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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

February 1-7 2002

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 top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Feb 07 NVIDIA Launches GeForce4 GPUs
Feb 07 NVIDIA Ships World's Fastest Mobile GPU
Feb 07 NVIDIA GeForce4 GPUs Power Next-Generation Graphics Boards
Feb 07 AMD Acquires Alchemy Semiconductor
Feb 07 AT&T Offers "Unlimited" Long Distance Calling
Feb 06 Fujifilm Introduces Versatile FinePix 30i Digital Camera
Feb 06 Paramount and EarthLink Join Forces to Create ISP
Feb 06 Satellite Television 'Pirate' Receives Ten Year Sentence
Feb 06 UMC Reports 2001 Fourth Quarter Loss, Sees Better Days Ahead
Feb 05 SOYO Ships SY-P41 Fire DRAGON Pentium 4 Motherboard
Feb 05 Other World Computing Introduces 60GB Portable Mac Firewire Drive
Feb 05 RackSaver Builds a 264 AMD Athlon MP Processor Supercomputer
Feb 05 Cray to Market Cluster Solutions Using Dell PowerEdge Servers
Feb 05 GartnerG2 Says Europe's Broadband Revolution is Still a Dream
Feb 05 BAE SYSTEMS Launches New Space Microprocessor Line
Feb 04 ATI Introduces RADEON 8500LE Into Retail Lineup
Feb 04 AMD and ASUS Demonstrate Commitment to Commercial Market
Feb 04 SONICblue Licenses Patented Technology to Samsung Electronics
Feb 03 Sunday Shopping Watch
Feb 01 AMD and UMC to Collaborate on 300-mm Wafer Fab
Feb 01 ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 7500 Wins "Kick Ass Award"
Feb 01 Nextel Wireless Internet Service Voted Best in U.S
Feb 01 Handspring Treo Communicator Ships in Singapore

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Feb 07 - NVIDIA Launches GeForce4 GPUs. NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today unveiled the all new GeForce4(TM) family of Graphics Processor Units (GPUs), the fastest, most innovative and powerful GPUs in the world. The GeForce4 GPU brings innovative and performance leading technology to multiple markets, including the desktop PC, the Mac and notebook computers.

“People are changing the way they use computers,” stated Dr. Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research, the leading market research company tracking multimedia and graphics technology. “With the introduction of the new iMac and the Sony Vaio MX – it’s easy to see what consumers want – a flat screen for brighter, sharper graphics; a digital interface to the electronic world of MP3s, DVDs and other consumer electronics; and of course, performance. The new GeForce4 GPUs are the engines of that emerging digital lifestyle.”

This new family of GPUs delivers revolutionary new technologies, including:

World’s Most Powerful Graphics – Delivering up to four times the performance over previous GeForce generations.
Accuview Antialiasing(TM) (AA) – New and innovative AA technology provides the best visual quality possible without a performance hit.
nView(TM) Display Technology – New display technology provides the ultimate in multidisplay flexibility and user control.
“This is the deepest, widest product announcement in NVIDIA history,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. “Normally we attack one segment of the market at a time, but with the GeForce4, we are launching, for the first time ever, revolutionary new products at every price point of our desktop, mobile and Macintosh product lines.”

“In addition to bringing NVIDIA performance to every market segment, the GeForce4 family is built around one of the most exciting trends in the PC industry--flat panel-based multimedia PCs,” continued Huang. “Whether corporate or consumer, 21st century PCs are now multi-display, multimedia devices, and our Accuview Antialiasing and nView technologies are just two of the GeForce4’s innovative features that will drive this contemporary revolution in PC functionality and performance.”

The new GeForce4 family includes:

GeForce4 Ti 4600, 4400 and 4200 – The GeForce4 Ti GPU is the first consumer GPU capable of driving complex geometries and character animations. With its advanced nfiniteFXÔ Engine, superior Accuview Antialiasing techniques, and flexible nView multidisplay technology, the GeForce4 Ti GPU allows end users to experience radically immersive graphical environments, complete with unique visual effects and the most realistic, life-like images ever.
GeForce4 MX 460, 440 and 420 – The GeForce4 MX GPU brings new levels of graphics performance and display flexibility to the mainstream desktop PC. By incorporating NVIDIA’s innovative nView multidisplay technology, highly efficient Lightspeed Memory Architecture™ (LMA) II and advanced Accuview Antialiasing techniques, the GeForce4 MX GPU is the most feature-rich, cost-effective, highly integrated GPU available for the mainstream market.
GeForce4 440 Go and 420 Go – The mobile GeForce4 GPUs integrate innovative power management techniques for unsurpassed battery life, a Video Processing Engine and revolutionary antialiasing technology for superior display quality, and an ultra efficient memory architecture for the fastest computing experience ever realized on a mobile PC platform.
“Video games used to be a kind of step-child to film and live TV,” said David DeMartini, Executive Producer for Golfing Simulations at Electronic Arts. “Today, by delivering high-resolution, high frame-rate, full scene antialiasing in a complete family of GPUs, NVIDIA has provided us with the tools to deliver breakthrough performance and image quality for the gaming industry. This helps Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 achieve a level of realism that rivals film and video and gives the player the sense they’re in the game.”

Unmatched Performance
NVIDIA’s GeForce4 family includes Lightspeed Memory Architecture (LMA) II, an advanced 128-bit Double Data Rate (DDR) memory interface, and other sophisticated memory enhancement technologies to double available memory bandwidth and increase overall memory efficiency. LMA II includes NVIDIA’s second-generation Z-occlusion culling, a hardware technique that pre-determines which objects in a scene are visible to the eye, and which objects are hidden by other objects in the scene. By only rendering the parts of the objects that are visible to the eye, Z-occlusion culling maximizes memory bandwidth. LMA II can also compress the values of distances between objects that are stored in the GPU Z-buffer at a ratio of four to one, without any degradation in accuracy. In addition, NVIDIA’s LMA II features four individually dedicated and optimized memory caches, known as Quad CacheÔ, allowing for instant rendering pipeline access, which can be reused and refreshed instantaneously.

Improve Your Image Quality
For the best possible performance, compatibility and visual quality without the “jaggies” associated with objects rendered with pixel based displays, the GeForce4 Ti features NVIDIA’s proprietary Accuview Antialiasing engine, which utilizes hardware-implemented, high-resolution multisampling techniques, including 2x, 4x, Quincunx(TM) and a new 4XS mode. This brand new Accuview Antialiasing engine affords end users the greatest choice in AA modes and performance, delivering up to five times the antialiased performance of previous NVIDIA solutions. With its performance and quality, end users are expected to run applications and games with Accuview Antialiasing technology enabled all the time.

“We were amazed at the new full screen antialiasing of GeForce4,” said Paul Olshen from Novalogic, the creators of Comanche 4. “For the first time ever, there is no perceptible decrease in performance of the game with AA enabled. You get a far better looking experience, especially on today's flat-panel displays.”

Flexible Multidisplay Technology
NVIDIA has applied its unmatched software and hardware expertise to create the most flexible multidisplay technology on the market. Known as nView, NVIDIA’s multidisplay technology supports arrangements of CRTs, televisions, and digital flat panel displays that can be combined to drastically increase a computer’s desktop workspace. More than a multidisplay subsystem, nView incorporates built-in attribute and performance tuning for each of the individual display devices it supports. nView’s smart and flexible interface has built-in usability features to maximize productivity and minimize set-up. Features such as hot key binding, smart Windows management enhancements, and the ability to name and save up to 32 different desktop configurations make nView the most advanced, flexible and user-friendly multidisplay management system available.

OEM systems featuring GeForce4 MX are already shipping, with retail board availability in the next two weeks. OEM systems featuring GeForce4 Ti will be available in 60 days, with retail boards available in 30 days. GeForce4-based notebook computers will be available in February.

For more information on NVIDIA’s GeForce4 series of GPUs, visit

Feb 07 - NVIDIA Ships World's Fastest Mobile GPU. In conjunction with today’s launch of the Company’s new GeForce4 family of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) is pleased to announce that the world’s fastest mobile GPU, the GeForce4™ 440 Go, is now available as a standard offering in the new Toshiba Satellite 5005-S507 notebook.

The new Satellite 5005-S507 combines the power of NVIDIA’s breakthrough mobile 3D graphics performance with a 15-inch, high resolution, UXGA (1600x1200) personal theatre display; on-board Harman/Kardon® high fidelity sound system with a built-in subwoofer; S/PDIF Dolby® Digital Optical-Out for digital recording; and a 5.1 Dolby Digital output for connection to home theater sound systems. The Toshiba Satellite 5005-S507 notebook is available for immediate online ordering from and computer retail outlets nationwide.

“We are ecstatic to be the first major notebook manufacturer to use NVIDIA’s GeForce4 440 Go mobile GPU,” said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing, Toshiba CSG. “We anticipate a huge demand for the Satellite 5005-S507, largely in part to the GeForce4 440 Go’s unprecedented features, including the built-in Video Processing Engine, Accuview Antialiasing technology, and stellar battery power management techniques. Clearly, the GeForce4 440 Go provides both the power and performance that mobile users have been demanding and has raised the bar in which notebook computers must be compared.”

NVIDIA’s GeForce4 Go family of mobile GPUs (formerly code-named NV17M) incorporate a variety of power saving techniques, including voltage and frequency scaling, to maximize battery life while providing optimal graphics performance. Dedicated hardware, including an integrated Video Processing Engine (VPE), Accuview Antialiasing engine, and an ultra efficient memory architecture, ensure end users of the fastest computing experience ever realized on a mobile PC platform. Available in different configurations including a 64-bit and 128-bit memory interface and 16, 32, or 64MB frame buffer memory, the GeForce4 Go family of mobile GPUs delivers gripping graphics for all notebook PCs, ranging from thin-and-light sub-notebook PCs to traditional desktop replacements.

“The GeForce4 440 Go mobile GPU dramatically raises the bar for notebook graphics performance,” said Jeff Fisher, vice president of worldwide sales for NVIDIA. “Consumers looking for the ultimate in portable PC functionality and performance need look no further than Toshiba’s exciting and very innovative multimedia platform.”

The Toshiba Satellite 5005-S507 with 32MB frame buffer is available now. Systems from other leading OEMs will be announced shortly.

For more information on NVIDIA’s GeForce4 series of GPUs, please visit

Feb 07 - NVIDIA GeForce4 GPUs Power Next-Generation Graphics Boards. NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that the NVIDIA GeForce4(TM) family of graphics processing units (GPUs) has secured design wins with the industry’s top PC OEMs and add-in card manufacturers. The launch of the GeForce4 family of GPUs, the industry’s first simultaneous introduction of a complete, top-to-bottom product line-up for the graphics board market, has been met with broad acceptance, and ensures GeForce4 GPUs will power next-generation personal computer systems and graphics boards.

In coming weeks, the following PC OEMs and add-in card manufacturers will be offering products based on NVIDIA GeForce4 GPUs:


Compaq Computer Corporation
Gateway Inc.
Hewlett-Packard Company
Toshiba Computer Systems Group

Add-in Card Manufacturers

PNY Technologies

System Builders

ABS Computers
Atlas Micro
Falcon Northwest
Micro Pro

“The GeForce4 family marks the first time a graphics semiconductor company has introduced a top-to-bottom product family that will significantly improve the visual quality of applications and the realism of animation and special effects for Compaq Presario PC customers,” said Brett Faulk, Director of Consumer Desktop Product Marketing at Compaq Computer Corporation. “The fact that NVIDIA has increased performance and added cutting-edge features by simultaneously delivering two new architectures is truly a testament to their graphics expertise.”

“GeForce4 GPUs have redefined the graphics industry by combining the unmatched performance NVIDIA is world-renowned for with a new collection of technological innovations including Accuview(TM) Antialiasing and NVIDIA’s revolutionary nView(TM) Multidisplay technology,” said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of sales at NVIDIA. “The roll-out of the GeForce4 family of GPUs demonstrates that NVIDIA meets the challenge presented to it as the technology and performance leader in 3D graphics.”

The GeForce4 family of GPUs includes the GeForce4 Ti and GeForce4 MX GPUs. The GeForce4 Ti is the only performance GPU capable of driving complex geometries and custom animations.
For more information on NVIDIA’s GeForce4 series of GPUs, please visit

Feb 07 - AMD Acquires Alchemy Semiconductor. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that it will acquire Alchemy Semiconductor, a privately held company that designs, develops, and markets high-performance, low-power MIPS-based microprocessors for personal connectivity devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), web tablets, and portable and wired Internet access devices and gateways. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2002.

"The market for Internet access devices and gateways is one of our industry's great growth opportunities," said Hector Ruiz, president and chief operating officer of AMD. "Today our customers are looking to AMD for non-PC solutions in addition to PC solutions for Internet access. AMD is one of the few companies in the world with the experience, customer relationships, and intellectual property to provide complete connectivity solutions for both PCs and non-PCs.

"The founders of Alchemy have created some of the most innovative and commercially successful processors in the industry, including the Alpha and StrongARM processors," Ruiz continued. "By joining forces, AMD and Alchemy can supply the building blocks of connectivity --computing solutions from Alchemy coupled with wired and wireless technologies and flash memory devices from AMD. Alchemy's MIPS-based solutions provide the ideal combination of high performance and low power for the Internet access device market," said Ruiz.

"Today's combination is a validation of Alchemy Semiconductor's technology, innovation, and business plan," said Jim Moore, chief executive officer of Alchemy Semiconductor. "There is a great synergy between the customers, technologies, and cultures of these two companies that makes AMD and Alchemy a natural fit. This combination will allow Alchemy to continue its strong growth trajectory while invigorating our business plan with resources that only a large company like AMD can supply."

"OEMs are looking for high-performing, low-power processors for their small-footprint, wireless Windows-powered devices," said Scott Horn, director, Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp. "The acquisition of Alchemy will help AMD meet this demand, enabling them to provide embedded developers with a compelling solution to power these next-generation smart devices."

AMD has established the Personal Connectivity Solutions business unit to focus on products for non-PC connectivity devices. Dr. William T. ("Billy") Edwards, is vice president and general manager of the new business unit. Edwards previously served as chief executive officer of Hesson Labs and as senior vice president of Motorola. Edwards holds Ph.D, MS, and BE degrees in materials science engineering, and a BS in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University.

The founders of Alchemy Semiconductor include industry veterans Rich Witek and Greg Hoeppner. Witek was the co-architect of the Alpha processor and the architect of the StrongARM processor while at Digital Equipment Corporation. Hoeppner was the implementation lead for the Alpha processor and the site and engineering director for the Austin, Texas, design center for Digital Equipment Corporation. Both Witek and Hoeppner will join AMD, reporting directly to Edwards.
For more AMD news and product information, visit Alchemy Semiconductor can be found on the Web at

Feb 07 - AT&T Offers "Unlimited" Long Distance Calling. AT&T today announced AT&T Unlimited, a revolutionary new way for consumers to use long distance.

This unique service enables AT&T residential long distance subscribers to place an unlimited number of long distance calls from home to all other AT&T residential long distance customers in the United States and talk as long as they want, any time they want - all for one low monthly fee of $19.95. All other domestic direct-dialed calls they place are priced at just 7 cents per minute.

"Imagine the convenience of placing calls any time you want without worrying about how long you talk or how much it will cost," said Betsy Bernard, president and CEO of AT&T Consumer. "With over 50 million subscribers and nationwide availability, we're leveraging our strength to 'change the game' in long distance service and provide our customers an innovative offer that we're sure they will love."

AT&T Unlimited is not just another residential long distance calling plan. Subscribers don't need to worry themselves with pre-determined buckets of minutes, or with the time of day or day of week that they call. There are no per-call charges, per-minute charges, roaming charges or gimmicks like connection fees when calling other AT&T residential subscribers. The plan's $19.95 monthly fee simply includes all direct dialed calls placed from an AT&T Unlimited customer's home telephone to the residential home phones of any and all other AT&T residential long distance subscribers, regardless of how long people talk.

"Since AT&T has over 50 million residential long-distance customers, far more than any other company, there's a fairly good chance that calls to your friends and relatives will be included. And if they're not already AT&T residential customers, just ask them to switch," said Bernard. "This is a great way for our customers to stay in touch with the important people in their lives, and talk about what really matters without worrying about running up a big bill.

"We're creating the largest telephone calling community in the nation, where membership has unlimited benefits," she added. "Consumers who make even a moderate number of long-distance calls each month will be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere."

Later this year, AT&T will introduce a patent pending service feature that automatically will inform AT&T Unlimited callers when they're phoning other AT&T residential customers at no additional charge.
AT&T Unlimited can be ordered immediately in all 50 states. Due to billing issues and other reasons, consumers served by AT&T Broadband telephony and some consumers served by independent telephone companies will not be eligible to receive this offer. For more information and to enroll, visit

Feb 06 - Fujifilm Introduces Versatile FinePix 30i Digital Camera. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., the first manufacturer to pair MP3 digital audio technology with a high-resolution digital camera, has announced that it is bringing the FinePix 30i digital camera to the United States.

A hit in Europe and Asia, this wallet-size successor to the noted FinePix 40i is one of the most versatile digital cameras on the market, offering a choice of digital features:

-- Powerful CCD sensor - The FinePix 30i offers consumers a 2.0

million effective pixel CCD (2.1 million total pixels) for

vibrant, colorful prints of up to 8x10 inches.

-- Digital Picture Voice Annotation - Speaking into the camera's
built-in microphone, picture-takers can attach 30-second voice
notes to each photo, enabling picture-takers to further
enhance their memories with additional commentary.

-- MP3 Digital Music Player - In addition to taking great
pictures, the FinePix 30i can perform like a portable MP3
player by allowing users to download and listen to near
CD-quality playback of their favorite MP3 files. The included
16MB SmartMedia(TM) card can store up to 20 minutes of music
while an optional 128 MB card can hold up to 160 minutes.

-- Multi-Purpose Remote Control - The enhanced, back-lit remote
control of the FinePix 30i lets users include themselves in
pictures, scroll through photos, and display the titles and
artist names of their favorite MP3 tracks.

-- Digital Audio Recording and Playback- The FinePix 30i can
record up to 33 minutes of audio on the bundled 16MB
SmartMedia card; 272 minutes on a 128MB card.

-- Digital Video with Sound - The FinePix 30i's digital video
recorder can take up to 20-second bursts of AVI video with
sound, a nice feature for capturing that fleeting special

-- Videoconferencing - The FinePix 30i can double as a PC-cam,
allowing consumers live face-time via computer with friends
and loved ones.

-- Extremely Compact - The camera measures a mere 3.3"W x 2.9"H x
1.2"D and weighs only 5.6 ounces without batteries.

"The introduction of the FinePix 40i was received with great enthusiasm and showed the world the technological prowess of Fujifilm," said Darin Pepple, Product Manager, Consumer Digital Products, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "The FinePix 30i picks up where the FinePix 40i left off, bringing digital mulit-function to a new level of performance and convenience."

The FinePix 30i will come bundled with two, high-powered, rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, charger, 16MB SmartMedia(TM) card, shoulder strap, USB cable and headphones with remote control. Apple(R) QuickTime 5.0, VideoImpression(TM), RealJukebox(R) 2 Plus for Windows and MacMP3 for Macintosh(R) are also included.

The FinePix 30i will be available in April 2002 at a price of $399. For more information on Fujifilm products, access the Fujifilm USA Web site at

Feb 06 - Paramount and EarthLink Join Forces to Create ISP. Paramount Digital Entertainment and EarthLink (NASDAQ: ELNK) have joined forces to create powered by EarthLink, the universe's only Star Trek-themed Internet access service (visit Embracing Star Trek's huge popularity, the new service is designed to provide fans with fast and dependable access to the Internet and the Star Trek universe through themed dial-up and high-speed Internet connections.

The service launch is in conjunction with the premiere season of UPN's ENTERPRISE, the fifth installment of the Star Trek television series franchise.

Subscribers to will receive the same award-winning Internet access that EarthLink subscribers receive, along with authentic Star Trek theming of their Internet access software and browser, a email address (i.e.,, desktop customization options, and exclusive access to specially-created Star Trek content -- all at no additional cost to EarthLink's regular prices. Internet access is offered in addition to the existing and extremely popular site, which remains a free Web site.'s Internet access provides users with the following benefits:

Internet Service: Unlimited, fast and dependable Internet access provided by EarthLink, priced the same as EarthLink's basic offering, and featuring the highest level of award-winning service provided to all EarthLink subscribers, including, EarthLink's 24/7 technical support, reliable email with EarthLink's spaminator anti-spam service, Click-N-Build personal Web site building tools, and more.
Customized Access: A email address, in addition to an EarthLink email address, a Star Trek-themed version of EarthLink's popular Personal Start PageSM subscriber portal, a themed browser and email client, plus downloadable desktop customizations, including backgrounds, sounds, icons, and more -- all working together to provide an authentic Star Trek experience every time subscribers connect to the Internet.
Exclusive Content: Regularly updated programming, including planned "sneak peeks" at the Star Trek productions, in-depth interviews with the cast and crew of ENTERPRISE and previous Star Trek series, fictional documentaries about the Star Trek universe, news articles, photos, videos, and more. powered by EarthLink, will be available to consumers in the United States and Canada through both dial-up and high-speed connections. Sign-up is available through various channels, including Paramount's Web site, or by visiting

Feb 06 - UMC Reports 2001 Fourth Quarter Loss, Sees Better Days Ahead. United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TSE: 2303), (UMC) today reported a net loss for the three-month period ended December 31, 2001, that narrowed to NT$3.75 billion, mainly due to better-than-expected revenues growth of 16.6 percent experienced in the period.

UMC Chairman & CEO Robert Tsao said: "2001 was a challenging year for UMC and the semiconductor industry in general. For the first time, UMC posted a pre-tax loss since becoming a dedicated foundry in 1995."

"As the economy slowed in 2001, our strategic move to boost our exposure to the communications sector worked against us with the fall-off in orders at UMC being further aggravated by our increased exposure to this underperforming sector."

"Despite the overall grim picture in 2001, we remain optimistic about the future of the foundry industry. We also remain confident in UMC's ability to rise above its competition in the long term. In order to ensure our future success, UMC has stayed loyal to our goal of delivering the most advanced technologies coupled with the world's finest service. In 2001, we saw great progress in the delivery of the foundry industry's most advanced 0.13-micron low-k/copper process technology. By year's end, we had engaged with over 40 customers for this technology. We expect to see many of their products entering production at UMC during the coming year. Furthermore, we continued to strengthen our position as one of the pioneers in the roll-out of 300-mm manufacturing with the qualification of processes and products in our brand new 300-mm fab in the Tainan science park."

"Our recent alliance with AMD is the first in semiconductor history in which a premier foundry company joins forces in a broad partnership with a leading integrated device manufacturer," said Tsao. "We expect the AMD & UMC collaboration will set the example for success between pure-play foundries and leading semiconductor manufacturers. Our respective customers around the world will benefit as we join forces to develop leading-edge technology and drive down manufacturing costs through rapid, cost-effective implementation of the most advanced process technologies and manufacturing practices."

"Despite the challenges of the last year, we believe that the adjustments we have made in response to the current conditions have made us even more competitive, and we constantly embrace the challenge of bringing better foundry services to our customers."

UMC can be found on the Web at

Feb 06 - Satellite Television 'Pirate' Receives Ten Year Sentence. As a part of its continuing battle against satellite signal "piracy", Pegasus Satellite Television(SM) worked with state and local law enforcement agencies in the arrest and conviction of a Dallas, GA, man on several piracy related charges.

The pirate had been going door-to-door, disguised as a DIRECTV(R) employee, switching out subscribers' access cards. The valid access cards were then reprogrammed and sold as hacked cards. The pirate targeted subscribers throughout the rural areas of Georgia during his campaign.

The man was charged in two Georgia courts on a total of 19 counts, consisting of financial transaction card theft, computer forgery, and theft by deception. The courts sentenced the pirate to ten years' probation and to make a $20,000 payment. The payment was paid on the date of sentencing and will be used to compensate the victims of the crime spree and to pay various fines and surcharges.

Pegasus has hired a team of private investigators to track leads, build cases and aid local law enforcement and state law enforcement in the ongoing battle against satellite signal theft in the satellite industry. Pegasus periodically conducts advertising campaigns designed to educate consumers on the legal ramifications of purchasing and/or using illegally modified access cards.

"Consumers should be made aware that neither Pegasus nor DIRECTV have representatives that go door-to-door to switch out access cards," said Scott Blank, Pegasus General Counsel. "Our team of investigators and state and local law enforcement are working hard to put an end to satellite signal theft."

Pegasus Satellite Television is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pegasus Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: PGTV) ( and serves approximately 1.5 million direct broadcast satellite (DBS) customers in 41 states.

Feb 05 - SOYO Ships SY-P41 Fire DRAGON Pentium 4 Motherboard. SOYO Computer, Inc. today announced delivery of its stars and stripes-themed SY-P41 Fire DRAGON motherboard for Intel Socket-478 CPUs to its worldwide network of distributors and resellers.

This limited addition motherboard features a red, white and blue color scheme, and a commitment from SOYO to donate $5 of the sale of every motherboard to the American Red Cross 911 Disaster Relief Fund.

SOYO's Fire DRAGON with its fast 400MHz system bus, and i845D chipset, enables Pentium 4 systems to use high-performance DDR SDRAM memory to make PCs more affordable without sacrificing performance.

In addition to DDR memory support, the Fire DRAGON features an IEEE 1394 Firewire port; embedded IDE-RAID chip, which provides RAID Levels 0 (data striping), Level 1 (disk mirroring) or Levels 0+1; embedded CMI 8738 audio chip to provide six channels on board sound,10/100 Ethernet controller manufactured by Intel, and many advanced features for fine-tuning the motherboard.

SOYO also includes its "sigma box" line of peripherals, which occupies a standard 3.5-inch drive bay for easily connecting additional devices to the front of any system.

The box included with the Fire DRAGON motherboard features an IEEE 1394 Firewire port, two extra USB ports, and a Smart Card reader, which makes available the multitude of smart card applications/functions such as data entry from cell phones, secured transaction processing, and secure storage of private information.

Other Fire DRAGON features include an AGP Pro slot; two 184-pin DDR SDRAM 2.5V DIMM sockets to support up to 2GBs of memory, and six 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant). The on board Ultra I/O Chip supports two RS-232 serial ports; one parallel printer port; one FDD port, IrDA/FIR ports with optional cable for transceiver, and four USB ports. The Fire DRAGON also features Ultra DMA IDE ports, which support four independent channels to accommodate eight IDE devices, including two for RAID.

SOYO has integrated many enhanced system management capabilities and security features into the motherboard. Users can customize the Fire DRAGON by adjusting the CPU, FSB, core voltage & multiplier directly through the BIOS. Support is also included for on-board hardware monitoring. Among the many hardware monitoring functions are CPU fan speed and temperature monitoring; WOL (Wake On LAN) function to simplify network management; software power-off controls and remote and/or alarm power-on control.

Single board list price of the SY-P41 is $249 (U.S.). SOYO's U.S. web site is at

Feb 05 - Other World Computing Introduces 60GB 2.5'' Portable Mac Firewire Drive. Other World Computing (OWC), a leading provider of products and services for the Macintosh marketplace, Monday introduced the OWC Mercury On-The-Go 60 gigabyte (GB), 2.5-inch portable Firewire drive -- the largest 2.5-inch portable Firewire storage solution available on the market.

The drive features an Oxford 911 chipset, a 60GB IBM Travelstar drive and a maximum data transfer rate of 400 megabits per second. The drive weighs less than 11 ounces and fits in the palm of a hand.

"OWC is the first to market with a 60GB portable Firewire storage solution, and we anticipate that the extra storage capacity, combined with our Firewire drives' well-documented speeds, will be well received by the market," said Larry O'Connor, president and chief executive officer of OWC.

"We have tested our Firewire storage solutions against drives from the industry's leading companies and have often found that our drives are the fastest in the industry. Our simple plug-and-play hardware makes it easier for anyone to upgrade their PowerMacs or PowerBooks with portable Firewire technology."

OWC's Mercury On-The-Go 2.5-inch portable Firewire storage solutions are available in a variety of speeds and with different storage capacities, including the 20GB, 30GB and 40GB drives at 4200 RPMs and 20GB, 48GB, and 60GB drives at 5400 RPMs. Pricing for portable solutions begin at $199.97, and OWC also offers a variety of OWC Mercury external Firewire storage solutions beginning at $159.95.

The new 60GB, 2.5-inch, 5400 RPM drive is available exclusively from OWC at for $639.97. All drives come with a one-year warranty.

Feb 05 - RackSaver Builds a 264 AMD Athlon MP Processor Supercomputer. RackSaver(TM) and its partners are helping to push the knowledge envelope further with a new supercomputer cluster for researchers in the fields of planetary physics and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).

The supercomputer, with processing power in excess of 300 gigaflops, has been dubbed "UpsAnd" for the Upsilon Andromedae Planetary System, a star orbited by three planets that provided the first evidence that other solar systems like our own exist elsewhere in the universe. "UpsAnd" will be used to help UCSC scientists learn more about planets, stars and the universe by modeling these systems on their new supercomputer.

The Supercomputer consists of 132 Linux based nodes configured with 264 AMD Athlon(TM) MP processors, 132 gigabytes of memory and nearly 8 terabytes of storage. Each node is connected with Dolphin Interconnect's high-performance WulfKit, which includes a 64Bit/66MHz SCI card and Scali high-performance MPI and Universe cluster management software. Only the RackSaver RS-1132 chassis allows for these specifications to be configured in a 19" 1U rack-optimized server design.

With performance numbers exceeding 300 gigaflops, "UpsAnd" ranks among the top 100 supercomputers in the world, and currently is the most powerful high-performance supercluster San Diego-based RackSaver has built to date.

"'UpsAnd' is the best example of the success we've had building RackSaver supercomputer clusters integrated with the Dolphin Wulfkit," said David Driggers, RackSaver(TM) CEO.

"UpsAnd" is also the most powerful cluster to date using the Dolphin Wulfkit cluster interconnect. Despite its substantial computing capacity, the system is contained in just four standard server cabinets occupying about 24 square feet of floor space, a major breakthrough for density and performance.

"UpsAnd" was specifically designed to specifications provided by the UCSC researchers who will be using the supercomputer. Principal investigator Gary Glatzmaier, a professor of the Earth sciences at UCSC, computes three-dimensional simulations of the convection and magnetic field generation in the fluid interiors of the planets and starts. He produced the first self-consistent simulation of the Earth's magnetic field, including spontaneous dipole reversals.
"UpsAnd" will also be used to compute three-dimensional models to study asteroid and planetary collisions. Other planned projects include simulating supernovae explosions, modeling the evolution of large-scale structure in the early universe, and studying electromagnetic sound waves through turbulence in the atmosphere and oceans.

"Critical, compute-intensive enterprise applications such as those being designed at UC Santa Cruz require the reliability and stability that an AMD Athlon(TM) MP processor-based system can provide," said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing at AMD. "UC Santa Cruz needed a supercomputer cluster that was configured to its specifications, and through RackSaver(TM) was able to get the performance they needed in a high-density, space-saving environment designed with AMD Athlon MP processors."

"UpsAnd" can accomplish such high-level computations in part because its architecture differs from other cluster computers. In a typical cluster, the processors perform parallel tasks to compress the amount of time needed to process data. "UpsAnd's" 264 processors actually work together to complete a single task, similar to the behavior of a true supercomputer. "UpsAnd" is eight times more powerful than its "younger brother," a 32-node Beowulf cluster delivered to UCSC in March 2001 by RackSaver Inc.
To learn more about RackSaver(TM) and its unique supercomputing cluster solutions visit

Feb 05 - Cray to Market Cluster Solutions Using Dell PowerEdge Servers. Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) and Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced a definitive agreement for Cray to market high-performance cluster solutions and services worldwide using Dell PowerEdge servers.

A cluster is a group of independent computer systems that work together as a unified computing resource.

The three-year, automatically renewable agreement, effective immediately, calls for Cray to sell and provide direct customer support for high-performance computing (HPC) solutions that combine scalable, cost-effective Dell PowerEdge servers and storage with value-added HPC technologies and services from Cray.

In addition to installation, maintenance and support, Cray will offer services ranging from site planning, system integration and training, to hardware and software customization. Cray will market the Dell, Linux-based solutions alongside Cray's existing HPC products and solutions. Through its High-Performance Computing Clusters (HPCC) program also announced today, Dell will continue to offer supercomputing capabilities through bundled cluster configurations to help customers solve their computing challenges quickly and easily.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dell will provide Cray with current and future Dell products, including a broad range of networking and storage options; training; and support for Cray's engineering and service organizations. Cray and Dell will meet as needed to discuss requirements for specific sales opportunities, and on a quarterly basis regarding potential enhancements to Dell's cluster product roadmap.

"Our relationship with Dell fulfills the strategy we announced in December 2001 to deliver cluster solutions through Cray's new Professional Services organization," said Michael P. Haydock, president and CEO of Cray. "Separately, Cray and Dell discovered an important unmet need for high-quality, cost-effective cluster solutions surrounded by deep HPC expertise. Through our Cray T3E(tm) history, Cray has become one of the world's leading experts at working with customers to make scalable, microprocessor-based solutions successful," he added.

"Cray's selection of Dell PowerEdge servers is another example of how industry-standard technology is pushing further into the enterprise, and now handling a growing range of supercomputing tasks," said Randy Groves, vice president of Dell's Enterprise Systems Group. "This relationship promises to expand Dell's market opportunity in high-performance computing by leveraging Cray's unrivaled understanding of HPC markets, customers, applications and technologies."

"This relationship will clearly delight enterprises seeking production quality high-performance supercomputing at attractive pricing," said Richard Partridge, vice president of Enterprise Servers at D.H. Brown Associates. "Cray's HPC cluster solutions will leverage the scalability expertise honed on its well-regarded Cray T3E parallel systems. Using Dell's highly successful industry-standard platforms, these high-performance clusters will offer customers exciting new levels of cost-effective HPC computing."

Go to for more information about the company. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at

Feb 05 - GartnerG2 Says Europe's Broadband Revolution is Still a Dream. GartnerG2, the business research and advisory service from Gartner, today warned that the broadband revolution in Europe is on hold.

Based on a new survey conducted across France, Germany and the UK, it said that consumers are not prepared to pay a premium for broadband. Unless prices come down dramatically, GartnerG2 predicts that only 10 percent of households in France, Germany and the UK will have broadband Internet access by 2005.

GartnerG2 said the broadband proposition faces a dilemma that will not be solved easily. Although consumers are aware that broadband offers faster Internet access, there is currently no 'must have' application to convince the majority of consumers they need broadband, let alone pay for content. According to the survey, fewer than 10 percent of Internet households think broadband currently provides good value. GartnerG2 stressed there are differences between countries in Europe, and broadband penetration is lowest in countries where the price is highest.

"The industry has assumed that broadband would set consumers on fire," said Adam Daum, Vice President and Chief Analyst at GartnerG2. "However, speed alone is not enough: there must also be attractive broadband content." He added, "In the absence of good content, our research shows that consumers are very price-sensitive. To achieve widespread adoption of broadband, the price needs to fall from its current level of 45-60 Euros per month to less than 30." This is a tough decision for European telcos to make, however. If people switch from narrowband access to broadband, telcos face a high level of cannibalisation of current dial-up revenues.

According to GartnerG2, most opportunities for broadband are either niche or high risk. Teleworking, which is often cited as an important potential market, remains niche according to GartnerG2. Only five percent of working adults in the UK currently works from home. Even with companies reviewing their security and travel arrangements in light of 11 September, there are no clear signs that this is increasing the number of people working from home.

Subject to regulatory approval, DSL service providers could use their networks to deliver pay-TV and telephone services. However, this requires significant investment and is also a risky move because it puts DSL providers into head-on competition with digital cable and satellite TV operators.

GartnerG2 says that three things must happen in order to drive broadband adoption across Europe:

1. Attractive content: media companies need to develop attractive
applications. Much of this will centre on entertainment, but
there is also an opportunity to use educational content to
help drive broadband into family households.

2. Try before you buy: consumers need to experience broadband
before they commit themselves to regular monthly
subscriptions. Broadband ISPs could help kick-start the market
by providing high-speed connections to public-access locations
such as Internet cafes, libraries and schools.

3. Lower prices: the price differential between narrowband and
broadband must be significantly reduced. Based on current
levels of price-sensitivity, broadband would have to be
offered at below 30 Euros per month to achieve widespread

GartnerG2 believes broadband will become a reality, but it will be adopted more slowly than most people have predicted. Attractive content will take time to develop, and issues of digital rights management will need to be resolved. Broadband public access terminals will help, but they are not a quick fix since less than 10 percent of Internet users access the Web from public locations. Finally, telcos will be slow to reduce prices due to the cannibalisation issue discussed earlier.
GartnerG2 is a research and advisory service from Gartner that helps business leaders guide and grow their businesses. For more information, visit .

Feb 05 - BAE SYSTEMS Launches New Space Microprocessor Line. BAE SYSTEMS is now producing the next-generation space computer microprocessor - the RAD750 (TM) microprocessor - the most powerful radiation-hardened general-purpose microprocessor ever developed, said Dale Hutchinson, Executive Vice President for the Information & Electronic Warfare Systems unit.

"The processor has successfully passed manufacturing and environmental testing and is ready for civil, military and commercial satellite applications," Hutchinson added.

The RAD750 (TM) is a licensed, radiation-hardened version of the PowerPC 750(TM). It has almost ten times the performance of current space processors, said Laura Burcin, program manager for BAE SYSTEMS Information & Electronic Warfare Systems in Manassas, Virginia.

The RAD750 advanced architecture and processing throughput will allow a new generation of high-performance satellite payloads to solve more intensive computing problems, while using fewer processors.

"BAE SYSTEMS' radiation hardening of the IBM PowerPC (TM) for space applications is evidence of the processor's versatility," said Scottie Ginn, vice president, Pervasive Computing Business Line, IBM Microelectronics. "Their work takes the processor to new heights, literally and figuratively."

The RAD750 architecture supports an industry-leading 240 million instructions per second (MIPS) and operates at speeds of 133 MHz and greater. This feature increases onboard processing capability while reducing the number of processors needed - saving power, weight and cost.

The RAD750 is available on the 3U CompactPCI space flight computer (SFC) board design, which was developed under contract to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). A companion ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), the Power PCI, was developed simultaneously with the board, and provides the bridge between the CPU, main memory and the PCI bus.

The RAD750 3U CompactPCI board provides the main computational capability for a spacecraft. This SFC, combined with other I/O and memory boards, forms the core of a powerful and compact spacecraft avionics command and data handling system.

The microprocessor is a follow-on to the successful RAD6000 processor, which currently supports customers in the defense and scientific community. More than 100 RAD6000s are in orbit today serving commercial telecommunications, military, and research and exploration programs, including NASA's Mars Odyssey and Saturn Cassini missions.

The RAD750's rigorous manufacturing testing included more than one million manufacturing test vectors and complete board-level testing. BAE SYSTEMS has also conducted temperature and voltage characterization. Radiation qualification shows that the RAD750 will achieve a single event upset (SEU) hardness level of 1E-10 upsets/bit-day and a total ionizing of greater that 200Krads (Si).

That means a satellite in a geo-stationary earth orbit (GEO) will, on average, experience only one upset every ten years. To obtain additional information about BAE SYSTEMS, visit "What's News" at

Feb 04 - ATI Introduces RADEON 8500LE Into Retail Lineup. ATI is refreshing its lineup of RADEON(TM) graphics cards, bringing exclusive features and adding a shot of adrenaline to the performance mainstream segment - at an unbeatable price.
ATI will now offer a retail graphics board featuring its RADEON(TM) 8500LE chip. Based on the award winning RADEON(TM) 8500, and priced at an unprecedented $199, the RADEON 8500LE is the first and only graphics card to bring full hardware DirectX(R) 8.1 support to mainstream users, allowing them to enjoy the same leading-edge features and effects previously the exclusive domain of enthusiasts.
The mainstream segment is generally defined by price point. Consumers are eight times more likely to purchase a graphics card that costs between $100 and $199, than a card that costs between $200 and $299(1).
"With graphics cards performing at levels unimaginable even one year ago, quality-enhancing features are more important now than ever," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President of Marketing and General Manager of Desktop at ATI Technologies Inc. "We are focused both internally, with our product teams, and externally, with developers, to ensure that our products enable the best visual and gaming experiences ever."
TRUFORM(TM), ATI's innovative rendering technology, takes models in games and brings them to life - curving surfaces and smoothing edges. SMARTSHADER(TM), ATI's programmable pixel and vertex shader technology, handles multiple movement, color, lighting and position functions within the GPU, freeing the CPU to concentrate on other functions. SMOOTHVISION(TM), ATI's full-scene anti-aliasing feature minimizes jagged edges and smoothes moving images, bringing an additional level of realism to gaming.
Featuring 128MB of DDR memory, the RADEON 8500LE will show its true capabilities when put up against today's GPU-taxing games. The future-readiness of this card will mean that consumers can be confident that this product will perform for them well into the future.
The RADEON 8500LE enables customers to fully enjoy leading-edge games and applications. The features that were beyond mainstream consumers' grasp are now readily available at a price that they will be more willing and able to afford. ATI is bringing the richest set of features into the performance mainstream segment, making the RADEON 8500LE a very compelling product.
The RADEON 8500 will get a boost as well. It will now also feature 128 MB of DDR memory, increasing memory bandwidth capability and making this card ready for whatever next-generation games throw at it.
The RADEON 8500, capable of driving three displays simultaneously through VGA, DVI-I and S-Video connectors, will maintain its suggested retail price of $299, making this an excellent choice for consumers that want extreme performance, unsurpassed features, superior quality and future-readiness, at a very compelling price.
Rounding out the mainstream segment in ATI's lineup is the RADEON(TM) 7500, which is now offered at $149. The RADEON 7500, with its multiple-display support, will attract users who want a broad range of features and functions at an excellent price.
Both the RADEON 8500 (with 128MB) and RADEON 8500LE will be available in March. The RADEON 8500 (with 64MB) and the RADEON 7500 are available now. For more information on the RADEON family of products including specific technologies featured, please visit

Feb 04 - AMD and ASUS Demonstrate Commitment to Commercial Market. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that AMD and ASUS Computer International have teamed up to promote the AMD Assured(TM) Program for the North American commercial market. ASUS, one of the world's leading motherboard manufacturers, offers AMD Assured motherboards for system integrators who build AMD processor-based commercial systems.

The AMD Assured Program is designed to help commercial system builders identify AMD processor-based motherboards that provide stability and long-term availability, enable planned technology transitions, and offer standards-based manageability needed in commercial systems. AMD Assured motherboards have passed AMD's manageability and validation tests, and are available for use in commercial systems powered by AMD processors, including the AMD Athlon(TM) XP and AMD Duron(TM) processors.

"The AMD Assured Program demonstrates AMD's continued commitment to the commercial market, and helps provide a key building block desired by IT managers and commercial customers," said Tim Wright, director of desktop marketing at AMD. "The ASUS A7V266-E/AA motherboard has many excellent features that meet the standards required by commercial customers. In the future, we look forward to having additional motherboards as part of the AMD Assured Program to address other segments in the market."

"ASUS has a strong reputation of delivering outstanding, high-quality motherboards," said Margaret Chen, sales director of North America at ASUS Computer International. "Teamed with AMD for the AMD Assured Program, ASUS will now offer our A7V266-E/AA to meet the defined needs and requirements of the commercial market. The ASUS A7V266-E/AA motherboard has passed AMD's stringent manageability and validation tests, and is an excellent choice for systems used in government, enterprise, and education segments."

AMD Assured motherboards comply with Microsoft's System and Device Requirements 2.0, incorporate the essential management elements of Wired for Management 2.0, and provide an interoperable solution in any networked environment. In addition, the AMD Assured Program requests motherboards be available in the market for at least 12 months.

For more information about the AMD Assured Program, including a list of motherboards that have met the "AMD Assured" program requirements, please go to

Feb 04 - SONICblue Licenses Patented Technology to Samsung Electronics. SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU), the Company at the cutting-edge of digital audio and video technology, announced that it has granted Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. a license allowing for SONICblue's patented Dual-Deck technology to be incorporated into Samsung Electronics' DVD/VCR combination products.

SONICblue pioneered the Dual-Deck VCR and DVD/VCR combination categories through its Go-Video brand, and is the holder of many patents covering Dual-Deck technology, including VCR/VCR, DVD/VCR, and DVD/DVR combination products. The company is seeking licenses from additional consumer electronics companies planning to market DVD/VCR and DVD/DVR combination products. Specific terms of the Company's agreement with Samsung Electronics Company are not being disclosed at this time.

SONICblue is committed to licensing its technology and promoting widespread interest in the adoption of Dual-Deck technology in new generations of consumer electronics products, and plans to broaden its line of "dual" products to meet the demands of today's technology-savvy consumers.
SONICblue Incorporated can be found on the Web at

Feb 03 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

This Sunday's 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 12 months of interest free financing on all computer purchases over $598. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages and notebooks.
Circuit City is advertising $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages, and 12 month no interest financing on all desktop packages and notebook computers.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment financing for 6 months on purchases over $298. They are also offering 10% off all inkjet printers with in-store coupon.
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering a free 15 inch monitor with any build-to-order Celeron processor system.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 4 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's Windows XP home page.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. 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
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz system with 17 inch monitor
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2 GHz build-to-order system with 17 inch monitor
Office Depot
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1700+ complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
None advertised
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq AMD Athlon 4, 1.2 GHz with combo DVD/CD-RW
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 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 make informed buying decisions.

Feb 01 - AMD and UMC to Collaborate on 300-mm Wafer Fab. AMD and UMC today announced a comprehensive alliance under which the two companies will establish a joint venture to own and operate a state-of-the-art, 300-mm wafer fabrication facility in Singapore for high-volume production of PC processors and other logic products. AMD and UMC also announced plans to collaborate in the development of advanced process technologies for semiconductor logic products. AMD and UMC separately announced a foundry agreement under which UMC will produce PC processors to augment AMD's Dresden Fab 30 production capacity for devices produced on 130-nanometer and smaller-geometry technology.

AMD and UMC will form a joint venture known as AU Pte Ltd. to own and operate the Singapore facility. The two companies expect to begin commercial production in the joint venture facility on 65-nanometer technology in mid-2005.

"Today's agreement reflects an innovative response to the tectonic shift that has changed the fundamental economics of the worldwide semiconductor industry," said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive officer of AMD. "The advent of 300mm manufacturing ushers in a new era for the semiconductor industry. Megafabs capable of producing complex semiconductor devices in huge volume on advanced process technologies will deliver significant economic benefits, but also entail significant investment that demands efficient use of capital. In this new competitive environment, I believe strategic alliances between leading companies will be the wave of the future."

"This is the first agreement under which a premier foundry company joins forces in a broadly unified partnership with a leading integrated device manufacturer," said Robert Tsao, chairman and chief executive officer of UMC. "I expect our collaboration will set the example for success between pure-play foundries and leading semiconductor manufacturers. In the emerging arena of 300-mm manufacturing, the traditional boundaries between these two types of companies will blur as we move toward closer collaboration. Our respective customers around the world will benefit as we join forces to develop leading-edge technology and drive down manufacturing costs through rapid, cost-effective implementation of the most advanced process technologies and manufacturing practices."

"It is time to revisit the basic business model in the semiconductor industry," said Hector de J. Ruiz, president and chief operating officer of AMD. "Flexibility and timing are still the keys to success - but the way to optimize these has fundamentally changed.

"In the era of 300-mm manufacturing, flexibility will be an increasingly important success metric. A 300-mm megafab can achieve cost savings of substantially more than 30 percent compared to today's 200-mm manufacturing facilities. The key to realizing these savings, however, is creating the kind of operational flexibility necessary to maximize utilization rates," said Ruiz. "By joining forces with UMC, we expect to achieve utilization rates that could become a benchmark for the industry."

Ruiz also said that the joint venture with UMC will enable AMD to make the transition to 300-mm manufacturing at precisely the right time. "One of the important benefits of working with UMC on technology development is that we will gain immediate access to an existing 300-mm wafer fab for R&D activities," said Ruiz. "In the next few years, we expect to require substantial additional production capacity. We believe the optimum time for us to make the transition to high-volume production on 300-mm wafers is in the mid-2005 time frame when we expect to be starting production on the 65-nanometer node.

By working together with UMC on technology development for 300-mm manufacturing, we expect to achieve a very smooth transition," said Ruiz.

Ruiz also cited a process technology development collaboration between AMD and Motorola as a model for future joint efforts with industry-leading partners.

"Our activities with UMC will closely parallel the way we have worked with Motorola," said Ruiz. "With Motorola, we have shown we can maintain a leadership position in critical process technology while controlling technology development costs. The truly extraordinary results of our Fab 30 in Dresden show that geographically distributed development teams can deliver results that exceed our expectations, as well as those of our customers," Ruiz concluded.

AMD can be found on the web at UMC can be found on the web at

Feb 01 - ATI's MOBILITY RADEON 7500 Wins "Kick Ass Award". Powered by the world's most powerful mobile graphics processor (, ATI's MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 7500, a new notebook PC has been awarded Maximum PC Magazine's prestigious 'Kick Ass Product' designation. ATI Technologies Inc. is the number one supplier of notebook graphics technology worldwide.

"The eyebrow-lifting feature of the Dell Inspiron 8100 is ATI's new MOBILITY RADEON 7500 with 64MB DDR RAM," wrote Gordon Mah Ung, Senior Editor, Maximum PC, in the February 2002 issue. "The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 stands as the fastest graphics chip available..."

The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 delivers nearly twice the performance of its closest competitor on Mad Onion's industry-standard 3DMark2001 benchmark test ( MOBILITY RADEON 7500 is also the first mobile GPU (graphics processing unit) to support 128-bit DDR (double data rate) memory - double the current standard and, therefore, dramatically raising the bar for notebook 3D performance.
ATI can be found on the Web at

Feb 01 - Nextel Wireless Internet Service Voted Best in U.S. Nextel customers rate its wireless Internet access better than any other wireless carrier's customers in the United States, according to a recent Cahners In-Stat/MDR Group report.

In its recent Wireless Internet Early Adapter Q3 2001 Customer Satisfaction Results, In-Stat/MDR reports that customers of Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) and Nextel Partners (NASDAQ:NXTP) rate the companies' wireless Internet service higher than customers of Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless.

"We are pleased that our customers place such value on our data network," said Tim Donahue, Nextel president and chief executive officer. "We think it's the best 2.5G network in the world, but it's even more important that our customers think so. We know that it's not enough to offer a fast and reliable data system, so we strive to offer applications that are meaningful to our customers."

In the study, In-Stat found that Nextel was rated highest in key attributes that drive customer satisfaction in wireless data: breadth of applications available, ease of use and quality and reliability of service.

Nextel operates the only nationwide 2.5G packet data network in the U.S. and has the highest percentage of wireless data subscribers of any national carrier. Nextel launched its wireless Internet service in 2000, and now has approximately 2 million wireless subscribers on wireless data plans, which is about 20 percent of Nextel's subscriber base.

"We provide meaningful wireless data business applications on the Nextel National Network, and our customers have responded," said Donahue. "We've turned Nextel phones into a vital productivity tool, and enabled customers to conduct business virtually anywhere work and life takes them."

"Our customers rely on us to help them conduct business and stay in touch while on the go. We've worked hard to anticipate their needs and exceed expectations," said John Chapple, Nextel Partners president, CEO and chairman of the board. "These results show the value of our differentiated product - the only national `four-in-one' fully integrated solution across the U.S. - and our continued dedication to 100 percent customer satisfaction." For more information about Nextel, visit

In-Stat/MDR can be found on the Internet at

Feb 01 - Handspring Treo Communicator Ships in Singapore. Handspring, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAND) today announced retail availability of the company's new integrated wireless products, the Treo 180 and 180g, to customers in Singapore. Treo is a compact communicator that combines the functions of a mobile phone and a handheld computer with Web browsing and text messaging. Treo can be purchased for SD 968.00 (with a two year service plan) at SingTel retail locations and select IT stores.

"Singapore has always been on the cutting edge of mobile technology and we believe the market will embrace such a compact voice and data product," said Bill Holtzman, vice president of international for Handspring. "We are pleased to be working with SingTel, an established industry leader."

"SingTel is pleased to be Handspring's exclusive partner in Singapore to offer the much anticipated integrated wireless Treo at SingTel's hello! and pod outlets. We believe this sleek device, which combines a mobile phone and PDA, will give a brand new integrated communications experience to our mobile customers," said Ms. Ooi Lay Yong, SingTel's vice president of consumer sales.

Treo is currently available in two versions: the Treo 180, featuring a built-in keyboard for text input, and the Treo 180g for those who prefer Graffiti text input. The product is designed for anyone who carries multiple mobile devices -- phones, pagers or handheld computers -- and is looking for a way to simplify communications with one powerful tool. Even for mobile professionals who rely only on cell phones, Treo brings a greater level of usability, convenience and value by adding a powerful organizer and advanced wireless data applications while maintaining the compact size and weight of a phone.

Handspring sells its Visor line of handheld computers and Springboard expansion modules and accessories at and through select Internet and retail partners in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Middle East.

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