Nov 27 - Panasonic's New Toughbook 50 Has 1.9Ghz
Pentium 4. Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, the leading provider
of ruggedized portable computers, today announced the release of the
Toughbook 50 the world's first semi-rugged 1.9GHz notebook computer
with an ultra-high-resolution, 15-inch active matrix screen, durable
and removable hard drive, firewire (IEEE 1394) support, and optional
Smart Card reader.
to meet the graphically intensive needs of military and federal civilian
agencies requiring a notebook computer with no-compromise performance,
rock-solid reliability and security compliant, the Toughbook 50 offers
significantly better performance than previous Pentium 4 models without
any sacrifice in the Toughbook line's legendary durability.
"I'm very proud that our first 15-inch-screen model
is everything that our public and private sector customers have come
to expect in a Toughbook," said Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic
Computer Solutions Company. "The extra real estate required by
that size display creates all kinds of design problems that most of
our competitors--married as they are to their no-name, third-party
manufacturing partners--largely ignore."
"Their marketing analysis runs something like this,"
Poehler noted "Does the screen flex and wobble? Add an extra
half-pound of plastic to the screen case. Does the extra-heavy case
over stress the clamshell hinges? Yes. So, who looks at hinges? Panasonic
looks at hinges. Panasonic engineers and builds its own notebooks--including
the cases and related hardware--and we have never released a Toughbook
that didn't have heavy-duty, dirt-and-dust resistant hinges.
" And we consider things like weight. Despite having
a higher-output Lithium Ion battery, the 15-inch Toughbook 50 weighs
exactly 1/10 of a pound more than the 14.1-inch Toughbook 48 and the
Toughbook 50's cast-magnesium screen case is every bit as wobble and
flex free as the Toughbook 48's."
Pricing & Configuration
Toughbook 50 (Part No. CF-50Y5KNUDM): Mobile(R) Intel(R) Pentium
4 1.90GHz-M processor, 15.0" 1600 x 1200 UXGA TFT Active-Matrix
Color LCD, 64MB VRAM, 256MB RAM, 40GB HDD, FDD, DVD/CD-RW drive, Win
2000 Estimated Street Price: $3,714.
Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile
professional can be obtained at www.panasonic.com/toughbook.
Nov 27 - USB Instant DVD
for Mac Now Shipping. ADS Technologies, a leader in consumer video
editing solutions, today announced its new real-time DVD video capture
device, USB Instant DVD for Mac is now shipping.
While DVD creation was once limited to the latest model
Power Mac G4's with Apple Superdrive and iDVD software, USB Instant
DVD for Mac provides similar features and benefits to older Power
Mac G3's and G4's. Users can now quickly and easily record their home
movies in full resolution DVD-quality video, then author on DVD or
CD recordable discs to share with family and friends.
Available now and priced at about $399 (U.S.), the
external USB 1.1 device enables even inexperienced users to easily
transfer videos from any analog or S-VHS source such as VHS tapes,
camcorders, or DVD players to their Mac.
USB Instant DVD for Macs utilizes hardware-based MPEG-2
compression (the same format used in DVD movies) for smooth video
at full 720 X 480 NTSC (720 X 576 PAL) resolution and stereo sound.
Because the MPEG-2 encoding is done on the fly, render time is eliminated
and the process can be done in a relatively short amount of time.
USB Instant DVD for Mac is available now through ADS
Technologies' network of online and retail channels in the US and
Canada. Pricing for the complete hardware/software kit will sell for
an ESP of $399.
For more information, visit their Web site at www.ADStech.com
Nov 27 - Job Satisfaction
Survey Results from IT Professionals. IDG's Computerworld, the
newsweekly for IT leaders, today announced the results of its annual
IT professionals' Job Satisfaction Survey.
Computerworld polled more than 1,400 IT workers and
managers, and learned that respondents were generally happy with the
essential parts of their jobs, such as compensation, relationships
with their IT peers and supervisors, and physical work environment.
However, headcount reductions and shrinking IT budgets appear to have
contributed to dissatisfaction in other aspects of IT professionals'
Only 24% of participants indicated that they were happy
with their opportunities for career advancement, down from 30% in
the 2001 survey. A staggering 69% did not think they were working
up to their full potential, perhaps due in part to a lack of technical
training, a complaint logged by 45% of survey respondents.
The survey also revealed that respondents were not
immune to the current economic woes, as 56% noted headcount reductions
and 58% pointed to slashed IT budgets at their company over the past
12 months. The poor economy aside, 48% of survey respondents were
satisfied with their job security, and 40% were not even looking for
If they were looking for a new job, few respondents
were eager to leave the confines of the industry, even with the continued
slump in the IT economy. An overwhelming 89% of participants did not
regret their decision to pursue a career in IT, which tops last year's
mark of 60%. In addition, only 8% indicated that they would consider
moving to a position outside the IT industry.
Reasons for the commitment to an IT career can be seen
in respondents' responses about their co-workers, salary and work
environment. A strong majority - 75% - were satisfied with their relationships
with their IT peers, while 59% were satisfied by their relationship
with their supervisor. In terms of salary, 54% of participants were
happy with their wage, while 59% were pleased with their physical
"Even though we know that IT professionals love
their work, and will keep on doing more with less, there's a clear
warning to employers in our survey numbers," said Maryfran Johnson,
editor in chief of Computerworld. "Once the economy strengthens,
that 40% of IT workers who aren't searching for new jobs today will
be out there looking - especially if their own companies fail to provide
career advancement or training opportunities."
The complete results and methodology of the survey
are available in the November 25 print edition of Computerworld, and
online at www.Computerworld.com.
Nov 27 - Poll Shows Personal
Computer as Home's Digital Nerve Center. As holiday shopping revs
up this week, new results from The Harris Poll(R) show that many consumers
in the United States and Europe will be giving and receiving digital
gadgets this year, and many view the personal computer as the most
critical piece of technology in the modern home.
Sponsored by Dell and Microsoft Corp., the 2002 International
Digital Lifestyle Study of 1,500 consumers shows that they view the
computer as the new center for family entertainment, and the digital
springboard that helps connect them with a broad range of new technologies,
from digital cameras and cell phones to home security and lighting
systems. Kids who twenty years ago were the only family members who
could program the VCR are now, as adults, integrating digital technology
into every aspect of their homes.
Though they may own different digital technology products,
half (50 percent) of U.S. computer owners and 41 percent of European
ones say their computer is more important than any other piece of
technology in their home. Younger people give even more emphasis to
the computer, as 57 percent of Americans 18-34 years of age view the
computer as most important, vs. 48 percent of 35-49 year olds and
44 percent of those over 50.
"We've seen a major shift in consumer behavior,
and in today's digital lifestyle, using the computer is where the
action is. It has become the virtual nerve center of the home. Consumers
are using digital technology for both entertainment and convenience
-- from editing digital video to keeping in touch with e-mail,"
said John Hamlin, vice president and general manager of Dell's U.S.
According to consumers, there also is a direct link between their
comfort and skill working with computers. The survey shows that more
than four in five (84 percent) of U.S. computer owners and 69 percent
of European owners say that using a computer has boosted their confidence
in using other technology.
This confidence can translate to additional purchases. Almost 70
percent of U.S. computer owners and more than half (52 percent) of
European computer owners say they are likely to buy a new digital
technology product this holiday season. This trend echoes what experts
view as a generational shift in adopting digital technology.
Consumers are becoming more familiar with the new digital devices
that are expanding the capabilities of their personal computers --
everything from digital cameras and CD burners to digital video recorders.
The computer is now being used to control television and stereos,
run security systems, and order groceries. The trend is growing, with
seven in ten U.S. (72 percent) and European (69 percent) owners expecting
to integrate their computer into more aspects of their daily lives.
To provide a resource for consumers to get the most from the combined
power of digital devices and computers, Microsoft has created a new
series of Web sites with informative and entertaining how-to videos,
and tips and tricks for both novice and experienced users at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/experiences/.
"Digital cameras and digital music players really spring to
life when they are connected to personal computers," said Rogers
Weed, vice president of Windows(R) Product Management at Microsoft.
"And we made easy integration with music and photo devices a
priority. PC owners, especially those running Windows XP, who aren't
using their digital devices to take advantage of the music, photography
and communications features of their computers are missing half the
Complete survey findings can be found at www.dell.com/downloads/us/corporate/press/Digital_Lifestyle.pdf.
Nov 27 - Economy Woes Outweigh Security
Concerns For Holiday Travelers. This holiday season, it won't
be security concerns that are making people shy away from traveling,
it's the economy. According to a national MapQuest survey, while consumer
confidence in travel is on the upswing with half of respondents saying
they have more faith in the safety of traveling this holiday season
than they did last year, economic concerns are preventing many people
from increasing their holiday travel plans this year.
Nearly 36 million people (35.9 million) will be traveling this Thanksgiving
weekend, only about 1.7% higher than last year.(1) The MapQuest Thanksgiving
Travel Survey shows that 33% of people say the economy is preventing
them from increasing the amount they travel this holiday season. Twenty-eight
percent say they don't have enough time and only 10% are worried about
While consumer confidence in flying is on the rise, a majority of
travelers are still choosing to travel by car this Thanksgiving, no
matter how far they have to go. Seventy-eight percent of people are
planning to travel by car, down from 88% last year, and most are traveling
more than 200 miles. Traveling by airplane has increased from 10%
Additional MapQuest findings include:
-- 46% of people are traveling more than 200 miles, 9% between 100-200,
and 20% are traveling less than 100 miles. 24% of people are staying
-- 78% of people are choosing to drive this year compared to 88% percent
-- Flying is on the rise, with 18% going by plane this Thanksgiving
versus the 10% who flew last year.
-- 45% of people say they will travel the same amount they did last
year. 22% say they never cut back on the amount they traveled last
year and don't plan to this year either and 21% plan to increase their
travel. Only 13% say they will cut back on their travel this year.
-- 50% of people say they are more confident about the safety of traveling
this year, 42% are still a little cautious, and 8% are still very
-- Among those who say they are traveling the same or less than they
did last year, 33% cite the economy, 28% say they don't have time,
15% say traveling is too much of a hassle, and 13% say traveling is
too expensive. Only 10% cite safety concerns.
-- The busiest days for traveling will be Wednesday, November 27 and
Sunday, December 1. 33% plan to depart for their trip on Wednesday
compared to 27% earlier in the week, and 26% on Thursday. Most people
(34%) will be returning home on Sunday. Saturday evening is the best
day to travel home.
Throughout this week, updated results of the Thanksgiving survey
will be available on MapQuest (www.Mapquest.com
or AOL Keyword: MapQuest).
Nov 26 - VIA Announces P4PB
Ultra Mainboard. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and
developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions,
today launched the P4PB Ultra Mainboard, VIA's premium-level Pentium®
4 processor mainboard solution aimed at tech savvy PC enthusiasts
who demand the latest cutting-edge performance, connectivity features,
and premium level accessories.
"The VIA P4PB Ultra builds on the success of the multi-award
winning P4PB 400 mainboard by adding enhancements such as ATA/133
RAID, limited DDR400 support as well as VIA's value added premium
accessory kit," commented Richard Brown, Director of Marketing
at VIA Technologies, Inc.
The VIA P4PB Ultra is outfitted with VIA's top-of-the-line Apollo
P4X400 chipset, enabling leading-edge performance features such as
Hyper-Threading support for Intel's new Pentium® 4 processors
running at 3.06GHz and up, as well as AGP 8X support for the latest
generation of high bandwidth graphics cards. Full DDR333 and limited
DDR400 memory support satisfies today's bandwidth-hungry applications
such as 3D gaming, video editing, and ripping digital music.
ATA/133 RAID 0,1 capacity is added through the onboard Promise PDC20276
controller, significantly boosting system Hard Disk Drive performance
and reliability. Select either RAID 0 striping mode to increase Hard
Drive performance or RAID 1 mirroring mode for data back-up and increased
Support for up to ten USB 2.0 ports is made possible through the
combination of the onboard VIA VT6202 USB 2.0 controller and the VT8235
South Bridge with integrated USB 2.0 support. Connectivity is provided
through two I/O back panel ports and onboard pin-headers accommodating
up to eight additional ports. Network connectivity is provided through
the combination of VIA's integrated 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet MAC and
onboard VT6103 PHY. An onboard C-Media CMI8738 audio codec provides
six channels of studio quality, crisp, digital surround sound and
supports both optical and S/PDIF outputs.
Detailed product information about the complete VPSD product line
is available at the VPSD website at www.viamainboard.com.
Nov 26 - Dell Ships First in a Family
of Server Blades. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced it is now
shipping the PowerEdge(tm) 1655MC, an innovative server 'blade' that
packages the performance of as many as 12 Intel(R) Pentium(R) III
processors with simplified server deployment and management software.
The server takes up just five-and-a-quarter inches (3U) and is ideal
for large server farms, server consolidation projects, thin-client
computing and high-performance compute clusters. The first in Dell's
broad modular server line, the PowerEdge 1655MC consists of an enclosure
with six, dual-processor server blades, SCSI hard disk drives with
integrated hardware RAID, hot-plug redundant power supplies and cooling
fans, an integrated management card and redundant Ethernet switches.
"Dell's new PowerEdge server blades are designed with the customer
in mind," said Mike Fister, senior vice president and general
manager, Intel Enterprise Platforms Group. "Their lean, innovative
design and leading software features will co-exist with today's server
deployments and will help ease the heavy deployment and maintenance
burden carried by today's enterprise I.T. managers."
The single enclosure lowers hardware expenses associated with comparable
dual-processor, 1U rack servers by nearly 30 percent because components,
such as power supplies, cooling fans, management cards and network
switches, are shared across the six server blades. In addition, the
PowerEdge 1655MC includes hardware and software features to help ease
administrative and management tasks for customers.
"Taking direct feedback from our customers around the world,
we designed the PowerEdge 1655MC to seamlessly integrate into existing
data centers, enabling co-existence with traditional rack-mounted
servers," said Randy Groves, vice president of Dell's Enterprise
Systems Group. "This innovative design will address issues our
data center customers face, reducing cables by up to 80 percent and
rack space by nearly 50 percent, while offering a strong set of server
management features to ease deployment and maintenance."
Pricing and Availability
The PowerEdge 1655MC server is available with prices starting at
just $3,298 for an enclosure and one server blade. Operating systems
supported include Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows
2000 Advanced Server and Red Hat Linux. Additional information is
available at www.dell.com/poweredge.
Nov 26 - Free Kodak EasyShare Software
Enhanced for all Printers. Eastman Kodak Company today announced
the introduction of its enhanced Kodak EasyShare software just in
time for one of the busiest picture-taking times of the year -- the
Not simply an editing tool, the Kodak EasyShare software lets consumers
easily print Kodak-quality pictures at home or online with the touch
of a button, organize pictures and e-mail, regardless of the level
of digital photography experience they have. Both the free download
and the CD-ROM version, offered for a nominal fee of $4.95 plus shipping
and handling, are available by visiting www.kodak.com/go/easyshare.
Consumer research indicates that easy uploading and the ability to
print high-quality photos are the two most important purchase considerations
for potential digital camera buyers. Last year, Kodak EasyShare solved
the easy uploading challenge with the EasyShare docking station. Today,
Kodak is focusing on the challenge of printing and photo management
for the growing number of digital camera users.
"Digital imaging is becoming mainstream yet consumer frustrations
are common," said Nancy Carr, vice president of software and
services for Kodak's Digital & Applied Imaging Division. "Consumers
want to find their digital images quickly, they want to share their
images easily and they want to get high-quality prints, especially
during the holiday season. Kodak EasyShare software is designed to
easily lead users through the digital photography experience with
the one-touch simplicity they have come to expect from Kodak."
According to Lyra Research, 25 billion digital pictures will be saved
worldwide in 2002; that figure is expected to grow to 73 billion by
2006. "Imagine how challenging it is becoming to put together
a memory book with your favorite photos," said Ed Lee, Director,
Lyra Digital Photography Advisory Service. "Software solutions
are the key to finding your favorite digital pictures for printing
and sharing as your collection grows. If you do not have a way of
finding a picture, then that picture no longer has value."
New Kodak EasyShare Software Features
The Kodak EasyShare software's One Touch to Better Pictures feature
can turn any home printer into a Kodak-quality printer, delivering
rich, vibrant colors and outstanding print quality. Designed for use
with Kodak Ultima or Premium Inkjet Paper, One Touch to Better Pictures
technology color matches the image and changes the printer driver
settings to ensure the best photo print - all at the touch of one
It's also easy for consumers using the Kodak EasyShare software to
get professionally processed prints made from their favorite digital
shots. They can select the "Order Prints Online" tab and
instantly upload their pictures over the Internet to the EasyShare
Print Center or their favorite online photo retailer. Consumers can
then collect the finished prints (from 4" x 6" to 20"x30"
poster size, depending on service) from their local store or have
them sent directly to their home.
In addition, the software gives consumers the ability to retrieve
lost and forgotten photos and JPEG files trapped on their hard drive.
Once the EasyShare software is loaded, it scans folders, locates files
and enables users to easily pull all their digital images into "My
For additional information about Kodak, visit www.kodak.com.
Nov 26 - Consumers Willing
to Pay More for Better Internet Service. New research data on
consumers' spending and satisfaction levels with Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) indicates that consumers perceive differences in
the quality of service from different ISPs.
Users of Internet service from Road Runner and Cox Cable report the
highest satisfaction levels and the highest spending levels of all
top-tier ISPs, according to respondents of the July 2002 telecommunications
study by Solomon-Wolff Associates.
"In many communications services, we see a lower level of satisfaction
among those who pay more for a service," reports S. Joey Wolff,
partner, Solomon-Wolff Associates. "The high satisfaction levels
here are an indicator that the customers of Road Runner and Cox Cable
feel that they are getting a better value even though they are spending
more. Internet users can get very inexpensive service if they want,
but those using dial-up and discount services are less satisfied."
In the past two years, customer satisfaction levels for ISPs have
steadily increased, according to Solomon-Wolff Associates. In July
2002, almost one third of respondents reported that they are completely
satisfied with their ISP service. In addition, customers said that
their spending on ISPs had increased from an average of $19.44 in
July 2000 to $26.73 in July 2002.
"The increases in satisfaction and spending seem directly correlated
to the increased use of broadband services," said Wolff. "Respondents
using cable modem and DSL services pay more and have higher satisfaction
levels than those using dial-up services."
Nov 26 - Visit the "NORAD Tracks
Santa" Site and Prepare to Follow Santa. As Santa and his
reindeer embark on their annual trip, Internet users around the world
can track his voyage. Today, The North American Aerospace Defense
Command (NORAD) launched its "NORAD Tracks Santa" Web site,
located at www.noradsanta.org and
on America Online at Keyword: Track Santa, to give believers of all
ages a head start in preparing for its special Christmas Eve mission.
As it has done for more than 40 years, NORAD will track Santa Claus
as he makes his annual worldwide journey on Dec. 24. Along with conducting
its critical mission of protecting U.S. and Canadian airspace, NORAD
performs this special duty for children around the world every year.
On Christmas Eve, the site will feature 25 key stops that Jolly Old
St. Nick makes around the globe, beginning by flying over the Aleutian
Islands on his way to the South Pacific and ending in Hawaii with
visits to such cities such as Moscow, Athens, Washington D.C., Seattle
and Vancouver Island.
The "live" video clips start on Dec. 24 at 5:00 a.m. ET.
and are updated regularly until 3:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 25. In addition,
viewers will be able to hear the voice of teen singing sensation Aaron
Carter, who will be participating as a guest Santa tracker, as he
provides updates of Santa's progress at key points along his journey.
Beginning today, NORAD welcomes visitors to the site to get into
the holiday spirit and to calibrate their computers so they will be
prepared to view the live videos on Christmas Eve. Visitors can learn
a wealth of information about Santa, including what snacks he eats,
how he visits so many homes in one night, and how NORAD does its tracking.
Hosted by America Online, www.noradsanta.org
(AOL Keyword: Track Santa) features graphics and animations by Analytical
Graphics, Inc. (AGI), created using their aerospace analysis and visualization
software, Satellite Tool Kit(R) (STK). Etheriel Web Marketing and
Ampersand Creative jointly designed the site, which is available in
English, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Globelink
International Services provided the translations.
"Each year the thrill of spreading Christmas joy just gets better
and better," says Maj. Douglas Martin, Santa project coordinator
at NORAD headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. "This year we've
added even more excitement by recruiting teen singing sensation Aaron
Carter as a guest Santa tracker."
Nov 25 - AMD Announces `AMD Athlon 64'
As New Brand Name. AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced it has selected "AMD
Athlon 64" as the brand name for its next-generation processor
for desktop and mobile PCs, formerly code named "Clawhammer."
The upcoming AMD Athlon(tm) 64 processor is expected to be the industry's
first and only 64-bit, x86 PC processor for desktop and mobile computing.
Desktop and mobile PCs built on the AMD Athlon 64 processor will be
able to run 64-bit applications at full performance and simultaneously
run 32-bit software applications with no performance penalty. It will
enable the benefits desktop and mobile PC users want such as quicker
loading of applications and better multi-tasking. Users will enjoy
vivid realism and richer sound on digital entertainment such as games,
streaming video and audio, DVDs and music.
'AMD Athlon 64' brand name builds on the familiarity and reputation
of the AMD Athlon processor and immediately conveys to customers the
performance and technical superiority of its 64-bit computing capability,"
said Ed Ellett, vice president of client business segment for AMD's
Computation Products Group.
Customer requirements are leading straight to 64-bit computing: more
powerful and data-intensive applications; the phenomenal growth of
data that must be collected, analyzed, stored and managed; and the
decreasing price of memory devices.
"There's unstoppable momentum building towards 64-bit computing
because it will overcome the inherent limitations of 32-bit systems,"
said Ellett. "The upcoming AMD Athlon 64 processor will bring
the performance benefits of 64-bit computing within reach of all desktop
and mobile PC users."
Another benefit of AMD's solution is investment protection. When
customers are able to buy an AMD Athlon 64 processor-based system,
they will buy a PC with a future. Their technology investment will
be able to meet their computing needs for years to come.
"Neither PC consumers nor application developers want to start
from scratch," said Ellett. "They want backward compatibility
to protect current investments. The upcoming AMD Athlon 64 processor
is built on existing standards, enabling investment protection and
lower total cost of ownership and development."
The AMD Athlon 64 processor will include a number of technology innovations
that provide these benefits. A highly scalable system bus using HyperTransport(tm)
technology is designed to provide more than one and a half times the
throughput of other competing technologies. And an integrated memory
controller that will boost performance by directly connecting the
processor to the memory and dramatically reducing memory latency.
In April, AMD announced "AMD Opteron" as the brand name
for its enterprise-class processor for workstations and servers, formerly
code named "SledgeHammer."
Systems featuring the upcoming AMD Athlon 64 processor are planned
to be available in late first quarter 2003 or early second quarter
2003. Systems featuring the upcoming AMD Opteron processor are planned
to be available in the 1H03 for the server and workstation markets.
About the AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor
The upcoming AMD Athlon 64 processor will mark the introduction of
the industry's first 64-bit, x86 technology implementation for desktop
and mobile PCs. The AMD Athlon 64 features a high-speed, scalable
system bus using HyperTransport technology, which increases overall
performance by removing or reducing I/O bottlenecks, increasing bandwidth
and reducing latency. The AMD Athlon 64 processor will include an
integrated memory controller, which can boost performance by directly
connecting the processor to the memory and dramatically reducing memory
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.
Nov 25 - Unreal Tournament 2003 Demoed
on Athlon 64. In a keynote address to the information technology
industry at COMDEX, Hector Ruiz, AMD (NYSE: AMD) president and chief
executive officer, asserted that all technology industries must refocus
on delivering solutions that are truly driven by customers and their
"All of us here today must make a choice," said Ruiz. "We
can continue to do business the old way, or we can choose a new direction
to move the technology industry as a whole forward. I urge you to
demand that those companies who are currently serving you today begin
developing technology not for its own sake. Not in isolation from
the real world. But in line with what you are really trying to do."
To illustrate the value of AMD's customer centric approach, Ruiz
was joined by partners Epic Games, Gibson Guitar Company, IBM, George
Lucas' JAK Films and NVIDIA(R), along with customers Cray Super Computing,
China Basic Education and Northeast Utilities. Executives from each
of the companies joined Ruiz in demonstrating how close collaboration
with AMD has increased their revenue opportunities by maximizing the
relevancy of their products for end-users.
Live demonstrations during the event included 64-bit versions of
Epic Games Unreal Tournament 2003 and IBM DB2 software -- software
that is available today -- running on AMD's future 64-bit microprocessors,
illustrating the benefits of 64-bit computing for today's real-world
Unreal Tournament was demonstrated running on a 64-bit AMD Athlon(TM)
microprocessor, with audience members seeing the power this upcoming
processor is expected to bring to consumer-focused applications. IBM
DB2 was demonstrated running on a 64-bit AMD Opteron(TM) microprocessor,
showing the dramatic performance increase this upcoming processor
is expected to bring to enterprise-class computing environments.
An Industry in Transformation
Ruiz's presentation further outlined AMD's strategic focus in light
of today's manufacturing economics.
With the average transistor costing approximately one-millionth of
a penny, and approximately 100 million transistors now fitting on
the upcoming AMD Opteron microprocessor, semiconductor strategies
can no longer be defined solely by making transistors smaller and
cheaper. According to Ruiz, the primary value proposition now rests
with the customer.
The shift to a customer-focused value proposition is driven by a
growing majority of consumer products that are now mini-computers
dependent on software and silicon to define their usefulness, such
as the latest cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital
television and automotive telematic systems.
Further, the growing importance on connectivity is accelerating the
movement towards a new, "connected business model" in which
success is determined by the number and quality of partnership relationships.
Ruiz argued that Metcalfe's Law -- which says the overall value of
a network increases exponentially as devices are added to it -- is
the new rule of engagement that will set the standard for excellence
in the industry in coming years.
"In my view, Metcalfe's Law will set the standard for excellence
in our industry and for our customers in the years to come" said
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.
Nov 25 - Symantec Delivers New Norton
Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC),
the world leader in Internet security, today announced Norton Internet
Security 2003 Professional Edition, the tightly integrated online
security and privacy suite for small businesses, professionals, and
In addition to introducing spam filtering, automatic virus removal,
and a simplified user interface, Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional
Edition features data recovery and cleaning, advanced Web tools, and
enhanced productivity controls to enable small businesses to maximize
their online experiences while protecting against Internet threats.
Norton Internet Security Professional Edition includes a full version
of Norton AntiVirus 2003 Professional Edition with its powerful data
protection and recovery tools. These advanced features allow users
to protect and recover important applications and files from both
accidental deletion and virus damage. In addition, small businesses
and advanced users will be able to protect the confidentiality of
their critical sensitive data by digitally shredding files that are
no longer needed.
To ensure increased productivity, Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional
Edition also features new Web tools that maximize hard drive space
and keep dial-up connections alive while online. Web Cleanup gets
rid of temporary cache files, history items, and cookies with the
click of a button. Connection Keep Alive prevents dial-up Internet
connections from timing out by simulating online user activity during
periods of inactivity.
As a result, users can read lengthy online articles and complete other
online activities without being disconnected by their ISP. Connection
Keep Alive is especially useful for the business traveler who accesses
e-mail via a dial-up connection while on the road.
Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition also includes
Norton Privacy Control, which offers new privacy protection capabilities
such as blocking confidential information from being sent to unsecured
Web sites or through outgoing e-mail messages, Microsoft Office attachments,
or Instant Messaging systems.
Also featured is Norton Spam Alert, which allows users to filter out
annoying and time-consuming spam e-mail messages. Usability enhancements
to Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition include a simplified
user interface, the ability to block all Internet traffic with the
push of a button, and a visual security monitor.
Other important features include Automatic LiveUpdate and Network
Notification. Automatic LiveUpdate checks for and downloads new virus
definitions whenever the user is online, providing automatic protection
against new Internet threats without interrupting work. Network Notification
alerts users whenever their computer connects to a new wireless network.
This is particularly important for the mobile professional who uses
a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop in an airport, hotel and other public place
that offers a public wireless network. The user may not otherwise
know that their system has joined the network, making them potentially
vulnerable to hacking attempts.
Pricing and Availability
Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition has an estimated
retail price of US $99.95 and is now available for preorder from Symantec's
online store at www.symantecstore.com.
Current users of Symantec software as well as competitive products
can take advantage of a $30 mail-in rebate when they upgrade to Norton
Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition. Customers are expected
to be able to purchase Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional
Edition from other online retailers and retail locations in early
Nov 25 - HP Reports 4th Quarter 2002 Results.
HP (NYSE:HPQ) today reported financial results for its fourth fiscal
quarter ended Oct. 31, 2002. The company reported fourth quarter revenue
of $18.0 billion, compared to $16.5 billion in the prior quarter.
Sequentially, revenue increased 9%, while pro forma gross margin increased
from 25.7% to 26.6%. GAAP gross margin increased from 24.9% to 26.5%.
Pro forma earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was 24 cents,
compared to 14 cents in the third quarter and 8 cents in the year-ago
period on a combined company basis. This represents a pro forma net
earnings improvement of 72% sequentially and 203% year over year.
GAAP net earnings before extraordinary items improved 364% year over
Reported GAAP EPS was 13 cents per diluted share, versus a loss of
67 cents last quarter and a loss on a combined company basis of 17
cents in the year ago period.
"We are proud of our progress," said Carly Fiorina, HP
chairman and chief executive officer. "We delivered solid results
in a tough market. The HP team is executing, customers are responding
and we're beginning to deliver on the promise of the merger. We feel
good about our trajectory."
"HP's revenue grew sequentially in every business and in every
region," Fiorina stated. "Operating profit improved sequentially
in Enterprise Systems, Personal Systems, HP Services, and Imaging
and Printing. Cost structure improvements are helping us compete more
aggressively, improve our market position and grow top line revenues;
and HP generated $1.5 billion in cash from operations in the quarter."
Personal Systems cut its operating loss by more than 50 percent sequentially,
continued to make progress in direct distribution, stabilized the
channel with HP's new partnerONE program, grew sequentially in both
consumer and commercial PCs, managed channel inventories lower, and
reinforced the company's leadership in innovation with successful
new product launches.
Enterprise Systems showed solid revenue and profit improvement in
a weak IT market with quarter-over-quarter growth in every region
and in every business unit, reducing operating losses by more than
60% sequentially. HP Services returned to double-digit profitability
in the quarter and posted continued good growth in managed services.
Meanwhile, Imaging and Printing posted another record quarter with
double-digit sequential growth in revenue and profit in every region,
and revenue and share gains across all businesses.
HP's 30 largest new business contracts in the quarter - with an average
value of more than $120 million each - represent more than $3.7 billion
in new long-term revenue.
"Six months into the merger, HP has completed the alignment
of our global sales force with a single compensation plan, met or
exceeded all integration targets, introduced over 100 new products,
added roughly 1,400 patents to our worldwide patent portfolio of over
17,000 patents, introduced comprehensive three-year product roadmaps
and managed complex product transitions - all while relentlessly focusing
on customers," Fiorina said.
"We're cutting costs, boosting productivity, delivering more
for our customers and shareowners, and investing in the future. Our
strategy is working and we're picking up momentum," Fiorina stated.
Merger related cost savings for the second half of 2002 were $651
million, 30% above plan. The company completed 12,500 net workforce
reductions in the half, 25% above plan. Of the $651 million of merger-related
costs savings, $257 million came from workforce reductions, $243 million
from direct and indirect procurement savings, and $151 million from
other savings, including marketing program cuts and facilities closures
in conjunction with our restructuring plans. The company continues
to target $3.0 billion of total cost savings.
The company is on track to meet 17,900 targeted job reductions by
the end of fiscal 2003, in part due to an additional 1,100 positions
that are part of a voluntary workforce reduction primarily in Japan
in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2002.
For more information, visit www.hp.com.
Nov 25 - ATI Drives Graphics Performance
for Linux Users With New Unified Driver. ATI Technologies Inc.
(NASDAQ:ATYT)(TSX:ATY) today continued its commitment to deliver the
industry's most advanced, high-quality graphics with the release of
its Unified Linux Driver Version 2.4.3. The new unified driver allows
commercial and consumer end-users to reap the performance benefits
from stable Linux-based systems, creating a richer graphics experience.
"ATI is advancing the on-screen graphics experience for Linux
users with today's new Unified Linux Driver 2.4.2," said Michael
Robertson, Chief Executive Officer Lindows.com, Inc. "By releasing
their Linux driver, ATI is delivering superior graphics performance
to all market segments acknowledging that Linux is rapidly becoming
a real and viable choice of the desktop."
The new unified driver provides robust OpenGL(R) 2.0 support for
many of ATI's award-winning graphics boards including:
-- RADEON(TM) 8500,
-- RADEON(TM) 8500LE,
-- ALL-IN-WONDER(R) RADEON(TM) 8500DV,
-- RADEON(TM) 9000 PRO,
-- RADEON(TM) 9500 PRO,
-- RADEON(TM) 9700 PRO,
-- ALL-IN-WONDER(R) 9700 PRO and
-- FIRE GL(TM) family of workstation products.
ATI's Unified Linux Driver 2.4.3 is available for free download at
Nov 24 - Sunday Shopping
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. It's
a very good weekend to go out and buy a new computer. Prices
were much lower this week than last week. Details follow.
Laptops - Low-end and high-end laptops prices
were much lower than last week.
Desktops - Prices on 1.7 GHz Celerons were lower.
Pentium 4 desktop prices were a little lower than last week's. No
new Media Center PCs, that run Windows XP Media Center, were advertised
AMD desktops were advertised this week, and prices were very good.
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 is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase.
They also have 13 month no-interest financing on all laptops and desktop
Circuit City is offering
12 month no-interest financing for all laptop and desktop package
purchases. They are also offering instant $100 gift cards for all
AMD processor compute purchases..
has 6 months no payments, no interest financing for new computer purchases
CompUSA is giving 18 month no
interest financing for desktop complete systems and laptops $749 and
higher. They are also offering $100 mail in rebates on AMD processor
desktop packages and $200 mail in rebates on AMD processor laptops.
Staples is offering 12 month no interest
financing for complete desktop systems and laptops.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
27 ** Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Celerons. The 1.7
GHz Celeron has replaced the 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons in the low-end
retail market. As the 1.7 GHz Celeron is socket compatible with
the Pentium 4, it is potentially upgradeable to faster Pentium 4 processors.
The older 1.4 GHz and slower Celerons cannot be upgraded without a
Again, most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion
slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few
empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult
to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that
do not have integrated video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based
system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you
will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another
If you choose the $600 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in
mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Laptops - AMD Duron, AMD Athlon 4, and Intel Pentium III
laptops should only be purchased at significant discounts. These processors
have been superseded by the newer mobile AMD Athlon XP+ and the Intel
Pentium 4-M processors.
About Windows XP. It has been a little over 12
months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows
XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For
more information on Windows XP see our Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before
you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth
discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
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
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
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.7 GHz complete system
Compaq 2.0 GHz complete system
1. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system
Best Buy, Circuit
2. Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.53 GHz complete system with DVD+RW
Best Windows XP Media Center
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ complete
Athlon XP System
HP 2200+ complete
Athlon XP System
Sony 2200+ complete
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq Athlon XP 1500+ with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba Celeron 1.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.0 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4-M 2.4 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 60 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 48X CD -RW
Office Depot, Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
Raptor 64 MB GeForce 4 Ti4200
Best Sunday Deal
ADS Pyro 1394 External Drive Kit
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.