7 November 1999 - Sunday

HW1: Asus V6600 Review Corrections
- Wilfred
Received some feedback from Asus about our review on the V6600 GeForce card. Apparently Asus had opted for the 8-bit VIP connector to be used, to adhere to nVidia's specifications. We are in the process of verifying the information with nVidia and Asus. We'll keep you updated when we have more details. In any case, the review has been amended to reflect this.

Diamond Viper 770 Ultra 19:39 pm - Kan
CPUReview posted a review on the Diamond Viper 770 Ultra. Check it out if you don't fancy the GeForce. :)

As usual, I tried to get a good feel for the performance of the Viper 770 Ultra. I ran a number of popular benchmarks, whose results are reported later in this review. Please note, these are the same benchmarks I've been running for my other video card reviews, so you can compare the results shown in the different reviews on my site.

Athlon Motherboard Petition 19:37 pm - Kan
ChipGeek dropped us a line on their ongoing petition to convince current motherboard manufacturers to support and manufacture Athlon motherboards. If you like to support the petition, check it out over here.

As early as August 18th, reports began to surface in the PC industry's various online publications regarding the cause of this motherboard shortage, as well as the inexplicable lack of interest of motherboard manufacturers to design and produce boards for this hot new CPU. Many individuals (some with connections in the industry) have come forward to assert that a large corporation (who again will remain nameless in this context for legal purposes) has been pressuring these small companies to not design or produce motherboards for the Athlon. This larger corporations motivation for applying pressure is to protect long standing market share dominance from being comprimised by increased demand and sales of Athlon CPUs.

Slave Zero Review 19:35 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme had a new catch and reviewed Slave Zero. Here's a bite:

The game starts off easily and does drag on a bit for the first few levels, but soon things get exciting; you start getting more and more powerful weapons and the enemies get tougher. The latter levels also require more skill to survive. Early on you're often in wide-open areas where navigation and dodging is easy. Later on you'll find yourself on small buildings, bridges and outcroppings, where dodging takes skill and a steady hand. The levels get more difficult by clever design, not by making the enemy units faster or more numerous as is the norm in shooters. Our enjoyment of Slave Zero actually increased the more we played it, which is very unusual with this type of game. Shooters usually lack depth of play, and for the first few missions Slave Zero does as well, but as things progress, the levels get more involving, difficult and intelligent. We were impressed by the play of Slave Zero.

Age of Empires II Review 19:34 pm - Kan
Oops, had a booze too much and forgot about the existence of HW1. 8) Anyway, 3D-Unlimited posted a review on Age of Empires II. If you like RTS games, this classic will definitely strike a chord in your heart:

The gamplay within Age of Empires II is very much like Age of Empires. You control and civilization and try to conquer the other civilizations. You can now control one of the 13 civilizations. You will notice subtle changes at first within the game. But as you play,   there is really a major change. All the buildings and structures are larger, and just have a better overall feel. Little changes like, you can select as many characters at once, characters have outlines behind buildings, etc. The new feel of the game makes it more addicting (can you get more addicting that Age of Empires?), better flow of gameplay, and tons more. The gameplay structure is setup mostly the same.

Intellimouse Explorer Review 11:43 am - Kan
TheTechZone dropped us a line on their latest review on the Intellimouse Explorer (yep, the bad boy without the ball).

The size is also an added bonus for larger hands. The hook-up is easy, using a USB connection but it also comes with a PS2 converter. If your computer doesn't have USB you can hook it up to your existing PS2 mouse port. I have USB therefore I don’t know how simple the PS2 option works.

ActionTec USB Call-Waiting Modem 09:30 am - Kan
Speedy3D whipped up a review on the ActionTec USB Call-waiting modem. Sounds good, here's more info from the review:

The ActionTec call waiting modem works much the same way as a phone with call waiting. When receiving a call while on the Internet, the modem will ring 4 times, you can either pick up the call, or leave it to ring and keep surfing away on the Internet. If you choose to pick up the phone, you have approximately 7 seconds to talk before being disconnected from the Internet. While this may seem like a very short amount of time (and it is), you need to keep in mind that you are both connected to the internet, and talking on the phone at the same time for those 7 seconds.

AOpen AX63Pro 09:27 am - Kan
I noticed over at AnandTech there's a new motherboard review on the AOpen AX63Pro powered by the VIA Apollo 133 Pro chipset. Here's an excerpt:

As mentioned above, the AOpen AX63 Pro runs on the Apollo Pro 133 chipset and you can add up to 768 MB of SDRAM. If you are looking for an older Apollo Pro Plus AOpen board, the strikingly similar predecessor is the AOpen AX63. While AOpen recently came out with a BX board in the AX6BC Pro II, which has a 6/0/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) slot configuration, the AX63 Pro features the older 5/2/1 slot configuration with a total of 3 DIMM slots. All but a single PCI slot can take a full length card while neither of the ISA slots is capable of accepting full length cards.

The Strategy Index 09:25 am - Kan
Looking for hints/strategies on your favorite games? Check out our network affiliate The Strategy Index which has over 21,000 strategies for 45 games!

3D Blaster Annihilator Review 09:23 am - Kan
Our pals over at iXBT-Hardware also posted a massive review (just like old times, one whole load of'em) on the 3D Blaster Annihilator graphics card.

So, what is the most striking thing? It is the memory similar to the way it was made on Creative 3D Blaster Riva TNT2 Ultra - all chips are the same, we even compared the marking. As we have already mentioned the bottleneck of most today's graphics accelerators is the memory bus bandwidth. In other words, no matter how big the bottle is: if the neck is the same size as by a much smaller one, the amount of water, which can pour out of it in a certain period of time remains the same in both cases. This is the first cause for disappointment. What is the sense of making a more powerful chipset if the memory fails to catch up with it anyway? The sad fate of 32-bit color remained sad again. We have every reason to say so since at this color depth the data exchange rate with the memory is too low for the graphics accelerators to perform up to the required level.

Linux and CD Recording 09:21 am - Kan
CDR Software Review posted an article discussing CD Recording under the Linux platform. Here's a taste:

This is rather a misunderstandment and you shouldn't take it for granted that your Linux box will never crash. Linux is ideal for running a machine for long periods of time without its resources falling to zero for no reason, and remain stable while working on really demanding tasks. If you are an advanced or at least intermediate user, you can easily achieve this, but on the other hand you wouldn't bother to read this if you were one. If you are totally new to Linux, you should know that there is increased possibility that you will crash it really bad without having to try hard (some people who don't want to admit their ignorance would call it a "hard disk crash").

6 November 1999 - Saturday

Hardware-One: Asus V6600 GeForce Review
- Wilfred
Well, the next nVidia GeForce card to hit retail in Singapore is none other than Asus' V6600 GeForce 256! In our evaluation, you'll find benchmarks of the card against the Creative counterpart. A snip:

In comparison with my Creative card that achieved 140/190 happily, I was a bit disappointed at ASUS’ overclocking capabilities. It is strange that despite the identical memory used, it was 8% less overclockable than Creative’s.

Palm V And VIII Review 23:13 pm - Wilfred
In the market for a palm device? Beyond3D has a thorough review on the two units of Palms from 3Com. These are without a doubt the most popular gadgets ever, so you own one?

My first comment on this has to be how the Palm V stands out in this sort of environment. When elegance and a formal style is necessary there is no PDA presently available that can match the V. I have to note the number of comments passed on how good the Palm V looked. A user could comfortably walk into a business meeting and produce the Palm V on which to take notes. In this facility the Palm IIIx performs equally to the Palm V, but doesn't have the style to be as passable in a more formal situation. The Palm IIIx has the appearance of the Palm V's less dignified, unshaven brother.

The thing is, the Palm is eminently useable, whether it is in a more serious situation, or in a simple situation, there are uses for the Palm everywhere. As I mentioned before, I used the Palm's at work to store my support call data, meaning I didn't have to carry around a whole stack of printouts, instead I simply Hotsynced the Palm and tucked it into my pocket. I also used the Palm to take notes in several meetings, which meant I didn't have to carry around a notepad or book and the Palm also fits the companies image as a fast-moving technological firm.

However, the Palm also has many uses outside the workplace. I kept track of all my expenses on the Palm, noting down each occasion I was spending money, where, why and to what value. Although this didn't manage to stop me from spending any more money, at least it let me keep track of where it was going.

Guillemot Fortissimo 23:06 pm - Wilfred
No it's not a fancy name of that cake in the bakery, but Guillemot's latest PCI sound card. Stunned? Why? Check out Gamers Depot's review on the card, they gave it a total of 5/5 drools! Utilizing a new chip from Yamaha, it supports both EAX and A3D 1.0! Cool!

Guillemot has done an excellent job of giving people an excellent cheap sound solution while not skimping out on features. If you're one of those people who can't seem to decide which sound card to go with based on the API it supports, then the Fortissimo is for you. 

It's encouraging to see new technology in action, with it's unique ability to enhance any sound source, Sensaura 3D position audio is among the coolest we've heard in quite sometime. For under $50.00 you simply can't find a more feature-rich sound card anywhere.

Flame Mail Of The Day At The Register 23:02 pm - Wilfred
Heheh... Just felt like posting this for your reading. At times, readers go through their periods too (no, don't flame me on this remark!). =)

I used to visit The Register because it often had up to the minute news in an industry I like to toy in. However, your story on Guillemot buying Hercules is an example of the petty thinking that is emerging from The Register. Your opinions are being reported alongside facts. How do you know that the Hercules name can Not be rejuvenated... do you think that that hasn't happened before? There are many products in the US where this has happened... a once defunct product comes back to life... it happens often.

I'm also offended by your daily attack on Microsoft. For over six months you've done nothing to present a side of Microsoft that is even noteworthy or interesting. Where do you get off attacking the single company to make PC's mainstream in ALL of Society. You think that is funny... I think you're funny... NOT!

Asus To Back Out On K7 Mobos?! 22:54 pm - Wilfred
Ohmigawd! This ain't gonna happen right? HardOCP reports from a reliable source that Asus shall be backing out of making K7 motherboards, a result of direct pressure from Intel. ARRGGGGHH!!!

It came to me from a pretty good source in Taiwan, that ASUS will STOP SELLING THE K7M Athlon mainboard very soon. It was directly told to me that this comes under pressures from Intel.

Jane's USAF Review 22:49 pm - Wilfred
Gamers Depot has a short review on another high quality flight sim from Jane's Combat Simulations. USAF is the latest title from the military technology experts for sim buffs.

Jane's and EA have definitely hit a winning chord here.  USAF combines enough detail to the flight controls, flight model, and various aircraft systems, while still keeping the learning curve relatively low. Especially compared to games such as Jane's F15 and the recent Falcon 4.0. All of which require you to either enlist in some terrorist fighter pilot boot camp or attend Annapolis for a couple of years. USAF on the other hand employs the same technology found in games like Longbow where they have an Interactive Instructor there to guide you through the weapons, avionics, and flight controls systems in a snap! Finally us weekend warriors have a game to play again!

Secret Weapon For ASUS V6600? 21:50 pm - Kan
Our pals over at 3DSpotlight dropped us a line on the new "secret weapon" for the ASUS V6600 GeForce graphics card - SmartDoctor technologies. Here's more info:

The ASUS AGP-V6600 Deluxe features the new GeForce256 graphics processing unit (GPU) with complete entertainment features. “We are so confident that ASUS will always be in the forefront of the graphics cards industry in multimedia functions. We have been devoting ourselves in providing the most benefits for customers for every dollar they spend on ASUS products,” said Jonathan Tsang, vice president of ASUS’ sales and marketing division. “We are putting into the AGP-V6600 Deluxe many features, not only powerful and unique multimedia functions but also the best SmartDoctor technologies,” Tsang added.

SB Live! Platinum Review 21:46 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme posted a review on the SB Live! Platinum soundcard today. If you missed our SB Live! Platinum review, you can check it out over here again. Anyway, here's an excerpt from their review:

Now users can easily connect or disconnect their SPDIF (RCA), MIDI, and Microphone devices via the Live! Drive's front panel access ports. While the Live! Drive is highly practical (it seemed that we grew accustomed to it instantly), we'd like to see the addition of an optical IN and OUT port for MiniDisc and other digital peripheral source hardware.

The other features of the SB Live! Platinum fall mainly in the standard areas readers are familiar with, including the 1024-voice multi-timbre GM and GS wave table engine.

Nocturne Review 21:40 pm - Kan
3DRage posted a review on the game Nocturne and the guys seem to like this game a lot, giving it a rating of 10/10. Here's some juice:

The 1930's era was quite a decade, especially the one in Nocturne. During his presedential term, Theodore Roosevelt, in a drastic effort to counteract the growing presence of supernatural forces that were prominently growing, created a special investigation bureau unofficially dubbed the Spookhouse. You assume the role of "The Stranger", a double .45 carrying, shotgun toting, trenchcoat wearing monster hunter. You will be sent out to face and counteract almost every supernatural force you can conceive of throughout the world, all the while rescueing bystanders, foiling diabolical plots, and kicking some monster ass.

New BX motherboard coming soon 14:20 pm - David
Heard from a reliable source that a new BX motherboard from MSI will be coming up soon, dubbed the MSI 6163 Master... should be out sometime mid December. Those of you looking for a BX board might want to wait. :) 

Features : - Intel 82443BX Chipset, 6 Master PCI Slots, 4 Dimm Slots max. 1GB SDRAM, Support ATA66 (Promise ATA66 PDC20262), Jumperless, Vcore & Vio setting through BIOS, STR (Suspend To RAM), D-LEDT (Diagnostic LEDs), SafeBIOS,  PC Alert III (System Hardware Monitoring), LAN Wake-Up Function, Modem (Int/Ext) Ring Wake-Up Function, Y2K Compliant

10-Gbit Ethernet Standard 10:34 am - Sniper
I guess the boys at IEEE is sure fast, plans are underway to boost the Ethernet to 10 gb.

A first draft of the 10-Gbit spec is due next September, and proponents hope to bring a final draft to IEEE ballot
in March 2001. The full specification is likely two or three years away, but panelists at this week's conference
said they expect to see products based on the partial spec as early as next year. 

Interplanetary Internet 10:10 am - Sniper
Imagine sending a mail to Mars someday?  This article points to work being done now to achieve that.

NASA and network gurus are working together to
extend the Internet to other worlds in the next few
years. But there are some limits that not even the
World Wide Web can route around, such as the
speed of light. So the builders of the Interplanetary
Internet are going back to the basics, retooling
protocols for future communications with Mars and
beyond. 

Stowaway Keyboard For Palm 09:47 am - Sniper
I saw this thing at Slashdot, looks pretty interesting.


G-Sector Preview
08:27 am - Kan
Our pals over at FiringSquad posted a preview on G-Sector, a freeware hoverboard combat game. Here' a taste:

Freeform's latest effort is G-Sector. What makes G-Sector unique as a freeware title is that it's a fully 3D game. Indeed, the graphics generated by the homegrown Genesis 3D engine rival those of any high production 3D title from a large software publisher. Another aspect that sets G-Sector apart is the fact that it's totally Open Source. This isn't just some gimmick like Al Gore's "open source website" (and what a joke that was!) - Ingava already has forums set up at their site for programmers to meet and discuss how to improve G-Sector. That means this game isn't going to be abandoned once it's released as sometimes happens with the larger software developers.

Networking HOWTO 08:27 am - Kan
2CPU posted a comprehensive Networking HOWTO under WinNT covering things like DHCP, DNS, RAS, RRAS, NAT etc. Here's a smell:

Exit DHCP manager, and you should be ready to go.  Go to another machine, and select "Obtain an IP address from a DHCP server" under your TCP/IP settings.  Reboot, and then go to a command prompt (on either Win9x or NT) and type "ipconfig".  If you see an address from your scope, you're golden.  The odds are, you will be.  DHCP is simple, well-tested, and extremely common.  Now, all anyone has to do is to plug their computer into your network, tell it to use DHCP, and regardless of their OS, they will receive an IP address and be able to play games or access your network resources.

3D WinMark 2000 on GeForce 08:23 am - Kan
nv News dropped us a line on their benchmark snippet where they ran the GeForce on 3D WinMark 2000 with T&L enabled/disabled under DirectX 7.

Well, what we have here are a standard set of DirectX 7 enabled T&L benchmark tests which were developed by the Ziff-Davis Benchmarking Operation.  These results should erase any doubts as to the benefits of T&L under DirectX 7.  It works, and it works very well.  And as you can see, the GeForce 256 makes T&L work even better!

The Athlon: Seventh Generation or Not 08:20 am - Kan
There's an interesting read over at Ace's Hardware on The Athlon: Seventh Generation or Not. If you like stuffs like brand prediction, pipelining etc, this article is for you! Check it out:

Why doesn't the Athlon show a larger gap with the (6th generation) Coppermine ? The Athlon is only 10% faster in quake 3 than the Coppermine 700, and as fast as the same Coppermine in Winstone and expendable. Granted, it is still quit a bit faster than the Coppermine in FPU intensive tasks.

But as you know, each generation of CPU's has known a significant increase in FPU power. The 486 got an integrated FPU while the 386 had no FPU at all. The Pentium got a pipelined FADD instruction and the FPU was about 2 times faster than the 486. The Pentium Pro's pipelined FPU had two units and showed +/- 40% higher performance than the Pentium. The Athlon shows only 8-20% higher performance in most FPU intensive benchmarks.

 

5 November 1999 - Friday

Tyan S1857-B
22:05 pm - Wilfred
BXBoards
mailed to tell of their most current review on the Tyan S1857-B BX motherboard. Because of the need to support the 0.18 Coppermine P3s, the renowned mobo maker did not support any minimum form of overclocking till this board. With both PPGA S370 and Slot-1 interfaces, 6 PCI slots, still this board falls short. Why?

Discounting the rather nice AMIBIOS, the six PCI slots and the Slot1 / Socket 370 architecture, this is a pretty unexceptional product. Its not bad, just old fashioned in feel. Most mainboards we see here at BXBoards nowadays are showing innovation, providing pre-Camino support for UDMA/66, voltage adjustment or advanced clock generators - not so Tyan! If you are the kind of user who gets off on your vinyl record colletion while the rest of the world enjoys CD, the Tyan fit the bill perfectly with its no risk, straight down the middle feature set. Its not a bad product, it just hasn't kept pace with the rest of the market, in cutting edge features.

I Didn't Install That! 21:54 pm - Wilfred
This is a short editorial piece at osOpinion, but how true it is that often enuf, PCs all over the workplace and friend's house have got their Windows' taskbar choked with icons of TSRs, 'monitoring' utilities and what not! Whose fault? The ignorant user or the software installations?

While this extra installation of software is not really a problem for someone such as myself who knows a tiny bit about the Windows registry editor, it is still *VERY* annoying. Annoying enough to make me want to give everyone my two cents about the practice. However, for someone who has no clue that these 14,000 things on the taskbar are eating up precious resources, any newly installed TSR's really can adversely affect performance. Most people have no clue how to rip programs out of the registry. Most people *could* grasp the concept, but are unwilling to LEARN how to do anything beyond what they already know. So, for these people, as well as for those of us who would rather not spend the time rooting through the registry, PLEASE stop including programs that you cannot choose *not* to install. Thank you!

Voodoo 3 3000 PCI At FiringSquad 21:44 pm - Wilfred
What's with the PCI thingy lately? A revival? Hmm... ok, our pals at FiringSquad took the PCI version of the V3 3000 for a spin too. Surprisingly, the PCI card performs neck-to-neck with its AGP brethens. Want an upgrade but no AGP slot?

The Voodoo3 3000 PCI performs very similiar to the 3000 AGP card, scoring within 0.2 frames/second in Q3Test Normal mode. In the low-end market its prime competitor's (the Voodoo3 2000 and Stealth III S540 Xtreme) will be hard-pressed to keep up with its framerate. With the Voodoo3 3000 PCI, 3dfx truly has the "highest performing PCI product available" on their hands.

AGP (Sidebanding) Optimization Guide 21:02 pm - Kan
Adrian's Rojak Pot
posted another guide - AGP (Sidebanding) Optimization Guide. Here's an excerpt:

To maximize the efficiency and throughput of the AGP bus, the address bus can be separated (demultiplexed) from the data bus. This is accomplished with the addition of 8 extra sideband lines. These 8 sideband lines are collectively referred to as the Sideband Address Port (SBA). Although the SBA is only an 8-bit wide interface, it allows the graphics controller to issue new AGP requests and commands simultaneously while data continues to flow via the main 32 address/data (AD) lines.

Actually, the AGP bus can transmit AGP requests through either the AD bus or the SBA bus but not both at the same time. However, if the SBA bus is used to transmit those requests, it will prevent the graphics controller from clogging up the AD bus with data requests. While this will not increase overall AGP bandwidth, it allows main AD bus to be used solely for data transfers, thus improving overall AGP data throughput.

Updated: Liveware 3 under Windows 2000 21:00 pm - Kan
Our pals over at NT Compatible dropped us a little update on getting Liveware 3 to work under Windows 2000. Apparently, the fix doesn't work under SMP machines and you lose hibernate support once you install it. The new fix includes screen shots to help you in case you are lost in the countless reboots needed. 

Sound Card Buyer's Guide 15:50 pm - Kan
Something interesting over at SharkyExtreme is the Sound Card Buyer's Guide. Let the gurus recommend to you what sound cards are the best for you:

Total Harmonic Distortion comes into play with both the soundcard and the speakers. This number is more common in the speaker realm though. In more general terms, it is the ratio of the distortion of the input signal, which is measured at the output of the device. From that description, you can gather that the speakers have more to do with this number, than the card itself. The speaker has more of an effect because of external influences like the cabinet of the speaker, and what materials the speaker is made of. The soundcard chip (or DSP) is not affected as much because of the digital nature and the fact that it isn't as susceptible to external variances.

MSI 6167 and Athlon 600 Mhz 15:37 pm - Kan
Our pals over at HotHardware baked a review on the MSI 6167 Athlon motherboard. Throw in a Athlon 600 Mhz processor and you have a sizzling combo! Here's some smell:

The layout of this board is excellent. It doesn't have a very small footprint but the use of that extra space was very efficient. The ATX Power Connector is located infront of the DIMM Sockets and off to the side enough to keep the cables out of the way of your processor heat sink and fan combo. Perhaps this was by design or perhaps by necessity since there are four very large voltage regulators with heat sinks behind the CPU Slot A. All in all, the MS-6167 is well built and easy to work with.

Shuttle HOT-649-A 15:36 pm - Kan
BoomGames posted their review on the Shuttle HOT-649-A dual BX motherboard. Here's what they felt:

However, FSB settings is not the only thing to take into consideration when buying a Dual BX board, things like price become an issue, this board will run you on average $350, and it isn't exactly the most prevalent board on the market, when I bought this one there were only 3 places I could find that sold it. The reason it is so expensive is because of the on board Adaptec AIC-7890 SCSI controller, a nice controller indeed.

Voodoo3 3000 PCI 15:35 pm - Kan
3D-Unlimited dropped us a line on their new review on the Voodoo3 3000 PCI graphics card. There isn't really a lot of reasons to get a PCI graphics card nowadays (with AGP4X already out), but this may interests you:

The Voodoo 3 3000 PCI is identical to the 3000 AGP, but just doesn't feature TV Out, and a few less hardware bundles. Can't forget, features a new box, an awesome new orange one. :) The AGP version features Unreal (Full), Need for Speed III (Full) and Descent 3 (Special Edition) and a coupon for a free upgrade to Unreal Tournament. The same goes for the PCI version, except no Descent 3 in this bundle. Besides that you get everything else the same. 7 Million Triangles/Sec. 333 Megatexels/sec. 3D Gaming at 60 fps. As it says on the boxes.

Olympus D-340R Digital Camera 15:33 pm - Kan
TheTechZone reviewed the Olympus D-340R digital camera. With a punch of only 1.3 Megapixels, it isn't exactly the best in technology nowadays. Nevertheless, here's some juice:

The D-340R is great for capturing action sequences: it can snap a series of ten burst shots at half-second intervals.(At low resolution only without flash L) It also includes a 2X digital zoom, four flash modes, automatic exposure, TV-out (for viewing pics and could be used as a camcorder in a pinch), and a cool 3X magnifier (for zooming in and reviewing shots already taken).  Also has the ability to 'thumbnail' on the view-screen to quickly decide which ones you wanna keep and which ones you want to dump.

Quadro Preview 06:30 am - Kan
VoodooExtreme also posted some niffy info on the new Quadro GPU from nVidia. Just when you think you are going to buy a GeForce, here comes another new chipset! ARgh!

Based on the GeForce core, the Quadro boasts a faster transform and lighting rate than it's older brother (17million vs 15 million triangles), along with a fill-rate of 540Mtexels/sec (vs 480mtex/sec for the GeForce). Furthermore, the Quadro will include hardware support for widely used professional features, such as anti-aliased vectors. Most Quadro solutions will probably feature 64MB of memory, competitive with current high end solutions.

From the looks of the specs, it seems as if the Quadro is a GeForce 256 running at a clock speed of 135mhz with the addition of accelerated anti-aliased vectors. Also, the drivers are most likely tuned for high-end applications which require extremely fast sustained transformation/lighting and triangle setup rates (as opposed to game optimizations which is more geared towards fill-rate and texture management).

Vantec P3D-5030 06:23 am - Kan
After seeing so many Vantec coolers review, I think I can remember the 5030 number now. ActiveHardware dropped us a line on the cooler review and here's what they felt:

Using a single connector for its two fans, the Vantec P3D-5030's approach has advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, the requirement of a single connector is an advantage for those who don't have three fan connectors on their motherboard. On the other hand, only the speed of one of the two fans can be monitored. For that reason, I would have preferred that Vantec supply an independent cable for each fan, along with a Y adaptor/connector for those who only have a single fan connector available to plug into.

Maxtor DiamondMax 40 06:18 am - Kan
Windows Newslink reviewed the Maxtor 40 GB hard disk we are all talking about in the Forum. Oh, it's only a 5400 rpm hard drive, but it still comes with ATA-66 interface. Here's a whiff:

Just like any EIDE hard drives, installation is fairly easy, attach the power cables and the interface cable to the hard drive then plug the other end to the motherboard, the MaxBlast Plus software makes the installation a lot easier, it creates a customized installation guide for your system before physically installing the hard drive. Since I don’t have a ATA-66 capable motherboard, I am unable to benchmark this drive at its optimal speed, but the good news is all ATA-66 hard drives has backward compatible with my motherboard’s ATA-33 standards.

ABIT BF6 06:16 am - Kan
FPS3D just posted their review on ABIT latest offerings, the BF6 motherboard. Hopefully our own review on this board will be out soon. :)

Another very unique feature is L2 cache latency adjustment. This means you can actually adjust the speed of your Level2 cache on your processor! However, you need to evaluate your cooling situation first. If you're using a Slot 1 processor with built in L2 cache (on die - i.e. Celeron) then you should be fine as long as you have some cooling on your setup. If you're using a processor with external L2 cache (onboard - i.e. P2, P3), then you should look into removing the casing from your processor and actually cooling your L2 cache directly before you "overclock" it.

4 November 1999 - Thursday

I Love Matrix!!!
23:02 pm - Sniper
Finally some news on the sequel I've been waiting, so if you are a matrix fan like me, check this out now.

Well, you'll still have to wait a bit for those back-to-back sequels the Wachowski brothers keep talking about, but at least you can content yourself with absolutely every single tidbit that comes down the pike about the projects. While talking to Science Fiction Weekly, producer Joel Silver revealed a few such tidbits. To wit: we see more of Neo's superhuman powers, the gang will hang out in the human city of Zion (referred to in the original), and the three key players have either signed or
are close to signing on.

nVidia Quadro Interview 20:51 pm - Kan
Yikes! Our pals over at FiringSquad fired up an interview with nvidia on their latest CPU unit, the Quadro. How does it fare? Check it out over here:

Leveraging over 500 man years of 3D expertise, NVIDIA™ Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced the QuadroTM workstation GPU, the newest member of the company's performance-leading family of award-winning graphics processors. Based on NVIDIA's revolutionary single-chip integrated QuadEngineTM transform and lighting architecture, the Quadro is targeted for the digital content creation and MCAD design markets."

Voodoo3 2000 20:48 pm - Kan
Even though not exactly the fastest graphics card out there, but SystemLogic whipped up a review on the Voodoo3 2000.

After I opened the box, the familiar plastic casing is in it, way too big for a small card. I took out the plastic protection out of the box and I opened it with barely any trouble. It contained the card itself which looks almost exactly like the STB Velocity 4400 TNT card. The chipset is hidden under a small black heatsink. The digital video port above that always confuses people, 3dfx says it’s for DVD decoders and TV tuners. Also in the box was a small instruction booklet that had a lot of pictures for your viewing pleasure and the usual array of coupons, previews and a offer for a software DVD player.

What Software Quality? 19:13 pm - Wilfred
On the topic of software bugs and quality problems again... osOpinion has a tale to tell, a tat typical of today's users - the plight we face.

I'm starting to get a little upset. Maybe more than a little. About a month ago I reinstalled Windows 98 on my ThinkPad, the fifth time since February, and while I admit I may do more than the average user, I still don't install to many funky apps.

Try these: Office 97, Tardis (a time sync program), Acrobat Reader, Mocha 5250, Lotus Notes, Thunderview (a router configuration program for Memotec hardware) and also maybe a couple other smaller apps, but that's about it.

My system hardly ever crashes outright, but it's more insidious. It continues to get flaky, crashing apps, distorting the screen, getting slower and slower until I'm finally forced to do a full reboot. By then of course it won't shut down, and I have to hit the power switch. Windows then graciously does a scandisk at startup and tells me to shut down Windows properly to avoid seeing this screen. Duh.

Molecular Memory 19:07 pm - Wilfred
Researchers at Yale will reveal their discovery and description of molecular sized memory. This will have tremendous impact on the micro-electronics industry in reducing costs and size of components. Cool! Way cool! Check this out!

"We've demonstrated a memory element the size of a single molecule," said Reed, principal investigator on the paper. "This is the ultimate in size that one can achieve in microminaturization. The fabrication of the molecular memory was done using a method called 'self-assembly,' which has the potential to dramatically reduce cost."

The single molecule memory effect is more robust in storing information than conventional silicon memory, which is typically 'dynamic random access memories' (DRAM). The single molecule memory has a life approximately one million times longer than DRAM, which is not capable of holding stored charges for long.

"With the single molecule memory, all a general-purpose ultimate molecular computer now needs is a reversible single molecule switch," said Reed. "I anticipate we will see a demonstration of one very soon."

Cache Tweaking 19:04 pm - Wilfred
Panders at Ars Technica has thrown together yet another tweak guide for your NT based system. Now to use a large system cache or not? You might be interested to get informed.

While Windows NT Server and Workstation are alike in many ways, the default methods they use for disk caching differ greatly.  The Large System Cache option is one that can affect your disk I/O performance up to 50%!

The Rare Glitch Project 18:59 pm - Wilfred
The Rare Glitch Project - The Legendary Search for a Stable Version of Windows. Hiak! Had a good laugh reading this news submission. Thanks to Grant Brown who pointed to this hilarious story at CNN. Well, I haven't the time to catch the show, but I know I will. Meanwhile, this is a nice 'spoof'.

The trio is convinced that they are lost. They stumble across an abandoned programming laboratory filled with voodoo artifacts, one of which looks like a bespectacled Basic programmer, another like a bald guy holding a soup can. Josh logs in to one of the Windows NT workstations. He installs an application designed to hack into the network and find a map of the building. But the application won't run.

Heather checks her FAQ. "It says to try installing Service Pack 5," she says. Josh inserts a CD, installs the service pack, and reboots.

No luck. Heather adds, "It also says that if Service Pack 5 doesn't fix the problem, then remove it, install these seven hot fixes, and then reinstall the app." Josh clicks on the option to remove the service pack when he suddenly turns pale, overcome with fear. He looks around and sees the same thing everywhere. "What is this all over the monitors? It looks like blue ... "

Sharky's Private Eye: Volume IV 17:30 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme released Volume IV of their Sharky's Private Eye editorial. Here's some bite:

There have been so many rumors about NVIDIA's newly released GeForce 256 becoming the crown jewel for Microsoft's X-Box. Whilst we cannot confirm the validity of this rumor, it's easy to see why NVIDIA has been pointed at like it has. If indeed Microsoft is to use an AMD K6-2/3 the added bonus of a GeForce 256 with its on-board geometry co-processor would rescue some of the dog legs associated with the six-issue RISC86® superscalar microarchitecture (poor FPU). Whoever wins the DirectX 7.0 compatibility crown will probably be first in-line for Microsoft's X-Box. NVIDIA's GeForce 256 and T&L engine rely heavily on DirectX 7.0 compatible games and indeed claim to be the 'DirectX 7.0' card of choice.

A Quantum Vortex? 17:25 pm - Kan
HardwareCentral dropped us a line on their latest article titled Tomorrow's New System: A Quantum Vortex.

A quantum computer has a couple very big advantages that will make today’s fastest supercomputer look like your old typewriter. For example, a conventional microprocessor stores and manipulates information as bits, with values of 1 or 0. In a quantum microprocessor these two phases of a bit can be made to ‘overlap’--they are able to exist at the same time. Thus the quantum bit, ‘qubit’, can be 1 and 0 at the same time. Theoretically it is even possible to have more phases, as many four or even eight different phases at once.

Athlon 650 Mhz Review 17:23 pm - Kan
Hard boys over at HardOCP took a look at the Athlon 650 Mhz processor. Yup, they are those engineering samples (don't you love to have one of'em?) capable of 800 Mhz. Here's some juice:

This Athlon did however come with a nifty little Alpha heatsink strapped on.  Very much like the recent retail versions we have seen with a little less fin action.  I think the fan was put on there just for decoration, we got rid of that immediately.  This Alpha heatsink did however simply have a four screw system that bound it to the heatplate.  Easy on, easy off.   AMD also did a good job getting the thermal grease spread around also.  Not as good as you and I would have done though.

Interested to grab a piece of the Athlon processor? CPUReview just told us that Athlon processors are lower in prices than the Pentium III equivalent. So check out their pricelist here.

Nvidia Quadro Chip 09:37 am - Sniper
Wow, this chip is faster than the GeForce.  Hope we can get our hands on one soon.

The Quadro uses Nvidia's four-pixel-per-clock processing
pipeline, and boasts a core frequncy of 135 MHz, compared with the 120-MHz clock speed of the GeForce. The memory interface runs at 333 MHz, compared with 300 MHz for the GeForce, and connects to double-data-rate SDRAM. The Quadro chip outputs 17 million triangles or 540 million pixels per second, at peak rates, processing up to 200 million BOPS [billions of operations per second]. 

Intel's Solano Chipset 09:27 am - Sniper
Getting a new mobo?  Take a look at this article regarding Intel's new chipset.

The first chipset from Intel Corp. to support PC133 SDRAM will be the Solano, an upgraded device from within the Intel 810 chipset family that will debut in January-not a new chipset code-named Amador, as has been widely rumored on Wall Street, sources close to the matter said today.

Peltier Cooled PC: Power Usage/Considerations 08:50 am - Kan
TheTechZone followed up on their review yesterday on the Vantec Peltier cooler and wrote an article on why Peltier coolers didn't perform as good as thought they will be.

As you can see from the typical 250Watt supply above, there is barely enough 12Volt current to run a single Peltier device. A much bigger power supply would certainly be required for two.
Sparkle's 400Watt model can deliver 15Amps at 12V. With a supply like that, it could be done!

A side note about power supply bridging: It is possible to run a few low current fans at 15.3V by wiring them from -12 to +3.3. But be warned. There is not enough negative current available to run even one Peltier in this way. Never bridge anything to the -5V line, there is negligible current available from -5. Never hook up the fan speed sensor wire when you bridge. It could easily fry your board.

Maxtor DiamondMax 6800 05:38 am - Kan
Game Forces took a look at the 27GB Maxtor DiamondMax 6800 hard disk. It comes with a 7200rpm spindle rate as well as ATA-66 interface (pretty normal nowadays). Here's a bite:

The DiamondMax Plus 6800 is one of Maxtor's newer models. It takes advantage of the ATA/66 technology, which allows for burst transfers up to 66.7 MB/s. In addition, it sports a quick 7200 RPM rotational speed, allowing faster access to all parts of each disk. The drive has an average 9ms seek time, but here's something that might surprise you -- while most current drives have around a 512 KB buffer, the DiamondMax Plus holds 2MB of buffer space, composed of 100 MHz SDRAM. And of course, I didn't forget the storage space. The DiamondMax 6800 that we review here is a huge 27.2 GB model, although smaller ones down to 6.8 GB are available.

Kyrotech Athlon 800 Mhz 05:36 am - Kan
ReviewZone reviewed the Kyrotech Athlon at 800 Mhz. Lots of chill stuffs, so check it out:

The AGP bus is, unfortunately, still running on AGP 2X.  However, as we saw on the last review, the gains for going to AGP 4X are still pretty marginal at this time.  If you're looking to get an Athlon system with AGP 4X, you're going to have to wait for the new VIA 133A chipset motherboards.  Why did we set AGP Aperture size to 256MB you ask?  Um, well we decided to equip this system with 384MB of shiny new Micron -8E memory.  Yep, it costed a pretty penny too, with the RAM market pulled tighter than the spandex at a Richard Simmons convention.

Itanium Processor Review 05:30 am - Kan
SystemLogic posted a short preview on Intel's next range of processors, the Itanium.

The Itanium is not really intended for the average consumer, at least not initially. The real successor of the current PII/PIII line up is the ever elusive processor codenamed "Willamette", which implements a new IA-32 architecture. So where does the Itanium fit in? It is basically Intel's entry to compete in the high-end market which is currently dominated by RISC processors.

 

3 November 1999 - Wednesday

Liveware 3 Under Windows 2000
21:23 pm - Kan
Yes! Finally! Our pals over at NT Compatible dropped us a line on a fix to let Liveware 3 to work under Windows 2000. Whew, I tried it out myself and it involved lots of reboots in-between. Not for the faint hearted, here's the fix.

Planar Focus Technology vs NXT 21:22 pm - Kan
3dWars whipped up an article discussing speakers technology and went on to explain which one is better. Actually, conventional speakers rulez for me! :)

Speakers are a big necessity to gamers. They allow you to hear that amazing sound that your high-end sound card produces with the greatest of ease. There are tons of speakers currently available that will accommodate any gamer's needs. Some to chose to go with the pure powerhouse type speakers, while others are in it for the looks. There is of course, a median that allows any user to have the best of both worlds. This main genre of speakers is known as Flat Panel. They are extremely thin speakers that do not utilize the standard conventional cone technology to produce their sound. They look very sleek and produce an awe-inspiring sound that truly makes the game come to life.

Buying Offline - The Mom and Pop Shops 21:21 pm - Kan
Ah, if you are bored reading all those reviews on hardware and stuffs like that, take a look at FiringSquad latest article Buying Offline - The Mom and Pop Shops. Here's a whiff:

The sheer number of different choices and methods for people to purchase products can be staggering. It's almost as if the only way that a small shop can survive is by making unrealistic promises and selling crap. The problem is that this does not at all promote a long term relationship with the customer, which I feel is key to small business survival. Small businesses can survive in this age of buy.com and CompUSA. It is, however, left in your hands to decide which business is worthy of receiving your patronage, and your money.

SpyFly - Nature's Fighter Jets Mimicked 18:38 pm - Wilfred
Saw at ArsTechnica a link to this page at SFGate that researchers at University of California in Berkeley are building a miniscule flying robot. Wow.. any Sci-Fi fans here? Very cool!

"If we want to develop something with stealth, we have to look at nature,'' McMullen said. "There are no man-made objects that small that can fly.''

But why a fly? Why not something with a little more pizzazz like, say, a dragonfly? Two reasons, said Ron Fearing, the top gun behind the micromechanical flying insect. First, dragonflies have four wings. "That automatically doubles the complexity of the project,'' Fearing said.

More importantly, flies, for all their faults, are outstanding pilots. They can take off and land in any direction, even upside down. They can change course in just 30-thousandths of a second. And they process information at speeds that make a supercomputer look like an abacus. "They're the fighter jets of the animal world,'' Fearing said.

Savage 2000 Preview 18:29 pm - Wilfred
Our reader, Bowwow, would jump at this! =) Well, Tom's Hardware has taken preliminary looks at his 'would-be' favourite card. The man turned in some nicks the card may possess, I pray not but see this:

While using the software I had noticed an artifact that led be to believe there was an issue with their z-buffer support. I asked him what it was and he told me that they are using a more efficient z-buffer called a w-buffer that relieves bus bandwidth. It does this by having only to send x/y/w coordinates over the bus while z-buffer has to send all that plus z. So what's the difference? The z-buffer is more accurate as you go farther in the distance while the w-buffer is actually more accurate to a plane closer to you. One negative side effect of this shortcut is that with games that use the z-buffer to create other special visuals, you might run into visual problems. This isn't a common case in games and isn't really something that game coders commonly do so I wouldn't be too worried about this. In most cases the z-buffer can be used instead of the w-buffer to deal with this. You may lose some performance but you have a working game. The w-buffer also has a limitation of 16-bit or 24-bit accuracy, which may cause visual issues on programs that require a 32-bit z-buffer. I would like to remind you folks that this could be a similar issue for even the TNT2 or GeForce. One thing that people forget is that the NVIDIA cards can have 32-bit z-buffer but when the stencil buffer is used, you have to drop down to 24-bit z-buffer as well. He went on to mention that their implementation of the OpenGL ICD (which will shipping with the card) only supports w-buffer. This choice was made to trade of a little quality for greater performance. In most games I don't think this will be an issue but with games like Quake Arena in certain areas, this may be an annoying problem.

DirectX 7.0 Review 18:26 pm - Wilfred
Rare, a review on Microsoft's DirectX 7.0 API can be found right here at GameSpot UK. Hopefully, we'll soon see the optimizations put to good use by powerful games.

DirectX 7's boons are several. Firstly it's optimised further which means it runs faster doing the same things. Secondly it supports the new features of 3D hardware accelerating the CPU intensive activity of "transformation and lighting". Going into detail here is beyond the scope of this feature but suffice to say that with a new 3D card, with a built-in "T&L engine" and DirectX 7, a lot of work ordinarily done by the CPU can be shovelled on to the 3D card allowing the game to run faster. What's more, it allows far more detailed 3D architecture or "geometry" as it's otherwise known. nVidia is first off the mark with this technology in the form of its GeForce 256 graphics chip, yet like 3dfx with its multitexturing, others will follow and DirectX 7 is ready with support.

The Dawn Of DVD Piracy? 18:20 pm - Wilfred
DVD has been cracked! At Wired, it is reported that the worst fears of movie studios are just realised. Two European programmers created a utility called DeCSS that will read DVD movies and save them onto the harddisk - minus the encryption. Hmmm...

The worst fear of movie studios has been realized: DVD movie encryption has been broken.

A utility called DeCSS is currently floating around on the Net that will read a DVD movie disc and save the file on a hard disk, minus the encryption. All that’s required is a DVD-ROM drive -- since CD-ROM drives can’t read the 4.7GB DVD movie discs -- and a lot of disc space. The faster the CPU, the faster it will process the file. It takes around 10 minutes to process a .VOB file on a 500MHz Pentium III.

3D Ultra Cool Pool 18:14 pm - Wilfred
Those of you into pool might be finding it difficult to run to your favourite hangout everyday. So grab this game available for download at DemoNews. I'm downloading it as I type... =)

Take everything you know about pool and throw it in a blender. Cool Pool has all your favorites: Eight Ball, Cutthroat, Nine Ball, and more! But Cool Pool doesn't stop there. Add five wacky new pool games that could only exist on a computer, like Rocket Ball, Chameleon Ball, and 24 Cents, and you've got more fun than you can shake a cue stick at.

Vantec Socket 7/370 Cooler 16:48 pm - Kan
A giant cooler review awaits you over at TheTechZone with their Vantec Socket7/370 Cooler.

You might be wondering how the Global Win FDP32 ran so much cooler than the Peltier powered Vantec. The answer is, the Vantec heatsink is not big enough to remove all the heat being given off by the Peltier. Because of this, the Peltier heated up and with the rise in temperature on the hot side comes an equal rise in temperature on the cold side. I put my finger on the heatsink and it was burning hot! By comparison, the Global Win wasn't even warm to the touch.

DFE-910 Network-in-a-Box 16:46 pm - Kan
Tech-Review just completed their review on the D-Link DFE-910 Network-in-a-Box. The box comes with a five-port 10/100 switch, two NICs as well as cables. In our own review, we like it a lot too. So check it out:

Taking a look at the Protocol specification reveals that the protocol used is CSMA/CD, which stands for Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Detection. When Ethernet packets are transmitted via the CSMA/CD protocol, the computer waits for the data line to clear before sending the information. If two computers send data at the same time, their packets collide and cause the computers to wait and send again at different times. This prevents packets from being mixed and misplaced over the network, and ensures data integrity.

Microsoft IntelliEye Mice Review 14:32 pm - Kan
Yup, our pals over at ArsTechnica whipped off another review on the Microsoft IntelliEye Mice.

Pretty much everyone can use the two new Microsoft Mice with IntelliEye.  On the connectivity tip, they both come with a USB to PS/2 converter, so those of us without proper USB can still enjoy the mouse (read NT and Linux).  Additionally, although you might expect otherwise, the mouse talks to your 'puter just like a regular old mouse, so yeah Virginia, you can use this sucka on any OS that supports the older Microsoft Mouse (we tested it explicitly on Red Hat 6.0 and the BeOS).  Only have PS/2?  Only have BeOS?  Yep, this'll work.  Additionally, there is a Macintosh version as well. 

Cye Personal Robot 14:30 pm - Kan
There's an interesting article over at 3DHardware.net on robots. Hmm, how does a robot which is able to vacuum your keyboard and clean your monitor sounds to you?

The Cye Robot is available through mailorder, and our sample unit did not arrive in any particularily fancy box - rather, it came housed in a standard cardboard box fit for international shipment. Laid inside, beside two pieces of styrofoam, was the Cye robot itself. Weighing about 10 lbs (~5kgs), the Cye is not exactly your average small toy. A radio transmitter and a recharge unit was also bundled within the box and finishing everything off was a very thin instructions manual and an installation CD containing the Map-N-Zap software.

Sniper Rants 08:10 am - Sniper
On the local Computer Times this morning, I saw the price of the new Iomega Zip drive USB and let's just say the price sucks.  Selling for SGD 319, I don't see  why anyone would want to pay for that considering a CD-R/CD-RW drive is selling for between SGD 305-400.  And what proves it better that CDs are the preferred media than the front page article "Iomega goes optical". The zip is dead, IMHO. 

New Microsoft Keyboard?
06:20 am - Kan
De boys over at ComputingPros dropped us a line on a 'new Microsoft Keyboard design'. No no, obviously you can't type with that! :)

How To Choose a Computer 06:15 am - Kan
AGN Hardware posted an article on How To Choose a Computer. Obviously the fastest rulez! 

The first decision to be made is not whether or not you should get a pre-built system but what is the main purpose behind getting the computer. Knowing what your main use for a computer is going to guide you to a toward choosing the correct components you will need to meet or exceed the requirements of its function. You should know that you have to be honest with yourself and any salespeople you may deal with. The reasons for this is the components that you require for a gaming machine differ greatly than those required to do basic email or office work. Those required to CAM or CAD work differ from both. That is not to say that some components can't be the same but a system built solely to do office programs will be a big disappointment as a gaming machine.

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro 06:13 am - Kan
I noticed over at USB Workshop a new review on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro is avaialble. USB may be cool, but I'm still trying to get my USB mouse to work with Linux. :)

The new Natural Keyboard Pro is almost as large as the original natural keyboard, making it bigger than the Elite. This keyboard is NOT an Elite with extra keys nor is it a clone of the original Natural. The new Pro has a different look and a very different feel. Like its predecessors the Natural Pro is a solid, well-made keyboard with elevator legs at the rear only. The arrow keys have reverted back two generations to the conventional inverted T-Shape. The arc of the Pro keyboard is slightly more exaggerated, which tends to spread the hands a little more. Above the smaller F-keys is a row of cornflower blue, Multimedia keys that control Internet and entertainment devices. Directly above the number keys are three additional, blue, "Hot" keys that provide immediate access to My Computer, Calculator and Sleep state. The keyboard also features a pair of USB ports that can be used for low-powered devices such as mice and joysticks.

Transcend TS-ABX11 Motherboard 06:03 am - Kan
Our woohoos pals <tm> over at ArsTechnica posted another new motherboard review - Transcend TS-ABX11. Nothing very special about this board as it comes with 5 PCI slots, 3 DIMM slots and ATA-33 support. Here's a whiff:

As you can see from the above, the board is pretty standard; it offers the variety of features and FSB speeds we’ve come to expect.  The only problem is that its settings aren't completely controlled in the BIOS.  This shouldn’t deter you from considering this board, however, because the number of jumpers and dipswitches you have to manipulate to get at the full range of FSB speeds is minimal.  One jumper sets the default FSB speed (66/100) and another sets the multiplier (3.5-8.0).  Once you’ve set the FSB default and the multiplier, you can go into the BIOS and scroll through all the odd bus speeds available.  

Thrustmaster Nascar Charger w/Pedals 05:02 am - Kan
HardwareCentral posted a review on the Thrustmaster Nascar Charger w/pedals kit.

Typically, the installation of racing wheels for each drive is a rather dreadful process. Especially with some of the older models where numerous screws and clamps were used, more often than not you would decide to leave the wheel intact instead of disassembling it when finished, just to avoid the whole procedure next time. Of course, taking this course of action limits the desk space available, not to mention all the other difficulties that may arise. Also, the scratching and marking left behind on your desk or furniture where you clamped the wheel left much to be desired.

Acer Future Keyboard 04:38 am - Kan
Here's an interesting Acer Future Keyboard review by Dan's Data. Totally bizarre, it resembles someone's buttocks too. :)

All this weirdness is brought about by the fact that the Future Keyboard is an ergonomic, "split" 'board, with the TouchPad (made by Synaptics, who make lots of the things) between the two halves. Like the earlier Microsoft Natural Keyboard, this is a non-adjustable model; you can't change the angle of the split.

 

2 November 1999 - Tuesday

Freespace 2 Review
23:50 pm - Kan
SharkyExtreme also posted a review on Freespace 2 (probably the best mula simulation game of the year). In any case, check out our own exclusive review of this game as well.

The game is FreeSpace 2 by Volition, Inc. The year is 2367, thirty-two years after the "Great War." (Which Great War was that? You mean the one against those scary cat-people? Oh, sorry, wrong space-combat game - that was the superb series of Wing Commander games and the abysmal movie adaptation thereof.) The Terrans (that means you, Earthling) are still stranded countless light-years away from Earth, with slim hopes of ever returning to the fertile mud-ball they once called home. For the time being, the Terran forces have occupied themselves by fending off bandits and rogue Terrans, who you learn to take VERY little guff from early on in the game. See one of the first missions, "Surrender Belisarius!" for a taste of the tolerance your outfit has for traitors.

Budget Video Comparison 23:48 pm - Kan
The Budget Video Comparison article from AnandTech is available. If you are looking for a moderate performance card (for once?), check the article out:

3dfx has yet to release a card that supports 32-bit rendering, texture sizes greater than 256x256, or AGP texturing. Up until recently, this was not considered a huge limitation by most gamers out there, especially since 3dfx was faster with their 16-bit rendering. However, games like Quake3 Arena, as well as a number of other upcoming titles, are really beginning to expose the drawbacks to 16-bit rendering and the limited texture size. Although we’ve been saying it since the arrival of AGP, games with lots and lots of textures, and thus benefiting greatly by AGP texturing, should begin showing up by the end of this year.

FIC's Response to Intel Suit 23:45 pm - Kan
Alright, we all know that some companies like FIC are being sued by Intel for some "patent" infringements stuffs. CPUReview just posted a blurb on FIC's stand against the Intel suit.

FIC Statement on Intel Lawsuit Filed Against Them

Taipei, 2nd November, 1999- First International Computer, Inc. (FIC) confirms that today First International Computer of America (FICA) received a court summons from Intel, with FIC, FICA and Everex being named as the defendants. FIC has been given 20 days to respond.

The nature of Intel's suit is described as "patent violations". The exact details of those alleged patent violations cannot be released at present, but FIC and their lawyers are currently looking closely at the patents and Intel's allegations concerning them. FIC fully intend to respond to Intel within 20 days.

FIC would like to take this opportunity to stress that FIC and VIA are two independent companies, and are not financially or technically related to one another. FIC make products that use VIA chipsets because the market demands them, not because of any relationship between FIC and VIA. This applies to all our products. This year, FIC intends to sell 6 million motherboards, and about 5% of those will incorporate VIA chipsets. FIC see this as an isolated incident, and does not see any change to its working relationship with Intel. FIC maintain that the lawsuit will not have any effect on any product deliveries.

Dual Video Card Cooler 23:42 pm - Kan
SystemLogic posted a review on the Dual Video Card Cooler which the boys said it's able to bring the system temperature by as much as 20 degrees. Here's an excerpt to cool things down:

One thing a lot of people are worried about with a video card cooler is that it will take up a valuable slot in your motherboard.  Well with The Card Cooler you don't have to worry, as the dual fans are attached on top of the first and third slot.  The way it can do this is because the fans are set perpendicular to all the slots, blowing air directly into the chipset of the video card, especially since the chipset is facing downwards

OffRoad Interview 23:40 pm - Kan
Speedy3D just finished their interview with Rage Software (UK) on their latest game OffRoad. Sounds like lots of fun:

Having played 'Off-Road' at ECTS99 I was very impressed with the handling and overall look of the game despite its unfinished state. What is going to set it aside from all the other racing variations out there?

The real Physics Engine really sets this aside from everything else. Don't get me wrong I've played and enjoyed many racing games in the past. But Off Road takes racing games one-step further. It really is an experience to play OffRoad. If you thought it was good at ECTS you should se it now. Although we have added depths of realism you wouldn't believe we have ensured that the racing experience is as enjoyable as possible.

Tweaking Q3Test with the GeForce 23:37 pm - Kan
After their initial release of the Tweaking Q3Test Guide on the TNT2 Ultra, nv News is back with another new article covering the GeForce. If you wanna get the best frame rates/visual effects out from Q3Test, check out the article:

It's no secret that Quake 3 is a beast.  The hardware necessary to run at high quality settings and high resolutions, like we've been doing with Quake 2 or Half-Life, are enormous.  Just check out a few GeForce 256 reviews running Quake 3 at 1024x768 using high quality settings (32-bit color) on the fastest AMD and Intel processors.  You'll notice that most of those systems are not able to reach 60 frames per second.  Based on that observation, getting a faster processor would not be as cost/performance effective as upgrading to a GeForce 256 to make Quake 3 run faster and look better.

nVidia GeForce 256 16:43 pm - Kan
Guys, check out Extreme Hardware 22-pages of massive review on the GeForce 256 graphics card! T&L, GPU and AGP 4X is making me drool already. In any case, if you haven't read our own review on the Creative Annihilator GeForce, you should do it now. :)

The GeForce 256’s flagship feature is its hardware transform and lighting (T&L) engine, which has been touted at being able to perform T&L floating point operations at 2-3 times the speed of current CPUs. Furthermore, NVIDIA has greatly enhanced its fill rate, with a spec’d fill rate of 480M/pixels. This fill rate increase is in part due to the GeForce’s new Quad-Pixel rendering engine, which renders four pixels simultaneously. Compared to current generation 3D video cards, which often use dual-pixel rendering engines (NVIDIA's TNT2 - TwiN Texel - for example), the GeForce should be significantly faster. Additionally, the GeForce features full AGP 4X support with Fast Writes, up to 128mb of RAM, and a 256-bit 3D rendering engine.

SonicVortex 2 16:40 pm - Kan
3DSpotlight reviewed the Videologic SonicVortex 2 soundcard based on the Vortex2 chipset. Hmm, check out our own review of this baby here as well.

Installation was nice & easy. Opened up the case, removed my SoundBlaster Live, replaced it with the Sonic Vortex2 and connected the CD & speaker cables again. It was that simple. I was a bit surprised when physically comparing the 2 cards. The Sound Blaster Live looked better then the Vortex 2, which has a somewhat cheap look to it.

Booting up was fine; the card was detected as normal & the driver installation followed. Perfect, right? I was a little disappointed by the lack of options with the installation. The only option available was to install help/documentation files onto the hard drive. Other than that installation was a simple loading of the drivers & re-booting. 

Updated Hardware Price List 16:37 pm - Kan
ChipTesters dropped us a line on their updated hardware price list. Looks like RAM prices is getting unstable again, fluctuating up and down for the past few days (pretty much like the stock market).

In another mail, Tech-Review also told us they have updated their CPU Price Chart

PineUSA 40X CD-ROM 16:36 pm - Kan
3aG posted a review on the PineUSA 40X ATAPI CD-ROM drive. Though not the fastest available in the market, but 40X is just nice for normal users.

So if you’re in the fast, but not too fast market, a 40x driver should about fit your needs. This is where PineUSA comes in. They offer a simple 40x ATAPI CD-ROM drive, that will fit your budget fine, and your needs perfectly. It may seem that a CD-ROM is a CD-ROM is a CD-ROM, but I really think that the PineUSA unit offers some nice features many other drives lack.

Future Power Series P3-500 06:38 am - Kan
Two new reviews from AGN Hardware. First it's the P3-500 Mhz computer from Future Power. The guys also posted a review on the Everglide Mousing Surface especially made for optical mice! 

On to the testing. No matter what Microsoft says about it's mouse working on any surface most users will want a mousepad to rest their latest toy. Any player of first person shooters or real time strategy games will tell you tactile feel of the mouse sliding over a surface helps them move faster and more accurately. I've used both 3M's Precise Mousing Surface and EverGlide's pad and for me, the Everglide pad provides a better "touch". It's has to do with the surface being so slick but still so accurate. As Jesse has said in his previous review "the surface of the Everglide mousepad has tiny bumps which give excellent tracking but don't hinder the smoothness. Other vinyl pads are very smooth but the mouse just slips away since it has nothing to "grab" onto when you stop moving."

Vantec P3D-5030 Cooler 06:36 am - Kan
Our network buddies over at Hardware Extreme posted a review on one of those Vantec P3D-5030 Cooler for your Pentium III. They gave it a rating of 10/10. So if you are looking for a cooler for your P3, check this one out.

The Vantec P3D-5030 is by far the easiest installing Pentium III cooler I have ever seen. All you have to do is just align the heatsink to the CPU and clip it with the provided patented clip. The CPU didn't even rock when we moved ir around. Thumbs up to Vantec for such a delightful installation procedure. The next would be connecting the fans (which both share an individual 3 pin connector) to the mainboard. Vantec also included a top rail clip to further fasten the CPU to the URM (that CPU retention thing). Very solid set of features indeed !

New Sound Card FAQs 06:31 am - Kan
How can you miss this out? Our pals over at 3DsoundSurge just updated their FAQ guides. So if you are looking for a soundcard, you know where to head for:

Anyway, the gurus also posted some blurb of the lack of DVD game titles for the PC. So check it out.

Choosing the Right PC 06:28 am - Kan
Another new article from CPUReview on Choosing the Right PC. Here's some smell:

By nailing people down to what they actually need a computer for, in contrast to what they think they want to use it for, I can get a much better idea of what kind of computing horsepower they actually need.

Given the rapid pace of technological change, it really does not make sense to buy more computer power than you need (unless you need it for developing software, or if you really want the fastest gaming box).

Pentium III 600B at 150 Mhz FSB 06:26 am - Kan
Woohoos! This is crazy. First, you need a good processor as well as RAM capable of supporting 150 MHz. Anyway, FPS3D posted some info by one of their users who is able to run a Pentium III 600B at 675 Mhz (150 * 4.5).

Motherboard: Iwill VD133
CPU: Intel Pentium III 600B (SL3JU), retail-boxed, 2.1V
Memory: 64MB PC133 SDRAM, Generic
Hard Drive: IBM Deskstar 22GXP 18GB UDMA/66 7200RPM
CD-ROM: Asus 50X UDMA/33
Video: Diamond Stealth III S540 32MB AGP using Fachman 1.3 tweaked drivers
for Win98, 1152x864 @ 16-bit color
OS: Windows 98 SE (4.10.2222)


WINTUNE 98 RESULTS (v 1.0.40)
------------------------------
CPU Integer 1973.583 MIPS
CPU Floating Point 786.0729 MFLOPS
Video(2D) 63.50398 MPixels/s
Direct3D 59.02536 MPixels/s
OpenGL 42.10475 MPixels/s
Memory 1105.949 MB/s
Cached Disk 104.5083 MB/s
Uncached Disk 2.470377MB/s

Socketed Coppermine 06:21 am - Kan
3AG told us that they have a pic on those socketed Coppermines spotted from one of the Japanese hardware sites.

Voodoo3 3000 PCI 06:17 am - Kan
3dWars just sent us a note that they have completed a review on the Voodoo3 3000 PCI graphics card. Honestly speaking, it's kinda difficult to find a PCI card nowadays. PCI cards might be useful for running a dual monitor setup (if you can't afford the G400).

As most of you already know, the Voodoo3 is one of the fastest chips on the market. The 3500 has amazing speed, claiming over 100 FPS on some systems and the 2000 has high speeds even on the lower end systems out there. Right smack in the middle is the V3 3000 PCI. It varies from the 3K AGP in several ways. For starters, it has none of the AGP features, obviously. Now, many people say that the original V3 3000 used AGP but didn't take advantage of its full capacity. To some extent, that is true. Not texturing from system memory and 4X AGP support come to mind, but 3dfx has already heard about that from the consumers. Now that the 3000 is down to the PCI Bus level, I think its features will be a whole lot more in place. Maximum capacity out of the slot is always a good thing.

1 November 1999 - Monday

ATI All-In-Wonder 128
20:13 pm - Kan
Our network buddies over at FiringSquad also released another new video card review on the ATI All-In-Wonder 128 graphics card. This  card also offers a plethora of features. Here's some of it:

Although the All-in-Wonder 128 32MB is ATI's newest product, it uses the same Rage 128 chip found in the Rage Fury. The single-slot AGP and PCI card is targeted at the home user and offers an integrated TV tuner and video capture and editing.

The All-in-Wonder 128 is the only all-in-one multimedia upgrade to offer a plentiful 32MB of SDRAM. As mentioned earlier, the 32MB edition is designed for more demanding users and offers TV output and video capture enhanced by the Rage Theater. Although we are not sure why, ATI has chosen to reduce the clockspeed of the All-in-Wonder 128 to 90MHz core and 90 MHz memory.

3DLabs Oxygen VX1 20:11 pm - Kan
SystemLogic dropped us a line on their review on the 3DLabs Oxygen VX1 graphics card. If you play a lot of OpenGL stuffs, check this card out:

The VX1 also supports resolutions as high as 2048x1536 in 32-bit color. With a click of a mouse you can switch between resolutions using the included task-bar applet. You can also change between preset optimized configurations for certain applications. It's surprising that the 98 version of the applet has optimizations for games in both OpenGL and DirectX, since the VX1 is not intended to be a game card. On the other hand, the NT version has preset optimizations in OpenGL for many leading professional applications but no support for games and DirectX. 

3Dfx Voodoo 3 3500TV Vs Creative GeForce 19:29 pm - Wilfred
T-Break put up a review comparing the V3 3500TV with the Creative GeForce Annihilator. Whoa! Even with still maturing drivers on the GeForce, watch the V3 take a beating in their benchmarks tests. Still, with the Savage2000 and DDR versions of the GeForce looming at the horizon, you might wanna adopt the wait-wait-wait policy. =)

There's absolutely no denying that GeForce is the best card available today for a gaming platform. The image quality is outstanding and the frame rates are amazing. Creative Labs has made us Middle-Easterners extremely happy by bringing such a high end card to us so fast. I can't think of anything bad to say about this card except that a TV-Out option could've been included.

New OEM PCs With No Windows CD? 19:16 pm - Wilfred
I couldn't get the entire heading in without spanning a second line, so before the Linux, OS/2 or BeOS zealots shout hurrah! Hang on!!! Though I didn't hear about this, osOpinion has an editorial debating some insane policy Microsoft intends to take up. Don't quote me, it's supposed to be on WinMag (??). Find out if there's any truth in this!

Last week, Winmag broke the story that as of 2000, Microsoft won't include the CD to the OEMs given to the customers who buy new computers. According to Winmag, this included Win 9x, Millennium and NT 4 and 5.

Apparently the only way that Microsoft will give the CDs is if the OEMs introduce a BIOS locking mechanism so that the Windows CD will only work for the computer in question. Why has Microsoft come up with such an insane demand?

Poll #32 Results 19:03 pm - Wilfred
Heheh! 75% of you lost count of the number of times you re-did your Windows system! I really wonder how many of you exaggerated your results coz Microsoft won't want to see this! =P Well, whether or not you voted to spite them, it is a clear indication of displeasure huh? For most of the time, there's no real alternative as well. =(

Nikon D1 Vs Canon EOS 2000 Image Gallery 18:52 pm - Wilfred
Wanted to post this last night, but still wiping dry the drool on my parquet flooring. Over at Digital Photography Review, a link drew me to pro-photographer Kazuhisa Nishikawa's Nikon D1 vs Canon EOS 2000 photo-gallery. Whether you drool at the quality of the pics or the Jap model, Sachie Koike... have a pail and mop on standby.

Matrox G400 TurboGL Benchmarks 18:38 pm - Wilfred
Ingava has a benchmark review of the Matrox G400 DualHead using the new TurboGL drivers. Aside from the plethora of features found on the card, the card is no snail in performance!

Overall, the Matrox G400 should not be thought of as the ultimate gamer's card; not unless you own a P3 or Athlon and Matrox comes out with its TurboGL driver for more games. But it does have a lot of very nice features, including the very useful DualHead, and is currently the only card to support EMBM. In addition, I felt its image quality the sharpest of the bunch.

OnStream 30GB Backup Drive 18:16 pm - Kan
Glide Underground posted a review on the OnStream 30GB tape backup drive. Wow, this must be good with 30GB of storage space. Here's some info:

The particular model reviewed here is their external DP30. This drive is capable of a massive 30GB (15GB native, 30GB compressed) for a mere $399. OnStream also offers an internal IDE model which features the same amount of space, or an internal SCSI version which supports up to 50GB cartridges. The DP30 is way past the days of Iomega's Ditto drives. Think back when backing up your hard drive took what seemed like ages, and slowed your system down to a pathetic crawl, while still making a horrible screeching noise almost like a dot-matrix printer. OnStream's drives do none of those. With a transfer rate of 2.5GB/hour (3.6GB/hour IDE, 7.2GB/hour SCSI) you can back up your entire 10GB hard drive in 4 hours, while your sleeping. That's right, since the DP30 is rather silent, you most likely won't even notice it if your computer is in the same room as you.

Guillemot Prophet GeForce 18:10 pm - Kan
I noticed over at SharkyExtreme a review on the Guillemot Prophet GeForce 256 graphics card is available. Here's a taste:

For comparison, we've brought out the TNT2 troops. Along with the 3D Prophet, we have the Falcon Northwest/Guillemot Xentor TNT2 Ultra SE, which is a Guillemot TNT2 Ultra default overclocked at 195/235MHz. But for the main comparison (as very few of us actually own one of these Falcon hotrods), we've included Guillemot's own TNT2 Ultra offering, the Maxi Gamer Xentor 32, default clocked at 175/183MHz. For another perspective, we've also included the Voodoo3 3500 though be warned, its performance using the OpenGL full ICD as recommended by 3dfx is not what you are accustomed to seeing from the Voodoo3 series.

EH Online 18:05 pm - Kan
After a couple of months of absence, EH Online is back with more juicy stuffs covering the Savage2000, fill rate vs T&L, issues on the G400 OpenGL ICD. Check out all the goodies right here:

After the recent S3 Savage 2000 previews, there was a bit of consternation on the downgrading of the S2K’s clock speed. Originally estimated at somewhere from 150 MHz to 200 MHz, the S2K preview cards were clocked at a very low 125 MHz. This also led to a lower fill-rate, down from a published 700 m/pixels to the current 500 m/pixels. This lowering of overall clock speeds could be due to many reasons, ranging from low chip yields to product market positioning.

Mounting A P3 Heatsink Without A Back Plate 18:02 pm - Kan
TheTechZone whipped up an article teaching you how to mount a P3 heatsink without the back plate. Here's an excerpt:

Before you can mount your new P3 heatsink you have to remove the backplate off your P3. If you have an OEM P3, the job is pretty easy. The backplate is held to the P3 by 2 plastic tabs. Needle nose pliers will squeeze them out. Or you can do what we did and just break the tabs. If you have a retail P3, then removing the backplate is a little harder. Go to this Tech Zone article to find out how to remove a retail P3 heatsink and backplate.

October Buying Guide 17:59 pm - Kan
Looking for something to splurge your money on? HardwareCentral updated their October Buying Guide with some hardware stuffs you will like to lay your paws on.

We’re well aware that not everyone is operating on the same budget. Maybe you’re a student, and cash is tight, and you just need a computer to get your typing done. Conversely, maybe you’ve just stumbled upon some money, and you want to go all-out, and get top-of-the-line equipment. Well, we’ve broken our recommendations down into High-End and Low-End systems. 

Something Fishy With 3.53? 09:31 am - Sniper
More juicy news.  According to this report, there was a bug in the lastest nvidia detonator drivers.

My first cause for concern, was when I fired up FS2K and noticed texture drop outs galore. I know with certainty that FS2K is extremely texture intensive and would be pushing the AGP capabilities of my 16MB TNT. Where were my textures? I should have 50 megs of non-local video memory at FS2K's disposal. Surely MS tested this simulator under tomorrow's flagship OS...this kind of texture dropout would have been noticed by someone. Additionally, Fly! was also refusing to acknowledge my card as AGP compliant, in spite of what DXDIAGS had to report.

Singapore Government Website Hacked 07:20 am - Kan
This sure is juicy. According to CNet and the local newspaper (slapped right in the front section), the Singapore Government Website was hacked into early yesterday. Here's what the miscreant wrote:

OSALL sucks 10x mores then JP has ever. OSALL is a up and coming JP cunt. Dont trust him. Site edited by flipz. Why? Because I can.

HP Colorado 20GB Tape Drive 06:45 am - Kan
Over at FPS3D, de boys reviewed the HP Colorado 20GB Tape drive. Good stuff, especially for archiving all your years of software sweetness.

Data loss. It's a fact, and it happens everyday. Whether it's that one time today when interference from an outside device caused a hard drive transfer miss, or simply having Partition Magic crash in the middle of an operation. All dataloss is scary, and is nearly impossible to avoid - because by the time you know about it, it has already happened. So what can you do about this? Well the closest thing to a solution is simply to back up your data regularly.

Microsoft DualStrike 06:42 am - Kan
3dgn posted a preview (I won't even say a preview, but a short blurb) on the Microsoft DualStrike gamepad. I'm lost, but actually what's the 'conclusion' to our own Dualstrike review? :)

Microsoft has marketed the Dual Strike toward the first person shooters market. This is no more prevalent then in the advertisement for the Dual Strike which shows Half-life as the premier game. They claim that the pad will give you an advantage over your opponent in a way never before thought possible. Well, all I can say is Microsoft finally got something right("Does this mean we can't make fun of them any more?"). In Unreal Tournament(the game so unreal you might even think its fake), it improved my score from last to second to last. OK, so I suck at it but if your good at it,imagine what it can do for your game. This is a definite must have game pad for all you hard core gamers.

Open Letter to FTC 06:39 am - Kan
Over at CPUReview, there's an open letter to FTC which objects Intel's latest lawsuits against VIA and motherboard manufacturers using VIA's parts. Here's some smell of it:

Intel's opposition to VIA's Apollo Pro 133 chipset is based upon two points - 1) VIA proceeded to produce a chipset which would support 133 FSB inadvance of Intel's implimentation and release of a chipset supporting 133 FSB. Further VIA choose to support 133 Mhz SDRAM instead of the more expensive RamBus memory supported by Intel. Intel is a major stock holder in RamBus Ink and stands to gain financially should RamBus become an industry standard. For this reason, Intel has been trying to force RamBus support upon all manufacturers, whether they want it or not, and clearly most manufacturers do not. INTEL HAS NO RIGHT TO FORCE UNWANTED TECHNOLOGIES UPON THE PC INDUSTRY AND PC PURCHASERS. As consumers, we have the right to choose which products we want - but we will not have that choice if a single manufacturer such as Intel is allowed to dictate what is manufactured and sold.

Epson PhotoPC 750Z Review 06:00 am - Kan
Another new review from TheTechZone today! The Epson PhotoPC 750Z is a 1.25 megapixel (eeeks!) camera with 3X optical and 2X digtal zoom. Here's some shots:

You can take pictures using the standard view lens or by viewing the 2" LCD monitor. The PhotoPC 750Z also features a Solar Assist panel. With Solar Assist, the 2" LCD monitor is illuminated by direct sunlight to conserve battery power. To further extend battery life, the Power Save mode automatically shuts down the LCD after each shot. Four rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a portable charger are included.

Windows 2000 RC2 Review 05:58 am - Kan
PC Gunk (hey, not junk?) dropped us a line on their review on the Windows 2000 RC2 operating system. 

Windows 2000, says Microsoft, is the answer to the needs of previous Windows 95/98 users, and users of Windows NT 4, all combined into one. Well, I managed to get my hands on Windows 2000 Professional, the answer to business and home users alike, basically the equivalent of Windows NT 4 Workstation, and Windows 98. There will be a Windows 2000 Advanced Server release that will be the Windows NT4 Server replacement. You may or may not know that Windows 98 (maybe SE?) was supposed to be the last OS that was based on the Windows 95/98 code, yet at time of writing Microsoft are yet to release "the very last and finale" OS based on the Windows 9x code, called Windows Millennium.

Pentium III SL35D 05:55 am - Kan
Overclockin.com dropped us a line on some of the testing results they obtained with the Pentium III SL35D (the naughty boy which is actually a P3-600 Mhz in disguise). Here's a whiff:

So how did it do?  Very well actually.  I expected good things from this processor and it turns out I wasn't disappointed.  Well, I won't hold you in suspense any longer....  The processor will run at 600MHz and 2.0V stable (L2 cache enabled) with no problems.   However, it will also load Win98 and is able to run benchmarks with the L2 Cache disabled.  I was hoping for the 621MHz mark, but such is life.  Very difficult to complain about a processor that is rated at 450MHz running at 600MHz!! 

Linksys 5-Port Starter Kit 05:52 am - Kan
CPU Review reviewed the Linksys 5-Port Starter Kit. It comes with a 5-port 10/100 switch as well as two 10/100 NIC cards. Incidentally, check out our review on the D-Link DFE-905 as well as DFE-910 network kits as well.

Windows 95 detected the new network card on booting, and prompted for the driver disk. Unfortunately just inserting the disk and pressing enter won't do the trick, as the Windows 95 drivers are in a "win95" sub-directory, and there is no appropriate ".inf" file in the root directory of the floppy.

The solution? Don't let Windows look for the driver automatically, but specify it manually: choose "networking" for the type of driver, then "Have Disk", and use the "Browse" button to find the "Win95" directory on the floppy disk. Don't forget to have your Windows 95 CD handy for the files the installation will need from there...

Omikron: The Nomad Soul 05:48 am - Kan
ActiveWin posted a blurb on Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Hmm, this game is pretty interesting as it allows you to explore a huge city in real-time 3D and allows you to interact with the hundreds of passers-by inside etc.

The Nomad Soul draws you in right from the beginning with its wonderful atmosphere, it feels like you are actually taking part in an interactive movie (No not the crappy Ripper or Wing Commander types, really interactive) and has a similar look to the Blade Runner movie in terms of characters and setting. The game setting also changes from night to day and vice versa. The Nomad Soul is also quite adult orientated which is a plus in my view, and I mean adult in terms of strip bars, morgues, examining bodies not swearing etc.

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