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November 2001
Friday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-November-2001  22:18:02 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

GBH pointed out this article over on the Reg about remote exploits for mobile phones.. apparently all it takes is a broken header to totally freeze a selected few Nokia fones.. of course it's not something everyone can do, but it's still uncool.

Guru3D have updated their Detonator performance database, and if you're in the tweaking mood klif-e reminded me of TweakXP with some handy XP tweak hints. Just avoid the one for the 21.83 dets, it's crashed my system 3 times. I've reversed the changes and everything is fine tho..

Borrowed from TweakXP is this article sent in by dicey ( patience child) on The Reg covering a fix that will give you back 20% of your LAN bandwidth being misplaced by XP.. good thing to have in check before you start downloading all those game patches at the upcoming QGL lan.

VR-Zone have a guide to overclocking the Leadtek 7350KDA, a SiS735-based AMD/DDR board.

Over on Electic is sad news that Hitachi is cutting RAM production as well as staff levels, blaming poor demand and pricing for the cut. Less supply = higher prices = bad = :(

Chris pointed out this guide on hacking your Alcatel Speed Touch Home ADSL modem into a Speed Touch Pro. Telstra and other ADSL ISP's in Aus commonly use this modem, so it'll come in handy for quite a few of you. If you've already got a Pro modem it'll let you find the admin password as well..

Finally, Hogwash points out that a new version of WinAmp (2.78) has been released. Go forth and download!

Reviews:
AOpen 16X DVD drive on ViperLair.
UMaxPC Switching Bay Bus on GideonTech (no, it's not UMAX of scanner/mac clone fame).
Xitel MD-Port DG2 on EXHardware.
QVS 4-Port USB 1.1 Hub on ClubOC.
Leadman LP-6100E 500W PSU on OC.nz.
Zalman CNPS6000 hs/f on MikhailTech.



Friday Evening (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-November-2001  19:10:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Bah, I've got some horrible flu thing. :(

Brisbane computer store chain ****** Technology are reportedly under investigation by an administrator, some $1.3M in debt. More info here and here.

A few people spotted this interesting case in California. It deals with postings to online forums, with the judge ruling that typical messages posted to internet message boards can not be considered as libel or slander, as they inheritently are framed as opinions and not as statements of fact. More info here and Slashdot discussion here.

I did a silly thing with a motorcycle lock on the weekend.

HotHardware compared a couple of P4X266 motherboards.

Xbit-Labs have been playing with Dual Durons on the Tyan Thunder XP.

OCTools reviewed a new range of liquid-cooled PC's called Maximus from IOPort.

Digit-Life have part 3 of their i845 motherboard roundup posted.. these are P4 boards with SDR memory.

There's apparently a LAN in Adelaide.. tomorrow! They need to send their press-releases out a little earlier, methinks. :) Still, they've got 469 registrations so far so they must be doing something right.

Reviews:
ThermalTake Volcano6 socket cooler on SystemLogic.
Intel P4 2GHz CPU on HWExtreme.
Epox 8KHA+ KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on PCStats.
Soyo K7V Dragon Plus KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on 3DSpotlight.



Thursday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-November-2001  00:29:13 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Icrontic has taken a look inside the Nintendo GameCube console.. however they are currently being slashdotted so their site is a little slow.

Walrek points out a useful guide to CRT Monitors over on THG. A good point they make is that CRT's are probably the most expensive component in any system these days, and a good one will last a while so it helps to make a well-informed choice. Whilst LCD's are becoming more popular, a CRT is still the norm, so read up!

A few days ago Agg linked to an article about RAMBUS losing their legal challenge against Infineon regarding their SDRAM patents.. more bad news for RAMBUS with the dismissal of their similar challenge against Hynix (formally Hyundai).

From Mike Wright.. Most know by now that TweakTown has been having some very major issues with our website. Well, it is my pleasure to announce that it is back in action again. While we had to start the forums over from scratch (yep... you'll have to re-register), we were still able to pull all the reviews and articles from the mess. There are still a few little tweaks to be finished up, but it's feeling pretty much like home again.

An email vindaloo sent in has nothing but
this URL and the words holy sweet mother of Jesus Christ. Hehehehe..

Finally, Bench-House have an AthlonXP Overclocking guide up.

Reviews:
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV video review on 3DGameMan.
AMK GameTunell II Pre-Modded case on G3D.
Titan Heatsink Range on OC'dCafe.
USB Flash Memory on keyrings roundup at OtakuPC.
D-Link "AIR" device on DanzDomain.



OCAU Brisbane Meet (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 29-November-2001  23:14:26 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Following in the form of the OCAU chaps down in Sydney, some of our readers in Brisbane have suggested a BBQ get together. Nothing has been set in concrete yet, although there is a poll in the forums to check which day is best for everyone.. at the moment it is shaping up to be Sunday the 16th of December, with no time or venue confirmed yet either.

As with all aussie BBQ's something in the afternoon (~1pm) is probably the best way to go, but the location is a bit of a problem.. best suggestions so far have been Sandgate, Newfarm Park, South Bank or Mt Coo-tha. I'm leaning towards Mt Coo-tha myself because there is more room for a heap of noisy nerds compared to a packed inner-city family park. I'd imagine it'd be a big sort of BYO affair with everyone just congregating around the one area.

To make it even more complicated tho, Jozzy has suggested we follow in Sydney's steps and have a Paintball day over at Strategic Sports in Browns Plains. I've been there before myself and it's a pretty decent field and not a bad price either.. so I suppose it's up to you guys to make your opinions heard in that thread. Get to it!



Thursday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 29-November-2001  10:11:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

On the legal side of things, VIA has beaten Intel and the state of Conneticut won't agree to the Microsoft antitrust settlement because it's too vague.

Icrontic have a thread about getting into the XBOX's HDD.. seems to be password-protected by default. YYK spotted this article about Linux software that apparently will let XBOX owners play certain games over the net.

There's an article about DVD video and Linux over on SourceMagazine.

TomsHardware have a roundup of KT266A and nForce motherboards, DDR goodness for your SocketA CPU.

Interesting XP Admin Pack that lets you manage Win2K servers from XP Pro machines.

Dan has checked out some chipset coolers.. we had a similar comparison a while ago here.

Digit-Life have a roundup of 16X DVD-ROM drives.

Excite@Home in the USA could stop providing cable service from 30th Nov (a couple of days away) thanks F1DarkFlash, but AT&T may come to the rescue of their customers.

Interesting article about DVD-recording PC's on CNet, lots of info there, thanks talking_goat.

There's some more Beta Detonator drivers for your nVidia video cards under Win2K/XP available from 3DChipset.com. I don't think anyone's pretending these are leaked anymore, but they are beta, so Bad Things may happen.

Apparently Fair Trading is looking into mobile phones with dodgy screens due to the number of complaints.

OCdCafe wonder how much PC is enough? Hey, who're you calling an average user?! :)

Redback spotted another time-sucking flash game called Reflections. This one involves problem-solving with lasers, prisms and mirrors etc.

Registration for the next QGL LAN is open.. should be 500 people there apparently.

There might be some new faster HDD's on the way (well, of course there are, but this is a new agreement towards that goal), thanks YYK.

Digit-Life have an article on Realtime Ray-Tracing and how SSE optimizations improve things.

Talking_Goat noticed this article hinting at new nVidia products, NV17 and NV25. AnandTech take the hinting a step further with their more detailed information about NV17.

Reviews:
Purple Anodised CPU Shim on XtremeMods.
Belkin networking bits on AwareMag.
Abit Siluro GF3 video card on PCHardware.
SIS645 Pentium4 chipset with DDR333 memory support on xbit.



Wednesday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-November-2001  23:57:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some reviews to tide you over..

Reviews:
Logitech Cordless Freedom iTouch wireless KB and mouse on ThinkTechie.
Lightstrip casemodding goody on BurnoutPC.
Vantec CCK-6035D socket cooler on OCClub.
Nostromo n40 USB GamePad video review on 3DGameMan.
Lite-On LTR12101B CDRW on MikhailTech.
Arkua socket cooler on OCrCafe.
Visiontek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti500 video card on SLCentral.
Apple iPod MP3 player on DesignTechnica.
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon video card on IANAG.
Crucial 512MB PC2100 DDR memory on EXHardware.
ATI Radeon 7500 video card on Hexus.
Streetglow Neon Lighting kit on Icrontic.



Australian Game Developer Conference (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-November-2001  23:45:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

DuKe sent in a report on the recent AGDC held in Melbourne. Some pics and interesting info..


Click here for the article!



Forum Outage Tomorrow (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-November-2001  17:33:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AusGamers, those nice people who host the OCAU Forums, are having a short outage tomorrow while they upgrade their network. This will make the forums unavailable for an hour or so. A break will do you good. :)


Tuesday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 27-November-2001  22:52:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

G3D have an introductory article on overclocking.

Raven notes that internet junkies are cooler than originally thought. That would explain the hordes of hot chicks outside my front door every morning.

RAMBUS continues to have no luck suing people for patent infringement.

ArsTechnica have updated their System Recommendations again.

Ropable pointed out this Inventions of the Year article on Time. Some interesting toys there.

3DFX card owner? Thought you'd run out of options when nVidia bought 3DFX? Maybe not.. apparently they will give you cash-back for trading in your old 3DFX card on a new nVidia card. Dunno how successful you will be doing it from Australia.

AnandTech have branched out into dead tree publishing, having conquered the online world. :)

Rex has posted large pics of his Hercules GF3 Ti200 with some serious aircooling.

Reviews:
Arkua 6149 1U heatsink on FrostyTech.
Multi-Function Access Panel on IPKonfig.
Abit KG7 socketA DDR motherboard on Max3D.
Iwill XP333R SocketA motherboard with DDR333 support on xbitlabs.
ATI Radeon 8500 video card on Hexus.
QVS 2-port KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch on ClubOC.



Tuesday Morning #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 27-November-2001  11:03:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Bah, I've gotten about 20 of those virus emails overnight. Update your virus software, slackers! And don't open any mysterious attachments.

Bigsvenie noticed this interesting island resort planned for near Dubai.

Apparently Sydney Olympic Park is set to become a high-tech datacentre. Hmm, I wonder what their colocation prices will be like.. thanks YYK.

SystemLogic have an editorial about Comdex, the big PC show in the USA.

30 countries have signed a CyberCrime Treaty, thanks YYK.

Leo sent in this funny CattleCam page made by some bored IBM people.

Helldog noticed TomsHardware reviewed a turkey.. riiiight.

AnandTech have another article about ATI's SmoothVision anti-aliasing technology.

Cobra spotted this on slashdot, a semi-transparency program for Windows. Hmm, don't think much of the effect myself.

PCStats have some info on USB 2.0. Both this and FireWire have been around for a fair while now, but neither seem to be going anywhere fast on the PC side of things. PCStats say they haven't seen any motherboards with FireWire (IEEE1394) onboard, but I'm sure I have.

VR-Zone have cranked out a 11199 3DMark2001 score, yeeowch.

HotHardware have compared two KT266A motherboards, from Shuttle and Epox.

Reviews:
PixelView GF2MX video card on PCStats.
Zalman FanMate rheostat on FrostyTech.
Aopen AX4BS-Pro P4 motherboard with RAMBUS on TheTechZone.
Matrox G550 video card on Tech-Report.
Bitspower NP80D socket cooler on ThinkTechie.
Thermaltake Crystal Orb chipset cooler on HardCoreWare.
CoolerGuys MCX462 Ultra socket cooler on IANAG.
GlobalWin 8550 aluminium case on AtlantaOC.
ViewSonic ViewPad 1000 tablet PC on DesignTechnica.
Alpha PAL8045 socket cooler on Tech-Planet.
Arkua Technology 7568 socket cooler on 2FastCPU.
Sony CRX175A IDE CDRW on CDRInfo.
Samsung 171MP LCD monitor on TargetPC.
Ice Hole fan adapter on OCOnline.



Tuesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 27-November-2001  10:04:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Hmm, I'm thinking there's a new virus out there. In the news mailbox are 6 emails from 6 different people, all blank but have a 40kb .WAV file attached to them. No, I'm not going to play it even though .WAV files aren't executable and hence shouldn't be able to carry virii. Still, it's as good an excuse as any to update your virus software yet again.. Update: Firemoth thinks it's this virus.

We recently had a new club launched in the forums. The OCAU Extreme Cooling Club serves to showcase the extreme cooled systems of OCAU'ers and to provide a useful knowledgebase on extreme cooling within OCAU and the Extreme Cooling Forum. All details including how to join can be found here. I notice some Club member entries already listed in the PCDB - like mred32's fridge-assisted PC and Sabien's watercooled machine. Nobes isn't listed as a Club member yet but will be soon I imagine. :)

Digit-Life have a roundup of Radeon 8500 and 7500 video cards.

G3D have some info about Abit @ Comdex.

GBH has posted links to his 2002 Motorsport Calendar in our Motoring forum.

Part two of Wired's Star Trek Tech article is posted.

From Peter: Wandering through my local Bunnings over the weekend, I came across the whole stack of Dremels on special (at $199) and then thought what would the wife do if she knew I'd bought one. A few step further on & I come across the Black & Decker equivalent (as reviewed on OCAU) at the ridiculously
cheap price of $69.


YYK noticed an article about more DDoS programs that people may unwittingly be using.

Icrontic have posted part 2 of their modifying the XBOX article.

From Matex: Yesterday EzyWin was posted on the news. I've been in coontact with the creater of EzyWin, Robert Saye, and he told me that since yesterday, EzyWin has been updated to enhance support for Windows 2000, and Version 3 has just been released. He also said (because of popular demand) that a WindowsXP version SHOULD be released by Christmas. Version 4 will have unlimited length of characters in various prompts he also told me.

Mace noticed Realmagic are putting a MPEG 4 decoder chip onto a board similar to the Hollywood+ we reviewed ages ago here.

Your weekly dose of the bizarre on ZZZ Online.

I was actually going to post this news update last night, but my ISP fell over. More news in a little while!



Early (almost criminally so) Monday morning... (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 26-November-2001  07:22:04 (GMT +10) - by Manaz

It's not often I'm awake at 6:30am on a Monday morning - but I woke up about an hour ago, and couldn't get back to sleep, so I figured I'd do something worth-while with my time. When that failed, I figured I'd do a news post. :) (Just kidding, I know you guys appreciate the work we do posting news here).

Have you visited the OCAU Forums yet? If not, you would have missed out in seeing us rack up our first 250,000 posts. Yes, that's right, there are now one quarter of a million posts on the OCAU forums. Thanks to Iroquois for pointing out that we'd reached this milestone. And thanks to everyone who HAS visited the forums for getting us this far!

EB News are reporting that Nanya, one of the bigger memory manufacturers, have released DDR 333 (PC2700 or equivalent I believe) RAM into the market, apparently becoming the first company to do so. So far, SiS are the only chipset manufacturer to have released a DDR 333 motherboard chipset (SiS645), but Via apparently believe that DDR 333 is also "the future of DDR technology", and will, I would guess from that statement, be releasing a DDR 333 motherboard chipset in the not-to-distant future. Iroquois again pointed this one out for us.
Clarification/Update: Several people pointed out that you can already purchase PC2700/DDR 333 memory modules. The way I understand it, what Nanya have released are the first SDRAM chips which are officially certified to 333MHz by the chip manufacturer (Nanya) themselves. Also, take note that the story claims that Nanya have been shipping such parts since 1st November - almost a month ago now. It appears, however, that I was incorrect when I said that the SiS645 chipset was the only one to support a 333MHz FSB - ALi's MAGiK 1 (C-revision) also supports 333MHz FSBs, and Iwill have already released a motherboard based on it.

And just when you thought it was safe to read another news item, Iroquois strikes again! This time with a link to a heatsink database, located, strangely enough, at http://www.heatsinkdatabase.com.

Any of you who were found Wolfy's LCD article of interest may also find this interesting - an alternative application for sending data to your LCD screen - and it's written for LCDs attached to serial ports rather than to a parallel port. Thanks to Brad for pointing this one out.

Jayden pointed out this site promoting an (Australian written) application which allows you to customise the look/feel of your Windows installation.

Dave sent news that THG have published a video detailing how to unlock an AthlonXP processor. You can get to the video from this page on the THG website.

Dr Kildare pointed out this article - which says that Intel may be taking out a license on HyperTransport. That's quite amusing, since HyperTransport is one of AMD's (Intel's main competitor in the PC CPU market, but you all knew that already) technologies which competes directly with Intel's own technologies.

Dan (of Dan's Data fame) has reviewed the rather pleasingly (in Australia at least) cheap Gravis Stinger Gamepad. Pleasingly cheap because, well, it's cheap (to buy) but not too cheaply (and nastily) made. Go have a read, it's another review done as only Dan can do them.

ProCooling have published a quick and simple water cooling setup purchasing guide. While the prices are (I assume) in USD$, most if not all of the stuff they mention is available anywhere in the world anyway (you can always import it from the US if you need to).

OCA have attempted to find out which is faster - Windows 98SE or Windows XP.

Ah, time suckage. You'll figure it out, I'm sure. And then you can blame pace282 for wasting your day :)

Reviews:
Mesh Rounded IDE/FDD Cables Review on Mikhailtech.
Tyan Tomcat i815T Motherboard review on TargetPC.



Sunday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 25-November-2001  13:39:04 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Guru3D have updated their handy database of detonator driver performance statistics. If you're keen to try out some new dets in an effort to boost performance, looking there first would be a wise move.

Steak points out this somewhat amusing take on the über-old game Pong, meanwhile McNugget has found a multi-player drag racing flash game. Flash is getting more complicated by the day.. I like it.

G3D has a roundup of the budget video chipsets happening. GF2MX400 goes head to head with KyroII and Radeon VE. Which one is best for your blazing budget system? Go find out.

WorLok points out this handy guide on building your own serial port controlled IR receiver for controlling your PC from afar. If your parallel port is still unused you might want to check out our DIY LCD guide to building a parallel port controlled LCD screen.

Dan has checked out some new optical mice.. The new Intellimouse Explorer, a new entry from Logitech and Microsoft's bog-standard optical mouse.. if you're still stuck in ball territory it might be time for an upgrade.

Finally, if you've upgraded to WinXP you might be interested in this guide to changing the Logon/Logoff screens sent in by TheNelson.

Got News? It seems to be a bit slow at the moment.. spice up the news page and mail us new+interesting overclocking and hardware news!

Reviews:
SiS645 P4 DDR Board on VR-Zone.
ECS K7S5A SiS735 board on OCPrices, our review here.
Shuttle SV24 Bare-bones PC with C3 inside on Digit-Life.
Asus P4T-E i850 board on Hexus.
JULI MP3 Player video review on 3DGameMan.
MSI 845Pro2-R i845 board on PCStats.



Long Weekend for me :) (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 24-November-2001  09:44:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I'm off until Tuesday morning, going for a ride down to the South Coast to see my parents and some family friends. Hopefully the other newsmonkeys will keep you entertained in my absence, but it seems pretty quiet out there at the moment anyway. Otherwise, expect a bumper crop of news when I get back! Have a good one. :)


TwinMOS PC2700 DDR Memory (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 24-November-2001  01:27:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Chainbolt has checked out some of this high-speed-rated DDR memory that's appeared in Japan recently. He compares it to some more pedestrian PC2100 and wonders if there's a place for 333MHz memory in a 266MHz world..


Click for the review!



Friday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-November-2001  23:17:45 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

AtlantaOC have a guide up to lapping your heatsink.. our old guide from eons ago on sanding CPU slugs, which is the exact same thing surprisingly still draws traffic. We also have a short user-submitted article on lapping the Blue Orb.

Jiarne has a water cooling article up. We have a whole heap of that stuff over in our articles section. I'll stop beefing up my posts with self-pimpage and just recommend you go there and have a look 'round if you want.

Wokket has sent in a heap off his usual quirky stuff to spice up the news post.. The US Army is now training soldiers with a computer-based First Person Shooter.. I wonder which one? RTCW maybe? (I am not addicted, no, honestly). If you're looking at a cheap way of loosing 1% of your weight then moving to India might just be the trick, and finally, if you've lost your mouse these Windows keyboard shortcuts might come in handy.

Finally tonight, FireBlade points out this collection of absolutely weird but crazily cool flash games. Fancy having a tug of war with a Rhino? Here is your chance.

Reviews:
Antec SX-1240 Full-Tower Case on ClubOC.
Artic Silver II + Artic Alumina thermal pastes on BurntOutPC.
COMDEX 2001 Picture Essay on FutureLooks.
Crucial 256Mb SODIMM RAM for laptops on IANAG.
Dynatron DY1206BH-638 hs/f on OtakuPC.
Rockfire PSX to USB Bridge adaptor on EXhardware.
MPFit MP3 Player on MGON Hardware.



Radial Blower Mod (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-November-2001  11:30:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Ken sent in some pics and info on his experiences fitting a radial blower to the front of his case:


Click for the article!



Friday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-November-2001  10:53:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Wired have posted their take on the proposed Internet Censorship laws in NSW. Remember, here's what you can do to stop this from becoming law. There are some pre-written letters here that you might like to use as a basis for your own.

Andrew noticed WaterAid, one of those click-per-day sites like TheHungerSite but with the goal of providing fresh drinking water to people without it. Sounds like a pretty good reason to click.

Some people take Star Trek Tech a little too seriously. They didn't mention the 24th century's apparent lack of fuses though, which would stop those pesky consoles exploding whenever something bad happens. :)

GamePC have a 3-way KT266A motherboard shootout posted, socketA DDR boards of course, thanks Iroquois.

LivePC have a guide to making a blowhole, our similar article here.

Apparently Telstra has increased SMS pricing, too.. thanks YYK.

MikhailTech have been modding the Blue Orb.. our guide to lapping it here.

Another interesting thing on Wired.. a rental car company in the USA is now using thumbprints as ID.

Reviews:
Sparkle SP7000 GeForce3 video card on Hexus.
ProLink PixelView GF3 Ti200 video card on VR-Zone.
Logitech Cordless Mouseman Optical on ThinkTechie.
Asus P4B266 P4 board with DDR on HWMania.
Maxtor D740X-6L ATA-133 HDD on xbitlabs.
Dtek Cooler Core Radiator for watercooling on G3D.



Thermal Paste Comparo (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-November-2001  10:52:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Long-time reader StratosFeaR has sent in a quick comparison of thermal pastes - the venerable Unick, the ever-popular Arctic Silver II and a newcomer called "CoolingFlow"..


Click for the comparo!



Thursday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-November-2001  00:22:38 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

News is quiet today, but Wokket has sent in a heap of off topic but never the less cool stuff to spice up your evening.. I'll let his words tell the story..

Some NBA players (including Shaq) have been fined US$5000 for wearing their shorts too low: here.
MS are settling some cases out of court, to quote the fark headline "Microsoft reaches settlement in private anti-trust cases: As penalty will put $1.1B of MS advertising in poor schools", full info here.
MS also reckon the world rotates in the wrong direction (not around them??), check it out here.
Also in technology, some guy recons he's got 20DVD's onto 1 CD, full info here.
In a move worthy of us Aussies, an English vicar is now holding his sermons in the local pub: here.
In the same vain, a Scottish library has plans to install a pub inside its doors, the story here: here.
And finally a whole group that recon Nazis and aliens live in a hollow core at the centre of the planet, see it here.

If stubborn molex power connectors are annoying the heck out of you when you want to move your hard drive around, this thread in the forums might be just the trick to avoid future frustrations.

Torana pointed out this article similar to the one Wokket pointed out regarding MS's antitrust settlement.. taking a different tack, this article speaks of MS donating US$1.18bn of software, computers and training to the poorest US schools.

Meanwhile, Radix noticed over on the reg an article suggesting Hynix (formally Hyundai) may be shut down or sold to a foreign competitor (possibly Micron).. Incidentally, a revamp of Hynix's current plant has been suggested as one of the reasons memory prices have recently jumped up.

CaseJunkiez have checked out Laser LED's, a different way of lighting up your case (obviously) using LED's as apposed to a cathode or a neon. Good in theory, but they don’t like it in practice. Incidentally, it is also their birthday month and they are still giving stuff away. Can't hurt to enter.

VyW have an article up covering a mod they did to their socket to allow more accurate temperature measuring. It's exactly the same as what Agg did to his A7V a while ago, in that they have dremelled out a path in the socket to allow a thermistor to be directly attached to the bottom of the CPU. Voiding your warranty indeed.

PCStats have a write-up about this years COMDEX. There wasn't much in the way of interesting stuff there, so they reckon it sucked. Fair call.. i845DDR and NV17 seem to be about the coolest stuff that was released at the show, and from our perspective, they are both pretty insignificant.. i845DDR we have seen coming for a long while, and how many overclockers use a laptop as their primary system?

Scriion sends in this hack for Radeon 8500 boards to flash your OEM board to a Retail version.. there is a bit of a clock speed advantage to be had with the Retail boards, so it can't be too painful. Unless of course it stuffs up, in which case you'll be left with an ornamental $600 wall hanging that OCAU take no responsibility for at all.

Finally tonight, Komson sends in his voltage mod for the EPoX 8KHA+ KT266A board allowing you to boost the VCORE up to 2.16V from its previous maximum of 1.85V.

Reviews:
Thermaltake Volcano for P4 on ClubOC.
ABIT BL7-RAID i850 board on IANAG.
Alpha PAL8045 on IANAG.
Case Badge Lightning on TTZ.
Chaintech 7VJDA KT266A board on BenchHouse.



Net Censorship in NSW (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-November-2001  17:26:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Unfortunately we've received this a little later than is ideal, but there's still time to be heard. There's a new bill before the NSW state parliament which is intended to protect children from viewing inappropriate content online. Now don't get me wrong, I strongly support that idea - there are some things, many of them online - that kids should not be exposed to. However, these proposed laws are not the solution. Electronic Frontiers Australia have posted an analysis of the NSW bill which explains why this is so vague as to be completely unworkable. Read their analysis and you'll be amazed - it's almost guaranteed to trap people who spend a lot of their lives and careers online. Some very basic points:
  • Existing laws cover this stuff already! If you're producing adult-oriented content and publishing it in New South Wales it doesn't matter if you're on the net or in a magazine, existing laws cover what you can and cannot publish.
  • The definitions in these proposed laws are so vague that they will cover a lot of genuinely harmless and/or important discussion, much of which is perfectly legal offline, and make it illegal online.
  • These laws will KILL the Australian Internet content-producing industry. At nearly $700 to get any content rated before publication - which will then need to be re-rated ($700 again) if it's changed, you can see how this would make things like the OCAU Forums - and indeed, OCAU itself - impossible to fund.
  • The Bill proposes to make it an offence to publish material rated R, X or RC. Many things can be rated "R" without containing any sex or nudity, eg if they contain "adult themes". Detailed discussions or depictions of corruption, torture, abuse, etc are such adult themes. Such issues are also legitimate topics of debate in a healthy society. Given the recent evidence of corruption in the NSW Police Force, it is particularly hypocritical of the NSW Parliament to be attempting to censor discussions of corruption at this time.
EFA also have a historical analysis of how similar laws are progressing in South Australia. In that instance it seems that people's protests made the politicians stop and re-consider the laws - we need to get that happening now, too!

Don't just shake your head in disbelief and move on - if YOU don't take a few minutes to act on this and be heard, who will? You'll be the one complaining if these crazy ideas become law, so act now! I strongly urge you to read EFA's Action Alert that explains what you can do. I've already sent letters to the editors of the two newspapers listed in that document, explaining how these laws will kill many small businesses in Australia. Tonight I am writing a letter to my local member which I will express-post tomorrow. Don't wait for someone else to stop this - do it yourself!

If you're having trouble writing, consider basing your letter on some of these form letters in the forum. Don't just copy them verbatim, but use them as a guide if you like.



Silly WinXP (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-November-2001  13:08:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This from Dan: I found this while trying to install WinXP on my Dad's computer: :)


click to enlarge



Thursday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-November-2001  11:05:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

If you have any spare old PC bits, consider giving them to kids who need them. Rick in our forums is organising a collection to build some working PC's at the moment. If people are feeling generous, it would be cool to get larger drives, but the main thing I need is the cdroms, and full copies of win95... Got about 12 boxes, but only 6 copies.......

VIA have a new version of their P4X266 P4-with-SDRAM chipset that offers faster memory throughput -- and is available for 26 percent less than the P4X266's original list price, thanks YYK.

TheTechZone want to tell you about all the cool COMDEX parties you didn't get invited to. :)

Morjo says that WWII Online is a cool online battlefield game and there's a (60mb!) video about it here.

Bored? Try some frustrating ping-pong, thanks Ben. :)

Interesting anti-spam ideas, thanks EazyduzIt.

Gideontech have a roundup of aluminium cases.. mmm, shiny.

ComputerSource have articles on video editing and digital video connections.

Osama's got plans for a nuclear bomb! And he got them from the internet! Quick, tell the world.. and then turn your brain on.

Interesting preview of some new direct-contact waterblocks on GideonTech.

DesignTechnica take a look at AMD's Performance Rating system.

Interesting article on using machines to enhance humans, thanks TomBot.

There's an introductory SCSI and RAID FAQ over on 2CPU.

Dyslexic Fish, the closest thing to an OCAU Band that we've got, is playing at Grosvenor Hotel Frontroom in Perth at about 11pm this Friday (tomorrow). Go see Vindaloo and Froodogs in their latest gig if you're stuck for something to do. :)

Reviews:
Dr Thermal socket cooler on ThinkTechie.
Swiftech MCX462 socket cooler on Viperlair.
Swiftech Water-cooling kit on VyW.
Evercool socket coolers on HWExtreme.
Glowire and Lazer LED's on BlargOC, our review here.
Visiontek Geforce3 Ti200 Xstasy 6564 video card on 8Balls.
Titan copper chipset cooler on OCdCafe.
Microsoft Xbox on Anandtech.
Thermaltake Tiger chipset cooler on 2FastCPU.
TerraTec SIXpack 5.1 sound card on 3DSpotlight.
Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM on Rojakpot.
Philips DVDRW208 IDE DVD+RW on CDR-Info.
Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum sound card on Guru3D.
Case-badge light kit on Icrontic.
Senfu Copper-Fin HSF on Icrontic.
Premodded Globalwin case on Rizenet.
Copper Ramsinks on OcOpolis.
Plextor PleXWriter PX-W2410TA and AOpen CRW2040 CDRW drives on Digit-Life.
Swiftech MCX462 socket cooler on FrostyTech.
VisionTek GeForce3 video card on AtlantaOC.



Silly Sandra (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-November-2001  23:17:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This from Ooroo: An astounding lack of "self awareness" from Sisoft Sandra..


click to enlarge

I think we might've actually had a shot like this from an older version years ago..



Paintball Pics Posted! (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-November-2001  01:21:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Pics are here, discussion and info is here.


Wednesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-November-2001  01:10:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Happy 18th Birthday to Firemoth!

Hopefully mobile phone geeks will know what Klif-E is going on about when he says: Nokia's new 7650 model features GSM, HSCSD and GPRS support, as well as an integrated digital camera plus support for WAP, Bluetooth, SyncML, IR, e-mail, J2ME and MMS! .. 'coz I sure don't. Woo, look at the pretty lights. I just use my phone for talking to people, weird. :)

Interesting free racing game in the forums. Tricky to control at first!

Chillblast have an AthlonXP unlocking guide.

IANAG have a roundup of 16x10x CDRW drives.

xbit have an 18-way socket cooler roundup happening.

Supremo spotted this comparison between the Duron 1200 and Pentium4 CPU's on TomsHardware.

There's a Gold Coast LAN this weekend too.

Reviews:
MSI K7N420 Pro nForce-based SocketA DDR motherboard on HardOCP.
ECS P4VXAS P4X266-based P4 SDR motherboard on VIAHW.
Arkua coolers on ClubOC.
Microsoft Office Keyboard on MGON.
ProLink PixelView GF2Ti video card on PCStats.
Evercool CUC-610CA socket cooler on 2FastCPU.



Price Check! (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-November-2001  19:41:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We got approached by a price-comparison site in the UK a little while ago who were interested in making a co-branded Australian Price Comparison site with us. Basically this is a revenue-sharing deal whereby a few bucks from each sale come back to OCAU. However the site itself is served and kept up-to-date by them, not us.

Anyway, I said we'd give it a whirl and they have completed the site now:

overclockers.ozpricecheck.com

It's pretty neat, lets you automatically find the (possibly) cheapest price for a given item and has review links and a glossary-type info section. Check it out and leave your comments here in the forums.



Tuesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-November-2001  11:27:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a load of Xbox stuff today: HardOCP have played with one for a little while then ripped it to peices to see what's inside, as did VansHardware and TechTV (despite the name, not a video review). Icrontic did a similar thing but also tried modding it a little. Apparently the Xbox has Sony thinking about a PS3 earlier than anticipated. However, anthroxx notes that it's not entirely without problems, as this image (on sqellen.d2g.nu) and this video (on www.copyxbox.com) show. YYK spotted this article about the Australian Xbox plans.

Sun's UltraSparc III processor will apparently hit the gig mark very soon. We kinda forget that people other than Intel and AMD make CPU's these days.

A new version of SiSoft Sandra, a long-standing favourite benchmarking tool, has been released. This has support for WinXP among other improvements. IANAG have some screenshots and info about their experience with the new version.

G3D compared some ramsinks.

Some software pirates got busted bigtime, thanks YYK.

If you've tried WinXP but decided you want to go back to your old OS, it may be possible, thanks thetron. If you're sticking with WinXP, you might want to try this memory tweaking guide from 3DSpotlight. Yaleman spotted this list of patches for XP while Dirk noticed Tweak UI / PowerToys for XP has been released.

Sick of hearing about how WinXP has it, Stanza has written a Sub-pixel Rendering HOWTO for Linux.. on WinXP it's called ClearType.

HardOCP went crazy with the video cards and compared the entire VisionTek line of cards aimed at Gamers. They also see if DirectX makes a speed difference.

PCHardware have a cooler roundup posted.

This has been around for years but a few people sent it in recently. Telnet to towel.blinkenlights.nl and you can see (most of) the film Star Wars presented in glorious ASCII-character monochrome. Someone with waaaaaaaay too much spare time.

BlueSmoke have a Case Gallery happening. Similar to our PCDB but not as interactive.

Eric spotted this Ghetto Hardware site.. funny/sad. :)

OCdCafe reviewed some Titan Coolers including the Majesty Twin we had the first review of, right here. They thought it was pretty good, so maybe it's been improved (again). The last improved version did this to a CPU of mine so I doubt I'll be experimenting with any new revisions of that cooler.

TR have written up their COMDEX report for this year, and so do TheTechZone. AnandTech are just teasing us with the motherboards to come that were previewed at COMDEX.

LivePC have a guide to mounting an LCD in your case.. a video review, so not for the bandwidth impaired.

Alex sent in this neato guide to using a remote control on your PC.. like TV remote, not remote-console remote.

OtakuPC have a simple mod guide to make a USB drive bay cover thingo.

There's a poll happening in the forums to let us know where in Australia you are from.. or if you're not.

There's a LAN party happening this weekend in Sydney(ish), courtesy of LanDAG in Cranebrook.

The latest issue of ZZZ Online has been posted, full of gadgety goodness.

Reviews:
DigiDoc5 thermal controller on ExtremeOC, our review here.
VisionTek XTasy Everything GF2MX400 video card on HotHardware.
Logitech Z-560 THX-certified speakers on Max3D.
TDK Tremor S150 flat-panel speakers on DansData.
Creative DTT2200 speakers (too!) on Digital-Explosion.
Antec PID-100 scanner on JSIHW.
ProLink Pixelview GF3 Ti200 video card on Digit-Life.
Epox 8KHA+ KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on Bench-House.
4Q Budget PC fulltower case on TweakMax.



Monday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 19-November-2001  11:58:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, I'm a bit stiff and sore now - not used to running around in the bush all day! A few people asked who the people in the right photo below are - it's me in the background (spot the hair, as did many people during paintball - next time I'll wear a cap :) ) and Wolfy (forum Admin and maker of interesting fiddly bits) defending our corner of the field during the final "free-for-all". Epoch was there taking photos with Daemon's camera all day so we should get the rest of the pics soon. The bruise on my thigh is about the size of a tennis ball now, thanks YYK. :) Great day.

I know that a lot of OCAU readers are recovering Bridge-Builder junkies so it's probably unfair of me to link it again on a Monday morning - the effect on productivity for the rest of the week could be catastrophic! :) But it's been a while since we've mentioned it and Scotty reminded me about it - so check it out here. Simple puzzle-solving game about building bridges. It's only 122k and it's VERY addictive.

AnandTech have revisited the ATI Radeon 8500 with new drivers which, among other things, enable support for the best looking anti-aliasing we've ever seen.

XG8 notes that the huge GeForceFAQ page is back after being away for a while.

Dan has checked out some funky gadgets that don't work!

CFGN have a quick article about piracy and security.

If you thought obsessive gadget collectors were restricted to the world of PC's, guess again - Vindaloo pointed out that audiophiles do it too.

VyW have been modding a Skyhawks case.

Digital-explosion have a guide to DIY temperature sensors.

Kazashi noticed that John Carmack has updated his .plan with his thoughts on ATI's driver optimization that many people are calling cheating.

Xoverclocker have been playing with an AthlonXP 1600+, overclocking on their Epox 8K7A and Epox 8KHA+ motherboards.

Mikhailtech have part 3 of their heatsink roundup posted.

From the PCDB: a cool floppy drive PC.. an entire PC squeezed into an external 5.25inch floppy drive case. SilverBack has combined the ideas of a wooden-pc and a suitcase-pc. RickBishop1's custom case looks like 2 minitowers on their sides and Evil_Boeing777's is an interesting look..

Electronic Frontiers Australia have posted an action alert regarding some worrying internet censorshop laws that are to come before the NSW Parliament later this month. I think it's important that people read that page and - politely and sensibly - let their feelings be known to the appropriate parties.

Reviews:
Enermax Clear Fans on Icrontic.
ASUS A7V266-E KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on Bench-House.
BIOS saviour on Bit-Tech.
Abit KR7A-RAID KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on OCWB.
Abit KG7 AMD760-based SocketA DDR motherboard on RadiativeNZ.
OCZ 256mb PC2400 DDR SDRAM on ClubOC.
maxXxpert Water Cooling kit on ClubOC.
Creative Audigy Platinum eX sound card on Icrontic.
Glowire case-modding stuff on BlargOC, our review here.



Paintball! (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 18-November-2001  18:52:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU paintball was on today at Action Paintball in Sydney. More pics and info later, but for now here's a couple of teaser pics:

  



Sunday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 18-November-2001  11:43:58 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Well, the X-Box has been released in the US market, and officially launched in Australia. It won't be available for sale in Australia until March 14 next year tho, which kinda sucks. Coverage is on 3DGameMan, AcidHardware (Aussie Launch, QGL (including a video review with the Aussie director of the X-Box project), DalSat and HardOCP, including this jazzed up version of Microsoft's infamous Blue Screen of Death.. only available when you buy an X-Box!

LivePC has a cool video guide to building a device bus.. something that most of us know as a fan bus, but I suppose it could be used for other devices as well. They also have another video guide showing you how to cut a blow hole. Well, I s'pose if you had nothing planned for today, there is something for you to do - mod your case :) There is also a new version of the divx codec, v4.11 for download over on Electic.

If you're itching for case modding now, JsiHardware have another blowhole guide, PC Workshop have a neat painting guide covering metallic paint and metal flakes in your paint and HW Extreme have a review of the IMT-Max Case. Don't forget to upload pics of your beast into the PCDB when you're done.

RojakPot has a very handy guide to determining if memory problems are because of the motherboard or because of the DIMM itself. They use memtest86 in the guide, a very useful program. If you ever think you are experiencing memory problems, leaving memtest run overnight is probably the best way to find out for sure.

New SBLive software/drives are out for WindowsXP in the form of LiveWare3 v5.12.1.3512 and plain old drivers which have the MS signing XP seems to desire so badly.

AMD is now shipping 1.2GHz Durons, according to this Reg article sent in by EasyDuzIt. Value processor indeed. They've also demo'd a 0.13 micron Thoroughbred processor, the core destined to replace Palomino in time. Thanks to EazyDuzIt again :)

Tee points out this virtual keyboard that works by attaching sensors to end of your fingers and your wrist to detect the key that your finger would be hitting, should there be a keyboard there. It would kinda suck if you didn’t know how to touch type tho.. heh. Another thing that'd be a bit sucky about it is the lack of key response. Try drawing out a quick sketch of a keyboard on a piece of paper, put it on your desk and try typing at 40wpm on it. It hurts.

Tensop points out this thread in the forums by dezbin with some useful add-ons for folders. Beware 56k modem users, big screenshots lie within. The first is a program that can shift ("hide") programs from the taskbar to the system tray, which will stop the console from bugging you so much. Second is a Beta version of the FoldMonitor software, similar to the EM software we used with FAH1.

AMDmb have a COMDEX summary. The reason why there isn't so much more COMDEX news is because, well, there isn't any. There isn't much new there this year.

Stolen from slashdot, Wolfy points out these pics of the damage caused to a few PC's simply by shipping them from Canada to the USA. It's pretty horrible.. way to go UPS.

Smoothy points out that a new version of Opera has been released for windows, 6.0 beta 1. Probably the coolest thing about Opera is it allows you to use "gestures" to perform basic tasks, much the same way the game Black and White did.

Also pointed out by Smoothy is this SMH article regarding X-Box advertising. They've hired a company to go around and spray-paint, illegally and without the owner's consent, advertising on footpaths and other public property. To me that is just downright arrogant, they could at least pay for their advertising.. they are Microsoft. They should be treated in exactly the same way any other person who illegally damages public property is: pay for your damage to be cleaned up, and then some.

Finally this morning, on a slightly more upbeat note rickbishop has collected a bunch of PC's to donate to pcsforkids.org but he needs a few more parts to make them complete. He's got a thread in the forums here, so if you've got any old hard drives or CD-ROM's lying around and would like to donate them to a good cause he'd appreciate it.

Reviews:
nVidia Reference nForce Board on Digit-Life.
Artic Alimunia Adhesive Compound on BurntOutPC.
AthlonXP on BenchHouse.
Tt Volcano 7 on PimpRig.
IWill XP333 ALi B0 MAGiK1 DDR333 board on OCPrices.
Dynatron 1206BM-0 on AtlantaOC.
Akasa Silver Mountain hs/f on Radeonic.
Thermalright CB-6L on M:6.
Microsoft Office Keyboard on AcidHardware.
AthlonXP Overclocking Guide in 3DSpotlight.
Power Magic 7500 and 8500 Radeons on Digit-Life.
Genius EasyPen Graphics Tablet on RipNetUK.
Plextor 24/10/40 IDE CD-RW on OConline.
Hercules Scan@Home 48USB Scanner video review on 3DGameMan.



Paintball tomorrow! (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-November-2001  22:29:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Don't forget, those who booked into OCAU Sydney paintball, it's on tomorrow! Details here. See you there!


Saturday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-November-2001  08:54:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ClubOC reviewed the CPU Radiator Zen: The Zen has got to be one of the worst products I've seen targeted towards Overclockers and computer enthusiasts in a very long time. That's funny, that's basically what we said in our review here.

Reviews:
Arctic Alumina thermal paste on MikhailTech.
Dynatron D1206 socket cooler on GideonTech.
Swiftech MCX-462 on OCrCafe.
Leadtek GF3 Ti500 on HotHardware.
Titan TTC-CUV1AB VGA cooler on 2FastCPU.
Iwill XP333-R socketA DDR motherboard on OCTools.



Friday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 16-November-2001  22:54:37 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Another reason why the news has been a little slow comming is because I'm in exam block at uni. Only one left to go, but it's a big one.

There is an article over on a German site that I previously linked to believing it was a bug with VIA chipsets. A reader pointed out to me that this might not be so, and after reading the article I'm inclined to agree. What the author has found is a configuration that results in poor performance of GF3's on VIA chipsets. In fact, I am not even sure that it is specifically VIA chipsets as all the boards they tested this on featured an Award BIOS, so it may be a BIOS issue. Therefore what they have found is probably nothing out of the ordinary - a configuration that sucks - so what? Appears to me that the only bug is a PEBKAC issue. Brings to light another important issue.. if you have a query with anything you read on OCAU that is written by me, email me, if it's written by Agg email him, we are most definitely inclined to listen.

OC'd cafe are giving away a modded Antec case with all the goodies.

Comdex is happening. SoundCard Central have their info posted.

If you're lucky enough to be running a swanky new P3 Tualatin based notebook you might want to check out this MS KB article Stephen sent along. WindowsXP does not support power management out-of-the-box with these new CPU's, so you'll notice poor battery life and it'll run a little warm too. As a side effect of owning one of these laptops you may also experience a thinner wallet and jealous glares from all that surround you.

Chainbolt has posted in the forums that PC2700, or DDR333 RAM has now started selling in Japan. At the moment the only chipset to officially support this standard is the B0 stepping of the ALi MAGiK, but a lot of chipsets unofficially support it through overclocked bus speeds, and no doubt official versions are in the pipes.

LivePC has a quick 'n easy guide to build a temperature probe. Just the thing for keeping an eye on your toasty video card or overheating clockgen chip.

3DChipset has some new Radeon 7500/8500 drivers. Apparently ATi uploaded them to their own site, realised that they wern't meant to be realised just yet and yanked them 5 mins later. HotHardware have gone one better and tested the drivers as well.

HardwareAccelerated is looking at where OpenGL 2.0 will go. Hopefully far.

VR-Zone is looking at the Road Map for P4 chipsets. Most notable is DDR-II support for the P4. Die RAMBUS!

Apparently Intel's new flagship Itanium processor has flunked Compaq's internal quality assurance program. Yowch, another 1.13GHz P3 maybe?

Armalyte wrote in to say that apparently new BIOS revisions of the KT7A support the XP/Palomino processor. He only sent the BIOS exe URL tho, so I can't totally confirm if this is only limited to certain revisions of the board as previously thought. Abit's BIOS page for the KT7A is here, their main BIOS page here. If you can figure it out, head over to the AMD Hardware forum and let everyone know!

Klif-e points out this trekkies dream on EBay. He dosn't seem to think that it's for everyone, and I tend to agree with him. No disrespect to all the trekkies out there, but I think that the only thing it's missing is padded walls.

Dan has checked out a Sony micro-cam with the lot. Originally I made a typo and referred to it as a "micro-cram", and I reckon that's the best word for it. In their haste to cram everything in, Sony forgot to add usability.

Finally, tonight marks the official start of schoolies week for all the kids (and people who'd like to think they're still kids) in Queensland.. I hope everyone who graduated this year is heading down the Gold Coast, it's awesome fun.. have a big one guys, I know that I sure did :)

Reviews:
Arkura 7228 hs/f on 8Balls Hardware.



Early Friday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 16-November-2001  01:50:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

News might get a bit sporadic over the weekend, what with paintball etc..

Congrats to everyone who is finishing High School at the moment, way to go Class of 2001! .. egad, I was in Class of 1992.. now I feel really old. :(

Those crazy kids over at CaseJunkiez have been painting fans! Just the thing for evenly distributing paint fumes around your room. :)

Bit-Tech have been playing with something they call a Mod-Bus.. they've also got a little case-modding project going.

IANAG have a guide to unlocking AthlonXP processors.

Reviews:
Sunon 120mm fan on AtlantaOC.
Panasonic LF-D311 IDE DVD-R/RAM drive on CDRInfo.
GlacialTech Igloo 4300 socket cooler on HardAvenue.
AMD Duron 1.1GHz SocketA CPU on HardCoreWare.
Thermalright SK6 socket cooler on M:6.
IBM 60GXP 60GB IDE HDD on EXHardware.
OCZ Dominator 2 socket cooler on 2FastCPU.
Thermaltake Volcano 7 socket cooler on Viperlair.



Thursday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 15-November-2001  20:45:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sorry for the lack of news yesterday, there was some confusion over who was actually doing it. No matter, you'll get a bumper load today.

Many thanks to the 138 people who notified me that the banner system was broken this morning (including someone from Sweden and another from Germany!) .. some minor server confusion there, easily sorted.

There's been a rumour for a couple of weeks that RAM prices are set to double soon, I have received word from a couple of trusted sources in the last few days that say a BIG price hike is filtering down from the manufacturers. A few people have suggested this explanation, as Klif-E puts it: One of the world's largest memory manufacturers Hynix (formerly Hyundai) is currently upgrading their manufacturing plant. Whilst this is happening there is a shortage of RAM and wholesale prices have risen sharply in the past week. Once Hynix's new facility is fully productive, RAM prices should drop again, but this might not be until the new year. Seems to make sense but again I've seen nothing official. Based on what I've heard, I'd be surprised if there WASN'T a big price rise happening now or soon.

Leo noticed you can win $5000 for searching on YellowPages.com.au.. a prize every week for a little while, sweet.

ScienceWhiz reported this radiator testing article over on OC.com in the USA.. very detailed presentation of how accurate comparative testing should be performed. It's an 8-pager so I've not read it in full detail yet, but looks like it should be required reading for some folks in our Extreme Cooling forum!

Creat|ve has posted his Gainward GF3 experiences in the forums. Compare our Golden Sample review from a few months ago.

Flektone sent info on observing the Leonid meteor shower: The 2001 Leonid meteor shower, perhaps the biggest in decades, is coming soon. ... If you live in Australia or one of the many Asian countries along the Pacific Rim, the right time to be outdoors is Monday morning, Nov. 19th.

VyW checked out what effect increasing the diameter of tubing in a watercooling system would have.

3DGameMan have footage and photos from the XBOX Launch.. not the Australian launch of course, because we're still being told "Early 2002".. seems odd that they don't announce it everywhere at once.

Apparently litestep.com is back up and running, good news for fans of this alternate Windows shell, thanks Wokket. He also notes there's a LiteStep User Database including some Aussies and a LiteStep User Map image.

There's some coverage of COMDEX posted - the huge PC & IT show in the USA.. here from HardOCP, here and here from VIAHW and here from G3D.

Digit-Life have a roundup of 10k-rpm SCSI hard drives.

Reviews:
Asus A7N266 nForce-based SocketA DDR motherboard on HardwareMania.
AccessDTV HDTV Tuner Card on AwareMag.
Arctic Alumina thermal paste on LWD.
AMD AthlonXP 1900+ on Hexus.



Thursday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 15-November-2001  11:56:19 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Here are a whole heap of reviews.. more in a bit.

Reviews:
MSI 645Ultra SiS645 P4 mobo on OCwb.
A7V266E KT266A mobo on LostCircuits.
Plextor 24/10/40A IDE CD-RW on Icrontic.
Abit KG7-RAID AMD/DDR mobo on ViperLair.
Adda High and Ultra Speed Fans on HWGN.
Swiftech MCX462 on IPKonfig.
nVidia NV17M on AMDmb.
Abit BL7-RAID P4 i845 PC133 mobo on PCHardware.RO.
Soyo K7V Dragon on Hexus.
DTS440 + Non Conductive Purple shims on UniqueHardware.
64Mb Disk-on-Key Video Review on 3DGameMan.
1.4GHz T'Bird Athlon on Radeonic.
Complete Video Card Cooling Solution on Inside-Hardware.
HighSpeedPC AMD Shim on SystemLogic.
Enermax Whisper 431 PSU on TheColdShop.
Samsung SycMaster 150T 15" LCD on IANAG.
DigiDoc5 on IPKonfig.



Chainbolt @ Tokyo Motorshow! (Repost) (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-November-2001  23:36:35 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Chainbolt, our ever diligent man-in-Japan has been busy at the Tokyo motor show. He's taken quite a few decent photos from all the big launches, and quite a few other strange Japanese concept cars and a heap of bikes. Interesting to have a poke around and see what the new stuff looks like. He originally had a bit of a problem with all the traffic this posting sent him so we've hosted all the pics on OCAU and edited the posts to reflect this. Everything should be sweet now, ready for your oogling pleasure. Big thanks to chainbolt for taking all the photos!




Tuesday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-November-2001  23:22:46 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

I've spend the past few days installing WinXP Pro, and now that I've got past a few nagging issues it works like a dream. I had a few issues with ClearType, with the silly Alt-Tab dialog (fix here, thanks Phosphate) and a few other things. The big hang up was my Vortex-2 sound card tho, but thanks to a quick 'n easy fix from Osiris here it now works a treat.. so anyone hanging off an XP upgrade because of their Vortex-2, try that fix.. works great for me. Thanks also to styrenic who suggested the vortex-of-sound method. To anyone still running 9x (I was running ME) I fully recomend the upgrade, with all the silly new interface "features" disabled XP is a much nicer OS.

Still on XP, Lombers has an excellent method for running the FAH2 console as a service on your Win2K/XP box. Just the perfect way to have it always running without interupting you. Seamless, really. I like. Remember, if you're not running folding yet we'd really like you to join the OCAU team.. we're World Number One!

Farrod was the first person to send me in some decent benchies of DirectX 8.1 compared to 8.0a from his Win98SE-based 1.4GHz Athlon w/256Mb PC2100 on an EPoX 8KHA+ using a Herc Prophet III GF3 with the 22.50 dets (in the PCDB here). Using DX8.0a he got an average 3DMark2001 score of 5679 (at 1024, 32bit), then with DX8.1 it dropped to an average of 5662. Not much of a drop, but still. Hrrm. Cheers for sending in the results.

Digit-Life has the roundup thing happening today with a Storage Roundup for October 2k1 as well as a VIA P4X266 Roundup. It's a bit sad to see the P4X266 chipset missing out on top-tier manufacturer support to show us what it is really capable of, but Electic has news that Tyan has a board in the pipes so maybe we'll soon find out.

TomsHardware and Icrontic have guides to unlocking the new AthlonXP processor here and here (thanks Lujuan and Inks). It's a bit trickier with the new organic packaging, and the Doctor seems to think that the new difficulty is of AMD's direct doing. I'm more of the opinion that it is a side-effect of the new packaging than anything else, but then the Doctor may know best.

In a whole swag of other AMD news, Walrek has found info about the upcomming Hammer processor and Dr.Kildare points out that new mobile processor speeds are out in the form of 950MHz Durons and 1.2GHz T'Birds. Quite a bit of power in a laptop. Team it with nVidia's just-released NV17M (another preview here) mobile GeForce3 processor and you'll have yourself one mean laptop.

MegaBaz points out that an updated version of the Dremel, a tool much loved by Case Modders, has been released. It brings with it 15% more RPM, supposedly letting you cut through those cases a little bit quicker and it has a new grippy housing so it's easier to hang on to.

Finally, Monday. ZZZ Online.

Reviews:
MSI K7T266 Pro2 KT266A-board on OCnz.
Promise TX-2 ATA/133 + Matrox D740X IDE Controller + ATA/133 HDD on LWD.
32Mb Disk-On-Key on OCclub.
Herc 3D Prophet 4500 Kyro2 on HardcoreWare.
Enermax Speed Dial Clear Case Fans on MikhailTech.
Samsung 170T LCD on RatedPC.
4Q Full Tower Case on OCcafe.
Antec Jet-Cool P4 Case on IANAG.



Monday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 12-November-2001  23:11:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

One of the first articles ever published on this site was my Slug Sanding How-To guide for Mendocino Celerons. More recently we had a guide to lapping a Blue Orb. Pimprig have a similar guide, but for CPU coolers. Nice job they did of theirs, too.

XG8 notes that DirectX 8.1 is now officially out.

There's a nasty security hole in IE6 and Outlook Express.. no patch yet but that page lists a way to protect yourself, thanks F1DarkFlash.

Apparently not everyone is happy about the proposed purchase of Compaq by HP.

Apparently someone has come forward, claiming to be the Tourist Guy in the infamous WTC photo (and about a zillion doctored photos thereafter).

Plasmaboy has a very cool briefcase PC in the PCDB and there's a nic blue box from Mongy2.

HWLabs are giving away a shiny shiny version of their Black Ice radiator that we reviewed here a while ago.

Hoopstar is showing off his award-winning Holden HR in the forums.

Interesting site from Alchemy, Fake or Foto is a little test of your CGI-spotting skills.

Reviews:
The Claw gaming controller on IANAG.
Elan System Workstation furniture on DesignTechnica.
Antec SX1240 case on IANAG.
3D Prophet Titanium on mgon.
TV Excel tuner card on OCPlus.
ThermalTake Crystal Orb on VyW.
FlashDIO 32MB USB HDD on ClubOC.
Arkua 7528 socket cooler on 2FastCPU.
Soundworks SW320 speakers on BlargOC.
Altec Lancing ADA890 speakers on Hardware-Test.
Ultimate HDD Cooler on ThinkTechie, our review here.
PC Port Adapter on MikhailTech.
Logitech Cordless Desktop Optical on Bench-House.
Asus AX4BS Pro, P4 motherboard on Processor-Emporium.



Archive Updated.. (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-November-2001  22:21:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I've updated the Article/Review Archive with some recent content:

CPU Radiator Zen socket cooler.
Glowire and Laser LED's.
Thermosonic Thermoengine comparison.
KingMax DDR-266 SDRAM.
DIY printer cable LCD display.
ST Fan Controller mini-fanbus.
MS Wireless Explorer - first looks.
ECS K7S5A socketA DDR + SDR motherboard.

I made a new section in the Archive for Case Modding stuff, moving it all from the Misc areas. I also updated the MS Wireless Explorer review with a little more info as requested by people. I also updated the little drop-down boxes at the top of the page because it's been about a billion years since they were last updated.



Sunday lunchtime... (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-November-2001  15:48:31 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Wine is bad. It brings pain the next day. That's all I have to say 'bout that.

ONE WEEK until OCAU Paintball! Wolfy is no longer taking deposits, but might be lucky and get a place on the day. I'll be there, that should be incentive enough... I'm sure some people would love to shoot me.

If you're upset about the lack of cash in your bank account, some UK students have found a way to increase your balance.

From Mr. Bill, some software called VDMSound that will give you DOS sound support for NT, 2k and XP. Now you can dig out that copy of California Games and listen to all those old Soundblaster bleeps.

Sometimes, just for variety and to keep all our loyal OCAU followers happy, we bring in celebrity newsmonkeys and reviewers. Here's one that's still in production, but should be up soon. Hopefully before the second coming. Blessed be Lonewolf.

If you own a VIA Apollo based motherboard, and you're using the onboard AC97 audio under XP, you'll need this updated driver.

AMD and UMC seem to be holding hands in the area of chip fabrication, but nothing's totally confirmed yet.

Digit-life have released their October 2001 Hardware guide, part 2.

A rather interesting look at the linux distro game... thanks to Steve for the link.

Homemade cube cases are neat, especially when they're german. You'll need the 'fish to help out with this one. Oh, and Konni, you owe us a somersault.

Dr. Kildare has found a nifty article on how to make XP boot even faster. Always a good thing... and while we're on XP, Electic Tech (sic) have got a copy of Windows XP ISO Burner Powertoy for you to download. Neat.

Looks like school's out (ho ho, I crack me up) for lots of state departments in the US. They've been graded on their levels of IT security. Understand the school pun now? Bah, you're all completely hopeless. Don't look at me like that, Agg, I can so insult the readers, they love it! No, really! They lo-... hey, put me down! You can't do this!

Reviews:
Creative Audigy soundcard - at Overclockers Online.
CoolCaseMods UV fans/Cold cathode light kit - at OCPrices.
Shuttle AK31 v3.1 motherboard - at Hardware-Test.
Akasa 90cm rounded cable - at Unique Hardware.
Waterchill Colorado water cooling kit at OverClock Intelligence Agency.



Saturday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 10-November-2001  23:57:36 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

There has been some cool stuff popping up in the PCDB and elsewhere the past few days.. Dracarys has some b-i-g fans on his mid tower, meanwhile Mongy2 has a super-bright padded vinyl job. Both look good, but are outdone by the Ferrari PC that has been around for a while (since this whole case mod thing started really) and was pointed out to me by wild.

If you've got a valid excuse for not running folding (and as far as I know, there isn't one) Firemoth points out FightAidsAtHome. Follows the same concept as folding, except it's trying to find a cure for Aids. Well and good, but to stay ahead of OC.com we'd really appreciate it if you joined our folding effort.

Digit-Life has a guide to flashing the BIOS on your GeForce series video card. The only reason I can see for this is it will allow you to permanently run your card at overclocked speeds (no software required) and you can change the bootup messages. I'm sure that is good enough for a lot of you tho :)

Dr Kildare points out this article which says AMD will start to outsource it's CPU production to other companies in the race to keep up with Intel.. an interesting quote taken from the article by the head of AMD Jerry Sanders is Real men have fabs. Heh. Meanwhile their Hammer processor has been delayed according to this Inq article pointed out to me by Brett.

Murder1 has pointed out that DirectX 8.1 Final has now been released ( mirror here).. I haven’t seen any benchmarks showing any performance differences, but if anyone out there with GeForce3 and a fair wack of CPU grunt would like to send me in some 3DMark2001 results before/after the upgrade I'd be more than happy to chuck them up on the news page so everyone can find out.

DarkFlash emailed me to say that the next of the infamous GXP 7,200rpm IDE Hard Drive series from IBM has been released: the 120GXP. It incorporates cutting edge technology such as Pixie Dust (that is a quote). Let's hope the Pixie Dust can fight of the chronic unreliability problems of previous GXP drives whilst maintain the performance crown.

Finally this evening, Czechmate pointed out an interesting article over on OC.com about overclocking the Tualatin-cored 1.2GHz Celeron CPU.. Apparently speeds of over 1.6GHz are possible, making it not too shabby at all.

Reviews:
MSI Starforce 822 GeForce3 on HotHardware.
SilverStorm2 Radiator vs BlackIce Radiator on Dan's Data. Our review of BlackIce here.
Abit KG7-R AMD760 board on Slautech.
Soyo K7V Dragon Plus KT266A board on AMDmb.
Aluminium Cooler Comparo on IPKonfig.



Early Saturday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 10-November-2001  01:22:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, thanks to slashdot we served 221,824 pages from the site body on Thursday. The forums did their usual 100,000 or so too, so not a bad day traffic-wise. :) About 10gb outbound in total for the day.

Wolfy has posted the final details for OCAU Sydney Paintball, so if you're coming along best check and make sure you have all the details.

If you're a rabid Trekkie then some memorabilia coming up for auction soon might be of interest to you. Of course, I would never let any Trek stuff into my house.

Matex spotted this timewasting flash skeleton walky thingy.

HardOCP have a big socket cooler roundup posted.

Some HDD watercooling on Digital-Explosion.

Hey, a robot cat! Much more my style than an Aibo, thanks Mr Bill. Hmm, after watching the quicktime videos, maybe not. That's freaky, I'd be paranoid about it going psycho like some sort of cross between a mini-Cujo and Chucky.. too Westworld for me, I'm afraid.

Reviews:
Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit on Viperlair.
OCMania watercooling kit on MikhailTech.
OCZ Gladiator cooler on HCW.
Shuttle mini barebones system on HWExtreme.
Fox Case on SpodesAbode.
Arctic Alumina thermal paste on OCClub.



Friday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-November-2001  18:43:58 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Finding out that when your lease is up you have to move house is fun, especially during exam block. Finding a house for four to five uni students that has cable, is close-ish to UQ, has room for four double beds and over 500 bottles of beer is not as much fun. Especially in exam block. You can tell I'm overjoyed, can't you?

TheInq has a little benchies of the upcoming Intel i845 DDR chipset. This will be the VIA P4X266's big competitor, and board makers have heralded the i845 PC133 chipset as a BX-beater, so it'll be interesting to see how the retail boards go.

Also on TheInq is news of Cisco's Q1 2001 profits.. a cool $268 million. Oh wait up, did I say profits? I meant loss.. sorry. According to TheInq that "met expectations". Owch.

If that list of file extensions I posted the other day wasn't comprehensive enough for you, Daniel points out this searchable database.

Anthony points out that a new version of Motherboard Monitor 5 has been released, being 5.1.0.1. It's only a bug fix release tho, so if you're bandwidth impaired and not noticing any issues you can save yourself a few mb.

Shane points out that Rapid Progression will be attempting to smash the record for the largest LAN in Australia by holding a 700+ person LAN in Melbourne on.. New Years Eve. I s'pose you really know you're a geek when you spend NYE playing CS with 699 other geeks.

Dan has checked out four new Lian-Li cases.. not totally new, just different coloured versions of existing models and that sort of thing. He also notes the prices for cases has dropped a bit from his review supplier, making them cheaper (if still pretty expensive) buying.

If the web archive made you a bit nostalgic Nigel conveniently points out the obsolete computer museum. You can go and oogle at all sorts of old school computing equipment. Most of it is truly ancient gear tho, nothing close to a 286 is there. Incidentally, if poking around the web archive has made you all nostalgic poking through our news archive and article list can provide with you like gems like this: How does $290 for a 128 meg PC133 DIMM with a lifetime warranty sound? Yes, I too was incredulous.

Reviews:
Switched Baybus Installation Guide on HighSpeedPC.
Thermaltake Volcano 6u+ on PC-Critic.
Dr Thermal TI-S86 hs/f on OCprices.
AVC Skived Copper hs/f on Mod-This.
Crucual PC2100 vs OCZ PC2400 DDR RAM shootout on 3DSpotlight.
Radeon 7500 + 8500 Technology writeup on ViaHW.
SiS315 Graphics Core on X-Bit Labs.
Visiontek Xtasy Everything on SoureMag.
Logitec i-Touch Cordless Keyboard on Think-Techie.
OCZ Goliath on OCprices.
Artic Alumini thermal goop on PimpRig.
Alpha PAL8045 on GideonTech.
Titan TTC-D6TBA on 2FastCPU.



Microsoft Wireless Explorer (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-November-2001  01:34:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A quick review for you this morning, of Microsoft's new cordless version of their Explorer mouse. It's a different shape, it's got a higher scanning rate and, of course, no wires..


Click for the review!



Thursday Evening (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-November-2001  21:15:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

As if being slashdotted last night wasn't enough, we also broke the forum record, with 318 users surfing simultaneously.

RealWorldTech have an article about memory interleave.. with some general memory info there too.

Deus_Horribilus pointed out this quite nifty online image manipulation system. A similar thing is flamingtext.com. Both very useful.

Tech-Report compared Win2K, WinME and the new WinXP, from a performance perspective. Wolfy noticed a very vitriolic article from RedHat about WinXP being evil.

Reviews:
Prophetview 720 cheapo 15" LCD monitor on DansData.
DFI NT70-SA socket478 P4 board with RAMBUS on 2FastCPU.
Nanotherm thermal compounds on Viperlair.
GeForce3 Titanium 200 video chipset on Guru3D.
Epox 8KHA+ KT266A-based socketA DDR motherboard on Radeonic.
Bitspower socket coolers on Rojakpot.
Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit on OCdCafe.
Philips Wireless Keyboard reviewed and modded on IANAG.



Slashdotted (again!) (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-November-2001  19:36:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Things have been a bit hectic around here - we got slashdotted again early this morning (thanks Alchemy). No, they weren't linking to Chainbolt's fan-controller thingy from last night, they were linking to his CPU Radiator Zen from last month. But hey, traffic is traffic. How much traffic? Well, I can give you the proper pages/visitors numbers tomorrow when we analyze the server logs (server's a bit busy to do it right now) but here's how it looked in terms of sheer bandwidth:


The horizontal axis is hours of the day. Green is inbound traffic and the blue line is outbound. That's Odin, the main server. It coped fine, but Thor (no PCDB entry yet) which serves the banners and some other stuff got a little confused, hence the banner error messages this morning.

This is the 2nd time we've been slashdotted, of course - the first being for our world scoop of the Tyan Thunder MP socketA SMP board. That time Odin didn't cope very well at all unfortunately..

Anyway, thanks again Chainbolt and Alchemy! Thanks also to Zip, our ISP. :)



ST Fan Controller (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-November-2001  02:36:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Chainbolt has reviewed another little goody he's found in Japan. It's a mini fan-controller that fits into a 3.5" drive bay. However it is capable of driving some very hefty fans..


Click for the review!



Wednesday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-November-2001  00:48:44 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Bad news for anyone who trades warez at a LAN.. Krim points out that over at big Denmark LAN, Connect #12 (article in German, use the 'fish), a bunch of copyright enforcement officers decided to turn up and observe mass leeching. Not good, for either the people leeching or any LANners in general. We all know warez illegal, but often the solution to curb it involves stopping all file sharing.. including legit stuff. I doubt the same will happen at the next big aussie LAN, but it's still something to be wary of.

Ever wonder what a .ZOO file was? Or a .MWP? Kazashi points out this handy site which associates programs with their windows file extensions. Also handy is this what’s-that-font page that Munkiboy pointed out.

The broo-ha-ha surrounding ATI's optimisation of their Radeon8500 drivers for QuakeIII is getting deeper.. Tech-Report has discovered that by "Quackifying" QuakeIII (ie; disabling the optimisations) the image quality goes up.. so ATI's 'optimizations' may be a bit suspect. Not to mention all the issues surrounding the different clock speed ratings of OEM and Retail cards. Finally, review site Radeonic has decided to shut their doors temporarily as ATI have been giving them the run around. To me the whole situation smacks of a rushed release..

New dets are something we haven’t seen in about a week, and not to disappoint Volnhar points out 22.80 dets over on M3DZone. I'm unsure how well they perform, but I'm sure a few of you will discover it for yourselves. OCcafe let us know they have a mirror up here along with this amusing anecdote.. I suppose the NEDs are like the weather here in Virginia; if you don't like it, wait 15 minutes and it will change.

Ninsei points out this rather cool time suck page that has archived web pages from way back in '96. Due to huge server load they are pretty slow at the moment, and most of the site isn't even loading.. but once it's back up it will be pretty cool I imagine. You can relive what the 'net was like back in the days of Netscape 1.1N.

Andy noticed that VIA have released a new motherboard design format in the vein of ATX and microATX.. they've named it miniITX and it's intended for micro-implementations of PC's. It is over half the size of FlexATX, which itself is much smaller than microATX which is around 1/3 the size of your normal ATX board.. so very small indeed.

MikhailTech are celebrating their 1st birthday by giving away lots of cool stuff including an Alpha PAL8045 and an Athlon XP1600+

Stabo points out a community wireless project similar to the Brisbane Mesh that we talked about a while ago is starting up in South Australia. If wireless community nets are your thing you might want to check out Whirlpool's big list to see if there is one in your area.

Michael points out yet another graphics card tweak utility in the form of UniTuner.

Finally tonight, ArsTechnica have an excellent piece up comparing the Intel P4 architecture to the architecture of Apple's G4 processor. Quite an interesting read because it explains both the P4 and G4 parts work, and then contrasts them together and leaves you with a better understanding of how a Mac works and how it's different to an AMD/Intel system. I believe it is really worth your mouse clicks and time, go and read it if you can.

Reviews:
Akasa Silver Mountain on AMDmb.
DIY Case-Badge Kit on OCIA.
EPoX 8KHA+ on SerialAddiction.
IWill XP333 on OCwb.
Shuttle AK32 Rev 3.1 on AMDpower.
Crucial DDR on Hexus.



Wednesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-November-2001  11:29:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Oh dear. A programmer's nightmare - a simple syntax error erases hard-drives on iMac's around the world. Much wailing and wringing of hands later, people are waiting for Apple to "do something". Sorry guys, but this is only one of a million ways that the data on your HDD can be lost - you shoulda backed it up. No, not all 80GB of it, not the MP3's etc, just the stuff you can't live without. Surely that'd fit on a couple of CD's?

CDRInfo compared a couple of IDE CDRW drives.. ASUS CRW2410S vs. WAITEC MEGALUS, both 24x10x40.

AnandTech have some info on new ATI goodies etc. Note the hu-freakin-mungous ATI ad at the top of the screen, wow. I'm not trying to imply bias or anything, that's just the biggest banner ad I've ever seen.

Gekko from the forums is trying to organise a wireless internet in Sydney project.

ProCooling are trying to watercool hard drives.

GideonTech have a guide to making a cheap LCD readout. This is a similar idea to Wolfy's amazingly popular DIY LCD article from last month. Morgan noticed some useful LCD software in the forums. We've seen this before but Fad sent it again and I'll admit, it's pretty cool - Bit-Tech's LCD desk stand project.

Interesting article from Morgan about drive-by hacking, showing a need for greater security of wireless networks.

ExtremeOC have a cooler comparison posted.

This site is supposedly some kind of whizzo CDRW drive and media comparison thing but doesn't seem to have much data in the database.. or maybe I just can't work it out.

Apparently Microsoft Passport is not secure, thanks Steve.

I'm sure there's no truth to the rumours that MWP created the PCDB just so he could show off his amazing dual-motherboard watercooled custom-wood-case machine.. but he's made a massive update to his entry with lots more (large!) pics and info. :) Windows PC one side, Linux PC the other, very cool.

The Microsoft monopoly case continues, with 9 of 18 states involved accepting the settlement, info here and here, thanks Morgan.

VR-Zone have a guide to unlocking AthlonXP processors.

Wolfy noticed this HTTP-Tunnel program that might help you use things like IRC and ICQ from behind firewalls that are configured to not let you. Of course, it might get you in trouble, too - firewalls usually block things for a reason. :)

Reviews:
MSI nForce-based motherboard on Tbreak, thanks Scott.
Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit on PCStats.
OCZ PC2400 CL2 DDR SDRAM on PCStats.
Thermaltake Dragon and Volcano cooler roundup on Digit-Life.
Reborn PC recovery card on OCrCafe.
Arkua 6158 copper-cored socket cooler on Frosty-Tech.
Lian-Li PC78 case on IANAG.
Ice Hole fan adapter on OCPrices.
MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU KT266A-based SocketA DDR motherboard on PCHardware.
Belkin 4-port cable/adsl router on Electic.
Yamaha CRW2200E CDRW drive on TweakMax.
Leadtek Winfast GF3 Ti500 video card on VR-Zone.
Cold Cathode light kit on OCPrices.
Actiontec Wireless-Ready Home Gateway on HotHardware.
OCZ Titan3 GF3-based video card on Hardware-One.
AthlonXP 1600+ in HWMania, compared to Northwood apparently.



Tuesday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 6-November-2001  12:31:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Special greets to +--Boro King--+, member #8000 in the OCAU Forums. :)

HardOCP have compared a few thermal compounds, to slap between your slug and your sink.

Dan reviewed a couple of cordless optical mice and reckons one of them sucks..

Bit-tech have been modding a voltmeter.

Another modded case project appears in the PCDB, from DDsD. It's yet another HQ08 fulltower and he notes that due to the removable motherboard tray he was able to keep getting his net fix while modding the rest of the chassis.. good idea! Another very sweet BlueBox from BlueSmurf also appeared today.

OverclockersClub have a guide to changing your XP Start button.

Little USB storage devices seem to be the story of the day, with the Agate Q. USB Hard Drive reviewed on EXHardware, a QDI 30MB USB disk on Hardware-Test and a video review of the 16MB DiskOnKey on 3DGameMan.

Crazy NZ'ers OCTools have a video of their Submersion2 supercooling project.

Digit-Life have their Monthly Hardware Roundup for October posted.. see if you missed anything. Not a lot has happened so far in November, that's for sure. Our news mailbox is looking practically bare some days!

Reviews:
Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM on ViperLair.
Arkua Coolers roundup on OCPrices.
Seventeam ST-300BLV PSU on OCNZ.
Thermaltake Volcano 7 socket cooler on OCClub.
Actiontec 56K call-waiting modem on G3D.



Star Wars Ep II: Attack of the Clones - Teaser (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 6-November-2001  10:44:41 (GMT +10) - by YYK

If you're like me, and have been starved for Star Wars news...

The teaser has come out... after looking for a long time for a server that would let me in and give me high quality... i found it! You need the new Quicktime to play it. This can be found at Quicktime's Website

Teaser is called "breathing" (If link is crap, I'll host it myself)

Looks cool, a little cartoonish but still very cool... Still as some might say "it can only get better..." Remember that it is only a teaser, and the new Trailer will be attached to Monster Inc. (If you are in the States)

On another note, the Matrix 2 is being filmed tonight @ Sydney...

Edit: D.Garrett tells me that BPA users can download it from Wireplay This way you "won't add calories to their download limit" :)



Monday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-November-2001  23:46:07 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Ever have one of those good days where everything just floats into place? I've (so far) had one of those.. I'm waiting for something to go wrong. Shame it's too late to float my way into a Gold Lotto outlet.

It's Monday. A prize to the person who can tell me what that means. Yes, ZZZ Online. Incidentally, no prizes to anyone for guessing the Via video song.. no one managed to guess it. A lot of people told me what the third song is but no one could tell me that the second song was either Hardcore Vibes by Dune or the Happy Hardcore remix of Forever Young by Alphaville. Oh well.. it ~was~ a hard one.

A few people emailed me saying that the link for the video was down as well.. if you check the ViaHardware front page there should be a link to it in their news section.. it appears their mirrors kept on drowning.

That stuff over on TheInq about an XP1900+ was correct.. Anandtech have the review of the 1.6GHz part here, ViaHardware here, Tech-Report here and AMDmb here. Nice and speedy, but no surprises really.

With the coming of the AthlonXP AMD has made it harder to unlock the L1 bridges so you can change the mult.. I don't really think this is an intentional change (as the MP chips are the same as T'Birds to unlock), but rather a side-effect of their move from a ceramic packaging to an organic one.. hence why the chips are no longer a dark blue/grey but a browny/orange. They are also a tad lighter.. and it's a change that has been overdue for quite a while. Anyway, VR-Zone has a guide to unlocking the new chips.. and it means retiring the trusty old pencil.

It was just a matter of time until someone emulated the GTR PC. VooDoo points out this awesome PC-in-RC-car based around a Chrysler PT Cruiser.. it has a bit more room inside it for components than the Skyline, but it's still a contortionist act. Really really cool.

FREE STUFF! over on CaseJunkiez! To celebrate their first birthday they are giving stuff away.. maybe somebody better tell Junkz that you usually receive stuff on your birthday rather than give it. Like Black Label Beam. I'm sure Junkz would appreciate some Black Label Beam.

Neoseeker have a review of the Samsung YEPP YP30-S MP3 Player, but what is really worth pimping over on their site is the reviews database. Up the top you'll notice a text box and a drop down box.. select Hardware, type in a keyboard and hit search and up will pop some general info of their own and links to reviews of the product on the web. Incredibly handy for product research.

Finally tonight, the funny flash stuff as promised. Rene pointed out this awesome stickman fight scene, HyDrA pointed out punkmac's rather amusing page and MulleT pointed out MadBlast which is a portal site similar to Newgrounds with lots of (sometimes) amusing flash stuff. There was a lot more, but most of it was Bin Laden stuff which doesn’t really belong here.

Reviews:
GeForce3 Shootout on BenchHouse.
Swiftech vs Alpha monster coolers on OCprices.
HighSpeed PC interview on BurntOutPC.
Budget hs/f roundup on VyW.
ATi WonderTV on IANAG.
Shuttle KT266A board on [H]ard|OCP. Kyle keeps on telling it like it is.
Thermaltake Volcano 7 on HardcoreWare.
MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU on OCA.



Monday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-November-2001  15:35:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, almost exactly a year after its inception the PCDB has passed 2500 entries. At some of the other major milestones in the past the entry in question has not been too exciting, but happily #2500 was uewepuep's watercooled machine with some nice pics. Many thanks again to MWP who created and maintains the PCDB.

Passing milestones always stirs up activity in the PCDB and we've had a few cool entries over the last few days. Aterops_MM has an old XT case converted into a VCR-like multimedia box for sitting under the TV while Ravenclaw has a cool jigsaw-puzzle tower. More nice towers from ABSSS (err, nice mouse), Vow and Dedge.

leperMessiah has posted an interesting thread with information from an AMD Technical Briefing including thermal and SMP info on their CPU's. Also from the forums, watercooled hamsters. What is it about rodents today? Silly people. :)

Digit-Life have a 4-way roundup of 12X DVD-ROM drives.

Iceman spotted a new Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer test.

Sick of all the WindowsXP reviews? OCOpolis will make you sing the praise of the newer O/S's by subjecting you to a Windows 1.01 review.

TomsHardware have a mammoth P4 vs Athlon comparison..

Hmm, cool. Just like those stick-fighting animations, but you can control it! Thanks Gary.

Reviews:
Shuttle barebones system on OCOnline.
Arctic Alumina thermal paste on TheColdShop.
Suntek Grace case on Hexus.
Cyber Fusion mini-server case on Ripnet.
Arkua 6258 socket cooler on FrostyTech.



Sunday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 4-November-2001  18:01:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Interesting tidbit over on AcesHardware - this forum post is a translation of a message on a Taiwanese hardware site. They claim firstly that they have a software-only hack for turning an SBLive! into an SB Audigy - I admit I'm a little dubious about this. The drivers may work and you may be able to use some of the features of the Audigy drivers on an SBLive! but it was my understanding that the hardware is quite different between the two cards. This would be a much bigger deal than the Promise Hack if turns out to be true. Anyway, the post on AcesHW focusses more on Creative HK's lawyer-centric approach to managing the issue than the technical details.

Lindsay notes this article on TheInq saying there may be an Athlon 1900+ close to release.

Iceman points out on Whirlpool that the Optus Cable NetStats service has not been updated in a few days.. so if you've been leeching like crazy and thinking your NetStats are not going up, you might be in for a nasty surprise.

TweakTown have a guide to tweaking WinXP.

There's another site on the scene - ColdOC.com - they have some new reviews and articles if you're stuck for something to read..

Reviews:
PC76-1708 fan-crazy (1708CFM!) pre-modded Lian-Li case on Icrontic.
ADK GlobalWin 8070 another pre-modded aluminium case on AtlantaOC.
Cyber Cooler P-5000 blue adonised heatsink on MikhailTech.
NVIDIA Personal Cinema on Digit-Life.
Window Kit on OCIA.
Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit on OCPrices.



Saturday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 3-November-2001  22:57:00 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

I went to one of those crazy UQ college parties last night, more specifically the Kings konclusion.. and I must say that I am feeling the after-effects of 50c drinks. It was a surprisingly decent night, leaving me to see in swot vac with a hangover.

Tarrasque pointed out this article over on TheInq concerning the development process of the P4 chip.. now obviously they didn't scratch out the design on the back of a napkin.. but I hadn't really thought about what type of computing power they used in-house.. and as it turns out it's not their technology but Alpha's that is behind the P4. Heh.

leperMessiah found his way over to the AMD Gold Cert seminar and has posted some interesting AMD SMP facts in the forums. None of it (to me) is new info, but for a lot of you it will be pretty informative.. just a quick roundup of all the features. Just on the forums, they are quickly heading towards 8000 members.. not bad for a board that requires you to register just to view it's content. Way to go guys.

Following in the footsteps of TomsHardware and AMDzone, VIA has released a video showing what happens when you take the hs/f off their C3 processors. In short, not much really. To start with, they only require passive cooling so it's not like they get hot to start with. So it's really just a tongue poking video at Intel and AMD, complete with a kickin' (cough) soundtrack. Incidentally, first person to name me the second song wins a prize~! (I already know the answer).

DWPG, it seems, want to kill their server, or at least munch through some serious bandwidth. Due to the immense popularity of their Frankencooler article they've uploaded every single pic of the beast they have.. and some of them weigh in above the 220k mark. Dialup, BPA users and people with netstats above 8 best not click the link.

Bern points out WindowsXP's first bug.. and I doubt it will be the last either.

Well, it's common knowledge now. Even New Scientist knows. The WinXP activation code has been compromised, and any person who can use google can bypass it. Five-foot steel door with the key hidden under the doormat. Way to go MS.

Dirk points out the Microsoft vs DoJ case has finally settled, and it's a bit of a disappointment really.. no strict enforcement, just a requirement that they comply to standards.. HEH. I'll believe it when I see it.

Toliman points out that the Linux Kernel 2.2.20 is out.. I suppose it is acceptable for you to stop folding to compile, but that's it. We're still leading the world.. but we still need more folders to help us stay there.

Gemini points out that your local autobarn store currently has 8" neons for $9.95, and 12" ones for $29. Not a bad price at all, tho I doubt they will just plug straight into a molex connector :) If you're looking for a case mod on the cheap tho, this is most likely it.

Christian points out some awesome Japanese computer cases from a mob called Soldam.. here and here.. as well as some more on their products page. MMMmmm.. aussie distributors? Me Wantee.

Finally tonight, Anandtech is doing a AMD 760 roundup as a farewell to the chipset.. with Via KT266A, SiS735 and the new ALi MaGiK1 stepping on the market AMD can withdraw their intermediary chipset with DDR firmly entrenched.

In regards to call I put out for info regarding the MSI USB Key I got a large response from the community.. to paraphrase all the people that emailed me, your PC will only start up if the key is inserted into a USB port. I imagine this protection can be bypassed by a BIOS clear tho, and if you lose the key it's either clear time or head off to your supplier for a new key. Chay also pointed out that some of the MSI P4 boards have this feature and Stilgar points out this review of the board/device on TBreak. Finally, thanks to all the people who emailed me including Troy, Coney, Sonny, Scott and David.

Also, lots and lots of people have sent links to a range of amusing flash movies. I'll make sure they go in the next post.. I'm running out of time now. I'm not going to put any of the Bin Laden ones on the news page tho.. I don't think it's really appropriate. Not to say I didn't laugh tho.

Reviews:
Leadtek GF3 Ti500 on OCclub.
Pontifex bridge builder on RatedPC.
Abit TH7II-RAID on IANAG.
Act Labs Clutch Performance Pedal System (for your PC) on TTZ.
VistionTek Xtasy 5564 Everything on X-Bit Labs.
Wind Tunnel IV case on AwareMag.
Lite-On 24/10/40 IDE burner on RojakPot.
Shuttle AK31 v3.1 Voltage Mod on VR-Zone.
Thermalright CB-6L on 8-Balls Hardware.
Abit TH7-II RAID on PCHardware.RO
PC Mods Light Badge kit on Bit-Tech.
Artic Alumina on AcidHardware.
Dr Thermal TI-V77 review on Radeonic.
EPOX 4B2A i845 PC133 P4 mobo on PCStats.
Prolink GF3 Ti200 video card on TweakTown.
Mini FanBus on ThinkTechie.
EPOX 4B2A2 on Noticias3D.



How not to make an Athlon keyring.. (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 3-November-2001  15:09:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

From Rex: This is a 1.1GHz Tbird. My friend fried it and I smashed it accidentally trying to g-clamp it to the bench. It was gonna be a good keyring :-( But I glued it back together. yay :-) The last picture is what happened when I tried to drill with a tungsten drillbit..

   
click images to enlarge



Friday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 2-November-2001  15:05:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's been a bit quiet the last few days. I've been wrestling with a couple of annoying problems on the new server as well as the usual behind-the-scenes stuff. Not a whole lot happening in the hardware scene either, but the local broadband internet market is currently in a frenzy over Telstra's announcement of new pricing yesterday and the return of the 3GB cap. A lot of people sent in information but your best bet is probably to jump into our Networking and Internet forum where debate is currently raging.

It was Halloween a couple of days ago (not that we ever seem to get any trick-or-treaters, we Aussies are not much into it I guess) - Joe noted this Jack-O-Linux pumpkin PC.

How would you like to win a cow? I'd just take the cash.

Quite a few people are reporting a speed boost with the latest "leaked" Detonators. Grab them here. Happy people in this thread and this thread in Software Stuff.

Crazy man Kompson has his P4 1.5GHz at 2.4GHz and very very cold.

A cool site I'd forgotten about but has been mentioned a bit lately is HowStuffWorks.com.. very cool site with a heap of info about pretty much everything.

Silly spank the monkey flash game from mfpmax. Time-suckage potential fairly low. My record 352mph.

Bit-tech have a USB port relocation mod guide.

Reviews:
MSI K7T266-Pro2 RU SocketA DDR motherboard on PCStats.
LiteOn 52X Black CDROM on MikhailTech.
Shuttle AK31 v3.1 socketA DDR motherboard on VIAHW.
Fan Bracket with dual 80mm fans on ThinkTechie. Similar to this and these.
Cyber Cooler P-20000 socket cooler on 2fastcpu.
IWill BD133 i815e Socket730 board on GideonTech.
PowerColor Evil Sam SiS-based video card on Digit-Life.
Millennium Glaciator II socket cooler on PimpRig.
OCZ Dominator 2 socket cooler video review on 3DGameman. 3GB cappees need not apply.
3 Visiontek Titanium video cards on HotHardware.
Fan Adapter on SpodesAbode, our similar reviews here and here.
MITSUMI CR-4809TE 24x12x40 CDRW on CDRInfo.
MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU socketA DDR motherboard on AMDMB.
Abit Siluro GeForce2 MX400 video card on TweakTown.



Thursday Night Quickie (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-November-2001  23:01:41 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

Quick news tonight, got work über early tommorrow morning.

Yum-Chai points out that the WCG: World Cyber Games are on this weekend.

SilentSniper points out some rather unscrupulous sales techniques that Intel use.. bit rich IMHO.

Kev points out a MS Site that shows you how to tweak the ClearType feature that Lombers wrote about in the forums a week or two ago..

Volnhar, among others, points out that there are new dets out, version 22.50 which bring with them a rather decent speed increase. Go and get 'em kids.

David, among others, points out that there is a new beta of ICQ out for your downloading pleasure. Watch that 3gb cap ;)


Reviews:
12X IDE Burner Roundup at Digit-Life.
Alpha PAL8045 on OCTools.
Leadtek GF3 Ti200/500 on Digit-Life.
Shuttle AV40-R VIA P4X266 board on Radeonic.
Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit on Icrontic.
Copper Cooler Roundup on AMDmb.
Gecko MP3/PDA on TweakTown.
Handspring Visor Pro on DesignTechnica.
Thermaltake Volcano 7 on OC'dCafe.
Antec Atache USB on HWDaily.



Wednesday Night.. Go Forums! (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-November-2001  02:14:50 (GMT +10) - by alchemy

JimX points out this article which reckons WinXP is slower than Win2K. JimX writes that he hasn't seen any noticeable difference in performance, so it mustn’t be that major. Still, it's very Microsoft for the new OS to be slower (need faster RAM, CPU) and bigger (more hard drive space).

Hardware Accelerated has taken a squiz at OpenGL 1.3, and all the new features that it brings. I personally reckon that OpenGL is pretty neat (better than DirectX at least) and would like to see it maintain it's place in the game engine's of the future. With MS's dominance tho, I don't really see that happening.

InsaneWB has managed 3.04 volts on their Abit KT7A, which they say is a world record.. but they don't say a word about how they did it. Luckily it doesn’t look like they did it using Photoshop, but still..

All the Gateway stuff is going under the hammer.. including Over 2000 Boston Digital Speakers incl BA7500G 3 piece Powered Sub/Satellite which they apparently sold out of. Or apparently not. Maybe so many people who ordered 4.1's and ended up with 2.1's just asked for a refund. Either way, going from the price the One.Tel stuff went for on Grays I doubt there are going to be any super bargains to be found. Thanks to MegaBaz for the link.

Wokket pointed out an amusing email FW that has been going around concerning Win2K for aussies. I've linked to it in the forums because it's easier.. Incidentally, speaking of the forums.. we broke the record tonight by a long shot Most users ever online was 306 on 31st October 2001 at 10:59 PM!!! I think previously it was around 250something.. so congrats to everyone who is a part of the forums.. they're going from strength to strength.

HardOCP has checked out the MSI K7T266 Pro2, a KT266A chipset mobo. They like it.. good thing about that board is that it's on the aussie shelves right now. There is also a variant of it, the Pro2-RU that has onboard Promise RAID (better than HPT imho) and a USB 2.0 controller. Pretty swanky.. it also ~apparently~ has a USB security device thing? I can't find much info on that if anyone wants to help me out I'd appreciate it..

Keith writes in that there is a new strain of nimda going around. YAY. Update your scanners people.

A new version of Matrox's tweak utility is out on Electic.

Reviews:
SiS 315 GPU at Tech-Report.
Thermaltake Volcano 7 on IANAG.
Gigabyte GA7VTX KT266 board on TheDDRZone.
CoolingFlow Thermal Compound on OC'dCafe.
OCZ Dominator 2 also on OC'dCafe.
USB->IDE HDD Kit on IANAG.
Enermax EG651P-VE PSU on SerialAddiction.
SiS735 chipset on Bench-House.
ATI Radeon 7500 on TheTechZone.
Athlon XP 1800+ on Hexus.



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