JULY 2002
JUNE 2002    MAY 2002    APRIL 2002    MARCH 2002    FEBRUARY 2002   JANUARY 2002    DECEMBER 2001    NOVEMBER 2001     OCTOBER 2001    SEPTEMBER 2001    AUGUST 2001    JULY 2001

August 30th, 2002


Identity Theft

John let me know that someone is posing as me on the Yahoo AMD investment board.  Instances of this are here, here and here.


Sadly, Kathy and I have become accustomed to such unethical behavior directed at us, particularly where money is concerned.


Please help us fight these crooks by letting us know when you see material posted allegedly from me or Kathy.  We will not be posting on investment boards, so any posts you see supposedly from us are bogus.  In fact, I do not anticipate posting on any message boards at all anytime soon.


And while you’re at it, please let these frauds know that what they are doing is wrong by exposing them wherever they post.


Thank you,




August 27th, 2002



We have been overwhelmed with hundreds of emails over the last two days.  We sincerely appreciate the massive showing of support.  We'll do our best to respond to each one of the messages, but it may take weeks given the quantity involved and the heaviness of the topic.


Also, we appreciate the donations.  You have been very generous and it looks like our bill will be less than we expected, especially now that we are closing the site.  There is no need for sending more money so we have removed the solicitations.  Thank you.


Please understand that we did not make the decision to close the site on a whim.  It was very painfully deliberated.


On a positive note, it looks like COSBI will live.  We'll post more details when everything is formalized.


Thank you, Nils.  Thank you, Spence.  Thank you, Mario.  Thank you, Phil.  Thank you, Dave.  Thank you, Joel.


And thank you, dear readers.


Fight the Good Fight!  We live in the most critical age in human history.  Stay informed.  Stay involved.  Guide humanity to a better place.


August 26th, 2002


Winding Down

Dear Readers,

We appreciate your support for making us one of the biggest and most influential hardware websites in the world. Running the website is taking its toll. Expenses, threats, attacks, conflicts of interest and intimidating phone calls are making it impossible to carry the site forward.


We will not be updating the site any further. We might, however, eventually release COSBI here and let it go for others to mind.


We have met many beautiful people and appreciate your support. It is because of your encouragement that we have continued to write and publish. Thank you and we hope that you will keep in touch with us.

The Smith Family


And They All Unwind

As some hardware sites fall under scrutiny for their possible complicity in using BAPCo SysMark, a few webmasters are becoming unraveled.  We painfully respond to Thomas Pabst's insane rant.


We removed this article for reasons noted here..


August 23rd, 2002


This ain't a Thoroughbred!

AMD Athlon XP 2600+: Part 2

We examine shocking evidence revealing the level of calculated bias injected into SysMark 2002 in what can only be characterized as a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the performance of the Intel Pentium 4 in comparisons with its AMD Athlon XP rivals.


California Works to Outlaw Home-Schooling

Even though as a group "home-schoolers," children that are taught at home typically by their parents, dramatically out-perform their public school counter-parts on standardized tests, America's most populous state's Department of Education is attempting to declare all of these kids truants and make their parents outlaws.


August 22nd, 2002


'Critical' Flaws in Microsoft Products

Attacker can read files, execute programs, format drives, etc.



1 GHz VIA C3 system: Seagate ST320016A (7200 rpm, ATA100, 40GB); GeForce2 MX, Win98SE, 256MB SDRAM.

1.7 GHz P4-Celeron (Dell Dimension 4500S): Seagate ST320011A (7200 rpm, ATA100, 20GB), integrated video, WinXP Pro, 256MB DDR-SDRAM.


Paradox is a popular database program.


DIY Mobile Standards Feedback

Readers tell us what they think of a DIY mobile standard.


Win a VIA P4PB Mainboard

You've got to fill out a survey, though, to get your chance at one of the ten boards that VIA is giving away.


Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 2

...has been available.  Here is a direct link to the file.  Thanks for the link, Jeff.  Be forewarned that the ~15.5MB SP2 will bug you for the original Office and FrontPage disks.


August 21st, 2002


This ain't a Thoroughbred!

AMD Athlon XP 2600+: The Resistance Strikes Back

We compare the latest, juiced-up AMD Thoroughbred 2600+ against the Empire's 2.53 GHz Pentium 4.


August 20th, 2002


Mozilla How-To

From Gunnar.


August 19th, 2002


'Intel Inside' Program Spreads to White Box Vendors

Increasing the levels of monopolistic menace that we have reported about for months, chipmaker Intel has broadened the scope of its aggressive "Intel Inside" program.  Providing up to a two-thirds subsidy of advertising revenue to participating OEMs along with other incentives, the "Intel Inside" program has been very successful in persuading major personal computer vendors into producing and promoting Intel-based products.  These agreements often are made to exclude the use of competitors' MPU products.


Now Intel is turning its sights towards "Mom and Pop"  operations who produce so called "white boxes," an area where AMD has been traditionally relatively strong.


Our sources have disclosed that many within Intel anticipate that the clear performance lead will shift to AMD with Hammer.  Furthermore, Intel is aware that Prescott, which is essentially a simple 90nm shrink of the current Northwood core, will not improve Intel's standing against Hammer. 


In fact, "Tejas" the successor to Prescott that we exclusively exposed, is the chipmaker's attempt to counter Hammer, primarily by addressing the manifold flaws in the current P4 core.


As we have written over the last few months, Intel has stepped up its strengths with OEMs to secure its position with these vendors in anticipation of the Hammer launch.  By broadening its "Intel Inside" program to white box vendors, the chip leviathan is accelerating this strategy which includes imposing contracts that involve exclusivity clauses, preventing these OEMs from producing products based upon CPUs from competing vendors.


With far more money than competitors AMD, Transmeta, and VIA, Intel has the resources to buy the MPU market and it appears that this is in fact the Santa Clara chipmaker's intention.


Close Encounter of the Dell Kind

"ToshiroOC" describes a close encounter he had with Michael Dell at the "International Summit of Young Technology Leaders":

As I was reading the article on ZDNet that you so kindly posted so all of us informed techies could get a good laugh, I remembered what Michael Dell said during an open-session Q&A that I had the opportunity to attend.

One of my good friends David asked Michael Dell why Dell refused to use AMD based products despite greater performance and lower price compared to Intel. Mr. Dell looked somewhat perturbed and hesitated before saying "Well, I guess that would be a good idea if AMD still had good performance, and if I remember correctly, the last time AMD was better than Intel was 1986."

When asked about the Opteron processors, he said, without hesitation at all, "Ah, yes, well, at Dell we are devoted to giving our customers the best solutions possible and AMD's Hammer processor, or the Opteron, is something we are very closely analyzing. Next question."


Just something for thought.


AMD Get Major Business Desktop Win

In a press release today, Advanced Micro Devices announced a business desktop win with a tier one OEM.  Partnered with the integrated nVidia nForce chipset, the AMD "Thoroughbred" Athlon XP will power the Compaq D315 Business PC. 


Our own tests indicate that the Athlon XP/nForce combination significantly outperform similarly positioned and even much more expensive integrated solutions using Intel parts.


Breeching the business space through a major OEM like Hewlett-Packard is a milestone of AMD, which has typically found itself relegated to marginal players due to Intel's entrenched strength in the business channels.


August 17th, 2002


Pentium 4 Owners Sue Intel

A group of Intel Pentium 4 owners have lodged a class action lawsuit against the chip behemoth Intel along with several related OEMs.  The suit claims that Intel et al misrepresented the Pentium 4 as being a superior processor to both the Pentium III and AMD's Athlon when in fact it "is less powerful and slower than the Pentium III and/or the AMD Athlon."


Attorneys from the law firm Carr Korein Tillery do not have to look far for evidence to substantiate their claims as we established months ago that the Intel P4 is often slower than much cheaper and lower-clocked AMD Athlon XPs.  In fact, when writing benchmarks it is actually difficult to produce comprehensive tests that show any advantages for the Pentium 4.  The only areas where the P4 consistently trumps the Athlon XP are in tests that are memory bandwidth intensive or have SSE2 optimizations.


Link courtesy of Keith.


August 15th, 2002


Conspiracy Pundit Site O'the Day

Sometimes crazy, but always interesting, Austin's talk show king Alex Jones runs the InfoWars.Com website where he manages to dig up news items that will make even the most staid readers/listeners/viewers start looking over their shoulders.  You can also listen to Alex rant, rave and sometimes bring up truly scary stuff every workday from 11AM-2PM Central (these shows are also rebroadcast late at night and on weekends).


AMD's Dresden Site Safe From Floods

We contacted AMD spokesman Damon Muzny regarding the near biblical-scale flooding being experienced in Dresden, Germany, the home of AMD's Mega-Fab30.  Although the floods are certainly serious, damage is limited to regions close to the river Elbe.  Fab30 is safe being located on a hill that is far away from any flood basins.


Intel Versus Free Speech?

In what could turn out to be a landmark case, chip titan Intel is fighting for powers that could potentially transform the Internet into a minefield of litigation.  If the Santa Clara chipmaker gets its way, it could be considered "trespassing" punishable by law to browse certain websites (even by indexing bots) or send unsolicited emails (which might or might not help reduce Spam, but could possibly set a precedent for more prevalent and intrusive email scanning both at work and even by ISPs).  The common practice of hyperlinking could also become an issue.


The case centers around Ken Hamidi, an engineer fired from Intel in 1995 in what he claims is an instance of age discrimination.  In efforts to organize support from within Intel to make the company more employee friendly, Hamidi sent unsolicited email to Intel employees.  To stop the flow of email, Intel invoked a 17th Century legal principal known as "trespass to chattels."  However, this ancient tort infers inflicting physical damage to another's property, which Intel cannot argue here.


Hamidi has since become a vocal Intel critic and is the author of the well-known site Face Intel.


August 14th, 2002


XScale Fails to Deliver

As Nils noted several months ago, Mario writes that others, including perennial Intel-minion ZDNet, are discovering that the marketing-driven chip-king has pulled another hollow "frequency first" gambit, this time with the disappointing XScale (note that Intel's StrongArm tied for our Embedded Processor of 2001, a feat its XScale successor is tragically unlikely to duplicate).


Mario writes:

ZDNet has picked up on a few of the negative performance aspects of Intel's latest and not so great StrongArm-based XScale PXA250 processor that serves the PDA market.  In short, the XScale performs no better than the StongArm it replaces even though it operates at nearly twice the clock-speed.


It all sounds very similar to the P4 intro where its higher frequency failed to translate into higher performance until SSE2 optimized benchmarks, extra cache, and big frequency ramps saved the day [ed: sort of; the Athlon XP still wins a good many benches].  XScale runs at almost twice the frequency of the StrongArm SA1110 design that it replaces, but only gives comparable performance when executing tasks on Microsoft's Pocket PC PDA operating system.


A Microsoft spokesman said, "Fundamentally, devices don't seem to be demonstrating the performance improvement that many were expecting."  Although a generational mismatch between Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system and Intel's XScale processor is the line that is currently being trotted out as an explanation for this, Microsoft has no plans to upgrade the OS for XScale, so consumers will again be offered new technology that fails to meet expectations and is invariably more expensive. Further commentary can be read here.

History again repeats itself and the frequency myth continues. The sad fact for companies like AMD, is that history has taught us that Intel's first generation products, even though they may perform badly, will eventually go on to turn silicon into gold.


Duron Still Top Dog

Mario writes:

The PC business can be very frustrating when consumers unknowingly pay more for a computer than they had to. Bearing this in mind, the Tech Report has reviewed Intel's recently released $89, 1.7 GHz Celeron against AMD's soon to be retired Duron at 1.3 GHz. With a 400 MHz frequency advantage, the Celeron was still second best in overall performance; it's also $26 more expensive than the Duron (boxed) on Price Watch. When you add the fact that Celeron based motherboards are inherently more expensive than Duron solutions, buying AMD makes even more sense.

It should not be forgotten that AMD's current Athlon will soon supplant Duron as the value processor, which will further increase AMD's price/performance advantage. As an example, AMD's Athlon XP 1700+ boxed processor is $9 less expensive (Price Watch) than Intel's Celeron offering, with the added boost in performance which that brings. Will any of this help AMD to gain back market share that they've recently lost to Intel?

AMD is still blazing a trail of glory in the value segment. If only consumers had eyes that could really see and minds that could fully comprehend. Let's hope that those in the know are educating their friends and customers on the performance and value advantages that they can gain when choosing AMD. You wouldn't fill up your tank with Intel's gas when AMD's variety is 41% cheaper. Processors are also commodity products, so should be viewed in the same light. So, don't get conned into buying technology that costs you more for less.


Little Hattie Louise Smith

Kathy gave birth Sunday night to Hattie Louise Smith.  At birth, black-haired, brown-eyed little Hattie was 20-inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces.  Mother and daughter are back from the hospital and both are doing fine.  God is Great!


Another Hammer FAQ

...this time at AMDZone.


August 10th, 2002


Dr. Gene Ziegler's Seuss-ian Poem

Many of you enjoyed the Dr. Seuss-like poem we published August 8th (and which we mistakenly credited to a "Dr. Gary").  We have since discovered that this well circulated piece is the effort of Cornell's Dr. Gene Ziegler, a.k.a. Dr. Zseuss.  Visit Dr. Z's site for a full version of this beloved poem.  Another of our favorites from Dr. Ziegler and well worth reading is "Hang the Information Highwayman!"


Spud Writes Dud Opteron Piece on ZDNet

Jerry writes, "This has to be one of the stranger FUD articles I’ve read regarding Opteron (and its kind of sticking in my mind as one of the sillier FUDs I’ve ever read -- you’ll see what I mean when you read it). I don’t know how to characterize this spud-dud-FUD piece (and you will come to your own conclusions about it) but a recent Salon.com quote I read regarding the current Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil comes to mind: ‘Secretary O’Neil is “bizarrely ineffectual” ‘ was the Salon.com quote. That pretty much sums up how I felt about this FUD attack against Opteron by good old non-Intel-influenced ZDNet (Intel, get it over with, buy ZDNet out already).

"By the third page of this FUD attack against AMD and Opteron, I felt like I did after the 2000 election: dirty, slimy, and showers didn’t seem to work to make me feel clean again till months after the election. Oh well, as time has gone on I’ve learned to let slime roll off my brain, and by this time tomorrow I’ll hardly recognize Mr. Berlind’s picture much less his grammar (oh, and check out the grammatical and typo errors in his piece… what, we don’t use grammar and spell checkers at ZDNet anymore? No editorial staff reviewing our work there? Hire me ZDNet! I kin compose and spel as wel as David do!)

"Read it; it’s good for cheep [sic] laughs. :)"


Questions About September 11th

...a good place to start.


Protect Us From the Internet, Big Brother!

Support the War Effort and fight the evil Internet!  As we have written long before, we are afraid that in time we will all have to be "licensed" to use the Internet.  Of course, these licenses will no doubt be withheld from "irresponsible" and "traitorous" media who foment discontent, criticize the government and "impede" its anti-terrorism efforts. 


In other words, we have to be very careful that zealots, who are currently exploiting our nation's pathos and phobias after the horrible acts of last September, do not use their positions to control independent media, usurp free speech and destroy privacy.


(Pedophilia is one of the worst crimes that a human being can commit.  By violating the sacred trust of children, these people rob the young of their precious innocence.  However, what is disturbing beyond this is the mass media's frequent portrayals of these crimes as a unique Internet phenomena.  For instance, a horrible act of pedophilia that resulted in the death of a child occurred recently in Rogers, Arkansas yet was not carried beyond the outraged local media.  Meanwhile we are nationally bombarded regularly with stories -- sometimes tenuous, vague and even misleading -- about Internet pedophiles.  If the government wants to be effective in this area, it needs to start by going after those organizations that send out pedophile Spam.)


August 9th, 2002


Intel's Andy Grove Donates $5,000,000 to Stem Cell Research

The aging Darth Vader seeks the fountain of youth.  Although current laws prevent the additional harvesting of human embryos for federally funded studies, privately backed research has the A-Okay (wink-wink-nudge-nudge, secret handshake "Boog-A-Loo") to obtain "new lines of embryonic stem cells" from aborted babies.


I can't help but recall the story of the fetching Countess Elizabeth Bathory who turned to "witchcraft" as time -- as time does to us all, Dr. Grove -- slowly drained her of her youthful beauty.  In twisted attempts to stay the inevitable toll demanded from the march of years, the Countess would bathe in the blood of virgins at the "magical hour" of four in the morning.


In rising desperation, the aging seventeenth-century Countess resorted to torturing and killing young girls so that she could splash their fresh blood on her face in hopes that this would rejuvenate her skin.  At the apex of her depravity, she even drank the blood like a vampire, first from a golden flask and then directly from the children's bleeding throats.  Eventually, Countess Bathory established a girl's academy in her castle to ensure a supply of blue blood after finding no positive benefits from her years of harvesting peasant girls.


Even though a mountain of evidence grew against her, the Transylvanian Countess (ironically, born in Dr. Grove's native Hungary in 1560) was not indicted until she carelessly disposed of the bodies of two maidens attending her "school."  Believing that wolves would consume the remains, she had the corpses tossed out of her castle's window.  Instead, the girls' tattered remains were discovered triggering an investigation which led to her demise.


In the end, Countess Elizabeth Bathory was found guilty of murdering nearly 600 (some say 650) young girls and was walled up alive inside her bedroom in Bathory castle where she died four years later.  Lacking her royal heritage, her wicked assistants did not have it so easy: each had their fingers ripped off before being burned at the stake.


August 8th, 2002


Sun Blasts Intel's Itanium

Call's 64-bit chip the "most expensive disaster in the history of high tech."  Link courtesy of Mark Ingbritson.  ZD graciously throws in for balance a remark from the australopithecine Kevin Krewell.  "GRUNT!  Me like Intel!"


Dr. Gary Ziegler Explains Why Computers Sometimes Crash

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort,
and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse;
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'cuz sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy in the disk,
and the macro code instructions cause unnecessary risk,
then you'll have to flash the memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM
then quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your Mom!


Intel and Microsoft Won't Expense Stock Options

Some blokes are backtracking on squirrelly accounting practices.



Jerry  writes, "Let me see here. We’ve got a global economic meltdown about on a scale that compares to the 1930s. The DOJ is tying up the loose ends in its slap-on-the-wrist settlement with the software industry’s biggest monopoly. Said monopoly is working on becoming an even larger monopoly through Palladium and .NET. They change their licensing requirements and the average business ends up paying 400-500% higher fees to them in this environment… and what a surprise, “corporate user resentment and dissatisfaction” with them are at an all time high. Tell me something I don’t know!"


August 7th, 2002


How to Break ANY Microsoft Windows System

Spencer writes, "The Inq has a short piece with a link to a well written exploit article that shows how ANY Microsoft windows system can be compromised, wherein the attacker can achieve privileges even higher than Administrator!

"A very few months ago it was acknowledged that Microsoft Windows (all flavors) have such severe and built-in security failings that if the source code were released it would "compromise national security" (this came from Microsoft itself)! This is just one example of the truth of that statement and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands more..."


Could Microsoft Implode?

Spencer writes, "It has been known for some time that Microsoft has perhaps made more use of stock options than any other company in the history of high tech. Most people are unaware that by issuing compensation in the form of stock options the company can take a tax deduction but NOT have to show the cost of the options on it's profit and loss statement. Thus has Microsoft avoided paying income tax and has essentially been able to make it appear that they are immensely profitable when in fact if the cost of the issues options were taken into account, they would show a loss!

"The Inq has an interesting piece with it's own links to material that is very enlightening (if somewhat dated). When I can learn more, I'll post a follow up. In the meantime, the only thing propping up MSFT stock is expectation. All else is smoke and mirrors. I expect they are not at all happy about this form of publicity in the current light of congressional oversight of financial reporting. Read the links, understand the issues and decide for yourselves if they are a financial risk or not."


Hammer FAQ

Lots o'links.


Controversial Website O'the Day

Courtesy of Steven.  No SWAT teams, please!


August 6th, 2002



We think it is high time for the computer industry to come around to establishing do-it-yourself (DIY) mobile standards that enable end users to put together notebooks just as easily as we assemble our own desktops today.  In fact, with the modular mobile technologies already in place now, DIY mobile standards should be able to facilitate even simpler, more idiot-proof system assembly.


Can't quite find the perfect notebook because none of the bone-headed, jack-ass OEMs have the common sense to put the right components together?  Want a laptop, but are afraid to make the sizable investment in a device that crashes in value almost immediately because it is obsolete in only a matter of weeks and has limited upgrade paths?  Wouldn't it be nice to easily change out your notebook's dated XGA screen for a lovely new UXGA?  How about swapping your glacial SDRAM-based Celeron notebook motherboard for screaming Hammer/DDR setup?  Or wouldn't it be sweet to transform that aging battery-guzzling, gizzard-frying P4 notebook into an icy C3/CLE-based system with a seven hour battery life?  Just bought a P4 and then weeks later -- DOH! -- Intel comes out with Banias that is much faster than your chip and runs twice as long away from the plug?


Comprehensive, open DIY mobile platform standards could address issues like these and many more.  Establishment of a DIY mobile market could even pull the computer industry out of its current malaise.


Click on the link above and send us your thoughts on DIY mobile standards.


Cool Little Computer Projects

Find out the weird and interesting things you can do with VIA's teeny-tiny Mini-ITX motherboards.


August 5th, 2002



Nils writes, "This link is the first page of an article on IBM's Deepview super display system - a distributed rendering concept that routinely produces 3200 x 2400 color 3D images. This is a neat example of the distributed video display systems that I have occasionally mentioned as an ideal use for Opteron. Note the System hardware and software specs - multiple Linux systems linked by standard interconnects."




Amusing Opteron Ideas

Nils proposes a useful old-fashioned idea for Opteron/Hypertransport architectural capabilities.


Hammer Humor

Nils writes, "It its own typically impartial style, ZDNET and its pack of staff provides insights into Hammer and, at the end, hypes the ever popular forthcoming new Itanium (Madison), which may actually have samples. Try this link but be advised that everything from the headline on down just might be a wee bit biased. Or, as the famous sf story goes "With Friends Like These..." - one of Alan Dean Foster's best stories. See, earth is locked inside a force field and has been for a long time. And one day, some aliens decide that they need our help. Hey, it includes some great computer stuff, just as does The Tar-Aiym Krang by the same author."


While Bill G Fiddles

Nils writes, "AT&T Worldnet fine tuned its new email filtering service one week ago. The email notifying me arrived on 7/18. The first few days were a setup period. A few messages did get through. As of 8/1, I am getting ONE or ZERO spams per day.

"This practical business decision impresses me. It spares me downloading an average of 1 megabyte of pure junk every day, some of it very strange indeed. Just imagine how much the load on email servers has dropped just from removing junk messages from millions of user mailboxes!

"I can now enjoy the highly entertaining series of Inquirer articles about Hotmail spam even more - and wonder just who is paying for the server capacity needed to receive, store, and forward all this junk to end users. The usual suspects, most likely.

"But oh those emails promising 'friendly, furry farm animals'. I will miss them."


August 2nd, 2002


Investment Watch :)

Bill Brier sends us this list of business consolidations....


Bad Vendor  Business Practice

Mark Vovchuk sends us his experience with PC Relocator 4.0 and Alohabob Enterprise at www.eisenworld.com.


Funny And Weird Sites

Spencer writes, "Via GMSV comes a site with funny Photoshop hacker buzz pictures and another with the most computationally powerful coffee machine in the known universe.  Only in geekdom...."


August 1st, 2002


Another Hammer Detail

Nils discusses the significance of this Hammer detail, "LEGACY 32-bit software can be modified to use a total of 256 X 8 gigabytes of memory."