Stories by Tom Mainelli

Intel CPU Hits 2 GHz

Intel Corp. showed off its upcoming Pentium 4 processor with several graphics-heavy demonstrations, then revved one of the chips to 2 GHz Tuesday at the opening keynote of the Intel Developer Forum.

Surf for Money? Better Hurry

Thinking of trying out one of those services that pay you to surf? Better do it soon. Their own popularity--and vulnerability--is threatening their survival.

HP Offers One-Box PC Bundle

Hewlett-Packard makes life easier for overwhelmed first-time PC buyers with the introduction Monday of a one-box package that includes a PC, a monitor, a printer, and all the trimmings for US$898.

AMD unveils Sledgehammer specs

AMD's first 64-bit processor, code-named Sledgehammer, has inched closer to reality after the company released the chip's instruction set manual to software developers late last week.

AMD Offers Sledgehammer Specs

Advanced Micro Devices's first 64-bit processor, code-named Sledgehammer, inches closer to reality Thursday when the company releases the chip's instruction set manual to software developers.

Umax Unveils Budget FireWire Scanner

Scanners that connect to a PC via the fast IEEE 1394 standard typically carry price tags of around $1000, placing them out of reach for most consumers. But Umax Technologies Inc. brings IEEE 1394 (also called Firewire and ILink) into the mainstream with its $249 Astra 6400 scanner, due in stores next week.

Intel Benchmarks Slam Rambus

Intel Corp. wants you to love pricey Rambus memory, largely because its upcoming Pentium 4 processor will require the technology. But the chip maker's own tests show today's Pentium III systems that use less-expensive PC-133 SDRAM memory often outperform comparable RDRAM-based systems.

HP Launches Colorful Pavilions

Hewlett-Packard Co. looks to add a little color--and a lot of power--to its retail desktop lineup with the announcement this week of new AMD- and Intel-powered Pavilion units, five of which offer optional color replacement parts.

Your Next PC: Made in Taiwan

The island nation of Taiwan is tiny--not quite a tenth the size of California, with only about two-thirds the population. So why is it the world's top producer of so many computer parts and peripherals?

Info Appliance Secret: Ease of Use

Consumers want products that make Internet access easy and fun. If information appliance makers can create devices that "do the simple stuff right," these products will explode in popularity, and could one day challenge the PC as the best way to access the Internet, suggests one analyst.

Wanted: Cool-Looking, Cheap PCs

Today's consumers want it all: a sleek, well-designed PC with interesting colors and maybe even a flat-panel display. And they'd like to get all that for about what they pay for today's average beige box system.

Intel Launches 820E Chip Set

With little fanfare, Intel Corp. launches its new 820E chip set Monday. Based on the existing 820, which supports the Pentium III processor and Rambus memory (RDRAM), the 820E builds in networking and improves USB support. Despite the extras, most major vendors won't use the chip set in PCs soon.

Intel Grows Its Wireless Line

Intel Corp. announces today two wireless networking products targeted at business users and performance-hungry consumers based on the IEEE 802.11b standard. Developed with Symbol Technologies, the $199 Intel Pro/Wireless 2011 LAN PC Card is for notebooks; the $999 2011 LAN Access Point acts as a wireless network hub. Both will ship on August 7.

AMD's Thunderbird Takes Flight

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. seems to have erased the last, small performance edge enjoyed by Intel's high-end desktop CPUs. AMD's Thunderbird, which debuts on Monday, features an integrated level-2 memory cache, a design trick that buys more performance at no cost to the customer.

Norton Protects Broadband Hookups

High-speed Internet access is wonderful, but an always-on broadband connection leaves your PC vulnerable to bored hackers who may rifle through your data--or worse. Symantec Corp. addresses that risk with Norton Internet Security 2000. This $55 package for the Windows 9x family combines a software firewall, Symantec's robust and easy-to-use Norton AntiVirus 2000 program, and other useful features.