September 1999 - Saturday
September 1999 - Tuesday
Elsa Erazor III 23:02
also got hold of the Erazor III TNT2 card with the
Revelator glasses. So
what did they think of it? How does it differ
from Hardware-One's very own
take, or does it? =)
you know how the glasses work, its benefits, how
they look, but how did they really work when I applied
them to some of the games? Believe it or not they
worked wonders. I have to say, I had my doubts at
first, but the glasses really came through and the
games looked great. The best game that worked with
the glasses? In my opinion it was EA Sport's NBA
Live 99, it was unbelievably realistic, and made
the game all the better.
vs FXT1 22:05
has posted up a nice article
on S3TC vs FXT1 compression.
the race to build the perfect video card has raged
on, we have witnessed great technological changes
on the hardware level, packing more memory and faster
clock speeds on an ever-smaller chip. Although any
videophile can recite the specs of their beloved
TNT2, few have a grasp on the software which brings
to you the reddest of blood and the biggest of explosions.
Granted this would be a perfect segue to the new
DirectX7, I am alluding instead to compression.
Stylus 740 21:50
PC has done a review on the Epson
Stylus 740 printer. And it's USB, sweet!
a matter of fact most early printers from other
manufacturers emulated many of Epson's printers
both in operation and with drivers designed for
Epson's own machines. However today the playing
field involves many other products that are very
competitive and feature aggressive pricing. While
Epson does provide more feature laden printers one
could consider the Stylus 740 to be their flagship
for the home user as it provides the features common
to most bubble jet printers with a few more special
features thrown in.
I got your attention now? Saw this
down at our forum, regarding a new plan from our local
So hop on in!
Monitor Roundup 21:40
Magazine has thrown up an article
about 19" monitors, are you getting one soon?
I am very tempted. =)
in general, the 19-inch monitors we looked at are
more than adequate for both business and graphics
or CAD use. 19-inch
monitors are affordable, and they don't take up
much more desk space than 17-inch models. For those
reasons, we see them becoming the standard for any
business environment that involves PC-intensive
Zip Drive Revealed 21:00
kind of miss out this piece of news.
Generation Online has posted an exclusive shoot
of the Zip drive for the Dreamcast.
the Tokyo Game Show, an NGO reporter managed to
snag a shot of the Sega Zip Drive, a 100 Meg ATAPI
device designed to hold extended save data from
both games and the internet. The device, which features
a front-mounted USB port, not only enhances Dreamcast
storage capabilities, but also opens up the machine
to whole new avenues of data distribution.
820 Chipset Review 20:54
it's pretty useless to review
this chipset now since its flawed. However, it's still
interesting to find out what Ace's
Hardware has to say about it.
Willamette, Intel's seventh generation processor
won't be ready before Q4 2000, but Intel still has
a few tricks up its sleeves to get the performance
crown back. One of them is the i820 chipset, the
successor of the very reliable and successful BX-chipset.
The 820 boasts interesting features like 133 MHz
FSB, AGP 4x and support for RDRAM (RAMBUS DRAM).
Visor Deluxe 19:14
is the 1st review
that I came across on this new product. Thanks to
for it. A clone or a stronger hybrid?
Palm organizer gets its first serious competition,
and it comes from the same people who designed the
original Palm. The most exciting feature of this
$250 PDA: a special slot for plug-and-play hardware
and software upgrades.
SECC-80+ is one-hell-of-a-cooling system (though
it doesn't look really impressive). Check out TheTechZone
review on it:
fan used in the SECC80+ is a lot bigger and more
powerful than what is used in the SECC80. The fan
is so big it goes off the edge of the sink. The
fan is held to the heatsink by 2 screws. While this
doesn't seem very secure it works quite well. Those
screws holds really tight. The ball bearing fan
spins at 2900 RPM, blowing 36 CFM of air onto the
heatsink. Noise level is a quiet 32 dBA. The fan
use a pass though power connector and gets power
directly from the power supply, not the motherboard.
Your System 17:22
sent note on their new article on Cooling
your System. All I know is if I stay in the North
Pole, my overclocked PC will be rock stable!
fundamental practice of successfully overclocking
your new CPU is keeping your system at an ambient
temperature for its surrounding components. In fact,
sometimes the heat of a system can rise so high
it will cause an ordinary(non-overclocked) system
to run without stability. Not only does heat cut
short your chances of overclocking, but it also
shortens the life of your system. As time passes
and computers become technologically more advanced,
the heat that the average system is generating is
rising. There are many factors in your system's
environment that will cause your system to gather
In Taiwan 17:18
our pals over at iXBT-Hardware
whipped up an
article analyzing on the PC market after the massive
earthquake in Taiwan. Even though we may feel the
pinch when the prices raises, let us not forget the
100,000 people who were homeless due to the earthquake.
for the damage, it will take pretty long before
it is finally calculated. For today, the preliminary
estimates show that Taiwanese economy has lost about
$3.1 billion. Quake damage can cut the island's
exports by as much as US$1 billion this month. Among
this money the semiconductor manufacturers lost
about $100 million, according to preliminary estimates.
And here we mean not the destroyed buildings. To
tell the truth, not so many buildings were directly
for the flood of mails babes. In case you don't know,
I just came back from the hospital. Darn, I think
I saw a pretty babe down there. :) Anyway, yes, I
had an orgasmic (read PAINFUL) time in the hospital
with surgeons opening up my head to squeeze pus out
(I had an infection, probably it's because I suck
too much juice (what juice?!) ). Anyway, I think I'm
still alive (barely), so not to worry.
yes guys, thanks for the wreaths (cough...flowers?)
and soup (can soup??) and teddy bears. I'm not yet
ready to leave, so stop eyeing my car and my BP6!
Computing Tidbits At osOpinion 15:25
has given us three more computing tidbits for our
digestion. I will touch on two of them. One of them
has an interesting title, "Wincing
for WINCE". Here's a bite :
Except, I'm not impressed. Microsoft still hasn't
resolved in creating a proper OS that Windows 9x/NT
series should've been since the beginning. I only
have to compare them with MacOS, which has evolved
quite nicely over the years. By contrast, there
are still to many crashes, cryptic error messages
and hardware/software incompatibilities that'll
never be resolved in Windows. Yet Mike wants us
to depend on the same company that's extraordinarily
lax about security issues, has a tendency to program
its OSes that require expensive purchases in memory
and hard drive just to ensure that code has enough
space to function properly and will need 3 versions
before the company succeeds what it should done
so the first time.
a longer one named, "NT
versus Linux for Small-Business Networking".
This is about a honest personal experience by a network
administrator on using MS BackOffice and Red Hat Linux.
to my own experience, I harbor serious doubts about
the ability of the average non-technical small business
owner or workgroup leader to easily use BackOffice
Small Business Server 4.0 without the assistance
of a highly-skilled sysadmin. I'm not even sure
Microsoft intends them to, despite the "easy" rhetoric
on their promotional materials -- the constant exhortations
to "ask your sysadmin" and "contact your BackOffice
SBS compliant ISP" suggest otherwise. My personal
opinion is that the current advertising campaign
featuring small, family-run or sole proprietorship,
non-technical businesses is misleading. Given the
relatively high cost of deploying the software package,
this could be an expensive and frustrating mistake
for real-world small business owners with limited
resources. Although I haven't yet been able to use
Small Business Server 4.5 -- I'm waiting for my
upgrade, although now might be the moment to ask
why Microsoft knows my address well enough to send
me junk mail but not well enough to send me upgrades
without making me re-register for them -- my real-world
experience with 4.0 has been such that I could not
personally recommend it to anyone.
contrast to published accounts insinuating otherwise,
I found Linux to be easy to learn and fun to work
with, as well as the lowest-cost option. I'm now
my own sysadmin and sleep a lot better at night,
because every component of my Linux setup does exactly
what it claims it will do.
Reviews P3-533B And P3-600B CPUs 15:10
on the P3 "B" series of chips by Intel.
This time round, it's by the guys at Sharky
Extreme. As mentioned, these chips are your regular
P3 processors save for their 133MHz Front Side Bus.
Here's the article in brief :
now, buyers who wish to operate their systems at
a 133MHz bus speed will need three specific items:
A mainboard that's capable of selecting and handling
the 133MHz bus speed.
PC-133 SDRAM, although most PC-100 SDRAM we've seen
the past two months can handle 133MHz without a
An Intel CPU that's set to operate at a 133MHz bus
speed, which consists solely of the P3-533B and
P3-600B at the moment. (100MHz-class Intel P3s can
only achieve a 133MHz bus speed if grossly overclocked,
which is not a guaranteed solution.)
best part of the list above is the fact that if
the user decides they want to upgrade later on to
an i820 mainboard when they finally arrive, all
they'll need to do is swap out the 440BX or i810e
mainboard itself and plug in the new i820 board.
Six : Rogue Spear Review 15:00
this down today at The
Adrenaline Vault. They just did a review
on this First-Person Tactical game by Red
Storm Entertainment, Rainbow Six : Rogue Spear.
It's a brief article, but it appears that the guys
loved it enough to warrant a Reviewer's Choice.
the first game, this sequel follows the storyline
depicted in Clancy's Rainbow Six novels. The plot,
which is presented during intermissions, is extremely
entertaining, albeit a little complex for action
fans. And surely, it would be an error to group
this title into the action category, mainly because
it focuses as much on strategy and tactics as it
does on adrenaline and reflexes. Notwithstanding
these added elements, even first-person shooter
fans should heed the arrival of Rogue Spear -- it's
definitely one of those special games that transcends
From Intel? 14:07
that OEMS are shifting away from Intel chipsets in
the wake of delay of the 820 chipset. Read it
will announce tomorrow that it is using chipsets
from Taiwan-based Via for three new systems in the
wake of the delay of the 820 chipset, sources at
IBM said. Today, Micron Electronics said it is incorporating
Via products into its boxes for the first time.
Posts Beta Of Next-generation Java 14:03
for e-commerce? Hope it
beats Microsoft's offering.
development for the past year, the Java 2 Enterprise
Edition competes with Microsoft's programming model
called Windows Distributed Internet Applications.
The two companies are at odds because Sun wants
programmers to use Java so the software they build
can be used in all computers. Microsoft primarily
wants developers to create software that operates
with its Windows operating system.
1GHz 64-bit PPC To Deliver 11,000 MIPS 13:50
has been available on this hot chip at The
wish I have a chance to try this baby out.
will have two microprocessors on a single piece
of silicon, and at 1.1GHz should be able to deliver
11,000 MIPS. The architecture comes out of Austin,
and chips will be fabbed at the Fishkill Semiconductor
#27: Your Preferred Fast Food Outlet 08:30
again, nothing really related to computers, except
for maybe geeks regular fast food chains more frequently
than pubs and such? Ha! We might have left out some
popular names in your area, but amongst the familiar
ones (at home here), it is quite clear that the golden
arches is the most visited.
on BP6 07:44
check out our pals ArsTechnica
review of the GlobalWin
FEP32 heatsink slapped on top of the ABIT BP6
this test system, none of the fans were able to
change the fact that the BP6 needed to be crankin'
with 2.10 volts on both CPUs to remain stable.
All temps are reported at that CPU voltage, in Celsius,
and averaged over 6 hours. Needless to say,
the room temperature was the same for all of the
tests - 74° F, or about 23° C. Also, we didn't
bother trying to overclock these CPUs without cooling,
so there's no real "ground" measurement.
Instead, we figured the CoolMaster Socket heatsink
and fan combo is comparable to any default cooling
solution, i.e., it's nothing special, so I believe
that it provides a pretty effective basis for comparison.
GeForce 256 Part II 07:38
is the second
part of their review on the CL GeForce 256. Here's
an excerpt from the review:
environment mapping in hardware is a new feature
found in the GeForce 256. It is fully supported
by DirectX 7 and OpenGL and will allow game developers
to create accurate, real-time reflections. Because
the GeForce 256 accelerates it in hardware, cube
environment mapping will free up resources so that
developers can let their creativity run free and
use reflections and specular lighting effects to
create immersive and stunning environments. A cube
environment map is based on a six-sided cube map
and reflections are captured by the six projected
faces of the cube map that surround an object. A
cube map shape allows linear mapping in all directions
to six planar texture maps. This results in no warping
nor damaging singularities associated with the use
of a sphere map, particularly found at the edges
of the "reflection".
Designs Dual Processor Motherboard 07:28
check out our pals over at Freak!
with a very interesting review on the
Freeway Designs Slot-1 Dual Processor motherboard.
This one comes with 6 PCI, 1 AGP, no ISA slots and
the board is red in color!
best legitimate reason for buying the board is
the 1 AGP / 6 PCI / 0 ISA configuration.
I haven't used an ISA card in nearly a year so
an all PCI solution was very attractive to me.
The next thing was the software based BIOS that
supports an obscene amount of different FSB settings
up to 155MHz
2000 RC2 For European Customers 07:23
Philipp from NT
Gaming Palace sent note that the Windows 2000
RC2 for European customers will delivered to them
in the next 60 days (yikes!) follow up with other
language versions in November.
you like action and strategy game, then Homeworld
may be for you. Check out the review done by Speedy3D.
played Homeworld (HW) for literally two days solid
since it arrived in the post and being utterly consumed
by it's universe, I feel now is a good time to put
my views across. Initially I ignored this game in
its early stages of development, even shrugging
off the early beta through the test program as a
little flimsy and lacking depth. Since then some
months have passed, the game is more balanced, graphics
and engine have been tweak and so is it any better?
I'm sure a lot of you would want me to sum it up
in one word so that then you may return to your
every day lives, unfortunately I'm going to make
you read on.
September 1999 - Monday
Park Preview 23:42
more on this type of games (if I ever find the time
to play'em), and you bet when Theme Park comes out,
it will be on my shopping list. The idea of running
a theme park vs the old 'build a civilization' genre
is very refreshing! =) Check out FiringSquad's
preview of this enchanting game from Bullfrog.
really cool is that Theme Park World will allow
players to explore their park from a first person
perspective! That's right, you'll be able to run
around the park you design, Quake style (without
the guns of course). Not only that, but you'll actually
be able to board one of your rides and ride it from
the first person! Imagine getting all the thrills
of loops and dives without the nausea. How about
the excitement of log flumes and water rapids without
the soaked socks and drenched jeans? Sweet! It remains
to be seen how detailed this will be (how about
buying a drink and a burger first person? Heading
to the bathroom?), but just the promise of getting
on the rides you design is exciting enough!
Bets On Y2K Disasters 23:33
to this story
at Wired News, a Costa Rica-based company is taking
online wagers for a variety of disasters that could
possibly strike humanity at the turn of the millennium.
Atlas 10K 18.2Gb 23:24
HardwarePros posted a review
on Quantum's high-end 10,000 rpm UltraSCSI HDD. Whaddaya
think of a 5ms average seek time?
drive is not lacking in any area. It's has
an amazing low average seek time of 5.0ms, which
is amongst the lowest in the industry. It was the
first drive to support the Ultra160/m interface
and along with that it also supports the Fibre Channel
SCA-2 interface to provide up to 200MB/s Buffer-to-Host
transfer rate. In practical use, none of today's
hard drives, including this one will be able to
read and write data this fast.
Bombs Tested During WWII 23:20
Ok, since a reader wrote in asking WTF has this gotta
do with computing? Errmm... nothing! =P Recent declassification
of military top secret documents revealed
that the Americans and British tested to perfect a
bomb that could trigger devastating tidal waves during
the Second World War. The war was over before the
project completed. Hmm... thanks to Slashdot
for reminding me, check out this 'Deep
Impact' spoof over at this link.
WARTIME experiments were conducted off the New Zealand
coast to perfect a bomb that could trigger devastating
tidal waves, according to government files declassified
New Zealand Herald, citing the files, said that
senior United States defence officials believed
the weapon had the potential to be as deadly as
the atomic bomb. But the tsunami bomb, as it was
known, was never fully tested and the war ended
before the project was completed.
mastermind was Thomas Leech, an Australian professor
who as the dean of engineering at Auckland University
from 1940 to 1950. He was seconded to the New Zealand
Army during the Second World War. He set off a series
of underwater explosions that triggered mini tidal
waves at Whangaparaoa, just north of Auckland, in
1944 and 1945.
P3-D5030 Cooler 23:13
TechZone put up a review
on Vantec's coolers for the Pentium III chips. Comparatively,
their tests showed the GlobalWin VEK32 coming out
tops in terms of cooling performance... check this!
Vantec stacks up very well against the AMK-SECC80.
The Global Win kicks everyone's butt. I didn't really
find this unusual for 2 reasons. First the Global
Win has more fin area than the Vantec and much more
powerful fans. While the AMK-SECC80 has more fin
area than the Global Win, it's weak 80mm fan only
blows out 8CFM of air, compared to the VEK32 twin
60mm fans that pumps out over 50CFM. The second
reason for the great performance of the VEK32 is
in order to install the unit on a P3, I had to remove
the P3 backplate. The removal of the backplate does
help to reduce the CPU temperature.
Vantec P3-5030 had no problems running the P3-450
at 580Mhz. After a whole day of Quake 3 on the LAN,
the CPU temp never went higher than 45.5C. This
is a really good performance. The only recommendation
I can think of would be more powerful fans like
the ones used in the Global Win VEK32. With a street
price of $27, it's on the higher side of the price
scale. However, considering all the added features
that comes with the Vantec cooler, I say it's worth
sent mail about a game, Soul
Reaver, they reviewed. Apparently, they guys really
dig it and awarded it a very high 9/10. So many games
but so little time to play them <sigh>
whole devouring of souls aspect of this game will
attract players from all over. Underneath that there
exists an intricate storyline coupled with excellent
voice acting to immerse you in a totally new type
of gaming experience. The basic elements of the
game are not anything new but Crystal Dynamics adds
their own unique twist to create a truly innovative
game. Even though this is a great game, it is not
perfect. The camera can definitely interfere with
gameplay sometimes. In addition, I usually play
the game in short bursts rather than sitting there
for hours, and every time I start again, I get lost.
The world is large and it is difficult at times
to navigate. The portals are helpful but with so
many symbols it is hard to keep track. Those are
just minor flaws to an otherwise excellent game.
If you have not played it yet, you do not know what
you are missing.
Read Dept. Down at osOpinion 18:45
technical opinions and commentaries are available
which in my view, is one of the more refreshing sites
around. This time, they have given us three more articles
to relish. One of them is titled "The
OS of Choice" and here's some of it :
you moved into the home you live in now, did you
have a choice who would supply you electricity?
No you did not. How about your water supply, not
likely. Do you think that the people that supply
your electricity care if you "like" them or not?
I will have to answer no to that also. Why? Because
where else are you going to get electricity from?
The same is also true with Microsoft. They do not
care if you "like" them or not, They make their
money when they sell the product to the PC seller,
not the buyer. Microsoft does not have you in mind
at the time of the contract signing. They have their
bank account(s) in mind. They do not care if the
seller gets rid of all the OS’s.
The second is titled "Applying
Copyleft To Non-Software Information":
contains the normal copyright statement, asserting
ownership and identification of the author. However,
it then gives away some of the other rights implicit
in the normal copyright: it says that not only are
you free to redistribute this work, but you are
also free to change the work. However, you cannot
claim to have written the original work, nor can
you claim that these changes were created by someone
else. Finally, all derivative works must also be
placed under these terms.
third is an interesting piece titled "Fighting
E-mail Spammers" :
have probably at one time or another received e-mail
promising you lots of money or cheap phone sex.
You reply to the spam but unfortunately the e-mail
address is invalid so your reply to the spammer
bounces. The purpose of this document is to allow
you to identify the site and possibly the user who
sent the mail.
these people is an art form. There is no right or
wrong way to go about tracing their e-mail. This
document attempts to identify several methods you
may use to find them and make sure your comments
are heard. Successful hunts can be aided with some
background knowledge in DNS and SMTP.
Reviews Intel i820 VC820 Motherboard 18:35
Extreme has given their take on Intel's very own
Vancouver i820 mainboard. Lots of facts and figures
here. With all the controversy concerning the i820
chipset, I believe users are still clinging on to
the i440 chipset for the moment. Here's a small cut-off
from the article
bottom line answer is that there's a small degree
of noticeable improvement in most areas with the
i820, and a large degree of noticeable improvement
in a few areas where it was sorely needed.
good example of this dichotomy lies in the Win98
boot up sequence.
i820/RDRAM users notice a speedier boot up time
than their 440BX/PC-100 PC used to provide?
measured the boot times with a stopwatch just for
kicks, and determined that there was no appreciable
difference between the two platforms in that regard.
did we notice a difference when multiple applications
within Win98 were launched back to back, or when
Win98 decides it needs to reorganize its swap file
right as you round the corner in a Quake3 multiplayer
game and expose yourself to enemy fire?
apps from the i820 platform is an interesting experience
versus the months of experience from doing the same
thing on a 440BX. Click on MS Word, MS Excel, and
MS PowerPoint one right after the other and you're
rewarded with faster response times and quicker
of this is due to the i820's much needed ATA-66
HD protocol, which when used with a newer ATA-66
hard drive provides a 15% to 25% faster disk access
environment. A lot of it though is due to the i820's
architecture not allowing the hard drive to eat
up both CPU cycles and memory bandwidth as it frustratingly
has so often in the ATA-33 limited 440BX chipset
Chipset and Intel PIII "B" Chip Review 18:25
interesting stuff down at Anandtech.
This time, the man has given us a reviews of the Intel
820 "Camino" chipset and the Intel
Pentium III 533B & 600B. The Pentium III "B"
series of chips are basically 133MHz P3 processors
which have different clock multipliers. Here's a short
clip on the "Camino" chipset review :
the chipset we’ve all been told to wait for, and
it’s finally here, the elusive "Camino" chipset
has finally been released as the i820 on this day,
the 27th of September in 1999.
no, it hasn’t. Due to a bug just recently discovered
in the chipset, the i820 has been, as you’ve probably
already heard, delayed until further notice. This
is a huge hit for Intel because this is the first
time they’ve truly screwed up a chipset launch.
Sure, there have been delays before, but never have
they come within a few days of releasing a product
and had to cancel the launch due to a severe problem
with stability. Could this be the market slipping
through their clutches? Is it time for AMD and VIA
to step in and take control of the industry?
here's a bit from the P3 "B" chips review
what makes the Pentium III B any different from
the previous generation of Pentium III processors?
Other than different clock multipliers and a different
pin setting to allow motherboards to detect the
processors as 133MHz FSB CPUs, there is absolutely
no difference between the Pentium III and the Pentium
real reason for a review on the Pentium III 533/600B
is to illustrate the performance improvement (if
any) those processors at the 133MHz FSB, offer.
Reviews Matrox Marvel G400-TV 18:15
buds down at Firingsquad
have given us their ballistics
report on the latest offering from Matrox,
the Marvel G400-TV. This cool card has hardware video
capture and editing, a TV-Tuner and a G400 graphics
engine. They also have some benchmarks on a steroid-pumping
"TurboGL driver" for the card.
Marvel G400-TV is the best all-in-one card on the
market. It's the top consumer level video capture
and editing product available, and also has great
3D performance in Q3test thanks to the new TurboGL
G400 will be able to go head to head against the
Voodoo3 and TNT2 on Pentium III and Athlon systems.
Don't forget that Matrox is also working with software
developers to implement DualHead display technology
and Environment-Mapped Bump Mapping into today's
newest games. As we mentioned earlier, the only
feature that the Marvel lacks is the second monitor
output. The second DualHead display will be limited
to the s-video and composite video outputs on the
Marvel's connector box, but you will be able to
purchase an add-in card that will allow you to use
a flat panel display with the second output.
of GeForce256 08:27
mail from our pals at iXBT
Labs never fails to bring a smile to our faces.
As usual, the chaps gave it their thorough and technical
analysis of nVidia's GeForce 256 in this preview.
GeForce 256 can boast 4-pipeline architecture. It
means that every time step there can appear 4 pixels
simultaneously. Since the GPU clock frequency is
120MHz, the fillrate will make 480 million pixels
per second. However, the pipelines of our hero have
one texturing block each, which means that at the
same clock frequency equal to 120MHz the fillrate
will drop down to 240 million pixels in applications
using multitexturing (when two textures are superposed
over one pixel). Note that only filtered textures
are superposed and 8 texture samples are used for
each texel, which provides "free" anisotropic
tell the truth, anisotropic filtering based on 8
texture samples is quite an interesting solution,
however, the samples seem to be insufficient. It
could be much better to involve 16 or even 32 texture
samples to define the final texture color. In this
case the final color definition requires 8 samples,
which should in the end provide high quality image.
Why does NVIDIA use only 8 samples and not more?
Because this realization can be carried out with
one texturing block only, which was made in GeForce
samples are selected according to the anisotropic
dependence on the detailization along X- and Y-axes
of the screen (LOD_X, LOD_Y). The sampling field
on the texture looks similar to an ellipse with
the ratio LOD_X/LOD_Y. Gauss method very well suits
as a sampling function. The samples are taken from
one and the same mip-level. If the ratio is not
big the image will be deprived of blurring and washed
out effects, however, if the ratio is quite significant,
8 samples won't be enough, and some artifacts will
Coughs, Kan Shivers 01:42
dear... Kan is ill with some undiagnosed sickness
and temporarily out of action. You can always flood
his mailbox with well-wishes
to cheer him up a little. Ok, back to work...
Apollo Pro 133 Vs Intel BX 01:39
scored a nice benchmarking
article pitting the VIA Apollo Pro chipset against
the aging BX. With official support for PC133 SDRAM
and a 1/2 AGP clock divider, how does it fair? Listen:
despite its age, is still a good performer, and
VIA have some catching up to do. The AX63Pro is
an excellent implementation of VIA Apollo Pro 133
chipset, and it is a fast performer, both in relation
to other VIA 133 boards, and other BX boards. The
AX63Pro also produced very good application benchmarks.
Doctor Linus Torvalds 01:32
to this story
at IDG.net, Linux Torvalds, 29, was awarded an honorary
doctorate by Stockholm University for his accomplishment
as the creator of the Linux open-source operating
system. 29 years?! =)
Problem Stings PC Makers 01:26
a look at this article
at CNet. Sources
revealed that a major problem involving the RAMBUS
memory technology will further delay its introduction.
Apparently, the problem is huge and early adopters
are forced to take apart and destroy the boards. Doesn't
look good... Here's what happened.
going to be very, very expensive," he said.
"Every machine put together has to be taken
apart. The motherboards have to be taken apart and
destroyed, and they have to build new motherboards."
problem stems from how much memory the computers
can use, Glaskowsky said. The systems built so far
have three slots in the motherboard for Rambus memory,
but now Intel has said that systems should only
have two, he said.
existence of the third memory slot can cause data
to get lost while being transferred between memory
and the main processor, Glaskowsky said. According
to sources, Intel has notified manufacturers that
the third slot is a problem, even if it's empty.
Camino Preview & Celeron 500 Review 01:17
sent mail about two new updates on their site. First,
they've touched up their previous Camino
preview. Using newer drivers from Intel, they
saw benchmarks surge slightly above that of the BX.
Hmm... ok! Next in line is their review on the Celeron
500 - prolly the last Intel chip on the 66Mhz
present 0.25-micron Celeron core itself is limited
to around 550MHz with standard cooling. So unless
you get a real jewel, you won't be able to go beyond
550MHz. The Celeron 500 only displays an improvement
of 12.5%, which is not good for a "Celeron".
In fact, if you want to go past 550MHz, the best
deal is to get a Celeron 366 that will work at 100MHz,
giving you a clock speed of 550MHz to work with.
Keep in mind that we used the stock heatsink + fan,
but with better cooling you should be able to squeeze
out a little bit of added performance.
Tweak Guide 01:08
updated their modem
tweak guide. Those of you with strange modem problems
or seemingly slow connections can check this to see
if any miracle cure can be located.
Maxi Gamer Cougar TNT2 M64 00:58
a VERY long name to type if you ask me. Well, SharkyExtreme
posted a review
on Guillemot's card for the budget conscious buyers.
This card is no stellar performer, but it'll do just
fine for RPG/RTS games that won't require that much
the end, the Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar is a solid
product with excellent NVIDIA standard image quality,
but when it's raced against the competition, it
just can't keep up. If you are a die-hard NVIDIA
fan and need a newer card but can't afford a full
TNT2, the Cougar is a solid product that will keep
you happy as long as you don't venture out far beyond
640x480 or compare frame rates and receipts with
your friends. If you are into games designed for
Glide, go for the 3dfx Voodoo3 2000. But for a value-priced
card, the feature and performance of the Savage
4 Pro Extreme is that bit more attractive than the
Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar TNT2 M64.
September 1999 - Sunday
Adaptec EasyCD Creator 4 Deluxe -
and les teamed up to deliver this writeup
on Adaptec's EasyCD Creator 4 Deluxe software -
without a doubt one of the most popular utility
for 'burning' CDs. They'll walk you through
using the software effectively and discussed the
new features incorporated into this version. Check
Easy CD Creator V4 Deluxe is a major
improvement over the previous versions,
incorporating a host of new programs
which helps you to perform CD burning
more efficiently. This program is
users. But if you are a self-proclaimed
advanced user who walks on the edge and
use features like track extraction and
overburning, you might want to consider
Pro-Media v2-400 19:35
is the second
review on this set of high-end speakers from
Klipsch (or at least, that's the number I'm
aware of). After the chaps at 3DSoundSurge, FiringSquad
also got their hands on the relatively
affordable THX-certified system.
just start out by saying that these speakers
can really rock. I was able to achieve volume
levels that rivaled my home theater system,
this wasn't surprising since the Klipsch
speakers are backed by a 400 watt amp. You
don't need any SPL meters to tell you that
these speakers can play much louder than any
other multimedia speaker system. What was most
pleasing was that the little satellites were
able to soak up this power without maxing out
until the insanely loud volumes. By insanely
loud, I mean volumes SPL's where you would
have to shout into the ear of the person next
to you, like at a concert.
Blaster 6x4x24x CD-RW 19:30
wrote to tell us about their short
review on Creative's latest CD-RW drive,
sporting 6x Write, 4x Re-Write and 24x Read
in mind that there are faster drives than this
(8x or 1,200kb/sec), but also bear in mind
that not everyone buys a CD-R/CD-RW drive that
writes faster than 4x. Though let me say one
thing before I tell you the performance notes:
6x is simply sweet, and what's better: It's
being brought to you by a company who knows
what the hell they're doing. Creative has been
making dependable computer equipment for some
time now, and this drive isn't any exception
for performance or stability."
Surf Alpha 1.00 13:30
the program called Gooey, which allows you to
chat with people visiting the same web page as
you? ICQ, too, released ICQ Surf in the same
fashion. Check out the page right
CleanUp Guide 13:15
has updated their Windows
cleanup guide after a while. Yes, many of
you could prolly do with a major spring cleaning
of your system, but before you hit that format
command, see if this guide can salvage the mess
has been a few months or longer since you last
made a clean reinstall of your OS. The overall
performance of the computer is beginning to
suffer, a product of unused DLL's cluttering
up the system folder, and the overall obesity
of the registry files which Windows does a
terrible job of managing. A feeling of dread
is clouding over the workspace in which the
computer resides. It's time to reinstall the
OS. But wait! That painful process of deleting
the Windows directory, reinstalling the
operating system, and then having to reload
all of the applications and games CAN be
USB Call Waiting Modem 08:49
posted a review on the ActionTec
USB Call Waiting Modem. Hmm, not bad as now
you won't miss a call when you are surfing the
incredibly tiny modem was a breeze to install.
We did not even look at the manual until after
installing the modem. First, take the modem
out, plug it in, and when it asks for drivers,
pop in the CDROM and it installs itself. Since
the USB ports on your PC power the modem,
there are no power cords or bulky adapters to
install, just the USB cable, and the
phone/line cords. If you mess up the install,
we must question your sanity. There isn't any
way you could possibly install it wrong.
out the crazy Water
Cooling article over at Overclockers
Australia. Remember, implement them at your
the water reservoir I bought a very high-tech
device - a white plastic 4-litre bucket for
$4.00. I wanted something with a lid so I
could avoid pets drinking out of it, stuff
falling into it, the exhaust line spraying
water out of the bucket etc. The lid cost an
extra $1.50. After having experimented a bit,
the plastic bucket is a bad idea as it
insulates the water from the surrounding air,
so the water can only lose heat through the
top (and not even that with the lid on). A
metal one would let it radiate heat from the
sides too. I didn't see a small-capacity metal
bucket at the hardware store, though. And, I
guess, if the water is below room temp,
insulating it is a good thing. Hmm.
reviews on the game Tiberian
Sun and this time it's from SystemLogic.
& Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun is the third
installment to Command & Conquer series of
games from Westwood. It basically represents
the culmination of all the elements in the
previous RTS games with innovations of its
own. Nowadays, RTS games are beginning to move
more and more to 3D environments. Tiberian Sun
stays true to the original by adopting the
same style interface and views. Westwood has,
however, added more interactivity through the
use of changing environments, three
dimensional terrain, and colored & dynamic
lighting. This is definitely a step up from
previous games, but does Tiberian Sun offer
enough innovation to really set it above the
rest? Let's find out.
Versa LX 08:41
dropped us a line on their latest review on the NEC
Versa LX laptop. This one comes with a
Celeron 366, 96 MB of RAM and a 13.3" TFT
the intense competition in the notebook market
has certainly stretched this generic
stereotypical train of thought.
Hell, even Asus are making notebooks
now. =) When
it comes to electronics, nothing beats the
Japanese, and well, a notebook can be thought
of as an electronic more so than a computer.
Notebooks are intricate little darlings
(well the new models anyway) and seem so much
more human than the grey boxes we’re used
lets get on with the review, after all, I
haven’t even mention NEC, when I’m
supposed to be reviewing its latest “back to
school” offering, the NEC Versa LX 366C
an excerpt from the official site.
Online 2 Announced 02:55
could I have missed this? Gamecenter
has given us word
Systems will be producing the next in online
entertainment : Ultima Online 2. I've personally
before. It's quite enjoyable if you play it with
friends and the group of you like a gradual pace
of development that lets you feel the breeze and
smell the roses. But the monthly costs kept me
away. Well, you wanna play, you gotta pay. Check
it out :
of our primary goals is to make Ultima Online
2 fun, exciting, and accessible," said
Starr Long, UO2 producer, in a prepared
statement. "We're implementing an
intuitive interface and easy-to-use tutorials
to give players a jump-start on their
adventures. We're also designing UO2 around
extraordinary fiction, artwork, and animation,
which will [put] UO2's virtual world in a
different class from the competition." To
that end, UO2 will feature monsters and
characters conceptualized by producer/director
Todd McFarlane, creator of the award-winning
HBO animated series, Spawn. Origin is also
partnering with Todd McFarlane Entertainment
to create an action-figure line of products
based on the UO2 world.
will be emphasis placed on community building
in UO2. The game will feature
community-building tools that include
communication software, a party/guild system,
player-owned property, and character
customization. UO2 is also the first Ultima
game that Ultima creator Richard Garriott will
not produce. Garriott is busy finishing up
Ultima IX: Ascension, and then will move onto
another unannounced project.
Hollywood Plus Review 02:45
this down at Planet
RIVA. It's a review
Designs' REALmagic Hollywood Plus, a MPEG-2
decoder. If DVD is your cup of tea, you might
want to check this out.
means digital and digital means crap-free.
Although the image quality depends on the
transfer to DVD, the Hollywood Plus does an
excellent job of displaying the video and you
can use the DVD Station to adjust the
contrast, brightness and color levels to fix
any small quality problems. Just take a look
at the screenshots. Bug's Life is the perfect
example of a pure digital transfer to DVD. No
artifacts or graininess whatsoever.
choice is yours, do you really need this
product? If you want perfectly smooth
playback, digital audio and the ability to
show your DVDs on your TV then the REALmagic
Hollywood Plus is a great product.
Installation was a breeze, nothing short of
perfect and the decoder performed very well
without any problems.
DiamondMax 6800 Review 02:40
has done their review
on the whopping 27.2GB offering from Maxtor,
the DiamondMax 6800. This is a 5400RPM ATA/66
drive with a 9ms seek time. According to the
guys, it's a quiet performer too. Catch a slice
of the goods here :
the DiamondMax isn't as fast as I thought it
would be, but it does have a few other things
going for it. For example, it has a HUGE 2MB
cache buffer. The Quantum Fireball Plus KA
only has a 512 kilobyte buffer.
DiamondMax also supports ATA/66, a fairly new,
and wonderful, interface. So, it may kill you
to know that it's RPM is a little low, and the
seek time is a little high, but it has a nice
size buffer and supports ATA/66.
Extreme Reviews Elitegroup Mobo 02:35
the fellas down at Sharky
Extreme just finished their review
on the Elitegroup P6BXT 440BX Motherboard.
Nothing notable to say about it though. It's
just another run-of-the-mill BX board. Let's
hear it from the dudes themselves :
ECS P6BXT - A+ is a competent, if not generic,
440BX mainboard that is outshone by some of
its competition who have boards that offer a
greater level of feature support.
liked the integrated audio solution, but only
if a stand-alone card is unavailable. We also
appreciated the inclusion of both a Slot-1 and
a Socket370 connector on the board, although
the availability of slotket converters renders
this feature relatively moot.
you aren't concerned with the sub-par aspects
of the P6BXT (primarily the lack of
overclocking and ceiling of just four PCI
slots) then we can recommend it as it served
Reviews Matrox Marvel G400 TV 02:30
the incredibly resourceful Anandtech
has given us their review
on the new G400 TV from Matrox.
The G400 cards with their Enviroment Mapped Bump
Mapping (EMBM) appear to possess quite a bit of
potential, but it is a pity that they have not
taken off. Anyhow, here's the say from guys :
when should you buy the Marvel G400? If you
aren't low on disk space (or are willing to go
out and buy another hard drive for your
videos) and want to produce high quality home
videos and, at the same time, you want to use
that system for gaming and can find a use or
two for the DualHead feature then the Marvel
G400 starts to make sense.
is a difficult sell at $299, since the
software bundle could be strengthened
considerably and the video editing
capabilities are relatively unchanged since
the Marvel G200 but that still doesn't keep
the Marvel G400 from being the best overall
solution of its kind, at least until some
competition pops up.
a cost effective solution that brings desktop
video editing to you in an easy to use
package, Matrox succeeds where the rest have
failed. The $300 pricetag still brings you, as
a home PC user or a video enthusiast, video
editing at a reasonable price without
compromising features. The support for
hardware MJPEG just makes the Marvel G400 a
little more unique than the competition, in a
very good way.
G400 TV 08:23
This is fast! GA-Source
is quick to post a review on the new G400
TV card with hardware MPEG editing capabilities.
include is the MPEG2 Transcoder. It allows you to
convert avi files that you recorded into a variety
of different MPEG1 and MPEG2 sizes and formats. It
helps to fill in the file types that Avid Cinema
does not directly save to.
other piece of software that Matrox includes is a
software DVD decoder, which is also a must. One
thing that I thought was somewhat funny in the TNT/2
manufacturers is that (if you look at it) the
manufacturers who included TV out DIDN'T include
software DVD players, and vice-versa. Matrox, having
the best video out, also included the DVD player.
One nice feature with this is that using the
Dual-Head, you can pump the DVD output through the
secondary connector, and not have to watch it on the
monitor while it is displayed on the TV.
Video Guide Part 3 08:20
interesting piece of article over at TomsHardware
Video. The guys touched on topics like the
commonly used compression formats such as .AVI, .MPG etc.
They also have explanations on how MPEG encoding works.
PC users will almost certainly remember the first
time they were able to view a video clip on their
computer. The clips were about the size of a postage
stamp and were generously referred to as
"multimedia". Later, the first acceptable
video clips were used in the opening scenes of
computer games. In some cases, there were even
digital 3D animations that couldn't be created in
real-time with the hardware and software that was
available in those days. As the video clips demanded
extensive storage space (despite their short
length), they were only available on CD-ROM drives
that had recently become popular.
2000 vs Thrustmaster Top Gun USB 08:14
have a game controllers thrash out
over at SharkyExtreme
with the Saitek Cyborg 2000 vs Thrustmaster Top Gun
simulators suck when you're using a keyboard and
mouse. Space fighters like Freespace and X-Wing are
virtually unplayable without a flight stick. Every
gamer's arsenal should include a joystick or flight
stick. We took a look at ThrustMaster's popular Top
Gun USB and Saitek's incredibly customizable Cyborg
2000 to see if we could find you an inexpensive
flight stick we can recommend.
who sent us this piece of news. Looks like Matrox just
announced the G400 TV graphics card (similar to the
G200 Marvel we had last time) with hardware editing
the most powerful all-in-one graphics, video capture
and video editing card for the PC, the Marvel
G400-TV delivers the industry’s highest 3D, 2D and
multimedia performance plus the unparalleled quality
of hardware Motion JPEG (MJPEG) video capture and
editing, an onboard TV tuner with audio decoding,
high quality DVD playback and the best PC out to TV
functionality on the market. In addition to
achieving the fastest 3D gaming acceleration with
the flagship Matrox G400 chip, this all-in-one
graphics plus video editing card adds to the most
comprehensive all-in-one solution with unique
features that include DualHead Display and support
for Microsoft DirectX 6 Environment-Mapped Bump
Targeted at video editors, PC enthusiasts,
multimedia authors, family users and other demanding
home and business users, the Marvel G400-TV builds
on the Marvel G200-TV’s phenomenal success, which
includes winning PC Computing’s “Breakthrough
Technology of the Year” award (1998) and “Best
Video Editing Product of the Year” from PC
Magazine (1998). The new 16 MB Marvel G400-TV is an
AGP card equipped with a 300 MHz UltraSharp RAMDAC,
an easy-to-use Marvel connector box that simplifies
connecting all audiovisual cables, and a value-added
software bundle that includes the award-winning Avid
Cinema video editing software.
Tweak Released 08:01
to post a small blurb here. DemoNews dropped us a line
on the new version of G400 Tweak for Matrox G400
utility is for setting various undocumented and
unsupported registry settings for the Matrox
PowerDesk V5.x drivers. It is using Registry
Tweak, which allows you to create your own
registry tweaking utilities by adding to it’s
registry. New in this version: Created Registry
Tweak and implemented G400Tweak using that. This
mean you can add new registry entries and
implement other pages.
Building Your Own Rig Part 3 08:00
posted Part 3 of Building
your Own Rig. This time, they covered things like
setting up your BIOS, partitioning your hard disk and
this section, I will just show you the basic
selections that will need to be made, later on in
Part 4, I will show you the more advanced tweaking
methods of the BIOS as well as other different areas
to tweak. First off, when you bootup your computer,
it will show at the bottom left corner of your
screen what key to press to get into the BIOS, and
most usually it will be the DEL key. Once you have
entered the BIOS, first, set the time by going into
the Standard Settings area. You will be able to tell
what the format for the date and time will be when
you enter the Standard Settings area.
September 1999 - Friday
Commentaries Worth The Look 21:00
thought-provoking commentaries are freshly put up at osOpinion.
Well, I read the latest and think you'll like to read
them too! The first is on Sun Microsystems, a
discussion whether their ideas about thin clients are
what the user wants. Second on the list is
Stuart Norman's "Problem With Operating
Systems" - his hope for an OS nirvana. I have here
clips from both articles:
Most people despise thin clients for the same
reasons that Sun loves them. Desktop computers give
people the power of customization in terms of both
hardware and software. Users have come to appreciate
this power and are not very willing to give it up.
Problem With Operating Systems
An OS should not be exclusively graphically-based; a
text command line could appear anywhere the cursor
or pointer is, as in Oberon. Text should be both
character and graphic object, i.e., all text
displayed should have graphical properties and be
displayed in any desired font and size. There should
be no difference between a text mode and graphics
and upgrading software should be made simple. No
more should one need to replace whole applications,
modules or even the entire OS. I suggest patches
that would update and overwrite only the necessary
code, as is often used in UNIX systems. The
installer should be built into the OS so as to
enforce a uniform method of control, no more
separate installers with new software. The OS should
be able to handle these automatically and in a
operating system should know where everything is and
what it is at all times, so it should automatically
database all objects and their
properties/characteristics, as do journaling file
sent a note about their review
on the above, which is a pair of cool stereoscopic glasses
from i-Art Corporation. This hot new gadget works with
existing drivers by Elsa and Wicked3D, and it features
the widest 'screen' there is as well as a wireless,
infra-red connection. Check this out:
now we’ve covered how these glasses are built and
what they can do, and they are, all in all, the best
shutter glasses on the market. The real limiting
factor, then, is not of i-Art’s product, but of
the concept behind it. Shutter glasses by no means
provide a perfect replication of the way we see in
3D with two eyes. Ghosting, or seeing the image
intended for the other eye, in a pale form, occurs,
especially when the VirtualEyes’ on-board battery
power source runs low; there is no way to prevent
this (barring the invention of a cheap, completely
opaque, extremely responsive LCD screen).
3D Sound 20:38
is a new start up company that manufactures sound and
video cards. 3DSoundSurge
has an in-depth
review of their Vortex2 based card. Can't really
go wrong with a Vortex2 card, so here's their
summation of its worth:
you're looking for a soundcard that will offer a
great gaming and DVD experience the Outrageous 3D
Sound is the card you should buy. Right out of the
box you'll get the full version of of the two best
3D audio games so far (Thief and Heretic II), play
DVD movies including support for Dolby Digital sound
without need for any additional hardware. In
addition to that it comes with a limited version of
Half-Life and Descent 3, optical out for use with
MiniDisc or DD 5.1 systems and Music Match 4 that
let you create MP3 files from your current CDs with
near CD quality.
ST: Quake Hits Asia's Link To Internet 11:17
of you will recall the Internet outage we had days
back when earthquake hit the Taiwan island. While
reading my daily dose of The
Straits Times Interactive, I caught this headline
that should concern our local and Asian readers. First
of all, we recognize the unfortunate tragedy that
befell the Taiwanese people - the loss of lives and
properties - but another matter of concern is the alarming
fact that our crucial Internet access, which businesses depended on, clings only to a few fragile
strands of cable. Worrisome. Some clips:
Tiberian Sun 09:44
disruption of Internet access to the United States
and Canada that subscribers here experienced on
Tuesday has revealed a basic weakness of connections
to the Internet, at least from Asia.
would seem highly improbable that a disaster so far
away from home would have crippled the Internet
access of more than 250,000 people here. Frivolous,
one might say, considering that, in Taiwan, more
than 1,670 people lost their lives to the earthquake
while people here lost only their ability to surf or
were unable to check US-based e-mail.
inter-Pacific Internet connection is nowhere as
resilient as the intra-US network, which is
startling when you consider that the US is the
world's biggest e-commerce, content, and technology
market. It is simply where the money and information
are. Losing access to the US cannot be an option.
is timely that 10 Asian telecommunications companies
are meeting here next month with potential investors
to study the feasibility of laying another
underwater cable, presumably within Asia, to the
tune of US$750 million. Perhaps, more lines should
be laid across the Pacific as well. A costly
endeavour, no doubt, but necessary?
dropped us a line on their latest review on C&C2:
Tiberian Sun. I must confess, I still haven't
played this game! (updating HW1 is my favorite game
can hardly miss the similarities of Tiberian Sun to
Firstly, the storyline is set decades after
C&C, where Earth was covered by tiberian. The
people who survived were forced to eek an existence
underground away from the intoxicated land. The
Brotherhood of NOD once again resurfaces is led this
time by Kane’s brother (whom we all know died in
the original story.)
Once again, it’s the NOD versus GDI.
What happened to political maneuverings and
I guess a game like that won’t be much
so many unfortunate incidents happening lately, I'm
glad today is the Mooncake Festival. Have you tasted a mooncake
before? They are expensive, small, cake-like stuffs made up
from the Moon's sand dust (nah, just joking).
Anyway, tonight is the chance to catch exotic Asian chicks
carrying lanterns. Woohoos!
New Articles @ AGN Hardware 09:31
new articles over at AGN
Hardware. First is how to apply the thermal
compound to your processors. Second is how to
backup your hard disk using the Norton
Ghost program (don't leave home without it).
Here's some excerpts:
transference from one surface to another is
accomplished by displacing the air that gets trapped
between two surfaces, in our case the top of the CPU
and the bottom of the heatsink are the two surfaces.
The surfaces of the CPU and heatsink are such that
air is trapped between the two when they are joined
a preview on the wacky game Asheron's
Call over at Exxtreme3D.
Talking about games, I just tried the demo for Delta
Force 2 and it was disappointing!
might of heard (err, I mean you should of heard) of
EverQuest’s archenemy, “Asheron’s Call”.
It’s much like the game I’m addicted to
right now, but in its beta stages.
I received this game at my doorstep, and
thought to myself, it’s another addicting game
that will take most of my life and sleep away from
ACT-LABS GS Gun System 09:17
there's a new review on the ACT-LABS
GS Gun System. Here's some snippet:
GS (Gun System… get it?) is a slick-looking two
gun set with a supplemental controller which looks
kind of like a flashlight with a thumb joystick on
the top. This additional controller can simulate a
mouse for games like Quake, in which you have to do
more than just shoot. The unit is typical Act-Labs
gray, and typical Act-Labs quality-built. It doesn't
feel like a piece of cheap junk when you pick it up
(the Super NES so-called Super Scope comes to mind).
Microsoft NT Service Pack 6 09:07
to our pals over at ActiveWin
who sent this piece of news. NT Service Pack 6 is NOT
out yet (supposed to be out today?!?!). It will be delayed
for another week due to 'unforeseen' circumstances
(*ahem* as always).
III/Athlon Prices 09:01
I just love it when prices goes down. CPU
Review sent note on their latest review on the Pentium
III/Athlon prices and yes, the Athlon 600 Mhz is
cheaper than the Pentium III 600 now.
SGI Gets US Govt Funding For New Cray 08:37
can be sure nobody is satisfied with the fastest, when
it only lasts that long. SGI announced
that they will be receiving financial funding to
develop the Cray SV2 supercomputer.
supercomputer will feature powerful vector
processors while exploiting SGI's ccNUMA
(cache-coherent non-uniform memory access)
architecture. Plans call for the system to scale to
peak performances of multiple tens of teraflops,
many times faster than any supercomputer in
existence today. One teraflop is equivalent to a
trillion calculations per second.
Vs DSL 08:23
isn't much difficulty telling which is better here in
Singapore, but elsewhere, the competition is much
stiffer. Here's an article explaining the relative
merits of the technologies involved. Check it!
been engaged in the debate between the proponents of
cable modems and DSL for nearly a year now, and I've
become increasingly frustrated. Both sides seem to
be speaking past each other, arguing half-truths and
twisting the facts to suit their own arguments. This
isn't entirely surprising, considering the amount of
money on the table. But it isn't necessary, because
both technologies have merits and should be able to
stand on their own.
GeForce 256 Annihilator 08:19
I had to read this review
when I saw the note in my mailbox. This is what
could possibly be the most popular chipset for the
coming 6 months. 3DHardware.net
scored a first with this review of Creative's sexiest
board to date. It's still an early beta board, but if
the Quake III benchmarks are anything to go by, the
final drivers will make this board kick some serious
what do we think of the card so far? It definitely
have potential of becoming something really great,
the Quake III Test scores indicate very good
performance for such immature drivers and the
performance can only go up, especially when T&L
starts working. Creative Labs will not have
TV-Output on their GeForce 256 card and that is a
shame for us who use it. But the demand for it
hasn't been large enough to justify the added cost
of TV-Output which is why Creative Labs left it out.
September 1999 - Thursday
Future Power Dual Millenium 17:56
gang leader over at FiringSquad
just finished their review on the Dual
Millenium computer system powered by two Dual 466
again, there isn't exactly a huge demand for dual
Celeron systems out there. Most multiple CPU systems
are servers, and most companies will chose a dual
Xeon or P3 configuration (or something more
powerful) over the Celerons because companies are
skittish about buying unproven technology.
Celeron systems might be attractive workstations,
but are companies willing to risk putting mission
critical data on a dual Celeron server? Only small
businesses would seriously consider a dual Celeron
server. In addition to the small business market, a
small portion of the PC and game enthusiast market
would also be interested in dual Celeron systems.
Heatsinks Roundup 17:54
dropped us a line on their new
massive roundup on 9 heatsinks. So if you are
still shopping for a heatsink, check out their review.
heatsink is a good compromise between size and
cooling. The fans used do not push a lot of
air, but do an adequate job of keeping the heatsink
cool. An increase of only 3-5 degrees at
speeds of 558 and 580MHz is very good. I was
impressed with the performance of this heatsink from
the first time I tested it. The PIII-450 I
used for this test saw temps in the 125 degree range
when running at 580 MHz. With this processor
it was running at 107 degrees. Much
reviewed the AMK
SECC80 heatsink. The heatsink doesn't look very
impressive though, here's some snippet:
80 in the SECC80 stands for the size of the fan used
on this cooler; 80mm. While it looks big and
impressive, the fan really isn't that powerful. It
moves only 8 cubic feet of air per minute. Many 50mm
fan can do more than that. The upside to this is
that it's super quiet because the fan doesn't spin
wise, the SECC80 is the same height and length as
Global Win's VES20 or TennMax TF coolers. However
the SECC80 is twice as deep. It's like taking 2
Global Win VES20 or TennMax TF and sticking them
pals over at FPS3D
reviewed the HP
OfficeJet T65 printer cum fax. Hmm, I won't mind
having one at home (hey stupid, who will mind
OfficeJet T65 could not be any easier to install. It
took longer to unpack out of the box than to make
the necessary connections. The unit comes in a
single piece with two easily inserted paper-loading
trays. If you already own a parallel printer cable,
no additional purchases are required to print, scan,
fax, and copy. For the less technologically adept, I
recommend you pop in the installation CD prior to
installing. The CD contains informative videos that
will guide you step by step through the installation
process. If you wish to activate the scan and print
modes, you must install HP's included software,
which is not a hassle. If all you have is a single
phone jack, you can connect a phone to the OfficeJet
T65 and both fax and phone will be operational, but
not at the same time, of course.
Multimedia USB Review 17:40
new reviews over at Win-News.
First it's the Shark
Multimedia USB modem review (which is so darn
small) and the second one it's the review on the Voodoo3
2000 PCI graphics card.
installation is really, really, really easy, just
plug the USB cable to your computer and hook it up
to your modem/hub. Windows will detect your hub
and will install the drivers right away. For the
modem, you have to use the CD that is included in
really bad thing about this modem is that it only
works in Windows 98; it won’t work on Windows 95
and 2000(drivers soon, probably have to wait until
Windows 2000 hits RTM).
Windows RC2 Preview 10:12
is something new as 2CPU
dropped us a line on their preview on Windows
RC2 Build 2128. My verdict: it still hangs like
was definitely not flawless. The machine gave
me a couple errors telling me my profile was not
found, and my default environment was missing.
Then the OS comes to life. I thought "ok,
finally it is time to play a little". I
click on START and it sticks. The machine was
not locked, the START button was just depressed and
would not come back up. A quick
<ctrl><alt><delete> brings a
pleasant surprise. The new task manager is
very nice. It has a built in performance
meter, and a process ID list similar to what you get
in Un*x by typing "ps -A" at the command
line. So I restart the machine and all appears
to be well to this point. Office 2000
installed flawlessly and I am typing this review in
Front Page now.
Slot-1 Cooler 10:10
like we have another review on the Alpha1HO
cooler, this time it's from 3aG.
Here's some juice:
have to say that this monster could be a tough to
install if you're not exactly sure what you are
doing. The installation instructions provided were
for several various models, and it was unclear which
was the proper one. However, instructions on
3DfxCOOL's site made it much easier. If you grab one
of these fans, print out the instructions on the
site before trying to install it. From the
standpoint of how well it installs, it goes on like
most other fans. The heatsink attaches to your
processor, but the fans are perpendicular to the
metal strips on the heatsink.
Intellimouse Explorer 10:08
a blurb of the Microsoft
Intellimouse Explorer over at CPR
Extreme. Looks like the guys love it a lot and
gave it a rating of 10!
Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer is a breakthrough in
mouse technology. This mouse drops the ball in
favor of a new optical technology. It uses a
red LED to light up the surface the mouse is on,
then it has a sensor that takes up to 1500 pictures
per second of the surface. This totally
eliminates the need for a mouse pad as well as
roller cleanings. You do need, however, a
slightly detailed surface for it's tracking
capability. A wood desk surface is awesome.
About the only surfaces that don't seem to work as
well are white plastic, and glass.
Xlerate Pro 10:07
sure I got the spelling correct. Anyway, Speedy3D
sent note on their latest review on the Terratec
Xlerate Pro soundcard based on the Vortex2
Xlerate Pro is yet another A3D 2.0 card based on the
PCI A3D reference design. The Xlerate Pro is made by
Terratec, a huge audio card manufacturer in Germany,
but not so well know here in the US. The Xlerate Pro
is a card based on A3D's reference design (Terratec
didn't even bother to print their logo or name on
the PCB even). On top of that the Xlerate Pro's
drivers are also based on the A3D reference drivers,
but this time they put in their logo in place of the
A3D one. The Xlerate Pro also ships with Stereo
connector cables if you feel like connecting you
Xlerate Pro to any external sound devices.
September 1999 - Wednesday
Asus V3800 & VR Glasses 23:35
It's here, David posted his personal
take on the Asus V3800 TNT2 Ultra card and the VR
Glasses that came along. It's no poor man's card, so
is it going to be worth the dimes at all?
only thing that holds me back from strongly
recommending this card is its price. The card
currently retails at around S$450 and this makes it
one of the most expensive cards in the market now. I
suggest that you wait a few more months for the next
wave of graphics cards to be out as prices of TNT2
Ultra cards might have fallen by then.
PhotoChute3 USB Card Reader 23:31
This is an EVIL
review I tell ya! They are trying to make me a
really really poor guy. ReviewFinder
has a new review on Antec's PhotoChute3 USB card
reader - basically a reader for CompactFlash/Smartmedia
cards that transfers via the USB. Hmm... he mentioned
that he has the same toy (C2000Z) as I do! I have to
agree that serial transfers for photographs are SUPER
pain in the 'behind'... To give you the magnitude of
test it out, I filled up my 32MB SmartMedia card
with pictures from the camera, and inserted it into
the PhotoChute reader. I double-clicked on the
associated drive in Explorer, and it showed me the
contents of the card as if it were any other drive
in the system. I readied my stopwatch, then selected
the entire batch of pictures and dragged them to a
folder on my hard drive. To
copy 32MB of pictures took a mere 80 seconds. That's
it. From an hour using the serial cable down to just
over a minute with the PhotoChute3 USB.
posted a review
on the fearsome Pentium III coolers. According to Will
Geer, the thing took one of their 'weak' P3 from
450Mhz to 560Mhz. With this kind of cooling, I'm only
afraid my processor will catch a cold! =P
heatsink of the Alpha1-HO P3 is absolutely massive,
the biggest ever tested at 3D Rage. The Alpha comes
equipped with all the necessary mounting hardware to
successfully cool a SLOT-1 Celeron, SECC-2 Pentium
2, and SECC-2 Pentium 3 CPU. The cooler will stick
out 65mm from your CPU, so make sure your
motherboard can support this beast of a heatsink.
What would a heatsink be without two extraordinarily
large fans? Well, the Alpha1HO-P3 comes with two
60mm YS-Tech fans that push a whopping 27cfm of air
each. Along with these dual ball bearing fans and
heatsink comes a tube of heatsink compound that is a
must if you plan on overclocking your CPU, as this
will contribute to the heat transfer from the
heatsink to CPU.
Card Overclocking 23:13
has a new
guide on video card overclocking. It's brief but
it covered the necessary. I wonder what's next for
tweakers to play with, sound cards? Hmm... =)
are two main parts to overclocking your video card;
1) Overclocking the rate at which the core operates,
and 2) Overclocking the rate at which the memory
operates. While this may initially seem more
complicated, it actually is a much better way of
G4 Preview 23:05
FiringSquad threw up a preview
on Apple's upcoming G4. Termed 'Desktop Supercomputer'
and comes with cool sounding features like 'Velocity
Engine'. Looks even too good to be true huh? All the
power under this super SWEEET design!!! I say,
= P3-500 Overclocked? 13:10
seems to suggest that the P3-600 selling out there is
actually an overclocked P3-500.
latest SL3JT 600MHz P3 shares the same stepping,
core stepping and tagRAM stepping as the original
SL35E 500MHz chip introduced at the beginning of the
The only difference is an increase in clock
multiplier from 5X to 6X and core voltage from 2.0V
hell of a shoot-out
featuring the Celeron, P3 and Athlon.
took those 25 CPUs we compared and picked out the
three 500MHz processors that are powerful enough to
drive a high end gaming rig or a strong workstation
yet aren't bleeding edge so they won't set you back
that cold thousand for a single chip. What this
comparison at 500MHz isn't designed to do is give
you an idea of which CPU you can best use for your
business applications or which one makes for the
best web surfing machine. If you're in either of
those categories then you are thinking way too high
on the performance ladder and you should focus your
attention on something a bit less powerful such as a
slower Celeron or a K6-2. Why?
BE6 2.0 Preview 07:13
wacky buds over at HardOCP
posted a preview on the new ABIT
BE6 2.0 motherboard. Touted as the most
overclockable board on earth, it will definitely bring
you endless hours of fantasies.
and foremost to me is the fact that the board has a
new BIOS that is a bit different from the previous
ABIT BIOSes we have seen. There are help
screens integrated into the interface that will try
to give you some guidance in your use of the BIOS.
I like this feature, it still needs to be tweaked
and is not up to ABIT standards quite yet.
is the addition of the multiple FSBs.
Jeez.......these guys really went off this time.
Front side bus speeds from 83MHz to 200MHz in
integers of "1". I would say this
board will keep you going for a while.
they have ripped one of the ISA slots off.
Hasta la vista!!!!!!! They could have taken
the other one and I would have not cared.
pals over at BxBoards
scored a review on the MSI
6178 motherboard based on the i810 chipset.
MS 6178 comes in various flavours. Many manufactures
upgrade the rather basic and CPU intensive AC97
audio with a hardware solution. Optional, although
not present on our review board, is the inclusion of
Aureal Vortex 8810 hardware audio. Be warned however
that this chipset only includes a software
interpretation of A3D capabilities however. The
onboard AC97 audio can be disabled by onboard
jumper, and it is possible to fit a PCI soundcard to
on of the boards 3 PCI slots.
Tiberian Sun 07:10
dropped their usual hardware reviews and for a change,
sides of course still have to harvest the Tiberian
crystals that are slowly covering the surface of the
earth. Tiberian is the main resource in Tiberian
Sun, allowing you to create new buildings, troops
and tanks. Westwood also decided to include a new
blue coloured strain of Tiberian that is twice as
valuable as the green Tiberian, yet on the downside
of things is ever more damaging to unarmored troops
and is highly unstable, reacting to all nearby
explosions quite violently with its own self
destructive explosions. This new type of Tiberian
adds a new tactical aspect to the game as taking
control of blue Tiberian can swing the balance of a
game, and yet it can be very dangerous to troops
(and indeed your Harvester if an enemy troop decides
to blow up the blue Tiberian).
Formula Racing Wheel 07:07
at AGN Hardware,
there's a new review on the Wingman
Formula Racing Wheel. With the wheel, you can tear
thru your opponents in Need for Speed more easily
(hey, if you are really good, using the keyboard also
does the same job).
pedal base unit is separate, and takes up a fair
amount of space under a desk. The gas and break
pedals offer different amounts of tension, which
makes telling the two apart with your feet fairly
simple. Also molded into the pedal base unit is what
Logitech calls a "dead pedal", which is
essentially a foot rest. Like most of Logitech's
recent WingMan products -the WingMan Formula is
programmable via the Logitech WingMan Profiler
Banshee/V3 Fix 07:03
Game Palace dropped us a line that a updated
Banshee/V3 fix is available for Windows 2000 RC2
Force 2 Preview 06:57
this is one of my favorite games again. Speedy3D
Force 2. Thank goodness the graphics is improved
over the last one (which was very disappointing).
time around NovaLogic (NL) have added 32Bit
rendering and texturing (not really textures though,
Voxels) to the engine. Not only that but fog, rain,
grass, snow, more trees, variety in landscape design
and environments as well as new play styles.
Basically the old Delta Force is there but now you
have a much-improved engine, which puts some polygon
systems to shame and many different locations with
accompanying effects to add depth.
Review done a first looks on OpenLinux
v2.3. So check it out over there if you are one of
those Linux fans. :)
inclusion of Wordperfect 8, ApplixWare 4.4.2,
StarOffice 5.1, and BRU PE is prominently featured
on the back of the package.
The included ApplixWare is only a 30 day trial
version, the included Wordperfect 8 and StarOffice
5.1 licenses supplied with COL 2.2 are for personal
Spear Demo 06:51
reviewed on the game Rogue
Spear Demo. Hey, this game is nice!
Spear boasts improved graphics over its predecessor,
including pretty weather models that should make
your team's nipples stand out on those crisp autumn
mornings. Overall, though, it looks fairly similar
to the original - solid, decent looking graphics,
but nothing groundbreaking. After all, who has time
to break graphical ground when they're busy
designing a game that's fun, fun, fun?
Prices: Analysis and Forecast 06:48
buds over at iXBT
sent note on their latest article on Memory
Prices: Analysis and Forecast. Anyway, due to the
Taiwan earthquake, don't expect prices of motherboards
and other electronics to be any cheaper.
we see, some companies left the market, and some of
them decided to save time and trouble and simply
shifted to more profitable memory - 128Mbit SDRAM.
This is undoubtedly a very logic solution. This
seems particularly clever keeping in mind that
though the manufacturing of these chips costs almost
the same money as that of 64Mbit SDRAM, their price
in May was almost 6 times as high as that of 64Mbit
SDRAM chips. The only problem is that we will have
to wait for some time before 128Mbit chips are
really widely used for memory modules manufacturing,
while 64Mbit chips are urgently needed right now,
which may appear a problem since most companies
simply escaped the market.