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[H] Enthusiast Archives: December 2003Archive Listing


Wednesday December 31, 2003

[H]ardNews - Happy New Years

Happy New Years to all of you guys! We very much appreciate your support and it has been a really great year although it has ended sort of flat in terms of hardware. Q104 promises to be exciting for sure though.

Again thank you for making it all possible, and thanks to our advertisers for shelling out the cash to pay for everything. We do ask that you give them your business when it is right for you.

BE SAFE TONIGHT. If you are going to go out and get staggering drunk, let someone else drive, that is NOT staggering drunk. If you have to look at each other and discuss who is less smashed it is time to get a cab or stay put. Don't end up being a death statistic tonight. If you do it just means that someone you love will most likely find all that deviant pr0n on your box later on and tell your mother just how messed up you really are. Seriously, be safe tonight. If not for yourself, for all those other folks out there that are not ready to check out just quite yet.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Spam 1 – AOL 0:

Joe Alpert pointed out that AOL lost a round in court against uber-spammers because the court didn’t feel that they had jurisdiction over the case. So AOL will just re-file in the right state I guess.

The case, dismissed last week by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, claimed the defendants had conspired with others to send bulk e-mails through AOL's Virginia computer system. A statement issued by on Tuesday by the Arlington, Va. law firm of Albo & Oblon, the defendants' attorneys, said the technicians maintained e-mail systems and computer networks for customers and are not "facilitators of bulk e-mails, or spam."

I’m telling you, if we just took spammers out back and shot them…in six months, there would be no spam. Drastic? Yes. Would I do it? Don’t tempt me.

Internet Dude Knighted:

Tim Berners-Lee, the “father of the web” ( insert Al Gore joke here )has been awarded knighthood for his contributions to what we now know as the world wide web. Thanks to Danny Weaver for the linkage.

Sir Tim's inventions were the building blocks of the internet, but instead of cashing in on what would have been one of the most lucrative inventions ever, the modest, publicity-shy physicist gave away his browser and web server software freely on the internet. Other internet pioneers have accrued multi-million-pound fortunes, but Sir Tim has fought to ensure that the web was never privately owned, earning a modest salary in Boston as an academic and head of the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets web standards.

Mods & Ends:

Evercool K802 HSF @ 3dXtreme - Vantec Spectrum Lighted Mousepad @ Envy News - Enermax EG375P-VE SPU @ ClubOC - Swiftech MCX462-V HSF @ Gruntville - Evercool Extended Cooling System @ A True Review

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

2003 Technology Awards:

Mad Mike Magee and the staff at the InqWell have come up with part one of the Inquirer Awards for 2003. Unlike other lists, they have a first, second and third place award for each category. The write up covers everything from processors and top technologies to 3D Graphics and mainboards on part two of the article. Go have a look and compare your personal choices with what they have selected.

Runner up goes to AMD's Opteron server processor, which was launched in spring of 2003. This chip appears to offer extremely good performance, particularly when used in clustered systems. AMD has had a number of large design wins which indicate to us that it has every chance of being one of the firm's most succesful microprocessors ever. The jury is still out on its desktop counterpart, the Athlon 64, which will undergo a socket change in 2004.

Ya know, it is the last day of the year and I sure did think we'd see more of these "Top 10" and "Best of 2003" awards by now, but I guess many of them will come in early January as sort of a retrospective or something. One thing is for sure, 2003 has been a "different" year all the way around. A good year...but different.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

EpoX EP-4PLAI:

Yes, you are reading that right…Hexus has an EPoX 4PLAI review posted. You can only imagine the laughs everyone got in the marketing department when they came up with that name. Sexual innuendoes aside, the i848P Intel base mainboard from EPoX seems to be a decent board, but NO overclocking options means many of you will pass on this one.

No overclocking due to BIOS limitations. A shame, given MSI's procrastinating about the 848P Neo-S's prodigious abilities. So what about performance overall? Competent is the word I'd use, pretty good if you can enable PAT. It should be no different from single channel 865PE in the real world, given PAT being enabled.

12 Video Card Round-Up:

Nordic Hardware has pit 12 of the latest video cards against one another in this graphics card round-up they have posted today. Cards from Inno3D, ASUS, GeXCube, MSI, Connect3D and others are all here duking it out for an editors choice award. Tune in to see who placed where and why.

This was the last graphics card review for 2003 and we finish with verve by writing our until this date largest graphics card roundup. We think and hope that we have helped you in your hunt for the right graphics card and promise to do an equal good, even better, job during 2004.

Chaintech ZNF3-150:

If your current upgrade leads you down the Athlon64 path, this Chaintech ZNF3-150 nForce3 mainboard review at IPKonfig might be of interest to you.

Overall we're impressed with the first motherboard from Chaintech aimed at the AMD Athlon 64. There are many items packaged with its product, as is quite common from Chaintech, and of those, many are actually used frequently. We also like the fact that the rounded cables supplied are extremely flexible, a nice addition for those cramped computer cases we're all too familiar with.

Wounded Warriors Fund:

In a time when our service men and women are doing so much for us, it is the little things like The Wounded Warrior Hospital Fund that warms your heart knowing you can give a little back to the people who lay it on the line for you every day. Major Richard Berry brought this to our attention, followed up on it and this is what the US Military had to say about the program:

This program is legitimate. To the best of my knowledge, this program is the most efficient way to get donations/money to the troops at Landstuhl short of hand-delivering it yourself. Checks are best because Paypal takes a percentage off the top of every transaction (they are trying to get an exception to this).

Editor's Note: Most of our wounded soldiers arrive at the hospital in only their desert BDUs and with nothing else. No clothes, toiletries, just the dirty clothes on their back. This fund supplies them with civilian clothes, toiletries, and all the stuff needed to make them as comfortable as possible given the situation.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Unlocking Locked Athlons:

The gang at Overclockers Russia have posted a rather ingenious way to unlock those Athlon processors that are locked. By simply changing the L6 bridge configuration they tricked the mainboard into identifying the processor as a Mobile Athlon XP thereby allowing the multiplier to be changed. I haven’t tried this one out yet personally, but this certainly does seem like a possible workaround. Overclockers.Ru has a small graphic that outlines the L6 bridge changes that need to be made, grab a translator if you want to read the whole article.

As report some made this operation participants in the forum, it makes it possible to change coefficient on the blocked processors! Control function of coefficient seemingly passes to the group of bridges L6 after the transformation of table processor into the mobile. Judging by everything, to block "mobile coefficients".

[H]ardNews - Blair's Tech Ed.

New Years In Orbit:

The U.S.-Russian crew of the international space station will mark the New Year along with Britons and feast on a roast chicken. U.S. Astronaut Michael Foale and his Russian crew mate Alexander Kaleri, who arrived on the orbiting outpost in October for a six-month stint, said in a video hookup Wednesday that they would toast each other when the clock strikes midnight in London since the station's clock is set to GMT.

How Alcohol Works:

If you have ever seen a person who has had too much to drink, you know that alcohol is a drug that has widespread effects on the body, and the effects vary from person to person. People who drink might be the "life of the party" or they might become sad and droopy. Their speech may slur and they may have trouble walking. It all depends on the amount of alcohol consumed, a person's history with alcohol and a person's personality.

Fiber Optics Tech:

The United States had telecommunications visionaries three decades ago, when John Fulenwider, then an engineer at GTE Laboratories in Massachusetts, first suggested stringing optical fiber to homes. It was part of a project to build "wired cities"—an idea that grew out of birth of cable television and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs. The plan was to offer households a broad but vaguely defined family of services, including interactive television and perhaps video telephones. Fulenwider thought fiber could do the job better than copper coaxial cable.

Wipe Before You Dump:

If you're like me, that PC's hard drive contains a compilation of your personal and business life. If the wrong people were to grab it, they could hurt you and your business very seriously. Here's the problem: An index of files is maintained for the hard drive, telling it where things are stored. When you install a file, especially a big one, it is scattered around the hard drive in bits and pieces. On your command to open the file, the hard drive checks the index, then gathers the pieces and reconstructs them.

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

101 Ways To Save The Web:

Wired has a list of 101 ways to save the internet posted today. I have to say that I am a particular fan of this idea…vigilante justice on Spammers.

Here's a smarter approach: 101 proposals that harness the Net's own superpowers to defeat its foes. Up, up, and away!

1.) Unleash vigilante justice on spammers One activist has proposed filters that launch distributed denial-of-service attacks back at spammers. Great. Just make sure we have the right addresses first.

ALi Licensing Intel Tech:

ALi is the latest company to license Intel Pentium M technology. There isn’t a whole lot of info available on the deal other than this quote:

ALi announced today that it has signed a license agreement with Intel on chipset development supporting the Intel Pentium M processor. ATI Technologies was the first company to sign the Pentium M chipset agreement. Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) launched two Pentium M chipsets – the SiS648MX and SiSM661MX – last September. VIA Technologies has yet to license this technology from Intel.

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Sapphire Atlantis 9800XT:

If you are interested in the baddest video card on the planet right now, the Radeon 9800XT 256MB would be a pretty safe bet….but which flavor of 9800XT should you get? HotterthanHellHardware is here with a Sapphire Atlantis board to help you answer that question. Here is a clip from the review:

You can't evaluate a video card using benchmarks alone, so before we got down to the business of testing the Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 XT's performance, we spent some time with a few popular games. There's no point is dropping serious money on a video card, if the games you want to play look terrible - especially when there are so many options at the moment.

Battle Hardening:

Here is an interesting tech article on battle hardening buildings with a bomb blast simulator. Battle [H]ardening = cool. Thanks Blair.

“These controlled and repeatable tests we will do with the blast simulator will allow us to create and validate computer tools that can then be used to tailor the design and assessment of important facilities,” said Frieder Seible, principal investigator on the bomb blast simulator at UCSD.

LN2 Motherboard Dunking:

Cooling your system with LN2 is one thing, dunking your whole damn system in it is another. OcTools thought this would be a good idea so they are sharing their experiences with you. Goggles? Check. Liquid Nitrogen? Check. Big Brass Balls? Check.

There was argument as to whether what sort of cooling we would use for this sequel. The intercooler with pump was definitely out of the question as we would just use the same FC-40 we used in the last experiment. Initially we thought of just making the intercooler's bore a bit bigger but we later realized it is impossible to pump that Fluorinert once it hits its pour point. Plus the thought of total liquid nitrogen immersion also crossed our minds

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Die, Spammer, Die:

O.K., so this scumbag spammer was caught but is unrepentant and vows to mold his old spam game to fit new guidelines. Are the new guidelines and big ass fines going to be enough of a deterrent or do we need to implement a flat rate for e-mail that Kyle was talking about that would make bulk spam very expensive? I guess we’ll see but this guy still irks me.

(Kyles Note: Actually that was not me talking about spam fees, but rather just a link I posted. I personally think that while the idea has a rosy surface, there is no way to make it actually work.)

Alan Ralsky, according to experts in the field, has long been one of the most prolific senders of junk e-mail messages in the world. But he has not sent a single message over the Internet in the last few weeks. He stopped sending e-mail offers for everything from debt repayment schemes to time-share vacations even before President Bush, on Dec. 16, signed the new Can-Spam Act, a law meant to crack down on marketers like Ralsky.

Tuesday December 30, 2003

[H]ardNews 9th Edition

Inquirer Leaves UK:

Everyone knows how much Mike "Another Pint Please" Magee loves us here at the [H]. So much in fact that they have now moved their servers to the very room which we call home, right here in Dallas, Texas, USA. To do a little detective work on your own, simply take the IP number of the server they are showing now "69.56.255.194". Copy that IP and paste it into the Whois box over at ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) and click the search button. Now do you feel like Sherlock? And when Mike told us the UK sucked and he wanted to leave, we thought he was just drunk.

OrgName: ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc.

Address: 1333 North Stemmons Freeway

Address: Suite 110

City: Dallas

StateProv: TX

PostalCode: 75207

Country: US

On a serious note, ThePlanet has been doing a great job taking care of our hosting needs for years now and we have no qualms about recommending them to any of the [H]'ers out there in Net land.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Best Of 2003:

With the year quickly winding to a close, expect a lot of these “best of 2003” lists over the next week or so. Legit Reviews has posted their Best Of 2003 hardware list today giving you a list of...well, what they thought was the best of 2003.

Another year has come and gone, but over the course of the year there are some products that have stood out from the crowd. To make things a bit more interesting we are also including some interesting categories and some new unseen pictures that have not been published on Legit Reviews or the web thus far.

In Store For 04?

Wired has decided to bypass the whole “best of 03” thing and move right on to what is coming in 2004 or, to be more accurate, what they think/hope is in store for 04. They rounded up some industry heavy weights to get some informed opinions:

We asked a dozen experts in fields that are apt to touch all our lives this year -- privacy, defense, spam, security, open source, technology development, life online and human rights -- to answer this question: "What do you wish would happen in 2004, and what do you think will actually happen?"

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

Radeon 9600XT Review:

For the average gamer on a budget, the Radeon 9600XT reviewed here is one of the best choices in the sub $200 price range. The fellas at 3Dextreme have the write up, here is a clip from the review:

ATI’s real strength can be seen with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering. Performance in Directx games showed very little hit when these options were enabled. This is plus for the gamer who wants the best visual quality in games without losing out too much on the performance of the card.

VIA EPIA CL10000:

You guys putting together a file server, MP3 box or HTPC should check out this VIA EPIA CL10000 board for sure. With everything built onto the board already, you need to add very little to get your MP3 box / file server up and running.

The Mini-ITX form factor not only provides something a little different in size and shape, but also many other advantages such as the low noise, power consumption and heat production making it great system for an office or demanding application, a car mp3 player for example. The size and efficiency of the board also provides scope for computer modders to get creative, we've seen these board in toasters, old VCR cases, robots, even teddy bears!

130-nm Still Good:

Is there still a lot of performance left in the 130-nm process? Some people seem to think so. So why all the big rush to get down to 90nm and smaller? Find out.

Contrary to current industry trends, there isn't always a need to migrate to the most advanced process technology. Why? Optimizing at the transistor level increases performance dramatically. A performance increase of more than 70 percent is possible at the 130-nanometer technology node. With the rapid race in the last few years to the most advanced technologies with smaller node sizes, many design teams are leaving significant performance on the table.