April 30th, 2002
Care to Think Big?
Spencer writes, "In the field of epistemology, there are few questions as difficult as 'Where did we (and everything) come from?' As a fundamental issue, you have to tackle the existence of the cosmos which requires thinking big and I mean REALLY BIG! How about as big as the source of the so called Big Bang? In this article, theoretical physicists at Princeton and Cambridge have come up with the idea of a cyclical meta-universe in new speculative model of everything that some are calling 'the first new big idea in cosmology in over two decades'. The Princeton website has all kinds of wonderful links."
AMD Licenses 64-bit MIPS Architecture
Mario writes, "MIPS Technologies, Inc. has licensed the MIPS64™ Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) to AMD for the development of personal connectivity solutions. AMD will use this technology to develop 64-bit designs that will co-exist with its current MIPS32™ based products. "Both 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architectures deliver the performance, power efficiency, and broad application-based industry support. In addition, they are designed to deliver a level of design flexibility and scalability unavailable from any other processor Intellectual Property (IP) provider," said Dr. Billy Edwards, vice president and general manager of AMD's Personal Connectivity Solutions group. Processor core details can be read here.
April 29th, 2002
New Arm Design to Extend Beyond 1GHz
Mario writes, "ZDNet reports that Arm Holdings has announced their new ARM11 architecture. This will give a speed boost to handhelds, smartphones and other multimedia devices. 'The ARM11 microarchitecture is the foundation of our next generation of CPU cores, and delivers new levels of performance and efficiency for leading-edge wireless and consumer devices,' said John Rayfield, ARM's director of R&D, in a statement. Arm will release this design to ARM11 licensees in Q4. ARM's press release is here."
Apple Unveils the eMac
Mario writes, "ZDNet reports that Apple has launched a new product, the eMac. "e" stands for the education market, and hence will not be available to the general public. The all-in-one all-white desktop will only be sold to teachers, schools and college students. It features a 700MHz G4 processor, 40GB hard drive, CDROM drive, a 17-inch flat CRT, and 128MB of memory, all for $999. For an extra $200, you can burn CDs and watch DVDs. I like this machine a lot. Is there a teacher who would purchase this on my behalf? Apple details are here."
ECS Still Top Dog
Mario writes, "DigiTimes reports the motherboard makers Q1 results, some of which are estimates. ECS has the largest pre-tax sales, which should enable it to claim to be the most profitable Taiwanese motherboard company. ECS is definitely making inroads with its low-price strategy. This can only mean good news for AMD, because ECS manufactures more Athlon boards than P4."
AMD All 64-bit???
Spencer writes, "This article at El Reg references this intriguing piece of work by Josh Walrath at Penstarsys. Could AMD really be planning a massive 64-bit top-to-bottom coup? The Register piece has several others AMD related links."
Intel Will Continue to Lose Market Share
Link courtesy Tim S.
April 28th, 2002
AMD/Ferrari Dream Team
Mario writes, "Michael Schumacher pips Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello to pole position for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. AMD/Ferrari leaves Intel/Williams eating dust."
April 27th, 2002
April 26th, 2002
April 25th, 2002
Eating Food Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
Nils sends us this link.
April 24th, 2002
All of Greece’s Schools Shutdown by Fatal Mystery Virus
All of the schools and universities in the country of Greece have been ordered to close after evidence indicates that a fatal mystery virus seems to be spreading. The flu-like illness attacks the heart and can cause serious tissue damage. Three of the 32 reported cases have been fatal.
Microsoft To Support AMD's 64 bit Hammer CPU
Chris Tom of amdzone.com sends us this news, "Infoworld has confirmed that Microsoft will unveil support for AMD’s 64 bit Hammer CPU today at AMD’s annual analyst meeting. Jerry Sanders will also step down as CEO today."
April 23rd, 2002
April 22nd, 2002
Asustek to Introduce Low-price Motherboards
Mario writes, "Asustek, which lost the number one Taiwanese motherboard spot to ECS, will follow ECS and enter the low-price motherboard market. This may be good news for AMD, because ECS's low-price model is currently shipping more Athlon product (up to 20%) than P4 because of Athlon's lower cost. Asustek's strategic change is a clear response to ECS's success. As the performance of the same chipset motherboards becomes less distinguishable between the different manufacturers, cost will play a bigger role in determining who wins the biggest slice of the pie.
VIA C3 Review
Jesse writes, "I came across this accidentally. A bit old, but if you've never seen it, it's not a bad review."
Why Consider Open Source?
Spencer Kittelson writes, "Here's a rather excellent (if longish) treatise that purports to provide quantitative data which indicates that open source software is generally superior to proprietary products. On issues such as reliability, security, TCO, scaleability this has been obvious for quite some time but this is one of the better consolidated sources of data on the subject. If nothing else, skim the article and save the URL for reference in case you want to take on a 'Windows only' zealot."
PhysicsWeb - Super-sensor Seeks Out Water
Phil sends us this. Pretty neat stuff. Another great byproduct of silicon technology.
April 20th, 2002
April 19th, 2002
Mario writes, "Dell confirms its proprietary nature. Will Nvidia buy the loss making Transmeta? SiS obtains 533MHz FSB technology license from Intel. Are Nvidia and AMD cooking up something special for ClawHammer? Demand for motherboards increases in Europe. Trident to target the notebook market first with its new XP4 graphics chip. Will Intel's Banias become the dominant notebook processor? Huge Xbox price cuts in Europe and Australia as Microsoft lowers sales forecast. Intel's Prescott could have 1MB L2 cache and Yamhill extensions. Gates: PC will rule home network. Latest on Microsoft settlement. How a Windows guy learned to love a Mac. Why open source software? Microsoft patents shut out open source. Michael's Minutes: What is Click-N-Run? Interview: Developing Open Source games. Netscape, not IE, put on new CompuServe. Microsoft learns a lesson from competition? New 'ultra-personal computer' will run Linux (and much more). Apache 2.0 beats IIS at its own game. No justice from Microsoft for the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. WinHEC roundup. Ace's Hardware has an excellent article on CPUs for workstations and small business servers."
April 18th, 2002
April 17th, 2002
Intel's Willamette-128 will be a Massive 210mm^2
Mario writes, "the inquirer has reported the die size of Intel's Willamette-128, Celeron's replacement. This makes it over two and a half times larger than the 130nm core that it replaces, which will have cost and production implications for Intel. That's not all though, with the 66mm^2 (extrapolated) die size of Appaloosa Duron, AMD is able to garner 294 more dies per wafer, assuming perfect yields. This will enable AMD to ship high volumes of Duron at very competitive price points."
ECS: More Revenue from Notebooks than Motherboards
Mario writes, "ECS, the number one Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer that ships more Athlon product than P4, generated more revenues from notebook products than from motherboards in Q1. This reflects the success of its Desknote line of notebooks that have been well received in China. This also signals a change in consumer buying habits as well. Both Intel and AMD are seeing increased sales of their notebook products. Additionally, with more manufacturers now making notebooks with Intel desktop CPUs, it's clear to see where PC sales are headed."
And Don't Forget The Carbon Nanotube Thermal Paste
Spencer writes, "In recent testing, the addition of carbon nanotubes to epoxy adhesive increased the strength of the cured product by a factor of three and more than doubled its thermal conductivity. These miniscule, one atom thick structures that are about 1/10,000 the width of a human hair, are perhaps the best thermal conductors ever discovered. One of their possible future uses may be as an additive to the existing thermal pastes we use to grease the interface between our CPU's and HSF's."
April 16th, 2002
AMD's Barton to Have 512KB of Level 2 Cache
Mario writes, "AMDZone was quick off the mark to link AMD's latest updated roadmap that shows Barton as having 512KB of level two cache, but no SOI. I have to say that I'm surprised and very pleased. With AMD saying that Thoroughbred was only a die shrink, it got everybody thinking that Barton would be the same but with SOI. We were proved wrong. 640KB of total full speed cache really puts the cat among the pigeons, and must be Athlon's defense against Intel's 533 MHz FSB P4. Those who were thinking that AMD's resources were stretched need to think again. The second half of this year will see these parts debut in mobile and desktop solutions. Multi-processor devices appear next year. This can't be good news for Intel on the day that they announce their quarterly results."
"Latest processor pricing for
teams up with Nvidia and HP.
announces single-chip 45 A polyphase power supply solution for AMD's
is sampling its new 3D graphics processor for notebooks. Its XP4 offers
the best 3D performance at the lowest power dissipated (less than 3 W). Beware
of Dell's proprietary ATX
design; more can be read
unbreakable database has apparently been broken. AMD's Sanders
will testify for
Microsoft. PC Magazine takes
look at Apple's Dual 1-GHz Power PC G4. Evil3D.net has a detailed review
of Pogo Linux's top of
the line dual processor Vorticon 1800+.
Microsoft attacks free software developers with new license. Open source
wrap-up. X-bit Labs has benchmarked
the available chipset solutions for the P4.
New Memory Type
Spencer writes about a new non-volatile memory technology.
Another Microsoft Freak-Out
Spencer writes, " I normally don't bother with Ziff-Davis since they are completely sycophantic. However, John C. Dvorak's comments on Micro$oft's inability to get security right are too choice."
April 15th, 2002
Ferrari Picture Update
Mario writes, "In response to VHJ's Ferrari story, Brian Cruikshank kindly sent in these great picture links from the San Marino Grand Prix. These show the AMD logo on Rubens Barrichello's helmet, as well as the left and right arms of his racing leathers. This side shot of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari clearly shows the AMD logo."
Hammer Names: 'Athlon Pro 64' is the One
Mario fills us in on the name game.
AMD's Thoroughbred Shipping To Manufacturers
Chris Tom of amdzone.com writes, "CNet has a story on CPU price cuts that includes information about AMD now shipping Thorougbreds to manufacturers for an introduction characterized as 'soon'. PC's may suggest these CPUs are destined for the desktop."
Controversial Digital Copyright Clause To Be Abandoned
From NewScientist.com, "The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which publishes 30 per cent of all computer science journals worldwide, is to stop requiring authors to comply with a controversial US digital copyright law."
The Pit and the Pentium
Phil Trent writes on the struggle between AMD and Intel for dominance in the 64-bit arena.
Ferrari and AMD Win Again
Mario writes, "Ferrari and AMD again proved dominant and outstanding at this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix. At Saturday's qualifying session, both Ferrari drivers set the fastest times with Michael Schumacher just edging out Rubens Barichello to take pole. On race day they repeated this feat with Schumacher taking the checkered flag. This was Schumacher's third victory in four races this year, and extends his lead in the championship to 14 points. Up to this point in the season, AMD looks to be backing a winning horse. And what of Intel you may ask? They've as per usual backed the less successful thoroughbred. The team that Intel partners is BMW/Williams, which is the second most successful team in Grand Prix racing, after Ferrari of course. I've found the best picture yet that clearly shows the AMD logo on the rear aerofoil of Ferrari's dominating Grand Prix car. Click on the zoom button to get a perfect view."
April 14th, 2002
Interview with VIA's CEO
Mario writes, "Tecchannel has a very interesting and frank interview with VIA's Wenchi Chen. A large part of that interview is spent discussing VIA's chipset performance. Discussion then moved on to future products and VIA's desire to grow and diversify. Tecchannel has also updated a story it ran last December about how VIA chipsets slow down PCI cards. This update reviews the latest driver patch that seems to fix this problem."
April 12th, 2002
New AMD Desktop Roadmap
Mario writes, "VHJ reported on Intel's desktop roadmap last Wednesday.
Today it's AMD's turn. X-bit Labs has unofficial details of AMD's desktop
roadmap through to and including Q4 2002. This quarter debuts Thoroughbred at
speed grades from 2000+ to 2400+, which backs up an
inquirer story that
Thoroughbred will debut between mid-May and June. Palomino will receive one last
speed grade increase to 2200+. The Athlon XP 1600+ transfers from the
performance category to take pride of place as the top value processor until it
is displaced in Q3. Q3 removes the top two and bottom two Palomino speed grades
and all Morgan Durons below 1.3 GHz. Appaloosa Duron debuts at speed grades from
1600+ to 1900+. Q4 unveils two more Thoroughbreds at 2600+ and 2800+, and the
last Duron Morgan exists no more. They didn't mention Hammer, but this also
debuts in the fourth quarter. More AMD roadmaps can be viewed
Xbox Sales Not Cutting the Ice
Mario writes, "Microsoft's Xbox is not selling as well as Microsoft would have liked. Sales in Europe and Japan have been poor, and in Australia, Sony's PlayStation 2 is outselling Xbox by two to one. Price is definitely an issue in Europe. In the UK, Microsoft charges British shoppers $430 (at today's currency rates) or $131/$167 more than US/Japanese consumers for the pleasure of owning an Xbox. I don't think the Europeans are too enamored to be subsidizing Xbox sales in other parts of the world, which may explain the European rejection of Xbox. We now live and work in a global economy, prices now need to reflect this."
LostCircuits: The Register, Tom's Hardware and Windows XP all Thieves?
Condemnation over "apologist" piece.
April 10th, 2002
New Intel Desktop Roadmap
Mario writes, "the inquirer has an exclusive on up and coming Intel
desktop products through to and including Q2 2003. Q2 and Q3 will be equally
busy quarters for new desktop launches this year. This quarter will see the
launch of the last PIII based Celeron and the debut of Willamette-128, Celeron's
replacement. On the P4 front, the 533 MHz FSB product also debuts. Q4 reveals
just one P4 addition. Q1 2003 transfers all Celeron product to Willamette-128,
and the P4 passes 3 GHz for the first time. More details can be read
here. More Intel roadmaps
can be viewed here."
Amiga Back From the Dead?
A resurrected version of the groundbreaking computer is rumored to use AMD's Hammer.
Astronomers claim seven-mile star is made entirely of its constituent quarks.
Message Boards Being Upgraded
Participation in our new message boards has exceeded our expectations. Regarding our newly relocated forum, Dave relays that a there is a "massive server upgrade going on," and that "the message boards will be unavailable until this afternoon." Sorry for the inconvenience, but thank you for the interest. Because of the enthusiastic participation we are determined to provide message board services for our readers. UPDATE: The Van's Hardware Forum is tentatively up again.
It just keeps on ticking...
Spencer writes, "Nearly 8 billion miles later (twice as far as the orbit of Pluto) Voyager 1 is still functional and has yet to reach the heliopause. After 25 years of continuous operation it's pretty amazing that we can still "talk" to this spacecraft, although the time delay due to the extreme distance for a command/response sequence is 24 hours. Talk about latency!"
Kathy writes, "Our move is mostly over, so we'll be posting more regularly our web watch. Here are some reviews posted in the past 2 days." nVIDIA Video Card Overclocking with CoolBits, Asus A7V333 Review, ASUS P4S533 SiS645DX Mainboard Exclusive Review, ASUS 645DX Mainboard pictures, ABIT AT7 pictures and more.
April 9th, 2002
Quick Take: Microsoft’s Dungeon Siege
The new Diablo-esque role player from Chris Taylor, the creator of Total Annihilation (perhaps one the best games ever), delivers beautiful graphics and engaging game play. Controls are generally intuitive (bordering on clever) and camera pans are seamless and silky smooth. However, be warned that this program demands a lot of CPU muscle. Running on an Athlon 2100+ using a GeForce4 Ti 4600 at 1024x768x32 with maximum detail, frame rates often dropped to around 30 when under attack. Worse, we witnessed considerable jerkiness on lesser gaming systems. If your system has the power, Dungeon Siege rewards with rippling shadows, rainbow auras, sparkling reflections and detailed animation in what might be the handsomest RPG ever. PC gamers have been beaten down to expect bug ridden new games. Unfortunately, there are a number of unintended insects creeping around the Dungeon Siege code base, but we have yet to encounter one that has softened our very positive impression of this excellent, thoughtful and well-executed product.
Commentary on Intel
Mario writes, "Much has been written about Intel's FUD-ing of AMD and the associated smear campaign that has swung into action. Geek.com has two pieces of interest. Their first has a very funny skit about a computer sales person trying to explain the difference between AMD's model numbers and Intel's GHz. Their second is the first of a three part response to the Aberdeen Group's white paper. AMDZone unveils Intel's FUD machine in action. ZDNet reports on the training classes offered by Intel for its channel customers that directly targets AMD's model numbers. the inquirer reports that Dell, Intel's close buddy, is also playing its part but in a far more subtle way. They're running ads that basically says: 'Beware of imitations, buy a real 2 GHz machine, a Pentium 4 from Dell.' It sounds like the cola wars between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. We'll soon be hearing that Intel's P4 is 'the real thing'. It's unfortunate that we don't have the same price parity between Intel and AMD as we do between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. These are after all commodity products. If Intel and AMD were selling cola, would you pay twice as much to drink the Intel brand? "
Purported i845G Benchmarks Appear
P4 integrated solution looks very weak in comparison to the Athlon XP’s NVIDIA nForce.
Spencer writes, "Doesn't anyone bother with the book of Revelations?"
Van's Hardware Forum!
Many, many thanks to Dave Graham. Problems with Xsorbit, although it had a lot of nice features, just not enough server/bandwidth resources, made us look for other options. Dave Graham graciously offered this solution and set-up the forum site for us. It looks great. Thanks!
Rambus Still Alive and Kicking
writes, "DigiTimes reports
that Intel and SIS will both launch 533 MHz FSB RDRAM chipsets in Q2 and Q3
respectively. Intel will launch the 850E in April and SIS is planning to debut
its R658 chipset in the third quarter. This refutes all those claims that Rambus
was dead on the PC. This may also be a cunning plan by Intel to try to head off
Hammer. Intel doesn't know the performance advantage that Hammer will deliver,
so this may be insurance to cover for that unknown."
April 8th, 2002
VIA Eden Imagination Competition
Win a trip to this year's Computex by coming up with innovative applications for the teeny-tiny VE1500 EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard. VIA will pick up the tab for the flight as well as six days of accommodations in Taipei, Taiwan. The island of Taiwan is among the most naturally beautiful places in the world. Running from June 3rd to the 7th, Computex is one of the biggest computer hardware shows of the year. If you need a starter idea, there are videos on the signup page for putting together a computer in a shoebox. Application deadline is April 16th, so hurry!
AMD Announces New Alchemy
Mario writes: The Alchemy Au1100 processor is the first fruits for AMD since its purchase of Alchemy Semiconductor last February. This processor is based on a MIPS32 instruction set and will be sold alongside its older siblings, the Au1000 and the Au1500. The Au1100 is a System-on-a-Chip (SOC) processor that has a core around which there are a custom set of integrated memory controllers and industry standard communication interfaces. With three speed grades being offered, 333, 400, and 500 MHz, this product will be targeted at the non-PC mobile Internet appliance market. Reduced power consumption is the most important improvement that this design brings to the table. The 400 MHz device reduces power by half, 250 mW instead of 500 mW for the Au1000 part. These new parts are currently being sampled and the 400 MHz device will be priced at $29.50 in 10,000 unit quantities. Full tech specs can be read here.
DePauw Fire Update
Joel writes: Rector Hall did not burn to the ground--only the 5th and 4th stories were destroyed. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, though extensively water-and-smoke damaged, will eventually be repairable. Even more thankfully, the fire did not spread to Lucy or Mason Hall (the two halls connected to Rector) so the fire ended up destroying the homes of about 120 students--not the nearly 500 we originally feared. Also, no one was hurt in the fire.
Lost Circuits: 2.4GHz P4 Review
Among the Old Guard, Dr. Schuette is one of the few remaining trustworthy and insightful hardware reviewers.
April 7th, 2002
Fire at DePauw University
An intense fire struck Joel's alma mater displacing roughly 40% of the student population. Joel, who continues to work for the university, is helping prepare his fraternity's hall, Sigma Nu, to temporarily accept roughly thirty of the evacuated students.
More Evidence for Mac-AMD Connection?
Are AMD Clawhammer powered Apple Macintoshes coming? Steve Jobs' adoption of the AMD chip would definitively give Apple the world's most powerful and sophisticated desktop CPU, while AMD would benefit from Mr. Jobs' uber-marketing. Link courtesy Jerry.
April 5th, 2002
Independent Media Center Under Cyber Attack
IndyMedia has been publishing eyewitness reports critical of recent Israeli action against Palestinians. IMC claims that as a consequence of their reporting, the organization is now the target of varying “Cyber Attacks” including flood attempts and disinformation uploads. The war to control information rages, and is similar to message board contamination conducted by corporate operatives.
Woman 8-Weeks Pregnant with Clone
…so claims fertility specialist. Disregarding the profound ethical issues, considering the high rate of abnormalities among cloned animals, this seems reckless.
2GB On A Postage Stamp!
Spencer writes, "Holographic storage, where information is represented in a physical medium as the interference pattern resulting from the phase relationships of multi-path coherent light sources, gets a big reality boost next week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas. InPhase, a Lucent spin-off has developed a 100GB holographic disk recorder which has potential to go to over a terabyte in capacity. By using a spatial light modulator (a two dimensional light valve similar in function to an LCD) they record bitmaps as holograms. Playback is done by projection to a sensor array and the data is read in parallel, thus giving extremely high bandwidth (vs.the single stream serial nature of existing CD/DVD technology). Although you can get 2GB on a postage stamp there is no indication of how much of that data would survive a tortured journey through our postal system."
Van answers Bryan's questions.
It looks like some of our articles have miraculously been republished.
April 3rd, 2002
From Bill Brier...
EverCrack kills... Do as I say, not as I do...
We apologize for being offline for the last week. We have moved and our lab is still only partially reassembled. We will ramp up again over the next few days. Thank you for your patience.
Pssst! Our Donation Page is up.