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Daily Computer News and Rumors

August 01-07 2003

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 Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Aug 07 AMD Delivers Opteron Processor Model 246
Aug 07 New Kodak EasyShare Cameras and Printer Dock 4000
Aug 07 America Online Launches AOL Communicator
Aug 07 Monster Announces Strategic Marketing Decision Not to Renew Online Advertising Agreements
Aug 07 Residential Dial-up Internet Service Subscribers Would Prefer DSL over Cable
Aug 06 ATI Introduces ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO
Aug 06 AMD Demonstrates Linux-Based PDA at LinuxWorld
Aug 06 Fabless Semiconductor Association Announces Top Ten Fabless Companies
Aug 06 Addonics Announces New DVD 4X DVD+/-R/RW Duplicator and External Burner
Aug 06 321 Studios Announces Release of DVD and CD Rescue Products
Aug 05 Intel Delivers Optimization Kits for Mobile Phones and PDAs
Aug 05 Linux Sweeps IBM Customers from Smallest to Largest
Aug 05 Canon Introduces PictBridge Compatible Inkjet Printer
Aug 05 Marx Toys Unveils New Internet Robotic Toy Line
Aug 05 America Online and CareerBuilder Announce Career-Services Alliance
Aug 05 Broadband Users Accounted for Almost One-Third of Total Online Spending
Aug 04 America Online Introduces AOL 9.0 Optimized
Aug 04 Medea Ships FireFly FireWire Storage Solutions
Aug 04 Other World Computing Introduces Internal Optical Media Upgrades for Macs
Aug 03 Sunday Shopping Watch
Aug 01 IBM Plans to Deliver World's Most Powerful Linux Supercomputer
Aug 01 Sprint and AOL Launch Mail and Instant Messenger Service on PCS Vision Phones
Aug 01 FirewireDirect Ships 800Mbps FireWire Hard Drives
Aug 01 New Satellite Internet Modem Delivers on Faster Speeds
Aug 01 Midsize Businesses Embrace Wireless LANs
Aug 01 Worldwide WLAN 802.11 Market to exceed $3 Billion in 2007


Aug 07 - AMD Delivers Opteron Processor Model 246. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced immediate availability of the AMD Opteron(TM) processor Model 246, designed to provide outstanding performance for servers and workstations. The AMD Opteron processor Model 246, which will power the IBM eServer 325, provides a unified platform for servers and workstations, enabling simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing. The IBM eServer 325 is planned to power one of the world's largest Linux supercomputers at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

Recently announced results of the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-H benchmark, which measures business-related database queries, confirm the IBM eServer 325 featuring the AMD Opteron processor Model 246 is currently the highest performing system tested on this benchmark for both 100GB- and 300GB-sized databases.

"The clear increase in productivity offered by the AMD Opteron processor can drive a shift in enterprise and cluster computing," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "With AMD64 technology integrated in the AMD Opteron processor, coupled with IBM's eServer 325 product line, IT managers will now have easy access to 64-bit capabilities. The AMD Opteron processor can give businesses and institutions of all sizes a lower total cost of ownership with superior performance."

"Our customers in research-intensive industries, such as oil and gas exploration, pharmacology, finance and higher education, have been eagerly anticipating IBM products based on the AMD Opteron processor," said Dave Turek, vice president of Deep Computing at IBM. "These critical industries often utilize clustering, which demands stability, reliability and ease of management as well as superior computing performance for intense calculations. The AMD Opteron processor is uniquely suited for their needs."

AMD Opteron processor Model 246-based servers outperform many competitive offerings by up to 50% on industry standard benchmarks. Complete benchmarking details for the AMD Opteron processor are available at www.amd.com/opteronperformance.

Aug 07 - New Kodak EasyShare Cameras and Printer Dock 4000. Expanding its award-winning EasyShare digital photography system, Eastman Kodak Company today introduced two new digital cameras and an additional printer dock.

-- At US$399 manufacturer's suggested retail price, the Kodak
EasyShare DX4530 zoom digital camera is one of the most
affordable 5-megapixel cameras on the market.

-- Designed for digital newcomers, the Kodak EasyShare CX6230
zoom digital camera (US$199 MSRP) is one of the simplest to
use point-and-shoot, fully automatic zoom digital cameras.

-- The new Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000 (US$199 MSRP)
designed to work with the EasyShare DX4530 digital camera and
other EasyShare CX/DX 3000- and 4000-series cameras - produces
durable, borderless 4 x 6-inch Kodak prints in as little as 90
seconds with or without a computer.

Kodak EasyShare DX4530 zoom digital camera

The Kodak EasyShare DX4530 zoom digital camera will be available worldwide beginning this month. It features 5 megapixel resolution with unsurpassed image quality, resulting in crisp, sharp prints at sizes up to 20 x 30 inches, as well as a 3X optical Kodak Retinar all-glass aspherical lens, 3.3X advanced digital zoom and Kodak Color Science technology - all with effortless operation.
A press of the DX4530 camera's red-jeweled "Share" button allows a person to immediately select printing, e-mailing, and mark as favorite options for each picture, and on-camera sharing is made simple with a bright, 1.8-inch indoor/outdoor LCD screen. The DX4530 comes with 32 MB of internal memory plus a MultiMediaCard/SD Card expansion slot to permit additional picture taking or extended digital video recording.

Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000

The Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000 is a simple way for owners of the DX4530 and other EasyShare CX/DX 4000 and 3000-series digital cameras to get durable, 4 x 6-inch Kodak pictures with or without a computer. Similar to the award-winning EasyShare printer dock 6000, the printer dock 4000 triples the functionality of a common photo printer.
It combines all the benefits of an EasyShare dock - quick battery recharging and one-touch picture transfer - with high quality thermal printing. The application of an exclusive XtraLife laminate coating makes the photos durable and water resistant. People simply use the on-camera share/print option to easily select which images to print, dock the camera, then with the touch of a button, get their Kodak photos in as little as 90 seconds. The printer dock 4000 will be available beginning this month.

Kodak EasyShare CX6230 zoom digital camera

The EasyShare CX6230 zoom digital camera is ideal for digital newcomers who want to take pictures that can be made into crisp, sharp prints up to 8 x 10 inches. The point-and-shoot CX6230 provides 2 megapixel resolution, a 3X optical Kodak Retinar aspheric all-glass zoom lens, 3.3X continuous digital zoom, and eight easily accessed picture modes such as night, landscape, close-up, black and white, and sepia.
The camera also captures 30-second digital video clips with audio, and incorporates the popular sharing features common across EasyShare products. It will be available beginning in September 2003.

More information on Kodak EasyShare products is available at www.kodak.com/go/EasyShare.

Aug 07 - America Online Launches AOL Communicator. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the launch of AOL(R) Communicator, a stand-alone, advanced communications product for AOL(R) members that brings together enhanced e-mail, instant messaging and a full-featured Address Book into one integrated suite.

AOL Communicator is available at no additional charge to AOL members who can use it seamlessly with the AOL(R) and AOL(R) for Broadband services to manage their online communications. AOL Communicator can consolidate e-mail from multiple AOL Screen Names and other POP and IMAP accounts into a single application. Ideal for AOL for Broadband members seeking an always-on communications package, AOL Communicator also integrates Radio@AOL for Broadband and My AOL Today, an all-new, interactive screen saver and news ticker, that delivers personalized news and information according to a member's selected interests.

AOL Communicator complements the new AOL(R) 9.0 Optimized, which includes an extensive array of rich communications options, including an upgrade for AOL Mail, enhanced instant messaging services, as well as additional built-in safety and security protections, AOL's new TopSpeed(TM) Web accelerator technology that is designed to enhance Web surfing, and more.

"Many AOL members, especially those using the AOL for Broadband service, have expressed great interest in using more advanced e-mail features and we're thrilled to now provide them with this robust, full-featured communications application," said David Gang, Executive Vice President of AOL Products. "For 'power' mail users, AOL Communicator is the perfect combination of powerful e-mail, instant messaging, personalized and up-to-the-minute news and content, and the hallmark ease of use AOL members have come to expect."

AOL members can download AOL Communicator for Windows at no charge from AOL Keyword: AOL Communicator. A version of AOL Communicator for AOL(R) for Mac OS X members will be available in the Fall. For more information on AOL 9.0 Optimized, please visit www.aolepk.com.

Aug 07 - Monster Announces Strategic Marketing Decision Not to Renew Online Advertising Agreements. Monster(R), the leading global online careers property and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: MNST), today announced that after a lengthy review of its marketing strategy, the company has decided not to renew its online advertising agreements with America Online, Inc. and MSN. The agreements with each company are set to expire on December 1 and December 31, 2003, respectively.

The company's decision follows months of analysis and a shift in Monster's strategic marketing roadmap to maximize its brand recognition as the online recruitment leader. As a result, the company will redirect approximately $50 million per year on targeted, national and local marketing initiatives. This will enable Monster to raise its overall advertising mix, including broadcast, to attract more targeted and local traffic to better meet the needs of its customers.

"The world has changed a great deal since 1999. While working with AOL and MSN played an integral role in establishing Monster as the online recruitment leader, we are now focused on implementing multiple marketing strategies on the national and local levels to attract a more highly targeted audience," said Jeff Taylor, Founder and Chief Monster.

In the month of June 2003, Monster had 18.1 million unique visitors including AOL and MSN (comScore Media Metrix). Approximately a quarter of Monster's unduplicated overall traffic came via AOL and MSN. Unduplicated refers to traffic that solely came to Monster via the career channels on AOL and MSN.

Mr. Taylor continued: "While we are still committed to online marketing, with the extra marketing dollars freed up, we will redirect our efforts on TV, local, outdoor, radio and keyword buys to better meet the needs of our local and national customer base. This effort, as part of our previously announced $125 million global marketing budget, will include the roll-out of an extensive marketing campaign this September with our new advertising agency of record, Deutsch Inc. This campaign will feature a new super-brand concept designed to help ensure continuous marketing presence on national and local levels."

Michael Sileck, Chief Financial Officer, Monster Worldwide, commented, "By redirecting the funds from the AOL and MSN agreements, we can invest approximately $50 million a year to further leverage the Monster brand and strengthen its position as the online recruitment leader. As we continue to execute on our business plan, it is crucial that our marketing dollars yield a return on investment that ensures the expansion of the Monster franchise. By doing so, we can continue to deliver on our commitment to maximize long-term shareholder value while seeking additional revenue-increasing opportunities."

The strength of the Monster brand is exhibited in a recent NFO Brand Study during Q2, 2003. In the study of online careers sites, Monster had a total unaided brand awareness of 74 percent for job seekers, with its nearest competitors at 37 percent and 24 percent. Monster also achieved a total brand awareness of 92 percent, with its nearest competitors at 69 percent and 60 percent. Additionally, 85 percent of online users who have posted a resume online have posted theirs on Monster.

More information about Monster is available at www.monster.com.

Aug 07 - Residential Dial-up Internet Service Subscribers Would Prefer DSL over Cable. Dial-up Internet subscribers who would switch to high-speed access would most likely choose to upgrade to DSL service over cable modem if both were available in their areas, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

The study, now in its sixth year, finds that when dial-up respondents were asked about which service they would switch to if all forms of dial-up and high-speed Internet service were available, 52 percent who said they would switch to high-speed Internet would switch to DSL, compared to 38 percent who would choose cable. Yet, cable-modem providers currently have almost twice the subscribers of DSL. Among Internet subscribers, 74 percent use a dial-up Internet service provider, 17 percent use a cable modem, and 9 percent use DSL.

"DSL providers are having a lot of success convincing consumers that they have an advantage over cable, particularly in the area of price," said Steve Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunication research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Price continues to be the number-one reason to switch providers among dial-up and high-speed Internet subscribers. However, widespread availability is a critical hurdle that DSL providers haven't yet been able to jump."

The study finds residential Internet subscriptions continue to grow, with 64 percent of households subscribing to either dial-up or high-speed service -- up 7 percent over 2002. While the vast majority continues to use dial-up service, high-speed access has increased 8 percent in 2003 to 26 percent of Internet households.

AT&T Worldnet ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among dial-up Internet service providers, with top scores on four of the seven factors that contribute to overall satisfaction: performance and reliability, image, offerings and promotions, and billing. The remaining factors are cost of service, e-mail services and customer service.

EarthLink ranks highest in overall satisfaction among high-speed providers, scoring highest in six factors: customer service, image, e-mail, cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions.

The 2003 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 7,700 residential customers of Internet service providers nationwide.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates at www.jdpower.com

Aug 06 - ATI Introduces ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX: ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT) enhances the multimedia PC experience with the new ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9600 PRO. ATI's newest multimedia video card joins the award-winning ALL-IN-WONDER(R) family to provide customers with all the best of current PC Multimedia technologies combined with fantastic new features such as FM Radio, Dual VGA, Faster-than-Real time DVD / CD Authoring and the next generation REMOTE WONDER(TM) II radio frequency (RF) Remote Control.

FM-on-Demand allows ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO owners to schedule favorite FM radio programs and extract selected portions to archived MP3 files. In addition, unique pitch-shifting features allow users to play back programs faster or slower but in normal tones. For example, speeches could be heard word for word or learning musicians could pick out every note of a song. The FM Player also features an alarm clock so owners can wake up to their favorite radio program.

ATI's award winning MULTIMEDIA CENTER Software has been updated to version 8.6, which now includes DVD and CD Authoring. A customer can easily archive recorded television, video and audio programs to the media of their choice with a couple of clicks of the mouse. ATI's media authoring solution supports DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, and CD-R/-RW. Depending on the media drive speed, ATI's solution allows Faster-than-Real time authoring which makes real time authoring obsolete because it does not tie up a computer for an extended period of time.

Designed as ATI's mainstream multimedia solution, ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO also includes the new REMOTE WONDER II and dual VGA support. The ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO will be available from selected partners in Europe and Asia-Pacific within 4 to 6 weeks.

ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO becomes the foundation of the perfect entertainment device: TV player, Personal Video Recorder, DVD and CD player, video editing platform, and now FM radio player. "The ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO creates an incredible multimedia PC experience possible by delivering revolutionary features combined with amazing graphics - it's the most comprehensive solution available today," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "The ALL-IN-WONDER continues to be the industry's best upgrade that turns any boring PC into a digital multimedia powerhouse."

ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO includes ATI's RADEON(TM) 9600 PRO graphics chip for amazing graphics performance. With 100 per cent Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 9 support for games of today and tomorrow, ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO users can explore stunning new worlds of cinematic gameplay with the unprecedented combination of power and performance, The video card offers long-term entertainment value with its quad-pipe architecture and high precision cinematic shaders that will result in amazing visual gaming experiences to excite devoted gamers and casual fans alike.

For more information, visit www.ati.com.

Aug 06 - AMD Demonstrates Linux-Based PDA at LinuxWorld. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today demonstrates OpenPDA, a Linux technology-based software platform running on the latest version of the AMD Alchemy(TM) Solutions Mobile Handheld Reference Design Kit (RDK).
This latest version of the RDK further demonstrates the unparalleled levels of functionality and portability enabled by the high-performance, low power, and highly integrated Au1100(TM) processor. When combined with the OpenPDA software suite, this platform represents a compelling new alternative for the PDA market.

The OpenPDA suite from Metrowerks is a comprehensive software solution for creating PDAs and other wireless network-connected computing devices. OpenPDA enhances innovative hardware designs with outstanding software for productivity, entertainment and personal information management functionality.
The software platform includes an embedded Linux kernel, Trolltech's Qtopia multi-language user interface, esmertec's Jeode Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and the Opera software full-featured Web browser. Extended capabilities such as desktop synchronization utilities and mobile networking are also included. The OpenPDA Development Studio, a comprehensive system level development package, is now available from Metrowerks with support for the Au1100 processor.

The Mobile Handheld RDK running OpenPDA provides designers an example of a powerful, multimedia PDA hardware and software solution with a host of standard applications including: multimedia player, games, voice recording, image viewer, synchronization, browsing, and Java technology. In addition, OpenPDA provides a full Personal Information Management (PIM) suite that includes calendar, contacts, to do list, e-mail, and text editor programs.

The Au1100 processor is a MIPS32(TM) technology-based system on a chip (SOC) processor, and is available at speeds of 333MHz, and 400 MHz with power dissipations of less than 200 milliwatts and 250 milliwatts respectively.
LinuxWorld attendees can see the demonstration at BOOTH # 647, August 5-7.

For more information on the Au1100 processor please go to: www.amd.com/connectivitysolutions/au1100.

Aug 06 - Addonics Announces New DVD 4X DVD+/-R/RW Duplicator and External Burner. Addonics Technologies today announced a new generation of DVD DigiCopiers, which feature a 4X DVD+/-R/RW duplicator, external DVD+/-R/RW burner for PCs and networks, and multiple drive interface support for USB 2.0, FireWire, CardBus or Serial ATA-based systems.

The device solves the confusing array of recordable media standards on the market because it is compatible with all popular media. The new line of Addonics DVD+/-R/RW DigiCopiers supports read/write to DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, Double-sided DVD, CD-R and CDRW media.

No operating system or PC is needed to use the new Addonics DVD DigiCopier as a duplicating station. To copy DVDs or CDs users just need to: (1.) Place the master DVD/CD into the source drive (2.) Load blank media in the destination drive (3.) Within few minutes your DVD or CD is copied.

There are no buttons to push, no complicated software programs to learn, and no attention is needed while the copy is being made. Using standard 4.7GB or 9.4GB doubled-sided DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW or DVD-RW media, users easily copy their own corporate or personal videos for playback on computer DVD or regular DVD players. The Addonics DVD DigiCopier is also a cost-effective means to duplicate training materials and large databases for information distribution or for data archiving.

The new Addonics drive is more than a stand-alone DVD/CD copier. It is also an external DVD+/-R/RW burner. The DVD+/-R/RW DigiCopier can be used to master DVD titles, music CDs, photo CDs or data CDs. Users just connect the drive to any desktop or notebook PC with the Addonics interface cable (USB 2.0, FireWire, CardBus or Serial ATA) and install the DVD/CD mastering software that comes bundled with the unit. After you create your own master, you can now make extra copies to distribute to your friends or associates.

Typical duplication time for a full disc is 12 minutes for CD-R to 40 minutes for DVD-R or DVD+R. When used with a computer, the bundled disc mastering software supports Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, NT and XP. Note: the DVD+/-R/RW DigiCopier may not able to duplicate a copy-protected DVD or CD.

The source drive of the DVD DigiCopier operates at 16X Maximum DVD-ROM. The destination drive is a DVD+/-R/RW device with 4X on DVD+/-R, 2X on DVD+/-RW, and a 16x8x32 CDRW. Other features include automatic format detection, which detects DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD-R and CDRW media to make the drive perform at the maximum speed of the media.

In addition, the DVD DigiCopier can be connected to either a USB, FireWire port, PCMCIA (CardBus) slot or Serial ATA port. Interface cables are all interchangeable with every unit and different interface cables can be ordered separately. Data transfer rate varies depends on the type of interface. The drive can achieve a data transfer rate of up to 21,600KB/sec (16X DVD-ROM) with a FireWire, USB 2.0 or Serial ATA interface. The small footprint duplicator weighs just 10.03 lbs and measures 7.5 wide x 10.63 deep x 6.75 inches high

The new line of DVD+/-R/RW DigiCopiers are offered in two models. The USB 2.0 version (Model # AEDVDCOPPM4U) includes the Addonics 4X DVD+/-R/RW and 16X CDRW Duplicator; USB 2.0 interface cable; Sonic MyDVD, DVD/CD mastering software and MPEGII decoding software for Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 and XP, and a user guide. It has a MSRP of $659.

The base unit (Model # AEDVDCOPPM4) includes the Addonics 4X DVD+/-R/RW and 16X CDRW Duplicator, and a user guide. Users can choose from four optional interface/upgrade kits (list priced from $55-75) for making USB 2.0, FireWire or CardBus or Serial ATA connections. The base model has a list price of $599.

Addonics products are available through the company online store www.shopaddonics.com, major catalog companies, and resellers.

Aug 06 - Fabless Semiconductor Association Announces Top Ten Fabless Companies. The Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA), a premier semiconductor trade association, announced the top ten fabless companies based on revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2003.

QUALCOMM's (Nasdaq:QCOM) CDMA division (QCT segment) topped the list of all fabless companies with revenues of more than $557 million for the quarter. NVIDIA's (Nasdaq:NVDA) revenues are expected to be between $455 million and $460 million, while Broadcom (Nasdaq:BRCM) ranked third with $377 million in revenue. Other companies in the top ten ranking included ATI Technologies (Nasdaq:ATYT), Xilinx (Nasdaq:XLNX), SanDisk (Nasdaq:SNDK), MediaTek (Taiwan: 2454.TW), Altera (Nasdaq:ALTR), Marvell (Nasdaq:MRVL) and Conexant (Nasdaq:CNXT), respectively.

Overall, fabless revenues are expected to grow more than five percent from Q1 2003 to Q2 2003 and 42 percent year-over-year, after all companies report earnings.

In 1994, industry leaders incorporated the FSA (www.fsa.org) on the premise that the fabless business model would be a viable, long-term business model. Today the viability of outsourcing as a sustainable business model for the industry has been proven. The organization encourages the relationship between semiconductor companies and suppliers; facilitates business partnerships; creates awareness of the fabless/outsourced business model; disseminates industry data; and fosters standards and policies.

FSA members represent fabless companies, integrated device manufacturers, foundry providers, packaging/assembly houses, electronic design automation companies, investment bankers, venture capitalists, intellectual property providers and other companies.

The FSA's vision is that by 2010 half of all integrated circuit revenue will come from fabless/outsourced operations.

Aug 06 - 321 Studios Announces Release of DVD and CD Rescue Products. 321 Studios, the leader in DVD back-up software, announced today the release of its latest breakthrough in asset protection technology: DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue. These two new products recover and restore data from unreadable, scratched, corrupt or defective DVDs or CDs (CD-R and CD RW.) Utilizing a DVD or CD burner, DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue create brand new, perfectly playable DVDs or CDs from the damaged original.

"DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue are the perfect solutions for imperfect media." said Robert Moore, founder and president of 321 Studios. "No other product exists on the market that has the capability to recover data from damaged media sources. We at 321 Studios are proud to offer these innovations that will bring your favorite CD or DVD back to life."

DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue provide users with the ability to fix a favorite movie that jumps, an audio CD that skips, a photo disc with treasured photos that can no longer be accessed, and other personal and business technology dilemmas. These new products create a brand new and problem-free copy of a DVD or CD from a damaged original.

While CDs and DVDs look to be indestructible, they can be susceptible to a number of disasters caused by every day use. CD X Rescue and DVD X Rescue can repair and restore discs rendered unreadable due to scratches from regular use and even some aggressive scratching beyond normal use as tested in the 321 Studios' laboratory. In addition, these media mediums are subject to common read errors and distortions that cause discs to be unreadable. 321 Studio's DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue fixes a host of these problems however, solution results differ depending on the extent of damage.

CD X Rescue and DVD X Rescue work far better than disc buffer solutions, which actually grind off a portion of the top layer of the disc. While these devices can often temporarily fix certain scratch problems, they are expensive, require refills, and don't offer a long-term solution for disc users.

Users can rescue their damaged or corrupt CDs and DVDs with DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue using nothing more than a DVD/CD burner and blank DVD or CD.

DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue have been tested extensively, work with all common PC and MAC formats and are compatible with Windows XP/2000/98/ME.

DVD X Rescue and CD X Rescue will be available on September 3, 2003 for retail purchase from 321 Studios at www.DVDXCopy.com, and at select retail outlets.

-- DVD X Rescue has a sale price of $69.99, with a $20 mail-in rebate.

-- CD X Rescue has a sale price of $49.99 with a $10 mail-in rebate.

Aug 05 - Intel Delivers Optimization Kits for Mobile Phones and PDAs. Intel Corporation today announced the availability of optimization kits that will help wireless application developers improve the power and performance of cell phone and PDA applications running on processors based on Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology.

Results from software vendors using the kits in early trials have shown performance improvements anywhere from 50 percent for a mobile gaming vendor to 20 times better for a fingerprint recognition application. Meanwhile, other companies including a videoconferencing software maker experienced a 25 percent increase in battery life.

"The goal of these kits is simple: Enable the industry to make the cell phone or PDA as exciting as possible," said Tony Sica, vice president and director of group marketing for Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group. "The emergence of advanced data networks provide a unique opportunity for the software development community to bring its creativity and innovations into a new and interesting segment. The combination of these new optimization kits and Intel XScale technology based processors provide a vehicle with the power and performance necessary to help bring convincing applications and services to these segments."

The kits include a Pocket PC* PDA based on an Intel(R) PXA255 processor for downloading and testing the applications, as well as a number of software tools and a support CD used for fine-tuning the applications. The Intel tools include the Intel(R) VTune(TM) Performance Analyzer software and the Intel(R) C++ Compiler for Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++.
The support CD contains optimization documentation, software development kits, sample code and links to Intel optimization resources. The kits are available now at www.shop-intel.com/shop/product.asp for $999.

Future kits will include additional handheld and wireless handset devices using the latest Intel XScale technology based processors and operating system support, including Microsoft Smartphone, Linux and Palm OS.

Aug 05 - Linux Sweeps IBM Customers from Smallest to Largest. IBM today at LinuxWorld San Francisco announced new customers from various industries that are moving to Linux, marking the astounding growth in demand for Linux, from the smallest to the largest customers.

From small and mid-sized business (SMB) customers Netflix and Marinalife to enterprise customer NYFIX, companies in every industry and throughout the world are choosing Linux and IBM to save costs, consolidate workloads and integrate their e-business operating environments.

In response to the overwhelming customer demand, IBM is expanding its Linux practice in key areas, including the expanded IBM Global Services (IGS) Linux practice, SMB solutions testing in IBM Linux competency centers and Business Partner and ISV programs for Linux-based solutions. IBM's industry-leading Linux consultancy practice has expanded to meet customer demand for Linux-related services. More than 3,000 employees in IGS now have skills in open source technologies, a ten fold increase since 2001.

"In a tough economy, customers need to do more with less," said Jim Stallings, general manager, Linux, IBM. "As customers increasingly move from proprietary solutions, such as those from Sun, HP and Microsoft, IBM will continue to drive Linux adoption by expanding our Linux practices and offering customers and partners the tools they need to integrate their e-business operating environments while realizing improved performance and better return on investment."

For more information about IBM and Linux, visit www.ibm.com/linux.

Aug 05 - Canon Introduces PictBridge Compatible Inkjet Printer. Canon's new i560 Desktop Photo Printer is the world's first PictBridge-enabled inkjet printer, which allows consumers to print directly from any PictBridge compatible camera or camcorder - regardless of brand. Customers can also print high-quality borderless photos, sharp text or perfectly formatted web pages from the computer.

As one of the fastest printers in its class, the i560 delivers print speeds of up to 22 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 15 ppm in color and it is capable of delivering a staggering 19 million droplets of ink per second at the maximum of 4800 x 1200 dpi color resolution. Dramatic improvements in speed and quality found in the i560 printer compared to its predecessor - the i550 model - are based on the inclusion of Canon technology found in the multi-award winning Canon i850 photo printer. This technology includes the i850 unit's print head and many of the print engine components.

"Our new i560 is a fast desktop and photo printer capable of connecting directly to PictBridge-enabled digital cameras," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE CAJ). "Designed to fit consumers lifestyles, the printer lets users plug their digital camera in for quick and easy snapshots or print beautiful images from their computer."

The i560 print head uses a Canon-exclusive technology that combines ultra-fine two picoliter drops for exceptional quality and detail when printing photos and five pl droplets for fast text and graphics printing. The print head also features 1600 nozzles and advanced Microfine Droplet Technology(TM) to eject the exact amount of ink for each droplet, resulting in a higher quality photo print and increased print speeds. The Canon Think Tank System(TM) provides economical ink use using four individual tanks that can be replaced individually as each tank runs out.

The Canon i560 Desktop Photo Printer is compatible with Windows XP/2000/Me/98/95/ NT 4.0, Mac OS 8.6-9.x, Mac OS X v 10.2.1 to 10.2.x. A one-year limited warranty with InstantExchange is included with an option to purchase an extended limited warranty (good for up to three years) from Canon for a suggested retail price of $50.00. The i560 Desktop Photo Printer will be available in August for a suggested list price of $129.99.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Aug 05 - Marx Toys Unveils New Internet Robotic Toy Line. Marx Toys And Entertainment Corp. (OTCBB:MRXT), announced the launch of a revolutionary interactive toy that will enhance Internet users of all ages with their instant messaging experiences.

Marx will be the exclusive retail distributor of what could be the hottest toy this holiday season. The toy, which will resemble famous cartoon characters and real life individuals, will sit on top of one's computer monitor and verbalize the user's incoming messages through an advanced "text to speech" technology.
The animatronic messaging companion not only talks in the actual character's voice, but has the motorized ability to move it's mouth and head simultaneously. This companion, which will retail at $24.99, also uses inferred censor technology and is linked to the front of the computer monitor. Last, it consists of multifunctional capabilities, which include reading stories and playing a handful of online games that come packaged with each toy.

"Our team is very excited to bring this product to market, it's the first interactive Internet related toy of its kind. First there was hardware, then software. Now, we'd like to introduce toyware.", states Marx Toys' CEO, Steven Wise and added, "Marx will continue to be aggressive. Our newly hired sales force has set goals of selling one million units through its retail channels and we are presently in negotiations with major Internet service providers, motion picture studios, television producers and other licensees."

Late last week, Marx Toys & Entertainment acquired software company, AZtor Corporation. The software technology will help Marx to develop enhanced interactive toy lines for the future. The interactive characters, which are already creating a buzz in the toy industry, will be in stores shortly.

About Marx Toys And Entertainment Corp.

Marx branded toys are sold at more than 400 toy and hobby retailers across the U. S. and has a rich history dating back to 1928. To read more on this history, visit www.marxtoys.com. In late July, Marx acquired a software company, AZtor Corporation. More info is at www.aztor.com.

Aug 05 - America Online and CareerBuilder, LLC Announce Career-Services Alliance. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, and CareerBuilder.com, the smarter recruitment resource for finding better candidates and jobs, today announced a multi-year strategic alliance under which CareerBuilder.com will power the Careers and Jobs areas of several America Online brands. CareerBuilder.com will also receive promotion on several Time Inc. interactive properties as well as on CNN.com.

The alliance brings the wide online consumer audiences of America Online, Time Inc. and CNN together with CareerBuilder.com's unique combination of national, local and niche audiences, offering job-seekers and recruiters a powerful online resource to match qualified prospective employees with the right company. The exclusive four-year agreement, beginning in mid-December 2003, involves a combination of performance-based elements and guaranteed payments, and is valued at up to $115 million over the term.

Under the agreement, tens of millions of AOL and CompuServe members and Netscape users will have convenient access to all of CareerBuilder.com's more than 400,000 continuously updated job postings, representing more than 25,000 of the top employers in virtually every industry and field. AOL members will also be able to take advantage of CareerBuilder.com's smart online products such as the confidential Personal Search Agent that hunts for job opportunities in expressed areas of interest and automatically emails them to job seekers.

Ted Leonsis, AOL Vice Chairman and President, AOL Core Service, said: "With an increasingly competitive job market, a search for employment has to include the online medium. We're very pleased to bring CareerBuilder.com's employment resources to the millions of users of America Online's brands, because CareerBuilder.com is a leader in the recruitment arena, offering targeted job search products and a connection to 25,000 of the nation's most sought after employers."

For more information about CareerBuilder.com products and services, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Aug 05 - Broadband Users Accounted for Almost One-Third of Total Online Spending. Scarborough Research, a leader in identifying local, regional and national consumer patterns, announced a recent study that shows American adults with at-home broadband connections accounted for almost one-third (31 percent) of all consumer online spending last year totaling 15 billion dollars.

At home broadband users - those who used an ISDN, DSL technology or a cable modem to access the Internet in the past 30 days -currently represent 19 percent of online adults.

America's 23 million broadband users are twice as likely as all Internet users to have spent $2,500 or more online in the past 12 months. Broadband users are 39 percent more likely to purchase jewelry online; 64 percent more likely to purchase toys and games online; and 64 percent more likely to purchase cars, trucks and SUVs. Furthermore, broadband users are more likely to use the Internet to view traditional media content than other Internet users. This escalating category of Internet users is the next generation of web users and information seekers.

Broadband users are 68 percent more likely than all Internet users to have read a magazine online and 40 percent more likely to have read a newspaper online in the past 30 days. One-fifth (20 percent) of broadband users listened to the radio online in the past 30 days, making them 72 percent more likely than all Internet users to do so. As compared to all Internet users, broadband users are 42 percent more likely to have visited a broadcast television network website in the past 30 days and one-third (33 percent) more likely to have logged onto a local television station website. They are also 45 percent more likely to have accessed Internet yellow pages in the past 30 days.

"Traditional media websites, which have often been perceived mostly as extensions of their broadcast or print counterparts, are able to provide richer online experiences to those with broadband connections and offer rich content like streaming audio and video, interactive games, and sophisticated graphics and downloads," said Gary Meo, senior vice president, internet and print sales, Scarborough Research. "Their ability to integrate traditional content with rich media also allows online marketers to present advertising in new and exciting formats. The continued adoption of broadband is one of the key drivers of the advertising growth that online companies have been experiencing this year."

Where do broadband users live?

According to Scarborough Research, Honolulu is the top ranked broadband market as 40 percent of Honolulu adults who accessed the Internet in the past 30 days have a broadband connection at-home. San Diego, CA, is second highest with 34 percent followed by Rochester, NY, with 32 percent. Cities with the lowest broadband penetration include Spokane, WA (nine percent), Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM (eight percent), and Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA (six percent).

Compared to all Internet users in the U.S., broadband users are well-educated (12 percent more likely than all adults accessing the Internet to hold a college degree and 17 percent more likely to have a post-graduate degree) and affluent (32 percent more likely than total Internet users to have household incomes of $75,000 or more). Slightly more than a quarter (26 percent) of broadband users are between the ages of 35 and 44 and almost half (49 percent) have one or more children in the household.

"At-home broadband consumers spend more money online than the average Internet user and their affluence and education levels make them a favorable marketing target," said Mr. Meo. "Local media outlets can take advantage of broadband penetration in their markets - and the expanded creativity of rich content - to reach this valuable consumer group with content and advertising."

More information about Scarborough Research can be found at www.scarborough.com.

Aug 04 - America Online Introduces AOL 9.0 Optimized. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the introduction of AOL(R) 9.0 Optimized, the latest version of the AOL and AOL(R) for Broadband services, and the beginning of the "Members First" download campaign.

On Friday, August 1st, AOL for Broadband members using the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP and Windows(R) 2000 operating systems will be the first to get an exclusive, preview copy of the new version before the product is generally released in stores and marketing outlets this fall. All other AOL members will be notified online in the coming weeks as AOL 9.0 Optimized is available for them to download. Members can also order a free AOL 9.0 Optimized CD in the online upgrade area.

The most compelling upgrade in AOL history, AOL 9.0 Optimized includes a number of valuable new and enhanced features designed to help members get the most from being online. During a special online promotional campaign, a record 2.8 million AOL members signed up to receive an automatic alert when AOL 9.0 Optimized is available to download. And pre-release usage of the product during beta testing surpassed expectations with active participation from more than 150,000 members.

Jon Miller, AOL's Chairman and CEO, said: "Our members told us exactly what they want in their AOL service and AOL 9.0 Optimized was built in response. No matter how members and their families connect to the AOL service - whether by dial-up or by adding the AOL for Broadband service to a basic high-speed connection - this upgrade will allow each person to create the online world that they want. Once again, the Company that encouraged generations of people to experience the Internet, is delivering a consumer-focused online service that provides real value, enjoyment, and the most ease and convenience available."

Throughout this fall, AOL will ramp up a multi-faceted marketing campaign to build momentum around the AOL 9.0 Optimized release. As part of this campaign, AOL will integrate online promotions, product placement and full-scale brand advertising to increase exposure to 9.0 Optimized, and also will make the new version generally available to consumers online and through CDs distributed in a wide range of retail stores, venues and other marketing outlets. In addition, the Company is working together with leading computer manufacturers to offer AOL 9.0 Optimized on popular desktop and laptop PCs and make it even more convenient for consumers to get the new AOL and software and service.

"Dell's committed to offer customers AOL 9.0 Optimized on our market-leading personal computers to make it easier for them to enjoy the best possible online experience," said John Hamlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Dell's U.S. Consumer Business. "By bringing America's favorite PC together with the industry-leading interactive services and content of AOL, our customers will be able to benefit from faster and more robust online sessions."

Highlights of AOL 9.0 Optimized include:

-- Built-in Safety and Security Protections. New protections, including personalized and adaptive spam filters that get smarter as you use them, and enhanced Parental Controls that put parents in control and allow members and their families to take on the Internet's biggest annoyances on their terms. In addition to these new features, the AOL service also provides members with automatic virus scanning for e-mail attachments.

-- New Technologies for a More Seamless Online Experience. AOL's new TopSpeed(TM) Web acceleration technology that enhances Web surfing at no additional charge, as well as software that will automatically reconnect and restart if an interruption occurs in either a dial-up or broadband session, along with entirely new ways to customize the AOL experience, including a personalized Welcome experience with new options to help members quickly get to important things every time they sign on.

-- New Ways to Share and Have Fun Online. New 3D animated SuperBuddy(TM) Icons and a suite of new instant messaging and personalized "expressions" features designed to make it even more fun to be online and to communicate with friends and family through voice conversations using a new AOL(R) Talk Phone, video clips, digital photos, and file sharing.

-- New Communications Options. A significant upgrade for AOL(R) Mail that retains AOL's signature ease of use while incorporating a number of improvements designed for more active and advanced e-mail users, such as: a new Manage Mail tab that makes it easy for members to view all of their mail from one place; the ability to permanently store up to 20 megabytes of mail per Screen Name - for a total of up to 140 megabytes per account - on AOL's servers at no additional charge; an expanded library of stationery designs, art and sound effects, and smileys to dress up e-mails; and a new Mail QuickView feature that allows members to see recently received mail at-a-glance.

-- More Family and Kid-Friendly Fun Features. The new AOL(R) Cash Card program offers a parent-controlled prepaid card that is an easy way to give teens and young adults an online allowance and help teach them good money management habits. This year, AOL is also introducing new, customized versions of the AOL service designed expressly for kids and teens.

-- More of the Best On-Demand and Exclusive Programming Online. VIP access to exclusive, original, brand name news, sports, entertainment, and music content that makes the online experience more complete for members.

"AOL 9.0 Optimized underscores the Company's focus on relentless innovation to deliver what's most important to our members - providing increased safety and security protections, making their lives easier, and bringing the fun back to being online," said David Gang, Executive Vice President, AOL Products. "Anticipation is building for the new AOL 9.0 Optimized and we're excited about delivering this great new product to our members."

AOL members can find out more at Keyword: Upgrade. AOL can be found online at www.aol.com.

Aug 04 - Medea Ships FireFly FireWire Storage Solutions. Medea Corporation, the leading manufacturer of ATA-based storage solutions for rich media and streaming applications, announced today that the company has begun shipping FireFly(TM), an innovative FireWire-based storage solution for content creation applications.

"FireFly is the first FireWire storage solution to feature a docking station and removable disk modules that also operate as stand-alone FireWire drives," said Roger Mabon, Vice President of Channel Marketing at Medea. "With FireFly, one disk module can be left secure in the docking station while the other module is used to create content while 'on-the-fly'. When the module is replaced in the docking station, content can be automatically synchronized to provide a backup copy of the user's valuable data."

FireFly Overview

FireFly is a modular FireWire storage solution designed for today's storage-intensive applications, including digital audio and video editing, DVD authoring, digital imaging, and desktop publishing. The system features a FireWire port on the front of the docking station for easy connection of DV camcorders.

FireFly is available in capacities up to 500GB (2x 250GB modules) and can be either striped (RAID 0) for performance, mirrored (RAID 1) for data protection, or formatted as independent FireWire drives.

FireFly is available in 240, 400, and 500GB capacities with North American pricing of $699, $999, and $1,299, respectively. FireFly is available now from Medea's authorized dealers and mail-order vendors. Visit www.medea.com for a list of these resellers.

Aug 04 - Other World Computing Introduces Internal Optical Media Upgrades for Macs. Other World Computing (OWC) today introduced Mercury Ti and Mercury Cube slot-loading internal SuperDrive and Combo drives available for both PowerBook G4 Titanium 15-inch and Power Macintosh G4 Cube models, respectively.

Allowing users to replace their current internal optical drive, OWC SuperDrives provide full DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW capabilities, while the OWC Combo drives provide full CD-R/RW and DVD playback capabilities. Drives are 100 percent compatible with all Apple software titles, including iDVD (SuperDrive only), iTunes and Disc Burner.

"Out goes the stock drive and in goes the new OWC SuperDrive or Combo drive upgrade," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "Now both Cube G4 and PowerBook G4 owners can have it all -- conveniently right inside their machine and with 100 percent Apple software compatibility."

OWC SuperDrives are priced from $379.95 for both the Mercury Ti and Cube models, and both models of OWC Combo drives are priced at $199.95. All come with step-by-step instructions for easy installation and are available exclusively through OWC at www.macsales.com/MercurySL.

Further, OWC offers a trade-in rebate of $19 or $85, respectively, for the return of a properly functioning Apple CD/DVD or Apple CD-R/RW+DVD that the new OWC drive has replaced.

Aug 03 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Another very good weekend to go out and buy a new desktop or laptop computer.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy is offering 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages and laptops.
Circuit City is offering $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 18 months no payment, no interest financing on any purchase of $499 and higher with printed CompUSA Ad.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete 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 computer manufacturer. 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).

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.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.4 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Circuit City
2. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
3. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.4 GHz system with 15" flat panel, and DVD-R/W
Best Buy, Circuit City ($999)
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.6 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel, DVD-R/W, and HT Technology
Circuit City
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2300+ complete system
Best Buy
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2600+ complete system with 17" flat panel
Best Buy
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines 2600+ complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-RW
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

Compaq 2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Laptop

Toshiba 2.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

Best Buy
4. Best Low-cost Laptop

Compaq Athlon XP 2400+ with DVD/CD-RW

Circuit City
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy, Circuit City
3. Best High-end Notebook
Sharp 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 Media Center with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Office Depot
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
HP 4X multiformat DVD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 4X multiformat DVD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Samsung 52X CD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy


InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime


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 local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

Aug 01 - IBM Plans to Deliver World's Most Powerful Linux Supercomputer. In advance of LinuxWorld San Francisco, IBM today announced that Japan's largest national research organization is the first customer to order the breakthrough technology of the new IBM eServer 325 to deliver the world's most powerful Linux supercomputer as part of a massive, distributed computing Grid to support various research including life sciences and nanotechnology.

The IBM eServer 325, a new DB2 Linux cluster with support for the AMD Opteron processor, and expanded Lotus client software are a few of the new comprehensive offerings for Linux that IBM will announce at LinuxWorld. The offerings separate IBM from the competition and highlight its unique ability to offer scalable total hardware, software and services solutions that will help small, mid-sized, and enterprise customers save costs, solve key business issues, and integrate their e-business infrastructure.

Japan's Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) system will include 1,058 of IBM's new eServer 325 systems, based on the AMD Opteron processor. The complete cluster will be capable of delivering more than 11 trillion calculations per second. The supercomputer is planned to be integrated with other non-Linux systems to form a massive, distributed computing Grid, enabling collaboration between corporations, academia, and government.

The introduction of the IBM eServer 325 marks a significant milestone in e-business integration by delivering the capability to run Linux combining 64-bit performance with 32-bit application compatibility, by delivering hardware and software that supports the high-performance AMD Opteron processor.
The support allows high performance computing customers to seamlessly migrate their IT systems to a 64-bit environment, optimizing their 32-bit investment and performance while capitalizing on the power of 64-bit computing. Designed to run either Linux or Windows operating systems, the eServer 325 can run both 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously, providing customers with flexibility to effectively manage their business.

"In an environment where businesses need to do more with less, customers are increasingly turning to Linux and IBM to help integrate their infrastructure, increase flexibility and improve performance, all while saving costs," said Jim Stallings, general manager, Linux, IBM. "As Linux continues to evolve as a reliable environment for critical applications, IBM will continue to offer breakthrough technology, like the eServer 325 and DB2 Cluster, across our product line, providing our customers with total business solutions."

For more information about IBM and Linux, visit www.ibm.com/linux.

Aug 01 - Sprint and AOL Launch Mail and Instant Messenger Service on PCS Vision Phones. Sprint (NYSE: FON, PCS) and America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the availability of AOL(R) Mail and AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) service (AIM(R)) on PCS Vision Phones nationwide. Now millions of AOL members and AIM users can fully manage their AOL Mail in addition to sending and receiving instant messages directly from their PCS Vision Phones. This launch extends the relationship between the two companies, which dates back to February 2000 when Sprint became the first provider to launch AOL services across a wireless network.

With the launch, PCS Vision customers don't have to be tied to the computer to connect to their AOL Mail or AOL Buddy List(R) as Sprint and America Online are bringing leading online communication features to PCS Vision Phones. Sprint and AOL have been working closely together for the past three years to bring internet-based wireless content and services to mobile phone users nationwide.

"Communication is the number one reason people own a PCS Phone. The addition of AOL tools to PCS Vision services now makes it even easier for Sprint customers to communicate wirelessly via email or instant messaging," said Chip Novick, vice president of consumer marketing for the PCS Division of Sprint. "These new interactive services, available nationwide, let customers move their online world in-hand and remain connected while away from the computer."

"With the availability of AOL Mail and AIM on PCS Vision Phones, AOL members and AIM users with these next generation phones will never have to worry about missing an important email or IM while on the go," said Bill Schwebel, Vice President and General Manager of AOL Wireless. "We are excited to be extending our partnership with Sprint, and ensuring that as mobile services evolve, we are able to provide AOL members and AIM users with added services that extend the reach of the Internet."

By using any of more than eight models of Internet-ready PCS Vision phones, AOL members across the country will experience the best of interactive content with the best of wireless communications virtually anywhere, anytime on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS wireless network. AOL members can also use any of the additional four Sprint PDA phones to access AOL services and content.

PCS Vision from Sprint includes services that allow customers to take and receive pictures from select PCS Phones; browse the Internet at speeds faster than most dial-up connections; check personal and corporate e-mail; watch clips and stream audio for news and music; download polyphonic, animated and voice ringers, and full-color, graphically-rich games and screen savers, all on the enhanced Nationwide PCS Network.

The PCS Vision Premium Pack is available for $15 a month. This includes unlimited access to the PCS Vision Web, unlimited text messaging and $10 per month in premium applications such as games, ringers and screensavers.

For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

Aug 01 - FirewireDirect Ships 800Mbps FireWire Hard Drives. FirewireDirect.com Inc. today announces the introduction of the first in a series of bold new 800Mbps external hard drives and enclosures with the debut of the StingRay 800, a powerful dual interface USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 3.5" desktop hard drive storage system.

FireWire 800, or 1394b, is a new, faster FireWire standard rolling out in highly anticipated new products from FirewireDirect. The improved standard offers dramatically increased speeds and enhancements that will be immediately attractive to digital video and audio producers, multimedia creators and every personal computer user demanding cost effective and speedy storage for the digital life style.

FirewireDirect was first to market with several 800Mbps products, and the StingRay 800 is their first storage offering, available in up to 320 GigaBytes in a single volume and already offering the huge speed gains promised by the new standard. Most users will see sustained reads of over 50MB/s and writes of over 40MB/s, about double the possibilities of traditional FireWire.

Like all FirewireDirect products, the drive plugs and plays without special drivers. The dual USB 2.0 FireWire 800 interface enables it to connect to virtually any computer. The drive separates itself from the pack with a whisper quiet fan for efficient and noiseless cooling, and a built-in power supply -- no bulky power brick cords. These and other attributes make the StingRay a powerful 800Mbps FireWire solution that's especially attractive for mobile personal computer users.

The drive is available and shipping now, in sizes ranging from an Enclosure Kit for users building their own, to the huge 320GB HDD, the only single volume FireWire 800 external drive of this size available to consumers.

The StingRay 800 is a truly cross platform solution, complete with software for both Mac and Windows users.

The drive can been viewed and ordered from: www.firewiredirect.com.

Aug 01 - New Satellite Internet Modem Delivers on Faster Speeds. StarBand, America's leading high-speed, two-way satellite Internet provider to residential and small office customers, today announced the national expansion of the StarBand 480 Pro service with a professional-strength, network-ready, business-grade satellite modem delivering faster speeds, instant networking capability and compatibility with a wide array of computer operating systems including Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux.

The StarBand 480 Pro provides high performance Internet service with peak download speeds of up to one megabit per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 100 kilobits per second (Kbps) in Turbo Mode, which is available for most large file uploads.

"We committed our time and resources to delivering this highly demanded solution to the marketplace and are now ready to fulfill the pent-up demand for it," said StarBand Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Zur Feldman. "The StarBand 480 Pro, our fourth generation product, shows once again that StarBand listens to the customer and delivers on their needs."

"StarBand has a history in being first to market in this category and today we are doing so again with the StarBand 480 Pro," said Howard Lossing, VP of Sales and Marketing. "Our commercial customers asked for, and we delivered, a product that works with all operating systems, has faster upload speeds, includes a built-in router making networking easier, offers multiple static IP addresses, and does not require PC-based software."

The initial limited roll-out to several hundred customers in the First Quarter of 2003 resulted in very high customer satisfaction with more than 90% claiming they would recommend the StarBand 480 Pro Small Office service to other businesses because of its reliability, faster upload speeds and networking ease.

The StarBand 480 Pro satellite modem includes a four-port Ethernet router enabling instant networking of multiple personal computers to provide maximum flexibility for networked environments. With the product software and intelligence now embedded on the satellite modem, business customers with Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, Linux and many other Operating Systems supporting TCP/IP can enjoy networked high-speed Internet access from StarBand.

For more information about StarBand and the StarBand 480 Pro Small Office service, please visit: www.StarBand.com.

Aug 01 - Midsize Businesses Embrace Wireless LANs. As low prices and wireless connectivity continue to drive the trend in the midmarket toward mobile PCs, 60 percent of midsize businesses (MSBs) in North America will deploy wireless LANs (WLANs) within their premises by the end of 2003, according to Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). WLANs will become a critical component for those seeking to improve business efficiencies in a wide variety of processes, including inventory, shipping and manufacturing.

"Supporting the access requirements of mobile workers is becoming a serious concern for midsize businesses" said Jim Browning, vice president and research director for Gartner. "Demand for wireless Internet access in the home, the office and in public places is growing rapidly, while PC vendors are packaging wireless capability in their products. These factors are driving the adoption of next-generation wireless solutions in midsize businesses."

MSBs that have invested in WLAN technology to explore its flexibility and to reduce operating costs will experience some soft benefits and will probably break even on their investment in two or three years. However, there is a bigger opportunity to improve return on investment by linking WLANs with the appropriate enterprise applications, such as enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and customer relationship management. Through 2004, more than 60 percent of all WLAN implementations will include some type of extension to vertical applications.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Aug 01 - Worldwide WLAN 802.11 Market to exceed $3 Billion in 2007. According to Dell'Oro Group, the Wireless LAN - 802.11 market will grow from $1.5 B in 2002 to $3.1 B in 2007, with all product categories continuing to drive revenue growth through the scope of the forecast.

Dell'Oro Group's recently published Report indicates that most products will transition from 802.11b to 802.11g and then to 802.11 Multimode (802.11a/g), with the exception being Enterprise-class Access Points which will likely skip the transitions to 802.11g and move quickly to Multimode solutions.

According to Greg Collins, Director, Dell'Oro Group, "The major product categories that we track are in varying stages of transition. Both the SOHO-infrastructure segment and the Network Interface Card (NIC) segment are transitioning from purely stand-alone products to WLAN becoming an embedded feature in other mainstream technology products; namely broadband Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), notebook and handheld computers respectively.

"We are also at the early stages of Enterprise WLAN networks moving from largely stand-alone networks and applications, to becoming more tightly integrated with existing voice and data networks. As the barriers to WLAN deployments in the Enterprise fall and as WLAN clients and networks proliferate outside of the Enterprise, we will see increased penetration of WLAN in Enterprise environments."

Visit the Dell'Oro Group at www.delloro.com.



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