May 31st, 2002


Great Grill Lighter

Spencer writes, "Via GMSV comes this reference to a web page which is obviously maintained by a pyromaniacal madman.  His method for starting a grill full of charcoal briquettes results in a lighting time of approximately three seconds. Cooking time has yet to be evaluated.  (Please don't try this at home.)"


Web Watch

Soltek SL-75DRV5 KT333 Motherboard, Understanding Screen Size and Resolution, VIA P4PB P4X333 Review, GEM, A Mac-like GUI and OS for Low-end PC and more.


Great Fried Rice At Home

Nils Dahl sends us a recipe for fried rice.


May 28th, 2002


Cloning the Thylacine

The extinct "Tasmanian Wolf," pictured to the left, is one step closer to prowling Down Under again.  Australian scientists have successfully replicated the carnivorous marsupial's genes using DNA extracted from long-dead pups preserved in Ethanol.  The researchers hope to resurrect the animal within ten years through cloning using the much smaller Tasmanian Devil as host.


Remarkably dog-like, the Tasmanian Wolf is a classic case of convergent evolution.  Its stunningly similar skull is often contrasted with a wolf's in comparative anatomy classes.  However, with its much wider gape the Thylacine could reportedly crack hunting dogs' skulls like walnuts although some scientists dispute this ability.  The Thylacine is also called the "Tasmanian Tiger" because of its stripped coat.


Although doglike in appearance, the Thylacine was much more flexible and, in this regard, more catlike.  From a standstill, the animal could acrobatically leap to perches at heights of about 9-10 feet.


The link is courtesy of John.


PCMag reviews StarOffice 6.0

John Oram sends us this link and says, "There is more depth in this review than many before."


What Next?

Nils Dahl on players and happenings in the computer industry.


Web Watch

Vantec EZ-Swap Removable HD Rack (Review), ECS iBuddie4, E3 Coverage, Nanya 256MB DDR333 Review and much more.


May 26th, 2002


Barge Knocks Out 500ft Span of I-40 Arkansas River Bridge in Oklahoma

At least a dozen vehicles were lost today when reportedly a barge struck a section of a heavily traveled interstate bridge in Oklahoma.  Spanning the Arkansas River some 30-miles west of Fort Smith, Arkansas, this apparent accident follows on the heels of a similar incident last September involving the Queen Isabella Causeway connecting the south Texas mainland with South Padre Island.  In addition to the still un-tallied loss of life, Interstate 40 is one of the most important east-west thoroughfares in the country and is expected to remain closed in this area for up to six months.


Web Watch

Lighted Fan Strobe!!, Thermalright SLK-600 Review, Powercooler Roundup Part II, Intel Pentium III SMP four ways faster than Xeon versions, Tyan Thunder K7X 760 MPX Motherboard Review and more.


The MHz Myth Continues

Mario writes, "Last Monday, PCWorld exposed Intel's P4 based 1.7 GHz Celeron for what it is; a debilitated all bark and no bite lap dog. And now the inquirer has revealed the latest episode of this ongoing saga. OEM manufacturers are upset because Intel's latest all whiz and no oomph P4 Xeon MP are thrashed by their lower frequency PIII counterparts in four-way SMP configurations. Intel is trying to foist the Netbust Xeon MP architecture onto these manufactures, but fortunately for them, they know they can't sell on second rate technology to their knowledgeable customers like they do to the uninformed masses. These manufacturers must also be really peeved to be asked to pay so much money for such inferior performance. At least with the new Celeron, Intel asks less dollars for less performance."


May 25th, 2002


Athlon XP 2200+ on Price Watch

Mario writes: Price Watch prices for AMD's top of the line Athlon XP desktop products fell sharply this weekend, no doubt in anticipation of the chipmaker's latest and greatest arriving soon. A search reveals the availability of an XP 2200+ product at $259. the inquirer reports that AMD will announce deep price cuts on Monday, and has also linked the availability of AMD's next Athlon product here, at $219.


Coventional Wisdom

Bill Brier sends us this. Points to ponder.


AMD to Increase Athlon MP's FSB

According to IT journal the inquirer, Advanced Micro Devices has June plans to introduce "much higher" Front Side Bus (FSB) speeds for its server and workstation-oriented Athlon MPs.  Ratcheting up the FSB will have the effect of correspondingly boosting the maximum rate of flow for memory traffic. 


Although the Athlon's FSB is designed to reach 400MHz (200MHz DDR), current chips operate only at 266MHz.  However, enthusiasts have been finding success overclocking these CPUs to much higher speeds, causing speculation as to why AMD had not yet bumped up the FSB. 


The new Athlon MP will be essentially a turbo-charged Athlon XP capable of reaching -- and perhaps even surpassing -- the Intel Pentium 4 in one of the Intel chip's strongest suits: bandwidth.


May 24th, 2002


nForce Makes OEM Inroads

Mario writes on comments made by nVidia president, Jen-Hsun Huang, during nVidia's Q1 revenue and earning results report.


Regarding Biometrics

Geoffrey writes, "Clearly the Biometric tech being sold is not so effective. (And on a side point, what Novell is pushing is the back end infrastructure... I.e. You select the biometric, or smart card, or proximity card or whatever, that you want to use, because you think it works, and NMAS will work with it...)"



Phil writes, "Extreme Tech's top article is about how gummy bears can fool fingerprint detection devices. Notice the Novell ad at the top [pushing these devices]. Incidentally, the Novell ad was a bad link. Methinks this train is in for a short ride..."


Web Watch

Good-bye Slackware Linux, Hello OpenBSD, Thermalright SLK-600 (Review/Article), ABIT BD7-II Supports ASYNC DDR354 (DDR333), The Battle of Color - Sony Ericsson T68i vs Samsung SGH-T100 (1) and more.


May 23rd, 2002


the inquirer: More on Intel Email Scandal

Mike Magee has discovered that a senior Intel PR executive, "Dancing" Dan Francisco, is responsible for the recently uncovered Intel communiqués that have exposed some of the chipmaker's manipulative media strategies.  In many ways the Intel emails seem as if they were lifted straight from the pages of a dark conspiracy novel involving a powerful global corporation gone mad by its thirst for domination.


In related news, a former Intel PR representative has confirmed our assertion that Intel "profiles" media hacks.

Loved your story about the Hotmail flame originating from Satan Clara.


As an ex-Intel PR bunny, I can confirm that, (at least in my day) INTC profiled all journos who were going to press events or had fixed one on ones with INTC execs. I had to write some myself - wish I'd kept them - but I don't think any of mine were as cringe-making as the stuff Mikey's been sent. I don't think Intel is unique in doing this, but it certainly looks as if some of its PR folks in the US have committed more to paper than was wise.


If I was Mark Hachman, I'd be reaching for my lawyers...

Indeed it is hard to imagine that Mr. Hachman's career has not been irreparably damaged from Intel's characterization of him as essentially its puppet.


Silicon is Slow

Phil writes, "Looks like nano & DNA computing are making good progress. Popular Science has a great overview of the technologies involved, current status, and possible future."


Web Watch

Noise Control Hard Drive Cage Review, PC Athlon XP Unlocking Kit, Epox 8K3A Motherboard Review, VisionTek GeForce 4 Ti 4600 Review, Altec Lansing ADA890 Surround Kit Review and more.


May 22nd, 2002


Lo, The Lowly Transistor Morphs Again

Spencer writes, "The workhorse element of our microelectronics revolution, the transistor, is once again being developed in new directions which promise to make smaller, better, faster telecommunications more and more of a reality for our portable devices.  A critical component of these small wireless systems is the final stage driver devices that actually create the RF signal.  Currently, these are primarily gallium arsenide components but within two to three years we may be seeing more efficient gallium nitride transistors in common use.  From Science Daily comes a link to this article at UCSB.  By furthering the work of the legendary Shuji Nakamura (father of the blue and white LED and the blue laser diode) Professor Umesh Mishra and his colleagues have been developing both FET and bipolar transistors out of this difficult to master material.  The article is both an excellent brief history and primer on the advantages of gallium nitride."


Web Watch

It's loaded today!


Review of Viewsonic VG191 LCD Panel

Dave Graham reviews his 19inch flat panel monitor.


A Tale of Two Reviews

Mario writes, "On Monday, VHJ reported on PCWorld's accurate 'avoid' assessment of Intel's all bark and no bite P4 based 1.7 GHz Celeron. Yesterday, PC Magazine, part of the Ziff Davis media group, gave it unjustified recognition by awarding a Gateway machine an Editors' Choice award. The uninformed reader who read those reviews is left none the wiser. This is what brings the IT media industry into disrepute. It seems that banner ads and revenue have more editorial influence than objective independent reporting. PC Magazine's assertion that they are "the independent guide to technology" is as good as Arthur Anderson saying that Enron's accounts are good. Those in the know will take PC Magazine's advice for what it is, those who aren't may make a poor purchasing decision."


Last Day to Vote

Today is the last day to vote for the VHJ Forum Logo. Click here to go to the Van's Hardware Forum Logo Contest page. Look at the choices and scroll to the top or bottom of that page for the voting link.


May 21st, 2002


How Intel Subverts Journalists

Van comments on Mike Magee's story and discusses a recent experience with an Intel email.


May 20th, 2002


PCWorld: Avoid New Celeron

Mario writes:

PCWorld has run its own tests on Intel's new P4 based 1.7 GHz Celeron. With only 128 KB of level two cache, it was not able to outperform comparable PIII based Celerons at 1.2 and 1.3 GHz. They say that this processor is all bark and no bite and recommend avoiding this chip. Analyst Kevin Krewell exposed Intel's intent, "The 128 KB of L2 cache is simply Intel crippling the processor's performance to make the latest Pentium 4 look better." Alas, Intel has delivered another spineless processor to the uninformed masses.

This intro by Intel is reminiscent of past marketing shenanigans where the consumer is asked to believe that more megahertz delivers more performance. Again, this has been proved to be patently wrong. Also, the original launch of the L2 cache-less Covington Celeron comes to mind. This suffered derision because its performance was so impotent. With AMD's decision to move Athlon into the value segment, Intel's latest offering looks to be on a fast track to an early end of life.


The Microsoft Master Plan

Nils Dahl talks about the importance of browsers.


Web Watch

P4 Cooler Overview Article, Broadxent DSL PCI 7430 Review, Dynatron High Performance Copper Heatsinks Review, EPoX 4G4A+ i845G, DFI NB73EA i845E, ASUS P4B533-E i845E, Gigabyte 8IEXP i845E, MSI 845E Max2BRU Intel 845E and more.


May 19th, 2002


Vote For Your Favorite Logo

There has been over forty great submissions to our logo contest and there are only a few days left to vote for your favorite!  Voting will continue through Wednesday, May 22, Pacific Time.  To vote, first view the forty-four outstanding logos here.  Note the number that corresponds to your favorite entry then follow the link at the top or bottom of the page to the voting thread.  To help ensure a fair contest, you must be a registered forum member to vote -- however, no personal info is necessary to register. 


May 18th, 2002


Web Watch

Backup MyPC Review, Photos of Gigabyte 8IEXP i845E Board, MSI 845E Max2-BLR Mainboard, Bluetooth Review, NVIDIA Ti4200 and MSI Ti4400 Review, Gigabyte Maya AR64S-H Radeon 7500 Review and more.


May 17th, 2002


Enthusiast Website O'the Day: 4peeps.com

We will commence regularly spotlighting enthusiast site startups.  We begin with 4peeps.com.


ExtremeTech Breaks AMD NDA

In a sickening news story today, the corporate imposter hardware site, ExtremeTech, published confidential information distributed by Advanced Micro Devices prior to the launch of the Thoroughbred next month. You can bet that the struggling Ziff-Davis Media web page was under Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as was every other site. However, using the weak premise that they got "an email from the company forwarded by an anonymous source," ET blatantly violated it.

This is trash journalism. Breaking an NDA speaks volumes about the character of this floundering organization. With the large Intel Flash ad dancing in the middle of the story, it is easy to imagine ExtremeTech's motivation to breach trusted information given to them by AMD.

You can discuss this subject hereUPDATE: See Van debate ET's Editor-in-Chief, Bill Machrone, on this thread.


EvilPaul Gets the Scoop

Hammer, VIA and nVidia news.


Linux Gaining in Business

Spencer writes, "The other day I was at Best Buy and checked out the available computer systems and thought I'd ask an improbable question:  "Can I get either a bare bones computer or one with Linux preinstalled?"  The two sales staff present laughed (which was predictable).  However, both of them used Linux themselves and the suggested that within 18-48 months we would see prepacked Linux based PC's as retail items.  As for business use, I suspect it will come faster than that.  The following quote is indicative of how Linux has been continuing to gain a following, "Three or four years ago, Linux was a hard sell, [but now it's] really taking server business away from Microsoft and Unix," Toxen says. "Microsoft products just aren't as reliable, secure or cost-effective as Linux." There's a lot more in this excellent business article.

Soon we won't be able to trust video

Spencer writes, "This article about work at MIT is an example of how the confluence of digitizing everything and using advanced computer techniques is certainly going to render our concepts of 'reality' nearly meaningless. In this example, some crafty researchers have managed to create completely realisitic videos of people saying things they never said! The implications of such technology are huge and will affect the 'truthfulness' of evidentiary videos in legal proceedings, be used for propaganda and political manipulation, blackmail, etc.  We may soon never be quite sure if what we see is what really happened."


Hyperbole In Action

Nils comments on Byte's article Porting Linux Software to the IA64 Platform.


Web Watch

Review of Elsa Gladiac 925 VIVO GF4 Ti4600, Soyo P4I Fire Dragon Motherboard Review, Fibre Optic Mice, Antec Smart Fans,  Exclusive Review : Shuttle SS40 Barebone System and more.


May 16th, 2002


Fooling Fingerprint Scanners

...with gummy fingers. Link courtesy Brad.


Web Watch

Review of Bluetake USB Dongle - ( Wireless Network ), Chieftec Scorpio TX-10BLD Entry Level Server Chassis, Geforce 4 MX440 Roundup, Water Cooling Equipment and Performance Guide - Pumps, Basilisk II: Solving the Printer Problem, 10 Board KT333 Chipset Round Up and much more.


Vote For Your Favorite Logo

Voting has started for a VHJ Forum logo. Voting will end on Wednesday, May 22. To vote, go to http://www.flickerdown.com/logo/. Decide which logo that you like and remember which number it is. Click on [Voting Thread @ Van's Hardware Forums] located at the top or bottom of the page and vote.


The Benefits of a Short Pipeline
EvilPaul thinks that AMD could learn a little from Apple about how to promote its QuantiSpeed architecture.  Many of the issues that Apple brings up were listed (borrowed from?) our Athlon XP 2000+ review.  Apple even hammers on biased benchmarks.


May 15th, 2002


FUD Attack? IBM Drops Intel High-end Server
Arjen sends us this link. How many times can you count the word *NUMA* in this Intel(?) sponsored article?


States Want Microsoft Memo Admitted In Remedy Case

Thanks to Bill for sending us the link.


Microsoft Convicted Of Software Piracy

Thanks to Tim for sending us the link. In it, is mentioned this very thoughtful letter written by Peruvian congressman Edgar David Villanueva Nunez and reported on by Mario last week.


Defeating Copyright Protection with Post-It Notes and Markers?

Bill sends us this link. It's translated from German to English. It was reported at chip.de.


Nils Checks In

Nils sends us some personal ramblings on the computer industry, food and books.


May 14th, 2002


VHJ Logo Contest Ends Today!

Our logo contest ends tonight at midnight (Pacific Time), so hurry and get your submissions in!


Web Watch

The CopperKing II Heatsink Review, SkyTower, an airborne satellite capable of giving 50Mbps of wireless data transfer to each user, Buy your own space shuttle for...well, whatever you need a hulking space-era icon for, Review of Xoxide Z-40 Insight Modded Case, Leadtek K7N420DA nForce420D Review and more.


May 13th, 2002


Schoolyard Bully

Spencer writes, "Microsoft is acting like a schoolyard bully when it comes to enforcing their draconian licensing terms on public education.  Nicholas Petreley sums it up."


Almost As Light As Air

Spencer writes, "What is 99.8% air, was used on the Mars Pathfinder and Stardust comet particle collection probe, has nearly 40 times more insulative capability than fiberglass and is sometimes called "solid smoke"? If you guessed "aerogels" you'd be right on.  NASA has set a new world record for the least dense solid substance.  See these great pages and pics for the Stardust application and the new record setter."


Web Watch

Gainward Ultra/750XP, AOpen AK77-333 KT333 Motherboard Review, Arprotek e-Cube/gBox P4 Small Form Factor System Reviewed, Review of MSI's K7D Master-L 760 MPX - DUAL Athlon Motherboard, Review of Gigabyte Radeon 8500, A Seti Guide and more.


May 12th, 2002


VHJ Logo Contest

The contest has been extended to Tuesday, May 14th since our message boards were down Saturday early morning.


Web Watch

FIC AN17 Stealth Advanced, Witty Grey Midtower Case Reviewed, Review of GlobalWin TAK68 and CAK-II 16, Dangerden Maze 2 Water Block Review and more.


May 11th, 2002


Forum Thread of the Moment: The P4 Bumps its Head

Clock speed ramping of Intel's young 0.13-micron Northwood core will not likely reach 3.4GHz.  In other words, Intel is eating its future with its currently aggressive Pentium 4 frequency hikes.


Web Watch

MSI 845Max2e With Bluetooth Technology, Chaintech Roadmaps For Nvidia And SiS, Beta VIA 4-1 driver 4.39, RecordNowMax Review, Zalman CNPS Cu5005+ Review, More Linux Baby  Steps and more.


VHJ Logo Contest

Only three days left!  Logo submissions for the VHJ's Hardware Forum Logo Contest must be in by the end of Monday, May 13th.


There's a leak, there's a leak in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves, and lawyers!

God's Away, God's Away
God's away on Business.

-- Tom Waits, Blood Money



May 10th, 2002


IBM's Storage "Bricks"

Spencer writes, "IBM is busy developing a highly modular and self managing disk based storage system made of  "bricks", each of which contains a terabyte of capacity on a dozen 2.5 inch drives. Each module has its own controllers, power converters, communications and cooling in a compact cube (more or less). The idea is that by stacking these brick modules a very high density, intelligent, self healing storage array can be built which will be significantly less expensive than existing arrays with their inefficient air cooling, large footprint and external controllers.  The plan is to create a fully "virtualized" storage system where any dead components are just left alone and the system overall will work around them.  Another inovative feature is the capacitive 10Gbps communications coupling between modules.  A good article with simplified diagram is here."


Just when you thought there was no justice in the world....

Phil writes, "It seems the P4-1500 is on par with a Athlon 1 Gig according to THINK, which is United Devices' cancer research program. Check them out at http://www.ud.com.

Notice I broke a year of total CPU time recently. This donated CPU idle time will lessen my regret for not having done my part should I ever fall victim to some horrid cancer that has a predilection for my reproductive facilities.

I'm on the http://www.amdzone.com team right now. Prior to that, I belonged to the http://www.deadsquirrel.com team, which is fighting its own good fight against further incursions of the dreaded grey squirrel, which is taking out native squirrel populations around the world."


VHJ Logo Contest

Just a reminder. Logo submissions for VHJ's Hardware Forum must be in by Monday, May 13th.


May 9th, 2002


Web Watch

X-Micro GF4 Ti4600, 5 Things We'd say to Intel and AMD, ATi AIW RADEON 8500 128MB Review, First UK Review of the Prometeia CPU Cooling System, HyperTransport News, Bug or feature? 850E only with PC1066 at FSB533 an dmore.


May 8th, 2002


Rector Fire Response

Joel thanks the contributors for their tremendous response in helping the students at DePauw.


Notes From AMD's Salomon/Smith/Barney Presentation Today

Dave posts these slides from today's presentation. Interesting to note from the desktop roadmap: M2200 in Q2, M2400 in Q3, M3400 (Clawhammer)/M2800 in Q4, M4000 in 1H/’03, and M4400 as a 90nm Hammer in 2H/’03.


ALi Makes Inroads in Areas Besides Chipsets

Mario writes, "DigiTimes reports that ALi has outperformed its rivals with year-on-year revenue growth of 64%. This was not attributable to increased chipset sales, it was heavy demand for its more profitable multimedia chips, which include DVD player and USB 2.0 solutions. These products fall outside the 'Intel tax' umbrella, so offset the license fees that ALi has to pay to manufacture Intel compatible chipsets. Because 82% of its chipset revenues are generated from notebook sales, which are more profitable than the desktop variety, this has also contributed to ALi's market leading performance. The revenue ratio of multimedia products is just over 50%, and is expected to rise to 60% in the second half of this year. Even though ALi is the number three Taiwanese chipset manufacturer, their business model looks eminently more profitable than their competitors."


SEMICON Highlights

Mario writes, "DigiTimes has extensive coverage of the 10th anniversary of this year's SEMICON Singapore exposition. SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) is the trade association responsible for promoting SEMICON. Day 1 had two articles of interest. First, System-on-Chip & System-in-Package technologies. Second, 300 mm (12-inch)
developments, which also gave a historical overview of yesterday's technology and the savings that 300 mm brings to the table. Day 2 had articles on South East Asia's semiconductor industry, and also the global IC market. Day 3 had reports on MPEG technologies and its bright future, and also, China's developing semiconductor industry."


MS Judge Wants 'Modular' Windows Demo

Mario writes, "Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has dealt Microsoft a serious blow by allowing the nine dissenting states who want a modular version of Windows to be part of the remedies decree to demo such a version next week. James Bach, Virginia-based computer testing consultant, has built his modular version of Windows using Windows XP Embedded. Bach will testify that his modular version of Windows turned out "robust and reliable," Kollar-Kotelly said, citing a submission from the states. This could prove to be a defining decision in the four-year-old antitrust case."


Web Watch

D-Link DI-704P Review, Thermaltake Hardcano 2 & 5 Review, MSI BluetoothReview & PCchipsSiS 745 M846FLR 1394, Intel 850E vs SiS645DX, Linux Baby Steps, Sapphire Radeon 8500LE, Zero-Footprint PC Review, Triplex Silver Xabre Pro Preview and more.


May 7th, 2002


What is a Believable Benchmark?

Mario writes on the state of benchmarking.


VHJ Quicks

Mario writes, "Chip biz threatened by Taiwan's drought. ATI "kicks silicon" in Nvidia's face. Jobs puts Mac OS 9 to rest. Red Hat puts on Linux 7.3. Apple users to chat with AOL. California to renege on Oracle contract. Finally! Good news for IT workers. HP-Compaq: Both PC brands will stay. Big Macs and Google--at McDonald's. EU approves tax on U.S. e-commerce. Big price cuts seen for Xbox, PS2. New HP ready to blast the critics. Isonics reportedly ships silicon-28 SOI wafer products to AMD. The California Oracle scandal may not be unique. Getting to know and love StarOffice. Microsoft's Australian customers to revolt against the software giant's new licensing deal. Court orders SonicBlue to spy on ReplayTV users. A lemon law for software?"


Freedom Lost

Spencer writes,

A federal magistrate in Los Angeles has ordered SonicBlue to spy on thousands of digital video recorder users -- monitoring every show they record, every commercial they skip and every program they send electronically to a friend.


It amazes me that so few are worried by these incredibly intrusive actions.  Hey, if you love freedom, you've got to defend it...


May 6th, 2002


Doh! The Xbox Has Been Hacked

EvilPaul lets us know that a "warez" group has officially released rips of Xbox games.

It looks as if Microsoft will have to complain about a new, previously thought "impossible" form of piracy. X-Box has been hacked. 

Also Microsoft is expected to drop the price of the Xbox to $199 in May with Sony following quickly with a similar reduction to the PS2.


Peru Boldly Defends Her Software Rights

Mario comments on a thread at slashdot.


Sewage Turned Into Hydrogen Fuel

Phil sends us this from newscientist.com.


Web Watch

Intel 533Mhz P4 2.4B & 2.53Ghz Review, Thoroughbred + Vapochill!,  Intel 850E vs SiS645DX, AMD Tech Tour - Vendor Summary and more.


May 5th, 2002


Web Watch

Tyan Thunder K7X First Look, Review of Nanotherm Ice II and Blue II Thermal Compound, General Water Cooling Equipment and Performance Guide, Xoxide PC Tachometer and more.


May 4th, 2002


New P4s To Debut Monday

Mario writes, "Various news media are reporting that Intel's 533 MHz FSB P4 will enter the fray on Monday. The speed grades introduced will be at 2.26, 2.4 and 2.53 GHz. It will be interesting to see how Intel differentiates the 2.4 GHz part from the 400 MHz FSB device. These new P4s will also be accompanied by a new 850 chipset and faster 1066 MHz RDRAM memory. These enhancements are expected to yield up to 15% improvement in performance, which will add further pressure on AMD to respond.

In related news, ExtremeTech reports that Intel's new chipset could trigger new lawsuits. "The 533-MHz bus is not covered under our current license with (other) chipset companies," said an Intel spokesman. VIA still continues to claim that it has a 10 year cross-license agreement with Intel that it inherited when it purchased S3 Inc. It looks like the lawyers will again be the winners in this dispute."


[Ed: lest you think we now endorse ZD-Media's ExtremeTech, read Dave's remarks here.]


VHJ Quicks

Compiled by Mario: Samsung builds digital TV microprocessor. Microsoft warns Intel hyperthreading is no panacea. Loyal AMD employee becomes state government minister. Melissa virus writer gets 20 months in jail. Musical chairs at Sun. ActiveX flaw exposes Flash users to hackers. 3DLabs eyes PC graphics comeback. GameCube launches in Europe. Seagate revs up high capacity disks. Notebook sales on the up. Hackers set off on a rampage. OpenOffice 1.0 unleashed against MS Office. DigiTimes achieves 1000th edition. VIA strengthens its wireless communications technology by acquiring LSI Logic CDMA design division. VIA’s April revenues drop by 12.1% month-on-month. Nanya and Infineon sign MOU. Sun's StarOffice: Challenging Microsoft's Office suite. Open-source software opens new windows to third-world. Samba team announces 2.2.4 release. Linux: Up to 34% lower total cost of ownership than Windows. Gartner: Microsoft licensing could push users to StarOffice. Lindows.com Michael's Minutes: Is the Insider Program right for you? MS anti-piracy push leads to Linux adoption in Taiwan. Top ten new copyright crimes. Closer Look: AMD has mixed messages about antitrust. Top internet radio station's silent Mayday.


May 3rd, 2002


Review of the VIA Eden

…at Mike Magee’s the inquirer.


Gaming Corner: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast

Joel looks at Jedi Knight II.


Web Watch

More Things to Do with an Old PC, PNY Verto GeForce 4 Ti 4400 Review, EPoX 8K3A+ KT333 Motherboard Review, New SiS Xabre GPUs Info and more.


May 2nd, 2002


Athlon Excels in Real World Benchmarks

Mario writes, "Ace's Hardware has published some Finite Elements Analyses (FEA) benchmarks that shows the superiority of Athlon over P4. The benchmarks were carried out in a real production environment. One engineer commented, 'Why is the Athlon so much faster in the code? This is not obvious by having a look at SPECfp.' What else can one say? Athlon continues to amaze.


Nvidia To Not Pursue P4 License

Mario writes, "CNet reports that Nvidia's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, has said that his company would not be pursuing a P4 chipset license from Intel. He also said that his company has plans for a follow-on to the nForce chipset, but he gave no details. Nvidia has been suffering from financial woes on two fronts. They've suffered the embarrassment of having to restate their earnings and they're in a price dispute with Microsoft over Xbox chipset pricing. On a brighter note, Huang announced that an upcoming graphics chip with a fundamentally new architecture would debut in August. He also expects that his company will have the largest share of the Macintosh graphics market sometime soon."


For a Few Dollars More

Mario writes, "A big understatement on my part. It's more like hundreds of dollars. DigiTimes reports that even though Intel is due to slash prices of its P4-M notebook processors later this month, close Intel customers are already benefiting from these price reductions. This has allowed the big notebook vendors to jump the gun in lowering P4-M notebook prices, which has put the remaining notebook manufacturers at a serious disadvantage. If this is true, this can only be described as an aggrieved situation for these unfortunate notebook manufacturers."


Space Launch Initiative

Spencer writes, "NASA has announced the initial selections of new ideas for the forthcoming Space Launch Initiative which is to be the replacement for our current extremely expensive shuttle fleet. The idea is to cut launch costs tenfold (to merely $1K/lb.) and improve reliability by more than an order of magnitude.  Both horizontal and vertical launch concepts are under consideration and completely pilotless operation is highly likely for some configurations.  The web sites have links to videos and conceptual artwork."


Fanless 933MHz VIA C3 Review

Hexus looks at the C3-Shuttle Space Walker combo and tries a fanless configuration.  Although their Sandra test does not show this, the C3 is capable of higher memory bandwidth than the Celeron.


Great Planetary Convergence

Spencer writes, "Skywatchers can see a great planetary convergence in the next ten days.  On the 3rd, Mars and Saturn will be only 2.5 deg. apart.  On the 5th, Mars, Saturn and Venus form a 3 deg. triangle. On the 10th, Venus and Mars will be only 1/3 deg. apart (about the same as viewing your pinky finger at arms length).  A great little article about it (and more) is here."


Web Watch

Shuttle AK35GT2/R Preview, MSI 845E Max Mainboard Photo, ASUS A7V333 Review and more.


May 1st, 2002


Athlon 4 Powers New Fujitsu Notebooks

Mario writes, "AMD announced another design win for its mobile Athlon 4 product. Fujitsu PC Corp. has chosen this processor to power its LifeBook A series, which are commercial notebooks that are designed to meet the requirements of business, government and education users at all levels. All three designs are powered by a 1.2 GHz Athlon 4 and feature AMD's PowerNow power management technology. Software options include Win98SE, Win2000, or WinXP Pro. Product specs and pics can be viewed here. Design looks similar to Sony's VAIO, very nice."


Dell Evaluates Hammer

Mario writes, "CNet reports on AMD's gains on Intel, as well as Jerry Sander's comments at yesterday's hardware conference. Michael Dell, who also spoke at the conference, said about Dell's evaluation of Hammer, 'We're very interested and we're looking and there's not much more to say about it in public.' Dell has been openly critical about the demand, performance and cost of Itanium. Customer interest for Itanium servers is 'effectively zero,' said Joe Marengi, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Americas, he added, 'I don't see the speed and benefit to what the processor brings to the equation,' he also went on to say, 'the investment involved in the transition is huge.' Not exactly a glowing endorsement from Intel's number one OEM. If Intel should decide to not launch Yamhill, AMD may at last win its first design win from Dell.


Mario Responds to Reader's Letter

Mario responds to the question: "Exactly what is AMD's contribution to Ferrari's performance this year..."


Web Watch

Chaintech 7SID BIOS to support for XP2000+ ~ XP2200+, MXI G4MX440-T Video Card Review, Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Review, Lian Li PC-6083a Midtower Case Review and more.


Spectacular Hubble Shots

Spencer writes, "These are from the new ACS installed from a recent shuttle mission. Incredible views of galactic collisions."


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