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Daily Computer News and Rumors

October 25-31 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
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Oct 31 SanDisk and Fujifilm Sign xD-Picture Card Agreement
Oct 31 Epson Introduces EPSON Stylus Photo R800 Printer with New UltraChrome Hi-Gloss Inks
Oct 31 FirewireDirect RAID Speed Bar Tops 60MB/s With First FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 System
Oct 31 Kodak Survey Finds Nearly 60 Percent of Advanced Amateur Photographers Using Film
Oct 31 First Microsoft Xbox Games with Fonix Speech Now Available
Oct 30 GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Set New Performance Standards
Oct 30 Dell Adds Features, Performance to Its Dimension XPS and Flat-Panel Product Lines
Oct 30 Atheros Unwires Xbox for High-Performance Wireless Gaming
Oct 30 BFG Technologies Introduces Sniper Boomslang 2100 PC Gaming Mouse
Oct 29 HP Gains Market Share in PDA Sales
Oct 29 Other World Computing Announces New 700Mhz G4 Processor Upgrade
Oct 29 New Adobe Photoshop CS Adds Essential Capabilities
Oct 29 SMC's New HomePlug Networking Products Feature Easy-to-Install Connectivity
Oct 29 Consumer Technology Spending to Rise in 2004
Oct 28 Dell Introduces Digital Jukebox
Oct 28 Fujitsu Offers Low-Voltage AMD Athlon S2000 LifeBook
Oct 28 Canon Packs Photo Quality in Its New Entry-Level Multifunction MP370 and MP360
Oct 28 All-New Adobe Creative Suite Now Shipping
Oct 28 Trend Micro Announces PC-cillin Internet Security 2004
Oct 27 Best Buy Expands Digital Cable Services
Oct 27 Hitachi Gets Its Game on with Launch of PC Gaming Website
Oct 27 PGP Corporation Announces Release of PGP Desktop 8.0.3
Oct 27 Why is Intel saying 64-bit is not for desktops?
Oct 26 Sunday Shopping Watch


Oct 31 - SanDisk and Fujifilm Sign xD-Picture Card Agreement. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) today announced it signed an agreement with Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., that covers the xD-Picture Card(TM) format.

Under the agreement, Fujifilm and SanDisk established a framework for collaboration in the manufacture and distribution of Fujifilm-branded xD-Picture Cards. SanDisk will manufacture Fujifilm-branded xD-Picture Cards for Fujifilm and supply these xD-Picture Cards to Fujifilm for distribution through Fujifilm's global retail distribution channels. SanDisk will also sell xD-Picture Cards under the Fujifilm brand through SanDisk's global retail distribution channels. SanDisk will begin shipments of Fujifilm xD-Picture Cards in the current quarter.

"The worldwide digital camera market is growing at a tremendous rate of 55 percent for 2003 and a cumulative average growth rate of 23.6 percent through 2007," said Ron Glaz, director of digital imaging at International Data Corp. "The xD-Picture Card is a flash memory card format jointly developed and owned by Fujifilm, Olympus and Toshiba, and was introduced in the fourth quarter of 2002. The xD format continues to gain acceptance for use in many of the new digital camera models sold by Fujifilm and Olympus."

The xD-Picture Card was developed specifically for digital camera applications. The cards offer large capacities for high mega-pixel photos as well as high performance needed to store the video clips that are becoming increasingly more popular in digital cameras. The xD-Picture Card can support up to a maximum future capacity of 8 gigabytes.

Eli Harari, SanDisk's president and CEO, said, "Fujifilm is one of the leading manufacturers of digital cameras in the world and we are very pleased to enter into this agreement with them. We plan to support Fujifilm as an important new customer by supplying them with xD-Picture Cards, and by placing our xD-Picture Cards in the retail market. SanDisk is proud to be the only company with the rights to manufacture and sell all of the popular flash card formats. This makes us a valuable supplier and partner to major OEMs in the digital imaging product market while also serving as a true 'one-stop-shop' provider for flash storage cards to our retail partners and consumers."

SanDisk will begin selling the Fujifilm-branded xD-Picture Card in capacities ranging from 64 megabytes (MB) to 512MB. Under a previously announced agreement with Olympus, SanDisk has already begun to sell Olympus-branded xD-Picture Cards to its retail customers. The Fujifilm- and Olympus-branded xD-Picture Cards supplied by SanDisk can be used interchangeably in the digital cameras of both Fujifilm and Olympus.

SanDisk's web site/home page address: www.sandisk.com.

Oct 31 - Epson Introduces EPSON Stylus Photo R800 Printer with New UltraChrome Hi-Gloss Inks. Epson America Inc. today announced the EPSON Stylus(R) Photo R800, a new desktop photo printer featuring new Epson UltraChrome(TM) Hi-Gloss(TM) pigment inks for archival prints on matte and glossy media.

With an estimated street price of $399, the EPSON Stylus Photo R800 lowers the entry price for photographers and digital artists that want archival prints but do not need a large format printer. The EPSON Stylus Photo R800 is capable of making photo quality prints up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches on cut-sheet paper and up to 8.3 inches by 44 inches on roll paper.

"Photographers want the archival properties of prints made with pigment inks, but are concerned that the colors and gloss will not be as good as prints made with dye inks," said Parker Plaisted, product manager, photo imaging. "With the EPSON Stylus Photo R800, photographers can be confidant that the Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss pigment inks will deliver archival high-quality prints on matte and glossy papers that achieve the colors and gloss level seen in prints with dye inks."

The Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink set is designed specifically for photographers and digital artists. This ink set includes eight individual cartridges and features the new Gloss Optimizer as well as Photo Black and Matte Black ink cartridges. With an eight channel print head, the EPSON Stylus Photo R800 allows the user to keep the Photo Black and Matte Black ink cartridges in the printer at all times and the printer driver determines which black ink to use based on the paper type selected.

In addition to the traditional cyan, magenta and yellow inks, the Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink set also includes new red and blue inks to create a Hi-Fi ink set that expands the color gamut. The color gamut for the Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss ink on glossy paper is up to 22% larger than ink jet printers with standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink sets.

The EPSON Stylus Photo R800 will be available in February 2004 for an estimated street price of $399 through mail order, computer superstores, specialty camera stores, and Epson's retail Web site (www.epsonstore.com).

Oct 31 - FirewireDirect RAID Speed Bar Tops 60MB/s With First FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 System. FirewireDirect.com Inc. has announced the progression of their Vanguard FireWire RAID system to include the new FireWire 800/1394b standard and the latest, faster USB 2.0 in a new combo interface capable of topping 60MB/s in an easy-to-use external FireWire system, making this the optimal storage and redundancy system available for digital video and audio producers.

The Vanguard III FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 RAID System features an independent hardware controller to provide RAID levels 0 (striping) and 1 (mirroring), so the RAID functions are performed without draining precious CPU resources, and now breaks new performance barriers with the inclusion of the new connection technologies.

With the addition of FireWire 800 -- the premier operating interface -- the system will demonstrate a dramatic increase in speed when in RAID 0, providing speeds well in excess of the legacy FireWire external storage drives widely used for digital audio and video.

At RAID Level 1, the system sets up a simple-to-operate drive mirror with a unique auto-rebuilding function and a host of security features designed to protect critical data, including convenient additional drive "Swap-Kits" for use as spares or backups.

Daniel Jackson, FirewireDirect's chief technical officer, says that like all FirewireDirect's new 800mbps FireWire products, the difference in performance opens up new possibilities.

"Our previous Vanguard FireWire RAID brought stability, performance and affordability to desktop RAID. The new FireWire 800 Vanguard has all of this and an amazing performance level with speeds approaching that of SCSI while maintaining the ease of use of FireWire."

The Vanguard III is built like a rock, with a solid aluminum case and a host of diagnostic and security features. It is the first RAID product and the fourth major storage product from FirewireDirect to employ the new high speed standard.

It's available now: http://www.firewiredirect.com/firewire/products/RAID_V.shtml.

Oct 31 - Kodak Survey Finds Nearly 60 Percent of Advanced Amateur Photographers Using Film. Despite the photo industry's increasing emphasis on digital photography, nearly six in 10 advanced amateur photographers still capture more than half of their images using film, reveals a "pulse poll" survey conducted by Kodak Consumer & Professional Imaging, a division of Eastman Kodak Company.

Though respondents prefer to capture images on film, more than one-third identified digital technology as the primary aspect of photography in which they intend to gain additional knowledge. Seventeen percent said they only shoot digital.

The pulse poll - distributed nationally in the U.S. via the Internet to more than 10,000 photographers who classify themselves as advanced amateurs - is an initiative to gain a better understanding of the photographic needs of advanced amateurs, as well as insights into how digital technologies are changing the art and business of photography.

Kodak defines an advanced amateur as a photography enthusiast who uses photography as a creative outlet while enjoying both the technical and artistic elements of the process. They will dedicate their time and money to build their skills in order to achieve pro-like images that gain the respect of their peers through sharing, attending workshops and entering competitions. For the advanced amateur, it is the experience and quality of the results that matter most.

The survey results, which achieved a seven-percent response rate, were released today in conjunction with the PhotoPlus Expo trade show.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents spend more than $1,500 annually on photography-related pursuits, and more than 25 percent spend more than $2,500 a year. A solid 82 percent indicated that peers, photography magazines/books and Internet photo news sites account for the majority of their self-taught photography education. Only eight percent of respondents listed photography courses as their primary source of information to enhance their photography skills.

"Advanced amateurs are true students of photography, and while they recognize the excitement that surrounds digital capture, they're still interested in gaining a strong understanding of photography fundamentals, especially using film," said Paula Balik, Worldwide Marketing Director, Professional Films, Kodak Consumer & Professional Imaging. "Film use is pervasive with advanced amateurs, and they're not afraid to experiment with new technologies and techniques - just like the pros they emulate."

Nearly half of the respondents - 48 percent - favor color negative film, with those who favor color transparency film a distant second at 20 percent. Forty-six percent indicated they take their film to consumer labs/retail photofinishers for processing.

Nearly a quarter of respondents print images at home. This suggests that images are being digitized, either from digital camera files or by scanning negatives for image manipulation or storage. This reinforces that advanced amateurs are interested in the whole photographic process of capturing, manipulating and outputting images.

For information about Kodak Professional's photography and imaging solutions, visit www.kodak.com/go/professional.

Oct 31 - First Microsoft Xbox Games with Fonix Speech Now Available. Fonix(R) Corp. (OTC BB: FNIX), a global provider of easy-to-use speech solutions for devices, systems, applications and developer tools, announces the availability of the first two Microsoft Xbox games using Fonix voice-command technology.

In stores now are Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six(TM) 3, published by Ubisoft and developed by Ubioft Montreal, and SWAT(R): Global Strike Team, published by Sierra Entertainment, a studio of Vivendi Universal Games, and developed by Argonaut. Both games feature cutting-edge voice-command features based upon Fonix technology available in Microsoft's Xbox developer's kit (XDK).

Microsoft Xbox licensed Fonix speech technology to deliver voice-command software that makes it very easy for game developers to add speech-enabled capabilities to their games. Fonix speech technology gives players new access to games features, command and control functions, and menu navigation, making the entire experience more engaging and fun. Both SWAT: Global Strike Team and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 allow players to voice-order commands within the game.

"Utilizing the powerful Microsoft Xbox platform, these two new games demonstrate the power of the Fonix voice-command interface to enhance the entertainment experience," said Tim K. Hong, vice president of Fonix Mobile Wireless.
"With Fonix voice technology making games more fun to play, we expect this added feature to expand market demand for games that incorporate this compelling new interface. As demonstrated at the Japan Xbox Xfest, Fonix speech recognition is available to developers in the Microsoft XDK in multiple languages, including English and U.K. English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese."

Visit www.fonix.com for an introduction to Fonix's complete suite of speech solutions.

Oct 30 - GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Set New Performance Standards. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today introduced the NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5950 Ultra and the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 series of graphics processing units (GPUs), delivering unprecedented graphics performance levels to the enthusiast and mainstream markets. In conjunction with the Company’s new ForceWare™ release 50 graphics driver, these products are engineered to deliver unmatched image quality and ultra-high performance, cinematic graphics for the hottest new PC games.

"With exciting new titles like Call of Duty™, Deus Ex: Invisible War™, Halo™, XIII, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004®, and Unreal Tournament™ 2004, this Christmas promises to be a dream for PC gamers," stated Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. “In addition to being the perfect stocking stuffers to complement this new round of titles, the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPUs are architected to be the graphics processors of choice for the next generation of highly anticipated cinematic titles like Doom™3 and Half Life™2.”

The new GeForce FX 5950 Ultra is the fastest GPU in the Company’s history. Manufactured using 0.13 micron process technology at TSMC, this new GPU combines extremely fast clock rates with a 256-bit memory bus. Designed to deliver cinematic-quality graphics and studio-quality color, the GeForce FX GPUs are the only full 128-bit precision computation GPUs in the industry. In addition, the GeForce FX 5950 and 5700 GPUs feature the NVIDIA CineFX™ 2.0 engine with NVIDIA UltraShadow™ technology, designed to improve the shader power that enables more complex effects, and to accelerate the rendering of lighting and shadows.

The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU is the first produced in 0.13 micron at the IBM foundry in East Fishkill, NY. The GeForce FX 5700 series delivers an enthusiast feature set at a mainstream price to enable next-generation gaming for the masses. With the GeForce FX 5700 gamers can enjoy unbeatable DirectX 9.0 performance at a mainstream price.

Providing a host of complementary software, the NVIDIA ForceWare unified software environment (USE) unleashes the full power and features of NVIDIA’s desktop, platform, mobile, and multimedia products. Delivering a proven record of compatibility, reliability, and stability with the widest range of games and applications, ForceWare ensures an unparalleled out-of-box experience for every end user by providing:

Industry-leading features for graphics, audio, video, and communications;
One driver for all products: the NVIDIA unified driver architecture (UDA);
Continual performance and feature updates over the life of the product.
In addition, NVIDIA Forceware supports the latest OpenGL® and Microsoft DirectX 9.0 feature sets to ensure unmatched visual quality and mesmerizing 3D graphics.

For details on where to buy GeForce FX-based graphics cards, visit the NVIDIA Web site at www.nvidia.com/content/wheretobuy/consumer.asp.

Oct 30 - Dell Adds Features, Performance to Dimension XPS and Flat-Panel Product Lines. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today expanded its offerings to PC gamers and enthusiasts with the introduction of a new version of the Dimension(tm) XPS and a 20-inch flat panel display that delivers fast response times and vivid images.
Dell also extended its commitment to the gaming community by establishing the Dell Developer Sales Support Team to assist game developers in procuring the hardware they need to run their businesses efficiently.

"Our new support team is committed to helping developers assess the hardware they need to create and test cutting-edge games," said Mark Vena, director of Dimension product marketing. "For gamers, we continue to enhance our Dimension XPS product to help make the most sophisticated programs come to life with the latest performance-oriented technology."

Dimension XPS

The updated Dimension XPS, starting at $1,799, features integrated RAID via the ICH5-R controller, plus integrated Gigabit Ethernet(a). The integrated RAID controller supports both RAID 0 for customers who want enhanced disk throughput and RAID 1 for customers who want added protection for their data and frees up an internal PCI expansion slot that can be used for other functions.

Also, the new Dimension XPS supports one of the highest-performing DirectX 9 cards on the market, the 256MB ATI Radeon(tm) 9800 XT. This card features a 256-bit memory interface, eight pixel pipelines and a high-powered Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that enables DirectX 9 games to be enjoyed in full detail at smooth frame rates. Additionally, due to customer input, the XPS now features a front-accessible microphone port, which allows gamers to easily attach a microphone for gaming sessions at home or at LAN parties.

Dell Media Experience, an application that enables consumers to manage digital media such as photos, music, and digital videos will also be available at no additional cost. Additionally, all XPS customers -- using their unique Express Service Code -- receive support through a support queue staffed by specially-trained technicians who understand gaming and high-end consumer applications, and have the option to order non-Dell gaming hardware like speakers, mice, game controllers and joysticks directly from the XPS configurator on www.dell.com.

Dell UltraSharp(tm) 2001FP

The new Dell UltraSharp 2001FP is a 20-inch LCD display and Dell's first flat panel monitor to feature 16 millisecond response times, which allow for distortion-free images during 3-D gaming DVD playback. This response time can greatly reduce the ghosting and smearing that can accompany rapidly-moving images, which means Dimension XPS customers can now enjoy the benefits of a flat panel monitor without compromising gaming performance.

The 2001FP displays powerful, bright images because of its 1600x1200 native resolution and 400:1 contrast ratio. As with all Dell UltraSharp LCD displays, the 2001FP features vertical and horizontal viewing angles of 88 degrees; a thin 0.7-inch bezel; a height-adjustable stand (up to 5.1 inches); four USB 2.0 ports; and a panel that swivels, tilts and pivots to support portrait and landscape orientations.

In addition to providing analog and digital PC inputs, the monitor also has S-Video and Composite Video inputs and a picture-in-picture feature. The 2001FP also features a detachable quick release panel, which makes it easier to transport to events such as LAN parties.

The Dell UltraSharp 2001FP can be purchased with a Dimension XPS in the United States. It will be available as a standalone product and in additional countries over the next few months.

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

Oct 30 - Atheros Unwires Xbox for High-Performance Wireless Gaming. Atheros Communications, a leading developer of advanced, multimode wireless LAN technology, today announced that its 802.11g wireless-system-on-a-chip (WiSOC) chipset is featured in the new Xbox Wireless Adapter (MN-740) from Microsoft.

The chipset enables users to connect to any 802.11g or 802.11b Wi-Fi network and play games wirelessly via the Xbox Live service, the world's largest all-broadband console gaming service. Atheros worked closely with Microsoft's Xbox and Broadband Networking Groups to develop the wireless LAN adapter. Xbox Wireless Adapter began shipping in the U.S. and Canada this month at an estimated U.S. retail price of $139.

"With this new adapter, Xbox will deliver both high-performance wireless gaming and an easy-to-use, seamless user experience," said Craig Barratt, president and chief executive officer of Atheros. "Atheros' wireless LAN technology is ideally suited for high-bandwidth, consumer applications like gaming, and we will continue to help partners like Microsoft develop multimedia products with advanced wireless capabilities."

Supporting the 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, Xbox Wireless Adapter allows gamers to experience data rate transfer speeds up to 54 Mbps, which is five times faster than an 802.11b Wi-Fi network. The higher performance provides a significant increase in throughput, which results in a better user playing experience, including higher quality multiplayer and head-to-head gaming, live chats and other bandwidth-intensive applications.

"Atheros' high performance and standards-based wireless LAN technologies made its chipset a preferred solution for Microsoft," said Todd Greenberg, product manager for Broadband Networking at Microsoft Corp. "This first-of-its-kind wireless adapter for Xbox gaming will make it much more convenient to experience Xbox Live from any Xbox-connected television in the home, without the need to use messy cables or drill holes in the walls."

The Xbox Wireless Adapter uses Atheros' 802.11g WiSOC chipset, which supports 802.11b and 802.11g networks in the 2.4-GHz band. Atheros chipsets support the latest wireless security standards such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and draft 802.11i Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) without reducing performance. They also include draft 802.11e Quality of Service enhancements for multimedia and voice chat applications. For more information about Atheros, please visit www.atheros.com.

Oct 30 - BFG Technologies Introduces Sniper Boomslang 2100 PC Gaming Mouse. BFG Technologies, Inc, a leading U.S.-based supplier of advanced 3D graphics cards and gaming products for PCs, announced today that it has begun shipping "The World's Most Accurate Gaming Mouse" to the U.S. retail market. Beginning October 28, 2003, online orders will be taken at www.BestBuy.com.
"Gamers recognize the Boomslang(TM) brand as synonymous with accurate and quick response times from a PC gaming mouse", said Todd Ciresi, Business Team Leader of Peripherals for Best Buy. "We're excited to offer this impressive gaming mouse to our BestBuy.com customers."

"At 2100 dpi, the Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 is more than two and a half times more accurate than any other mouse available," said Shane Vance, EVP of Sales for BFG Technologies. "It's the must-have mouse for gamers who are serious about winning first-person-shooter games. In fact, our head of marketing, Scott Herkelman just won the Quake III tournament at FragFest V in Iowa this past weekend using the Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100."

Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $79.99

Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 Features

Hyper-Responsive Scroll Wheel

The increased pulses per revolution (PPR) allows Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 to cover ground faster and more precisely than standard mice.

5 Programmable Non-Slip Buttons

The rubberized surface prevents finger slippage, making it easier to be cool under pressure.


Holding the thumb button down and scrolling the wheel during a game pops up a scale on screen to change sensitivity on-the-fly. Adjust instantly for different situations, games, opponents.

Less Movement, Less Fatigue

Designed to reduce fatigue and stress from intense mouse usage, the ultra-high resolution and sensitivity of the Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 requires less movement than any other mouse.


The Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 operates at a blazing 6 mips (millions of instructions per second) while the traditional mouse chugs along at about 1.4 mips.

For more information about Sniper(TM) Boomslang(TM) 2100 and other BFG products, visit www.bfgtech.com.

Oct 29 - HP Gains Market Share in PDA Sales. The following is a statement from HP (NYSE:HPQ) regarding worldwide handheld devices market share numbers for the third quarter of calendar year 2003:

According to IDC's report, HP stunned the handheld industry with phenomenal unit growth of 100.3 percent year-over-year and 52.5 percent sequentially. HP not only led the overall growth of the handheld industry, but also moved significantly closer to the No. 1 position in the overall PDA category. HP remains the No. 1 worldwide Pocket PC vendor.

"Customers responded loud and clear to HP's broad handheld product portfolio which not only helped HP lead the worldwide growth with a 52.5 percent sequential gain, but also made us the biggest contributor to taking the overall handheld market into positive sequential growth for the first time since Q4 2002," said Ted Clark, vice president handhelds, Mobile Computing Global Business Unit, HP. "HP surpassed industry expectations, with quarter-over-quarter market share jumping from 17.6 to 24.5 percent. That growth helped us further solidify our strong No. 2 position in handhelds."

In June, HP introduced five new iPAQ Pocket PC models, including models targeted at the consumer market. The introductions filled out HP's Pocket PC portfolio to meet the needs of both enterprises and consumers -- and that made a solid impact in the third quarter. In addition, HP was the first major Pocket PC vendor to successfully ship Windows Mobile 2003 upgrade software for Pocket PC.

More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

Oct 29 - Other World Computing Announces New 700Mhz G4 Processor Upgrade. Other World Computing (OWC) today announced it has expanded the low end of its popular Mercury Extreme line with a 700 Megahertz (MHz) G4 processor upgrade available immediately for $199.99.

OWC also reaffirmed that the entire Mercury Extreme line, from the G4/700MHz model to the current top end G4/1.4-1.467 Gigahertz (GHz) model, is 100 percent plug-and-play compatible with all Apple OS versions as supported by the systems being upgraded, including OS X 10.3 "Panther."

"OWC's 700MHz Mercury Extreme G4 upgrade provides extreme performance for an extremely low price," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "The 700MHz unit rounds out our Mercury Extreme line, which Mac reviewers and aficionados everywhere have used to boost the processing power of their existing Macs by as much as four times the original stock processor speeds."

OWC's Mercury Extreme processor upgrades are true plug-and-play solutions that do not use or require enabling software. Fully compatible with PowerMac G4 AGP-equipped models (350MHz to 1GHz), they act as replacements to the stock Apple G4 daughtercard and do not take up a separate PCI or AGP slot.

Each unit comes with a 30-day, 100 percent money-back guarantee, as well as a three-year limited warranty and an option for customers to sell their old processor to OWC.

Made with the highest-quality components available, Mercury Extreme processor upgrades use Tantalum-dipped resistors and capacitors (to resist electroshock discharge), are capable of safe operation at high temperatures and are designed to last longer than other upgrades using conventional parts.

The Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades feature 256 Kilobytes of 1:1 L2 cache on-chip and 2 Megabytes of high-speed L3 cache. They are compatible with Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, Quicksilver and Quicksilver 2002 models. The Mercury Extreme line is completely plug-and-play compatible with existing hardware and software, including Apple OS 9.2 or higher, including all versions of OS X.

Additional details and complete pricing information about the OWC Mercury Extreme product line can be found online at www.macsales.com/Extreme.

Oct 29 - New Adobe Photoshop CS Adds Essential Capabilities. Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) today announced the availability of the Adobe(R) Video Collection Professional edition, which now includes the newly launched Adobe Photoshop(R) CS in addition to Adobe(R) Premiere(R) Pro, Adobe After Effects(R) 6.0 Professional edition, Adobe Audition(TM), and Adobe Encore(TM) DVD software.
With breakthrough new features for video professionals, including non-square pixel support, comprehensive 16-bit image support, and a new vector paint engine, Adobe Photoshop CS is now -- more than ever -- a key component of the Adobe Video Collection.

"Photoshop CS will become an indispensable tool in our workflow," said Scott Billups, digital moviemaker. "From support for non-square pixels to 16-bit color editing, Photoshop CS offers a broad palette of professional tools essential for motion graphics professionals."

The full-version upgrade successor to Photoshop 7.0, Adobe Photoshop CS removes the guesswork for film and video professionals designing sequences for DVD, video and film. Non-square pixel support allows video professionals to accurately create imagery for on screen display by enabling them to view the image as it would appear on the destination device.
Users can create with confidence using preset video-standard sizes, including automatic action-safe and title-safe guides. Photoshop CS also provides 16-bit color support to preserve the rich color palette of film and is tightly integrated with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe After Effects. A new vector paint engine simulates traditional art techniques, including charcoal, pastel, and wet or dry brush effects.

The Professional edition of the Adobe Video Collection delivers: tools for editing digital images; motion graphics and visual effects; real-time video and audio editing; and DVD authoring.
Adobe Premiere Pro, the latest version of Adobe's award-winning video editing software, has been redesigned to provide a real-time editing environment, along with productivity enhancements and professional tools that take advantage of the speed of Intel(R) Pentium(R) based systems running Windows(R) XP.
After Effects 6.0 includes powerful new tools that enable users to add stunning motion graphics and visual effects to their video and film productions.
Adobe Audition provides a complete multi-track recording studio to efficiently create professional-quality audio.
Adobe Encore DVD gives users the ability to create professional, multi-language DVDs and output to all recordable DVD formats for a wide degree of playback compatibility.

Pricing and Availability

The Professional edition of the Adobe Video Collection for Windows XP with Photoshop CS is now shipping and can be purchased for an estimated street price of US$1499. The standard edition, which does not contain Photoshop CS, can be purchased for an estimated street price of US$999. The products are available from Adobe certified resellers, as well as through licensing and education programs.

Information about pricing, support policies, and other language versions is available online at: www.adobe.com.

Oct 29 - SMC's New HomePlug Networking Products Feature Easy-to-Install Connectivity. SMC(R) Networks (www.smc.com), leading provider of networking solutions for the Enterprise, the SMB and all the way home, today announced its newest family of products that make home networking easy and reliable. SMC's new line of HomePlug-compliant products gives users everything they need to set up a brand-new network or extend an existing one without running expensive CAT-5 cabling.

The only HomePlug solution on the market with configuration software that runs on Mac OS, SMC's new HomePlug solution comes with two versions of the EZ Configuration Manager software: one for the Windows OS and one for the Mac OS, making it a great solution for Macintosh-only networks, Windows-only networks and mixed networks.

The versatile new product line includes two new HomePlug-compliant adapters: the EZ Connect(TM) 14Mbps HomePlug to USB Desktop Adapter and the EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter; and a new EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug Starter Kit, with everything it takes to set up or extend a network using HomePlug technology. SMC's new family of easy networking HomePlug products will begin shipping in November.

An exciting technology for easy, reliable networking, HomePlug lets users make network connections over existing electrical wiring. At 14Mbps, HomePlug provides faster connections than 802.11b wireless -- or even standard 10Mbps wired Ethernet -- plus, it's easier to install, configure and troubleshoot, making it ideal for home applications.
HomePlug 1.0-certified to ensure compatibility with the various types of wiring used in homes and offices, these new products use auto-sensing, rate-adaptive technology to maintain the best connection available. And, its 14Mbps throughput is complemented by 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Dynamic Key Management, so users have speed and security.
Ease of installation is further advanced by the product family's Plug-and-Play compliance and the included EZ Installation Wizard for fine-tuning on Windows and Mac platforms. And, its form factor makes it easier, too -- no bulky adapters to find space for, because SMC's HomePlug networking products are desktop units with internal power supplies.

The EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter (HP1D-ETH) makes extending a network easy -- just plug it into an existing Barricade(TM) or other standards-compliant Ethernet/Broadband router, plug its power cord into an electrical outlet and the electrical wiring becomes Ethernet-enabled, so any outlet in the house is an Ethernet connection port for sharing Internet access, files, printers and even home entertainment devices. It is a great way to bring Internet connectivity to a game console, like an Xbox(R) or PS2(R) for online game playing.

The EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Desktop Adapter and HomePlug USB Adapter will both be available beginning in mid-November, both at an MSRP that's 20% below the competition, at $79.99 each. The new EZ Connect 14Mbps HomePlug to Ethernet Starter Kit takes value even further, packing two HomePlug Ethernet Desktop Adapters at an MSRP of $149.99.

For more information about SMC Networks or its products, visit www.smc.com.

Oct 29 - Consumer Technology Spending to Rise in 2004. Zanthus, a leading market research-based consulting company, today unveiled the results of its latest Future2Future survey of home technology spending trends for 2004.

According to the independent consumer survey, laptop computers, multi-featured mobile phones and digital entertainment products will top consumers' buying lists over the next 12 months. The results are based on a Web-based survey of 671 U.S. households with Internet access (or 57 percent of U.S. households). The survey was conducted in September by the Portland, Ore. research firm; the results were benchmarked against an earlier survey conducted by Zanthus in March.

Highlights of the survey results include the following:

-- Smartphones to continue sales gains -- In the March 2003 survey, 13 percent of all respondents indicated they would purchase a mobile device (cell phone, smartphone, PDA with voice, etc.). According to the Sept. survey, this number remains steady; however, 5 percent of all purchases are likely to be smartphones, or mobile phones with special computer-enabled features like PDA functions and Internet access (up from 3 percent in March). The Sept. survey also revealed that about 20 percent of Internet households already own a smartphone.

-- Notebooks continue rise in popularity; Tablet PCs to struggle -- 19 percent of Internet households are likely to purchase a new computer in 2004 (up from 15 percent reporting last March). 11 percent of these households are likely to purchase a laptop computer compared to 7 percent of households that favored a desktop. The Tablet PC is considered to be a poor option, with only 1 percent of respondents indicating they are likely to purchase.

-- Home networking poised for another strong year -- Four percent of Internet households are likely to install a home network in the next 12 months. This estimate would mean year-over-year growth in this category of 33 percent, which is slightly greater than that from 2002 to 2003.

-- Digital models to dominate camera and camcorder sales -- Digital camera sales will continue to be brisk in 2004. Already, 55 percent of Internet households own a digital still camera. 12 percent of the respondents plan to purchase one in the next 12 months (up from 10 percent last March), and of the 9 percent of Internet households likely to purchase a camcorder in the next 12 months, 56 percent intend to purchase a digital model.

-- Email remains the popular choice for sharing photos -- 59 percent of the respondents send photos as email attachments; 45 percent print them on photo quality paper; and 32 percent of the respondents upload digital pictures to a personal Web site for distant family members to view.

-- Flat Panel TVs and Sony PlayStations to thrive -- 10 percent of U.S. households are likely to purchase a new television in the next 12 months (up from 8 percent last March). Half of these purchases are likely to be a flat panel model. Additionally, 4 percent of the respondents indicated they are likely to purchase a new video game system, with 60 percent of these purchases likely to be the Sony PlayStation2.

"Our survey results clearly show that the consumer technology market is gaining momentum," said David Edwards, founder and CEO of Zanthus. "This growth can be attributed to a number of factors -- growing consumer confidence, dropping prices and an improvement in the perceived value of many products. Highly desirable digital technologies, such as DVD players, digital cameras, and camcorders, are finally becoming more affordable for mass market consumers. As this trend continues, we expect consumer technology sales to continue to rise over the next 12 months."

Highlights of the Future2Future "2004 Consumer Technology Trends" survey are available on Zanthus' Future2Future Web site at www.f2fresearch.com.

Oct 28 - Dell Introduces Digital Jukebox. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced the Dell Digital Jukebox (Dell DJ) music player and announced details of a partnership with Musicmatch(R) to provide customers an easy, legal way to download their favorite songs and albums.

Both the Dell DJ and Dell Jukebox powered by Musicmatch software will be available through the Dell Music Store (www.dell4me.com/music) starting Tuesday, Oct. 28.

"Carrying around thousands of songs on one small device is a nifty idea, but not if you have to recharge it every few hours," said John Hamlin, senior vice president and general manager of Dell's U.S. consumer business. "The Dell DJ packs terrific battery life and tons of features into a small, sleek package for a great price."

Dell Digital Jukebox

The 7.6-ounce Dell DJ comes with a choice of 15GB or 20GB capacities ($249 and $329, respectively) and features industry leader Hitachi's Travelstar hard drive.

A built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery provides up to 16 hours of continuous music playback, enough for a round-trip flight from New York to London. The included USB 2.0 cable connects the device to desktop or notebook computers and can charge the battery in lieu of the standard slim-line AC adapter. A 2-inch backlit LCD display serves up file information while users browse with a front-mounted scroll barrel for true one-handed operation.

"We heard two things loud and clear from consumers when it came to digital music players: flash memory is too limited and hard drive players are either too expensive or stripped down to hit attractive price points," Hamlin said. "With the Dell DJ, our customers no longer have to choose between what they can afford and what they really want."

In addition to high-fidelity playback of MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) files, the Dell DJ serves as a digital voice recorder or a way to back up critical data. Each unit is backed by Dell's around-the-clock toll-free technical support and a one-year Advanced Exchange Service.

Dell Jukebox Software Powered by Musicmatch

The Dell Music Store also features Dell Jukebox software powered by Musicmatch, which provides a simple graphical interface between the computer and Dell DJ and access to Musicmatch Downloads. This no-subscription service allows users to legally download their choice of more than 250,000 songs for only 99 cents each and most albums for $9.99. Musicmatch plans to offer more than 500,000 tracks by the end of the year.

"Offering consumers a convenient, legal way to purchase music online is important to both Dell and Musicmatch," said Bob Ohlweiler, Musicmatch senior vice president of business development. "We've developed one of the easiest ways to find and purchase music, and now we're excited to see it combined with a high-quality portable music player at an incredible value."

The Dell Jukebox also enables access to Musicmatch Radio and the ArtistMATCH(tm) feature, which compares customers' musical tastes to other users to recommend new artists. The Dell Jukebox software is tested and qualified on Dell notebooks and desktops and works seamlessly with both the DJ and many other digital music players.

For more information on the Dell DJ or Dell Jukebox software, visit www.dell4me.com/music.

Oct 28 - Fujitsu Offers Low-Voltage AMD Athlon S2000 LifeBook. Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation today refreshed its powerful yet affordable LifeBook(R) S2000 notebook, making it even more attractive to students and budget-conscious mobile professionals. The latest version features the low-voltage mobile AMD Athlon(TM) XP-M 2000+ processor with AMD PowerNow!(TM) Technology for improved performance and extended battery life.

Since its introduction, the LifeBook S Series has earned many accolades for its elegant and innovative design. Despite its slim profile and sub-four-pound weight, the "thin & light" notebook features a brilliant 13.3-inch XGA TFT display, a large, comfortable keyboard, and a modular bay, which can accommodate a DVD/CD-RW drive, modular bay battery or weight saver.

"The 'thin & light' market remains the largest segment in the notebook PC market," said Matt Sargent, director of research, Personal Computers, ARS. "And this segment is finding a new growth potential in the small business and home market as these users become more interested in notebooks that can offer increased mobility and connectivity. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to offer a broad range of choices to satisfy this growing demand."

Continuing with its tradition as a technology innovator, Fujitsu was one of the first to offer multiple CPU options in one form factor. The LifeBook 2000 notebook, with AMD's new mobile technology, brings unprecedented value to the "thin & light" category. The notebook starts at $1,199 and can be configured with a DVD/CD-RW drive for under $1,380.

More information on Fujitsu Computer Systems is available at http://us.fujitsu.com/computers.

Oct 28 - Canon Packs Photo Quality in Its New Entry-Level Multifunction MP370 and MP360. Canon's new MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 Multifunction desktop photo printers deliver high-quality photo printing, copying and scanning to consumers with a stylish and compact design. From printing photos, text and web pages to scanning images for homework projects and copying receipts for household use, the new MultiPASS products deliver the versatility needed by today's consumers.

"The multifunction market is rapidly expanding. Canon is finding more customers are asking for products that can provide multiple solutions in a single product," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc. "The MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 Multifunction desktop photo printers meet the needs of these consumers by combining multifunction convenience with high-quality, simplicity, and features they are looking for."

Both the MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 printers have very fast printing speeds with up to 18 pages-per-minute (ppm) in black and up to 12 ppm in color. Quality is delivered through a print head that uses both five picoliter nozzles for fast printing speeds and microscopic two picoliter nozzles that significantly reduce the size of dots on the page. Combining the small droplet size with printing at a maximum resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 color dots-per-inch (dpi) allows users to create photo prints that rival minilab prints.

Featuring 1,088 total nozzles, the print head of the MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 multifunction printers incorporates Canon's advanced MicroFine Droplet Technology(TM) that ejects consistent prescribed-volume ink droplets for smooth gradations, more accurate skin tones and rich, vibrant colors. Both units support edge-to-edge borderless printing in 4x6, 5x7 and 8.5x11 inch sizes.

The MultiPASS MP370 multifunction printer includes two additional features for photo printing--PictBridge technology and onboard media slots. The MultiPASS MP370 unit is the world's first multifunction printer to feature PictBridge technology. A new industry standard for digital printers, digital cameras and digital camcorders, PictBridge allows the direct printing of images from PictBridge compatible digital cameras and camcorders to PictBridge compatible printers, regardless of brand or manufacturer, without the use of a computer.

Onboard memory card slots permit direct printing from a wide variety of digital camera memory cards including CompactFlash(R), Microdrive(R), SmartMedia(R), Memory Stick(R) (excluding PRO(TM)) SD Card(TM) and MultimediaCard (TM), Memory Stick Duo(TM), xD-Picture Card(TM) and miniSD Card(TM) can be used with the addition of a special adaptor sold separately.
The onboard memory card slots are enclosed behind a smoke-gray dust cover on the front of the unit. Printing digital images from memory cards is made easy by pushing the Photo Index Sheet button after placing a memory card in the appropriate slot. The consumer will then mark the images to print, including quantity, paper type, vivid photo and date stamp. Scanning the Photo Index Sheet will start the printing process.

Compatible with select Windows(R) operating systems (Windows XP, Windows2000/Me-Millennium Edition/98), the MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 also include ScanSoft(R) OmniPage(R) SE OCR and ArcSoft(R) PhotoStudio(R) software. The Canon MultiPASS MP370 and MP360 units carry estimated street prices of $199.99 and $149.99 respectively and will be shipping in November 2003.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Oct 28 - All-New Adobe Creative Suite Now Shipping. Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) today shipped Adobe(R) Creative Suite. Adobe Creative Suite combines new full-version upgrades of the company's market-leading creative professional software -- Adobe Photoshop(R) CS, Adobe Illustrator(R) CS, Adobe InDesign(R) CS, and Adobe GoLive(R) CS. It also incorporates Acrobat(R) 6.0 Professional, and introduces the innovative Version Cue(TM) file version manager.
The all-new Adobe Creative Suite is a complete design environment that gives today's creative professionals everything they need to create and publish content to print and the Web faster, more easily, and more efficiently than ever.

Adobe will announce shipment of new full-version upgrades of its market-leading creative applications later this week. Photoshop CS, the feature-packed successor to the highly popular Photoshop 7, will soon be available along with Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS -- all already hailed as significant enhancements on previous versions.
Instead of traditional version numbers, Adobe is now using "CS" to identify these new versions, in order to better reflect the deep level of integration between its creative tools. Pricing and complete product information for Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS can be found at: www.adobe.com.

"Adobe Creative Suite is a platform for the future of design and publishing, something creative professionals around the world can rely on to build their businesses and perfect their craft," said Jim Heeger, senior vice president of Creative Professional Products at Adobe. "With powerful new hardware hitting the market and Adobe Creative Suite pushing the boundaries of software innovation, the technology available to the creative industries has just taken a huge leap forward."

Adobe is making it easy for creative professionals to upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite. Any customer who currently has a copy of Photoshop (purchased as a standalone product or part of an Adobe Collection) can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition for an estimated street price of US$749, or the Standard Edition for US$549. Estimated street price for the Creative Suite Premium Edition is US$1229 and US$999 for the Standard Edition. For more detailed information about the Adobe Creative Suite, please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite.

Adobe Creative Suite for Mac OS X 10.2.4, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 with Service Pack 2, and Windows XP Professional and Home Edition, is available for purchase today in the United States and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at: www.adobe.com/store.

Oct 28 - Trend Micro Announces PC-cillin Internet Security 2004. Trend Micro, Inc. (TSE:4704) (Nasdaq:TMIC), a leader in network antivirus and Internet content security software and services, today announced the availability of Trend Micro(TM) PC-cillin(TM) Internet Security 2004, a comprehensive and easy to use PC-based security solution against Internet-based threats such as viruses, hackers, privacy threats and spam.
Based on the award-winning PC-cillin, Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 is designed for today's home users and small office/home office (SOHO) users.

With the increased capabilities of Internet access, Internet email, and virtual private networking, home and SOHO users have more freedom and connectivity than ever before, but with that comes increased complexity and security risks. Many households and small or home offices have more than one computer, shared network resources, always-on Internet connections, and may involve remote devices like laptops and PDAs. Families and individuals are open to many of the same risks that plague businesses and organizations: identity theft, hackers, credit card theft, illicit Web sites, computer viruses, and spam.

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 provides a comprehensive, simplified solution against Internet-based threats, helping users to get the most out of their computer systems with minimal concern about controlling security threats. Beginning with an enhanced network virus protection, users can benefit from the same level of protection as big corporations from today's network-based viruses (like MSBlast and SoBig). With the Network Virus Emergency Center console, early warnings of new threats are sent to users, and virus pattern files can be automatically updated for the latest protection. Automated cleaning and restoration tools are triggered in the event viruses are caught to keep systems functioning properly.

"In the face of today's sophisticated network viruses, even home and small office users require complete security solutions with tight integration between antivirus, firewall, and spyware detection features," commented Beau Roberts, Product Group Manager for Consumer Products at Trend Micro. "PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 provides users with the kind of advanced features, such as the new Network Virus Emergency Center, to detect and block network-based threats at the network traffic level, before they can penetrate and infect the PC."

In addition, Trend Micro Internet Security includes a personal firewall component to protect users from hackers and intruders, and advanced privacy and spyware protection to protect passwords, bank account numbers, and other personal information. Spam and URL filtering features help block unsolicited junk email, and help control access to inappropriate (adult) Web sites. With the profile-setting functions, security needs for family, work, and on-the-road can be customized for each system.

Pricing and availability

Suggested retail price is $49.95 USD, which includes one year of product support. Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2004 is available through Trend Micro Web stores or through authorized resellers.
For additional information and evaluation copies of all Trend Micro products, visit www.trendmicro.com.

Oct 27 - Best Buy Expands Digital Cable Services. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) today announced that through its new in-store Digital Cable Activation Tool, customers now have access to one of the largest footprints of Digital Cable providers available at any national retailer.

The new tool provides an automated way for Best Buy Product Specialists to qualify customers for Digital Cable and High-Definition TV services, provides a list of available plans for the customer to compare and choose, and the ability to purchase digital cable and high-definition services quickly and easily. The new tool will be available starting Sunday, October 26th at more than 400 Best Buy retail locations.

Expanded Selection at Competitive Prices

Best Buy will offer one of the largest footprints of top-tier digital cable providers from across the country. Customers will now have easy access to seven of the top 10 cable providers including: Adelphia, CableVision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Insight, and Time-Warner.

The expanded digital cable offerings available through Best Buy build on the company's experience and success in marketing connectivity products and services through the retail channel.

"Our goal with digital cable service has always been to make it easy to understand, simple to compare, and fun to purchase so consumers can make informed decisions about which service is best for them," said Dave Sprosty, vice president of Subscription Services for Best Buy. "Now by expanding the choices available to customers, we're helping to ensure that they will find a service that fits their lifestyle needs both by feature and price."

Added Chris Caffrey, Vice President of Retail Sales for Comcast, "We're pleased to expand our relationship with Best Buy, who has proven to be a leader in the high-speed Internet and digital cable space by providing industry-leading solutions for consumers, including a best-in-class customer experience. This gives us an opportunity to reach even more customers and provide them with information about the tremendous value and breadth of communications and entertainment services Comcast offers."

Best Buy was founded in St. Paul, Minn. in 1966. Best Buy Stores reach an estimated 300 million consumers per year through more than 580 retail stores in 48 states and online at www.BestBuy.com.

Oct 27 - Hitachi Gets Its Game on with Launch of PC Gaming Website. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced the launch of Hitachi Gaming Channel (www.hgst.com/portal/site/gaming), a video game website designed to allow PC gamers to easily download trial versions of new games, learn about hot new products and catch-up on the latest game news and reviews. The website was developed in response to recent hyper-growth of the PC gaming industry.

Hitachi has long been serving the PC gaming community with hard disk drives that are optimized for use in high performance gaming systems. Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 hard drives feature the capacity points and data access times necessary to meet the stringent demands of PC gaming and other performance applications. Mobile gamers have enthusiastically welcomed Hitachi's high-performance Travelstar 7K60, the industry's only 7200rpm mobile hard drive. This hard drive has the performance gamers require along with the added advantage of ruggedness needed for gamers-on-the-go.

"The purpose of the website is to provide high quality content and tools that help promote PC gaming to a mass audience," said Robert Holleran, general manager, Desktop Business Unit. "We are pleased that, as part of this effort, we are able to disseminate information about the latest PC gaming systems and the components that make them cutting-edge."

Hitachi has also developed an online newsletter containing the latest in gaming industry news, hardware reviews and game trials. The newsletter will also be used to distribute event information about upcoming LANparties or other gaming activities. Free subscriptions to the monthly online newsletter can be accessed via the Hitachi Gaming Channel website.

For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://global.hitachi.com.

Oct 27 - PGP Corporation Announces Release of PGP Desktop 8.0.3. PGP Corporation, the recognized leader in secure messaging and information storage, today announced the immediate availability of PGP(R) Desktop 8.0.3. This version adds support for Microsoft Office 2003, including Outlook 2003 and Windows Server 2003; Novell GroupWise 6.5; and Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).

"Although technology changes increasingly quickly, PGP products keep pace," said Jon Callas, PGP Corporation's CTO and Chief Security Officer. "This release ensures customers continued access to the rich set of features in PGP Desktop products, including digital signatures to automatically detect email 'spoofing,' key management, and standards-based technology."

The release is available free to all customers who have purchased PGP Desktop 8.0 products, including PGP Corporate Desktop, PGP Workgroup Desktop, and PGP Personal Desktop as well as earlier versions of PGP Enterprise, PGP Desktop, and PGP Personal. Licensed customers wishing to upgrade to PGP Desktop 8.0.3 may download the update from www.pgp.com.

Oct 27 - Why is Intel saying 64-bit is not for desktops? [Some food for thought - Ed InfoHQ]

By Peter Friedman, 22nd October 2003

You've all got such short memories.

Remember the chips which Intel gave us before the Pentium? It was in the days before anyone talked about Web Servers. Those were the days of the good old 386 and 486 chips. Oh my, did they seem awesome compared to what we had (PCs based on the 286 and the 'original' 8088) when they first came out. In those days, instead of talking about servers, we talked about 'power users'.

When a new chip was first demonstrated by Intel, it was hideously expensive, ten or twenty times the price of the 'previous' (i.e., 'current') model.
(PRWEB) October 23 2003--
So in order to avoid triggering fears that the chip manufacturer was about to make the next generation of PCs unaffordably expensive, or that they had any intention of phasing out the current chip, they cleverly positioned the new chip 'off the radar screen' of the typical PC buyer.

'These new chips will only be of interest to power users' was the launch day mantra.

Why was the next generation chip so expensive?

Usually because production volumes and 'yield' (number of good chips from a production batch) had not yet reached anywhere near those of the current chip, so the unit costs of manufacture for the new chip were still much higher than they were for the current one.

Also, if the manufacturer was crazy enough to put the new chip on the market at a (subsidised) price which was close enough to the current one, it would suddenly discourage large numbers of people from buying the current (profitable) one.

None of this would make anyone but Intel's competitors very happy.

So Intel's job, when they make a brand new generation available, is:

* Let the public know that their new chip is 'the future'
* Let them know that it mustn't affect their buying decisions for anything but computers which are so powerful and expensive that the chip price won't be an issue

These considerations produce a single phrase:

'It's not for desktop PCs'

The 64 bit chip is getting exactly the same treatment as the 32 bit chip got when PCs were 16 bit.

What does this mean?

The 64 bit chip will be for desktops, but only once:

* It has become cheaper to build
* Intel feels the Pentium can be replaced with impunity
* AMD market share increases have put Intel under enough pressure to accelerate their 64 bit rollout

What will drive 64 bit chips for desktops?

* 64 bit desktop PCs costing not much more than Pentium desktops
* Reviews which say that 32 bit software runs faster on a 64 bit PC
* Software specially written for 64 bit which outperforms any 32 bit equivalent
* 64 bit versions of existing software that outperform current 32 bit versions

What will make these things happen?

* Availability of a 64 bit desktop version of Windows which looks like it is not too far from its final form
* Massive performance increases over 32 bit on at least some applications
* Availability of 64 bit development tools which allow 'converting' 32 bit applications to 64 bit to produce at least some serious performance gains relatively painlessly

You can see that the 64 bit rollout timescale is just as much in the hands of Intel and Microsoft as it is in those of the PC buyer, which is why '64 bit is not for desktops' is currently perfectly true, but only a temporary 'factoid'.

It will only be true while Intel, Microsoft and the market want it to be true, and that may be for quite a while yet.

Support Insight Magazine www.supportinsight.com
Copyright© Support Insight

Oct 26 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

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

Weekly Comparison. There are some very good laptop and desktop deals to be found this weekend.

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 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages. They are also offering 3 free months of AOL with all new computers.
Circuit City is offering 15 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks, and $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 6 months no payment, no interest, financing on all on any purchase $199 and higher. They are also offering up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop systems.
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. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet 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
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy, Circuit City
1. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 17" monitor, and DVD-RW
2. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 17" flat panel, and DVD-RW
Circuit City
3. Best Pentium 4 System
HP 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 17" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
Best Buy, CompUSA ($1499)
Best AMD Athlon XP System
emachines 2800+ complete system with 15" LCD and DVD-RW
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.3 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.3 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Best Buy ($1249), CompUSA ($1249)
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba 2.3 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.4 GHz with DVD/CD- RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.4 GHz with DVD/CD- RW
Circuit City, CompUSA ($1499)
4. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
Best Buy
5. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz widescreen with DVD-RW
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Western digital 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9600 All-in-Wonder Pro 128 MB
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Asylum GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256 MB
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Western digital 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9600 SE 128 MB DDR
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB DDR
(after rebates)
Best Buy


InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
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.


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