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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

July 14-22 2001

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jul 22 Sunday Shopping Watch
Jul 20 Proposed Settlement reached in Compaq Computer Class-Action
Jul 20 Wireless Chipsets Leading Home Networking Silicon Market Growth
Jul 20 IBM eServer Breaks Internet Speed Record
Jul 20 Belkin Components Announces New USB 4-Port PCI Card
Jul 19 Apple introduces Faster Imacs and G4s
Jul 19 Hitachi and Xybernaut to market Wearable Internet Appliance
Jul 19 American Megatrends Inc. Supports AMD Athlon MP Processor
Jul 19 Intel to Remain Dominant Player in Mobile PC Processor Market
Jul 18 LaCie announces new portable drives at Macworld
Jul 18 Minolta Showcases Full Line of Film Scanners
Jul 18 Broadband-Over-Airwaves Predicted to Gain Considerable Popularity
Jul 18 Instant Communication Capabilities Drive Demand for In-House Wireless Systems
Jul 17 QPS Introduces Ultra-Fast 24X10X40 Burn-Proof Que! CD-RW Drives
Jul 17 Handspring Offers VisorPhone Phone Module for $49 when Service Activated
Jul 17 Caldera Announces New Linux Server Software
Jul 17 Solagent allows Users to Retrieve Data from Lost or Stolen Laptops
Jul 17 Plurimus Tracks Broadband Users Shopping Habits
Jul 16 ATI Unveils SMARTSHADER Technology
Jul 16 3Dlabs Announces Wildcat II 5000 Graphics Accelerator
Jul 16 Corel to Acquire Micrografx
Jul 16 Wireless Phone Users on Path to Eclipse Wired Users
Jul 15 Sunday Shopping Watch

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

July 22 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 18 month no interest financing on all computer purchases over $598, $100 instant rebates on all Compaq computers, and $100 mail-in rebates on AMD processor notebooks.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant rebates on all desktop computer packages and notebooks, and additional $100 instant rebates on all Compaq computers.
Office Depot is advertising $100 instant rebates on all Compaq computers.
CompUSA no ad this Sunday.
Staples no ad this Sunday.

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

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 800 MHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
None advertised
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 1.4 GHz build-to-order with 17 inch monitor
Best Buy
Best Duron System
None advertised
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1 GHz complete system
Office Depot, Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Sony 800 MHz Duron
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Athlon 1 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Buy

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

July 20 - Proposed Settlement reached in Compaq Computer Class-Action. In a proposed class-action settlement agreement submitted for approval to Texas Judicial District Court, Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE:CPQ) agreed to give cash reimbursement to qualifying Presario owners for replacement purchases of allegedly faulty internal components, as well as for any customer service charges related to those components.

According to the proposed settlement, Compaq will also give rebates to all owners of certain models of Presario personal computers.

Negotiated by the Seattle-based law firm of Hagens Berman, the proposed settlement covers Presario owners living in Washington, Texas, North Carolina, Illinois and California.

For qualifying Presario owners, Compaq has agreed to pay cash of up to $360 or rebates of up to $540 to reimburse them for new components they purchased to replace equipment that came in their computers. A separate rebate amount of between $50 and $110, depending on the date the computer was purchased and other factors, would be paid to all qualifying Presario owners who did not purchase replacements parts. The proposed settlement lists certain Presario models manufactured during the second half of 1996 and all of 1997 as qualifying the owners for compensation.

The proposed settlement also lists telephony, modem, hard drive and power management systems installed by Compaq on Presario computers that allegedly were defective.

Plaintiffs alleged that Presarios manufactured during 1996 and 1997 exhibited several types of defects, including modems that did not connect at their maximum speeds, hard drives that froze intermittently and then failed completely, computers that froze up in sleep mode, as well as telephone, voicemail, and facsimile systems that did not work.

Presario owners who believe they may be eligible for a settlement or individuals requesting a copy of the settlement agreement can find more information at

July 20 - Wireless Chipsets Leading Home Networking Silicon Market Growth. In the midst of an industry-wide semiconductor downturn, the home networking silicon market will represent one of the fastest growth integrated circuit (IC) markets over the next few years.

Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) forecasts that worldwide revenues from wireless, powerline and phoneline home networking chips, driven by embedded implementations, are poised to grow from $49 million in 2000 to $887 million by 2006, an average annual growth rate of 62%. Leading the charge will be wireless ICs, which by 2006 will account for 48% of all home networking chipsets shipped, and 66% of all revenue.

ABI's new report, "Home Networking Chipsets: Wireless, Powerline and Phoneline IC Markets," points out that wireless local area network (WLAN) ICs are seeing dramatic price declines due to increasing chip integration and a ramp up in shipments. IEEE 802.11b, and to a lesser extent HomeRF chipsets, will show promising market penetration over the next few years, with 5 GHz WLAN technologies such as 802.11a and HiperLAN2, enabling multimedia home networking applications in the longer term.

"The prospect of strong growth in the home networking IC market has attracted a number of silicon suppliers, especially in the wireless and powerline segments," stated Navin Sabharwal, ABI Vice President of Residential and Networking Technologies and author of the report. "Innovation and fierce competition is expected to drive down chipset prices, which in turn will spur greater market penetration."

Interest in the powerline IC market is also peaking right now. With the HomePlug 1.0 specification ratified in June 2001, powerline chipsets are poised to commence volume shipment in the second half of 2001. However, there are a number of powerline companies that are pushing their respective proprietary technologies, and these may pose a threat to HomePlug.

Allied Business Intelligence Inc is an Oyster Bay, NY-based technology research think tank publishing research on communications and emerging markets. Details of their studies can be found at

July 20 - IBM eServer Breaks Internet Speed Record. IBM today announced that an IBM eServer(a) system introduced last year has set a new world record for Web-serving performance in the SPECweb99 benchmark, dethroning a just-released UltraSparcIII-based server from Sun Microsystems. The benchmark record highlights the continued performance leadership of IBM's existing UNIX servers as the company prepares to roll out a new lineup of POWER4-based systems in the fourth quarter.

"It speaks volumes that Sun's brand new server, containing their newest microprocessor, cannot keep up with a system IBM brought to market in 2000," said Tim Dougherty, director of e-business strategy, IBM Server Group. "We expect to extend our performance leadership even more in the fourth quarter, when IBM delivers the next-generation POWER4-based systems."

An IBM eServer p680 12-way system running Zeus Web server software supported 9,106 simultaneous connections, compared with 8,739 for a 12-way Sun Fire 4800. Designed to replicate real-world Web server performance, SPECweb99 simulates a server that supports multiple Web home pages with rotating advertisements, customized page creation, user registration and other dynamic operations.

The IBM eServer p680 draws considerable strength from its microprocessors, which belong to IBM's renowned PowerPC architecture. The p680's microprocessors are infused with numerous technical innovations, such as IBM's copper and Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technologies. Microprocessors built with copper and SOI run up to 35 percent faster and at much cooler temperatures than traditional aluminum chips, increasing server performance and up-time.

Copper and SOI technologies were pioneered in IBM's research labs; meanwhile, Sun Microsystems has yet to ship a single server equipped with copper and SOI. The next generation of IBM's microprocessor architecture -- POWER4 -- will extend IBM's microprocessor leadership even further, with the introduction of chip multiprocessing, advanced packaging and dramatic bandwidth improvements.

For more information about IBM, visit

July 20 - Belkin Components Announces New USB 4-Port PCI Card. Belkin Components, the leading manufacturer of Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity products, today announced the launch of its new USB 4-port PCI Card (F5U006-UNV).

Employing Quadra Bus communications technology from Lucent Technologies Microelectronics Group, the Belkin USB 4-port PCI Card instantly provides four downstream 12Mbps USB ports to any PC or Macintosh computer for connectivity with any USB device or USB hub.

With a total of 48 Mbps, the Belkin USB 4-port PCI Card allows you to connect high-speed devices with high bandwidth such as video cameras, audio devices, printers, scanners, modems, or external disk drives to your computer with ease. The full 12Mbps supplied to all four ports on the card alleviates the problem of having to share the 12Mbps bandwidth on a 2-Port PCI card.

"Until USB 2.0 is fully functional and there are devices compliant with this standard, the Belkin USB 4-port PCI card is the next best thing," stated Melody Saffery, product marketing manager for the USB line at Belkin. "The Belkin USB 4-port PCI Card promises unprecedented throughput, enabling users to experience the power of plug-and-play USB technology," she added.

The Belkin 4-port PCI Card allows the user to connect 127 devices on each of the four ports for a total of 508 devices. Like all Belkin USB products, it is fully compliant with current USB specifications, meets the standards of PCI specification version 2.1, and is compatible with Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Mac OS 8.5 or higher.

"With this 4 Host USB add-in card, Belkin provides additional USB bandwidth to its customers, insuring they get the best performance available from their USB peripherals," said Dan Devine, USB program manager, Lucent Technologies Microelectronics Group.

The Belkin QuadraPort PCI Card comes with a Lifetime Warranty and is schedule to ship June 30, 2000. MSRP is $49.99. Visit the company’s website at

July 19 - Apple introduces Faster Imacs and G4s. Steve Jobs, during his Macworld keynote address, made the following new product announcements.

New iMacs
“Today, weve got three new models of iMac,” Jobs continued. “500, 600 and 700MHz iMacs, the fastest iMacs we’ve ever shipped. 128MB to 256MB of memory, 20, 40 and 60GB hard disk drives, all CD/RW across the board…”

The new iMacs are available in three colors: the 500MHz iMac in Indigo and Snow, the 600MHz iMac in Graphite and Snow and the 700MHz iMac Special Edition in Graphite and Snow.

Prices for the iMac models range from $999 to $1,499.

New G4s

“Yesterday, 733MHz was at the top of our line, the fastest chip we ship. Starting today, it is our entry-level Power Mac G4. Our mid-range is 867MHz. And our high end, by popular request of almost all of our pro customers, dual 800MHz. This machine delivers nearly 12 gigaflops of sustained throughput.” The two faster machines both come with the SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) and Apple’s iDVD software, which provides everything you need to record your own DVD-Video discs for playback on most standard DVD players.

The two faster machines both come with the SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) and Apple’s iDVD software, which provides everything you need to record your own DVD-Video discs for playback on most standard DVD players.

The 733MHz model is available for $1,699. The 867MHz model is $2,499. The dual processor configuration is $3,499.

Mac OS X version 10.1
“We’ve had four updates to Mac OS X so far in the first four months,” said Jobs. “Today I’m pleased to announce the first major upgrade of Mac OS X.”

Mac OS X version 10.1, available in September, offers significant performance gains. Jobs showed its speed by launching a series of applications and counting the bounces in the dock until the application settled down. Many came to life within one bounce or less.

The new version of Mac OS X also adds Finder-level CD burning, DVD playback and authoring, enhanced AppleScript support, a movable dock, improved network capabilities and numerous Aqua improvements.

More information on all the new products can be found at

July 19 - Hitachi and Xybernaut to market Wearable Internet Appliance. Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT) and Xybernaut Corporation (NASDAQ:XYBR), today announced that Hitachi has entered into a license agreement under Xybernaut's broad patents for wearable computing and communications to develop a Wearable Internet Appliance (WIA) for the consumer market.

Under terms of the agreement announced at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Hitachi will manufacture and sell the product and OEM it to Xybernaut(R), who will also sell and market it. Xybernaut will begin shipping the WIA to US markets before Christmas with pricing under $2,000 depending upon the configuration.

A newly developed superscale Hitachi 32-Bit 128 MHz RISC processor with companion coprocessor will power the 10.9-ounce WIA and will run Microsoft(R)'s Windows(R) CE 3.0. The WIA incorporates a Compact Flash(TM) slot, USB port, 32 MB of RAM and a removable internal rechargeable battery.

The WIA provides users with instant on/off Internet access and a SVGA (800x600) head mount display that provides a desktop-like viewing experience. The new hands-free PC can be worn while on public transportation, in the office, shopping or relaxing at home. Hitachi will provide the WIA to Xybernaut under terms of the agreement signed June 30, 2001.

Among the suite of services that Xybernaut will target for the new product will be entertainment in the form of distance learning, music, video and games, GPS, cellular voice communications and paging, interactive banking, shopping, and stock market trading.

"Hitachi is very pleased to enter into this close relationship with Xybernaut, the leader in wearable computing," said Shigeru Matsuoka, CEO of Net-PDA Venture Company, Hitachi, Ltd. "We expect that our new product line will completely change the way people live, work and play. The applications we envision will offer up all kinds of new business opportunities. Our current partners and clients, as well as our future partners, subscribers and consumers alike will find that our products enrich their lives."

Visit Xybernaut's web site at Visit Hitachi's Web site at

July 19 - American Megatrends Inc. Supports AMD Athlon MP Processor. American Megatrends Inc. (AMI), leading developer of innovative BIOS solutions worldwide, today announced AMIBIOS(R) offers immediate support for AMD Athlon(TM) MP processor.

American Megatrends Inc. continues to offer support for cutting-edge technology from AMD, including the new AMD Athlon MP processor. The AMD Athlon MP processor incorporates revolutionary advancements including optimizations for Double Data Rate (DDR) memory and Smart MP technology.

"AMD is delighted that AMI has chosen to support the AMD Athlon MP processor," said Ed Ellett, Vice President of Server and Workstation Marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "AMI's established BIOS coupled with AMD's leading-edge multiprocessor can help IT managers lower operating costs through more efficient system performance."

AMD Athlon MP processor, in concert with AMIBIOS, provides a cost-effective solution for server and workstation platforms. AMIBIOS enables full multi-processor support using AMD Athlon MP processors with the AMD-762(TM) MP Northbridge and DDR memory. AMIBIOS also supports the AMD-766(TM) Southbridge.

"American Megatrends Inc. is pleased to continue its support for the leading-edge technological advancements offered by AMD," said Bill Clark, Strategic Accounts Manager, Software Division. "AMI looks forward to continuing to develop a strong business relationship with AMD in keeping with AMI's mission to offer unrivaled quality system software."

AMI has contracted with several major manufacturers to supply AMIBIOS for platforms utilizing the AMD Athlon MP processor. For more information on AMI, visit

July 19 - Intel to Remain Dominant Player in Mobile PC Processor Market. Despite heightened competition from companies like AMD, Transmeta, and VIA, Intel Corp. should maintain a dominant market share in the mobile PC processors market, according to In-Stat/MDR.

The high-tech market research firm reports that in order to solidify a leading position, Intel must successfully lower mobile Pentium III Average Selling Prices (ASPs).

Regardless of having slashed the prices of desktop Pentium 4 and Pentium III processors by up to 51 percent, mobile Pentium III prices will deteriorate slightly during 2001 and will finally begin to sink in 2H02.

"Intel's blended mobile processor ASP will decline by 20 percent from 4Q01 to 4Q02 as a result of increased competition and continued reliance on the P6 microarchitecture.

"Despite the present economic slowdown, we project that a cyclical recovery in 4Q01 will allow Intel's mobile unit volume to grow 5 percent in 2001," said Kevin Krewell, senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR's Intel Microprocessors Service.

It is projected that recovery to unit growth of 26 percent in 2002 will occur, returning to a normal mobile growth rate. Pent-up demand and a migration to WindowsXP should help in 2002.

"AMD, Transmeta, and VIA will continue to nibble at Intel, offering slightly different combinations of performance, power, and price. Considering that Intel's present mobile volume is roughly the same as AMD's total CPU shipments (including desktop), the alternative vendors have a long way to go to supplant Intel's sheer volume and manufacturing capacity," said Krewell.

In-Stat/MDR also found that:

-- AMD proved to be an able mobile competitor in the first half
of 2000 and the mobile Athlon 4 and mobile Duron are high
performing mobile processors, but Intel's plans for Banias
could leave AMD out of the growth segment of the market.

-- Intel will have DDR SDRAM support in 2002 with the Brookdale
chip set. It will also add integrated graphics to a mobile
Pentium 4 chip set in 2H02 to support a lower-cost

For more information about In-Stat visit

July 19 - ATI Announces RADEON VE MAC EDITION. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, today announced availability of the RADEON(TM) VE MAC EDITION graphics card for Apple users.

Based on ATI's highly integrated, cost-effective and award-winning RADEON VE chip, RADEON VE MAC EDITION is specifically designed to provide dual-display capability, enabling any combination of VGA (video graphics array), DVI (digital visual interface) and TV.

Featuring 32MB (megabytes) of DDR (double data rate) memory and ATI's patented HYPER Z(TM) technology, RADEON VE MAC EDITION delivers excellent 2D and 3D performance. Additional ATI features such as VIDEO IMMERSION(TM) and support of industry standards like OpenGL(R) and QuickTime(R), ensure that the RADEON VE MAC EDITION delivers excellent value for its price range, and meets the needs of the mainstream PCI Mac market.

"With this announcement, ATI has delivered the award-winning RADEON VE technology to the Apple space, bringing single-card dual-display support to the mainstream Mac market and broadening the spectrum of ATI offerings optimized for Macs," said Jewelle Schiedel-Webb, Director, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. "The powerful 3D performance and flexible dual-display support that characterizes RADEON VE MAC EDITION make this an excellent graphics hardware choice for Mac users who are looking for proven and reliable technology."

Multi-monitor Support

RADEON VE MAC EDITION's support for dual independent displays allows users to set their system up with two CRT's (cathode ray tubes, or analog monitors) or a CRT and DFP (digital flat panel monitor) or a DFP and a TV. This multi-monitor capability increases productivity by doubling screen space, making multitasking easier. Users can read email on one screen while working on a spreadsheet on the other or reference the Internet on one screen while writing an essay on the other. Multi-monitor capability can take advantage of extra, unused monitors that can be found in many homes, essentially doubling screen space without having to purchase a new, larger monitor or an additional video card.

Ideal for work or play

RADEON VE MAC EDITION is ideal for mainstream Mac users, both at work and at home. For the corporate market, RADEON VE MAC EDITION features solid 2D capabilities. For the home, RADEON VE MAC EDITION delivers solid 3D performance, integrated TV out and ATI's VIDEO IMMERSION technology for industry-leading video playback. RADEON VE MAC EDITION supports both Mac OS 9.x and OS X.

Price and availability

RADEON VE MAC EDITION, with connectors for traditional CRT monitors, flat panel displays and TV out, features 32 MB of DDR memory and multi-monitor support. Boards will ship in September 2001 and will have a MSRP of (US) $129.

Visit ATI at

July 18 - LaCie announces new portable DVD and hard drives at Macworld. Delivering on its commitment to bring the latest technologies in the most convenient form factor to Mac and PC users, LaCie announced today new additions to its portable drive line.

PocketDVD-ROM Compact enough the easily fit in a laptop computer's carrying case, the PocketDVD-ROM drive reads all of today's shipping DVD discs, including DVD-RAM and DVD-R and provides backward compatibility with all CD formats. Offering full support for industry standard DVD formats, the PocketDVD-ROM will read both single and dual-layer discs (4.7GB/9.4GB) at 8x speed and provides DVD data transfer speeds of up to 10.8MB/sec. Backward compatible with all CD formats, including CD Audio and CD video, the drive reads CDs at 24x. Seek times are 150ms for DVDs and 110ms for CDs.
With LaCie's patented U&I interface, the PocketDVD-ROM drive can be used with both USB and FireWire interface connections. The hot-pluggable PocketDVD-ROM automatically detects the type of interface to enable fast and easy sharing between users or between desktop and laptop systems.

FireWire® hard drives LaCie, the only company shipping high-speed external FireWire® hard drives in volume, announced today it will show how the drives can be used to double the data throughput performance of previous FireWire drives at Macworld, Booth #1913, in New York City, July 18-20. Available in 20GB, 40GB, 60GB and 75GB capacities, the 7200 rpm drives stream data to the computer at a sustained transfer rate of 35MB/s and provide burst performance to 50MB/s. Ideal for storing, exchanging and working on large files such as graphics, audio and digital videos, LaCie's new FireWire solutions eliminate quality and video frame loss.

Super DLT220 Tape(TM)) drive. LaCie also announced today that it is now shipping its new Super DLT220 (Digital Linear Tape(TM)) drive. Incorporating breakthrough SuperDLT(TM) linear recording technology, the Super DLT220 drive provides a native capacity of 110GB (220GB compressed) and a lightning-fast transfer rate of 11MB/sec In addition to offering almost three times the capacity of existing DLT tape drives, the LaCie Super DLT drive is almost 75% faster.
These capabilities, plus rock-solid reliability and the convenience of not having to pre-format media, give current DLT tape drive users compelling reasons to upgrade to the new Super DLTtape drive. To simplify the transition, the drive is designed to provide backward-read compatibility with DLTtape 4000, 7000 or 8000 series and the DLT1drives.

Visit LaCie’s Web site at

July 18 - Minolta Showcases Full Line of Film Scanners. Minolta Corporation has a full line of unique film scanners to meet the needs of every photo enthusiast.
“Minolta is putting the power of film scanning in everyone’s hands,” said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president, digital imaging at Minolta Corporation’s Consumer Products Group. “With the introduction of the high resolution scanning and Digital ICE3TM of the DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO, along with the DiMAGE Scan Elite, the DiMAGE Scan Multi II and the DiMAGE Scan Dual II, Minolta has developed a line of film scanners which meets the varied demands of today’s consumers’ imaging needs and budgets.”

Minolta DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO Minolta’s new multi format dual interface, compact film scanner, DiMAGE Scan Multi PRO features high-resolution 4,800 dpi scans with 16-bit A/D conversion and a 4.8 dynamic range that preserves subtle tones and details.

Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite Featuring a maximum input resolution capability of 2,820 dpi, the Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite boasts an impressive resolution of more than 10 million pixels for full-frame 35mm image scan resolution to offer superior quality images. The scanner also provides a remarkable 12-bit RGB/AD conversion and 3.6 dynamic range to ensure deep shadows and bright highlights. For faithful color rendition and image quality retention, the DiMAGE Scan Elite offers fine tonal gradation of up to 4,096 shades for each color channel and provides both 16 and 8-bit output for added image quality versatility.

The Minolta DiMAGE Scan Multi II Offers the finest image quality of any scanner in its class. It produces images with a maximum 2,820 dpi for 35mm and APS film, and 2,820 dpi for medium format and other film using software interpolation and by increasing the horizontal scanning pitch.

The DiMAGE Scan Dual II’s high-resolution 2,820 dpi scans with 12-bit A/D conversion, combined with precision autofocus and Color Matching systems, deliver superior quality images. The Minolta Easy Scan Utility, newly designed stand-alone software, allows uncomplicated scanning for first-time users. The scanner automatically uses the center of the image to determine focus. In addition to standard autofocusing, the Point AF function allows autofocus to be used on a desired area of the image, while Manual Focus can be used for producing creative images or slightly defocusing them to reduce a grainy appearance.

Pricing and availability were not announced. For more information, visit Minolta’s Web site located at

July 18 - Broadband-Over-Airwaves Predicted to Gain Considerable Popularity. Wireline technologies enjoy a near-complete dominance of the broadband market today, but wireless technologies will use their superior reach and lower deployment costs to encroach on this dominance in the near future, according to a new Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) study.

Wireless broadband subscribers, accounting for a mere 2% of all users in 2001, will constitute 15% of the total broadband subscriber base in 2006, according to the soon-to-be-released report, "Broadband Delivery in the Local Loop: By Land and By Air." Total revenues from broadband subscribers will increase from $16.8 billion in 2001 to $59.4 billion in 2006, with wireless technologies making a leap from 9% of total revenues in 2001 to 22% of all revenues in 2006.

"To make an impact on the market, wireless broadband providers must prove to consumers that their services are not only equal to cable and to DSL, but actually better in terms of pricing, speed, reliability, and security," said report author Mark M. Fox, ABI Broadband Analyst. "The potential is there, but first they have to catch up to the wireline technologies in terms of available infrastructure."

With equipment and installation costs in excess of $3,000 per subscriber, wireless broadband technologies are hard-pressed to compete with cable and with DSL, even though they already offer connections of higher quality than their wireline competitors in terms of throughput. The costs of deploying and maintaining wireless infrastructure, however, are considerably lower than laying down new pipes. Additionally, wireless connections are unhindered by the distance limitations from the central office of cable and DSL. Finally, the large number of consumers can then be serviced by a single wireless node, which is especially true for satellite broadband, allowing for significant subscriber numbers even with a low penetration ratio. These factors stand to quickly improve wireless broadband's position in the overall market in the near future.

Details of these studies can be found at

July 18 - Instant Communication Capabilities Drive Demand for In-House Wireless Systems. Enterprise wireless communications systems are increasingly beneficial to any business with a strong need for instant and mobile access to approvals, advice or information.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Enterprise Wireless Communications Markets, reveals that revenues reached $217.2 million in 2000 and will increase to $557.9 million by 2007.

Wireless local area networks (WLAN) is a growing trend intensified by the transition to voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP). The integration of these two technologies offers enterprise end-users unprecedented access to both voice and data over a wireless network.

"With WLANs becoming more prevalent, companies are looking to leverage their wireless investment by sending voice and data traffic over the same medium," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Nitin Babbar. "The wireless market will see considerable growth as the integration of this advanced technology and the increasing necessity for in-building connectivity continues."

Although most users of this technology have remained in markets like retail, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing, new markets are emerging. Expect any market where employees are highly mobile to pursue wireless communication solutions in the near future.

However, low levels of awareness by end-users, as well as cost differences between wired and wireless extension hinders market growth. On average, a wireless extension costs approximately $1,000 per user to an organization, compared to $300 for a wired extension.

"Vendors will have to justify costs by reiterating the financial benefits generated from greater accessibility," says Babbar. "In the absence of strong financial incentives to the company, the seller needs to propagate the benefit of implementing the systems to increase sales."

Frost & Sullivan can be found on the Web at

July 17 - QPS Introduces Ultra-Fast 24X10X40 Burn-Proof Que! CD-RW Drives. QPS, Inc. has announced the addition of three new 24X10X40 Que! CD-RW drives to its comprehensive line of innovative products.

These super-fast 24X CD-RW drives are available in internal EIDE and external USB 2.0 formats for PCs, and external FireWire for both PCs and Macs. They incorporate the new Burn-Proof technology that eliminates buffer under-run errors in fast-write modes. The EIDE drive is currently shipping and is priced at $229 MSRP. The external FireWire and USB 2.0 drives will ship by the end of July 2001.

"Our new 24X10X40 drives are the fastest CD-RW drives available and maintain the highest quality and stability while creating a 650MB disc in approximately three minutes. The user can reclaim valuable hard disk space, copy or share files with drag-and-drop simplicity within minutes of opening the box," said Pierre Abboud, vice president of QPS.

The drives are suitable for desktop publishing and data archiving, and are an ideal addition for MIDI and recording studio applications. Flash ROM provides easy upgrades over the Internet. Complete and ready to install, the Que! CD-RW drive comes with CD burning software, CD-Recordable/Rewritable media, a protective carrying bag (external drive only) and all necessary accessories.

QPS products are available through retail stores, catalogs, e-tailers and other retailers of computer products. A complete list of international distributors and resellers may be found on the QPS Web site:

July 17 - Handspring Offers VisorPhone Phone Module for $49 when Service Activated. Handspring, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAND), said today it will begin selling its award-winning VisorPhone Springboard module for U.S. $49 when purchased at with a one-year service activation contract from GSM providers Cingular Wireless, Powertel or Voicestream. Handspring will sell VisorPhone for U.S. $299 without service activation at The new pricing is available immediately at

With this aggressive new pricing, Handspring expects to introduce a greater number of customers to the power of combined organizer and phone functionality. Praised in the industry for its seamless integration of handheld computer and mobile phone feature sets, VisorPhone sets new software standards for convenience and ease-of-use in multi-function communication products, an area of increased focus for the company.

"VisorPhone is an important step forward for both handheld computing and personal communications," said Joe Sipher, vice president of product marketing for Handspring. "We think this new pricing will enable many more people to realize the amazing benefits of a combined phone and organizer. With our Blazer web browser and applications for wireless e-mail and messaging, VisorPhone at this price is one of the greatest values in the market."

VisorPhone is a GSM world phone (900/1900 MHz) that turns any Visor into a compact wireless voice and data device. It leverages the robust PIM functionality and larger screen of Visor handhelds to bring Address Book dialing, enhanced caller ID, conference calling and other features to a new level of usability. Handspring recently optimized VisorPhone for data communications, including e-mail, instant messaging and web browsing, by adding a suite of wireless applications to the VisorPhone package, including Handspring's new Blazer web browser, Yahoo! Messenger, JP Mobile One-Touch Mail(TM) and Electric Pocket's BugMe! Messenger.

Handspring's popular Blazer web browser features content powered by Microsoft's MSN Mobile and search capabilities provided by Google. When used with VisorPhone, Blazer brings true Internet access to the Visor product family. Blazer supports all major existing standards, optimizing HTML, WAP and cHTML content for viewing on a handheld display.

Handspring can be found on the Web at

July 17 - Caldera Announces New Linux Server Software. Caldera International Inc. (Nasdaq: CALD), the global leader "Unifying UNIX with Linux for Business(TM)," today announced the launch of its new server products, Caldera OpenLinux Server and Caldera Open UNIX 8, which enable the deployment of Linux applications on both the Linux and UNIX platforms.

Open UNIX 8 is the most advanced deployment platform for industry standard Intel® processor systems. Open UNIX 8 is the trusted foundation for solutions where proven scalability, reliability and affordability are critical. Whether powering a data center or running a small to medium business, Open UNIX 8 delivers the complete flexibility of Linux, with the same scalability and reliability that is synonymous with UNIX systems.

Open UNIX 8 is a significant milestone for Caldera to deliver on the commitment to unify UNIX with Linux for business. Open UNIX 8 incorporates the Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) technology, which enables customers to run Linux applications and UNIX applications simultaneously.

OpenLinux Server is an ideal product for building Internet-enabled business solutions. Based on the Linux 2.4 kernel, the product is unique in that it is a fully integrated and stable Linux operating system. OpenLinux Server comes with default configurations for secure Web, file and print and network infrastructure servers.

“We are pre-loading OpenLinux Server on Compaq Proliant servers because Caldera delivers commercial quality business solutions,” said Rick Becker, director of business development, Compaq Industry Standard Server group. “We are excited about the stability of this product after rigorously testing it on our Compaq® Proliant® Servers. With OpenLinux Server, Caldera is moving away from providing a Linux distribution to providing a strong server product for small and medium-sized businesses.”
OpenLinux Server saves users significant time and money in the installation, configuration, deployment, and management of business solutions by providing default working configurations. Each configuration is out-of-the-box secure, easily deployed and manageable using browser-based remote management and configuration utilities bundled in each system. OpenLinux Server is targeted to small and medium businesses, Fortune 1000 companies with remote connected sites and SCO OpenServer customers migrating to Linux.

Open UNIX 8 and OpenLinux Server are immediately available. Localized versions of Open UNIX 8 in French, Spanish and German will be available by the end of the month. Localized OpenLinux Server versions will be available over the next few months.

For more information visit

July 17 - Solagent allows Users to Retrieve Data from Lost or Stolen Laptops. Solagent, Inc., the leader in Remote Data Protection technology today announced the market release of Solagent(TM) Secure Plus, the mobile and wireless computing industry's first remote data protection technology that enables corporations, government agencies, and individuals to actually retrieve critical or sensitive data files from a lost or stolen computer.

"With Solagent Secure Plus not only can users remotely encrypt data and determine whether any files have been compromised on their laptop, but now they can retrieve those data files!" states Randy Andrews, founder of Solagent, Inc. No matter where the computer is located; no matter who is using it; even if it has been stolen, Solagent Secure Plus enables the owner to protect their privacy.

Solagent(TM) Secure Plus provides users with the options to retrieve, encrypt and/or wipe data files on their lost or stolen computing device. This means that they regain control of their data while preventing unauthorized users from having access to their data and from having the uncertainty of waiting and hoping that their laptop will be recovered in order to get back their information. By being able to manage your data remotely, even after it is gone, you are in control.

Solagent's 24/7 accessible, subscriber web site,, and toll-free Data Protection Center allow users to quickly report their loss and select the protection method that is right for them wherever they are, whenever they need help. With a single command they are able to remotely retrieve their most commonly used files and documents while leaving the thief with useless encrypted files. Solagent's security procedures are designed to insure that any instructions, whether to retrieve, encrypt, decrypt or to review if data has been compromised, can only be initiated by the owner of the mobile computing device who is an authorized Solagent Secure Plus subscriber.

For more information, visit

July 17 - Plurimus Tracks Broadband Users Shopping Habits. Plurimus Corporation, provider of the broadest and most-detailed online behavioral intelligence available, released today information about broadband Internet usage and how businesses can leverage this information. Plurimus monitors more broadband Internet users than traditional audience measurement, business intelligence or Web analytics companies. To illustrate how customers can leverage this information, Plurimus tracked how broadband and dial-up users responded to recent ad campaigns launched by Ford Motor Company and Fox Home Entertainment.

Of the over 3.5 million Internet subscribers Plurimus tracks, ten percent uses some form of broadband technology (e.g., cable modem, DSL, satellite, fixed wireless, ISDN, and T1/T3 lines) to access the Internet. The company's unique ability to aggregate and monitor such a large base of broadband users allows its customers to better determine return on investment for their online marketing dollars.

During Ford's May 4, 2001 campaign on the Yahoo! Web site, Plurimus found that nearly 24 million households - or 41.7 percent of the U.S. online population - visited the Yahoo! Web site and were exposed to the Ford ad campaign that day. According to Plurimus, 11,992 of those visitors were intrigued enough by the ad to proceed to Ford's Web site as potential customers.

Using its unique ability to link online behavior with geographic locations, Plurimus identified that the highest response rate came from households in the Midwest (i.e., Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) that have broadband access and earn more than $100,000 per year. In fact, broadband users visiting the Yahoo! site that day were 15 times more likely to respond to the ad than their narrowband counterparts.

Yet another broadband-versus-narrowband usage difference can be seen in a recent ad campaign that Fox Home Entertainment ran on the Ask Jeeves site to promote the release of the movie 'Castaway' on video and DVD. While monitoring behavioral patterns surrounding the campaign from June 13-18, 2001, Plurimus discovered that broadband households were five times more likely to respond to the ad. Moreover, only broadband users were observed purchasing the 'Castaway' video via the promotion, suggesting that virtually no narrowband users were converted to customers as a result of this promotion.

Survey results have shown a three-fold increase in broadband users between January 2000 and April 2001--from roughly 4.1 million to 10.4 million households (Source: Omnibus Survey, TNS Intersearch Corp.). Plurimus is unique in its ability to track the largest number of broadband users on an aggregated level and also examine the behavior of those users on the Internet.

Plurimus can be found on the Web at

July 16 - ATI Unveils SMARTSHADER Technology. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, today unveiled SMARTSHADER(TM) technology, a next-generation graphics architecture that will narrow the gap in visual quality between the "big screen" and the "computer screen" by affording game developers the most advanced visual effects available on PC or Mac-based platforms.
Incorporating suggestions from leading 3D application developers and researchers, ATI collaborated with Microsoft Corporation to improve the versatility, efficiency and usability of the existing Microsoft DirectX 8.0 Pixel Shader and Vertex Shader specifications, enabling 3D game developers to easily custom-program and then create the most finely-detailed and realistically-lit computer-generated images possible. The results of these efforts are available to developers for the first time with the release of DirectX 8.1, which enables the full capabilities of SMARTSHADER technology. The full feature set is also available in OpenGL(R), using extensions developed by ATI. "Developers of 3D applications have always had a difficult time creating truly realistic computer-generated characters, objects and environments in computer games," said Toshi Okumura, Senior Product Manager, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. "This is a result of limited processing power and restricted flexibility found in existing graphics hardware.
"By combining the speed and optimizations of a dedicated graphics processor with the flexibility and programmability of a CPU, SMARTSHADER technology provides a virtually limitless range of visual effects at interactive frame rates."
SMARTSHADER technology incorporates major advances in the area of Pixel Shaders, which are small programs that execute on every pixel rendered to the display device. With support for up to six textures in a single rendering pass, the memory bandwidth constraints associated with multi-pass rendering can be greatly reduced, which translates into better rendering performance. By doubling the maximum allowable length of the shader programs, more complex effects can be created to accurately model the visual properties of materials and surfaces, including hair, skin, wood, water and more. Additionally, SMARTSHADER Pixel Shaders introduce a simplified yet more powerful instruction set that lets developers design a much wider range of graphical effects with fewer operations.
SMARTSHADER technology also includes support for Vertex Shaders, which are small programs that are executed on the vertices that form the building blocks of all 3D objects. These shaders can actually modify the shape and position of objects and are useful for handling advanced character animation, objects that bend and ripple like cloth or water, particle effects like sparks and rain, and much more.
"The programmability and intelligent design of SMARTSHADER technology will substantially reduce the time it takes to bring innovative new graphics to the end-user," said Mr. Okumura. "Developers will no longer have to wait for new graphics hardware or new versions of their preferred graphics API (application programming interface); they can now easily write a shader to implement their new creative ideas."
ATI can be found on the Web at

July 16 - 3Dlabs Announces Wildcat II 5000 Graphics Accelerator. 3Dlabs(R), Inc. Ltd. (Nasdaq:TDDD) today announced the latest addition to the award-winning Wildcat family of professional graphics accelerators, the Wildcat(TM) II 5000. It is the first Wildcat to be available as a board-level product in the channel, both to system integrators and end users upgrading their existing systems. Wildcat II 5000 offers best-of-class performance for an estimated street price of less than $1400.
With superb performance, unmatched quality features and support for standard AGP 4X motherboards, the Wildcat II 5000 enables a broad new range of 3D graphics users to experience the productivity benefits of Wildcat graphics for the first time.
The Wildcat II 5000 is built on the same high-performance Wildcat II architecture that powers the top-of-the-line Wildcat II 5110, including a programmable geometry engine and professional features such as 3Dlabs' SuperScene(TM) antialiasing, 3D volumetric texturing and hardware overlay planes. The Wildcat II 5000 also drives the latest digital flat panel and display products using the DVI standard, and supports a wide variety of Pentium(R) III, Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon(TM) processor-based systems with standard AGP 4X slots.
"3Dlabs' Wildcat II 5000 is an outstanding graphics option for AMD Athlon MP processor-based workstations designed to run all types of graphics-intensive applications, from business graphics to digital content creation to computer-aided design," said Ed Ellett, vice-president of Workstation and Server Marketing for AMD. "3Dlabs has demonstrated a strong commitment to bringing high-performance workstation graphics to a wide range of users."
For productivity-minded professionals, Wildcat II 5000 features a robust, unified Wildcat driver that already has been certified with the leading CAD and digital content creation (DCC) applications. Current certifications include Alias|Wavefront(TM) Maya(TM) and Studio Tools, Autodesk(R) Inventor(TM), Discreet(TM) 3ds max(TM), NewTek LightWave, PTC CDRS(R), SDRC I-DEAS(R),SOFTIMAGE(R)|XSI(TM), and UGS(R) Solid Edge. In-house compatibility testing has been completed for AutoCAD(R), Pro/ENGINEER(R), Unigraphics and SolidWorks. In addition, its exceptional value makes the Wildcat II 5000 an ideal graphics card for business graphics applications running on Windows(R) NT or Windows 2000.

Professional-Quality Performance and Features

The Wildcat II 5000 professional accelerator is engineered using the same technologies that power the top-of-the-line Wildcat II 5110, including:

-- Programmable geometry accelerator: Extensible geometry processor offloads calculations from the host CPU to dramatically improve performance and enable application-specific effects tuning.
-- Second-generation rasterization engine: Delivers a sustained 8.5 million 3D triangles/sec. with a peak 166 Mpixels/sec. trilinear fill rate.
-- 80 MB total memory: 32 MB frame buffer, 32 MB texture memory, and 16 MB Direct Burst supports high-resolution and true color display of richly textured images at blazing speeds.
-- 3Dlabs SuperScene(TM) antialiasing: True, multisampled scene-mode antialiasing eliminates "stair-step" edges and distracting aliasing artifacts.
-- Hardware accelerated 3D volumetric textures: Applies 3D textures throughout the volume of a model for applications such as medical imaging and GIS.
-- Digital display support via DVI connector: Drives the latest digital flat panel and digital display products while avoiding analog-to-digital conversion errors.
-- Standard AGP support: While the Wildcat II 5110 requires an AGP Pro-compatible motherboard, the Wildcat II 5000 supports workstations with AGP 4X motherboards.
-- Unmatched productivity: Provides peak overall performance in its class, with an estimated ProCDRS benchmark of over 37 and Awadvs score topping 132.(a)

"The rave reviews of the Wildcat II 5110 have created an intense demand for Wildcat graphics accelerators in the broader market, and the Wildcat II 5000 is designed and priced specifically to fulfill that demand," said Raj Singh, executive vice president and general manager of 3Dlabs. "With the Wildcat II 5000, a wide range of retailers, system integrators, and build-your-own system enthusiasts will be able to experience the unrivalled power of Wildcat technology for the first time."
In order for customers to instantly experience the power of the Wildcat II 5000, 3Dlabs has bundled demonstrations of the following professional software applications: Inventor, Maya, LightWave 3D, Softimage|XSI, Solid Edge and Solidworks Viewer. The Wildcat II is available this month for under $1400 and can be purchased through major distributors worldwide as well as on the 3Dlabs online store at

July 16 - Corel to Acquire Micrografx. Corel Corporation (Nasdaq:CORL) (TSE:COR.) and Micrografx, Inc. (OTCBB:MGXI) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement whereby Corel will acquire Micrografx in a stock-for-stock transaction to be accounted for as a purchase transaction.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and approval by Micrografx's shareholders.
This acquisition represents yet another important milestone in Corel's corporate strategy which is designed to position the company for long-term growth and profitability. As announced in January 2001, Corel's growth strategy provides a framework for the company's future that is being unfolded in three phases or "horizons". For the first horizon, Corel is focused on two goals: strengthening its position in the graphics market and effectively managing its business applications division to upgrade its large base of existing users. In horizon two, Corel will more fully embrace the power of the Web by developing advanced Web-based functionality within existing and new product lines. For horizon three, Corel will develop new technology to target fast-growing emerging markets, such as wireless and Web-based services. Corel is able to advance key aspects of each horizon as a result of this acquisition.
"This is clearly a strategic opportunity for both Corel and Micrografx, for three main reasons," said Derek Burney, president and CEO of Corel Corporation. "First, by adding these technologies to our arsenal of award-winning applications, we will broaden and enhance our current portfolio and tailor our products to the distinct customer segments we've identified. The technical illustration market is an important customer segment we're targeting and we look forward to combining Micrografx's demonstrated leadership in this area with our own strengths to better serve our customers.
"Second, in addition to adding value to our graphics lineup, we will leverage the innovative emerging technologies that Micrografx has developed to accelerate the execution of our horizon two and three objectives," added Mr. Burney. "These technologies will be key ingredients in our development of new offerings which will enable our customers to create graphics-rich content that can be output easily and simultaneously to multiple channels, including the Web.
"Finally, by devoting greater resources to Micrografx's Enterprise Process Management (EPM) division, we will become a major force in, what is for us, a new and lucrative market, while at the same time utilizing those technologies to broaden our portfolio of creative product applications."
"We are very pleased to be combining our resources with Corel's," said Jim Hopkins, chairman and CEO at Micrografx, Inc. "Supported by Corel's development expertise, market strengths, international reputation and strong financial position, we will be able to move forward with some exciting new business plans we've developed for our existing and emerging technologies."
Corel and Micrografx share synergies which, when the two operations are combined, are expected to generate new revenue opportunities and cost efficiencies from which its collective worldwide customer base will benefit. Based on preliminary estimates, after the realization of anticipated synergies and excluding any one-time integration costs, this acquisition is expected to be accretive to cash flow and cash earnings per share in the fourth quarter of Corel's fiscal 2001 and thereafter. Over the next several weeks, Corel and Micrografx will work together on a comprehensive plan outlining how best to integrate the two companies. Following the closing of the deal, which is expected to occur in Corel's fourth quarter, they will announce further details related to the integration plan..
For more information on Corel Corporation, visit

July 16 - Wireless Phone Users on Path to Eclipse Wired Users. According to the Yankee Group, at the end of 2000 there were approximately 625 million wireless subscribers across the globe. In a global study of wireless usage across all regions of the world, the Yankee Group found that current wireless penetration was 10.6%, and the company believes that global penetration of wireless subscribers will reach 21% by 2006--more than doubling to approximately 1.3 billion subscribers.
The Yankee Group expects the majority of the rapid growth in coming years to occur in the less developed regions, especially Latin American and Asia, as wireless phones increasingly serve as the consumer's initial entree into the world of voice telephony in many regions where landline phone service is not available. To illustrate the extent to which wireless usage will become the dominant method of voice communication globally, the Yankee Group has developed a forecast of wireline access lines versus wireless subscribers. In this forecast, the Yankee Group predicts that global wireless subscribers will overtake the number of wireline access lines by 2006.
In addition, the Yankee Group study found that second-generation (2G) digital is the predominant technology across the globe, with approximately 89% of subscribers using digital handsets. Virtually all of the remaining 11% of wireless customers still operate on first-generation (1G) analog networks. The majority of these customers are in Latin America and the United States, which both have at least 30% of customers still using 1G analog handsets (30% and 38%, respectively); these customers are being rapidly migrated to digital. Currently, there are no customers commercially using 2.5G or 3G services, but the Yankee Group believes this will change dramatically over the next couple of years. By the end of 2002, the Yankee Group expects 10% of global subscribers to be using next-generation technologies.
Finally, the Yankee Group predicts that we will end the year 2001 with more than 770 million subscribers globally, an impressive 12.6% penetration of the world's 6 billion people.
Yankee Group can be found on the Web at

July 15 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 month no interest financing on all computer purchases over $598 and a free (by rebate) Intel Pocket Audio Player with purchase of any Pentium 4 system.
Circuit City no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
Office Depot no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale)..
CompUSA is offering 12 months no interest financing on Toshiba notebooks costing over $998.
Staples is offering no payments or interest for 6 months on any purchase over $498.

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

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 800 MHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
Compaq 866 MHz complete system
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.4 GHz complete system with 17 inch monitor
Best Duron System
Compaq 900 MHz complete system
Best Buy
Best High End Athlon System
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
Office Depot
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Celeron with DVD
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 1 GHz Pentium 3 with 16 MB NVIDIA graphics and DVD

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

[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]


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