28 July 1999 - Wednesday
Fujitsu 18.2 GB Hard Disk 22:16 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted another new review today, the Fujitsu 18.2 GB hard disk U2W 10,000 RPM monster.

Packaged in a sleek 1-inch high form factor, the MAG3182LP offers quite a bit of promise. With 3.6 GB per platter, the drive need only have 5 disks, and since it's using GMR (Giant Magneto Resistive) heads which can read more densely packed magnetic bits, it has a greatly reduced signal to noise ratio, making it one of the quietest drives in its speed class.

History hasn't been kind to SCSI hard drives at the consumer level. Faster speeds and bigger drives don't necessarily mean bigger sales when the prices are exorbitant. The funny thing is, people are willing to pay almost twice as much for PC133 RAM over PC100 or a Pentium 3 500 over a 450. Why then has SCSI not caught on?

BIOS Optimization Guide Part II 22:12 pm - Kan
Adrian from Adrian's Rojak Pot posted part II of the Guide to Bios Optimization. Learn from the true master on how to tweak those obscure settings in the BIOS.

This BIOS setting can be used to enable or disable the CPU's L2 (secondary) cache. Naturally, the default setting is Enabled.

This feature is useful for overclockers who want to pinpoint the cause of their unsuccessful overclocking. I.e. if a CPU cannot reach 500MHz with the L2 cache enabled and vice versa; then the L2 cache is what's stopping the CPU from reaching 500MHz stably.

Guillemot to Carry Thrustmaster's Torch 22:09 pm - Kan
Just received news from Guillemot that they bought over Thrustmaster's hardware division. Hmm, kinda sudden to me.

Montreal, July 27, 1999 -  Guillemot took a giant step today towards positioning itself as a leader of gaming accessories by acquiring ThrustMaster's hardware division.  The $15 million transaction gives Guillemot's line of racing wheels, flight simulation tools and game
controllers a new and definite edge.

«We have been longtime partners of ThrustMaster, distributing their products in France for the last five years on an exclusive basis. We value the company's commitment to excellence, its intuitive perception of gamers' needs. We feel that these qualities make ThrustMaster a perfect match for Guillemot, which operates with the same outstanding guidelines, » states
Claude Guillemot, President of Guillemot.

Guillemot has purchased all assets of ThrustMaster's hardware division, including the brand name, patents and designs. This strategic move will give Guillemot a major share of the worldwide console and multimedia pc market, which is growing at an increasingly rapid rate.

Guillemot has the financial strength and economies of scale necessary to continue to build on ThrustMaster's success in the game controller business. I am confident that we have placed the ThrustMaster name in very capable hands.» says Frank G. Hausmann, President and CEO of ThrustMasters Inc.

Guillemot will combine ThrustMaster's brand recognition and reputation for quality to it's strong R&D team and the power of its worldwide distribution. This will allow Guillemot to renew ThrustMaster's product line with the same attention to realism and quality that ThrustMaster has built its name and reputation on.

Although ThrustMaster's lineup for the Q4 will remain unchanged, engineering teams are already hard at work on developing  future projects within ThrustMaster's tradition.

Guillemot Corporation Combining advanced technological know-how with an extremely efficient distribution network, Guillemot Corporation has become a pre-eminent worldwide player in the interactive leisure hardware and accessories market. The group develops, manufactures and distributes PC and consoles peripherals providing the highest quality products for gamers and music enthusiasts worldwide. Guillemot Corporation is presently present in 10 countries and
distributes its products in a total of 35 countries. Guillemot Corporation is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Sicovam code 6672. For further information, please visit the Guillemot web site: http://www.guillemot.com

Overclock those Pentium IIIs 22:06 pm - Kan
Our buds over at FiringSquad just whipped up an article on how to overclock those Pentium III processor of yours. With the Pentium III 450 Mhz being the most overclockable to 558 Mhz and more, it's a good alternative to the Celeron family.

Compared to the latest Celerons, the Pentium III processors all have relatively low multipliers because they're designed to operate on the 100MHz FSB instead of the Celeron's 66MHz bus. This poses a serious problem for aspiring P3 overclockers. As many may already know, Intel clock locks the multiplier and the only way to overclock current Intel processors is to increase the bus speed.

Unfortunately, most boards offer only a handful of bus speeds above 100, and even Abit boards neglect the higher +100 bus frequencies. Newer boards do offer more bus speeds between 100 and 133, but we still aren't seeing any of the small 1 MHz ticks yet.

Super 7 Processors Showdown 14:51 pm - Wilfred
Most of you rich kids would prolly not bother much with Super7 processors anymore but let's not forget their cost effectiveness in business applications machines. The UpgradeCenter has a mini-showdown between the Cyrix MII, K6-2 and K6-3 processors.

Cyrix tells only half the story with their PR rating. The Cyrix MII PR433 processor was very solid in business apps and underwhelming in 3D gaming.  Given the solid performance of the AMD processor in both realms, it makes it hard to recommend the Cyrix processor. In it's favor the MII finally brings solid 100MHz FSB support which should make it more compatible with a greater number of motherboards. If you aren't really into gaming, this newest Cyrix release might be attractive for a user that just wanted something to do work on. 

Luckily for the consumer, the price pressure from Intel on AMD and the rest of the industry has made AMD drop their prices right alongside Intel. This has made the AMD K6-2 450MHz (at around $75 to 80) a solid choice for best bang for your buck Super 7 processor.

The Purpose Of iDesign 14:46 pm - Wilfred
Yes, this new editorial at osOpinion revolves around Apple's approach to computer design, aesthetics and form - especially the recent debut of the iBook. Take a look!

The huge amount of attention stems from a lot of different aspects of the iBook: affordability (in Apple terms), built in modem and Ethernet and support for high-speed wireless networking and its unorthodox design. Whether the design is a good or bad idea seems to divide the more experienced computer users into two camps with very few in between. Some look at it as a creative and refreshing design while others, and I quote, "wouldn't be caught dead with one".

366 Celeries At 550 14:42 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review posted about their experience in getting the 366Mhz Celerons to work at 550Mhz. Perhaps you should read this and see if you could get lucky?!

My guess is that 550Mhz is attainable on a small fraction of processors; with my limited sample size (two processors) I would hesitate to guess what fraction would run at 550. Someone I know that works for a computer store says he tested six processors and none would run reliably at 550Mhz, and all of them produced excessive amounts of heat when they tried to run them at 550Mhz.

If you are lucky enough to get a processor that seems to run without problems at 550Mhz for the ten minutes or so it takes to heat up the heatsink to undesired levels you may be able to keep running at 550 if you use exotic cooling techniques such as liquid cooling or a Kryotech cooling kit. An unusually large heatsink with a very high CFM fan may be sufficient; I would suggest at least twice the normal heat dissipation capacity of normal ball bearing heatsink/fan combinations.

AOE2 Screenshots 12:47 pm - Kan
SystemLogic sent note on a few high-res AOE2 screenshots they took. Is the shipping date delayed to October'99 again?

Starting with minimal resources, players are challenged to build their nations into great civilizations. Gamers can choose from several ways to win, including conquering the enemy, accumulating wealth by extensive trading and diplomacy, or building and defending wonders of the world. "Age of Empires II," being developed by Ensemble Studios, features the expertise of Bruce Shelley, co-designer of "Age of Empires" and the hit strategy game "Civilization."

HotRod 66 12:44 pm - Kan
Our pals over at FPS3D posted a massive review on the ABIT HotRod 66 hard disk controller. Seems like IDE hard drives are slowly catching up with the SCSI variants, providing cheap and fast performance for general home users. 

This, by far, has got to be the best installation experience I've ever had. No buggy drivers that I've had to update over the web (or even worse, couldn't update), and no need to test out tech support or anything.

I simply plugged the card into a PCI slot on my BP6, connected the 80-conductor cable to my Quantum Fireball Katana Pro 13.6, booted up and installed the drivers -- done! The world of 3D has given me a bad taste in this area, thankfully Abit helped me clear it up.

ASUS P3B-F 11:12 am - Kan
The guys over at SysopSolutions also posted a review on the ASUS P3B-F motherboard. How does 6 PCI slots sound to you?

We removed the board from its retail box and gave it a good look over. Immediately a few new features jumped out at us. First of all was the number of PCI slots. 6 in total! Wow, finally we are getting an extra slot for PCI as opposed to the standard 5 found on most boards today. I understand that ASUS is offering this board with a variety of slot configurations to meet the needs of its customers including a revision with 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots. Although there is less and less need for ISA these days it seems to make little sense to us that the new PC99 standard does not require any ISA slot interfaces at all. I could think of a few old things I have kicking around that still really work well in the "old faithful" ISA slot. Network card, modem, sound card, just to name a few.

IBM Instant Messaging Software 09:53 am - Kan
Looks like IBM also jumped into the Instant Messaging software bandwagon with their new software, an update of IBM's Lotus Sametime program. 

America Online has made instant messaging popular among email correspondents. IBM wants to use the function to help companies save time and money by linking far-flung employees using the Internet. The software complements IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino programs, which also let workers collaborate.

"This isn't just teenagers chitchatting after school. This is business people coordinating projects," said John Patrick, IBM's vice president of Internet technology.

Intel InBusiness Print Station Review 09:47 am - Kan
There's a short blurb of the Intel InBusiness Print Station review over at UpgradeCenter

At first glance the one thing that jumps out at you about this product is it's size.  It will literally fit in the palm of your hand.  However, don't let it's size discount its performance.  I think Intel was extremely smart in the design here, instead of putting all the ports the ports on the back they wisely maximized space.  On the back of the server you'll find two ECP/EPP printer ports, if you looking at the server from the front to the right you'll find the power and networking ports.  The networking connection and compatibility was brilliantly designed.  The server supports both 10 and 100MB/sec connections, so it's compatible with your network right when you plug it in.  As far as physical setup you couldn't ask for it to be much easier, just plug in the printer, power, and connect it to a hub and you're almost there.

Intel Pentium III Erratum 08:32 am - Wilfred
HardwareCentral posted of some info that Intel has identified an erratum which affects all Pentium III and Xeon processors. More details over here!

Intel has identified an erratum concerning systems using Pentium(r) III and Pentium(r)  III Xeon(tm) processors. The erratum may apply when the processor is requesting data from the system memory bus while another processor or bus master (such as an intelligent PCI card) asks for memory contents that are being used by the first processor. This erratum may result in the first processor blocking other parts of the system from accessing the bus, resulting in an overall system hang.

If this occurs and the system hangs, users may lose unsaved data as they would with any system freeze. The system requires a 'hard' reboot to get it up and running again, once the hang has occurred. The probability of this occurring increases as the number of processors within a system increase.

Intel has identified and validated a workaround for this erratum that requires its customers to update their BIOS code. Intel has worked with its customers to implement the workaround to the erratum. OEMs were provided with the BIOS code, which will correct this erratum on 07/12/99. These BIOS changes do not affect the performance of the processors or systems.

Athlon K7 - Processor Of The Year At Polls 08:25 am - Wilfred
CPU Site's poll showed that 72% of the readers consider the AMD Athlon - CPU of the Year. Well, yes we certainly hope AMD doesn't disappoint with its marketing, market penetration and Intel trouncing. We'll see...

The Voodoo2 Experiment - Part 2 08:23 am - Wilfred
Our pals at ExtremeHardware have readied the sequel to their laboratory experiment with getting mismatched V2 SLI configurations to work. If you're still keeping your V2s for sentimental reasons, then perhaps you can find her a partner - soon!

SLI Tips: In using any of the above methods, it's very important to make sure you have the V2 SLI physical install done correctly. I'm repeating this because I tried the CL V2 drivers with a set of V2s that had previously worked with the reference drivers. No SLI detected, no 1024x768, and then I noticed that the SLI cable was loose. After hooking it up, SLI was detected and games ran perfectly. It's simple install issues like this (or cards properly seated in the PCI slot) that can cause some serious problems. I also had some success in getting SLI to work by switching the physical location of the 2 boards. One of the V2 boards (usually the lower one) is the master/driver and the other is the slave. Switching them around can sometimes get them working when other methods failed. A good rule of thumb is to have the board with the faster memory (if there are differences) as the master card.

Aureal SuperQuad Vortex 2 08:12 am - Wilfred
Just yesterday, we read of a review on Aureal's very own sound board, today eXplosive3D also took the card for a spin!

In conclusion, the SuperQuad is a great Vortex2 soundcard for its price. Mirroring such similar cards as Xitel's Storm, and Videologic's Sonic Vortex2; the SuperQuad is a steal! Though poor MIDI, and CPU utilization (when optimized in A3D 2.0) cripple it when competing with the Sound Blaster Live, and other great cards. Priced at $49.00, I recommend anyone that is building a system to include this card. As for those wanting to upgrade, the Aureal SuperQuad is good (based on the outstanding technology), but not worth it for better 'all-around' sound... My old Soundblaster AWE 64 does great, an the Yamaha DS-XG on my old motherboard was good enough for my needs.

Pentium III 600 MHz & Celeron 500 MHz 04:35 am - Kan
AVault also posted a review on the Pentium III 600 Mhz along with the Celeron 500 Mhz processor. 

The absolute numbers show a memory access performance advantage in all cases for the Pentium III, a clear result of the faster front side bus and memory modules. Computation on these numbers to scale for front side bus clock rates shows that the Celeron uses the front side bus bandwidth more efficiently than does the Pentium III, which is undoubtedly the result of the L2 cache running at full speed rather than the half speed clock used in the Pentium III. Keep in mind that both processor cores always fetch a complete cache line at once, permitting cached access to the remainder of the line once the fetch completes. That results in a performance boost even when the test program transfers blocks larger than cache, so the more efficient full speed cache delivers a bigger boost.

Pentium III 600 MHz Review 04:35 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted their review on the Pentium III 600 MHz processor. The fastest processor available in the market now, they sure ain't cheap.

Avid Sharky Extreme readers know from our earlier articles about Intel that P3 CPUs manufactured on the .25 micron manufacturing process were scheduled to move to Intel's highly-anticipated .18 micron process by September of this year.

This is still the case, although Intel officially says now that November is the new date that the first P3 CPUs manufactured at a .18mu process (code named Coppermine) will be available. This left a large time gap at the high end of Intel's desktop CPU segment between the P3-550 CPU (launched in May) and the P3-600 Coppermine CPU (originally scheduled for September, but later moved to November).

Modern 3D Accelerators Comparison 04:30 am - Kan
Our buds over at iXBT did a Modern 3D Accelerators Comparison using Q3Test v1.07 as the benchmark, slapped with lots of benchmark results and high quality screenshots.

In spring id Software didn't provide any testing labs with a modern tool for checking performance. This company traditionally releases the games, which in fact turn into standard benchmarks showing the gaming power of the system tested. The engines developed there are so popular and demanded among the game-makers that graphics cards manufacturers sometimes provide their products with Quake drivers and optimize them for higher performance of the whole system. Quake-games are almost the only ones, which manage to achieve fantastic realism and amazingly beautiful effects with API OpenGL. So, at present the comprehensive testing turns out absolutely impossible without Q3Test.

Soyo 6BA+ III 04:26 am - Kan
PCParadox posted a review on the Soyo 6BA+ III Slot-1 motherboard. Hey, whadaya know, this motherboard is pretty good as well.

Well reading the specs, they sound even more amazing than the new ABIT motherboard. Its huge set of FSB speeds will make you crazy! The addition of the Core Voltage tweak is the final word on tweaking those voltage problems of yours, and this motherboard was definitely designed with overclocking as its primary objective, and of course to compete with ABIT in that field. One interesting thing to point out about this motherboard is the Internal Sensor reading that lets you see the temperature of the internal Pentium II/III core instead of the external sensor in most motherboards and the good old 6BA+.


27 July 1999 - Tuesday

Sixteen Point Five Inch Notebook Displays 23:50 pm - Wilfred
Samsung introduced new 16.5" TFT displays for notebooks. So we'll certainly see some super huge screen notebooks that'll shame even your desktop's 17 inches!

Challenging industry convention as to the best screen size for notebook PCs, Samung Electronics Co. Ltd. today rolled out a 16.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT)-LCD that the company hopes will define a new upper limit for portability.

The device boasts an SXGA+ display resolution, which Samsung says will offer a "crisper image" and nearly twice the resolution of XGA screens. The new panel also features a 4:3 aspect ratio, conforming to the norm for CRT monitors and most laptops.

David Smiles 19:40 pm - David
Hi! I'm your new editor. To start off, here is an article on network security from NyTimes.

"The only system that is truly secure is one that is switched off and unplugged, locked in a titanium safe, buried in a concrete vault on the bottom of the sea and surrounded by very highly paid armed guards," says Eugene H. Spafford, director of the Purdue Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security. "Even then I wouldn't bet on it."

Life is Boring @ 558 Mhz 19:14 pm - Kan
Well, here's a screen capture of WCPUID running on the latest SL36A 300A Celeron. Sorry, it actually took me 10 days to post this up (lazy bummer!).

Creative Webcam 3 19:07 pm - Kan
Another new hardware review over at AGN Hardware, the Creative Webcam 3.

The Webcam3 is capable of up to a 640x480 image capture, with impressive image quality. This is quite and improvement over the Webcam2, giving double the image size and also a much richer level of captures. This increased image quality is courtesy of a new high resolution CMOS sensor, giving 3 times the resolution of past models. They have also improved the lens quality, giving a bigger lens that is capable of better quality and capture. If this were not enough, they have also added other hardware to improve the capture quality. This allows the camera to auto adjust settings such as lighting and others. 

HardOCP New Look 19:01 pm - Kan
Check out our pals over at HardOCP with their new dazzling look. :) Pretty cool with those scripts and stuffs like that. Erm, when is Hardware One getting a revamp huh?

MSI 6182 18:57 pm - Kan
3DRage finished their 4 pages review on the MSI 6182 i810 chipset. These i810 boards are pretty interesting with 6 PCI slots and a AMR slot. Here's a short clip:

Being a cost-effective solution, the AMR is software powered by your CPU. While this would create a negligible performance hit while surfing the web, it would undertake a serious penalty while playing Quake 3 deathmatch. Business users would benfit more from this solution than a hardcore gamer, who would rather opt for a hardware audio/modem component. These slots made possible by the I/O Controller hub, the replacement for the standard South Bridge found on previous 440BX boards. The ICH(I/O Contoller Hub) interconnects the PCI bus, the USB ports, and the new AMR slot. It provides direct connection to the 2 USB ports, 2 IDE channels, the Super I/O, and the PCI bus.

The Practical Manager's Guide To Linux 17:24 pm - Wilfred
Wow! osOpinion posted a gigantic editorial err... no! It's a comprehensive guide to what Linux is, who Linux is for, and what Linux can accomplish for users. In any case, if you are considering getting hold of Linux, be sure to check this out first! A recommended read <again>! The document is so huge they made it downloadable!

Linux has seemingly appeared out of nowhere and captured 17% of the server market, -- a growth rate of 212% over the past year. And this was before commercial vendors got onto it in a big way. IDC now estimates that over the next 4 years, Linux will grow faster than all other operating systems combined, including Windows. Its growth trajectory could soon push it in the direction of your organisation (if it's not there already), and you could find yourself having to make some decisions quickly.

New technologies are risky, and adopting one before it becomes completely mainstream could prove either career-enhancing or career-limiting, depending on how it plays out in the market and how you deploy it within your organisation. There is both risk and opportunity in Linux. As an IT manager, you need to analyse Linux carefully, understand where it is strong, where it is weak, where it is likely to go, and then evaluate where you could profitably use it, if at all.

This document is an attempt to collate all the relevant facts and market information about Linux, without hype or prejudice, into one easy-to-read guide, as it were, so that most common questions about this operating system are answered satisfactorily. It should easily be worth an hour of your time.

Q3Test 1.07 Over 1.05 17:16 pm - Wilfred
The FiringSquad has pooped an article running through the changes that's gone on from Q3Test 1.05 to the current 1.07.

The second thing I noticed was that matches were slow until someone gained control of the main room. The level has a lot of blind corners where players can hide and ambush their opponent. This made moving around tedious because you have to walk in several places to avoid making any noise. Getting rid of footsteps would make games on this map much more fast paced.

Slackware 4.0 Linux 17:09 pm - Wilfred
CPU Review whipped up a review on Slackware 4.0 - another popular distribution of Linux. Hmm... this adds another to their good collection of writeups on the different flavours of Linux.

Slackware 4.0 is a good, solid Linux implementation, and I like it, but it is in sore need of some further upgrades in order to make it more appealing to new users.

The installation procedure seems almost quaint given the strides in ease-of-installation that have been made by Caldera, RedHat and others; I suspect (and hope) that better installation and administration tools will be available in the next release.

The Slackware book is well written, but it is past time for it to be updated; Linux changes far too fast for a book not to be revised in almost three years. I am not trying to knock Slackware; it is a fine distribution for seasoned Linux users; but new users would have an easier time installing OpenLinux, RedHat or Mandrake.

MechWarrior 3 17:09 pm - Wilfred
This is the TechZone's first game review ever and the historical honour is given to Microprose's Mechwarrior 3.

MechWarrior 3, based on a tried and true game play formula, almost automatically succeeds as an above average game. MechWarrior fans will have their itch scratched, if not completely satisfied. When players are not frustrated to tears they will be having a lot of fun. The sense of being in the BattleTech universe, piloting and battling gigantic robots, is achieved quite well. Configuring Mechs is fun, and blowing away enemies is very satisfying. MechWarrior 3 adds a number of features to the MechWarrior 2 formula, but flaws mar what was supposed to be the definitive giant robot simulation. The most notable flaws are its already frustrating control system made worse with low mouse sensitivity, its utter pitiful soundtrack letdown, and its game inhibiting bugs. The accumulation of these flaws hinders MechWarrior 3 in its current state from being the great game it should have been.

Aureal Vortex 2 SuperQuad Digital 17:05 pm - Wilfred
What if the real thing came from the real people? Issit better or any more real? Read over at 3DSpotlight a review on Aureal's very own Vortex2-based sound card.

Aureal has done something special to make their SuperQuad sound board to stand out from the rest of the pack though. The SuperQuad has a digital sound output rather than the traditional Analog sound output. Analog and Digital sound may not make that much of a difference, but with today’s ever advancing standards; it is worth looking into. The sampling rate of the digital output can reach an amazing 48,800 kHz sampling rate. Also, with digital output, you don’t have to worry too much about line noise or other such things that can inhibit an analog speaker and sound card setup from producing the ultimate in sound.

Guillemot Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 16:59 pm - Wilfred
The WickedPC team must love the Xentor 32 quite a bit and in the opening para of their review, you'll find them saying:

Pretty much the Xentor 32 is a basic TNT2 Ultra sporting 32mb of EliteMT 5.5ns ram which is clocked at 183MHz, with the core being clocked at 175MHz. The memory speed is the standard for most TNT2 Ultra boards, however the core clock speed of 175MHz is 25MHz faster than its strongest competition, the Diamond Viper v770 Ultra. Clock speed seems to be the biggest issue concerning the TNT2 Ultra, second to good driver support. We'll go over all of these in a bit, and then we'll tell you why the Guillemot Xentor 32 is the Wicked PC TNT2 Ultra we liked best.

ADSL Vs Cable 16:53 pm - Wilfred
Nah, this is not what my argument with Kan, but ComChip's comparison article between the two fledging modem technologies.

Is cable modem technology faster or is xDSL faster? Everyone believes different, but it all bares down to the number of people using the service and the provider you are getting it from.

US Internet consultants Keynote Systems recently put these two systems at test. They found that an xDSL system took an average of 3.55 seconds to download a page between 5 PM and 11 PM, and 4.30 seconds during the day.

Cable modems took an average of 3.97 and 3.68 seconds respectively. This shows taht xDSL was 12% faster during the evening but 17% slower by day.

More TNT2 Reviews 06:52 am - Kan
More TNT2 madness over at AnandTech with the Guillemot Maxi Xentor32 and the Creative 3D Blaster Ultra TNT2 graphics card.

One such market is the graphics card market that Creative took by storm with the 3D Blaster Voodoo2. Creative's huge retail presence and advertising budget immediately put them on the graphics card map. After the 3dfx/STB and S3/Diamond mergers, the only major graphics chip maker is NVIDIA, who Creative has turned to for their latest in their 3D Blaster series of graphics cards. The most recent is the 3D Blaster TNT2 Ultra, following Creative's no nonsense product naming strategy in the graphics card market. But with NVIDIA the only major graphics chip player left, there is tons of competition in the TNT2 market. Today, we find out how the Creative Labs TNT2 Ultra offering fares in the face of heavy competition.

Evolva Preview 06:51 am - Kan
This sounds like some deadly virus to me. Anyway, 3DRage previewed the game Evolva which is a 3rd person action/strategy type of game.

It seems that first person shooters are dominating the gaming industry, leaving third person action games in a distant second. The current crop of third person action games is scant, with a few immersive titles such as Heretic II, which, while one of the best games of the year and receiving wonderful reviews from on-line and printed publications, only sold 31,000 copies. I think the reason is the increasing popularity of first person shooters and their dominance in the multiplayer world. But, as we look to the future, we are seeing a wide spectrum of third person action/strategy games that are scheduled to be released within the same time frame, and steal a little thunder away from the first person shooter.

MC2000 Dual Peltier 06:49 am - Kan
Overclockin.com just sent note on their latest review on the MC2000 Dual Peltier, Quad fans cooler. Darn, the size of this baby sure looks impressive!

All of these components were tested stable at a FSB of 138MHz using a non-clock locked Pentium II 350MHz processor to insure that the system would be stable at the speeds used during the test.  I used standard Radio Shack silicone heatsink compound (Catalog # 276-1372) for surfaces in contact with the coldplate including the CPU core and the cache chips.  The ambient temperature readings were taken with an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer from Radio Shack.  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 cold plate when possible to get a reading of  the changes during load. 

Xentor 32 06:46 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D reviewed the Guillemot Xentor32 graphics card which is one of the most overclockable cards after the Hercules (hey, don't forget the Spectra 5400).

First thing I noticed on the card, without even opening up the computer casing, is the cooling fan. Usually, the cooling fan is glued onto the 3D card, which means that you can’t detach it or anything (except if you melt the glue, but that can cause problems if not an expert…plus it goes against the warranty). However, Xentor had another great idea (besides the centaur). The cooling fan on this card comes with a connector. What this means is that if you don’t like the power of the fan, it breaks, it’s not functioning, etc., you can disconnect the fan and even remove it (without breaking the warranty).

Still Able to do SMP? 06:44 am - Kan
TheTechZone just emailed us on the new 'Uniprocessor' Celerons. Apparently they are still able to do SMP under the BP6.

Yesterday, many sites reported that Intel has disable SMP for Celerons because the box that these Celerons ship with says "For Uniprocessor Systems Only"

Well, I got two boxed celeron 500's here with that for uniprocessor only label on them. They work just fine in the BP6, and are both currently running at 585Mhz rock solid (78mhz bus) and I will try for an even 600 shortly.

It seems that the "For Uniprocessor Systems Only" label is just that. A label.

Post this if you think your readers would be interested.

NV10 Preview 06:42 am - Kan
CRUS sent note that the NV10 will be out in September. Click here for the preview of the NV10 chipset from nVidia. Darn, time to hold off purchases for a graphics card again.

Now it’s confirmed. The NV10 chipset from Nvidia will be released in a month and we will also see a graphic card in early September using the NV10 Chipset. I have been talking with a press spokesman at Guillemot and he confirmed that Guillemot will show the graphic card at ECTS and that’s probably the first time that we will see some image quality and speed specs of the chipset.

We have tried to get the specs of the Guillemot card but as you probably understand these specs are “top secret” so we will just have to speculate in what the specs of the NV10 will be like everyone else has done in their previews.  

Logitech Wingman Force 06:40 am - Kan
AGN Hardware posted a review on the Logitech Wingman Force joystick (the one which looks like some dildo). Anyway, here's some of the wonderful comments:

At a glance the Wingman Force stick resembles the classic Wingman Extreme, as it uses the same sculpted shaft that all of the Wingman joysticks sport. That's where the comparison ends, because the base of the Wingman Force is colossal! Actually the base of the stick may be its biggest turn off, as it takes A LOT of desktop real-estate to accommodate the Wingman Force. The shape of the stick base is also quite odd.

Kingpin Review 06:37 am - Kan
QuakeCity has a short blurb on Kingpin and they gave it a pretty high rating for it too.

The first time I played this game online was at a LAN and it was A LOT of fun. It has the excitement of Quake 2 Deathmatch mixed with the a darker feel of a game like Thief. The weapons are great for multiplayer and add another level. The actual level-design is wonderful for multiplayer. One of the reasons this is true is because of the roof-top to roof-top and roof-top to ground style fighting you can do. The flame-thrower in Kingpin is great fun during multiplayer matches. Gotta love catching someone on fire and then blowing their head off with a shotgun. ;)

Voyetra Turtle Beach Montego II 06:35 am - Kan
P3D reviewed the Voyetra Turtle Beach Montego II soundcard and they seem to like it a lot, giving it a rating of 9/10. Here's some shots:

Performance of the Montego II Quadzilla has been greatly improved over its predecessor, thanks to A3D's Vortex 2 processor, which features great enhancements such as a 10-Band Hardware Equalizer, 64 Hardware Voice Wavetable Synthesis (320 in software), DirectSound and DirectSound 3D acceleration and 96 simultaneous hardware-based audio streams (yes, 96!).

26 July 1999 - Monday
Dreamcast Review 22:18 pm - Kan
Those guys over at GameWire did a review on the Sega Dreamcast console. By the way, in case you are not aware of, we have our own GameZone section which features console/gaming reviews. Check'em out.

Sega has beat everyone to the punch in the next-gen console market. PSX2 isn't set to release in the US until a year later, and Nintendo has just recently even announced a design. This system has plenty of punch to keep it going strong for some time. DreamCast is set to take control of the console market before its competitors can even get a comparable product in production. From internet connectivity to an add-on keyboard, DreamCast has a bevy of new features. With a host of announced games, developers are backing this system.

South Park Interview 22:13 pm - Kan
This should interest Wilfred more. Our pals over at ArsTechnica had an interview with those dudes in charge of producing the wacky South Park series. Here's some splurt:

Dr. Evil: When did you start work on the series? Did you ever expect things to take off the way they did?

Sean: I started in May of '97. We were all pretty much overwhelmed by the popularity of the show when it took off. I joined the show because it appealed to my own twisted sense of humor. I had no idea that so many people were as twisted as me. :)

Kan Yawns 22:11 pm - Kan
Having a running fever (a fever which runs??) hence I will keep things short. By the way, never go to take a cold bath after some vigorous 'exercise' on the bed. In case you ask, I don't need Viagra - yet.

Hectic Days Ahead 18:58 pm - Wilfred
Hmm... both Kan and myself will be very caught up with work for the months ahead. While we will continue to bring you the lastest news, we can only try to keep up with the past maddening frequency. With this consideration, we welcome any local computer enthusiasts, who might be keen to join Hardware-One as a news editor, to write us.

SMP Smackdown! 18:54 pm - Wilfred
Heheh, those of you who visited ArsTechnica during the weekend will see their 'Uhm...we're workin' mmkay' message, and this is a substantial article they'd perfected for all SMP freaks out there. Is this the new trend and the way to go? Here's a clip and a pic of the crazee CPU fan configuration to get things their way! =)

As a counterbalance to all of these benchmark numbers, I should probably say a word about the user experience on these SMP machines. Although many of these tests were not multithreaded and showed little performance gain when run one at a time, the applications being tested would almost certainly run quicker in real-world use.  If your PC using habits are anything like mine, you'll have way too many windows or virtual screens open at once, and your PC will have lots of different irons in the fire. As I type this review, my PC is running a mail program, a spreadsheet, a telnet session, a paint program, about six browser windows, ICQ, a system monitoring program, my web page editor, and an MP3 player. This is standard operating procedure for many hard-core PC enthusiasts, and it's the kind of environment in which even a single-user workstation can benefit from SMP. 

Two Editorials Worth Your Reading 18:44 pm - Wilfred
Or so I think! Yup, there are two interesting editorials updated at osOpinion which I think you will enjoy reading. The links:

Handheld Vs Desktop: Analogy Taken To The Extreme
As some of you might remember, a British company named Psion developed the first digital organizer back in the early eighties. Ever since then, Psion has been offering a wide range of products. Their merchandise, however, has been off the general public's gadget radar, particularly in the United States. One of the reasons for that is the fact that Psions are probably the geekiest of the bunch. Because of their sheer power and customizability, they are used by so-called power users. In this respect a Psion user can be likened to a UNIX fan.

Then there was Newton. It was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Newton's technological merits were numerous. Unfortunately, it was released prematurely and was destined to become the subject of numerous jokes for years to come. To make the matters worse, Apple has totally mishandled Newton's marketing in a way that only an arrogant established company could. Doesn't this whole story remind you of what IBM did with OS/2? If anything, these two products will forever serve as a proof that the most advanced technology doesn't always win.

Linux: Over-hyped or what?
Well not to sound like a Microsoft troll, but frankly I'm unimpressed. Many people in the media are taking the Linux for the masses angle and talking about how soon Linux will penetrate the home market. They point to Windows 2000 and its 30+ million lines of code, they point to how quickly Linux is making strides in getting a usable GUI with KDE and GNOME, they point to the appeal of free software. However, in their frenzy the media writers glaze over several important things that are crucial to home market penetration of the OS. In short, the interface is difficult, installing software is impossible, and performance is not up to par.

Abit BP6 18:40 pm - Wilfred
A number of BP6 reviews lately, here's TechZone's take on the highly innovative dual celery board from Abit. Also, don't miss Hardware-One's very own write-up on it!

All I can say is wow! This has to be the best assortment of options for overclocking your Celeron yet! Considering the fact that the motherboard works fine with only a single processor and is still inexpensive, the BP6 is even a great choice for those of you who only want a single CPU.

Talk is nice, but how effective is the overclocking of the board? With the Celeron 400 processors, I was able to push the speed up to 534MHz. (6X89MHz FSB) This is an increase of 34MHz over other boards, that were limited to an 83MHz setting.

Maxtor DiamondMax 6800 18:38 pm - Wilfred
StorageReview rang our door bells to say their review on the DiamondMax 6800 is cooked. This ATA-66 harddrive features a 2Mb buffer, a whopping 27.2Gbs of space, but a less than expected 5400rpm spindle speed.

In conclusion, it seems that the high expectations we held for the DiamondMax 6800 weren't quite met. As a next-generation drive from one of the premiere ATA drive manufacturers, we expected the 6800 to push into new grounds for a 5400rpm drive. In the end, however, it turns out that the 6800 provides performance that, while decent, doesn't muscle out the best of a previous generation.

IWill BD-100 18:33 pm - Wilfred
The IWill BD-100 is stripped naked and investigated at Digital-Clips. A maker of high quality boards (especially SCSI ones), this BX board is probably not exciting at all... nevertheless, many people still put reliability and stability as their top considerations. 

If you are looking for a no frills, no thrills motherboard, this board is for you. Its combination of price (can be bought for under USD $100), performance and stability is astonishing to say the least. Kudos to Iwill for providing an exceptionally stable motherboard, especially compared with ones from Abit. One quirk about the motherboard is the ALi HDD controller, which seems to excel at normal rated specs, but seems to go slightly erratic at higher bus speeds.

What's New In Windows 2000? 18:28 pm - Wilfred
BetaOS is keeping a list of features of the upcoming Windows 2000 operating system from Microsoft. The list will be updated as and when new functionality is added, so check it out for now.

TennMax TNT Detonator Video Card Cooler 18:26 pm - Wilfred
3DRage.COM fired up a review on another of TennMax's quality cooler - the TNT Detonator video card cooler.

As everybody knows and as every article regarding a cooling product states, heat is your enemy and will hinder you overclocking "venture". The only option is to apply excessive cooling in order to prevent the chip or processor that product is cooling from overheating.

Abit BE6 Review 18:14 pm - Wilfred
FPS3D.COM just threw up a review on the BE6. If you're not rushing to grab the last of the 'SMP-capable' Celerons (and BP6 combo), then the market is really saturated with great boards like the MSI-6163, Asus P3B-F, Abit BE6, and AOpen AX6BC Pro etc.

ATA/66 is a wonderful medium between ATA/33 and SCSI. You don't need to pay the outrageous (sometimes) prices for SCSI, and you get a huge performance boost over ATA/33. IDE will never compare to the power of SCSI, but ATA/66 brings SCSI performance a litle closer for IDE users. The load times on performance demanding software (Corel, Photoshop, etc.) are drastically reduced when using an ATA/66 hard drive.

Alpha PGA Cooler & A-Top Casing 08:32 am - Wilfred
There are 2 new reviews on BXBoards, the first is on the Alpha PGA Celeron cooler and the second, Andy took a look at A-Top's sexy translucent 'Mac' casing.

As our fearless vampire-slayer and leader, Andy, has said, conventional heatsinks are not going to suspend the laws of thermodynamics for you. They are useful for stability in borderline cases and to eliminate conventional cooling variables. Will they, alone, turn your 300a into a 600mhz beast? No, so don't waste your money if that's your goal. However, that is not to say I didn't love this little jewel. I did. Indeed, with Rain active, the Alpha achieved a low of 84F in a 76F ambient room at 504mhz and 2.3v. Interestingly, there is something of a debate out there among Alpha freaks about whether you should deploy the fan as Alpha suggests, drawing air upward, or in the conventional way. I checked. In my case, I achieved 2F lower CPU temp with the fan blowing DOWN (86F in 76F room with fan drawing up).

The Mismatched Voodoo2 SLI Experiment 08:25 am - Wilfred
Vince of ExtremeHardware mailed me about an experiment he did over the weekend testing out SLI configurations using different brand boards. Have a look at his investigation:

Since this difference only showed up in the board that would not work in SLI mode, I feel it may be important. It concerns the memory buffer chip that sits right next to the GENDAC chip. All three of the SLI-able boards had a chip labelled 74AC244, but the 4th board did not have the same chip, and in fact had 2 smaller ones on that location of the board. The funny thing about this is that the reader who was having the trouble also had mis-matched buffer chips. I have no idea if this is the actual reason why the 3 other boards worked and the fourth didn't, but in the absence of other proof, I'm certainly leaning that way (especially since memory is shared in SLI). I'm also leaning towards Voodoo2 manufacturers using the same semiconductors on their boards through their product lifespan.

NV10 Preview 06:35 am - Kan
Speedy3D also posted a preview on the coming nVidia chipset, NV10. Just when you thought you are getting a TNT2, out comes another new product. When will this ever stop?

Nvidia’s upcoming is chipset is the most hyped graphics card ever. By far. We know that 3dfx’s is going to be named Napalm. We know that Nvidia’s is going to crush some pixels, polygons, and triangles. Nvidia seems very sly about releasing info about unreleased products. Their public relation manager can’t comment on unreleased products but engineers can? Wonder who knows more? Nvidia planned this all out to release this “unofficial” next. Gen. Graphics card specs to a big gaming magazine. Hundreds of Thousands of people are going to read it and say WOW! I gotta have this card. Nvidia is also protected because if they don’t come through with exactly what their engineer said, since it wasn’t a press release it doesn’t bind the company to anything.

Shadoan 06:33 am - Kan
Our buds over at ActiveWin rolled up a review on the interactive DVD game Shadoan. Wow, Dragons Lair was one of the game I remembered playing long time ago where he graphics were pretty solid at that time.

Remember the name Rick Dyer? Maybe you don't, but I am sure you remember his first major game "Dragons Lair". All those years ago Dragon's Lair became one of the most popular arcade based games around, thanks to its superb cartoon animation and the fact that it was the first CD based arcade game ever. Dragon's Lair certainly wasn't the most advanced game in terms of interaction but it was great fun and with the blend of great graphics and sound it deserved to become a great hit.

7,200 RPM Drive Roundup 06:31 am - Kan
Over at Review-Zone, the guys posted a whopping 11 pages 7,200 RPM ATA drive roundup. Catch it while it's hot!

The rotational speed of a hard drive correlates fairly directly to the performance of the drive. Increased rotational speed means data can be stored or retrieved faster. As long as everything else remains constant, the increase in rotational speed thereby allows for greater efficiency. So this is something to pay careful attention to when you're shopping for a drive. For this roundup, we have four models from four different manufacturers, each with a storage capacity ranging from 18GB to 22GB. This is no place for small drives, after all, and if you're buying a 7200RPM drive, you may as well invest in a big one that you can live in. We'll have a quick look at the prices first, since this is the most immediate question when you're buying anything, not just hard drives.

Heavy Gear 2 06:27 am - Kan
Over at CRUS, the guys posted a wonderful review on Heavy Gear 2 and they also compared it with MecWarrior 3. The screenshots are really breathtaking.

The way it copes with terrain is easily its greatest asset, with lots of lovely smooth hills and fairly large landscapes to run around in, oh and the objects, especially the trees are marvellous. Compared to Mechwarrior 3 you get a little problem however, the terrain can’t compare, Heavy Gear 2 wins hands down but when it comes to the detail surrounding the Mechs I do have a slight inclination towards Mechwarrior’ more fluid animation and the texture work makes them look a little more menacing. Also the movement when inside is better in Mechwarrior, along with the little footprints this leaves behind adds realism so it’s up to you what you prefer

25 July 1999 - Tuesday

NV10 Special Report 22:58 pm - Wilfred
I just finished reading Riva3D's special report on nVidia's upcoming NV10 chipset. This time, there seem to be more speculation then the TNT2 chipset which I'm sure would translate into greater pressure for nVidia to live up to expectations.

What is most exciting is the sheer power that the NV10 will unleash upon its debut this fall. Suffice it to say that the NV10 will blow away anything currently on the market, as well as anything to be released in the near future. This includes 3DFX's upcoming 32 bit Napalm chipset, which is purported to have a fill rate of 1600 MPPS (mega pixels per second). Combine that with the NV10's triangle fill rate of 20 million triangles per second, and you've got a serious, serious card, folks.

The NV10 also takes advantage of the .18 micron die, which allows NVIDIA to cram two times the total number of transistors in a P-III on the chip.

NVIDIA also describes the NV10 as a GPU, or graphics processing unit, which will off-load many graphic computational tasks that were previously handled by the CPU, thus freeing up the CPU for other tasks. What this suggests is that the NV10, unlike the RIVA or TNT chipsets, will not be as processor dependent. This means that graphics performance should not rely as much on the speed of your processor in order to achieve high frame rates at high resolutons and bit depth. This is indeed good news for everyone, not just those who can afford the fastest processors.

TNT2 Reviews 18:26 pm - Kan
Two new TNT2 reviews over at AnandTech. The Hercules Dynamite TNT2 and the Gigabyte GA-660 TNT2.

Gigabyte is one such company that is a fairly well known on the motherboard side of things and has quietly played the video card market in the past. As a motherboard manufacturer, they've proven their abilities in the AnandTech labs with rock solid motherboards that seemingly do no wrong. Although they've been in the graphics market for quite a while, the GA-660 TNT2 is AnandTech's first glimpse at a Gigabyte video card.

The Next 3D Revolution 18:20 pm - Kan
Gamespot posted The Next 3D Revolution where they touched on the coming NV10 chipset from nVidia. It's really amazing how technology advances in such a few years. Still remember that the Voodoo1 came out 3 years ago? 

By off-loading geometry calculations from the CPU, the NV10 will let games have radically higher polygon counts, according to nVidia. For example, a typical scene in QUAKE II might have 3,000 polygons. But imagine that same scene with 10 times as many polygons. (Heck, maybe we'll finally see characters with round necks.) OpenGL and Direct 7.0 both support T&L acceleration, so games using those application program interfaces (APIs) should see vastly improved performance.

Apple May Use PC-266 RAM 18:18 pm - Kan
There's a short splurt from EBNews on the possibility that Apple may be the first PC manufacturer to use PC-266 RAM. 

Apple Computer Inc. could be among the first PC makers to use double-data-rate PC266 SDRAMs in a desktop. Sources said the computer maker is working out the part's clock-timing issues in order to use DDR as main memory.

DDR is expected to debut late this year or early in 2000 in PC servers as well as dedicated graphics chipset frame-buffer memory. However, the PC266 memory was expected to transition slightly later into mainstream PC desktops.

PC vs Macintosh 18:15 pm - Kan
Gamespot had an article benchmarking PCs vs Macintoshs using Quake II TimeDemo as a reference. Ain't it obvious who will win? :)

When the G3 Macintoshes were announced, Steve Jobs stood proudly on stage, showing off the new Mac's gaming chops. And there was Quake, running faster on the Mac than on a Compaq PC.

When I saw this, I realized that Steve Jobs' reality distortion zone was in full force. Macintoshes are good systems. In a past life, I worked heavily with Macs and got pretty proficient at networking Apple systems, solving INIT conflicts, and doing a little Web authoring. But I felt that this kind of disingenuous demo does no one any good. Macintosh users get a false picture of their system's 3D gaming performance, while PC users won't ever believe anything a Mac user tells them. When Anne Feld, GameSpot's features editor, pitched me on doing a Mac benchmarking piece, I said, "Sure."

Mortyr Demo Review 18:11 pm - Kan
The babes over at Exxtreme3D wrote their thoughts on the Mortyr Demo along with some screenshots. Don't you guys ever get sick of first person shooters games?? :)

As a whole, the demo of Mortyr won't be able to crush the likes of Q3ATest, but it is extremely entertaining to play on all of its four difficulty levels. Trying at the hardest difficulty, I didn't even come close to getting through the level without collapsing into a heap of flesh and blood. If you like the genre and have the hardware to make it worth while, you have to download the Mortyr demo; it's worth it for only 30 MB! Here are some more screenshots:

Windows Millenium Beta 13:18 pm - Wilfred
Yes, this is Microsoft's successor to Windows 98 in the consumer market. The Redmond giant released a beta to a select group of testers and apparently, it looked like a hybrid between Win98 and Win2K... shedding away legacy stuffs like DOS and support for 16-bit apps. BetaNews has a brief for you, take a look.

The major goal Millennium is striving for is a full 32-bit consumer OS that is incredibly robust, while at the same time not requiring tons of hardware overhead that consumers simply cannot afford. Will Microsoft be able to do this?

CounterStrike Beta 1 09:12 am - Kan
Our pals over at Netigen sent note on their preview on the Half-life mod, CounterStrike Beta 1.

Counter-Strike is one of a new breed of modification (MOD) for the ever popular Half-Life first person shooter. It features team-based play as the counter terrorists attempt to rescue scientists that terrorists have held hostage in real-world locations... no crazy jump pads here my friends!

Odigo 08:23 am - Kan
Since it's weekend where news are generally slower, I will post something about Odigo, a new software which may be a direct threat to the ICQ community. 

Odigo offers some interesting stuffs, like who is at the same page/site as you (real-time). But you probably don't want to see your friend at the same porn site as you. :) Of course, it will be nice if both of you surf Hardware One simultaneously.

You can also find the most popular sites by topic and of course, able to chat with your friends who have a Odigo account as well.

You can download the client from here directly or visit the Odigo website for more information.

3D Programming Guide 07:18 am - Kan
The girls over at Explosive3D whipped up a Dummy's guide 3D Programming Guide. Programming 3D stuffs ain't easy and you are best playing with games instead of programming them.

If you first want to program a software renderer and don't mind to learn more about your hardware a DOS C/C++ might do well. If you have access to WATCOM DOS/C32 (popular DOS4GW type programs) or if you don't feel like downloading DJGPP2 (a freeware C compiler registered with the GNU license) than this is also an excellent choice. Code generated with DJGPP is generally 10% to 40% slower than WATCOM but still outclasses most other DOS compilers.

Bored? 05:09 am - Kan
Then hop over to our Forum page to cough out your thoughts on the latest hardware gossips as well as *ahem* sweet babes! 

Quantum Fireball KA 13.6 GB 04:26 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted a review on the Quantum Fireball KA 13.6GB hard disk which supports ATA-66. Suppose to be a high performer, let see how it scores.

As the performance flagship for Quantum in the mainstream desktop market the Fireball Plus KA has to compete with similar offerings from rivals Seagate, Maxtor, and Western Digital. Quantum's advantage against their opponents has traditionally been to offer very similar, if not superior, levels of performance in their products at lower prices than the equivalent drives from others.

Antec ATX Mini Tower 04:24 am - Kan
AbsolutePC sent note on their Antec ATX Mini Tower review. No.... throw me a giant casing anytime baby.

The case design is a very standardized design with no "special" features to speak of. The old style screw on case lid is a bit outdated with most new cases coming with a slide off or butterfly open side panel design. At least there are only 4 screws and not 6! The motherboard was a bit of a pain to install because the case does not feature a slide in motherboard mount. With all screw holes baring the markings of which ones to use for different sized motherboards, it is not hard to line your board up correctly. Drive installation flew by without a hitch and we had no problems lining up any of the PCI, AGP or ISA cards, as is sometimes a problem.

Elsa SYNERGY II 04:18 am - Kan
The guys over at Speedy3D just kicked up a review on the Elsa SYNERGY II graphics card.

Performance of this card was better than I expected. It will run all of your old games and some of the newer games just fine. Especially the ones that use OpenGL. As for entry level workstation it should work fine. It opens up word just a tad faster than my ERAZOR III for what it’s worth. This is an excellent card and the only thing that would stop it from not being a good workstation card is drivers. Since this is the market Elsa makes most of their money in and was founded in, you can trust them to have good drivers.

24 July 1999 - Saturday
MS Wants Standard For Net Messaging 22:37 pm - Wilfred
Hmm... ok, the giant wants to fight on fair grounds. Keke... After the dust from the browser wars settled a little, another new scuffle broke out. Read about the latest battle on Internet messaging. I don't know, I don't have a good feeling about this. We're going to see MSN Messenger on future Windows desktops - everything else is forseeable.

In hopes of chipping away at AOL's lead in the market, Microsoft released its own instant messaging software yesterday and restated its support for an industrywide standard to make all chat applications compatible.

Microsoft miffed AOL yesterday, because a feature in MSN Messenger software lets users communicate with those using AOL's Instant Messenger.

This morning, AOL shot back, allegedly tweaking its systems to rebuff attempts to connect by Microsoft's messaging service.

Several News.com readers, including members of the Internet Engineering Task Force charged with seeking a standard protocol, reported today that they were unable to send messages from MSN messaging software to users of AOL Instant Messenger, depite being able to do so yesterday.

AOpen AX6B Plus 21:59 pm - Wilfred
SystemLogic has had the privilege of checking out AOpen's high-end AX6B Plus board which features in addition to the common bells-and-whistles, on board SCSI. However, no voltage tweak is available on this one... so ermm... check this out, nevertheless!

The AX6B+, or any similar SCSI motherboard, is not for people that need SCSI, but change motherboards often. It is also not an overclocker’s board by any means. The absence of software core voltage settings puts it out of consideration for serious overclockers. As mentioned before, voltage tweaking is available in the AX6BC series, but not in the AX6B series. For the rest of you, a quick check on PriceWatch shows that purchasing a newer AOpen AX6BC board and an Adaptec UltraSCSI PCI card is at most, only $20 more than the AX6B+ alone. The AX6B+ is quite dated, as evidenced by its 4 PCI/3 ISA slot configuration. SCSI users should remember, though, that the advantage of having a 5th PCI slot in a newer motherboard is negated by the fact that you need to put the SCSI card there anyway. In addition, the AX6B+ has a 4th DIMM slot, something that 5 PCI/2 ISA motherboards are usually without.

RC5 Compromised by Russian Hacker 16:29 pm - Kan
For those people who are following the RC5 daily rankings closely, you will have notice a suspicious account [email protected] who is cracking blocks at an astonishing rate. Yes, the RC5 client had been compromised. What this means is that we may never find the key to the code if someone else did that silently too - Dumping blocks without actually checking them. Got the below straight from the Russian RC5 team homepage.

Yes, my friends, now we all have to admit this unpleasant fact: distributed.net has been severely damaged by a malicious hacker. Some of our friends even go so far as to say that this is the end for "the largest computer on Earth" as we know it. Everybody understands the consequences: if somebody was able to crack the client, then the others will also be able to do it (I know that at least one of the members of Team HackZone has already independently duplicated Shaman's findings, purely for the purpose of testing , of course.)

I tell you, people: Shaman is not a hacker, because hackers fight the system, and Shaman fights the people that fight the system.

There are a lot of young guys out there who call themselves "hackers" just because they can handle a debugger and can crack some copy protection. No way, guys. Being a hacker means abiding by hacker ethics. Do you know what it is, Shaman? I doubt so.
No matter what his skills may be, deep inside Shaman is a typical "little hax0r guy" with his ego the size of Kremlin. He didn't want to just submit a "security issue" like decent people do, instead he made a show of himself acting as a "cracking god".

Shaman's attack on d.net is the clear case of the slaughter of the children - no one has ever thought that the client would be hacked, because it would defeat the purpose of the challenge - to find the key, not to show up first in the stats.

Now, since the cat is out of the bag and the "fake" blocks are indistinguishable from the "real" ones, what do we do?

What worries me most of all in this situation is the silence of distributed.net staff. Hey guys! keeping your mouth shut in the times of crisis is definitely not the best PR strategy!

You need to keep in touch, to ask people for help - don't be proud, you know we are willing to help you and support you. Open a hotline-chat-IRC channel-web board-whatever, assign a dedicated person to the case, create a task force, do something!

After all, there are thousands of us and our cause is good, so can't we do something together to show the "cracking gods" that we are not giving up?

Outcast Preview 16:26 pm - Kan
Just hot off the stove. FiringSquad sent note on their latest preview on Outcast. The thing about the game is that it needs no 3D graphics card, relying heavily on it's own Voxel engine (similar to Novalogic's technology).

Voxels are just a different way of creating 3D objects - basically they're good old pixels with information about the 3rd dimension stored in them. Instead of using polygons to flesh out the outer frame of an object, voxel processing utilizes a series of cross sectional images to "make" a 3D figure. The same type of technology is used for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and other medical applications in order to visualize soft human tissue like organs and tendons. Infogrames appears to have taken the best of both worlds with their hybrid engine - polygons for characters and voxels to illustrate vast expanses of land and terrain (which polygon based engines still have some amount of trouble doing).

ASUS P3B-F 14:41 pm - Kan
I think this is the first web review on the latest ASUS motherboard, the P3B-F. The P3B-F features 6 PCI slots, 4 DIMM slots as well as jumper technology. Sounds too good to be true huh? Check out the rest of the review done by our pals over at iXBT.

So, let's take P3B-F. The first impression of the board may remind us of its predecessor - P2B-F, which is not surprising at all, because ASUS borrowed its successful design for our newcomer. However, the components location is the only common feature of the two mainboards - ASUS P2B-F and P3B-F. And after a short while a very vivid difference catches your eye: P3B-F has 6 PCI-slots and only 1 ISA-slot. Well, ASUS seems to be the first one, who managed to equip one mainboard with 6 PCI-slots supporting Bus Mastering instead of 5. Now it isn't that easy to fully understand the sense of this innovation - we can hardly think of a configuration with all 6 slots involved. But maybe in the near future this will be quite a common thing, especially taking into account the growing popularity of UltraDMA/66 and Firewire controllers.

AOpen 6X DVD Drive 11:42 am - Kan
Over at 3DHardware.net, the guys did a review on the AOpen 6X DVD drive. Typically most of us are getting a DVD drive rather than a pure CD-ROM drive nowadays.

The DVD standard isn't new, heck it isn't even from last year (which would be ancient in terms of computer standards these days), and still it's something of a luxury for most people. A DVD drive in your computer is probably the most precious item in there apart from the CPU or your hard drive, and if it isn't yet, soon enough it will be. DVD opens up wonderful possibilities the preceding CD standard paved way for. If the CD enabled entire encyclopedias with abundant movie clips to be put on a small silver disc, the DVD could fit an entire bookshelf worth of information, on the same size medium, and sill have space for a full-length, LaserDisc quality movie. 

Gigabyte GA-660 11:36 am - Kan
3DRage just sent note on their new review on the Gigabyte GA-660 TNT2 graphics card. So, how does the reputed motherboard manufacturer perform in the graphics card market?

Gigabyte is widely known as a prominent motherboard manufacturer who releases quality products on a regular basis. The same is true for their video cards, with their last Banshee based GA-630 receiving rave reviews. They now enter the graphics scene with a card based on NVidia's TNT2, the GA-660. With no special features to ensure its success, it looks as if raw speed and overclockability will be the determining factor in our decision to recommend this card to you over a competitors.

D-Link DSH-16 11:33 am - Kan
Now, won't it be nice if you have a D-Link DSH-16 16 port 10/100 switch to play with? :) WickedPC sent note on their latest review on the D-Link DSH-16 as well as the DFE-503TX NIC card. 

The broadcast method was suitable for low cost and low traffic networks, where say 16 computers or less were attached and did daily operations within reason. Adding more than 16 computers can be done, but then you result in high collisions of packets, as well as decreased speed. Since with broadcast, every computer gets the packets, there's a lot of bandwidth lost that could have been used for something else. That's where the switched hubs come to the rescue. The switch allows a virtually unlimited amount of people on the same LAN with lowered collisions, and more bandwidth allowed.

Princeton Ultra 95 11:18 am - Kan
Our girls over at FPS3D sent note on their latest review on the Princeton Ultra V95 19" monitor. Personal experience, this monitor is pretty good!

I instantly fell in love with the digital on-screen controls of the Princeton Ultra 95 monitor. Being digital, they remember settings down to the exact pixel, and Princeton has little idle animations for the onscreen control suite when the computer's off and the monitor was left on.

The navigation system built for the controls is very easy to get used to (some monitors are just completely horrible in this area), and offers quick access to everything one could possibly need. Basically it's got everything the Optiquest V95 has in this area. Here are a couple shots of this baby in action:

AMD and Rise Roadmap Pictures 09:38 am - Kan
AbsolutePC sent note on some roadmap pictures for AMD as well as Rise. Interesting, looks like they are capable of churning out .18 micron processors at the 4th quarter of the year.

Looks like AMD is going to be hitting Mobile with a .18 process and the Enhanced Mobile features... I have gotten word from several people (though not AMD) that these enhanced features will be similar to Intel's Geyserville technology, allowing the CPU to run at different MHz with the amount of power the chip is recieving.

BE6 Review 03:02 am - Kan
Over at High Performance PC Guide, our pals posted the review on the ABIT BE6 which features ATA-66 and 8 IDE devices. 

Abit, one of the most innovative and aggressive motherboard manufacturer on the market, strikes again... What have they blended for us this time? Yep, another super packed motherboard with lots of features not found anywhere else and I named the Abit BE6. One of the big surprise of the new BE6 motherboard is its onboard ATA66 hard disk drives controller. As a fact, the BE6 doesn't only handle 4 IDE ATA33 hard disk drives but it also support 4 IDE ATA66 hard disks drives for a great total of up to 8 hard disk drives... Let's look more in details what else has to offer this new beast from Abit in the suite of this article.

ACS 54 02:58 am - Kan
While strolling around AGN Hardware they have a new review ready, the Altec Lansing ACS 54 speakers. Hey, ain't this the one which is competing with the Cambridge 4-point surround?

One of the greatest features of the ACS54 has nothing to do with audio, it is related to that annoying power brick that most speaker systems use. You know what I am talking about, that massive power brick that converts your electricity into a format the speakers can use. Altec Lansing has put the convertor into the subwoofer, so that nothing has to sit outside it. This is sure to make your feet much happier, since you won’t have to worry about pounding your toes.

Wingman Formula Force Review 02:55 am - Kan
Our pals over at FiringSquad just finished their review on the Wingman Formula Force. Hey, check out our own Flashman's review on it too!

The premise of the force feedback wheel is to communicate the action in the game to you through motions in the steering wheel. Unfortunately, this limits the realism possible; in a real car, the driver feels not only through the steering wheel, but through the pedals and the seat as well. Road conditions are generally felt through the steering wheel, such as slippery surface or uneven pavement. Larger bumps, such as Mott's dots (those little plastic bumps that deliniate lanes), potholes, and small children are generally felt through the seat bottom.

Case Logic GL-4 MousePad 02:53 am - Kan
Surprise! This is not another Everglide mousepad, but a review on the the GL-4 mousepad by Digital-Clips.

This is no joke, really.  RSI is happening a lot nowadays, and many people are suffering from it without knowing.  A more common and known version of this is the so called "tennis elbow"  In fact, instead of the elbow being affected, RSI sufferers from repeated use of the keyboard and mouse experience pain in their wrist.  Its not a particularly pleasant experience.

AOL Disable AIM Support in MSN Messager?  02:50 am - Kan
There's a short blurb over at Netigen on AOL disabling AIM support in MSN messager. Here's some juice:

It would seem that America Online is out to stick Microsoft and its new MSN Messenger client. Yesterday the software giant unveiled its first foray into the instant messaging arena and was met with controversy as AOL called the program a hack. The company was referring to the fact that the MSN client offered support for AOL's chat protocol opening MSN users to communicate with AIM users. Yesterday the feature was fine as it worked seamlessly. However this morning I received an error:

Logon to AOL Instant Messenger failed because the password is incorrect or the logon name does not exist. If you have forgotten your password, click Help in the main menu, and then click Frequently Asked Questions.

23 July 1999 - Friday
New Voodoo INF Files for Windows 2000  19:32 pm - Kan
Our pals from Windows NT Game Palace notified us of new 3Dfx Voodoo INF files for Windows 2000. There are also new drivers for the Riva TNT2, Hauppauge's Secam WinTV drivers for Windows 2000 and the Linksys Lne100tx Fast Ethernet drivers. You can download them from here

BE6 Easy Work Around 19:29 pm - Kan
For those we have problems with their BE6 on the core voltage thing, perhaps you can try this work around sent by our dear reader Gilbert.

I own a BE6 that suffers this problem, and I was unlucky enough to get another buggy board when I exchanged my first one with my vendor.  But since I can't wait the 2 weeks Abit says it will take to RMA my board, I discovered an EASY work around to the problem, requiring no hardware or software modifications.

It's simple -- say you have a buggy BE6 and want to increase the core voltage from 2.0 to 2.2.  The trick is, take it one step at a time. If you set the voltage from 2.0 to 2.2, the buggy board will pop it back to 2.0. But if you only change the voltage one step up, to 2.05, it will work. Save & exit, then enter soft menu as soon as it reboots (no need to wait for the OS to boot or anything).  Then, take the voltage one more step --
2.1.  Save & exit, enter soft menu again, and set the voltage to 2.2.  Save & exit, then let the system boot.  Open up Motherboard Monitor (or Winbond HW Doctor) to discover your system is now running at 2.2v, and will stay that way until you change it back.

With this process, I can successfully take my PIII 500 (GlobalWin VGS08 enhanced :) ) to 600 Mhz, stably.

Hope this can be of some use to the other BE6 users out there.  Thanks for your time.

Midtown Madness 19:24 pm - Kan
GameWire reviewed Microsoft's Midtown Madness game. For those who played Midtown and Need for Speed 4, you will know which is better. :) Anyway, check out our own Midtown Madness review!

The cars you get to drive are incredibly well detailed, the new Volkswagen Beetle, Panoz Roadster and GTR-1 are just a couple of the cars you get to drive. When you go to dashboard view, every car is different and well detailed, down to the emergency buttons on the Panoz GTR-1 to the little flower on the dash of the New Beetle. The Freightliner Century can knock a bus over fairly easily, just tips over if you go around a corner too fast. A nice touch, the AI flips you back over if you get overturned. When your car takes damage smoke starts coming out of the engine and you can tell the kind of damage your car has taken by the color of the smoke.

Kingpin 19:19 pm - Kan
Exxtreme3D sent note on the game Kingpin which caused a lot of controversy with its violence and bad language

The developers try to make it as close as to the real thing as possible. One of the cool features of KingPin is your ability to buy and sell items at pawnshops. Every once and a while, you come across a shop where you may by or sell guns and armor. This is a good opportunity to get some supplies to continue on your mission. It makes the game more life-like and enjoyable.

Educational Stuffs At HardOCP 15:03 pm - Wilfred
Heheh, you must be wondering what can Kyle educate you about? Well, you've heard of SDRAM, SDRAM, SDRAD and their various flavours. Now it's time to learn more about it from HardOCP:

SDRAM does not stand for S – dram dammit! A dram is a very small unit of measure and may have derivation from the Greek word Drachma, which is the Greek currency that is also pretty small (319 to the Dollar). If you are “hangin out” at the gym and somebody refers to you as “the Dram”, you might want to invest in that pump you saw in that mag. Anyways, SDRAM actually stands for Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory.

Will Encryption Export Controls Survive? 14:55 pm - Wilfred
Encryption export has been an area strongly regulated by the US government - widely seen as a move that's stifling the growth of e-commerce. Read about this at osOpinion.

The winning argument that needs to be made to government is simple: the widespread availability of strong encryption will prevent more crime than it will conceal. If the Internet can be described as today's gold rush, then electronic fraud is tomorrow's.

Supermicro 370SBA BX Socket370 Board 14:50 pm - Wilfred
Anand reviewed the board above and gave it an 88% overall rating. I don't think I've seen one around, but you might be interested to read if you're searching a home for your S370 CPU.

The Net's Stealth OS 11:13 am - Wilfred
MSNBC has an article about BSD, recognised as the geekiest OS with Linux ranked after it. A article to distract us from the Linux buzz? Perhaps, but here's an interesting comparison.

There is one significant difference between Linux and the flavors of BSD, according to BSDi spokesman Kevin Rose. Linux development is restrained by the so-called “copyleft” general public license (GPL). Any programmer who modifies the Linux kernel must make the source code available to the Linux community. BSD is not bound by the agreement — therefore, entrepreneurial-minded developers will stay away from Linux, he predicts.

“You have to give up your intellectual property to your competitors,” he said. “The OS itself is not going to see a great deal of innovation because there’s just no economic incentive to do so.”

Other BSD supporters make a quite different argument — it’s the frenetic pace of innovation by Linux developers that makes the OS hard to pin down and hard for companies to use on mission-critical hardware. BSD is a much more mature OS with far fewer updates, they say. All that makes FreeBSD user Matthew Fuller shrug at the religious argument.

“There’s a lot of things that Linux is ‘better’ at, and a lot of things FreeBSD is ‘better’ at, and a lot of those things can easily fluctuate on a daily or weekly basis,” said Fuller, who maintains a Linux vs. BSD Web page. “Thus, any definitive narrow statement that can be made is usually obsolete before anyone hears it.

Using Leeches' Neurons For Computing? 11:03 am - Wilfred
Nothing is too shocking in this world of science! TechWeb reports that the Emory University & Georgia Institute of Technology have collaborated to perform computations with the neurons of living leeches, interfaced with a computer.

"What we have done so far is demonstrate the feasibility of isolating nerve cells so we may use a computer as an intermediary in their communications with each other. We are a long way from creating living computers, but we do eventually want to grow neurons on a silicon substrate as a first step," said Ronald Calabrese, a professor at Emory University, and the director of a laboratory dedicated to studying the neural circuitry of the medical leech.

The Most Popular OS 10:57 am - Wilfred
Wanna know what that is? Windows 98? Nah... According to this report at CNet, Windows 95 still reigns in terms of absolute numbers used. Here's a clip

Windows 98 dominates the home market and is growing in popularity with small and medium-sized businesses. But large businesses have stuck for the most part with Windows 95 and even the previous version, Windows 3.11, particularly those large organizations with long-term software licenses.

Windows 95 accounted for 57.4 percent of the desktop operating system market last year, according to market research firm International Data Corporation. Windows 98 took 17.2 percent of the roughly 89 million units shipped.

While Windows 98 has become a standard feature for consumer PCs, corporate desktops and laptops still mostly feature Windows 95. Many customers and PC makers will likely hold off on upgrading until the release of Windows 2000, Microsoft's corporate OS due in October, analysts said.

"Windows 95 didn't cease to ship just because Windows 98 was launched," said Dan Kusnetzky, an IDC analyst. "Windows 95 did the work a lot of people wanted done, so why change? There wasn't sufficient new technology that was evident from the sidelines to make people want to change."

Final Word On Abit BE6 Voltage Issues 10:52 am - Wilfred
SysOps has on their page a final clarification they got from Abit about some CPU voltage problem in an earlier revision of the board.

With regards to the initial matter of the BIOS not saving the setting for the CPU voltage. This problem should only occur on a small numbers of initially released motherboards (~200). ABIT will be accepting these boards back for modification or exchange in order to correct this problem immediately. As I indicated in an earlier news update on the page, it is possible for you to correct the problem yourself by removing the resistor located at R59, however this is not high on my recommendation list as it is a surface mount component and if you don't have the proper tools to do the job right, you could do more harm than good to your new motherboard. ABIT recommends that you simply return the board for a newer revision. ABIT also remminded me that any tampering with the resistor would viod the owner's warrenty.

Wilfred Coughs 10:47 am - Wilfred
Haven't coughed in a long while... well yes I just corrupted the data on both my HDDs by upping the bus speeds too much. Windows was unbootable and dammit, my Ghost images were compromised as well. Had spent the entire evening putting things back from scratch...

Spectra 333 Review  07:12 am - Kan
What? A new Canopus video card? Nope, the Spectra 333 is actually a 333 Mhz processor upgrade module for all Pentium 75 Mhz and above. Check out 3DRage's review on it.

The Spectra 333 is based on the AMD K6-2 processor and therefore comes equipped with 3DNow! support. I'm not going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the AMD K6-2 for there are far too many articles on the subject for me to discuss them now. Also, Evergreen has implemented Intel's MMX instruction set in addition to the 3DNow! support to ensure a wide variety of applications would be taken full advantage of. The board which the AMD K6-2 resides on manages the auto-detect clock multiplier and voltage regulator so there is no doubt that your system's motherboard will be compatible with the Spectra 333.

Sound Blaster PCI 512  06:45 am - Kan
AGN Hardware posted a review on the Sound Blaster PCI 512. Think this is the first time I heard of this card?? 

Creative Labs newest soundcard is the SoundBlaster PCI 512. The audio sound processor that drives the PCI 512 is the same sound processor found in the SoundBlaster Live! and SoundBlaster Live! Value Edition cards. Support for Direct Sound, Direct Sound 3D and EAX extensions is provided by the PCI 512's EMU10K1 sound processor. For DOS gaming SoundBlaster 16 emulation is provided. Surprisingly, this is Creative Labs value priced soundcard, as it's priced at only around $79 (MSRP). To top it all off, it also offers excellent quad speaker-out support.

ASUS Website Hacked  06:40 am - Kan
This must be my lucky day. Anyway, here's a snapshot of the ASUS website I took:

Kodak DVC323  06:36 am - Kan
USBWorkshop just reviewed the Kodak DVC323 digital video camera. Ah, won't it be nice to get one of'em and start a porn website? :)

The DVC323 is unique in its hand-friendly shape and easily-detachable base for handheld operation: it brings out the artists in us by allowing really personal shooting styles. Its long cord (9.8') and USB connection make porting the camera a very simple thing.

SonicVortex 2  06:31 am - Kan
UpgradeCenter posted a review on the SonicVortex 2 sound card based on the A3D 2.0 chipset.

It seems just like yesterday that if you had an 8 or 16 bit sound card with two speakers you were doing wonderful.  You were indeed among the lucky few.  Of course that was around 6 years ago.  My first computer had an 8 bit card and two non amplified speakers, I was thrilled.  Today is extremely different.  It seems that more and more people today are using there computers as home entertainment systems.  

ATI TV Wonder  06:30 am - Kan
CPUReview sent note on their latest graphics card review, the ATI TV Wonder. Pretty good if you want to watch the TV and use the PC at the same time .

K7 Preview Part 2  06:28 am - Kan
Our pals over at ArsTechnica kicked up the 2nd part of the preview on the K7 Athlon processor. This time, they touched on the EV6 bus as well as the type of decoding instructions used in the processor.

The pastel blocks coming in from the left are x86 CISC instructions. These are sorted according to how big they are and are sent down one of two paths. The small, simple x86 instructions are sent through a fast hardware decoder that translates them directly into MacroOps. The big, complex x86 instructions are sent through a slightly slower microcode engine, which translates them into MacroOps of the same type and size as those spit out by the hardware decoder.

22 July 1999 - Thursday

Arcatera Interview  17:32 pm - Kan
Another game interview. Gamers' Crypt popped up an interview with the developer Christ on the coming RPG game Arcatera.

How deep is the storyline to Arcatera? How was the story for Arcatera conceived and roughly how long has it been in development?

The computer game is based on the world of Arcatera, which is a classical, medieval fantasy world. It was developed in over 12 years of work as a classical table top RPG, which we played here in Cologne with a circle of friends. The world of Arcatera contains a big continent, several towns and different regions, a large variety of different inhabitants, different religions and cultures, a detailed magic and combat system etc. - comaparable to other role playingsystems like AD&D.

MDK 2  17:17 pm - Kan
MDK was a classic. Anyway, the dudes from FiringSquad just did an interview with the development team in charge of MDK 2. Here's some of the juice:

Firingsquad: Is autoaim still in, or will mouselook be in the game?

Greg: MDK2 still features autoaim. Kurt's sniper mode does not feature autoaim since the player has to carefully direct Kurt's aim. We're also exploring a couple of other twists with directional weapons (e.g. flame-throwers) for the characters that would not use autoaim.

IBM Ultrastar 18LZX  16:48 pm - Kan
Another new hard disk review over at StorageReview. The IBM Ultrastar 18LZX is the first IBM 18 gig 10,000 rpm disk drive with a whopping 4.9ms seek time.

This new challenger is special in a couple ways. It's the first drive, for example, to break the barrier of a 5 millisecond specified seek time. Its 4.9 millisecond seek time weights in as the fastest yet. Its five, 3 gigabyte platters are the first to feature glass rather than aluminum substrates. This "more advanced" material can be refined to a surface smoother than ever before, allowing data to be packed more densely than ever before while also being less subject to thermal expansion. Interestingly, the drive features only a two meg buffer. While doubling the cache found on the Cheetah 18LP and matching the Atlas 10k, the 18LZX actually takes a step backwards when compared to the 18ZX.

Hercules Dynamite TNT2  14:32 pm - Kan
Another Hercules Dynamite TNT2 review in the net today contributed by TheTechZone. Check out what the guys feel about this card.

The Dynamite TNT2 Ultra is a high performance graphics card based on NVIDIA's TNT2 Ultra chip with incredible 3D and 2D graphics performance. On the 2D side the Dynamite TNT2 Ultra promises killer performance thanks to an integrated 300MHz RAMDAC to make sure that you can get the best refresh rates and image quality at the maximum resolutions.

Celeron 500 Mhz Review  14:28 pm - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on their latest review on the Celeron 500 Mhz processor. This processor isn't available commercially yet, but then again, check out how this baby perform at 600 MHz and 625 Mhz.

As with all recently introduced Celeron processors, the 500 is only available in Intel's Plastic Pin Grid Array (PPGA) format for Socket-370 motherboards. Slot-1 SEPP Celerons are slowly being phased out in favor of the less expensive socketed version. Visually, the processor is identical to any other PPGA Celeron.

Most likely, it's also electrically identical as well. With the exception of CPUID setting which labels the processor speed, and Intel's clock-locking circuitry that prevents different multipliers to be effected to specific-speed processors.

Apollo MVP4  12:57 pm - Kan
Our buds over at iXBT just finished their article on the VIA Apollo MVP4 chipset. One of the new features is the support of ATA-66 for Socket-7 platform.

Well, at first sight everything seems very similar to VIA Apollo MVP3. But, it is just the very first impression. All the principal differences lie a bit deeper and deal mostly with DRAM controller. As you probably remember, the working frequency of the system memory in MVP3 equaled either to FSB frequency or to AGP one, i.e. 66 or 100MHz correspondingly (in case of 100MHz processors). This was a perfect way to achieve pseudo-asynchronous memory functioning and compatibility with the old non-PC100 DIMM modules with the new processors. And at present the situation is just the opposite. The memory frequency of MVP4 coincides either with processor bus frequency or with the frequency of the special built-in de-skew PLL (Phase Lock Loop) circuit providing 100MHz.

Hercules Dynamite TNT2  11:01 am - Kan
SharkyExtreme reviewed the Hercules Dynamite TNT2 graphics card. So, how does this compare to the Spectra 5400?

What's different about Hercules' cards are the fact that most of them come out of the box guaranteed to run at a default core/memory clock speed that's much higher than the standard levels.

For example, Hercules' Dynamite TNT2 Ultra 32MB card (the $250 one) comes out of the box set to "175/200" meaning that its core speed is set to run at 175MHz while its memory speed is pumping out 200MHz. A stock TNT2 Ultra chip on the other hand is meant to run at 150/183 as outlined by the chip's maker, NVIDIA.

Iomega Clik! Drive 10:57 am - Kan
MarsTechnologies sent note on their latest review on the Iomega Clik! Drive which uses the mini-me 40Mb Clik! disk. 

The Clik! Drive is targeted toward notebook and digital camera owners. Although a palmtop with a PCMCIA interface might make better use of the Clik! Drive, I don't see laptop owners rushing out to buy one. For a little more space in their laptop case, a laptop owner could have one of Iomega's other drives allowing them to store more information per disk for less money.

Micro 2000 Centurian 10:55 am - Kan
AbsolutePC reviewed a pretty interesting hardware card, the Micro 2000 Centurian which is basically a hardware fix for the Y2K problem.

There has been a lot of debate on the subject of Y2K lately. Many people are liquefying their assets, selling their homes, and getting home schooling materials for their children, and moving to the countryside. Others are relaxing on the issue; just ready to take it how it comes. And somewhere in between these two groups, there are people who do not panic, but do know they need to make some minor adjustments in the coming months.

SY 6BA+ III 10:52 am - Kan
ComputingPros just posted their review on the Soyo SY 6BA+ III Slot-1 motherboard. Check out what they feel about this board:

It seems like every motherboard company out there is trying to squeeze out a BX chipset motherboard before the upcoming Camino chipset. The latest batch of motherboards have all seem to have learn lessons gained from their previous models and from each other. Every motherboard out there have finally realized that overclocking is a priority when designing boards these days. If you look at last years early batch of BX boards there were only a few that had the overclockers wishlist such as Abit.

Tribes Extreme Interview 10:50 am - Kan
Exxtreme3D recently scored an interview with the development manager in charge of Tribes Extreme on the game.  

Me: What will the graphics in Tribes Extreme be like? Will it be the same as the original or have a completely new look to it?

Nels Bruckner: Tribes Extreme uses the same engine as Tribes.  There will be a lot of new missions that use existing Tribes art (buildings, etc.) as sort of a 'booster pak' for the existing Tribes community, to give them some new stuff to play with (including some cool user-submitted missions from our open-call).  There will also be some awesome new artwork, especially associated with the single player aspects of the game.  Also, the missions with the Synthralls have a different look, just because of the robots running around.

Vampire - The Masquerade 10:48 am - Kan
Not for the faint hearted, FiringSquad previewed the game Vampire - The Masquerade.

Vampire: the Masquerade is based on a pen and paper role playing game of the same name, which is owned and run by White Wolf Publishing. Vampire: The Masquerade is the second best selling role playing game next to Dungeons and Dragons. Like D&D, V:tM enjoys a large and fanatical following, but unlike the more well-known D&D, V:tM is not based on strict character classes, gaining levels and such. You may be surprised to know that fans play live action Vampire: the Masquerade in cities all around the world!

EverGlide Small Attack MousePad 10:46 am - Kan
Yup, we have another EverGlide mousepad review today over at Explosive3D

I'd just like to start by saying holy crap is this mouse pad amazing! Some of you may think "This guy is on crack reviewing a mouse pad then saying how amazing it was, hasn't he ever seen one before?". To that I have to say, no one has seen a mouse pad until they have seen the Everglide! It's absolutely unbelievable how smooth mouse motion is. And this isn't only beneficial for gamers when railing people in Quake 2.

Stealth III S540 10:43 am - Kan
Those darlings over at AGN Hardware sent note on their latest review on the Stealth III S540 graphics card based on the Savage4 chipset. 

It's almost a year later now and the Savage 4 Pro+ is S3's latest effort. Diamond's Savage 4 card is the Stealth III S540, and I'd like to make it clear now that this card is designed as a low-cost, high-performance solution, not the ultimate gaming card. The Stealth III S540 board is AGP 2X and 4X compliant, outfitted with 32MB of SDRAM, a 300MHz RAMDAC and they claim the drivers are optimized for Pentium III and AMD K6-2 and K6-III systems. The core speed runs at 125MHz, and the memory clock of the Savage 4 Pro+ runs at 143MHz.

EverGlide MousePad 10:41 am - Kan
Review of the high quality EverGlide mousepad over at Speedy3D. The traction control surface with ABS is ideal for serious Quakers!

Scrolling the web was also much easier, too. But it doesn’t much that big of a difference. This leads me to believe that this mousepad was designed for gamers. It certainly does exceed at that(games), but that is quite a small portion of the market. I only have one quibble about this mousepad. That is, that your wrist really get sores after a while. The edges are sanded good enough but the desk is simply too hard.

The Bipedal Rebots War 10:39 am - Kan
Our pals over at Singularity posted a fantastic article titled the The Bipedal Robots War which compared Mechwarrior 3, Heavy Gear 2 and StarSiege as the games battle on the shelves and on gamers' hard drives. 

Imagine a burning wreck. The charred hull of what once used to bore the proud emblem of a forgotten Mechwarrior clan. Heavy metal slammed down ruthlessly on the desert dunes, as giant robots scrambled across the burning battlefield. Nearby, a thunderous explosion sounded as a series of well placed laser blasts by an agile Gear crippled yet another fallen hunk of metal. Infantry on the ground ran for their lives as the chunk of burning wreck collapsed into a heap of useless metal. On top of a sand dune, enemy Hercs lay silent, preparing to ambush the remains of the raging battle - their spoils of war.

Hardware-One: Canopus Spectra 5400 PE 00:05 am - Wilfred
All rightos! Here's a full 12 page review on the Canopus Spectra 5400 Premium Edition. Coming with exquisite patent-pending features like Signal Super Highway and Dual-Filter System as well as very high-quality 5ns RAM, we were most impressed. But are you going to pay S$550 for this baby? Read on, we have a bunch of benchmarks for your reference.

"... the Canopus brand name has always been synonymous with both quality and innovation. And with their past credits demonstrated in the original Spectra, including the revolutionary Witchdoctor technology and practical in-game control functions, one can’t but expect anything less with its next generation graphics board. So I guess if anybody could deliver, Canopus would undoubtedly be high on the list of potentials."

More Editorials At osOpinion 00:03 am - Wilfred
Kelly McNeil sent mail on more good stuffs to be found at osOpinion. I suggest you go over right away coz there's so much to read! =)

I particularly enjoyed the last one, so roll over to check it out.

Dual Celeron Overclocking 00:00 am - Wilfred
FiringSquad has a writeup on performing Dual Celeron overclocking. Yes, if you think overclocking is no longer an art, you're right but there are still things you should know before plunging in.

With Quake3: Arena SMP support and Windows 2000 on the horizon, it looks like the beginning of a new mainstream multiprocessor revolution. Abit has fired the first shot with their release of the low cost BP6 dual 370-pin processor motherboard, but will the masses follow? We believe SMP will eventually become mainstream, and the Abit BP6 and Celeron 366 PPGA combo, the first low-cost, high performance SMP setup is a huge step in that direction. It's only starting to catch on among hardcore techies, but many products that become popular among extreme users eventually make it to the average Joe.

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