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July 2005
Sunday Arvo (12 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 31-July-2005  14:11:57 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Phish'n'chips lets us know that there has been a 10th planet found. "...the new planet is the most distant object yet seen in the solar system, 97 times farther from the sun than the Earth. It also is the largest body yet found orbiting in the Kuiper belt, the group of icy bodies including Pluto which orbit beyond Neptune."

Interesting read on The Tech Zone about all the various Wireless Security Protocols, and what the difference is between them all.

Thetron has noticed that someone has managed to modify their Linksys router so it has an LCD display built in.

Bonafidereviews has just posted an article about SIP technology. For those who aren't familiar with this, here is a snip from the article. Session Initiation Protocol or SIP refers specifically to a language that various computers can communicate to one another in so that they can complete voice calls. It has become vitally important in recent years as it plays a central role in VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP Is the rapidly growing technology which has millions of Americans throwing out their local and long-distance telephone bills and replacing them with free calls made over the internet.

Lots of people sent in news about this blind teenager that plays Video-Games, and is actually some-what good at them!

Lots of interesting stuff has been added to our Wiki database recently, including a guide on the Easy installation and Viewing of Videos on Ipod Photo and 4G, by a fellow OCAU member, Revenger.

Quite a few people sent in news about the 18 servers that were recently purchased from the STA (Sydney Buses and Ferries), and all the servers still contained all their data. Full story here.

Legion Hardware have posted a guide all about the different types of Memory that we have today, a great read for those users that are often confused about timings, frequencies, bandwidth, or simply what memory to buy.

A few days ago, as most of you know, Microsoft made it compulsory to validate your copy of Windows before using their Windows update feature. This 'WGA Verification' was bypassed in under 24 hours. Apparently Microsoft isn't that worried, and that they were 'expecting' users to find ways around the validation process.

SiriX tells us of a site that shows us how to make a pre-labled paper CD case just by folding up a sheet of paper. Nifty!

Adrian's Rojak Pot has updated their Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide, featuring nVidia's new Quadro cards.

Extreme Tech has some screenshots from Windows Vista beta 1 posted up on their site. Thanks Bler!

3DAvenue have today posted their review of the new AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and 4800+ processors. Full review, here.

Ub3r sends in our Sunday timewaster, Bring it on!.



Saturday Arvo Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 30-July-2005  14:30:03 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Video:
PowerColor RADEON X800 XL 512MB (PCIe) on Hardware Zone
BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC on Hot Hardware
Gigabyte GeForce 7800 GTX on Bjorn3D
Crucial RADEON X850 XT 256MB Video Card on Hexus
MSI GeForce 7800 GTX on Hardware Secrets

Cooling:
CoolerMaster Aqua Trident & Aqua Turtle Waterblocks on OCIA
Mushkin's New Memory Heat Spreader on Legit Reviews
Thermaltake Big Typhoon on Overclockers Online

RAM:
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X1024-8000UL PC2-8000UL 1GB Dual Channel Kit on InsaneTek
GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC on PC Modding Malaysia
OCZ EL DDR PC-3500 Gold GX on TechPowerUp

Accessories:
Crucial Gizmo 2.0 1GB USB Flash Drive on Pro-Clockers
Meridian XCLIO Aurora+P Lighting Mouse Pad +USB on Extreme Overclocking
Sunbeam Chameleon and Lightbus on XYZ Computing
Sunbeamtech Fireline and Blue Flame Optical Mice on BigBruin

Motherboard:
ECS 915P-A on Viperlair
ECS PF88 Extreme Intel/AMD Hybrid Motherboard on CoolTechZone
The ECS PF88: The Schizophrenic PC Motherboard on Futurelooks
MSI P4N Diamond & Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI on Bit-Tech

Printer:
Epson Aculaser C2600N on BIOS
Epson PictureMate 500 on TrustedReviews

Misc:
Lian Li F1 Aluminum Computer Desk on 3DGameMan
Antec P180 Case on Driver Heaven
Power Watcher 480Watt Power Supply on ThinkComputers.org
Linspire Five-O Desktop Linux on XYZ Computing
Shuttle XPC SD31P on SFFTech
Kodak EasyShare C360 5.0-megapixel Digital Camera on Hardware Zone

Audio:
Philips ShoqBox PSS110 Portable Music System on CoolTechZone
Toshiba Gigabeat F20 on TrustedReviews

Storage:
Seagate 120GB Momentus 5400.2 PATA Notebook Hard Disk on Rojak Pot
Vantec NexStar 3 3.5" HDD Enclosure on OCWorkBench



Friday Morning News (8 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 29-July-2005  07:52:20 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Hexus have a new Guides section up and running. You will find some intro guides to things such as Installing Windows XP, Implementing RAID, What is RSS? and other interesting things. Have a look.

Hothardware have a DDR2 Memory Shoot-Out using Corsair & Kingston RAM chips. They ran some tests at stock settings, with more aggressive timings, and at the highest stable overclocked speed. Head on over and see which kit came out on top.

MadShrimps check out some new PSUs from Combo-hit. They put three of them to the test. Nice and shiny PSUs.

Fujifilm unveils the world's first 9-Megapixel Consumer Digital Cameras and the folks at DigitalCamera@101reviews have some info on them.

It looks like Microsoft's Virtual Earth has been deleting things off the world map. Things they wish weren't there perhaps? Have a read how Microsoft has Deleted Apple. Thanks eroda.

The TechZone talks about the future of internet TV and how it will affect you, if it effects you at all. Read the full story here.

Microsoft might not get away with Patenting the Smiley, as they want to do. Someone may have done it before them. Thanks Thetron.

TweakTown put the latest ATI Catalyst 5.7 drivers to the test. "ATI's new Catalyst drivers have been out for over a week now and we've tested them in our usual fashion. Except from now on we aren't just catering for the high-end but for every market segment. Along with the Radeon X800 we're also including the Radeon X700 PRO and X300. This way all users will be able to get an idea about performance on each level of Radeon graphics cards. Read on and find out if it's worth upgrading to ATI's July Catalyst driver!"

Adrian's Rojak Pot have added several new options to their BIOS Optimization Guide.

Nicky found a great site for understanding RAM chip numbers. Find the RAM you have and get all the stats and specs on what it can and can't do.



Thursday Night (14 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 28-July-2005  21:32:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU quietly passed its 6th birthday a few days ago. Happy birthday us!

If you're into Google Maps, check out the huge list of Australian Google Maps Locations in our Wiki, and do some virtual sightseeing. Be warned, severe time suckage may result!

Von Stalheim spotted these spooky space sounds. On a more worrying note, NASA has grounded the shuttle fleet (except for, err, the one currently in orbit) while they reconsider the issue of foam breaking away during launch. Fortunately Discovery seems to have reached orbit without the kind of serious damage that resulted in Columbia being destroyed during re-entry.

There's an email doing the rounds about how Mars will be "as big as the moon" in the sky around August. Seemed pretty unlikely to me, and Snopes have an explanation of how people may be confused.

Another email doing the rounds is this one, inspired by the recent terrorist attacks: The idea is that you store the word " I C E " in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency". In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do. Can't do any harm I guess.

Let's see if I actually have any PC-related stuff to report.. here's some 7800 GTX bits: HotHardware reviewed the eVGA card, while Tech-Report compared three of them and Leon sent in this petition for an AGP version of the card to be made.

ArsTechnica have a System Guide, where they recommend two gaming boxes. Guru3D have a buyer's guide also.

PCStats have a pretty decent guide to building a HTPC for your home theatre needs, while a killer desktop PC gets somewhat glossed over on Designtechnica.

A few people pointed out that updating illegal WindowsXP copies will be more difficult in future.

From Brendan: Iím probably not the first idiot to see this, but i found this page giving Vulcan language to English equivalents. why would someone bother? Someone has way too much spare time.

Doofus noticed this ABC story about Telstra's rural service being "unsustainable". They're not talking about ADSL, but "basic phone services".

Finally, smack the head off the Crazy Frog.. thanks Freefrag.



Thursday Review-A-Rama (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 28-July-2005  05:34:17 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Systems/Laptops/PDA:
Shuttle SB81P Small Form-Factor System at X-bit labs
LG Electronics LM60 Express Notebook at MetkuMods
Dell Dimension 9100 Desktop System at BIOS
Alienware Aurora Star Wars Edition PC's at TrustedReviews

Mainboard:
Foxconn 945 and 955 Motherboards at HardcoreWare
ECS PF5 Extreme i945P at Hexus
Foxconn WinFast NF4K8AC-8EKRS Motherboard at PCStats

Memory:
Mushkin PC3500 2-2-2 Redline at ipKonfig
OCZ EB Dual Channel DDR2 PC2-5400 Titanium at Gruntville
OCZ EL DDR PC-3200 Dual Channel Gold at 3DVelocity

Storage:
G-Tech G-Raid 800GB External Hard Drive at CoolTechZone
LaCie F800 2TB External Hard Drive at CoolTechZone
Seagate 400GB Barracuda 7200.8 SATA Hard Disk at Adrian's Rojak Pot

Video/Monitor:
BenQ FP72V 17-inch TFT LCD Monitor at Hardware Zone
MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E Graphics Card at X-bit labs
Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH SLI Graphics Card Kit at X-bit labs
Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH Extreme at HardwareZone
Sapphire Hybrid X700 Pro 256MB PCI-E at Overclockers Online
BFG Tech GeForce 7800 GTX OC at Beyond3D

Case/Mods:
Maxtop Diamondback CSX-502 ATX Mid Tower Case at BigBruin
Cooler Master Centurion 530 Mid-Tower Case at TheTechLounge
Cooler Master Centurion 530 Mid-Tower Case at PC Perspective
Lian-Li PC-767 BTX Aluminum Case at PimpRig
Casetronic C156 Mini-ITX Case at Epiacenter
SilverStone TJ06 Case Review at TechNeek
SilverStone LC-14 Lascala HTPC Case at Phoronix
Lian-Li PC-V1200 Aluminum Extended ATX Case at Bjorn3D
Noiseblocker DriveGuard and X-Swing at XtremeResources
Logisys Dual CCFL 120mm Fan & 15" Sound Sensitive CCFL at PimpRig

Networking:
Gigabyte AirCruiser Router at T-break
Linksys WRT54GP2A-AT Wireless Router & VoIP Adapter at The TechZone
NetGear WG511T 802.11g Wireless PC Card at Phoronix

Cooling:
LSCool LSHS-X500 CPU Cooler at MadShrimps
Asetek 12V Water Pump at Red&Blackness Mods
Vapochill Micro Ultra Silent Edition at Burnout PC
EverCool K803-925CA Heatsink at A1 Electronics
CoolerMaster Blue Ice Northbridge Chipset Cooler at Futurelooks
CoolerMaster Blue Ice Northbridge Chipset Cooler at Overclockers Online
Evercool Water Cooler WC-202 at Bigbruin
Evercool Water Cooler WC-202 at BurnOutPc
Titan Bianca Water Cooling System at PC Modding Malaysia
Swiftech CoolSleeves at Watercooling 101
MCT-5 Non-Conductive Fluid at BleedinEdge
Corsair "COOL" Water Cooling at BleedinEdge

Audio/HTPC
Samsung HTP50 1000W Home Theatre at Bytesector
Shure E4c Earphones at CoolTechZone
Kiss DP-558 HDD/Ethernet DVD/DivX Player at Trusted Reviews
Zensonic Z400 Media Player at Legion Hardware
Philips ShoqBox PSS110MP Player at Designtechnica

Digital Camera:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W15 Digital Camera at Trusted Reviews
Canon PowerShot S2 IS at Designtechnica

PSU:
LC-Power 480 Watt Free-Plug - Blue Scorpio LC 6480 PSU at TecCentral
In Win Power Supply Units Roundup at X-bit labs
Meridian XCLIO 550W Power Supply at EXTREME Overclocking
Hiper Type-R Modular 580w PSU at Viperlair

Misc:
CrazyPC UV Reactive Dyes at OCIA
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX3100 at Ase Labs
Matrix Orbital MX610 PLED Display Unit at BigBruin



Wednesday Morning News (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 27-July-2005  05:16:22 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

From Bollocks, the Folding Master. The Folding team is having another Giveaway with some great prizes to be won, donated by our ever generous team member datsun1600 with Plus Corp and LowNoise PC. This Giveaway has a twist. It will be a State of Origin Shoot Out, with the members that nominate aligned with their favorite state. There will be an international team as well. The team with the greatest % increase over their base score will be the winner. The main prize will be awarded to a member from the winning team. This will be drawn at random. The Shoot out will be run over four weeks starting next Monday the 1st of August. There will also be bragging rights to the team that produces the most points as the "State of Origin: Big Guns". To start Folding, have a look at This Page to help you get started and then nominate yourself in This Thread in the DC forum. Come on and join in the fun and help keep OCAU the top Folding team in the world.

The folks at Hardware Secrets seem to get around. They take us with them on a tour through the Lexmark HQ in Lexington Kentucky USA. They want us to "Check it out how was our visit there and understand why ink cartridges are not so cheap." They also take a tour through the Kingston Factory in Shanghai, China.

Yahoo has announced their purchase of Konfabulator. Whatís a Konfabulator I hear you ask? Well, its "a Macintosh and Windows application that allows users to run mini files known as Widgets on their desktop -- the same model used by Apple for its Dashboard application." I guess the best part is that Yahoo are giving it away for free. Thanks Ambush.

Mini-ITX systems come in all shapes and sizes, well, actually they only really come in small size. Paul managed to find this Supra-Server Mini system that looks great. A little bit like BlueSmurf's GTRPC before it was stolen. Different car though...

Some news from Sniper, that AMD has leapt past the 10 percent market share for x86 server chips. "Revenue generated by Opteron rose 89 percent from the first quarter to the second, according to AMD.".

Guru3D have updated their nVidia tweaking tool, NVHARDPAGE. With this tweak utility you can enable/disable hidden features in nVidia control panel, tweak nVidia Direct3D and OpenGL settings and overclock your nVidia display adapter.

If Graphics Shaders are a mystery to you, then this article at Bit-Tech should help you out a bit. They aim to de-mystify Shaders.

Futurelooks and Sandisk have some good info about how to look after your Flash Cards while traveling. Hot or cold, dry or wet.

At DVHardware you will find an Introduction to VoIP for those thinking of playing around with it.

Mikhailtech have posted a Basic System Buyer's Guide for July.

Felix sends word of a planned new Super Computer to be built in Japan. One of those would come in handy for our Folding Team.

Dan has more answers for those who keep writing to him. This time its all about Scams Scams Scams.

Adrian's Rojak Pot have just posted a Desktop Graphics Card Comparison. He's up to Revision 9.0 now.

EYE I.T play around with AMD's "Cool N Quiet" Technology found in all the latest AMD 64 CPUs. Cool n quiet slows the cpu clock down by changing the multiplier when the cpu is not under heavy load.

Seems as though the war against Spammers is heating up, and about time to. Although I think a lengthy jail sentence would be preferable to this. Thanks eroda.

For the Melbourne-ish people, there is a small LAN happening soon at LaTrobe Uni, Bundoora. August 6/7, starting at about 12am (noon) on the Saturday and continuing until about the same on Sunday. Full details available in this thread. Get along.



Space Shuttle Discovery Launch (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 26-July-2005  23:03:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Space Shuttle Discovery will launch in a little under an hour from now, if all goes to plan. Apparently Channel 7 / PRIME are going to show the launch live on TV, with their coverage beginning at midnight Sydney time - check your local guide.

If successful, this will be the first shuttle flight since Columbia and its crew of seven astronauts were lost on 1st Feb 2003. For more details on the launch, keep an eye on NASA's website, particularly their Return to Flight section and the Countdown Coverage. If you have broadband, you might want to watch NASA TV.

I've created a thread here in our Current Events forum for discussion of this launch.



Tuesday Morning.. just. (12 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 26-July-2005  00:05:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NASA has given up on finding the fuel gauge problem that cancelled the last Shuttle launch, and will just go ahead and launch it anyway this time. Oh alright, it's a bit more complicated than that. Meanwhile, the USA has committed to send men to the moon, and to Mars, approving President Bush's grand plans for space exploration. Both House and Senate bills also endorse a servicing and repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Exciting stuff.

Microsoft have a new website for their long-awaited successor to Windows XP, "Windows Vista", previously known as Longhorn. Hexus have some thoughts about the upcoming O/S.

HardOCP looked at the new ForceWare driver for NVIDIA-based video cards, particularly looking at the new SLI anti-aliasing feature. For example, video card 1 would render 4XAA, video card 2 would render 4XAA, and both cards combined would deliver 8XAA in your game.

Xbit spotted a new Pentium M CPU on sale in Japan. Intel Pentium M 780 processor operates at 2.26GHz at full power, contains 2MB of L2 cache and sports 533MHz processor system bus.

The PhysX "physics processor" will be coming to a PS3 near you soon, according to a new deal with Sony. Seems an odd time to be adding major new features to an already-announced product.

A few people pointed out this apologetic message from EA regarding the buggy nature of Battlefield 2 and the two patches to date. Towards the end of August, we will be releasing a new patch called 1.03. This patch is currently underway and will undergo thorough testing to avoid the problems that have occurred in the past.

Microsoft have a Virtual Earth website, competing with Google Maps. Sadly it doesn't have anywhere near the level of detailed zoom available for Australia that Google Maps does. Lots of place names, though.

MS have also filed for a worrying patent, thanks Timbot. Methods and devices for creating and transferring custom emoticons allow a user to adopt an arbitrary image as an emoticon, which can then be represented by a character sequence in real-time communication.

Phoronix looked at GeForce 7800 GTX support under Linux, while FlingingSquids examined performance scaling using a 7800GTX and some high-end CPUs.



Monday Evening (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 25-July-2005  19:46:48 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

A1 Electronics has updated their AMD Athlon 64, 64 FX, x2 dual-core & Sempron processor guide list. Full review here.

Lots of groovy gadgets and hardware in Bonafidereviews' latest article. They check out what the future holds for home entertainment - Touchscreens and Media Servers.

The Tech Zone has a an article posted about being a game tester, the ultimate, dream job?

I spotted this handy article on DVHardware, showing us how to investigate an LCD display for dead pixels. Very handy to know if you are in the market for a new LCD.

Seems that if even if the 'untasteful content' in GTA:SA gets removed, it has already left a bad taste in some peoples mouths, which may cause some major stores from selling the game anymore.

Mozilla has postponed its release of Firefox 1.1, until all the current bugs have been removed in the current version. More info on Computer Weekly.

Finishing off tonight we have a great timewaster called Planarity... joking! Enjoy the reviews. =)

Case:
Thermaltake Armor Case on FastLaneHW
Aspire X-Cruiser Blue Gaming Computer Case on Tweaknews.net

Cooling:
Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 5 Rev. 2 on TechPowerup
PolarFLO TT Series Chrome Basic System Set on The Best Case Scenario

Misc:
Compro VideoMate U900 USB Credit Card Size TV Tuner on OC Workbench
Saitek Cyborg Evo Force USB PC Joystick on Futurelooks
Asour Multi-Media Hub with 16x DVD Drive on ExtremeMHz
Asus' CT-479 Pentium M socket adapter on TechReport
Sony SNC-M3W Network Camera on TrustedReviews
Battlefield 2 on Techneek
DFI LanpartyUT Ultra-D nF4 on SgOverclockers

RAM:
GeIL Ultra Platinum PC-4400 DDR on OCIA
Kingston HyperX PC2-6000 1GB Dual Channel Kit on InsaneTek



Wiki Update (41 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 25-July-2005  12:03:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU's Wiki is coming along nicely, with more info being added every day. Here's a few of the more interesting pages:

Time-Wasters, browser games from the news page.
Pre-Purchase Examination for cars.
OCAU Photography Club members.
Change your shock absorbers guide.
Phase-Change cooling in detail.
Nissan Silvia history.
Basic HTPC Parts list.
Past Iron Photographer winners.
Athlon 64 X2 info.

If there's a topic you know a lot about, or you just see something that needs correcting or expanding, feel free to log in with your forum account and edit away!



Sunday Evening (9 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 24-July-2005  20:46:36 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

First up tonight, I'd like to remind our Brisbane guys and girls that we currently have a Chartered Fishing meet organised in September. They have two spots left, that they have to fill as soon as possible, but for all the information, check out the thread in the forums!

Hardware Secrets share some information on unlocking the 'hidden' processor on Geforce 6 and 7 series cards that enhance 2D videos.

The Tech Zone has a great read on how Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Check their article out here.

Looktall lets us know that the famous old Atari has been released as the Atari Flashback. Relive the 1980s video game revolution! Go back in time with a retro-style game console that includes 20 classic Atari games and two Atari 7800-inspired joysticks.

Ten people have been arrested and charged for selling drugs using Google's international site Orkut.

Xbitlabs take a closer look at TDK's new ScratchProof technology that they have started implementing on their DVD-R and DVD+R discs.

There has been lots more information posted around the net on the new Windows 'Vista' coming out in late 2006. Read more on BBC, Tom's Hardware Guide and CNN.

The mysterious, giant killer eel has roused from the murky waters of the Yarra to claim its second victim - an unsuspecting goose.

A couple from NSW has been fined $75,000 for selling illegal copies of DVDs to people in their local community.

Great timewaster to finish up for tonight, sent in to us from Dinuc, called Planarity. Agg edit: on that note, I dub this week "Planarity Week" :)



PCDB Mining (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 24-July-2005  20:33:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some more PCDB entries that have been buried for too long. If you're interested, you can see the previous PCDB mining stories here, here, here, here and here.

   

   

You can view the top-voted PC's in the PCDB for the following criteria: Looks, Functionality, Effort, Ingenuity and Overall. The latest gallery entries are here.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 24-July-2005  10:36:15 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Cooling:
Thermalright XP-90 and XP-90C on Xtreme Resources
alphacool NexXxoS XP water cooling system on LostCircuits
AzenX Blitztorm System Slot Cooler on InsaneTek

Accessories:
The Optimus Keyboard on ThinkComputers.org
WinTasks 5.0 Pro and Process Library on The Moditory
MSI MegaPC 865 PRO on t-break

Motherboard:
ASRock K8 Combo-Z ALi M1689 Motherboard on PCPerspective
Chaintech VNF4 Zenith VE on OCIA
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI on Viperlair
ECS KN1 Extreme on Neoseeker
ECS KN1(1.0f) Extreme nVidia nForce4 Ultra Motherboard on Futurelooks

Audio:
Blue Tango Classic - Bluetooth Audio on Bjorn3D
Steel Sound 5H Professional Gaming Headset USB Version on XYZ Computing

PSU:
HEC Ace Power 580UB 580Watt power supply on PCStats
Power Watcher PW-480-102DF 480w Power Supply on ClubOC

Case:
Lian Li PC-767 Case on AMDReview
NZXT Trinity Classic Series Case on TechIMO
Xion Gaming PC ATX Case on Pimprig

Misc:
Intel Pentium XE 840 & Pentium D 840 on HardwareZone
NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX Linux on Phoronix



Saturday Night (4 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 23-July-2005  20:26:00 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Hardware Secrets has posted an article on their tour through the ECS factory.

Figures released by the international recording industry suggest the number of legal downloads has tripled to 180m worldwide in the first half of 2005. Full article on BBC.

One of the benchmarking team members at Hardware Asylum has broken the AMD PiFast world record. This was obtained with an AMD FX-57 dry ice cooled running at 3666MHz. This is the highest PiFast score on an AMD based system to date.

Apparently the official name for the Longhorn OS from MS will be Windows Vista! More to read here.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has warned ISPs that using the word "unlimited" to describe broadband plans that slow to dialup speeds is unacceptable. About time. Thanks Bern. =)

The Tech Zone has posted a guide on taking panoramic photos. Just remember, if you are a photo nut, then be sure to check out our great Photography Forum!

Our Brisbane guys (and girls!) have organised a few more get-togethers, one at the Pancake Manor, and Chartered Fishing in September!

To finish off this quiet Saturday night, here's some interesting forum threads to browse through. =)

Thoughts on Nuclear War in Current Events
Howard the master manipulator? in Current Events
Ultimate Battle for World Supremacy in Motoring
Official World Of Warcraft Discussion (GOLD) in Games
AMD 64 X2 Overclocking Results in AMD Hardware
First experience of my HT and DTS! Wow! in Audio Visual
What are you having/had for dinner tonight? in Geek Food



Friday Evening Reviews (8 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 22-July-2005  21:06:18 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Beer makes me do big reviews posts! Enjoy.

Accessories:
SunbeamTech Chromatic Windmill on Phoronix
Func sUrface 1030 MBA Limited Edition Mousepad on ThinkComputers.org
KeySonic EL and Compact Aluminium keyboards on 3DVelocity
Samsung SC-X105L 6 in 1 Extreme Sports Digital Camcorder on Futurelooks
Sunbeam EL (Pro Series) Lite Up Keyboard on Madshrimps
Sunbeamtech Pro Series EL Keyboard & Blueflame ELMouse on 3DXtreme

Network:
Asus WL-530g Pocket Wireless Router on The Tech Zone
NetGear WPN824 Wireless Router on DesignTechnica

Storage:
Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 500GB SATA-II Hard Drive on BigBruin
Thecus N4100 IP Storage Appliance on Hexus
Lexar JumpDrive Lightning 1GB on Everything USB
Samsung P120 200GB Hard Drive on SilentPCReview
Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 400GB Hard Drive on SilentPCReview
Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 ST3146854LC SCSI Hard Drive on InsaneTek

Case:
Cooler Master Centurion 531 Case on Overclockers Club
GigaByte 3D Aurora ATX Enclosure on ClubOC
Cooler Master Centurion Micro ATX 540/541 Casing on Hardware Zone

Cooling:
Coolermaster Mini Aquagate on Rbmods
Corsair "COOL" on BleedinEdge
Asetek WaterChill KT03A-12VS on Driver Heaven
ArcticCooling Copper Lite Socket A Heatsink on Futurelooks
Scythe Kamaboko CPU HSF on SilentPCReview
AC Freezer 4 on SDMLanReview
Spire QuieTude VI on SDMLanReview
Spire SPA04S4-U WhisperRock V on A1-Electronics
Scythe Kamaboko CPUCooler on Hi-tech Reviews
Titan "Bianca" water-cooling system on Marns CDA
Tt Symphony H2O Kit on Overclocker Cafe

Video:
Crucial RADEON X850 XT 256MB PCI Express on 3DVelocity
Gigabyte GV-RX80L256V Radeon X800XL on GruntvillE
GeCube RADEON X800 XL 512MB (PCIe) on Hardware Zone

PSU:
HEC ACE Power 480W Power Supply on Extreme Overclocking
Cooler Master Real Power RS-550-ACLY power supply on SilentPCReview
Coolmax CU-400T & 600T PSUs on SilentPCReview
Hiper Type-R 580W Power Supply on Pimprig

Mobile Phone:
Orange M500 on Hexus
Motorola RAZR V3 Cell Phone on Bytesector

Audio:
JBL On Stage Speaker System on TheTechLounge
MPeye HTS-200 MP3 Player on TrustedReviews
Rio Carbon MP3 Players Roundup on CoolTechZone
Sorell SF2000 256MB MP3 Player on Hardcoreware

Misc:
MSI Digi VOX USB 2.0 on Tweak Town
ECS KN1 SLI Extreme on techPowerUp
Dell Inspiron XPS Gen2: Multimedia Profile HotHardware
Area 51 on Driver Heaven
ECS KN1 Extreme (1.0f) nForce4 Ultra ATX Motherboard on Futurelooks

RAM:
Ultra Products 2*256MB PC3200 XL on Overclockers Online
OCZ EL PC-3500 Gold GX and PC-4800 Platinum on 3DXtreme
OCZ Gold PC3500 GX 1GB Dual Channel Kit on InsaneTek

Display:
Sony SDM-S204E 20.1-inch LCD Monitor on BIOS
Viewsonic 4ms TFT monitor on Bit-tech



Friday Morning (21 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 22-July-2005  06:15:34 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

More bombing attacks in London, although this time it looks like the bombers stuffed up. They didn't kill anyone, which is a good thing and the police have a nice collection of evidence to work with. You can read more about it at The BBC.

Some more sad news, actor James Doohan, best known as Scotty from the original "Star Trek" series passed away at the age of 85. I'm sure there are many "Trekkies" who will miss him. "Beam me up, Scotty". Thanks to Wizard and others who sent in the link.

Fans of the game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" might want to keep their copy in a safe place, because if you lose it you might not be able to buy a second one. The game is being reviewed by various media classification boards because is has Adult Content and is expected to be pulled from shelves around Australia. In other countries, the current rating of "M" for Mature is being upgraded to "AO, Adults Only".

More action in the courts. Hardware Analysis have an article about it titled Is AMD finally starting to lose its marbles? "AMD is moving forward with its legal case against Intel, but really is it just about Intel's questionable business ethics? We beg to differ as AMD is guilty as sin."

Do memory DRAM terms like UTT, ETT and branded/unbranded make your head spin? LegitReviews go over them in a brief article showing the differences between ETT & UTT Memory IC's.

Also, Hardware Secrets explain the main differences between DDR and GDDR Memories. Learn the main differences between DDR (DDR2 and DDR3) and GDDR (GDDR2 and GDDR3) memories.

Has anyone ever had a bad experience with Tech Support? Actually, has anyone ever had a good experience with Tech Support? Design Technica have a story about some not so good support.

The Tech Report have posted a preview of nVidia's latest Forceware package, the ForceWare 77.76 beta drivers and played with the new SLI-AA modes. This driver adds bridgeless SLI modes for the GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6600 LE cards. Some more information about them also at DVHardware and Penstar Systems.

NBS Gaming decided to have a look and see what effect overclocking your PCI-E bus would have on video performance. Read the results here.

It sounds like Microsoft might be giving up on the idea of buying "Claria", the company responsible for making and distributing everyoneís favorite Adware, Gator. Read more here.

TechIMO have book review which you can steal, I mean, download and share with your friends using which ever file sharing network you feel comfortable with. Its titled Steal This File Sharing Book.

To finish off with this morning we have a couple of neat timewasters for you. If you're sick of that Crazy Frog then now you can get even. Thanks QLH454. And finally, from Skit, Planarity should keep you occupied for a while. I wasted half an hour at it.

Reviews to follow.



Thursday Morning News (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 21-July-2005  02:03:55 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

First off this morning, a reminder that you only have until the end of the month to win either a NV Silencer 5 (Rev 2) or a NV Silencer 6 (Rev 2) video card cooler, simply by telling us which one you want to win. How easy is that! To be in with a chance at one of these goodies, just drop a line in this forum thread and tell us which one you want. The nice folk at HDAudioVisual could be sending one your way.

Are you a rev-head? BenZor and others from the OCAU Motoring forum have organized a Sydney Dyno Day for the 27th August 2005. They'll be heading down to Dumar Auto Technics in Berowra for a Dyno Run, get together, cruise, BBQ and other social car-oriented things. It should be a good day out and a chance to hang out with some of the other OCAU rev-heads. Check out all the info in this forum thread.

The Gurus at Guru3D sat down with a game programmer from Kylotonn who is developing the upcoming title 'Bet on Soldier'. This game is starting to make quite some buzz in the industry as being the next big promising game, the graphics are said to be looking fantastic. Read the interview here.

Meanwhile, the team at Beyond3D talk with Dean Sekulic, Programmer & Designer at Croteam about Serious Sam 2 now that the first game screenshots and trailer have been released.

OCWorkbench managed to find some information about the ABIT ULi M1689 based mainboard and its support for the AGP FIX to 66/75/AUTO. The info comes direct from Abit.

Driverheaven take a look at the latest and greatest game released for the PS2, namely "God of War".

As expected, the courts ruled against Grokster in the file sharing case. Grokster Decision: Great News for Lawyers. Indeed. Also, while you're there have a read of this blurb all about Blu-ray Marketing Vs HD DVD. This is going to be fun.

Also in the courts, Microsoft sues Google because Google hired an ex-Microsoft employee. Will it ever end?

Something new for the Sony PSP, a Wireless FTP server. I'm not sure how useful it would be but its a nice idea.



Thursday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 21-July-2005  02:01:01 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Systems/Laptops/PDA:
Shuttle SB81P Small Form-Factor System at XbitLabs

CPU:
Intel Pentium D 820 Dual Core CPU at HardCoreWare
Intel Pentium D 820 Dual Core CPU at T-Break

Mainboard:
Tyan Tomcat i7221A (S5151) at Phoronix

Storage:
BenQ DW1640 Internal DVD Writer at HardwareZone

Cooling:
Koolance Exos-2 Liquid Cooling System at PC Perspective

Memory:
OCZ DDR Voltage Booster at Future Looks
Mushkin Redline HP3200 DDR at Best Case Scenario
Wintec PC2-5400 DDR2 at Legit Reviews
G.Skill F1-4800DSU2-1GBFR DDR600 2T Dual Memory Kit at XtremeResources

PC Audio:
Frontier Labs NEX 3 MP3/FM Media Player at Bjorn3D
Logitech Premium USB Headset 350 at TheTechZone
Zalman Real 5.1 Channel Heaphones Amplifier at PC Modding Malaysia

Case/Mods:
Antec P160 Case at TechFreaks
ThermalRock Eclipse Mid-Tower Case at Bigbruin
Gigabyte 3D Aurora Enthusiast Computer Case at TweakTown

Media Players/Systems:
Samsung YH-999 Portable Media Centre at Bytesector
Samsung HT-P38 Home Theater System at TechTastic
Samsung T7 Series MP3 Player Roundup at CoolTechZone
Sony Network Walkman NW-E507 at CoolTechZone

PC Video/Monitor:
Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH SLI at XbitLabs
nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX at Avault
Abit X700 Pro Graphics Card at CoolTechZone
HIS IceQ ATI Radeon X850XT 256Meg at Tweaknews
Sapphire X800XL 512MB at BleedinEdge
HIS X800XL IceQ Turbo at Viper Lair
VisionTek Radeon X850XT PE at Legion Hardware
BFG 6600GT OC at AseLabs
Leadtek PX7800GTX at Tech-Mods
IBM ThinkVision L191p 19" LCD Monitor at biosMagazine

Misc:
I-Rocks KR-6130 X-SLIM Keyboard at ThinkComputers
Mutant Mods Accessories Kit at XYZ Computing
F-Series Competition Mousing Surfaces at CyberwizardPit
HP Photosmart M22 Digital Camera at TrustedReviews



Wednesday Afternoon (13 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 20-July-2005  17:08:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Today is the anniversary of the first manned moon landing, on July 20th 1969. Dopefish noticed that Google are celebrating in their own way, making some NASA lunar maps available. Zoom all the way in for maximum detail!

There's another patch for Firefox and Thunderbird, because the one last week didn't work properly.

Next time you have a Windows problem, call for a 9 year old to help. Well, you probably would anyway, but this one's actually certified, thanks Sciby.

CDRInfo have info on a prototype 30GB HD DVD-R disc from Toshiba. To make an HD-DVD disc double-layered, the company needed to reduce the thickness of the Ag reflection layer, located close to the optical head so that the laser beam can reach the other layer (Layer 0) more easily.

They also looked at Crossfire vs SLI in the dual videocard arena.

If you lived in America, you could take part in this IBM 75GXP class action suit. If not, you can arrange your Deathstars into an ornate and high-tech rock garden. Or throw them in the bin, as I've done with all four of mine.

The Doom movie looms ever closer. Already, there is a petition of some 1700 fans concerned about key changes to the established Doom Universe. While the film follows the basic plot of the game - an invasion of an off-world military installation, the location is not Mars, Deimos, or Phobos but "Olduvai".

SharkyExtreme have updated their value gaming system buyer's guide. Most of these guides nowadays seem to just be big PriceGrabber link spamfests, but fortunately the Shark guide seems spam free.

Phoronix cover Slax Linux Live 5.0.6, a cool little Linux distro that can fit on a thumbdrive.

Phil sent in this TheInq article about East Fork, new DRM technology from Intel. Remember there was a time when something called fair use existed? Remember when you could rip a CD to your MP3 player to listen to in your car, or while out biking? That was and is called fair use. Up to date "Fair Use" laws is another thing we don't have in Australia, sadly.



More Press-Releases (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 20-July-2005  16:20:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Asetek have sent more info on their VapoChill Micro range, which consists of 3 CPU coolers. Each VapoChill Micro cooler basically consists of a vapor chamber, pipes, coolant (R134a), nickel cover, fan duct and cooling ribs. Also: The VapoChill Micro (copper chamber) is placed directly on the CPU unlike existing heat pipe technologies. This means better and efficient absorption and transportation of heat from the CPU. More info in a 25KB PDF here and here.

Cooler Master have a new version of their impressive CM Stacker case. The CM-Stacker 810 supports up to 4 CPU motherboards ranging from Micro-ATX to full size Extended-ATX. Unique power supply cage re-design to fully support standard ATX or redundant power supplies. We maximized the airflow by reconstructing the motherboard tray to support two 120mm super silent exhaust fans. More info here.

Intel introduced two new Itanium 2 processors with a faster front-side bus. For the first time, Itanium 2 processors have a 667 megahertz (MHz) front side bus (FSB), which connects and transfers data between the microprocessor, chipset and system's main memory. Servers designed to utilize the new bus are expected to deliver more than 65 percent greater system bandwidth over servers designed with current Itanium 2 processors with a 400 MHz FSB. More info here.

Shadow Entertainment Aust sent word that EVGA have some nForce4-based motherboards on the way. The two new additions, based on the nForce4 SLI (P/N: 133-K8-NF41) and nForce4 (P/N: 133-K8-NF43) chipsets, support Dual-Core, Athlon64 FX and Athlon64 939-pin processors, up to 4GB of DDR400 SDRAM in Dual Channel Mode, and feature a multitude of I/O connectors including integrated 8 channel audio and Gigabit LAN. More info here.

Thermaltake have a new CPU cooler, the Volcano 4005 Heat Exchanger. This is essentially a waterblock with radiator directly above it. As the heated liquid coming from the Heat Source Block enters Ambient Radiator, heat is passed onto Copper Tubes then spreads throughout the aluminum fins for effective cooling utilizing natural convection or pressurized air flow. More info here.



Wednesday Morning News (28 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 20-July-2005  03:00:35 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Xbit-Labs have a roundup of In-Win PSUs for those in the need for more ...umm, PSUs.

If the iPod isn't your thing but you want an MP3 player, then perhaps this Rio MP3 player roundup on CoolTechZone is worth a read. Also, maybe this 50 Cent G-Unit MP3 Watch is more to your taste. I'd be tempted to buy one at that price. Actually, I'd like an iPod, just so I can give it away.

Adrian has updated the BIOS Optimization Guide again with six new or updated entries. Check it out.

Amfibius sent in this info about a "new keyboard with a display screen under each key showing what function the key is performing at the moment."

An interesting article about some of the ideas behind the Open Source movement. "Open source is an experiment in social organization for production around a distinctive notion of property." Read it here.

With IBM announcing the cessation of production/support for OS/2, here is an article titled A History of IBM OS/2: 1991 to 1996. Not a new article but an interesting read.

The TechZone take a look at the next generation consoles, specifically the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

How much does Google know about you? Is it a threat to your privacy? Some people might think so. "Google is becoming one of the largest privacy risks on the Internet." Read it on CNN.

Looks like XP SP2 has a DoS bug. Not really news I guess but you can find out more about it here.

If you recently downloaded the latest Firefox browser then you might need to do it again. It seems that it needs fixing.

The World Cyber Games have named Battlefield 2 as the Official USA Championship Demo Game. No mention about anything similar on the Australian site though.

Do you have good tech skillz? Need a job in the IT world? Bill Gates is short of good techies.

This is kind of cool, in a weird sort of way. Woogle!. Try entering some words and it provides some images to sound out what you've searched for. The following example of "Overclockers Australia is LEET" will give you an idea of how it works. Try ticking the "Use common words" option. Thanks for the link mang.

To finish of with this morning, David sent us this link to a site which will be of great help to new computer users. A guide to computer hardware, by beginners. Thanks David :)



Tuesday Evening (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 19-July-2005  19:56:23 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Bona Fide Reviews has the second part of their backup guide posted. Check it out here.

News from Arty about an Xbox X360 falling into the wrong hands. The son of a Microsoft employee gets first public crack at company's next-gen console and posts pictures on the Web. More info on Gamespot and 360 Hacker.

On the same topic as Xbox, The Tech Zone has a close look at both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in their latest article.

Newsforge has an article/review on KnoppMyth, a product that is designed to work as a Personal Video Recorder. Thanks Bern!

Interesting read on PCReview regarding the legality on File sharing. They focus their examination on the recent high profile case between MGM and Grokster. Full article here.

BBC has news about a robotic Humvee has managed to drive itself for seven hours without crashing on a race course in the US. This robotic vehicle will be eventually competing in a competition where autonomous racers must make their own way cross a desert course within a specified time limit. I'd love to have a go with one of them! =D

eWeek has info regarding more flaws in service pack 2 when it was released, and Microsoft's attempt at fixing them.

Bern sent in news about the new 3D Chip technology. Professor James Lu and other researchers of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, managed to create three-dimensional chips (coral cache) to optimize the design of future processors and prevent overheating. "Make the interconnect wire shorter, and you cut the delay time," says Lu. "A simple way to make them shorter is to stack the transistors. Full story on Slashdot.

Mad Penguin have a good, long look at the latest Slackware. I've never really done any form of review of Slackware Linux and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because it might come across as biased since I consider it one of the most attractive distributions available today. Maybe it's because I've called it home for so many years. Who knows. I will say that I recently changed my mind about it and this is my story. Full article here.

More reviews to follow later tonight.



Press Releases (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 19-July-2005  19:09:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AcBel Polytech, who we first encountered in our recent 13 PSU roundup article, have two new power supplies, at 500W and 550W. In output voltage ratings, it is backed up with tri rails +12V (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3) to adequately distribute power to components such as motherboard, graphic card, hard disk, etc. that usually consume heavy power load. +12V1 is defined to supply power for M/B, HDD & big 4pin components; +12V2 is defined to supply power for CPU and +12V3 is for PCI-E application. More info on these "iPower Gold" PSUs in this 629KB DOC file and a product pic here.

Antec have a new graphics card cooler, the VCool. Unlike other coolers on the market, VCool brings cool air to the graphics chipset from outside the case, rather than simply re-circulating the warm air inside the case. It also sits beside the VGA card rather than underneath, and works with any graphics card. More info here, product page here.

Asetek announced some new watercooling kits based on their 12V intelligent pump. For the most extreme water-cooling enthusiasts and overclockers 4 NEW Xtreme WaterChill kits has seen the light - including either the Xtreme Black Ice Dual or Xtreme Black Ice Triple radiator with respectively 4 or 6 fans for lowest possible temperatures and top performance. More info here.

Gigabyte have a new dual-GPU video card. As the successor to the legendary GV-3D1 that debuted at the beginning of the year, the GV-3D1-68GT is designed around proprietary technology from GIGABYTE that harnesses two GPUs together in a single VGA card SLI configuration. More info in this 1MB DOC. Can't really see how this fits into a 7800GTX-aware market.

OCZ released PC-4800 Platinum Elite Edition memory. The PC-4800 Platinum Elite Edition is guaranteed to run at both DDR400 with 2-2-2-5 timings and DDR600 with 2.5-4-4-10 timings for ultimate control and performance while overclocking. More info here.



Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 19-July-2005  00:38:50 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Systems/Laptops/PDA:
Clevo D900K Athlon 64 Ready Notebook at AMDBoard

Mainboard:
ECS KN1 Extreme NFORCE4 Ultra Motherboard at hardCoreWare
ECS KN1 Extreme (1.0f) nForce4 Ultra ATX at Future Looks
Asus A8N SLI Premium at HotHardware

Storage:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 200GB Hard Disk at Bigbruin
HP dvd640i LightScribe DVD Writer at Trusted Reviews

Video/Monitor:
ViewSonic VX724 - 4ms 17in TFT monitor at Trusted Reviews
Connect3D X700 Pro Graphics Card at CoolTechZone
EVGA 6600GT Graphics Card at CoolTechZone
BenQ FP91V+ 19" TFT LCD Monitor at Byte Sector

Audio:
Samsung YP-T7V MP3 Player at CoolTechZone

Case/Mods:
Chenbro Gaming Bomb II Case at Bjorn3D

Networking:
Buffalo AirStation MIMO at Trusted Reviews

Cooling:
Thermaltake Golden Orb II Heatsink at A1 Electronics
Zalman CNPS7700-AlCu CPU Cooler at Xtreme Resources
Gigabyte 3D Galaxy Liquid Cooling System at InsaneTek



Tuesday Early AM (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 19-July-2005  00:30:26 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

"Whatís an LP?" I heard someone ask recently, followed by a lengthy explanation about how before the days of CDs, music came on these large black plastic disks. They are still available. The folks at Designtechnica have a rant about why these things refuse to die, or maybe its all about why the people who own them refuse to die. Interesting!

When was the last time you backed-up your hard drive? BonaFideReviews want to tell us Why we need a backup plan in place. If you're at all like me then its something you do once or twice a year then forget about until after the crash.

Socket A is dead! Well, its not, but it is heading that way. Andy_o sent a link to this article about the last batch of Socket A CPUs to be made. There is a forum thread about it here also. I might have to think about upgrading soon.

Also on The Inquirer is some info about the latest version of Zone Alarm which they claim has cracked the spyware problem. Wouldn't that be nice.

"Apple sells 500 million songs via iTunes" and it only took them two years.

It seems the Firefox Website was hacked last weekend. Nothing tragic but it did leave the site down for a day or two. Also on the topic of Firefox, users of Internet Explorer are turning to Firefox as the next alternative with Firefox claiming 8.7% of browser use. IE use fell from 87.2% to 86.5%.

You might have seen this already but on TechSpot you can find a handy Firefox Tweak Guide. Good for those making the switch to FF.

The US government controls the root DNS system, without which, most of the Internet would fail to operate as it does today. The DNS system is comprised of 13 computers which hold the master lists of net suffixes, and is managed by private companies under the supervision of the US government. The United Nations are not altogether happy about this.

"Free Beer for Geeks". Thatís the title of this article on Wired about a group of college students producing open-source beer. Sounds good to me.

Remember Winzip, that handy little program which would turn big files into little files and dates back to the dark ages of Dos and PKZip ? Well, its been sold. It seems the shareware concept isn't as profitable as it once was.

Thatís all for now. Reviews to follow shortly.



Monday Afternoon (16 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 18-July-2005  15:52:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Wired report on DIY TV shows, that is, TV shows that you make yourself, not TV shows about renovating houses. Interestingly, they talk about a BitTorrent-like distribution system, which takes the load (and bandwidth cost) off the producer. We were talking about a similar thing in the Forums recently - why isn't there a BitTorrent-like system for websites? Where your browser might get the latest OCAU newspage from, say, your neighbour, instead of directly from our server. Or is there something like this on the way? Hmm..

DEMONICST8 has updated his Dalek PC PCDB entry with more info. Meanwhile Defyant is making us all feel inadequate, by showing off his latest mod, and even putting together a few of the most popular ones into a new PCDB entry.

Sniper spotted this 3 year old article on Stirling Cycle cooling. I wonder whatever happened to this technology? I guess I should Google and find out.

NewScientist report that handsfree phones don't reduce the risk of crashing your car.. if you live in Perth, anyway.

Elsewhere in Australia, a smokin' hot laptop has caused an airport emergency alert in Queensland. But shortly before landing, one of the passengers told the crew he believed the smell was coming from his overheated laptop computer which had been put away, Ms Jeffrey said.

From Dinuc: Just a quick note to remind you of the Melbourne photography shoot happening next Sunday. More details in the thread here. 26 OCAUer's have signed up already!!

Speaking of which, TheTechZone have an article on choosing a digicam. Remember our busy Photography Forum when doing your research too.

Check out this oldschool boombox PC, thanks Ben.

Dan has a go at fortelling the future.

Two timewasters today: planarity from Lurks and Tontie from wtneo. Both quite addictive.



Monday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 18-July-2005  05:42:35 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Adrian's Rojak Pot has a guide posted, telling you how to fix the Window Desktop Heap problem. Ever had problems opening or running applications even when your system has a LOT of free memory? Isn't it puzzling to get "Out Of Memory" errors when you evidently have a lot of free memory??

ThinkComputers express their disappointment with Battlefield 2, claiming that us (the consumer) are merely becoming the beta testers. Full article, here.

Ambush found this amazing battlefield 2 mod where they have modified not only the case, but everything, speakers, keyboard, mouse, monitor. Check it out here.

Information on EA Games site announcing the devlopment of Battlefield 2: Special Forces Expansion Pack.

Accelenation tells us where all that ink goes when we perform the cleaning/priming cycle on our printers. Check out the article, here.

The Tech Zone continues their articles on web hosting with a look at the free web hosting business.

Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but Google Maps has now gone 3D, with the new Google Earth.

Argent sent in this somewhat disturbing article about a woman growing into a man. Read at own risk =P.

VR-Zone has an article stating you can unlock SLi capability on the nForce 4-4x chipset, with the trusty conductive pen. Thanks for sending that in Lee!

Sharky-Extreme has posted their July High-end Gaming PC Buyers Guide. Check it out here.

Overclocker Cafe has a contest up where you can win a HIS Radeon X700 Pro IceQ Turbo.

Dan has more letters posted. In this little lot, metal mousemat misery, giant capacitors, clustering in the privacy of your home, and the question of identity, as it pertains to earth wires.

Iroquois shows us the World's Lowest Powered Web Server, running on a single AAA battery, and four potatoes!

News on the Inquirer about Sunbeam releasing screws with built in LED's, groovy! Check out the article here.

Also from Iroquois, news here about Windows 2000 being run nicely on a machine with only 32MB ram.

Ambush lets us know that new nForce4 AMD drivers have been released, version 6.66. Grab them here.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 17-July-2005  00:47:21 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

PSU:
Sunbeam Nuuo 550Watts PSU on BoPCNews
High Power PW480 PSU on overclockerCafe
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 Express/SLI Power Supply on PCStats

Storage:
WD 80GB External HDD on AMD Review
Vantec NexStar 3 on PC Modding Malaysia
AZiO External HDD Enclosure on HWHell

Cooling:
Thermaltake Beetle CPU Cooler on AMD Review

Motherboard:
Foxconn 945P7AA-8KS2 (Intel 945P Express) on Hardware Zone
Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE on Trusted Reviews

Mouse/Keyboard:
Logitech MX518 1600-DPI Optical Mouse on Overclockers Club
Zboard by Ideazon Keyboard on Bleedin Edge

Case:
Antec P180 Case on Pro-Clockers
Nitro PC Tower case on Techniz
Aspire X-Cruiser Case on Viperlair

Misc:
CaseAce GearGrip LCD Shield Harness on Phoronix
Wacom Intuos3 6x8 Graphic Tablet on HardcoreWare
LumaRay FL6 LED flashlight on Dansdata
Samsung SPP-2040 printer on Trusted Reviews
Matrix Orbital MX610 PLED 2x20 Display on 3DXtreme
Archos AV420 Digital Media Player on Ars

Laptop/PC:
Dell Inspiron 2200 on Bytesector
Sony VAIO VGC-V3M Media PC on Trusted Reviews
Asus W5A (W5G00A) Ultra-Portable Notebook on Hot Hardware

CPU:
Intel Pentium 4 630 Overclocking on Legion Hardware

Video:
Neoseeker BFG 7800GTX OC on Neoseeker
Gigabyte GV-NX78X256V-B (GeForce 7800 GTX) on Hardware Zone
XFX GeForce 6800 Ultra 512MB Video Card on Hexus

RAM:
Gigaram Mach 1000 PC3700 1GB Dual Channel Kit on InsaneTek
Mushkin 1GB XP4000 2-2-2 REDLINE Dual Pack on OCTools

Networking:
Actiontec Electronicsí 54Mbps Wireless Network Camera on HWHell
Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Broadband Router on Rojak Pot



BF2 Re-Patch (6 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 16-July-2005  14:45:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a quick note, there's a v1.02 patch for Battlefield 2 retail out now, to fix the problems with the previous patch. Grab it from AusGamers here, 17MB. Internode users grab it here. More info and mirrors from about here in our gigantic BF2 thread.


OCAU Wiki (29 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 16-July-2005  10:42:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some of you already know about this because it's been mentioned in the forums, but not "officially" launched on the newspage. Anyway, OCAU now has a Wiki!

What's a Wiki?
It's a bit like a forum, but anyone with an account can add or edit pages in it. So it's more like a database of individual documents. If you spot something that's incorrect, or that you know more about, you can change the document easily.

Why do we want a Wiki?
Well, a Wiki is a lot better way to handle certain things than a forum. For example, a FAQ in the forum could only be updated by admins or the original poster. In a Wiki, anyone can update it.

What will be in OCAU's Wiki?
Primarily it will be used to create a FAQ for the forums, which can be maintained and updated by the forum members. We also have a decent Glossary of computing terms in progress. In fact, you can add anything you want, really. If you have a particular hobby you want to explain, or a guide/article you want to write up, the Wiki is the perfect place to put it.

How do I add to it?
Anyone with an OCAU Forums account can log into the Wiki. Once you're logged in, to update a page simply click the "Edit" tab. To add a new page, edit another page and add a link to your new page's name, which will turn into a link to edit your new page. Or, you can simply put your page title on the end of the Wiki URL and the system will prompt you to edit the new page.

It can be a bit confusing at first, so feel free to ask questions in the Comments thread for this post.



Friday Night (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 15-July-2005  22:49:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Reax spotted an article with some worrying claims about display technology under Longhorn. If OPM determines that your monitor falls below the security restrictions (i.e. isnít DVI or HDMI w/HDCP), you could be greeted with a "polite message explaining that [your monitor] doesnít meet security requirements." However thetron noticed a possible way around this.

Fortunately Sciby has found an example of technology being used for good.. that is, making beer pour faster. Once he found a way to pour the beer faster and with just the right amount of foam, he had to make certain that the new delivery system did nothing to change the product's taste.

Tarrasque sent in this re-telling of A Few Good Men, using the Half-Life 2 game engine.

White Rhino noticed this double-vision LCD screen from Sharp, that allows people at different angles to view different programs. Meanwhile Murray found a flexible LCD panel from Fujitsu that keeps the image displayed, even without power.

Tech-Report looked at uber-high-resolution gaming with two 7800 GTX's in SLI. What we found is that there are some very good reasons for the GeForce 7800 GTX's relatively strong performance at very high resolutions, reasons that go beyond the card's additional pixel shading power and memory bandwidth.

Tweaktown meanwhile took an A64 FX-57 to 3.54GHz with phase-change cooling.

Designtechnica report on extreme printers. Righto then.

ArsTechnica ponder IBM's recent announcement of new PowerPC CPUs in the wake of Apple announcing they're not using PowerPC CPUs anymore. Hannibal lifts the embargo on some information that he had been holding close to the vest, and there are a couple of surprises. DVHardware also have some thoughts about businesses moving to Macs that are Intel powered.

Deepspring noticed that Opera may include BitTorrent functionality soon.

BigBruin want to tell you how to choose a laptop, while PC Mech want to tell you how to buy a printer and TheTechLounge have a high-end PC buyer's guide.



AutoSalon Perth 2005 Pics (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 15-July-2005  14:38:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Silicon Angel went along to the Auto Salon car show in Perth recently and took a heap of photos. In many ways it's similar to the PC modding scene, with some serious money being poured into some of the cars in terms of appearance, audio setup and/or performance. Some of the paintjobs are unbelievable:


Click for the image gallery!

More pics and comments in this thread in our Motoring forum.



Friday Morning (8 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 15-July-2005  11:19:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Australian record industry has won a major legal victory regarding online copyright infringements. The ruling means that linking to sites with pirated material, and not just downloading it, is an infringement of copyright in Australia.

NASA has had to cancel the shuttle launch with only a couple of hours to go. A faulty fuel sensor is to blame. Meanwhile, an astronomer discovered a planet in a system with three stars.

This Dalek case is pretty cool - it's a shame there's not more info available.

Timbot sent in this new spray cooling method for cooling computer chips on TheEngineer. "As far as the density of heat goes, this technology can remove up to four times what the space shuttle experiences upon re-entry," says Shedd, "which is performance we haven't seen before."

HWSecrets took a tour of Corsair's factory in Fremont, California.

The Internet Archive is being sued for storing historical data that assisted in an earlier legal case. In most cases, the robot.txt blocked the request. But in 92 instances, the suit states, it appears to have failed, allowing access to the archived pages.

Firefox has some security updates available - grab the update here. Meanwhile, the Opera browser will soon be appearing on a mobile phone near you.

Quite a few people sent in this Optimus keyboard. Each key is a tiny display, so you can re-map the keyboard and display the new command or mapping right on the key surface. Neato.

Gareth spotted this amazing case mod worklog over on Bit-Tech. Lots of CNC milling going on.

Xbit have an article on the history of Alpha processors, as well as an examination of 20" and 21" LCD Monitor features.

Interesting Forum Threads:
15-day dual-core stability test in Intel Hardware.
AMD socket A, retired in AMD Hardware.
ABIT AN8 Ultra (new nF4 mobo with 3.55vdimm) in AMD Hardware.
Riva Ver 2, Massive MDF Case (lots of pics) in Modding & Electronics.
Pure MySQL database server? in SMP & Clustering.
Childhood misconceptions in The Pub.
29 days till the [H]orde overtake us!! in Team OCAU - Distributed Computing.



Thursday Evening Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 14-July-2005  18:19:27 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Ram:
Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 2GB Dual Channel memory on XtremeResources
Corsair 5400UL DDR-2 675MHz Memory on TweakTown
Corsair Twin2X 1024A-5400UL DDR2 Memory on EOC
Corsair XMS2 UL8000 on T-Break
OCZ Gamer eXtreme Enhanced Latency Memory on CoolTechZone
PDP Systems Patriot PC3200 XBLK on Viperlair

Keyboard/Mouse:
Sunbeam Pro Series Lite-up EL Keyboard
SunbeamTech Pro-Series Lite Up Keyboard on Phoronix
Logitech MX3100 Cordless Desktop on TheTechLounge
Sunbeam Pro Series Lite-up EL Keyboard on OCIA
Saitek Eclipse & Executive Illuminated Keyboards on Ocwizard
Raptor-Gaming M2 2400dpi Gaming Mouse on ExtremeMHz

Case:
3RSystems R900 Case on Hot Hardware
CaseBuy AI-01-BK-DE Case on PC Modding Malaysia
Gigabyte 3D Aurora GZ-FSCA1-AN Case on TrustedReviews
NZXT Nemesis Elite on CaseModGod
CrazyPC Inferno Window Panel for Lian-Li on Pimprig
SkyHawk BAX-B5602 Computer Case on A True Review
Sunbeam Trio Case on XYZ Computing
Raidmax X1 Gaming Case on Techtastic
Antec TX640B Mini-Tower Case on NgoHQ

Cooling:
Sunbeamtech Tuniq Tower 120 CPU Cooler on BigBruin
EverCool Neon Crab memory cooler on A1-Electronics
EverCool Neon Crab memory cooler on Bjorn3D
Thermaltake Big Typhoon on Viperlair
Thermaltake Golden Orb II on InsaneTek
PrimeCooler CoolPad notebook air cooler on A1-Electronics

Software/Games:
The Sacred Stones on Bytesector
God of War (PS2) on Trusted Reviews
Juiced on NewsTechInfo

Video:
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon X800 XL for PCI Express Preview on Hexus
PowerColor RADEON X800 XL 512MB on Hexus
MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (GeForce 7800 GTX) on HardwareZone
Point of View GF 7800 GTX on Guru3D

Audio:
iRiver T10 Series Photo/Video/MP3 Player on CoolTechZone
iRiver PMP-140 Multimedia Player on CoolTechZone
MM Gear EDS-200F Headphones on TheTechZone
MSI Mega Stick 511 on ThinkComputers.org
Sennheiser PX200 Headphone on PCReview
Samsung YP-T7Z MP3 Player on CoolTechZone
Rio Carbon MP3 Player Pearl Edition on CoolTechZone
Rio Carbon Pearl Edition with 6GB Storage on CoolTechZone

Motherboard:
ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe WiFi-TV Edition on LegionHardware
Neoseeker ASUS P5RD1-V on Neoseeker
ASUS K8N-DL (nForce4 Professional) on HardwareZone
ABIT Fatal1ty AN8 SLi on HardOCP

Misc:
Creative CB2436 USB Bluetooth Adapter on 3DVelocity
Matrix Orbital MX512 on Overclockers Online
Ricoh Caplio GX8 Digicam on Bios Magazine
Logisys Remote Multifunction Panel on TechGage
Wacom Intuos3 6x8 Graphic Tablet on HardCoreWare
Coolmax 500W SLI Power Supply on 3DGameMan
Intel D 820 Dual Core Processor on Driver Heaven
Thermaltake Tenor HTPC on Phoronix
Linksys WRT54GC Compact Wireless Router on The Tech Zone



PCDB Mining (9 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 14-July-2005  12:09:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some more PCDB entries that have been buried for too long. If you're interested, you can see the previous PCDB mining stories here, here, here and here.

   

   

You can view the top-voted PC's in the PCDB for the following criteria: Looks, Functionality, Effort, Ingenuity and Overall. The latest gallery entries are here.



Thursday Morning (6 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 14-July-2005  03:10:14 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

First up, Agg spotted this pretty crafty homemade waterblock in our PCDB.

It's been a while since I have seen one of these...but some guy on Whirlpool has posted up his ~$20,000 Telstra Bill.

Futurelooks has a new article posted up called Pets 'R Us: Touring the Perverse World of Pet Excess. There seems to be no end to the extent to which people will pamper their pets. More and more, the pet world almost completely mirrors the human. If you can think of it, someone has probably brought it to market. We toured the Web's pet emporiums to see how far things have gone.

Daniel sent in news about and Intel sponsered event that AMD won first place in, ironic. =)

AdminPrep has another article on their site that goes into detail on how Virtual software works and gives 5 examples of it being used.

Tweaktown have supplied us with a HUGE ATI Radeon X700 round-up. Check it out here.

Nick sent in this 'unbiased' Windows vs Linux article. The Linux mascot is Tux the penguin. A cute little fellow, but veryLinux vulnerable to killer whales. Now a orca, that would be a cool mascot, but I guess Sea World already has that. Windows 2000 doesn't really have a mascot unless you call that flying multi-colored window a mascot. It might get a little bloody on some broken shards of glass, but I think even a penguin could destroy a pansy window.

Sciby lets us know that scientists find a billion-dollar frog.

Microsoft has unveiled Windows Automotive 5.0, the latest version of its operating system designed for in-vehicle computers running navigation, entertainment and communication systems. More details here.

Scientists have been warned that their latest experiments may accidently produce monkeys with brains more human than animal.

And...a good time waster called The Brick Testament sent in from Te_Kin, that warns this truely is a timewaster!

I'll have a whole stack of reviews for you during sometime today, so be prepared!



Tuesday Evening Reviews Part 2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 12-July-2005  21:34:07 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

PSU:
Seasonic S12 500W on InsaneTek
Seasonic S12 380W on ThinkComputers.org
OCZ ModStream 520W on Legion Hardware
OCZ PowerStream 520W on OCIA

Cooling:
Cooler Master Hyper 6+ on OverclockersOnline
Arctic Cooling ATi Silencer (Rev.2) Video Card Cooler on FutureLooks

Network:
PipeCall ADSL Integrated Router on Trusted Reviews
ASUS WL1167G USB2.0 WLAN Adapter on 3DVelocity

Mouse/Keyboard:
Logitech new 1600 dpi gaming mouse on TheTechZone
Corepad Mouse Pad on LAN Addict
SunbeamTech LED Keyboard and Mouse on InsaneTek
Raptor-Gaming M2 2400dpi Gaming Mouse on ExtremeMHz

RAM/Storage:
OCZ PC4800 Dual Channel Platinum Limited Edition Memory on PCStats
Mushkin 1GB Dual Channel PC3200 "Redline" DDR RAM on TweakTown
Western Digital Caviar WD2500KS on Storage Review

Misc:
Silex Hi-Speed USB Device on Everything USB
CD Freaks Presents NEC ND-3540 DVD Burner on CD Freaks
Ultra Cable Sleeving Kit(ULT31748) on CaseModGod
Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 Gaming Laptop on The Tech Zone
VIA EPIA MS12000 on EpiaCenter
Lexmark P4350 Photo Perfection All-in-One on BIOS



Tuesday Evening Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 12-July-2005  20:43:30 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Camera:
HP Photosmart R717 on Trusted Reviews
Canon Digital Rebel XT on DesignTechnica

Motherboards:
AMD socket 939 motherboards on A1-Electronics
M1695 Athlon 64 Chipset on TweakTown
Foxconn Winfast NF4UK8AA Motherboard on AMD Review
ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard on GruntVillE

Video:
EVGA PCIe 6800 Graphics Card CoolTechZone
MSI Radeon RX800XL-VT2D256E Videocard on PCStats
Leadtek PX6800TDH 256meg PCI-E on Tech-Mods
HIS Excalibur ATI Radeon X850XT PE IceQ VIVO on Hi-Tech Reviews
PowerColor RADEON X800 XL 512MB (PCIe) on HardwareZone
PowerColor X800 XL 512MB on Bjorn3D
ASUS Extreme Radeon X600 Pro on 3DVelocity

Audio:
Samsung YP-MT6X MP3 Player on CoolTechZone
Aperion Audio Intimus 422 Speaker System on DesignTechnica
Beat Sounds EMP-Z II Plus MP3 Player on CoolTechZone

Case:
ULTRA Dragon Glossy Series ATX Case on HardcoreWare
NZXT Trinity Gaming Chassis on Phoronix
Sunbeamtech TRIO ATX Case on BigBruin
Scythe iPod PC Case on CoolTechZone
Foxconn Winfast NF4UK8AA and NZXT Trinity Case on AMD Review
SilverStone Temjin 05 ATX case on Trusted Reviews
Antec Sonata II ATX Case on Legit Reviews



Tuesday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 12-July-2005  14:01:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's an interesting egyptian-themed PC in the PCDB.

ARP recently attended a Seagate technology briefing in Malaysia. 400 Petabytes of email have been sent out in 2004 and Apple alone shipped 4 Petabytes of iTunes music files in 2004. Seagate is meeting the demands of this industry by expanding its storage capacity.

In case you missed the recent storm of articles and reviews, PCStats have a GeForce 7800 GTX primer for you. The GeForce 7800GTX chipset has a simple purpose; to catapult nVidia back onto the 'fastest, most expensive videocard' throne.

3DAvenue looked at the GeForce 7800GTX in SLi, while Anandtech have updated their BF2 GPU performance comparison with GeForce 6800GT and Radeon X800XL numbers.

Could Rambus be clawing their way back out of the grave? Xbit report on Rambus XDR2 memory. The firm believes its new memory technology will be used in devices requiring "extreme memory bandwidth" and will run at 8GHz.

IBM have entered the dual-core fray with a new CPU announcement. The PowerPC 970MP is a dual-core version of the PowerPC 970FX, which is commonly found in Macintosh computers running G5 processors.

Sudhian have published the second half of their thoughts on the Intel-AMD lawsuit. My goal here is to explore first the evidence that supports AMDís position; second, to discuss why winning this lawsuit against Intel could only set AMD up for its own worst failure.

XbitLabs compared SATA and USB2.0 for external hard disk enclosures. You may guess that SATA is better, but I donít think you know how much better it can be.

ExtremeTech compared a pile of S939 A64 motherboards.. nine in total.

eCoustics have a quickish guide to detecting hard drive problems before they fail.

LinuxHardware compared the latest high-end CPUs, naturally enough under Linux. What we chose to look at is each manufacturer's top enthusiast CPU, their top dual-core CPU, and their top mainstream CPU. On AMD's side this equals the Athlon 64 FX-57, Athlon 64 4800+, and Athlon 64 4000+ respectively. On Intel's side this equals the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, Pentium D 840, and Pentium 4 670 respectively.



Monday Morning (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 11-July-2005  00:20:49 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Kim sent in some cool pictures of cats in mid-air flight. Check them out here.

Driverheaven has another gaming article posted up on their site, this time they take a look at a rather 'quirky and enjoyable 3d Platform shooter on both PC and PS2. Check the review on Psychonauts, here.

This guide is probably a great guide for people who have never overclocked their videocard, and want to know how. Check out the article here, on sgOverclockers.

Tweakguides has a handy article posted, for those that are confused or overwhelmed with all the new different hardware avenues we can go towards. He checks out the best he could afford, and wanted to futureproof his system as much as possible. Full article here.

There has been lots of debate and controversy with the Grand Theft Auto series since it was first released, but the latest San Andreas release has caused a big stir because it contains 'sex scenes'. Here's a snip from the article: Inevitably, some modders have reprogrammed popular games to add explicit sexual content. The popular game The Sims has inspired some steamy mods that enable characters to couple and even get pregnant. But ''Hot Coffee," an eye-popping GTA mod created by Wildenborg and some of his friends, goes a good deal further, with highly explicit images.. Read the full article here, on boston.com news.

Also, some interesting forum threads I'd like to share:

Make your own PC gearshifter in Modding & Electronics.
Quiet watercooled Super Lanboy in Modding & Electronics: Worklogs.
Promo girls pics from Darwin V8 Supercars (56k beware) in Photography.
Pool / snooker cue in Other Toys.
I bought the world's smallest MP3 player! in Other Toys.
OCAU Venice OC Database in AMD Hardware
Discuss Anything Basketkball (has lots of vids) in Sport, Fitness and Health.
Australia vs. South Africa Rugby Union in Sport, Fitness and Health.
Consequences & Implications of London Terrorist Attack in Current Events.
Official World Of Warcraft Discussion (GOLD) in Games.
Keeping up with Stargate: SG-1 in TV, Movies and Music.
Show Us Your Desktop! (actual desktop) in The Pub.
Vanilla Coke. -- Going? in Geek Food.

And just a few reviews to finish off for tonight:

Storage/RAM:
Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning 2GB on Bleeding Edge
OCZ Technology EL DDR PC-3200 Gold Edition Dual Channel on Hexus

Video/Display:
Nvidia Geforce 7800GTX SLI on 3DAvenue
6600GT with Dual-BIOS on bit-tech.net
MSI Radeon RX800XL-VT2D256E Videocard on PCStats
Samsung 910MP LCD TV Monitor on XYZ Computing
ABIT AL8 (Intel 945P Express) on HardwareZone

Audio:
Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod on CoolTechZone
SanDisk Digital Audio Player Preview at CoolTechZone
Bose SoundDock on DesignTechnica

Misc:
Anodized LED Fans and Thumbscrews on XYZ Computing
Gigabyte AirCruiser G Desktop PCI Router on PC Modding Malaysia
Optorite 1600DPI Laser Mouse on TheTechZone
WL Foldable Keyboard on MHW
Silex COMBO Mini Finger Print Reader on Hardcoreware
Cableyoyo Ultra-thin Cord Manager on Futurelooks
Knoppix Ė a Linux OS that runs off 1 CD on The Tech Zone

Case:
Aspire X-Qpack on OCIA
SilverStone LC11B HTPC Enclosure on Ap0calypse
SilverStone LC11M HTPC Case on OCIA

Cooling:
Kingwin AquaStar AS-3000 Liquid Cooling System on 3DGameMan
CoolerMaster NotePal Notebook Cooler on Futurelooks
Thermaltake Symphony H2O Cooler on OverclockerCafe
Noiseblocker Cool Scraper SX1 CPU Cooler on Xteme Resources
Arctic Silver Products on ThinkComputers.org



Archive Updated (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 10-July-2005  02:58:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just updated our Article and Review Archive with some recent content. Take a look if you missed these the first time around:

ABIT Fatal1ty AA8XE i925XE LGA775 motherboard review.
OCZ PC2-6400 Platinum EB (DDR2 800MHz) memory review.
Smartech Winner Sport 1:10 Nitro RC Buggy review.
CeBIT Sydney 2005 Report PC show article.
BF2 Timedemo Benchmarking article.
Intel Pentium D and 840 Extreme Edition dual-core CPU reviews.

Since the last archive update we've refreshed our Sandra Mirror with the latest version (2005 SR2a) and I posted some Nullarbor by motorcycle photos. We also had a "5 Years Ago on OCAU" post, where these articles were updated to the new layout:

Peltier considerations article.
Fridge cooled PC project, the first I'm aware of.
Drew has more fans than you. Actually, our new server has more. :)
Misc historical articles combined together.
REALmagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card review.
Select core voltage on any slot1 mobo article.

It's about time I did another "Five Years Ago" post actually. Speaking of which, it's OCAU's 6th Birthday in a few days time. Looks like it'll be a quiet one this year. :)



Sunday Morning (15 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 10-July-2005  01:06:42 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Designtechnica has an article up about Apple's Summer Surprise...With Apple effectively announcing the end of all Power-based products, it is really hard to see how Apple hardware can survive until the Intel-based offerings show up. Given that Apple normally isnít this stupid, it has led many of us to speculate that there is a summer announcement that will provide the market with its next iPod-like offering. Full article, here.

Hardware Secrets has a handy article posted, letting us know how to correctly desolder electrical components from PCBs like Motherboards and Videocards. Update: There's been a few comments that this isn't perhaps the best technique after all, so keep your grain of salt handy.

Hehe, I guess I'll just quote what I got in the e-mail, cos I don't think it can be worded any better...Are you sick of people looking at your breed of dog in fear because politicians and the media are saying things like; "We want to breed these dogs out of existence," "They are killing machines on a leash" "These breeds don't belong in our community"? Well worry no longer, attachchi will be making disguises for all the so called 'dangerous breeds'. Now you can go to the park with your kids and your dog (like you have been doing for years), without the worry of people thinking you are a bad parent. Check out the site here, thanks for sending that in Amfibius!

Peter sent in that ABC has come up with an interactive map for Google Earth, showing where the bombings occurred in London. There is also a zip file linked in the article which you can download and run to show where things happened and details from the reporters.

Gideon have an interesting project article up, showing us how to shrink our monitor housing. Here's a snip from the article: If you ever wished your LCD monitor just had a little less real estate around the borders, here's your chance to shrink it. Some previous generation LCD monitors are great, except for the huge housing it sits in. One of our members came up with this neat project to cure the issue.

PimpRig sent in news about one of their 'master modding members' has been working on a special mod project to recreate a life-size R2-D2 PC from scratch for the past month. He's working hard, so there has been lots of updates lately. Check it out here.

PC Review has a new article introducing Voice over IP telephony and explains a bit more about it along with some of the recommended software.

On the topic of VoIP, The TechZone has a new article on what the phone companies are trying to do in order to stop the growth of VoIP.

And some random reviews to finish off the night:

CoolerMaster NotePal Notebook Cooler on Futurelooks
6600GT with Dual-BIOS on Bit-Tech
ATI TV Wonder Elite on Tweaknews
ABIT AW8-MAX i955X Motherboard on Rojakpot
Kingwin AquaStar AS-3000 Liquid Cooling System on 3DGameMan
ABIT AL8 (Intel 945P Express) on HardwareZone
SilverStone LC11B HTPC Enclosure on Ap0calypse



Misc Bits (12 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 9-July-2005  17:29:54 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few things sitting around the newsbox..

Les Tutt, who's been around OCAU since way back, was inspired by my recent pics of our next server here and here. He sent in a few pics of a new toy at his work: Model HP Proliant ML370 G4. 2 x 3.4GHZ Xeons. 2GB DDR400 (registered 3 bit parity - only a maximum of 4GB though). 6 x 36GB Ultra320 SCSI's 15K rpm. 2 x 780 Watt redundant PSU's.

   

Ram Fails in one of these babies it emails us to tell us which server and which dimm etc - machine still running of course - open the lid live - red led on beside failed dimm/fan/cpu/psu etc (cool stuff - same for all it hardware failures almost) - Raid 5 across the drives allowing any 2 of the 6 to fail at any one time - hardware raid controller (HP 6402) has 128MB 3 bit parity ram as well - and its own backup battery meaning it can flush any cache to raid drives even if the machine were crash (independent of PCI bus even being running).

Next up is Peter's 10-minute and zero-cost mod to stop annoying mousecord-drag and stop his mouse being fouled by the base of his monitor. A cable diameter size cut-out on right-hand-side corner of the mouse base chassis and top cover by using normal office cutter. In order not to have any cable mess, I tape-glued a modified paper clips on right-hand-side on my monitor to hold the mouse cable firmly apart from any obstacle.

     

Although the mouse cable is lifted up to 100% free of bench surface contact which should creates no surface friction by plastic skinned cable, I personally can still feel there is a tiny bit of cable tension especially when I move my mouse very fast. Yes drafting sometimes requires some amount of mouse movement speed as playing UT2K4. This mouse mod will definitely not change your cabled mouse using feel 100% alike to a wireless mouse; I will say 80% alike. However, I do not have batteries' weight inside my mouse so I think this is a fairly trade-off. But I still not dare to modify my Razor Bomerspeed 2100 at home, cannot afford to take the risk as Razor do not manufacture 2100 anymore! :)

Finally, some wallpapers from Titan Computer. Several of their cooling products have feminine names, and these wallpapers have anime-like characters for each name. Anyhoo, 800x600 only sadly, but still pretty nice:

       

Edit: and now the pics work, too. :)



Friday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-July-2005  16:58:13 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Rambus has souped up its memory technology to let memory chips talk to graphics processors much more quickly than they do today. The technology should lead to better pictures from games consoles and high-end PCs, the company said Thursday. XDR2 enables data rates in and out of DRAMs starting at 8GHz. That compares to 1.6GHz for high-end memory components such as GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate 3), which is designed to work with graphics processors. Full article here, on PCWorld.

Murray sends in news that Google is among the latest investors in Current Communications Group, a broadband-over-power line service provider. More details at Itnews.

Sudhian have a closer look at the courtcase between AMD and Intel, and how it could reshape the industry. AMDís complaint against Intel is no laughing matter; Sunnyvaleís lawsuit has the potential to reshape the entire computer industry. As such, its worth detailed examinationÖ

PCWorld have news on Google's new free toolbar for Firefox. It's only a beta version, but you can grab it here, thanks Nick!

Hothardware have posted a three-board nForce 4 Ultra motherboard roundup, that includes Abit's Fatal1ty AN8, MSI's K8N Neo4 Platinum, and ECS' KN1 Extreme.

Overclocker Cafe have a new contest posted on their site, where you can win a HIS Radeon X700 Pro IceQ Turbo (PCI-E), and us Aussie's can enter it! =)

Info on Itnews about Mercury Computer Systems and their new Cell microprocessor technology, which is a technology to help develop applications in demanding areas like radar, sonar, MRI, CT, and digital X-ray. Sony has said that Cell technology would be used in its Playstation 3 and Toshiba has said it planned to use it in high-definition TVs.

Yahoo now has a mobile search service that lets users in US send short text message queries and retrieve results from their mobile phones. Full article on Designtechnica.

The new version of the Opera Web browser has added its own integrated BitTorrent client. More details on ZDNet.

More details here on the London terrorist attacks that killed fifty-two people yesterday.

More tragic news, about one million Snickers and Mars bars will be buried at a landfull site, after Masterfoods received three letters claiming that seven bars had been contaminated in the Sydney area.



London Bombings (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-July-2005  11:42:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This is all over the news so I doubt I'm the first to tell you about it, but there's been a series of bomb explosions in central London overnight. They occurred on trains and a bus during their morning peak hour, with current reports of over 40 killed and nearly a thousand injured. Our thoughts are with those caught up in this cowardly, pointless attack.

Australiaís Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued a hotline number ó 1800 002 214 ó for Australians who are unable to make contact with family and friends in London.

News updates are being posted to this thread and there's a longer-view discussion of the possible consequences here both in our Current Events forum.



Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-July-2005  05:29:16 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Systems/Laptops/PDA:
Biostar's iDEQ 330P SFF System at The Tech Report

Mainboard:
Asus P5WD2 Premium at Trusted Reviews
Gigabyte K8VT890-9 (VIA K8T890 AMD64) at TweakTown
Gigabyte's 8N-SLI Royal Mainboard at NeoSeeker

Memory:
G. Skill PC4800 1GB Dual Channel Kit at Big Bruin

Storage:
LG LRY-517 VCR/DVD Recorder Combo at DesignTechnica
ST Lab and ViPowER External HDD Enclosures at XbitLabs
Pioneer DVR-A09XLA 16x16x DL DVD Writer at Hardware Zone

Video:
GeForce 7800 GTX SLI at Guru3D
Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP at Hardware Secrets
Acer AL1714CB-8 17" 8ms LCD at Phoronix
MSI Radeon RX850XT-TD256E at PCStats
Audigy 2 ZS Video Editor at Trusted Reviews

Case/Mods:
Raidmax X-1 Gaming Case at Overclocker Cafe
MGE Ninja and Sidewinder Cases at XbitLabs

Networking:
Gigabyte AirCruiser G Desktop Router at Hardcoreware

Cooling:
SunbeamTech Chromatic Windmill at InsaneTek
Thermaltake Big Typhoon Heatsink at TechTastic
Coolermaster Notepal Notepad Cooler at R&B Mods
Danger Den Custom Watercooling Kit at OCIA

Misc:
Tapwave Zodiac 2 Mobile Console at T-Break
HP PhotoSmart 475 Compact Printer at Everything USB
Canon Pixma IP4000 Inkjet Printer at ExtremeMHZ
Ergodex DX1 Input System at ClubOC



Friday Morning (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 8-July-2005  05:01:36 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Many of you might have read about the controversy around what appears to be multiple clock speeds within the GeForce 7800, as first uncovered in this article on Guru3D. Bit-Tech have spoken exclusively to Nvidia's Chief Scientist, David Kirk, and he has revealed some info about the architecture and its operation and usage.

NBSGaming have put together an ATI Driver Roundup. He puts together seven Driver sets including Catalyst, Omega, NGO and tests them on a Radeon 9800XT card. Go have a read.

And while we're on the gaming theme, Trusted Reviews have reviewed Battlefield2. Did I mention that I seem to be addicted to this game?

House, Control Thyself is the title of an article over on Future Looks, all about smart houses. Dwellings that can anticipate your every need for lighting, music, heating, security ... or at least thatís the way its supposed to work.

Which technology makes for a better TV, LCD or Plasma? Thatís the idea behind this article on Bonafide Reviews. "This is a rather difficult and complicated comparison between two technologies that process the image in a totally different manner. This article highlights the pros and cons of plasma versus LCD as applicable to a television display."

If you are planning on building your own Phase-Change cooling system, or perhaps just repairing that old fridge then PimpRig have a Guide to Brazing which might come in handy. You could also have a read through our Extreme Cooling forum for some hints and ideas.

AdminPrep have a few walk-through articles covering some common tasks for Windows Server 2003. If this is your area then you might want to go here and have a read. Some things covered are backups, Operation Roles and Domain Controllers.

Hexus have had a Sneak Peak at the ATI Crossfire and came up with some benchmarks. "Using Supertiling, the default mode for Crossfire under Direct3D, shows that 6800 Ultra SLI is faster...".

Over on Phoronix there is an AMD Venice v. San Diego performance test. "The key difference between the San Diego and its Venice counterpart is the amount of L2 Cache. But just how well do these two cores compare clock-for-clock?"

The end of TV as we know it? Will Internet TV take over? I don't know, but this article on The Tech Zone explores the possibilities.

PC Mechanic have posted a new guide on setting up Multiple Monitors on a single PC. I don't think I could go back to using a single monitor. Its a blessing when typing up a news post :)

Marben has been prowling around the web and sent in some interesting links. Bill Gates wants us to get ready for chip implants, planning new infrastructure for the next global network and Nanowire splicing to make ultra-small circuits.

If you haven't checked out our Photography Forum, now might be a good time to do so. Its rapidly becoming one of the busiest photography forums in Australia. Also, Dinuc tells me that the voting thread for the June Iron Photographer competition is now up. You can go here and place your vote. Also there are already a number of entries in for the July Competition.

And on a final note, congratulations to SRM who has recently become a dad! Elle Stephanie was born on 01/07/05 at 00:04 weighing in at 6 pounds. Congrats to the three of you :)



Thursday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 7-July-2005  03:34:24 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Systems/Laptops/PDA:
IBM ThinkPad R50e at BIOS Magazine

Mainboard:
Biostar N4SIE Mainboard at Digital-Daily
DFI LanParty UT Ultra-D at TechGage
ASrock 939S56-M SiS 756 mATX Mainboard at OC Workbench

Memory:
Corsair TWIN2X1024-8000UL DDR2-1000 at Hardware Zone

Storage:
NEC ND 3540A DVD Writer at Elite Bastards
Hitachi 7K500 500GB SATA 2 Hard Drive at Hi-Tech Reviews

Video:
Accupix MP Glass MPG-230A HMD Video Glasses at I4U
ASUS N6600GT AGP at NGOHQ

Audio:
Transcend T.sonic 610 MP3 Player at Hardware-Pacers
Toshiba Gigabeat F20 Personal Music Player at Design Technica

Case/Mods:
CMI Computer's cs807b Mid Tower Case at A True Review
ThermalRock Eclipse mid-Tower Case at A1 Electronics.net
SilverStone LC10M HTPC Case + Remote + Software at 3DVelocity
Evercase ECE1341 Slim BTX Case at ASE Labs

Networking:
ASUS WL-HDD 2.5Ē NAS and Wireless AP at TweakTown

Cooling:
Thermalright XP-90C Heatsink at Extreme Overclocking
Ultra Products Glossy Fans at TechGage
ASUS Star Ice CPU Cooler at Nexus Hardware

Misc:
Optorite ML100 Laser Mouse at Future Looks
Razer Diamondback Plasma L.E Mouse at NGOHQ
OCZ ModStream 520 Power Supply at Club OC
XFX Xgear Dual Reflex Game Controller at Hardware Secrets
Jaht JCS-102UBM KVM Switch at Techniz



Thursday Morning News (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 7-July-2005  02:19:50 (GMT +10) - by Mred32

Adobe have warned of a Buffer overflow vulnerability in their Adobe Reader product. If exploited, it could allow the execution of arbitrary code under the privileges of the local user. Users of Adobe Reader and PDF files should have a read of this article.

Just a reminder that Win2K users might want to grab a copy of the final update rollup for Windows 2000. This update contains all of the security patches issued since the release of Service Pack 4. Full details and download links can be found on Microsoftís website. Further updates are unlikely as Microsoft have officially stopped supporting this OS.

A new wireless broadband system which enables signals to be transmitted up to 22km, and known as xMax, is being developed in the USA. The system piggybacks on the same carrier frequencies used by TV and Pager services. If this takes off it could be very promising for rural users.

Deanodriver sends word that "The European Parliament has voted by a massive majority to reject the software patents directive", something which will make a lot of people happy... and some unhappy. Read it here.

Hexus have had a long hard look at Battlefield2 and posted a review of the new game, which follows up on the successful Battlefield 1942 game and its Desert Combat mod. I think I've put nearly 40hrs into this game already and if I can drag myself away from it for a while I might get this news post finished.

Podcasting! What is it? Ever wanted to run your own radio station? Well, get into the Podcasting scene and you can. "Wikipedia describes Podcasting as a method of publishing files to the internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed and receive new files automatically." Have a read of this article and get all the dirt on how to cast your own Pods. The Tech Zone also have an article called Podcasting Your Blog, Blogging Vs Podcasting. On Cnet there is a Create your own podcast instructional page.

Another spam-king is set to appear in court according to this article on ZDNet. " Christopher Smith, who allegedly sent a billion junk e-mails to America Online subscribers, was arrested at a Minneapolis airport after he stepped off a plane from the Dominican Republic." A good thing for us all. My daily spam has reached the point where my email address is Opt-In only. Any sender not on the opt-in list gets redirected straight to the junk bin, which makes email all but useless at times.

AnandTech have posted a roundup of seven nForce4 Ultra Motherboards. If you are planning a new AMD machine or upgrading an older box, then this might be worth a read.

More information and images from NASA's Deep Impact comet collision are available on the NASA website. 10Kms/Sec, now thatís getting a move on.

Thatís all for now.



Wednesday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 6-July-2005  15:46:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Our recent 5.1 headphone giveaway has finished - congrats to svirax who won them. Now we have some video-card coolers up for grabs, again from HDAudioVisual.. and this time it's even easier to win!

Paul spotted an interesting article about grid computing on eWeek. Likewise, research institutions, many facilitated by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, have been using grids to explore the galaxy, predict earthquakes and help cure diseases.

PCStats have an introduction to FB-DIMM memory article. FB-DIMM memory (short for Fully-Buffered Dual Inline Memory Module) is a variant of standard DDR2 memory designed for server applications where both large amounts of memory and memory co-ordination and accuracy at high speeds are essential.

Hexus took a closer look at Crossfire, the ATI multi-videocard solution.

Nick spotted this wooden iPod mod that turned out looking pretty cool.

Seems iPods have become the trendy-shoes of the 2000's, with people stealing and even killing for them, thanks Wessam.

MadShrimps have a DIY watercooling project posted. Guest writer djivesp shows us how he build a complete watercooling setup from scratch, using parts from his old Toyota, and making himself water blocks for CPU, northbridge and his NV6800LE, the last one features 3-barbs and packs quite a punch.

PenStarSystems have their thoughts posted about the AMD-Intel lawsuit.

Phoronix compared Venice and San Diego cored AMD CPUs.

From Dinuc, in our Photography forum: There is a Melbourne photo shoot coming up in a couple of weeks time. Details here.

The Folding battle continues, as Draffa notes in this thread: On the 30/6/05 (US time) OCAU extended it's record for the biggest one-day total to almost 495,000. Unfortunately for us, [H] put us in the shade a bit by being the first team to crack 500,000, managing 504,500. Nice work. We're still in the lead, so consider joining Team 24 if you're up for a fight. :)



Wednesday Morning Reviews: part 2 (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 6-July-2005  04:34:48 (GMT +10) - by INerTIal

Cases
Thermaltake Kandalf Aluminium Midi Tower on Mad Shrimps.
Antec P180 Review, Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards on Silent PC Review. (/me drools)
HighSpeed PC Tech Station 2 PC Testing/Tinkering station on MikhailTech.

Processors
Athlon 64 FX-57 San Diego core CPU on Hardware Secrets.

Motherboards
Gigabyte Ga-K8nxp-sli NForce 4 Based Motherboard on RB Mods.

Multimedia
Samsung YH-925GS Photo & MP3 Player on Cool Tech Zone.
Cowon iAudio X5 Video & MP3 Player on Cool Tech Zone.
Transcend T.sonic 610 MP3 player on Hardware Pacers.
Icemat Siberia Multi Headset on Adrian's Rojak Pot.

Cooling
Thermaltake Golden Orb II Universal Cpu Cooler on Overclocker Cafe.
AC Ryan Blackfire4 UV LED Fans on Phoronix
Thermaltake Water Level Indicator and Water Temperature Indicator on InsaneTek.

Memory/Storage
Simpletech Bonzai Upgradeable USB 2.0 Flash Drive on Techniz.

Power Supplies
Enermax 535w All In One Power Supply on Driver Heaven.

Video Cards
XFX GeForce 7800 GTX 256 MB Dual DVi GFX card on Trusted Reviews.
Leadtek 6600GT Extreme Factory overclocked 256 MB GFX card on Cool Tech Zone.
MSI NX6600GT-V2TD128E Diamond Nvidia 6600GT based 128 MB GFX Card.
PowerColor X700 Bravo Edition Passively cooled ATI radeon video Card on Xtreme Resources.

Miscellaneous
D-Link Securicam DCS-5300G Network Security Camera on Trusted Reviews.
WowWee Roboraptor Preview on The Tech Zone.
Laserpod Laser Lightshow on Aus PC World.
Everglide Ricochet 2.52 Mouse mat review on TechNeek.
XTracPads Ripper XL Mouse Surface Review on Cyberwizard.
Flexiglow xRaider Mouse Optical mouse on Gideon Tech.

You guys have no idea how much effort goes into these news posts. It takes about an hour just to format and review one of these posts. It just makes me all the more thankful we have people Like Agg who are willing to put up with all us noobs.



Wednesday Morning Reviews (4 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 6-July-2005  02:56:51 (GMT +10) - by INerTIal

Cases
Thermal Rock Eclipse case on Bytesector.
NZXT Trinity case on TweakTown.
SilverStone LC10M HTPC Case + Remote + Software on 3D Velocity.

Motherboards
ASRock K8 Upgrade 760GX socket 939 Mobo on PC Perspective.
ASUS P5WD2 Premium WiFi-TV Edition with Intel 955X Express Chipset on Hardware Zone.
KN1 Extreme NF4 939 Mainboard on Tech-Mods.net.

Multimedia
Nissan DV-100B DVD/Mpeg4/Divx player on Hexus.net.
Ricoh Caplio GX8 Digital Camera on Trusted reviews.
SkullCandy SkullCrushers Subwoofer Headphones on Futurelooks.
Dell 1100 Laser Printer on BIOS.
Jaht JCS-102UBM KVM Switch 2 Port KVM with USB & Audio on Techniz.

Cooling
Thermaltake Golden Orb II on Legion Hardware.
ASUS Star Ice CPU Cooler on Nexus Hardware.
SilverStone Nitrogon NT02 Heatpipe CPU cooler on InsaneTek.

Memory/Storage
G.Skill Extreme PC3200 2-2-2-5 1GB DDR kit on OCTools.
GeIL ONE PC4800 1GB dual channel Kit on Insanetek.
SWISSMEMORY Victorinox 1GB USB Storage/Pocket Knife on Tech-Mods.net.
GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC Budget 1GB DDR 4400 Memory Kit on sgOVerclockers.

Power Supplies
Tagan TG480-U22 480watt Power Supply on Viper Lair.
Vantec ION2 460 Watt Power supply on Tweak Town.

Video Cards
HIS X700 iCooler Dual DVI VIVO 256MB PCI-E Video Card on Overclockers Online.
ATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB Reference Video card on PC Stats.
MSI 7800GTX 256MB Dual DVi Video Card on sgOverclockers.

This is my first news post so please tell me of any mistakes/quibbles you might have (I'm lemming on the IRC channel). Keep your eyes open for more from me soon. :-D



PCDB Mining (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 5-July-2005  13:31:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some more PCDB entries that have been buried for too long. If you're interested, you can see the previous PCDB mining stories here, here, here and here.

   

   

You can view the top-voted PC's in the PCDB for the following criteria: Looks, Functionality, Effort, Ingenuity and Overall. The latest gallery entries are here.



Tuesday Security News (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 5-July-2005  12:52:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Another pile of (mostly) security-related news from Paul:

The internet's two largest search engines are begging to get hacked.

In a major blow to technological innovation today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favour of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in a huge P2P case.

DOZENS of men accused of downloading child pornography from the internet may have been wrongly prosecuted, according to expert prosecution and defence witnesses.

Today's Hackers Code for Cash, Not Chaos.

The U.S. government's computer watchdog group issued a warning Thursday about possible attacks on systems running computer backup software from Veritas.

When Microsoft released limited information on a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer last month, reverse engineer Halvar Flake decided to dig deeper.

There is a 50 percent chance your unprotected Windows PC will be compromised within 12 minutes of going online, says security vendor Sophos.

Judge bans company's deceptive anti-spyware claims.

Bank workers biggest ID theft threat.

Passive Visual Fingerprinting of Network Attack Tools.

Bluetooth group offers security tips to avoid attacks.

Sensor turns cell phones into wireless Web servers.

Two security researchers say they have discovered a technique for taking control of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, even when the handsets have security features switched on.

Ethical hacking and rats in the security world.

China won't protect IP until it gets its own IT.

Fake Microsoft alert comes with free Trojan.

According to the Information center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, 13723 computer crimes were committed in Russia last year. It makes a twofold increase over the previous number of 7052 cyber crimes in 2003.

Malware authors have increased both the volume and sophistication of their attacks over the last six months. In the first half of 2005 anti-virus firm Sophos detected and protected against 7,944 new viruses - up 59 per cent from the first six months of 2004. The number of keylogging Trojans has tripled in the first six months of 2005 compared to the first half of 2004.

Microsoft is considering buying online marketing company Claria, according to a report in the New York Times.

New Wi-Fi Hacker Attack.

Laptop Theft - An Insider's guide to not becoming another Statistic.

De Montfort University, in England's East Midlands, is launching a new degree aimed at combating computer crime.

Less than a month after Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server Update Services enterprise patch-management platform was released to manufacturing, Microsoft has turned off downloads of the previous version.

Microsoft ready to discuss RSS security.

President Bush signed a new law last month setting tough penalties of up to 10 years in prison for anyone caught distributing a movie or song prior to its commercial release.



Press Releases (9 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 5-July-2005  03:17:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Australia's Attorney-General has published the transcript of a speech to the recent Australian Smart Card Summit. It covers a few topics including identity crime and terrorism. From October, Australia will start using ePassports. These will incorporate a contactless chip containing biometric information. More info in the 79KB PDF here.

The AG also announced that dishonestly accessing pay TV services will be criminalised soon. Seems strange that it isn't already illegal. The proposed laws will criminalise some unauthorised activities that are not currently criminal offences, including dishonestly accessing a pay TV service in a private home. More info in a 42KB DOC here.

Antec announced their Sonata II case. Sonata II combines the classic style and silent performance of the original Sonata quiet computing case with upgraded features and an innovative cooling design for handling the latest and fastest technologies. More info here, product page here. I quite like the look of their new P180 too.

Asetek introduced their new WaterChill 12V pump for watercooling. This not only has an integrated reservoir, but features USB/software control. Save user profile settings for different set-ups (e.g. gaming, working & overclocking etc.) for easy configuration. More info here.

Compro announced two new TV tuner boxes. The VideoMate U900 (TV Tiny) is apparently "the smallest USB 2.0 full functions analog TV tuner and Video/Audio Capture Box", while the VideoMate U880 (TV Stick) is the "smallest USB 2.0 analog TV tuner box", they claim. These things really are tiny, not much bigger than flash drives. More info in a couple of DOC files: VideoMate U880 and VideoMate U900.

Cooler Master have a quick contest where you can Win a Musketeer3 in-bay device by telling them what you think should be added to future panels. Got no creative ideas? No Problem!! Even your bright ideas are not chosen, you still have a chance to own a Musketeer 3 through our random drawing.

Creative Labs (Australia) announced their Zen Neeon MP3 player. With an elegant, reflective black piano finish, this lightweight, pint-sized wonder packs a surprising large 5GB-storage capacity, built-in FM tuner, voice recorder and even line-in recording capabilities. More info here.

Gallery Serpentine, my wife's business, is sponsoring an Under the Blue Moon festival in Newtown in Sydney's inner west in September. A whole Day and Night of Gothic Entertainment. See you there. :)

Shadow Entertainment anounced that EVGA's 7800 GTX video card is now available in Australia. There's a card pic here and a 355KB PDF product info sheet here.



Tuesday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 5-July-2005  00:41:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Deep Impact was apparently a roaring success yesterday. James summed it up nicely: A lump of copper the size of a small coffee table moving 10 miles a second hit a lump of rock half the size of the island of Manhattan 84 millions miles away from earth at approximately 2pm this afternoon Perth time. More info here.

Australia has our own bionic man now. Mr Eberle has worn several types of prosthetics since losing his arm when he was caught between two trains in 1995. The new arm is lighter, quieter, faster and six times more powerful than anything that went before. My question is: can you get/use one even if you haven't lost an arm? Coz I dunno how many times I've really needed a third hand..

Speaking of improved humans, Timbot spotted this report on gamers being faster than non-gamers. The main research interest, according to Castel, is in whether video games, through effects on visual processing, attention and movement, can be useful in rehabilitating the brain -- after a stroke, for instance, or in cases of age-related memory loss. So, buy your Grandmother a copy of DOOM3 for Christmas.

We linked this page a fair while ago but it's been updated since then.. animated versions of popular movies re-told in 30 seconds.. by bunnies. Thanks teddy!

Bit-Tech explain anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, showing how they work in games.

This looks like an interesting finding places website.. you can look for pizza near penrith, for example. Seems a bit sluggish at the moment.

EA Australia are giving away a grunty PC and a few other goodies, but you have to join their "EA Players" service.

SGOverclockers set up an SLI system with a couple of 6600GT cards.

Anandtech recently looked at Solaris 10, running on Sun's 8-core Opteron V40z workstation. Mmm, yummy.

I've wondered this myself; how do China, Iran and other net-censoring countries block huge parts of the net from being viewed by their populations? They do it with western software, just like western corporations and schools do, I guess.

A site called VOIPTower has a taking the plunge with VoIP article, where they didn't have much luck. We should have some VoIP articles on OCAU soon, hopefully with better experiences.

Quite a few people sent word that the USA will retain control of the root DNS servers, which goes against earlier statements saying they would turn control over to an international body. "It's completely an about-face if you consider the original commitment made when ICANN was created," said Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor who has written about policies surrounding the Internet's root servers.



Monday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 4-July-2005  02:26:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's only a matter of hours until the Deep Impact spacecraft fires its projectile into the comet Tempel 1 at about 37,000km/h. Another article suggests the impact's results may be visible from Australia. The best viewing locations will be in the Pacific Ocean region, anywhere from the west coast of the United States to New Zealand. Viewers should bear in mind that light from the impact would take about 7.5 minutes to reach Earth. East-coasters might be able to catch a glimpse then?

While we're on Space stuff, NASA have a Cassini Photo Contest with some pretty amazing pictures taken by this spacecraft orbiting Saturn.

Tweakguides have, well, tweak guides for Battlefield 2 and NVIDIA ForceWare drivers.

Thetron spotted this cool little article on making post-it note mosaic images.

Interesting one on OCW; apparently the 7800GTX can run without the additional power connectors, but throttles down the GPU in that mode. They checked out performance with and without the power connected.

Mobos.org compared AMD FX-57 and Intel P4 670 CPUs at the very high-end. Anandtech meanwhile checked out dual-core performance under Linux.

PCWorld have an article listing their Top 10 PCIe video cards. Despite it being dated July 2005, it makes no mention of NVIDIA's 7800 GTX.. magazine lead-times are a wonderful thing. Still, you can compare a few previous models from NVIDIA and ATI.

brobin spotted this Dr Who soundboard which lets you play around with a few classic Dr Who sounds.

Here's an insane Doom3 casemod project on TheBestCaseScenario. Amazing workmanship, there's a few pages to it.

Quite a few people sent in this iPod Flea parody video, funny stuff.

3Dxtreme compared the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra vs. Albatron K8X890 ProII, one VIA-based, one NVIDIA-based, both A64 motherboards.



Security News (4 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 4-July-2005  00:10:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Paul sent in a monster security-related news collection.. so big, I'm giving him a newspost all to himself:

Open-source projects get free checkup by automated tools.

Microsoft Corp. is providing Japan's National Police Agency (NPA) with early warnings about security threats to help the agency battle online crime, Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, said at an Internet security conference yesterday.

A spam campaign that poses as a virtual postcard delivery is being used to lure surfers into infecting their PCs with a Trojan horse. I've received a few of these myself, all deleted without reading.

Cops might just have a new weapon to fight paedophiles: the Child Exploitation Tracking System. CETS is a computer system that allows global police agencies to share information for tracking online paedophiles.

In yet another call-centre scandal, which has further exposed the security chinks in Indian BPO companies, the UK-based tabloid 'The Sun' reported on Thursday that its journalist has obtained account numbers, bank card details, secret passwords and other personal details of 1,000 British Bank customers by paying $5,000 to Karan Bahree, an employee of a Delhi-based company.

New worm lures users with 'breaking news'. The Kedebe-F e-mail worm spreads via e-mail or file-sharing networks.

All-in-one gateway platform debuts. Start-up NetD combines security, VoIP and QoS.

Computer Associates buys Tiny Software.

Indian call centre security breach: man admits guilt.

Sniffing of TCP Port445 Could Herald Attack.

The University of Connecticut has detected a rootkit on one of its servers, almost two years after the stealth program was placed there by malicious hackers.

F-Secure Shines BlackLight on Malicious Rootkits.

The risk of an attack related to a flaw in Microsoft Outlook Express climbed this week, after underground hacking sites began circulating sample code for exploiting it.

Nuclear secrets go global on the web.

1 nabbed for child porn, 1 for bestiality.

German coder soldier cleared for refusing to write Iraq software.

Microsoft forces Sender ID on Hotmail users.

There Is No Conspiracy Against BitTorrent.

Microsoft produces Server 2003 update blocker.

Microsoft wasted no time after tying up the acquisition of email security firm Sybari Software on Wednesday before axing sales of the latter's line of anti-virus products for Unix and Linux servers.

Cisco under fire for VPN vulnerability.

40 million credit cards got hacked.

Hacker or slacker.

Child porn: FBI joins Russian police.

Bluetooth targeted by hackers.

Britney Spears wins celebrity virus contest.

Antivirus tools becoming hackers' new favourite.

Seagate preps hard-disk encryption technology. It will protect data if notebook PC is stolen, company says

Ninety per cent of the largest US companies have procedures in place in case inappropriate or illicit images are discovered in the work place, and 50 per cent have had to use these procedures for incidents in the past year, according to a study released on Friday.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 3-July-2005  03:04:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Thermaltake Smart Case Fan II on SDMLanReview.
Thermalright XP-90C CPU cooler on ap0calypse.
Prime Cooler Fanless VGA Cooler on PCModdingMy.
Ultra Products P4 Socket 775 CPU Cooler on Phoronix.

Printers / Scanners / Cameras:
HP LaserJet 1022nw personal laser printer on TrustedReviews.
IRISPen Translator Executive pen scanner on BIOSMag.
Nikon Coolpix S1 5MP Digital Camera on ByteSector.

Portable:
Navicore Personal GPS for Symbian Series 60 phones on TrustedReviews.
Samsung Q30 Centrino Ultra Slim Notebook on HWZ.
Pharos PKCAN041 GPS Kit for Dell Axim X3/X3i/X30 on ABXZone.
Socket Mobile Power Pack for mobile devices on PC-Base.

Audio / Visual:
Griffin radioSHARK radio tuner/capture card on DesignTechnica.
Samsung YEPP YH-925 mp3 player on Accelenation.
Samsung 910MP LCD TV Monitor on XYZComputing.

Storage:
Seagate 5GB Pocket Hard Drive on ViperLair.
Samsung DVD-R120 DVD Recorder on TechTastic.
Western Digital Caviar SE16 HDD on TechReport.
Imation Padlock-lookalike USB Micro Drive on EverythingUSB.
Ultra Mini Portable Disk Enclosure on PCModdingMy.
ICY BOX IB-281U External 2.5" HDD Enclosure on 3DVelocity.
Transcend JetFlash 110 1GB USB 2.0 Drive on Bjorn3D.
Kingston DataTraveler flash drive on OCOnline.



Sandra 2005 SR2a (4 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 3-July-2005  02:39:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We've received the press-release explaining the new features of the new Sandra version. To summarise:
  • Release 64-bit: Built with the release tools for the newly released Windows x64/64-bit Edition.
  • ATI Chipsets: complete range supported: Radeon XPress 200 for Intel & AMD, 9100/Pro IGP, 7000 IGP, 330M/345M/350M, 200/250
  • ATI South Bridges: complete range supported: IXP/SB 150/200250, 300/310/320, 400/450
  • AMD CPUs: dual-core Athlon X2, Sempron, Turion
  • Intel Chipsets: 915M (Sonoma), 945P/G, 955X, E8500
  • Intel South Bridges: ICH6, ICH7
  • Intel dual-core CPUs:Pentium D, Pentium XE, Pentium M
  • nVidia Chipsets: nForce 4 for Intel
  • SiS Chipsets: 756
  • VIA Chipsets: K8T800 Pro, K8M800M, K8T890CE/Pro, KT880, P4M800
  • Signed Product & Installer: The client, service, libraries, device driver and installer are all signed with our digital certificate for your protection. Please DO NOT install and run any programs that appear to be made by SiSoftware but are not signed with the SiSoftware LTD digital certificate!
You can download the new version from our mirror page here.

NOTE: The version we received a couple of days ago apparently had a problem with some of the digital certificates. If you downloaded that version, you might want to grab the new file instead.



Saturday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 2-July-2005  23:33:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
XFX GeForce 7800 GTX on HWSecrets.
HIS X850 XT IceQ Turbo on Bit-Tech.
Gigabyte GeForce 7800 GTX on LegionHardware.
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX on HWAnalysis.
Leadtek WinFast PX7800 GTX TDH MyVIVO on HWZone.
Exclusive ABIT Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB on Hexus.
ATI All in Wonder X800XT AGP on TweakNews.
Albatron PC6800 - Wise Fan III + Heat Pipe on Guru3D.
ATI X800 XL 256MB PCI-Express on TheTechLounge.

Motherboard & CPU:
ECS RS480-M micro-ATX S939 A64 motherboard on InsaneTek.
Chaintech VNF4-Ultra S939 A64 board on BleedinEdge.
TUL AX480A-GF S939 A64 board on Techniz.
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 dual-core CPU on ViperLair, our review here.
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 on MBReview.
Foxconn 945G7MA-8KS2 i945G LGA775 board on Digit-Life.
ULI M1695 AMD motherboard chipset on TBreak.

Cases & Modding:
Raidmax X-1 Case w/ 450W PSU (video review) on 3DGameMan.
SunbeamTech 20 in 1 MultiFunction Panel on PimpRig.
Mutant Mods' 6 Bay Clear/Blue Acrylic Mid Tower case on FutureLooks.
Cooler Master CM Stacker fulltower on Xbit.
Logisys Multi-Function Panel with Remote Start on ExtremeMHz.
MGE XG Quantum case on DriverHeaven.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 2-July-2005  13:48:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory:
OCZ DDR2 Titanium on TBreak.
Mushkin HP3200 Redline PC3200 on PCStats.
OCZ Titanium PC3200 1GB Dual Channel Kit on InsaneTek.
OCZ EL DDR PC-3200 Titanium on TechPowerUp.

Prebuilt, Mini & Portable:
IBM ThinkPad T43p (with Built-In Biometric Security) on BIOSMag.
Hi-Grade DMS II - Media Center PC on TrustedReviews.
IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC on HotHardware.
Evesham Acumen DC10 dual-Opteron workstation on TrustedReviews.
Scan Cool Chameleon gaming PC on Hexus.
Samsung Q30 Centrino Ultra Slim Notebook on HWZ.

PSU:
Ituner M1-ATX CarPC PSU on EPIACentre.
OCZ ModStream 520W on 3DVelocity.
AeroCool Turbine Power 450W on XtremeResources.
SilverStone Zeus ST65ZF SLI on SystemCooling.

Mouse etc:
Razer Diamondback Professional Gaming Mouse on ARP.
fUnc 1030MBA Limited Edition Mousepad on BurnOutPC.
XTracPads Pro HS Mouse Surface on CyberWizardPit.
QPAD Gamer Lowsense Mouse Pad on XYZComputing.



Friday Afternoon (18 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 1-July-2005  13:17:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, here we are in July. That means one thing: Tax time. A few people sent word that there's a new version of ETAX available from the ATO. Doesn't seem to be a Linux version.

Xbit compared a huge pile of DVD media. We did our best to take into account most of your comments and suggestions and today we would like to offer you another extensive test session of over 20 different DVD media disks burned on four different drives.

Dan has a gargantuan letters column. In this issue: Dell backlights, buzzy fans, headset options, anti-PHB telephone technology, metallic printing, zinc-air batteries, ergonomic clicky keyboards, how to royally screw a Windows filesystem, parser problems, electrifying yourself for Halloween, the House That Kills Computers, making magnets, hydrogen cars that don't work, hydrogen cars that DO work, mysterious powers, more magnets for the gullible, I-C3 in detail, more magic battery stickers, and entertainment from the spam brigade.

Phoronix interviewed someone from XGI, maker of somewhat obscure video processors. Among other things, we learned that XGI Tech will finally be supporting the Linux 2.6 kernel in September of 2005

Nick spotted this Windows 2000 update rollup for SP4, containing: All security updates produced for Windows 2000 between the time SP4 was released and April 30, 2005, when the contents of the Update Rollup were finalized for testing by Microsoft.

From Dinuc: The July Iron Photographer Challenge is now up, a very interesting one set by koma_white, winner of the May challenge. Also the Top Ten list is open for selecting the final ten for the June challenge.

TheTechZone have some more info about the AMD vs Intel lawsuit, including some of the specific allegations.

HotHardware compared a couple of i945P-based LGA775 motherboards, the Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 and Gigabyte GA-8I945P-G.

BigBruin have a Gaming Graphics Glossary, in case you still think artefacts are things you dig out of the ground.

Today's timewaster actually comes from my Mum - it's an IQ puzzle thing on the Ripleys site. Hi Mum! (Mrs. Rolfe, James keeps hitting me! - Sciby)

Interesting Forum Threads:
Pure MySQL database server? in SMP & Clustering.
Google Earth has just been released in General Software.
Very critical Exchange problem in Windows Operating Systems.
Microsoft Sets Visual Studio, SQL Server, BizTalk Server Launch Date in Graphics and Programming.
PC upgrade or console? in Games.



SiSoft Sandra 2005 SP2 (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 1-July-2005  03:54:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

SiSoft have released the latest version of their system information and benchmarking program, SiSoft Sandra 2005 SP2. We haven't received information on what is new about this version, but I imagine it adds support for the various new CPUs and video cards that have appeared over the last few months. More info when we receive the press-release, which is apparently coming soon.

We have an OCAU mirror page with the latest free version available for download here.



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