2002 Site Updates

Date Details of updates


Processors: Section added on Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, designed to improve processor performance by exploiting the multi-threaded nature of contemporary operating systems and applications, and introduced at the same time as the Pentium 4 CPU reached 3GHz milestone;

Chipsets: Section added on the i845GE chipset, launched at the same time as the 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor and Intel’s first chipset to actually implement support for HT technology;

CD-R/CD-RW: Sections added on Mount Rainier and DiscT@2 technology, the former being a specification which enables native operating system support for rewritable CD and DVD drives and implements other changes which make the technology as easy to use as a HDD or floppy disk and the latter an innovative technology for professionally and permanently labelling recordable CD media;

Networking: Sections added on Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, the 100 Mbit/s and 1000 Mbit/s versions of the now ubiquitous network technology.



Non-Intel CPUs: Section on Thoroughbred expanded in light of the somewhat surprising appearance of a B version of the core as a basis of the AMD Athlon XP 2400+ and 2600+ processors launched little more than a couple of months after the debut of the company’s first 0.13-micron CPU, with the Roadmap section correspondingly updated to reflect AMD’s current desktop processor plans;

CD-ROM: Section added on Purple Book, the informal specification produced by Philips and Sony in 2000 to describe their double-density CD (DDCD) format;

DVD: Section added on DVD Multiwriters, describing how the emergence of universal, multi-format drives looks set to bring an end to the divisive and damaging standards war that has so adversely hindered consumer acceptance of DVD recording products;

Digital Comms: Description of ADSL substantially rewritten, section on ADSL implementation updated in light of recent developments in the UK – including the introduction of RADSL and BT’s Broadband Registration Scheme – and new sections added on Wires-only ADSL and Satellite broadband;

Mobile Comms: Section on 3G updated to reflect the ongoing problems facing the 3G network operators and new page created to accommodate the sections on the various wireless networking standards (relocated from the Networking Guide) plus a new section on Public Wi-Fi access covering the recent explosion of Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, and – following the lifting of legal restrictions – in the UK in particular;

Product Reviews: Latest round of reorganisation and update completed, with the Scanners and Digital Cameras product categories being dealt with this month:

Forums: New Links forum added, providing a consolidated, categorised listing of the many useful links users have submitted via their posts. Hopefully this will grow into a valuable resource, as registered users add their own favourites and report any links that have become defunct.



Download: The HTML download version has been changed to include guide-to-glossary hyperlinks. Obviously these will only be effective when a user is online. From this month users can also download a Word version of the site. This is a single 430+ page document that includes all of the information – both text and graphics – in the GUIDES section of the site. This also includes guide-to-glossary hyperlinks, but only for Word 2002 users. Some document formatting will also be lost to users accessing the document via earlier versions of Word;

Product Reviews: Reorganisation and update continued. The various types of printer in the Input-Output series of pages have been dealt with this month, including the introduction of a new Photo Printers category;

Forums: General tidy-up of posts, specifically the editing of thread subject names so as to enable relevant information to be more readily located via database searching or browsing. Original Product Reviews Forums renamed and broadened to become a repository for all product-specific posts. Existing posts moved from Technical Questions forum as appropriate.



Mobile Computing: The section on External keyboards has been expanded to cover the wide variety of external PDA keyboards now available and the PDAs page itself updated to reflect the emergence of Microsoft’s Pocket PC platform which has so boosted the Windows CE operating systems’ market share in the mobile devices arena;

Product Reviews: Second stage in the reorganisation and update of all product categories. This month focuses on the Multimedia series of pages, the increased market penetration of flat panel displays being recognised by the creation of separate pages for 15in+ and 17in+ monitors.



Design: Simplified menu navigation system introduced. As well as exploiting the site’s left-border design feature and long-page style, this significantly reduces page load-time overheads while at the same time avoiding cross-browser compatibility issues;

Newsfeeds: Further capitalising on the site’s design characteristics, technology-orientated newsfeeds – one UK-based and the other US-based – have been introduced in the left-border of most of the site’s pages;

Product Reviews: First stage in a complete overhaul which will see product categories substantially reorganised and updated. This month focuses on the Components and Storage series of pages. The former has had obsolete motherboard form factors removed and new Dual-Processor Motherboads and System Cases product categories added; the latter has been reorganised to create separate pages for the various DVD rewritable formats and to recognise the emerging class of External Drives. A start has also been made on Multimedia, with the Graphics Cards product category having been updated.



Graphics Cards: Section on Digital cards updated to reflect the establishment of DVI as the universally accepted standard for digitally connecting graphics cards and display monitors;

CRT Monitors: Wide-ranging update and reorganisation, including significant expansion of sections on Anatomy, Resolution and refresh rate and Interlacing;

Digital Cameras: Information reorganised across two pages, section on Features updated and substantially expanded and new sections added on Epson’s PIM technology – designed to allow modern-day hardware to produce the quality of output it’s capable of, without being constrained by arbitrary colour standards – and to identify the various types of Batteries available to today’s digital camera users.



Processors: New section added on the TeraHertz technology that Intel believes will enable Moore’s Law to be sustained over the coming years and lead to chips comprising a billion transistors by the end of the decade;

Digital Cameras: New section added on the revolutionary X3 technology that promises to set a new standard for quality in digital photography by allowing triple the amount of information to be captured on the same amount of silicon as used in current digital camera image sensors;

Digital Video: New section added on Digital camcorders – covering the issue of DV-in deactivation in models sold in Europe amongst other things – and information in sections on Video editing and DV format reorganised, updated and expanded.



Mobile Computing: Information reorganised and updated, including new sections on AMD’s Mobile Duron and Mobile Athlon 4 CPU’s, the same company’s PowerNow! technology and Intel’s Mobile Pentium 4 CPU, plus an expanded section on XScale in light of the recent launch of Fujitsu-Siemens’ Pocket LOOX – the first product to use the Intel-defined microarchitecture for the wireless device market segment;

DVD: Extensively updated, with information in the newly named Content protection section expanded to cover both watermarking and encryption, the DVD-Audio section updated updated in light the changes necessitated when it’s intended CSS method of encryption was successfully hacked and the addition of a section on HD-DVD outlining the issues surrounding the DVD Forum’s ongoing attempts to define a new high density standard for the next generation of digital video disks.



Motherboards: New section added on CPU interfaces, identifying the various socket and slot form factors used for connecting a processor to a motherboard from the Socket 1 used by Intel 486 chips in the early 1990s through to the latest Pentium 4 Socket 478;

Non-Intel CPUs: New sections added on Palomino, Morgan and Thoroughbred, AMD’s latest CPU cores as implemented on the company’s new range of Athlon XP desktop processors and its value sector Duron family;

Product Reviews: Periodic overhaul to add links for the latest hardware and to purge dead links continued with the Personal Laser Printers, Colour Laser Printers, Inkjet Printers and Multifunction Devices product categories being dealt with in this update.



Processors: Wide-ranging update and reorganisation, including the addition of new sections on Tualatin and Northwood – the new Pentium III and Pentium 4 processor cores manufactured using Intel’s 0.13-micron fabrication process and copper interconnect technology;

Chipsets: Section added on the i845 chipset, Intel’s Pentium 4 chipset that finally embraced support of SDRAM in general and the hugely popular DDR SDRAM in particular;

System Memory: Section on DDR SDRAM updated to reflect the various versions of the highly successful memory technology available by early 2002;

Product Reviews: Periodic overhaul to add links for the latest hardware and to purge dead links continued with the Socket 370 Motherboards product category being dealt with in this update.



Panel Displays: Information reorganised across three pages, with the new page’s sections on LEDs and OLEDs providing the context for an expanded section on Light-Emitting Polymers, the most promising of the two branches of OLED technology currently under development;

DVD: Sections on DVD-RAM and DVD+RW updated – the former in light of the ability of current drives to write to DVD-R General media and the latter to reflect the format’s long awaited arrival on the market;

Networking: Page added with sections on IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, HiperLAN2 and IEEE 802.11g – the latter which represents the best prospect yet for a universally accepted wireless networking standard;

Product Reviews: Periodic overhaul to add links for the latest hardware and to purge dead links continued with the Socket A Motherboards and Pentium 4 Motherboards product categories being dealt with in this update.



Processors: Illustrative graphic added to section on Architectural advances to show how Moore’s Law has compared with reality between the years of 1970 and 2000;

Tape Storage: Rationalised and expanded, in particular the sections on Sony’s AIT technology – which now covers the complete family of associated standards from AIT-1 through to the recently announced Super AIT format – and on the rival Super DLT technology – which now includes a product roadmap through to 2006;

Digital Video: New page added covering the predominant technologies – both official standards and otherwise – currently being used for the distribution of movies – both professional and home-produced. Comprises sections on: VCD, SVCD, miniDVD, DivX, DV format and Formats comparison;

Product Reviews: Periodic overhaul to add links for the latest hardware and to purge dead links continued with the Flatbed Scanners and Digital Cameras product categories being dealt with in this update.