Computer Hardware / News Sites

Ace's Hardware  --  Brian, Johan, Paul, et al have produced one of the best hardware sites around.  I don't always completely agree with the site's analyses, but Ace's Hardware puts work into its reviews and it shows.  If you are going to bookmark only a handful of sites, seriously consider adding this one.  One downside is that Ace's is often not updated for days at a time.  Ace's forums are excellent and are just about the only message boards I visit.  Sadly, these forums have recently been overrun by anonymous flamers often causing discourse to meander and degenerate. 

AMDZone  --  Chris and Jeff have done a great job with this AMD-centric site.  AMDZone is one of my favorites since it rarely if ever pulls punches.  AMDZone is typically updated several times a day.

AnandTech  --  Originally, Anand offered me a job about an hour or two before Tom did.  I often wonder what life would have been like if I had gone to AnandTech instead of to THG.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, and sometimes sounding too much like an infomercial, the site is still worth visiting.

ArsTechnica  --  Writing and analysis at Ars are at times superlative.  Joel now writes there.

Byte.com  --  A sentimental favorite, this is the surviving remnant of the venerable and terrific print magazine of the same name (sans the ".com").  In its glory days, Byte was to American journalism as to what c't is to the German media -- except Byte was bigger and grander.

c't  --  A German language site that is its print magazine's equivalent.   c't's heart and soul, Andreas Stiller, is one of the best men I have met in this business and someone I feel fortunate to consider a friend.  c't is worth reading even through a translator.

Digit-Life  --  Number 2 to X-bit labs for best English language Russian site.

EBN  --  A reliable source for news, Jack Robertson works here.  Robertson is one of the more famous semiconductor journalists.

InQuest  --  This is the last company I worked for and I contributed to most of the articles produced while I worked there.  Bert McComas has many inside connections making it well worthwhile to read his analyses.  Bert often gets his hands on technology before anyone else.  InQuest also plays host to The Platform Conference, one of the most important regular events in the semiconductor industry, particularly for those parties who support open standards.

The Inquirer  --  This is Mike Magee's old home.

ITExaminer  --  This is Mike Magee's new home.

JC's Home Page  --  John Cholewa regularly manages to dig up and post interesting news and rumors.  I visit this site daily.  I count John as a personal friend.

LostCircuits  --  Some of the better hardware reviews can be found at LostCircuits.  Michael Schuette is one of the most qualified analysts in the hardware community.  Although LostCircuits is not updated as often as some others sites, there is a lot of solid reference material available here.

Geek.com  --  A nicely done site with broad emphasis.  The Geek is one of my favorite sites.

The Register  --  The Register is the granddaddy IT web tabloids.

sandpile.org  --  A very good source for technical x86 processor information.

Sudhian  --  Joel once wrote here.

tecChannel.de  --  The home of good man Nico Ernst, this is an outstanding German site.

Tech-Report  --  Produces intelligent reviews and analysis.  News coverage and commentary are very good as well.  One of the best hardware sites around.

Tom's Hardware Guide  --  My old, old haunt, I produced a large number of articles there back in the day.  Those articles mostly disappeared after the scandal that erupted when readers discovered that the bylines had suddenly changed.  THG is under new ownership and has become a pretty good site again.

X-bit labs  --  A successful English language Russian site, X-bit labs produces quality articles.  The site is also updated very frequently.  Probably a "Top Ten" site.


Technology Discussion

Slashdot  --  The site for discussions ranging from computer hardware to science fiction to Linux versus XP to philosophy to physics.  The name of this site is often written "/." ("slash-dot," get it?).  There is a lot of traffic and idiot noise at this site, but it remains a gem of the Web.  There have been rumors that /. might be in danger -- for the sake of free speech, let's hope not.

Various Newsgroups  --  Newsgroups are truly great in that they encourage free discourse, however be aware that there are many pornographic newsgroups so you should probably monitor your children's newsgroup usage.  There are topics on just about every conceivable subject.  With the capability for anonymous postings, MP3 files and software (often pirated and cracked) also constitute a big portion of newsgroup activity.  Send me your favorite newsgroups and I'll list them.  With love to Microsoft, here's one to get you started: alt.cracks.  A few others:  alt.comp.hardware.overclocking.amd, comp.sys.intel, alt.binaries.music.mp3, alt.life-mars.


World News

I have yet to find a satisfactory independent news source.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Also, has anyone noticed that MSNBC is now sneaking in pop-up ads?

BBC News  --  Jonny writes, "The BBC is funded by the British TV Licence scheme so has no adverts and is not influenced by any corporations..... amazing in this day and age eh !!!"  I like their science/technology page.

Infowars.com  --  The irascible, maniacal, entertaining and often insightful Alex Jones lives here.  This site is not for the timid of heart, but is invaluable for those looking for truth in an age of illusion.  As always, trust what you can verify.

iraqwar.ru  --  [NOW DEFUNCT] This Russian site doled out Iraq war information so accurately that it has been accused of being a tool set up to aid the Iraqis by the enormous Russian intelligence agency, GRU.  A few of the articles on the site have not been reliable, so be careful about accepting every item there at face value.  There are psychopaths that haunt their forums, which are definitely not suitable for children.



BetaNews  --  A great place for updates on beta software and news about the computer industry.



NewScientist.com -- This site would be more accurately named" NewWorldOrderScientist.com."  NewScientist often has interesting articles, but it also publishes outrageous propaganda promoting torture, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and globalist pseudoscience.  Always read NewScientist cautiously.

nature.com --  According to Tom, nature delivers "a slightly more in depth view than new scientist usually offers."



Blue's News

Gaming has become as big an industry as the motion picture business and gaming is expected to dwarf movies in the next few years.  Because of this, there has been extreme pressure on gaming sites, resulting in the death of many.  Although I like games, I simply don't have much time anymore for them.  If you have favorite independent sites that you trust, send me the links and I'll post them here.  If you have a strong opinion about a game and want to write about it, I'll post your thoughts.  If you have a burning passion for games, I suggest that you set up your own site or join a cooperative.  I'll do whatever I can to help.

Here is a quote from a Big Money site, GameSpy targeted at investors:

A Bright Future
GameSpy Industries is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the expanding games industry. With major financial investors such as Ubi Soft/GameLoft, the Yucaipa Companies (a Michael Ovitz venture), and C/Net (formerly ZDNet), and a series of strategic alliances throughout the media and Internet industries including Real Networks, Ziff-Davis, and GameLoft (a subsidiary of UbiSoft/Guillemot), we have built a strong reliable business that draws on a diverse mix of revenue streams.

Our star is already on the rise. In January 2001, GameSpy acquired one of its top competitors, the Mplayer online games service, bringing GameSpy's combined total Internet reach to 18 percent (source: Media Metrix) and adding a large advertising network and an experienced management team to the list of GameSpy's assets. GameSpy is headquartered in Irvine, California.



ATi  --  ATi's graphics products have looked fantastic lately although their Athlon chipset stinks.  You'll find your ATi drivers here.

NVIDIA  --  Get nVidia drivers here.

VIA downloads  --  This is the official page for VIA chipset drivers.


Internet Search Tools

Google  --  Google is our favorite search engine.  Not only is Google comprehensive and fast, but it also caches pages it indexes, so if a page disappears after it is indexed, Google will still have a copy.  It also automatically offers to translate foreign language pages.  If you are a frequent Google flyer then you will want to take a look at the Google Toolbar.  Some search engine companies sell priority for their searches -- if you pay them, your pages will appear as the first links on related searches.  Let us know if you have any inside information.

qbsearch  --  qbsearch is a particularly thorough and flexible example of a metasearch engine, a service that executes your query against several different search engines.  Other metasearch services are Dogpile, Metacrawler and Monster Crawler.

DirectSeek  --  There are a number of free programs that will take your query and poll numerous search engines.  DirectSeek is one of them, but not necessarily the best.  Although we are not big fans of anything ZD, WebFerret, recently bought by ZDNet, is more comprehensive and straightforward.  Let us know of your favorite metasearch programs.

Price Watch -- Search for the best prices on computer hardware components.

Reverse Directory Phone Book  --  Find out who owns a particular phone number.  This engine also does searches on partial numbers.  Many other handy tools at this site as well.

whois  --  Find out who owns an IP address.  You might try register.com to look up URL info.



Project Gutenberg  --  Lots of classic works available online for free.



britannica.com  --  Billed as the world's most comprehensive encyclopedia, Britannica is now online with a powerful search engine.

Internet Anagram Servant  --  Find anagrams for any word.



Although this category may seem a little out of place, I was raised to appreciate fine craftsmanship as well as the utility of a good pocket knife.  Here are a few links to companies that hearken back to a time of perhaps more commonplace integrity and workmanship.

A.G. Russell  --  Arkansas has a large number of skilled knifesmiths and A.G. Russell here in Springdale is known worldwide.  A.G. Russell sells mass market knives designed here but made primarily in Japan, but the knives that are the real works of craftsmanship are both designed and made here in Springdale.  My wife purchased this knife for me several years ago as a gift.  It is largely handmade, the blade is of Damascus steel and the scales are of 20,000 year old mammoth ivory.  This knife has already appreciated in value by about 30-40% in the couple of years I have had it.  If you are not familiar with terms like "Damascus steel," A.G. Russell has written a useful online knife encyclopedia.  Another big name in knife making is Bob Dozier who also lives here in Arkansas.  In addition to his own brand, A.G. Russell sells Dozier's knives as well those from many other renowned knifesmiths.

Leatherman  --  These knives set the standard for high quality, utilitarian pocket tools.  Both my wife and I own the Leatherman Wave.  Although there are many copycat "multi-tools," the superb design and implementation of the Wave are unmistakable.  Just to hold one is enough to imbibe confidence that this instrument was conceived and built with pride.  Although these are affordable mass market items in an era of decreasing quality and character, Leatherman products, made in America, transcend this sad trend.  And the usefulness of the Wave is unparalleled.  Be warned, however, that the two blades on the Wave are wickedly sharp. [Note: Leatherman was recently told to pay $13-million for misusing the "Made in USA" label.  The company plans to appeal the decision.]