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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

January 24-31 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
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jan 31 AMD's Multiprocessor Platform Certified for Web Serving
Jan 31 ATI Obtains Permanent Membership in OpenGL Standards Board
Jan 31 Sotheby's and eBay Forge Strategic Online Alliance
Jan 31 MUSICMATCH Introduces Mac Music Subscription Service
Jan 30 AMD Announces New Mobile AMD Duron Processors
Jan 30 Fujifilm Introduces Three New Digital Cameras
Jan 30 SONICblue and NETGEAR Announce Technology Alliance
Jan 30 Handmark Brings MONOPOLY To Palm Powered Handheld
Jan 29 AT&T Wireless Services Reports Strong Fourth Quarter
Jan 29 Fujitsu Reports FY2001 Third Quarter Loss
Jan 29 CustomWeather Launches MyForecast.com
Jan 28 AMD Introduces Mobile AMD Athlon 4 Processor 1500+
Jan 28 First Ocean-Going Wireless Computer Network Sets Sail
Jan 28 Nintendo Announces Global Price Drop for Game Boy Advance
Jan 27 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jan 25 CMTL Reports Memory Test Results on Intel P4 DDR Motherboards
Jan 25 Nextel, RIM and Motorola To Produce Voice-enabled Handheld
Jan 25 Addonics Announces Sleek ``Pocket DVD/CDRW''
Jan 24 Rambus to Demonstrate 1200MHz RDRAM System
Jan 24 Visioneer Announces OneTouch 5820 USB Photo Scanner
Jan 24 EarthLink and Compaq Reach Broadband OEM Agreement
Jan 24 Lexmark International Reports Annual Results

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Jan 31 - AMD's Multiprocessor Platform Certified for Web Serving. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that AMD's multiprocessing architecture, featuring the AMD Athlon(tm) MP processor, is now certified by Web server manufacturers Covalent Technologies and Zeus Technology. The certification of Enterprise Ready Server and Zeus Web Server will help assure enterprise customers that they can rely upon AMD multiprocessor-based platforms when serving mission critical Web pages.

Covalent is the developer of Enterprise Ready Server, the first comprehensive enterprise solution for the Apache Web server. Zeus Technology, developer of Zeus Web Server, has been designing and deploying infrastructure solutions since 1995.

"We have run our Enterprise Ready Server on an AMD Athlon MP processor-based system and report superior performance," said Mark Douglas, senior vice president of Engineering at Covalent Technologies. "Exceptional performance of our Apache-based Web server solutions is very important and working closely with AMD helps to ensure this."

"AMD Athlon MP processor-based platforms provide an opportunity to deploy the Zeus Web Server to the broader enterprise while maintaining exceptional performance," said John Paterson, CEO of Zeus Technology. "We will continue to strengthen our relationship to support AMD's next generation products."

"Support from the Linux community and our partners is critical to the success of our multiprocessor technology, and it is clearly evident from the level of commitment we have received from Covalent and Zeus Technology," said Richard Heye, vice president of Platform Engineering and Infrastructure for AMD's Computation Products Group. "We will continue to work with leading software vendors in their efforts to certify applications such as Web server software for AMD's multiprocessing platform."

About the AMD Athlon(tm) MP Processor

The AMD Athlon MP processor is a seventh-generation x86 processor designed for high-performance multiprocessing servers and workstations.

A key advantage of AMD's multiprocessing platform is Smart MP technology, which greatly enhances overall platform performance by increasing data movement between the two CPUs, chipset and memory system. Smart MP technology features dual point-to-point, high-speed 266MHz system buses with Error Correcting Code (ECC) support designed to provide up to 2.1GB per second per CPU of bus bandwidth in a dual-processor system. Smart MP technology also has an optimized Modified Owner Exclusive Shared Invalid (MOESI) cache coherency protocol that manages data and memory traffic in a multiprocessing environment.

The AMD Athlon MP processor features the patented QuantiSpeed(tm) architecture, which includes a high performance full-speed cache with hardware data pre-fetch, a fully pipelined superscalar floating point engine, and an exclusive L2 Translation Look-aside Buffer (TLB). The processor also incorporates 3DNow!(tm) Professional technology, which has 51 new instructions that extend AMD's 3DNow! technology, enabling smoother, richer and more lifelike images, more precise digital audio and an enriched Internet experience.

The AMD Athlon MP processor is compatible with AMD's stable Socket A infrastructure, and supports DDR memory technology.
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.

Jan 31 - ATI Obtains Permanent Membership in OpenGL Standards Board. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT) today announced that it has been voted in as a permanent member of the OpenGL(R) Architecture Review Board (ARB), joining existing members 3Dlabs, Compaq Computer, Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and SGI.
The ARB helps shape the world's leading cross-platform 3D Application Programming Interface, developing standards and overseeing the certification process for hardware and software vendors designing products to work on OpenGL.
"ATI is excited about its election as a permanent member of the board, after joining the group as an auxiliary member in October 1999. ATI has long been committed to the OpenGL API as it provides the interface that allows our users to benefit tremendously from their ATI graphics acceleration products," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President of Marketing and General Manager, Desktop Group, ATI Technologies Inc. "We are honored to be selected for permanent membership, which will allow us to work even more closely with the OpenGL community."
ATI began developing hardware and software products that support OpenGL (developed by SGI) in 1995. The entire RADEON(TM) family of products has been designed to have robust support for OpenGL, including the latest generation of RADEON(TM) 8500 and 7500, as well as the multimedia powerhouse combination graphics and TV-tuner ALL-IN-WONDER(R) RADEON(TM) 8500DV. Currently, ATI is working with the OpenGL industry leaders to adopt a common interface for the programmable shading architectures of today and the future.
"SGI, as the creator of the OpenGL API and founder of the OpenGL ARB, is pleased to welcome ATI as a permanent member of the ARB," said Shawn Underwood, Director of Product Management, Visual Computing, SGI. "ATI is one of the leading graphics companies on the ARB, and their support and contributions to the advancement of the OpenGL API have helped expand its use in several segments of the PC market, including 3D games and enterprise 3D applications."
OpenGL is a premier environment for developing portable, interactive 3D graphics applications. Since its introduction in 1992, OpenGL has become a widely used and supported 3D graphics API, bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms.
OpenGL fosters innovation and speeds application development by incorporating a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other powerful visualization functions. Developers can leverage the power of OpenGL across all popular desktop and workstation platforms, ensuring wide application deployment.
For more information visit the OpenGL Web site at www.opengl.org.

Jan 31 - Sotheby's and eBay Forge Strategic Online Alliance. Sotheby's (NYSE:BID)(www.sothebys.com), the world's oldest fine arts auctioneer, and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY)(www.ebay.com), the world's online marketplace, today announced a strategic online alliance. This alliance includes three major components:

1.) The companies will introduce Sothebys.com online auctions into
the eBay marketplace. Expected to open early this summer, the
site will feature the same collecting categories of fine and
decorative art, antiques, rare books, jewelry and collectibles
currently offered on Sothebys.com. All items offered will
continue to be guaranteed by sellers for authenticity and
condition. The new Sothebys.com site on eBay will be built and
hosted by eBay.

2.) Sotheby's will adopt eBay's Live Auctions technology to enable
real-time online bidding for a significant number of Sotheby's
traditional auctions held in New York and London. This
technology will allow eBay users to participate in the
excitement of a Sotheby's traditional auction by bidding
online from their home or office.

3.) The companies will market Sothebys.com across both online and
traditional media.

Once launched, the new site will replace online auctions on Sothebys.com as well as eBay Premier, and will be accessible from both the eBay and Sotheby's websites. Until the new destination launches, both Sothebys.com and the eBay Premier sites will continue to operate as usual.

Jan 31 - MUSICMATCH Introduces Mac Music Subscription Service. MUSICMATCH(R) Inc., a recognized leader in providing personalized music software and services, today introduced MUSICMATCH(R) Radio MX(TM), the first and only music subscription service for Mac owners, available through the new version of MUSICMATCH Jukebox for the Mac (3.0) at www.musicmatch.com.

Extending its popular near music-on-demand service to the Mac platform, MUSICMATCH delivers a completely customized music experience through Radio MX. Mac users can now enjoy CD-quality, "near music-on-demand" streams of music with powerful features that let them sit back and enjoy music in a whole new way.

"MUSICMATCH Radio MX has been an overwhelming success with Windows users, and we are very pleased to extend the service to Mac owners," said Christopher Allen, senior vice president of product marketing at MUSICMATCH. "For the first time, Mac music fans have the option to subscribe to a service that promises, and delivers, nothing less than a satisfying experience."

First and Only Music Subscription Service Available to Mac Owners

MUSICMATCH Radio MX is the first and only subscription service available to Mac owners. For $4.95 per month, music fans will enjoy CD-quality, ad-free streams of customized music ranging from the hottest bands of today and tomorrow, to the familiar sound of music they grew up with.

Since the introduction of Radio MX in May 2001, more than 90,000 music fans have subscribed to the service. Radio MX leverages the company's patent-pending personalization technology, which measures the correlations between the listening preferences of its millions of users to deliver relevant music recommendations and personalized streams not available in competing services.

MUSICMATCH Radio MX is available on the Mac through both MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus and Basic (version 3.0 required) for $4.95 per month. MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus costs $19.99, and versions for both Mac and Windows are available for download at www.musicmatch.com.

Jan 30 - AMD announces New Mobile AMD Duron Processors. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today continues to strengthen its performance leadership for mainstream notebook PC computing with the introduction of the 1.2GHz and 1.1GHz mobile AMD Duron(TM) processors. Featuring AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology, the PC industry's leading dynamic power management tool, the new mobile AMD Duron processors can significantly extend battery life without compromising performance.

"Our customers' success relies on AMD's powerful products and dependable resources. Not only have we consistently gained retail notebook market acceptance in the U.S., but we are gaining momentum internationally as well," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "AMD welcomes Epson Direct and Hitachi to our growing list of partners, as these two companies have recently announced new notebook designs in Japan that feature mobile AMD processors."

With support for the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP operating system, the mobile AMD Duron processor with AMD PowerNow! technology enables outstanding battery life and delivers exceptional performance on a wide range of industry-leading software, such as multimedia and office productivity applications.

Availability

Systems based on the 1.2GHz and 1.1GHz mobile AMD Duron processors are expected from leading manufacturers.

Pricing

The 1.2GHz and 1.1GHz AMD mobile Duron processors are priced at $160 and $130, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities. For complete pricing information, visit www.amd.com/pricing.

Additional information is available at www.amd.com.

Jan 30 - Fujifilm Introduces Three New Digital Cameras. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. continues its FinePix reputation for delivering exceptional image quality and performance with its new Super CCD models, the FinePix F601 Zoom, FinePix S602 Zoom and FinePix S2 Pro.

Offering a wider choice of advanced features and a new generation of Super CCD image sensors, Fujifilm's new FinePix cameras are again leading the growing digital camera market with innovative technology and functionality, making the capture of outstanding digital images a reality for photographers at all skill levels.

Technology Advancements:

Fujifilm's third generation, 3.11 million-effective pixel Super CCD image sensor systems for the high-end consumer and advanced amateur digital camera categories reflect significant advancements in the company's digital imaging technology history, offering picture takers such advantages as images with 2832 x 2128 (6.03 million) recorded pixels, ultra-high ISO sensitivities, high-quality VGA movie recording and even better picture color.
Fujifilm's new, proprietary image processing method, known as Pixel Data Coupling Technology, along with a new noise reduction technology have been combined with the new Super CCD sensor system to enable the FinePix F601 Zoom and FinePix S602 Zoom to deliver ISO sensitivities all the way up 1600 in 1280 x 960 (one megapixel) mode with a minimal increase in CCD "noise."
This new system also allows for a unique vertical and horizontal "Pixel-Mixing Technology" that enables VGA-sized digital video and frame rates faster than those typically associated with digital still cameras, resulting in smoother, higher-quality movie recording.

Fujifilm's new FinePix S2 Pro boasts a new professional-level Super CCD sensor system, which at 6 million effective pixels is capable of producing images of up to 4256 x 2848 (12.1 million) recorded pixels for stunning, detailed pictures that are sure to please even the most discerning photographer. The FinePix S2 Pro also features a CCD Raw mode, which delivers the image before it has been processed by the camera's internal algorithmic settings, thereby liberating the pros to experiment with their pictures as they see fit.

The FinePix F601 Zoom will be available in April 2002 at a price of $599. An optional PC-sync PictureCradle is priced at $59.99.
The FinePix S602 Zoom will be available for purchase in June 2002. Fujifilm's FinePix S2 Pro will be available for purchase the second half of 2002.
For more information on Fujifilm products, consumers can access the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.

Jan 30 - SONICblue and NETGEAR Announce Technology Alliance. Joining together to deliver a complete end-to-end home networking solution for consumers, SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU) and NETGEAR(R) Inc. announced that they have formed an industry-leading technology and marketing alliance to provide the finest user experience for those seeking networked digital home entertainment.
The partnership solidifies both companies' leadership positions in the digital entertainment and home networking markets by providing consumers with information on compatible products, services and solutions that support a seamless home networking experience.

SONICblue is aggressively pursuing the growing home networking market with a host of advanced entertainment products that will leverage the home network to deliver convenience, ease-of-use and choice. SONICblue's new ReplayTV 4000, the first broadband and home network-enabled digital video recorder, as well as the new Rio Advanced Digital Audio Center, take advantage of the NETGEAR home networking environment to deliver advanced features and capabilities that other consumer devices can not match.

The NETGEAR complete line of reliable home networking equipment enables families to securely share a single Internet connection with an easy-to-use Cable/DSL gateway router. Consumers can extend connectivity today around the home using the NETGEAR wireless 802.11b, phoneline and will soon be able to use powerline solutions. NETGEAR offers this connectivity not only for PCs, but also for networked entertainment devices from SONICblue.

Under the partnership, NETGEAR and SONICblue will provide complementary technologies, solutions and products to deliver compatible end-to-end networking and entertainment solutions for the home. The agreement covers cross-promotions and collaboration on the marketing of complementary products.

SONICblue Incorporated can be found at www.SONICblue.com. NETGEAR Inc. can be found at www.NETGEAR.com.

Jan 30 - Handmark Brings MONOPOLY To Palm Powered Handhelds. For more than 65 years the MONOPOLY(R) game has been one the world's best selling board game with more than two hundred million copies sold. Now you can play the MONOPOLY game anywhere with the release of the new Handmark official MONOPOLY game for Palm Powered devices.

Last year Handmark released the official SCRABBLE crossword game for Palm Powered PDAs. Now the MONOPOLY game is available for download from the Handmark web site and is also available on CD-ROM from most major retail stores that sell Palm OS(R) based devices.

According to Handmark marketing vice-president, Douglas Edwards "this is huge, we've already found business executives, home makers and students playing the SCRABBLE game for Palm OS now everyone can also play the MONOPOLY game. The game as we've designed it for the handheld is beautiful and easy to play. This is a great use of the Palm OS and it's typical of the category leading national brands Handmark will continue to bring to the platform."

It's the Real MONOPOLY game!

The highly interactive game can be played by one Palm Powered device user competing against the handheld computer. The human player can play against any of six unique "identities", each having their own personality and playing style. The game is also designed for multiple players using one or several Palm Powered devices.

In multiple device play the built-in infrared beaming function allows silent play in any public space as players "beam" their move to each other's device. Games can include any combination of computer identities and real people up to four players per game.

Score keeping is also automated so players can concentrate on their game skills. Each player's account is totaled and current status of all player accounts can be viewed at any time.

Availability of retail product

Retail packages are expected to be available in stores in February. It will be offered through major retailers for $29.99 (USA estimated retail price) and in campus bookstores across North America. The MONOPOLY game for the Palm OS platform will be available at most retail chains where Palm Powered devices are sold.

The MONOPOLY game is also available as an online download from the Handmark web site, www.handmark.com (also $29.99).

Jan 29 - AT&T Wireless Services Reports Strong Fourth Quarter. AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE) said today that its total consolidated revenue grew to $3.528 billion for the fourth quarter, an increase of 18.7 percent compared to the year-ago quarter and increased 30.3 percent to $13.610 billion for the full-year 2001.
"AT&T Wireless stands out in delivering solid growth despite the challenges of a tough economic environment," said AT&T Wireless Chairman and CEO John D. Zeglis. "For the eighth consecutive quarter, we've met our key growth goals. Through disciplined and consistent execution, we've grown the company more in the last 24 months than in the previous six years. At the same time, we made critical strategic investments to prepare for future growth."
"For 2002 and beyond we're sharply focused on a strategy to deliver value to our shareowners and customers," added Mohan Gyani, president, Mobility Services. "We're identifying profitable growth opportunities and deploying the right resources, in a capital efficient way, to be the premier mobile voice and data carrier in North America."
Minutes of use per subscriber reached a record level of 400 average minutes per subscriber per month in the fourth quarter, an increase from 366 minutes in the year-ago quarter and 389 minutes in the third quarter of 2001.
Net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter, including affiliates and a partnership market, totaled 1.1 million. At the end of the fourth quarter, total subscribers, including affiliates and a partnership market, were 20.8 million.
The 4Q Earnings Commentary will be available at www.att.com/wirelessir at approximately 6:00 a.m. EST on January 29, 2002.

Jan 29 - Fujitsu Reports FY2001 Third Quarter Loss. Fujitsu Limited, the global leader in Internet-based information technology solutions, today reported consolidated net sales of 1,058.7 billion yen (US$8,021 million) for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2001 (October 1 - December 31, 2001), a decline of 13% over the same period in fiscal 2000.
Amidst a worsening global economy, Fujitsu faced a difficult operating environment in the third quarter.
The terrorist incidents of September 11 contributed to a deepening downturn in the United States, while the pace of growth further slowed in Europe and Asia, and the Japanese economic environment deteriorated, as exports and capital expenditure contracted and consumer spending weakened. Although inventory adjustments addressing the worsening supply-demand balance in such areas as mobile phones progressed, and there were indications late in the period that consumer demand was bottoming out in the U.S. and some other regions, continuing cutbacks in corporate investment, especially among telecommunications carriers, along with further deterioration in a semiconductor market that had yet to hit bottom made for a difficult quarter overall.
Fujitsu recorded a consolidated operating loss of 45.8 billion yen (US$347 million) for the quarter, compared with an operating profit of 7.6 billion yen in third quarter of fiscal 2000. Operating income for services & software increased more than five-fold, boosted by higher domestic earnings in services and progress in the restructuring of overseas subsidiaries. An operating profit was also recorded in information processing, where higher sales of servers and file storage systems helped to offset the impact of lower sales of small form factor magnetic disk drives and personal computers.
On the other hand, operating losses in telecommunications widened, as North America-based telecommunications carriers in particular continued to postpone new investments, leading to weaker demand and pricing for optical transmission systems. Electronic devices recorded a large operating loss for the quarter, impacted by a major weakening of demand that led to lower capacity utilization levels and severe price erosion.
In addition, in an aggressive move to restore profitability, Fujitsu took a charge to earnings to cover the costs of exiting the business of small form factor magnetic disk drives for desktop PCs and reorganizing its overseas semiconductor production facilities. As a result, the company recorded a consolidated third quarter net loss of 106.1 billion yen (US$804 million), compared to a net loss of 69.0 billion yen in the previous corresponding period.

Revised Projections for Fiscal Year 2001

Since the last earnings projections in October, the U.S. economic downturn has deepened, and the seriousness of structural problems in the worldwide economy has increased. While there were some indications that consumer spending in the U.S. may have bottomed out toward the end of the year, since then it appears that capital investment and consumer spending for the Japanese economy are likely to slow. Moreover, there is no immediate prospect for recovery by North America-based telecommunications carriers, and a turnaround in semiconductor demand cannot be expected within this fiscal year.
Although third quarter results were roughly in line with the previous forecast, fourth quarter financial results in such areas as electronic devices, optical transmission equipment, personal computers, hard disk drives and services are likely to be greatly affected by the above-mentioned factors. In addition, the weakened yen will increase the converted value of the costs associated with overseas restructuring activities, and further restructuring is needed in each division.
For more information, visit www.fujitsu.com.

Jan 29 - CustomWeather Launches MyForecast.com. CustomWeather, the leading supplier of syndicated custom weather data, announced today the launch of MyForecast.com, a Web site providing extensive, specialized weather information to consumers.

This site is created by and designed for weather lovers all over the world, who are looking for instant access to current conditions, 15-Day forecasts, satellites photos, severe weather alerts, real-time local Doppler radar plus much more. The site offers the industry's most accurate weather data with over 58,000 unique forecasts worldwide within a clean, user-friendly interface.

"Weather affects us every day. It influences our choice of clothing and activities, and even our state of mind," said Geoff Flint, CEO and CustomWeather co-founder. "Making accurate weather forecasts is critical and our aim is to help you to plan your activities with confidence -- and to make the most of any time spent outdoors. With the launch of MyForecast.com, we are helping consumers all over the world plan outdoor, weather-sensitive activities, whether relaxing at the beach, golfing, hang-gliding, skiing or just hanging out the laundry."
For more information, log on to www.MyForecast.com.

Jan 28 - AMD Introduces Mobile AMD Athlon 4 Processor 1500+. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today introduced the mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 4 processor 1500+, the highest overall performing processor for notebook PCs. The new mobile processor, featuring QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture and AMD PowerNow!(TM) technology, delivers the highest notebook PC application performance to meet the demanding needs of today's business professionals. Systems based on the mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor 1500+ are expected to be immediately available from Compaq Computer Corporation.

Joining the AMD Athlon XP and AMD Athlon MP processors, the new mobile processor will be identified with model numbers, as opposed to clock speed in megahertz. In October 2001, AMD announced the True Performance Initiative (TPI), through which AMD will assist customers in understanding the benefits of PC performance. The TPI also will help define a more accurate measure of processor performance for standard applications.

"AMD's innovative technology, such as AMD PowerNow! technology, and global partnerships enable AMD to help customers meet their business objectives," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "With this new offering in our line of mobile processors, AMD continues to deliver products that businesses and end users can rely on for performance, power efficiency, stability and compatibility. In addition, AMD's initiative to provide a more reliable performance metric extends to the new mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor, continuing our commitment to mobile customers."

"Going forward, AMD continues to listen closely to end users that are calling for a better measure of performance," said Patrick Moorhead, AMD vice president of Customer Advocacy who is driving the TPI. "AMD is working diligently to drive these discussions in a positive manner and devise an improved measure embraced throughout the PC industry."

AMD's mobile processors continue to deliver high performance running the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP operating system. Business and home users who rely on notebook PCs can recognize the improved software performance and quality computing experience that results from running Windows XP and mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor-based notebooks. Native support for AMD PowerNow! technology in Windows XP enables an extraordinary user experience by providing a balance of low power computing and performance on demand.

Availability

Compaq will feature AMD mobile processors in its Compaq Presario 700 notebook series. The Presario 700 can be ordered immediately from the Compaq Web site at http://www.athome.compaq.com.

"The Compaq Presario 700 powered by the mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor 1500+, featuring AMD PowerNow! technology and QuantiSpeed architecture, provides consumers with powerful technology that delivers exceptional performance," said Lorena Kubera, Director of Portable Product Marketing, Compaq Computer Corporation.

Pricing

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor 1500+ is priced at $525 in 1,000-unit quantities. For complete pricing information, visit www.amd.com/pricing.

About the Mobile AMD Athlon(TM) 4 Processor

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor features QuantiSpeed architecture, which incorporates a nine-issue, fully pipelined superscalar micro-architecture, a superscalar floating-point unit, hardware data pre-fetch, exclusive and speculative Translation Look-aside Buffers (TLB). Other features of the mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor include support for AMD's 3DNow!(TM) Professional instruction set for enhanced multimedia capabilities, and AMD PowerNow! technology for extended battery life.

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor is compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, and supports the advanced 200MHz AMD Athlon front-side bus, providing the highest bandwidth available for notebook PCs.

Mobile AMD Athlon 4 processors are manufactured using AMD's 0.18-micron copper process technology in Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany. For more information, visit www.amd.com.

Jan 28 - Nintendo Announces Global Price Drop for Game Boy Advance. Nintendo has announced a global price drop for its best-selling, hand-held video game wonder Game Boy® Advance, effective February 1, 2002. In the U.S., the new suggested retail price is $79.95, representing a 20-percent decrease. This simultaneous global price drop is the result of production efficiencies and decreased component costs.

The U.S. video game industry generated a record-breaking $9.4 billion in 2001, and Game Boy Advance was responsible for more than 20 percent of total hardware units sold. Since its release in June 2001, Game Boy Advance has sold nearly 5 million hardware units in North America. To stay ahead of the game, Nintendo remains on track to ship 23.5 million Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color units to retail outlets worldwide during its current fiscal year, ending March 2002.

"The new price point truly positions Game Boy Advance as a video game system for the mass market," says Peter Main, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "Coupled with an explosive amount of incredible software scheduled for the year, Game Boy Advance is positioned to become the best-selling video game hardware system of all time."

This year will see the release of more than 200 games for Game Boy Advance, including Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2TM, launching on February 11th. Nintendo will also introduce innovative new game play formats to take advantage of the new Nintendo GameCubeTM Game Boy Advance cable. The first games to feature this game play synergy are Sonic AdvanceTM from THQ for Game Boy Advance and SonicTM Adventure 2: Battle from Sega for NINTENDO GAMECUBE, both launching in February. Using this new device, players can transfer data between the two systems, giving gamers a brand new level of game play never before experienced.

"The enormous success of Game Boy Advance has made publishing games for the system a clear triumph for us," says Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ Inc. "With this price drop our products will now reach even more consumers."
For more information about Game Boy Advance or other Nintendo products, visit the company's Web sites, www.nintendo.com or www.gameboyadvance.com.

Jan 28 - First Ocean-Going Wireless Computer Network Sets Sail. Most cruise passengers have no idea what an IEEE 802.11b WIFI-compliant wireless network even is, much less insist on one when shopping for cruises.
Unless the cruisers are from places like MIT and the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and their sailing vacation of choice is a Geek Cruise.
In 1999, Geek Cruises became the first company to combine career development and networking opportunities for technology professionals with the amenities of a luxury cruise. Now the Palo Alto, Calif., company has recorded another milestone: installing the first floating wireless computer network, which provided unlimited, around-the-clock Internet access for attendees of its Perl Whirl '02 ship-board conference.
"The people aboard a Geek Cruise are not typical power users," says Geek Cruises President Neil Bauman. "They're software developers and computer professionals accustomed to state-of-the-art networks like those at MIT, the JPL or Fortune 500 companies. So in addition to the luxuries they would expect of a cruise, they also demand high-quality information services."
Beyond allowing any attendee of the January conference with a laptop computer and wireless adapter card to check e-mail and surf the Internet while others surfed waves, the 11-megabit-per-second (mbps) wireless network also let them download conference files, check for conference updates, transfer data and stay connected to speakers and other attendees from nearly anywhere onboard Holland America's 720-foot ms Veendam.
Future Geek Cruises will allow participants to take part in activities using state-of-the-art groupware and weblogging. Virtual private network systems are also planned.
"Most cruise lines provide Internet access through some sort of shipboard cyber-cafe," Bauman says, "which is expensive and severely limits resource availability. Geek Cruisers would rather write code than limbo, so this is what's important to them."
The wireless local-area network (WLAN) configuration consisted of Cisco Aironet 350 wireless access points placed in strategic locations throughout the ship. The root access point was connected by a CAT5 Ethernet cable to a 10/100 Ethernet switch patched into the ship's fiber optic-to-satellite connection. Each access point used the IEEE 802.11b WIFI protocol, configured in repeater mode. Attendees connected using any WIFI compliant 802.11b PCMCIA wireless network adapter card. Those who needed to could rent cards.
Geek Cruises can be found online at www.geekcruises.com.

Jan 27 - 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.
Circuit City is advertising $100 mail-in rebates and 12 month no interest financing on all desktop packages.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment financing for 6 months on purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering a free (after mail-in rebate) Epson Stylus C40 printer with the purchase of any desktop or notebook computer. They are also offering 3 months of free AOL with any computer purchase.
Staples has no ad this Sunday.

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
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
$599
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Compaq 1.6 GHz complete system
$1149
CompUSA
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.8 GHz complete system
$1499
CompUSA
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1700+ complete system
$1079
Office Depot
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000 + build-to-order system
$1679
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq AMD Duron 1 GHz with DVD
$1049
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq AMD Athlon 4, 1.2 GHz with combo DVD/CD-RW
$1399
Office Depot

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.

Jan 25 - CMTL Reports Memory Test Results on Intel P4 DDR Motherboards. CMTL (Computer Memory Testing Labs), the industry's leading independent memory module compatibility test lab, today announced that it is has successfully completed the launch phase for memory module testing on the new Intel D845BG and D845PT motherboards.
The boards are the first P4, DDR motherboards to be released by Intel Corp. Included in the group of manufacturers that have successfully passed Intel Advanced testing on the new motherboards include: ATP Electronics, AVED Memory Products, Legend, Dane-Elec, Dataram, PNY Technologies and Smart Modular Technologies.
Additional memory manufacturers and module part numbers can be found on CMTL's Web site: www.cmtlabs.com.
"The boards are extremely fast, especially with the 400mhz front side bus. There are a couple of statements of caution though. Users must make sure they buy memory that meets JEDEC SPD EPROM programming specifications. Improperly programmed SPD values can result in significantly reduced system performance or failure to boot up," stated John Deters, president, CMTL.
"There are a number of DDR motherboards that will allow just about any memory module to function, but performance is sacrificed in the process. If you want to design a motherboard to accept the maximum amount of memory timing variance, then you will sacrifice performance in the process. In high-speed memory architectures you cannot have it both ways.
"I am continually amazed to see that there are system builders that constantly forfeit system performance and reliability because they wanted to save a couple of bucks by buying marginal or non-compliant memory modules," Deters added.
CMTL-tested modules can be found by visiting participating motherboard manufacturers' Web sites or www.cmtlabs.com.
The companies can be found on the Net at www.rim.net/, www.nextel.com/, and www.motorola.com/iden.

Jan 25 - Nextel, RIM and Motorola To Produce Voice-enabled Handheld. Nextel Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL), Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM; TSE:RIM), and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) today announced an agreement to develop a new Nextel/BlackBerry(TM)handheld with both voice and data capabilities.
This Personal Data Assistant (PDA) style form factor handheld will operate on Nextel's national network using Motorola's iDEN(R)integrated digital wireless network technology.
To facilitate this effort, Motorola and RIM have signed a licensing agreement allowing specific iDEN and RIM technologies to be incorporated into certain devices from each company.
RIM's award-winning BlackBerry wireless email solution will be integrated with Nextel's digital cellular, Nextel Direct Connect(R) digital two-way radio service, text and numeric paging, and Nextel Wireless Web online services, which were recently rated number one by Cahner's In-Stat/MDR in customer satisfaction. The device will also support Java(TM) 2 Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) applications.
"The combined Nextel/BlackBerry device will provide an additional platform on which businesses can create meaningful and cost effective applications for their mobile employees," said Tim Donahue, Nextel's president and chief executive officer. "The wireless email capabilities of this exclusive device will complement our Direct Connect and packet data services, and serve as a powerful new business tool for our customers."
"RIM and Nextel have both developed unique wireless solutions for corporate customers," said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at Research In Motion. "This new integrated offering, together with our mutual commitment to Java-based wireless applications, will provide an innovative and attractive proposition for our business customers and development community."
"Motorola's iDEN technology gives Nextel the power to offer wireless voice, data and application services in a single device," said Bill Werner, corporate vice president of Motorola and general manager of the iDEN Subscriber Group. "Our agreement with RIM will allow Nextel to leverage the advanced capabilities of their nationwide iDEN network to offer customers the choice of a messaging centric device in addition to an existing array of voice centric Java-enabled handsets."
More than 13,000 organizations across North America already use BlackBerry to provide wireless email capabilities through an "always-on" connection, and RIM recently began marketing BlackBerry to customers in Europe. The Nextel/ BlackBerry offering will include advanced Java(TM)-based wireless handhelds, desktop tools, enterprise server software, and end-to-end security.

Jan 25 - Addonics Announces Sleek ``Pocket DVD/CDRW''. Addonics Technologies today announced a sleek new combination DVD/CDRW storage solution that plays DVD movies or audio CDs, burns original CDs, and is barely larger than a standard Compact Disc case.
The Addonics Pocket DVD/CDRW drive is among the smallest and most flexible storage solutions available with its high-speed FireWire, CardBus and USB 2.0 interfaces and interchangeable cable. The Pocket DVD/CDRW drive features an 8x DVD player, 8x CDRW burner, and a 24x CD-ROM drive -- all packed inside a 5.62 x 5.31 x .87 inch enclosure that weighs just 14 ounces.
Addonics bundles the Pocket DVD/CDRW drive with CD mastering software, and MPEG-2 decoding software for DVD movie playback. The combined DVD/CDRW allows users to buy a single drive to add DVD movie playback, CDRW and CD-ROM functions to any computer via one USB, FireWire or CardBus connection.
Addonics also manufactures a line of optional controllers, which includes a USB 2.0 card, FireWire card and CardBus FireWire adapter for upgrading notebook or desktop PCs to high speed interfaces. The list price for Pocket DVD/CDRW starts at $399 for the USB 2.0 version.
Visit Addonics at www.addonics.com.

Jan 24 - Rambus to Demonstrate 1200MHz RDRAM System. Rambus Inc., the leading provider of high bandwidth chip connection technology, announced today it will demonstrate the first PC running 1200MHz RDRAM(R) memory at the Platform Conference in San Jose, California. In addition, Rambus will present a comparative analysis of memory solutions. The analysis shows RDRAM is an excellent choice for high bandwidth PCs now and in the future.
Rambus will demonstrate an overclocked PC with RDRAM Memory running at 1200MHz. Sporting a peak bandwidth of 4.8GB/s, the system will be running popular benchmarks to illustrate both outstanding performance and reliable operation. The RDRAM roadmap includes adding speed bins at 1066 MHz and 1200MHz without changes to the RDRAM design or industry infrastructure. The RDRAM memory components used for the demonstration are devices directly off a high volume 800MHz production line.
For more information on RDRAM memory solutions, visit www.RDRAM.com.

Jan 24 - Visioneer Announces OneTouch 5820 USB Photo Scanner. Visioneer, a leader in intelligent imaging solutions, today announced the Visioneer OneTouch(TM) 5820 USB flatbed photo scanner, a complete imaging solution to creatively preserve and share family photos digitally.

The Visioneer OneTouch 5820 USB flatbed photo scanner features an optical resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi, 48-bit internal color, and a 35mm transparency adapter. The software bundled with the scanner includes ScanSoft's PaperPort Deluxe 7.0, ScanSoft's TextBridge Pro 9.0 and MGI PhotoSuite LE.
The scanner has three convenient buttons that integrate with the software to make emailing, copying, and storing images and text effortless. Now sharing creations and images with family and friends by email, through online photo services, via a website or through colorful projects printed on an inkjet printer is easy.

"Your family photos are priceless," said Murray L. Dennis, President and CEO of Visioneer. "Why keep them in a shoebox where they'll fade and yellow? We have designed a scanner that is so easy to use that there is no excuse not to get your photos out of storage and preserved digitally forever. With it's 48-bit color capability, the Visioneer OneTouch 5820 USB is perfect for cost-conscious buyers who are looking for a speedy scanner with a versatile software bundle and want to have fun sharing their family photos."
The Visioneer OneTouch 5820 USB is available immediately, through authorized retailers, computer super stores and online services, mail order catalogs and from Visioneer's web site at http://www.visioneer.com. Its suggested retail price is $99.99.

Jan 24 - EarthLink and Compaq Reach Broadband OEM Agreement. EarthLink (Nasdaq:ELNK) and Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE:CPQ) today announced an agreement to offer EarthLink High Speed Internet service to all U.S. Compaq customers who purchase a new Presario Internet PC. Available immediately, EarthLink's DSL services will be available to new Presario users through the "Out of the Box Experience" (OOBE) when they initially turn on their new PC.
"Compaq's industry-leading PC hardware and EarthLink's award-winning Internet service and support are a strong combination," said John Kortier, vice president of channel sales at EarthLink. "And since EarthLink can provide high-speed Internet access to more of the country than our competitors, we're an even more attractive OEM partner."
Those who opt to sign up for EarthLink High Speed Internet through Compaq will receive all the advantages of EarthLink High Speed membership, including eight emailboxes, eight Personal Start Pages(SM), eight 10-MB Web sites, free unlimited use of a dial-up connection, free 24/7 technical support and customer service, easy-to-use software, and more.
For more information about EarthLink High Speed or any of EarthLink's award-winning slate of Internet access, Web hosting and e-commerce products and services, visit www.earthlink.net. For more information about Compaq products and services, visit www.compaq.com.

Jan 24 - Lexmark International Reports Annual Results. Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) today announced financial results for both the fourth quarter and full year 2001.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $1.152 billion, up 5 percent from the same period in 2000. Diluted net earnings per share for the fourth quarter were 46 cents on an operational basis, before non-recurring charges associated with the company's previously announced restructuring plan and before the non-recurring benefit from the resolution of income tax matters. Full-year revenue for 2001 increased 9 percent to $4.143 billion.
"These fourth quarter financial results are in line with our previous guidance," stated Paul J. Curlander, chairman and CEO. "Lexmark continues to gain market share, fueling our supplies-driven business model. This makes us one of only a handful of technology companies to consistently grow revenue and generate profit in each quarter of 2001."
Lexmark can be found on the Internet at www.lexmark.com.

 

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