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  Computers
The History Of Computers During My Lifetime - The 1970's
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In 1971, responding to a request for a chip for a new calculator, and with incredible overkill, Intel built the world's first single chip general purpose microprocessor. Then it bought back the rights for $60,000. The 4-bit Intel 4004 ran at a clock speed of 108 kHz and contained 2300 transistors. It processed data in 4 bits, but its instructions were 8 bits long. The 4004 addressed up to 1 Kb of program memory and up to 4 Kb of data memory (as separate entities). It had sixteen 4-bit (or eight 8-bit) general purpose registers, and an instruction set containing...

The History Of Computers During My Lifetime - The 1980's
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In 1981, the landmark announcement of the IBM PC stunned the computing world. People had always thought of IBM as a high end mainframe player. Even the chairman of IBM is supposed to have looked at the original PC and said that it would never fly - that mainframes would dominate forever. Despite its weaknesses, IBM did get one critical thing right with the PC - it was based on an open architecture so that it could grow into the future. This strategy, combined with IBM's huge influence and the release of Lotus 1-2-3 a year later, made business people...

The History Of Computers During My Lifetime - The 1990's
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In the early 1980's IBM had been right at the forefront of RISC research with the IBM 801 project led by John Cocke, but it took IBM a long time to produce a successful RISC product. IBM's first commercial RISC, the RT PC, was a flop, but IBM kept trying. Its second commercial RISC product, the RISC System 6000 introduced in 1990, was a good one. The RS/6000 workstation's multi chip POWER1 processor was the first superscalar RISC processor, and racked up speed records in many areas. With over 100 instructions, the POWER architecture barely qualified as a RISC (it...

AMD Mobilizes Against Centrino
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AMD (Quote, Chart) took the wraps off a batch of new mobile processors it hopes will steal market share away from Intel's Centrino empire. The company's new Mobile AMD Sempron processor 3000+ is designed for thin and light notebooks and builds on the entry-level family that AMD introduced back in August 2004. The processor includes an 802.11a, b and g chipset to help make it compatible with the most common wireless LANs . The new Sempron is also priced competitively at $134 in 1,000-unit quantities. The two chipmaking companies have been improving the designs of their entry-level processors for PCs...

 Michael Singer
FireWire Groups Converge
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The various groups working on the interconnect technology commonly known as FireWire are joining forces to help speed up adoption. The Dallas-based 1394 Trade Association said it will merge with the 1394Automation Group (its European counterpart) by the end of the year. The combined effort is expected to continue work on standards development, as well as marketing and application development. A very fast external bus standard, IEEE 1934 supports data transfer rates of up to 400Mbps (in 1394a) and 800Mbps (in 1394b). Products supporting the 1394 standard fall under different names depending on the company. Apple Computer (Quote, Chart), which...

 Michael Singer
All Chips Great and Small for AMD
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AMD is approaching the semiconductor industry from both sides of the spectrum. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm inked a deal Tuesday with Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (Quote, Chart) out of Singapore to augment its production of 64-bit chips. The partnership means that AMD will have two facilities now making its Opteron and Athlon64 processors. Under the contract, Chartered will license portions of AMD's Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) software suite and will begin integrating it into Fab 7, its 300mm wafer fabrication facility in Singapore before the end of the year. The Chartered-made chips should start coming off the assembly line in 2006....

 Michael Singer
HyperTransport Broadens Its HPC Scope
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A technology group working on faster data transfer between devices announced a new specification targeted at improving high-performance computing systems. The HyperTransport Technology Consortium said today that it has approved HTX, the industry's first HyperTransport technology expansion connector spec. The group said the new EATX motherboard/daughtercard guideline defines an interface and form factor specification for an EATX motherboard connector, as well as HyperTransport add-in cards. The EATX motherboard is a popular architecture used in high-performance workstations, servers and embedded and storage systems. The group is hoping to advance the new HTX slot standard in the growing number of high-performance computing...

 Michael Singer
Japan: Making 3G Look As Slow As Smoke Signals
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Mamoru Sawahashi has been driving in circles for 16 months, but he feels like he's making plenty of headway. Sawahashi is an engineer studying the potential of hyperfast 4G, or fourth-generation, cellular service for Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc (DCM ). Since July, 2003, he and his team have been driving an Isuzu van in an 800-meter loop around the verdant Miura peninsula south of Tokyo 250 times a week to test the reception from a nearby cellular antenna. ``There are many problems to be solved, but we have made a lot of progress,'' says Sawahashi. That's right: 4G. Sure, most...

7.1 Speaker systems
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Creative and the others are warming to the market for 6.1 and 7.1 speaker setup's now. Lets have a look at some of what's on offer in the 6.1 speaker market. Moving on to the 7.1 systems we have the Creative Inspire 7.1 t7700. These speakers come with 7 satellites 6 8w channels and the centre speaker with 20w power. The front speakers are slightly larger in size than the surround speakers so you shouldn't get confused which ones are...

6.1 Speaker systems
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With the PC's sound system becoming more and more important to PC users we look at the types of surround sound available and the best way to set these systems up. Plus take a look at some of the speakers available for these 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 systems. The 6.1 offering from creative here is the Inspire 6.1 6700. The setup supports Dolby Digital Surround-EX to allow 5.1 audio to mixed into 6.1 channels. Also allows 6.1 audio for games...

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