If a PC shipped with Windows preinstalled, can you remove the OS and install Linux instead? Well, no, according to Microsoft. A somewhat obscure Microsoft site aimed at helping schools deal with donated computers flatly states: "It is a legal requirement that pre-installed operating systems remain with a machine for the life of the machine."
[PAGEBREAK] If this is intended to mean what it says, then Microsoft is effectively treating the hardware and the software as a single, integrated package that you're not allowed to break up. If the statement is applied without qualification, then you're in breach of your licence agreement (and/or some bizarre law they've sneaked past us) if you vape Windows and put something else on instead, or if (as do many major companies) you buy a bunch of PCs with one MS installed and then install another. Put this together with Microsoft's campaigns against Naked PCs,* which make it fairly tricky to buy PCs without Windows on them because they 'fuel piracy,' and we're tottering on the brink of the age of compulsory Windows.
But some Macintosh fans -- a group that can be counted on to greet any new Apple product with untempered enthusiasm -- took in the eMac news with exasperation: Being long out of school, they're blocked from buying the eMac and they're not happy about it.
After a strong response to his guest commentary on NewsForge/Linux.com, a Ph.D. student in astrophysics from Great Britain is launching TheOpenCD project, an effort to convert Windows users to Open Source software by passing out CDs with Windows versions of popular Free Software packages on them.
[PAGEBREAK] Omma's original idea for the project was to provide a convenient ISO image, so Open Source advocates could burn their own CDs to give to friends and schools. While he believes that's a good way to start, he thinks there may be a market for mass-produced CDs as well. "I think that the companies already specializing in this sort of burning will fill this need, so there should be no need for a centralized production at the moment," he says. "We can simply link to those companies. This saves us from having to deal with real-world logistics and real-world expenses and incomes, and makes it easier to treat this simply as a community project and not as a business."
Garage Games, comprised of many of the original developers of Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2, is currently developing an update for Tribes 2 due out later this summer.
As long as I get better frame rates. And those damn UE errors are still here!!!
The update will fortify Tribes 2 with a more powerful editor, based on technology Garage Games has developed for their powerful Torque Game Engine. The update will also address some of the technical issues that some players still encounter with Tribes 2, including random Unhandled Exception errors. Garage Games is also looking into increasing the frame rate for some players, and making a number of other minor adjustments.
I had every Sim City, but 3000 left something to be desired...
After years of banking on the success of the immensely popular The Sims games, Maxis is finally returning to the series that put the company on the map. Originally released some 13 years ago, Will Wright's SimCity offered eager players an opportunity to build a city from scratch in their own image. Sure, it may not seem like such a big deal now, but in 1989, SimCity was nothing short of groundbreaking. In the years since, Maxis has released a pair of follow-ups to SimCity, but while they were quite fun and very successful, neither of them caused as big a splash as the original game did. Now, well over a decade a later, Maxis is preparing the fourth installment in the SimCity franchise, a game that the company hopes will have the same effect today that the original game had in its time. Maxis plans to unveil SimCity 4 at E3 in a few weeks, but we have some early details on this truly impressive game right now.
[PAGEBREAK] Read more and GameSpot
Overclocked Cafe has an interview with the head guy making Sandra.
Every computer geek worth his salt has heard of and probably used SiSoft Sandra, arguably the most popular and comprehensive benchmarking and systems analysis suite that exists for the Win32/x86 platform. Being a major geek and a huge fan (as well as user) of Sandra, I was quite pleased when C. Adrian Silasi of SiSoftware agreed to answer a few questions for us. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Adrian is quite a nice fellow to talk to, not to mention extremely talented.
I should just begin by saying that this article is different from the others. While our other articles can be quite useful to aid you in the design or purchase of your next computer system, this article is simply a fun look at things to come.
SimHQ has a review up. PNY has been somewhat quiet in their pursuit of the "US" crown of top selling graphics products. Visiontek has been very aggressive in the market and has reaped the benefits of becoming a popular brand with hardcore gamers. PNY is trying to also tap into that market with their Ti4600 so lets have a look at what they have to offer.
According to an article at the Register, Microsoft is willing to give out its code to non commercial people.
[PAGEBREAK] But we digress. If you look here, you will see the text of something called the Microsoft Shared Source CLI, C# and Jscript License, this one being apparently aimed at the educational market. Shared Source is Microsoft's answer to the GPL, and was referred to in Bill's keynote in the sense that he said Microsoft customers and partners could get access to most of the company's source code if they needed it. So what does it say:
"You may use this Software for any non-commercial purpose, subject to the restrictions in this license. Some purposes which can be non-commercial are teaching, academic research, and personal experimentation. You may also distribute this Software with books or other teaching materials, or publish the Software on websites, that are intended to teach the use of the Software.
"You may not use or distribute this Software or any derivative works in any form for commercial purposes. Examples of commercial purposes would be running business operations, licensing, leasing, or selling the Software, or distributing the Software for use with commercial products." The Register
In a move to increase revenue and its services business, Linux and Unix vendor Caldera International Inc. will now offer global support for other brands of Linux, including those of Red Hat Inc. and SuSE Inc.
The first piece of news today comes from The Inquirer. In China, it seems that a $50 office program will win over MS Office. The reason it isn't free (Like Star Office or Open Office), is because the Chinese input is a bit different that ours and I'm sure it is difficult to program for.
As we reported last week, the Chinese government favours components made in the Greater China area, and this applies to software as much as to hardware. - Link
Another great day outside. I bring you Inquirer news to start off with.
Bluetooth 'total waste of time' . The devices aren't here yet, bluetooth was going to be the hugest thing since sliced bread I thought. Bluetooth is taking an awfully long time to tip up. We're talking geological timescales here. Mobile phone makers, desperate to flog new handsets, have long had Bluetooth on their new feature ticklists, but really useful applications are non-existent.
Hynix, Micron deal is off The board of directors, which is made up of bankers as well as directors, thought that selling the DRAM business to Micron wasn't the best option.
Intel to attack its own chipset customers That's the essential message of a story on Bloomberg today which claims that Via will announce a drop in earnings as a result of failing to sell enough Pentium 4 chipsets, ceding market share to SIS and ALI. That story here.
AMD takes 64-bit MIPS on board AMD will be aiming for the PDA market. Like Intel, AMD wants a tasty slice of the embedded and PDA marketplace, and it hopes to sell 64-bit processors it designs, and using the MIPS core, to customers making high speed devices.
That's all the news from that source. I'll keep scouring the net for more news.
Declining motherboard profits has pushed manufacturers to diversify in recent years. In the first quarter of 2002, companies such as Asustek Computer, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and MSI generated nearly 50% of their revenues from non-motherboard operations. In the second quarter, new businesses are expected to remain the sales driver for the companies.
This all changed with the release of NVIDIA's GeForce4 GPU as the Ti 4400 and Ti 4600 models impressed us beyond belief. The performance these two GPUs offered not only in today's games but in other highly anticipated titles was beyond respectable. For the first time we had a graphics solution that could run almost any currently available game at 1600 x 1200 at very smooth frame rates. NVIDIA's new flagship also turned out to be the highest performing solution for Unreal Tournament 2003 and all other forthcoming games based on the latest Unreal Engine. To say the least, we were very impressed with the GeForce4 Ti 4400 and Ti 4600.
Accelenation brings us Ti 4400 action. The system used for benchmarking is dual 733mhz P3, so don't ask why the benchmarks are so low. You can tell that even at 12x10 the cpu is still the limiting factor.
SubZeroTech reviews the Asus P4S533. If you couldn't guess by the name, it is a Pentium 5 board supporting 533mhz FSB operation. It uses the SiS 645DX Chipset with DDR333 support.
Walmart has been offering OS-less PCs for a little while now. What type of OS would you use on something like that? Linux of course!
A few months ago, super-sized discount store Wal-Mart made the headlines in the Linux world by becoming the first major U.S. retailer to offer PCs without Windows preloaded. At this writing, the Walmart.com Web site lists no less than 14 PCs available without an operating system.
Scouting around the net, I found this. A nice email client.
Email clients are a dime a dozen. A good one is a little harder to find. A good one that works on three operating systems is downright rare. Mulberry is just that -- a graphical email client that runs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS.
The answer to the title of this article is a single sentence, but you'll have to read the whole article to understand it. The Linux community has an amazing blind spot, and I'd like to rant about it a bit.
I keep bumping into programmers who think some program or other is needed to change the world. They're wrong. "Linux just needs this one program and then we'll be ready!" they cry. I generally want to slap these people until they snap out of it (which is kind of hard to do through an internet connection). They are making a fundamentally wrong assumption. It's not about programs. It's about data.
Tweaker's Australia, Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra In conclusion, I would just like to say I was very impressed by the amount of features, quality and performance I received from this board. The packaging is very nice, and will attract potential buyers to look twice, while the board design and layout is very aesthetically pleasing and should satisfy even the fussiest case enthusiast. With ATA133 RAID support via the Highpoint HPT372 RAID controller, onboard C-Media 5.1 surround sound, 5 fan headers, up to 4 USB 2.0 from the VIA VT6202 USB 2.0 controller, SPDIF, IrDA, and USB 1.1 and onboard Realtek 10/100 LAN, you can justify why this board is priced a little higher than the competition. At approximately $180 USD it's not exactly cheap, but when you consider the sheer performance and features on offer, in my opinion it's worth the extra.
Tekbug, Why they love chipsets. Who doesn't? All of the Athlon XP-based platforms support DDR memory, so it is no surprise that they all performed admirably in our memory bandwidth tests. With 4.2GB/s of throughput, the NFORCE is able to sustain the fastest data transfers (slightly less than 1GB/s), followed closely by VIA’s KT333 platform. SiS’ 735 chipset upsets VIA’s KT266A chipset by transferring an average of 739MB/s, according to SiSoft’s Sandra 2001 benchmark. SysMark 2001 (from MadOnion.com) generally favors platforms capable of the highest memory bandwidth. As expected, the NFORCE performs best in both the content creation and office productivity categories. The KT333 picks up a close second, followed by the SiS 735 and VIA KT266A, respectively.
Tek Sector, Socket A cooler roundup. As you can see, this is quite an assortment of coolers we've got here. We have two all-copper sinks, two copper-cored sinks, and one copper-based sink, which means this could escalate into quite a competition. My intention of this roundup, however, is not to present a "battle of the coolers" review, but more of a "search for the right cooler that fits your preference" review. See it how you want though, because we're gonna test the hell out of them anyway.
Tech-Report, Abit's AT7 MAX motherboard Legacy free isn't the way to be! MAX isn't a completely new idea. Intel had a prototype legacy-free motherboard back at last year's Comdex. Still, the ideas behind MAX have considerable promise, and this was a production motherboard you could find on store shelves, not some one-off trade show demo. With the AT7 MAX, not only do you get a feature-rich, high-performance motherboard, you also get rid of a bunch of old ports you probably don't use anyway. Less is more, and more is less—more or less.
Deviant PC, Hercules Radeon 8500 AIW DV The Hercules Radeon 8500 DV is the normal ATI one but built on the quite solid reputation of Hercules. While ATI have had reliability issues with budget end cards, and only recently got into the top end, Hercules have been producing the bread and butter of the PC graphics business for a long, long time, albeit with varying infamy across the years.
Target PC, FIC VC17 (845D) Pentium 4 Mainboard Only a few days ago FIC provided us with a sample of their newest VC17 board giving us again the chance to be the first site to provide an exclusive look at their newest Pentium 4 845D board. The VC17 is quite similar to the previously reviewed VC15 mainboard; both share almost an identical PCB and options; the VC17 however offers more features for the price.
In the end, ECS has a very creative product that if marketed and positioned correctly could be successful if the pricing is kept in tact. We hope to follow up the Desknote coverage with ECS’s Pentium 4 and upcoming Athlon Desknote’s soon.
MIT accidentally invents cellular sex toy By doing so it may have inadvertly invented a mobile sex toy. Prototypes, made from latex, boast five tiny speakers which vibrate against your skin around 250 times per second.
Rambus registers fresh DDR patent Intel is protected from such arrangements because of a complex deal between it and Rambus, some of the details of which are still confidential, but is busily promoting its own DDR chipsets and motherboards and also making sure it puts it oar in at meetings deciding future DDR standards, such as DDR II.
PNY grabs Elsa workstations business Someone was going to do it eventually. Elsa was not doing too well in Europe round about then. Not long after that, one of our friends at Elsa was transferred to Nvidia and our suspicions became a near certainty.
Nvidia talks about 2D picture quality. The NV30 will have 3Dfx technology in it. Nvidia is working on this problem since the time of Geforce 3 TI 500 when we first time urged them to do something about this and we saw nice progress on Geforce 4 TI cards and learned that the real improvement will come in NV30 where engineers will pay special attention to this problem.
Intel cuts mobile Celeron prices The 1.20GHz/256, which uses .13 micron technology, fell in price from $170 to $134, a decline of 21%, the 1.13GHz/256 fell by 28% from $134 to $96, while the 1.06GHz/256 dropped by 25 per cent to $80, from a previous figure of $107.
DRAM drops below crucial $3 price The $3 price is the mark at which the memory manufacturers – the Dramurai – start to make profits, so the news does not bode well for profitability during the second quarter of this year.