set the speeds of the CPU and more through the comfort of the motherboard’s bios. It has been over a year since a release of the BH6 and not many things have changed with Abit’s motherboards. The new BE6 is still very overclocking friendly, allowing you to do about anything that your CPU can handle without very much work to your computer.

Linux Hardware Support 18:11 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion has a new editorial about the common misconstrued thinking about state of hardware support in Linux.

Microsoft loves to claim that the Win9x operating systems supports damn near every piece of hardware under the sun. There is no denying that the Win9x line has an impressive collection of device drivers, but let's examine this a little more closely. Maybe I'm just a little old fashioned in my views, but to me, if you claim support for a particular hardware device, that hardware device better work flawlessly. I'm not concerning myself with the joys of jumper settings, any of the perceived virtues of PnP, etc, I'll save that for another day. Assuming I have all the settings correct, I expect that when I plug that device in, it works exactly as it should. Keeping this discussion short, I feel that the ability for cheaper hardware to crash Windows systems, to be false advertising on MS's part, for claiming support for this device. Meanwhile, Linux has a smaller list of supported hardware, but more times than not, you can bet that any device claimed as supported will work flawlessly (again, assuming a device that isn't defective).

Geek Walk 18:01 pm - Wilfred
Very tempted to grab the S$148 TNT2 M64 for my PC, and lay to rest my aging Savage3D card. The benchmarks at iXBT look very decent and I think my PII-400 won't need anything faster yet. =) 

Riva TNT2 M64 16:07 pm - Kan
Our pals over at iXBT posted a review on Creative's Riva TNT2 M64 graphics card. This is the cheaper end version of the original TNT2 and features a 64bit data path instead of the usual 128bit.

Throughout all the benchmarks we see that our card invariably retains its leadership over nVidia Riva TNT and falls behind nVidia Riva TNT2 even if overclocked. This fact gives us every right to speak about the evident imperfection of nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 compared to nVidia Riva TNT2. Despite all the assertions of the chip developers, the reduced memory bus bandwidth tells so greatly that nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 appears even closer to nVidia Riva TNT than to Riva TNT2.

Dual Xeon Review 16:04 pm - Kan
Review News sent note on their latest Dual Xeon review dual processors review. 

Dual Cpu Process the good is only when using on mutil-Processing. It getting more smooth then single processor. (not only Xeon) if you using  a dual cpu system you should using more program is also support for mutil processing. Such as 3D studio Max. Till now support for SMP operation system have Windows NT, OS/2, Novell Netware, Linux, SCO UNIX ,BeOs.

SEC/SECC 2 Instructional Videos 11:28 am - Kan
If you ever wanted to know how to remove the P3 heatsinks or how to install your processors, check out Intel's website for step-by-step video.

Wearable Linux Computers 11:25 am - Kan
Here's an interesting piece of news about a wearable Linux computer which is capable of beaming video over the Net wirelessly.

Reporters can communicate with a base station and beam audio interviews via a built-in mobile phone connected to the headset, a handheld microphone, and the head-mounted camcorder.

Featuring a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receiver and a specially designed electronic compass, the UJP marks all the video and pictures transmitted with information about the wearer's location and the direction of the head-mounted camera, allowing the audience to see what reporters see and follow their progress on a map.

High Speed Modems 11:22 am - Kan
Looks like Intel is jumping into the Internet bandwagon by working with Cisco to develop high speed ADSL modems.

The DSL technology, which is high-speed Internet access delivered over copper telephone wires at speeds up to 25 times faster than existing services, has been slow to enter the consumer marketplace, where cable modem has been claiming a much larger share of service. The Intel and Cisco effort aims to boost the telephone-based services in a large-scale deployment of equipment outside the office market, the companies said.

USB Flight Yoke LE 11:02 am - Kan
New review over at AGN Hardware. Take a look at the USB Flight Yoke LE wheel which allows you to fly a simulation airplane realistically.

On the USB Flight Sim Yoke LE you'll find a 4-way hat switch and a two-way rocker switch (which uses button assignments 3 & 4) on the right-hand side of the yoke handle. Under it on the right-hand side of the dash you'll find a throttle lever, and the landing gear and flaps toggle switches (the gear switch uses button assignment 2, and the flaps switch uses button assignments 5 & 6). On the left-hand side of the yoke handle is two push buttons (assigned as buttons 7& 8), another two-way rocker switch (assigned as buttons 9 & 10) and a push-button trigger (assigned as button 1).

Spectra 5400 10:57 am - Kan
Our bud over at SG Gaming whipped up the exclusive review of the Spectra 5400. Guys, remember to come back for our own review on this baby.

Their latest offering, the Canopus Spectra 5400 based on the Nvidia Riva TNT2 Ultra chip, is no exception. Sporting a revolutionary design that breaks away from the old reference mould of the nVidia reference board, Canopus' engineers once again took the risk to innovate. In a cut throat 3D card industry where the company that comes out with the latest card first sells more, and where companies bark at each other openly to be heard (remember Creative and Diamond?), Canopus should be given the thumbs up for daring to be different by quietly taking their time and crafting features that competition has no clue about.

Pioneer DVD-303S 10:55 am - Kan
Review of the Pioneer DVD-303S drive from TheSanctum. It's a 6X drive supporting up to 8.1 Mb/s of transfer rate. 

The most important step in setting up a DVD capable machine is the DVD/CD drive itself. You'll need a 3rd Generation capable drive with good overall speed. Will it be EIDE or SCSI? Will you use a decoder card? You'll only need the drive itself if you own ATI's 128GL line of cards and if you own one of 3dfx's or NVIDIA's newest video cards you can use an optional decoder card or have it assist through software. Without hardware assistance your playback quality through software will be about the same, unless you multi task while viewing a movie. 

Ultra Thin Exhauster 10:53 am - Kan
Here's another Ultra Thin Exhauster review from our pal's FPS3D. The Ultra Think Exhauster actually mount on top of your hard disk to cool it. Rather neat looking.

The Ultra Thin Exhauster is whisper quiet. With my side case panels on, I couldn't hear a thing (except for the power supply fan). The Ultra Thin Exhauster is also what I would call a "Space Saver." It's about as thick as a CD jewel case, and I'm not over-exaggerating. Space will not be not a problem for most people, you can always find an open 3.5" bay with room for the Ultra Thin Exhauster.

3D Gaming Benchmarks Center 10:49 am - Kan
Over at MaximumHardware, the guys updated their 3D Gaming Benchmarks Center with benchmarks from the game Expendable. If you are a benchmark freak, hop over there to submit your own benchmark results.

Hardware-One: D-Link DFE-910 Network Kit 00:44 am - Wilfred
After a long while indeed, our review on the DFE-910 Gamers' Network Kit from D-Link is baked and ready. If you are thinking of having a LAN party at home, this should be just the right choice!

I proceeded to test the speed of the network through the process of transferring files and running multiplayer games. It took about 3 mins to transfer a 100MB file from one computer to the next. My old 10Mbps network was practically left in the dust with a good 7 mins left to transfer the same file.

I tried out MechWarrior 3 and Need for Speed 4 on a LAN connected multiplayer game. Game play was smooth on both computers and there wasn't a slightest evidence of lag on both machines.

15 July 1999 - Thursday
Ten Commandments Of Death Matching 21:34 pm - Wilfred
Ok listen up, FPS fans. You have received the word from GameCenter. If you learn well and practise them with earnest, you are on your way to winning your crown.

Knowing the level is key. Learn the locations of powerful weapons. Learn how to get to health and power-ups quickly. Learn the sounds of the level, such as the noises of certain doors or elevators. Finally, work out a couple of patterns. Think of them as routes between important waypoints you should hit: rocket launcher, then health, then shield, then the overlook to snipe, then rocket ammo, then back to the beginning. It's not terribly unlike Pac-Man: You can play a level improvisationally, making up your route as you go, but the really good players run in patterns. Note, however, that the better players spot someone else's pattern and use it against them. The best players vary their patterns, running through a handful of different ones.

Is Red Hat Becoming Linux's Microsoft? 21:29 pm - Wilfred
This is a feature editorial at CNet's Salon Magazine. Well, are you concerned or do you think Red Hat is in the best position to make Linux as big as Microsoft's Windows OS?

Red Hat is facing pointed scrutiny, and not just from loudmouth programmers trolling online discussion forums. Red Hat's competitors are also asking questions. Does Red Hat support efforts to create a common standard for Linux? Or does its high-profile employment of top "inner circle" Linux hackers give the company an unfair advantage in determining just what that standard is? Is Red Hat purposely making it hard for other distribution vendors to keep up? Is it positioning itself to be the single dominant player in a market that prides itself on its wild diversity?

AMD Posts Huge Loss, President Resigns 21:25 pm - Wilfred
This is a report at TechWeb that AMD's president S. Atiq Raza resigned after AMD posted a huge loss. Read the story here.

Kingpin 21:20 pm - Wilfred
I had a hilarious time playing the demo, interacting with the in-game characters etc. Visit ActiveWindows' review on the released game.

The majority of the sound in Kingpin is just as good as its graphic counterpart with sound effects such as gun shots, lights crackling and steam all sounding perfect. Now onto the swearing, unfortunately in trying to be realistic the game actually ends up using too much of it in my opinion and I'm one someone who does my fair share of swearing. It also seems that there is a big lack of imagination when it comes to the conversations thus the majority of conversations resort to swearing and repetitive replies.

Sinistar Preview 21:17 pm - Wilfred
The Firingsquad has a preview on Sinistar, an arcade like version of space shoot'em-up games. The graphics look nice enuf, take a look!

It isn't likely to please fans of Freespace / Wing Commander, but action junkies looking for a quick deep-space fix may find it's right up their alley. Casual gamers who miss the arcade playing days of their youth (but want to stretch out their 3D accelerators) will be interested. You can see from the screenshots that it's quite a pretty game, with nice colored lighting up the wazoo. Not only that, but multiplayer action for up to 8 players is planned.

TNT/TNT2 In Depth 17:45 pm - Kan
Over at SharkyExtreme, there's a new article discussing the architecture of TNT and TNT2. Pretty interesting if you are interested in such stuffs.

The vertex cache of the TNT is probably the largest among the graphic processors, being able to accommodate 16 vertices. Perhaps the sheer size of the cache helps TNT2 achieve a peak triangle throughput of 9 million triangles per second. The increase from 6 million triangles per second in the original TNT is mostly a function of clockspeed. The 'advanced floating point setup' forms part of the 'TwiN Texel pipeline'. As 'advanced' as the floating point setup may be, one of the main bottlenecks in graphics involves transferring triangle vertex data across the AGP bus.

IDT to Quit 17:40 pm - Kan
Rather shocking news, but not exactly unexpected. IDT decided to pull the plug and stop manufacturing x86 compatible processors after a loss in revenue for the nth time in a row.

While the company was able to offer a chip with one of the lowest production costs of any Intel-compatible chip, they weren't able to keep up with the rest of the market in terms of chip speed, he noted. IDT was offering cheap chips that ran at 266 MHz, but the rest of the market was offering chips running at 350 MHz and higher--at prices too close to IDT's offerings.

Elsa Erazor III 17:38 pm - Kan
Our pals over at 3DSpotlight posted a review on the Elsa Erazor III TNT2 graphics card. Here's some extracts:

I was surprised to see that ELSA has the memory default clock set to 140MHz. It was probably made that way so they could yield a higher quantity of boards.  For overclocking, this particular board clocked to 166MHz for the core stable, and 163MHz for the memory stable. Yes, yes… I do know that this doesn’t follow the ratio that NVIDIA recommends, but with overclocking you take whatever you can get.  Another aspect for tweaking the board was setting the memory timings lower.

What Will It Take To Make Linux Succeed? 17:36 pm - Kan
More commentaries over at osOpinion on What will it take to make Linux succeed? Also, there's some blurb on MacOS X.

There's absolutely no denying that in the past couple of months, Linux has become a real hot topic with tech writers, and even more mainstream writers as well. Where once Linux was barely mentioned, mentioned only briefly as a passing thought, or criticized, it has now come to the point where various publishing organizations are now tripping over each other and themselves, trying to come up with new pro Linux articles. While this is very much a good thing in helping gain some notoriety for Linux, is there a darker side to it as well?

Pentium III 500 MHz Review 17:33 pm - Kan
The guys over at The Tech Zone whipped up a review on the Pentium III 500 MHz processor. Also, check out the benchmarks of this silicon at 620 Mhz.

The CPU is packaged using the SECC2 form factor. This has a plastic backplate and an open front face. The thermal plate that is used in SECC cartridges like the old Pentium II is no longer there. This allows the heatsink to make direct contact with the CPU core, making for better cooling.

The heatsink looks just like the heatsinks used in the retail Celerons but it's held in place by 4 one way plastic pins. The stock heatsink has 13 fins and a weak 8CFM fan. I guess this is better than the first shipping Pentium III heatsinks. Those didn't even come with a fan!

Jane's Fleet Command 13:40 pm - Kan
KACHardware sent note on their latest review on Jane's Fleet Command. Ahh... simulations, my favorite!

When you have issued the wanted orders you can follow your units in a 3D-window. The 3D part is really supreme programmed and well-detailed; you can ride a harpoon missile a few inches above the water surface, follow your planes go into dogfights or ride a tomahawk missile into the sunset. In fact the 3D-view add so much sensation of being in combat that you almost forget time and place.

MP3 Player - Saehan MPMan F20 13:38 pm - Kan
We have a MP3 player review over at our buds' site iXBT. Check out their Saehan MPMan F20 review.

MPMan can work either with one AA size battery, which is included into the package or with an external power supply. The external source itself is of course not included into the package but it is not a problem, because any corresponding device with the appropriate plug and output voltage will fit. It is for sure a great advantage. The Rio player we compare MPMan with doesn't allow any external power sources: it works only with the batteries.

HotRod 66 Review 13:32 pm - Kan
Over at AGN, the guys did a video review of the ABIT HotRod 66 ATA-66 controller card. So how fast are ATa-66 drives? Check their review out!

On today's version of the AGN Video Review show, I look at the new ATA66 card from Abit, the Hotrod 66. I explain the benefits of the card with plenty of performance numbers and more. As usual there is even a TV-Quality video feed at 220k for those of you who want to download it!

Coolers Roundup 13:30 pm - Kan
Over at Explosive3D, the guys posted a Coolers Roundup, including the Monitor cooler, Super Slot Fan cooler and the Ultra Thin Exhauster.

This is almost a term that doesn't even apply to hooking this thing up. Simply open up your box, connect the conveniently long (w/ pass through) DC cable to a near power supply (leach some power off the hard drive, nearby floppy, whatever!), screw the fan with bracket underneath the card you'd like cooled, and you're ready to chill! A few downsides I've noticed, however, is you may suffer losing one or two expansion slots underneath your card. Relax though, 3DCool has fixed this with their new Super Duper Slot Fan which packs the same punch, in a smaller/more versatile bag.

Amen: The Awakening 13:27 pm - Kan
Review of the first-shooter game Amen: The Awakening over at Exxtreme3D. Here's some of the juice:

At first glance, Amen: The Awakening seems to be another first-person shooting game, like Duke3D or Quake2. What most people expect from these games is to enter the level, get some ammo and weapons, find some enemies, and kill them all. There were no plot in these type of games (or at least, not good ones, anyway). The whole point of Quake2 and similar games, as far as I can figure, is to kill as many enemies as you can and then move on to the next level.

Monitor Cooler 13:25 pm - Kan
WickedPC reviewed the 3DCool's Monitor Cooler. As you know, monitors get pretty hot easily and it will be a great idea to cool'em down.

Installing the Monitor Cooler is quite easy. The Monitor Cooler sits on the grate of your monitor, while a pin holds it in place. The pin allows for universal mounting, guaranteed. There's no way that it will slide off between the pin and the 4 rubber standoffs on the back. Once you have the Monitor Cooler set where you'd like it, the next step is installing a bracket inside your computer, and connecting it to power. All the bracket does is take up one slot, and provide a power extension. It can take up any slot, including ISA ones. It doesn't actually plug into anything, it just needs a slot. On the back of the slot is where you plug the Monitor Cooler into.

Lucent's Wave OpticAir 10Gbits/Sec Wireless 02:17 am - Wilfred
Whoa! Lucent Technologies announced a breakthrough optical networking system that delivers a whopping 10 gigabits per seconds through the air. Read this:

Lucent's new WaveStar™ OpticAir™ system will use state-of-the-art lasers, amplifiers and receivers that can be placed on rooftops or in office windows to transmit voice, data or video traffic from point to point through the air. Designed by Bell Labs, the WaveStar OpticAir system will use dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) technology to increase network capacity in metropolitan areas and campus environments where cost, geography or other constraints may make fiber connections impractical.

The first system to use DWDM technology directly through the air, Lucent's WaveStar OpticAir system eventually will enable business customers and service providers to transmit up to 10 gigabits (billion bits) per second (Gb/s) of information between locations. At this rate, customers will be able to transmit the data contained on 15 CD ROMs through the air in less than a second. That's 65 times more information than with today's radio frequencies.

Linux For The Masses? 02:10 am - Wilfred
This is another editorial at osOpinion, read what Todd Burgess thinks are the ingredients to take Linux to the masses. I agree with much of it and Linux will have to sport the same frills Windows comes with in order to make it big. Here's a short snip:

The Linux for the Masses must be consistent in every way. The installation procedure, the GUI and the core applications. While restrictive and running counter to the traditional Linux philosophy, Linux's flexibility is one of its greatest faults not one of its greatest strengths.

The benefits of a consistent look and feel of Linux will mean that Linux users can use other Linux systems with almost no learning curve. For instance that would mean with only one window manager each desktop would essentially look the same.

64Mb Vs 128Mb Memory 02:01 am - Wilfred
AGNHardware has done a comparative article of a 64Mb vs a 128Mb system and how they perform in different stress situations.

More memory is obviously better, but at 128MB we begin to enter the world of diminishing returns. Instead of purchasing 128MB of memory, you may realize better value by putting the money towards a faster CPU, graphics card, or hard drive. So long as you optimize your virtual memory settings, I would not hesitate to use 64MB of memory for anything shy of a power-system.

Light Emitting Polymers Flexible As Cloth 01:52 am - Wilfred
Here's a link that may interest some of you. Ars Technica posted a blurb about this article at BBC News, on flexible ultra-thin plastics that has been developed at Cambridge. Sounds exciting to me...

By choosing the chemical structure of the polymer, scientists at Cambridge, England, have been able to create specific compounds which give off blue, green or red light - the raw ingredients of all visible colours.

Because the plastics can be made in the form of thin films or sheets, they offer a huge range of applications. These include television or computer screens that can be rolled up and tossed in a briefcase, and cheap videophones.

Clothes made of the polymer and powered by a small battery pack could provide their own cinema show.

Camouflage, generating an image of its surroundings picked up by a camera would allow its wearer to blend perfectly into the background.

Socket 8 To Socket-370 Converter 01:45 am - Wilfred
The Register has a report that some Japanese firms have created a Socket 8 to Socket-370 converter. So if you're still bent on using that old Pentium Pro mobo of yours, you may be able to breathe some life into it using one of these and a Celeron.

Asus V3800 Deluxe 01:24 am - Wilfred
ComputingPros whipped up a review on the Asus V3800 Deluxe Ultra TNT2 card. With it's myriad features, does it appeal to everyone?

The Asus V3800 certainly fills its promise to be a Deluxe board with all the video amenities you could ever want. Using the Ultra TNT2's chipset Asus basically has copied the old formula it had with the V3400 of good performance and abundance of features. On the downside I must say that I think it could've been better. The Hercules and Guillemot Ultra TNTs are truly speed demons. Asus has reluctantly chosen the safer stable path. If you're planning on upgrading this isn't a cheap board. The V3800 deluxe is strictly for those with the need to do occasional video capturing/editing. I wish Asus had separated the 3D glasses from the Deluxe version to cut costs.

Intel's Merced Design Completed 01:14 am - Wilfred
CNet reported that Intel completed the design of their Merced chip and will be delivering samples of the 64-bit chip this quarter.

The chip design announcement is a milepost in the Merced schedule, which has been hampered by delays. Intel has said that it expects to begin manufacturing Merced chips in high volumes by mid-2000.

Driver Preview 01:11 am - Wilfred
FiringSquad has thrown up a preview on GT Interactive's Driver, a 3D action racing game in the likes of Midtown Madness and Grand Theft Auto. Take a look!

Driver has definitely caught our eye as a game to look out for. So to sum up the game in one long run-on sentence - You'll be carrying out criminal missions in realistically modeled cities driving 70s muscle cars as you try to outrun the cops without wrapping your car around a telephone pole, and then relive everything with the insanely extensive demo recording/editing features. Not excited yet? I seriously suggest you have yourself examined.

New Bleem Beta 01:07 am - Wilfred
DemoNews sent note on availability of Bleem v1.3 beta 1. You can download the file from here and this is the list of new features to be found:

  • Significant Direct3D Speed Optimizations
  • Significant Direct3D Texture Improvements
  • Improved Direct3D support for Background Graphics
  • Improved Direct3D Clipping (FF8's Popup Menus, etc.)
  • Corrected Minor Software Graphics Errors (Vertical Lines in FF7)
  • Improved Sound Effects and Music
  • Improved CDXA Sound
  • Improved CD-ROM Support for Multi-Disc games
  • Fixed Xenogears Saving/Loading
  • Added AutoConfig for Gravis Xterminator
  • Overall Speed Improvements (Tekken3, Crash3, etc.)
  • Insert Disc Message doesn't lock out Configuration Menus

Reviews At Digital-Clips.Com 01:03 am - Wilfred
Earl mailed about the opening of Digital-Clips.Com and a number of reviews you might want to check out:

Blood Feud 00:55 am - Wilfred
Can't wait for more deathmatching fiesta? Gamespot has an article about the 3 upcoming FPS games, Quake III, Team Fortress 2, and Unreal Tournament. Check it out!

Alternative USB Storage Roundup 00:40 am - Wilfred
USB Workshop threw up a roundup on USB storage devices. Well, let's see which of these will get in fashion... though I think CDRWs with their de facto CD formats would win hands down. =)

Our need for more capacity is every increasing.  Now that we have 20 and even 40GB hard drives, our computers are...roomy. How about alternative storage?  We 'want' media that is portable, inexpensive as to cost per megabyte, robust and ubiquitous.  The importance of removable media is equally important to our hard drives.  In this round-up, we look at all USB alternative storage solutions that meet all our 'wants.' 

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