Computer Customer Service  Polls
Current Pricing
Save 10% on high-quality Crucial RAM. Order online at Crucial's factory-direct Web site. Crucial Technology, The Memory Experts.
 
Site Directory
Home || Computer Buying Advice || Online CPA || Site Search
 

Computer Buying  Advice

Online CPA

Free Email
(What is Free Email?)

InfoHQ Message Board

About Us

Data Privacy Policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory from Crucial.com
Adding RAM is the most cost effective way to boost your computer's performance. Upgrade factory-direct today with Crucial Technology.

 

 

 

Copyright© Notice

 

 

50 - 80% off Retail Price for Computer Systems
Click here

 

 

Click HereRecommend this page to your friends!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

September 24-30 2001

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Sep 30 Sunday Shopping Watch
Sep 28 ATI Announces RADEON 7500 Graphics Board
Sep 28 HP Enters Sub-$250 Laser Printer Market
Sep 28 FID Introduces Sub-$100 MP3 Players
Sep 28 SmartDisk Reveals New FireWire Desktop Drives
Sep 27 Intel Files Patent Infringement Suits Against Via Technologies
Sep 27 VIA Technologies Sues Intel® Over Intel Pentium® 4 Processor
Sep 27 Wireless Phone Use Among U.S. Households Climbs Above 50 Percent
Sep 27 Worldwide Software Revenue has Slowed to Less than Half
Sep 26 Intel Xeon Processors Reach 2 Gigahertz
Sep 26 AMD Announces Closure of Fabs 14 and 15
Sep 26 DSL Digital TV to Reach 46 Million Homes
Sep 26 Memory Cards to Flood Consumer Electronic Markets
Sep 26 Digital Camera Sales Capture 21% of Worldwide Camera Market
Sep 25 Nokia to Introduce Mobile Wallet Application with Nokia 6310
Sep 25 Lexmark announces first 4-in-1 inkjet office center
Sep 25 Transmeta Announces World PC Expo 2001 Award for Crusoe-Based Server
Sep 25 Telenisus issues cyber terrorism security steps for US Businesses
Sep 25 High-speed Internet Access is Crucial for Those Who Telecommute
Sep 24 Companies Demonstrate Coast-to-Coast IP Storage Interoperability
Sep 24 Sony Pumps Up Top-of-the-Line VAIO Desktop PCs for Fall
Sep 24 Panasonic Introduces Ruggedized Handheld
Sep 24 Adobe Announces Public Beta Version of Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC
Sep 23 Sunday Shopping Watch

Sep 30 - Sunday Shopping Watch. This is the first Sunday that Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows XP, is bundled with new computers. Windows XP will not be available for separate purchase until October 25th. For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's Windows XP home page.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete systems. Additionally, they are offering 12 month no interest financing on all notebook and build-to-order computer purchases over $598.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant rebates on all Intel processor build-to-order desktop and notebook computers.
Office Depot has no store-wide sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA is offering 1 year of free CompuServe Internet service with the purchase of any desktop or laptop computer. They are also offering no payments or interest for 6 months.
Staples has no ad this Sunday.

Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A complete system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
None Advertised
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
   
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.5 GHz with 17 inch monitor
$1199
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None Advertised
Best High End Athlon System
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
$929
CompUSA
Best Low Cost Notebook
HP 900 MHz Duron with DVD
$1199
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium III 900 MHz with CD-RW/DVD drive
$1549
CompUSA
New Products
Windows XP
  Available now in new computers. Can be purchased at stores October 25th.

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

Sep 28 - ATI Announces RADEON 7500 Graphics Board. ATI's technology redefines mainstream performance and value ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, announced today that the RADEON(TM) 7500 graphics board, an outstanding combination of performance, innovative 3D features and real value, is shipping to retail outlets in North America at a manufacturers' suggested retail price of just (US) $199.
The RADEON 7500 graphics board is Windows XP ready, supporting Microsoft Corp.'s new and ground-breaking operating system that will be available for purchase on October 25, 2001. Customers who buy a RADEON 7500 now and Windows XP on October 25 will be able to download Windows XP drivers from www.ati.com that same day and immediately enjoy the productivity benefits a Windows XP-enabled RADEON 7500 graphics board can provide.
"Windows XP is the best Windows operating system for experiencing digital movies, digital photography and digital video," said Charmaine Gravning, Windows XP product manager at Microsoft. "The combination of Windows XP and the RADEON 7500 will enable users to create, connect and communicate with ease in the digital forum." "At just $199, the overall value proposition associated with the RADEON 7500 - processor speed, 3D performance and price - is unparalleled," said Deanna Perkins, Product Manager, RADEON 7500, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc.
"Complemented by the productivity-rich Windows XP operating system on October 25, the RADEON 7500 graphics board is going to be the ideal solution for personal and business computing in the mainstream segment."
The RADEON 7500 offers consumers a mainstream solution with a set of standard features typically associated with premium-level graphics boards. It also offers users a level of performance not seen before at this price point, incorporating a core clock speed of 290MHz (megahertz) and a memory clock speed of 230MHz, 64MB DDR (dual data rate) and uses ATI's patented HYPER Z(TM) technology to boost effective memory bandwidth by 20 percent. As a result, the RADEON 7500 can access up to 8.8GB/sec (gigabytes per second) of effective memory bandwidth. The RADEON 7500 delivers up to a 60 percent improvement in performance compared to the previous generation of RADEON high-performance processors.
The RADEON 7500 also features flexible multiple-display support, enabling users to hook up an additional VGA (video graphics array), digital flat panel (DVI) monitor or send their display out to a TV. ATI's HydraVision(TM) software enables users to easily manage their multiple displays to increase productivity. Users can read and write e-mail on one display while working on a document on the other, spread one application (such as a long spreadsheet) across both displays or more effectively use photo and video editing applications.
RADEON 7500 also supports Microsoft's Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000(r) operating system environments as well as DirectX 8.0 and OpenGL 1.2.
RADEON 7500 will be available worldwide beginning October 1.

Sep 28 - HP Enters Sub-$250 Laser Printer Market. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today announced its entry into the low-end laser printer market with the introduction of the HP LaserJet 1000 printer. Selling for an estimated U.S. street price of $249, the HP LaserJet 1000 printer is the lowest priced monochrome HP LaserJet printer ever introduced.
The new printer is easy-to-install with USB connections and ideal for entrepreneurial businesses, telecommuters and home offices that require reliable, professional-quality laser output at a personal printer price. At a speed of 10 pages per minute and a cost per page of only 2.5 cents, customers can print professional, laser-quality documents affordably and professionally.

Key features of the HP LaserJet 1000 printer include:

-- 10 pages per minute top speed;
-- HP Instant-on fuser for low power consumption and quick 15 second first page out time;
-- 600 dpi with HP Resolution Enhancement technology (REt) boosting output effectively to 1200 dpi;
-- 2,500-page capacity HP Ultraprecise toner cartridge;
-- A low 2.5 cent cost per page;
-- Small footprint with a protected 250-sheet input tray;
-- USB cord included for plug-and-play connectivity;
-- 7,000-page monthly duty cycle; and
-- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 98, 2000, Me, and XP supported.

HP also is offering a one-year unit exchange warranty with the HP LaserJet 1000 printer. Warranty extensions and service options also are available. Additionally, customers have access to online Web support at no extra charge 24 hours a day and to the HP Customer Care center from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday.
The HP LaserJet 1000 printer is expected to be available in the U.S. and Canada beginning Oct. 1 with an estimated U.S. street price of $249. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at www.hp.com.

Sep 28 - FID Introduces Sub-$100 MP3 Players. First International Digital, Inc. (FID), maker of the popular irock! 600 series MP3 players with karaoke, today introduced a new line of MP3 players, the irock! 510 and the irock! 520. Following on the heels of the successful 600 series, the players in the 500 series are ultra compact for maximum portability and feature expandable memory capacity with external Smart Media Card (SMC) slots. The 510 and 520 incorporate versatility, a unique design, quality features and a very low price point; making these MP3 players an easy choice for any consumer.
"At a time when consumer's lives are more mobile and diverse than ever, FID now delivers an MP3 player that will fit comfortably into any lifestyle and budget," said Randy Cavaiani, vice president of marketing and sales for FID. "The irock! 510 and 520 players maintain the highest level of quality and offer all the features that make our MP3 players popular." The players in the 500 series are smaller than a deck of cards (2.5" x 2.8" x .7") and easily fit into the palm of a hand or shirt pocket; ideal for running, biking, hiking or any activity that has a consumer on the go.
The irock! 510 has 32MB of built-in memory and an SMC slot for an additional 64MB of expandable memory. The irock! 520 has 64MB of onboard memory and a SMC slot for an additional 64 MB; a total of 128MB of memory to keep listeners "rockin" all day long. Players are packaged with user-friendly software, comfortable earbud earphones, a USB cable and a convenient hand strap. Compact, affordable and stylistic, the newest members of FID's line of MP3 players are sure to be a hit with every member of the family; whether they are an MP3 guru or a first-time user.
The irock! 500 series players will be available within the next two weeks at North American retail outlets including CompUSA and RadioShack for an estimated retail price of $79.99 (510) and $99.99 (520). Consumers can download over a thousand titles for free at www.myirock.com, and everyone who registers on the site will receive a free personal online storage locker to store up to 125MB of music.

Sep 28 - SmartDisk Reveals New FireWire Desktop Drives. SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SMDK) today announced new versions of its SmartDisk VST FireWire(R) Desktop Drives, featuring increased storage capacities and lower prices.
The new drives will be available in 40, 60, 80 and 100 Gigabyte (GB) capacities, an increase in size from previous versions, which had a maximum capacity of 75 GB. They are designed to store extremely large files with ease, such as those created with digital video authoring software and other multimedia applications. The drives are compatible with all FireWire-equipped Macintosh computers as well as IEEE 1394-equipped Windows-based personal computers.
"Applications like Apple's iTunes, iMovie and Final Cut Pro are great ways to create, organize and edit multimedia files," said Ted Batey, Vice President, Product Development for SmartDisk. "These programs, however, can generate large files that quickly fill a computer's built-in hard drive. Storing and using those files on a SmartDisk VST FireWire Desktop Drive makes transferring, editing and sharing digital photos, video, audio files and data files a breeze. They're also ideal for DV professionals, musicians, digital audio professionals, users of Apple desktop computers and others who require an external drive with high performance, reliability and transportability."
The new drives also feature hot-plug/unplug support, which means users don't have to shut down or restart their computers to install the drives. To save desk space, the drives can be stacked horizontally or vertically.
Prices of the drives start at $299 for the 40 GB drive. The drives will be available through retailers and distributors, as well as through the Company's Web site at www.smartdisk.com.

Sep 27 - Intel Files Patent Infringement Suits Against Via Technologies. Intel Corporation today announced that it has filed four patent infringement lawsuits in three countries against Via Technologies Inc. The Intel legal actions allege that Via's C3 Microprocessors and P4X266 chipsets infringe on eight Intel patents.
"Intel invests billions of dollars each year in research and development to create new, patented inventions that bring significant value to our customers," said Peter Detkin, Intel vice president, assistant general counsel. "Those inventions and the underlying intellectual property are the cornerstone of our business and significant assets. Like any other valuable asset, Intel has an obligation to its shareholders to protect the value of its intellectual property."
In Germany, Intel filed claims that Via's P4X266 chipset infringes on European patent EP 0 694 849 and German patent DE 195 80 990. The complaint names Via and its subsidiary Via Technologies GmbH as defendants.
In the United Kingdom, Intel filed claims that Via's P4X266 chipset infringes on U.K. patent 2 287 162B and European patent 694 849 B1. In a second suit filed in the United Kingdom, Intel alleges that Via's C3 microprocessor infringes on three Intel patents, including U.K. patent 2 230 118, U.K. patent 2 261 753 and U.K. patent 2 326 494. The first U.K. case names Via and Elitegroup Computer Systems as defendants. Defendants in the second case are Via Technologies Europe Ltd. and Realtime Distribution Ltd.
In Hong Kong, Intel filed suit alleging infringement of three Intel patents by Via's C3 microprocessors. The suit alleges infringement of Hong Kong patent 931073, Hong Kong patent 1006754 and Hong Kong patent 1016711. Via Technologies Inc. and Trend Electronics (HK) Ltd. are named as defendants in the suit filed in Hong Kong.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

About the VIA C3 Processor and P4X266 Chipset

VIA C 3 Processor

Per VIA:

"The VIA C3™processor, available at speeds up to 800MHz, comes packed with such advanced features as 128KB Level 1 and 64KB Level 2 cache, 100/133MHz Front Side Bus, and 3DNow!™and MMX™, to deliver cool performance for the home and business user. Complete compatibility with Microsoft Windows® and all the latest software and Internet applications ensures a rich computing and on-line experience.

"The first processor in the world to be manufactured using leading edge 0.13 and 0.15 micron manufacturing processes, the VIA C3™ has the world's smallest x86 processor die size. This not only minimizes power consumption and heat dissipation, but also guarantees rock-solid reliability in even the most demanding environments.

"Combining ultra low power consumption with full plug-in Socket 370 compatibility, the VIA C3™ processor is enabling the creation of a new wave of innovative, compact, and energy efficient desktop PCs, notebooks, servers, and Digital PC Appliances - ranging from Value PCs, Information PCs, and Set Top Boxes and a host of mobile computing devices."

VIA P4X266 Chipset

Per VIA

"The VIA Apollo P4X266 is the first chipset to harness the power of high bandwidth DDR SDRAM to provide the most balanced and cost effective platform for building the next generation of high performance Intel® Pentium® 4 processor based servers, workstations, and PC systems.
"In addition to a host of performance features such as AGP4X and ATA 100 support, the P4X266 features an integrated 3Com 10/100Mb Ethernet Media Access Controller (MAC) in the VT8233C South Bridge to make it the optimum chipset for network ready desktop solutions. Additional features include integrated AC'97 audio, MC'97 modem support, 6 USB ports, and Advanced Power Management."

For additional information see the following news item. VIA Technologies can be found on the Web at www.viatech.com.

Sep 27 - VIA Technologies Sues Intel® Over Intel Pentium® 4 Processor. - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of core logic chipsets, microprocessors, and multimedia and communications chips, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary Centaur Technology, announced that is has filed suit against Intel® Corporation for patent infringement by the Intel Pentium 4 microprocessor family.

The suit, filed in the Federal District Court for the Western Division of Texas (Austin Division), the home of Centaur's headquarters, alleges that Intel Pentium 4 microprocessors infringe, contribute to the infringement of, or induce others to infringe VIA and Centaur's U.S. Patent Number 6,253,311 (the '311 Patent). This patent, which is jointly owned by VIA and Centaur, deals with the different formats in which numeric data may be stored in a microprocessor.

VIA and Centaur seek a ruling from the Court that would enjoin the sale of Intel Pentium 4 microprocessors, as well as a request for monetary damages for both VIA and Centaur.

"VIA is not only a leading provider of core logic chipsets worldwide, but also is becoming an important supplier of PC microprocessors, thanks to the hard work of our CPU designers in Texas," said Richard Brown, Director of Marketing for VIA Technologies, Inc. "Filing this lawsuit is the first step in protecting our intellectual property rights."

VIA purchased the Austin-based Centaur from Integrated Device Technology, Inc. of Santa Clara, California in 1999. Recent microprocessor products produced by Centaur include the VIA C3™, which has the world's smallest x86 processor die size, making it especially useful for portable, low power computing applications.

For more information see the above news item. VIA can be found on the Web at www.viatech.com.

Sep 27 - Wireless Phone Use Among U.S. Households Climbs Above 50 Percent. As the average price of a wireless phone call continues to drop, more consumers are subscribing to wireless service than ever before, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2001 U.S. Wireless Industry Services Study(SM) released today.
In 2001, 52 percent of households in the 25 largest U.S. markets surveyed use wireless phone service. This is a 93 percent household penetration increase over 1995, or an average of 12 percent per year. At the same time, the current average reported cost per minute for a wireless phone call is 14 cents, compared to 56 cents per call in 1995.
"While the drop in wireless call rates is a boon for consumers, providers are having a harder time generating the same amount of revenue per customer that they once received," said Kirk Parsons, director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. "With the cost of acquiring each new customer ranging between $350-$475, it is imperative for wireless providers to make a serious effort to retain customers with loyalty programs and superior service."
The study indicates that the trend of reduced revenue and increased customer turnover may continue in the foreseeable future. For example, average monthly spending on wireless service has dropped from $66 to $61 per month since 2000 -- the largest decline since 1996. At the same time, the length of time a typical wireless user stays with a carrier before switching is growing shorter -- from 2.54 years on average in 1999 to 2.40 years in 2001.
"Providing superior customer satisfaction has become critical in the wireless industry to bolster customer retention and increase revenue potential," said Al Destribats, executive director of utility and telecommunications practices at J.D. Power and Associates. "Companies with higher overall satisfaction scores not only retain customers an average of two months longer, they also generate approximately $11 more in monthly revenue per customer than do providers that have below-average customer satisfaction."
J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpa.com.

Sep 27 - Worldwide Software Revenue has Slowed to Less than Half. Economic restraint has led many organizations to put discretionary spending on hold, causing worldwide spending on new software to grow just 6 percent in the first half of 2001, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
The industry's growth rate has slowed to less than one-half from last year when worldwide software spending increased 18 percent. Worldwide software spending for all of 2001 is projected to grow slightly less than 7 percent with new license revenue of approximately $77 billion.
"The impact from the events on September 11 will extend and intensify the economic slowdown impacting the global software industry for the next 18 months," said Joanne Correia, vice president for Gartner Dataquest's Software Industry Research group. "The verticals that could have slower software purchases will include the airlines, travel, automobiles, insurance and new consumer PC segments. Software vendors may see an increase in new software spending and market hype in segments such as security, network storage and systems management and collaborative applications.
Gartner Dataquest analysts said well-managed software vendors have reacted rapidly to falling orders and trimmed operating expenses to limit their use of cash reserves. But many vendors that were managing on small cash reserves do not appear to have reacted fast enough to trim their expense line faster than the drop in orders and revenue.
"Not only has application spending slowed, but decisions on whom to buy from have clearly shifted in favor of the larger vendors with their broad one-stop-shop portfolios and deep financial pockets," said Tom Topolinski, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Application Software Industry Research group.
"Many small companies are vulnerable because they have no underlying maintenance or service revenue to provide at least some ongoing income when new license orders stop," said Correia. "There is a significant danger of these companies becoming cheap acquisition targets or disappearing totally from the market."
The company can be found on the Internet at www.gartner.com.

Sep 26 - Intel Xeon Processors Reach 2 Gigahertz. Intel Corporation today introduced the world's fastest processor for dual processor, high-performance workstations. The 2 Gigahertz Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor, based on the NetBurst(TM) microarchitecture, targets high-performance and mid-range workstation market segments and is expected to achieve performance increases of more than 10 percent over existing Intel Xeon processors. A number of workstation manufacturers worldwide -- including Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC -- are expected to start shipping platforms based on the new processor this quarter -- many starting today. According to industry analyst firm International Data Corporation, Intel-based workstations accounted for 68 percent of all workstation shipments in the second quarter of 2001.
Intel's Xeon processor family is specially designed to meet the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the high-performance workstation market segment. Workstations based on Intel's new Xeon processors use the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture to deliver processing power for video, audio, 3-D graphics and the latest Internet technologies.
The Intel Xeon processor platform is based on the high-performance Intel(R) 860 Chipset. This chipset features dual RDRAM* memory banks to complement the Intel Xeon's 400 MHz system bus, which provides up to 3.2 gigabytes of data per second.
In the future, faster clock speeds and larger cache configurations will provide further headroom for computation, graphical and I/O-intensive workloads.

Pricing and Availability

The Intel Xeon processor at 2 GHz with 256 KB level two Advanced Transfer Cache is priced at $615 in 1,000-unit quantities.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Sept 26 - AMD Announces Closure of Fabs 14 and 15. AMD today announced it is accelerating key components of its strategy to reduce costs and enhance the financial performance of its core businesses. The company will close Fabs 14 and 15, two semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities (fabs) in Austin, Texas, that primarily serve AMD's foundry operations. AMD will also reduce and restructure other manufacturing activities as well as administrative support associated with these facilities.
These changes will result in the reduction of approximately 2,300 positions, or approximately 15 percent of its worldwide workforce, by the end of the second quarter of 2002. Approximately 1,000 of these positions are associated with closing the fabs in Austin. The balance of the reductions will result from realigning and restructuring back-end activities in Penang, Malaysia. The company will provide severance packages and outplacement services to affected employees.
"These actions will allow us to reduce costs without impairing our new product development activities in pursuit of long-term growth opportunities. We will focus our organization around our two most promising opportunities -- flash memory devices and PC processors," said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive officer. "We will treat all employees affected by these actions with fairness and respect, consistent with our values and our commitment to our people."
Fabs 14 and 15 have a long history at AMD and are the company's oldest fabs. The two facilities were originally constructed in 1984 and 1985.
AMD will take a one-time charge between $80 million and $110 million covering these restructuring activities and other special charges in the current quarter. When fully implemented, these actions are expected to result in an overall annual cost reduction of approximately $125 million.
AMD can be found on the Web at www.amd.com.

Sep 26 - DSL Digital TV to Reach 46 Million Homes. 46 million homes worldwide will be watching digital TV delivered over their phone lines by 2008, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. But telephone companies must overcome a number of financial and cultural hurdles before they can compete with established players.
Digital television and video services can be delivered over existing copper phone wires using technology known as xDSL. Commercial services have been available for some time from operators such as Qwest in the US, and Kingston Communications and VideoNetworks in the UK. Strategy Analytics predicts that xDSL will account for 11% of worldwide digital TV services by 2008, up from less than 1% today.
"DSL can become the fourth DTV platform," says David Mercer, VP, Consumer Practice at Strategy Analytics. "But it is doubtful that many of today's telcos will make it: delivering content is an alien business for most of them."
Telco players should also maximize the opportunity to bundle digital television with such services as telephony and messaging, broadband Internet and home network management. This approach will position telcos for the long-term battle with cable, satellite and other emerging players.
The report also predicts that annual sales of DSL DTV set-top boxes will rise to 10.7 million units by 2008, a substantial increase from 1 million in 2002.
More information can be found at www.strategyanalytics.com.

Sep 26 - Memory Cards to Flood Consumer Electronic Markets. Memory cards, small portable memory devices used in multiple consumer applications, will continue to proliferate in many products, propelling an already large market to greater heights, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (www.instat.com).
In 2000, more than 36 million memory cards were shipped for a total revenue of over $1.6 billion. The high-tech market research firm forecasts that, despite a roughly 30 percent annual reduction in price-per-megabyte among most segments of the market, the memory card market will reach $2.6 billion in 2005.
"Having spread well beyond their original application of digital photography to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, and portable digital music players, memory cards are infiltrating even more devices such as ink jet printers and car stereos," said Brian O'Rourke, a senior analyst with In-Stat.
In-Stat reports that as manufacturers of many products adapt memory cards, consumers will buy more and higher capacity cards resulting in a more than ten-fold leap in total megabytes shipped between 2001 and 2005.
"The market for all of these memory cards is clearly on the upswing," said O'Rourke. "This trend will truly produce a 'Flash flood' in consumer electronic markets."

In-Stat has also found that:


-- The short-term forecast for memory card manufacturers is not as bright as the long-term. The past year has been very volatile for flash memory chips (the basis of most memory card formats) leading to rapidly falling prices.
-- There are about 30 manufacturers of CompactFlash cards and over 100 suppliers. The highest capacity product is the 1GB IBM Microdrive. Digital still cameras remain, by far, the highest volume application for CompactFlash cards while PDAs and handheld computers are a very rapidly developing growth segment for CompactFlash cards.
-- While SmartMedia and CompactFlash are the most recognizable names in memory cards, the last two to three years have seen a number of new formats enter this market. Other formats include MultiMedia, Secure MultiMedia, Memory Stick and Secure Digital.

Sep 26 - Digital Camera Sales Capture 21% of Worldwide Camera Market. A new study from InfoTrends Research Group projects that worldwide shipments of low end digital cameras will reach 17.7 million units in 2001, capturing 21% of total worldwide camera sales. Film camera sales in Japan, North America and Europe are beginning to decline largely as a result of growth in the digital camera market. By 2006, digital camera sales are expected to capture 63% of the total worldwide camera market. Revenue from digital camera sales is forecast to reach $9.9 billion in 2006.
"The worldwide economic situation is expected to impact digital camera sales in the short term, but this product category will remain more resilient than others," says Michelle Slaughter, market research analyst, InfoTrends Research Group. "Digital cameras remain a top-selling consumer electronics product category due to compelling benefits - the ability to view and share digital photos immediately and incorporate digital photos into a variety of applications."
North America is the leading market for digital camera unit sales, and will remain so through the forecast period. In 2001, it represents 47% of the worldwide market. Japan is currently the second leading market with 25% of digital camera sales, though sales of digital cameras in Europe will surpass Japan within the forecast period. The market in Japan is expected to reach a saturation point before U.S. and Europe.
Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak and Canon are the top-five ranked worldwide digital camera vendors. In 2001, Sony is forecast to surpass Olympus as the worldwide market leader. The company has been the market leader in North America with a comfortable margin over its competitors over the last four years, and its position in Japan and Europe continues to grow.
InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. (www.infotrends-rgi.com) is a leading market research and consulting firm for digital imaging technologies and markets.

Sep 25 - Nokia to Introduce Mobile Wallet Application with Nokia 6310. Nokia has today introduced a wallet application with the Nokia 6310 in conjunction with the Mobile Commerce World Europe 2001 Conference in London. The Nokia 6310 will be the first Nokia mobile phone to incorporate a wallet application feature that facilitates online payments.
The development of the mobile wallet application offers access to a new variety of services on mobile phones - in a very user friendly way. The wallet application enables users to conduct online transactions via the WAP browser. Users can store protected personal information, like credit and loyalty program card details as well as shipping and billing details, inside the terminal.The data inside the terminal is secured with a special wallet code to authenticate the user to the application.
"We are delighted to extend our solution offering to the area of mobile commerce. A wallet inside a mobile phone is a major step forward in making mobile commerce a viable business. The wallet application will add great value to mobile phone users, and the Nokia 6310 offers us a perfect opportunity to introduce this application," said Janne Jormalainen, Vice President, Product Marketing, Nokia Mobile Phones.
The wallet application makes the use of virtual cards flexible, and simplifies the storage and retrieval of personal information in mobile transactions. By enabling Internet-type payments using the ECML (Electronic Commerce Modeling Language) standard, the wallet offers service providers easy adaptation of their current e-business to the mobile world. With the Nokia 6310, users can instantly connect wirelessly to mobile Internet services around the world over GPRS, making mobile shopping ever more convenient.
The phone will be available during the fourth quarter, 2001. Pricing was not announced. Nokia can be found on the Web at www.nokia.com.

Sep 25 - Lexmark announces first 4-in-1 inkjet office center. Addressing the needs of small office/home office (SOHO) users, Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) today introduced the Lexmark X63 All-In-One Office Center. The sub-$200 X63 combines Lexmark's core inkjet print technology with fax, scan and copy functionality to offer a complete solution for a variety of office tasks - without the expense of purchasing multiple products. About the size of the average inkjet printer, the X63 is perfect for an office with limited space.
"With the addition of the X63, we are offering a comprehensive All-In-One family of products to meet the imaging needs of virtually every customer," said Tim Craig, Lexmark vice president and president of the company's Consumer Printer Division. "Lexmark will continue its leadership in this category by delivering high technology products at unprecedented values."
The X63 All-In-One Office Center rounds out Lexmark's recently announced All-In-One line, which includes the X83 and X73. Like its sister product, the Lexmark X83, the X63 offers high-quality 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) print resolution, scan functionality and standalone color copy capabilities. The X83 features a high-end flatbed scanner that is ideal for consumers looking to print photo-quality digital images, scan excerpts from books or execute a wide variety of creative projects at home. The X63, with its sheet-fed design and black and color fax capabilities, is well suited for SOHO users looking to print, scan, copy and fax documents.
Lexmark can be found on the Internet at www.lexmark.com.

Sep 25 - Transmeta Announces World PC Expo 2001 Award for Crusoe-Based Server. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced that the NEC CS56 NetBrain server has won a Nikkei Byte Best of World PC Expo 2001 Editors' Choice award.
The small office/home office server, with a 600MHz Crusoe microprocessor, consumes less than 20 watts of power at full operating speed and does not require a cooling fan as a result of the microprocessor's unique, power-efficient design. If an interruption occurs in the main power supply, a built-in auxiliary battery supply kicks in and the server will continue to operate before shutting down in a safe manner.
The NEC server runs Linux 6.5 Secure Server edition, comes with a built-in UPS and optional RAID, and can fit into a 19-inch wide rack in two- and three-unit wide configurations. It includes 192MB SO-DIMM memory, an ATI-mobility graphics chipset, 40GB (x2 for RAID) hard drives, optional CD-ROM, one serial, two USB, one parallel, two PCI, two PS/2, one VGA and dual RJ-45 ports. Internally, there are up to two PCI sockets and room for compact flash storage.
While the server comes with the Linux operating system, it can be loaded with Windows(R) 2000, offering additional flexibility to the user.
NEC introduced the server in May 2001.
To learn more about Transmeta, visit the company's Web site at www.transmeta.com.

Sep 25 - Telenisus issues cyber terrorism security recommendations for US Businesses. Telenisus Corporation, in response to FBI warnings of cyber terrorism, has issued security recommendations and guidelines for U.S. businesses, including 12 immediate actions that companies can take to help protect themselves.
"We were all shocked and hurt to various degrees by the September 11 terrorist acts. We obviously cannot do anything to reverse what happened, but in some small way perhaps Telenisus can help others avoid being affected by another malicious event--cyber terrorism," said Gordon Reichard Jr., Telenisus president and chief executive officer. "The FBI has issued multiple advisories warning of the increased likelihood of computer attacks, and we hope that our recommendations and guidance will drastically improve the security preparedness of many U.S. businesses."

Don't Wait: 12 Actions You Should Start Today To Tighten Business
Security
-----------------------------------------------------------------

1. Remove active accounts (phone, e-mail, Internet, voicemail)
belonging to former employees and consultants.

2. Establish a process for human resources to notify the system
administrators when employees leave the company.

3. Review what's being allowed in through each network connection. If
you can't determine where remote entries are coming from, shut
them down.

4. Review how remote and external users are being authenticated.
Where possible, move from weak authentication methods, like
password use, to strong methods, like token-based authentication,
where small devices provide employees with ever changing
passwords.

5. Make sure all encryption functionalities on your existing software
applications are enabled.

6. Make sure your critical systems have been recently backed-up and
that backups are protected at another location.

7. Review security alerts and vendors' patch announcements. Know what
versions of operating systems and applications you have, seek out
alerts that affect them and apply the appropriate patches quickly.

8. Ensure your important networks, hosts and applications are being
monitored for malicious/abnormal activity. The worst scenario is
for an attack to go on for days or weeks undetected.

9. Undergo a security test of your corporate network perimeter to
find, then fix, any vulnerabilities.

10. Update your business continuity plan. Define what people must do
in the event of a facility or information systems breakdown as
well as scenarios where critical personnel or business partners
are unavailable.

11. Classify your data based on what is most valuable and what would
cause the most risk if compromised, then look at how it is
protected in storage and transmission--whether in paper or
electronic form.

12. Inform employees how they are expected to protect company
information. Educate users on use of passwords, including
avoidance of setting easily guessed passwords; improper posting of
passwords on PCs; and sharing of passwords. Help them understand
the "social engineering" threat and the importance of protecting
such property as laptops, PDAs and paperwork in and away from the
office.

Telenisus Corporation (www.telenisus.com) is a managed Internet infrastructure service provider, helping customers conduct business securely over the Internet.

Sep 25 - High-speed Internet Access Crucial for Those Who Telecommute. Don't even think about telecommuting if you don't have high-speed Internet access. This is according to a survey of 1,953 techies.com members including full-time, part-time, self-employed and unemployed tech professionals throughout the U.S., ranging from CIOs and business owners to data entry operators.
Technical drawbacks - especially with Internet access - represented the single biggest complaint of almost every telecommuter in the techies.com survey. About 58 percent of those we surveyed said they currently had a high-speed access method - ISDN, cable modem, DSL, satellite or T-1 - installed at home.
Out of all the active telecommuters surveyed, 64 percent had high-speed Internet access, but that number dropped to 49 percent for non-telecommuters. The access of choice for most - 52 percent of those with fast access - was cable modem. DSL came in second at 34 percent, with old-fashioned ISDN trailing a distant third.
In most cases equipping a home office remains the responsibility of the employee. A company is more likely to pay for or provide a home office when they have a formal telecommuting policy and guidelines in place. Seventy-five percent of those who telecommute say their employer supplied them with a laptop computer and a little more than half had special software installations for telecommuting.
About 40 percent of employers also cover expenses for office supplies and supply 800-number access to the main office, according to the survey. Only about 32 percent pay for a home office's Internet service provider and fewer than 20 percent supply additional technology such as a printer, scanner, fax, or a personal computer.
An article detailing additional survey findings is available at http://home.techies.com/Common/Content/2001/09/04mc_highspeed.html. Additional telecommuting data is available here http://inside.techies.com/Research/Pdf/techies-tcom.pdf.

Sep 24 - Computer Companies Demonstrate Coast-to-Coast IP Storage Interoperability. Eight of the leading computer, storage, and networking companies today announced the resoundingly successful deployment of the industry's first wire-speed, coast-to-coast IP Storage network.
Adaptec, Dell, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Intel, Nishan Systems, QLogic, and Qwest Communications were able to obtain speeds of 2.5 Gigabits per Second on a 10Gbps Link.
This visionary effort, dubbed the "Promontory Project" after the location where America's first transcontinental railroad was joined, eclipses all previous distance records for the efficient and flawless transfer of mass storage data. Proving that distance is no longer a barrier to storage networking success, the Promontory Project provides the path for IT professionals to more efficiently manage the storage challenges they face, including information overload, rolling power outages, and natural disasters.

Sep 24 - Sony Pumps Up Top-of-the-Line VAIO Desktop PCs for Fall. The mettle of Sony's champion VAIO(R) desktop PCs is getting even stronger with today's announcement of key feature, processor and memory upgrades on select fall models. Seven new VAIO desktop PCs in all will be hitting stores in October.
"Consumers spend way more time at home having fun than working on spreadsheets or word processing," said Matk Hanson, vice president of Sony's VAIO PC marketing. "That's why Sony is constantly improving the power and prowess of the VAIO desktop PC's entertainment features. This fall's VAIO line up is one more step in that continuous improvement."

VAIO Digital Studio Puts More Might Behind Digital Video

Topping the list is a new VAIO Digital Studio (PCV-RX590G) with Giga Pocket(TM) Personal Video Recorder feature, with a TV tuner and a DVD-RW drive for watching, recording, storing and sharing digital video.
The new RX590G model has an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 2.0 GHz processor, a whopping 512MB of RDRAM and a high-capacity 100GB hard drive. The RX590G also includes an HPNA modem for households that want to share live TV or recorded video from the Giga Pocket Personal Video Recorder; or high-speed Internet access, printers and drives among multiple PCs.
Like other Digital Studio PCs equipped with the Giga Pocket feature, the RX590G enables users to watch TV and record home videos or TV programs onto the hard drive. The consumer can plan ahead by using the free iEPG (Internet Electronic Program Guide) service to record shows up to 14 days in advance. Digital video content, once recorded onto the hard drive, can be exported onto a DVD using DVD-RW technology.
The RX590G also features Dolby digital optical output, allowing users to connect the system to a receiver with Dolby digital recorder. The included Dolby Virtual Surround Headphones allow for virtual surround sound without disturbing other family members in the room. The RX590G is expected to sell for about $2,500.
For those homes that can use the high quality entertainment features of the RX590G, but don't want the TV tuner or Giga Pocket feature, there's the PCV-RX580 which features the latest DVD-RW technology for watching movies or recording digital video content. The PCV-RX580 has an 80 GB hard drive and Intel's Pentium 4 1.8 GHz processor and will sell for about $1,650 with a $100 mail-in rebate.

Sony's Third Generation Pen Tablet PC: `Write' On!

The VAIO desktop PC fall line-up also includes Sony's third generation VAIO Slimtop Pen Tablet PC, which maintains the revolutionary pen-based user interface, but pumps up the features with a new DVD/CD-RW drive and a 60 GB hard drive.
The new Slimtop LX920 has an Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor, 256 MB of SDRAM and a V.90 modem.
In addition to a wheel mouse to navigate PC applications, this new model features a pressure-sensitive pen that allows users to draw, erase and navigate Windows(R)-based applications directly on the included 15-inch (15-inch viewable image size) XGA TFT Multimedia LCD with up to 1024x768 resolution. To maximize the fun, the VAIO LX920 Pen Tablet model also features Sony's PictureToy(TM) software, an easy-to-use drawing, tracing and painting application. It's expected to sell for about $2,500.

Mid-Range VAIO Desktop PCs Round-out the Line-up

For consumers who are in need of solid processing power, good looks and lots of storage, Sony's newest upgrades in mid-range VAIO desktops are the answer. The new VAIO PCV-RX560 and the PCV-RX570 come equipped with an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 1.7GHz processor and Pentium(R) 4 1.8GHz processor, respectively. With 80gigabytes of hard drive space, a V.90 modem and 10-BaseT/100-BaseTX Fast Ethernet port, consumers have the best tools for fast, powerful computing at home. The RX560 is available today and has an estimated selling price of about $1,200 after a $100 mail-in rebate. The RX570 ships in early October and is expected to sell for about $1,350 after a $100 mail-in rebate.

Connectivity for Every Room: Add A Value VAIO PC

You may have a powerhouse in your home office, but your kids might just need the basics, and for them, Sony offers two fully-equipped value PCs with an estimated selling price of $1,000 or less.
The VAIO PCV-RX540 and the PCV-RX550 are equipped with a 60GB hard drive, 256MB RAM and a V.90 modem. Both systems have two drives, a DVD-ROM and a CD-RW, and offer the ability to watch DVD movies, and download, share and listen to music. The iLINK (IEEE 1390) ports allow consumers to store and manage digital video content and watch home movies on the PC.
The RX540, equipped with an Intel Celeron 1.2GHz processor, will ship in October with an estimated selling price of about $800 after a $50 mail-in rebate. The RX550, which has an Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GHz processor, is available today for about $1,000 after a $100 mail-in rebate.

Hot Sony Software, Windows XP to Maximize Entertainment

All desktop systems announced today will use Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home, 10Base-T/100Base-TX Fast Ethernet, and Sony's original MovieShaker(TM), DVgate(TM), Media Bar(TM), SonicStage(TM) for VAIO, PictureGear(TM), Smart Capture, and VisualFlow(TM) software.
For additional information about Sony products, visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/vaio.

Sep 24 - Panasonic Introduces Ruggedized Handheld. Panasonic, the leading provider of ruggedized notebook PCs, today announced the release of a unique ruggedized portable computer, the Toughbook(R) 01 Handheld terminal, the newest portable computer solution for today's mobile professional. The Toughbook 01 will offer users a compact, yet durable and expandable hardware solution designed for today's enterprise and the stringent demands of vertical industries. The addition of this device rounds out Panasonic's robust product line that provides ruggedized, innovative portable data processing solutions covering the complete spectrum of portable computing form factors.

Features include:

- Rugged design compliant with MIL STD 810 E for drop shock & water resistance
- Brilliant 3.5" Color LCD with front lighting
- Touchscreen and keyboard data entry
- Intel(R) Strong Arm SA-1110 206 MHz Microprocessor
- Microsoft Windows(R) CE 3.0
- Integrated wireless communications and GPS options
- 1 pound

Model CF-P1S3BZZ3M Toughbook 01-- Intel(R) Strong ARM(R) SA-1110, 32MB SDRAM, 32MB Flash EPROM 3.5 "240 x 320 reflective, daylight-readable TFT Active Matrix Color LCD with Touchscreen and Frontlight, 1 pound. Estimated Street Price: $ 999.00.
Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be obtained at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

Sep 24 - Adobe Announces Public Beta Version of Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in Network Publishing, today announced the public beta version of Acrobat(R) Reader(R) for Pocket PC, a new software application that further builds on the company's vision to deliver visually rich content anytime, anywhere, on any device.
The product allows mobile professionals and others the freedom to view content in the ubiquitous Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on devices based on the popular Pocket PC software from Microsoft Corp. A beta version of the product is immediately available for download free of charge from the Adobe.com Web site at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/ppcbetareg.html.
Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC extends the value of award-winning Adobe(R) Acrobat 5.0 software and Adobe PDF to a broad range of devices, including HP Jornada, Compaq iPAQ and Casio CASSIOPEIA Pocket PC personal digital assistants (PDAs). Earlier this year, Adobe brought the power of Adobe PDF to Palm Powered(TM) devices with the release of Acrobat Reader for Palm OS(R), a product that has already surpassed one million downloads.

Sep 23 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $200 mail-in rebates on all Windows Me desktop complete systems and $100 mail-in rebates on Intel processor notebooks and all build-to-order computers. Additionally, they are offering 12 month no interest financing on all notebook and build-to-order computer purchases over $298.
Circuit City is offering $150 instant rebates on clearance computer packages and $100 instant rebates on clearance notebooks..
Office Depot has no store-wide sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples has no ad this Sunday.

Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A complete system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 800 MHz with 15 inch monitor
$549
Best Buy
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
   
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.5 GHz with 17 inch monitor
$1229
Best Buy
Best Duron System
Compaq 900 MHz complete system
$599
Circuit City
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1.2 GHz complete system
$1049
Circuit City
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Celeron with DVD
$949
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq AMD Athlon4 1 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
$1499
Circuit City

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.

 

[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]

 

| Top |

 
 
Home || Computer Advice || Online CPA || Site Search