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[H] Enthusiast Archives: November 2005Archive Listing

Wednesday November 30, 2005

[H]ardNews 11th Edition

Matrox DualHead2Go:

Another review of the Matrox DualHead2Go analog has popped up on the internet. This time around it is the folks at Bit-Tech doing the reviewing. Looks mighty promising for you laptop users wanting dual display capabilities.

The Matrox could also be used to get dual-screen output from a desktop system with integrated graphics, which could be useful for some. In fact, if you wanted to get really bling about it, you could hook up two to a standard graphics card and have a four-display output, Matrix-style.

Big Screen Gaming:

It has been said that a nice HDTV is the only way to go with your new Xbox 360, and that is true, for the most part. What is also true is that a nice home theater HD projector is even better. Trust me, 130” of Xbox 360 looks great, even when projected on a badly abused, poorly painted garage wall.

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[H]ardNews 10th Edition

Trojan Rides Unpatched IE Flaw:

Attackers are taking advantage of an unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer using a Trojan to remotely run code on vulnerable computers. While the flaw remains unfixed, MS does have a scan & removal tool that will help infected PCs. If you think your PC might be in question, head on over to Windows Live Safety Center and scan your rig.

Malicious software that exploits the security flaw to download a Trojan horse to vulnerable computers has been found on the Internet, according to Microsoft. Detection and removal capabilities for the “TrojanDownloader:Win32/Delf.DH” have been added to Microsoft's recently launched online security-scanning tool.

[H]ardNews 9th Edition - Tech Edition

ESRB Responds to “F” Rating:

The ESRB has responded to the article we posted in today’s 2nd Edition below. Obviously the ESRB is not happy with the “F” rating they were given and have fired back with a salvo of their own:

"The ESRB rejects this year's MediaWise Report Card just as we did last year, and for the same reasons. Ignoring the tremendous and verifiable success of the ESRB rating system, NIMF instead relies on flawed research and ignores any and all conflicting evidence. Its statement that it will exclude ESRB from its rating summit proves that NIMF has crossed over from being a fair-minded critic to just another interest group with an agenda to advance, whatever the cost. The shame is that the group most harmed by today's announcement is not ESRB, but the very parents NIMF claims to serve."

Flat Panel TVs Are Hot:

Global sales of flat panel TVs accounted for 55% of the total TV revenues, the first time flat panels have ever earned the majority of TV sales.

LCD TV shipments hit a record high in the third quarter at 5.5 million units, up 36% on quarter and 156% on year. Sharp maintained its leadership in the segment on a shipment basis, with an 18% share of the LCD TV market, while Philips/Magnavox, Samsung, Sony and LGE rounded out the top five brands.

Personally, I think that if they keep the prices low, we will continue to see this number rise. 32” LCD TVs seemed to be the most popular size world wide which can probably be attributed to their price versus TVs that are 42” and larger.

MS Offering More Vista Previews:

Microsoft is apparently rolling out monthly previews of Vista in an effort to get more feedback ahead of next years launch. More customer feedback = good.

Microsoft gave some customers preview versions of Vista in September and October and expects to offer another version with more improvements in December. Early next year, testers will try out a version that integrates all the features expected to be in the final version of Vista.

[H]ardNews 8th Edition

Family Entertainment Protection Act:

It looks like there is a full court press to introduce something called the Family Entertainment Protection Act, a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of mature rated games to minors and give oversight power to the FTC to investigate and regulate the ESRB rating system. Good idea? Bad idea? Over-legislation? Leave your thoughs and comments here.

“There is a growing body of evidence that points to a link between violent videos and aggressive behavior in children. We are not interested in censoring videos meant for adult entertainment but we do want to ensure that these videos are not purchased by minors. Our bill will help accomplish this by imposing fines on those retailers that sell M-rated games to minors,” Senator Lieberman added.

[H]ardNews 7th Edition

[H] Holiday System Guide - 2005:

It is that time of year again, time for our [H] Holiday System Guide - 2005. It doesn’t matter if you are building a complete system from scratch or just upgrading an existing system, our Holiday System Guide has you covered.

For full systems, we scoured with budgets of $1200 and $2000 and looked at good buys for both AMD and Intel. For upgrade systems, we took budgets of $500 and $1000 and did the same. We’ve come up with good systems this year and we’ve even learned something for ourselves along the way.


What is better than one great performing video card that is easy on the wallet? Two video cards that perform great and won’t leave you penniless. Head over to for their review of the XFX 6800GS SLI.

NVIDIA has hit a home run with the 6800GS and the XFX version of the card is the best of them. With a stable overclock to 521MHz for the core/1.19GHz for the memory, the XFX 6800GS is an excellent buy for $249 MSRP.

HiS Radeon X800GTO:

On the ATi side of the budget video card isle there is this quickie, one-page review of the HiS Radeon X800GTO at 3D Avenue worth having a look at.

As far as HIS go with their X800GTO, while the software package isn't fantastic, and the overclocking wasn't the best I've seen from this chip, it is still about as solid a videocard as you can expect from this price range.

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

NVIDIA RAID Focus Group:

If you will be in the Dallas area on December 18, 2005 and you would like to take part in NVIDIA’s RAID Focus Group, I suggest that you check out this thread in our forums to get all the information you need to attend. Free food too!

Members of the NVIDIA nForce MCP team will be in Dallas on December 16th and would like to conduct an informal focus group at a downtown hotel. We are looking for good candidates with excellent verbal and technical skills to discuss storage and RAID functionality.

Candidates must:

Be living in the Dallas area or visiting Dallas on December 16th.

Have familiarity with RAID configurations and RAID software management interfaces.

Be using or have used an NVIDIA nForce4, nForce4 Ultra, or nForce4 SLI AMD or Intel-based motherboard and configured or attempted to configure a RAID 0, RAID 1, or RAID 5 setup.

Be available Friday morning around 11:00 a.m. for 1 to 2 hours.

Lunch will be provided. We are looking for feedback on our current implementation, (what you like, what you do not like), and suggestions for our upcoming products.

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Tech Report System Guide:

The Tech Report has just launched a new system guide designed to help folks build a box according to their budget. Coincidentally, we just posted our four way [H] Holiday System Guide today as well.

We've dipped deep into the wells of TR hardware know-how, forged by thousands of hours of exhaustive component testing, in order to formulate a series of recommended system specs designed to fit any budget. These systems are designed specifically for PC enthusiasts, and we haven't compromised quality or reliability in order to cut corners on price.

Firefox Tweak Guide:

Speaking of guides, there is a new Firefox Tweak Guide out today that should help you get the most out of Firefox. For those of you that missed the post last night, Firefox 1.5 is out.

Ok, so aside from helping improve Internet Explorer, what else makes Firefox great? That's also easy to answer: It has all the useful and familiar features of Internet Explorer, yet provides additional features, better security, far stricter adherence to web standards, much less of Internet Explorer's quirky behavior, and most important of all: far greater potential for customization.

MS Offers OneCare Live Beta:

Microsoft is offering a free download of OneCare Live beta, an automatically self-updating “PC health service” that gives you persistent protection against viruses, hackers, and other threats. OneCare also helps keep your important documents backed up and PC tuned up as well. Sound interesting? Head on over and try it out, make sure you have WinXP (SP2) installed if you want to try it out. Here’s a quote:

The things you should have to help protect your PC, but probably don’t because they’re such a hassle. Stuff like virus scanning, firewall settings, tune ups, and software backups—delivered to you in a friendly, easy-to-use package that runs quietly in the background.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

Work for BFG Tech!

If you live in the Chicago area and are looking for a job and computer graphics happen to be a passion, you might give our buddies at BFGTech a look. They are hiring a RMA / Tech Support Mgr and a Computer Hardware Tech. Go make us proud!

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition


Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro @ SilentPC Review - Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC Athlon64 HSF @ FrostyTech


XG Vortec 600 Power Supply @ LAN Addict - Coolermaster Musketeer 3 @ Guru3D - Nu Tech Dark Shadow 256MB MP3 Sunglasses @ BigBruin - Enermax Liberty 400W Modular PSU @ Tweaknews - Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB @ Viper Lair - X-Micro Video Mp3 400 Player @ Legion Hardware - Firefox Tweak Guide @

Cases & Modding:

Thermaltake Swing VB6000SNS @ CaseModGod - Mountain Mods Bob Slay Clear Acrylic Case @ ThinkComputers

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

PSP 2.60 Update:

All you PSP owners take note, the new PSP 2.60 update is available for download on the Playstation website. The new features include support for RSS feeds and WMA music. Grab it if you want it.

This update is for customers who own PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system model number PSP-1001 sold in North America. DO NOT update your PSP™ system through this Web site if you own a different model of the PSP™ system. There is no guarantee of proper operation with other models of the PSP™ system.

12 “Worst” Video Games:

The MediaWise Report Card Parent Buying Guide is out and lists the top 12 games they say parents shouldn’t buy for children. The top 12 games, in order, are: Far Cry, F.E.A.R., The Warriors, Stubbs the Zombie, True Crime: New York City, Blitz: The League, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, God of War, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, Urban Reign, Conker: Live and Reloaded and Resident Evil 4. Obviously this doesn’t apply to adults, so all of you should use this list as a Holiday shopping guide and get yourself one of these games on the list for Christmas. Thank ranger0900 for the link.

This year, every new study and all the latest research pointed to the same fact: video games are excellent teachers. Just as activity simulators can help train players for real-world tasks, violent video games coax players into actual aggression and antagonistic attitudes.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition - Press Releases

New VIA PadLock SDK Extends Security Support:

VIA Technologies today released for free download, an enhanced VIA PadLock Security Engine software development kit, which facilitates easy integration of the powerful military-grade security feature set included within the VIA C7™ processor family for Windows and Linux based security applications. Integrated directly onto the die of VIA C7™/C7™-M processors, the VIA PadLock Security Engine builds upon previous generations and offers software developers a comprehensive set of security tools to help strengthen and accelerate the process of data protection without taxing system resources. The extended feature set includes the world's fastest x86 AES encryption engine, a secure hash engine for SHA-1/SHA-256 processing, a Montgomery Multiplier to accelerate public key encryption such as RSA™, and dual quantum-based random number generators to provide an unshakable foundation for security.

Intel Bringing Viiv To Your Living Room:

As part of its forthcoming Intel® Viiv™ technology PC platform, Intel Corporation is enabling a broad choice of on-demand, Internet-delivered digital entertainment along with several options for how families view, manage and share content – options that range from a “10-foot” living room TV viewing experience in the home to laptops or handheld devices for on the go. Intel today said it is working with a wide variety of movie, music, television, gaming and photo editing companies worldwide and announced that more than 40 are already testing and verifying services and software applications to meet this objective.

AMD Announces Milestone For Indian Semiconductor Manufacturing:

AMD today announced a broad agreement with SemIndia covering manufacturing, technology licensing, and business development to meet the growing demand for computers based on x86 microprocessors in India. SemIndia will be a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative with the Government of India designed to bring semiconductor manufacturing capabilities to India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Hector Ruiz, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of AMD, and Dr. Vinod K. Agarwal, chairman, president and CEO of SemIndia, in the presence of Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran, the Honorable Minister for Communication and Information Technology.

eBay and Sun Expand Global Alliance:

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that is bolstering its search environment with hundreds of Sun's new AMD Opteron processor-based Sun Fire x64 (x86, 64-bit) servers and Sun StorEdge systems, for better performance and energy-efficiency. The move comes in time for the peak holiday online purchase season on eBay. The core infrastructure provided by Sun connects a community of 168 million registered users worldwide, allowing them to trade more than $1,359 worth of goods every second.

Tuesday November 29, 2005

[H]ardNews 11th Edition

Firefox 1.5:

Firefox 1.5 is out! Run, don’t walk, on over to the Firefox website and grab the latest and greatest version of Mozilla’s wildly popular browser. The download is a mere 4.7MB so there is no excuse not to give Firefox a try.

The award-winning Web browser is better than ever. Browse the Web with confidence - Firefox protects you from viruses, spyware and pop-ups. Enjoy improvements to performance, ease of use and privacy. It's easy to import your favorites and settings and get started. Download Firefox now and get the most out of the Web.