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[H] Enthusiast Archives: December 2001Archive Listing


Monday December 31, 2001

[H]ardNews 4th Edition - New Years Eve

Here's some awesome FREE STUFF action for the New Years. Hypothermia worked long and hard to get Three, yes...Three Xbox gaming consoles for giveaway!!! Each console comes with one game and one extra controller. Each Friday there will be one console given away for the next three weeks. Head on over to my "alter ego" site and get you some FREE XBOX ACTION!!!!

I will select one winner a week for 3 weeks . I will announce all the winners each Friday. There is no "choice" over which game comes with your console one game will come with each console and one extra controller. It's as easy as "click the pic" and submit a valid e-mail address and a name ( or nickname ) . . enter once a day, until it's over. And YES it's that easy!

I know, I know...if you are out looking at the "stars" tonight...that usually means you've partied too much and you are outside, flat on your back somewhere. But there is also another cool reason to be looking at the stars tonight, check it out.

The giant planet Jupiter and our own planet Earth will have a close encounter tomorrow. The two worlds will lie just 4.19 astronomical units apart when Jupiter reaches "opposition" -- that is, a point in the sky directly opposite the Sun -- on January 1, 2002. New Year's Eve revelers in the northern hemisphere can easily find the planet. Simply look straight overhead at midnight: there lies Jupiter -- the brightest "star" in the sky.

We have a breaking story that we are investigating even as I write this. It seems that a horrible scheme at Intel has been uncovered as more and more of their employees come forward with their "secret". Intel secretly brands their employees. Much in the way they guard their intellectual property...they also guard their "good employees".

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This whole story would be EVEN WORSE...if it were true. I just made that up.

Josh Zaritsky sent me this one...and although it would take a steady hand an a good eye, in theory it could work preferable with a trace pen or conductive pen. Funny how we always overlook the obvious.

I have seen so many discussions about unlocking the new XPs and how much more difficult it is with the pits, but my friend pointed out that there really is what seems to me to be a very simple solution. Now, I don't have one of these to test the process on myself, but I don't see why, since the pits don't stretch the length of the bridges, you can't just take a graphite pencil and draw arcs around the pits. Last time I checked, electricity flowed as well through a curve as it did through a straight line, and I don't see anything preventing someone from being able to draw around and between the pits and still connect the bridges.

Sometimes when a big company like Enron bites the big one, it's a good thing....FOR OTHER COMPANIES. NVIDIA just replace Enron as the number one stock this year. Great year for NVIDIA no matter how you look at it.

Nvidia Corp. (NasdaqNM:NVDA - news), which makes graphics chips for Xbox, Microsoft Corp.'s (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) popular game system, saw its shares more than quadruple, making it the year's best performer in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Nvidia opened the year at $16.50, and then quadrupled to close 2001 at about $68 -- even as shares of dot-coms, chip makers and telecommunications companies melted -- fueled by a strong video game market and its recent addition to the prestigious S&P; 500.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition - 3dfx Collector's Item

The old lady has been on my ass to clean out my closet and last night seemed like the time to do it. I came across this shirt that I thought would make a good New Year's Giveaway for one of you. Sorry, this is the only one we have but it has never been worn. It is a "3dfx Systems Engineering" softball jersey. I am not sure of their softball record, but I bet they did really good for a few year's and then everything went straight into the crapper... Send ONLY ONE EMAIL to THIS ADDRESS that includes your name, shipping address, phone number and age.

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Also, I happened to come across this shirt sent in by a reader in Massachusetts. I would give it away as well but I have too much fun wearing it to the market. Excuse my goofiness, but there is nothing like a good long trip to Master Bait.

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[H]ardNews 2nd Edition - New Years Eve

Scott "Dr. Damage" Wasson of the Tech Report is all over the Radeon 8500 again. This time the take a good look at the tech behind the graphics in this article titled "R200, Off the beaten path: A unique, in-depth look at ATI's Radeon 8500" They test a regular GF3 against an OEM ( 250/250 ) Radeon 8500, and offer a little info to put your ass in the know..

This article contains few benchmarks. While my testing has been rigorous, I prefer to showcase selected results that are meaningful and relevant to the discussion. Results that do not yield additional useful information were intentionally omitted. If one is looking for a recital of scores or frames per second, it is not there. This is not 'copy and paste' marketing material or an 'A to Z' feature list. There are plenty of these available at various hardware sites. What you will find, instead, is an explanation of salient features of the R200 graphics pipeline (Z-buffer optimizations, vertex and pixel processing, anti-aliasing) and performance characteristics, as well as implementation of image quality features.

Bit Tech looks at the EPoX 8KHA+ as the last review of the year for them. This is more of a review from a modders point of view. Good board...good performance, we have looked at this very same board a few weeks ago, and we liked it as well. Here's our review for comparison purposes.

And...if for some reason you slipped, fell and bumped your head and woke up wanting to buy a P4 board coupled with SDRAM, you might want to check this review out. We have always said...they are great boards for workstations and the likes, but they aren't for the hardcore or the gaming crowd.

My son and I just finished up Halo in Co-Op mode on the Xbox...and I have to say, I had a blast. It may not be the greatest game ever ( levels are repetitive to the point it's maddening ) but it's a really great game. I think every FPS should include Co-Op mode.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - New Years Eve

Holy Schmoly. . we are at the end of another year. I want to wish everyone a fantastic new year, and remind you to be safe while you are out tonight celebrating. I'll be here with you through the New Years celebrations...as well as the monster hangovers tomorrow . ( still looking for the New Years [H]ard-Logo )

Most people know GlobalWin from the HSF arena, but today Overclocker Cafe hammers out a review of one of their aluminum server chassis. With the popularity of aluminum cases, it's no surprise to see companies jumping in with their own cases. Seems like the fellas liked it...here's a snip from the review.

Before we even got to crack open the case, some nifty features start to jump out. The face plate has the standard power, reset, and power LED light. But there are two hard drive LEDs. For a server case this is a big plus given that most servers will have multiple hard drives.

Why can't someone just come out with an Athlon unlocking kit like the old ones...a thin film with the wire interconnects already built in, you just fill the gaps with non conductive material, line up the tape and paste it. But NOOOOO, they do it the hard way. This review is more like a compilation of the required stuff and not so much an "unlocking" kit. A kit would actually make it easier...not just provide the materials. In my opinion...of course.

HotHardware is braggin about their "little package" ...hey, whatever floats your boat!!! Actually their small package is one of them Shuttle SV-24 Mini Barebones Systems that everyone is all hot and bothered by. Great for the home entertainment system or an MP3 box.

Today we will be straying a little from the norm with a review of a fairly uncommon type of system that has been making quite an impression around the internet in the last few months. The SV-24 Mini Barebones System is a uniquely design mini barebones machine being offered by Shuttle, Inc. Their goal is to provide a compact yet powerful system capable of offering a user a wide range versatility to create a customized system to fit their specific needs.

Meet The Geek has a review of a retail watercooling setup from MaxXxpert ( yes...that's triple X ). The gang over there really liked the unit....but I do have to say, this is the same company that sent me a kit 8 months ago, missing half the components...didn't reply to multiple requests for the remaining components and didn't bother checking back for 6 months. I am sure other peoples mileage may vary, but that is what happened with us.

Sunday December 30, 2001

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

It's Sunday again...time for another installment of ZZZ. This time around they have ergonomic ice cream cones that are kinda like them motorized lollipop holders. As well as other freaky tech stuffs.

Ever wanted to mount a 3lb Dragon Orb onto your videocard?? Come on...you know you have wanted to. Say goodbye to every PCI slot you have in the name of cooling...then again, that's what it's all about ain't it?? The site isn't in english...but the pictures of the process and final product are universal.

I had a bunch of you send me this...ugh!! Apparently Exploding Manholes is becoming an epidemic, and not just in San Francisco either . How Stuff Works is looking at the phenomenon / epidemic. Wow...

Parts of Washington, D.C., including the White House grounds, are under attack by an underground force. No, an army has not infiltrated the sewers of the U.S. capital. The enemy is frayed, sparking electrical lines running beneath the city. The sparks are igniting gases in manholes, creating explosions that launch the manhole covers into the air, destroy property and cause power outages.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

AMD awarded CPU of the year by The Inquirer. They have a whole bevy of awards jumping of over there in a "Best Of 2001" article. Not to be left out...they have the "booby prizes" too!!

Worst Technical Support of the Year Sony wins this outright for managing to antagonise two INQUIRER journos on separate counts with the PlayStation 2. The first count was that one journo didn't manage to get his PlayStation 2 fixed for a whole nine months, the second was that the second journalist's PS2 needed an extra cable buying on Christmas Day - an impossibility as every fule no, plus he was shouted at earlier for alerting Sony to an alleged problem with excess Cadmium in PS1 cables.

Steve Jobs takes home his annual pay of $1.... again. And may I add, worth every penny of it. Heh..kidding, kidding. Actually Steve Jobs and the gang kinda slipped up this last year and saw sales eat it pretty hard. Oh well...what'dya want for a buck

This is better flying that I could do...that's for sure. Blaim Blair!!! ( <---- yes...that was on purpose )

Don't ask me...but everyone likes stupid criminals. And I do mean stupid... this has got to be some of the freakiest crap I have ever heard. This is also another fine link from the Blair Myers Project.

-- Steven Hebron, 34, was behind bars after November's attempt to rob the Citgo Quik Mart in Des Moines, Iowa. He was interested in robbing the clerk only of seven cartons of cigarettes. The clerk then locked him in the store, prompting the man to try to apologize. When the clerk mistakenly unlocked the door, the man fled (but left his wallet behind). He returned to the store just as the clerk was giving police a description of the robber over the phone. "He's about 5 feet 10," said the clerk to the operator, at which point Hebron allegedly yelled, "I'm 6-2," whereupon the clerk said, "About 6-2." The robber apologized again and asked for his wallet back. He was caught. [Des Moines Register, 11-16-01]

Saturday December 29, 2001

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

A pretty interesting read concerning Intel's P4 shortage and their confidence in resolving the issue. DigiTimes has a decent article posted with quotes from Intel regarding the P4 shortages since the processor was announced. I do seem to remember that P4 demand was low when announced, but this quote seems to say the opposite.... strange, then again..."Higher than expected" could mean anything.

The higher-than-expected demand for P4s has been the main factor behind the shortage, said Chen. When the P4 processors just hit the market, Intel’s target to replace the Pentium III with its latest processor line by the end of 2001 was generally regarded as overoptimistic. However, with its product strategy and strong price promotion, Intel apparently achieved the goal.

Ever wonder the secret to low low temps?? Well...a peek at our latest fan shipment might give you an idea how Kyle keeps case temps down. I'm not kidding, this is straight from Kyle's dad!! ( I think he signed for the shipment ).

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Interested in checking out another HSF review?? C'mon...it's the Swiftech MCX462. Well, if that doesn't blow your skirt up...how about some Hott Wirez from the guys that make neon for cars, the StreetGlow people?? Well, that's what the Virtual Hideout guys are offering today in the way of reviews...just trying to do their part.

Who says the Xbox controllers are TOO BIG???

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Akiba PC in Japan always has the cool stuff. . . and you can too if you are willing to shell out the bucks, and go through all the shipping hassles..etc. Check it out...the AthlonXP 2000+. Since most of the XP1900+'s could hit 1740MHz easily for a 2100+ rating, I wonder how far off the AXP 2100+ is .

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Heh...Mr. Myers thought we ought to know "How NOT to recover from getting hacked!!". Sad part is, it's all true accounts, but it's still pretty entertaining. One of my favorites:

Skoudis remembers another instance in which a large brokerage company got a call from hackers who claimed to have planted a logic bomb that would crash the company's computers at a certain time—unless the company paid them big bucks. The technical staff found no evidence of tampering, so the company ignored the call. Sure enough, the company's systems, which processed millions of dollars of transactions an hour, crashed at the appointed time. The next time the extortionists rang, the company knew that the threat was real and got law enforcement involved.

I am busy sorting through the 200 plus VALUABLE e-mail that will make me a millionaire, help me with my small "package", cure that premature balding problem, while losing those "extra" holiday pounds, and getting Viagra through the mail legally all the while running my get rich quick, multi level marketing scam plan from home. Whew...SPAM rules!!! UGH...the year of the spam.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Heatpipes have never really "taken off" in the performance PC / overclocking arena, in theory they are fantastic...in reality they just haven't made the splash people thought they would. IPKonfig is looking over the latest HSF that incorporates a little heatpipe action... you'll have to see for yourselves how this one performs. On a side note: I am not sure how they test over there but you will notice that ALL of their HSF scores ( in the comparison chart ) are extremely low. Were talking like 80F low...they average their scores, but they are showing room temp scores ( 78F ) for "low" scores on a lot of their HSF's. Personally, I have never seen a room temperature score on any HSF. So remember that when you see the score on this heatpipe review.

Rodney Reynolds aka Video Review Dude has yet another video review. Today's review is of the Matrox Marvel G450 eTV Video Card. The page is suuuuuppppeeeerrr slow for me ( your mileage may vary ) but the videos played O.K. it's just getting to them that takes forever.

Hey....more vacuum bra news. You'll remember last year we pointed out this new bra that worked on a vacuum principle for breast enlargement, well...Hofy thought I should know it just got FDA approval, so everyone can own one now. Hey, if it's computer controlled....can we overclock it?? Thanks Hofy...

The Food and Drug Administration gave its stamp of approval to a non-surgical system called the "Brava Bra." The bra works with a vacuum system, pulling out the tissue to increase the breast size. Two hard plastic cups are linked by tubes to a computer pack, and are pulled together with a mesh sports bra.

OUCH!!!! Current and former Directors of Samsung ordered to pay $69 Million to it's stockholders....umm, they might appeal this, but damn, that's a LOT of money. Blair always finds this kinda stuff...

Nine current and former directors of Samsung Electronics Co. Thursday were ordered by a lower court in Suwon, Korea personally to pay a total of $69 million in damages to stockholders in a class action law suit for failing to stop illegal cross-subsidies to sister affiliates of the parent chaebol.

Friday December 28, 2001

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

There was a story two weeks ago about piezoelectric fans, the little tiny fans smaller than a human hair that people hope will be able to cool chips in the future. There is a new Wired article covering the same technology, but they have an actual picture as well.

Piezoelectric material is not a new discovery -- there have been piezoelectric fans available as novelty items since the 1970s -- but the Purdue team was the first to adapt its use for tiny fans in electronic gadgets. The Piezofan has several advantages over a regular fan -- one being that it only consumes 1/150 of the electricity of a regular fan. This, coupled with the fact that the Piezofan has no gears or bearings, means that the heat it generates is negligible.

Some of you might have seen this already....but this is super cool for us oldschool videogamers. This company has wired the whole building so it can be used for interactive messages and even a friendly game of Pong!!! Sweeet....

More robot stuff today...last year we showed you guys that video of Honda's robots cruising up and down stairs, responding to commands, etc. CNet has an article that covers the advancements that robots have made over the last year, which have been pretty significant. This one is interesting:

This leaves only the slug-eating robot. Scientists at the University of the West of England in Bristol have created the SlugBot, which can hunt down the mucus-coated creatures, take them back to base to rot, and use the bodies for power.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

The @Home employees are getting the royal shaft...well, almost all of them are. This article makes some good points, and like they said...they should feel lucky that anyone even got paid, let alone a severance package. But then again...I can see where they might be just a little upset.

Under terms of a deal negotiated with the company's creditors several months ago, top managers and executives are getting between four and nine months of severance pay. Most of the rest of the company, including those who have spent five years or more working their way up to relatively senior positions, are getting nothing.

I'll bet this guys parents were shocked when the cops showed up...After hacking into the NVIDIA network and stealing information, the kid is lucky they didn't send Brian Burke over there with a couple NVHenchmen to kick his little ass.

The teenager who broke into NVIDIA's network was living at home and operating the Web site on personal computers routed through a local server service. ``His parents were shocked when the authorities showed up at the door,'' Christopher added. ``Both defendants then cooperated fully and signed an agreement promising never again to engage in these kinds of activities.'' NVIDIA has chosen to maintain the confidentiality of the hackers' identities.

As much as this may fit our MO, we had nothing to do with this....really.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

AnandTech takes a look at that tiny little Shuttle SV24 CubePC thingy mo-bobber. Initially I was VERY interested in the case for obvious modding potential...but it's more of a whole package thing. Great write up by the gang at AnandTech, as always.

Enter Shuttle's SV24 bare-bones system, which adds quite a bit to spice up that boring beige PC. The machine is about the size of a toaster and the aluminum case is quite snazzy. Although the FV24 motherboard it is built on is highly reminiscent of VIA's mini-ITX standard, it is Shuttle's own custom design. The board features VIA's PL133 chipset for Socket-370 processors and like the majority of their best sellers, the PL133 is a highly integrated solution.

Gotta like the name PowerColor put on their Radeon 7500..."Evil Master". Heh...around here, we just say the "Radeon 7500 "Kyle Edition" ( get it?? Kyle Edition = Evil Master...nevermind ) . TecCentral is where it's all at, you'll have to forgive the translation.

From the house power Color we ordered a Radeon 7500 Evil master "Ultra", in order to present you this somewhat more near. The Radeon 7500 goes to abgespeckteren chip clock with one to the Ati Retail version somewhat from 270 MHz into running, against what there is no difference in clocking with the storing act. With this chip set it concerns a drilled out version of the legendary Radeon I, which is to receive thanks of higher clocking a better achievement development

I think everyone around the Net are ( wisely ) holding back their upcoming reviews and articles for the first of the year. Face it, not many people are surfing the web this week with Christmas starting the week and New Years Celebrations just a few days away. Hell...I still haven't gotten rid of our X-mas company yet!!! We'll see what we can find out there though to keep you entertained.