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MSI issues, smart cities, Xbox

HWRoundup MSI's mobo users miffed A new MSI socket A mobo is suffering some technical teething problems. Reg reader Gerhard Bartsch asked us to check out some issues he had with MSI's K7T266Pro2-RU (sheesh) motherboard. Based on VIA's KT266A chipset, the board now includes support for USB 2.0 and a red PCB. MSI's socket A chat forum has …
James Watson, 23 Nov 2001
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3A security software to boom

The European market for administration, authorisation and authentication (3A) security software will grow from $742 million in 2000 to $2.4 billion in 2005, an annual increase of 27 per cent. This trio of software technologies are key tools for enabling online transactions and expanding customer bases in ebusinesses. This makes …
James Watson, 22 Nov 2001
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Judge postpones Hynix Rambus patent suit

A US District Court has postponed a patent infringement lawsuit filed by embattled memory-maker Hynix against Rambus. The court indicated that Hynix's case may be postponed indefinitely pending resolution of Rambus' appeal to the US Federal Circuit regarding its case against Infineon, as the two cases cover mutual territory. …
James Watson, 22 Nov 2001
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Tiny subbie reins in Scots ops

Contract computer assembler Fullarton Computer Industries, responsible for putting together Tiny's PCs and notebooks, will cut 250 jobs, nearly 36 per cent of its 700-strong Scottish workforce, by the end of the year. Workers are furious because the company revealed that any growth in orders will be fulfilled by temporary staff …
James Watson, 22 Nov 2001
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Emachines sells itself to founder

Budget PC maker eMachines has agreed to a $161 million buyout offer from EM Holdings. At the centre of the deal is Lap Shun "John" Hui, a founder and director of eMachines, and sole owner of EM Holdings. At $1.06 per share, the offer is 36 per cent higher than an earlier proposal tabled by Hui. The deal as constructed by EM …
James Watson, 22 Nov 2001
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BTopenworld offers WLAN kit

BTopenworld is to resell a range of wireless networking products from Linksys. It hopes to flog them off the back of its broadband Internet packages. There are two packages available, allowing wireless networking for to 15 users. Its SME business offer, the System Package, adds a wireless access point (or base station) and is …
James Watson, 21 Nov 2001
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The 64-bit Intel question

Intel has made strong inroads into the server market with its new 32-bit Xeon chip, but will have to work hard to be successful in the high-end. According to Kevin Krewell, semiconuctor analyst at Cahners In-Stat/MDR, "muscling in on IBM and Sun's 64-bit territory will take considerable ingenuity but Intel may be up to the task …
James Watson, 21 Nov 2001
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China closes 17,488 Net cafes

The Chinese Government has shut down 17,488 Internet cafes. The official reason for the closures is their failure to block sites considered subversive or pornographic. Another 28,000 Internet cafes must install monitoring software, required under Government regulations, the Associated Press reports. Many foreign news sites are …
James Watson, 21 Nov 2001
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Tiny does cellphones

As expected, Tiny is to add pre-pay mobile phones and their accessories to its existing catalogue of computers and peripherals. It will offer three handsets in showroom stores and a fuller range of ten phones via its website. It will also supply a range of accessories including cameras, MP3 players, as well as ring tones and …
James Watson, 21 Nov 2001
Broken CD with wrench

Escalade: end of life, or back to life?

What is 3ware doing with Escalade? In September, the Californian storage hardware vendor issued an end of life notice for the ATA RAID line, announcing the 'strategic decision' to focus instead on its Palisade IP products. But this month it said it would continue full "support, development and production for its popular …
James Watson, 20 Nov 2001
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Time beefs up warranty to snag repeat business

Time is adding a trade-in scheme for its CoverGold warranty option to encourage repeat business from its customers. After three years of ownership, customers are eligible for a discount on their next Time PC purchase and CoverGold package. The UK system builder has not announced yet exactly how much discount it is offering on …
James Watson, 20 Nov 2001
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Duron 1.2GHz packs Lennox Lewis right hook

HWRoundup 3D Graphic accelerator cards steal the headlines this week, with both Tom's Hardware Guide and Cryoeniac running lengthy reports covering a wide range of cards. Dr Tom features a comparison table on all GeForce 3-based cards, with a close-up on Abit's Siluro GF3, while Tweakers Asylum has a look at a Inno3D Tornado GeForce 3 …
James Watson, 20 Nov 2001

Dell touts budget server

Dell is shipping the 1500SC, the latest addition to its budget range of PowerEdge servers. Prices start at £999 (without an operating system). The dual-processor capable unit, powered by a 1.13GHz PIII chip in its base configuration, also features Intel's PRO/1000 XT network connection on its motherboard, enabling up to 1Gb per …
James Watson, 19 Nov 2001
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Ceci n'est pas une Xbox

René Magritte, Belgium's most famous Surrealist artist, painted a picture of a pipe with the caption: "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" -translation: This is not a pipe. Quite correct, it's not a pipe. It's a picture of a pipe. In the same noble tradition, a picture of a box with an X pasted onto the top was put up for sale last week …
James Watson, 19 Nov 2001

Mobile phone sales fall

Worldwide mobile phone shipments declined ten per cent year on year for the third quarter. A total of 94.4 million units were shipped for the quarter, down from Q3 2000's 104 million. Gartner Dataquest says the industry has been buffeted by continued delays in GPRS (General Packet Radio Service - an interim technology on the …
James Watson, 19 Nov 2001
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GameCube launches (in US)

Nintendo's GameCube hit US retail shelves yesterday (officially, anyway), just three days after the debut of Microsoft's Xbox console. Some gamers have been thumbing the controller to Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2 and Luigi's Mansion a little earlier though, as various stores leaked consoles before the due date. The arrival …
James Watson, 19 Nov 2001

IEEE sets 802.11g (sort of)

The IEEE 802.11 working group has tentatively set a new 802.11 wireless networking standard: 802.11g, which will allow theoretical data transfer rates of up to 54Mbps in the 2.4GHz spectrum. 802.11g is backwardly compatible with existing 802.11b-based networking kit, a major advantage for the standard. The (other) next …
James Watson, 16 Nov 2001

Western Europe server sales down, again

The Western European server market continued to decline in the third quarter, as it did in the first half of the year. Unit shipments fell 7 per cent year on year from 3Q 2000, while revenues dropped 21 per cent year on year to $3.26 billion. The figures, fresh in from Gartner Dataquest, show Compaq at the front of the pack …
James Watson, 16 Nov 2001
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Comdex cars, Radeon drivers, Itanium issues

HWRoundup Comdex 2001 is struggling to keep visitor's attention. In its slowest year for a long, long time, there is a definite absence of crowded corridors, with automobiles receiving almost as much coverage as the stuff inside the halls. AMD resorted to taking journos drag-racing down a quarter-mile strip outside Vegas in three flashy …
James Watson, 16 Nov 2001
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802.11b market grows

The worldwide 802.11b wireless networking market grew nine per cent in Q3 with revenues of $310 million, up from $284.5 million in Q2 and $178 million in Q3 2000. Cisco led the pack for the quarter, reporting a strong 68 per cent growth to hold a 21 per cent market share. Its share bottomed out last quarter at just 14 per cent …
James Watson, 16 Nov 2001
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Dell: Profits down, market share up

Dell yesterday posted its third quarter results, showing a net income of $429 million on the back of $7.47 billion revenue. Looking year on year, its net income declined 36 per cent and revenue was down 10 per cent from $8.26 billion in the same period last year. The sharper drop in profits was attributed to a price war, but …
James Watson, 16 Nov 2001
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Piracy stops Xbox in China

Microsoft's Xbox gaming console will not be sold in Hong Kong or China for the foreseeable future, due to rampant piracy in the region. The company is selling the actual hardware at a loss - as much as $125 per box, according to Merrill Lynch - and plans to recoup profits on its software titles, much like the razor blade or …
James Watson, 15 Nov 2001

Intersil takes 802.11 knock

Intersil is fighting an uphill battle to get its OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing)technology accepted as the 802.11g wireless networking standard, It received just 55 per cent of the vote at the long-awaited IEEE ratification meeting this week. It needed 75 per cent for its proposal to be set as the standard. …
James Watson, 15 Nov 2001
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AMD learns Italian

AMD this week scored a strong public sector win in Italy. A Government organisation decided to go Duron on an education contract involving 60,000 desktop PCs. Italian system builder CDC will supply the machines, which will be based on 1.1GHz Duron chips. AMD has done well in education circles. Its year-on- year market share …
James Watson, 15 Nov 2001
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Dell PC biz grows in Q3

Dell, already the world's largest PC maker, has grown its global market share, as well as its piece of the American pie. IDC is set to report that Dell bumped up its share to 14.5 per cent in the third quarter from 11.5 per cent in Q2 for the worldwide market, no mean feat. In the US, it rose from 24.8 per cent (Q2) to 26.4 per …
James Watson, 15 Nov 2001
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Xbox lands

Microsoft's advance in the world of gaming consoles begins officially just after midnight when its Xbox product goes on sale in America. New York's Toys "R" Us in Times Square will be the place where eager gamers can converge to start snapping them up. Nintendo is set to launch its rival console, the GameCube, in North America …
James Watson, 14 Nov 2001

HP puts 3000 MPE warhorse out to grass

HP has announced end of support dates for its range of e3000 servers and their associated upgrade kits, as well as the MPE/iX operating system. Help for most of the product lines will be closed in five years (December 31, 2006, to be precise). A-, N-, K-, E- and T-class e3000 servers are all listed in the announcement. Support …
James Watson, 14 Nov 2001
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Sneak Intel DDR preview

As predicted, Intel's DDR-supporting chipset, 845D, made a sneak preview at Comdex yesterday. Chinese PC maker Legend showed off its QDI P2D-A motherboard based on the chipset. Legend's board was shown running a P4 1.6GHz and 128MB DDR SDRAM. It will shipping worldwide from December for about $140, a spokesperson told PC World …
James Watson, 14 Nov 2001
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Quantum wages ad war on Imation

Quantum, rendered impotent by the courts to stop Imation from selling its third party DLTtape media, is now trying advertising to persuade the public to not buy its rival's products. Quantum launched a marketing campaign yesterday which "encourages end-users to look for the DLTtape logo when buying DLTtape media to ensure …
James Watson, 14 Nov 2001
SGI logo hardware close-up

Intel sparks low voltage servers

Intel today announced a new line of servers which chomp minimal power and floor space, targeted at ISPs and data centres. The products will include Ultra Low Voltage 700MHz PIII chips, which run at what Chipzilla claims is a "server-industry-low of 1.1 volts". This enables the chip giant to quote an esoteric marketing metric to …
James Watson, 13 Nov 2001
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DRAM bounces back (maybe)

DRAM spot prices have surged unexpectedly in the last five days. The upswing accelerated today, showing a 128MB 133MHz SDRAM chip closing in on a $1.75 average spot price. Accoridng to DRAMeXchange, major DRAM producers began controlling shipments last week, pushing prices up. It says that prices should start to stabilise as …
James Watson, 13 Nov 2001
SGI logo hardware close-up

Travan roadmap stretches to 40GB

Seagate Removable Storage Solutions (RSS) and Imation are to extend the life of Travan tape technology with new drives and cartridges offering up to 40GB compressed storage. The Travan 40 drive will have a native capacity of 20GB with a 2MB per second transfer rate and is backwardly compatible with existing Travan technology. …
James Watson, 13 Nov 2001
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Unlock to overclock

HWRoundup Feel the need for speed? Tom's Hardware Guide (THG) has an in-depth article describing how to unlock an AMD processor for overclocking purposes. AMD's newer chips are a lot tougher to tinker with than before, but certainly not impossible for determined speed freaks. The site posts benchmarks and says performance is comparable …
James Watson, 13 Nov 2001
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HP delays pay rises

HP will suspend all pay increases from February 2002 until business conditions improve. An email to employees from 'The Executive Council' blamed the September 11 disaster for the decision. Last December it announced that all planned raises would be deferred three months. As the message notes, employees that had their increases …
James Watson, 09 Nov 2001
server room

IBM builds absolutely super computer

IBM is teaming up with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop Blue Gene/L, a supercomputer which will be 15 times faster, 15 times more efficient and use 50 times less space than today's supercomputers. Part of IBM's Blue Gene research project, the machine will operate at 200 teraflops, or 200 trillion operations …
James Watson, 09 Nov 2001
cable

Seagate hits 100Gb/ square inch

Seagate today demonstrated technology capable of banging 100Gb of data onto a square inch of storage media. This means the company will be able to cram 125 gigabytes of capacity onto a single 3.5-inch drive platter, compared to current products shipping with 40 gigabytes. Seagate's demonstration uses a fully integrated magnetic …
James Watson, 09 Nov 2001
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Philips CD-RWs climb Mount Rainier

Philips says all its CD-RW drives shipped from early 2002 will include its EasyWrite technology, which is essentially native Mount Rainier format support. The announcement is not surprising as Philips is one of core proponents of the format, alongside Compaq, Sony and Microsoft. Recently, open source developers were granted …
James Watson, 08 Nov 2001
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Sony's next gen Aibo dogs hit market

Sony has showed off its third generation Aibo robotic dog. Canine V3 features more sensors for interaction, more LEDs for a wider emotional range, new behavioural patterns and upgraded control software. Looking distinctly more robotic and a little less shiny than its second generation brothers, the ERS-220 is supposed to fill …
James Watson, 08 Nov 2001
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Opera tolerating MSN.co.uk goes live

Microsoft's UK-targeted portal, MSN.co.uk, is now live with the XP colours, nearly two weeks after MS's 25 October Win XP launch and MSN's global look and feel relaunch. What's more, the site seems to be accepting browsers other than those created by MS. Although not widely tested yet, a cursory attempt with Opera 5.0 and 5.12 …
James Watson, 08 Nov 2001
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How to sue IBM in three easy steps

UK-based users suffering problems with IBM's 75GXP range of hard drives can join in on the class action suit against the company. As long as they are not involved in filing a similar suit in the UK, there is no reason why they can't join the existing suit filed by American Michael Granito against IBM for defects in products, …
James Watson, 07 Nov 2001
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IBM monsters hard drives

IBM is beefing up its Deskstar and Travelstar hard drive ranges, as well as bringing in enhanced availability models. The 120GXP Deskstar family, aimed at desktop computers, comes in a 3.5-inch form factor and spins at 7,200RPM with a standard ATA-100 interface. It's available in 40, 80 and 120GB capacities and is designed on …
James Watson, 07 Nov 2001
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Burning CPUs, crispy ATI issues

HWRoundup ATI's All-in-Wonder 8500DV graphics card is delayed due to complications surrounding its earlier Radeon 8500 product, which provides the core for the new card. ATI is now promising pre-Christmas delivery. Anandtech met ATI to find out what's going on with the product which welds TV tuning, video capture, Firewire support and …
James Watson, 07 Nov 2001

WLANs hit 22Mbps

Buffalo Technology recently announced a range of 802.11b-based WLAN (Wireless LAN) products that allow a theoretical transfer rate of up to 22Mbps. This is twice the transfer rate of regular 11Mbps 802.11b products. The range is the first to ship based on Texas Instruments' (TI) ACX100 chipset. Buffalo, a subsidiary of Japan- …
James Watson, 06 Nov 2001
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Multi-format DVD writer arrives

Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) has developed a multiple format drive that is able to write in both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW formats, as well as DVD-R and CD-RW. HLDS is a joint venture between LG Electronics and Hitachi. Its combo drive, expected to hit the market in January, should be a boon for consumers mired in confusion over a …
James Watson, 06 Nov 2001
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Alcatel to snuff 1,500 US staff

Alcatel is shedding 1,500 US employees. The move comes less than a week after the troubled telecom company announced it is canning 10,000 European job cuts. While the announcement has not been made official to world+dog yet, an email was sent yesterday to workers in the company advising them of the cuts, which it blames on the …
James Watson, 06 Nov 2001
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Cisco beats the Street

Cisco posted income of $332 million on the back of $4.4 billion sales in Q1. Add in one-time charges for various exceptional items (acquisition costs, inventory gains and investment write-down), actual net loss is $268 million, compared to a net income of $7 million last quarter and $798 million year on year. Sales were up …
James Watson, 06 Nov 2001
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CompactFlash hits 1GB

Storage company SanDisk will ship a 1GB version of its CompactFlash (CF) card in the first quarter of next year. It claims that this is the largest capacity CF card on the market. The type I card is expected to at a price "under $800." SanDisk currently ships CF cards in the following capacities: 16, 32, 48, 64, 96, 128, 160, …
James Watson, 05 Nov 2001
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Mac OS X beats Win XP. Then it doesn't

Apple was victorious against Microsoft last week, after CNET ran a Windows XP versus Mac OS X death match, and eventually awarded Mac the trophy. The punch-up was actually a dead heat but Apple won when the judges ruled its upgrade/licensing deal gave it the edge. However, Apple's victory was shortlived, as a quick rethink saw …
James Watson, 05 Nov 2001
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AMD's XP goes 1900+

HWRoundup AMD's latest Athlon XP chip is out today - the 1900+, clocking in at 1.6GHz. Reviews so far mostly agree that the chip provides a modest performance increase over its 1.53GHz predecessor, the 1800+, but is not wildly exciting. The chip costs $269 in OEM quantities of 1,000. AMD Zone gives this summary at the end of its review …
James Watson, 05 Nov 2001

S-AIT with Sony

Sony is to extend its AIT tape format with a next-gen version called S-AIT. The new tape format enables up to 500GB native capacity on a single cartridge, and supports native data transfer of up to 30MB per second. Sony has already recruited Matsushita to the S-AIT cause - the latter will make drives and media for the new …
James Watson, 02 Nov 2001