29th > December > 1999 Archive
A US electronics wire service is reporting a further distancing of the relationship between Intel and its memory design partner Rambus. According to Electronic Buyers' News, Intel has not invited Rambus to join a new consortium of memory manufacturers which are bidding to thrash out the specs of the next generation of synchronous memory. Earlier this month, we reported that the relationship between Intel and Rambus is more strained than it was, following the chip giant's decision to participate in the JEDEC standards body as it moves towards chipsets which support both PC-133 and double data rate (DDR) memory. That follows Intel's decision last September to support PC-133, when it accepted the fact that many PC manufacturers were unhappy with Rambus as a memory platform. The EBN article claimed that Intel, while inviting memory manufacturers including Samsung, Hyundai and Micron to join it in these discussions, has snubbed Rambus. Quantities of Rambus RIMMs for Intel's i820 chipset are not expected to arrive until Q1 of next year. ® See also Intel cuddles up to JEDEC SDRAM standards Rambus-DDR battle rages on Rambus-Intel contract set to expire
As the witching hour approaches we must remember that Microsoft is going to be the victim of many a Y2K hoax or joke --but this one looks plausible. According to a Register tipster, earlier this week Microsoft Press Online's "Coming Soon" section was advertising several titles due to be published in, er, January 1900. The page doesn't show any 1900 titles now, but our informant sent us a copy of what he claims to have seen. Suspiciously, the three 1900 titles simply don't appear on the current version of the page. They are the MSCE Online Training Kits for Win2k Active Directory, Win2k Professional and Win2k Server, and their ISBN numbers are respectively 0-7356-1008-8, 0-7356-0953-5 and 0-7356-0954-3. One might speculate that if these three reappear for publication in January 2000 at some point over the next week or so, then it means Microsoft really is having some glitches with its Y2k rollover. But it could be a hoax or a hack, of course... ®
A whole stack of readers emailed us to say that they too have had problems with their Presarios freezing but hope is on the horizon for the next generation of machines from the Big Q. A source close to Compaq's plans has revealed that the freeze system problem is well documented but will be fixed when the company rolls out its 7300, 7400, 7500 and 79000 machines real soon now. Although this source says his chain only carries the 5834, the problem affects the entire 5800 series. The chain has warned its customers that the 5834 might freeze, and has even printed Compaq's suggestions for fixes if the Ice Age hits the PC. But, more importantly, the 5800 series is being rapidly phased out, with new Presarios on the way with higher clock speeds and larger hard drives. For example, the 7360 will come with a K6-2 500MHz processor, with 64MB of memory, a 10GB hard drive, a 40x CD, and 8MB of VRAM. The 7940 will use an Athlon 600MHz part, come with 128MB of memory, a 30GB hard drive, CD-RW and 16MB VRAM. The 7588 has a Pentium III-550 with a similar spec, and there will also be a 700MHz Athlon model too. The 7300s and the 7400s will use a small case, similar to the 5400 series, while the 7500 and the 7900 will resemble the current 5800 Compaq range. Compaq was unavailable for comment at press time. ® See also Frozen Presarios found in Compaq support glacier
The movie industry this week stepped up efforts to stem the spread of DeCSS - a utility that allows files stored on DVDs to be copied to PC hard drives - with a barrage of legal threats against websites offering the software.
We've all been waiting months for this. First the good news: England's first bona fide Y2K cock-up has struck. Now the bad: it's turned out to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Indeed, if it weren't Millennium-related, it should never have qualified for notice in The Register. But it is, so it has.
A Labour MP is calling on the Government to fund a huge expansion in adult learning with a "leisure tax" on computer games and videos.