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Archive for Monday, October 8, 2001

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October 8, 2001

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Miles of microscopic power

IBM unveiled its new eServer p690 computer this week, which includes IBM Power4 chips like the one above. Each Power4 chip contains 174 million transistors about 10 times more than chips used in PCs interconnected by one mile of microscopic copper wiring.

The chip functions like an individual computer in itself and contains two high-speed processors, a system switch, memory and input and output functions. Information flows between the memory and the processor at nearly 125 gigabytes per second, equivalent to moving 25 full-length DVD movies a second.

'Parking' your name is easy

It's the Internet equivalent of a vanity license plate: www.yournamehere.com.

And it's now become both cheap and easy to get.

There are thousands of places you can go online to register a Web address. They're all putting your name into essentially the same directory.

Consider two things:

First, how much does the site charge? Some sites offer bargain prices for registering the name if you choose them as your "hosting provider" the place where your Web site's files are stored.

Second, does the site register your address in YOUR name or do they register it themselves, then allow you to use it? You always want to retain ownership of your name.

Any registration site will allow you to see whether your site name is available.

The fact that you buy your name doesn't mean you have to post a Web site. Many registrars will "park" your name register it without posting files for no additional charge.

Powermate is in class of its own

www.griffintechnology.com

Every once in a while, a new computer gadget comes along that makes you sit up and take notice simply because it's beautiful.

One reviewer calls Griffin Technology's new PowerMate "one of the coolest looking gizmos to hook up to a computer."

The PowerMate is a universal control to which you can assign functionality via the included software control panel. It defaults as a volume control and mute switch. When the computer is off, pressing it will power on the computer. The PowerMate also can be used as a game controller or a jog wheel for photo editing.

Made from a block of metal with a polished aluminum finish, the PowerMate rests on a translucent base that glows via blue light emitting diodes. As you rotate the top of the PowerMate and depending on the direction of rotation, the light increases or decreases in intensity.

Requiring no batteries, all operating power comes from its USB connection to the computer.

Initially, the PowerMate will work on a Macintosh running OS 9 or OS X. A Windows version is in the works. It sells for $45.

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