4th > February > 2000 Archive

The Register breaking news

System builders back Athlon 850

Carrera, Evesham Micros, Mesh and Time Computers will be among PC builders launching machines with AMD's 850MHz Athlon chip. Carrera is adding an 850MHz machine to its existing Octan range of Athlon machines from the chip's launch date of 14 February. Carrera's PC will have 128MB memory, 20GB hard drive, 19in monitor and will run on Windows 98. It will be priced at £1899 inc. VAT. Evesham Micros will be offering four 850MHz Athlon PCs from March -- the TNT 2, TNT 2 Plus, GeForce and GeForce DDR. "AMD can hold its own and now beat Intel in the megahertz race," said Luke Ireland, operations director at Evesham. "The ever increasing demands of gamers means that AMD is now considered the vendor of choice in this highly competitive market." The higher-end GeForce DDR machine will have 256MB SDRAM, 27GB hard drive, 17in screen and 10x speed DVD, priced at £2049 exc. VAT. The lower-end TNT2 will have 64MB SDRAM, 12.9GB hard drive and 17in screen at £1369 exc. VAT. London-based Mesh will launch a 128MB, 27GB hard drive machine, with 19in screen, USB and Windows 98 for £1999 exc. VAT. It has an ATI Rage Fury Maxx graphics card, and is aimed at home-office users and serious gamers, according to Paul Kinsler, Mesh general manager. Time will have an 850MHz Athlon PC on sale from 1 March. Called the Time 850-7 CD-R TV Ultimate PC, it will come with 256MB of memory, 27GB hard drive, 32MB TNT2 AGPx2 3D graphics card and 19in monitor. The Time machine will cost £1999 exc. VAT. ® Related Stories AMD to massacre Intel on St Valentine's Day UK PC makers throw weight behind Athlon 750 800MHz Athlon games systems to launch next month Athlon PCs go on sale
Linda Harrison, 04 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Lexmark gets all lovey dovey

Lexmark has taken to playing cupid in an effort to keep the paper industry alive. The printer company, obviously perturbed by the increase in email greetings cards, is offering to print and post Valentine's cards for free. Users can view the five designs on offer – ranging from a picture of a honey pot to a bowl of cherries – and download them from Lexmark's site. Punters then email their request, with message, to Lexmark who will have staff beavering away to print the cards out and post them to the lucky (or even unlucky) focus of your romantic attention. And all you Romeos out there afraid that Lexmark will blow your cover and reveal your name to your loved one can relax. "Valentine detectives will have no idea who the cards have come from as they will be bearing the postmark from Lexmark in Marlow, Bucks," the company proclaimed. Hopeless romantic Graham Salmons, marketing director for Lexmark business printer division, commented: "We might be living in the e-economy, but when it comes to Valentines we all want a bit of good, old-fashioned, posted loving." All emails must be sent by 5pm on February 10 – and there's a maximum of two cards per person for the philanderers among our readership. ® See also: Sad geezer auctions himself on eBay Cupid stunt to boost Valentine ecommerce Lemark's loved-up site
Linda Harrison, 04 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Intel snappers up two more firms

Just one hour after we wrote that Intel had made a five per cent investment in Slashdot, Slashdot seemed to be bought. Surely that was enough for one day, we thought, but no. Later on in the day, Intel bought Ambient Technologies for $150 million just after it bought an Indian semiconductor firm called ThinkIt. Both companies are involved in the comms business. Ambient makes chips for digital subscriber line (DSL) fast bandwidth cable networks, while ThinkIt makes kit for routers. The acquisitions show how serious Intel is in its desire to become the "building block" company for the Internet. It also demonstrates that it is not going to bet its future on microprocessors alone. So it's diversity we're talking about here. ®
Mike Magee, 04 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Free iMac company blames Apple for failure to ship

Freemac this week put the blame squarely on Apple for its inability to deliver on a promise to supply one million folks with a gratis iMac each. According to Freemac's president, Jonathan Strum, when interviewed by CNet, the company's plan to give away one million iMacs over a two-year period came to nothing when Apple refused to supply it with the machines, either directly or through the channel. "What we're telling our customers -- well over a million people who signed up -- is that Apple won't let you have a free computer," said Strum. Is it just us, or does this strike others as more than a tad suspicious? The simple fact is, Strum and Co. should have been certain that they could supply that number of computers before they launched Freemac with so much hooplah. Apple's decision not to supply Freemac is open to question -- though there's probably some very clear business logic behind it; after all, why would anyone turn down a million-unit sale; even if you're not a fan of the free PC movement, that's still a lot of revenue to turn down -- but that doesn't change the fact that Freemac should not have made promises it was unsure that it could keep, and no amount of bleating by Strum will change that. To be fair, Strum does claim to have received a verbal agreement from an Apple sales rep. that the vendor would supply Freemac with equipment. However, he should still have got the deal down in black and white before promising machines to punters. So where does all this leave Strum? Starting over again, apparently, this time with a business called NadaPC and a database of over a million potential customers to leverage, either directly or by selling the list to e-commerce companies and PC vendors. This time the idea is to offer free internet appliances from Intel, Acer or Merinta, though as yet which of the three will get the sale has yet to be decided. To receive a free machine, users will have to agree to buy their Net access from EarthLink (now closely allied with Apple, of course), put up with extra ad banners in their browser and buy goods online. And hopefully NadaPC can guarantee it will be able to buy the kit and will ship it to the million people still waiting for their iMacs. ®
Tony Smith, 04 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

E-envoy issues more dire warnings

Britain's e-envoy, Alex Allan, has warned British business that adopting the Internet and electronic trading is crucial to the future health of the UK economy. Sharing a platform yesterday with Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Computer Corporation, Allan spoke to industry leaders from 200 British companies at a business breakfast at the Dorchester Hotel. This latest warning comes in a week when Allan visited e-ntrepreneurs in Manchester and warned them that firms in the North still "lagged behind other parts of the country in their take-up of e-commerce". "Firms across Britain are waking up to the Internet revolution -- showing the creative spirit and business acumen needed for e-commerce to thrive," Allan said yesterday. "We want the surge to continue and for all business to realise the huge potential technology like the Internet offers." Which is interesting, because he uttered almost the exact same words earlier this week when he was in the North. Maybe his speechwriters need to have a little re-think about pumping out the same morale-boosting guff week in, week out. Anyway, just for the record, the e-envoy has five tasks. They are:
Tim Richardson, 04 Feb 2000