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- Unreal Tournament tweak guide

- Leadtek WinFast GeForce 2

- Star Trek: Voyager tweak guide

- Visiontek GeForce 2 GTS

- Abit KA7 Slot A motherboard

- Tweaking your Memory (Win2k)

- Deus Ex tweak guide

- Voodoo 4/5 tweak guide

- Low-end PC Buying Guide

- Guillemot Maxi Sound Fortissimo


Tuesday, August 15, 2000 News
Matrox EMBM game of the week
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 16:16
This weeks GOTW is none other than, drum role please...Combat Flight Sim 2 from Microsoft. This WWII scenario FS is filled with mission specific battles of the second World War that will tempt your fate.
Here's what they at Microsoft had to say about CFS2 & the benefits of playing it in DualHead:
"Playing Combat Flight Simulator 2 with Dualhead is a totally new experience for those of use to single monitor game play. By allowing you to have multiple views such as the Spot Plane, or cockpit views with the Virtual Cockpit available up at all times, the quality & realism of flight & air combat is really enhanced. For Combat Flight-Sim enthusiats, Dualhead is great!" -Product Marketing Manager - Darryl Saunders

For some screenshots check out this link.

Microsoft Ships Windows 2000 Datacenter Server to Program Partners
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 16:11
REDMOND, Wash. - Aug. 11, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Datacenter Server, completing the product family for the Windows 2000 operating system. The Windows 2000 Datacenter Server & its complementary Windows Datacenter Program delivers today's enterprise a high level of reliability, scalability & serviceability for line-of-business, e-commerce solutions and hosting environments. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server provides businesses with the best business value for enterprise computing today & also provides a platform for tomorrow's .NET applications, which require the highest degrees of scalability & reliability, support for a wide range of devices, adherence to key standards like XML, & support for software as a Web service.

Instant Access Memory - MRAM
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 15:49
I was browsing around and found this very interesting story at Ars. Stuart Parkin, IBM's chief innovator for magnetic storage research, is working in a new type of memory called MRAM which unlike current DRAM works without electricty and instead uses magnetic polarity to store data.

I wouldn't be so optimistic on this but Parkin isn't new to storage innovation, back in the early 90s he developed a new type of read/write device for hard drives known as a giant magnetoresistive, or GMR, head... this technology is present in all hard drives we use nowadays so I guess you are getting the idea on what to expect.

MRAM is a type ofnonvolatile memory, which means the chip is based on a solid-state design (no moving parts), and data on the chip doesn't have to be periodically refreshed. Another example of nonvolatile memory is flash memory, used in devices like MP3 audio players and digital cameras.

Why not use flash memory to make an instant-on PC? Because there's a hitch: Flash memory cells get damaged each time they write a bit. After about 10,000 read/write cycles, they crap out. Thus, flash will prevail in consumer electronics, but its lack of long-term reliability makes it a poor choice for desktop memory.

The whole story can be read at Wired news.

Patch available for "Specialized Header" vulnerability
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 07:30
Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Internet Information Server that ships with Microsoft(r) Windows 2000. Under certain conditions, the vulnerability could cause a web server to send the source code of certain types of web files to a visiting user.

Affected Software Versions
- Microsoft Internet Information Server 5.0

Patch Availability
- /web/20000817085453/http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/Release.asp?ReleaseID=23769

Note: This vulnerability is eliminated by installing Windows 2000 Service Pack 1
We recommend that customers apply SP1 as the preferred option for eliminating this vulnerability, as it has been fully regression tested & includes fixes for additional issues.

AMD Starts Shipping 1.1 Gigahertz Chip
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 02:07
Computer chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said on Monday it began shipping its 1.1 gigahertz processors to major computer companies, and said it expected to meet its goals for shipments in the coming quarters.

AMD said it expected that its total PC processor shipments, including AMD Athlon, AMD Duron, and AMD-K6-2 processors, could approach 7 million units this quarter and 9 million units in the fourth quarter. AMD said its new 1.1 gigahertz Athlon processors are priced at $853, and systems that feature the chips will sell for about $2,500 each. The chips will be used in computers expected to reach the market on Aug. 28.

Source: Reuters

Monday, August 14, 2000 News
NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS Ultra announced
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 14:18
NVIDIA® Corporation announced today the most powerful 3D graphics processing unit (GPU) ever produced, the GeForce2 Ultra™. Once again, NVIDIA sets new standards for performance and quality by combining the award-winning GeForce2 architecture with its fully compatible driver architecture and its cutting-edge memory subsystem to deliver the industry's fastest GPU. The previous leader was NVIDIA's GeForce2 GTS™.

The GeForce2 Ultra has been in volume production for over 30 days. The first GeForce2 Ultra-based add-in cards will be available from Creative Labs in September. Other companies shipping GeForce2 Ultra-based boards include: ELSA, Guillemot, and Hercules, with more add-in-card manufacturers and tier one OEM announcements to come soon.

There are some previews posted around the web, check them out:
Planethardware - NVnews - HotHardware - Firingsquad

Also, the new Detonator 3 drivers for all cards based on TNT2s and GeForce chips are available at NVIDIA's website, download them here.

UT428 patch released
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 05:49
Bug fixes:
- fixed 425's D3D problems
- improved client prediction of other players on slopes
- fixed 'killall bot' working on servers even if not admin
- fixed Unrealed2 problems with DirectInput (by disabling DirectInput when using Unrealed2).
- fixed picked up weapons occasionally looping firing anim.
- fixed another case where server would keep sending data to client after disconnect.
- fixed Unrealed2 mesh viewer problem.
- fixed Owner being passed to new actor in Mutator.ReplaceWith().
- fixed creeping ping problem with Win2K.
- fix for occasional accidental port changes on servers using NGStats: These ini files are used: [IpServer.UdpServerQuery] OldQueryPortNumber=0 bRestartServerOnPortSwap=True OldQueryPortNumber will get saved to the current value of the query port number. If the port number changes, the server will quit - & restart automatically if you are using an appropriate batch file ( see http:\\unreal.epicgames.com\utservers.htm ).
Setting OldQueryPortNumber to 0 will cause it to save the current port number again, so you should set this value to 0 when you want to change the port number deliberately (ie you're running a second server on the same machine).

Download it from Fileplanet.

Sunday, August 13, 2000 News
Rambus sues Infineon over SDRAM patents
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 19:07
Rambus Inc. has filed a patent infringement suit against Infineon Technologies AG in the U.S. District Count in Richmond, Va., as part of its ongoing campaign to get memory companies to license its synchronous DRAM technology.

The suit, filed this week, is expected to set of a major fight with Munich-based Infineon reportedly considering its own lawsuit against Rambus to enforce its patent rights in synchronous memory technology. Industry observers said Rambus' move to strike first will set in motion a test case for the validity of the company's claims in synchronous memory patents, which have been used to reach new licensing and royalty agreements with Oki Electric, Toshiba, and Hitachi.

More at Biznews.

Just a quick note...
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 01:22
We have some news around here, starting out with the fact that I'm sick =(. Although I haven't been feeling well this shouldn't be bad news at all for you, as this has given me more time at home and I've been able to finish a lot of website related things...

We've been hard at work lately preparing new articles, the new buying guides should be up soon as well as some other reviews of motherboards, videocards, hard drives and even a hardware DVD decoder, not to mention that we will be giving away a GeForce 2 GTS card for our readers probably next week or the one after.

Last but not least, I've reorganized the 3D Spotlight Forums... now there are 4 different sections, hope you like the change... I must say this was totally necessary, so head to the forums now !

Saturday, August 12, 2000 News
Visual Basic 6.0 SP4 Run-Time files
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 20:31
Bit late perhaps but anyhoo. Just ran a scan Catchup to find that Visual Basic 6.0 SP4 Run-Time Files are available from Microsoft.

In addition to the updates provided in Service Pack 3, Service Pack 4 addresses other known issues with the Visual Studio 6.0 development system. These fixes include:
Fixes required by updates or upgrades to Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, the Microsoft Windows operating systems, & Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Fixes that resolve compatibility problems with previous versions of Visual Studio.
Fixes that address known binary-compatibility bugs with certain run-time redistributable files in Visual Studio 6.0.
Other fixes requested by customers.
In addition, this Service Pack includes updated or upgraded versions of:
Microsoft Data Access Objects
Microsoft HTML Help
Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC)
Microsoft Scripting
Microsoft OLE Automation
It can be download from Microsoft. Always a good idea to have the latest version of files.

Winzip Command Line Support Add-On
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 18:32
The WinZip 8.0 Command Line Support Add-On is now available. The WinZip Command Line Support Add-On provides a command line interface that gives you the power of WinZip without the usual WinZip graphical user interface. The add-on allows you to use WinZip directly from the command prompt, batch files, & many application & system programming languages.
The add-on is available from /web/20000817085453/http://www.winzip.com/wzcline.htm. The WinZip Command Line Support Add-On requires WinZip 8.0 & Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000.

NVIDIA leaked Detonator 6.11 drivers
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 12:48
Download them here.

Release Notes:
- Files are dated: 07/21/00
- Reports are that they are faster then v5.33 Detonators
- Reports are showing that the FSAA is faster as well

FAKK 2 demo released
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 12:08
Prepare yourself for F.A.K.K.2 - a 3D action\adventure experience that merges the twisted visions of the 70s cult classic Heavy Metal with the limitless interactive possibilities of your PC. Powered by id Software's Quake III technology, F.A.K.K.2 delivers detailed renderings of indoor and outdoor settings with stunning realism. Battle your way through surreal landscapes armed with powerful and sinister weaponry against a cast of freakish characters who create unique situations each time you play.

Download mirrrors:

3D Downloads
3D Gamers

Friday, August 11, 2000 News
IBM could be breaking Moore's law?
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 16:29
Moore's Law, an observation of Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore, states that the number of transistors in a processor will double every 24 months. Despite falling under scrutiny from time to time, it continues to accurately reflect the progression of chip technology and become associated with increases in processor performance and complexity. Moore's Law in recent years has shortened to reflect a doubling of transistor count and performance every 18 months.

IBM's latest breakthrough, a new chip transistor design known as V-Groove, will allow the company to stay ahead of the curve of Moore's Law 15 to 20 years in the future, should it find its way into production.

Less than 0.01 micron

V-Groove transistors are capable of scaling to channel lengths of 10 nanometers, or lengths of 0.01 micron and below.

Channel length represents the distance electricity needs to travel through a transistor; shorter transistors lessen the distance traveled, delivering greater performance. Right now, IBM, and the chip industry as a whole, is at 180 nanometers, or 0.18 micron. It had been widely believed that 20 to 25 nanometers were a hard stop.

Source: Yahoo News

[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 10:13
I'll be going away tonight (possibly tomorrow night too) so no-email will be answered until then if you have any questions for me. Other than that I've got lots of stuff done - 2 tweak guides, DVD decoder review, Voodoo 5 review (almost). Plus a few "other" things I'm working on.
Later :)

Thursday, August 10, 2000 News
New VIA 4-in-1 Driver
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 19:02
Version 4.24 of the VIA 4-in-1 driver has been released for VIA chipset based motherboards.

This driver will automatically detect & install the latest:
IDE Busmaster 2.1.49
VIA AGP Driver 4.03
IRQ Routing Driver 1.3a
VIA INF Driver 1.02
For users who are upgrading VIA Drivers, we recommend installing the 4-in-1as it will automatically detect & update the necessary drivers.
Download it for Windows 2000, 9x, Windows® NT users from VIA.

AMD releasing details on 64-bit Sledgehammer
[Comments] by Julio Franco @ 17:02
AMD today publicly released the x86-64(TM) Architecture Programmers Overview, the instruction manual the software community can use to begin incorporating x86-64 technology support in their operating systems, applications, drivers and development tools. AMD's x86-64 technology will first be supported in the family of processors codenamed ``Hammer,'' planned to be announced at the end of 2001.

AMD x86-64 technology is designed to enable platform suppliers, developers, and corporations to transition to 64-bit environments while continuing to have leading performance on the vast installed base of existing 32-bit applications. 64-bit computing is ideal for memory hungry applications such as large databases, CAD tools, and simulation engines that are currently limited by the 4GB addressing limitation.

AMD is enhancing the x86 architecture to include a 64-bit mode that has both a 64-bit address space and a 64-bit data space. AMD's 64-bit processors will be designed to detect which mode is needed (32- or 64-bit) and compute accordingly.

The computer industry has extended the x86 instruction set twice previously, from 8-bit to 16-bit and from 16-bit to 32-bit. AMD's x86-64 architecture is a straightforward approach to extending the instruction set, and will allow developers to employ their experience and the tools they have accumulated since the inception of the x86 instruction set more than 20 years ago.
The complete text of the AMD x86-64 architecture specification is available today at /web/20000817085453/http://www.amd.com/products/cpg/64bit/overview.htm. AMD will also distribute the specification at LinuxWorld in San Jose next week.

Patch available for "File Permission Canonicalization" vulnerability
[Comments] by Thomas McGuire @ 16:18
Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Microsoft(r) Internet Information Server. Under very restricted conditions, the vulnerability could allow a malicious user to gain additional permissions to certain types of files hosted on a web server.

Affected Software Versions
- Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0
- Microsoft Internet Information Server 5.0

Patch Availability
- Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0:
- Microsoft Internet Information Server 5.0:


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