March 28th, 2002


New Computing Paradigm

Spencer writes, "For quite a few years now, continuing research into the use of Field Programmable Gate Arrays for general purpose computing has born fruit.  The idea that you can 'program' your hardware to be its most efficient for a particular task is an old one but with today's advanced logic and high gate densities it's quite easy to do (the hardware part that is).  The hard part is getting the software to work and the problem set is a huge one.  However, there are some excellent examples out there and there will be more to come.  For certain applications the performance increases are multiple orders of magnitude!  Perhaps we'll tell our grandchildren about the 'good old Von Neumann' days."


March 27th, 2002


Cash Cow P4-M Prices to End

Mario writes, "DigiTimes reports that Intel is expected to severely reduce prices of its expensive P4-M notebook chips because of poor take-up. Intel has been forced to change its indecent pricing strategy because notebook manufacturers are using desktop P4 chips instead, which can reduce the end user price of a notebook by up to $500. Until recently, Intel's notebook processors had proven to be a very lucrative cash cow, but now, this particular gravy train has been forced to end its journey. These price reductions are expected to take effect in May. The profit margin over the desktop chips will probably drop to between $50-$90, a far more reasonable margin. This will have the undesired effect, for Intel anyway, of reducing its very enviable ASP. If you receive the DigiTimes login page, the inquirer's report can be read here."


Aberdeen Group Rubbish's AMD's Nomenclature

Mario writes, "the inquirer reports that a white paper released by the Aberdeen Group is highly critical of AMD's model number naming scheme. This topic has caused much to be written, both for and against. What can't be argued against is the commercial success of this scheme. For a more informed read, the Ace's Hardware message board has picked up all the arguments."


Thom's Plagiarism Guide

A sharp edged, funny and well deserved -- yet vaguely tragic -- rip at a site that would quietly alter the bylines to several of its most influential articles to criminally attribute authorship to others.  This brilliantly done spoof is courtesy of CP. 


March 26th, 2002


Mailbag: More Email Support on THG Byline Scandal


ACTION ALERT: Congress Calls For Public Participation on Digital Music Issues

Joel writes, "The EFF has posted an alert concerning the CBDTPA and I've been asked to pass it along as part of the article I wrote."


Van's Articles Pulled from EduWeb

A day after we published links to some of Van's articles that had been preserved on a Canadian website, Tom's Hardware Guide forced their removal.  According to Gerry Neufeld, author of the EduWeb site, THG's Omid Rahmat contacted the Director of Information Technology at Brandon University, the institution hosting Mr.Neufeld's pages, and citing "wholesale infringements of our copyright on these pages" demanded "Mr. Neufeld to remove these articles from his site, and for the university to comply with our copyright."


These are very hypocritical claims considering that Tom's Hardware doctored the bylines on all of my articles, even attributing some to Thomas Pabst.  As we presented days ago, Omid Rahmat himself participated in a libelous strategy to harm my career.


Ironically, Mr. Neufeld has also been the victim of a publisher gone amok.  After Datamost Books filed Chapter 11, he has not received any further royalties on his books, though "the execs kept drawing big salaries."

VHJ Test Message Boards Upgraded

We have upgraded the message boards to remove ads and improve speed.


Web Watch

Chaintech AG321 (gold edition) 128mb GF3 TI200 Graphics Card Review, Cold Cathode & Zantec3 Window Kits (Review), ZZZ Issue 122 - stingray, biometric (fingerprint scanning) doorknobs, cockroaches, MSI GeForce 4 Ti4400, MSI 745 Ultra SiS745 Board, 3DBOXX Athlon MP 2000+ Powered, Maxxxper Miro Water Cooling, Crucial 512MB Cas 2.5 DDR266 and more.


March 25th, 2002



Our apologies if we do not respond to your emails quickly.  We are in the process of quite a few changes that will hopefully allow us to finally begin to focus on the site in the next month or two.


The Destruction of American Technological Leadership and Personal Freedom—All in One Piece of Paper

Have you spent much time thinking about the CBDTPA (Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act)? Joel has. He shares his thoughts about the impact this legislation backed by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association Of America) and RIAA (Recording Industry Asssciation Of America) can have on you, me, and computer companies such as Intel, AMD, Microsoft, VIA, Sis and others.


Students Give Intel Pariah Treatment

Mario writes, "the inquirer has a report about students lining up in droves, at the expense of Intel, to speak to AMD representatives about future employment opportunities. This happened at a technology fair where students treated Intel like a pariah. There was no reason given for this AMD favoritism, but it would be fare to say that these students have thoroughly researched both companies, which results concluded, like many other independent thinkers, that AMD is now delivering and will continue to deliver the best computer technology for the end user. That's a solid endorsement for AMD's technology and their ability to be able to attract the best minds."

VHJ Test Message Board

We have established a test message board.  Since it runs on a free service provider, xsorbit, there are a lot of nosy questions when users register -- which doesn't please us.  If you have any other recommendations for free services or have advice regarding a VHJ message board, please let us know.  We have gotten offers for free hosting that we are considering, but we wanted to make this test run first.  Thanks for all of the feedback so far.


March 24th, 2002

Clawhammer to Debut in October?

Mario writes: AMDZone reports on a possible October launch of AMD's ClawHammer processor. This backs up an earlier story that VHJ published last month (13th). Other tidbits of info claim that Thoroughbred will be released at 1800+ to 2200+, Barton's release and Athlon's product life will be determined by market demand, AMD will be the sole supporter of chipsets at product launch, ClawHammer pricing will mirror that of Athlon, SMP capability will be removed from Athlon and Duron, and the P4 will be totally outclassed by ClawHammer performance. the inquirer has reported its comments, as has the opinionated Ace's Hardware forum.

Ace's Hardware has two other threads well worth reading. This one discusses the merits of overclocking DDR333 memory and other associated issues. In this thread, I think Mike got a little more than he bargained for about his question about upgrading his hard drive. I hope he was able to sort the wood from the trees. If you're an AMD fan, this last link will make you smile.

March 23rd, 2002

VHJ Message Board?

We have been contemplating a simple message board to accompany this site.  If you have any recommendations for free services or have feedback for this idea, please let us know.

Intel Engineering Samples in Retail Motherboards?

Mario writes: the inquirer reports that Intel's buddy, Supermicro, which only manufactures Intel motherboards, has sold retail motherboards that have been populated with Intel engineering sample (ES) chipsets. This story is ironic because this chance discovery was only found because an end user could not obtain Intel processors for his motherboard. The end user says, "I guess this is what I get for going dual Xeons instead of dual AMD's." As you can imagine, Intel is none too pleased. The thread that sourced this story can be read here.

Tugboat Story

Jim Davison sent in a hyperlink to the story behind the remarkable set of tugboat pictures we linked to yesterday.

March 22nd, 2002

Sales Staff and Consumers Want More Athlons!

Mario writes: the inquirer reports on the results of an across the board mass poll of Circuit City's staff that has highlighted their strong desire to sell more AMD powered computers. Staff were saying that Compaq doesn't make enough Athlon based systems, and stock for this product is too slow in arriving. The poll also reported that customers are asking about AMD processors, and want to stay away from Intel's Celeron. For consumers who shop at Circuit City, it's clear that AMD is winning the hearts and minds of the people.


Happy Brithday, Chris

...aka "Churtle" -- and sometimes "Turtle" :-).  And while we're at it, happy birthday, Captain Kirk.


Articles Rediscovered

Size Mick has found some of my recently defaced articles republished elsewhere.


Intel's Expensive P4-M Disappoints

Mario is not impressed with Intel's new mobile chip.



...wow!  Link courtesy Terry Maginnis.


The Fighting Whites

American Indian group turns "mascot" on its head.  Link courtesy Dan Milisic, Bill Brier.


Happy Brithday, Nils

We have the same birthday.


March 21st, 2002


Becoming a Verb

"Vansmithed" or "Pabstsmeared?"  Nils, Spencer and Mad Mike comment.


Spencer Kittelson's Spicy Jerky Recipe

Spencer sent us some of the best jerky we've ever eaten.   It's awesome stuff with some interesting drying techniques.  Here is his recipe.


Web Watch

Mini LCD Monitor Review, Kingmax Memory Review, Marvel Comics Fan Grills, ABIT BD7-RAID in Depth Review and more.


Microsoft Supports x86-64

Also from the Upside interview, Advanced Micro Devices CEO Jerry Sanders revealed that Microsoft will support Hammer's ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) known as x86-64.  From the interview Mr. Sanders' states, "We’ve added 64-bit capability and instructions that Windows NT64 from Microsoft will support. This is unprecedented in history—Microsoft supporting x86 instructions other than those developed by Intel."  Tip courtesy Brian Cruikshank.


Intel Free to Produce x86-64 Microprocessors

In an interview with Upside magazine, Advanced Micro Devices CEO Jerry Sanders mentioned that his company's current agreement with archrival Intel involved freedom on both sides to use each other's instruction sets.  An "instruction set" is the native language spoken by a microprocessor.  This agreement includes x86-64, the lingua franca of AMD's upcoming "Hammer" family of 64-bit processors, according to AMD spokesman Damon Muzny.  Mr. Muzny continued, "Actually, I believe they [Intel] would be making a mistake if they didn’t [Muzny's emphasis] develop an x86-based approach to 64-bit computing... a solution that is compatible with the established, public x86-64 standard from AMD."


March 20th, 2002


Slander at Tom's Hardware
An email thread sent to us by an editor of HardGamers.com demonstrates that Tom's Hardware Guide is guilty of criminal slander.  UPDATE:  We have discovered a cached Google image of one of Van's articles that Thomas Pabst now fallaciously claims authorship for.  Note also how the article summary has been changed, clearly demonstrating the intent of these edits.

UPDATE 2:  The THG link above no longer works, but takes you to the CPU Guide instead.  Apparently, all of my articles have now been yanked from Tom's Hardware.  Thanks LB for the information.


Web Watch

Unreal Tournament 2 Video (blurb), Shuttle SS50 Barebone review - DDR Pentium 4 Small Form Factor PC, Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra,

Directron SF-201 Aluminum Case Review and more.


March 19th, 2002


Intel to Milk MP Xeon Server Market

Mario writes, "Before SledgeHammer arrives next year, Intel will use this time to milk every last dollar from its customers who purchase its new MP Xeon processors. Prices start at a dizzying $1177 for the 1.4GHz part, and end up at an out of this world $3692 for the 1.6GHz device. These prices won't hold when SledgeHammer arrives. the inquirer reports that a shocked Intel system integrator was none too pleased. If you don't have to buy Intel solutions, hang on until AMD's SledgeHammer arrives and save yourself some dosh [ed: and some money too -- just kidding, Mario!].


It's Libel

Michael Moore clears it up.  Libel applies to email.


Nils' Notes

Turning down Tom, turning up nForce, and potato salad.


Dell Capitulates to Microsoft on Using Linux

Mario writes: the inquirer reports that the nine states holding out for further antitrust action against Microsoft claimed that Dell was pressurized to drop its Linux plans because it was a "premium partner" for Windows 2000. Without giving any reasons, Dell abandoned its Linux plans in June last year.

Also, in August 2000, Microsoft weren't too happy when Intel invested $100 million in Linux, but it's not so easy to bully the supplier that shifts the majority of your products. In a telling note to Bill Gates, a senior executive said that Intel was destroying the "marriage" it had with the chip giant.

What else is there to come out from this trial? Another nail has just been hammered into the coffin of this antitrust settlement. I hope that judge Colleen Kollar-Kottelly has seen enough evidence to now dismiss and bury this settlement.  


Mailbag: More Email on THG Byline Scandal


Orville Henry Dies
...a respected sportswriter.


It's a Girl!

I went with Kathy today for her first ultrasound of this pregnancy, and I am elated to report that everything looks great.  Although we are traditionalists and wanted to wait until the birth to know the gender of the baby, once we saw the vivid ultrasound images, we succumbed to enthusiasm.  It's a girl, our third.  We are blessed.


March 18th, 2002


Slander or Libel?

While libel is usually considered defamatory action published in a permanent form (typically print media), slander involves non-permanent form (most often spoken).


At this point it is unclear to us if the Tom's Hardware Byline Scandal, since its defamatory strategy involves email, would be considered libelous instead of slanderous.  If you have an answer, please let us know.


I would prefer that THG simply take the obvious professional, ethical path and restore the article bylines to their original and correct forms.  Although I would rather not seek legal action, Kathy feels differently.  If you are a lawyer and interested in pursuing this case, contact her.


Site Tracks COSBI QuickTest Results

We are happy to see that our embryonic Open Source benchmarking project is finding traction. If you would like to contribute Delphi/Kylix source code, please contact us.


Copyright Information
Phil Trent researches copyright laws and explains.


Mailbag: Email Flood on THG Byline Scandal

...a quick sampling of notes.


Web Watch

Directron Dragon DA-01WD Tower Case (Review), Thermalright AX-7 Review, Sky Hawk Economical Aluminum case (Review), Review Of Innoboard BD-7300D KT266A Motherboard, SiS645DX Performance Review and more.


March 17th, 2002


Slander at Tom's Hardware
An email thread sent to us by an editor of HardGamers.com demonstrates that Tom's Hardware Guide is guilty of criminal slander.  UPDATE:  We have discovered a cached Google image of one of Van's articles that Thomas Pabst now fallaciously claims authorship for.  Note also how the article summary has been changed, clearly demonstrating the intent of these edits.

March 15th, 2002


Thread of the Day
Mario writes: "THG's removal of authorship from articles written by Van Smith has created no small stir among the hardware community. Ace's Hardware discuss the moral and legal arguments."

Honesty and Integrity Play Second Fiddle at The Pabster
Mario writes on THG's latest display of "deceptive, unethical" journalism practices. And no, Van is not posting this. It's his wife, who has had her set of encounters with the Herr Doktor Fuehrer.


CPU Roadmap Summary Of Server/Workstation/Desktop CPUs - 2H 2002 & 1H 2003
Phil Trent rounds up AMD, Intel and VIA offerings.


Web Watch

Microsoft Designing CPUs, Graphics Chips,  Tyan Tiger MPX Review, Nvidia Announces New nForce Chipsets, Office Keyboard Review,  f3 ti200 GIVEAWAY, CuttingTheEdge.com Relaunches


March 13th, 2002


Intel Discloses U.S. Operations Lost $350 Million Last Year
Thanks to Mark for this link from Bloomberg.


Web Watch

Athlon XP 2100+ Reviews, Epox 4DBA2+ Review, Asus A7V266-EX Review and more.


March 12th, 2002


Rant O' the Week

Allen Crider lets ECS, SiS, and VIA (are we missing anyone?) have a piece of his mind.


Gaming Corner: Warcraft III Beta Preview #2 - The Purpose of a Beta

Joel discusses the purpose and process of beta testing.


Updated: DigiTimes Now A Subscription Service

DigiTimes has changed their conditions for their free subscription.  Unlike what they advertised (and what we reported) yesterday, the free subscription is only good until May 31, 2002 (not 2003) if you sign-up before March 18. After that time your free subscription will entitle you to the latest two weeks of news, access to the home and main section pages and a limited choice of daily emails. For more information on the changes or to register, go here.  If you are unhappy about the change, contact DigiTimes Editor Stephen Taylor.


Web Watch

New Fan Technology, Intel 0.09 Micron Process Technology, 'Blackout bombs', retiring bipedal robotic dinosaurs, a round-up of three AMD MPX chipset-based boards: the ASUS A7M266D, the MSI K7D-L and the Tyan S2466 Tiger MPX, and more.


March 11th, 2002


DigiTimes Now A Subscription Service

DigiTimes.com is now a subscription service. You can register for free until March 18, 2002. Your subscription will be good until May 31, 2003. If you register between March 18, 2002 and May 31, 2002, the rate for a subscription is $200. After May 31, 2002 a new subscription rate will be put in place.


ECS Ships More Athlon Motherboards Than P4

Mario writes, "DigiTimes reports that Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), the leading Taiwanese motherboard supplier, ships up to 20% more Athlon based platforms than P4. This is due to ECS's low-price marketing strategy and AMD's better performing platform which puts the P4 platform at a huge disadvantage because of higher cost.  

SIS chipsets account for 60% of AMD based shipments and VIA picks up the rest. For P4 chipsets, VIA accounts for 65% of shipments, SIS 20%, and Intel only 15%. As PC platforms continue to take on commodity pricing, as proven here with ECS, Intel product offerings will continue to be more expensive.

As consumers continue to be educated in what PC performance is really all about, markets will continue to migrate to AMD platforms. Japan is a classic example where AMD's unmatched product offerings have now been rewarded with the number one position in consumer sales."


Web Watch

Modified EG465P-VE 431W PSU, Sydney ITExpo 200, New Tyan and Asus Bios Files, Inno3D Tornado GF4 MX440 Review, Ascent AC7000E Heatsink Review, Cooler Master ATC110, ATC210, and ATC-600 reviews and much more.


March 8th, 2002


Intel Ads At Ace's

Van comments on the current state of the hardware community.


March 7th, 2002


ExtremeTech in Trouble, Part Two

As we reported February 24th, Ziff-Davis’ online hardware site, ExtremeTech, has been allegedly suffering severe financial woes.  In an article released today, ExtremeTech’s parent company, Ziff-Davis Media, is in danger of facing bankruptcy if it cannot “buy more time on a loan it took out in the form of a credit line” according to a report from Internet.Com, another corporate online publishing rival.  The report maintains that ZD Media suffered a nearly half-billion dollar net loss last year.  In a crowd of low-budget Internet websites published by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, the corporately backed ExtremeTech has reportedly failed to capture the confidence of this fiercely independent and influential audience.


Stuck in a Windshield and Left to Die

The victim of a hit-and-run accident was alive for two to three days while embedded in the windshield of the car that struck him.  The alleged assailant drove about four miles after the incident with the victim lodged in her car's front window.  She parked her vehicle in her garage, where the victim died days later from blood loss.  Afterwards, the woman allegedly dumped the body in a park and began the process of dismantling and burning her automobile.  The woman disclosed her October crime last month in a party.  Brad sent us this unsettling link.


Court Rules Amateur Reporters Have Same Rights as Professionals

In a time when our personal freedoms are quickly eroding, a federal court in Massachusetts has served a striking victory for free speech by ruling that the common citizenry has essentially the same rights to public forums as corporately employed “professionals.”  The ruling is the result of a case brought against AOTV, which had begun to censor “controversial” public access material, particularly those reports that ran counter to the cable company’s interests.  Springfield U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor wrote in his decision that AOTV’s actions “made news makers news editors. By refusing to sign a release form, Athol's news makers could ensure that their images did not appear on AOTV."


Hopefully, Judge Ponsor has set a precedence that his judicial colleagues will follow, thus strengthening independent media, one of the most potent weapons in the fight for freedom and democracy in a world that is increasingly Machiavellian under the whip of corporate global interests.


Hammer's Privacy-Security Logic

AMD's upcoming 64-bit microprocessor architecture, codenamed "Hammer," will feature so called privacy-security logic.  What does this mean?  AMD spokesman Damon Muzny clarifies: "Essentially, the privacy-security logic is ROM access control to maintain BIOS integrity... i.e. it controls software's ability to have access to the BIOS addresses to protect the BIOS."


We would not be surprised if a new random number generator as well as encryption support/acceleration was also included in this logic.


Pentium 4 Incompatibilities Bite Oracle

Again, the problem is traceable to the Sun JRE.  Apparently, the JRE in question does not properly recognize the Pentium 4, causing the Oracle installer to abort.  As with the MATLAB bug below, the issue can be remedied by visiting Sun's site and downloading the latest Java Runtime Environment.  In particular, the old "symcjit.dll" files seem to be at fault.  The JRE snafu does not reflect an Intel Pentium 4 deficiency as much as it calls out a questionable programming decision on the part of Sun.


Scooby, Don't

Karl Princl has issues with THG's analysis.


March 6th, 2002


Web Watch

Aquastar pictures, Global Win YCC-61F1 Case Review, ABIT NV7M mainboard, Soltek 85DRV3 motherboard, CoolerMaster HHC-001 CPU Cooler review and more.


Pentium 4 Incompatible with Some Software

Although not highly publicized, the Intel Pentium 4 is not able to run all legacy software due to innate incompatibilities.  For instance, the popular mathematics package Matlab 6.0 (R12) will generate errors when attempting load the program on an Intel Pentium 4-based system due to conflicts between the Windows Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Intel Pentium 4.  If you are encountering these issues, either upgrade to Matlab 6.1 or install a newer JRE as directed in the Mathworks link above.  The Pentium 4 and this JRE might also trigger failures while browsing the Web, or when running other programs that utilize Java, such as Sun’s StarOffice.


March 5th, 2002


Anti-Anthrax Tomato

...and tobacco works too, so cigarettes might be good for you after all.  Joking aside, the biotech enables very cheap inoculation production.  The link is courtesy of Tim Lemmon.


Gaming Corner: Lightning in a Bottle - The Warcraft III Beta

Joel reviews one of the more highly anticipated gaming sequels of this year.


Web Watch

Biostar M7VIB-A Review, IDF Spring 2002 coverage, eVGA e-GeForce4 MX440 Review, Toshiba SDM-1612 DVD-Reader Review and more.


March 4th, 2002


Hating to Love Microsoft

Phil Trent explains.


AMD & Ferrari off to Flying Start

Mario writes: As Ferrari made the perfect start by winning their first Grand Prix of the season in Australia, AMD started to garner the exposure that sponsorship of Ferrari generates. AMD's strategic decision to sponsor the top Formula One racing team began to reap benefits at Saturday's qualifying session. Ferrari was quickest which secured them the top two places for the start of Sunday's race. The race was marred by a massive first-corner accident that took out Ferrari's Rubens Barichello. Michael Schumacher, the remaining Ferrari driver, avoided the accident and went on to win the race. The racing car that AMD sponsors can be seen here and here. Tech specs are here.

With Ferrari's legendary ability to execute and deliver on performance, which has made Ferrari the most successful Formula One team in history, it's all too clear to see the analogous comparisons that AMD could use to demonstrate its superior performance over Intel. Will AMD oblige?


March 3rd, 2002


Web Watch

Winroute and Networking, Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical review, KingWin KCU-7025 Copper Heatsink (Review), Thunder K7X S2468 Revealed and more.


March 2nd, 2002


Gil Russell: Industry Forecast

Industry insider, DRAM expert and all around good guy, Gil Russell shared his tech sector forecast with us a few days ago.  We value his prognostication skills since he has been uncannily accurate in the past.  Is the industry downturn over?  See what Mr. Russell has to say.


March 1st, 2002


Updated nForce and nForce2 To Be Launched

Mario reports.


Benchmarketing 101: Intel SysMark - Take 2

Hal Speed writes, "Since your article, BAPCo also changed their contact information in the press release you link to. The original version of the press release on MadOnion's site still has the Mission College address."


AMD Takes Jab at Intel - Take 2

Bill Brier writes, "They are indeed the upper four notes of the Intel theme.  The theme is played in parallel octaves, but I guess AMD didn't have enough space to put both the bass and treble staves on the board.  <Grin>  Just think what would have happened if they had squeezed in a picture of the aliens, with a hammer over their heads."


Web Watch

Intel Pentium 4 Heatsink Roundup, Hercules Titanium Cards Review, The Motley Fool boards of 3dfx and Nvidia new location and more.



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