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Daily Computer News and Rumors

May 15-23 2003

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

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
May 23 Dell Expands Desktop Computer Line with Two Powerful, Space-Saving Products
May 23 IBM Unveils New ThinkCentre Line Of Desktops
May 23 SPEC Validates AMD Opteron Processor's Claim as Highest Performing Processor
May 23 HP Claims Fastest Server using Itanium 2 Processor 6M
May 23 America Online Launches AOL Instant Greetings Service
May 22 Intel Announces New Pentium 4s and Hyper-Threading Technology Chipsets
May 22 BFG Technologies Announces Two Asylum Graphics Cards Powered By NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 GPU
May 22 Panasonic Debuts Centrino-Certified Rugged Notebook PC
May 22 HP Reports Second Quarter 2003 Results
May 22 Worldwide Semiconductor Market to Experience 8 Percent Growth in 2003
May 21 Fujitsu Packs Desktop Performance in LifeBook N Series Notebook
May 21 Toshiba Announces Satellite M20-S257 with Centrino Technology
May 21 Fujitsu Unveils World's Smallest Centrino Notebook PC
May 21 Satellite Television Subscriber Satisfaction Continues to Rise
May 21 Fujitsu Introduces Indoor/Outdoor Tablet PC
May 21 Online Shopping Decisions Significantly Impacted By Enhanced Security
May 20 New Sub-Four-Pound Dell Latitude Notebook Makes Mobile Computing Easier
May 20 Logitech Dual Action Pad Delivers Two-Fisted Fun
May 20 Sampo America Ships Value-Priced High-Performance 50-Inch HDTV Plasma Display
May 20 Coming Soon: The Multimedia Chat Room
May 20 Microsoft, Intel and IP to Bring Change to VOD Server Markets
May 19 Dell's Q1 Revenue up 18 Percent
May 19 Hitachi Announces 7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives
May 19 Kanguru Solutions 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
May 19 Gartner Says Worldwide PC Industry to Experience Single-Digit Growth
May 19 Warner Bros. Studios and Ubi Soft Partner to Launch The Matrix Online in 2004
May 18 Sunday Shopping Watch
May 16 NVIDIA Unveils New GeForce FX GPU
May 16 NVIDIA Unleashes New Detonator Video Drivers
May 16 NVIDIA GeForce FX Is the Graphics Processor of Choice at E3
May 16 HP Widens the View with New Wireless Notebook PC
May 16 Other World Computing Introduces Mercury Elite 320GB FireWire/USB Combo Drive
May 16 IBM Debuts World's Most Sophisticated Server

 

 

May 23 - Dell Expands Desktop Computer Line with Two Powerful, Space-Saving Products. Big performance in small packages is the hallmark of two new Dell Dimension(tm) desktop computers introduced in the United States today.

First available to consumers and small business customers in Japan, the Dimension 4600C, with its small form factor chassis, is now available to customers in the United States. Its minitower counterpart, the Dimension 4600, also features a compact chassis, but offers nearly the same level of expandability as its predecessor, the Dimension 4550.

"Consumers and small businesses tell us every day they need versatile desktops that occupy less space," said Mark Vena, director of Dimension product marketing. "These two new products fill that need, and have the power to handle digital photo editing, management of a music collections, creation of digital video, and other multimedia tasks, as well as standard office productivity applications."

At less than 13 inches tall, the Dimension 4600C is 60 percent smaller than the 4600 and the smallest Dimension chassis the company has offered in the United States. Its size makes it an ideal system for use in dorm rooms, apartments or any place where space is limited. It features eight USB 2.0 ports, two of which are front-accessible, that make it easy for customers to connect devices like digital cameras, external hard drives and MP3 players.

Customers who require even more external expandability can order the 4600C with an optional PCI card that includes a modem, two front-accessible PCMCIA slots and two IEEE 1394 ports, one of which is front-accessible. This card allows customers to easily connect their digital video camera or import digital photos directly from a Compact Flash memory card.

Pricing Information

Starting at $799(a), the Dimension 4600 contains all the functionality of the 4600C and offers more internal expandability options. It can accommodate up to two optical drives, such as a DVD-ROM and a CD-RW; two internal hard drives; sound cards like the Creative Labs Audigy(tm) 2; and graphic cards such as the Radeon(tm) 9800 for consumers who want to play the latest 3-D games at smooth frame rates.

For $1,129, the Dimension 4600 includes a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512 MB DDR-SDRAM memory at 333 MHz, a 60 GB hard drive, a 16X DVD drive, and 17" (16.0" viewable) CRT monitor.

Priced starting at $999, the Dimension 4600C includes a 2.4 GHz Pentium(R) 4 processor, 256 MB of shared DDR-333 memory, a 30 GB hard drive, a 24X CD ROM drive, integrated graphics and 15" flat panel monitor.

For more information, go to www.dell.com/dimension.

May 23 - IBM Unveils New ThinkCentre Line of Desktops. IBM today announced the first models of its redesigned PC line, the new ThinkCentre desktop, offering innovative new ThinkVantage Technologies that will help customers reduce system operating costs and increase productivity. With a significantly smaller footprint, the ThinkCentre S50, as well as the M50 and A50p, feature an easy access, tool-free chassis design, simplifying maintenance, upgrades and service for customers. They're available immediately.

"Maintaining thousands of desktops and notebooks across our campus can be a daunting task," said Phil Lyles, director of information technology at Clemson University, which is deploying 1,000 new IBM desktops, including the new ThinkCentre S50 and M50 models.
"Reducing maintenance and support costs is extremely important to the Clemson IT staff. Adopting tool-free designs helps save our staff members time, and the potential for utilizing a technology like Rapid Restore Ultra means that our students, faculty and staff members would be able to recover from software problems more quickly, without wasting time with a help desk."

All new ThinkCentre models announced today are equipped with IBM ThinkVantage Technologies such as Rapid Restore Ultra, which help education and corporate customers alike to dramatically reduce the number of deskside service visits and help center calls, resulting in significant productivity and dollar savings.

Higher performance, easier maintenance

The ThinkCentre S50, M50 and A50p all feature a new internal architecture that capitalizes on the hyper-threading capabilities of Intel's Pentium 4 processor, which improves performance by multitasking. New ThinkCentre models also include a tool-free chassis design, which simplifies and enhances usability.

Encased in a durable steel chassis, components inside the machine, such as the hard disk and memory, can easily be removed by the customer, making the PC serviceable and upgradeable, helping to limit the downtime and cost associated with on-site support. Cable routing is bundled out of the way for easy access to components and cable ends and user "touch points" are colored blue to be easily identified by the user.

ThinkCentre desktops also feature an innovative "caddy" that surrounds the hard disk drive, locking it into place without the use of tools or screws. Rubber bumpers on the caddy decrease vibration and deliver quieter operation. Other mechanical improvements have been made to the overall design of the new ThinkCentre PCs, including improved air flow and reduced noise.

Select ThinkCentre models feature IBM ThinkVantage Technologies that improve security and simplify PC "fleet management" for IT organizations, including Rapid Restore Ultra. Rapid Restore Ultra provides a one-button backup and recovery solution that can easily restore previously saved data, settings and applications after a software failure. All of the ThinkVantage Technologies help meet new requirements for flexibility and dynamic reconfiguration of global organizations moving toward an on-demand business model.

Three New Ways of Thinking

The ThinkCentre S50 is a feature-rich global enterprise PC offering image and platform stability in an extremely small form factor. Featuring a space-saving design with dimensions of just 12.2 inches wide by 14.1 inches deep by 3.3 inches high, the ThinkCentre S50 is 62 percent smaller than a traditional IBM desktop and allows for flexible placement, either horizontally or vertically.

Responding to customer feedback, IBM designed the ThinkCentre S50 to feature an internal power supply, two full-size PCI slots, three bays, and an industry-standard desktop optical drive. These features allow customization and easy upgrading, which is uncommon for a small form factor PC.

IBM also today introduced the ThinkCentre M50, with enhanced support for Red Hat and SuSE Linux. The M50 provides stability and manageability for the enterprise and is available with three improved mechanical designs. Each of these models shares a common system board and software image (per operating system), giving flexibility and image compatibility to organizations purchasing various models of the M50. Images on the S50 and M50 are compatible, enabling a single image to be deployed across multiple platforms. Both the S50 and M50 offer global models available in 68 countries and workhorse models that feature 12 months of planned hardware stability.

IBM is also announcing today the ThinkCentre A50p, a multimedia-centric machine offering a wide range of optical drives and video graphics adapters with up to 128MB DDR memory . Later this year, IBM will introduce its value-priced ThinkCentre A30, designed for small and medium-sized businesses, education and government customers who need a robust desktop at an economical price.

Pricing and Availability

The ThinkCentre S50 desktop, ThinkCentre M50 and ThinkCentre A50p are available immediately through www.ibm.com. IBM personal computers are also available through select business partners.
Prices for the ThinkCentre A50 desktop start at $599, prices for the ThinkCentre S50 start at $729, and prices for the ThinkCentre M50 start at $979. Prices for the ThinkCentre A50p start at $699. The ThinkCentre A30, announcing later this year, will start at $469.

May 23 - SPEC Validates AMD Opteron Processor's Claim as Highest Performing Processor. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the official confirmation and posting of performance benchmark scores that demonstrate the AMD Opteron(TM) processor as the highest performing 2P and 4P server processor in the world.

The 57 scores approved and posted by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) validate the AMD Opteron processor-based system's performance lead in several categories including:

-- Highest recorded 2P and 4P SPECweb(R) 99 scores, breaking for

the first time the 10,000 barrier on a 4P system

-- Highest recorded 2P and 4P SPECint(R)_rate2000 scores

-- Best scaling 1P to 2P to 4P SPECfp(R)_rate2000 scores

-- Highest recorded 4P SPECweb 99_SSL scores

-- Highest recorded 1P, 2P, and 4P SPECjbb(R) 2000 scores

"SPEC confirms what we've claimed all along," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "AMD Opteron is the highest performing processor for 2P and 4P servers, providing our customers with breakout performance in 64-bit computing while protecting their investments in 32-bit applications and programs."

On the SPEC benchmark tests, which are considered among the most important for servers, the AMD Opteron processor achieved scores that were up to 144 percent greater than competing 32-bit server processors and 43 percent higher performing than servers based on competing 64-bit processors.

SPEC is a non-profit organization that oversees benchmarks that measure the performance of high-performance computers. Additional details about SPEC testing standards and requirements can be found at www.spec.org. AMD Opteron benchmarks scores can be read at www.amd.com/opteronperformance.

May 23 - HP Claims Fastest Server using Itanium 2 Processor 6M. HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) today announced the world record benchmark result of 707,102 transactions per minute (tpmC) on the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-C benchmark, establishing a new high water mark for commercial transaction processing on a non-clustered system.

At a price to performance ratio of $9.13/tpmC, customers using HP Superdome, Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) 2000 and Windows Server(TM) 2003 Datacenter Edition can achieve industry-leading performance and scalability at a lower cost than any other high-end solution on the market.

Building on their innovation, HP and Microsoft demonstrated the most powerful transaction performance solution with an HP Superdome server based on the forthcoming Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor 6M (code-named Madison), running the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition for Itanium-based Systems and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), with HP StorageWorks MSA1000 storage.

"HP's strong alliances with Microsoft and Intel enable us to deliver enterprise-class solutions based on open standards that meet the needs of our customers," said Scott Stallard, senior vice president, HP Enterprise Storage and Servers. "While competitors continue to tout expensive, proprietary systems, HP's portfolio of industry-standard solutions on IA-32 ProLiant and Itanium 2-based HP servers offer customers the agility, accountability and return on investment they expect in building an adaptive enterprise."

"Microsoft and HP made history today with an unprecedented 707,102 transactions per minute," said Gordon Mangione, corporate vice president for SQL Server at Microsoft. "We are very excited about this result because it continues to demonstrate to customers Microsoft's price/performance advantage over proprietary solutions. This, combined with our world record clustered result, solidifies SQL Server and Windows Server as the true price/performance leader for database systems."

Today's result with Microsoft builds on the performance leadership the HP Superdome server has established since its introduction three years ago. The server is on track to deliver up to triple its current commercial performance over the next several years. Through simple processor upgrades, Superdome customers can benefit from long-term performance scalability, flexibility and investment protection over competitive offerings. This summer, HP plans to release the Superdome server based on the Itanium 2 processor 6M (Madison).

SQL Server and Windows Server have proven world-class scalability in scale-up and scale-out solutions, with leading price/performance across the industry benchmarks including today's benchmark result with HP. The dramatic increase in speed and performance has been fueled by the recently announced 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000. This increased performance comes at a low cost of ownership for customers, as Microsoft server software is more manageable and less expensive to own and operate than proprietary systems. The scalability and price/performance advantage of 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft platforms enable customers to choose software that will grow along with their needs as they deploy data-intensive applications.

HP and Microsoft's solution demonstrates the ability to scale performance across transaction processing workload levels. With today's result, HP and Microsoft hold the top position in single-system TPC-C benchmarks running one, two, four and 64 CPUs as well as the top three positions in clustered TPC-C benchmarks all running Intel Xeon and Itanium processors.(2) This range of performance leadership provides assurance to customers that HP and Microsoft can help customers meet their needs as their IT requirements grow.

More information on Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/.

More information on SQL Server 2000 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sql.

More information about the HP Superdome server and its record-breaking benchmarks is available at www.hp.com/products1/servers/scalableservers/superdome/itanium.html.

May 23 - America Online Launches AOL Instant Greetings Service. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today launched AOL(R) Instant Greetings(TM), a new feature that combines two favorite online activities -- instant messaging and sharing greeting cards.
AOL(R) members can send an unlimited number of free, animated and personalized greetings to others on the AOL service as well as to members of the AOL(R) Instant Messenger(TM) service with the same ease of sending an instant message.

AOL Instant Greetings are not displayed in a single browser window but instead move across the computer screen with rich animation and sound. With a selection of more than 150 characters and scenes, AOL Instant Greetings can be used for any occasion, whether to wish someone Happy Birthday; good luck; feel better; or just to let another person know "I'm thinking of you." They are also great for sharing everyday sentiments such as "feeling happy" or "having a bad day."

"AOL Instant Greetings really take advantage of the best that AOL offers -- fun, convenience and the connection among members -- and we know they'll make a lot of people smile," said Jim Riesenbach, Vice President and General Manager of AOL Core Products for America Online.
"E-Greetings are a hugely popular online activity and with AOL Instant Greetings we're providing another way for people to stay instantly in touch, share everyday sentiments and commemorate any occasion. Over the years, we've also seen firsthand the power of AOL's instant messaging features and their impact on how people communicate. And now, as easily as sending an instant message, AOL members can share a personalized greeting that will animate immediately across the computer screen of their friend or loved one."

AOL audiences send more than one billion instant messages every day and more than 25% of AOL members are active users of online greetings, sending three million online greetings each month. More than 60 percent of AOL members on AOL 8.0 use the service's unique "expressions" features to personalize their instant messages and e-mails with animated Buddy Icons, Buddy Sounds, colorful backgrounds and stationery.

Sending an AOL Instant Greetings message is quick and simple. AOL members can select from dozens of greetings in a number of occasion categories -- from "Love and Caring," "Inspiration" or "Just Because." Members can further personalize their Instant Greetings message with their own text as well as preview an AOL Instant Greetings message before sending it. If the recipient is not online, the AOL Instant Greetings message can be automatically delivered via e-mail.

Availability

AOL Instant Greetings messages are free to send and receive and are available now at AOL Keyword: Instant Greetings. AOL members using AOL 8.0 or AOL 8.0 Plus can send and receive AOL Instant Greetings messages. Additionally, AOL members using AOL 7.0 and AIM(R) users with version 5.1 or later can receive AOL Instant Greetings messages.

For more information, visit www.aol.com.

May 22 - Intel Announces New Pentium 4s and Hyper-Threading Technology Chipsets. Intel Corporation today announced three Intel® Pentium® 4 processors supporting Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology** and a trio of chipsets enabling faster and more feature-rich corporate and consumer PCs at mainstream price points. The new Intel Pentium 4 processors -- 2.80C, and 2.60C, and 2.40C GHz -- come equipped with HT Technology and an advanced 800 MHz system bus that allows information to flow to and from the processor more quickly.

Also launched today were the Intel® 865G and 865PE chipsets, formerly code-named Springdale, supporting HT Technology and Intel's advanced 800 MHz system bus and other industry leading features that deliver excellent performance for desktop computer users. The chipsets improve productivity and enable richer digital media, gaming, and broadband experiences.

The 865G chipset marks the beginning of the new Intel® Stable Image Platform Program unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum in February. Previously code-named Granite Peak, the program provides at least 12 months of chipset hardware and software driver stability for corporate PC buyers. The program provides software image stability that IT managers can use to more easily manage the deployment and maintenance of their PC environments.

The combination of HT Technology, a faster system bus and innovative technologies such as integrated graphics and Gigabit Ethernet for the desktop - plus a new stable platform program - make these computing platforms ideal for corporate and small business PC upgrades and purchases.

"In choosing Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology PCs, corporate IT organizations get more PC performance and responsiveness while minimizing the impact of such essential background tasks as virus checking, email encryption and file compression, resulting in higher performance, manageability and a more secure infrastructure," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group.
"Platforms featuring Hyper-Threading Technology and the Intel 865 chipset reaffirm Intel's commitment to increase IT and end user productivity while reducing the cost of ownership for corporate PCs by advancing the PC at all price points."

Home users also benefit with these new HT Technology-enabled PCs, giving them the power to do more at the same time without sacrificing performance. For instance, users can smoothly record live TV (Personal Video Recorder) while gaming without impacting playback quality, or they can play their favorite game while encoding the latest music in the background. The new platforms also enable such new usage models as editing family video to produce DVD movies that can be shared with friends and families.

The Intel 865G and 865PE chipsets are designed specifically to support the Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology and Intel's advanced 800 MHz system bus. They also include a high-performance AGP8x graphics interface for an advanced graphics experience, integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0* and Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s (150MB/s).
Intel also offers these chipsets with optional built-in RAID capabilities utilizing the latest Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s interface for accelerated disk I/O. Additionally, the Intel® 865P chipset, was also launched today. The Intel 865P chipsets offer the above features with support for Intel's 400MHz and 533MHz system buses.

The Intel 865G chipset supports dual-channel DDR400/333/266 memory, providing exceptional performance across a full range of multimedia and 3-D intensive applications. It also incorporates a new generation of integrated graphics, named Intel® Extreme Graphics 2, and is targeted at the high-volume business and consumer desktop market segments.

Platforms based on the Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology and the Intel 865 chipset are well suited for the next major transition in networking: Gigabit Ethernet. PCs based on these platforms combined with Gigabit Ethernet allow users to finish such network intensive tasks as filing backups faster while simultaneously conducting a database query or performing other processor intensive tasks.
The 865G chipset also offers a dedicated networking bus based on Intel's new Communications Streaming Architecture (CSA). CSA works in conjunction with the new Intel® PRO/1000 CT Desktop Connection to double the Gigabit Ethernet networking bandwidth available on today's PCI bus based solutions.

The Intel 865PE chipset with support for 800MHz system bus and dual-channel DDR400 memory, works with today's advanced AGP8x graphics cards to provide flexibility for consumers, and higher end performance for graphics intensive applications. A third chipset, the Intel 865P, supports dual-channel DDR333/266 memory, AGP8x graphics cards and both 533 and 400 MHz system buses.

For computer makers and system integrators, Intel also announced availability of five desktop motherboards: ATX form factor Intel desktop boards D865PERC, D865PERL and D865GBF, and the smaller micro-ATX form factor Intel desktop boards D865PESO and D865GLC.

Pricing and Availability
In 1,000-unit quantities, the Intel Pentium 4 processors 2.80C, 2.60C and 2.40C GHz with HT Technology are priced respectively at $278, $218 and $178.
The Intel 865G chipset is priced at $44 with integrated software RAID, $41 without RAID. The Intel 865PE chipset is priced at $39 with integrated software RAID, $36 without. The Intel 865P chipset is priced at $36 with integrated software RAID, $33 without.
Systems and motherboards with these processors and chipsets are currently shipping in volume from a variety of computer and motherboard manufacturers worldwide.

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

May 22 - BFG Technologies Announces Two Asylum Graphics Cards Powered By NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 GPU. BFG Technologies, Inc, a leading supplier of advanced 3D graphics cards for PCs, announced today that it will add two new Asylum(TM) graphics cards to its product lineup based on the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) FX 5900 graphics processing unit (GPU) by NVIDIA Corporation.

"The latest additions to the Asylum family of 3D graphics cards deliver the next level of cinematic quality gaming hard-core PC enthusiasts crave," said Scott Herkelman, executive vice president of marketing for BFG Technologies. "These Asylum cards will enable consumers to play current and next generation DirectX(TM) 9.0 games the way they're meant to be played, with all settings maxed out."

"The FX 5900 is able to outpace the Radeon 9800 PRO in all relevant benchmarks and can reclaim the performance throne for NVIDIA, concluded Lars Weinand, hardware editor for Tom's Hardware Guide (www.tomshardware.com) "The card offers unrivaled FSAA speed combined with very good anisotropic filtering image quality and performance, thanks to the new Detonator FX driver, giving it a comfortable lead over its rival."

Asylum(TM) GeForce FX 5900 Ultra - Features include 256MB memory with 256-bit memory bus, and a 450MHz core clock, This card also offers the added flexibility of multimedia and multi-display support with its VGA, DVI, Video-In / Video-Out connectors, Ulead(TM) VideoStudo 6 SE editing software and NVIDIA(R) NVDVD(TM) 2.0 multimedia software. Expected availability in June, 2003. MSRP $499

Asylum(TM) GeForce FX 5900 - Offering 128MB memory with 256-bit memory bus, a 400MHz core clock, VGA, DVI, Video-In / Video-Out connectors, Ulead(TM) VideoStudo 6 SE editing software and NVIDIA(R) NVDVD(TM) 2.0. This card offers all of the top end features and benefits of its older brother, including NVIDIA(R) UltraShadow(TM) technology to accelerate the rendering of shadow volumes which is critical for next generation software titles. Expected availability in June, 2003. MSRP $399.

About BFG Technologies, Inc.

BFG Technologies is a privately held U.S. based supplier of premium ASYLUM(TM) brand 3D video cards based on award-winning NVIDIA(R) graphics technology. BFG Tech is dedicated to bringing the latest high quality, high-tech multimedia products to PC and gaming enthusiasts at competitive prices. BFG Tech's ASYLUM brand 3D graphics cards are available in the U.S. at Best Buy, CompUSA, Wal-Mart, Fry's Electronics and within premium Alienware(R) gaming systems.

For more information about Asylum GeForce FX and other BFG products, please or visit www.bfgtech.com.

May 22 - Panasonic Debuts Centrino-Certified Rugged Notebook PC. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, the leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, today announced the introduction of the Toughbook(R) CF-73, a ruggedized-for-business computer based on the latest Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Mobile Technology.

Featuring the most advanced wireless connectivity options in its class and over 5.5 hours of battery runtime, the CF-73 is a completely redesigned and technologically enhanced successor to the highly popular Toughbook(R) CF-72.

"Once again, Panasonic has taken the industry lead with the world's first Centrino mobile technology-powered, semi-rugged notebook that supports wireless LAN (802.11) and integrated wide-area wireless (CDMA or GPRS) in a notebook weighing less than 6 lbs. In a recent edition of Business Week*, notebook PC failure was quoted as high as a staggering 35% as soon as the PCs leave their docking stations," notes Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company.
"The new Toughbook(R) 73 will provide today's user with powerful notebook performance that is designed to take the demands of being on the road. It is also a presentation portable with video and audio performance equaling that of a desktop with a high-end monitor and detached speakers," comments Poehler.

"And, of course, the CF-73 gives customers a full measure of renowned Toughbook(R) durability," Poehler added. "A user can close the light-weight Toughbook 73, grab the handle and leave the office without having to use a carrying case. The 73 is also durable enough to go through airport security screening without needing the plastic trays for protection. The Toughbook 73 is the ultimate in high-end, full-function, desktop-replacement machines for white and blue collar applications," further notes Poehler.

Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Performance and Power

The Toughbook(R) CF-73 is powered by a 1400MHz Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor with 1MB on-die L2 cache, 400Mhz system bus, enhanced SpeedStep(TM) technology with multiple voltage and frequency operating points, and 256MB of DDR266-RAM (768MB max.).

Wireless-World Ready Connectivity

The Toughbook(R) 73 provides heretofore unheard of connectivity and convenience options in an executive-class notebook computer.

Only two screws control access to a wireless configuration area supporting simultaneous mounting of any two of the following types of devices: Wireless LAN, Bluetooth(TM), or Wide-Area Wireless (GPRS or CDMA). A Diversity Wireless LAN antenna, a Bluetooth(TM) antenna, and a Wide-Range Wireless Whip antenna are all sleekly integrated into the unit's screen case.

Wired connectivity capabilities include an integrated 100 Base-TX/10Base-T LAN port, a 56K V92 modem, two Type II PC slots (one of which can be used by a SmartCard), two USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, ext. monitor port, audio I/O ports , and docking station connector.

Durability, Longevity, And Security By Design

In the Toughbook(R) tradition, the CF-73 is engineered and built by Panasonic to provide maximum reliability and performance for power users on mission-critical assignments. Business-ruggedization features include a full magnesium-alloy case manufactured in Panasonic's own state-of-the-art casting facility, a shock-mounted and isolated hard drive, a proprietary cooling system incorporating an optimized heat pipe and remote heat exchanger, reinforced USB and PC Card connectors, re-engineered and upgraded port covers, and protective ribs on the case bottom.

A quick-release-lever provides access to the unit's hard drive bay and makes user compliance with corporate and public-agency security regulations requiring separate storage for notebooks and data devices easier than ever before.

Over Five Hours of Runtime

The unit's standard 3.8Ah lithium-ion battery pack provides power for up to 5.5 hours of continuous runtime. Up to nine hours continuous operation available with optional second battery. AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz, auto-sensing/switching worldwide power supply included as standard equipment.

Full Three-Year Warranty

Panasonic's Toughbook(R) CF-73 comes standard with a three-year limited warranty including parts and labor and free overnight in/out shipping.

Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be found at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.

May 22 - HP Reports Second Quarter 2003 Results. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today reported financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2003. Second quarter revenue totaled $18.0 billion, compared to $17.9 billion in the prior quarter, and non-GAAP operating profit totaled $1.14 billion, up 4% sequentially.

Non-GAAP operating profit was 6.4% of revenue, up from 6.2% of revenue in the prior quarter. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was $0.29, in line with the company's first fiscal quarter and two cents above recent analyst consensus estimates.

"HP delivered a solid quarter with sequential improvement in revenue and non-GAAP operating profit," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. "Enterprise Systems grew 3% sequentially with nearly break-even results, and HP Services grew 2% sequentially with solid profits. Personal Systems revenue was flat, defying seasonal trends, with sustained profitability. And Imaging and Printing grew 13% over last year, down 1% sequentially in line with normal seasonality, with profit up 1% sequentially.

"One year after the merger, we've reduced structural costs by $3.5 billion on an annualized basis. Our business model is generating a more balanced revenue and profit mix, and our operating cash generation capabilities -- more than $2.5 billion this quarter -- are proving to be stronger than ever," said Fiorina. "Today, HP emerges from the integration a stronger, bolder competitor with our sights set firmly on leadership and growth."

Personal Systems Results

Personal Systems revenue totaled $5.1 billion, reflecting a solid performance in the commercial market despite continued softness in IT spending. Growth in notebooks, commercial desktops and workstations was offset by seasonal weakness in U.S. consumer desktops and handheld devices. Balanced performance in each geography offset normal U.S. post-holiday declines.

Personal Systems operating profit was $21 million, compared to $33 million last quarter -- representing the group's second consecutive quarter of profits. Operating profit was 0.4% of revenue, compared to 0.6% last quarter. HP's business model improvements, including significant cost structure reductions and re-engineered channel programs, have enabled HP to drive competitive pricing in key markets while preserving solid margins.

Highlights of the quarter include significant share gains for HP's commercial and consumer notebooks, as well as new pricing strategies for low-cost consumer desktops and entry-level personal workstations; strong reception by consumers to HP's new low-cost iPAQ h1900 and by enterprises to HP's wireless iPAQ h5450 handheld; and continued improvements in HP's direct business and partner programs worldwide.

More information on this quarter's earnings is available on HP's Investor Relations site at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/investor/financials/quarters/.

May 22 - Worldwide Semiconductor Market to Experience 8 Percent Growth in 2003. Following a relatively strong first quarter in 2003 bolstered by better-than-expected semiconductor sales in March, the worldwide semiconductor market is forecast to grow 8.3 percent in 2003, with revenue totaling $168 billion, up from $152 billion in 2002, according to Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

In the first quarter of 2003, Gartner said the worldwide semiconductor market would grow 8.9 percent in 2003.

"With quarterly sequential growth at about negative 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2003, but likely to turn mildly positive in the second quarter, it appears that the industry is capable of growing in the high single digits this year," said Richard Gordon, research vice president for Gartner's semiconductor research group.
"However, even though some of the geopolitical uncertainty that has been dogging the global macroeconomic environment receded with the end of the war in Iraq, and with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak seemingly more under control, indications about the level of demand for semiconductors in the second half of 2003 remain stubbornly elusive."

Gartner analysts said that businesses are not yet feeling confident enough to make the decision to invest putting a cautious outlook on the onset of the long-awaited corporate PC replacement cycle.

Digital cellular handsets, flat-panel displays and digital video consumer products are expected to have strong growth in 2003. The cellular phone handset application continues to prop up the semiconductor industry, driving above-average device market growth.

More information on Gartner's semiconductor research can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at http://www.gartner.com/1_researchanalysis/focus/semimkt_fa.html.

May 21 - Fujitsu Packs Desktop Performance in LifeBook N Series Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation closed the performance gap between notebook and desktop computing today, unveiling the all-in-one LifeBook(R) N Series notebook.

Packed with a powerful desktop CPU, integrated 802.11b/54g wireless functionality and the latest multimedia advancements, including a DVD-RW drive, a brilliant high-resolution 15-inch Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) display and an impressive graphics solution, this latest addition to the LifeBook notebook family will certainly turn the heads of digital media enthusiasts and mainstream users alike.

The first thing users are likely to notice is the notebook's beautiful screen. The LifeBook N Series notebook is one of the only notebooks on the market to feature a Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment display. The 15-inch SXGA+ TFT MVA display can show twice as much data as standard XGA LCDs and offers CRT-quality color with a 400:1 contrast ratio. In addition, users are able to clearly view the screen from practically any angle.

The LifeBook N Series notebook is also capable of tackling today's most intense applications and 3D games. The notebook includes an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor and an ATI(R) RADEON(TM) 9000 graphics chip with 64MB of dedicated video memory. This powerful combination delivers the ultimate performance and video capabilities comparable to desktop PCs.

Fujitsu offers a variety of configurations, including a model with an integrated DVD-RW drive for under $1,900. All Fujitsu notebooks can be purchased through the company's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

May 21 - Toshiba Announces Satellite M20-S257 with Centrino Technology. The Satellite(R) M20-S257 extends the flexibility and simplicity of mobile computing at an affordable price point. The notebook features the new Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile technology built specifically for the mobile user, enabling an enhanced battery life and integrated wireless connectivity packaged in lightweight form factor.

Modestly priced and designed for customers who need increased mobile computing performance, the Satellite M20-S257 delivers the flexibility needed to stay productive whether on the campus, on the road or at home.

FEATURES: Satellite M20-S257

-- Intel Centrino mobile technology
-- Intel Pentium(R) M processor at 1.30GHz
-- Intel PRO Wireless Network Connection
802.11b(a)
-- Intel 855 Chipset Family
-- 256MB of RAM (expandable to 1024MB)
-- 30GB(b) hard disk drive
-- 14.1" diagonal TFT display
-- DVD-ROM/CD-RW multi-function drive
-- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional
-- Integrated V.92 modem, 10/100 Ethernet and
fast Infrared port
-- Two USB 2.0 ports
-- Weight: 6.01 pounds
-- Optional dual Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b) wireless
connectivity

Toshiba's new Satellite notebook is available through Toshiba's sales team and authorized Toshiba distributors, dealers, retailers or mail-order partners. Pricing: $1,549.
For more information visit the company's website at www.sell.toshiba.com.

May 21 - Fujitsu Unveils World's Smallest Centrino Notebook PC. In what can be considered another milestone in mobile computing, Fujitsu PC Corporation today introduced the world's smallest full-featured notebook PC to incorporate Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile technology.

Starting at $1,549, the new LifeBook(R) P5000 notebook bridges the gap between ultraportable and full-feature computing. At first glance, the notebook looks and feels like an ultraportable. However, this 3.4-pound notebook breaks all the norms. It is powered by an Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor 900MHz and features the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless Network Connection 802.11b and Intel(R) 855GM chipset. The combination of technologies was designed specifically for mobile applications and works in concert to deliver superior performance, wireless capabilities and extended battery life.

To take it one step further, the LifeBook P5000 notebook is equipped with a modular bay that accommodates either a DVD/CD-RW drive, a second battery or a weight saver module. The optional combination drive, coupled with a 10.6-inch wide-format display, transforms the notebook into a full-fledged multimedia solution. While on the road, users can watch DVD movies and burn CDs or they can insert the optional second battery for up to 10.5 hours of battery life. A weight saver also fits into the bay to shed around a half pound.

"From the beginning, Fujitsu has introduced mobile computing solutions that deliver superior performance in extremely small, lightweight form factors," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation. "The LifeBook P5000 notebook continues this tradition. Never before has any notebook offered so much power and functionality in such a small package."

All Fujitsu notebooks can be purchased through the company's retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.

May 21 - Satellite Television Subscriber Satisfaction Continues to Rise. An expanding product line, quality services and competitive pricing continue to remain the key to customer satisfaction and retention in the direct broadcast satellite industry, according to a survey of current DBS subscribers released today by the Taylor Research & Consulting Group during SkyFORUM, the satellite service industry's top financial symposium held in New York.

Of the 1,500 telephone interviews between very recent (within three months) and longer-term DIRECTV and Dish Network subscribers conducted in April 2003, 84 percent indicated overall satisfaction with their DBS service.

DBS scores improved by five percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2002, driven by improvements in such areas as programming channels, trouble-free installation, good value for the money, and quality customer service among the reasons for becoming or remaining DBS customers.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association commissioned Taylor Research to conduct the survey with several goals in mind: to assess the present DBS-cable competitive environment; understand what drives DBS subscription; gauge DBS customer satisfaction; evaluate DBS subscriber programming needs and interests; and, to weigh interest in new technologies, like DVR, VOD, satellite radio, and HDTV.

The survey also found substantial interest among DBS subscribers in several of the new technologies available to satellite and cable customers. The product with strong interest is the digital video recorder, with 27 percent of new and longer-term subscribers interested in the technology.

Other products that customers were interested in were HDTV (23 percent), digital audio radio services (satellite radio) - or DARS -(18 percent), and video on demand (14 percent), which was described to respondents as a service currently available to digital cable subscribers with a per-use fee and pause, fast-forward, and rewind features.

In keeping with results consistent to a similar survey conducted last year, 58 percent of the respondents said that digital cable was not available in their community, and 31 percent were not aware of digital cable at all, whether they lived in cities, suburbs, or in rural areas. Only 24 percent of new DBS subscribers said that they had considered digital cable before subscribing to DBS.

In general, most new DBS subscribers cited lower pricing and/or better programming selection as the main reason they chose DBS over digital cable.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (www.sbca.com) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry.

May 21 - Fujitsu Introduces Indoor/Outdoor Tablet PC. Fujitsu PC Corporation today gave mobile computer users the power to work and play virtually anywhere with the first indoor/outdoor Tablet PC to feature a Reflective front light display. An option for the latest Fujitsu Stylistic(R) ST Series Tablet PC, this unique technology offers extraordinarily clear text and graphics under practically any light condition -- even outside under direct sunlight.

"The latest generation of the Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC delivers on our commitment to anytime, anywhere computing," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation. "The Fujitsu Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC has proven to be one of the most flexible PCs in existence. The indoor/outdoor display adds to this flexibility, transforming not only how but where we compute."

Available only on the Fujitsu Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC, the reflective front light display enhances the 10.4-inch screen so applications can be clearly seen in a wide variety of light environments.
Under direct sunlight, the display gets even brighter rather than becoming washed out. In low light conditions, the display's front light can be adjusted to cut through the darkness and enhance viewability. This adaptive feature gives users the freedom to carry their Fujitsu Tablet PC wherever work or play takes them. Together with a high capacity battery and Wi-Fi(R) capabilities, users can be more productive throughout their day, whether they are on campus or in the field. The optional nine-cell high capacity battery provides up to an impressive seven hours of battery life.

Weighing a mere 3.2 pounds and measuring an ultra-slim 0.88 inches thin, the Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC is small enough to be comfortably carried, yet powerful enough to be used as one's primary PC.
The latest generation features an Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Processor 933MHz - M and can be equipped with up to 768MB of system memory and a massive 60GB hard drive. Users can complement their Tablet PC with a keyboard in the Fujitsu attache case or place it on their desk in the optional tablet dock.

The Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC is currently shipping and sold through the Fujitsu direct sales force, Web site and channel partners. Pricing starts at $1,999 for a base configuration. Models with the indoor/outdoor display start at $2,199.

More information on Fujitsu PC Corporation's complete line of mobile computing solutions is available at www.fujitsupc.com.

May 21 - Online Shopping Decisions Significantly Impacted By Enhanced Security. A new U.S. consumer study from MasterCard International has revealed that enhanced security features are key motivators influencing future online purchasing on retailers' Web sites.

Assurance that personal information would be kept private, a guarantee that consumers would not receive unwanted e-mails as a result of purchases and an extra layer of security for credit card transactions were among the most important factors influencing the degree to which consumers would make purchases online. More than 1,000 consumers participated in the study, "MasterCard Internet Consumer Segmentation Research," which was conducted during fourth quarter 2002.

"MasterCard International is committed to working with Internet retailers to enhance the level of security they can offer consumers and enable them to take advantage of the ever growing Internet marketplace," said Steve Orfei, senior vice president and head of MasterCard International's e-Commerce and e-B2B Center of Excellence. "Internet retailers should take a close look at this study as it indicates that extra security programs and assurances will motivate consumers to shop online."

Key Findings

While motivators to future online purchasing vary considerably by consumer segments identified in the study, research findings indicate that online security is a broad-based issue that impacts all segments. For example, when polled about major factors influencing future online purchasing:

-- Seventy-three percent of study participants agreed that

enhanced security features would influence their decision to

purchase online in the next three months.

-- Seventy percent of respondents are concerned with security and

fraud issues.

-- Sixty-one percent of respondents are concerned that their

credit card number will be intercepted by "hackers."

The research shows that the following security-enhancing features have high potential to alleviate security concerns and to increase Internet purchasing in the future:

-- Privacy assurance.

-- No unwanted e-mails.

-- Extra layer of security for online purchases.

-- Security endorsement on site.

Additionally, the research demonstrates that as the length of time a person spends online increases, the "breadth and depth" of Internet usage increases as well. The least experienced group -- "Technology Skeptics" -- had an average online tenure of 3.8 years and an average of only four online activities performed regularly, while the most experienced group -- "Confident Core Users" -- averaged 5.9 years online and 10 activities.

n addition, Technology Skeptics' activities were mainly communications-related, while Confident Core Users' activities encompassed a variety of areas including shopping, travel and information access. These results suggest that as current users become more comfortable with the Internet, the breadth and depth of their activities will continue to grow.

MasterCard can be reached through its Web site at www.mastercardinternational.com.

May 20 - New Sub-Four-Pound Dell Latitude Notebook Makes Mobile Computing Easier. Customers looking to lug less but still access the latest in notebook computer technology can choose a new ultraportable Dell Latitude notebook.

The Latitude D400, a full performance sub-four-pound notebook computer that comes standard with integrated wireless, Smart Card reader and Gigabit Ethernet, now available to customers worldwide, Dell announced today.

"The D400 is the smallest member of our Latitude D-Family but it delivers big performance and investment protection required by today's IT managers," said John Medica, senior vice president and general manager of Dell's product group. "We hear every day from customers who tell us they want lighter notebooks with no compromises. We designed this notebook and others in the D-Family, with them in mind."

Dell's Latitude brand continues to deliver the highest customer satisfaction ratings for notebooks as scored by Technology Business Research in its quarterly Corporate IT Buying Behavior and Customer Satisfaction Study. For the 19th consecutive quarter, Dell notebooks rank No. 1 in the study, with superior customer satisfaction ratings versus their competitors.

The D400 comes with Intel's Centrino(tm) Mobile Technology, featuring Intel's new Pentium(R) M processor with lower power requirements that contribute to longer battery life, and Intel's PRO/Wireless 2100 (802.11b) solution. Customers can also choose Dell's TrueMobile(tm) 1300 (802.11b/g) or TrueMobile 1400 (802.11a/b/g) wireless solutions. The D400 weighs 3.7 lbs and is priced starting at $1,499.

Innovations across the entire Latitude D-Family portfolio can be found in standard features and chassis design, Medica said. The D400 includes the new D/Bay, an external modular bay that connects optical and storage devices to the notebook via a powered USB 2.0 port. The D/Bay allows for an additional hard drive, floppy drive or optical drive, including the new DVD+RW(f) drives, to be connected to the notebook. This creates a virtual 2nd spindle that can be carried as needed.

The D400 includes an integrated Smart Card reader, Gigabit Ethernet capability, USB 2.0 ports, dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless antennas and optional Bluetooth connectivity. Another standard feature is Dell's QuickSet program, a customizable software application that allows users to easily control power-management settings, monitor system status, enlarge icons for high-resolution displays, and more.

The D400 also is compatible with all the D-Family docking solutions, including the D/Dock, D/Port and D/View notebook stands.

More information about the Latitude D400 and other members of the D-Family can be found at http://www.dell.com/latitude.

May 20 - Logitech Dual Action Pad Delivers Two-Fisted Fun. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI) (Switzerland:LOGN) today announced that the Logitech(R) Dual Action(TM) Pad, previewed last week at the E3 tradeshow in Los Angeles, will be available this summer on retail shelves in the U.S. and at www.logitech.com. Pricing is not yet available.

"Many of today's games require dual analog control, but until now there have been few good dual analog controllers available," said Fred Swan, Director of Marketing for Logitech's Audio and Interactive Entertainment Business Unit. "The Logitech Dual Action Pad boasts a new, smaller design, and is loaded with features that gamers need to help stay at the top of their game, including dual analog control."

The lightweight design features two rubber-capped analog joysticks that provide total control with a silky smooth 360-degree motion, while an eight way D-pad allows for precise movements within a game. In addition, four responsive triggers and six buttons give gamers the right stuff for eliminating the competition with ease. Compatible with both a PC and a Mac, the gamepad offers a "plug and play" USB connection.

The Logitech Dual Action Pad includes the acclaimed Logitech(R) Gaming Software for PC that allows gamers to customize many aspects of the gamepad's performance. Also included on the disc are two software packages from GameSpy Industries, Inc. The GameSpy(TM) Arcade(R) offers many features to enhance online gaming and also includes Roger Wilco(TM), a voice chat application that allows gamers to talk to each other while playing multiplayer online games.

For more information about Logitech and its products, visit the company's website at www.logitech.com.

May 20 - Sampo America Ships Value-Priced High-Performance 50-Inch HDTV Plasma Display. Sampo America, a leading provider of advanced display technologies for consumer and business applications, today announced it has begun shipping its 50-inch PME-50X6 plasma display, the newest addition to its award-winning plasma display family.

Priced at an MSRP of $6,999, the PME-50X6 is an affordable full-featured, high-performance large-format plasma display solution that enables consumers and businesses to experience the space-saving, performance enhancing aspects of plasma technology at industry-leading pricing without having to sacrifice quality and features.

The PME-50X6, which features a 1366 x 768 native resolution, incorporates Sampo's MotionDSC(TM) Digital Processor an advanced digital image processor that generates smooth motion video with minimal video artifacts. The quiet display also incorporates a host of value-added features including: picture-in-picture and side-by-side picture, 3:2 pull-down for film scan conversion, dual high-definition component video inputs, HDTV signal compatibility, user-selectable color temperature controls, a standard DVI-D with HDCP interface, optional TV tuner, and an integrated premium sound system consisting of built-in speakers, integrated audio amplifier and BBE(R) and SRS(R) sound processors.

"The rapid growth of Sampo's market share reflects the fact that we're becoming the go-to provider of high-performance, value-priced video display solutions in the consumer and business segments," explained Brian Ballard, director of sales for Sampo America. "Our customers have spoken and, like the award-winning 42-inch PME-42S6, the addition of the PME-50X6 promises to become another popular solution in both the consumer and business markets."

Addressing the stringent video display requirements of commercial users, Sampo's PME-50X6 features an enhanced set of picture adjustments, accessible through on-screen menus and a full-featured remote control. Other business-friendly features include a wide viewing angle, front panel lockout, and low power consumption.

Designed to provide the best value in the category, the PME-50X6 incorporates a full feature set including: advanced digital image processing, internal video scaler, line doubler, standard DVI-D interface, 3D Digital Comb filter, picture-in-picture, side-by-side picture, 3:2 pull-down, digital zoom modes, dual HD component video inputs, discrete calibration memory by video input, direct input selection keys, discrete power on/off, built-in internal amplification and speakers, BBE(R) Sound maximizer, SRS(R) Sound Processing, bass extension circuitry, selectable fixed/variable audio outputs, and HDTV signal compatibility.

Connectivity options for the PME-50X6 include: composite, S-Video, high-definition component video, DVI-D with HDCP and RGB inputs for computer applications, RGB output for loopout functionality and an RS-232 remote control port.

An optional NTSC TV/CATV tuner module expands the monitor's capabilities to include cable or over-the-air television reception capabilities with convenience functions such as Closed Caption decoding, favorite channel programming, and channel lock and V-Chip parental control.

Sampo's plasma displays are available through specialty audio/visual retailers. The PME-50X6 is now available at a list price of $6,999.

Sampo America is available at www.sampoamericas.com.

May 20 - Coming Soon: The Multimedia Chat Room. Chat rooms may soon really be what their name suggests: places where people can meet and talk at will -- almost in person, but through the Internet. Just as in today's chat rooms it will be possible to see who is available on-line in advance of joining, and participants will be able to exchange written messages with each other.

However, these meetings will also support voice and video communication, allowing an intensity of interaction so far only possible in face-to-face meetings. This is one of the visions shared by some 80 multimedia experts who met last week in Geneva for this year's Spring Forum on Rich Multimedia Communications, organized by the International Multimedia Telecommunication Consortium (IMTC) in collaboration with Wainhouse Research.

A basic requirement for the realization of this vision is the convergence of today's disjoint communication systems. For example, as Gurdeep Singh Pall, General Manager at Microsoft's Real Time Collaboration Business Unit, pointed out in his keynote address, since the telephone system is not linked to the PC, the sharing of applications and data is difficult.

"We have only begun to tap the power of presence. The integration of PC and phone will allow people to be notified via instant messaging about incoming calls, information about the caller to be displayed automatically, and calls to be routed depending on the caller. The information worker's productivity will significantly increase thanks to better information access, sharing, and processing," Mr. Pall said.

Of equal interest is the convergence of the traditional wireline, cellular and WLAN (Wireless LAN)-based, a theme echoed by several speakers, including Jan Buis of Proxim. "Such integration will enable a person to place a call while in her office, leverage the cost efficiencies of WLAN while there, but transparently transfer the call to the cellular network when she leaves the office to drive home."

As presented by Dr. Stephen Wenger, TU Berlin, another key factor in the evolution to the multimedia communications, will be the widespread implementation of new video standards. Paramount among these standards is the new standard H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. Already "consented" by the ITU-T and soon to go to ballot by the International Standards Organization, H.264 yields the same quality as H.263 -- currently the dominant videoconferencing codec -- at half the bandwidth, and promises to supplant MPEG-2 as well. Especially 3G streaming and face-to-face Video application as presented by Amir Wolf, Emblaze, and Peter Jantsch, Vodaphone, will benefit from such new technology.

A very recent development in the industry was also intensely discussed: the acquisition of PlaceWare, a leading Web conferencing company, by Microsoft. This acquisition was announced some time ago, but just closed. Participants agreed that this deal will have a huge impact on the industry. "The increased involvement of Microsoft will put multimedia communications into the centre of public awareness," suggested Denise Persson of Genesys Conferencing. "It will support the strong upward trend in the implementation of advanced multimedia systems we currently witness in the business world and in academia."

Although there was a common feeling that it will take some time before multimedia communications moves from the professional world into the general public, conference participants were confident that these new technologies would soon enter private households. "The chatrooms of the future will be multimedia," said one participant, adding, "Our kids will not use it, they will live it."

Further information on IMTC can be found at http://www.imtc.org.

May 20 - Microsoft, Intel and IP to Bring Change to VOD Server Markets. With Video On Demand (VOD), Subscription Video On Demand (S-VOD), Network Personal Video Recorders (N-PVR), and "Anything On Demand" (X-VOD) all being made ready for widespread deployment by service providers throughout the world, the market for VOD servers is heating up, reports In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com).

The high-tech market research firm expects that efforts on the part of Concurrent Computer Corp., SeaChange International Inc., and nCube to promote the market for VOD services are finally ready to pay off. However, market dominance of these three players will begin to wane out in 2006, as companies that make distributable servers take over the market with lower cost points and smaller form factors.

"The 'big three' VOD server companies have worked hard to establish this market, but Microsoft, Intel and the Internet are catching up, providing lower bit rates for each VOD stream, and higher performance at lower cost points," said Gerry Kaufhold, an analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Network-based Personal Video Recorders (N-PVRs) work best if small, inexpensive, VOD servers are placed out near users, on the edge of the network. Companies bringing these new distributable VOD servers to market include Entone, Kasenna and MidStream Technologies."

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series is being accepted as a new
compression standard for VOD services, providing DVD-like
quality at about 1 Megabit/second, and High Definition TV
(HDTV) at about 5 Mb/s. This reduces both storage requirements
and bandwidth consumption for VOD services, and will make some
new opportunities possible that were not available even just
one year ago.

-- New companies are appearing that have lower-cost VOD servers,
which take advantage of the ever-increasing performance of
Intel's Pentium line of central processing units (CPUs). Many
of these new solutions are using Microsoft operating systems,
development tools, and Windows Media 9 Series, to provide
robust VOD solutions. Internet Protocol has "grown up" enough
to support broadcast quality video services that run over
Ethernet. Specifically, Gigabit Ethernet is finding its way
into many VOD products and services.

-- Linux permits companies to create customized "extensions" to
support VOD, and Linux does not require any licensing fees.
Microsoft has responded to the threat from Linux by reducing
their licensing costs and royalty fees, making Windows-based
VOD solutions much more attractive. Finally, MPEG-4 will,
eventually, reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to deliver
VOD. These five phenomena -- Microsoft, Moore's Law, Linux, IP
and MPEG-4 -- are likely to cause a changing of the guard
among manufacturers of VOD server products during the next
five years.

-- The value of VOD servers was about $196 million (U.S.) during
2002, and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate
(CAGR) of about 32.7% through 2007.

May 19 - Dell's Q1 Revenue up 18 Percent. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) reported its best-ever fiscal first-quarter operating results, recording exceptional growth and profitability in all product and regional markets, and said second-quarter increases should also be strong.

Dell worldwide shipments in the quarter ended May 2 were up 29 percent from a year ago; volumes for the rest of the industry declined an average 1 percent. Growth was robust outside the United States --40 percent in Asia-Pacific and Japan, and 29 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as operating income in both regions nearly doubled to record levels.

The company's 40-percent increase in server shipments was more than four times the average of other suppliers. Dell accounted for almost one-third of U.S. server volumes, and has led the category for more than two years. Revenue from external storage systems was up 65 percent.

"The words and actions of customers are clear," said Michael S. Dell, Dell's chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "They're recognizing the performance and reliability of standards-based enterprise computing, and choosing such servers and storage products at an accelerating rate.

"Dell's unique ability is innovating, integrating and delivering technology with the best possible value, and our execution in those areas has never been better."

First-quarter operating profit as a percent of revenue was 8.5 percent, Dell's highest in two and one-half years. Operating expenses were a record low 9.8 percent of revenue, down from 9.9 percent a year ago.

Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

May 19 - Hitachi Announces 7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies made hard drive history today by introducing new advances in miniaturization technology to create a giant of a drive: The industry's first 7200 RPM mobile hard drive with breakthrough "femto" slider technology.

These developments give new-found mobility to users who were previously "plugged-in" to their desktops for the performance advantage. But users of the new Travelstar 7K60 mobile drive will not have to give up battery life for the additional speed. The new 7200 RPM drive offers power-consumption parity with its 5400 RPM counterpart, due to Hitachi's newly miniaturized femto slider.

The femto slider -- or the tiny flying wing supporting the read/write head above the surface of the disk -- reduces power consumption and increases shock performance, adding to the overall superior mobile experience of the Travelstar 7K60. At 60 gigabytes (GB) of storage, the 7K60 is also the industry's most capacious 7200 RPM mobile hard drive.

"The 7K60 changes the landscape for powerful mobility," said Bill Healy, general manager, Mobile Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "With desktop-equivalent performance, the 7K60 represents the pinnacle of mobile hard drive innovation; it gives notebook manufacturers the key component they've been looking for to develop a compelling desktop-replacement system."

IBM is the first to support Hitachi's 7200 RPM mobile drives and will be shipping them in new, more powerful ThinkPad systems later this summer.

"Travelstar drives have been a staple component of the IBM ThinkPad line, and a consistent contributor to our leadership features and innovative mobile technology," said Peter Hortensius, general manager, Think products, IBM Personal Computing Division. "Our customers demand the best technology, and Hitachi's new 7200 RPM notebook drive delivers, helping to continue the ThinkPad tradition of excellence."

Within the same family, Hitachi also announced today the Travelstar 5K80, which earns its rank among the Travelstar elite with the industry's highest performance and highest capacity at 5400 RPM. The 5K80 offers capacities ranging from 20 to 80 GB. IBM plans to incorporate the Travelstar 5K80 in several ThinkPad notebook models next month.

Additional information on the new Travelstar hard drives and femto slider technology can be found atwww.hgst.com/travelstar.

May 19 - Kanguru Solutions 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive. Kanguru Solutions today announced the release a groundbreaking new product, the 2GB KanguruMicro Drive 2.0(TM), a high speed USB2.0 flash drive with encryption and compression features.

"We are taking USB Flash Drives to the next level with the release of this product." said Nate Cote, vice president of product management for Kanguru Solutions, "This drive is an industry first on four unique levels. First, it incorporates an embedded encryption program (called KanguruGuard) that allows users to create a password protected portion of their drive; second, the KanguruGuard also allows data to be compressed, effectively doubling or even tripling the drive's capacity. Third, it offers the new USB 2.0 standard, providing incredible throughput speeds and last, its ability to store as much as 2GB make it the largest capacity USB Flash Drive available today."

The encryption and compression features are built into the device in the form of two special folders. One folder, called "Secret," allows any data that is placed into it to become both compressed and encrypted, requiring a secure password for data access. The other folder, called "Zip," offers the ability to compress files so the user can compress non-confidential data as well to create more space for more files.

This drive is equipped with 32-bit encryption but DES, 3 DES and Blowfish encryption formats are available to the customer with this product, upon request.

Measuring just 3 inches in length and weighing only 21g, the KanguruMicro Drive 2.0 is an excellent storage solution for mobile users. Starting at $39.95, it is available in capacities ranging from 32MB to 2GB. The KanguruMicro Drive 2.0 is operational with Windows, Macintosh and Linux, offers plug and play capabilities, and is driverless with most operating systems. It also requires no external power and is backwards compatible with USB1.1. Additionally, an optional desktop docking station is available for added convenience.

A division of Interactive Media Corporation, Kanguru Solutions manufactures high quality, secure and portable computer storage peripherals that have provided consumers with secure back-up solutions for more than a decade. Interactive Media Corp. was established in Massachusetts in 1992. For more information on Kanguru Solutions, visit their web site at www.kanguru.com.

May 19 - Gartner Says Worldwide PC Industry to Experience Single-Digit Growth. Despite economic uncertainty, worldwide PC shipments and revenue are projected to experience a slight increase in the second quarter of 2003, according to a preliminary forecast by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT)(NYSE:ITB).

Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to reach 30.7 million units in the second quarter of 2003, a 6.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2002. On a revenue basis, the market is projected to have worldwide revenue of $38.3 billion in the second quarter of 2003, up 2.6 percent from the same period last year.

Gartner analysts said the strength of the global PC market going forward depends on the timing and pace of the global economic recovery, which is struggling to get under way.

"The good news for the global economy is that the U.S.-led war against Saddam concluded more quickly and with fewer damaging economic consequences than many expected," said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Gartner's computing platforms and economics research. "The bad news is that the global economy does not appear to be experiencing the uplift that so many anticipated once the war was concluded, at least not yet."

Gartner analysts said many of the deeper and more fundamental risks to a general economic recovery overlooked in the run-up to combat in Iraq appear to be re-asserting themselves.

"In the United States, prospects for a recovery remain mixed and economists are increasingly split over whether 2003 GDP growth will prove better or worse than 2002," Shiffler said. "The outlook for the general economic recovery would be greatly enhanced were Europe able to engineer some autonomous growth, but the prospects for this remain poor because of weak confidence, the appreciating Euro, and overly tight macroeconomics.

"The SARS outbreak in Asia is already having an appreciable impact on select economies in the region, and there is a rising danger that the outbreak could significantly impact the entire region if intra-regional trade is severely disrupted."

Within the PC industry, the mobile segment is one of the areas vendors are targeting for growth opportunities. Intel has garnered attention with the launch of its Centrino program, and Gartner analysts said Intel's new mobile processor platform will become the mainstream choice of large enterprises.

"However, we do not expect Centrino to boost notebook sales significantly in the short term because its main target, large scale enterprises, usually take at least three to six months to evaluate new technologies," Shiffler said. "At the same time, the Tablet PC, which launched in November of 2002 has not made significant inroads into the market yet. Our preliminary estimates show that Tablet PCs only garnered about 1 percent of the total mobile PC shipments in the first quarter of 2003."

Gartner analysts said PC shipments are projected to reach 136.9 million units in 2003, a 6.6 percent increase from 2002. PC revenue is on pace to total $170.6 billion in 2003, up 3.3 percent from 2002 revenue.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

May 19 - Warner Bros. Studios and Ubi Soft Partner to Launch The Matrix Online in 2004. Warner Bros. Studios and Ubi Soft(R) Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, will co-publish The Matrix Online, the first massively multiplayer online game based on Warner Bros. Pictures' vastly influential Matrix property.

Under the terms of the worldwide exclusive deal, Ubi Soft will distribute and manage the live game operations of The Matrix Online, while Warner Bros. Studios will oversee all story and content development. Both companies will supervise ongoing game development and marketing activities for the game. Following the beta test in 2003, The Matrix Online is expected to launch in 2004.

Set in a virtual, persistent online universe in which millions of players around the globe can participate, The Matrix Online will feature cutting-edge graphics, real-time martial arts combat and a rich storyline that picks up where The Matrix Revolutions, the third chapter in The Matrix film trilogy, leaves off.

The game is currently being developed for the PC by Monolith Productions, an award-winning independent game developer, and EON Entertainment, the company owned by the Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix trilogy.

"The Wachowski Brothers' vision for The Matrix is one that extends far beyond the theatrical trilogy, and the world they have created is so rich that we've chosen to tell inter-connected Matrix-related stories in multiple mediums," said Joel Silver, producer of the Matrix films. "Our goal in collaborating with Ubi Soft is to create a multiplayer online game that reflects the trilogy's highly stylized storytelling and innovative action, taking fans beyond the boundaries of the movie screen and into a 'persistent world' where they can fully explore the vast realm of the Matrix."

The Matrix Online partnership between Ubi Soft and Warner Bros. Studios provides both companies with a unique opportunity to tap into the enormous worldwide potential of online games, particularly in North America and the growing Asian and European markets.

Fans can find the latest information about The Matrix Online at www.TheMatrixOnline.com.

May 18 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. This is another really good week to go out and buy a laptop, desktop, or peripherals.

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

Best Buy has once again switched back to offering 6 Months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $150 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, $100 mail-in rebates on all laptops; and 18 month no-interest financing.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no-interest financing and $100-$200 mail-in rebates on all laptops and desktop packages.
Office Depot has 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $299 and higher.
CompUSA has 6 months no payment, no interest financing on purchases of $199 and higher.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

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

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

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals.

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

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

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

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.2 GHz complete system
$439
-$40
Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.3 GHz complete system
$669
-
Best Buy
1. Best Pentium 4 System
eMachines 2.53 GHz complete system
$789
Best Buy
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.4 GHz with 17 inch monitor
$799
-
Staples
3. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.53 GHz complete system with 15" flat panel and DVD-RW
$1229, $1229
-$250, -$200
Best Buy, Circuit City
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
Compaq 2000+ complete system
$519
-
Circuit City
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
Compaq 2400+ complete system
$769
-
CompUSA
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2600+ complete system with 15 inch flat panel
$1149
-
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

HP Athlon XP 1800+ with DVD/CD-RW

$799
-
CompUSA
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

HP Athlon XP 2000+ with DVD/CD-RW

$849
-
Best Buy
3. Best Low-cost Laptop

HP Athlon XP 2200+ with DVD/CD-RW

$999
-$50
CompUSA, Circuit City
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1199
-
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 (desktop processor) with DVD-RW
$1799
-
CompUSA
Peripherals
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
-$20
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
PNY Verto GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 128 MB
$179
(after rebates)
+$80
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Asylum GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
$99
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$149
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 10000 RPM 36 GB Serial ATA hard drive
$179
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X CD-RW
$69
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 52X CD-RW
$69
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City

 

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

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

May 16 - NVIDIA Unveils New GeForce FX GPU. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today unveiled the NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5900 series of graphics processing units (GPU), the newest high-performance desktop GPU in the award-winning GeForce FX family. With its industry-leading performance and unmatched cinematic feature set, this radical new GPU has advanced the state of PC gaming by transforming the PC into the ultimate gaming platform.

“We are committed to building the best technology for the game enthusiast,” stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. “With the new GeForce FX 5900 series, gamers can experience games at the highest resolutions with the highest visual quality, and know they have the best platform for upcoming cinematic applications such as Doom3. The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 is a true testament of our commitment to technology leadership and to game enthusiasts all over the world.”

Industry-recognized influencers validated the Company’s performance claims by reporting blistering results on the latest game benchmarks. When running one of the industry’s highly anticipated benchmarks—Doom3 from id Software—the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra recorded more than a 45% performance increase over the nearest competitive product.

“NVIDIA’s brand new GeForce FX 5900 beats even its latest competition in all important benchmarks,” stated Thomas Pabst, Founder of Tom’s Hardware Guide. “The new 256-bit wide memory interface allows blazing FSAA performance, while the new driver set provides vast improvements in image quality, especially with anisotropic filtering.”

Anand Lal Shimpi, from AnandTech.com stated, “By combining a 256-bit memory bus with a more efficient architecture and stable, mature drivers, the GeForce FX 5900 shifts the balance of power back to NVIDIA.”

Based on the radical GeForce FX architecture, the GeForce FX 5900 GPU features a number of new technologies, including:

0.13µm (micron) process for ultra-high clock frequencies
NVIDIA compatibility, stability, and reliability
NVIDIA® CineFX™ 2.0 engine with second-generation pixel shaders
NVIDIA® UltraShadow™ technology for accelerated rendering of lighting and shadows
NVIDIA® Intellisample™ HCT for unprecedented anisotropic filtering and antialiasing image quality and performance
256-bit memory interface for unprecedented memory bandwidth

In addition, the GeForce FX 5900 GPU features the industry’s only true 128-bit color precision, delivering studio-quality color to the PC market. NVIDIA also supports the latest Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 and OpenGL® feature sets to ensure unmatched visual quality and mesmerizing 3D graphics.

The GeForce FX 5900 series is supported by NVIDIA’s world-renowned Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)—the industry’s only true binary-compatible software architecture, ensuring software compatibility and stability, enabling the industry’s most reliable graphics platform.

The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 will be available in June 2003 and be offered by a record number of partners worldwide. For additional details and a complete list of partners, log on to www.nvidia.com.

May 16 - NVIDIA Unleashes New Detonator Video Drivers. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today released the NVIDIA® Detonator™ FX unified drivers for the Company’s award-winning line of desktop, mobile, and workstation graphics processing units (GPUs).
The NVIDIA Detonator FX is based on the Company’s world-renowned Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)—the industry’s only true binary-compatible software architecture. This architecture is built to ensure software compatibility and stability, enabling the industry’s most reliable graphics platform.

The NVIDIA Detonator FX drivers deliver significant performance increases and improved image quality, and provide a robust suite of software applications designed to extend and enhance the visual computing experience. Detonator FX provides up to a 30% increase in 3D graphics performance in real-world gaming benchmarks, and works with the entire line of NVIDIA GPUs— from the brand new GeForce™ FX GPUs, all the way back to the five-year-old TNT™ GPUs.

“NVIDIA’s software advantage is the key driver of customer and developer loyalty,” stated Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. “The GeForce FX series of GPUs has set the bar for performance, quality, and features, and with the new Detonator FX we are giving our customers a way to get even more performance and features from their existing graphics cards by simply downloading software from our Web site.”

Along with the increase in rendering performance, Detonator FX delivers improved anisotropic filtering, taking NVIDIA GPUs to new and unmatched levels of image quality. Based on feedback received from industry pundits, NVIDIA’s driver software algorithms deliver crisper, sharper textures, and more vibrant pictures.

“Along with a considerable performance bump in key applications, NVIDIA takes great strides in the image quality department with Detonator FX,” said Kyle Bennett, editor in chief of HardOCP (www.hardocp.com). “In my opinion, the image quality NVIDIA delivers with Detonator FX is second to none.”

Included with the Detonator FX is a complete suite of NVIDIA software applications, including:

nView™ 2.0 multi-display technology – to increase productivity and provide the necessary tools to control the way users access and view applications.

NVRotate™ technology – enabling image rotation on today’s advanced flat panel displays.

NVKeystone™ technology – allowing for real-time image correction on portable projectors and heads-up displays

Digital Vibrance Control™ (DVC) 3.0 technology – allowing users to adjust color controls to achieve accurate, brighter colors under all conditions.

Detonator FX offers unmatched support for the OpenGL® and the Microsoft® DirectX® application program interfaces (APIs)—allowing developers to create content that fully leverages the hardware features of NVIDIA GPUs.
Detonator FX supports the entire TNT, TNT2, GeForce, GeForce2, GeForce3, GeForce4, and GeForce FX consumer line of GPUs, NVIDIA nForce™ and NVIDIA nForce2 platform processors, as well as the NVIDIA Quadro®, NVIDIA Quadro2, NVIDIA Quadro4, NVIDIA Quadro DCC and NVIDIA Quadro FX solutions geared for professional workstation users.
Through UDA, NVIDIA software drivers are compatible with past, present, and future NVIDIA GPUs, and are top-to-bottom compatible with all currently manufactured versions of NVIDIA GPUs.

The NVIDIA Detonator FX drivers are free of charge, and available for download today at www.nvidia.com/drivers.

May 16 - NVIDIA GeForce FX Is the Graphics Processor of Choice at E3. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, announced today that the newly unveiled GeForce™ FX 5900 series of graphics processing units (GPUs) is the overwhelming platform of choice for game publishers and developers showcasing the hottest PC games at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.

More than 600 desktop and notebook PCs in 32 booths throughout the exhibition halls will be powered by NVIDIA GeForce FX GPUs and NFS-7 nForce2 motherboards provided by ABIT Computer Corporation, demonstrating next-generation games such as Tron 2.0, Pirates of the Caribbean, Homeworld 2, Enter the Matrix, Deus Ex: The Invisible War, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Oblivion Lost.

NVIDIA also announced that many of the hottest new PC games introduced at E3 will carry the “NVIDIA: The way it’s meant to be played” (TWIMTBP) seal, joining a growing catalog of titles that are optimized for play on desktop and notebook PCs powered by NVIDIA® graphics hardware.

“The performance, compatibility and reliability of NVIDIA GPUs make them the choice of PC gamers worldwide,” said Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. “By combining leading-edge hardware with software from our ‘The way it’s meant to be played’ program, we’re able to take the guess-work out of PC software compatibility for a better out-of-box experience. The consumer benefits by experiencing these games exactly as they were meant to be played.”

“The graphic capabilities and the technologies that have emerged over the last few years have enabled us to build much larger worlds, and inhabit those worlds with a lot more characters, while still maintaining performance frame rates that gamers have come to expect,” added Ken Balthasar, producer for Battlefield 1942 at Electronic Arts. “NVIDIA GPUs are crucial to experiencing Battlefield 1942 the way it’s meant to be played.”

Introduced in 2002, TWIMTBP has garnered support from the world’s top PC game publishers and developers working with NVIDIA hardware to design, test and deploy their games. Many TWIMTBP games have become best-selling, award-winning titles and the program is supported by leading game publishers including: Activision, Atari, BioWare, CDV Games, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Eidos Interactive, NC Soft, Novalogic, LucasArts, Microsoft Game Studios, Square Enix, Ubi Soft, and more.

Scott Valencia, executive director at CompUSA’s GameFixx commented: “With TWIMTBP, NVIDIA is doing a great job of making a console-like platform connection for PC games. For retailers like CompUSA, this is a great program as we know that games carrying the NVIDIA logo are being played on NVIDIA hardware, provide the best experience, and are less likely to be returned—and that’s great for everyone.”

Epic Games Vice President Mark Rein concluded: “NVIDIA-powered PCs deliver the ultimate expandable high-end gaming platform. Technology moves forward all the time and the great thing about PC gaming is that you can have an upgradeable game system that allows you to experience the latest and greatest games at their full potential. NVIDIA has done a great job keeping their drivers and GPUs compatible from version to version and that means gamers can easily upgrade their systems to new NVIDIA GPUs to keep up with the latest technology.”

For additional details about NVIDIA at E3 log on to www.nvidia.com.

May 16 - HP Widens the View with New Wireless Notebook PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today introduced the Compaq Presario Widescreen Notebook X1000 PC featuring a high-resolution 15.4-inch wide aspect ratio display that breaks new ground in the way mobile users can approach graphics-intensive and multimedia applications.

The Presario X1000 is ideal for working on multiple applications side by side or when editing with digital images and video for desktop publishing or other graphics-intensive work. The widescreen display is 20 percent brighter, features 33 percent wider viewing angles and includes an improved contrast ratio compared to traditional notebook displays

To meet the needs of multimedia users, the Presario X1000 is available with ATI's Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics with 64-MB video memory, JBL Pro speakers and three USB 2.0 ports. The unit also features an IEEE 1394 connection for blazing fast connections to digital camcorders and other consumer electronic devices and an integrated Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMedia memory card (MMC) slot that allows for quick transfer of digital photos, music or other files to and from the PC and digital cameras, printers, handhelds and other devices. Beginning in summer, users can expect to select a unit with a DVD+RW drive.

Powered by Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile technology, the stylish, aluminum-covered Presario X1000 delivers a powerful combination of performance, battery life and wireless connectivity. The notebook is 1.3-inches thin and only weighs 6.5 pounds, making it easy for users to take while on the go. Featuring the Pentium-M processor designed specifically for mobile computing, the X1000 notebook can achieve up to 5 hours of battery life while still providing performance to meet the needs of demanding applications.

The notebook's integrated Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 LAN card provides the foundation for clear and compatible connections across 802.11b Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) networks. Optional integrated Bluetooth(TM) wireless connectivity allows users to synchronize and share their data with other Bluetooth enabled devices, such as HP iPAQ Pocket PCs, HP mobile printers or cell phones, to create their own personal area networks.

The Compaq Presario X1000 can be customized with a full range of options and is available for purchase through the Web at www.compaq.com beginning May 21. The X1000 is expected to be available in retail stores in June starting at an estimated U.S. street price of $1,299 after a $100 mail-in rebate.

May 16 - Other World Computing Introduces Mercury Elite 320GB FireWire/USB Combo Drive. Other World Computing (OWC) today expanded its popular line of Mercury Elite external FireWire (1394a)/USB 2.0+1.1 combo storage solutions with the introduction of a 320 Gigabyte model priced at $459.99.

Additionally, OWC reduced prices on all of the company's Mercury Elite external FireWire/USB storage solutions, with the exception of its 250GB 7200RPM model with 8MBs cache memory that debuted in March. The new prices are from $10 to $50 lower and constitute reductions of up to 14 percent.

New pricing for the Mercury Elite FireWire/USB combination drives range from $149.99 for a 40GB 7200RPM model w/2MBs cache up to $339.99 for a 200GB 7200RPM model w/8MBs cache. Complete pricing and ordering information is found online at www.macsales.com/firewire.

May 16 - IBM Debuts World's Most Sophisticated Server. IBM today introduced the world's most sophisticated server and announced that customers of all sizes will now be able to access the unprecedented capabilities of the IBM mainframe through new on demand services from IBM Global Services.

The IBM eServer zSeries 990, the new flagship of the eServer family, builds on the breakthrough technology of the eServer z900, which rewrote the rules for enterprise-class computing with fortress-like security, rock-solid reliability, and extreme performance in Linux virtualization and automation.

The new z990 is the result of a four-year, more than $1 billion investment in the zSeries platform involving 1,200 IBM developers.

The z990 sets a new standard for enterprise-class computing and will feature industry leadership in:

-- Virtualization -- the z990 architecture can support hundreds
or even thousands of virtual Linux servers in a single box.
That roughly equates to an entire data center on one server
the size of a refrigerator.

-- Automation -- the z990 features IBM's exclusive Intelligent
Resource Director (IRD) technology, which dynamically moves
system resources to the workloads that need them, according to
priorities and objectives set by the customer.

-- Scalability -- a single z990 offers massive capacity and the
ability to scale up and out. It can scale up to process 450
million e-business transactions/day or scale out to manage
hundreds of virtual Linux servers.
A clustered z990 can handle up to 13 billion
transactions/day, exceeding the average
weekly volume on the New York Stock Exchange. The z990 also
offers the ability to turn capacity on and off, allowing
customers to temporarily add server engines during peak
periods.

-- Security -- designed from the ground up to help thwart
intrusion into the system, the IBM mainframe is one of the
most secure servers on the market. A 16-way z990 can securely
process up to 11,000 transactions/second.

-- Reliability -- mainframe reliability is measured in decades,
not weeks or days, and the hardware availability rate for a
clustered zSeries is up to 99.999%, or less than five minutes
of downtime per year.

The z990 is the most powerful and scalable IBM mainframe in the 40-year history of the product, with twice the virtualization capabilities and the ability to do nearly three times the work of the z900, a new "building block" design that allows customers to plug in new capacity without taking the system down, and a dramatically simplified product structure that reduces the number of mainframe models from 42 to 4.

The IBM eServer z990, models A08 and B16, will be available on June 16, 2003. Models C24 and D32 will be available on October 31, 2003. Information on IBM eServer is available at www.ibm.com/eserver.

 

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