Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By Nils Dahl

Date: October 08, 2001


Some 20 years ago, IBM released its model 5150 PC to the world. The architecture and expansion features were, as a combination in one package, quite unique. But the most important part of the 5150 was the reputation of IBM behind its design and all of its early expansion features. Please note that - the reputation of the industry leader in the computer world made all the difference.

Today, the computer world's condition can be easily - and sadly - exemplified by the posting of videos that show AMD Athlon processors self-destructing. That this arranged event demonstrates nothing new or unexpected (AMD's web site section for Athlons specifically states that a heat sink is mandatory) but only attempts to cast a negative light on AMD's technologically advanced products is even sadder due to the source - a very well educated person whose reputation was based on integrity in reporting the truth. This was a partial truth. There is currently no information (that I can find) on the Internet regarding motherboards that support the Athlon XP/MP internal thermal diode temperature sensing or on software that uses the internal diode's capabilities to activate any safety measures. Reminds me that I should check motherboards specifically designed for the Athlon MP processor.


More importantly, the typical reader of the website where this demonstration was posted is usually technically literate and more likely to be buying superior heat sinks than removing them. Had the videos been shown as commercials during major televised sports events, this bit of nonsense might have had some impact on the potential market of first time computer buyers. But the precedent was set some years ago - when a national news organization attached road flares to the gas tanks of a brand name truck. This did indeed enhance the chances of a massive fire occurring during vehicle impact - in a way that courts later ruled to be deceptive. The news agency apologized for that trick.

Well, October 9 is coming. And AMD is now fully aware of the extent to which its competition will go in attempting to damage AMD's product line. So some good might come of this.

Reminds me a bit of Harry Potter - learning, growing up, gaining self-confidence, making some good friends, and discovering just who his enemies are. We know in our hearts that Harry is going to win - just because of his attitudes and personality. His enemy's philosophy is a fatal weakness. It goes like this:

"There is no good or evil - only power." Lord Voldemort

nils dahl
just an old man


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