IBM Class Action Suit
Two readers have
sent us this filing regarding IBM's notorious hard drive failure issues.
Please Pray for Amber
great niece Amber has leukemia. As we posted here before, she was
scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant. However her cancer had to
be driven into remission first. While attempting to do so, Amber's
doctors exposed her to an experimental chemotherapy medication that has
severely damaged her heart.
The damage is so
severe that the doctors have told Amber's parents that she has less than a
week to live. Please pray for this innocent young girl's recovery.
Please pray for a miracle.
Intel and Yamhill and x86-64
has produced a very interesting commentary regarding Intel’s Yamhill
strategy in light of recent denials from an executive at the chipmaker. As
we have reported before, according to our sources Microsoft is very
interested in fielding a 64-bit desktop OS. Anna’s reasoning underscores
compelling motivations for the software giant to work towards this goal.
"If you look carefully at this
story structure you may note that it appears to be impossible - none of
the rigid tubes support each other. This is an example of a "tensegrity
structure". Similar principles apply to the external structure of our cells
and thus they are of unique interest to scientists."
Prescott is Out
Intel's next-generation Pentium 4 has reached silicon and includes x86-64
support. Based on 90-nm technology, our sources have confirmed that the
Santa Clara-based chipmaker has working Prescott silicon, and despite recent
denials by Intel’s COO Paul Otellini, the design includes AMD
Hammer-like 64-bit instruction set extensions known by the codename
chip should be able to scale to over 4 GHz and is strategically crucial for
the CPU giant to counter rival AMD’s highly anticipated “Hammer” line of
64-bit processors. Hammer should debut late this year.
related news, while Prescott will be aimed at the high-end desktop and
server markets, Intel continues to work quietly on another pure 32-bit
product codenamed “Tejas.” This consumer desktop chip is a collaboration
between Texas and Folsom-based Intel design teams and includes enhancements
for media decoding. Perhaps the biggest news about Tejas is that it will
feature a true instruction L1-cache and a larger data L1-cache reportedly 32
kB in size. The cache improvements should serve to provide a slight boost
to IPC (instructions per clock-cycle).
Finally, the Hammer’s memory controller issue we reported yesterday has been
characterized as a “to be expected” early bug that will be relatively
trivial to correct prior to the December launch.
We published this
first on our message boards earlier today.]
"In case you haven't figured it out yet, Verisign, Network Solutions and
Thawte are all peas in the same ugly pod. The abusive control over TLD's
that has been promulgated for years should have come to and end long ago.
This web site provides some background links and solutions. Pass the
information on to everyone that uses a domain name and security certs."
The Future of Hard Disk Storage
"By patterning the magnetic media it is likely that future disk based
storage will exceed 100Gbit per square cm. That would put a laptop size
drive into the terabyte capacity range."
AMD to Change Hammer Memory Controller?
Enthusiast site AMDZone has published
a link to the Taiwanese publication DigiTimes which claims that
Advanced Micro Devices is currently reworking the Hammer’s integrated memory
controller. The DigiTimes article maintains that this change will
delay the launch of the highly anticipated 64-bit CPU from October to
December. AMD publicly disclosed several months ago that Hammer will debut
in December, so the publication’s characterization of a December launch date
as late seems somewhat dubious.
However, according to our sources, there have been a few complaints by
chipset vendors regarding difficulty designing Hammer integrated video
solutions. Some core logic designers seem to be having trouble when current
Hammer samples enter “deep sleep” power saving modes. Apparently the
integrated Hammer memory controller goes to sleep along with the rest of the
CPU denying memory access to integrated graphics solutions. Enhancing
arbitration between the Hammer memory controller and integrated graphics
solutions when the CPU enters and exits power saving states might be one of
the issues being refined by AMD if the DigiTimes article is accurate.
Fat People Pay Twice to Fly on Southwest
Airlines' euphemistically dubbed "Passengers of Size" rule requires people
who can't get both armrests down or who need seatbelt extensions to pay for
a second seat. According to David Stempler, president of the Air
Travelers Association, corpulent passengers "are really impinging on the
sense of fairness" and deserve the extra costs.
The People of Size
policy will be enforced in the boarding stage when the budget airline, which
does not assign seating, passes out its new paper boarding passes.
Like an amusement park, perhaps the Dallas-based Southwest will deploy
wooden cutout figures of cartoon characters to cull out its fleshier revenue
opportunities. Or maybe a large, smiling, animatronic Porky Pig will
greet passengers with a hug and congratulate those whom his reach can't
span. "Pa-de-bada-da-pada-deee, congratulations! Paa-daa-beee,
you get to ride under our new, paaa-daaa, People of Size policy where you
get to enjoy two seats for the whole flight!"
In related news,
the Federation of Airline Travelers' committee for Back, Urinary Track, and
Testicular wellness has endorsed the new "Snug-Fit" airlines seat which will
ensure a safer flight for the majority of healthy air travelers. By
providing more support in cases of violent lateral motions, the new seats
also promote improved circulation to the head and neck regions in order to
increase awareness during emergencies.
By reducing the
average width of the typical budget airline seat from 18.75 inches to a more
comfortable 14.1-inches, the new Snug-Fit seats and the accompanying 40%
more intimate Snug-Fit seatbelts are championed by experts who say the new
guidelines will provide much greater protection for the vast majority of
healthy on-the-go budget travelers. "Severe third-degree subluxation
of the lumbar vertebrae" is usually the result from airline passengers who
"sit in seats that are just too big for them" says FAT-BUTT committee
chiropractor, Shill Offsky. In today's press release the Dallas-based
group lauds Southwest Airlines "for its vision in becoming the first airline
to adopt the new 'Snug-Fit' safety guidelines."
questions from obesity groups that the new seats will make it impossible for
larger air travelers to fly on the airline, a Southwest representative
disclosed that each plane will retain a number of legacy 18.5" seats to be
used by "Passengers of Size." However, since the larger seats are much
less safe than the state-of-the-art Snug-Fit design and require twice as
much headroom and legroom, the airline will have to continue to charge
double-fare for Passengers of Size tickets.
is a spoof.]
Hammer Boards Sited at Akiba
Courtesy of Cynic.
Wal-Mart to Sell Mandrake-Based PCs
Mario writes, "Newsforge
last week that Lindows.com had secured a deal to supply its Lindows
operating system to retail giant Wal-Mart, which would install this version of
Linux on to its bottom dollar
Microtel desktop PCs. Newsforge
reports that Mandrake has almost closed a similar deal for its version of
the Open Source software. This competition will help Wal-Mart to keep its Open
Source software costs at rock bottom, something that Windows-based PC vendors
seriously lack. Currently,
Wal-Mart's cheapest Lindows-based PC is Duron powered and retails for only
$299. Its unlimited access
Wal-Mart Connect ISP service is also rock bottom at only $9.94 per month.
Wal-Mart also sells a range of Microtel PCs
without an operating system. Newsforge
the 1 GHz Duron model with various distributions of Linux. The reviewer noted
that Mandrake Linux was easier to install than Windows ME.
"Wal-Mart has certainly been bold in making these Open Source and no OS
strategic decisions. One wonders how successful these ventures will turn out to
be. Hopefully, Wal-Mart's far-reaching decisions will kick-start the migration
onto the Penguin's desktop bandwagon. This must have Microsoft and its partners
who sell Windows-based PCs seriously concerned. At the other end of the
spectrum, businesses and individuals who are exasperated at the extra cost they
have to incur to use Windows may now see this as an opportunity to reduce their
costs. Wal-Mart has to be commended for bringing more choice and more value to
the PC buying consumer. Let's hope that others have the courage and vision to
MX440 Review, ATI FireGL8800, ATI A3/FIC AT31 Fusion First Look, Slotbus Guide,
Air Cooling: Rocket Science or Common Sense?, RAID Seagate Barracuda ATA
IV Comparison, Linux Meets VPC, VIA "Eden" 800MHz Review and much more.
What to Make of Anomalous Thoroughbred Overclocking Results
Van follows-up on
last week's report over the storm of controversy surrounding an enthusiast
sites' claim of successfully overclocking the new Athlon XP2200+
Thoroughbred core by 360MHz. This deviation was so great from the results
announced by all other sites that there was widespread skepticism that the
claims were legitimate.
ASUS makes mobile
phones, Budget Workstation Article, Samsung PC2700,
Ezonics i330 Digital Camera and more.
corresponds with Brian Walker who is building a rocket to travel 30 miles
up, orbit the earth a bit and parachute to the ground. His fuel is 90%
hydrogen peroxide, which reacts with a silver catalyst and expands to six
times its volume.
Longshine ADSL Router
Review, Sony D-CJ01 MP3 Discman Review, Radeon 8500
Giveaway, TDK S80 2.1 Speaker System Review, Neon-String Keyboard Mod and more.
Mouse Mod, ABIT MEDIAXP Review, VIA P4X333 SMP-Capable ???, How To Fry A
TBred and more.
Wal-Mart Selling Lindows-Based Computers
Wal-Mart is now offering computers based upon the new Linux-derived
operating system controversially dubbed "Lindows," a product name that was
unsuccessful target of Microsoft's legal ire. Marketed as an OS
that delivers the best of both the Linux ("Lin") and Windows ("dows")
worlds, Lindows is essentially a customized Linux distribution with a
well-tweaked version of Wine, a widely distributed Windows emulation
With the enormous
weight of the gargantuan Arkansas-based retailer behind it, this could
provide a successful kick-start for the fledgling operating system.
Capable of running such stalwart Microsoft packages as Word, Excel,
Outlook and even Internet Explorer, Lindows might get the chance to
prove to a critical mass of people that Microsoft's Windows operating
systems are simply not needed.
delivering Lindows in Microtel PCs. One particularly good
deal is an Athlon XP 1800+ based system with 256MB DDR SDRAM, 40GB HD,
10/100 NIC, modem and more for $499.
More Comment on Hammer
"Slashdot has a near
500 comment thread on the first benchmarks of AMD's Hammer. Naturally
their was some skeptical comment, but the replies were very informative.
"This thread also
had a link to an
interesting article by Bryan J. Smith about how AMD and its partners are
putting x86 back on the right track."
"As incredible as it may seem, our manned and unmanned spy aircraft over the
Balkans have been cross linking their signals via a commercial television
relay satellite in unencrypted form. This makes the signals available to
anyone with a regular receiver and for months now it has been possible to
view them. Some have been linked directly to the internet so they can be
seen from anywhere in the world. Unbelievable!"
Space tourism, Caffinated soap, Review of Inno3d GF4 Ti4400 and GF4 Ti4600,
Soyo Radeon 8500 Review, Solar Power Mouse, Reflection Article, Palm m515
PDA Review, Jazz 9940 5.1 Sound System and much more.
Bogus Thoroughbred Overclocking Claims?
Michael Morelock points out that an anomalous overclocking report
from an AMD-centric hardware site has ignited fractious arguments within the
hardware community over whether or not the claims are bogus.
CPUs obtained from
the same wafer have maximum clock-speeds that asymptotically approach an
overall maximum. From the (admittedly small) sample size that I have seen
for the Athlon XP 2200+ review parts (including mine), this asymptote
appears to be around 2GHz. This suggests that it is unlikely to see any XP
2200+’s exceed this speed if they were all taken from the same wafer (or
similarly prepared wafers) and subjected to the same qualification criteria.
(It is possible to have multiple recipes on the same wafer, but this is
rarely done except for experimentation.)
As I described
yesterday, I believe that the Thoroughbreds distributed to reviewers were
produced with a recipe intended for mobile products. This would greatly
encumber overclocking efforts and introduce a low and hard ceiling for
little effort AMD should be able to change the process recipe to improve transistor
switching speeds. I fully expect the Thoroughbred core to be capable of
speeds as high as 2.3-2.5GHz if AMD aggressively pursues “clock” for this
chip. For marketing reasons, this may never occur.
claims to have obtained a successful Thoroughbred overclock of 360 MHz to
2.16 GHz. If the site's Athlon XP sample was similar to all of the other
review chips in the manner described above, then this feat is highly
unlikely. The small sample size, of course, remains a caveat.
If this one CPU
came from a different batch of chips cooked with a faster process recipe,
then 2.16 GHz is easily possible. Although the faster chip might be
delivered with a new stepping, a new stepping is almost certainly
unnecessary to increase clock-speed to this degree.
More Athlon XP 2200+ Reviews, Soyo Radeon 8500LE-D Video Card
Review, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Picking the Right 35mm SLR and more.
AMD Launches Thoroughbred
AMD's Athlon XP 2200+ debuts today. Codenamed
"Thoroughbred," this chip brings AMD's 0.13-micron process to the desktop for
the first time.
Over the last few weeks, I have been overseeing verification of a critical project and
have had no spare time for our review. I apologize and will finish the
article at first opportunity.
However, I have noticed a very large number of misconceptions in
reviews today regarding the "low potential headroom" of AMD's 0.13-micron Athlon
XP. It is clear that AMD is currently using a process skew emphasizing
higher yields and lower power dissipation, apparently to produce large numbers
of mobile chips. This is logical since mobile parts command higher ASPs.
Such a mobile-friendly process skew would result in a slower transistor and
reduced maximum clock-speeds.
Faster transistors have shorter gate lengths and are therefore
leakier (consuming power when doing nothing at all). That AMD is using a
slower transistor is demonstrated by typical current in Stop Grant, which is
less than one-third of that leaked by the Intel Pentium 4 Northwood core in this
sleep mode (the P4-Northwood
an amazing 18A when the chip is doing nothing!). This makes the
Thoroughbred a much better mobile part, but higher clock-speeds will likely have
to wait until AMD remixes its recipe for faster transistors.
Athlon XP 2200+ Reviews, Enermax CS-5190AL-061 Case (Review),
Computex Taipei 2002 Full Report, Aqua Cooling kit (Review) amd more.
Jeantech JN424 ATX Midi Tower Review, Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra
TD Review, Belkin Wireless Networking Solutions, Computex Coverage and more.
Yousuf Khan writes, "Here's an
interesting article about creating micro-blackholes in a lab."
Explosive ClawHammer Performance
"An update to yesterday's story. tecchannel in Germany has
been courteous to those who don't speak German and has posted yesterday's first
benchmarks of Hammer's performance
The community at Ace's Hardware has been quick to offer their
extensive in-depth thought and analysis as to what this means for AMD's next
generation product. Comment can be read
community comments can be read
Web Watch: Reaction to Cooler Master Case Review
Bill Brier has this to say about this recent
- Aluminum is a great light material.
- Removable motherboard tray.
- Front USB ports.
- Keeps hardware nice and cool.
- Thumb screws.
- Couldn't reach the back of my FDD.
- Only supplied with 3 5.25' bay covers.
- Top exhaust fans needs to blow more
The one "con" missed in this review was that aluminum
has almost no EMI shielding capability. Any PC built with an aluminum
case would violate FCC radiation regulations (the PC wouldn't even make
class A) and would probably irritate close-by neighbors with herringbones on
the TV screen, whining in the radio, etc.
Brian points out that the review claims the case has full EMI protection
although how this is provided is not described.
Find Out How Much Heat Your CPU Really Generates,
Thermalright AX-7 HSF Review,
GeForce4 Ti4200 From nVidia, MSI KT3-Ultra, Leadtek WinFast TV
2000 XP and more.
ClawHammer Performance: Explosive
Mario writes, "tecchannel in Germany has released
ClawHammer benchmarks at 800MHz that prove to be explosive. These
Quake 3 benchmarks
show ClawHammer knocking out 183 fps, which is one more than a 1600 MHz
Willamette P4. One other interesting statistic, ClawHammer is able to produce
41% or 53 fps more than an Athlon MP clocked at the same frequency. These
numbers are out of this world. The
ClawHammer as supporting SSE2 but only having 256 KB of level two cache. If
ClawHammer is able to scale this performance as the frequency is ramped, AMD's
next generation Athlon will wipe the floor with Intel's P4. It will be a quantum
leap in performance. I can now understand why AMD fixed the multiplier to avoid
everyone getting too exited about the performance of AMD's next generation
produtct. These benchmarks have only added fuel to the fire. The forums will be
very busy this evening.
Solar Eclipse on 10-Jun-2002
An annular eclipse (not quite complete coverage of the sun when
perfectly centered) will occur on June 10th, 2002. The moon will be near
its farthest orbital distance from earth so its apparent size will be
insufficient to fully block the sun. Still, since the time of the
eclipse will be very near sunset for much of the U.S. it will make for
interesting viewing. Most of us will only see 10%-20% coverage at high
lattitudes but southerners may see as much as 70% coverage. Here's a
good web site for
Be sure to click the "What you'll see" map to get an idea of when and
where the eclipse will maximum and how it will look near sunset. Those
in Texas will get the best views by far with Houston or San Antonio
Also, and MOST IMPORTANT, safety first!!! Use proper viewing
techniques - Safety info is in the article. Be SURE to read it.