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Part Three ATI was showing its TV Wonder USB. It's just a cable jack at one end and a USB cable at the other. They're aiming it at TV for laptops, but desktops aren't out of the question.

Nvidia was also showing off a TV tuning device attached to a GeForce 2 Ultra in a desktop machine, but it's not currently in production. Both were showing off the coolness of interactive programming guides and digital recording, the joys of which TiVo owners can attest to.

Nvidia announced its new mobile GPU, the GeForce2 Go. Yes, Nvidia is expanding into yet another market. In the words of Brian Burke, "wherever there's a pixel, we want to push it". The big green machine marches on. The GeForce2 Go is basically an MX with power-related changes.

The laptop environment simply can't afford to have a power hungry GPU operating at full speed. As a result, the GF2 Go will have a 143MHz core clock, but it will still be able to push out the same two pixels/four texels per clock for fill rates of 286 million pixels per second and 572 million texels per second respectively. The Go can only support 8-32MB of 64-bit SDR, 64-bit DDR, or 128-bit SDR memory. Toshiba has already announced that it will be using the Go in its Satellite series of laptops, and models should appear near the end of Q1 next year.

Taking ATI's feature-rich Radeon core, the Radeon VE adds integrated dual output support. Each display can retain its own refresh rate and resolution, up to 1600x1200. Initially, the retail Radeon VE will ship with three outputs, one VGA, one DVI, and one TV. The only catch here is that only two of the three outputs are independent, one of the outputs must be a mirrored display. The package will also include a DVI-to-VGA adapter that will allow the card to output to two CRTs. Additionally, a dual LCD output version should also be available; however, it will most likely be an OEM-only product.

The Matrox Marvel G450 eTV is the "all-in-one" version of the G450. As expected, the card features a TV-tuner for your programming needs. Matrox is adding a TiVo-like time shifting feature and a special PIP ability that allows you to display the live feed in the main screen with the time shifted feed in a window, or vice versa.

The G200 MMS isn't exactly a mainstream card, but we still thought it was pretty cool. The MMS stands for Multi-Monitor Series. The PCI card itself sports four G200 chips, and can support up to four CRTs, four DVI flat panel displays, or a combination of the two. You can have four G200 MMS cards in a system to support up to 16 monitors.

GameCube

A 'heavily modified' IBM PowerPC processor and an ATI graphics chip power the GameCube with integrated north and south bridge. This is produced by ArtX, which was bought by ATI about a year ago. The GameCube that was at Comdex was reportedly one of about nine out there.

The GameCube will have a number of features that we currently wish more systems had. First, it's able to accept memory cards for both storage of saved games as well as what was hinted at as downloadable demos. The feature that would allow such access would be provided by either a modem or a broadband adapter that snaps onto the bottom of the system.

Also, several reports show a bit about how Nintendo plans on selling the GameCube. It seems that there will be two models of the GameCube, both with the same speed but one with an additional feature: DVD playback.

MP3

One CD based player from Gigastorage Corp stole the show. It's a small portable USB drive that reads 3in CDRs/CDRWs (200 MB) and is compatible with CDDA, MP3, and regular PC data formats. The unit also runs on batteries and has a headphone output so it doubles as a portable MP3 player with roughly a three-hour playback capacity when reading MP3s from 3in CDRW disks.

Again, Creative looks like it will be heading the market with its Nomad MP3 device. The device has polarizing aesthetics. To me it looks like a portable CD player from the 80s that was put in the microwave for a few minutes to give it a slightly melted look. But I'm sure some will appreciate the familiar form factor. It blends in with the millions of other portable CD players out there. The Nomad contains a 6GB hard drive and connects to the outside world via a USB port. The bells and whistles include customized playlists, digital EQ, surround and specialization effects.

Weird Stuff

  • Digiscents
    They have a little machine that sits in front of you on your desk and generates scents from a prearranged palette of smells stored in the device. They released an SDK a while back, which lets developers cook up new scents by combining scents from the existing palette and scent-enable games and applications.
  • Anoto
    Using Bluetooth connectivity, the Anoto (from Annoto, Latin for "I take notes") ballpoint pen transmits its coordinates to a server, which then translates the pen strokes for display on your computer. For the Anoto pen to work, it needs to be used on paper with a pattern of dots, which are so finely pitched that it looks like a continuous tone to the naked eye.
  • Eupa Tech
    Disguise your computer items as pieces of silver art! It's an innovative way to replace ordinary industrial looking computer products and make them very stylish. These items would be perfect for anyone who has their computer in plain sight, but doesn't want to turn the room into an office.
  • Hunno Technologies
    This Korean company has integrated thumbprint recognition security into housing door locks, car ignitions, keyboards, and the top of the mouse, eliminating the need for physical security devices.
  • Sybersay
    This handy tool features an accoustically-advanced earpiece/microphone line, named Earlite, which connects to cellular phones. It has a special noise-canceling features to eliminate background noise and allow for full hearing capabilities even while the earpiece is in.
  • USBDrive
    This unit is the size of a highlighter pen. Letting you put 512MB of memory into your pocket protector. Simply plug it into your USB port and it is recognized as a drive. The price starts at $70 for 16MB up to $999 for 512MB

. ®

Comdex Roundup part 1 - mobos
Comdex Roundup part 2 - PDAs and gizmos

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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