September 1999 - Tuesday
Athlon Article 20:54
Hardware produced a nice article
explaining the performance of the Athlon. This is
just part 1 with more to come!
Athlon is an excellent well-rounded performer (see
both in games and high-end applications, but what
about the various aspects of the architecture behind
this blockbuster CPU. Does it have any unforseen
weaknesses, strengths? Ace's Hardware would not
be Ace's Hardware if we didn't take a more in-depth
look at the Athlon. In
this article, we confront you with benchmarks which
enable us to test one particular part of the Athlon,
the memory and cache architecture.
boys all went for dinner tonight, so here I am alone
looking after the camp. Hmmm, maybe I get to
eat the leftovers.
Klipsch Pro Media V.2-400 16:53
Been dreaming of a THX certified speaker system for
your PC? 3DSoundSurge
has a review
of the first such system by Klipsch, a leading manufacturer
of professional loudspeakers and home entertainment
systems. The boys gave it a 99.5% rating!
subwoofer is simply awesome and the satellites bring
out more of the high end than any other multimedia
speaker I have tested. In fact, they actually have
better frequency response than my home stereo system! The
sound is nicely balanced right up to around 75-80
percent of power output. Beyond that level I found
the satellites got somewhat harsh and were no longer
blending well with the subwoofer. The satellites are
so good that they will expose flaws in your system.
I confirmed that the flaws are in the rest of the
PC and not the Promedia’s by exchanging the satellites
with another leading brand and the difference was
amazing. The Micro Tractrix horn mounted dome tweeter
produces incredible high end. This really brings something
to light. A look at most multimedia speakers will
show that they all claim to go to 20,000 Hz. What
the specs do not show is at what sound level and at
the risk of gushing, the Promedia’s really show how
big a difference there can be. This revealing nature
makes placement of the sound card all the more important
so be sure that you have the soundcard with a good
s/n ratio (that basically all the second generation
cards listed below) placed in a "quiet"
Distributions At War 16:47
Review posted a shootout of a different
kind, pitting half a dozen Linux distributions against
each other. Ever wondered what makes each of them different?
And which will suit you better?
6.0 (Macmillan Edition)
2.1r2 (Infomagic Edition)
comparison was written in order to highlight the differences
between the leading commercially available distributions.
Ease of installation for non-expert users, quality
of included documentation, commercial support and
commercial software were taken into consideration.
2 Shootout 16:38
2 Shootout at BXBoards
where Diamond's Monster Sound MX300, Turtle Beach's
Montego II Quadzilla and Xitel's Storm Platinum were
rated. Shopping for one?
Xitel card has a digital (coaxial) connector, so transfering
digital sound will not be a problem at all (i.e. no
quality degradation). The headphones are a very novel
idea, and are excellent overall. The bass returns
on these headphones are amazing, and coupled with
the force feedback it provides a somewhat unique experience.
If you are the hardcore gamer, than this is the primary
choice- keep in mind the Quadzilla is hot on its feet
and you would not be disappointed with either.
Montego II Quadzilla is a unique soundcard as it has
a host of great features for the audio enthusiast.
This card is presently in my gaming system and I am
very satisfied with the excellent drivers and other
audio programs that Voyetra Turtle Beach provided
with the card. I have fooled around with some of the
audio programs and would like to say that dabbling
with these programs has started a new audio interest
for me. This card comes with oodles of software, and
a lot of it can be put to good use, so look this way
for a great solid card with lots of cool software.
I would like to add that this is the only card in
this shootout with an S/PDIF connector as part of
the package, so higher quality sound could be yours
with this card.
MX300 does well, but is not my overall choice for
gaming. It is a fine card, but it seems a little unrefined
compared to the other cards in this shootout. These
cards are all about the same brand new, but I have
seen the MX300 for sale for $45 or $50 used, which
is a great price for a new Vortex 2 card. If DVD is
your thing, then this card might be your ticket.
The NSA And Microsoft 14:02
expected, the guys at osOpinion
posted their editorial
on Microsoft's big boo boo. This is a scandal not many
will pass off for as poor coding <ahem>. Check
out this para:
any case, the NSA must be really infuriated at Microsoft
for this gaffe. With a single programming oversight,
the NSA has lost a critical advantage to spy on every
Windows computer in the world. Foreign computer users,
whether private or public, will either switch to LINUX,
UNIX or reprogram the keys so that the NSA takes longer
to penetrate their machines.
is in real trouble because this revelation will do
more to harm its reputation than any Slash dot article
or security hole embarrassment. Many foreign computer
users will now look at Microsoft as an extension of
the American spy community even though that's not
the case. MS will simply lose big contracts or its
clients will demand major concessions with regard
it appears that with the recent release of the Athlon,
AMD is not stopping
at 7 and going on to 8. AMD will announce it's next
generation of chips, the K8, during the Microprocessor
Forum next month. Catch the announcement here.
aims turn up the heat by launching its next generation
of (64-bit) processors within months -- and it has
enlisted top chip engineer Dirk Meyer (a former Alpha
male)to make it happen.
The step up from 32-bit Athlon K7 to a 64-bit K8 (Octathlon?)
chip is relatively trivial to achieve, we are led
to understand, from sources close to the company's
So the 64-bit chip scene could look fairly crowded
next year, with competing flavours from Compaq, Intel
-- and now AMD.
Westen Digital Expert 11:58
drive gurus Storagereview
posted another new review on the Western
Digital Expert WD273BA 27.3 GB hard drive.
the successor to the 7200rpm Editor's Choice drive
in our recent Drive Roundup, the WD273BA is a drive
from which we expect nothing less than the best. In
some ways, the drive delivers, setting record scores
for an ATA drive in Windows 95. In some cases, however,
the margin of victory was disappointingly slim. Let's
take Business Disk WinMark 99 results, for example.
The WD drive (which is, after all, based on Win-9x-powerhouse
IBM's technology) edges by the DiamondMax Plus 6800
by a nearly unnoticeable 2%. When it comes to the
High-End Disk WinMark, the Expert triumphs by a beefy
18% margin. It should be noted, however, that the
DiamondMax is rather soft in the High-End WinMark
in Win9x. When comparing the Expert to another new-generation
drive, say, the Quantum
Fireball KX, the Expert still leads, but by a
less impressive margin of 8%.
ABIT Boards 11:55
is frigging cool! My girl over at HardOCP
just posted some info on two new ABIT motherboards -
BE6-II and BF6 (this one comes with 6 PCI slots!). Woohoos!
Slipstream Enhancement Kit 11:53
pals over at 3DSpotlight
just posted a review on the Overclk
Slipstream Enhancement Kit. The name sounds fanciful,
but actually it's just a fan to cool your video card.
because of the popularity of overclocking we have
seen a lot of new small companies bringing video card
cooling solutions for gamers.
had heard of the Sliptream Enhancement kit from Overclk,
this wasn’t only the usual cooler for your TNT2 or
Voodoo3 but this one came with its own overclocking
and tweaking utility as well as some game “optimizers”.
Chip News 09:03
interesting cpu news from The
Register today, one about the Alpha
and the other on the K8.
and API are readying a 1.6GHz Alpha 21364 which will
include a version of SIMD 3D instructions and support
for Rambus without the latency penalties that seem
to dog the x.86 platform.
A 1.6 GHz 21364 using the EV7 platform, is likely
to belt out 6.4 single precision Gflops, according
Sega Dreamcast Media Event 03:31
Hardware whipped up an article on the Sega
Dreamcast Media event held in San Francisco.
the most impressive thing about the 19 titles for
Dreamcast is the distribution of genres. In addition
to Sonic Adventure, the platform title that also happens
to be part of a successful franchise, there are plenty
of fighting games, racing titles, sports and action/shooting
help the variety, the titles look (and play) so great,
consumers will have a tough time coming home with
just a title or two.
Variety is the spice of life and Sega has learned
that consumers like lots of choices.
G4 Preview 03:24
managed to get their jaws on the new G4
PowerMacs and had written an article on them (do
you know they can crack RC5 at 3 million keys per sec??).
PowerPC G3 series, which the PowerPC G4 series
is replacing, currently tops out at 466MHz. Not
counting Apple's advertising campaign, a G3 at
a certain clock speed is often considered the
overall performance equivalent of a Pentium III
with 10-15% more MHz.
ECTS Live Report 03:20
you are interested in ECTS - Europe
largest Computer and technology trade show, then
head over to Speedy3D
where the gals are doing a live coverage of the event.
the first time ever in the history of ECTS I was amazed
to see ID Softwares stand not looking quite so popular.
True you wouldn't notice it much unless you knew how
ID usually pulls the crowd, yet this year they seemed
to be pushing them away (no not litrally). With the
crowds mainly focusing their eyes on the Team Fortress2
monitors, not much was left for poor old ID. Tell
a lie though, they still were pretty packed out and
clearly have lost little, my guess is that since we
have all seen Q3A then there would be nothing to new
to eye up at ID's stand.
GeForce 256 03:18
sent note that they have a little specifications of
GeForce 256 graphics card.
GeForce-256, 256-bit Graphics Processing Unit
RAMDAC display resolution up to 2048x1536 32-bit
memory on board
AGP 2X/4X with Fast write Support
optimized for P.III SSE™ and AMD 3D NOW™
Digital Flat Panel out maximum resolution support
TV-out support NTSC/PAL
Online Digital Audio Showdown 00:59
& Vision Online pitted the popular MP3 standard
against newer ones like Lucent's EPAC and Microsoft's
Media Audio V2 in a detailed test. So how do they fair
against each other and the de facto CD-quality standard?
each codec there was at least one piece of music on
which it was judged to be clearly deficient. Some
codecs achieved very near or full "CD quality"
on some music, but with the most critical listeners
CD equivalence was not consistently demonstrated with
all kinds of music. However, everyone who participated
agreed that most differences were subtle and became
apparent only with careful listening. So our conclusion
is that all three systems can deliver surprisingly
good sound. And while they can't claim CD quality,
they come awfully close.
GeForce 256 Tree Demo 00:47
demo nVidia used
to show off the GeForce was leaked and circulating on
the net. DemoNews
has it for you to download,
try it out with your video card and see the sheer computational
powess your vidcard need to possess - JUST TO RENDER
A TREE!!!! I ran it on my humble PowerColor Sniper TNT2
M64 and it was a MORE THAN humbling experience! =)
Groups Dismissed MS's NSA Denial 00:38
gossip on the most recent scandal. After Microsoft's
quick denial yesterday, privacy groups immediately had
it dismissed and here's what they say:
in a 'back up' key makes no sense unless there is
a revocation method for the primary (key). There is
no revocation method."
said the back-up key was there should the original
ever be lost due to a natural disaster. The company
also acknowledged the name of the key was "unfortunate".
don't believe them -- what kind of natural disaster
are they talking about? A meteor destroying all the
earth's structures?" said Privacy International
director general, Simon Davies."Microsoft's argument
is inconsistent with its operating procedure -- it
could hold a single key in multiple locations, that
is a standard security procedure." He added that
to compromise user security, "it's not necessary
to share access with the NSA -- simply complying with
their requirements will do that."
September 1999 - Monday
Legacy Floppy Drives 23:23
has posted an editorial on Is
the floppy dead? Hmm, In my opinion, it's dead ;).
Time for LS120!
when the 3.5" Floppy Drive was introduced, it
replaced the big 5.25" Floppy Drives that held
from 720 KB up to 1.2 MB of storage on each disk,
the 3.5" had really become a life saver for
people who had to transfer documents, and other
files from one place to another. It was compact, and
held more data than a 5.25" disk. But when the
early 90's rolled around, and things such as
multimedia and Windows 95 came around, the 3.5"
Floppy Drive was not so much of a life saver anymore
due to the fact that when multimedia rolled into
town, so did larger size files, such as .jpg's, .avi's,
.gif's and so forth. They would require more space
than a 3.5" Floppy could hold. And alas, in the
mid 90's, along came removable media and with that
would slowly, but surely come the fading of the
original 3.5" Floppy Drive.
Desktop CPU Comparison 17:21
just produced an article
comparing several cpus. Pretty impressive.
Luckily we've put together a (hopefully) helpful guide on what CPU to choose based on the idea that
although having the fastest processor out there would be
wonderful, it isn't entirely possible for each and every user. So instead on focusing on a single processor
dominating all of the tests this comparison will focus on the fastest, slowest, and best buys out there in the desktop processor market with an attempt to
help you make an intelligent purchasing decision on what
processor is right for you. Because, after all, that's what we're here for, isn't it?
Poll #25: System Boot-Up Time 14:42
where has the Instant-On thingy gone? Here's the
results of last week's poll and hmm... is it DOS they
are using for that 4% whose systems boot in under 20
secs? I, for one, can cook a meal waiting for my
system to boot! =P
lubed a review on the Cambridge
FPS2000 speakers. Darn, I will love to try out
these speakers myself.
thing I have to hand it to Cambridge is the
packaging job. They must have some of the nicest
packaging for their products in the industry.
Everything is firmly seated and has its place. Now
many of you may be wondering why I even mention
this. Well I get a lot of different hardware and
there is a lot to be desired when it comes loose or
is just flopping around in the box. After all,
whether it be for myself or for a customer it just
really sucks when you fork out a good chunk of
change for something only to have it arrive rattling
in the box.
We made it to Top 100
in RC5 for yesterday!
If you noticed, we have been able to increase our daily blocks
steadily with your support! So those of you still not with [email protected],
it's time to start! =)
Net-N-Dude Celeron 550 Mhz Supercool Kit 11:18
new reviews over at SharkyExtreme.
First it's the Net-N-Due
Celeron 550 Mhz supercool kit which is basically a
Celeron 366 overclocked at 550 Mhz (throw in a bit of guarantees
here and there). There's also a new review on the SonicVortex2
specializes in developing cooling solutions for most
types of CPUs, including Intel P2, P3, and Celeron
CPUs. They also provide cooling solutions for AMD's
K6-2 and K6-3 CPUs.
Net-N-Dude has begun selling Celeron CPUs with
fan/heatsinks that they've pre-tested together and
are guaranteeing can maintain an overclocked speed
of 550MHz (versus a stock speed of 366MHz).
BX6 2.0 11:14
not a new board, it is still pretty good. HardwareCentral
reviewed the Abit BX6 2.0 and if you still wanna get
this board, read the
has sometimes been accused of releasing products
when still not fully tested and compliant with PC-9x
specifications; as with all cutting-edge products,
running at peak performance caused some minor
errors. Abit, however, made sure these minor errors
were properly addressed in updated BIOSes, made
available as soon as the errors were properly
documented and solutions available. These, in fact,
were mostly the result of users running other
peripherals out of spec using the motherboard's
broad range of ‘out of specification’ settings,
rather than of motherboard flaws.
V3800 M64 11:12
of the ASUS V3800 M64 vs Leadtek S325 M64 graphics
cards over at Dan'sData.
Check it out.
NVIDIA TNT2 Model 64 cards are coming thick and
fast. Most of the makers of regular TNT2 cards are
also making a budget card using this similar but
lower powered chipset, and they're selling pretty
well, too. Some of these sales are to people who
don't know they're not buying a "real"
TNT2 and think they're just getting a huge bargain
(a Model 64 board with 32 megabytes of video RAM
sells for 60 to 80% of the price of a 16Mb full
TNT2), but if you know what you're getting, the
Model 64 still represents decent value.
Erazor III 11:09
Eazor III review from the guys over at 3aG.
box has several info sheets, etc, and then the best,
spiral-bound manual I've ever seen with a graphics
card. Actually 2 manuals, one is the actual manual,
the other is the installation guide. Each looks big,
but the installation guide is written in 8 (count 'em)
languages, the manual in 2. Even so, the english
portion is still the longest of any GFX board
manuals I've ever seen. The installation guide is
pretty good, but the only (hardware installing)
illustrations are some kind of abstract'ish sketches
that could be hard to follow if you're not sure what
SoundBlaster Live! Platinum 10:55
local bud sent note of a new
editorial at Alive!.
Now it is about the speculative specifications of the
Live! Platinum... EAX 3.0? A new DSP chip or an
enhanced EMU10K1? Here's a snip:
EMU10K1 would most probably be retained in the new
cards, considering the claims by Creative and E-MU
that there is more "hidden" power left in
the EMU10K1 (see our Dave
Rossum interview). Live!Ware 3 with EAX 3.0 is
primed to bring more realism to the SBLive! cards
and a major change in the architecture of the
EMU10K1 would just make driver development a more
There is a slight possibility that the EMU10K1 may
be clocked higher to allow for more processing
power. A higher clocked version of the EMU10K1 may
require higher quality yields from the silicon fab,
which leads to higher costs. Its not very likely
Creative will take this option.
is possible though is a small revision of the
EMU10K1 to improve certain characteristics of the
DSP, for example, better DAC conversion for higher
sound quality, and other enhancements which doesn't
radically change the architecture of the chip (and
require a re-write of the drivers).
At BxBoards 10:42
has 2 reviews up today, you can check out their take
on the Elsa
Revelator 3D glasses as well as a writeup on the Elitegroup
P6BXT-A+ Rev1.3b mobo (featuring both Slot-1 &
using the glasses, I noticed that the games looked
really cool. There was a true perception of depth!
Racing games seemed to work very well (which are
also my favorite!) For example, in NFS 3, racing
with the other cars made me have more of a
"feel" for the track, thus making me a
little more tuned to driving. A somewhat scary
incident happened to me when I turned around on the
track. I saw the other cars racing towards me, and I
jumped because I thought they were going to get me.
glasses are quite effective at what they do. They
are worth it, but you must keep in mind a couple of
things when playing games. After about 40 minutes or
so my eyes started to get sore, so it would be good
to take a rest from the glasses every 40-60 minutes
or so. You are going to need a monitor with a fast
refresh rate so that the glasses will work properly.
On The Cheap 09:18
seen numerous reviews around testing the BP6 using
WinNT, FullOn3D has
come up with one
Linux has a sophisticated load-balanced scheduling for
processes and will shift them around between the CPUs to
optimize system performance at realtime. This helps in
particular with software that isn't multithreaded - most of it.
nVidia Tree Demo
Hardware took the nVidia tree demo and tested
it with Pentium II and Pentium !!! CPUs coupled with Millennium G400 and TNT Ultra graphics cards to see how they perform with massive polygons.
I bet you want to find out too!
nVidia showcased their GeForce256
"GPU" with some interesting techdemos. One of
them was the "Tree Demo", I bet you remember these lovely leaves and branches. We
thought of posting some nice screenshots and performance issues regarding this big wise nVidia
Tree with other graphics accelerators than the GeForce256.
September 1999 - Sunday
Warcraft III 20:58
It's confirmed. Blizzard has
announced that they will be working on Warcraft
weeks of hinting that something major was afoot, Blizzard
Entertainment has ended the speculation,
announcing this morning at the European Computer
Trade Show in London that it is working on Warcraft
III. In a way, the announcement comes tinged with
irony: The original Warcraft is considered to be one
of the progenitors of the hugely popular real-time
strategy games genre. Yet with Warcraft III,
Blizzard is signaling an end to RTS as gamers know
it. In an exclusive interview last week, Blizzard
producer and designer Rob Pardo explained to
Gamecenter that with Warcraft III, the company hopes
to usher in a new kind of game that blends elements
of popular genres. In simpler terms, Blizzard says
Warcraft III is the world's first role-playing
strategy game, or RPS.
3500 TV 20:55
gurus over at iXBT
Hardware reviewed the Voodoo3
3500 TV graphics card. So head over to read their
is the graphics card. It is made on AGP-card and can
boast 16MB 5.5ns SDRAM placed on both sides of the
card, but the memory chips are located in a not very
standard way: 6 microchips are on the front side of
the card and 2 on the reversed. The card is also
provided with the chips responsible for TV-in/out
(on the reversed side of the card) and with a tuner,
which consists of the receiver with the aerial
connector (metal box) and control microchip.
Storm Platinum 20:53
reviewed the Xitel
Storm Platinum Gamers Pack. Those toys they had
sure looked fun to play with!
Storm Platinum supports simultaneous instrument
playback and multi-layering. This add exceptional
depth sound output. Other features includes
Intelligent Dynamic Resource Management (IDRM).
This makes sure that applications not requiring
wavetable synthesis can access more power for
accelerating DirectSound and A3D 2.0 acoustic
reflections. There is also a wavetable header and
full DLS support.
Optimization Guide IV Updated 20:49
over to Adrian's
Rojak Pot where Part IV of their BIOS Optimization Guide
is just updated (hmm, their site seems to be down
Call Screenshots 20:48
whipped up some new screenshots on the game Asheron.
Beats me what this game is about, but the name sure
sounds like a hot babe (talking about babes, I just
saw one HOT (read REALLY HOT) babe last night...wow,
I'm surprised that the little piece of cloth she's
wearing can cover her body (damn!) so nicely.
Call immerses players in an original fantasy world
where they must choose to compete or cooperate with
thousands of other real people. Players can
create characters that are truly unique with
extensive combinations of visual appearance,
attributes, and skill sets. A detailed and
extensive system of allegiance facilitates a
dimension of social game play never before
experienced in a computer game.
2 Demo Review 20:42
is a classic (I think so!) I enjoyed playing.
wrote down their thoughts on the demo
version of Freespace 2. Gee, I can't wait to get
my paws on it when it's out.
see, when the original FreeSpace came out (then
called Descent : FreeSpace, The Great War, even
though it had nothing to do with Descent), I
scoffed. I looked at it and said "ooh.
shiny." Anything space and not Wing Commander
was always an inferior effort. TIE Fighter was the
lone blip on the screen that could be considered
competition, while its older sibling's (X-Wing)
appeal stemmed only from the universe it was spawned
from, and their successor, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter,
just plain sucked.
CyberSURFR Airlink Cable Modem 17:15
thinking on my part but I hope SCV will replace my
current modem with this one.
This new cable modem should make installing this fast Internet
access service even easier. Because the computer is rarely
where the cable wire is, the CyberSURFR solves the problem of
running additional wires around the house. For example, the
laptop in the bedroom and the desktop in the living room can
have wireless access to the cable modem in the office.
Per-port PC costs will be $100 to $150, which is about standard for
wireless home connections.
Keyboard Battery Charger
looks interesting if it really becomes a product. I
imagine young executives typing frantically to sustain
their notebook batteries for several more minutes!
A designer for Compaq Computer in Houston thinks he may have
found a way to create energy by simply striking keys on a
keyboard. Could this be the first step toward a computer that
recharges its own batteries? So far, the design is only in its
patent stage and is still a long, long way from production.
However, if it works as expected, the keyboard may seriously
lengthen the operating period of portable computers and
possibly even other devices.
Upgrade Price Guide 15:25
Squad has updated their Upgrade
Pricing guide, hop over now!
happened to the cheap RAM?
Memory prices have skyrocketed since our last guide
update. The days of $60 generic PC100 128MB DIMMs
are long gone. In fact, we watched in amazement as
the price of our 6ns Hitachi PC100 SDRAM rose $20
over a period of two weeks. That $79 Micron 128MB
PC100 DIMM we recommended a little over a month ago
now goes for no less than $131.
Windows NSA Backdoor Scandal - True? 13:01
has an editorial
on the controversial news heard yesterday about
Microsoft's inclusion of a backdoor public key access
for the NSA. Apparently the furor arose and fingers
pointed at NSA because the key was named _NSAKEY. Duh?
Ok, so there's no substantial evidence as yet but
Microsoft is still fending herself explaining the
presence of a backdoor. (Here's Microsoft's response)
Crime Of Life 12:53
friends from the ReviewZone
has a review
on Kingpin for your reading. I really had a good laugh
at the character's dialog when I tried the demo some
months back, surely this is not a game for minors!
Here's a snip:
from the violence and the profanity, Kingpin is
already famous for its excellent graphics. Think
Quake II engine on speed and you're in the right
neighbourhood, since this game certainly can compete
favourably on graphics with any other game ever
developed. And unlike many other games, Kingpin opts
for realistic urban settings and real-world weapons,
not to mention interesting stuff like money. Yeah,
you can buy stuff like weapons and hire thugs for
Eclipse From Mir 12:45
you think this is a screenshot from Freespace 2?
WRONG! This is fascinating
picture of the solar eclipse over Europe as
captured from Mir - thanks to a link from Slashdot.
Xentor 32 Ultra 12:38
Degrees sent note on their review
on the above TNT2 Ultra from Guillemot. I believe you
have read many positive review on this great card,
always ranked amongst the best for great performance -
without the garnishes.
need the VR geek glasses or TV capture, then get the
The price is below most Ultra TNT2s and it
performs the best.
It is damn fast and geared for gaming.
The card is similar to a NASCAR when compared
to the street version:
fast and fine-tuned to win with out the extra
Tried To Sue South Park 12:30
know this has no relevance to computer hardware or IT,
but no one shall stop me from posting this up! =)
Apparently a Canadian mother tried to sue the South
Park makers for the psychological effects the show had
on her son (also named Kenny), when Kenny dies a
horrible death in virtually every episode. E!
Online News has a report:
frequently killed character in Comedy Central's
foul-mouthed cartoon series recently drew fire from
a Canadian parent. She complained her child, also
named Kenny, was suffering psychological effects
from the South Park tyke's weekly demise. She also
grumbled about gratuitous violence and took her beef
to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
Coding X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter 09:02
has an interesting article
from a programmer who developed the game.
When we started the X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
project, our goal was to create the first multi-player space combat simulator to be
playable over the Internet. There were several major problems that we had to be overcome to
accomplish this goal, not the least of which was the Internet itself. I will review the problems we
faced, the approach we took, and the results we achieved. I hope the lessons I learned will prove
to be valuable to those who read this paper.
Developer Forum'99 04:01
did a coverage of the Intel
Developer Forum'99 held over at Palm Springs.
Learn more about Coppermine, Camino chipset and RDRAM
seems that both buyers and retailers alike are going
to have to maintain a careful watch on which CPUs
they select for their system upgrades, as there will
possibly be some serious inventory cross-over as the
.18 micron Coppermine models intersect with existing
.25 micron Katmai P3s. Intel will likely resort to
some sort of descriptive letter-based naming system
for each CPU, as they did previously with the
Celeron 300 and Celeron 300 "A" parts when
both of those CPUs were simultaneously in the
Flat Panel Speakers 03:57
has another new review ready for us, the Avus
Flat Panel Speakers. Yup, you guess it, everything
is going flatter and smaller nowadays. Size doesn't
speakers have a nice look to them, especially the
subwoofer. The satellites are slightly larger than
that of the Benwin BW2000 speakers, and perhaps
contributes to the better sound quality. One thing
that annoys me regarding the thin physique of the
flat panel speakers is that they do not contribute
to space saving, as they cannot be mounted on your
monitor, and they take up almost the same amount of
space as standard satellites. The subwoofer is
relatively small, but this does help with space
September 1999 - Saturday
Microsoft's Secret Console Revealed!
hate to post this piece of news! But I guess I
have not much of a choice. Next
Generation Magazine has the scope on a secret MS
console in development.
Can't anyone stop them?
According to the story, X-Box will feature a 500 MHz processor by Intel
(note: according to a follow up story in the forthcoming November issue of
Next Generation Magazine, an AMD Athlon powered version is also
planned), nVidia's NV-10 graphics technology (recently renamed
GeForce), and a modified version of the WinCE operating system. According to the
story, this will make X-Box capable of PlayStation 2-level performance.
Design for the system will come from Microsoft, but it will probably be built
and sold by multiple manufacturers (Dell and Gateway are mentioned in the
story), and it seems that multiple CPU/graphics technologies are possible in
different X-Box variants.
Microsoft, NSA And You!! 22:27
this posting at ArsTechnica
that if this article
Research has any truth to go by, the security of
more than half the planet's computers are compromised!
From their investigation, it is found that EVERY copy
of MS Windows (95/98/NT4/W2k) sold provides a
'backdoor' access to the US National Security Agency (NSA),
thus making it orders of magnitude easier for the US
government to access their systems. Whoa! Super
Hotmail hacks and browser bugs, Microsoft has a
dismal track record in computer security. Most of us
accept these minor security flaws and go on with
life. But how is an IT manager to feel when they
learn that in every copy of Windows sold, Microsoft
may have installed a 'back door' for the National
Security Agency (NSA - the USA's spy agency) making
it orders of magnitude easier for the US government
to access their computers? While investigating the
security subsystems of WindowsNT4, Cryptonym's Chief
Scientist Andrew Fernandes discovered exactly that -
a back door for the NSA in every copy of
Win95/98/NT4 and Windows2000. Building on the work
of Nicko van Someren (NCipher), and Adi Shamir (the
'S' in 'RSA'), Andrew was investigating Microsoft's
"CryptoAPI" architecture for security
flaws. Since the CryptoAPI is the fundamental
building block of cryptographic security in Windows,
any flaw in it would open Windows to electronic
Letter To Mrs Microsoft 22:16
on, it's a lovely weekend. Hahaha... read
this for a good laugh. The osOpinion
has conjured an article that is bound to relief some
of your pant up stress. Here's a quote to Mrs
let me say we appreciate the contributions, which
your son has brought to the Manchester Boy's
Institute over the years. His activities and
involvement have left a definite mark upon the shape
of our Institution However, it has been placed upon
my shoulders as Principal of the Manchester Boys
Institute to notify you that your son is having some
problems playing with his classmates and in the
completion and handing in of his homework. I am now
compelled to bring it to your attention. I know that
these events if taken separately seem harmless
enough, but my colleagues and I believe that if one
views these matters as a whole, a pattern is
seems that during the most recent fundraiser that
your son decided that since he was in charge of the
baked goods and the beverages he would simply use
his monopoly on one to assure the sale of both. This
would not have been so bad in and of itself but his
behavior was so blatant and finally it led to him
also selling passes to sit on chairs in the
7 Information 22:07
two pieces of information about Microsoft's DirectX 7
Game Palace popped a note that RC4 is available to
beta-testers now; following that is ActiveWin's
mail about the official release date, Sept 10, for the
Vs Custom Built 21:56
this must be a problem facing many of today's PC
buyers. Well it's true, to enjoy the luxury of
nit-picking the best components, nothing beats
self-assembled PCs (if you know what you're doing!). SystemLogic
has an article
that analyses just this - which is better! Now novice
users, please don't attempt to build your own PCs
without assistance, cook books won't help - and you
are your own tech-support! =)
cut to the chase in this category, the Custom Built
wins hands down over the Retail system. The
manufacturer's of the Retail systems offer some name
brand parts, but they cut corners on some of the
other parts that are key elements of any system like
video cards, sound cards, speakers, etc. With a
Custom Built system, you can choose your parts, and
if your like me, you'll only want the best parts for
the money such as the TNT2, Voodoo3, Soundblaster
Live! and all that good stuff, especially if you
want to have the killer gaming setup!
Upgrading Disabled On G3 Machines? 21:49
not a Mac user, but understandably this is hard to
swallow. Tell me if it's possible, disabling it would
be a cheap trick (just like SMP-disabled Celerons,
clock-locked CPUs?). Check
recent line of Power Mac G3s can't be upgraded to
Motorola's new G4 chip, and according to hardware
manufacturers, the engineering was intentional.
Dailey, director of marketing with XLR8,
which makes Macintosh upgrade cards, said Apple
disabled the machines to prevent upgrade
manufacturers from offering Mac users the latest
HiVal CD-RW 13:15
have another review on a CDR drive today, it's the HiVal
4424 CD-RW reviewed by 3DAlpha.
a glance, this drive looks pretty basic when
compared to your normal run-of-the-mill group of CD-RW
drives, and it is. The write and rewrite speeds are
both four speed, and the read speed is set at 24
speed. So it's a nice little package, and a choice
to consider if you're not looking to spend a fortune
for an eight speed writer drive, and all you need is
a solution that still is competetive in speed. The
drive had your basic read/write LEDs, eject and
emergency buttons, and, as always, mounts on a
5.25" bay, and the transfer interface is E/IDE.
sent note they have whipped up an
interview on Rift, one of the first 3D RTS to be
3D RTS market is expanding dramatically. Alot of big
publishers are financing development of a 3D RTS or
are looking positively into the market. Coverage and
info of games like HomeWorld and WarTorn is all over
the net. How do you feel about all the hype being
one of the first to start what is turning into the
evolution of the RTS?I
Teac 6x24 11:15
guys over at SystemLogic
posted a review on the Teac
6W/24R CD-R drive. You want one?
Teac 6x24 is a SCSI-2 device, so a SCSI adapter that
supports SCSI-2 of some kind is obviously necessary.
With the separate process of installing and
configuring a SCSI adapter out of the way,
installing the 6x24 drive is a typical SCSI device
installation. That said, you should have at least a
rudimentary knowledge of SCSI and how it works to
install the drive. Aside from the typical task of
connecting power, SCSI, and CD-ROM audio cables, the
only other things you need to worry about are
termination and ID number in your SCSI chain.
TV Master+FM 11:15
reviewed the TV
Master+FM card. Well, I find this absolutely a
must if you are staying in a hostel or your room is
too place to squeeze a TV and a radio.
are two viewing modes you can choose from: windowed
and full-screen. Windowed mode allows you to scale
the video to any size you wish (as small as
160x120.) Full-screen switches the monitor to a
resolution of 640x480. A feature I really liked was
the preview function, which switches to full-screen
mode and displays thumbnail images of all the listed
channels in a 3x3 or 4x4 matrix. When you see
something you'd like to watch you simply
double-click on the appropriate image and TVViewer98
will display the channel in windowed mode.
off from the stove is the review on the ABIT
BE6 motherboard from Hardware
like any other ABIT mainboard, the BE6 comes with a
very nicely written manual, floppy & IDE cables
as well as one of the new expensive UDMA/66 cables
and a thermal heat sensor ! ABIT also includes a
CD-ROM with a decent bundle of utilities, the latest
version of ABIT's website (after their redesign) and
also manuals for all the mainboards in PDF format.
Some manufacturers now include their mainboard
manuals in the CD only and not printed
this card is out 6 months ago, it would have rocked!
Anyway, our pals over at WickedPC
wrote their thoughts
on the G400 (non-MAX). From the benchmarks they
performed, this card is fast too, just slightly behind
the TNT2 Ultra in Q3Test v1.08.
of newer video cards seems to be either a rather
simple task, or something that just came out of a
horror movie. With the G400 we're proud to say that
all systems were go. The install process is to plug
in the G400, turn the PC on, point the wizard to the
CD, and then you're set. Usually after installing
drivers like this you have to run a silly setup
program on a CD to install tweaking utilities or
taskbar applications - with the G400 you didn't.
Their installation process is simple because that
one driver install is all it took. With the Voodoo3
and TNT2 you had to run other programs to get other
things working which was just an extra step.
Installation was beautiful.
3dfx Next Generation 3D Interview 09:48
did a whopping 36 questions interview covering 3dfx's
views on Nvidia's GeForce 256 and hints at 3dfx's next product.
As the GeForce has not increased fill-rate much at all, we expect for many applications the
performance to not be substantially above the performance of a TNT2 Ultra product. As we stressed
before, we believe the GeForce product to be a very unbalanced product, with good geometry
processing capability but perhaps substandard fill-rate capabilities for a next-generation 3D
accelerator. So if you want to run your games at 640x480, 16bpp color (a resolution, btw, which
certainly has low enough fillrate requirements that the GeForce can show off its geometry prowess)
then maybe the GeForce is the right product for you. But we know that gamers want to run in 32bpp
color at high resolutions, so the geometry processing power of the GeForce simply does not buy
That being said, 3dfx has always been the fill-rate king, and our next generation product will have
fill-rate performance that will simply amaze people. As a result, we are very confident that for the
resolutions and pixel depths that gamers really care about, our next
generation product will substantially outperform a GeForce product when running Quake3 (and most other applications as
Promise Ultra66 Raid Card Review
been waiting for this card to come along, GamePC
managed to get hold of one and out comes the review.
Like the FastTrak33, the FastTrak66 still uses a PCI slot. The FastTrak66 is
bundled with the two Ultra ATA cables, manual and drivers. Along with the drivers Promise
has included their own monitoring utility that shows the user information on current status of
the hooked through the controller card. To better optimize the performance of what the RAID
setup will be running a utility called Ultra Tune is also included so the user can select
between Business and Games or Audio and Video. There is also PCI utilization slider as
well so the user can better optimize the performance with other PCI devices.
Seagate Barracuda ATA 28GB Review
Alpha has posted a review of this monster, check
it out yourself here.
As you can see, ATA/66 is
most benificial when dealing
with smaller files. Considering that most of the files that
people work with on a daily basis are relatively small, the
speedup there is most valuable. The Seagate Barracua ATA
28GB has an estimated street price of $299. To be perfectly
honest, I had genuinely expected this drive to go for
closer to $400. If you are looking for more or faster storage, or
are thinking about building a new computer, this hard drive
absolutely provides the most bang for your buck.
10/100 8-Port Switch Review 09:35
GameWire released a
review of the Linksys EtherFast 10/100 Dual-Speed
8-Port Switch. It received a 9.13 overall rating.
How many of you have played in LAN parties? Quite a bit of you I would
guess. Ok, you can put your hands down. Well, if you haven't yet experienced
a LAN party or running a home network on a switch (as opposed to a hub),
then you haven't really been living life. This review will start out as an
explanation of why a hub is inferior to a switch and then ease into the
Linksys 10/100 EtherFast Dual-Speed Switch.
Both a hub and a switch allows a user(s) to connect a number of computers to
a common network. Why is this important? Well, the advantages of having a
number of computers on a single network instead of isolated workstations are
numerous. A common network can allow for easy administration, file and print
sharing and a host of other actions. A common network can also be a gamers
haven as he/she can have their friends over and take a walk down FragPipe
Lane (I live in the corner house by the Quad). In short, if you have more
than one computer, you should connect them so that they lie on a common
September 1999 - Friday
FA Premier League Wilfred
haven't had a game review in a long time, this
round our new writer les
whipped up a review
especially for soccer maniacs and the likes. FA
Premier League represents the latest update to
their soccer title, so what's in there for you?
your Own Comp: Step by Step Guide 16:39
just sent note on their latest article on Building
your Own Computer. Hey, if you still don't
know how to build one, time to read it!
this was just your average Celeron 550 system, I
didn't bother to lap the CPU before installing
it. This would be a different case if I was
trying for more than 550Mhz however. The SlotKet
I use was some no name brand but it's really
stable. Even allows you to set 66 or 100Mhz bus.
Since the AOpen motherboard has a softmenu for
that, I didn't bother. When applying heatsink
compound, it's best to use as little as
possible. You just want a paper thin layer. The
heatsink compound I used came in a needle. Makes
applying it less messy.
out our buds over at HardOCP
with their latest article called SMP
Reality. Learn all about the art of SMP over
first thing I want to make clear is: the HAL
controls thread distribution, not the
application. The HAL is like a police
dispatcher, it receives hardware request and
assigns it to hardware. This includes the CPUs.
The next fact is that your CPU is NOT
multitasking. It can only execute on thread at a
time, period. One thread, no more. With this in
mind, consider this, right now your Computer is
running about 60-100 threads. Most of which are
idle, however, some are active, and they must
wait in line for your CPU time.
III S540 Xtreme 16:33
reviews from FiringSquad
where the guys churned up a review on the Diamond
Stealth III S540 rated at 166/166 Mhz.
mainstream market now needs an inexpensive 3D
accelerator that's fast enough to play today's
games with all the pretty options and still
maintain an acceptable framerate of 25-40fps. Of
course, acceptable is a subjective term. We
think having a solid 100fps in the top right
corner while playing in a 16 player FFA in
Q3test is acceptable, but the mainstream user
will be happy with 30fps. S3 wants the Savage 4
Pro Xtreme to be the chip that keeps the
mainstream market happy. Let's take a look at
Panel Speakers Roundup 16:30
posted a roundup on Flat
Panel speakers. Included in the roundup
include speakers like the Benwin BW2000, Avus
QX-TFT-02 and the Monsoon MM-700.
Avus and Benwin use the NXT
technology. This technology allows the use of
flat panel speakers. Rather than using a cone,
as conventional speakers do, NXT uses an
'exciter.' This 'exciter' causes the .25mm thick
panels to vibrate. With a frequency range of
roughly 50Hz to 200KHz, the Benwin and Avus
speakers are practically equal in sound
technology. Surprisingly, both systems did
respond to that low of a frequency. Having a
satellite unit that can respond to 150Hz, and
being that small is quite a show.
Game Boy Grows Up? 15:45
this going to be the competitor
for the Palm Pilot? Not a bad idea, I can
play games and read mail at the same time.
Nintendo plans to upgrade its popular device by including a powerful processor and a port that will allow it to connect, via cell phone, to the Internet. With the new capabilities,
users will be able to go online to play multiplayer games, participate in online chats, download software, and retrieve email.
Nintendo also said it will develop a new digital camera for the new Game Boy that will allow users to see the faces of their online opponents.
Xentor 32 Review
did a review
of this card with lots of benchmarks. Check
Before starting the overclocking tests, I first had to determine what clock and memory speed the Xentor 32 would reliably run at. The card ships set at 175 MHz
clock and 183 MHz memory, and after a lot of experimenting (and rebooting) I was able to get it
running very stable at the 183/200 MHz setting. These speeds
shouldn't be taken as indicative of all Xentor 32 cards out there, since anything from the grade of the TNT2 Ultra chip, to the speed and brand of SDRAM will have
an effect on the overclocking results. All during the overclock testing, Guillemot's cooling fan and heat sink were able to keep the TNT2 Ultra chip relatively cool, and
even when I got lock-ups at high speeds, I felt that the overall grade of the TNT2 Ultra chip, and not heat, was the ultimate determinant of overclocking success
Windows 2000 Multi-monitor Help 13:00
a copy of Windows 2000 and more than one monitor
with you? Well this article
by BetaOS is definitely
This information will guide you through the installation and troubleshooting of Multi-Monitor; the ability to setup secondary displays and extend your desktop to additional monitors. This guide assumes that you already have an operational PC and a supported display adapter with Windows 2000 installed and correct video drivers for your primary display (the display adapter already in your system). Also it is advised that you have your primary display adapter installed in PCI slot 1 (typically this slot is the farthest from the black ISA slots, and nearest the edge of the main logic board, otherwise consult your documentation for your PC).
Gigabyte GA-6WMM7 11:25
am - Wilfred
readied another i810
mobo review. You know these boards are for
really 'basic' PCs, but Gigabyte has thrown in
various innovations to this otherwise simple
board. So is it any good?
On GeForce 11:20
am - Wilfred
is a pretty decent attempt at producing a i810
board. The GA-6WMM7 is faster and more stable
when overclocked than the AOpen MX3W although
83mhz was still a no-no with the Celeron 366.
The onboard hardware sound is a definate plus
too and is backed up with generous connectivity
possibilities on the mobo. I would not go as far
as to call the GA-6WMM7 an innovative board - it
is however a very competent product, ultimately
hindered by a lacklustre chipset, and the
reliance on the i752 for display duties.
doubt the man will be consulted when there is
a new arrival in the graphics scene. I correct
myself, an impending arrival. Here's a snip
from his little .plan update.
have been getting a lot of requests for
commentary on two subjects lately:
new geometry accelerated card with the funny
name. It is fast. Very, very fast. It has the
highest fill rate of any card we have ever
tested, has improved image quality over TNT2,
and it gives timedemo scores 40% faster than the
next closest score with extremely raw beta
drivers. The throughput will definately improve
even more as their drivers mature.
max framerates in OpenGL games, this card is
going to be very hard to beat. Q3's target of
about 10,000 triangles a frame doesn't stress
this card at all..."
No! GeForce256 Bus Trip 11:14
am - Wilfred
It's a mighty
press conference the chums at FiringSquad
were treated to! There's lots of stuff, relevant
and irrelevant, but there's a good load to be
discovered - they even have a Q3 benchmark of the
GeForce256 compared to the TNT2.
more likely possibility is that the GeForce 256
does the expected - they process two textures
per pixel through four pipes, giving up to
960Mtexel/sec. Now that's something to write
home about. So why is it such a huge secret so
far? Nvidia might be lying low on the number and
waiting for 3dfx to disclose texture fill-rate
numbers for their next-generation product, which
many rumors have as exceeding 1000 million
texels per second (putting it on-par with the
announced specs for Bitboys' Glaze3D).
Millennium G400 32Mb 11:00
am - Wilfred
did a review on the Millennium
G400 32Mb with DualHead. Btw, I read in our forum
that the G400 MAX finally arrived on the shores of
Singapore, albeit at a high price of S$470.
G400 is probably the best of the current crop of
graphics cards out today, this doesn't mean that
there are no problems with it - The OpenGL ICD
driver for instance, isn't quite up to the
standard of other cards OpenGL drivers yet,
fingers crossed that this will change in the
near future (I'm assured that it will). Direct3D
performance is second to none and the image
quality across the board is superb.
home and business users will find the top
quality 2D and DualHead capability a very tasty
addition, while gamers are likely to find the
image quality excellent and Direct3D performance
a big increase over other graphics cards and for
those of you who want good DVD performance
without shelling out for a separate DVD-Decoder
card can't really go wrong. Overall its an
Metal Fatigue 10:15
am - David
over @ Firingsquad
has something up about this game
for you. New screenshots, interview and more!
Fatigue brings a host of cool features to the
RTS genre, namely modular units, and a three
level battlefield. The modular units come in the
form of giant robots called "Combots."
To build these combots, the player decides which
type of arm fittings (weapons) to equip them
with, as well as a ton of torsos and leg
fixtures that give the combot more weapons or
special abilities. The combination of dozens of
pieces allows for hundreds of possibilities.
Metal Fatigue also features a fully rotatable
and zoomable battlefield, thanks to its entirely
Demos Merced 10:01
am - David
mentioned that Intel has demonstrated
it's working samples of Merced Silicon, take a
showed a workstation-like platform, containing
Merced, running Windows 2000 as well as Linux.
(Windows 2000 is the upcoming version of Windows
NT; it was previously referred to as Windows
5.0. It is not a full 64-bit OS, but rather a
hybrid 32/64-bit offering.)
Much Will You Pay For The GeForce 256? 10:00
am - David
over at eBay
that someone has bidded $8,300 for the NVIDIA
GeForce 256! Hmm, it states that all proceeds from
this aution will go to charity, so it's for a good
cause. Me? I'll wait till the prices drop. :)
IWill VD133 Motherboard Review 05:59
am - Kan
Hardware reviewed the IWill
VD133 Slot-1 motherboard. This one comes with
the VIA Apollo Pro 133 chipset onboard instead of
your usual Intel BX chipset. Yum yum, how does 133
Mhz FSB sounds to you?
you can see from the table above, the Apollo Pro
133 is truly an impressive chipset that offers
an impressive amount of options that is almost
equal to Intel's upcoming Camino. The Camino is
going to be a better chipset in the end, but
they are also going to be priced at a higher
price. This will make Camino based motherboards
much more expensive than Apollo Pro133
am - Kan
did an interview with the BitBoys who's
responsible for the Glaze3D
chipset. With all the hype on the coming
GeForce 256, looks like we have forgotten Glaze3D
for now. :)
year on and a chip-short, Bitboys announced two
new versions of the Glaze 3D chip earlier this
month. Once again, the fill rates being
mentioned are nigh on staggering. 600 million
dual-textured pixels/second for the 1200 and
1200 million dual-textured pixels/second for the
nippier 2400. In the same breath Bitboys Oy has
gone on the record by saying that 200 frames per
second should be possible with Glaze 3D 2400 in
the Quake 3 Arena test. This time around,
Infineon (formerly Siemens Semiconductor) is
going to be chipping in by getting the Glaze 3D
into silicon. With silicon due in January 2000 a
'product' is 'expected' to ship by Q2 2000.
III Heatsinks Roundup 05:47
am - Kan
sent note on ther Pentium
III Heatsinks and Roundup guide. Check'em out!
might seem reasonable, but if you are trying to
keep the CPU temperature as low as possible you
must keep the thermal resistance as low as
possible. Thermal resistance is the (in)ability
of the heat generated to dissipate, as measured
in K/W (Kelvin per Watt), an indication of the
heat pumping ability of the heatsink. Obviously
you want this value to be as low as possible, so
you want the minimum of material between the CPU
and the actual cooling device; in an ideal
situation the CPU and the cooling device will be
directly thermally interfaced.
Optimization Guide Updated 05:21
am - Kan
Rojak Pot updated Part IV of the BIOS
Optimization Guide and included more
information on how to configure integrated
peripherals in your system.
V3800 TNT2 05:19
am - Kan
whipped up an enjoyable article on the ASUS
V3800 TNT2 graphics card.
cabling alone makes the ASUS V3800 Ultra Deluxe
Many multimedia peripherals do not
include every type of cable.
Thanks to ASUS my Creative Labs DVD kit
can now use all the outputs without a trip to
The other nice feature is the SGRAM.
SGRAM can use more aggressive timings and
result in better performance.
Finally, the last standout feature is the
All I can say is they are cool to show
your friends but there is no extra edge you get
On the plus side my five year-old brother
seems to really like them in Turok 2.
September 1999 - Thursday
Computing On The Run 16:52
pm - Wilfred
just think this is a funny
editorial you should catch if you're
now sitting idle at your desk. Hannibal at ArsTechnica
poured his thoughts about the present state
of portable computing and things he feel
should be changed. LOL!
the beginning of June rolled around and
finals ended, I took a trip down South.
Since I had to work on my part of the Ars
Technica Office 2000 Review, I took the
laptop with me in order to work on the
review on the plane. This would have been
ok if I had bought a first class ticket,
but as it was, I was stuck back in coach,
right by the exit row in one of those
special seats that won't lean back. I may
not have been able to lean back, but the
guy in front of me sure could. By the time
he got comfortable, I didn't have enough
room to turn around. I reached down and
worked the laptop out of its case (an
ordeal in itself), fired it up, and began
typing. Because of the guy in front of me,
I couldn't really open the laptop all the
way, so the screen had to be bent forward
at what seemed like a 45 degree angle. The
LCD didn't look too hot at this angle...
And Why Intel Is Sweating! 16:47
pm - Wilfred
check out this piece
After the cutesy iMacs, now the G4 speed
demons, I think Apple got our attention -
seriously and otherwise! A delightful snip:
only does Apple matter, but Apple is now
setting the pace. Once again, the PC
industry is playing catch-up with Apple.
At every turn, we are seeing the companies
that use to simply shake their head and
move on, are now in a frantic frenzy to
match Apple's innovations. The recent
display of the iMac knockoffs are more
then enough evidence that the Wintel
industry's eye is on the Mac.
now, those eyes, those very same eyes that
are so closely watching the iMac, are now
the eyes of a dear in headlights. The G4.
Gigaflop. Intel, prepare to burn.
USB Call-Waiting Modem 16:39
pm - Wilfred
pretty cool ain't it? CoolComputing
has a short
review on the above modem that sports a
very useful feature for you! A blurb:
call-waiting capability is quite cool and
very useful. To use it you need to
have the call-waiting service from your
local telephone company. Actiontec
offers its own Call Waiting Utility to set
up the feature. When there is an
incoming call, you can either have the
modem ring or hang up. You can also
opt to disable the call waiting
notification feature all together.
is interesting to see how the data
transfer does not stop (the DX LED light
continues to flash) as the modem rings to
signal an incoming call. You can either
ignore the ringing, which will stop after
about five rings, or simply pick up the
phone and start talking. Actiontec
claims that, depending on the ISP, you can
talk for about seven seconds before the
modem will hang up its connection.
GeForce 256 A Somewhat "Laymen's" Brief 15:20
pm - Sniper
has just released an article titled A
Somewhat "Laymen's Brief"
on the NVIDIA GeForce 256. It includes alot
of information about what the new Geforce is
going to do and exactly why that matters.
The simple explanation of low frame rates with fast cards is that the CPU is
overworked. Even the fastest processors are having a tough time chucking
enough information out to keep the games running 100%
smooth. Way back in the hay-days of the Voodoo, which took over the rendering and texture work,
this was a HUGE relief on the CPU. (Any of you that went from software
rendered Quake II to 3dfx OpenGL with the Voodoo2 KNOW what I am talking
about, It was a simple Case of WOW!). The speed pickup was simply amazing.
However, The games continued to get more complex, and the gamers hungered
for more, and faster. Now we are right back to the point again, where there
is more game than the CPU is able to handle on it's own. Sure, we can
continue to make the Video cards faster and faster, but what good does all
that power do us if the card is sitting around doing nothing? Enter the
GeForce 256, with onboard Lighting and Transform engines
SyncMaster 900SL 15:19
pm - Kan
a blurb on the Samsung
SyncMaster 900SL 19" monitor over
Darn, when will the freaking 21"
monitor prices go down??
more technical, the 900SL uses a shadow
mask display with 0.25 dot pitch. Putting
that into perspective, a 0.28 or 0.27 dot
pitch would be classed as ‘budget
monitors’, while many graphics
professionals use 0.25 and smaller. Along
with ‘Colorific’ colour matching
technology, the colours are vivid and
rich, and the text is crisp and clear. The
maximum resolution is 1600x1200 at 76Hz,
which in my opinion is practically
microscopic =) I don’t think even money
forgers need to go that high.
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 6800 Review 14:45
pm - Sniper
guys at StorageReview
are efficient, another review
is out. This time it's the DiamondMax
Maxtor's entry in this latest battle is the DiamondMax Plus 6800. As its name indicates, this newest Maxtor is a 7200rpm unit featuring 6.8 gigs per platter. Its seek time is specified as
"less than nine milliseconds." Unlike its predecessor, the Plus 5120, the Plus 6800 was designed from the ground up to go toe-to-toe with Western Digital's Expert and IBM's Deskstar
GXP series. The drive features an ATA-66 interface and a two megabyte buffer. Judging from Maxtor's press releases and white papers issued on the drive, the manufacturer takes great
pride in the electronics of the Plus 6800. This newest Maxtor incorporates the company's "DualWave" processor, theoretically increasing performance and reliability through the use of
fewer parts. A look at the effects of a simple cache increase (Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 5120, OEM vs. Retail) proved that increasing cache size alone provides little if any increase in
performance. Maxtor takes great pains to emphasize, however, that the DualWave controller was designed with two
megabytes of buffer in mind. A three-year warranty protects the drive.
Tennmax Detonator TNT Cooler Review 14:35
pm - Sniper
has just posted a
of the Tennmax Detonator TNT cooler. We
looked at it also,
check it out!
Seeing the TNT Detonator pictured in other reviews made me eager to try this unique cooler out. The thing that makes this cooler unique is the thin layer of metal placed on
the side for air to pass though and cool. The fan inside the center of the heatsink pushes the air onto the thin layers of metal. The entire unit is light and may feel
underpowered, but like I said before, efficiency is
the key to a good heatsink and fan combo.
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 07:00
am - Kan
very juicy news from our pals over at ALive!
on the possibility
of a new soundcard from Creative. Check
out the Sound Blaster Live! Platinum!
a year after the original Sound
Blaster Live! was introduced, Creative
has another version in their sleeves.
features will it have? Will Creative
phase out the original versions?
Domain Registration Spree 06:56
am - Kan
posted info on nVidia latest domain
registration spree. Apparently they don't
want anybody to run a anti-GeForce 256
Corp (GE-FORCE5-DOM) GE-FORCE256.COM
NV Corp (GE-FORCE6-DOM) GE-FORCE256.NET
NV Corp (NVIDIASUCKS3-DOM) NVIDIASUCKS.COM
NV Corp (GEFORCE3-DOM) GEFORCE256.COM
NV Corp (GEFORCESUCKS3-DOM)
NV Corp (NVIDIASUCKS2-DOM) NVIDIASUCKS.NET
NV Corp (GE-FORCESUCKS3-DOM) GE-FORCESUCKS.COM
NV Corp (GE-FORCESUCKS2-DOM) GE-FORCESUCKS.NET
NV Corp (GEFORCESUCKS2-DOM)
NV Corp (GEFORCE5-DOM) GEFORCE256.ORG
NV Corp (GE-FORCESUCKS-DOM) GE-FORCESUCKS.ORG
NV Corp (GEFORCE4-DOM) GEFORCE256.NET
NV Corp (GEFORCESUCKS-DOM)
NV Corp (NVIDIASUCKS-DOM) NVIDIASUCKS.ORG
NV Corp (GE-FORCE4-DOM) GE-FORCE256.ORG
NV Corp (GEFORCE6-DOM) GEFORCE.COM
NV Corp (GEFORCE-DOM) GEFORCE.ORG
NV Corp (GEFORCE2-DOM) GEFORCE.NET
NV Corp (GE-FORCE2-DOM) GE-FORCE.COM
NV Corp (GE-FORCE-DOM) GE-FORCE.ORG
NV Corp (GE-FORCE3-DOM) GE-FORCE.NET
Slot-1 Motherboard With SCSI 06:52
am - Kan
posted a new review on the Gigabyte
GA-6BXU Slot-1 motherboard with SCSI
4/3/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) slot configuration is
a little dated these days, but since SCSI
is integrated on the board, it's not as
much of an issue as it usually is. All 4
PCI and 1 of the ISA slots are full
length. Fortunately, four DIMM slots are
provided to allow for maximum memory
expansion. ATX specifications are followed
fairly closely, with all HDD/FDD/SCSI
connectors located just in front of the
DIMM slots. The ATX power connector is
along the right edge of the board and
shouldn't cause any cable clutter. The PCB
is a little larger than the ABIT
BH6, so should fit fine in any
standard ATX case.
GeForce 256 06:50
am - Kan
sure is exciting after I really get down to
read some of the GeForce 256 articles
around. check out what SharkyExtreme
has to say about the GeForce
256 chip from nVidia. Hmm, 256-bit
architecture sure sounds mind boggling.
will be touting the GeForce 256 this week
at Intel Developers Forum as a Graphics
Processing Unit, or GPU for short. This is
because of the addition of transformation
and lighting 'on-chip', with the geometry
calculation stage of the 3D pipeline to be
off-loaded from the CPU. Concurrently, the
CPU should have the added bonus of more
bandwidth, which should allow game
developers the ability to focus the CPU
upon improving the level of physics and
AI, should they choose to implement
hardware T&L. In addition, NVIDIA's
gem boasts 50 Gigaflops of floating-point
calculation capability which is set to be
dedicated to 3D. According to NVIDIA's
statement, such performance rivals a Cray
T3D 256-processor (Cray T3D is an MPP 'no
shared memory' computer with a theoretical
peak of 300 gigaflops with 2048
3 Bus Tour 06:45
am - Kan
Hardware written sure sounds
interesting. Imagine having Quake3
on a bus? (mucha like in Bangkok where
chicks pull you up the bus. Well, a man
gotta do what a man must do).
the bus was parked in front of CompUSA
as promised. I'll have to say the
pictures on the net don't do it justice. It's
not a mural folks - it's a huge sticker
wrapped around the bus. It had to be
cut in certain areas to make it fit but it
is indeed one huge bumper sticker. When
I walked up I was greeted by someone from
id who let me know there were 2 levels on
the bus not currently seen yet on the
Arena Test. I also had a small
conversation with a representative from AMD.
2000 Build 2114 06:41
am - Kan
childhood buds over at NT
Game Palace sent note on the release of
Windows 2000 Build 2114. If you are an
official tester you can get the files from
here. (Psst, do you have the password?)
SY-6BA+ III 06:40
am - Kan
reviewed the Soyo
SY-6BA+ III Slot-1 motherboard. Even
though I've not personally try any Soyo
motherboards before (hint hint), but from
the looks of it, it looks like a good board
motherboard, as you may have already
guessed is the Soyo SY-6BA+III
motherboard. This is Soyo's
successor to the popular SY-6BA which was
also based on the i440BX AGPset. So
as you can imagine, with a second
generation board combined with Soyo's
excellent motherboard design skills and
the proven performance and reliability of
the i440BX AGPset, you've got a potential
September 1999 - Wednesday
Early Coppermine Arrival 20:39
pm - Wilfred
Next is Intel's plan to deliver Coppermine
sooner than intended, with faster clockspeeds as
well. Didn't I tell you competition is good! =)
which represents a process shrink from quarter
micron, also includes 256 kilobytes of secondary
on-chip cache. The faster production ramp plays
against the backdrop of a resurgent Advanced Micro
Devices, in Sunnyvale, Calif., which has pushed
a 650-MHz Athlon processor across the chess board
at Intel. AMD said the device has the same performance
as a 700-MHz Pentium III.
PII Micro Motherboard! 20:31
pm - Wilfred
this link at Slashdot about this amazing
product from Cell Computing. You wanna know
what it means by miniaturization? Here's the spec
sheet (in PDF) of the product, or you may want
to see the site for yourself. Yeah, this is IT!
Board, mobile PII-333mhz, up to 256Mb of SDRAM,
Super I/O and more!
Macs: Banned From Iraq, China, N.Korea? 19:21
pm - Wilfred
It is that powerful huh? Check out this blurb
at The Register
about Apple's latest 'desktop-supercomputer' modestly
dubbed to be 100-200% faster than the fastest Pentium
III CPUs. 1Mb L2 cache, 32 128-bit registers (8x
that of the PIII) etc etc!
Jobs, no stranger to the dramatic announcement,
introduced the Power Mac G4 yesterday in San Francisco,
dubbing it "the first desktop supercomputer"
and the fastest PC ever created - 'PC', you'll
note, not 'workstation'. It has a specification
and price makes it a very attractive offering,
and as it is capable of one Gigaflop (a billion
floating point operations per second) it can't
be exported to countries like China, Iraq or North
Jobs claimed the machine is 2.94 times faster
than a 600MHz Pentium III according to data found
on an Intel Web site, but Apple's product spec.
more modestly credits it with being 100-200 per
cent faster than the fastest PIIIs in CPU and
Adobe Photoshop tests.
pm - Wilfred
most likely you are either uninformed about its
existence or never really cared if they do, and
perhaps some of you disabled its use altogether.
has an article
on its abuse by some webmasters (hey! not us all
must respect our refusal to accept cookies and
not harass us with the attack of the infinite
cookies or sending us to a web page that patronizingly
informs us how to turn off the cookie protection
in our browsers so we can surrender our freedom.
That's pure blackmail as far as I'm concerned.
RAM & PageFile Optimization 19:01
pm - Wilfred
and NT users take note, the team at ArsTechnica
just spewed a tweaking
guide for your NT machines. As usual, you can
count on them for the details. Here's a blurb:
most users never question their virtual memory,
or "pagefile", settings. That's too
bad because there are numerous ways to improve
upon the default settings NT will establish on
install, many of which can really affect the speed
of your machine. It's not uncommon to see someone
who, upon experiencing a good amount of disk thrashing,
heads out to buy more RAM when RAM isn't
the problem. You have to be able to analyze your
MX3W i810 Board 18:55
pm - Wilfred
in the day, Andy mailed of his latest
review on AOpen's i810 based MX3W board. Meant
for super-budgeted buyers, this board has onboard
ATA/66 support, i752 graphics controller and sound.
Sometimes we want all-in-one, but sometimes we'll
rather NOT! In this case, such boards will appeal
to corporate desktops for general administrative
onboard video is just fine for Windows based tasks,
but is severely underpowered for any sort of 3d
gaming. Quake 3 is just about playable at 640x480
in 16-bit colour, but the frame-rates are not
compelling. I was actually a closet i740 fan and
used an i740 board right up until the TNT2 came
out in my own system, but the i752 is more of
the same, just a bit quicker. You probably won't
be able to buy video cards based on the i752 chipset,
and believe me, you are not missing out. Its acceptable
in low-cost solutions such as this board, and
its just fine for Windows GDI tasks, but its no
3d powerhouse. Gamers definately need to look
pm - Kan
sent note on their latest review on the Linux package
the documentation is there, but it is in the 'install'
directory; and under Windows what appear to be
0 length files in the doc directory are actually
links to the files in the install directory.
documentation, while somewhat terse, is actually
pretty good. The biggest mistake they made was
not to include a piece of paper (or print on the
CD) a single line, which said "See install/index.html
for documentation on how to install Debian."
Kingdoms 2 17:06
pm - Kan
game reviews as iGamer
brought to us Seven
Kingdoms 2 and an interesting puzzle game called
return of Seven Kingdoms is here. In Seven Kingdoms
2 you will be amazed with the look of the game,
its clean and looks great in 3D. The buildings are
in high detail as are the units, this game rocks
and has some great additions. The game has been
changed around just a bit which is good. From what
I can see they have taken their time to make a new
game rather then using the first game as a blueprint.
In my opinion that is cool. Most of these games
are just clones, but they made more than enough
improvements and additions to sk2, like the seven
& Dangerous 16:56
pm - Kan
this is one of the games which I managed to play
this year. Kinda interesting but too difficult for
my paws to control and play. Anyway, check out what
has to say:
Hidden and Dangerous, you command a squad of soldiers
through twenty-three different missions. You have
a pool of forty soldiers to choose from; some
elite commandos, some average Joes, and some in-between.
You can bring four men into each mission, and
eight into each campaign. Each campaign is about
four missions long, so if you lose some men, you've
got back-up forces. You also chose equipment for
each campaign and then for each mission. If you
don't feel like perusing all the options available
to you, there's an auto-setup option that will
pick forces and equipment for you.
P3D-5030 Cooler 16:54
pm - Kan
buds over at iXBT
Hardware reviewed the Vantec
P3D-5030 Cooler. The size of this cooler is
fans. A pair of fans is undoubtedly better than
a single one, but there is also something to cavil
at. The thing is that the first fan has three contacts
and the second one only two, that is why if the
latter stops (having absorbed too much dust from
the protective grating, for instance) then the user
won't notice anything while the overall cooling
will get considerably worse.
Is W2K RC1 For Other Countries? 16:50
pm - Kan
we have to thank our uncles over at SL Square for
the provision of RC1 in this little town. Anyway,
up an interesting
article on why Windows 2000 RC1 is not available
in many countries outside the US. Pure discrimination
again (as usual).
ok” says a Microsoft representative “in that case
I am not sure, you know it takes some time for
products to get through the channel, and as you
have to order it from the US… There should
be a CPP newsletter going out in the next few
days, but I don’t have it here, so I can’t tell
you what it says…”
pm - Kan
pals over at HotHardware
sent note on their review on the ABIT
BE6. All I can say is I will get this board
up on the BE6 was a snap with one exception, playing
around with IRQ resources for the ATA66 Controller
was a bit of a guessing game. The board does thankfully
let you designate what IRQ will be assigned to
SOME of the PCI Slots. However, they are often
paired up with other resources on the board like
the AGP Slot or the ATA66 Controller. This issue
was nothing more than a nuisance to us and we
prevailed fairly easily on setting up a somewhat
complex system with most all slots full.
256 IRC Logs 16:46
pm - Kan
like the chaps over at ComputingPros
logged down the nVidia IRC channel with lots
of juicy information on the GeForce 256. Check'em
Mac Upgrades 10:05
am - Kan
have something new over at Sharky
examined the MAXpower G3 466 vs MACh Carrier
450 CPU upgrades for Macs. Gee they sure sounds
like some fighter jets to me.
important issue to consider when thinking about
upgrading your PowerMac is compatibility. If you
have after market hardware, you need to check
with the makers to make sure that they are compatible
with G3 upgrades. And if you have older software
that is no longer updated, you should also make
sure that it is compatible with G3 upgrades. Also,
check with Newer Technology and XLR8 about compatibility
with the hardware you have. While both products
are compatible with almost everything, in some
rare instances, it is possible to find that upgrades
are not even an option. Speed and features do
not matter when your machine will not boot. The
major issue of G3 upgrade compatibility has to
do with speculative processing.
At 650 Mhz 10:02
am - Kan
article telling us how they felt about playing
games at 650 Mhz. Darn, life sure is fast at that
order to make this a fair comparison, we included
a 650MHz Pentium III to compete with the 650MHz
Athlon. We did this with an engineering sample
of a Pentium III 600, since enginering samples
aren't clock-locked; the processor was set to
6.5x100MHz in order to replicate a 650MHz Pentium
III. It may not be the real thing and there sure
as hell is no Pentium III 650 on the market. But
this is the closest way to get Pentium III 650
performance, and so this is the processor marked
as a Pentium III 650 on the benchmarks
USB 2.0 Got a Boost 09:51
am - Kan
is exciting. USB 2.0 got a boost from the previously
announced speed of 120 to 240 Mbps to the latest
speed target of 360-480 Mbps. This is horrifying!
increased bandwidth of USB 2.0 will permit PC
peripherals with more functionality, including
faster broadband internet connections, higher
resolution video conferencing cameras, next generation
printers and scanners and fast external storage
units. USB 2.0 also will make today's applications
more productive, such as reducing the time to
download a ``roll'' of digital photos from a few
minutes on the earlier version of USB to only
a few seconds on USB 2.0.
USB 2.0 is an evolution of the existing USB 1.1
specification, it will be fully forward and backward
compatible with current USB systems and peripherals.
Even with the new speed target, USB 2.0 will work
with existing cables and connectors.
am - Kan
put up a review of the ECS
P6BXT-A+ Slot1 and Socket370 motherboard. Hmm,
this board offers plenty of room for expansion but
probably will be outdated soon with the new Camino
chipset and stuffs like that.
unique feature of Elitegroup’s P6BXT-A+ motherboard
is that it has both a Slot 1 and Socket 370 connector
on board. Therefore, someone could choose to buy
a Socket 370 Celeron and then upgrade to a Pentium
III when it becomes cheaper. However, an extra
PCI slot (4 instead of 5) is sacrificed. The user
could also do the exact same by buying a Slot
1 motherboard with a Celeron Slotcket card. That
way, there could have been 5 PCI slots instead
of the lacking 4, which cannot hold full length
PCI cards because the I/O light connectors are
in the way.
Superpower Landmark ATX Mid Tower 09:39
am - Kan
new over at the house of Anand
is the Superpower
Landmark ATX Mid Tower review. Talking about
casings, I just saw one which cost over 400 bucks
look of the Landmark KS-299 screams Packard Bell
when you first see it - the only thing that's
missing is the logo. The gray base and contoured
plastic side panel are the biggest visual cues
producing said look. Whether or not you think
this is good or bad is of course a matter of personal
opinion. However, that bezel is quite functional
and features power, sleep, and reset buttons plus
power, sleep, and HD LED's. It snaps in and out
of the case frame fairly easily.
am - Kan
have another preview on the horror game Nocturne
over at 3DRage.
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.
am - Kan
new over at FiringSquad
where the chaps covered the nVidia GeForce
256 chipset recently announced.
most of you have probably figured out, the "GeForce
256" is the official name of the chip formerly
known as the NV10. Dubbed a graphics processing
unit (GPU), the GeForce 256's claim to fame is
a "full-solutions package." By combining
hardware-accelerated transformation and lighting
to the well-established standards of triangle
setup and rasterization, the GeForce 256 manages
to accelerate the entire 3D graphics pipeline,
from start to finish.