September 30th, 2001
MSNBC Paints Anti-Globalization Factions As Peaceniks and Anarchists
Anti-globalization is one of the most diverse --
perhaps quirkily so -- movements in history and it is irresponsible to infer
otherwise. And don't forget MSNBC's recent-but-classic
piece claiming pacifists are
evil (yes, "The Evils of Pacifism" was stated outright on MSNBC's front page).
In fact, this now edited article suggests that anyone who disagrees with any
of the measures that Ashcroft and company are seeking are evil -- and "evil" is
their word. Transitively, this suggests that together with MSNBC's
peacenik piece that anti-globalists are also "evil." Agree with pacifists
or not, it is a horrible breech of journalistic responsibility -- especially in
our current crisis -- to brand those who oppose violence as "evil." But
the real objective of the pacifist piece seems to be to cultivate hatred towards
and fear in those who might be questioning some of Ashcroft's more extreme
measures (see our September 25th news post for more details).
Britain Makes Plans to Exterminate Its Entire Sheep Population...
...if BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is
found in its national flock.
Fossilized Titanosaur Embryo Fossils Described
Softball-sized eggs hold unhatched skeletons of baby
giants. More on this story can be found
Instant Message Warnings of September 11th Attacks?
At Yahoo News.
Tech Report: Microsoft's Accelerated Coerciveness
A thoughtful discussion on the Beast of Redmond's
increasingly pushy upgrade tactics.
September 29th, 2001
New AMD IDE driver
Chris Tom let us know that you can now
download a new AMD IDE driver, version 1.40c, that supports Windows XP.
September 28th, 2001
Jerry Sanders’ Compelling Address
Calling a spade a spade.
September 27th, 2001
September 26th, 2001
Year-One Computing Assessment: The Operation of Flight Recorders
More on Flight Data Recorders.
Details on Solid-State
Flight Data Recorders from Spencer Kittelson
Today's FDRs and CVRs are all solid state and
generally use flash memory for storage. The physical recorder that Mr. Luke
describes is not capable of recording the requisite dozen or so signals that
modern systems use. The physical recorder is a masterpiece of simplicity and
ruggedness but simply provides too small a dataset and is too expensive to
replace when its capacity is consumed.
Solid state units can record 24 hours of flight
data (FDR) and two or more hours of cockpit voice (CVR). I think they are
required to withstand 30 minutes of 2000 degree F heat. There has been a move
recently to up that level of heat integrity to slightly higher temps and
longer durations but the effort had stalled.
In theory, if not quite all of the chips are
toasted, at least some data can be recovered from the unit. However, once the
silicon is "cooked" the state of electron charge is lost due to thermal
excitation and changes in morphology of the storage cell. I don't know what
that temp is but you could get a rough idea by testing a batch of compact
flash cards in your oven with varying time/temp curves.
September 25th, 2001
Socket A: ALi MAGiK 1 Rev B0 Preview
The new revision has much lower latencies than
before, but the VIA KT266A still looks like king.
Lost Circuits: Review of the Tyan Tiger MP
A budget version of the respected dual-Athlon Tyan
Thunder motherboard, Dr. Michael Schuette provides a very detailed review and
delivers a good overview of AMD multiprocessing technology.
Ashcroft Lobbies for Police State
The U.S. Attorney General is calling for "sweeping
powers" infringing on personal privacy and individual freedoms to carry out a
litany of new measures which include expanding FBI wiretap authority, enabling
secret searches (invade your home, search and even seize items while you are
away and not tell you about it until months later), granting government
investigators ability to "access users' Internet information without a search
warrant" and expanding the DNA database. Many of Ashcorft's requests have
little to do with terrorism and are applicable to any criminal case.
Calling 225 years of American law "outdated statutes," Ashcroft expressed his
lack of faith in our country's ability to handle the current crisis without
undermining basic tenants upon which our nation is based.
September 24th, 2001
Arabic World Finding C3 Appealing
An article from ITP.net
Microsoft Delays X-Box
Launch date is now November 15th.
September 23rd, 2001
Multiple Crusoe Benchmarks Runs
Transmeta has claimed that the performance of the
Crusoe improves after the first run since the processor can access its cached
"Code Morphing" translations. This
is something that I tried to make the reviewing public aware of over
ago. However, in general, multiple runs on the Crusoe do not seem to
yield much of an improvement. In some cases, second runs can actually
deliver worse scores. For instance, I have just run CPUMark99 twice in a
row with the first score being 35.8 while the second score was a lower 35.4.
As promised, we will have a more detailed analysis up shortly -- hopefully later
A Letter from a Transmeta Employee
article publishing preliminary benchmark results of VIA-Centaur's C3 and
Transmeta's TM5600, we received the following note from a Transmeta employee who
has since requested anonymity:
I think it disingenuous to publish Via/Centaur-related
news, reviews, and propaganda on VansHardware without revealing your
affiliation with that organization. If you are working for Via (or Centaur),
as reported on geek.com today, your site should be relabeled Van's Via Fan
Club or some such name indicating the affiliation and bias of the site.
We are most definitely not a fan site of any kind.
I have tried to document the events of VHJ both thoroughly and publicly.
wrote earlier this month, I have had to take a job to support my family
since site revenue was very poor and we could not find a sustainable business
model that would not undermine objectivity (my employment
history is also a
matter of public record, and my seeking objectivity has always been central to
As I disclosed, I now work as an MPU compatibility
testing engineer for Centaur. I have stated that VIA-Centaur has put no
pressure on Van's Hardware, and the site will remain independent which
has been our intention from the start. In fact, I have to be very careful
to clearly avoid inferring a site relationship of any kind with VIA-Centaur
because few companies would want to risk being associated with the eclectic and
controversial topic mix we carry.
As my wife just said to me "the numbers are the
numbers." We will publish our testing methodologies in detail so that any
interested third party can reproduce our test conditions. We will also
work with Transmeta to ensure that their product is represented fairly and that
there are no innate flaws in our testing procedures regarding the unique
performance characteristics of Crusoe.
On a positive note, AMD did not flinch when I told
them of my new job, and they will continue to work with VHJ in the same
manner as before.
September 22nd, 2001
Atlanta OC: 150 MHz Corsair SDRAM Review
256 MB stick of CL2 memory.
Mad Cow Disease Confirmed in Japan
Marks first Asian case.
Our informant has told us that a possible early
release of the first of AMD's next generation 64-bit processors is now beginning
to appear in doubt. Although it may not appear in early spring, the formal
scheduled timeframe of 2H, 2002 does not appear to be in jeopardy.
Texas Child Predicted September 11th Attacks?
Fifth-grade boy has been reported to the FBI by his
Xinoehpoel has competition.
September 21st, 2001
Mobile Phones May Harm the Brain
Research study indicates that mobile phones may harm
the brain through the radiation that cell phones emit.
Yahoo News Hacked by Security Expert
...and a Sklyarov article rewritten. In the
middle of the current crisis, it is a strange time to publicly undermine the
news service's credibility. Yahoo has since plugged the security hole.
Does anyone know what has happened to Yahoo Alerts? I stopped getting them
soon after I published one about the Utah AMTRACK two-train collision.
September 20th, 2001
VIA's C3 Chip-in-a-Can
Pictures from Japan.
LostCircuits: ASUS P4B vs. MSI 845 Pro2-R vs. Intel
D850MD vs. Shuttle AV40
The good doctor of hardware sites, Michael Schuette,
has produced a detailed article on the currently available core logic platforms
for the Intel Pentium 4. Michael made an interesting quote regarding the
recent Intel-Rambus cross licensing agreements:
From the point of view of Intel, there is hardly
any other route that can be taken at this time since rumor has it that the
Rambus contract could potentially penalize even participation of Intel in DDR
roadmap discussions with the proud sum of $500,000,000.00, enough money to have
everybody shut their mouth. There is hardly any other way to explain the
consistent endorsement and subsidizing of RDRAM by Intel, other than that there
were no other alternatives.
I had been told nearly a year ago by an insider that
Intel secretly wanted to ditch Rambus and throw its weight behind DDR SDRAM, but
could not yet due to contractual obligations. Further supporting this
statement is that while Intel representatives were always quick to point out
even the most gentle of criticisms I made towards their company, they actually
subtlety complemented me for my Rambus articles -- even
severely impacted the IP company's stock price.
September 19th, 2001
Intel Goes Crazy
Intel's Jeff Austin, marketing manager for the chip
titan's desktop platform group, allegedly claimed the following regarding the
newly launched i845 chipset:
The 845 chipset provides a significant
performance improvement over Intel's 815 chipset, which uses a Pentium III chip,
Intel said. In comparative tests on mainstream applications, a 1.8GHz P4 using
the 845 chipset ran between three to four times faster than a 1GHz PIII chipset
using the 815 chipset, said Jeff Austin, marketing manager for Intel's desktop
These are patently absurd claims, since it is widely
recognized that on many mainstream applications the 1.8 GHZ P4 / i845 combo
performs no better than the PIII -- much less "three to four times faster."
U.S. Govenment Planned Terrorist Attacks Against Own People?
Disturbing allegations were raised in a Baltimore
Sun article about a book released earlier this year by a former ABC
U.S. military leaders proposed in 1962 a secret
plan to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame Cuba to create a
pretext for invasion and the ouster of Communist leader Fidel Castro, according
to a new book about the National Security Agency.
"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror
campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington,"
said one document reportedly prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "We could
blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," the document says.
"Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of indignation."
"We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to
Florida (real or simulated). ... We could foster attempts on lives of Cubans in
the United States, even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely
publicized," the document says. Another idea was to shoot down a CIA plane
designed to replicate a passenger flight and announce that Cuban forces shot it
If anyone has read this Doubleday book, Body of
let us know
how well the author substantiated his incendiary claims.
Typhoon Nari Pummels Taiwan
One of the worst storms ever to strike the island of
Taiwan has already killed over thirty people and has shut most of the island
down. Even our emails to many of our comrades there bounce or fail to be
VIA to Donate $1,000,000 to US Victims
CEO of VIA Technologies made the following statement
regarding VIA's pledge to help American victims of terrorism:
Like millions of people around the world, we were
deeply shocked and saddened to learn about the terrible tragedy that occurred
last Tuesday morning and we would like to extend our heartfelt prayers and
condolences to all the victims and their families. This donation is the most
practical way in which we can help people who have suffered from this horrific
Our friend, Mike Magee of The Inquirer, is
having heart surgery. Our prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery go
out to you, Mike.
September 18th, 2001
September 17th, 2001
The New York Times: Xinoehpoel And the FBI
The New York Times published an
article about Xinoehpoel today (you will need to register to get access to
the article, but it is free). We released an extensive
interview with the self declared Doomsday Prophet yesterday. Here is a
quote for the NYT piece:
The few people reading the obscure Internet
discussion over the prophecies of Nostradamus dismissed it. But seven days after
the message, on Sept. 11, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked.
Xinoehpoel quickly returned to the discussion to gloat that he had predicted the
That was when the F.B.I. and antiterrorism investigators in 10 cities started
calling the offices of O1.com, a Sacramento company that sells Internet access
to smaller Internet service providers. Xinoehpoel's messages could be traced
back to one of the company's clients, said Brad Jenkins, the company's
What is disturbing about this article is that it
favorably and almost lightheartedly portrays escalating government Internet
surveillance technologies, such as Carnivore, as our savior:
Mr. Jenkins, the Internet entrepreneur, said that
his view of government surveillance had shifted. "Certainly it appears that one
of the ways these guys communicate is electronically," he said. "I think
everybody would say, `Let 'em watch it'. "
In our fight to protect our country, we must be
careful not to sacrifice our long term freedoms. Carnivore was not
necessary to catch the eccentric and chatty Xinoehpoel -- reportedly, hundreds
of people turned him in almost immediately -- and real terrorists recognize that
the Internet is not a secure medium.
Atlanta OC: Pretty Purple Shim
Shims can be useful to protect a CPU core from being
damaged, but they can also fry the Thunderbird if not installed correctly.
US Government and Invest Bankers to Attempt to Stay Market Crash
Some see an initial "patriotic rally" to be followed
by steep declines in following days.
"Mystery Object" Caught on Videotape of Second Tower Collision
Perhaps merely a visual artifact, a strange black
object streaks in front of the Towers soon after the impact of the second
airliner (despite an illustration to the contrary, close examination of the
video seems to show the object flash in the foreground of both buildings).
If the object is real, one possible explanation is that it is a
fighter or even a bird flying close to the camera. The article links
to a video much clearer than the screen captures presented in the article
September 16th, 2001
Asian Markets Tumble Yet Again
In anticipation of Monday's reopening of American
trading, Asian markets fell sharply again today. The Japanese Nikkei fell
5.6% to its lowest levels since 1983. This follows on the heels of
Friday's European sell-off, as investors there fear an imminent recession in
wake of recent terrorist activity in the midst of already sagging economies.
Microsoft Deletes World Trade Center From Flight Simulator
The software leviathan has removed the models of the
Twin Towers from Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. The new version of the
long running game is still expected to be released on schedule in October.
In a related story,
several British stores have removed the flight simulator from their shelves out
of fear that it can be used to train terrorists.
Due to intense reader interest, we have arranged
an interview with the controversial self-declared prophet, Xinoehpoel, whom we
mentioned in a September 13th news item. Substantiated through newsgroup posts, Xinoehpoel apparently predicted that a calamity would occur on September 11th,
the date of the recent attacks against the United States. Since then,
reportedly the FBI has been investigating him for possible involvement in
these violent acts.
In no way does Van's Hardware Journal endorse the views Xinoehpoel
expresses in this interview. The interest behind Xinoehpoel has
approached mania in some corners of the Internet, and this is understandable
given these confusing and often frightening times we live in -- we all yearn
for clarity and direction and, for some, Xinoehpoel seems to have delivered a
measure of this in his foreboding forecast for September 11th.
It is our hope that by presenting this interview in
raw, factual form (as in our direction with technology) that our readers can
gain perspective on the Xinoehpoel issue. Nevertheless, we must warn
that some readers might find ideas expressed in this interview to be
disturbing and even offensive. I, Van Smith, take full responsibility
for making the editorial decision to publish this interview. I pray the
article serves to expand insight, compassion and awareness of the fragility
of the human spirit weakened in a world full of doubts.
September 15th, 2001
Atlanta OC: Overclocking the Athlon
The cheap 1 GHz "AYHJA" chip sails above 1.5 GHz.
Five Die as Two Sections of Texas's Longest Bridge Collapse
in Barge Collision
A barge ran into a support of Texas's longest
bridge, the Queen Isabella Causeway, causing the collapse of two sections.
At least five people are dead as cars plunged into the water. Thirteen
people have been rescued from from the waters that separate the Texas mainland
from South Padre Island.
Many interpreted our post yesterday as meaning that
the Hammer will launch in November. In fact, we believe that the correct
interpretation appears to be that the SOI 0.13 micron versions of Hammer will
begin sampling to manufacturers in November so that infrastructure developers
can ramp for a potential early spring launch of the CPU line.
September 14th, 2001
AMD Hammer News
On August 3rd we reported
news that AMD's first 64-bit processor had been sampling since July. Our
informant has now given us an update on the progress of this highly anticipated
and crucial line of MPUs dubbed "Hammer":
I don't know if I can say anything about the roadmap I
have seen. But it looks like an anonymous person may go to the German
hardware store to get a Hammer, to build a Ramp in November.
We will leave it to our readers to decipher this
Hammer processors, sometimes referred to as "K8,"
will first be produced on an advanced 0.13 micron SOI process out of AMD's
Dresden megafab. Unlike Intel's Itanium, Hammer chips will provide
uncompromised performance on legacy 32-bit applications as well as open up the
64-bit computing "new frontier." In fact, Hammers are expected to be the
fastest chips in the world at running 32-bit x86 code, while seriously
challenging the fastest 64-bit processors on 64-bit code.
The first desktop Hammer product, the so-called "Clawhammer,"
will also be only slightly more expensive to produce than contemporary Athlons
making 64-bit processing a real option for the masses in the near future.
September 13th, 2001
Xinoehpoel: Prophet, Villain, Lunatic or Lucky Scam Artist?
A self declared Doomsday prophet writing under the
name "Xinoehpoel" has come under fire for one of his recent predictions.
Writing in an Internet
newsgroup dedicated to the famous 16th Century French Astrologer and
Physician, Nostradamus, Xinoehpoel started a thread on August 31st entitled
"911," a number some have interpreted in retrospect to mean the date of the
recent attacks. Further supporting this is the following post on September
4th, seven days before this week's horrendous events:
Wait 7 days, and then maybe I'll answer this
post. You see, I am going away in seven days, and you will not hear from me
For some, Xinoehpoel's activities have apparently
seemed a little too accurate, prompting them to claim that they have notified
the FBI of his activities.
For those interested, Xinoehpoel, who spends much of
his time insulting other posters, is a follower of another self proclaimed
Internet prophet, Sollog, who is as infamous
as he is popular. Both believe that this week's tragedies will lead to
escalating violence in this country, throwing it into chaos. Some of the
acts they "predict" that will happen this year include the use of so-called
"suitcase nukes" against American cities leading to the unraveling of the
country before the end of the year. Sollog himself claims to be a follower
Despite the fact that it appears Nostradamus was
incorrect with his millennial predictions for unrivaled worldwide catastrophes
and war, followers of his prophecies seem to be as numerous as ever.
AMTRACK Train Wreck
Yahoo News is now reporting an AMTRACK rail accident
in Utah. It appears to be a two-train collision.
Air Travel to Resume Today
Yahoo News is reporting that federal officials
announced that air travel will resume today at 11 AM EDT.
A VHJ reader writes melancholy prose of a
night sky grown suddenly quieter:
You know what's weird? Almost every evening my wife and I
sit out on the back porch out here in the country (way past Dripping
Springs) and watch the stars come out. There is a major flightpath just
north of us and we can usually see the twinkling lights of planes and the
distant roar of jet engines passing by every 10 minutes or so.
But not for the last couple of nights. If it weren't for
the red lights on the broadcast antenna about 20 miles away near Marble
Falls, it would seem we were the only ones on the planet now.
You don't notice stuff like that until it's gone.
I think many of us have noticed the almost eerie emptiness
of our abandoned skies.
Prayer for Our Nation
Roz Fulmer sent to us this prayer for our country:
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are moved by the alarming news and crisis that our
country is facing. This, the greatest nation, founded in the belief that "In
God We Trust" & the "Land of the Free". Please have mercy on those
suffering, hurting and in fear, and give wisdom & strength to those who are
May the forces of evil be broken by your power and may we
be humble before thee, our strength and refuge. Give wisdom to our
President & all our leaders and bring your comforting peace through the
power of your Holy Spirit. Help us here to reach to those that have
been affected by this tragedy.
In the name of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. AMEN
It is in times like these where it is most important that
we all seek clarity within chaos. As I have recommended many times in my
semiconductor analysis, "Trust what you can verify," but now it is also
important to stress to not lose Faith.
September 12th, 2001
Fuel Hoarding, Price Hikes Confirmed
ABC News confirmed early this morning that fuel
hoarding and price hikes were occurring in several parts of the country.
Prices as high as $5 per gallon were reported. However, representatives
from multiple oil companies have stated publicly that there is no supply basis
for price hikes at the fuel pump. Government officials are warning those
"opportunists" seeking to profit in the wake of this national crisis, that they
could be punished.
A mild panic for fuel finally began gripping Austin late last night, according
to local media, and prices had elevated in a few local locations.
Reader Joe G. reports from Ohio that gas prices in
his area had risen as high as $6 per gallon and Ohio's governor is promising
investigations into price gouging. According to Ohio television news
reports, the price hikes were being attributed to "a problem with gas tankers
being on the roads right now."
Miracles in Mayhem and Creeping Mayhem
There have been many reports of people recounting
near misses. In our circle, a family friend related her family's
Thank you for your concern. I thank God that Dan
took his time going to the office this morning...he was on the ferry when
he saw the second plane hit. Rather than continue to Manhattan the
ferry headed back to Jersey City where I was relieved to meet Dan at the
dock. His office building was the third to collapse. His
department was successfully evacuated, but we don't know about the rest of
the office. It is really unthinkable. I heard both impacts
from our apartment and could see the tongues of flames from our balcony.
Joe G. writes of a friend blessed with similar
fortune. "I know one of the luckiest women in NYC, a friend who called off sick
this AM from her job, in the World Trade Center," Joe wrote, "Sue used to work
in an office that overlooked Times Square. Her company a year ago moved into WTC."
While the news media is now
claiming that "Authorities in Massachusetts have identified five Arab men as
suspects in Tuesday's attack on New York City", "cynical" writes of both
his concerns and hopes for our country's reactions -- influenced by provocative
images of Arab celebrations replayed many times in mainstream media -- in light
of this unprecedented crisis:
Reportedly Arab and Muslim groups in California
and elsewhere have been deluged with flames. Even though the attacks on the
WTC and the Pentagon were without doubt barbaric, blind
nationalistic/religious flailing of fists in retaliation is totally
unjustified. Decorum is called for. Nothing else would do America, or its
It is my hope that in future times people
will look back on September 11th, 2001 and remember how America conducted
itself in the aftermath in pride, and not in shame.
Grace Under Fire
Joel Hruska writes about his views of the reaction
of many in the hardware community to the current national crisis.
September 11th, 2001
"5:23 p.m. - Reports to NewsMax from New York City
indicate that TV stations are advising people experiencing flu-like symptoms to
report to hospitals because of the possible threat of bioterror attacks."
No Gas Hoarding in Austin
Although there may be panic and fuel hoarding in
other places, it does not seem to be happening here. Austin appears calm
and traffic at gas stations seems normal.
Red Cross Needs Blood
"Donors who wish to give blood in the coming days to
replenish the nation's blood supply are encouraged to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to
make an appointment."
Gas Prices Spiral Upwards
Gas stations are running out of fuel. Gasoline
prices in Little Rock are quoted at over $4 a gallon.
Astronauts See Smoke From New York
"Astronauts living in the International Space
Center, orbiting the earth at more than 200 miles out, report they are seeing
plumes of smoke emanating from Manhattan from the collapsed World Trade Center
Russia Goes Into High Alert
"And at least three money exchanges offices in the
Russian capital refused to accept dollars. Cashiers said they had been given
instructions not to accept the US currency, universally used as a safe haven by
Crashed Pittsburgh Plane a 747?
"Contrary to earlier reports of the plane being a
767, Cavanaugh said he was told the airplane was a Boeing 747, the largest
passenger jet flown domestically."
List Of Crashed Planes
And details on the number of passengers and crew
European Market Tumbles on Attacks
"By mid-afternoon, the FTSE 100 Index was off 219.6
points at 4,814.6, while all the European markets plunged."
If you would like to share your opinions on today's
events or have any news, then please
send them to us.
Right now, I don't think any of us can get enough information. For
instance, there is a rumor that oil refineries are being shut down and people
are now flocking to gas stations in some areas of the country. If you can
confirm or deny this, please let me know.
AMDZone: Review of the Sys Cold Fusion 1.86 GHz Athlon System
Chris throws a slew of benchmarks at this KryoTech-based
system. He also has a bizarre news item on
the site revealing what appears to be
legal documents substantiating that AMD might be trying to sue another site in
his network for copyright infringement.
September 10th, 2001
Scientists Object to Pharmaceutical Companies Funding Research on Own Products
...sounds a little like the
current benchmarking scene and our related objections.
Hopefully there will be smoother seas ahead.
September 9th, 2001
Donation Page is up.