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[H] Enthusiast Archives: November 2003Archive Listing

Sunday November 30, 2003

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

Boomslang's Back:

Back in the USA that is. BFGTech is bringing the much-loved Boomslang back to retail shelves as of now with many improvements. EnvyNews has the scoopage.

BFG has resurrected one of the most famous names in the mousing industry. To own a Boomslang had a certain prestige to it, much like owning a Ferrari or Porsche. It's definitely a top-end product that becomes all the more powerful and useful as you get used to using it.

VIA ME6000:

XTremeMods looks into the system board that is not much bigger than the CD that comes with it.

So as for the board it is great for what it is and what it can do for the beginning computer user or for the advanced IT guy that needs a DNS server or a firewall. And the price is right for around $100.00 US.

Be a Pimp:

Go to glamorous parties. Hang out with rockstars. Learn firsthand about well-done boob jobs. could work for a hardware website. GeekExtreme has five positions open.

Rub Your...

Ball. Yeah, you know there was just no way we would pass up an easy attempt at sophomoric humor. Anyway, CyberCPU has a "review" of the USB Massage Ball. Also, it caught my eye that the guys over at TheCardCooler supplied the unit for review. I remember when their stuff was ground-breaking in the industry.

You just plug it in to your USB port, push the button on the back to turn it on, and apply the massager to whatever part of your body you want massaged.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition


VANTEC Nexus Fan Controller @ ViperLair - CoolerMaster Aero 4 @ ViperLair


Lian Li @ OCAU - Mesh Fan Grills @ DVHardware - Aluminum Midtower Review @ SystemCooling


AIW 9600 in German - Portable DVD @ Tweaknews - Mitsu LCD @ TrustedReviews - 500watt PSU @ SubZeroTech - Flat Speakers @ GeeklyReview - n00b Guide to *NIX @ GeekKnowledge

Sorry for getting such a late start today. Had a few hundred miles to drive....

Saturday November 29, 2003

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition

IE Dangers:

Fam Money lets us know that IE has yet another hole.

Newly discovered security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer could let attackers invade a user's PC, but a fix is not yet available.

Here & Gone:

It seems as if VIA Arena has pulled the before-released 4.50 VIA Hyperion Drivers. No explanations were given. Thanks QwertyJuan.

Black Friday Madness:

Hey, I told her to get out of the way....

ORANGE CITY, Fla. - A mob of shoppers rushing for a sale on DVD players trampled the first woman in line and knocked her unconscious as they scrambled for the shelves at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

Big Guns:

Hexus covers what they note as "High end VGA without the frills." That might be a great way of describing a GeForceFX 5950.

It's mighty fast in 90% of games, it could be faster in the other 10%, but certainly isn't slow. It looks nice too, image quality is subjectively good.

HD Cooling:

ModTheBox has a review posted of the VANTEC VORTEX Hard Drive Cooler posted. I want to get a few of these for myself as they have a heads-up display on drive temperature.

Vantec claims it will lower your temperatures up to 40% and although I did not see a 40% drop (8 degrees off 40 is 20%), I could easily see the Vortex shaving off a solid 40% off higher RPM drives.

Blue Future:

Looks as though the minds behind DVD technology have gotten their ducks in a row on new DVD capacities and how to get there. Now once Sony introduces proprietary technology for Blue DVDs, then the world will be back in balance. Thanks Douglas!

An HD DVD format proposed by Toshiba and NEC as the next-generation DVD format was finally approved by the DVD Forum's steering committee during recent meetings in New York. The HD DVD format is a violet laser-based optical disk system with a capacity of 15-20 Gbyte per side using the same disk structure as current DVD disks.

New Mouse:

TecNation reviews the new wireless mouse from Microsoft, the Intellimouse Wireless Explorer. Has MS followed Logitech's lead and gotten it right for gaming?

I have seen no difference between the responsiveness and accuracy of this mouse and Microsoft’s wired optical offerings. The technology seems to have been improved so dramatically, that my faith in the wireless mouse has been completely restored. I plan to continue to use the Wireless Intellimouse® Explorer v2.0 for the foreseeable future.

Pretty Lights:

Thanks to WickerBill for sharing his link to a page at NewScientist that shows just how pretty the Net can be.

A project to create a comprehensive graphical representation of the internet in just one day and using only a single computer has already produced some eye-catching images.


VANTEC Spectrum Fans @ 8Balls - Wavemaster Case @ PCTweaks.De - Window Etching @ TecNation


Soyo PSU @ 3DX - Rackmount Enthusiast Case @ OC Down Under - Comdex Report @ TargetPC

Friday November 28, 2003

[H]ardNews - Blair's Mini Tech


ARLINGTON, Va.—Taking their cues from Mother Nature and biodiversity, computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of New Mexico are collaborating on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported project to study "cyber-diversity" for computer systems as a way to fend off malicious viruses, worms and other cyber attacks.


SEOUL (Reuters) - An investment fund run by Citigroup has offered 520 billion won ($430 million) to buy non-core operations of South Korea's cash-strapped Hynix Semiconductor Inc, a source close to the talks said on Friday.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

9600XT Review:

ViperLair looks at the ATI Radeon 9600XT today and puts it through many paces.

Great Performance, Plays leading edge games well in High Quality mode, Good Overclockability, Good cooling / low noise, VPU Recover, Bundled with HL2

Our review is here for comparison and does evaluate actual gameplay when using the card.

ATI Filtering Analyzed:

3DCenter today takes a look at ATI and what they do, as far as "tricks", when it comes to filtering mipmaps and textures.

ATI have traditionally cut corners in the texture filtering department. Take, for instance, R200 (Radeon 8500): on the one hand quite sophisticated - for its time - pixel shading, support for overbright lighting (and apparently increased internal color precision), on the other hand there are disadvantages when it comes to texture filtering, in particular when using anisotropic filtering ("AF").

I would remind you guys to keep in mind that your gaming experience is really what most people anyway. Of course those of you that have been called on to fight the video holy wars in forums around the world are not included in that statement.

MSI OCing:

Steve points out that MSI is giving lessons on overclocking their boards using their utilities now days. Nifty.

Below is the setting of FSB 350MHz. As long as you set CPU ratio as 8.0x and set DDR Clock as 466MHz, then the OS should be as stable as usual. Should the OS fail to reboot, please try again. If the system is unstable, please lower the FSB. Try 330MHz first.

Comdex Sucked:

HardcoreWare lets us know that they gave themselves time to sober up before they wrote up ,their Comdex Coverage, and yes they too, thought it sucked.

NF3 Locked?

RojackPot has an article that looks into whether or not the nForce3 chipset really has an unlocked PCI bus as stated by NVIDIA.

He suspected the nForce3's PCI bus was not locked because his friend killed a SCSI card after using a high FSB! If the nForce3 had a PCI lock, the PCI bus would have been locked at 33MHz and the SCSI card would not have been killed even with the system bus running beyond specification.

I have seen the tool they used to measure PCI and I am not sure if it actually takes a sampling from the bus or pull information from the BIOS. I am sure we will hear more on this next week.


Thermalright SP-94 HSF @ CTZ - CoolerMaster Thermal Compound @ OCersClub


PreModded Case @ 3DXtreme - Mouse LED Modding - FrontX Panel @ CreativeMods


DVD R-+8X Burner @ ClubOC - Alternative Browsing @ IceTeks

Thursday November 27, 2003

[H]ardNews 3rd Edition

iPod Batteries II:

A couple of days ago Steve gave you a heads up to a link with a fairly funny movie that pointed out that once your iPod batteries wear out, Apple would charge you $250 for a new one. Yeeouch, and what a rip off. It seems as though after taking some heat, Apple has backed off and brought the price down to $99. Not exactly a bargin, but not exactly bending you over in public like before either. I would surely take this into consideration before buying an iPod.

Battery Service: $99.00 USD: labor, parts, and a 90-day guarantee on materials and workmanship, plus $6.95 shipping. $105.95 USD total.


Kamakaze HSF @ TrueRev


Counterstrike Fan Grills @ R&B; - Voyeurmods Review @ VH


Biostar SFF Boxes @ Hexus - Fujitsu Laptop @ TrustedRev - HD Enclosure @ PCStats

[H]ardNews 2nd Edition


SystemCooling tells you how they went about building their own Home Theater PC. I think this will be my next in-home project as well.

Home Theater PC’s have been slowly but surly gaining in popularity. As digital media is reaching the main stream more and more, the combination of computer and home entertainment is inevitable.


Ohls takes a look at watercooling kits done right. They review the Asetek Waterchill kit and find that watercooling is not rocket science nor does it require anything special to accomplish now days. Our review of the Waterchill is here for comparison.

For anyone that is interested in water cooling and wants to get started right away and do it the right way from the start, I don't know how you could go wrong with this kit. Everything you need is included to get you up and running and if a novice like myself can do it, then you can to.

9100 IGP:

TBreak takes a look at the Shuttle box that packs in the power of the ATI 9100 northbridge.

It's performance is quite comparable to Intel's 865 and 875 chipset solutions when using an AGP cards. However, when it comes to the performance of the IGP, the ST61G4 leaves the the competition in the dust. The way we look at it, if you're a demanding user that likes to overclock and will surely use an AGP card, then the Intel solutions would probably be a better buy as they overclock higher and perform a little better, however, if you're looking for more an integrated solution for your second PC or your living room, then the ST61G4 will work out much better.


HardAve takes a hard look at the 9600SE with VIVO.

If you need a cheap quiet videocard to play Quake3, CS and Age of Empires at a few LANs, then the HIS 9600SE may be for you. If you need a cheap and quiet solution for your HTPC and won't be playing any serious games, rather you would prefer to utilize the VIVO feature, then the HIS 9600SE will do the job nicely.

[H]ardNews 1st Edition

More Power!

Our buddies over at ClubOC have a nice holiday how-to that shows you the ins and outs of increasing that VDimm on your PC4800-E from Asus. So get you a turkey sandwich and a soldering iron ready later on today.

What are the benefits of all of your hard work? More voltage to your memory can let you push your memory a little harder. This does not necessarily mean a higher bus speed. It generally means tighter memory timings. That's the main reason for the extra voltage.

Patch Addicts:

You know who you are. You will risk a perfectly working OS install just because there is a new driver or patch with a higher version number. You know why, you just have to have it. If it ain't broke...

Do you have to have the latest version regardless of consequence?

Kiwi 9800:

Our mates from OCNZ have a review posted of the Yuan 9800Pro.

The Yuan R9800Pro is manufactured by Sapphire, like many other brands, thus takes the doubts out of build quality. Yes, Yuan is a bit lacking for game bundles but you can not complain on that, not with the price that you are paying.


12 Questions about OpenOffice that you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.

OpenOffice (OOo) is an open source, free software suite ideal for all student needs. Its components include word processing, spreadsheets, slideshow presentation and drawing. It can replace Microsoft Office and is compatible with the MS Office file formats. OpenOffice is free to download, use and share.

PR Flack:

Taipei, November. 27, 2003 --- Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS), a leading supplier of core logic products, announced that the outstanding SiS655TX chipsets have been widely recognized and adopted by global well-known motherboard manufactures such as ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Elitegroup Computer Systems, Giga-Byte Technology. They are all ready to launch their world-class motherboard products featuring the SiS655TX chipsets.

We have just about finished up our review of the Asus 655TX mainboard so stay tuned.

Wednesday November 26, 2003

[H]ardNews 6th Edition

Leadtek WinFast A380 Ultra:

The Leadtek WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO is in the spotlight today as the folks at Gaming Nexus run it through the review process. From personal experience, take a little advice from me, if you ever buy a Leadtek card…cut that fine mesh screen over the fan off or it’ll be clogged in no time at all. Clogged fan = added heat.

Leadtek’s WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO is a very good card for those looking for more than fast game performance. It is rather expensive but unlike the Radeon 9800 XT, you get VIVO features at a price that’s less than the ATI cards. A plethora of cables and connectors along with a nice multimedia bundle highlight this product. The bundled games are a little below average in quality however.

iPod Batteries Suck:

Time for Apple fans to get mad at me again. It seems that some iPod owners were told to shell out $255.00 after 18 months for a new non-replaceable battery. While every other MP3 player on the planet takes regular rechargeable batteries that cost $10 a year, Apple thought you should pay the same amount a NEW iPod would cost, just for battery replacement. Hell, just throw your iPod away after 18 months and get a new one….smart marketing. You can get aftermarket stuff for a lot cheaper, if you send in your iPod but still way too expensive.

Brothers Casey and Van Neistat, who collaborate on video projects using Mac editing software, said they were told by a technical support representative at Apple Computer that the cost to replace the dead battery in an 18-month-old iPod would be $255--comparable to the cost of a new device.

The brothers created a funny movie that should give most of you a laugh. Also, Chris Newkirk pointed out these cheap (well, $50 cheap ) batteries that are an alternative.

Porn Trojan:

This is one of those funny headlines that you just can’t make up. A porn Trojan is spreading because goobers like me and you keep opening them thinking that they are pr0n. Thanks Joe.

"The author thinks that most men are dogs who'll look at anything for kicks," said Graham Cluley of antivirus company Sophos. "Once activated the Trojan will allow remote access to a computer, and maybe the writer thinks the type of person who opens the attachment would have other images he might like to look at."

[H]ardNews 5th Edition

Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 i865PE:

PCStats is looking at the Springdale powered Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 i865PE mainboard today. They seemed to like the board overall and recommend it to people not looking for tons of extras.

If you're looking for a fast board that doesn't have too many features (that you wouldn't use anyway) the Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 Pro2 is a nice board that should be on your list for consideration.

Holy cow, my point is this…the board has 5.1 audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 ( Firewire ), Dual BIOS, Dual Channel DDR, CIA, PAT and SATA…what other features could you want?

Ex-MS Employees Sentenced:

Remember the goofballs that stole millions of dollars worth of MS products and resold them while they worked for Microsoft? Well, one of them was sentenced today while the others wait for trial.

A former Microsoft Corp. employee accused of stealing more than $6 million worth of company software and reselling it was sentenced Tuesday to 17 months in prison for mail fraud.

That sounds like a pretty good deal actually. If you gave me $6 million, I’d actually SIGN UP to go to prison. I know this guy only sold his stuff for like $100k, but you get the idea. Anyone got $6 million to see me go to jail? Hehe…

Dan’s Stuff:

Dan looks at a CPU cooling duct that may or may not work worth a crap. Looks like it has potential. If that doesn’t blow your skirt up, Dan has more letters to be answered in his regular “Dear Dan” feature.

Kool Solutions' Chill Vent 1 is a simple drop-in solution for tower-cased PCs that aims to solve this problem, cheaply, and be easy to install as well. The idea of the thing is that its square end points at your CPU cooler, and its wide shovel end sucks air in.

[H]ardNews 4th Edition

BFGTech Contest Winner:

You guys will notice that we post as much of the big contests stuff as we can around here. If it isn’t a contest we have made ourselves, it is usually a big contest or giveaway by some of the big PC retailers like this recent contest held by BFGTech in which 15 people were chosen to win cool prizes, hang out and play games at BFG and give their input on upcoming BFG products. It looks like it pays off because five of you guys just won five of those 15 spots! Congrats to Tom Williams, Joe Weintraut, Bill H, Matt and Dan H! Here's the letter from Tom:


About a week, or so, ago you posted a link to the BFG Tech's contest to "Win an insane day of gaming in the Cuckoo's Nest". I'm writing to let you know that I entered and was one of the lucky fifteen chosen to attend! If it wasn't for you guys posting the linkage I'd never have the bragging rights to this event!!! My gaming buddies are all pissed off, but in a good way, that I'm able to attend! Thanks again for the great service you guys do for the gaming and modding community!!!!

Regards, Tom Williams