December 31st, 2001


ECS Takes Top Spot
Mario writes: DigiTimes reports the estimated 2001 total shipments of the major Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers.  Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) edges out Asustek as the number one supplier by shipping 14.92 million units.  Its low-price marketing strategy no doubt contributed to its success during this economic downturn.  MSI and Gigabyte are three and four, respectively.


December 30th, 2001


Web Watch
Win an Xbox.


XboxHacker: Xbox Hacking FAQ
Interesting tidbits of information about the Xbox.


the inquirer: AMD Chip Named CPU of the Year
The VIA P4X266 is tagged "Bravest" move for taking on Chipzilla noggin-to-noggin, while Kentron QBM is labeled "Most Interesting" new technology.  Sony gets "Worst Technical Support" booby prize.


December 29th, 2001


The Success of AMD's New Nomenclature
Tick-for-tick, some of AMD's newly introduced processors have turned Intel's age-old selling price dominance on its head.


the inquirer: Athlon XP 2000+ for Sale in Japan
Quoting Mario: the inquirer gets the scoop on AMD's latest Athlon XP2000+.  Looks like AMD's ramp is going very well.  Our Japanese friends will be paying ¥50,000 which equates to around $380.  Looks pretty expensive until you read the next sentence.  Intel's 2.2GHz Northwood is selling for ¥80,000 which equals about $608.  Does Intel's Northwood perform 60% better than AMD's best?  No, but that's the price premium the Japanese consumer is asked to pay.  Let's hope they can do the math.


December 28th, 2001


The Afghan Oil Pipeline

Unocal throws a party for the Taliban in Houston in this October article.

As John Flynn wrote in 1944: "The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilize savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells."


Web Watch
It is hard to keep up with all of the information that we get sent each day, so we have created a new feature for VHJ entitled “Web Watch.” This daily page contains links to reviews, analysis and other articles submitted to us by computer hardware and news sites from around the Worldwide Web.


Linux Crystal Ball Gazing
Mario writes: Freelancer Joe Barr reflects on his predictions from last year and considers how Linux will impact the next. Also, Robin "Roblimo" Miller takes the Linux crystal ball and gazes deeper into 2003, as this is the year that M$ will end full support for Win 98 & NT.


Asus Athlon 760MPX Motherboards Available?
EvilPaul lets us know that he has spotted the Asus A7M266-D on Price Watch for about $250.


December 27th, 2001


BestBuy.com to Sell Only P4 Alienware Gaming PC's
Serendipitously complimenting our earlier story today, Mario writes:
What a surprise! AMD's Athlon XP provides the best overall gaming platform, yet BestBuy.com chooses not to offer AMD based systems, systems that provide the best bang for the buck. When will retailers stop taking the consumer for a ride and offer real choice and value? My advice, if you want an Alienware system, visit their website and buy the Athlon based Aurora and save yourself 100's of $$$'s.


Red Hat & Mandrake Linux Review
From Mario: Tech-Junkie compares the latest offerings from these respected vendors using an Athlon XP1600 system and looks at installation, desktop usability, gaming performance compared to Win XP, and a Q & A with both these companies.

Those considering the switch to Linux should give this a read. Those who want to migrate to Linux but wish to avoid the do-it-yourself pit falls should also read this Red Hat 7.2/Athlon XP1700+ system review.


Cold Calculus of Corporate Bribery
Joseph Zaher writes:

A while back, VHJ posted a story about how Compaq does not offer Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 on AMD machines and that this may have been at Intel's request. I believe there were numerous other instances where Intel is offering severe incentives for PC makers NOT to advertise AMD. The controversy as to the legality of this practice was discussed.

Well, just last week I was reading the Yahoo! AMD message board and came across references to this article, which blatantly explains the workings of Intel's marketing and why I haven't seen one commercial from Compaq or HP featuring AMD and probably won't anytime soon.

A pretty cold article. Intel is celebrating the practice of suppression of AMD from the market rather than focusing on advertising it's own offerings.

This is pretty darn close to running a negative campaign (mind you, Jerry Sanders has always been blatantly negative about Intel as well). It is sad but probably true that this marketing practice is perfectly legal. You would think Intel has plenty of lawyers to advise in this matter.

Finally, here is another article from a couple of years ago hinting at other Intel marketing wrongdoing [ed: it is also interesting to note how much market share has changed since this article; in 1998 AMD only had 12% while independent projections for this year are around 27%]..


More P4 Woes for Intel
From Mario: DigiTimes reports that South Korea has suffered P4 shortages for the past three months forcing Samsung to evaluate AMD processors for possible use [ed: this is just after Intel's press release boasting that one division of Samsung had decided to establish an "Intel Architecture Solutions Lab" conspicuously using the Pentium 4]. Also, the healthy sales of Athlon XP desktops by rival TriGem Computers have no doubt been another factor which it has had to take on board.


December 26th, 2001


News Site of the Day: Independent Media Center
Yes, some of the stories at Indy Media are off the deep end -- sometimes from the far Right, but most often the extreme Left -- but the site is all about free and independent discourse and is powered by people who care: its readership provides the bulk of the site's material.  If you have something you want to say or if you want to add to or counter an argument, Indy Media lives by its readership's posts.  If you don't mind wading through a little noise or encountering the not-so-rare extremist, there are often interesting news items published at IM that corporate media do not carry.  And, occasionally, you will find an intelligent, probing and sincere write-up from one of the visitors to a site inherently of the people and by the people.


Ebola Expert Found Dead in Mississippi River
Renowned Harvard biochemist Don Wiley was considered one of the world’s leading researchers of deadly viruses. Family members rule out suicide. Dr. Wiley, who had been missing for more than a month, was in Memphis visiting family and attending a scientific meeting at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Link courtesy of Hertel.


The End of Duron & Celeron in 2002?
From Mario: This story discusses the convergence of price between budget and performance processors, making Duron and Celeron chips unattractive, but misses the impact it could have on Intel to AMD's advantage.

This could be very good news for AMD for three reasons. Firstly, if Intel has to switch off Celeron to build 0.18 P4's, the die size at a minimum doubles causing Intel to have to ramp up wafer production just to keep on par with what they're currently shipping, adding serious cost.

Secondly, if Intel again fails to execute on P4, failing to deliver as they did this quarter, AMD will see more heightened activity at its fab plants to the benefit of its impoverished bottom line.

Thirdly, when DDR memory becomes mainstream next year, this could mark the death-knell of Celeron as it only supports SDRAM [ed: Mario is in error here; VIA, for one, offers DDR SDRAM Socket 370 chipsets, but the Celeron’s FSB limits the budget CPU’s ability to take advantage of the extra bandwidth]. Because Duron supports both types of memory and the same socket architecture as Athlon, Duron still has a future because many OEM's and channel builders will always want to build at the lowest possible cost, no matter how marginal the savings. Duron will give these companies flexibility that Celeron doesn't come near to offering.

If all this comes to pass next year, AMD could quite possibly end up acquiring a very healthy share of the budget market.


December 25th, 2001


Xbox for Investors
Microsoft admits that the console delivers little to no profits while stating, unsurprisingly, that gaming titles are the real money makers.


Merry Christmas!
May the Spirit of Christ deliver peace, happiness, charity and goodwill across the world today.  We at VHJ wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and hope that everyone finds themselves in the joyous company of family and friends this holiday season.


December 24th, 2001


AMD's Dominance in European Retail

Our friend Johan De Gelas, a Senior Editor at Ace's Hardware, has posted on his site's message board retail market information for Europe's top PC processors.  Johan, who also works for ZD Belgium, writes:

some information (from an industry source) about the Europe Retail market:

Intel Pentium 4: 8-10%
AMD Athlon/Duron: 50-55%
Intel PIII/Celeron:30-35%
VIA C3: <1%

Not only does AMD boast the lead in overall market share, but Intel's Pentium 4 remains marginalized at a market slice very close to single digits.  VIA has not yet targeted Western markets with it low-power C3, a CPU that remains production constrained due to strong demand in the East and Mideast.


December 23rd, 2001


Digital Media Industry Praise Athlon MP
And rightfully so.  Mario writes that this "Creativecow.net editorial adds to the tidal wave of praise building up for Athlon MP."


Vladivostok News: Volcanic Power Plant Started in Kamchatka
50 megawatt Russian power plant taps Mutnovsky volcano.  The total station capacity is planned to be 300 megawatts.  Link courtesy Blair Myers.

December 22nd, 2001


TruForm Quake II
Good guy EvilPaul writes:  The source to Quake 2 was GPL'ed and within hours it was hax0red by the 1337 and nefarious M@ and ATI's TruForm support was added.  You can download it at the link above.

Terrorist Nukes in the USA?
Spencer writes:  The potential for small nuclear weapons having been smuggled into the US for a follow on "decapitating" attack on the government is reported in this item.  It is known that the former USSR had produced over 100 backpack size and suitcase type nuclear weapons and that dozens of them are unaccounted for.

Of course, there is also the much easier to source and build "dirty" bomb to consider.  Both types of weapons and various nightmare scenarios have US and Israeli security forces highly focused.

It is reported that a backpack style weapon was intercepted entering Jerusalem in October.  Such a device would be relatively small but its 3-5 kiloton yield would devastate quite a large area, particularly if it were rigged for an aerial burst.  Quite a lot of information in a single article.


In addition to the link above, here is another related article.


December 21st, 2001


Press Release: AMD Athlon(tm) XP Processor Powers PC Magazine's Best Of 2001 Desktop PC
Compaq's 'Built For You' Presario 8000Z Wins Best of 2001 for Performance Desktop Computer; Features World's Highest Performing PC Processor.


VIA Chipsets’ PCI Burst Length Gates Throughput
Lowers maximum transfer rates for ATA133 PCI cards. A BIOS or driver patch will probably be issued.

It's Winter...

...time to look at big squid.


Analysts and Investors Differ on AMD

Link from Mario.


AMD Processor Shipments to Grow By 40% in 2001

According to this DigiTimes article, as the Intel Pentium 4 shortage continues unabated, AMD expects to sell a whopping 40% more processors this year than last.  Also, previous rumors of a January launch for the Athlon XP 2000+ have been confirmed.  Link courtesy Mario.


Windows XP Sales Sluggish

The article, on MSNBC, fails to cite consumer backlash due to XP's invasive WPA as a possible cause for the lackluster launch.


December 20th, 2001


3D Memory Said to be Coming Soon

Cheap write-once, stacked, eight-layer memory technology is claimed to yield nine to ten times more chips per wafer. The design could lead to inexpensive multipacks of memory sold at grocery store checkout counters. Applications include MP3, picture and PDA program storage. Link courtesy Jesse.


Computer gags

From Spencer: An interesting offshoot of AI research is using AI techniques to produce computer generated jokes. Some of them, as a play on words, are actually funny.


Mars Robot Prototypes

From Spencer: The future search for water on the planet Mars will require ever more sophisticated and agile robotic technology. NASA is developing a variety of robots to search the planet surface and subsurface. NASA has robots that work as a team, tumbling/rolling balls, bulldozer styles and more. The newest ones are capable of scaling cliffs and traversing 40 degree slopes, essential capabilities for dealing with rocky Martian terrain.


AtlantaOC: Creative Inspire 5300 Speakers Review

AtlantaOC has a review of the Creative Inspire 5300 Speakers.


Iwill & Chaintech to offer Athlon MP solutions

Mario writes: AMD has let the cat out the bag. No official announcement of dual MP solutions from these manufacturers or AMD, but they appear at the above link. These two companies will join Tyan, ABIT, ASUS, EPoX, and MSI in offering MP solutions for the workstation/server environment. Athlon MP is readying to steamroll the market in 2002.


Just a comment on Mr. Bray

Mark writes: I've enjoyed Mr. Bray's columns in the Boston Globe. He is our local IT reporter. Just good, common sense stuff. I am glad to see he's getting some recognition.


Press Release: AMD Partners With Semi And Industry Leaders To Develop Security Framework For Web-Based Collaboration
NIST-funded project to improve manufacturing productivity.


Video Game Deal of this Christmas Season

The Sega Dreamcast is now being sold for only $50 and games start at under $10.  Many Dreamcast games are of equal or even better quality than what is available for the Sony PlayStation II.  Although the Dreamcast platform has been officially discontinued, there are a sizable number of good games available for the system with new titles still being introduced.


Study: New Cars Are Bad For Your Health
"New car smell," the aroma that intoxicates so many, causes cancer according to a two-year Australian study.  Next thing in line to kill us will likely be popping bubble wrap.  Link courtesy Technical Sergeant Timothy Backstrom.


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Our team at Centaur was treated by C.J. Holthaus to a viewing of the new movie adaptation of the first novel in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  It had been over twenty years since I had read Tolkien, so I cannot vouch for the movie's accuracy (and there is talk that the late Mr. Tolkien's descendents are divided with the adaptation, but these rumors have recently been denied), but I can say that the picture was very good -- an instant classic in fact.  Although the direction did throw in a few clichés in what can only be explained as attempts to contemporize the story, these commercially motivated forays were few and relatively minor. 


The nearly three hour motion picture epic is visually mesmerizing and is paced rapidly enough throughout to leave the viewer tired yet entertained and even inspired.  I did not expect to like this movie, but it turned out to be the best motion picture I have seen this year.  The show drips in violence which is largely necessary to the plot, but despite this The Fellowship of the Ring is a very appealing family movie due to its embodiment of those noble human qualities that are too often trivialized or ignored in typical family movie fare -- and, frankly, the battle scenes are rousing entertainment.  In a time of pervasive commercial, vacuous and manipulative garbage, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring stands out as a faithfully spirited work of art and a reminder of some of the basic elements of Western culture and mythology passed through the mind of one of the most influential modern British writers.


Pop media's attempts to equate The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter is akin to seriously comparing Shakespeare to Pokemon.


Perhaps the most important message of this movie, especially in today's uncertain times, is that even the most physically frail of us has the innate potential to change the world for the better through commitment to ideals, purity of heart, courage, faith and fellowship.


December 19th, 2001


Press Release: Samsung Life Insurance To Focus On Intel-Based Solutions For Next-Generation It Infrastructure

Samsung Life Insurance To Focus On Intel-Based Solutions For Next-Generation It Infrastructure. Intel Korea, Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung SDS Agree to Study End-to-End IT System, Build On-Site Intel® Architecture Solutions Lab.


Hell No! Implantable ID Chips Near to Market

Don’t allow our short-term fears to be used as leverage to override our minds. Our country rebelled against England for less than some of the invasive measures being discussed now in the name of national security.

Has Anyone Noticed…
…that Linley Gwennap is rarely correct, but is oft-quoted anyway? It is amazing that Little Linley’s ego can fit into his comparatively tiny body; maybe his swollen narcissism has crowded out his brain. Nah! If you examine his sound bites closely you’ll see that LG is doing little more than parroting Intel PR.

Drawing Swords - AMD & Intel Rivalry Gets Ferocious

Mario writes: A surprising balanced and well written article. Hiawatha Bray, Special to NewsFactor Network  writes:

The headquarters of Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are practically next-door neighbors, close enough to drop by and borrow a cup of silicon. Or arsenic, for that matter. There's no love lost between these titans of technology. They're ferocious competitors in one of the world's most ferociously competitive markets. A yearlong slump in the computer business has only stoked the flames.

Now there are hints of recovery in the air. Sales of cheap PCs remain unexpectedly strong, leading both companies to boost their sales and revenue forecasts. But for these two leading chipmakers, a few rays of economic sunshine merely signal fair weather for battle.

Shuttling between Intel in Santa Clara and AMD in Sunnyvale is like passing through a portal between two parallel universes. In the land of AMD, you find a company that's steadily gaining market share with its powerful Athlon processors.

AMD is betting hundreds of millions that it can keep gaining on Intel, which is spending billions to fend off its rival. All that cash and geek machismo make the headquarters of AMD and Intel the roughest neighborhood in Silicon Valley.


VIA Stresses Victory Over Intel in AMD Chipset Case

From Mario. Digitimes.com writes:

VIA Technologies emphasized on December 17 that it had obtained “total victory” in the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Intel over VIA’s Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)-supporting chipsets.

VIA refuted Intel’s statement that the companies reached a settlement because “VIA redesigned its products in an effort to avoid infringing on Intel’s patents.” The Taiwan chipset designer said that the legal dispute ended because Intel itself withdrew the case and it had not violated Intel’s patents.

To give a clearer account of the case, VIA asked its US lawyers to participate in a press conference via a video conference. The lawyers said that VIA did not make any payments to obtain the outcome and would not pay any royalties. Although no injunction can arise from this case, Intel said that it retains all of its rights to the patents and could bring suit at a later time if infringement occurs in the future.


Press Release: VIA Announces the 933MHz VIA C3™ Processor
Newest version of the 'cool processing' VIA C3™ processor raises the performance bar for space saving, low power, low heat desktop and notebook PC systems.


Press Release: AMD's Multiprocessing Platforms Validated For Mental Ray Rendering Software
Creators of realistic high-resolution images can now take advantage of powerful AMD Athlon(tm) MP processor-based workstations and servers.


Press Release: DaimlerChrysler Chooses AMD-Based Server For Enterprise Computing
AMD Athlon(tm) MP processor-based cluster to run state-of-the-art safety tests for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.


MSFT monopoly on DSL?

From Spencer: Is Microsoft up to more dirty tricks? It could be according to this article on how difficult it is to get away from them if you have a Qwest DSLconnection. Of course, when you get caught, the best defense is to stonewall. Both Qwest and Microsoft refuse to disclose vital information (how typical of arrogant monopolies). They have even raised the rates for changing ISP's to nearly$100 and forced waiting periods of weeks. It's a mess and some are filing complaints with their attorneys general. So much for integrity in the telecom biz (but we already knew there wasn't any).


AMDZone: The FIC AquaPad

Chis is not only reviewing this nifty unit, but selling it as well.  The price is right -- $700 for a 256MB tablet PC with an active matrix display.  However, the system would have been a better performer with a VIA C3 over the quirky 500MHz Crusoe.  Still, the AquaPad is compelling.  Good luck, Chris.


The Register Axes Four

Early this year, in one of the more shameful public displays of dot-com greed over integrity, The Register severed its brain, Mike Magee, from its body and joined the ranks of the walking undead.  Ousted "Mad Mike," the cofounder and former heart-and-soul of the now zombie-fied British Web page, has gone on to start his own site, the inquirer.  Industry scuttlebutt has it that in its very short history the inquirer has already surpassed its older retarded stepbrother in terms of daily page views.  To heap indignity on top of implosion, The Register, in dire financial straits and allegedly in the bull's-eye of big money legal action, has fired four more of its journalists, cutting said staff in half.


December 18th, 2001


White House leaning toward domestic anthrax source

From Spencer: The WSJ is today reporting that the White House has for the first time commented on terrorist anthrax sources potentially being domestic.

From the WSJ:

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the "evidence is increasingly looking like" the anthrax found in letters to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Patrick Leahy came from a domestic source. He cautioned that nothing has been concluded, but it was the first time the White House has supported the growing belief that anthrax came from inside the U.S.

In addition, advanced mapping of minute genetic changes should allow investigators to ultimately pin down the original laboratory source, thus significantly narrowing the search for the perpetrator.

WSJ Subscription coverage here.

ABCNEWS.com coverage here.


Iraq Next?

US moves 3rd Army HQ to Kuwait.


Fixing 802.11 insecurity

From Spencer: A new fix to the downright awful security in 802.11 wireless products (which is useless at best) has been released by RSA. The old (and still existing) version was so porous that a new phrase "drive by hacking" was created to describe how easy it was to identify and break the encryption in WEP, the part that was supposed to ensure Wireless EquivalenT Privacy, i.e. a secure, wire-like communications link. In some cases, the old WEP was broken in less than an hour, using a laptop! The weakness was in how similar many of the packet keys were and in high traffic 802.11 environments, there are so many packets that it was easy to use statistical methods to work backwards and determine the original source of "secret" initialization values. The new technology will use the same robust RC4 public key algorithm as before but major changes were made to the key derivation functions. Only time will tell if this new technique is robust (we can only hope). The fix is intended as a firmware or software update. If you are buying now, be sure to get upgradeable hardware.


Lostcircuits: Intel i845DDR chipset / MSI 845 Ultra Review

After a few months of waiting, Intel finally releases the DDR version of the Brookdale chipset. Positioned, according to Intel, between the SIS 645 chipset and their own i850 Dual Rambus channel chipset, the i845D was supposed to be the secret weapon against which the competition a.k.a. VIA P4X266 would fade away. As so often, there is some discrepancy between the marketing claims and what eventually comes off the production line. Our Intel-provided test sample did, unfortunately, not survive the transport which is why we are using the MSI 845 Ultra as basis for the evaluation of the new DDR chipset's performance and features. In streaming applications, the performance of the i845 chipset is more than adequate. In other applications, the DDR board has its problems, coming in, in some cases, even behind the i845 SDRAM production boards. Whether this performance spectrum is typical for the entire future line of 845D production boards or an isolated case will show in the near future.


Press Release: AMD Athlon(tm) Processor Crowned Computer Shopper Magazine's "Overall Product of the Year"

AMD's flagship processor has won more than 80 awards worldwide.


Computer Shopper: Shopper's Choice Awards - Best Overall Product Goes to the Athlon

Wilmark Johnatty writes: Shopper magazine has just given the Athlon its award of the year. Now we all know that shopper magazine is a magazine that has lost almost all of its readership and is not the magazine it used to be, especially since run by Janice Chen. They have steadily been biased toward to Intel over the last couple years. Note that this award was on the basis of voting by its readers and NOT the editors of the Magazine. What really gets me is the lousy editorial content that that is so full of ZD crap.

AMD's Athlon is the processor line that single-handedly broke Intel's grip on the high-end CPU market. Faster, less expensive, and more flexible than same-speed Pentiums, Athlons are more easily overclocked, incorporate AMD's fast 266MHz front-side bus, and don't require costly RDRAM for optimal performance. Standard Athlons (formerly called "Thunderbird" Athlons) are available at speeds ranging from 1.2GHz to 1.4GHz, and the recently announced Pentium 4-class Athlon XP line consists of four models (clock speeds range from 1.33GHz to 1.53GHz) based on AMD's new, high-performance Palomino architecture. Also available in mobile and multiprocessor versions, Athlons have quickly become the CPU of choice for hardware enthusiasts and first-time upgraders alike.

They just had to take the wind out of AMD Sails that all by the Tech challenged folks at ZD Inc.

Now tell me - Since when does the Athlon just beat Pentium products at same speed - SHOULD READ - AT ANY SPEED GRADE - since the introduction according to tests done by virtually ALL of the independent hardware sites the fastest Athlon has outperformed fastest Pentium 4 product bar one or two tests out of about 10, with the exception of when the 2 GHz Pentium 4 was introduced, the P4 had the lead for about two weeks. ALSO what is PENTIUM 4 class - High Clock numbers Lower Performance Higher Price???
I think that the FTC should make ALL ZD publication insert the following statement after all its review comments: TAKING THIS REVIEW SERIOUSLY MAY IMPAIR YOUR JUDGMENT IN MAKING COMPUTER PURCHASES.


Genesis of Bear Proof Suit

From Spencer: We've had a couple of references to the bear proof suit recently that would on the surface appear to be loony. It turns out that the genesis for this wacky project was a real grizzly attack and viewing the movie Robocop. The developer is a naturalist who studies grizzlies, up close. Sourced by GMSV here are a pair of links to the project and the originator. The picture of the suit does bear some resemblence to Robocop... 



Mario sends us this, "Points of interest. Reason for Morgan MP delay. Status of die shrink. Transition to .13 is a die shrink only, no architectural changes. More details on Hammer. Hammer and socket A to co-exist beyond 2003."


More Device Driver Pages

Steve recommends Active Hardware's page while Mark recommend DriverZone.  WDB tells us, "an interesting note on Driver Guide... everyone's ID & password seem to be the same."  A member of our fighting forces sends us that a working username is "drivers" with a password of "all".


WinXP Pro now available with Presario 700

David Vorov writes, "I still can't get Win2K on any decent AMD notebook, but it looks like Compaq is now at least offering XP pro on Athlon notebooks, albeit at a $200 premium.  Looks like you've got quite a bit of influence, Mr. Smith!"  Thanks, David, but it is our readers who move issues like this forwards -- and bring them up in the first place.


AMDWorld: nForce Review

I believe they used our BandwidthBurn benchmark in one of their tests to show how very dramatically nForce bandwidth can be influenced by DIMM placement.


Northwood Benchmarks Appear

Written in the language of love, this is a pretty decent article.  One of its highlights are clock-normalized tests showing that the Northwood brings about a 10% bump in IPC (Instructions Per Clockcycle) relative to the Willamette core, but remains generally slower in this regard than the Athlon XP.  It appears that the Athlon XP 2000+ and the Northwood 2.2GHz will perform similarly.  The challenge for Intel will be to produce enough of these processors since the chipmaker's transition to 0.13 microns has so far been a nightmare for it.  Oh, and we told you so.  We have been expressing for over a year that Intel would not be able to produce Northwood until 2002 despite the chipmakers sometimes adamant claims otherwise.


December 17th, 2001


Device Driver Pages

As replacements for the banished WinDrivers which turned to the Dark Side by going subscription, so far we have gotten a number of recommendations for Driver Guide. The one caveat with this site is that it requires registration. Another site recommended is DriversHQ. This page doesn’t require registration, but it spits out popup ads like crazy.


Press Release: AMD Strengthens Lineup With New Mobile AMD Duron(tm) Processor

New mobile AMD Duron processor is highest performance PC processor for mainstream notebook computing.


December 16th, 2001


Low End Mac: iCab and SmoothType: Odd Couple?

Dan discusses a rendering problem when this combination is used to view boxed text on VHJ.  It appears the issue occurs because iCab, a beta German browser for the Macintosh, places text directly against the border, confusing SmoothType.  SmoothType is font anti-aliasing software for the Mac and is similar to Microsoft's ClearType used on PocketPCs, Microsoft XP, and in Microsoft Reader.  I hate to admit it, but out of expediency we produce this site in Microsoft FrontPage 2002.  As time permits, we will be developing our own tools and cleaning up the "Microsofted" versions of HTML coughed out by FrontPage like disease-ridden phlegm.


WinDrivers Goes Subscription

... and therefore gets on our poop list and taken off our links page.  If you know of a good and free replacement site for looking up device drivers, please let me know.  Our links and free software pages are both in need of updating, so suggestions for these pages are appreciated.


December 15th, 2001


Quantum crypto advance

From Spencer:  A new LED light source which is capable of emitting single photons has been developed. Such a device is essential for creation of low cost quantum cryptography since single photons cannot be detected by a third party without detecting the third party detection (get it?).


Bear-Proof Suit Scares Off Grizzly

From Spencer: Of course. We should have realized that all that titanium and padding wouldn't be needed after all.


22kV Cooking

From Spencer: Ok, so it was probably a bad idea many years ago to show a couple of elementary school kids (that my wife to be was baby sitting) how to cook hot dogs with a pair of large nails, a lamp cord and good old wall outlet juice. (The parents were NOT happy...) There are of course, better things to do with electricity, such as make 22,000 volt pancakes (yes, that's 22kV!). Via GMSV here's a wacky recipe, replete with photos and a movie. (Where does GMSV get this stuff???) I'm going to have to get my old HV supplies out of storage and try this with my 5 and 9 year olds. (They love it when dad does "science". There's always the downside chance that something will go right and spoil the fun...) 


Alpha EV7

Terry Shannon of Shannon Knows Compaq sends us this:

Check out the world's first photos of the Alpha EV7 microprocessor, yours for the viewing at www.openvms.org. Some companion photos are to be had at Mike Magee's ever-popular www.theinquirer.net site.


December 14th, 2001


Confirmed: Dell Drops Intel Itanium Workstation
As we exclusively reported early yesterday, Dell has killed its Intel Itanium workstation. Citing lackluster sales, the Roundrock, Texas-based OEM’s retreat is a major loss for chipmaking giant Intel, which now finds itself without any support in the workstation space for its 64-bit chip. After suffering many years of delays, the Itanium finally debuted earlier this year, but has found very little acceptance in either the server or workstation markets.


Meanwhile, the staggering Santa Clara, California-based chip firm is secretly ramping up work on an AMD Hammer clone in Hillsboro, Oregon. The semiconductor giant is taking the unprecedented act of copying its most hated competitor’s designs – and “hate” is probably not too strong of a word in rivalry that has often seen its share of one-sided dirty tactics – as it scrambles to find an escape route from its current 64-bit travails with EPIC-ly troubled IA-64.

In related news, in an effort to thwart yet another court setback, Intel has made the face-saving move of dropping its last allegation of patent infringement against rival chipset maker VIA Technologies. As we reported December 7th, a California judge threw out related charges Intel levied against VIA recently and the prospects for success with the remaining charge were slim. VIA’s official announcement on this triumph can be found here, while we have posted Intel’s statement here.


AMD Sweeps PC Advisor PC Charts
From Mario: In what may prove to be an industry landmark, all the systems in the three PC Advisor desktop PC charts feature processors from just one manufacturer for the first time.

When the January issue of the magazine hits retailers' shelves this time next week (20 December) all 30 PCs from our Power, Budget and Superbudget categories, will show off an AMD processor.

The link states the magazine issue as February. I've changed it here to January.


Towards the Zero Hour - A BBC Special
From Mario: It was the most devastating terrorist attack the world has ever seen. Panorama's Jane Corbin investigates what drove the hijackers on a mission to kill thousands of people and themselves on September 11th.

For over three months and across three continents, Panorama investigated the terror cell to find out who they really were, and to discover why they went undetected for three years as they planned their attack on America. This is the story about how they plotted to fly four planes into some of America's most symbolic buildings. The moment the terrorists called "The Zero Hour."

Get yourself comfortable, this program is 60 minutes long. The link will go down Sunday afternoon, so don't miss it! A transcript should be available next week.


"The first aim of war is not civil rights but survival"

From Mario: Extracts from the BBC's Letter from America by Alistair Cooke.

Well during the past week I've been looking into the history of a president's emergency powers, into international tribunals, most of all into a law, a whole body of law, I doubt one American in a thousand has ever heard of - namely the law of war, which has been developed, refined and codified by many nations down the centuries with careful provisions for the humane keeping of captured enemies - spies, agents - but also rules for the suspension of their civilian rights for the duration of the war.

Why do Americans, then, so smartly spring to attention and shout "You're violating my civil rights" whenever in a declared emergency a president delivers an executive order, even when his power to do that is specified in the Constitution?

The outraged reaction by some people on the left, the middle, the right, to the president's order springs from a fundamental misconception - that the shattering of the towers and the Pentagon were criminal acts. They were not. They were acts of war, so declared within days by the United Nations and entitling the United States, under the UN Charter, to recruit its allies and respond with force.

The first aim of war is not civil rights but survival.

The audio version is available here.


Press Release: Intel Settles K7 Patent Infringement Case With Via Technologies Inc.

Intel drops patent infringement suit regarding U.S. Patent Nos. 5,926,651 and 5,051,622.


December 13th, 2001


Sklyarov Charges Dropped, But...

This was done "in exchange for his testimony in the trial of his company."  Link courtesy Spencer.


Press Release: VIA Announces Total Victory in Lawsuit with Intel Relating to K7 Chipset Products

Intel dismisses last remaining claim.


FBI Creating Keystroke Logging Virus

The “Magic Lantern” Trojan horse is to be sent via email or inserted on a target system through OS security holes. Whether the government will need court orders to deploy the virus under current anti-terror mania is not clear. Several anti-virus developers have expressed opposition to providing loopholes in their anti-virus software to enable Magic Lantern to run undetected.

WWW Anniversary (of sorts)

From Spencer: It's been about 10 years or so since the inception of the web as we know it in hypertext form, primarily by Tim Berners-Lee who developed it while at CERN. From its inception in 1989 to its very first development/deployment in a NEXT computer in December 1990 and release to the Internet in the summer of 1991, html and the hypertext transfer protocol (http) have been an obvious smash hit. The combination of the nicely extensible Internet and its accommodation of a variety of protocols (wisely decided over a decade earlier) in combination with the explosion of connectivity fueled by massive fiber deployments supported by erbium doped fiber amplifiers and breakthroughs in routing technology, was the perfect medium for such revolutionary stuff. The point and click interface of html was just the ticket to set off an explosion.

Here are some very early pages that the Stanford SLAC team put together in December 1991 to provide access to SPIRES-HEP
(Stanford Public Information REtrieval System, High-Energy Physics). Berners-Lee referred to it as a "killer app" and it showed the world
just how powerful the web could be. The rest is more recent history.


Thanks to GMSV for the anniversary reminder.


Press Release: AMD Athlon(tm) MP Processor Boosts Performance Of Pinnacle Systems Leading Video Editing Software

High-performance AMD Athlon(tm) MP processors provide increased productivity for high-end commercial video editing.


AMD prepares for SOI processing in Dresden fab

From Phil: Is Intel riding AMD's technological coattails? AMD seems to think so. An AMD manager claims that by working with tool makers, Intel stands to benefit from AMD’s pioneering of SOI and copper processes by getting cheaper and more perfected equipment. In regards to 300mm wafers, AMD stands to benefit by Intel going first. Reminds me of Nascar; cars stay very close to the one just in front of them, because they benefit from less air resistance. Competition - don't you just love it?


the inquirer: SiS Looks To QBM

It appears that Taiwanese chipset maker SiS is now looking towards integrating support for Kentron's Quad Band Memory into upcoming products.  If so, SiS joins the ranks of fellow core logic developers VIA Technologies and ALi at considering the new design set to cheaply double current DDR SDRAM bandwidth.


Dell to Drop Intel Itanium Workstation?

VHJ has received an unconfirmed report from an individual claiming to be an Intel insider that Dell computers will imminently drop its 64-bit Intel Itanium-based workstation.  This informant claims the Roundrock, Texas-based Dell computers "did not want to buy that product and that they were the ONLY customer for it."  However, the ad for the workstation still remains up on Dell's site.


the inquirer: Intel Working on x86-64 Server Chip

Mike Magee reports that not only is there growing friction between the 32-bit and 64-bit Intel camps, but that the chipmaker is opening the spigot on a secret clone of AMD's Hammer.  According to the report, Intel is covertly developing this backup plan as news trickles out that x86-64 acceptance has been thus far very weak.  Meanwhile, tweaks to Intel's troubled 0.13 micron process that benefit the Pentium 4 appear to be incongruent with Intel's next generation 64-bit processor causing internal strife for the chipmaker, the inquirer asserts.  To add woe to misery, the stumbling Santa Clara giant is apparently now having severe problems with its P4 Xeon where reportedly one-third of the chips have been defective for one supplier.


December 12th, 2001


Bacteria on Europa

The "rosy glow" of Jupiter's moon Europa might be caused by frozen bacteria.


Christian Science Monitor: bin Laden is in Pakistan

Abu Jaffer, a senior Al Qaeda member, told CSM that the wealthy Saudi mercenary and former CIA operative, Osama bin Laden, fled the Afghan fortress Tora Bora ten days ago and is now, with the help of Pashtun sympathizers, in Pakistan.


Texas Schools Threatened with Attacks

According to the Dallas Morning News, the FBI is claiming that an unnamed foreign government has warned them that two individuals may seek retaliation for the US bombing of Afghanistan by attacking unknown Texas schools.  Another state is also allegedly targeted, but not explicitly named in the article.


Perspective on Intel's Mistakes and Triumphs

From Phil: This is someone's perspective on Intel's mistakes and triumphs in the last 6 years. It covers up to Hypertransport and comments on IA-64. A very good read. While much of it is familiar, there were several parts that were new and a few surprising. I found the section on Intel's entry into the graphics market very interesting; he believes that Nvidia working with AMD is part of that backlash.

How To Organize Your Computer's Files

Phil sends us this piece on how to organize your files.


Tang inventor link

From Phil: It is a pretty small company. I had some technical questions on this to-be-released battery and he picked up the line. His company is public, but volume is this. I hope he has enough resources to finish his product. Looks like he was a pretty prolific inventor. Remember the selectric type ball on old IBM printer? He conceived of it and someone else made it.

New efficient data transmission method

From Spencer: A (possibly) completely new technique for moving large amounts of data efficiently has been developed. By using symbol processing and XORing them (common in compression and encryption schemes) it is possible to simply stream the symbols at a target and let the receiving system rebuild the data by combining the results. The best part is that it allows the streaming to occur and does not require handshaking, which of course takes a LOT of time given the normal latency of the Internet. In a manner similar to how streaming media players can buffer packets to get a usable (but lossy) result, this technique is lossless, purportedly resulting in ultimately perfect data transmission. It's a bit spendy just now, with prices starting at $70,000! Of course, someone else will develop a variant or the market will develop into a more economical model. You'll just have to read about it.


Press Release: AMD Expands High-Performance Offerings For Server And Workstation Markets

New AMD Athlon(tm) MP processor 1900+ and AMD-760(tm) MPX chipset provide enhanced performance for dual processor server and workstation platforms.


Press Release: AMD Makes Major Annual Market Share Strides In Commercial And Consumer PC Markets Worldwide

AMD's focused commitment to commercial sector pays off with 40 percent share of U.S. small business PC market.



December 11th, 2001


InQuest: I/O Standards War

It appears that Intel is actively working to subvert 64-bit PCI-X with its 3GIO connector standards.


Press Release: VIA Introduces New VIA Eden Embedded System Platform

Lowest power, highest performance, and most scaleable x86 embedded platform for fanless Information and Entertainment PCs & Appliances.


VIA Eden Low-Power Embedded Platform Launched

x86 compatibility, ultra-low-power, Fast Ethernet, 3D graphics, fax/modem, stereo audio and more all in a low-cost bundle.  Check out the highly technical Eden video here.


Quantum Dots and Neurons

From Spencer: Using cellular molecular recognition capabilities and the lowly and commonly used cadmium sulfide molecule, researchers have created precisely spaced quantum dot photo sensors in neurons that allow researchers to signal the neurons using very specific wavelengths of light.  The peptide recognition technique provides nanometer scale control and eliminates the need for external electrodes.  Such precision allows for placement capable of effecting control over highly specific cellular functions.


Dual Athlons Versus Dual Xeon Pentium 4s

From Nils: This article at Ace's Hardware is about testing dual and single processor systems with many of the current 3D imaging systems that are used to create ads, movies, etc.  In "almost" all cases, a Tyan dual Athlon MP motherboard using Athlon XP 1800+ processors beats everything else by a significant margin.  In one lone test, a dual 2 GHz Xeon P4 wins, thanks to careful optimization of the software by Intel.


Branch misprediction penalties are blamed for slower results in all cases of P4 testing.  This points out one situation that I have tried to accentuate.  The P4 was designed to best handle certain linear processing tasks - decompressing MP4 videos and similar linear types of media file handling.  The next rev of the P4 is expected to improve branch handling 'somewhat' but is not likely to compete successfully with future Athlon XP chips (i.e. faster models than the 1800+). P4 is a pure consumer, media-oriented processor for casual home system use. Of course the design could have been deliberately simplified to permit jacking up processor speed - solely as a selling point.


On the other hand, even Intel seems to be having considerable difficulty in exploiting any strengths of the P4.  Some of the 3D rendering packages show optimizing benefits only in certain limited rendering chores.  It is also important to note that little or no effort is being made to

move mass market software toward a dual processor SMP OS base.  Obviously Microsoft wishes to maintain its 'professional' software at much higher prices to gain extra profits - and Intel wishes to continue selling single processor systems that are destined to be obsolete throw-aways after 1-2 years.


Class Action Suit Against Intel

From Phil:  "It sounds like an AMD versus Intel play by play since the Athlon introduction with an investor's perspective. Who knows, maybe we'll all end up as expert witnesses. :)"


Don't smile, Phil.  We covered the news outlined in the complaint as it happened starting with this article.  We will be producing a followup to that nearly two year-old article shortly.


Burgeoning High-Speed Metro Wireless Standard

From Spencer: A new metro area wireless standard that operates in the 10-66GHz range has been approved by the IEEE.  It will be a couple of years before much comes of it but products that operate in this range will offer a very high speed bypass of fiber and wire connections.  In some metro areas the 802.16 connections will become a new backbone.  Extensions to reach down into the existing 802.11b 2.4GHz are planned.


Insider's View

From Spencer: Here's a great report of advanced technology that lends new meaning to the phrase "insider's view".

December 10th, 2001


Xbox ROM Dumped

The one-megabyte ROM contains four copies of the same 256kB image.  The author had to pull the actual image posted at his site due to pressure from the Beast of Software, but he has made available the recorded oh-so friendly message he received from a Microsoft henchmen.  The link is courtesy of Jesse.

Crime Doesn't Pay for Article Thieves

Joel: Apparently the website 8080.net decided it'd be too hard to write their own video card reviews.  The Chinese language site stole Tech-Report's latest review right out from under them -- even going so far as to pull the graphics from TR's own web server.  However, revenge is sweet.  For some truly hilarious images (and captions) check out TR's "new" graphics for 8080.net's stolen article.


December 9th, 2001


An Interview with Arctic Silver

Joel talks with Nevin House, owner of Arctic Silver, and uncovers many thought provoking facts regarding CPU cooling.


December 8th, 2001


Solar Cells Edge Towards Endless Energy

From Phil.


Digit Life: Review of the Shuttle SV24 Barebones mediaCube System

In addition to that review of the tiny little box, here are others: accelenation, HWExtreme, and ViaArena.


BetaNews: Trouble Upgrading Sony Computers to XP Pro

While the news blurb is interesting, the posts that follow are equally so.  The site's news story and subsequent thread regarding Microsoft's refuting Nintendo's claims of the GameCube outselling the Xbox is also worth perusing.


December 7th, 2001


AMD Shifts to Green Organic Packaging

Following up on a story today at Mike Magee’s the inquirer, we contacted AMD to find out more about the new green organic Athlon XP packages that are showing up in Japan. AMD spokesman Damon Muzny informed us that all AMD organic packages will be green by the first half of next year. Although there are no functional or cost differences with this switch, Muzny suggested that the move is based on aesthetics: green is AMD’s color.


the inquirer: VIA Defeats Intel Again

The Santa Clara chip giant, known for its legal bullying, has suffered yet another setback at the hands of VIA Technologies. The last charge thrown out Wednesday originated from Intel’s unsuccessful attempts to undermine the launch of AMD’s Athlon by blocking third party chipsets at an early stage of the rival CPU’s rollout.


AtlantaOC: Swiftech MCX462 Heatsink

OCmadeEZ takes a look at Swiftech's latest and greatest and compares it to the Alpha PAL8045.


Low End PC: The Knight Line: Number Crunching for Webmasters

Dan Knight writes about patterns in readership and website logs.


December 6th, 2001


NVidia SuperStability Mode

Populating the second DIMM in the second NVIDIA nForce memory channel with double-sided DDR SDRAM can reduce memory speed from 266MHz to 200MHz.


Press Release: AMD Improves Outlook For Fourth Quarter

AMD Athlon* XP processor drives sales growth.


Kentron QBM Roadmap

Andrea Echavarria-Pruna of Kentron Technologies sent us the following announcement regarding Quad Band Memory:

Kentron Technologies is proud to announce the QBM Roadmap through 2005. By working with industry leaders through the QBM Alliance, QBM will be a reality. Utilizing current, low cost DDR memory devices and new, faster switching technology to deliver the highest memory bandwidth in the industry, Kentron and its partners will deliver QBM module and board based solutions up to 6.4 GB/sec (12.8 GB/sec for dual channel applications) by 2005. If you would like more information on this exciting technology please read the release below or contact me toll free at 877-988-9100, ext 4161 or via email.


For more information on the QBM Alliance Members please visit the member section in QBM Alliance website.


Zero-Footprint Computers

Looking a little like an old Amiga 500 or an Atari 1040ST, all-in-one keyboard computers might be making a comeback.  The VIA C3 is probably the best processor for such applications because of the chip’s extremely modest thermal design considerations.  The C3 (Ezra) runs coolly enough to operate without a fan, which would eliminate much of the noise of a “Zero-Footprint” computer.


Copyright ϋber alles: The Rallying Cry of the DMCA
Joel follows up on his August article.


More on the Xbox CPU
A reader investigates.


Athlon Cracks World’s Biggest Mersenne Prime Number 
Taken from Chris’s site. JC pointed out that we should state that a Mersenne prime is a prime number that is represented 2P-1.


December 5th, 2001


CPU choice for new HP Bladeserver
Mario send us this.

Hewlett-Packard will begin shipping with PIII processors in January but will announce a string of technology partners which will include AMD and Transmeta. This video shows just how small it is.


Houston Nutt Named Coach of the Year
The Arkansas Razorback football coach rallied his team from a 1-3 start to six straight wins and was named the AP’s Coach of the Year for the dog-eat-dog Southeastern Conference. The humble Arkansan is a good representative of my home state’s culture.

System Crash
We've had a system crash, so we will likely not be posting much today. If you have sent us e-mail in the past 24 hours and we have NOT responded, please resend your message to us. Thanks.


December 4th, 2001

Duron Outsells Celeron in Western Europe
Mario refers us to Dataquest statistics on page 3 of this PDF and adds, "it's good to see that the Europeans are appreciative of the clear architectural advantages of Duron."  Europeans have a history of being educated computer shoppers seeking best bang for the buck.


Frighteningly Easy: Dirty Bombs
Courtesy of Mark.  He also sends us another piece which claims a mid-December date for a dirty bomb attack in the US.  As Mark says, the site is "hawkish," but has been accurate in some of its previous claims, though its record is not nearly perfect.


ATi Radeon 8500 T&L Units
EvilPaul writes:

I've been following the never-ending benchmark battle between the GF3 and R8500 for a while now.  Every time either ATi or NVIDIA release a driver update it seems to be only more kindling on the fire.  A colleague of mine is a registered developer with ATI and can get all sorts of support and beta drivers, etc., so I had him ask a question for me.

It seems on most all the comprehensive reviews I've seen that included 3DMark 2001 the R8500 beats the stuffing out of the GF3 in the vertex shader and polygon test.  Almost double in fact.  So, I found out that something not mentioned in any reviews is that the R8500 has two T&L units, akin to the NV2A in X-Box.


Are You Conscious After Your Head is Chopped Off?
Yes.  Be warned that these are disturbing accounts.


Press Release: VIA Announces New VIA P4XB Series Mainboards Featuring Leading VIA Apollo P4X266A Chipset
VIA first to market with high performance mainboards based on the new VIA Apollo P4X266A chipset, providing the ultimate platforms for Intel® Pentium® 4 processor based PCs, workstations and servers.


The MSI i850 Pro5

Joel takes a look at this P4 motherboard.


Bear-Proof Suit to be Tested
Spencer writes:

Yup. You read it correctly. Some nutcase engineer is going to have his "destruction proof" suit tested by an attack by a bear -- on purpose no less. The suit has already survived being bashed by a 300 lb. tree trunk, smashed by a truck and impacted by bullet, arrow, baseball bat and axe. Seeing as how the inner core is made of titanium, the occupant may just survive!


December 3rd, 2001

Kentron Q&A
The computer memory platform designer answers questions about QBM, a new technology that promises to double current DDR SDRAM memory bandwidth.


Press Release: AMD Athlon(tm) XP processor 1900+ powers CRN's 'Ultimate PC'
For the fourth time, CRN honors an AMD Athlon(tm) processor for performance, innovation.


“Ginger” Debuts
”It” is a massively hyped, $3,000, 65-pound two-wheeled electric scooter that the inventor purports to be the transportation wave of the future. Until “It” falls in price to $19.95, I’ll stick with Jeeps and mountain bikes.

Yikes! Their site states this beast weighs 80 pounds! That’s like lugging around a ten-year old kid! At 12.5 mph, it’s a skull crusher too – pardon me, but that fuzzy greasy spot on the sidewalk was my Chihuahua! I’m afraid that “Segway” may represent the growing disconnect with reality that many in Silicon Valley seem to be afflicted with – it’s a condition similar to lead poisoning.


Ma’am, You’re No Keith Jackson
Saturday was a great day for college football. In the evening we were switching back and forth between the Texas-Colorado conference championship and the BYU-Mississippi State game. The latter ESPN2 contest, though exciting, had a female play-by-play announcer who managed to make a great game look bad. At one point as a Mississippi State player dove to the sidelines trying to avoid a penalty for being the twelfth MSU man on the field, she noted his leap by proclaiming, “He’s no Marion Jones.” The color commentator almost choked on his tongue, before trying to bail them out with a more appropriate comparison to American long jumping great Bob Beamon. ESPN, we know you are a massive corporate abomination, but can’t you at least find people who care about the games they are covering and represent the passion of the fans tuning in?


Thinktechie.com: Senfu Copper Fin w/ Temp Slot
"So I received this new HSF, The Senfu Copper Fin with Temp Slot. Temp Slot? What a great concept. Built right into the HSF is a small indentation for the thermal probe. HighSpeedPC was kind enough to provide the thermal probe also, thanks. Now the Senfu comes with an extra item, a small pocket screwdriver."


British Media Further Investigates Sept. 11
Mario sends us this.

Guatemala, Lebanon, CIA, PLO, Black September, Taleban, bin Laden, 60 Minutes, Sept 11th and more. How the CIA became the 'cowering dog' which probably contributed to the lack of intelligence that led to Sept 11th.

This 35 minute Panorama program went out live this evening and should be up for the next 7 days at least. A transcript is normally available a short time after.


Advances in Robot Expression
Spencer Kittelson sends us this. In the pursuit of creation of artificial intelligence and artificial "life", it looks like we're (very) slowly getting there. See these movies of interaction with Kismet, an expressive tabletop robotic "head".


Press Release: AMD Announces World's Fastest CMOS Transistors
AMD announced it has built a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) transistor that achieves the fastest switching speeds yet reported in the semiconductor industry.


LostCircuits: Review of Soltek SL 75DRV2
"Overall, an extremely stable board with high performance and good features like e.g. smart card interface, the SL 75DRV2 is a serious contender in the field of KT266A-based boards."


The "A" is for "American," You Moron
Chris Tom sends us this quote from a piece entitled "Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?"

If your son has requested a new "processor" from a company called "AMD", this is genuine cause for alarm. AMD is a third-world based company who make inferior, "knock-off" copies of American processor chips. They use child labor extensively in their third world sweatshops, and they deliberately disable the security features that American processor makers, such as Intel, use to prevent hacking. AMD chips are never sold in stores, and you will most likely be told that you have to order them from internet sites. Do not buy this chip! This is one request that you must refuse your son, if you are to have any hope of raising him well.

The news item doesn't deserve any further recognition, but here is a mission statement for their screwed-up site. And what is their problem with amputees, anyway?


Doh! Andrew Champion informs us:

Adequacy likes to be a little inaccessible to those that don't know who's responsible for it. A lot of them were/are trolls on Slashdot, that moved on to run a website which is nothing but trolling. Statements that are controversial and/or misleading, if not completely untruthful, are the foundations of the site. One of their first articles (earlier this year) was on DIY PC's -- here are some snippets of the article follows:


A PC Case - simply the cheapest one you can find. Do not pay more than $15 including PSU and fans... Memory - You need a maximum of 128MB of ram. Again, as with the PC case a lot of nonsense is talked about memory. What you need for your functioning PC is 1 generic 128MB 168-pin PC-100 DIMM.

Here's the rest of the article.


By the way, although most of you know this, “AMD” stands for “Advanced Micro Devices,” the high-profile Sunnyvale, California-based microprocessor designer led by industry legend W.J. “Jerry” Sanders III. Although the chipmaker has a few factories overseas, the Austin, Texas-flavored company is as American as apple pie.


Press Release: VIA Announces 2-Port PHY Chip Supporting IEEE 1394a
Physical layer communications chip brings high speed 1394 connectivity and power efficiency to high bandwidth peripherals and consumer electronics.


December 1st, 2001

@Home Implodes
Subscribers unhappy.


Disquiet at Intel?
From a "frustrated Intel employee at the Dupont campus" (name and email address supplied):

I just wanted to thank you for the very well written and researched articles you did on the woes Intel is having. I am an Intel employee and from my prospective I have seen many of the issues you have talked about. For example in the race to 1 GHz... even though both Cnet and ZDnet reported that AMD beat us [an Intel superior] stood up and lied to us saying we beat AMD... When I went to work for Intel I really thought they were a forward looking company, but from what I have seen I don't know anymore. Take for example all the work on the IA-64 at the expense of the 32 bit world not to mention AMD is beating the P4 in everyway possible at almost half the price across the model range...

...morale, at least at the campus I work at, is VERY low. No one is getting the raises they were promised in their last reviews. They started a free pc program then a month or so into it they told us that only non exempt employees will receive them till further notice. To top that off I know people that got theirs (HP built them) and they are junk, the motherboard is made in Mexico and no one can tell them who made it, the add in cards are no names. The systems like to crash once a month. Lets just say that if Intel built these systems you would be hearing about a lot of unhappy customers.

According to "Frustrated," the systems in question are 933 MHz Pentium III's with i815 chipsets.


Video Review of the Athlon XP 1900+
Courtesy Mario.


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