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[H] Enthusiast Archives: March 2002Archive Listing

Sunday March 31, 2002

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel, publicly states that terrorists need to perish with the help of high-powered hand guns. Well, we certainly have enough of those here in the States, don't we? Apparently Craig has not killed too many folks, first hand anyway, or I can think of some other rounds I would much rather chamber to do the job. Seriously, this is a good read about Microsoft and their positioning.

"This is essentially a low-tech problem you're trying to solve," Barrett said. "You won't be able to do it with databases. You need a .357 magnum."

Speaking of small arms, I saw some midgets earlier... No I didn't, but there is always someone with a box of ammo and old hardware ain't there?

This is a great little mod that has been around for years but is many times forgotten or overlooked and can be one of the handiest for hardcore tweakers. CoolerHut shows you how to mod that CMOS jumper so you can get at it when you need to.

Get boned up for April Fool's Day over at LWD with Evil Windows Tips & Tricks. I always suggest loading tons of S&M; pr0n on the bosses computer then tell the HR guys that he has been asking you out on "dates" and you are to bring your clothes pins. Then again, maybe something a little toned down might be a bit funnier.

The objective is to create a folder on the Windows desktop that can not be opened, renamed, or deleted by the average Joe Schmoe. This is a great simple trick that just annoys the hell out of people.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

I want to give you guys a heads up again on this weekend special that TCWO is running. They have the PNY GF4 Ti4600 for US$329 with very reasonable ground shipping. I have gotten at least 20 mails since yesterday that explain that TCWO has been a great company to deal with. Here again is their Reseller Rating. I bought two since we needed one to review and one for a editor of ours. I will let you know about our experience as well.

Newer and better ways to nuke your VidCard with the NVIDIA BIOS Editor v1.0 build 200.

Possibilities of this tool: Load and Save any BIOS Image files; Load current BIOS from memory; Change Device ID (Select from List); Change Sub Vendor ID (List for more than 1500 vendors!); Change Sub Device ID. Set boot time options: Skip DDC Monitor detection; Enable Memory Size Message; Enable Signon message; Removing engineering release; Editing Signon message; Editing BIOS Version message; Change color for Signon message (beta testing); Change delay after boot screen.

PlanetSavage has news on a person's feelings for me as well as new technology from S3 and their impending DX9 part. I figure this to be a spoof since they refer to the German website in question as "reputable".

A transistor-based fan regulator for all you guys with a hot iron out there this morning. This is in German but the drawing that you will need is universal. It has also been translated into English in our forums.

Even more fun with molten metals! This time over at IceHardware they are showing off how to wire in one of those fancy LCD screens that you can use on your case to flash messages and such.

I'll be looking at what is necessary to get a parallel LCD hooked up and how to actually go about connecting it. Most parallel displays are very similar using industry standard interface chips (HD44780 or HD44100) so the pin assignments are often identical.

Mmmm, GF4 Ti4600 goodness over at BlargOC. I wonder if they OC it?

Being a reference board I wasn't expecting a great deal out of this board in terms of overclocking. It did a reasonable 320/750 fully stable, and in cold conditions with some 120mm fans pointing at it 330/760 was just about possible.

DansData looks into prefabbed aluminum bezels for your brushed aluminum cases. Of course if you are cheap bastards like us, you can simply head down to Wal-Mart and buy you a Testors "Chrome" colored paint pen in their model section and get to painting. Ours turned out pretty well back in 2000 and still looks very good today.

If you've got a silver Lian Li case, and you've got drive(s) to match one or more of these things, they really do provide a simple and straightforward way to make the computer look better.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition - Blair

Easter eggs galore, but not in your traditional sense. TechTV turns us onto a few hidden goodies in our DVDs and links you over to a site with many many more.

In the world of DVDs, Easter eggs are entertaining tidbits -- including outtakes, deleted scenes, and documentaries -- that creators hide behind the scenes. As "Tech Live" reports tonight, DVD Easter eggs are popping up all over.

Sunspots ten times the diameter of Earth are being reported, not much else is said though. Don't forget your sunscreen.

Sweet home Hiroshima. Where the sky has the rising Sun. Sweet home Hiroshima. Buddha, I'm coming home to you.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Bad news from Taiwan this morning. Seems as though Taipei city itself has been rocked by an extremely strong earthquake that was centered in Hualien that packed in a "6.8" on the Richter scale.

The force of the quake created "a giant shaking sensation that we felt here in the capital," local journalist Jason Blatt told CNN. "I can see damage everywhere," he said from his Taipei apartment.

You can be almost assured that this will effect pricing of components coming out of Taiwan as the machinery that produces many mainboards and VidCards is subject to extensive examination and resetting when "shaken" as such even if there was not damage to a production facility.

We have not spoken to any of our friends there in Taipei this morning....

The girls at TBreak dig into what is the KT333 offering from Gigabyte, the GA-7VRXP. Still looks as though Gigabyte wants to be as aggressive as the leaders though.

Also adjustable from the BIOS is the AGP voltage (between 1.5V to 1.8V), the DDR voltage (between 2.5V and 2.8V) and the VCore which can be increased by 5%, 7.5% or 10%- pretty good options but no match for ABIT or EPoX boards.

Here is a write-up on the AIW 8500DV at PCRave. The author finally gets into some actual reviewage along page 7 or so. I was interested in his take on the DVD playback aspects of the card as he suggests he is going to discuss image quality but never really gets around to it.

American Pie 2 is the sequel to the 1999 hit comedy starring Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth and my favorite comedy star Sean William Scott (Dude Where's my Car?, American Pie 1 and 2), AP2 comes with over 10 hours of bonus commentary out-takes, deleted scenes and extra features. Strangely, playing AP2 using the ATI DVD player caused pauses several times. As my system is a Athlon 1800+ XP system, it should have more than enough horsepower to run a movie smooth, even using the software DVD player. Again, the DVD comes with a Interactual DVD player that's required to run the extra features.

A figurehead at the company responsible for WinRAR has died. That guy has helped me out in getting information to friends and colleagues more times than I can count.

Saturday March 30, 2002

[H]ardNews 5th Edition - PNY

I am not familiar with this retailer nor have I ever bought anything from them but Sean Kennedy pointed out that has the PNY Verto Ti4600s on sale for US$329 during their "weekend special". Seems like a great deal! I did a quick look over at the new ResellerRatings and pulled this information. As always, we suggest you check out the retailer yourself before purchasing from them.

"always good service and the price advertised is always correct"

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

A couple of websites are kicking it around that there will be no GeForce5, and from what the CEO of NVIDIA told us at the GeForce4 launch party, that is absolutely correct. Not only is the GeForce namesake going bye-bye, so is the technology. Don't expect to be losing anything, but rather picking up more as I think we will see technologies from 3dfx employed in the NV30 chipset. No doubt that while 3dfx was a struggling company, they had engineers that we not only seeing outside the box, but also down the street and around the corner.

On the VIA KT400 front, we are getting reports from companies that have production meetings already scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Looks as if VIA will be wasting no time in pushing out their latest technology before the Hammer is dropped in Q4 or Q1. We are betting on mid to late Q1'03.

Lastly, we had a very good discussion with AMD this week about the current mounting hole spec. They really wanted to stress the fact that the spec was "removed" and not "changed". Their take on this being that if companies want to continue to follow the spec with the mounting holes, they are free to do so and their boards will not be considered "out of spec". Make sense? Still, I would highly suggest that if you find these holes to be of value, which many of you do, that you sound off to the mainboard companies about this. While we do not post petitions on the [H], this would be a good way to show support for the continued inclusion of the mounting holes.

Pausing light and what it could mean to the computer industry. Thanks Decay.

TweakersOZ visit the very basics of case cooling; BlowHoles and rounding cables. Now why didn't we think of that!

So now all your fans are in the best possible arrangement, they're all clean, and the maximum amount of air is flowing through them right? Wrong! Most cases have fan grills, and these grills are merely an area of the case with a few holes drilled in them, or if you're lucky are more like a grid.

Here is a tech story that really takes issue with Intel on the DRam front. Thanks Blair.

Now, however, Intel is mum about its next step in DDR. But sources believe that the chip giant will support the new 333-MHz DDR SDRAM (DDR-333) standard, but will bypass proposed DDR-400 products in favor of a next-generation DRAM architecture called DDR-II.

The whole spin on the story makes Intel come off sounding like they are evil for their possible directions on this. Considering they have not even officially jumped into the 333MHz DDR realm yet I find it hard to berate them for not supporting 400MHz DDR. While we know VIA is already pushing forward with their KT400 chipset, it has yet to be seen on the JEDEC roadmap that 400MHz will be upheld by a JEDEC standard. Also the fact that AMD is yet to have 166MHz bus part and most likely will not till next year is more ammunition that 400MHz DDR will be nothing more than an enthusiasts' toy.

Considering all the R&D; money that Intel has, I am glad to see them back on the DDR front pushing it forward even if it does mean "skipping" 400MHz DDR. That just means that DDRII gets here that much quicker.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

I am not sure on how new this is but Gainward has a VIVO driver posted at their site, WDM v1.1, that has solved one of our readers TV problems with his GeForce card.

BlargOC is showing off a older chip with a newer core that looks to be a hot overclocker!

That reads 1771MHz. Pretty impressive, but no where near my AthlonXP 2000. The AthlonXP 1700 now costs around £100 inc VAT, where as the XP2000 costs closer to £200.

Shuttle gets some of their KT333 magic shown off over at AMDWorld. They did get the board up to around 155FSB.

Just when you though DVDs where "forever" somebody wants to change that and give you disks with a finite life. Better copy that bastard quick! Thanks Blair.

One example of this is SpectraDisc Corporation, a spin-out company from Spectra Systems, that was created to develop a limited-play digital disc suitable for mass manufacturing and distribution. The limited-play disc consists of a DVD or CD that can only be read or played for a prescribed period of time after opening the package. The duration of play can be controlled from minutes to weeks by modifying the composition of the coating materials.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Joe Denice drops notice of the new Sony P4 / ATi 7500 notebook (PDF link). Looking pretty sweet for sure. I have a Sony notebook that has always been rock solid so I have been looking at buying another. I am thinking it is time to upgrade before Computex and China's CeBIT shows arrive this summer. Of course being able to LAN game on it between now and then would be a plus as well.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the courts would be crazy to convict these guys as this is America and they have the right to say what they want.

Authorities quoted Upshaw as saying: ``It's good that the World Trade Center was bombed. More cops and firemen should have died. More bombs should have been dropped and more people should have been killed.'' Police said the crowd gathered around Upshaw and made threatening remarks.

Of course that is not to say that we hope someone catches them in a dark alley somewhere and gives them a good "talking to", with our good friend, Baseball Bat. Thanks Tallgeese.

If you are looking for the latest LADs, here they are for Win98/ME. v9023 covering most of the Radeon 7500 and 8500 family. Use at you own risk!

Time to burn and feel like taking it out on some terrorists? No time to find a Counter Strike game online or are stuck at the office with a box that still has a 2MB Trident VidCard? Have no fear as William Ivey to comes to the rescue with this well done flash game that let's you kill people with automatic weapons.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

This makes me proud of my fellow Dallasites. I listen to these guys on the radio here in Dallas and I must admit I would be happy to see them go. Encouraging someone to shoot themselves for ratings is simply outside the bounds of being human. Now if they were to shoot themselves in the head, I would go get pictures for us. Once you see their faces you will know why they are in radio and not TV. Thanks Scott Kuntz.

We are starting to see more and more 44s! No, we were not at the nudie bar...this time. TechSeekers, Ireland's source for PC news, has the lowdown on the MSI Ti4400 that you will want to check out. Maybe afterwards we can grab a pint.

To see how high I could get this card, I put into a Northwood P42.2Ghz DDR system, overclocked to 2.53 GHz, and overclocked the Ti4400 with MSI's built-in panel and got a final speed of 304Mhz core and 660Mhz DDR Memory speed, this is the same speed as the bigger brother the 4600. (the core is slightly faster as the 4600's core is 300Mhz)

More Radeon 8500 goodness in the news today. This time from Beyond3D. You are on your own as I cannot get the page to come up, but I can ping their IP. Good luck, and here is what the author had to say:

Beyond3D's ATi Radeon 8500 review is up. Along with the standard benchmarking I've concentrated on AA performance & IQ, Texture Filtering, along with some T&L; and Multi-texturing tests.

Fast pussy on your pole. It simply had to be said. Blame EvlMinion.

Friday March 29, 2002

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

It is not a big mystery that most wireless connections suck the high hard one when it comes to security, but with more and more folks getting into the WiFi groove it is certainly worth mention again. Jeff reminds of us this page here that will make it the issues clear.

I went by Best Buy this morning to check out what the VidCard shelves looked like and the only two totally bare shelves I saw were the VisionTek and PNY Ti4600 slots. While most of you are very familiar with the VisionTek, the PNY card has been virtually under wraps when it comes to web press. We contacted PNY for a card some weeks ago and they declined stating that their customers were more important. Kudos to them. Bjorn3D has a PNY TI4600 in the grinder so lets see what they think.. They use a couple of new benchmarks, one being a benchmark from NVIDIA. I personally have a real big problem with using a benchmark from the company that built the GPU especially if it is used for cross platform comparisons.

While I was generally pleased with the performance and scores with the PNY Verto Geforce4 Ti4600, I did find one major flaw in it from the testing: it made it glaringly obvious that my PC just canít keep up with it and give it all the juice that it wants!

The card really is that fast! I would suggest to you that you have the needed horsepower of 1.5GHz + to really see the power of the GeForce4 in many applications.

However, don't expect Postal 2 to contain nothing but mindless violence. "This game isn't meant to be violence only," explains Desidiero. "Violence by itself isn't fun. Vulgarity on its own isn't fun. We need to find a balance between these and various other elements to produce black humor that's enjoyable."

Death wrapped in warped humor is just so much fun isn't it? Blame Philip Wilson.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

And like have you would of even thought that the cops would not catch folks that stole a donut truck? Thanks Wayne Figueroa.

Jonathan points out that Microsoft and Unisys have the way out for you at this site, "". Microsoft uses the Aberdeen "analyst" company as well to tell how great their stuff is. Funny thing is that Netcraft identifies the server software as being something far from Windows.

The site is running Rapidsite/Apa-1.3.14 (Unix) FrontPage/ mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.5a on FreeBSD.

There is certainly a reason they are called The Chemical Brothers. Cool streaming Vid stuffs found here. Thanks McDick.

Oh yeah, what about some hardware news? Dave of HotterThanHellHardware fame looks into a couple of non-mainstream boards and lives to tell the truth.

The ECS P4IBAD and Transcend TS-ABR4 are entry level motherboards designed to bring the performance of DDR memory to the Pentium 4, without the higher cost associated of legacy RDRAM based platforms. We ran these two boards through our usual battery of test and compared them to one another throughout. What do you say we find out how they fared...

If you are really bored in your cube, check out the this article that turns into the history of the bus. Not the short one that you are familiar with either.

1394b isnít here yet, but itís a black sail on the horizon for USB2.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

If you are not up to snuff on the CBDTPA, I highly suggest you read up and contact your Senator and Congressman. Thanks Decay.

The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), kept on a leash but regularly trotted out by Senator Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, can best be thought of as a sort of appendix to the DCMA. It is clearly designed to further extend legal protections for digital content owned or licensed by enormous media conglomerates.

Good news for you people that like to steal music! Guess I missed this yesterday...

LONDON -- In a setback for efforts to halt copyright abuse, a Dutch appeals court on Thursday told an Internet software company it could distribute a software program that is designed to let users share music and films on the Internet.

Aron Schatz shares his thoughts on Measuring CPU Performance Cross Platform. Put the crackpipe down and step away from the computer as AMD and Intel are never going to agree on a rating standard.

What can be done? Create an industry standard way of measuring processor performance, not just by pure MHz, but by the entire processor, including the FPU.

If you don't take you monopolistic company and help out our product,

I am not a big fan of the video mainboard review, but maybe you are. Rodney covers the ABIT SD7-533 mainboard. Getting to see Rodney say "kickass" at the end of it is pretty good though. Man that boy is all white.