30 June 1999 - Wednesday

Who Is Windows 2000 Meant For? 23:49 pm - Wilfred
Our new affiliate BetaOS has a quick read on who Microsoft is aiming Windows 2000 at. It prolly isn't what they promised years ago (come on! don't sulk! get used to it ok?!). Convergence won't happen yet.

Microsoft is holding off a consumer edition of Windows 2000 for after the release of Windows 2000, making the current Windows 2000 corporate version a priority.  But Microsoft is now saying that Windows 2000 Professional will be an upgrade for Windows 98, making it as easy as possible to be upgraded from Windows 98.  However, this is not the point.

Windows 2000 has 4 different editions, 1 for a single user PC, and the other 3 (Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server) for multi, business user PC.  The Server editions of Windows 2000 are not of importance for home users.  Only for business users.  Or is Microsoft predicting that homes will carry more than 1 PC? 

Spams: Don't Push It Too Far 23:33 pm - Wilfred
The Anchordesk has an article about the problem of spams (one of the reasons why companies are suggesting paid emails! Ouch!). Not everybody enjoys the jokes or poetry you send them. Yeah, better just save it!

Wonder why friends never respond to those jokes you forward? They're groaning behind your back. A productivity decline has gripped workplaces around the world -- and email jokes are partly to blame. Whether you're offender or offended, come inside for three reasons you should stop this email insanity now. (Hint: You could get fired. It's happened already)

Drakan: Order Of The Flame Preview 23:17 pm - Wilfred
The FiringSquad sent note of their preview on Draken at the offices of Psynogsis. It's described as a 3rd-person action game with the right ingredients to succeed when it launches.

Overall, Drakan looks like it's shaping up to be a real winner in the gaming market. With its huge levels, varied game play, and slick looking graphics, Drakan distinguishes itself from other games. The game is due out fairly soon now, so keep your eyes peeled for more on Drakan: Order of the Flame.

Creative Ultra TNT2 22:54 pm - Wilfred
Our pals at Tech-Junkie posted their review of the Creative Ultra TNT2. Have a look at their works!

To beat the competition, Creative quickly released the TNT2 Ultra based card, shortly after the 3D Blaster Savage4 and perhaps one of the first Ultras. With "Incoming" really outgoing, no games are bundled with exception of Sonnetech's graphic utilites. With a pricing considered low among the Ultras out there, 3D Blaster TNT2 Ultra can be considered as the most affordable TNT2 Ultra available.

Alien Vs Predators 22:47 pm - Wilfred
ActiveWin posted a review on Fox Interactive's Alien Vs Predators. Apparently the most frightening shoot'em up game they've played. Check out why they award it 90%!

I can't find many bad points in the game apart from the lack of being able to save your game when you like. Watching the marines run away screaming when you come through a dark corridor is a joy to behold. There is no doubt that Alien Vs Predator is the scariest game out at the moment, I can't remember any game that has made me jump so often and that is a compliment in itself. A must buy for all 3D shooter fans and for the fans of the movies and comics.

Office 2000 Review 15:27 pm - Wilfred
Ars-Technica is surely on its way to become the most misspelled name on the net. They have with them a thorough review on Microsoft's Office 2000.

The various configuration menus look the same, have most of the same options and tabs, and generally have pretty much the same functions. Windows such as Page Numbers and Page Setup are almost identical to their Word 97 counterparts. The tech documents claim that Word 2000 saves its documents in the same format as Word 97 (a few new features excepted), which is a Very Good Thing®.

Southpark Escaped NC-17 Rating 15:21 pm - Wilfred
IMDB has reports that the upcoming movie South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999) escaped the NC-17 rating in the States. Great, but will it come to our shores AT ALL?

Confidential memos to Paramount studio executives from the MPAA ratings board dated last March indicate that some members of the board felt at the time that, as stated in one memo, "they didn't see any way that the South Park movie could be anything but an NC-17." Today's (Tuesday) New York Times, which obtained the memos, reported that a long list of objectionable material bore the following preamble from one rater: "Here's what happens when we have these discussions. We collect ballots, and turns out the ballots said NC-17. Then we, knowing you don't want that, say what is leading you to vote that way. So at that point there's a discussion. People said, 'Well, look what's in the film.' These things all contributed to the feeling that it was stronger than an R." After what the Times described as "some editing trims," the film was eventually granted an R rating.

When it opens on Friday, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999) is also expected to test the recently announced resolve of theater owners to card persons buying tickets for R-rated movies. (A sequence in the film shows kids sneaking into an R-rated movie and learning a whole vocabulary of four-letter words from it.) In today's (Tuesday) New York Post, film critic Rod Dreher comments: "The prospect that actual children will get into South Park and emulate the foul-mouthed Kyle, Cartman and Stan is as certain as it is revolting. But even if no one under 17 sees the picture, it's still troubling, even as an adults-only comedy. As with the comparatively harmless Big Daddy (1999), the comic premise of South Park is based on the hilarity ensuing from the corruption of children."

SMP Petition At CPU Review 15:10 pm - Wilfred
CPUReview decided to put together a petition asking Intel not to disable the AN15 pin on the Celeries in view of destroying the hopes of running them in SMP using dual370 boards like Abit's BP6. Join in!

Guillemot Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 15:05 pm - Wilfred
There's a review on the Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 at the FiringSquad, one of the top-rated TNT2 cards in the market today. The guys are impressed and gave it their editor's choice, why shouldn't you?

Well, what can we say? Guillemot has a hit with their blazingly fast Maxi Xentor 32. The TNT2 Ultra chipset running on a core clock speed of 175MHz is more than enough to tackle the benchmarks and applications we sent its way. The memory was handled by the 32MB of 5.5ns SDRAM, which was clocked at a fast 183MHz. Together, the core and memory of the card are as fast as any card we've seen. Among the TNT2 Ultra's, the speed is bested only by the Hercules Dynamite Ultra TNT2. However, the Maxi Xentor 32 comes at a more manageable price (after rebate) than the Hercules card.

It's Not The OS, It's The Data 12:58 pm - Wilfred
Don't be mistaken, we're not onto talking about system crashes & recovery here. osOpinion has another editorial that saw a need for some kind of OpenSource document filters which will allow all file/data types to be shared and opened by any program.

Since MS Word was "dumped" at Windows users, MS Word became the standard. MS Word can read other word processor applications file formats as well as save the documents in their OWN proprietary file formats. By holding on to THEIR proprietary file formats, Microsoft has essentially placed a lock-and-key on your data. You need a key to access your documents: "A PC loaded with the newest MS Office Suite."

Other applications don't have these "keys" as MS Word, or MS Excel do. These applications effectively lock the other vendors (hardware and software) out of viewing your critical work data.

Hercules Dynamite Ultra TNT2 12:50 pm - Wilfred
The Sanctum had their hands on Hercules' top-of-the-line Dynamite Ultra TNT2. You craving for speed?

Coming from the factory this UltraTNT2 is one of the fastest around. If you have the fast CPU to couple alongside of it, you'll see some of the cleanest and fastest moving images this side of NASA. Even in full out multiplayer battles and 10 2D windows open at once the Dynamite held it's own.

Linux To Face Off Against NT Again 12:43 pm - Wilfred
ZDNet has it that Linux will once again be benchmarked against NT in another independent test lab run by Neal Nelson and Associates.

Nelson says his premise going into the tests will be that NT is best suited for some tasks, and Linux for others.

Nelson's lab features 96 Pentium computers preconfigured to run Windows, Windows NT and Linux. The computers can support more than 5,000 live client sessions; more than 10 gigabits per second of network bandwidth; isolated power feeds; and the capacity to run 24 hours a day during high intensity tests.

The focus of Nelson's tests, like the two Mindcraft tests before them, will be on performance, he says. But unlike previous Linux vs. NT benchmarks, which as Nelson said, have "been oriented towards Microsoft clients," the forthcoming benchmarks will likely look at the performance of Berkeley Standard Distribution and Network File System clients.

Gigabit Ethernet 09:53 am - Kan
Looks like Gigabit Ethernet or 1000BaseT is finally standarised. According to The Register, IEEE finally agreed on the IEEE 802.3ab standard (how do you manage to remember that??).

The spec. was to have been ratified earlier this year, but a dearth of physical layer chips prevented manufacturers from shipping product. That in turn persuaded the IEEE to hang fire on final ratification until the supply situation was rectified.

The new standard describes how Gigabit Ethernet communications can take place over four pairs of CAT-5 copper cabling of up to 100m in length. Gigabit Ethernet has already been defined for fibre-optic cabling, but the new spec. allows the technology to be implemented over users' existing cable infrastructures, which is likely to speed its adoption. 

A-Trend ATC-6240 06:23 am - Kan
Our pals over at 3DHardware.net posted their review on the A-Trend ATC-6240 Slot-1 motherboard. Pretty standard board with 5 PCI, 2 ISA and 1 AGP slots as well as supporting up to 1 GB of RAM.

What can I say, the motherboard, IDE cables, CPU attachments and a drivers CD - just the basics and nothing else. But c'mon, what would you expect? It *IS* a motherboard, and all the key components are there. Although A-Trend only put in one IDE cable and one floppy cable. I'd like to have seen them including a cable for the IDE2 connector as well. But, for those people that do not have a lot of IDE components, I guess using the first IDE channel should suffice.

MSI 6163 06:20 am - Kan
ComputingPros reviewed the MSI 6163 Slot-1 motherboard. Basically, the design layout is similar to the ABIT BH6.

Well how does the 6163 strive to set itself apart from the limitless BH6 clones out there? I mention BH6 because ever since it's introduction it has been set as the standard by which all other BX motherboards are compared to. The 6163 also offers features that allow for adjustable voltage and bus speed selections. Lets continue with what you'll see when you first open the box before we continue with all the features. What you'll find in the box is a nice instruction manual, drive cables, one thermal probe, CD-ROM, and underneath it all is the motherboard itself.

Elite 47 04:15 am - Kan
Spotted this over at AGN Hardware. They have a nice review on the Elite 47 hard drive from Seagate. This baby weighs 3.17 kg (reminds me of my old 1 GB hard drive) and comes with 47 GB of storage for you to play with! Hey, this cost $895, much cheaper than the Barracuda 50GB reviewed by PlanetHardware. The only catch is that the Elite47 is a 5400 rpm drive. 

As far as features go, the Elite 47 pans out as more of a storage device instead of a high performance device.  I would certainly not want to boot my system off of the drive, but it does make for a perfect back-up drive, or a place for the ever-growing AGN database to live.  With a 4MB cache, a 7-8ms average seek time and a 68-pin Ultra Wide SCSI interface the drive is definitely a great storage solution. The enclosure we received was pre-jumpered for SCSI ID#4 and all it really needed was a terminator for the other end of the bus.

Intel AnyPoint 04:12 am - Kan
3DRage sent note on their review on the Intel AnyPoint Phone networking kit. Also, they have scored a interview with the game developers on Carmaggedon Death Race 2000.

The Intel AnyPoint Network includes all the sofware and hardware needed out-of-the-box to easily and simply setup a home network. The common LAN is designed to make use of coaxial, cat5, or even fiber optic cable in order to produce a noise-free environment with no interference. However, like I said before most people don't want intertwined cable all throughout their house along with the hassle of setting up the software.

Mitsubishi DiamondPlus+ 04:02 am - Kan
WickedPC finished their review on the Mitsubishi DiamondPlus+ DP-A12 UPS. You mean Mitsubishi makes UPS as well? Yup, you are right and this thing sure looks imposing from the photograph.

DiamondPlus+ DP-A12 provided its services with more than just backup power incase of failure. The UPS kept the computer safe from unwanted voltage variations and provided an additional 6 outlets to plug equipment into. The DiamondPlus+ DP-A12 comes in multiple flavors, one in 0.7kVA, 1.0kVA, and 1.4kVA. The higher the "kVA" rating, the longer the battery will provide power for. The 1.0kVA model is the one we are reviewing.

Printing Goodness At DigitalDarkroom 01:08 am - Wilfred
DigitalDarkroom posted two excellent articles on the Epson Stylus 900's hidden photo printing talent, as well as a review on the 'Continuous Ink System'. Never to refill your inkjet again?

"The Epson 900 was not designed as a photo printer" was the response give by Epson technical support to one owner complaining about the green-blue tint that this printer has on all Epson papers (at least with two I have tested and for three other owners I have heard from). For those thinking about purchasing the E900 for photo output take that as a warning. The E900 is a very capable photo printer with very sharp, smooth, dot free output but it will not make great prints “out of the box”. I had begun to think I had made the wrong decision getting this printer instead of the 750/1200 until I began testing it again while working on this article. In the process, I found some settings that for me change its output from merely adequate to excellent.

Matrox G400 Max At Tom's 00:54 am - Wilfred
Yes, whether you like him or not, I'm sure you'll check out his review yah? This time Tom's Hardware took apart Matrox's G400 Max:

Jumping into the fray with great DirectX performance and innovative new features, the G400 MAX has shown its merits. The "not so hot" OpenGL performance is something that Matrox will need to change if they hope to completely dominate the competition. If Matrox is able to overcome this issue, we're confident that they'll have a technically complete product that will put them in a technically very advanced position. Let's hope that Matrox won't need as much time for fixing the OpenGL-ICD and bringing it up to speed as it required for the OpenGL-ICD of the G200. We all remember that it took forever.

G400MAX is a good performer in D3D, especially in 32-bit color mode it's clearly ahead of its competition and this has not only been achieved by the 16-bit Z-buffer 'trick', but also by its extremely fast 2x 128-bit deep memory interface. The dual-head option is a commendable feature, which will certainly be seen in other 3D-chip solutions as well. G400 supports 3DNow!, so even K6-X-owners can take advantage of it. Only the OpenGL-gaming performance is not quite what it should and probably could be yet, so here I'd expect Matrox to do a decent amount of work in very short time to make G400 and especially G400 MAX become worth its pretty massive price tag.

Interview With AMD About Athlon 00:39 am - Wilfred
SystemLogin and CTNews did a joint interview with AMD about the K7 Athlon. Here's some juicy bits for your reading:

Enough of the old generation, bring on the new! The Athlon processor is a completely re-designed CPU that significantly outperforms other sixth-generation CPUs at the equivalent clock speed, including the P3. The Athlon was designed with a few key goals: speed (high MHz operation), excellent floating point functionality, large L1 cache (128Kb, 4X the current Intel implementations), and a large, variable speed 512Kb backside L2 cache. Plus, the Athlon processor uses the first 200Mhz bus for desktop PCs, based on the proven Alpha EV6 bus. The bottom line on these features is to give users of AMD Athlon processor-based systems the ultimate desktop computing experience currently possible.

IWill ZB370 Mainboard 00:24 am - Wilfred
iXBT Hardware sent note about their new S370 mainboard review of the IWill ZB370, another well-built mainboard from the company.

Before going over to the benchmarks and the results obtained by Iwill ZB370, we would like to mention the following. Iwill mainboards have been always known as highly stable and reliable. And Iwill ZB370 is not an exception. Even if you take a quick look at the mainboard, you will undoubtedly notice that it has a bit more capacitors than a usual board. This fact proves that you see a really worthy device. And our benchmarks proved this statement, too. So, we have every right to call Iwill ZB370 one of the most reliable Socket 370 mainboards worth your attention.

AltaVista Bought By CMGI At US$2.3 Billion 00:29 am - Wilfred
Compaq sold Alta Vista to CMGI for a cool sum of US$2.3 billion. If you wanna dig the full story, you can find it here.

 

29 June 1999 - Tuesday

Videologic's Neon 250 Q3 Benchmarks 21:59 pm - Wilfred
Pete's Hardware scored some benchmarks and screenshots of the Neon 250 PowerVRSG. In Q3Test, the card performed exceptionally and had some very high quality visuals to show.

All in all, it was a very impressive display for a chip that, for various reasons, won't appear for another 6 weeks. That might seem a long time, but with performance like this, and with a target street price of £99 inc vat (even less with PowerVR Series 1 trade-in), I'd say it's worth the wait. The final word on performance goes to Pete : "the Neon’s speed in the Q3Test is impressive and it will be replacing the TNT2 Ultra in my system. Make of that what you will ;-)"

Creative To End Savage 4 Line 21:50 pm - Wilfred
Ooops! Are we seeing a relationship turn sour after S3 acquired Diamond? Hmm... life goes on and here's some harsh realities:

Creative Labs will end its short relationship with S3 when it lets its Savage4-based video cards fade into history this fall, officials confirmed Monday.

The Savage4-based 3D Blaster, which has been on store shelves about three months, will not be picked up for Creative's Fall line up. The card would have lasted about six months normally, but Creative will accelerate the phase-out period as well. That doesn't mean the company will stop releasing driver updates to who have purchased the card already.

"We would like people to remember what we're doing for our Banshee and Voodoo2 customers," said Creative Senior Brand Manager Jim Carlton.

Gigabyte GA-BX2000 21:38 pm - Wilfred
With a 2000 on its name, Gigabyte has a board for the millennium huh? Well, yes and our pals at Extreme Hardware had a close-up look at their high-quality BX board. Here's a snip:

After reading the review, you have already come to the decision that the Gigabyte GA-BX2000 was not designed for the overclocker. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since the BX2000 offers excellent performance, rock solid compatibility and just about all the expansion options you could wish for. This board is definitely marketed towards the business or general computer user, and I think this is where the board really shines. If a relative or friend wanted to get a new PC, and they were relatively new to computers, the GA-BX200 would be one of the first motherboards I would recommend.

Savage 4 Review 21:31 pm - Wilfred
CRUS delivered a short review on the Creative's Savage 4 card. They are not exactly wowed by the performance they are seeing.

The 3DB Savage4 performs good, it’s not quite on par with the TNT2 or Voodoo3 and quite far from the TNT2 Ultra, Voodoo3 3000 or G400, but it’s still a good performer with a fairly good price and it has some extra features that the competition lacks. It also handles 32bpp rendering quite good, much better than the original TNT.

USB Concerns 16:24 pm - Wilfred
So there are problems with this standard? InfoWorld writes about incompatibilities with Zip drive data transfers and notebook wake-up functions. Grrrr!!!

"When a notebook system goes to sleep, it might not wake up again if a USB device is connected," the source said. The reason lies in the fact that systems are still having difficulty simultaneously managing power and the USB signal. Other problems relating to power are caused when a device hogs most of the 100 milliamps allotted to each device, thus making it difficult for IT managers to allocate power resources.

In particular, Web cameras, and USB joysticks and steering wheels were cited by sources as power hogs. Another major issue is that USB devices are not fully supported by Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 and require Windows 98

The Road To Windows 98 Leads To Linux? 16:19 pm - Wilfred
osOpinion is once again updated with interesting editorials worthy of your attention. The first of which details the frustration of an 'advanced' user trying to upgrade from Win95 to Win98. Here's more!

Windows95, which was an earlier upgrade from Windows 3.11, which was an upgrade from the original dual-boot Windows 3.1 and OS/2. "OS/2?", you ask. Yeah - I thought I'd try an alternative to Windows that could provide multi-tasking and "crash-protection" on a PC. Chairman Lou, please note that for me that second feature turned out to be a marketing phrase and no more (factory installed OS, too)

Cambridge SoundWorks FPS 2000 16:08 pm - Wilfred
FiringSquad sent mail on their latest review of the FPS2000 Digital speakers from Cambridge SoundWorks. The distinctive black ones!

Critical listening suggested that the D/A converters in the FPS 2000's were at least as good as those in the SB Live!, if not slightly better. This is quite a compliment, as the SB Live! is regarded as having one of the best D/A converters in a consumer accessible sound card.

I preferred the FPS 2000 in digital mode. The complete lack of static or noise was incredible, it is the Lexus of computer audio. It was really hard to say that one D/A converter was better than the other because both sources created robust, clear sound. An expansive sound stage was present in both setups, sound came from the space between the satellites, not the satellites. At the same time, stereo separation was detailed and accurate.

Turtle Beach Montego II Quadzilla 16:03 pm - Wilfred
3DSoundSurge posted a review on Turtle Beach's quad speaker Vortex2-based card - The Montego II Quadzilla.

Vortex 2 cards were once the undisputed champions of four speaker audio because of their excellent HRTF implementation on the front speakers. However, the SB Live using LiveWare 2.0 and Terratec’s DMX board using Sensaura’s MultiDrive technology now sport four speaker HRTFs which allows for the rear speakers to position sound up and down. This is not to say the Quadzilla’s four speaker implementation is weak because its very good, just not top of the pack anymore.

Geek Walk 15:57 pm - Wilfred
Strange indeed. Went down to Sim Lim Square to grab something today and came across the Creative Riva TNT2 VALUE 16Mb AGP (as mentioned in our forum). The card has 16Mb SDRAM, supports up to 2048x1024 res, 300Mhz RAMDAC... powered by a TNT2 M64 chip. M64? So this is nVidia's Vanta? I don't see this product on Creative's website. Anybody any ideas, mail me!

Benwin BW2000 11:29 am - Kan
Benwin BW2000 flat-panel speakers review over at Avault. Cute looking, but not powerful enough for me.

The Benwin BW2000 is the first flat panel multimedia speaker set from Kwong Quest, LLC. The set consists of two stylish looking satellites measuring roughly 5 x 7 inches, and less than an inch thick. Two desktop stands are provided for the satellites, although you could probably try and attach them to the face of the monitor. The satellites aren't the only thing small, with the subwoofer unit only measuring roughly 5 x 5 x 7 inches. The typical power and bass controls are on the subwoofer, plus (unfortunately) the bass and 3D switch (more on that later).

Maxi Gamer Xentor 11:27 am - Kan
Spotted over at AGN Hardware, there's a new review on the Maxi Gamer Xentor graphics accelerator card. 

While we would never pretend that there is a solid answer for the age-old question: "Which card do I buy", and I would not be honest with you if I were to say that there is one single card that bests the competition. What buying a new card boils down to is features, price and support. There is a delicate balance between these factors in every one of the cards on the market today. Some manufacturers sacrifice performance or features with the intention of reducing costs, while others take an opposing role and pack as much onto the card and into the box as possible, despite the overhead involved.

Super7 Video Accelerator Roundup 11:23 am - Kan
Today, we have another roundup on video accelerators cards, this time it's from AnandTech. Check out what cards Anand recommends for the Super7 platform.

The first true Super7 chipset to hit the market was the Aladdin V by ALi (for the sake of simplicity of this argument we are not addressing the SiS solutions available prior to the Aladdin V), however the Aladdin V, if anything, is the best example of the rule of thumb that first isn’t necessarily best. The Aladdin V unfortunately has a compatibility problem with the current batch of TNT2 accelerators. The nature of the current issues with the chipset is quite bizarre as some motherboards based on the Aladdin V will work just fine with the TNT2, while others won’t. Before its official release, the Aladdin V went through over 10 different chip revisions, however there still seem to be some problems with the chipset, so anyone looking for a new Super7 system will probably wish to stay with VIA for the time being.

Why Computers Should Be Feminine 11:23 am - Kan
Over at Exxtreme3D, the gals kicked up an article called Why Computers Should be Feminine. Rather interesting...

I have done extensive research on both the female specimen of a homo sapien and the computer. This is the first reason why it's a female. We have all these books telling us what is a computer, how it works, what makes it function, etc. After all these extensive research on the computer, we are still baffled by what it can do. We still have absolutely no clue, and for those of us who know everything about the computer, they obviously don't have one in their home.

Soyo SY-6VZA 11:21 am - Kan
CRUS sent note on their review on the Soyo SY-6VZA Socket-370 motherboard. 

Included on this motherboard to draw down the extra when buying a full system is the Creative Labs ES1373 PCI Plug & Play audio chip that is included on the motherboard. This is a really good chip that is enough for the basic user and you that want to use it for playing games. I also tested the motherboard with my Soundblaster Live! and I didn’t notice any problems with the sound. There is just a single jumper that easily disables the ES1373 audio system on the SY-6VZA, and allows the remapping of not only audio ports, but the midi/joystick port as well.

TNT2 Roundup 11:19 am - Kan
A whopping 17 pages TNT2 roundup over at Review-Zone. Five TNT2 graphics cards are compared, including cards from ASUS, Creative, Diamond, Guillemot and Hercules. Which is the best? Read on to find out more.

Evidently, choosing the TNT2 card to fit your own personal requirements might not be the easiest task in the world. It would be even messier if we went around blathering at length about individual cards with no direct comparison between them. To make your life easier, we've taken a different approach and conducted this roundup of five Ultra TNT2 cards. That’s right, this is not a TNT2 roundup (you know, TNT2- meaning the vanilla version) but an Ultra TNT2 roundup. These cards are the fastest and are among the best in today’s market. So sit tight and enjoy, as we get up close and personal with each of these pricey but irresistible Ultra TNT2 cards

HDD Roundup Part 2 11:12 am - Kan
Saw over at our pals iXBT that they have another new article on HDD Roundup Part 2. This time they took a look at 5 drives from IBM, Quantum and Western Digital.

The contents of all the disks tested was absolutely identical. We cloned it with Norton Ghost utility. And as for the tests, the set was rather standard: WinBench 99 (Business WinMark and Disk Inspection Tests) and Adaptec ThreadMark. Disk CPU Utilization benchmark may be carried out in two different regimes: with the fixed read rate and with the maximally achievable one. All the benchmarks were run with the speed fixed at 4000000Byte/sec and repeated at least 5 times (if the difference between the results achieved each time exceeded 3%).

Can Linux Crash Windows? 01:11 am - Wilfred
That's the title of the editorial piece at FREEP. It's not a bug report or trying to suggest that we need anything else installed to make Windows crash! (heheh!). In this context means to overtake Windows ok? The hard truth is not difficult to find, so Linux lovers and Microsoft bashers alike, check this out!

But I'm guessing many of the people hyping Linux haven't attempted to install it.

I walked up to the brink and chickened out. But, Linux is just too complicated for home computer users. Setting up Linux requires expertise I don't possess - and I do this stuff for a living. There aren't many consumer-friendly applications that are compatible with Linux, either.

This isn't a criticism. Even the most dedicated supporters don't claim Linux is ready for the average user who wants to use a word processor, collect e-mail, surf the Web and use a CD-ROM encyclopedia.

A lot of people are working to make Linux accessible. If the Linux movement makes as much progress in the next year as it has made in the past, I could be writing a very different column on this subject in mid-2000.

That's good news, even if you never give up your Windows PC or Macintosh. As Linux moves closer to ordinary consumers, Microsoft and Apple will feel the squeeze when deciding how much to charge for OS software, how quickly to stamp out bugs and how quickly to make improvements.

Btw, Troll Tech posted some pics of a new GUI Caldera Installation that they've been in collaboration for. Sure looks more friendly!

Corel Won US$10 Million From Microsoft 00:58 am - Wilfred
Corel won nearly $10 million from the Canadian Government in compensation over a major supply deal with Microsoft Corp. Here are snippets of the story from CNet:

The dispute centered on an eight-year deal to supply office software for about 30,000 computers. Corel did not have adequate information to submit a bid for its WordPerfect Office software and was denied an extension, the tribunal said in its ruling.

Companies competing for the contract, with the exception of Microsoft, were required to give estimates for conversion costs from Microsoft software already in use at the department.

"We're certainly pleased that the case has been settled in our favor, although we weren't happy about having to take a potential client to court," said Corel spokesman Stuart McCarthy. "Our desire has only been to compete in fair competitions."

The trade tribunal, a government body that oversees government procurement disputes, ruled in late October that Microsoft had an unfair advantage in a contract with Revenue Canada, the federal tax collection department.

Corel supplies about a dozen federal departments with office automation software, with Foreign Affairs its largest customer at approximately 8,000 workstations. Corel won't have another opportunity to supply Revenue Canada with office software until 2006.

"It's very good to have government as a customer," said a Bay Street watcher who asked not to be named, pointing out such deals are steady and reliable. "Here is C$9.9 million of compensation, but I'm sure Microsoft made much more."

The Sanctum In Retrospect 00:51 am - Wilfred
In cool style, The Sanctum posted their retrospect on the good months they had since opening, recounting their winnings & losses... their supporters and err... detractors (just joking!). Certainly worth a read if you are a supporter of their site like we are! =)

Our reviews now:
We still try to spend less time with benchmarks. Sure they matter, but we feel publishing more content and detail matters most. We want to transform the review into a looking glass, post the feelings you would get from the time you saw the box, to the time you bring it home and play with it. We think some of these qualities sets us apart from others.

AOpen AX6BC Pro 00:42 am - Wilfred
The FiringSquad reviewed AOpen's AX6BC Pro BX mobo. Well, it looks like for Asus and Abit, the competition is really heating up.

The AX6BC Pro is a great find for users interested highly in running a stable system, as that is what the AX6BC Pro does an excellent job in offering. The features that were included on the board for that specific purpose do a great job of insuring crash-free operation. For example, the BX chipset is kept cool by a gold-plated heatsink that just looks oh-so-pimp. The CPU is insured a solid power flow via the big and tall capacitors that flank it. Additionally, the jumperless CPU setup and many FSB choices give the system a good degree of overclockability, which should be aided by the system's stability features. The AX6BC Pro would be for users who are interested in stability first, but with a second thought on overclocking.

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