28 May 1999 - Friday
ABIT Hot RodT 66 Card 12:51 pm - Kan
Hey, ABIT is really releasing lots of new stuffs lately. Still waiting for some of 'em to appear at my house *hint hint*. Anyway, another press release from ABIT on their new Hot RodT ATA-66 card. Read the full press release here.

ABIT Introduces the Hot RodT 66 card, the ABIT way to do Ultra ATA/66. If you need to run the latest ATA/66 hard drives at their intended speed or you want to get under the hood of your computer and turn it into a Hot Rod, the you need ABIT's Hot RodT 66 card. With ABIT technology you can get full support for Ultra ATA/66 drives with their 66MB/sec. burst data transfer rates.

Gigabyte BX2000 Slot1 Motherboard 12:51 pm - Kan
HotHardware did the review on the dual BIOS Gigabyte BX2000 motherboard. Hmm, I rather have a dual processors system anytime.

Gigabyte has long been a manufacturer of top shelf PC motherboards and have a huge network in the various reseller channels. Many small clone shops use Gigabyte's boards because of their aggressive pricing and high quality. Gigabyte has always done things a little different from the rest of the pack. For instance they are the only motherboard manufacturer that I am aware of that uses dip switches in their product for clock setting etc... There latest creation, the BX2000 is an Intel BX chipset based Slot 1 board with a unique safety feature called "Dual BIOS".

High-End CPUs for 2000 09:52 am - Kan
High-end CPUs always interest us. Ace's Hardware has an article on what will happen to processors in the coming months.

The Alpha 21264 is no longer today's speed demon, clock speeds have stagnated for the 21264, as their hasn't been a higher speed grade in several months. Normally, the 21264 Alpha should already be hitting 700 MHz, but the Compaq/DEC merger has not been beneficial to the growth of the architecture. Currently, the fastest 21264 is running at the same speed as the older 21264, 600 MHz.

Art of Designing an iMac Notebook 09:50 am - Kan
Yup, you read it. According to C|Net, there might be an iMac version of notebooks. Transparent green notebooks? Hmm...

Apple inspires such activity because "Apple is all about doing things to the hilt. It's about really caring about every detail, like the typeface on keyboard and how the cables look," said David Kelley, president of IDEO, the design firm that came up with the look for the slim Palm V handheld, as well as many Apple computers. "People react to [Apple machines] in an extreme way" because of the attention to detail, he offered.

Viper 770 09:40 am - Kan
There's a Viper thrash-out over at Gamers Depot with the Viper 770 and Viper 770 Ultra. After seeing the low clock speed in the Ultra version, perhaps it's time to move on to other brands beside Diamond.

It's quite clear that the TNT2 loves D3D, and also does quite well in OpenGL too.   It was obvious to us, after using these cards for awhile, that what we were seeing was the best combination of speed and image quality.  In Kingpin, which is VERY CPU intensive, the scores between the two cards aren't too far apart.  Once we get a PIII550 in the lab, this performance delta should become more apparent.  The TNT2's big performance boost will also come later in the year when games like Quake3 hit the streets and use textures sizes larger than 256KB.  After reading the benchmarks, I'd seriously have to wonder why anyone wouldn't just spring the extra dough and go for the Ultra version. 

A-Trend Slot1 440BX Motherboard 09:38 am - Kan
High Performance PC Guide reviewed the A-Trend Slot-1 440BX motherboard. After reading all those ABIT press releases, I will wait for 'em to be out in the market before deciding on other brands. :)

The clock frequencies offered on the ATC6240 are rather limited and you can only choose between 66Mhz and 100Mhz. The FSB frequency is selected by jumper JP11. When you use the 100Mhz setting, there apparently is a SEL66/100# option enabled has I could easily Overclock my PII 350Mhz to 400Mhz with this setting by using a 100Mhs FSB frequency and a 4X multiplier instead of the 3.5X default setting even if this processor has a built-in multiplier lock enabled by default. The clock multipliers can be set from 3X to 6X in steps of .5X. There is no processor core voltage adjustment on this motherboard as this parameter is automatically adjusted to corresponds to the processor detected.

Shark Leopard Pocket USB 56K Modem 09:36 am - Kan
KAC Hardware reviewed the Shark Leopard Pocket USB modem. This one fits just nice in your pocket and has a USB interface.

Shark Multimedia Inc. has really done a great work designing their Leopard Pocket USB 56K Modem. If you can call a high-tech device picturesque this is the best word describing the modem. Instead of selling a grey box with some LCD-buttons Shark Multimedia Inc. has developed a transparent green modem (like the iMac) with only one LCD-button indicating whether the modem is on- or offline.

Press Release - ABIT BP6 Dual Socket370 09:31 am - Kan
I guess I missed this email from ABIT. They released the ABIT BP6 Dual Socket370 motherboard and I must tell you, this rocks! Read the full press release here.

Taipei, Taiwan, May 26th 1999-ABIT announces the release of the World's First Dual Socket 370 motherboard, the BP6. The ABIT BP6 doubly defies conventional limitations by offering both Dual Socket 370 and UDMA/66 on a BX chipset board, once again proving that with ABIT, "Yes, It's possible". The BP6 is based on the award winning design of ABIT's BX line of motherboards. All the great features of our flagship models have been kept, and a lot of amazing new features have been added. 

27 May 1999 - Thursday

New Microsoft USB Keyboards 22:46 pm - Kan
If you want to look at the new USB keyboards from Microsoft, click over to ActiveWin where they have some pictures on the latest models.

Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro
19 buttons on the keyboards are programmable and most of the presets are used for Internet browsing.  I can barely read some Chinese characters on the keyboards.  Some of them are refresh, stop, search, etc.  Volume controls are also part of the keyboard design.  Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro is scheduled to be released in year 2000.

Dr Ffreeze 22:39 pm - Kan
Yup, more overclocking madness over at Dr. Ffreeze. Watch how he submerge the whole motherboard into mineral oil to cool the CPU. Totally awesome!

Kensington WebRacer Review 22:39 pm - Kan
Over at HardwareCentral, we have the Kensington WebRacer review. This is a pointing device which consists of a touchpad, a set of buttons and is designed to speed up when browsing the Internet.

At first, when you put your hand on the WebRacer, your hand will cover the entire device comfortably, and you may be fooled into thinking that you will be able to access all of the WebRacer's features without moving your hand too much. The reality is, to use the Internet buttons you forego usage of the touchpad, and vice-versa. Another issue is that the touchpad buttons (4 of them, two on each side of the mouse), are spaced too widely apart, and are uncomfortable to use for long periods of time

UltraQ 22:39 pm - Kan
3DsoundSurge reviewed the UltraQ device from Qsound which allows you to hook up your TV or PC to enhance the sound effects with it.

One of the cool features included is the Qauto switch which automatically reads the audio signal to determine if its stereo or mono and then uses its custom algorithms to convert it to a wide stereo sound. When playing All-star Baseball 99 for N64, I noticed during the music intro, the source would keep switching from Qmono to Qstereo and resampling not too fluidly in the game.

Pine Technologies i440ZX Socket-370 22:35 pm - Kan
Pine Technologies is a rather unfamiliar name to most of us. AnandTech reviewed their TL-IZX3-13 i440ZX Socket 370 motherboard. Hmm, is it good?

The ATX specification is followed fairly closely on the TL-IZX3-13, providing for a pretty good layout. All HDD/FDD connectors are located where they should be, right at the front of the board, so that no cables are forced to run over the CPU and/or memory. The ATX power connector is in a less optimal location - next to the CPU socket on the right edge of the board, which can prevent airflow to or from the CPU. The board is a standard ATX format, but is extremely short - just about an inch longer than an ISA slot - and should fit just fine in any ATX case.

Viper 770 Ultra Review 22:32 pm - Kan
Over at Sharky, the guys reviewed the Diamond Viper 770 Ultra TNT2 card. Some bad news is that Diamond reduced the core speed to 150 Mhz due to "certain reasons".

With an internal 300MHz RAMDAC the TNT2 is no slouch in the arenas of eye pleasing high refresh rates and smooth Win98 desktop transitions.

Working with the ViperV770 Ultra in a demanding 1600x1200x32bpp desktop environment proved again to us that nVidia has silenced the ghosts of their past (the Riva 128) permanently with their newest chipset design.

ABIT BY6 16:23 pm - Kan
New motherboards seem to be churned out from ABIT lately. ABIT emailed us on their new BY6 Socket 370 motherboard with support for UMDA/66. Check out the full press release here.

Taipei, Taiwan, May 27th, 1999- ABIT announces the release of the their latest BX chipset ATX based SOCKET 370 motherboard, supporting the Ultra DMA/66 IDE
Protocol and Soft MenuT II technology, the BY6. With all the great features of ABIT's flagship BX mainboards and UDMA/66, ABIT has once again proved that "Yes it's possible!".

Canyon3D 5.1 Sound Preview 16:18 pm - Kan
FiringSquad sent note on their latest review on the Canyon3D 5.1 sound card. The Canyon3D is a creation from Sensaura and ESS and  it even supports 5.1 discrete speakers.

Accuracy is only one component to good 2D audio; you also want good stereo separation, while at the same time you don't want to hear the position of each speaker. Here, the Canyon 3D sounded very similar to the Vortex2 cards. There was good separation and detail in both channels. Good sound cards can

generate an immersive 3D sound stage even with only 2 speakers and music; the Canyon 3D earns a spot with these cards.

Replay Value in Games 13:54 pm - Kan
GameWire posted an article on the Replay Value in old games. Do you still play your good old Wing Commander series?

But it's safe to say, that some of the best classics, are those that involved those countless hours you spend with some friends playing a strategy game. There's nothing like a long, fair game strategy game. But single-player is often non-existent in a player's mind when he buys the game. Usually, the "single-player action" involves training missions in which you begin to comprehend how to click and select various objects and also understand the concept of shooting anything that moves on the radar. Sometimes, games have some missions, which involve the player melting some slow, powerful hunks of metal.

Also, the guys posted a review on the ACT Labs Force RS steering wheel.

Having been playing NFS with my MS FF Pro, I thought I knew what to expect. But when I watched the starting countdown, and felt the engine rumbling through the wheel, I white-knuckledly realized this wasn’t going to be the same experience at all. Let me say, this is one solid wheel. I had two friends come over on separate days, and the first comment from both of them was how much better built this wheel is compared to the MS wheel. The grip on the wheel is outstanding. It’s a thick, full-hand, faux-leather wheel that is just cushy enough to give you a comfortable, fatigue- and sweat-free grip.

Seagate Cheetah 18LP 12:05 pm - Kan
Noticed Storage Review updated their review database with the 3rd generation hard drive from the Cheetah family. This drive simply ROCKS !

As it turns out, the Cheetah 18LP does indeed oust the Ultrastar 18ZX to earn the title of the "fastest drive ever tested at StorageReview.com." In the Business Disk WinMark test run in Windows 95, the Cheetah outperforms the Ultrastar by a margin of 6%. High-End Disk WinMark tests show the Seagate triumphing over the IBM by a more substantial 11%. Tests under Windows NT 4.0 show the margins narrowing to 5% and 8% on the Business and High-End tests respectively.

D-Link DFE-905 12:05 pm - Kan
Hop over to Avault, where the guys also posted a review on the D-Link DFE-905 network kit. This hub is absolutely awesome for it's price and definitely good enough for home use.

The hub provided with the DFE-905 Network In A Box is the D-Link DFE-904. It bears heavy resemblance to other hubs from D-Link, with a nice metal construction, rear-mounted ports, and an internal cooling fan. Actually, there are four ports plus an uplink port, which can be used to connect multiple hubs together. By having the ports located at the rear of the hub, it is easy to hide the cables behind a desk without blocking any of the front mounted LEDs. Each of the four ports supports either 10 or 100 Mbit speeds, although the hub will only support one speed at one time. This should not be a limitation if you are just starting out, since you will have two NICs capable of either speed. While the 10 Mbps speed is more than adequate for network games, 100 Mbps speed will be noticeably faster when it comes to transferring files between the computers on the network. The DFE-904 has indicator LEDs to show data transmissions and collisions, and so now we should see three LEDs lit up. The first should indicate the current network operating speed, which is probably 100Mbps

Elsa Revelator 3D Review 10:41 am - Kan
Hardwarepros posted their thoughts on the Elsa Revelator 3D glasses.

ELSA's 3D Revelator glasses use a technology called stereoscopic vision, which like its audio counterpart, uses 2 distinct images to form a sense of depth.  What happens is that a left and right image are separately generated and displayed on screen.  The LCD lenses allow either the left eye or the right eye to see the image and then it switches to other eye at an incredibly high speed.  Because of the high speed, the brain merges this information together and thus a sense of depth is formed.  The glasses refresh at a rate of 100-140Hz so that the switching between left and right images is not perceptible at all.

V3/TNT2 09:21 am - Kan
Check out our bud site HardOCP on what he felt about the Voodoo3 2000 AGP as well as the Viper 770 graphics card.

Now get a load of this.  In all my excitement I whip open the wrong end of the box and all I am staring at is the empty box with a literature pack in it.  I am amazed!  I got hosed by Diamond.  So I call up Mary in the PR department and share my situation with her and during the course of the very strange conversation I actually look behind the stuff and see the card at the other end of the box.  Well now I look and sound like a total ass and got Mary flustered thinking she just shipped out a load of empty promo boxes.  (Imagine the wrath?)  Anyways, sorry Mary!  Don't rat me out please!!!  :)

Misc'O Love 09:13 am - Kan
QuakeCity is giving away Quake II male and female marine toys if you take part in the short general gaming poll. So hop on over there to check it out.

Also, 360 Degrees have a few screenshots on the upcoming game Oni. Hmm, game looks rather nice.

Just received word from FPS3D that their new revamped site is kicking right now. Hop right over to take a look.

Over at DemoNews, Johnny sent word on the new Tirtanium 0.80 for DOS. You can download them from here.

"From the man that did the Tirtanium benchmark has now made a benchmark that is made for DOS, simply called Tirtanium DOS. This 3D engine has all the cool stuff, like filtering, transparenty, Z-buffering and so on. But when running in DOS, it's not 3D hardware accelerated. So you are doing all the rendering in Software. Expect about 6 fps in 320x200. The engine requires 32-bit VESA MODE and 64Mb of memory. If you have this. Give it a try!"

26 May 1999 - Wednesday
Guillemot Announces Hot New Bundle 22:07 pm - Kan
Just received word from Guillemot on their new hot bundle with their Xentor range of graphics accelerator cards. Check out the full press release here.

Montreal, Canada - Wednesday, May 26, 1999 - Guillemot is pleased to announce that both the Maxi Gamer Xentor and Maxi Gamer Xentor 32 graphics
accelerators will be shipping with the OEM version of Interplay's Kingpin(tm): Life of Crime(tm) - On the Street and Ubi Soft's Speed Busters.

K7 550 Update 22:04 pm - Kan
Hop over to FiringSquad where the guys have an updated article on the K7 article released 2 days ago. In particular, the guys touched on the benchmarks results and explained why the real product may differs in benchmarks.

Please realize that we were looking at a sample of a product that was running on software and hardware that may not have been fully optimized for it. Proper software optimization and driver support changes everything. For example, we know that the K7 requires a bus mastering driver, an AGP mini-port, and DirectX drivers, so depending on whether or not they were installed correctly on our test system, we may see some improvements there. Unfortunately, at the time of the "sneak peek" that we got, these weren't available for our control. We're sure that there are a number of K7's with major hardware and software developers as we write this, all developing tweaks to optimize for the K7.

TEAC 8x24 CD-R 20:47 pm - Kan
Talking about CDR, I saw the Plextor 8x20 and Ultraplex for the first time in this cowboy town. Anyway, AGN Hardware reviewed the 8x24 CD-R. Burning at 8X, you are capable of clocking under 9 minutes for every CD-R.

Just like the 6x24 model, the 8x24 TEAC CD-R is a bit simpler than the 8/20x Plextor.  The drive features the standard headphone jack and volume know and not too much extra.  Instead of the multiple indicator lights I have grown to love on the Plextor 8/20, the 8x24 TEAC drive carries a single (and somewhat confusing) LED.  The TEAC drive also skips the Fast Forward button found on most drives, although I have to admit that this button is probably not missed very much.

ASUS V3800 Deluxe Review 20:44 pm - Kan
We have something new over at Sharky. The ASUS V3800 Deluxe review and the Guide to 3D Terminology: Part 2.

The video capturing capabilities of the AGP 3800 DELUXE are um...average. The software that comes with the bundle is "ASUS LIVE3800" (updated from the 3400 version). This nifty program is similar to the VSHOT and Cinema Live programs that came with the Canopus Total3D 128V card back in 1998. It's a low cost option for basic video capturing and not much else. Users can opt to capture images or still frames from just about any video source since the TV models include both an RCA-In port, and an ASUS proprietary "Video Box" In port. We've not tested the ASUS Video Box so you're on your own there folks. Pros. should be warned that the AGP-V3800 TNT2 DELUXE isn't intended for the serious vide editor. If you can hold on a little while longer, you might be better suited by waiting for 3dfx's Video Capturing, Dongle-bearing brute- the Voodoo3 3500

DFI PW65-D 810 ATX 20:39 pm - Kan
Noticed over at AnandTech that there are two new reviews. The DFI PW65-D 810 ATX Slot1 motherboard review as well as the Leadtek S320 II TNT2 graphics card.

At the heart of the PW65-D is the Intel 810-DC100 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH), the 'DC100' extension indicating the presence of the 4MB - 100MHz Display Cache. The two SDRAM chips that make up the 4MB display cache are manufactured by Samsung and are SEC's '-G8' chips (K416S1020CT-G8). The Award BIOS setup allows for the DC frequency to be adjusted from the standard 100MHz to the "overclocked" 133MHz setting for a small performance boost. The PW65-D makes use of the 801AA I/O Controller Hub (ICH) meaning the board is capable of taking advantage of up to 6 PCI master slots and supports the Ultra ATA 66 specification.

KDS VS-195 19" Monitor 16:09 pm - Wilfred
CPUReview has a review on this 19" monitor from KDS, featuring a 0.26mm Hitachi CRT, BNC inputs and a max res of [email protected] Longing for a 19" but don't have deep pockets?

The default contrast and brightness settings were too high, but otherwise the picture seemed quite sharp. Trinitron/ Diamondtron fans would say that shadow mask monitors like the VS-195 are not as sharp as 0.25mm aperture grill monitors - I tend to agree; however JUST TRY to find a Trinitron/ Diamondtron 19" monitor with BNC inputs for anywhere near the VS-195's price.

Wilfred Coughs 16:04 pm - Wilfred
Okie dokie. Doing my final updates to the site before I fly off to Melbourne for a trip. Well, I should be contactable via email and perhaps post a cough or two every now and then. See ya!

Voodoo 3 3000 16:01 pm - Wilfred
Yup, our bud at 3DSpotlight also posted a review on the Voodoo 3 3000 card. The best card for today's games? Check this out! =)

The 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 is a great product, specially if we consider the low price (MSRP: $179) compared to Ultra TNT2s, however the Voodoo3 chip hasn't got support for the latest technologies I just mentioned above. The Voodoo3 3000 is an excellent choice for the hardcore gamer that doesn't want to spend too much money in a video card until the next generation of 3D chips appear.

IBM Ultrastar 9LZX Wide Ultra2 SCSI 15:55 pm - Wilfred
BXBoards posted a review on this killer HDD from IBM. Boasting 10,000rpm, 4Mb buffer and a Wide Ultra2 SCSI (80Mb/s), this is the drive to watch for for any high-end system.

Seek times and CPU usage were exemplary. This is where the 80MB SCSI bus bandwidth really shines, particularly if you have a multiple-drive configuration. Multitasking becomes true reality, with little drain on system resources during intensive I/O operations. You can literally copy large files from your SCSI CD to the HDD while browsing another directory or partition with no delay. Subjectively, my experience with software installation and file management was superb. This drive moves, people. File copy operations happen about as fast as you can move the mouse. The drive is warm during operation and noise is as expected for a high-rpm SCSI unit. Active cooling is recommended and I further suggest mounting it in a 5" bay for airflow. SCSI bus initialization and drive spin-up add a couple of seconds to boot time, so don't think your IDE boot time is magically going to disappear.

Hardware-One: D-Link DFE-905 Network Kit 13:29 pm - Wilfred
Networking your home PCs anyone? Check this review of the D-Link DFE-905 Network Kit at Hardware-One. Here's the cool part about having a network at home! =)

Need For Speed 3 was installed on both computers and a networked game was run to test the stability and speed of the connection. A TCP/IP connection was used on both machines in the game. All settings were set to the highest detail on both machines and all the tracks from Hometown to Empire City were used. There was no lag found on either machines and the races ran smoothly from the start till the end.

My ADSL connection was stable on both computers and allowed another person in the room to enjoy the use of a fast speed line without any problem.

Matrox G400Max Review 12:18 pm - Wilfred
GA-Source whipped up a review on the Matrox G400Max, the most talked about card in the past few days! The bits:

I think a good quick quality check is to run the resolution up to 1600x1200 (on a 19" monitor). For the most part, even though video cards have that resolution on their specs sheet, the display is fuzzy enough at that point to make it non-useable. On the G400, this was not the case. Although the text was small, I was actually able to read it well. After that, I browsed the demos CD that came with the card.

If any of you have seen all of the different screenshots, you know what these demos look like. I have included a few of these screenshots to give you the idea. The G400 performs the environmental bump mapping with a relatively low performance hit, while adding hugely to visual quality. As astounded as I was at some of the S3TC screenshots I have seen (and taken myself), I must say that the bump mapping is a complete jaw dropper.

Cosair PC133 Modules In Full Production 12:12 pm - Wilfred
Cosair Memory sent word that their fully qualified production PC133 memory modules are now shipping. Here's a snip off the press release, take a look!

Corsair's PC133 modules are fully compatible with current Intel (INTC) PC100 modules that support most of the Intel chipsets today. Additionally, according to Richard Hashim, the Director of Memory Products at Corsair, there are real measurable benefits to use PC133 modules in Intel's PC100 compatible systems, "The Corsair PC133 modules offer enhanced operating margin in today's PC100 compatible systems. The enhanced operating margin provided with PC133 will be most noticeable to high power users looking for the maximum reliability/ speed in their systems and applications.''

Star Wars: Racer 12:05 pm - Wilfred
Fanatics and all, come aboard. GameWire posted a review on Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. Have a taste of their excitement:

Well, it’s a racer, but one of the best I’ve played. You race around tracks 3 times and try to beat the computer or other human players by time. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds. Your “pod” goes about 450mph without a boost and about 800 with it. Now, the tracks are large enough for these speeds not to be too insane, but sometimes it’s a little hairy when you’re going down a straightaway at 800mph and suddenly a hairpin turn pops up and you slam into the wall destroying your pod, although it’s a lot of fun!

New Asus TNT Drivers & Tools 12:02 pm - Wilfred
Julio of 3DSpotlight sent word on the following you can obtain from Asus' FTP site. Grab them here:

World's First DVD-RW Drive 11:58 am - Wilfred
Thanks to the pointer Voodoo Prophecy sent, HP has a press release of the world's first DVD-RW drive, HP DVD Writer 3100i.

The new HP DVD Writer 3100i drive reads and writes to DVD+RW discs, which have 3.0GB of storage capacity, which is equivalent to 100 minutes of high-quality digital video. In addition to DVD+RW media, the HP DVD Writer 3100i can read DVD-ROM, DVD movie, CD-RW, CD-Recordable (CD-R), CD-ROM and CD audio. DVD+RW discs provide users with the familiar CD experience and do not require a cartridge. DVD+RW discs can be read by DVD-ROM drives at virtually no additional cost. HP is working with DVD-ROM and chip manufacturers to create or adapt products to take advantage of DVD+RW capabilities.

Microsoft Working On Linux IE? 00:58 am - Wilfred
A rumour perhaps, but surely a juicy one if it is true. A good sign that Linux is gaining a sufficient following that Big Bill is worrying.

Maybe that's why Microsoft is starting to treat Linux more like a player than a passing fancy. Tabby tipsters report that the Redmondians are staffing a development team to work on a new Linux version of Internet Explorer.

Permedia3 Create! Graphics Card 00:52 am - Wilfred
3DLabs announced the availability of the Permedia3 Create! graphics cards for web-design and creative professionals. Catch a snip here!

Permedia3 Create! delivers a fill-rate of 220 Mtexels/sec with dual bilinear mip-mapped textures and 110 Mpixels/sec with full per-pixel tri-linear mip-mapping. Permedia3 Create!'s highly optimized graphics pipeline can accept and setup up to 11 million polygons per second.

Permedia3 Create! outperforms competitive boards in many 2D and 3D benchmarks. When measured on a 500MHz Pentium III, Permedia3 Create! delivers a WinBench 99 32-bit High-End Graphics score of 543, compared to 516 for the TNT2 Ultra, 507 for the ATI Rage 128 GL and 528 for the Matrox G200. In addition, the Permedia3 Create! delivers twice the 32-bit color performance of TNT2 Ultra in Caligari trueSpace with a score of 31.34 versus 15.65.

AlienWare PGC Technology Update 00:39 am - Wilfred
In Sharky's Weekly CPU Prices update, they posted a page about AlienWare's successes implementing the exclusive PGC technology from Metabyte into their gaming PCs. Here's some kickass scores of their dual V3 2000 rig!

We've been passed the following benchmark result from the company themselves, as witnessed by many during Alienware's display at E3:

Alienware Dual V3-2000 PGC (2x16MB PCI, 143MHz)
Intel P3-500
Quake2 Timedemo1- 1600x1200x16bpp: 63.5 fps

That's an amazing figure, especially when you consider that the fastest video card that we've tested this year (the Matrox G400 MAX) turned in a score of 38.3 fps in the same test with the same CPU.

Intel 810 Chipset Review 00:33 am - Wilfred
Our buds at the iXBT Hardware Labs just put up their review on Intel's 810 chipset. Anyone of you buying this 'integration' thingy?

As for the pure performance, it evidently turns out incapable of satisfying extreme gamers' demands. However, it is more than enough for Internet browsing, main office applications, DVD software decoding and most games. In other words, i810 as a low-cost chipset can hardly be competed with, and an i810 based system with a Celeron processor is a good choice for a $500 PC.

Quantum Rage - Songs For Deathmatch 00:28 am - Wilfred
A rare review in any sense of the word. The Sanctum posted a review on this specialty deathmatching album. Who knows you might end up listening to them all day for the joy of it!

We found ourselves listening while web surfing, working on our computers or just playing an online deathmatch. This album really gave us the added kick to get through our day. Most of the tracks contained on the album are hard and heavy, but the good part is they each contain a well planned theme. None of the tracks contain lyrics of any kind and that is another good part. Just all out musical instruments and effects with plenty of gutair riffs and cool samples.

25 May 1999 - Tuesday
Abit BE6 Press Release 17:09 pm - Wilfred
Wowzers! Abit just sent along their press release of their latest BE6 BX motherboard. The only board to support ATA-UDMA/66! You can read the press release html-ed right here at Hardware-One.

The major difference between the BE6 and the other BX mainboards is the addition of Ultra DMA/66 support. The BX chipset was not designed to support UDMA/66. Although the BX chipset was designed to be compatible with this specification, it is only capable of running the bus at a maximum of 33 Mbytes/sec, thus offering no advantage over UDMA/33. With the help of specially designed ABIT hardware, the BE6 can support this specification up to its maximum frequency of 66 Mbytes/sec.

Starlancer Preview 16:54 pm - Wilfred
One of my most anticipated games next to C&C2 is Digital Anvil's Starlancer. The FiringSquad posted a preview of the game.

Unlike other space flight sims, Starlancer prides itself on its living environment. You won't feel a vast emptiness out in space; there will be other neutral craft present, going about their business
mining asteroids or loading cargo. The 3D space engine looked crisp and detailed, giving the player a good sense of scale between capital ships and fighters. Sound was a bit hard to judge in the noisy confines of E3, but the controls were smooth, fast, and responsive with a force feedback joystick.

Sanity Screenshots 16:43 pm - Wilfred
360 Degrees posted some sweet screenshots of Monolith's Sanity sent to them. You may want to check it out here.

Sound Blaster Live! Review 13:41 pm - Kan
Review of the SB Live! sound card over at 3DSpotLight. Good and cheap, that's what I like.

The SB Live! features EAX (Enviromental Audio Extensions) which are extensions to the DirectSound 3D API that add some extra functions to it and are fully accelerated by the Live! in hardware, anyway Sound Blaster cards arenīt going to be the only cards able to use EAX since it isnīt a propietary API, even the upcoming Diamond Monster Sound MX300 which uses the Vortex2 audio processor is going to be able to use these extensions without problems, which is an advantage since developers are supporting EAX a lot and also because Vortex2 cards also support their own, very supported A3D API.

EverGlide Review 13:40 pm - Kan
360 Degrees just posted their EverGlide review. Hmm, what's EverGlide? Well, they make those slim and expensive looking mouse pads just like 3M.

If you've ever looked at the bottom of your mouse, you've probably noticed that in addition to the ball at the center of the mouse there are usually two plastic strips at the top and bottom of the mouse's underside. These two strip, which seem to be made of a slick plastic or Teflon are what allows your mouse to move smoothly across a surface. The simple principle behind the Everglides ability to reduce friction comes into play between the raised surface of the pad and those plastic strip on the mouse. The peaks  on the pad reduce the total surface area which comes in contact with the strips, there by reducing the overall friction.

It Won't Boot! 13:34 pm - Kan
Read from ArsTechnica that Dr. Damage is giving advice again on how to troubleshoot your newly assembled PCs when it won't boot up. Gee, what I'm afraid most is when you hit the power button, you hear some crackling sound and smell roasted beef from your brand new casing (happened to me too many times).

Far and away the number-one question we get in the Labs (that we haven't already answered, at least) is the mournful plea from the would-be system builder or upgrader who bought all the goodies, threw 'em together excitedly into a PC case, hit the power switch, and... something didn't work right. It won't boot. Now what?

Elsa Winner II Preview  12:38 pm - Kan
Noticed over at FullOn3D, they have a Elsa Winner II preview. To all those S3TC fans out there, this card is running on the S3 Savage4 Pro.

ELSA feels that a tiny heatsink (matching the tiny chip below) is sufficient to cool the Savage 4 during operation. The lack of a fan will make this board less attractive to overclockers, but that never was ELSA's target market.

I didn't experience any problems that could be attributed to overheating, although the back of the board and the heatsink get quite hot, I'd compare it to the Rage 128 by merit of subjective impression

3D Revelator Review  12:34 pm - Kan
FPS3D sent note on their new review on the Elsa 3D Revelator. Pretty cool to play Quake with these things on.

The technology behind the 3D Revelator works like this. You install the special 3D Revelator drivers, which take a frame in the given game and duplicates it, it then spaces the two images an inch apart on the screen, and alternates the display of them. Basically if you are looking at the monitor without the glasses then it has the doublevision look that you get when you've had a little too much to drink. The glasses are sync'd with the display of the images, so when the left image is displayed, the left lens is open, and when the right one is displayed, well you get it

Labtec LCS-2632 Speakers Review 07:06 am - Kan
3DHardware also whipped up a speaker review on the Labtec LCS-2632.

On the bottom of the speakers, there are "compartments" with a mainstay, where you can wrap all that extra cable, so they do not take up any valuable desk space, or get tangled with other cables. A very valuable feature for those who like it tidy and organized on their desks. The speakers are also supplied with Labtec's own ClearDesk(TM) mounting system. Wow, I hear you say, they even have it trademarked! To tell the truth, they're nothing that spectacular, but they do the job nicely. The mounting system consists a set-square shaped piece of plastic with self-adhesive material. The point is that you mount these set-squares on your the sides of your monitor, and then hook the satellites to them. Personally, I'm not amused by having pieces of plastic stuck to my monitor, but for those who do, these do the job nicely.

Requiem Review 07:05 am - Kan
IGamer posted the review on Requiem where your role is to save the humans from the evil one (Kan).

Are the graphics of this game of Biblical proportions?  Needless to say I was impressed with the graphics of Requiem.  With a good 3D accelerator these graphics rival that of the great Half-Life.  The level of detail is extremely high from the enemies to your surroundings.  The texture's very lifelike although not as in depth as those of Unreal.   There are many NPCs in this game as well, and they are all detailed very well, the women even have eye lashes.  Even with the resolution turned up to 1024x768 the gameplay was still very smooth (as were the graphics :-).  The visual effects were also done very well.  Malichi's angelic powers are very flashy; especially the Turn to Salt in which an enemy is turned into a pillar of salt and then dissolves.   You can even see individual salt grains as they scatter in the wind.

Boston Acoustics Speakers Contest 07:04 am - Kan
Dimension-X is holding a BA635 Speaker System contest giveway. All you have to do it to enter your name and email address to take part.

Gigabyte GA-5AX Super7 06:59 am - Kan
High Performance PC Guide done the Gigabyte GA-5AX Revision 4 Super 7 motherboard. Personally, I will never consider a Socket 7 now. :)

The socket 7 motherboards are really not dead despite what many peoples cant think ! This really well designed product, the Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4, is another proof that socket 7 motherboards are going to continue to be available for a long period of time again. With the GA-5AX Super 7 motherboard, Gigabyte has chosen to use a combination of Dip switches and jumpers to set the operating condition for the processor for a maximum of flexibility. This motherboard is based on the Ali Aladin V chipset and it comes with 512Kb pipelined burst sync. L2 cache. It offers full support for every K6-2 and K6-3 up to 500Mhz and/or faster when available as well as support for Cyrix and IDT processors. Let's have a closer look at this motherboard in the following review I wrote for you.

Polk AMR5 Speaker System 04:23 am - Kan
Over at AGN Hardware, they have a Polk AMR5 Speaker System review. Hmm, AMR5, sounds like some fully automatic weapon to me.

Setting up the AMR5 system from Polk was fairly straightforward. One thing of note was that both the satellites and the subwoofer have their own power supply. Polk sells the satellites and subwoofers as systems and as separates so this is why they don’t share a single power source. They both have the familiar power “brick” but it is in between a regular power cord, which alleviates the problem of those damn bricks taking up 2 spaces on the power bar. The line output is fed into the right satellite and the left speaker and subwoofer both connect to that speaker with ordinary 1/8” plugs (included). The satellites have controls for treble and bass and there is a larger knob, which controls the overall volume.

Hardware-One: Realmagic Dragon DVD 01:35 am - Wilfred
Just out of the oven. Boon Kiat test drove a prototype of Realmagic's low cost Dragon DVD decoder card. Ever wished for a budget but high quality DVD system? If you are from China or the South East Asia, you are in luck! Realmagic will be releasing this card in these regions soon.

Hands On Preview: NFS High Stakes 01:26 am - Wilfred
GA Sports posted a preview on Need For Speed: High Stakes with some really pretty screenshots of the action.

The physics model does allow some realistic driving techniques, which is nice, but does give you a bit of leeway when it comes to contact with other cars. This is definitely a good thing, because the competition is often very aggressive… not to mention those crazy cops who will do anything to halt forward motion of your vehicle. The courses do seem a tad narrow until you get accustomed to the exaggerated speeds. Luckily going off the road isn't too costly, as the grass and dirt lining the roads don't slow you down much, allowing you to recover without losing much ground. If you are using the in-car view, taking a trip off the course (or driving on a dirt median) results in an appropriately bumpy view – just another little nice touch that shows the attention paid to the details.

Poll #14 Results 01:17 am - Wilfred
Okie Dokie! The poll results is out now! So what kind of speaker setup do our readers have? Here's the discovery (duh!), Most people are on 2 speakers but the 4 speakers cohort is gaining some momentum!

EH's E3 Report 01:09 am - Wilfred
Extreme Hardware compiled and put up their final report on E3 '99. The following companies are covered in the report:

  • Aureal
  • Sharedware
  • Saitek
  • Hunsaker Manufacturing (Interactive Battle Chair)
  • ACT Labs
  • NVIDIA
  • BMG Laboratories (Intensor Chair)
  • Turtle Beach
  • Logitech
  • Matrox
  • Thrustmaster
  • Microsoft

 

24 May 1999 - Monday
New Abit BH6 BIOS 21:04 pm - Kan
Just received from Kyle that a new KK version of the BH6 BIOS was spotted. The new one totally kicks ass with the addition of FSB settings like 105, 110, 112, 113, 115, 117, 118, 120 and lots more to play with! Read more over at HardOCP.

Heya FrgMstr. I just flashed my BH6 with the new KK bios and I went to check it out. I was totally awestruck that the FSB selections went from like 8 to like 30!! Just what are those ABIT guys smoking??!! They also include a divider number which most likely is the  PCI bus divider. I have no idea what the 'N' and 'S' stand for. I had to see what was up with this, so I did a little testing. Here is a list of the FSB's with their goofy designations. I tested using my trusty Celeron 300A which does 464MHz @ 2.0v. 'Boot speed' is the speed the computer shows during POST and 'Windows Speed' is the speed of the processor as seen by CPUID. All tests done at a core voltage of 2.4v.

ASUS Socket 370 Slotket Review 17:29 pm - Kan
Review of the ASUS S370 Socket 370 to Slot1 converter over at BxBoards. On the same page, that's also a Elan Vital FSP-503 cooler for Socket7/370 processors.

There is not really a hell of a lot to say about a convertor board, so I will keep this brief. The units are very well manufactured and are a cut above anything I have seen to date. Five jumper combinations control voltage, and on the rear of the board Asus have printed a voltage chart. Up to 2.6v is documented but experimentation revealed that voltages up to 3.5v are supported. The VID lines of a processor report voltages to the mainboards voltage regulator and covering a pin gives a different voltage. 5 lines allows for 32 combinations.

AMD K7 550 Mhz Preview 15:49 pm - Kan
FiringSquad just sent note on their latest review, the AMD K7 550 Mhz. Check out the benchmarks section, where you see the K7 beating the Pentium III and Xeon. Oh boy, I'm excited.

Take for example the much-touted 200Mhz EV6 bus. In addition to running at twice the speed of Intel's current 100MHz GTL+ bus protocol, it also makes use of a technology called "point-to-point topology." In simple terms, this allows the CPU and the chipset to be separated from the main memory bus.

How does this affect the K7? Well, currently it serves to reduce cost and maintain compatibility with current memory standards. AMD has hardly any influence on RAM standards, and thus they have to create their products around the market, as opposed to Intel. EV6's point-to-point setup allows the K7 to be used with any type and speed of RAM, as determined by the chipset.

Stealth V3 Fighter Cooler 14:04 pm - Kan
Our bud over at BxBoards finished a review on the Tennmax Stealth V3 Fighter Cooler. This cooler is pretty good as it features a high speed fan.

Now the new Stealth V3 Fighter, takes the lasagna a step further. About the only thing with the old Lasagna that was a little annoying was that the thermal tape would loose it's grip after about 6 months of use but was and still is easily replaced. Now with the V3 they seized the opportunity to use 3dfx's push pin holes to secure. Their Fighter to the chipset thus eliminating the threat of the cooler falling off onto your cards bellow.

DFI CW-35D Review 12:23 pm - Kan
Over at FullOn3D, the guys posted the first production board based on Intel's new 810 "Whitney" chipset.

Integrated Graphics Intel's 810 features an integrated 2D/3D graphics core.

The core is basically an improved version of the i740 graphics chip. It sports a few differences. The first difference is the presence of motion compensation, a first generation Soft-DVD essential to relieve the CPU of its load. The newest drivers also allow the user to set contrast and brightness for DVD playback, just like the SiS 620 does.

Leopard Pocket USB 56K Modem 12:21 pm - Kan
Noticed this new review from 3DHardware.net. The pocket USB 56k modem design looks like the typical iMac transparent green and this modem is really small!

From within the box, through a little plastic film window, a small rectangular little device stares at you. Made from transparent winter-green plastic, it looks like a little portable radio, rather than a high-tech communications device for the Universal Serial Bus. Apart from the modem, there’s a USB cable, a telephone line cable, an installation CD and a manual. About the USB cable i need to give it a little rant. Why on earth did shark technology need to make it so short? If someone has a really tall bigtower case I could imagine the modem would end up hanging in the air, off the cable. As the modem is very light this wouldn’t hurt it, but I still loathe the idea. The second rant, which actually has an easy solution, but that Shark could have included anyway, is the phone-line pass-through connector, to connect a telephone to, on the modem.

Midtown Madness 12:09 pm - Kan
Ah, miss me? :) I'm back and shall continue my daily rantings now. Anyway, Systemlogic posted a review on Midtown Madness. You can even drive on vehicles like city bus, the new VW bettle etc in the game.

The graphics in this game were exceptionally good.   The car models were perfect, while the city was the same.   You have an option to turn skidmarks on, but even with them on you could not see them very well, that is one thing they should have made a bit darker.  One of the best parts I noticed was the reflection on the cars, it made the game look much better.

Casio E-100 WinCE Palm-Size PC 09:54 am - Wilfred
The Gadgeteer just put up a review on the Casio E-100 colour WinCE palm-size PC. This incredible machine comes powered with a 131Mhz processor, a 65,535 colour screen, 16Mb RAM, 16Mb ROM and an IR-port. Fancy listening to MP3's from your little gadget?


Casio E-100 (bottom)
Of the different color PSPCs that I've reviewed so far, the display on the E-100 is really far superior. It is bright and crisp and the colors are terrific. Being able to display all those
colors really makes the screen look as good as your regular computer monitor. Usually when you see magazine ads with Palm-size PC screen shots, you don't get a fair representation of what the display looks like in real life. Well, let me tell you that ads for the E-100 do look like the screen in real life.

Eastern Acoustics DA-9000 Home Theater 09:19 am - Wilfred
Seen this brand selling at Sim Lim Square? AGNHardware posted a review on this South Korean audio company's high-end computer speaker system.

All in all, the Eastern DA-9000 CHTS is a great system. The sound is really crisp and clean, even at the highest volumes. The tonal qualities and sound separation are fantastic. The remote and multiple input options are well thought out additions. The Dolby Pro-logic Surround mode is one of the first, in my mind, to live up to the “Surround Sound” catch phrase.

Spring 99 PGL Tournament Coverage 09:08 am - Wilfred
Dr Octagon of 360 Degrees posted his coverage of the AMD PGL Tournament in California. Lots of pics and short interviews with a few top gaming 'celebrities'.

Logitech Cordless Desktop 09:01 am - Wilfred
Longed for the day you won't be restricted by cords tied to your CPU? KAC Hardware did a review on the Logitech Cordless Desktop. Don't be tied down any longer!

Tired of irritating problems with the mouse's tale when you play Starcraft? Is your keyboard's cable not long enough to allow writing from your bed?

Bowzer 0.5 Beta Release 08:58 am - Wilfred
Scott sent word of the new beta version of their online game browser, now with Q3Test and full Quake 2 support.

Quake 2 Master server support is in, a few more tweaks to Q3 master server support (it helps when the master server responds to requests!) Here's a quick list of today's changes/fixes/additions:

  • Q2 Master support (tested with PlanetQuake's master, Telefragged's master, but id's Q2 master still won't respond)
  • Improved Q3 master support (tested with id's and Aussie master below)
  • Overall error catching improved--I've eliminated most crashes when flaky server info comes in
  • Window size stored and loaded to/from config file
  • Improved left/right pane resizing
  • Improved server list load speed from disk
  • Improved server query processing time
  • Added status to splash graphic on start-up
  • Tons of little tweaks and fixes

Elsa 3D Revelator & WD Caviar 8.4Gb 01:04 am - Wilfred
Our pals at the Tech-Junkies just fired an email in my direction. They've put up a new front-end and decorated it with new reviews of the Elsa 3D Revelator LCD glasses and the Western Digital Caviar 8.4Gb AC28400R.

The Revelator is one of the most fun pieces of hardware I've had the pleasure of testing recently. Though a bit 'rough at the edges' these problems still don't compare to the druggy feeling of looking at a complete 3D image on your monitor. My prediction is that the next generation of LCD glasses will perform better and look more stylish. This is just the beginning...

23 May 1999 - Sunday
C&C2 Hands On Preview 23:57 pm - Wilfred
The FiringSquad scored a hands-on preview on Westwood's C&C2: Tiberian Sun. Dammit! Release date is pushed back to late summer!

C&C2 is perhaps arguably the most anticipated RTS game in the coming year as Red Alert and the original Command and Conquer have such a large fan-base, being the first game with control groups pretty much drew me away from the more graphically pleasing Warcraft 2. While I would love to tell you that the game will be out soon, it is my sad duty to warn everyone that the game is far from finished.

Hoontech's SBLive! Add-Ons 23:15 pm - Wilfred
The SBLive! Discussion List has reviews on two Hoontech product add-on for the SBLive! You should have a look at both the Digital I/O Card (with Optical Out) as well as the upcoming Digital & Analog I/O Box. A picture is worth a thousand words - Here's 3000!

Speakers Roundup 22:58 pm - Wilfred
The GameCenter has a big roundup on speakers. The Cambridge SoundWorks FPS2000 scored on this one!

The rear speakers really animate the gaming experience. We played Unreal using four-speaker 3D audio, and bullets and blades were zinging right past our head, and seemed to ricochet behind us. Extremely cool. We really felt as if we were in the game, as opposed to merely playing it. Even in a game like Quake II, which doesn't support 3D audio, the enveloping soundscape from the four-speaker setup is exciting and creepy. The subwoofer is no slouch, either--explosions rumble and rock. The FPS 2000 proves how critical sound can be to a truly absolute gaming experience.

A Truly Tiny Display 13:31 pm - Wilfred
CNN has a story about this freakkin' cool device which sports a 1" screen capable of displaying full colour images at 800x600. The most amazing part: using a proprietary magnification system, viewing from 2.5" away, you will effectively see a 19" screen! Awesome!

The single-chip Optiscape II integrates a proprietary magnifying system that you hold up to your eye like the lens of a camera. According to the company, when you look from 2.5 inches away, you see the visual equivalent of a 19-inch monitor.

About Creative's Unified Drivers 13:18 pm - Wilfred
GA-Source put up an article about Creative's controversial unified drivers. The drivers first debut for their TNT card and the company plans to extend it to their future cards... read this.

The speed of the unified drivers is actually astounding. I ran Unreal in Glide faster than the Direct3D support or OGL support. Jokingly, it runs in Glide more accurate than I'd like. The bad filtering and poor color dithering appears much like the Voodoo2's ugliness.

Why are the unified drivers so fast? In this instance, Creative is a lot like an ex-magician. They've worked with Glide before, to make their drivers for the old 3dfx boards they sold, they have experience with Glide and good technical knowledge of it. An ex-magician will be able to perform the trick with much more accuracy than someone who has little knowledge of magic, so in comparison Creative has an ace up their sleeve.

If you have yet to own a 3dfx board, and happen to own a Graphics Blaster TNT, you should really try these drivers and try a few Glide games. It seems that compatibility is "hit or miss", as some games have troubles with blending and occasionally displaying textures.

Matrox G400Max Scores Perfect 10 13:12 pm - Wilfred
Whoa! Indeed, AGNHardware was really impressed with this card - giving it a full 10 out of 10. With some SERIOUSLY ass-kicking benchmark numbers (on fast CPUs) to show and the best image quality you can even ask for, this card is screaming for your attention.

Environmental bump-mapping takes the level of detail to the next level, with the ability to make textures look truly lifelike. Yes you can talk about 32, but with 32bit textures and flat looking images, you are still not going to get truly realistic looking images. Environmental bump-mapping on the other hand offers true realistic looking surfaces. Effects such as rippling water surfaces, heat waves, air turbulence and more can be added to the surfaces of the 3d models.

Root Exploit  in RedHat 6.0 05:15 am - Kan
Over at Linux Today, a bug in INN 2.0 can exploit a bug to gain root access in RedHat 6. Users are recommended to download the latest RPM files to solve this bug.

Security problems have been found with the version of INN that shipped with Red Hat Linux 6.0. By editing the inn.conf file, or changing the INNCONF environment variable, the 'news' user could execute arbitrary code as root. Thanks to the users of BUGTRAQ for noting this problem. It is recommended that users of INN under Red Hat Linux 6.0 upgrade to the new packages. This vulnerability does not affect the INN that shipped in previous versions of Red Hat Linux.

Plextor PleXWriter 8/20 00:50 am - Wilfred
CD writing at 8X speeds? Whoppee! The guys at WickedPC had the chance to play with this sizzling performer. Coming with a 4Mb buffer, the drive was at the epitome of stability.

You must admit - the specifications, features, and all the hype is very interesting. Living up to the hype is generally something that most hardware companies lack. We typically see superior performance on the box, but differing performance (often worse) when we test the real deal. Plextor lived up to every one of our deepest desires. In our test, we used an AMD K6-3 400MHz processor, 64Mb RAM, and a standard IBM 8.4GB drive. We did not use our Pentium III 550/K6-3-450s in an effort to show the PleXWriter 8/20's performance on a more standard system. The computer that you use to burn CD-ROM discs plays as much of a role in stability as the burner itself.

In the Wicked PC tests, I took 10 CD-ROM discs, various brands. One Ricoh, a few Kodak, a few Verbatim, and a few SONY and Maxells. I think it's safe to say that we tried burning on a majority of the vendors for blank discs. The backs on the discs were a mix, using blue, gold, and silver colors with each different brand where possible. Of the 10 test CDs, we decided to use various software for burning. In some cases, we used Adaptec EZ CD Creator Deluxe, CDRWIN, and Disc Juggler. Each burn was a full complete CDROM packed with 650Mb of various files.

Of 10 test burns, all of the CDs made it, and all of them were readable after burning. Not a single one failed.

George Lucas Is A Techie At Heart 00:20 am - Wilfred
I had a hearty laugh reading this article from The Chicago Sun-Times. It had George Lucas talk about his latest 'technological' feat creating Star Wars: The Phatom Menace and tangenting off to discuss the powess of the Playstation 2. Hilarious indeed!

I remember a day in 1990 when I visited Lucas at his Skywalker Ranch and he explained that he'd put the "Star Wars" saga on hold until computers got fast enough and cheap enough to allow him to create any image he could dream up. Now that day is not only here for Lucas--but is approaching at warp speed for ordinary computer owners.

"It's coming in leaps and bounds," Lucas told me. "You know something funny? I have a computer game company, and we have a relationship with Sony, and we're desperately trying to get our hands on the PlayStation II so we can start developing games for it. But you can't bring it into the country because it's classified as a supercomputer!"

22 May 1999 - Saturday
Kert's Savage4 Review 21:30 pm - Wilfred
Something I'd missed posting. My bad okay? Be sure not to miss Kert's review on the Creative Savage4 card.

'Savage4' has abandoned Savage3D's 'Void and Cluster' 16-bit dithering in favour of the conventional 'Bayer Matrix' method. An 8-bit stencil buffer and single pass bump mapping are newly added features. While both processors are based on a 0.25 micron process, 'Savage4 PRO' appears to be the more clock tolerant of the two. When overclocked to 150 MHz, the processor is stable without a heatsink.

Hacked ATI Rage Fury 128 Drivers 21:24 pm - Wilfred
Thanks to Frank of The Sanctum who sent word about a set of hacked drivers for the ATI Rage Fury 128 card floating about. From many users' experience, these drivers rock much harder than what ATI has out now. Download it here.

Descent 3 Preview 21:20 pm - Wilfred
Our bud at the 3DSpotlight posted a preview on Descent 3. I dunno, I think I'm just not cut out for these type of games.

If you are familiar with the controls and movement of either Descent 1 and 2, you should have no problem with Descent 3. If you are new to Descent, it will take some time learning to navigate in a full 360-degree environment. The game comes with a very useful tutorial on how to navigate through the environment. If you are new to Descent this feature will help you out greatly. Your orientation will be easier to distinguish in Descent 3. The introduction of gravity and the ability to adjust the autoleveling will help prevent you from getting lost.

New SBLive! Beta Linux Drivers 21:16 pm - Wilfred
Thanks to the pointer at Alive!, Creative has made available a new set of beta 0.2b Linux drivers. You can download from here.

Midiland S2/4100 11:00 am - Kan
3DHardware posted the MidiLand / S2 4100 Multimedia speaker system. Like what they said, Size DOES matter. The subwoofer is huge, perhaps as big as your computer casing. Duh!

With all these components, and all these features, you might be tempted to think that this system must be as complicated to set up as an entire home-theater system. Definitely not. Installation is a breeze - easy and quick. The subwoofer houses the amplifier, and is the center of the system. There is no bulky AC adapter - that's housed in the sub as well - there's only a cord/plug from the subwoofer to the wall socket. Included are two 10 ft. input cables - one has gold-plated RCA jacks on both ends, while the other is a Y-cable - converting from a stereo miniplug to RCA (also gold-plated). The input plugs on the back of the subwoofer are also gold-plated. All this makes for an excellent electrical connection between the source and the amplifier. Details like this hint at the quality of this system. 

Interview 11:00 am - Kan
Over at Upgrade Center, they have an interview with the folks over at MultiTech on networking stuffs.

Question: What's the future of proxy servers?

Proxy servers have a future, but the big thing right now is remote access, in particular VOIP (Voice Over IP) this allows you to send voice and fax over the Internet without the long distance fees. This is especially useful for businesses with offices all over the world. In the future we may see VPN slow and VOIP become more and more popular.

New INF File 10:58 am - Kan
NT Gaming Palace emailed us on the new Banshee INF file for Windows 2000. This one enables Direct3D, Glide as well as OpenGL support on Windows 2000.

Super Slot Fan Review 10:10 am - Wilfred
FPS3D sent word of their review on 3DCool.COM's Super Slot Fan. I have been using one for more than a year here and it's serving me very well indeed (other than being fat - robbing me of a PCI slot)

When I got the thing, I slapped it into my box to cool an overclocked Diamond Viper 550 TNT card. Installation was a breeze. The power connector does not have the annoying 12V/5V connector cable extension on it, just a pass-through plug. The power cord is a foot long to reach damn near anywhere in your case. It takes up one PCI slot. The Super Slot Fan can be placed directly next to the card it is intended to cool, but if you have the extra space, leaving a slot open between the cooler and your vidcard seems to improve airflow.

D-Link DFE-530TX 10:00 am - Wilfred
CPUReview posted their review on the D-Link DFE-530TX PCI network adapter. Life is about networks....

I like the DFE-530TX, and I find it to be an excellent value. Linux users for now have to go through some installation hassles to get the card working; however once it is working it is an excellent workhorse

CPU Cooling Guide - Part 2 09:56 am - Wilfred
The name said it. The FiringSquad just put up their kickass second parter of the CPU Cooling Guide. Whoa! Nice blades!

SECC-1 or SECC-2. SECC stands for Single Edge Contact Cartridge, and defines the PII and PIII's "housing". SECC-1 is the first generation of PII's which had the black cartridge covering both sides of the CPU, so the whole thing looked like a black rectangle. This was not as effective for cooling purposes, because it added an additional layer of metal between the heatsink and the CPU and cache chips. Later, Intel released the SECC-2 cartridge for PII's, which is also the housing for PIII's. The SECC-2 cartridge is kind of a hybrid between the fully clothed SECC-1 and the naked Celeron. The SECC-2 is covered on one side, and uncovered on the other. The reason for this was to allow cooling directly to the CPU, rather than having to deal with the metal plate that was on the SECC-1 cartridge.

Tomorrow's PC May Let Dead Speak 08:55 am - Wilfred
The EETimes has an article which predicted that the dead could soon speak with the help of tomorrow's PCs. Oh yeah, who in the right mind would want to hear the dead speak? In criminal cases?? Yikes!

Writers Elliot Soloway, Bruce Sterling, Michael Swanwick and Vernor Vinge envision a world where computers worn on smart glasses will broadcast information into a person's eyes, and "aspirin-like" computers that have been implanted under the skin will feed data directly to the brain.

They foresee an age of embedded and ubiquitous computing in which computers and machines will have human-level intelligence and personalities; will be capable of forming relationships with humans; and will possess electronically generated personalities that will allow dead people to speak from the grave.

Compaq's MicroPC 08:50 am - Wilfred
Compaq may soon release a Linux MicroPC. Take a look at this picture and some more at The Register!

The Palm-style device, dubbed Itsy, sports a 200x300-pixel screen, contains 32MB of memory, is powered by a 200MHz processor and is based on Linux. It was developed by Compaq's Western Research Lab, based in Palo Alto, California.
Itsy is based on a voice-recognition system that promises to do away with even the fiddly styles favoured by most shipping handheld machines. Gettys said the device could be used to access and download email.

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