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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

January 8-15 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 right-hand column.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jan 15 ATI's RADEON 8500 powers Ultimate Gaming Machine
Jan 15 Electronic Arts to Use AMD Athlon Processor-Based Systems Worldwide
Jan 15 Domain for Individuals, .name; Activates Today
Jan 14 Predictive Systems Outlines Key InfoSec Threats for 2002
Jan 13 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jan 11 SimpleTech First to Market With DDR SO-DIMM for Notebooks
Jan 11 Macworld Announces Best of Show Awards
Jan 11 ATI and Hercules Form Strategic Partnership On High-End Graphics
Jan 11 Rambus Reports December Quarter Earnings
Jan 10 SmartDisk Introduces 5 Gigabyte Hard Drive for USB 2.0
Jan 10 Hitachi Introduces Its First Plasma Television Line at CES 2002
Jan 10 Minolta Introduces New DiMAGE S404 Compact Digital Camera
Jan 10 MTV and Lan Plus to Launch Athlon XP PC
Jan 10 Analyst Predicts 725% Growth in Recordable DVD Sales for 2002
Jan 09 Intel Demonstrates Desktop and Notebook Pentium 4s at CES 2002
Jan 09 `Year of USB 2.0' Starts Out Strong
Jan 09 Intel Introduces 1.4 GHz Pentium III for Servers
Jan 09 TDK Triples the Storage Capacity of CD-RW Drives
Jan 09 LaCie Announces New 120 and 160GB FireWire Hard Drives
Jan 08 Sony's New VAIO notebook PC Cuts the Cord With Cable-Free Mobility
Jan 08 Toshiba's Satellite 6000 Notebooks Deliver Wireless Computing
Jan 08 SanDisk Introduces Cruzer, Pocket-size Storage Device
Jan 08 ViewSonic Wireless Monitor Prototype Shown at CES
Jan 08 Belkin Expands Its USB 2.0 Offerings

Electronic Gaming Monthly Free Year Subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly!! While it Lasts....

Jan 15 - ATI's RADEON 8500 powers Ultimate Gaming Machine. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions is pleased to announce that the RADEON(TM) 8500 graphics powered Voodoo PC took the top spot in CGW's (Computer Gaming World magazine) Ultimate Gaming Machine roundup.
"We were really excited to include the RADEON 8500 in our machine for the roundup," said Rahul Sood, President, VoodooPC. "We were convinced that having the RADEON 8500 would give us the winning edge - and it did!"
Voodoo PC's MONSOONEGAD-XP was the only system to feature graphics powered by ATI's RADEON 8500. "The Monsoon beat the living crap out of the competition in Ziff Davis's 3D WinBench 2000, scoring an unrivaled 280," read the article, which appears in the January 2002 issue. "The Monsoon was also the only rig to achieve a 3Dmark2001 score in the 8000 range, busting out with a huge 8341."
"We're thrilled at the results of the roundup," said Toshi Okumura, Senior Product Manager, ATI Technologies Inc. "The Voodoo machine and the RADEON 8500 make a fantastic combination for gamers. We're confident that as new games featuring DirectX 8.1 come to market even more of the power and features will be exposed."
"The RADEON 8500 performed very well," said William O'Neal, Editor, CGW Magazine. "Its performance actually led us to question how well the other systems would have performed if they had included the RADEON 8500 as well."
The RADEON 8500 is available now with a MSRP of $299. For more information you can visit The Voodoo MONSOONEGAD-XP is available by visiting

Jan 15 - Electronic Arts to Use AMD Athlon Processor-Based Systems. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced Electronic Arts, a leader in PC and console games and the number-one game site on the Internet, is recommending AMD Athlon(tm) XP and AMD Athlon MP processor-based desktop and workstation computers for its worldwide studios.

Electronic Arts plans to use these systems to develop and produce next-generation PC and console games for both the EA SPORTS and EA GAMES brands with franchises including John Madden Football, Harry Potter, and The Sims, and plans to implement AMD processor-based systems in their sales, finance, marketing and administration departments.

EA studios slated to use AMD processor-based systems include Westwood Studios in Las Vegas, Maxis studio in Walnut Creek, and studios in Redwood Shores, Los Angeles, Seattle, Orlando, London, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Melbourne.

"The performance, compatibility, and reliability of the AMD Athlon MP processor has led us to select it as part of the workstation development solution worldwide for Electronic Arts to help speed game design processes," said Scott Cronce, VP and chief technology officer, Electronic Arts Inc. "Additionally, the stability we have had with AMD Athlon XP processor-based desktop machines has given us reason to populate them in other departments in Electronic Arts."
For more AMD news and product information, visit

Jan 15 - Domain for Individuals, .name; Activates Today - Global Name Registry, a London based technology infrastructure company, today launches .name, the world's first global Top-Level Domain (TLD) exclusively reserved for individuals.

The launch of the new domain marks a breakthrough in the expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS) and offers consumers everywhere the opportunity to set up a unique, highly personal and secure identity online.

.name is the first Internet domain (such as .com, .net, .org) exclusively for the individual, as opposed to commercial enterprises. It will deliver online the one thing that defines us - our `name'. .name allows individuals to create their own personal web address ( and e-mail address ( made up purely of their name (or nickname) and .name.

Registrations for the new domain name in the first Landrush registration period have exceeded expectations. Over 60,000 annual domain and email products have been sold globally to date, suggesting that consumers understand the significance of owning their `name' online for use with future digital identity services. These sales were accrued pre soft launch in the first of a number of sales cycles, which will culminate in a May hard launch when real-time registrations will commence. To date, the United States is ranked first in terms of global sales.

Andrew Tsai, CEO of Global Name Registry, comments, "The number of registrations recorded shows great potential for growth of the .name customer base, highlighting a great demand for individual space on the Internet. Global Name Registry is pleased to be able to offer consumers a Top-Level Domain that will serve the needs of the individual online and will rapidly become the platform for their personal digital identity."

Further details disclosed include:

- The first .name will go live on the Internet on January
15th 2002 and subsequent Landrush periods will close every two
weeks thereafter. Registration is expected to occur in near
real-time in May 2002.

- If a person does not get their first-choice .name in one of
the Landrush periods, they can reapply for a .name by using
differentiators such as middle names, initials, birth dates,
other numerals, etc.

- A .name email and web address consists of a personal name with
users registering both first and last names. Email forwarding
addresses are created by inserting the @ symbol between the
two names as in .

- The .name address will forward email to any address selected,
providing easy access to a single email address for life.

- Unlike existing and new Top-Level Domains, Global Name
Registry is positioning .name as a catalyst for new services
and applications designed for personal communications.

- The .name Top-Level Domain will evolve into a digital
repository of information for everyday use with families and
business associates, and as a digital platform for e-commerce

- Consumers will ultimately be offered a .name address that can
be used as a web site, email address, mobile phone number,
personal filing cabinet and digital key for e-commerce

- Disputes regarding .name registrations may be filed under
relevant .name dispute resolution policies.

An up-to-date list of Official Providers of the .name products can be found on the Global Name Registry website at .

Jan 14 - Predictive Systems Outlines Key InfoSec Threats for 2002. A host of information security attacks, a rise in new vulnerabilities and threats of cyberterrorism made 2001 a banner year for information security issues. However, activity in 2002 is likely to dwarf that of the previous year, according to Jim Jones, director of Information Security Analysis, at Predictive Systems (Nasdaq: PRDS), a leading network infrastructure and information security consulting firm.
"As malicious code authors implement new propagation methods, hacker tools become more readily available and easier to use, and the number and potency of worms and viruses grow, information security threats and vulnerabilities will continue to increase dramatically," said Jones. "2002 will likely not only see an increase in exploitation of known threats and vulnerabilities, but will also see the emergence of significant new ones."
Based upon data reported in the firm's fourth quarter Global E-Review, a quarterly review of threats, vulnerabilities, and identified trends, the types of cyber behavior and security problems organizations may see in 2002:

- Worms - 2001 saw a growth in worm frequency, variety, and
sophistication, including the emergence of multi-platform worms
such as sadmind/iis and multi-exploit worms, such as Nimda. It is
likely that 2002 will bring:

- Emergence of integrated, multi-platform, multi-exploit, and
multi-propagation worms, meaning worms with multiple attack
methods and larger target populations
- New propagation methods based on trust; for example, the abuse
of instant messaging systems and "buddy" lists, or the abuse
of peer-to-peer file sharing applications.
- Lightweight worms which download only the necessary payload
from remote network locations, allowing for dynamic updating
of worm code and smaller worms; these worms will be more
flexible and stealthier than current worms.
- Zero-day worms that will exploit previously unknown
vulnerabilities for which there is no readily available patch.
- Polymorphic worms that like some viruses, can change every
time they propagate, making detection extremely difficult.

- Distributed Attack Networks - In 2002, distributed attacks will
likely go beyond denial of service attacks. For example, worms
will increasingly be used for the creation of distributed agent
networks, which will then be used for scanning systems and
exploiting vulnerabilities. In addition, there will be more
effective mechanisms for controlling the agent networks remotely,
making detection and defense more difficult.

- Continued Vulnerabilities in Critical Applications - Since the
pressure to move products to market has generally trumped any
pressure to produce secure code, most software will continue be
sold with vulnerabilities. This presents a greater risk today,
however, as the methods for, interest in and talent concentrating
on exploiting programs has increased dramatically.

- Year of the ISACs - With the increased focus on homeland security,
organizations such as Information Security and Analysis Centers
(ISACs), that encourage the anonymous sharing of information of
potential or emerging threats and vulnerabilities among industries
and the security community, will play a key role in risk
mitigation and will show an increase in membership, importance,
and effectiveness in 2002.

However, Jones pointed out that, while several new threats and vulnerabilities are likely to emerge this year, the outlook is not all bad. "In the wake of costly security incidents like Code Red and Nimda, and the September terrorist attacks, more businesses are recognizing security as a critical business function; in addition to investing in their own security infrastructure, the benefit of information sharing has been established and has significant momentum among industry and government players," he said.
For additional information, visit

Jan 13 - Sunday Shopping Watch. After New Year's pricing of new computer laptops and desktops has not significantly changed, but deals can be found by the informed shopper.

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, 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 have to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 3 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.

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 or longer interest free financing on desktops and notebooks. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages.
Circuit City is advertising $100 mail-in rebates on Intel processor desktop packages.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment financing for 6 months on purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 12 months no payment, no interest financing on Intel Pentium 4 desktops and Pentium III notebooks..
Staples is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase.

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
Compaq 1.2 GHz complete system
Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
None Advertised
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.5 GHz complete system
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None Advertised
Best Athlon System
None Advertised
Best Athlon XP System
Compaq 1700+ complete build-to-order system
Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Sony AMD Duron 900 MHz with DVD
Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Intel Pentium III, 1.13 GHz with DVD
Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq AMD Athlon 4, 1 GHz with combo DVD/CD-RW
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 to make informed buying decisions.

Jan 11 - SimpleTech First to Market With DDR SO-DIMM for Notebooks. SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC), a technology solutions provider offering products based on DRAM, SRAM and flash memory technologies, today announced the availability of PC 2100 unbuffered DDR SO-DIMM modules in 200 pin format ideal for notebook PCs.
Tested for use in the new Toshiba Satellite Pro 6000 notebook computers, the modules in capacities of 128 and 256 MB represent the industry's first DDR solution for notebook applications.
"As mobile computing becomes increasingly important in the business environment, we pride ourselves on providing cutting-edge solutions to increase computing power," said Ron Darwish, SimpleTech's senior DRAM product manager. "These quality modules, evolved from the standard 144 pin SO DIMM modules, are not only the first to support Toshiba's latest platform, but set a new standard for supporting future DDR-based notebook applications industry-wide."
The market for DDR-based products is gaining momentum in the desktop, server and mobile computing areas, where SimpleTech's leading-edge manufacturing capabilities and strategic vendor and customer relationships consistently enable the company to offer the broadest base of unbuffered and registered DIMM and SO-DIMM solutions on a first-to-market basis, Darwish noted.
SimpleTech, Inc. is a technology solutions provider offering products based on DRAM, SRAM and flash memory technologies. Headquartered in Santa Ana, California, the company is a leader in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of custom and standard memory solutions. For information, visit the company's web site at

Jan 11 - Macworld Announces Best of Show Awards. IDG's Macworld, the premier Macintosh magazine and Web sites, today announced the winners of the "Macworld Best of Show Awards," representing the most exciting new hardware and software products announced at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The awards were presented by Jim Dalrymple, News Director of, Macworld's news site, and Kristina DeNike, Lab Director of Macworld.
Company information is available at

"Apple has once again revolutionized the design of the computer with the new iMac," stated Dalrymple. "And it's now clear that Macintosh developers strongly support Apple's new operating system, Mac OS X. 2002 is starting out to be a great year for the Mac."

"I was impressed that companies new to the Mac market or that had strayed away from the market have introduced some compelling products. CMS, Smart Technologies, e-on, and Mind Avenue all won for the first Mac versions of their products," said DeNike.

To be eligible for Best of Show consideration, products were either making their public debut at Macworld Expo or were recently introduced and likely to generate excitement on the show floor. In addition, the editors had to see the products in action, although some evaluations were based on beta versions or prototypes.

"Macworld Best of Show Awards" represent a highly-coveted honor within the Macintosh industry and are presented exclusively at tradeshows that feature Mac products.

The Macworld Best of Show award winners are:

Apple iMac (

Apple has reinvented the iMac with an arresting design. The monitor is on an articulated arm attached to a hemisphere base. Improvements include a G4 processor, flat screen, and SuperDrive. The 800MHz model will ship later this month for $1,799. (Booth 1217)

Apple iPhoto (

Apple rounds out its line of easy-to-use, free multimedia applications with iPhoto. iPhoto automatically launches when a camera is plugged into the Macintosh then downloads the images and organizes the thumbnails into folders and groups. This program is available now as a free download on (Booth 1217)

Adobe LiveMotion 2.0 (

LiveMotion 2.0 improves on the Web graphic and animation tool by adding support for JavaScript and Mac OS X. It also supports ActionScript to help designers create animated content in a variety of formats, including SWF and QuickTime. This product will ship during the first quarter of 2002 for a price of $400. (Booth 1829)

Asante FriendlyNet 5037 Accelerated Cable/DSL Router (

Asante's FriendlyNet 5037 Accelerated Cable/DSL Router allows users to share any high-speed Internet connection at up to 100 Mbps. It includes a built-in 30GB hard drive, allowing back-ups of local hard drives or date sharing. The FriendlyNet 5037 is available now at $1,399. (Booth 2007)


The ABS drive (Automatic Backup System) is the quickest way to back up your Macintosh. When the drive is connected to the computer via FireWire, the ABS software launches and copies over new or changed files. The CMS ABS works with Mac OS 8.6, and 9.x; Mac OS X support is to come. It's shipping now for $279. (Booth 3426)

Creo Six Degrees (

Six Degrees manages projects by linking e-mail messages, word processing documents, and contact information. While the relevant files remain in different applications and folders, the user is able to virtually group the files to help organize and maneuver through the data. This product will ship in July for $249. (Booth 2117)

e-on Vue d'Espirt 4 (

Vue 4 is an approachable 3-D scenery application. The program comes with a library of 3-D objects and materials to help beginners quickly create their first scenes. This Mac OS X-only application supports multiple processors and OpenGL previews and is currently shipping for a price of $200. (Booth 2531)

Kaidan 360 One (

Kaidan has introduced the 360 One, which it co-developed with EyeSee360. The system includes a reflective attachment for the Nikon CoolPix 990 or 995 along with software to create a QuickTime VR movie. With a single shot, the 360 One can create a 360-degree movie with a 100-degree vertical field-of-view. This product will ship in March for $995. (Booth 445)

MacSoft Sid Meier's Civilization III (

The sequel to one of the most popular strategy games of all time, Civ III is a turn-based strategy game that appeals to those who want to rule the world. Civ III is easier to learn, more challenging, and better looking than its predecessor. This game is available now for $50. (Booth 4227)

Mind Avenue AXELedge (

AXELedge is a 3-D creation application for Web authoring. It includes character animation and scripting but does not require programming. It runs in Mac OS 9 or X and it's currently shipping for $990. (Booth 927)

NCSoft Lineage: The Blood Pledge (

Popular in Korea, Lineage is a massively multi player online role-playing game that already has millions of user accounts and hundreds of thousands of simultaneous players. This game will be downloadable in February for a $15 monthly subscription. (Booth 4327)

Roxio Toast with Jam (

Jam, the industry leader in CD audio recording software, now has a version that runs in Mac OS X. Jam 5 has new cross-fade tools and support for 24-bit audio files. It also comes with a full version of Peak LE. Jam now uses Toast as its CD- and DVD-burning engine and will ship in March for $200. (Booth 935)

QPS Que 007 (

The portable Que 007 holds a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive. It can play a DVD movie on a computer via the FireWire connection or on a TV via the S-video port. The case also has a PCMCIA slot that allows you to view images from your camera media or burn the files onto a CD-R. Shipping February, this product will cost $400. (Booth 635)

Smart Technologies SynchronEyes 2.0 (

Perfect for classrooms or training sessions, SynchronEyes lets an instructor view thumbnails of up to 40 student screens. The teacher can take control of a student's system to correct a problem or give direction. The teacher can also broadcast the master screen to all the students. SynchroEyes is shipping now for $1,000. (Booth 2423)

Jan 11 - ATI and Hercules Form Strategic Partnership On High-End Graphics. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, and Hercules Technologies (Euronext Paris, Guillemot- 6672), European leader in graphics retail boards, announced today a strategic partnership to develop a range of graphics products, including high-end boards for the hardcore gamer and the family user.
Hercules will market through a European Exclusive Agreement ATI's new ALL-IN-WONDER(R) products including ALL-IN-WONDER(R) RADEON(TM) 8500DV technology in retail and distribution channels. This exciting technology is number one worldwide and already counts for 14% of the United States 3D retail market value (NPD Intelect/PC Data: January to November 2001).
Hercules will also have worldwide access to the latest ATI 3D graphics technologies, including ATI's RADEON(TM) 8500 chip. ATI products have been designed to support the latest DirectX(R) 8.1 3D application-specific interface (API), resulting in support for more games and delivering the most realistic images possible on a PC screen. Hercules will take advantage of this technology to manufacture the most powerful high-end graphics cards in its 3D Prophet(TM) branded product offerings.
"ATI provides the most advanced technology for both 3D gaming and digital PCTV applications. This partnership is a strategic shift for Hercules to meet the expectations of both the digital generation and the most demanding gamers," said Claude Guillemot, President of Hercules Technologies. "ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON is the leading product to combine PC and the TV, video editing and DVD playback and proves extremely user-friendly."
"Our agreement with Hercules is proof that ATI is accepted as a leading provider of graphics acceleration technology for the gaming community," said David Orton, President & COO of ATI Technologies Inc. "The combination of our proven technologies and Hercules expertise will provide customers with the most advanced solutions in multimedia and entertainment. This is a very important step for ATI and its continuing success in the retail market."
Hercules products powered by ATI's ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON will begin shipping in February 2002.
For further information, visit and

Jan 11 - Rambus Reports December Quarter Earnings. Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS) today reported financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2001. Net income for the December quarter was $6.2 million (25% of revenues), compared to $13.0 million in the same period last year and $6.5 million in the previous quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $24.9 million, down 28% over the same period last year and down 11% from the previous quarter.
December quarter results include $21.8 million in royalties, down 13% from the previous quarter. Royalties were down primarily due to continuing DRAM industry price erosion during the third calendar quarter.
Operating expenses in the December quarter declined $2.3 million from last quarter as a result of a significant reduction in litigation costs. Costs associated with litigation were down to $4.5 million in the December quarter versus $6.8 million in the prior quarter. Overall, operating expenses were $17.3 million versus $19.6 million last quarter and $15.1 million in the same period last year.
"The business climate in 2001 was marked by an extreme decline in memory prices and a very difficult economic environment. The fact that we were profitable demonstrates that our business model has served us well during this turbulent year," said Geoff Tate, CEO of Rambus Inc. "In 2002, we are looking forward to more product introductions that incorporate Rambus innovations."
The company can be found online at

Jan 10 - SmartDisk Introduces 5 Gigabyte Hard Drive for USB 2.0. SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq: SMDK) today announced the creation of the worlds smallest portable 5 Gigabyte (GB) Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 hard drive, FireFly for USB.
Approximately the size of a deck of playing cards, FireFly for USB stores up to five hours of superior quality video, more than 1,000 MP3 songs or more than 2,000 high-quality digital photographs.
SmartDisk is demonstrating the new drive in booth 13311E & F (South Hall), Las Vegas Convention Center at the Consumer Electronics Show and in booth 1544, Moscone Convention Center, at Macworld Conference and Expo/San Francisco 2002, January 8-11.
Perfect for the creative mind on the go, FireFly is ideal for a variety of digital video, audio, data backup and multimedia applications used by consumers and professionals. FireFly stores and rapidly transfers large volumes of music, video, photos and data to and from desktops and laptops.
Its small, durable magnesium casing just 2.5" (W) x 4" (D) x .5" (H) and weight of less than four ounces make it easy to carry in a purse, a briefcase or even a shirt pocket. It supports both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 host systems, which means that users in transition between the two versions can use a single FireFly on any USB machine.
The storage capacity and compact size of FireFly for USB are incomparable to anything on the market today, said Rod H. King, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for SmartDisk. With advancements like this, photographers, audiophiles, consumers and professionals alike can store and carry entire music, photo or data collections in their shirt pocket.
FireFly for USB is priced at $299.95 MSRP for the 5 GB capacity model, with plans underway for additional higher capacity models in the near future. The 5 GB model will be available in February through retailers and distributors, as well as through the company's Web site at

Jan 10 - Hitachi Introduces Its First Plasma Television Line at CES 2002. The Home Electronics Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT),, today announced that it will produce one of the industry's first consumer plasma television lines in 2002.
The UltraVision 16:9 widescreen HDT20 series, including the 42" (42HDT20) and the 32" (32HDT20), builds on the success of Hitachi's high end UltraVision Digital television line. Integrated with two NTSC television tuners, a full range of audio-video inputs and outputs and full-featured remote control, Hitachi's new plasma television line brings consumer ease and functionality to the market.
"Hitachi views plasma as an important product technology and accordingly has invested in one of the world's premiere plasma research, development and production facilities," said Leo Delaney, vice president of marketing for the Hitachi America, Ltd. Home Electronics Division. "Our 32" and 42" plasma television models are introduced with all of the feature content and functionality of our best selling UltraVision projection television products. We see these high performance plasma televisions as a natural extension of our big screen product line."
Hitachi designed the HDT20 series with consumer ease in mind. The sets are ready to use right out of the box -- simply connect the Audio-Video Control Center with a single cable to the display, plug in the power cord and connect the sources to the Audio-Video Control Center. Setting up Hitachi's HDT20 series is just as easy as any other television.
The HDT20's feature dual NTSC television tuners and advanced split screen capabilities. In addition, since a major attraction of plasma television is its slim design, Hitachi developed a system that keeps the unit sleek and light by housing the tuners and audio-video inputs and output separate from the display. Hitachi's Audio-Video Control Center can be positioned away from the set and is connected to the display with one audio-video and control cable eliminating the unsightly bundle of wires.
The 32" set's sleek silver cabinetry features a sturdy, built-in swivel base that allows users to adjust the picture to any position desired for viewing. The display also features two 10-watt speakers that are built into the cabinetry design. The speakers are detachable on the 42HTD20 model.

Jan 10 - Minolta Introduces New DiMAGE S404 Compact Digital Camera. Minolta Corporation expands its digital camera line with the introduction of the new Minolta DiMAGE S404.
With a design based on the highly-regarded DiMAGE S304, the stylish and easy to use DiMAGE S404 features a 4x optical zoom, built-in flash, video recording capability, USB interface and Compact Flash card compatibility. But unlike the DiMAGE S304, the Minolta DiMAGE S404 features enhanced resolution - 4.0 million pixels for clear sharp pictures and enlargements, and double the SDRAM buffer memory - 32MB for faster shooting. In addition, the DiMAGE S404 inherits some advantages from the award-winning Minolta DiMAGE 7 digital camera such as superior GT LENS technology, CxProcess(TM) imaging and a high speed LSI.
"The new DiMAGE S404, Minolta's top-of-the-line compact digital camera, combines high quality images and automatic features, allowing users to obtain the best photographic results with easy camera operation," said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president, digital imaging products for Minolta Corporation's Consumer Products Group. "It's the ideal digital camera for a variety of applications and users --personal or business, from novice to enthusiasts."
The DiMAGE S404 features a 1/1.8-inch type CCD with 4.0-megapixel effective resolution. The camera incorporates a 4x zoom, all glass, apochromatic Minolta GT LENS with anomalous dispersion (AD) glass for color accuracy and dual aspherical elements which, combined with a 2.2x digital zoom, provides a compact lens design with a wide image capture range. The optical zoom lens range is from 7.15mm to 28.6mm, equivalent to 35mm -140mm in 35mm, and with digital zoom, the range is equivalent to 35mm - 308mm in 35mm.
For more information, visit Minolta's Web site located at

Jan 10 - MTV and Lan Plus to Launch Athlon XP PC. Music Television and Lan Plus today announced a brand new line of PCs and PC-based products geared toward the Internet and entertainment-savvy MTV demographic.
Planned to be released in Spring 2002, these products will enable users to watch TV, play DVD movies, listen to CDs, tune in to the stereo and browse the Internet from a single device. The new line of products is also designed to enhance the gaming experience. Powered by the AMD Athlon(tm) XP processor, the computer is expected to be equipped with a DVD/CD-RW drive, cable-ready television tuner, radio tuner with remote and LCD monitor that provides radiation-free entertainment and PC application viewing. This stylish product will be available in a variety of designs and colors and will include exclusive MTV content.
"This new product line is an ideal solution for anyone wishing to combine all their entertainment and computing needs in one unit. This phenomenal product virtually replaces the television, personal computer, DVD player and music CD/FM stereo. Just think about the impact this will have on dormitories, as well as homes and lofts with limited space," said Bob Anderson, director of business development at Lan Plus. "The system blends entertainment needs and computing needs in a powerful, yet simple, design."
"We are always looking for new ways to enhance the entertainment experience for our tech savvy audience," said Tony Calandra, director, interactive products for MTV. "With this one product, college students can convert their dorms into an up-to-the-minute entertainment center where they can burn CDs, watch movies on DVD, catch their favorite cable shows and surf on-line."
"AMD has long enjoyed an enthusiastic relationship with advanced technology users," said Pat Moorhead, AMD vice president of customer advocacy. "We believe this product is revolutionary because it will deliver convergence technology that successfully blends productivity and entertainment powered by the world's highest performance PC processor, the AMD Athlon(tm) XP. The end result will be a customer-centric product that delivers technology designed for the multi-media needs of the MTV tech-savvy audience."

Jan 10 - Analyst Predicts 725% Growth in Recordable DVD Sales for 2002. During his presentation at the Recordable DVD Council's (RDVDC) CES press conference today, Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, predicted that Recordable DVD drive sales will grow from 1.3 million units in 2001 to 9.8 million in 2002, more than 30 million units in 2004, and 50+ million in 2005. Members of the RDVDC, a coalition of 83 leading DVD technology developers and manufacturers who are working to expand the understanding of the DVD Forum's recordable DVD formats (DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW), were confident that they could meet the growing demand.
Drawing on more than 17 years of experience in analyzing the digital marketplace, Peddie also discussed the factors that are driving RDVD growth. "With the release of the DVD Forum's new DVD Multi specifications and the growing number of affordably priced multifunction Recordable DVD drives and recorders that are available, consumers and businesses are discovering that they can be a part of the DVD world," said Peddie.
Two key factors were cited for stimulating the RDVD market's growth: compatibility and lower prices. The growing number of firms shipping Forum-compliant DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW drives and media will bring drive prices below $400 by the end of the year, and recordable DVD media will drop to less than $3 for a write-once 4.7GB DVD-R disc that can be played in virtually every DVD drive and player.
Peddie pointed out that with the latest generation of DVD recorders, consumers can capture television shows and randomly watch the shows at their convenience. "But," he emphasized, "with all of the digital camcorders that have been purchased this past year, consumers want to do more than just watch videos. They want to produce their own high-quality movies and share them on the same medium. DVD Forum-standard recordable DVD enables consumers to quickly and easily move their work from the camcorder to their PC to their DVD player and the TV set. "Whether it's your own video or a show you captured, the quality will be the same after decades as the day it was recorded," Peddie continued. "Recordable DVD is a great way to preserve and share wedding, birthday and family events.
"It won't take consumers long to realize that the new dual-technology drives not only provide a huge amount of removable storage capacity for photo albums and videos, they provide added value because the same drive can be used to store, edit, backup, archive and share documents, data and other personal/professional information," Peddie noted. "Video gives DVD its sizzle, but data storage is where people will really reap all of the benefits."
Focused on making CE and PC convergence a reality, the RDVDC announced, that it was expanding its support of DVD Forum-approved recordable DVD formats to include the Forum's new DVD Multi standard. DVD Multi is a set of hardware specifications developed to enable disc compatibility for virtually all formats officially created by the DVD Forum.
At the end of the press conference, various RDVDC members demonstrated the broad compatibility between recordable DVD camcorders, drives, recorders and players and showed a new Recordable DVD drive that reads and writes DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and DVD-RW media as well as CD-R/RW media. Council members also detailed plans to stimulate the worldwide recordable DVD market with conference and convention activities as well as business and consumer educational/informational programs.
The DVD Forum is an industry association whose more than 230 members include all major DVD manufacturers as well as major DVD software developers and DVD media producers around the world. For more information, visit

Jan 09 - Intel Demonstrates Desktop and Notebook Pentium 4s at CES 2002. Intel Corporation will show the latest technologies for desktop PCs, notebooks and handheld devices at the 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show.
At booth no. 331, Intel will exhibit desktop PCs and applications running on the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 2.2 GHz, the world's highest-performance processor introduced on Jan. 7. The company will also offer technology demonstrations of notebooks running on the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor-M, which will be introduced in the first half of 2002. More than 25 demonstrations will feature the latest PCs and notebooks from leading manufacturers.
"Consumers are at the center of an exciting digital world where they have the ability to create, share and enjoy music, movies, photography and games on their PCs anytime, anywhere," said Ann Lewnes, vice president, Intel Sales and Marketing Group, and director of Consumer Marketing. "From the desktop to the notebook to the handheld device, Intel's processor and other core technologies deliver the performance and reliability to make these experiences possible."
The Pentium 4 processor at 2.2 GHz arrives at a time when nearly 450 million people use PCs that run at 700 MHz or less. While those PCs were state-of-the-art four years ago, they pre-date the MP3 revolution, streaming video on the Internet, recordable DVDs, and the online gaming phenomenon. Starting today, consumers can buy PCs based on the Pentium 4 processor at 2.2 GHz and Microsoft's Windows(a) XP operating system from computer makers worldwide.
Intel will demonstrate never-before-seen prototype notebooks based on the upcoming mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M. This processor will have all of the performance attributes of its desktop counterpart, as well as innovative low-power mobile technologies that help maximize battery life. Due in the first half of this year, mainstream notebooks based on this processor will provide consumers with the highest levels of laptop performance. Many of these mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M-based notebooks will feature wireless technologies including 802.11 and Bluetooth enabling anytime, anywhere communication.
Additional information about Intel is available at

Jan 09 - `Year of USB 2.0' Starts Out Strong. The "Year of USB 2.0," as coined by the USB Implementers Forum, is off to a solid start only a few days into 2002. Entering this week, the industry has seen the launch of the first PCs with USB 2.0 as a baseline feature, availability of USB 2.0 drivers for Microsoft Windows XP, Intel's debut of two USB 2.0-supporting desktop boards and other milestones key to the technology's broad deployment.
USB 2.0 -- dubbed "Hi-Speed USB 2.0" in the marketplace by the USB-IF -- increases the speed of the peripheral to PC connection from 12 Mbps on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbps on USB 2.0, or 40 times faster. The higher bandwidth is a major boost for such external peripherals as CD/DVD burners, scanners, cameras and hard drives. It also supports demanding PC user applications where multiple high-speed devices run simultaneously, including digital image creation and Web publishing.
"We've kicked off 2002 on the right foot," said Jason Ziller, Intel technology initiatives manager and USB-IF chairman. "These early-year announcements come on the heels of more than 100 product launches since mid-2001. With availability of systems and drivers, in addition to the add-in cards already found at many retailers, clearly the evolution of USB 1.1 into Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is well underway."
Microsoft has made USB 2.0 support available to OEMs and system builders, allowing PC manufacturers to ship Windows XP systems with the drivers loaded going out the door. In addition, USB 2.0 support will be available to Windows XP users via Windows Update by early January 2002, enabling users higher-speed and simple connectivity to a wide range of peripheral devices from cameras to music devices to storage devices and more.
"Microsoft is fully committed to supporting the latest technologies and services on the Windows platform, and has worked to develop driver support for USB 2.0 since its inception," said Stacey M. Breyfogle, group program manager for Windows Hardware Platform Strategy at Microsoft Corp. "Our recent release of USB 2.0 drivers for Windows XP to our OEM partners, and their upcoming release on Windows Update, is a huge step forward in enabling our customers to easily connect high-speed USB devices to their PCs for exciting new functionality and usages."
On the hardware front, Gateway on Monday launched the first PC with USB 2.0 as a baseline feature. Other computer manufacturers are expected to follow suit this quarter.
Out of Intel Corporation, the company on Monday launched two desktop boards (SKUs D850MVSE and D845BGSE) that support up to five USB 2.0 ports. The higher bandwidth connections available through Hi-Speed USB 2.0 capitalizes on the faster processing power of the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor. Launch of the two boards is in advance of Intel's introduction of a USB 2.0-integrated chipset that will be in PCs on the market later this first half 2002. This milestone, according to Ziller, will significantly boost USB 2.0 deployment.
The USB-IF booth at Consumer Electronics Show 2002 (Booth No. 14847 in LVCC South Hall) features a demo of the just-released Gateway Pentium(R) 4 system with USB 2.0 as a baseline feature, along with other pioneering USB 2.0 products.
Further information, including postings of the most recent product and technology announcements, is available by visiting the USB-IF Web site at

Jan 09 - Intel Introduces 1.4 GHz Pentium III for Servers. Intel Corporation introduced a 1.40 GHz version of its Intel(R) Pentium(R) III server processor with 512 kilobytes of L2 cache. The processor, based on Intel's advanced 0.13-micron process technology, is ideal for rack-mounted and pedestal front-end application servers, and the emerging ultra-dense server market segment. It delivers a balance of performance and power without sacrificing the reliability and availability that servers require.
A number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), including Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC are expected to introduce systems this quarter based on this new Pentium III processor.
Intel today also introduced the Intel(R) Server Board SDS2, the Intel(R) Server Board SAI2, and Intel(R) Server Chassis SC5100 supporting the new processor. These "building blocks" are optimized for cost-effective and high-performance systems such as e-mail, proxy/caching web, and database servers.
The processor's 0.13-micron process technology enables a smaller sized chip and lower power usage along with a doubling of the L2 cache to 512Kb. This new process technology also features high-speed copper interconnects that accelerate the flow of data inside the processor, further increasing performance while consuming less power. Processors built on Intel's 0.13-micron process technology consume up to 40 percent less power and are up to 20 percent faster than the previous 0.18-micron process.
The Server Board SDS2 integrates dual-channel Ultra160 SCSI, three independent PCI buses, including two 64-bit/66MHz buses, dual Intel 10/100 network controllers, and up to 6GB two-way interleaved ECC SDRAM. The SDS2 delivers cost-effective LAN-based remote management via integrated Intel(R) Server Management without the need for a remote management card.
The Server Board SAI2 offers dual processor support, dual independent PCI buses, including one 64-bit 66MHz bus, dual ATA/100 channels, one Intel ten/100 network controller, and capacity for up to 4GB ECC SDRAM. The Server Chassis 5100 supports up to ten hot swap SCSI drives for up to 730GB in a 5U form factor with redundant power, and rack or pedestal form factor options, and is designed for integration with Server Boards SDS2 and SAI2.
More information on Intel's server building blocks can be found at

Jan 09 - TDK Triples the Storage Capacity of CD-RW Drives. Extending and enhancing the storage flexibility of CD-RW drives, TDK today announced the introduction of the world's first CD-RW burner capable of packing 2GB of uncompressed data on inexpensive optical discs.
Priced at just a small premium over conventional CD-RW burners, the new TDK drive incorporates a MultiLevel (ML) read/write chip that adds a 2GB super-size mode to its standard CD-R/RW recording capability when used with TDK ML-R (write once) or ML-RW (rewritable) discs.
Ideally suited to the needs of office and home users who need a fast, affordable way to backup and archive large amounts of data, the new TDK drive is rated at 36X/24X/40X in ML mode. This enables users to archive 2GB of data in less than six minutes. An internal drive with ATAPI connectivity, the new drive is Windows XP compatible and will carry an estimated street price of just $199 when it is released in the second quarter of this year. 2GB TDK Certified Plus ML-R and ML-RW discs will be available to support the launch of the drive, and will be available at estimated street prices of $1.99 and $2.99, respectively. The drive will be available in retail and OEM versions.
For more information about TDK, visit .

Jan 09 - LaCie Announces New 120 and 160GB FireWire Hard Drives. Leveraging its expertise in mass storage and FireWire(R) technology, LaCie announced today two new Giga-capacity external hard drives that stream data to the computer at a sustained transfer rate of nearly 35MB/s. With the ability to provide a constant data stream, LaCie's 120GB 7200 rpm and 160GB 5400 rpm FireWire drives virtually eliminate the possibility of corrupt data or lost video frames. Reliability is further enhanced with LaCie's unique sturdy casing for added heat and shock resistance.
Especially designed for video users, the LaCie 120GB drives can store more than 30 hours of MPEG-2 video or 10 hours of uncompressed DV. Available storage is even higher with the LaCie 160GB drive, which can store more than 300 hours of CD-quality audio or a mile-high stack of text-files.
"The demand for high-capacity hard drive storage has been overwhelming," said Olivier Mirloup, LaCie Storage Product Manager. "Until now, the biggest problem has been the performance bottleneck at the IDE drive and 1394 interface. But with our new two-chip, single firmware interface design, we've virtually eliminated the performance barrier because our new drives consistently deliver 35MB/s sustained data throughput to the computer," he explained. "With twice the transfer rate of first-generation FireWire drives, the new hard drives open up the data pipe that today's higher-performance video production and content development computers offer. Users won't have to worry about data, quality or frame loss anymore when they are using our new FireWire drives."
By enhancing the external 120GB and 160GB drives with a new built-in FireWire controller and a 2MB buffer, LaCie provides users with a fast, reliable means of exchanging large files such as high-resolution photos and digital videos with no risk of data loss. Both drives can be quickly and easily connected to the native FireWire ports that are standard with Macintosh(R) G3, G4 and iMac DV systems as well as PCs incorporating Windows(R) 98 Second Edition, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Available in February through LaCie authorized resellers and mail order partners, the suggested retail prices for LaCie's new FireWire hard drives are $399 for the 120GB 7200 drive and $449 for the 160GB 5400 rpm drive. Visit LaCie's Web site at

Jan 08 - Sony's New VAIO notebook PC Cuts the Cord With Cable-Free Mobility. Plug in anywhere and plug in longer -- all without the plug -- with Sony Electronics' new VAIO(R) SRX77 notebook PC, announced today. This new model's wireless connectivity and long-life battery coupled with its exceptional digital entertainment capabilities combine to grant users the freedom to work and play more efficiently, wherever their business takes them.
An extension of the Sony SR line of notebook PCs built for the frequently mobile user, the SRX77 model features integrated IEEE 802.11b wireless capabilities for cable-free LAN connectivity.
For all-day use the new notebook PC comes with a bundled lithium-ion battery that lasts up to six hours on a single charge, along with a Low Voltage Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor 800 MHz-M and Sony's new heat dissipating technology that saves power and allows the machine to run cool. These feats of mobility unfold in a svelte, compact package that weighs only 2.76 pounds and measures only 1 inch thin.
"The VAIO SRX77 notebook PC finally cuts the cord for mobile consumers and business professionals who demand independence from AC adapters and phone lines without sacrificing fun and style when they're away from home or the office," said Mark Hanson, vice president and general manager of VAIO PC marketing for Sony Electronics. "Three essential factors of mobility -- wireless connectivity, long battery life and extreme portability -- added to the digital entertainment functionality unique to VAIO PCs make the SRX77 PC an extraordinary mobile computing solution."
The new SRX77 PC comes equipped with a 20 GB hard drive, 128 MB SDRAM, center Jog Dial(TM) control with back button, integrated V.90 modem, built-in stereo speakers and a bundled external CD-ROM drive. Units ship next month with a Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional or XP Home operating system and will be available for about $1,500. For more information visit

Jan 08 - Toshiba's Satellite Pro 6000 Notebooks Deliver Wireless Computing. Packed with integrated wireless capabilities and draped in a stealth-like chassis, the Computer Systems Group (CSG) of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS) introduces the Satellite Pro(R) 6000 Series.
The Satellite Pro 6000 is a no-nonsense notebook delivering powerful performance features and common docking across all of Toshiba's corporate notebook lines.
"The Satellite Pro 6000 Series delivers the added benefits of both wireless connectivity and shared components, reducing IT costs for businesses," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing, Toshiba CSG. "Coupled with an attractive price and a common docking solution, the Satellite Pro 6000 Series is a welcome addition to the small and medium-size business infrastructure."
For seamless communication, the Satellite Pro 6000 Series includes built-in integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) wireless capabilities (select models only) eliminating the hassle of cords and cables and the cost of installing a wired network. Featuring increased security for wireless communication, the Satellite Pro 6000 Series integrates 128 Bit security protection to ensure the integrity of vital corporate data and e-mail transmissions are not compromised.
Additionally, the Satellite Pro 6000 Series can take advantage of optional Bluetooth(TM) connectivity, ideal for sharing presentations and transferring documents wirelessly. The Satellite Pro 6000 Series starts at $1,899 and will be available in January 2002.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at

Jan 08 - SanDisk Introduces Cruzer, Pocket-size Storage Device. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) today introduced Cruzer(TM), the world's first portable, pocket-size storage device with removable and upgradeable flash memory cards.
The personal storage device, about three inches long, one and three-fourth inches wide and about three-quarters of an inch thick, can be slipped into a pocket or purse for easy transport of personal computer data files, image files, video and audio between homes, offices and other locations where one would like to take their personal files and information. The Cruzer will accommodate both SD cards and MultiMediaCards, two extremely compact size storage cards that have wide industry support.
The SanDisk Cruzer was introduced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Convention Center where SanDisk is showing products in booth 11511.
Wes Brewer, SanDisk's director of business development, said, "It is rare that a new storage product can be described as 'unique'. Cruzer is unique because it is the first pocket-size, personal data storage device that is fully compatible with both PCs and consumer electronic devices. Up to now, all small flash storage devices were either PC centric or consumer electronic centric and could not be upgraded by the user. Cruzer provides the connectivity to both the PC/notebook environment and the consumer electronic appliance and also has a unique, stylish, highly ergonomic design."
Eric Bone, retail product marketing manager, added, "The Cruzer is targeted at today's active, on-the-go lifestyle. Today, people want to conveniently carry some of their music to a friend's house to share the sounds. They want to take some new photos to a family gathering to show them to their relatives. And those in business surely would find it much more convenient to carry their electronic presentation in their pocket, rather than a laptop when they travel, and just plug the Cruzer into a USB port at their destination. The promise of the 'network everywhere' still has not occurred and the physical transfer of data is still highly practical with consumers. The Cruzer allows them to carry and move that personal data in a secure, reliable, solid-state device."
"Cruzer is the ideal truly portable personal storage device," said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., CEO of Mobile Insights in Mountain View, Calif. "With Cruzer, mobile professionals will have an upgradeable storage system that can operate on millions of PCs in the world. Cruzer benefits from the dramatic price reductions in flash memory in the past year, which bring the price of a 128 megabyte (MB) Cruzer to parity with the price of a 100MB Zip drive."
Cruzers initially will be available in four capacities -- 32, 64, 128 and 256MB. Consumers could, for example, store 35 to 70 songs (depending on compression scheme used) on a 128MB Cruzer or at least 64 high-resolution images on a 64MB Cruzer. More than 40,000 pages of double-spaced text could be stored on a 32MB Cruzer. As higher capacity cards become available users will be able to upgrade their Cruzers to these higher capacities.
Cruzer features Mass Storage Class (MSC) compliance, which allows for true "Plug-and-Play" operation when used with Windows 2000, Millennium Edition (ME) and XP. MSC is natively supported in Windows 2000, ME, XP, Apple OS 9.X and OS X which means consumers do not need to install an extra driver to use Cruzer. Cruzers also work with Microsoft Windows 98 and Macintosh computers with Mac OS 8.6 and USB support. Cruzer production units will include software passwords for enhanced protection of personal files.
It is expected that the Cruzer will be available early in the second quarter of 2002 in many of the 38,000 retail stores worldwide where SanDisk-branded products are sold. The device is expected to sell, depending on capacity, at prices ranging from $59.95 to $199.95. It is expected that the 128MB Cruzer will sell for $99.95.
SanDisk's web site/home page address:

Jan 08 - ViewSonic Wireless Monitor Prototype Shown at CES. ViewSonic(R) Corporation, a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, is using the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to display the first Mira-enabled wireless monitor that will enable users to experience always-on, anytime mobile connectivity to a PC from anywhere in the home.
A prototype of the ViewSonic airpanel(TM) 150 -- a 15-inch, wireless LCD display -- is being highlighted today in a demonstration by Microsoft(R) co-founder Bill Gates during his keynote speech at CES 2002. The airpanel 150 is based on Mira, a set of Windows technologies that extend the rich capabilities of the PC to smart displays anywhere in the home. As part of its development efforts, ViewSonic is extending its relationship with Microsoft to ensure that its airpanel product line optimizes the multi-media and connectivity advantages of Windows CE.NET-based Mira technology.
With the wireless connectivity and portability of the airpanel 150, users can enjoy computing experiences in a relaxed environment -- in any room of the home, without having to be directly in front of their PC.
"The airpanel 150 extends the use of the home PC, allowing family members to have a rich computing experience in and around the home," said Marc Mcconnaughey, senior vice president, Advanced Products Group, ViewSonic. "The combination of ViewSonic display technology and Microsoft's Mira technology will quickly establish new standards in home computing and entertainment capabilities, and help drive the adoption of wireless home networking."
ViewSonic's creation of the wireless monitor category supports growing trends in home networking. According to the Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm, in 2001, 35 percent of PC-owning U.S. households were very or somewhat interested in home networking products, up 7.75 percent from 2000. Thirty-eight percent of PC owners recognized the utility of home networks in shared high-speed connectivity and in enabling Internet applications, while 30 percent also cited increased efficiency derived from networks.
"ViewSonic recognizes that consumers want the freedom to experience the power of Windows XP from anywhere in their home," said Todd Warren, general manager of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp. "ViewSonic's airpanel will deliver a smart display device to consumers that offers the rich functionality of Mira in an innovative form factor that will meet this demand."
The development of the airpanel 150 is the third step in ViewSonic's plan to deliver next generation visual technology for the mobile and wireless market. ViewSonic is one of the very few companies that has already started volume shipping a Windows 2000-based Tablet PC (ViewPadTM 1000) and a Windows CE-based SuperPDA (ViewPad 100). Both the ViewPad 1000 and ViewPad 100 are currently available through authorized ViewSonic resellers.
Availability of the ViewSonic airpanel 150 is expected mid year 2002. Pricing is not yet available. For further information, visit

Jan 08 - Belkin Expands Its USB 2.0 Offerings. Belkin, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals, accessories and Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity solutions, today introduced five new Hi-Speed USB 2.0 products.
Set to join an already award-winning USB lineup at Belkin, the new devices include the much anticipated FireWire(R)/Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 2-Port PCI Card, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Notebook Card and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub.
The Belkin FireWire/Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card (F5U508 -- ESP $119.99) offers users access to a whole new class of USB devices by adding three Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports to a user's computer. At 480Mbps, the Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports offer users access to a bandwidth up to 40 times greater than USB 1.1. The higher bandwidth is a major boost for such external peripherals as CD/DVD burners, scanners, cameras and hard drives.
And, with the two 400Mbps FireWire ports, the Belkin FireWire/Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card allows users to store or transfer large multimedia files seamlessly to or from PC, DV camcorders, music synthesizers, drives, and other peripherals. The FireWire/Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card offers Plug-and-Play installation and maximizes the capabilities of the latest real time video cameras, scanners, and portable drives. The Belkin FireWire/Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Card will begin shipping in North America on March 8, 2002.
Next, the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 2-Port PCI Card (F5U219 -- ESP $39.99) adds two USB 2.0 ports to your computer, bringing with it astounding 480Mbps transfer speeds. Now, users can connect a virtually limitless number of USB devices, with Plug-and-Play simplicity. Offering a bandwidth 40 times greater than USB 1.1, it is the ideal interface for transferring extremely large amounts of data from USB 2.0-compliant products, such as real-time video cameras, scanners, portable drives, and others. The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 2-Port PCI Card will begin shipping in North America on Jan. 14, 2002.
For Laptop users, Belkin offers its Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Notebook Card (F5U222 -- ESP $89.95). A quick installation provides two 480Mbps ports -- users need simply slide the Card into their type II CardBus slot. The Card offers Plug-and-Play setup, and works seamlessly with Windows 98 SE, 2000, Me, or XP. Users can instantly connect next-generation scanners, printers, high-speed storage devices and video cameras. Linking the Card with a Belkin USB 2.0 hub lets the user daisy-chain up to as many as 127 USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices to their laptop. The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Notebook Card will begin shipping in North America on Feb. 25, 2002.
Lastly, Belkin introduces its Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub (F5U224 -- ESP $49.95). The USB 2.0 Hi-Speed 4-Port Hub allows you to connect up to four ultra fast devices, such as next-generation scanners, printers and video cameras. The Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub will begin shipping in North America on Feb. 8, 2002.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at

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