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March 2008
New Major Sponsor: Apple Computer (105 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 31-March-2008  13:14:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

As you're probably aware I recently made "the switch" from PC to Apple and haven't looked back. At a recent exhibition I got talking to a contact from Apple and things kinda snowballed from there. So as of today I'm very happy to welcome Apple Computer as a new Major Sponsor of OCAU! We've seen a lot of our readers make the switch from PC to Apple and it just seemed a natural evolution of OCAU to partner with Apple more completely.

So, expect to see more Apple branding around OCAU soon. This is an exciting new direction and I hope you're as thrilled about it as I am. :) There's more info about the "iOCAU deal" here.

edit: APRIL FOOLS! :) Hehe, pretty obvious one this year. So no, Apple have no association with OCAU, although I'm sure they're lovely people and won't sue us for using their name in vain, ahem. And no, I haven't really made "the switch", I don't even own an iPod! Check this page for previous OCAU April Fools jokes.



Monday Night (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 31-March-2008  12:41:34 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Australian PC World have released an online quiz where you can test your knowledge on the history of broadband in Australia. Have you been on the journey since the beginning? How much do you know really about Broadband? Why not take our short History of Australian Broadband quiz and find out? Discussion in the forums here.

Now that the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war is over, are you ready for Blu-ray 2.0? 2.0, also known [as] BD-Live in market speak, adds more memory (from 256MB in Profile 1.1 to 1 gigabyte) to a player and requires Internet connectivity via an Ethernet port. Thanks AirQ.

Also from AirQ is this interesting article talking about the oldest known recording of a human voice. The 10-second clip of a woman singing "Au Clair de la Lune," taken from a so-called phonautogram, was recently discovered by audio historian David Giovannoni. The recording predates Thomas Edison's "Mary had a little lamb" - previously credited as the oldest recorded voice - by 17 years.

Dan from Dan's Data looked at Weigui Solutions' "Spotlight", a LED flashlight measuring roughly 50mm in length that can be charged in your car's cigarette lighter socket. At a glance, you'd expect such a small flashlight to have a single 5mm LED in it, or perhaps a cluster of half a dozen of them, at most. What the Spotlight actually has is a half-watt Seoul Semiconductor super-LED, with a nominal output of 28 lumens.

If you "have a strong knowledge of games and the wider games industry" and can stick to a deadline, IGN AU are looking to hire a junior staff writer. Believe it or not, we're swamped with work at IGN Australia – and we want your help. For one talented person, we're offering the perfect foot in the door to the games journalism industry.

While the mistake in the end-user license agreement for Apple's Safari browser was amusing, the EULA for Adobe's Photoshop Express beta is a bit concerning (though it is now being revised). The company could begin selling your shots as stock photography or use that killer family pic as the box art for Photoshop Elements 7, without giving you so much as a credit for the image or a dime of royalty dues.

VeriSign is increasing the costs that registrars pay for .com and .net domains by 44c and 38c respectively. In a press release justifying the higher prices, VeriSign cited increases in the amount of traffic and cyber attacks on the global TLD infrastructure it is responsible for.



Monday Afternoon (19 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 31-March-2008  02:59:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a bit of a riot going on at the Creative Labs forums currently. Apparently they have officially asked a guy called Daniel_K to stop making unofficial driver packages. Fair enough, you might think, except it seems lots of people need these packages for their cards to work in Vista, because the Creative drivers aren't making people happy. Kinda sounds like they should be giving him a job, not posting public cease-and-desist messages to him in their forums. :) Anyway, there's been some kind of retraction by Creative, but unfortunately they've managed to once again alienate a big chunk of their enthusiast customer base.

"Game On" is an exhibition about the history of video games and gamer culture in Melbourne at the moment. Get ready for Melbourne's must-see exhibition of 2008 - the action-packed celebration of games culture that has thrilled over one million players of all ages around the world. Game On tracks the development of videogames from the first computer game to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today's billion dollar industry.

Meanwhile "Gamerthon 2008" is also on in Melbourne (danger, LOUD video on that page). Attracting thousands of competitors from across the globe and boasting over $50,000 in cash and prizes, the Gamerthon is the largest, most innovative, and most prestigious, gaming tournament in Australia.

The BBC report on new flexible chips, thanks AirQ. "Completely integrated, extremely bendable circuits have been talked about for many years but have not been demonstrated before," he told BBC News. "This is the first one."

eWeek report that NVIDIA and Intel are set for a major battle. It’s more than just the graphics that go into PCs that Nvidia and Intel are likely to clash over in the coming months. Both companies also see GPU and graphics technologies as a key feature to delve deeper into the HPC (high-performance computing) market, a lucrative field where graphics could increase overall compute performance.

From Dan: AusGamers now has the latest trailer for Grand Theft Auto 4 "Everyone's a Rat" available for hi-def download and flash streaming here. Quite a few trailers, demos and patches on their latest files page.

Here's an interesting video about new robotic arms being worked on by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. Inspired by the sophisticated prosthesis in Star Wars, Kamen set out to make what he calls his "Luke Arm".

XbitLabs have a PSU roundup continuing. This part of our roundup will be devoted to power supply units with capacity ranging from 450W to 850W. We will check out 7 models from AcBel, Gigabyte, Zalman and Corsair. All the details on their performance and functionality in our extensive article!

James spotted some motorcycles made from watch parts. Amazing details.

From Sparky1240: An interesting set of results at the recent CanSecWest security conference - where contests compete to win the notebook they're hacking: The only system to remain standing was a "Sony VAIO laptop running Ubuntu". Full wrap up here. It'll be interesting to see how this slowly bleeds into the mainstream.

Today's timewaster is boomstick. Shoot stuff!



Daylight Savings Oddness (16 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-March-2008  16:10:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It seems some things aren't aware that Daylight Savings Time ends next week, not tonight - for NSW and VIC, anyway. My Windows XP PC for example decided it was 2am when it is in fact 3am. Apparently there's a patch but I don't see anything in Windows Update related to it. The forums are apparently also reporting incorrect time for some people, but not for me. So, if you're confused about the time, have a fiddle with your UserCP settings and/or your PC settings. :)

edit: Tensop noticed more info in this thread.



Saturday Evening (10 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-March-2008  07:23:56 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Earth Hour is being held tonight at 8pm. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. Discussion in the forums here, or here if you're in Brisbane and are keen to take a few shots with other OCAU photographers.

"Who's the best action hero and why?" Answer this in 25 words or less and you could win big in IGN's Aussie Supanova Comp. When it comes to prize packs they don't come any bigger than this one. We've got more than $8,000 worth of entertainment gear to throw at a handful of insanely lucky IGN readers.

Here's another one of those peculiar USB products... the George Foreman USB iGrill. The George Foreman USB iGrill conveniently connects to your home or office PC using USB 2.0 technology, and provides a sophisticated web-based cooking interface. Thanks Bigtosser.

Adobe have released a Beta version of their new Web-based image editor, Adobe Photoshop Express. At Photoshop Express you can quickly and easily accentuate your photos with easy-to-use options for resizing, cropping, sharpening, and more. Discussion in the forums here. Thanks Marc.

Marc also sent in this video of a remake of the Lightcycle scene from TRON using paper and stop motion animation.

Trouble is brewing between Asus and Creative over Asus' recent claim that their Xonar DX sound card supports EAX 5.0 sound effects. Creative says Asus is misleading its customers by claiming to support EAX 5.0. Asus admits that its implementation won't exactly reproduce EAX 5.0, but the company says DS3D GX produces "comparable" effects − comparable, but perhaps not genuine.

TheTechLounge have a 1TB hard drive roundup where they looked at an Hitachi Deskstar and two Seagate Barracudas. For drive testing, Windows XP SP2 with the latest patches was used. … Each test was performed in triplicate and averaged to gain the final result.

Midway and Epic Games have released an official bonus pack for UT3 which consists of three arenas: Morbias, Facing Worlds and Searchlight. These downloads, which are free to all owners of Unreal Tournament 3, mark the latest achievement in providing the gaming community with unrivaled mods and superior experiences through the most recent installment in the Unreal Tournament franchise.

At the recent CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacker challenge, a security researcher hacked into Apple's new MacBook Air winning himself the machine and a US$10,000 cash prize. According to sources at the conference, Miller used an exploit against the Safari browser that ships standard with Mac OS X.

This laptop bag might come in handy when your laptop's battery is flat and there aren't any power points around. Designed by US company Voltaic Systems, the bag incorporates a single solar panel to produce 14.7W of power. This is enough to fully charge a conventional laptop computer from a full day's sunlight, thus allowing the user to unplug it from the electricity grid and power up from the sun.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews #2 (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-March-2008  04:17:54 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory & Storage:
Patriot Viper Series 2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 on BigBruin.
Tagan Icy Box 390 External HDD Enclosure on HardwareLogic.
Patriot Xporter XT 32GB on DriverHeaven.
Sony BDU-X10S BD-ROM drive on CDFreaks.

Video Cards:
Asus 3850 TOP on RBMods.
Sapphire Radeon HD3870 Toxic (512Mb DDR4) on CPU3D.
XFX 9600 GT Alpha Dog XXX on I4U.
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M on Phoronix.

Misc:
Gigabyte AirCruiser N300 802.11n router on Phoronix.
Thermaltake M9 case (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Aerocool HorsePower 1020W PSU on 3DXtreme.
JVC Everio GZ-HD6 hard drive 1080p camcorder on DigitalTrends.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue PS3 game on IGN.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-March-2008  04:04:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Input Etc:
Zalman FG1000 Gun Mouse FPS Controller on Tweaknews.
XtracPads Fat Mat on Modders-Inc.
Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo Wheel on TechPowerUp.
Razer Destructor Mousepad on PCFrags.
SteelSeries SP Mousing Surface on APHNetworks.
Razer Destructor Mousepad on DVHardware.

Cooling:
OCZ CPU Coolers Roundup on Techgage.
Accelero Xtreme 2900 VGA Cooler on Bjorn3D.
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Water Cooler on LegitReviews.
Cooler Master Aquagate Max on I4U.
NorthQ Siberian Tiger CPU Water Cooler (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Cooljag Mini LED Flash Fans on ThinkComputers.
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme 8800 video card cooler on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master Hyper TX2 CPU cooler on OCClub.

Motherboard and CPU:
Overclocking with Gigabyte P35C-DS3R and Intel Q6600 on MadShrimps.
Asus Striker II Extreme LGA775 board on TrustedReviews.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775 CPU on SharkyExtreme.
ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi X48 LGA775 board on Tweaktown.
ASUS Maximus Formula LGA775 board on Motherboards.



AMD's B3 Phenoms (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-March-2008  00:51:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD have unveiled the B3 revision of their quad-core Phenom processors. These address the "TLB erratum" issue from the previous version but also bring more speed. Coverage on Tech Report (who also cover the Opteron implications), Anandtech, SharkyExtreme, LegitReviews, PC Perspective, XbitLabs and HotHardware.

Discussion in our AMD Hardware forum here.



Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 28-March-2008  15:29:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Samsung Syncmaster 943B 19-inch LCD Display on PCStats.
Sennheiser PXC 450 Headphones on TheTechLounge.
BenQ 24-inch G2400W Widescreen LCD on HWZone.
Humax PVR-9200T Personal Video Recorder on TrustedReview.
"Hitachi 50? Full HD1080 Ultravision® Plasma HDTV on ReviewLab.
Humax PVR-9200T Personal Video Recorder on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
Palit 8800 GTS 1GB Sonic SLI on LegitReviews.
PoV GeForce 9800GTX on TBreak.
Albatron GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB on Guru3D.
ASUS GeForce 9800 GX2 on TechSpot.
XFX 9600GT Alpha Dog Edition on OCClub.
Foxconn GeForce 9600GT OC on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA 9800 GX2 Quad SLI on I4U.
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B NVIDIA 9800 GX2 on OCWorkbench.

Cases:
Lian-Li A71 on NordicHW.
Sunbeamtech Quarterback on TechWareLabs.
Apevia X-Qboii Mid Tower on Pro-Clockers.
Gigabyte iSolo 210 on Bit-Tech.



Friday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-March-2008  14:29:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We had a minor outage earlier, so if you notice any strangeness when using or trying to log into the forums, drop me an email and I'll take a look.

Here's an interesting one, self-extinguishing cigarettes may be mandatory by 2009. Shaun noticed this page which explains how they work. There is no doubt that fire-safe cigarettes will save hundreds of lives each year. Deaths caused by cigarette fires declined dramatically in New York State in the first few months that fire-safe cigarettes were mandated there in 2004.

HardOCP have an NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Roundup. The GeForce 9600 GT has its work cut out for it. Not only does it have to establish itself as a good product in its own right, but it has to compete with its older and more capable siblings with falling prices.

A strange metal ball which seems likely to be space junk has turned up on a remote Queensland property. While a spokesman for Aerospace Corp. told NEWS.com.au it was still working to identify the object, aerospace industry sources who contacted Mr Stirton believe it to be part of a rocket launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1998.

Seagate's CEO is apparently not too concerned about the "flash vs hdd battle". But in case flash prices continue to plummet and the flash drives really do catch on, Watkins has something else up his sleeve. He’s convinced, he confides, that SSD makers like Samsung and Intel (INTC) are violating Seagate’s patents.

From Scott, some info about a PCI-E 1x video card, here, here and here. With the implementation of ASUS’ exclusive Splendid technology into a video add-on card, users will be able to enjoy full 1080P entertainment on their monitors. Able to provide an authentic ASUS LCDTV video solution to any PC, this card helps fill in the gap between viewing content on the PC and traditional Consumer Electronic devices.

TechWareLabs wonder if BTX is doomed. Err, yes. Well, it's had years to catch on and never has. Frankly, I don't know anyone who even really sees the point of it. BTX failed at being "something great that no one has ever seen before" at the same time it wasn't backwards compatible with the current design, ATX. Other reasons why BTX failed to catch on was because not all users were interested in cooling performance, which was BTX's most significant advantage.

In a trip through memory lane, MadShrimps are building a fast AGP-based system. While the rest of the mainstream world moves on to PCI-Express and DDR3, we take a step back to the previous generation hardware. Our aim is to build a scalable AGP benchmark platform with sole purpose: breaking overclocking records.

Another blast from the past is RAMBUS, who have won a legal battle recently. A San Jose jury today ruled in favor of Rambus in its legal battle with Micron Technology, Hynix Semiconductor and Nanya Technology in a patent infringement case involving DRAM memory.

Rather cryptically from bigiain: Dear Sirs! OVERCLOCKING NEGLECTED LAPTOPS. I am the Information and Data analyst of the Treasury-Payment Investigation Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the process of cross checking files inherited from previous head of this department I found a particular machine file with series of complicated abnormal entries of a beneficiary who had made efforts towards getting the OLPC laptops but to no avail. I then decided to investigate the genesis of the difficulties/hitches to the release of the said laptops I found out this. In short, overclocking OLPCs. :)

Today's timewaster is the BBC's Brainbox Challenge website. Click "Play The Games" to get started, there's quite a few there.



Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-March-2008  10:40:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Storage:
Ironkey Personal Secure Flash Drive on EverythingUSB.
Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB on Guru3D.
QNAP TS-109 Pro NAS network storage on Techgage.
Rosewill RX81-MP External USB/eSATA 3.5 drive on OCClub.
Vizo Uranus HDD Enclosure on XSReviews.

Memory:
Diamond Viper Fin DDR3 PC14400 2 x 1 GB on OCClub.
Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red 4GB PC2-6400 on AseLabs.

Cases:
Antec Mini P180 mATX on Metku.
Cooler Master Cosmos S on ExtremeOC.
bgears b-Envi Gaming/HTPC Enclosure on Virtual-Hideout.

Misc:
ASUS Eee PC mini portable PC on DigitalTrends.
ASUS WL-520GU Wireless Router on ThinkComputers.
Humax PVR-9200T Personal Video Recorder on TrustedReviews.
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath PC game on DriverHeaven.



Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-March-2008  10:10:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads featuring GPS's, TV tuners, games, web hosting, MP3 players, EEE PC, memory, energy drinks, speakers and headphones etc. Worth a look!


Thursday Evening Reviews (3 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-March-2008  09:55:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Power Supply:
Sparkle Power 250W ATX12V 80 Plus SPI250EP on SilentPCReview.
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250W on OCIA.
Zalman ZM360B-APS on HWSecrets.
Antec Truepower Quattro TPQ-1000 on OCClub.
Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000W on DriverHeaven.
Corsair VX450W on HWSecrets.

Motherboards:
Asus P5E3 Premium X48 LGA775 board on NeoSeeker.
Gigabyte EP35-DS4 LGA775 board on OCClub.
XFX MG-630i-7159 mATX LGA775 board on Bjorn3D.
ASUS Striker II Extreme LGA775 board on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
PNY 9800 GX2 on I4U.
VVIKOO GeForce 9600GT Turbo 512MB on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX Early Test on Tweaktown.
ASUS EAH2600XT D4/HTDI/256M on Tweak.dk.
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 on BenchMarkReviews.
Sapphire Toxic HD 3870 on Pro-Clockers.
ASUS Radeon HD 3870 X2 on Tweaktown.
Radeon HD 3870 X2 vs. GeForce 9800 GX2 on LegionHW.
Gigabyte GV-NX96T-512H on CPU3D.
HIS Radeon HD 3450 on OCOnline.



Thursday Afternoon (8 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-March-2008  06:17:39 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

SlySoft have announced that they have cracked the BD+ copy protection used in Blu-ray discs. Although the BD+ scheme is designed to be dynamically updated, van Heuen isn't worried. … Van Heuen is very optimistic that the Blu-ray Disc Association won't be able to squash this crack using technological methods. SlySoft's press release is available here.

Chienne from Internode Games Network recently interviewed Allen Covert, the storyline writer for the next Leisure Suite Larry game. He played the best friend and limousine driver in The Wedding Singer, Nicky's roommate in Little Nicky, and 10-Second Tom in 50 First Dates - and he recently took the time to sit down and answer some of our questions in this exclusive interview, and we'd like to share his answers.

According to echelon, those of you who "like vehicles with half the standard amount of wheels" may find this video of the D-Air racing air bag system interesting (or amusing). Here's some more information on this product. Thanks!

Techware Labs give a simple explanation on differences between some of the RAID levels. This guide is intended to help you understand what the different types of raid levels do as well as assist you in making a decision on which raid level is appropriate for your needs.

Rick noticed that the creators of South Park have decided to make all 12 seasons available for streaming on their site (but only to US residents at this stage). "The new Web site just makes it easier for people to see and share South Park... Basically, we just got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative."

Apple has settled a lawsuit concering advertising that its MacBook and MacBook Pro LCD screens could display "millions of colours". The traditional 16.7 million colors advertised for many displays can be achieved through an 8-bit channel, but the plaintiffs believed that Apple actually used 6-bit displays, which generate 262,144 discreet colors before dithering.

Modders on the OCAU Forums may be able to gleam some ideas for their next project from the Illusion PC entry in the Next-Gen PC Design competition. Thanks Marc! The entire computer is disguised by an illusion to make it look nothing like a computer and also features the ability to be completely customized in a variety of different ways, however best suits the user.



Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-March-2008  06:46:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Cyberlink's PowerDVD 8 and Media Show 4 on Bit-Tech.
Sony Bravia KDL-46W3000 46in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Super Talent Vidego28 MP4 Player on CPU3D.
Scythe Kama Bay Amp on SilentPCReview.
Samsung T10 (4GB) media player on HWZone.
Sumvision ICE 1000 Touch Screen Media Player 8GB on TrustedReviews.
Panasonic PT-AE2000E LCD Projector on TrustedReviews.
Strata Mini Loudspeaker on DigitalTrends.
LG Flatron M228WD 22in Monitor & TV Tuner on TrustedReviews.

Storage & Memory:
WD Caviar and RE2 GreenPower 1TB Hard Drives on HotHardware.
Aeneon XTUNE 1GB DDR2-1066 Dual Channel Memory Kit on BigBruin.
Thecus N299 NAS Server on Virtual-Hideout.
Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB hard drive on TechReport.
Thermaltake BlacX HDD Docking Station on TechPowerUp.
OCZ Rally 2 USB Drive on TechWareLabs.
OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB USB Flash Drive on APHNetworks.
Thermaltake Muse R-Duo RAID Enclosure on OCIA.
OCZ Platinum PC3-12800 2GB Memory Kit on HWLogic.
Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 4GB USB Drive on ThinkComputers.

Cooling:
Swiftech H2O-220 Compact watercooling kit on XbitLabs.
CoolJag Mini LED Flash Fan on BurnoutPC.
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Interface Material on Tweaktown.

Cases:
GMC AVC-S7 on DriverHeaven.
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 Tower on ExtremeOC.
Thermaltake SwordM Full-Tower Case on PCPerspective.
Ultra m998 on RBMods.
Lian Li PC-A77 Full Tower on HWZone.



Wednesday Afternoon (30 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-March-2008  02:18:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

You may have already noticed, but we recently split the Games Consoles forum so it has 3 new subforums, for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony consoles. So if you like your consoley stuff, you now have a bit more room to breathe.

Speaking of which, Nintendo have announced Guitar Hero for the Nintendo DS, which will be pretty funny to see people playing on the train on the way to work. Apparently you "strum" on the touchscreen and there's a string/frets button thingy in the GBA slot. Interview about it here.

A few people sent in this story about the NSW Police wanting people to dob in crooks via email. Film taken by the public on mobile phones and video cameras will be used by police as evidence in prosecuting serious crime from dangerous speeding to bashings, sexual assault and terrorism. Hmm, hopefully this won't produce too many eVigilantes.

On a similar note, someone who allegedly stole an Xbox360 and laptop felt the wrath of the internet recently. Then he pretty much started getting harassed through AIM, a YouTube video, and probably every social site he’s ever subscribed to almost constantly. By Sunday, the kid actually shows up at McPherson’s house and gives him the laptop back. No word yet on the Xbox, but McPherson has said he will be in contact with the kid’s parents soon.

XbitLabs looked at modern multi-GPU technologies. This article is devoted to the situation with contemporary multi-GPU systems. We are going to introduce to you Nvidia’s response to ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 – the new dual-chip GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics adapter that should replace the long-term leader of the high-end 3D segment – GeForce 8800 Ultra. They also have a 27 card-reader roundup.

In fact, Quad-SLI seems to be the flavour of the day, with coverage on T-Break, LegitReviews, DriverHeaven, HotHardware, PC-Perspective and Guru3D. It's 2008, times have changed and obviously we'll play peek-a-boo with a Quad-SLI system. What do you need for Quad-SLI ? A pretty beefy system, that's for sure.

CircuitREMIX have a thermal compound roundup posted. In the past few years, thermal compounds have undergone an evolution. I'm sure many are familiar with the basic silicon based thermal compound, also known as white goop.

Quan-Time sent in this geometric timewaster. Click on "figuur1" to start things off. I can't even finish the first one, I can only get it down to 18 blocks, not 12. :(



OCAU Polo Shirts - Nearly All Gone! (5 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 25-March-2008  02:13:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Nearly 100 orders have flown out the door, but we still have some stock of these sizes (measure one of your current shirts between the armpits to match sizing):

L - 58cm
XL - 62cm

$25 each inc shipping Australia-wide. Order 2 and get a free OCAU stubby holder! Or, $30 for 1 polo + 1 stubby. Or $35 for 6 stubbies (no polo) including shipping.

More info in this thread.



Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-March-2008  15:03:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory & Storage:
Patriot Extreme Performance Viper Series DDR2 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC2-8500 on PCFrags.
Tagan JBOD IB-3220StU-B External USB drive on PCFrags.
Icy Box NAS 4220 Enclosure on OCIA.
ATP Petito and ToughDrive Flash Drives on OCrCafe.
Raidsonic Icy Box IB-3218StU-B enclosure on RBMods.
Apiotek Express Card to PC Card Adaptor EC-PCM2B on Mikhailtech.

Video Cards:
Asus 9800 GX2 1GB (EN9800GX2) on OC3D.
ZOTAC GeForce 9800 GX2 on Tweaktown.
XFX 8400GS Dual-Screen Graphics Card on Bjorn3D.
Asus EN8800GT TOP on OCClub.
Sapphire FireGL V7600 workstation card on HWZone.

Motherboard & CPU:
ECS A780GM-A AM2+ board on Digit-Life.
Asus Striker II Extreme LGA775 board on TBreak.
Asrock Penryn1600slix3-wifi LGA775 board on OCWorkbench.
Intel E8500 Core2 Duo LGA775 CPU on Motherboards.org.
ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe/WiFi-AP AM2+ board on ThinkComputers.

Cases:
Cooler Master Cosmos S on TechPowerUp.
Antec 900 on BleedinEdge.
Rosewill R6XR8-BK Black ATX on LegitReviews.

Power Supply:
Zalman ZM750-HP on HWLogic.
Tagan TG700-U88 BZ 700W on PCFrags.

Audio / Visual:
Sony PFR-V1 Personal Field Speaker Headphones on TrustedReviews.
OPPO DV-980H DVD Player on TrustedReviews.
Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks webcam on HWZone.
Terratec DMX 6Fire USB external audio system on PCFrags.

Software:
Frontlines: Fuel of War PC game on Bit-Tech.
Warhammer 40k Dawn of War: Soulstorm PC game on Bit-Tech.

Misc:
Lowepro Cirrus TLZ 25 Camera Bag on ThinkComputers.
Zalman CNPS7500-CU LED HSF CPU cooler on OCOnline.



Monday Night (24 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-March-2008  09:09:19 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

The Test My PC Security Web site launched by Comodo is aiming to become the largest collection of computer security tests anywhere. These tests include a combination of widely available firewall leak and Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) tests in addition to proprietary firewall tests from Comodo.

Dan from Dan's Data has the latest round of letters available on his site. In this edition: PC power consumption, partial archives, driverless laptops, and fancy names for Realtek chips.

Chris noticed that Sony have reversed a plan to charge $50 for removing all of the pre-installed applications (AKA bloatware) from its TZ-series notebooks. Fresh Start will now be a no-cost option on Sony's slick subnotebooks, but only for those who opt for Windows Vista Business Edition, a $100 upgrade.

Also from Chris is this Damn Interesting article on the US Army's testing of the VX nerve agent. The plane's mission was simple: using a specially rigged delivery system, it was to fly to a specific set of coordinates and spray its payload over a remote section of the Utah desert.

ExtremeMhz looked at the latest version of the GPS navigation suite for Windows Mobile smartphones and PocketPCs, CoPilot Live 7. Featuring a whole new "touch-friendly" interface and a number of other excellent features, this is one of the best options for anyone with a Windows Mobile Phone.

Sun Microsystems will be exploring the "high-risk idea of replacing the wires between computer chips with laser beams." The Sun researchers refer to their new system as a "macrochip." They said that the technology would make it possible for computer architects to completely rethink the organization of circuitry on a computer.

The CEO of Queensland's Buzz Broadband has labeled the WiMAX technology a "disaster" that had "failed miserably." In an astonishing tirade to an international WiMAX conference audience in Bangkok yesterday afternoon, CEO Garth Freeman slammed the technology, saying its non-line of sight performance was "non-existent" beyond just 2 kilometres from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds.



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-March-2008  01:24:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some interesting things from the forums:


terroristone is making a sim
cockpit with real car bits

Link87x is making a car PC
in an Alpine amplifier

Jolly-Swagman hooks up an
external CMOS-reset key switch


he also converted an old PSU
into a benchtop PSU

oldnewby has finished his
beautiful wooden dual PC

kayl played around with
dry ice and quad core



Sunday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 23-March-2008  05:10:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Wired have a huge but fascinating article about rescuing a capsized container vessel. They're a motley mix: American, British, Swedish, Panamanian. Each has a specialty — deep-sea diving, computer modeling, underwater welding, big-engine repair. And then there's Habib, the guy who regularly helicopters onto the deck of a sinking ship, greets whatever crew is left, and takes command of the stricken vessel. Good Sunday arvo reading.

From paulh: Found this in New Scientist magazine. If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 7 (its fixed in 8) and go look at the Patent List referring to this software (Help | About |Patent and Legal Notices) you will see a long list of Patents starting with 337,604. IF you then go to the US Patent Office Website and have a look at Patent 337,604 here (works best in IE.. Doesn’t seem to like Firefox) You get a patent for a Towel Rack. Not sure whether this counts as news or what.. but it's weird enough I thought you might like it. Someone somewhere actually started going through the patents. I’m sure they were surprised with their first hit.

Latest to check out NVIDIA's 790i SLI Ultra and 9800 GX2 are Motherboards.org and GamePyre. HWZone meanwhile checked out Intel's Roadmap to Nehalem and beyond.

Ah-hah, just earlier today I was whinging to one of my Apple-friendly mates that iTunes had tried to sneakly install Apple's Safari web browser onto my PC, by making it look like a normal iTunes update. Seems I'm not the only one affected.

Tweaktown took a look at Gigabyte's DES and ASUS's EPU, both power-saving technologies. First we thought we would start off with a bit on the GIGABYTE implementation for saving power which they have called Dynamic Energy Saver or DES for short. On the technical side of things, DES looks and feels to be a more involved design when it comes to how it operates compared to the ASUS implementation.

Timbot spotted these home gaming setups that are all pretty insane. Playing PS3 or Xbox 360 at any one of these awesome gaming rooms would be like immersing yourself right into the game, rather than just playing it. You can literally feel like you’re in the cockpit, on the battlefield, or surrounded by zombies at any of these ridiculous game rooms.

TrustedReviews have part 3 of their console classics guide posted. In the first two parts of our console classic guide we ran through the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Now, in our final part we?re looking at what we?re going to call the 32-bit era, though in truth it?s more like the ?32/64/who really knows what-bit?? era.

YouTube have announced their 2007 Award Winners. You have spoken! Here are the videos that you voted to the top of the heap.

Don sent in this BBC Questionaut timewaster. He reckons it's awesome despite being a kids game. Journey through strange worlds and test your knowledge of English, Maths and Science on this magical mission to recover your friend’s hat.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-March-2008  14:26:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
NZXT Cryo LX Notebook Cooler on HWLogic.
Coolink Chipchilla Chipset Cooler on RBMods.

Cases:
Tuniq 3 Mid-Tower on OCIA.
Bgears b-Envi Cube on TechWareLabs.

Storage & Memory:
Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Docking System on BigBruin.
VOX V1 750GB External Hard Drive on Techgage.
Mtron Pro 7000 2.5-Inch 16GB SSD SATA7025 on BenchMarkReviews.
Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 2 x 2GB DDR2 memory on OCClub.

Audio / Visual:
Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW 22" Wide Screen LCD on HotHardware.
Soyo Topaz S 24-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor on ThinkComputers.
Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Headset on OCClub.
Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones on HWSecrets.
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner on BIOSMag.
Denon S-302 2.1-channel DVD System on TrustedReviews.
Diamond XtremeSound 7.1 and 5.1 on SysOpt.

Motherboards:
Gigabyte X48-DQ6 LGA775 board on PCPerspective.
Foxconn X38A Digital Life LGA775 board on Bjorn3D.
MSI P35 Platinum Combo LGA775 board on HotHardware.
MSI X48 Platinum LGA775 board on ViperLair.
Abit AX78 AM2 board (video review) on 3DGameMan.
EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Motherboard and Chipset on PCPerspective.

Input Etc:
SteelSeries Ikari Optical Mouse on TechPowerUp.
Logisys Ultra Slim Soft Touch Multimedia Keyboard on TechWareLabs.
SteelSeries Ikari Optical and Laser Mice on Tweaktown.

Video Cards:
ASUS GeForce 9600GT 512MB on Phoronix.
Asus EAH3870 (ATI 3870) TOP 512MB on APHNetworks.
Gigabyte GeForce 8800 GT 512MB on SharkyExtreme.

Power Supply:
Cooler Master RealPower Pro 850W on HWSecrets.
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Enermax Pro 82+ 625W on Bit-Tech.

Misc:
Belkin N1 802.11n Wireless USB Network Adapter on I4U.
Logitech Alto Express laptop stand on Phoronix.
Zebra P110m Card Printer on BIOSMag.
MSI EX600 laptop on Tweak.dk.



Friday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-March-2008  06:58:38 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

PCSTATS have written a beginners guide to recovering and repairing Vista installations. If you were used to the recovery tools available under Windows XP, you will be annoyed to find that none of the old methods work in Vista, especially the 'repair install' that could generally be relied upon to fix most XP issues. New tactics are required for Vista, so let's help you learn them!

According to Tech ARP, Microsoft are delaying the release of Windows XP's Service Pack 3 RTM. Microsoft has also made some changes to when and how Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be released. There is a thread discussing this here.

BioWare's Matt Atwood spoke to bit-tech.net about "ports, pron and piracy". We talk to Matt Atwood from BioWare about piracy in the industry, having Jack Thompson defend sex scenes in Mass Effect and whether Tim Sweeney is right that PC hardware is slowly killing the PC gaming market. Oh, and he details the Mass Effect PC conversion for us too.

The Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista from TweakGuides has been significantly revised, and now includes all the changes from Vista's SP1. The guide covers every major topic, from the correct installation of Windows and critical drivers and software, through to recommendations for every significant setting and feature, all the major performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as detailed troubleshooting advice.

Ars Technica reports that the now-concluded 700MHz spectrum auction raised a grand total of US$19.592 billion for the US government, with Verizon and AT&T coming out as the big winners. The auction ended this afternoon with a terse announcement by the Commission that there were no "bids, withdrawals, or proactive activity rule waivers" during round 261. "Therefore, Auction 73 has closed under the simultaneous stopping rule."

Celchu noticed an article from The Sydney Morning Herald reporting, somewhat innacurately, that Exetel has started to crack down on copyright infringers. Exetel's modified notice and disconnect system, which executive Steve Waddington said in a blog post had been operating for two years, prevents users who have been fingered as copyright infringers by a "recognised industry source or their legal representatives" from browsing any web pages. More information on Steve Waddington's blog and Whirlpool Broadband Forums.

A University of Virginia student, along with his two Germany-based partners, are claiming to have cracked the encryption code used to protect millions of wireless smartcards. The popular chip that the trio "dissected" is called the MiFare Classic RFID chip and is manufactured by NXP Semiconductors, a Netherlands-based company. Nohl and his colleagues found that it was fairly easy to crack the RFID chip's code.



Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-March-2008  06:57:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Input Etc:
Steelseries Ikari Laser Gaming Mouse on Tweaknews.
Evo-G MP1 mouse pad on XSReviews.

Memory:
OCZ Technology PC2-8000 Platinum Edition 4GB DDR2 Kit on BigBruin.
Kingston HyperX 2GB PC3-14400 DDR3-1800 on ASELabs.
OCZ 4GB PC2-6400 ReaperX on TrustedReviews.
OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2 1066 2 x 2 GB on OCClub.

Video Cards:
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 on TechReport.
ASUS EAH3870 Top on I4U.
HIS HD 3870 IceQ3 512 MB on TechPowerUp.
Apollo Radeon HD 3850 512 MB on OCIA.
Elitegroup N8800GT-512MX DT on XbitLabs.
EVGA GeForce 9600 GT SSC 512 MB on TechPowerUp.

Power Supply:
Xigmatek NRP-HC1001 1000W Modular on CPU3D.
Antec Sonata Designer 500W on Tweak.dk.
Tuniq Miniplant 950W on Guru3D.

Portable:
Dell Vostro 1400 Business Notebook on XbitLabs.
Apple MacBook Air notebook on XbitLabs.
Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop on TrustedReviews.



R2D2 PC! (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 20-March-2008  11:45:54 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Check out this cool R2D2 PC, made from a trash bin:


Click for the PCDB entry (14 pics!)



Thursday Afternoon (11 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 20-March-2008  05:08:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Museum Victoria has an article about Australia's first computer, CSIRAC. For the next eight years, CSIRAC provided a computing service for science and industry, operating for approximately 30,000 hours and tackling around 700 projects. These included calculations for weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments, building design, psychological research and electricity supply.

VooDoo spotted this cool Kangaroo TV idea at the Formula 1 round in Melbourne. While I've been a regular race-goer for thirteen years, I've never felt as in-touch with the race as I did with Kangaroo TV around my neck. There are super-screens around the track that display the main race feed, but having the ability to change channels, listen to alternate commentary and watch live-timing right in the palm of your hands is something that feels like it's from the future.

Caffeine junkies will enjoy this coffee printer video. Yep, Oleskiy Pikalo woke up one day with a hankerin' for some fancy designs on his latte, so he bought a used Philips 8155 x-y flatbed plotter and modified it to shoot out edible ink. The result is a machine that can draw surprisingly detailed art on your cup of joe — and put creative baristas everywhere to shame.

Internet addiction is apparently a common mental disorder, according to the American Journal of Psychiatry. “After a series of ten cardiopulmonary-related deaths in internet cafés and a game-related murder, South Korea considers internet addiction one of its most serious public health issues,” he said.

Timbot sent in this article about massive "oil" reserves on Titan. Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.

Trog sent word of a new World of Warcraft trailer on AusGamers Files. Explore the mystical grounds of the new 5-person dungeon, Magisters' Terrace, where one of the Burning Crusade's most notorious villains is preparing to make his desperate last stand. Lead your raid group straight into the heart of the Sunwell Plateau to confront the most terrifying and deadly agents of the Burning Legion.

TechGage and Bit-Tech are the latest to post their thoughts on Intel's recent announcement of Nehalem, Larrabee, etc.

HotHardware meanwhile report on Microsoft and Intel's multi-threading research centres. Even today, writing software able to take advantage of multi-threading is notoriously difficult. In order to help drive the development of the tools and threading-aware applications, Microsoft and Intel are together awarding the Univerity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California at Berkeley $10 million dollars over five years to fund two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC).

NeoSeeker have a mid-range GPU roundup posted. There is a veritable wealth of cards available around this price-point. While the last generation of video cards had a relatively weak mid-range compared to the top-end cards when it came down to game performance, nowadays it is a very different situation altogether.

Murray noticed this silent "fan" with no moving parts. Boffins in the US have developed a microchip fan with no moving parts that operates silently and generates enough wind to cool a laptop computer. More here, thanks William.



Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-March-2008  15:48:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Toshiba Regza 52Z3030D 52in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor on Tweaknews.
Logitech QuickCam Pro For Notebooks USB webcam on EverythingUSB.
Logitech Z Cinema Surround Sound Speakers on OCClub.

Cases:
Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube Case on HWLogic.
Glacialtech Altair 380 HTPC case on TechWareLabs.
Antec Sonata Plus 550 on Modders-Inc.
Antec P180 on Hi-TechReviews.
GMC R-2 Toast on TechWareLabs.
Aerocool iCurve Plus midtower on Pro-Clockers.

Motherboards:
NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset on Bit-Tech.
ASUS Striker II Extreme (nForce 790i Ultra SLI) LGA775 board on TechSpot.

Cooling:
Noctua NT-H1 Heatsink Compound on Pro-Clockers.
Thermaltake iXoft Notebook Cooling Pad on OCIA.
Glacial Tech Igloo 5750 CPU Coolers (video review) on 3DGameMan.

Portable:
HP Pavilion tx2050ea on TrustedReviews.
ASUS U3S notebook on XbitLabs.
Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook S6410 Laptop on BIOSMag.
Dell XPS M1730 Notebook (Intel Santa Rosa) on HWZone.



Vista SP1, IE8 Beta 1 (20 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-March-2008  05:00:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

So, Microsoft have released Windows Vista Service Pack 1 - you can read the release notes here. It'll show up in Windows Update or you can download the standalone here.

Apparently IE8 Beta 1 came out recently too. Internet Explorer 8 can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista® Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP® Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).



Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-March-2008  04:34:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Denon AH-C751 Headphones on TrustedReviews.
Logitech G51 Speakers on DigitalTrends.
Bose SoundDock Portable on HWZone.
Denon DVD-1940 DVD Player on TrustedReviews.
Razer Mako 2.1 Speakers on XSReviews.
BenQ W20000 Full HD DLP Projector on TrustedReviews.
Fujifilm Finepix s8100fd digicam on DigitalTrends.
Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Surround Speaker Kit on I4U.
AutumnWave OnAir GT (USB HDTV Tuner) on MadShrimps.
Samsung 2493HM LCD monitor on OCOnline.

Video Cards:
Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition on Techgage.
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB on HWZone.
XFX 9800 GX2 on I4U.
GeForce 9800 GX2 in Quad SLI on Tweaktown.
XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 on Bit-Tech.

Motherboards:
EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI LGA775 board on HWSecrets.
NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI Performance on HWZone.
Gigabyte X48-DS5 LGA775 board on TBreak.
Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 AM2+ board on OCClub.
NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI Ultra on TechReport.
Abit I-N73HD (nForce 630i) LGA775 board on CPU3D.
DFI LanParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G LGA775 board on ThinkComputers.

Memory & Storage:
Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red PC-6400 4GB Kit on Bit-Tech.
Seagate Momentus 5400.4 250GB hard drive on Bjorn3D.
Kingston SD/2GB-U flash memory on ASELabs.
Rosewill RX81-MP-SC eSATA HDD Enclosure on Tweaktown.
Crucial Ballistix DDR3-12800 Memory Kit on MikhailTech.
Western Digital Caviar RE2 750GB HDD on HotHardware.

Power Supply:
Xigmatek NRP-MC851 on RBMods.
Tagan BZ 900W on Phoronix.



Arthur C. Clarke, RIP (24 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-March-2008  00:41:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few people sent word that Science Fiction Grandmaster Arthur C. Clarke has died, aged 90. When I was a little kid I read his Islands in the Sky, which opened my eyes to the wonders of science and astronomy. I've been a huge fan of his writing ever since and consider him partly responsible for why I'm such a huge nerd. Thanks Arthur, and rest in peace.


NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 and nForce 790i Ultra SLI (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-March-2008  16:14:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA have officially released their GeForce 9800 GX2 dual-GPU video cards. With two on-board GPUs, a GeForce® 9800 GX2-based graphics solution is bar-none the fastest graphics card available, and when paired with a 7 Series NVIDIA nForce® motherboard, creates the latest in a line of powerful NVIDIA gaming platforms.

Coverage on Guru3D, T-Break, TechPowerUp, Bjorn3D, LegitReviews, PCPerspective, OCClub and NeoSeeker.

They also announced the nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard chipset. NVIDIA® nForce® 790i Ultra SLI®-based motherboards are the foundation for the world’s fastest gaming PCs, delivering top performance for 1600 MHz FSB Intel CPUs with extreme CPU overclocking, and unmatched DirectX® 10 gaming for 2-way, 3-way and Quad SLI technology.

Coverage on Guru3D and OC3D, while DriverHeaven and HotHardware reviewed the two new products together.



CafePress for OCAU Merchandise? (31 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-March-2008  11:23:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

People still ask me about OCAU merchandise pretty regularly. I'm happy to get some more merchandise happening but preferably in a way that doesn't chew up all my time for weeks and leave me with loads of stock in the shed. :) One interesting idea is CafePress, which is a "create on demand" setup based in the USA. Shipping has historically been the problem with them for Australian people but, hmm, it doesn't seem so bad anymore. There's not a huge number of interesting products, but I made a few for example:

OCAU Merchandise on CafePress

There's a few other options if people want anything specific. Anyway, let me know what you think about the pricing/shipping/products/etc on there. Failing that, does anyone know of an Australian equivalent to CafePress?



Tuesday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-March-2008  07:49:13 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Forum member HyRax1 has written a how-to thread on encrypting specific directories in the Ubuntu operating system using EncFS. This HowTo is based on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10, but should work with any distro that has ENCFS available to it. … Purpose: To encrypt one or more specific directories on Linux without needing to encrypt the entire volume or partition.

Domain Name Journal has confirmed that the Fund.com domain name recently sold for an incredible price of US$9,999,950. Fund.com, thus becomes the highest all cash domain sale ever reported topping Porn.com (sold for $9.5 million in May of last year).

AnandTech have posted an interesting article discussing various aspects of hardware virtualization. In this first article we discuss "hardware virtualization", i.e. the technology that makes it possible to offer several virtualized server such as VMware's ESX, Xen, and Windows 2008's Hyper-V.

Ars Technica wants to let everyone know that rumours of an official launch date for Windows 7 are not true. Perhaps it's a sign of how desperate some sites are to get linked by the big aggregators, or perhaps it's a sign of how disappointed people are with Windows Vista—or both—but the endless stories about Windows 7's "official launch" are silly and (more importantly) quite misleading.

The team from PC Perspective have released their latest Podcast where they spoke with John Carmack. What started out as a simple Q&A about Intel's ray tracing plans turned into a discussion on the future of gaming hardware, both PC and console, possible software approaches to future rendering technology, multiple-GPU and multi-core CPU systems and even a possible insight into id Tech 6, the engine that will replace the id Tech 5 / Rage title.

Tom's Hardware look at the fifteen greatest hacking exploits. Some hackers have left their marks on the history of computers, becoming idols for a whole class of newer computer users. Let's go back and take a look at these computer gods, some of whom could break every known protection, and even became involved in great virtual manhunts with the powers that be.

Last but not least, Technology Review talk about identifying manipulated images using new tools that analyse lighting inconsistencies, and Intel's plans to sell a specialised Wi-Fi platform which can send data to a receiving antenna located as far as 96 kilometres away.



Intel's Dunnington, Nehalem and Larrabee (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-March-2008  03:34:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Intel have revealed some info on their upcoming products. Among those are Dunnington, the company's upcoming six-core server part; Nehalem, the next-generation architecture that will supplant Core 2 processors later this year; and Larrabee, Intel's forthcoming discrete graphics processor. Coverage on Tech Report, HotHardware, PC Perspective, HWSecrets and Anandtech. Discussion in this thread in our Intel Hardware forum.


Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-March-2008  03:26:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
GeForce 9800 GX2 Overclocked and Tested on Tweaktown.
Sapphire HD3850 & HD3850 in Crossfire on Hi-TechReviews.
MSI GeForce 8800 GT Silent 512MB, MSI RADEON HD 3650 512MB on Digit-Life.
ASUS 8800 GT 512MB TOP Edition on Virtual-Hideout.

Cases:
Arctic Cooling Silentium T2 Eco 80 on Bit_Tech.
Antec P190 + 1200 on HWLogic.
Cooler Master Cosmos S on ThinkComputers.
Antec Sonata 550 Plus on BurnOutPC.

Input Etc:
Art. Lebedev Optimus Mini Three OLED keyboard on OCIA.
Razer Lachesis 4000dpi Gaming Mouse on TechWareLabs.
Cyber Snipa Stinger mouse on OCClub.

Portable:
Toshiba Portege M700 notebook on TrustedReviews.
Panasonic Toughbook R7 notebook on DigitalTrends.



Monday Night (16 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 17-March-2008  08:49:35 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

From slick: I was in the process of explaining the concept of LAN parties recently to a work colleague. I headed over to Wikipedia and started explaining what I got up to in high school. I came across this picture that just shocked me... Apparently it's a photo from the world's largest LAN party, DreamHack.

Phoronix have benchmarked the performance of disk encryption in Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 6. Unfortunately, the Ubiquity installer in Ubuntu 8.04 continues to lack LVM and encryption support, but using Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 6 we have looked at the performance cost of this encrypted configuration on Ubuntu Linux.

For those having trouble soldering surface mount components onto printed circuit boards, you might be interested in looking at the technique a certified IPC trainer uses. John Gammell sent this video to me in response to one of my newbie attempts. In it, he shows how a pro approaches an SMT job using the "vertical drag" method. Direct YouTube link.

Driver Heaven looked at Soulstorm, the latest title in the Warhammer 40K series, and questions whether it is any good or if it's just another tired rerun. Soulstorm includes two new armies as well as flying units and more maps, but nothing to rewrite the game history, this is not necessarily a bad thing however as the series has developed into a very playable and enjoyable gaming experience.

If you've been wanting to overclock your PC but were not sure how to do it, have a look at Benchmark Reviews' Introduction to Overclocking Guide for Beginners. I believe that if you learn properly you can overclock without trouble, as long as you know your limits. This tutorial explains how to determine these limits.

Still on the subject of overclocking, circuitREMIX had a go at overclocking Intel's Core 2 Duo E8400 Xeon counterpart, the E3110. For those who don't care about heat, we were able to get our E3110 to run at 4.3GHz at 1.443v, which is still a pretty safe voltage if you have decent air cooling. For those with watercooling or higher end cooling, 4.5GHz and beyond should be easy.

Here's an interesting article from CNET on some of the differences between the flash hard drive in their Dell Latitude D830 and a conventional mechanical hard drive in their T42 ThinkPad. The notebook I'm testing--a Dell Latitude D830 with a 64GB flash hard drive from Samsung--hasn't emitted a sound in three days. … Compare that with my T42 ThinkPad. It sounds like a guinea pig got trapped inside, particularly during the start-up phase.



Intel E8000 "Wolfdale" CPUs (12 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-March-2008  12:08:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Chainbolt has been playing with the latest dual-core CPUs from Intel, in the "Wolfdale" family that is replacing Conroe. Check out his review of these E8000 series CPUs here:


Click for the review!



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-March-2008  07:25:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A quick snapshot of what's going on in the forums:

New version OCCT 2.0.0 stability test Avaliable in Overclocking & Hardware.
Armari XCP (eXtreme Concept Prototype): Supercomputer inspired PC in Overclocking & Hardware.
Enermax "Modu" 625Watt, powering 4 Opteron CPUs, 16 dimms, 16 HDDs and a 7950 GX2!! in Overclocking & Hardware.
Fan Placement and Type Query in Overclocking & Hardware.
[Team.AU] Intel D5400XS 'Skulltrail' - 8 core monster in Overclocking & Hardware.
ATI / AMD Catalyst Driver Discussion: Current Catalyst Version 8.3 + CrossFireX in Video cards & Monitors.
How long has your Dell LCD been on for? (hidden info) in Video Cards & Monitors.
Few benchies ( 3870X2, 2900XT + 2x 2900XT's ) in Video Cards & Monitors.
Things to do with your ATI Card - AVIVO, Hydravision, Virtual Desktops in Video Cards & Monitors.
Power saving device - remote control 240v in Electronics.
Post pics of your workbench/equipment/tools/junk in Electronics.
My expandable USB-controlled 24-bit PWM RGB LED setup in Electronics.
Jaycar USB-activated 6 way powerboard in Electronics.
"How many fans in your case" competition in Modding.
Adding second PSU questions in Modding.
Monitoring software - what do you use (with Vista)? in Windows Operating Systems.
Spam filter appliances in Enterprise Computing.
The AMD Revival Begins in AMD Hardware.
Coins worth more in Current Events.
Mariah Carey trying to appeal to nerds in Entertainment.
Canon 55-250mm IS F4-5.6 Mini Review [56K no] in Photography.
What is your IQ? (With anonymous poll) in The Pub.



Sunday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-March-2008  03:35:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

From Spoon69: Spoon69 from the forums here, not sure if this news worthy or not, but my friend, and fellow OCAU user Herbo was flown across to Singapore on Friday to partake in the international Crisis tournament. He was 1 of 6 people representing Australia and he did us proud by coming 2nd overall. For his efforts he won a new pc. Unfortunately that’s all I have information wise at the moment, as he doesn’t return to Australia until very early Monday morning. Nice one! Hopefully we'll see some pics and info soon.

Timbot spotted The VirtuSphere, like a giant hamster exercise ball you play video games in. The Washington-based manufacturers describe it as the ultimate computer games peripheral, but say it could also be used as a unique exercise treadmill or for simulation exercises.

It's all becoming a bit SkyNet-like in Second Life, with a child-like intelligence having been created in-game. The child is a product of logic-based artificial intelligence and complex modelling techniques, and operates on what has been said to be the most powerful university-based supercomputing system in the world.

CeBIT has been and gone.. but there's some booth babes on TechPowerUp and Guru3D. TechWareLabs meanwhile have Booth Babes from Megacon 2008.

Here's an interesting article about the dirtiest jobs in IT. Closely related to the help desk zombie, but even lower on the totem pole, is the on-site reboot specialist. Unlike help desk or support vampires, the on-site rebootnik must venture out into the physical world and deal with actual people.

From Vic: Here's a cool TF2 case mod I found while browsing youtube. Work log page: here.

HWSecrets wonder how much power a generic 500W PSU can really provide, while TechWareLabs have a PSU purchasing guide. There's also a heap of info on the PSU page in our Wiki.

Intel are looking to unveil a new line of SSDs. During Q2 2008 the company will launch 1.8-in. and 2.5-in. solid-state drives offering between 80GB and 160GB diskless storage.

TechARP have a new benchmark involving x264 HD encoding. Simply put, it is a reproducible measure of fast your machine can encode a short, HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file.

TechReport have the second part of their guide to console classics. Part one of our journey back through console history took us to the 8-bit era of the NES, Sega Master System and PC Engine. However, it was with the 16-bit machines that console gaming really took off in the UK. This was the period when games consoles took the imagination of the kids, teens and twenty somethings by force.



Sunday Afternoon Reviews #2 (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-March-2008  03:01:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
MSI N9600GT-T2D512-OC (GeForce 9600 GT) on HWZone.
NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GX2 - Early Test on Tweaktown.

Software:
Timeshift PC game on GamePyre.
Sam and Max: Chariot of the Dogs PC game on DriverHeaven.
Lost Empire: Immortals PC game on Bit-Tech.

Storage & Memory:
MemoRight GT MR25.2-064S 2.5-Inch 64GB SATA SSD on BenchmarkReviews.
Western Digital Scorpio 2.5" 320GB HDD on Tweaktown.
OCZ ReaperX HPC 4GB PC2-6400 on Phoronix.
Kingston DataTraveler Micro Reader on TrustedReviews.
Kingston 8GB Hyper-X Data Traveler USB Drive on Virtual-Hideout.
Eagle Tech ET-CSIU2J-BK JBOD External Storage System on BigBruin.

Input Etc:
Saitek GM3200 Laser Mouse on OCClub.
Razer DeathAdder Mouse on Digit-Life.
Cyber Snipa GamePad V2 on GideonTech.

Power Supply & Case:
Aerocool Horsepower 1020W PSU on Pro-Clockers.
Kingwin ABT-450MM PSU on HWSecrets.
Seventeam 1200W Modular PSU (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Thermaltake Purepower 430W NP PSU on HWSecrets.
Coolermaster Cosmos S case on CPU3D.

Cooling:
Akasa AK-965 socket 775 tower cooler on SilentPCReview.
ASUS Silent Knight II Heatsink on Frostytech.
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler on OCOnline.
Vizo mini-Ninja Notebook Cooler on RBMods.
Titan RTNV TTC-HD90 Hdd Cooler on OC3D.



Sunday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-March-2008  02:26:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Alpahcool LC-Display 240x128 Pixel blue neg. Black mini LCD on RBMods.
Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS digicam on DigitalTrends.
LG HT902TB Home Cinema System on TrustedReviews.
Genius BT-03A Bluetooth Stereo Headset on BlueTomorrow.
Icy Box IB-MP303S-B Media Player on Bit-Tech.
Sony Cyber-Shot T300 digicam on HWZone.
Planar PD420 42in LCD monitor on TrustedReviews.
Sleek-Audio SA6 Earphones on TechPowerUp.

Portable:
Dell XPS M1730 laptop on DigitalTrends.
ASUS U6S Ultra Portable on TBreak.
Apple MacBook Air on HWZone.
Samsung BlackJack II PDA/Smartphone on DigitalTrends.
Zepo Znote 3415W laptop on TrustedReviews.
Spire Edge Laptop Sleeve on APHNetworks.
Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook E8410 laptop on BIOSMag.

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel's X48 Express chipset on TechReport.
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 and E8200 CPUs on Digit-Life.
Abit AX78 AM2+ board on TrustedReviews.
Palit N78S Motherboard on NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Chipset AM2+ board on Digit-Life.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 LGA775 CPU on NordicHW.
MSI X48 Platinum LGA775 board on XbitLabs.
ASRock 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ LGA775 board on LegitReviews.



Melbourne F1 (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 15-March-2008  03:07:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The qualifying has just started in the first Formula One round of the season, which of course is in Melbourne this weekend. If you can't get near a TV or the track, here's some photos from people in our Photography Gallery:

  
click for threads

You can also keep track of things in this thread in our Motoring Forum.



Saturday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-March-2008  17:01:26 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Call of Duty 4 developer, Infinity Ward, will be releasing the game's first downloadable map pack in the coming months. Now that the team has moved on from the single-player campaign (and has time to work up some new art assets), we can expect to see new Call of Duty 4 maps set in entirely new locations separate from the original game.

Gibson Guitar have claimed Activision's 'Guitar Hero' infringes a patent they hold. Gibson said the games, in which players press buttons on a guitar-shaped controller in time with notes on a TV screen, violates a 1999 patent for technology to simulate a musical performance.

The Game On exhibition is being held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (map) until the 13th of July. Game On tracks the development of videogames from the first computer game to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today's billion dollar industry. OCAU Forums thread.

Madshrimps have a guide on overclocking NVIDIA's GeForce 8400GS video card. In this guide we'll be showing you how to increase performance via voltmods, where to solder and what resistor value's you should look out for.

PlayIt3D recently interviewed Robert Krakoff, the co-founder and president of Razer. Here we are today with Robert Krakoff answering some questions on Razer and what Razer have planned in the future!

Ars Technica talk about a planned IPv4 outage during an Internet Engineering Task Force meeting held this week. Yesterday evening, shortly before 7 PM, the mixed IPv4/IPv6 network was turned off, forcing the IETF to proverbially eat its own dog food and talk to the world outside the meeting hotel through the remaining IPv6-only network.

If you're feeling creative this weekend, why not have a go at making your own hand-drawn hologram. I've stumbled across a technique for drawing holograms directly upon a plastic plate by hand. … This takes nothing more than a compass and some scraps of plexiglas.



Outage Today (12 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-March-2008  09:56:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Things didn't go entirely to plan with an update of the database server today, so I had to go visit the datacentre and sort things out. Anyway, it's all good now. In future to let people know what's going on I'll update this page:

http://ocau.blogspot.com/

So, bookmark that if you're likely to fret when you can't connect to OCAU and want to know what's going on. :)



Friday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-March-2008  07:19:20 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Cooling:
Auras CTC-868 and Scythe Orochi SCORC-1000 heatsinks on FrostyTech
CoolJag Falcon 92-Cu heatsink on Overclockers Club
Zalman Reserator XT hybrid watercooling system on Techgage

Video Cards:
Vvikoo Geforce 9600GT Turbo (512Mb DDR3) on CPU3D
PNY XLR8 GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB on Sharky Extreme
GIGABYTE GV-RX387512H HD3870 512MB on Gamepyre
Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB on HotHardware

Audio / Visual:
mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb on OverClock Intelligence Agency
ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 channel PCI-E sound card on Big Bruin
Logitech G51 5.1 surround sound speakers on hardCOREware
Chimei CMV 633A 16" widescreen LCD monitor on TrustedReviews

Cases:
Thermaltake M9 on ThinkComputers and OverClock Intelligence Agency
Lancool Medal Boned K7 on techPowerUp
Ultra MicroFly SX6 on Driver Heaven



Friday Morning (13 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-March-2008  14:36:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Tzorst noticed that NewScientist have a video channel on YouTube. Check out cool things like traffic shockwaves, cyborg insects (kinda creepy and morphing aircraft etc.

Speaking of aircraft, the USAF's F-117 Stealth Fighter will be retired next month. The Air Force decided to accelerate the retirement of the F-117s to free up money to modernize the rest of the fleet. The F-117 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, which also has stealth technology.

Sniper spotted this new fast SSD from OCZ. While first generation SSD drives had read speeds of 58 MB/s and supported write speeds of up to 35 MB/s, the second generation comes with a massive 120 MB/s read and an even more impressive 100MB/s write speed.

Meanwhile Guru3D show how you can make your own SSD, kinda. Why using CompactFlash you ask ? CompactFlash defines a physical interface which is smaller than, but electrically identical to the good old ATA interface. That is, it appears to the host device as if it were a hard disk of some defined size and has a tiny IDE controller on-board the CF device itself.

Subcommandante sent in this odd one about nanowires responding to music. Silicon nanowires grow more densely when blasted with Deep Purple than any other music tested, says an Australian researcher.

TechReport checked out AMD's CrossFire X. AMD's CrossFire X will let three or four Radeon HD 3800 GPUs team up in order to kick some green team backside. How well does it work? We've taken a quick look at AMD's first drivers for CrossFire X, we've talked with one of AMD's driver architects, and we have some interesting things to report.

PCPerspective spoke to John Carmack. In our article, John discusses his views on what Intel is trying to do with Larrabee as well as the future id Tech 6 engine (beyond the upcoming Rage title). We also discuss multi-GPU graphics and the AGEIA physics situation. As always, the amount of information that John brings to the table in a short time is impressive.

Graeme sent in a few snippets: Life without the Moon. iPhone potential as a gaming platform. Info on Bioshock 2 + more. Hands on review of Firefox 3 Beta 4.

He also sent in this addictive puzzle game involving a Christmas tree. Light up the Christmas tree by connecting all the wires and bulbs..



Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-March-2008  13:51:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Razer Piranha Gaming Communicator on HWLogic.
Logitech Z Cinema Speaker System on Techgage.
Zalman ZM-RS6F USB 5.1 Surround Headphones/Headset on Tweaknews.
Philips 37PFL5522D 37in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
WinFast Leadtek PxDTV2300H TV tuner on Bjorn3D.

Cooling:
XIGMATEK HDT-D1284 and Scythe ZIPANG CPU coolers on XbitLabs.
CoolJag Mini LED Flash Fans on OCClub.
CoolIT PURE Liquid CPU Cooler (video review) on 3DGameMan.
OCZ Vendetta Cooler & Freeze Thermal Paste on DriverHeaven.

Memory:
Kingston HyperX DDR3-1625 2GB Memory Kit on ThinkComputers.
Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC3-12800 Kit on ASELabs.
OCZ Platinum 2x2048MB PC2-8000 on OCOnline.

Storage:
Freecom ToughDrive Pro U & F 250GB portable drive on HWZone.
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini external drive on OCClub.
Thermaltake BlacX HDD Docking Station on HWSecrets.
Thermaltake Max 4 Active Cooling HDD Enclosure on HWSecrets.
QNAP TS-409 Pro 4-Drive SATA Gigabit NAS on BenchmarkReviews.



Thursday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-March-2008  07:11:16 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

TweakTown have an analysis of the recently released ATI Catalyst 8.3 drivers for Radeon graphics cards. This is a pretty good driver as far as performance increases go for Vista users. … The Windows XP driver on the other hand seems to be horrendous for X2 users with some severe power drops.

An editorial just published by bit-tech.net talks about why sequels are a good thing. We all hate sequels right? Sequels suck. Why can't those idiots who make games come up with new ideas? All we get from companies like EA are the same game again and again. That's a bad thing right? Or is it?

IGN interviewed Al Alcorn (the creator of Pong) on the birth of Atari, holographic gaming and being paid to not show up to work. Al Alcorn is one of the most important figures from the earliest days of the videogame industry. Not only was he there at the birth of Atari, alongside Nolan Bushnell, but he was the engineer who built Pong – the second coin-operated videogame machine and the game that kicked off an industry.

Register Hardware reminds us that the MP3 player is ten years old this month. The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems and launched in March 1998. The F10 contained 32MB of Flash storage, enough for a handful of songs encoded at 128Kb/s.

Finally, Tech ARP explain how to get the NVIDIA ForceWare 174 drivers to work with GeForce 8 cards. If you try to install ForceWare 174 using a GeForce 8 series card, it won't allow you to do so, stating that no compatible graphics card were found. However, it is very simple to hack the driver to allow its installation with a GeForce 8 or older graphics card.



Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-March-2008  04:39:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
Gigabyte MA-78GM-S2H AM2+ board on LegitReviews.
ASUS M3N78-EMH HDMI AM2+ board sneak peek on HotHardware.
Intel Skulltrail dual LGA775 platform on MadShrimps.
Asus Strike II Formula nForce 780i SLI LGA775 board on HotHardware.

Power Supply:
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 860W on PCPerspective.
Jeantech Absolute 1000W on XSReviews.

Video Cards:
BFG 8800 GTS OC 512MB on Modders-Inc.
XFX 8400GS 256MB on GamePyre.
VVIKOO GeForce 8800 GT Max 1024MB on TechPowerUp.
MSI R3650-T2D512-OC (Radeon HD 3650 512MB) on HWZone.
MSI GeForce N9600GT OC on Tweaktown.
Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB on BenchmarkReviews.
BFGTech GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB on Bit-Tech.
AMD HD3870 X2 Crossfire on TBreak.
Foxconn GeForce 8800GT OC on Tweaktown.
Sapphire HD 3870 Toxic on TechPowerUp.



Wednesday Night (8 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-March-2008  09:26:39 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Tech ARP have just updated their Hard Drive Performance Comparison Guide, where they test and compare the performance of all the hard drives they can get their hands on. Of course, the hard drive is more than just a repository for our data or a place to store the games we play. It affects the performance of our PCs, especially how long it takes to launch applications or games, or open up files. Its performance is also critical if you are low on RAM because your PC will use more virtual memory. This is where the Hard Drive Performance Comparison Guide comes in.

TechwareLabs recently took an unbiased look at Windows Vista and explain what they felt were the advantages and disadvantages of this still relatively new operating system. Like all operating systems there are advantages and disadvantages to using the operating system from Microsoft. Most of the people I talked to so far take up "I hate it or love it" attitude. People that generally love the system tend to point out its convenient features such as the new Graphical User Interface (GUI), added security, DirectX 10, and other extra features that are packed into the 6 billion dollar giant. The people that disagree tend to complain about Vista's slow transfer speeds, compatibility issues, and other miscellaneous problems that become annoying and unbearable to them over time. Users from the Overclockers Australia Forums describe what they like and dislike about Windows Vista in the for and against threads.

Coincidentally, William George from Puget Custom Computers shares his experience with Vista and why it isn't as bad as you've heard, responding to some of the charges that have been leveled against Vista. There are lists of why folks hate Vista, lists of things Microsoft supposedly stole from the Mac OS, and reports of people switching back to XP in disgust. Amidst all of this negativity, I wanted to share my experience with Vista - which has been remarkably good!

FireTech sent word that the Knowledge Base Article regarding the data corruption issue with Microsoft's Windows Home Server has been updated, with a Q&A page available here. The Windows Home Server team's current plan is to "release beta test versions of a fix over the next few months, with a final version currently estimated for June 2008, although that date could change as testing progresses."

DiGiTaL_MoNkEY spotted an article on the TorrentFreak site describing how the Dutch university INHOLLAND uses BitTorrent as a network management tool to distribute software to 6500 desktop computers in 16 different locations throughout the Netherlands. Before they decided to use BitTorrent, more than 20 servers were needed to distribute 25.6 TBs of data to the desktops, and even then it could take up to 4 days to update them all. Now, with BitTorrent, this process has speeded up significantly, and all computers are updated with the latest software in less than 4 hours. The data doesn't have to be distributed from one location, since all the workstations connected to the network actively help in the distribution.

An article on the CNN.com site details an interview they did with a Chinese hacking group who said that "no Web site is one hundred percent safe," and that "there are Web sites with high-level security, but there is always a weakness." They operate from a bare apartment on a Chinese island. They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world's most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon. A video of this interview is available here.

CircleID mentions that the March 2008 Domain Name Industry Brief released by VeriSign reports that "the Domain Name Industry closed 2007 with more than 153 million domain name registrations worldwide across all of the Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs), an increase of nearly 33 million domain name registrations since the close of 2006." In the last quarter of 2007, the base of domain name registrations grew 27 percent over the fourth quarter of 2006 and five percent over the third quarter of 2007… The total base of Country Code Top Level Domain Names (ccTLDs) was 58 million, a 33 percent increase year over year and a six percent increase quarter over quarter. Across all of the gTLDs and ccTLDs, .com has the highest base followed by .de (Germany), .net and .cn (China). The fifth spot is shared by .uk (United Kingdom) and .org. with approximately the same size base of domain name registrations. A PDF copy of the Domain Name Industry Brief for March 2008 can be downloaded here (239 KB).

To round up this post, trog has said that two new StarCraft II trailers − Zerg Revealed (56.8 MB) / Zerg Cinematic Teaser (6.87 MB) − are now available on the AusGamers site. The third and expected playable race in StarCraft 2, the Zerg were revealed by Blizzard at a recent Korean event. Two of these trailers have now been released in a higher quality and you can check them out locally on AusGamers.



Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-March-2008  14:34:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
iPod Shuffle 1GB mp3 player on HWSecrets.
Gateway XHD3000 30-inch Wide-Screen on Techgage.

Motherboard & CPU:
AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition Quad Core AM2+ CPU on OC3D.
Tyan Tempest i5400XT dual LGA771 board on Phoronix.
AMD 970FX 4-Way Motherboard Roundup on HWZone.

Cases:
Lian Li PC-A77 Full Tower Case on ThinkComputers.
Sigma Luna Type W on Virtual-Hideout.
Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case on OZHardware.

Cooling:
BLAST FLOW Siberian Rev2 Modular VGA WaterBlock on OC3D.
5 Thermal Compounds on BurnOutPC.
Akasa AK 965 Cooler on DriverHeaven.
Cooler Master CM Sphere CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.

Video Cards:
Foxconn 9600GT 512 MB on OCClub.
Four Overclocked RADEON HD 3650/3850/3870 Graphics Cards on Digit-Life.
Gigabyte 8800GT TurboForce on TBreak.
Asus 8800GS TOP on RBMods.
AMD HD3870 512MB roundup, Club3D and HIS compared on MadShrimps.
GIGABYTE GV-RX387512H HD3870 512MB Crossfire on Motherboards.org.
Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 X2 on Tweaktown.
Vvikoo 9600GT 512MB on XSReviews.
ATI HD3850 & HD3870: Improved Acoustics & Power Efficiency on SilentPCReview.

Software:
The Club PC game on Bit-Tech.
Hard to be a God PC game on Bit-Tech.

Storage:
OCZ Rally2 Turbo Thumb Drive on OCrCafe.
Honeywell SecuraDrive 80GB USB 1.8-Inch Pocket Drive on BenchMarkReviews.
OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC 4GB on LegionHW.

Misc:
Toshiba Satellite X205-SLI4 gaming notebook on HotHardware.
BlueLounge CableYoYo POP cable organiser on OCOnline.
Canon PowerShot A590 IS digicam on DigitalTrends.
Nexus Hush Kit for silencing on TechWareLabs.



OCAU Polo Shirts - Nearly Sold Out! (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-March-2008  04:41:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Nearly 100 orders have flown out the door, but we still have some stock of these sizes (measure one of your current shirts between the armpits to match sizing):

L - 58cm
XL - 62cm

$25 each inc shipping Australia-wide. Order 2 and get a free OCAU stubby holder! Or, $30 for 1 polo + 1 stubby. Or $35 for 6 stubbies (no polo) including shipping.

More info in this thread.



Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch (21 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-March-2008  04:31:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

In about 2 hours, the Space Shuttle Endeavour will launch and head on up to the International Space Station. This will be a night launch so should be pretty spectacular. There's a launch blog and countdown schedule on NASA's website. Of course, you can watch the launch on NASA TV, too.


Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-March-2008  04:09:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Memory & Storage:
Patriot Memory PC3-15000 2GB Dual Channel Kit on ViperLair.
Corsair 32GB Flash Voyager (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Honeywell 80GB SecuraDrive on ASELabs.
ASUS HD DVD-ROM HR-0205T HD DVD drive on CDFreaks.
Optiarc AD-7200A DVD Burner 20x DVD burner on CDFreaks.
A-Data Vitesta DDR3-1600X CL7 PC3-12800 on BenchMarkReviews.
Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 Memory Kit on CircuitRemix.
OCZ PC2-9200 Reaper HPC on DVHardware.

Audio / Visual:
BenQ G2400W 24in LCD Monitor on TrustedReviews.
Panasonic TH-37PX80B 37in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews.
Sony ICD-UX80 voice recorder on TechBitch.
Helios H4000 DVD player on Techbitch.
Audiotrak Maya EX5 CE External 5.1 USB Surround Audio Solution on Digit-Life.
Toshiba D-R17DT DVD Recorder on TrustedReviews.
ASUS VW222 22-inch Wide-Screen on TechGage.

Power Supply:
Rosewill Xtreme RX950-S-B on Bjorn3D.
OCZ Silencer 610 EPS 12V 610W on 3DXtreme.
FSP FX700 FX-Epsilon on HWLogic.

Input Etc:
Razer Destructor gaming mouse pad on HWZone.
Logitech Harmony ONE remote on OCClub.



Monday Evening (12 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-March-2008  09:33:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few stories from Mindy: US Air Force to buy 300 PS3s for Cell-based Testing. Telstra loses court challenge to ACCC. "Brain Reading" Device Can Predict What People See. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe under SAS protection.

Marc spotted a shoe with a Nintendo in it. Just the thing for Maxwell Smart to get his Super Mario Brothers fix.

From Primax: Hot chicks cosplaying as Link from the Legend of Zelda. Arguably this is greater geek eyecandy than booth babes. :P

Aftahours spotted an older but interesting article about sleeve vs ball-bearing fans. It's accepted that ball bearings produce more noise then sleeve bearings - 1 to 3 dBA according to some sources - but the differences are rarely noticeable during their typical roles in cooling fans.

BF sends word of a new MythTV version release. It's been quite a while, so there's lots of new stuff. Notably: autodiscovery (less manual configuration of new frontends), storage groups (no need for LVM/etc), support for multiple recordings on one DVB/ATSC multiplex, a couple new plugins, some new deinterlacing/video display options, and many, many other things. There's a huge page about MythTV in the Wiki, too.

TrustedReviews have a guide to console classics. In the first part of a multi-part series, Stuart takes us on a trip down memory lane to look at the 8-bit consoles that started it all. So, if you have fond memories of the NES, Master System, and PC Engine then check this out.

Interesting Forum Threads:
The Truth About Processor "Degradation" ie. Overclocking in Overclocking & Hardware.
"Phun" free physics based sandbox game... build stuff. nice! in Games.
What's the next big game to come out? in Games.
64-bit: ready for prime time? in Other Operating Systems.
Alt energy / is there an efficient way to 700W 24/7 in Electronics.
The F1 Australian GP Thread in Motoring.
Greenpeace take on "gas guzzling" gamers in Current Events.
Tesla free energy generator in The Pub.



CeBIT Roundup (2 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-March-2008  08:46:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's the final round of stories from CeBIT in Hannover:

Bit-Tech have a general index of all their CeBIT coverage, while Guru3D split theirs into part 1, part 2 and part 3.

OCC have general and final coverage. CPU3D have part 1 and part 2 while DriverHeaven have day 2 and day 3.

HWZone meanwhile cover the Singapore IT Show 2008 in part 1 and part 2, and TechWareLabs went to MegaCon 2008 which is for sci-fi, anime, horror and hero genres. Each year in Orlando Florida thousands of eager people gather to meet the celebrities behind the mask and dress up as their favorite character. We cover MegaCon 2008 and have a 13 page gallery filled with all the ensuing mayhem. Stay tuned for our MegaCon 2008 Babes gallery.



Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-March-2008  04:32:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads featuring games, memory, web hosting, TV tuners, energy drinks, mp3 players, RC helicopters, headphones and various components etc. Check 'em out!


Forum Projects #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 9-March-2008  10:57:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few more interesting things!


bleckers retrofitted a
commercial projector

mnpctech has an
amazing case mod

n00by reviewed the
Logitech Cordless Wave



caspian reviewed the
D-Link DNS-323 NAS

slamaa finished his
BioShock case mod

eva2000 played with
a Xeon E3110 Wolfdale



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 9-March-2008  10:40:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a few interesting things from the forums:


windwithme buys cheap bits
and overclocks them, for value

he also reviewed the
ASUS P5K Pro OC

and on the AMD side
the MSI K9A2 Platinum



meanwhile Jolly-Swagman made
a custom side fan dust grill

zfind reviewed the
Lenovo 3000 N200

and stoj19 re-worked
Thermaltake's Soprano case



Sunday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 9-March-2008  05:54:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Power Supply:
StarTech.com WattSmart 650W on HWSecrets.
Huntkey Green Star 450W on HWSecrets.

Cases:
Mountain Mods H2gO Aluminum Cube on OCIA.
Cooler Master Cosmos S (video review) 3DGameMan.
Antec Mini P180 Micro-ATX on SilentPCReview.
Cooler Master Cosmos S Full-Tower on PCPerspective.

Audio Visual:
Maximo iMetal iP-HS1 & iP-HS2 Headsets for iPhone on LegitReviews.
GMC Noblesse AVC S-7 Home Theatre PC/ Media Center PC on TechWareLabs.

Video Cards:
HIS Radeon HD 3850 IceQ 3 TurboX 512MB on Bit-Tech.
Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT on XbitLabs.

Cooling:
SilverStone Tundra TD01 Liquid-Cooling vs. Nitrogon NT06-Lite Air-Cooler on XbitLabs.
Auras TwinW SMF-660 CPU cooler on Tweaktown.
GlacialTech Igloo 5750 PWM CPU Cooler on RBMods.

Misc:
Kingston DataTraveler 400 USB Flash Drive on LegitReviews.
Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse on OCClub.
AMD 780G Integrated Chipset on SilentPCReview.



Saturday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-March-2008  02:43:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Apparently the universe is 13.73 billion years old, give or take a bit. NASA’s WMAP is the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (which is a mouthful, and why we just call it WMAP). It was designed to map the Universe with exquisite precision, detecting microwaves coming from the most distant source there is: the cooling fireball of the Big Bang itself.

DailyTech report on the Acid3 Test for browsers. Currently, no known browser is able to correctly render the Acid3 test, which displays an animated, incrementing score counter and a series of colored boxes with some description text.

Publishing giant Ziff Davis has filed for bankruptcy protection, thanks Sniper. The company cited a decrease in revenue after falling print subscriptions and advertising as the main reason for the filing, according to an Associated Press report. Ziff Davis has holdings including PC Magazine and Electronic Gaming Monthly, and plans to undertake a major restructuring to reduce its debt.

Google has been banned from taking images of military bases in the USA. The ban comes after detailed footage from inside and outside of the U.S. military base at Fort Sam Houston in Texas turned on up Google Earth’s Street View service.

Phoronix looked at NVIDIA Quadro performance under Windows, Linux and Solaris. In this article today, we are doing just that as we test the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB with each of these operating systems and their respective binary display drivers.

There's an interesting analysis here about Flash and Disk storage. Looking at these figures you can see its possible to buy 23 times the storage per dollar with 3.5 inch disks compared with flash.

Bigiain notes that the Apple iPhone SDK has been released, a 2.1GB download. Washingtonpost have an article covering it. Ultimately, the iPhone may very well shape up to be a major platform in its own right if programmers take to the SDK en masse. And if the App Store fills up quickly with cool tools and games, yesterday's announcement may prove to be a major one, even for those who have no interest in creating their own software.

An attack on the Pentagon last June apparently stole an "amazing amount" of data, thanks Rezin. The messages themselves were spoofed and appeared to be legitimate missives from other employees. Once the recipient opened an infected email, the worm sent that person's password and other login credentials back to home base.

Here's an amusing story about a Phantom of the Internet who mysteriously plagiarises other websites, thanks Wessam. Someone's been hacking into his websites. He says he was alerted to the problem by his web techs on February the 14th this year.

The XBOX 360 HD DVD Emulator is now available as a free download on Xbox Live. This is a development and test tool. If you're looking to make your own HD DVDs or play around with some HDi - have at it. If you think this will allow you to playback ripped discs you have stored on a hard drive, it will not. The emulator is a great tool for testing HD DVD projects.



Saturday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 7-March-2008  14:47:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Radeon HD 3870 X2 in Crossfire X on Tweaktown.
Powercolor HD 3650 Xtreme 512 MB on TechPowerUp.
ECS GeForce 9600GT Accelero 512MB on Tweaktown.
Sapphire HD 3850 Ultimate Edition on OCClub.
ASUS EN8800GS TOP 384MB (GeForce 8800 GS) on HWZone.
XFX 8400GS 256MB on GamePyre.

Input Etc:
Razer Krait Mouse on Digit-Life.
Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard on OCIA.

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775 CPU on TrustedReviews.
E8500 Review and Overclocking Analysis on NeoSeeker.
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 LGA775 board on Pro-Clockers.
ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP LGA775 board on TechSpot.
AMD 780 Integrated Graphics Chipset on TrustedReviews.

Memory & Storage:
Patriot Viper PC2-6400XLK 2GB Memory Kit on Virtual-Hideout.
Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB Hard Drive on HotHardware.
ATP Electronics ProMax II CompactFlash Card and Reader on BigBruin.
Patriot Memory PC2-9200 2GB EP DDR2 Kit on Tweaktown.
Honeywell SecuraDrive 1.8-inch 80GB USB Hard Drive on ThinkComputers.
QNAP TS-409 Pro Turbo NAS network storage on NinjaLane.

Audio / Visual:
Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Gaming Headset on ThinkComputers.
Hyundai W241D 24" widescreen monitor on Bit-Tech.
Philips PET1030 Portable DVD Player on TrustedReviews.

Cooling:
ChipChilla Chipset Cooler on Modders-Inc.
OCZ Cry-Z Phase Change Cooler on Tweaktown.
Coolink Chip Chilla Chipset Heatsink on TechWareLabs.

Power Supply:
Seventeam ST-420BKV 420W on HWSecrets.
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 750W on OCIA.
E-Power EP-2KW 2000W (!) on OCClub.

Portable and Mini:
Ruvo Avox A65U1 UMPC mini portable PC on DigitalReviews, thanks Anton.
Dell XPS M1330 Laptop on TechBitch.



Interesting Forum Threads (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-March-2008  11:55:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Install Begins! in Overclocking & Hardware.
5.7GHz benchmarks in Intel Hardware.
Real Temp Released - alternative to CoreTemp for Intel Core processors in Intel Hardware.
AMD moves on 45nm in AMD Hardware.
My HD3870 Pics in Video Cards & Monitors.
What programming language are you the most proficient at? in Graphics & Programming.
Recording relationships in Graphics & Programming.
IE8 Beta is out in General Software.
Mits' second instance experiment in Team OCAU.
IRL and Champ Cars (Finally) Merge in Motoring.
Boiling antifreeze in reservoir - seeking advice in Motoring.
Lunar Photography in Photography.
Is re-using water filters bad or good? in Sport, Fitness & Health.
Turning Steaks... Once... Twice.... 35 times? in Geek Food.
Motion Mountain - Free physics textbook in Science.
Technic Lego in Other Toys.
Left money in an ATM before? in Career, Education & Finance.
Bugatti Veyron, Lambo Gallardo Spyder & Superleggera and Aston DBS in Photography.
In the Shadow of the Moon in Entertainment.
Render your mouse movements to desktop wallpaper! in The Pub.



Thursday Afternoon (8 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-March-2008  04:02:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I haven't quite got my head around what this means yet, but there's a new .au domain transfers policy from auDA. Some more info here. Basically it's allowing a secondary market in our domains, from the sounds of things.

Trent Reznor is giving away music, and still making lots of money. For all the talk of Reznor "pulling a Radiohead," though, the actual strategy was different. There is no "choose your price" component, and there is no free download of the complete project from the NiN site. Instead, Reznor's strategy is more akin to the "free sample" model. Discussion here.

CeBIT is underway in Hannover. Anandtech have day 1 and day 2 coverage, thanks Anlashok. More on Engadget, DriverHeaven, OCClub and CPU3D.

ASELabs have a guide to a DOS bootable USB drive. The one area that USB flash drives are lacking is the ability to boot. Even though many computer motherboards support USB booting, it is difficult to get the right combination. Using this guide, you will be able to make a bootable USB "hard drive.

TechSpot have a video about upgrading an UPS. All in all, I spent about $300, including the tools, to make a UPS with an ~80AH capacity.

Bit-Tech reckon the manufacturers are misinterpreting the enthusiast. It's all about buying it for the look, for the oodles of features you'll never use and general e-peen extension. Back in the day, the real enthusiasts were people that bought relatively inexpensive products and made them into expensive ones. It was about extracting the maximum value and that doesn't correlate to these companies’ bottom lines.

IGN talk to an Australian working on WoW. But what's it like working at Blizzard? What's it like inside those walls? And what is the team cooking up for the new Sunwell Isle patch? We caught up with Julian Morris, an Aussie ex-pat working as an exterior level designer on World of Warcraft to find out.

OCZ have a press release out about their neural activator entering mass production. The NIA radically changes the ways that gamers can interact and control elements within games, and can be configured in a matter of minutes for any game that is already published or will be released.

Rezin spotted an interesting article about Windows on a (USB) stick. Riffing off SanDisk's concept of "bring it all with you," reports now say that Microsoft is extending SanDisk's approach to the rest of Windows with a new "StartKey" product. By the end of the year, StartKey portable flash drives could store a user's Windows profile, applications, and settings, or even an entire bootable installation.

TheTechLounge are the latest to check out the 8.3 Catalysts from ATI/AMD. As of Catalyst 8.3, a.k.a. "The New Beginning" a.k.a. "The Big One" a.k.a. "The Humptyback Zinglebert," it's clear that CrossFireX has picked up where SLI left off. Right now, it's a better arrangement, with a lot of advantages not limited to performance. It's just that now there's even more reason for NVIDIA to improve SLI, and when they do, they're likely to start with a hardware advantage.



Thursday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-March-2008  01:07:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Thermaltake V1 CPU Heatsink on TechPowerUp.
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev 2 VGA Cooler on HWLogic.

Cases:
Antec Nine Hundred on ASELabs.
Cooler Master Cosmos S on InsideHW.

Portable & Mini:
Alienware Area-51 m9750 laptop on DriverHeaven.
Shuttle XPC Prima SX38P2 Pro (Intel X38) mini-PC on HWZone.

Video Cards:
HIS HD 3870 X2 vs. BFG 8800 GTX (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Inno3D 8800GT Accelero X1 - 512Mb DDR3 on CPU3D.
Asus EAH3870X2 on RBMods.
NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB on Phoronix.

Storage & Memory:
SimpleTech 160GB SimpleDrive Portable 2.5 Inch Hard Drive on TechWareLabs.
Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800 4Gb Kit on CPU3D.
Landisk NS347 Hard Drive Enclosure network storage on ReviewSpring.
Patriot Memory PC2-6400 4GB LL DDR2 Kit on Tweaktown.

Misc:
Yoggie Firestick Pico USB security widget on TechBitch.
AMD 780G Chipset / AMD Athlon X2 4850e Platform on Motherboards.org.
OnAir USB HDTV-GT Receiver & DVR for PC on Virtual-Hideout.
Qingbar GP300 Wireless Video Glasses on Digitalreviews.
Conflict: Denied Ops PC game on Bit-Tech.
Tagan BZ 1100W PSU (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard on Tweaktown.



Thursday Morning (10 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-March-2008  17:48:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I recently made the move to an HDTV, PS3, Blu-Ray etc.. earlier today I watched the Blu-Ray version of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and man, for a film that's 40 years old this year, it still looks fantastic.

Whirlpool have published the results of their Australian Broadband Survey 2007. The Australian Broadband Survey for 2007 was conducted over a four week period — from 31 December 2007 to 1 February 2008, during which the survey was successfully completed and verified a total of 17,881 times.

Intel recently announced a new "Atom" brand for low-power processors. Discussion here in our Intel Hardware forum. HotHardware has some info too, as do HWZone and TechARP.

BFM spotted 10 cool science videos. Fiery explosions, beautiful reactions, and hilarious music videos are great reasons to be excited about chemistry. Here are some of our favorites.

HWLogic have a thermal compound roundup posted. Today, we'll cover every thermal compound we can find (more than 20), and explain things like thermal resistance, conductivity, and which thermal compound is the best choice for you. Meanwhile, BenchmarkReviews go 13 further with a 33-way thermal interface material comparison.

Quite a few people sent in this story about Australia's geekiest geek. And no, it's not me. :) A swipe of his arm under a small scanner identifies Oxer with the house computer, which then unlocks the door. But that's just the tip of the iceberg for Australia's biggest nerd, whose entire house is connected to a central processor and can be controlled remotely via a computer or mobile phone.

Rezin spotted this way of viewing YouTube videos in higher res than default. What videos will actually look better in the higher res format is completely dependent on the material that was uploaded to YouTube, obeying the rules of garbage in garbage out.

The_Scotsman sent word that the Australian Navy's Seasprite project has been officially canned, with $1.1B having been spent already. More here and here. But developing the advanced combat system proved difficult, as did fitting the flight control system, and the project was plagued by delays.

TrustedReviews looked at the upcoming mobile Penryn. With Intel introducing 45nm processors to notebooks in the form of Penryn, we take a look at how this new range compares to the 65nm Merom CPUs they're replacing.

Metku built a 100% passively cooled system. I have wanted to build a fully passively cooled computer case since I had my first Athlon Thunderbird 800 MHz. That time the fan noise was amazingly high, and manufacturers didn´t much care about the noise levels, and didn't offer products for building a quiet PC. Nowadays a quiet PC is not much of a challenge to build, but totally silent?

Seems to be a rush of info about AMD's new 780G chipset with onboard graphics and their low-power 4850e CPU, coverage on TechWareLabs, PCPerspective, HotHardware, Bit-Tech and Tech-Report.



Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-March-2008  17:00:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Pioneer KURO PDP-LX508D 50in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews.
Philips GoGear SA4325 Flash Audio Player on HWZone.
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio (PCI Express) sound card on Guru3D.

Cooling:
NZXT Cryo LX USB 'Trio Fan' Laptop Cooler on EverythingUSB.
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX coolers from Arctic Cooling and ZEROtherm on XbitLabs.
Cooler Master Hyper TX2 CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.

Motherboard & CPU:
XFX nForce 630i / GeForce 7150 LGA775 board on Motherboards.org.
AMD 780G Chipset & AMD Athlon X2 4850e Dual-core CPU on I4U.
Asus P5E3 WS Professional LGA775 board on Mikhailtech.
Asus Striker II Formula LGA775 board on OCClub.

Video Cards:
GeForce 8800 GS vs. Radeon HD 3850 on LegionHW.
PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT on I4U.
MSI RX3870X2-OC on TBreak.
XFX 9600GT 512MB on Bjorn3D.
Foxconn 9600GT-512NOC Geforce 9600GT on PCStats.
Albatron 8800GTS-512X on XbitLabs.

Misc:
Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico Security Mini-Computer on ThinkComputers.
Shuttle XPC P2 3500G mini-PC on TechBitch.



Dungeons & Dragons icon Gary Gygax dies (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-March-2008  03:01:52 (GMT +10) - by Ma Baker

Dungeons & Dragons icon Gary Gygax died aged 69. More information here

Thanks to Master PooBaa for the link.

There's a thread in Current Events



Tuesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 4-March-2008  10:35:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT/GTS Roundup on Digit-Life.
GIGABYTE GeForce 8800GT TurboForce on Tweaktown.
Gigabyte GV-NX88T512HP GeForce 8800 GT on HotHardware.
VVIKOO GeForce 9600 GT Turbo on TechPowerUp.
Palit GeForce 8800GT Super+ 1GB on PCStats.
ATI HD 3470 on OCClub.

Power Supply:
PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 860W on CPU3D.
GIGABYTE ODIN Pro GE-MK20A-D1 1200W on Tweaktown.
Enermax Modu82+ 625W on SilentPCReview.

Memory & Storage:
Aeneon Xtune DDR3-1333 2GB Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
Lacie d2 Quadra 500GB external drive on DigitalTrends.
OCZ Rally2 Turbo 8GB Flash Drive on OCIA.

Input Etc:
Microsoft Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 on HWZone.
Logitech MX5500 Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse Set on APHNetworks.
Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard on Tweaknews.



Tuesday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 4-March-2008  05:05:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Well, I've run out of postpacks for the moment, so it's time for some news catchup!

Bit-Tech have an editorial about the Sea of Grey, their name for the performance graphics mainstream market. Tim Smalley mulls over the ups and downs of having lots products to choose from. They also have a Mod of the Month contest for February.

TechPowerUp have a GeForce 8800 voltmodding article posted. Our latest voltmod article contains detailed instructions how to modify the GeForce 8800 GS/GT/GTS for higher voltages to increase the overclocking potential. Included modifications are GPU Voltage, Memory Voltage, Reverse Memory Voltage and Overcurrent Protection.

LegitReviews checked out 3-way NVIDIA SLI with 8800 GTX cards, and to keep things even, also took a look at ATI CrossFireX Triple benchmarking. We slapped together a Radeon HD 3870 X2 with a Radeon HD 3870, which in turn creates a Triple CrossFireX platform with just two x16 PCI Express slots. Read on to see what CrossFireX is all about!

CPU3D are installing a custom phase-change cooler in their system. Our resident overclocker takes a look at how to install a Phase Change Cooler. Is it easy, cost effective and what are the benefits? Lots of similar shenanigans in our Extreme Cooling forum.

Rezin sends word of an OSX security issue. Apple has confirmed a security glitch that, in many situations, will let someone with physical access to a Macintosh computer gain access to the password of the active user account. Hmm, not securing physical access would present a problem for many systems.

Microsoft will be cutting the price of some boxed Vista versions, thanks HCT. Only copies of the year-old operating system that are sold in boxes directly to consumers are affected by the price cuts - not the versions pre-loaded on personal computers. The cuts will range from 20 percent to 48 percent.

Meanwhile IntelInside spotted an article about emails from MS's top brass, complaining about Vista. One executive, Mike Nash, complained he was "burned" so badly by compatibility issues he was left with "a $2100 email machine".

HWZone wonder what $1600 (presumably USD) gets you in a battle between branded PCs and DIY PCs. Now that the festive season is over, the chances are you probably have some spare cash on hand, so why not take the opportunity to get your hands on a new budget rig? With that thought in mind, we decided to see what we could get in terms of performance and value with a set budget.

Another one from Rezin, this time looking at web hosting now vs 10 years ago. We looked at three things. The price of a regular, consumer-oriented shared web hosting account, and how much storage space and data transfer (traffic) was included in that account. And boy have things changed. In a little over a year, OCAU will be 10 years old! And boy have things changed. :)

Last but not least, here's a video about some pretty cool sounding technology. Science educator Roy Gould and Microsoft's Curtis Wong give an astonishing sneak preview of Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope -- a technology that combines feeds from satellites and telescopes all over the world and the heavens, and weaves them together holistically to build a comprehensive view of our universe.



Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 4-March-2008  03:22:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Apevia X-Supra 'G' Type on OCrCafe.
Spire Pininfarina on RBMods.
Cooler Master Cosmos S on MadShrimps.

Prebuilt & Portable:
Alienware High Definition Media Server prebuilt machine on LegitReviews.
ASUS U6S 12.1" Ultra-mobile Notebook on PCPerspective.
ASUS U2E 11" Ultra-mobile Notebook on PCPerspective.
Apple MacBook Air (video review) on DigitalTrends.
Uberclok Ion prebuilt gaming PC on Bjorn3D.

Motherboard & CPU:
Asrock 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ LGA775 board on Pro-Clockers.
AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition AM2+ CPU on TrustedReviews.
MSI P35 Platinum Combo DDR2/DDR3 LGA775 board on XbitLabs.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775 CPU on OCClub.
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 DES LGA775 board on Phoronix.
VIA EPIA-SN1800 mini-mobo and CPU on ASELabs.

Audio / Visual:
AblePlanet Clear Harmony Headphones on Techgage.
Creative Aurvana X-Fi Noise Canceling Headphones on HWZone.
Samsung LE-37R87BD 37in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Princeton VL2018W 20.1-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor on ThinkComputers.
Altec Lansing inMotion iM414 Zune Docking Station on HiTechReviews.

Cooling:
Kingwin RVT-9225, RVT-12025, and RVT-12025D CPU Coolers on TechWareLabs.
Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Compound on Virtual-Hideout.
Ultra Aluminum Hard Drive Cooler on OCOnline.
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Cooler on MadShrimps.
Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler on BigBruin.

Misc:
Imperium Romanum PC game on Bit-Tech.
Belkin N1 Vision Wireless Router on I4U.
Yoggie Security Systems Gatekeeper Pico USB security widget on OCIA.



OCAU Polo Shirts Clearance Still On (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-March-2008  06:44:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Over the weekend and today I've packed a total of 40 polo shirt orders! Many sizes are now sold out, but we still have stock of these sizes (measure one of your current shirts between the armpits to match sizing):

L - 58cm
XL - 62cm
2XL - 65cm

$25 each inc shipping Australia-wide. Order 2 and get a free OCAU stubby holder! Once they're gone, they're gone! More info in this thread.



Folding@Home (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-March-2008  03:03:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's been a while since I last mentioned Folding@Home. We're still in second place in the world, behind the [H]orde, where we've been for quite a while now. Traditionally as the heat of summer fades away our production ramps up again, so if you'd like be part of that push, check out the Team OCAU Forum and the Folding Page. There's a guide to getting started here. Have fun, compete with your friends and help find cures for diseases - remember, OCAU is Team 24!


Monday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 2-March-2008  23:39:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
SilverStone SG03 SFF on TheTechLounge.
Antec Sonata III 500 on BlueCouch.
Cooler Master Cosmos S on Phoronix.
Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. G Type on TechPowerUp.
Coolermaster Cosmos S on DriverHeaven.
Apevia X-Supra G Type on OCClub.
Bgears b-Envy mATX on HWLogic.

Video Cards:
Palit GeForce 9600GT Sonic on Tweaktown.
Leadtek WinFast PX9600 GT Extreme on Bjorn3D.
Biostar V903GT52-NV1AN 512MB Geforce 9600GT on PCStats.

Input Etc:
Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 on I4U.
ENERMAX Caesar Keyboard on Motherboards.org.
Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse on Motherboards.org.
ENERMAX Caesar Aluminium Keyboard on GamePyre.
Aten CS62DU KVM switch on PCReview.
Ideazon Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard on Bit-Tech.



Monday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 2-March-2008  14:14:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Duncan sent in this petition about internet censorship in Australia. So, if you like signing online petitions and you're opposed to the Rudd Government's plans to try and force internet filtering on us, sign away.

MSI have an interesting new northbridge cooler, using a Stirling engine and therefore needing no electricity, despite having a spinning fan. As hot air expands in the system, it applies pressure to the central piston in the heatsink pushing it up. The piston's movement upwards rotates gears which in turn spin the fan. Thermal energy generated by the chipset is converted into kinetic energy. Discussion here. Scottath noticed more info here and here.

Craig notes that Google is opposed to OOXML. "After further technical analysis of the specification along with all the additional data available on OOXML, Google believes OOXML would be an insufficient and unnecessary standard, designed purely around the needs of Microsoft Office," Google says.

TechReport have their Feb 2008 System Guide posted. You can check out (and even update) an OCAU member maintained one here and here in our Wiki.

Speaking of which, the free browser game Ikariam has attracted a huge following on OCAU in only a few days. Check out the original thread here in our Games forum, and there's more info here in the Wiki.

Bit-Tech have a mainstream graphics comparison. We take six of today's performance mainstream graphics cards and put them through a gauntlet of tests to work out where the best value for money lies. We come out with a number of interesting findings, but will they answer all of our questions, or create more? Read on to find out.

Meanwhile HWZone have a GeForce 9600 GT Showdown posted. The mid-range segment got a boost recently with the release of NVIDIA's GeForce 9600 GT, shaking up the competition and leading to price cuts from ATI. It also means a flood of new cards from the many NVIDIA board partners. To help you navigate these newcomers, here's our GeForce 9600 GT shootout.

Still talking video cards, XbitLabs checked out the 256MB GeForce 8800GT to see how it compares with the 512MB models. Today we are going to check out the youngest member of the family equipped with only 256MB and will try to find out how it affects the gaming performance in contemporary titles.

They follow up with a 160GB external 2.5" HDD's roundup. We would like to introduce to you 9 external storage solutions with 2.5”hard disk drives of 160GB inside. We will talk about products from Fujitsu, Maxtor, Seagate, TEAC, Transcend, Toshiba and ZIV.

IGN say that R-rated video games may not be as close as previously thought in Australia. While the topic will still be discussed at the upcoming Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (to be held on March 28th), the controversial classification update is still being argued against by at least one, very vocal, state attorney-general - Mr. Michael Atkinson, the South Australian Labor minister.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 1-March-2008  15:29:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
XFX nForce 630i Socket 775 mATX on OC3D.
Abit IP35 Pro LGA775 board on HardCoreWare.
VIA EPIA-SN Mini-ITX mini-mobo and CPU on Tweaktown.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale CPU for LGA775 on HotHardware.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775 CPU on SysOpt.

Audio / Visual:
Zalman ZM-DS4F Dual Speaker Headset/Headphones on Tweaktown.
Logitech Z Cinema Speakers on DigitalTrends.
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray Player on TrustedReviews.
Asus PM17TU 17inch Gamer LCD Display on PCStats.
ATI TV Wonder HD 600 PCI & HD 650 Combo USB tuners on TechGage.

Memory:
Patriot Viper DDR3-1866 PC3-15000 2Gb Kit on CPU3D.
Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 on ExtremeOC.
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit on OC3D.
GeIL Evo One 4GB PC2-6400 Memory Kit on TrustedReviews.
Mushkin HP2-6400 4GB on NinjaLane.



Saturday Night Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 1-March-2008  11:29:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Portable and Prebuilt:
Dell XPS 630 gaming PC on HotHardware.
Apple MacBook Air notebook on TBreak.
Lenovo ThinkPad X300 notebook on HWZone.
HP Pavilion dv6500t Special Edition Notebook on HWLogic.

Cooling:
AeroCool Double Power, Thermaltake DuOrb, Zalman VF1000 LED etc VGA cooling roundup on XbitLabs.
Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Compound on RBMods.
Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink on TechPowerUp.
Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller on Frostytech.
Thermaltake BigWater 760i Liquid Cooling System on Virtual-Hideout.
Cooler Master Sphere CPU Cooler on OCIA.
Scythe Ninja Copper on SilentPCReview.
Nexus Basic Series Fans on BurnOutPC.
Thermaltake DuOrb CPU Cooler on NGOHQ.
Cooler Master Sphere CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Vizo Sleet RAM Cooler on RBMods.

Storage:
Silverstone TS01B - Drive Enclosure with RFID Encryption on ExtremeMHz.
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 1TB external HDD on OCClub.
Kingston 4GB DataTraveler Mini & Mini Fun flash drives on HWLogic.
Pioneer DVR-115D DVD Burner on CDFreaks.
Rosewill RX81-MP-SC-SLV HDD enclosure on Bjorn3D.
WD Caviar Green Power WD10EACS 1TB hard drive on SilentPCReview.
A-DATA Nobility N702 4GB Flash Drive on ThinkComputers.
Honeywell SecuraDrive 1.8” Pocket HDD on 3DGameMan.



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