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A case of being board out of our techie minds

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aj. column

This is not a technical column, but I would just draw your attention to a new range of dual-processor motherboards for graphics-friendly AMD Athlon chips.

Tyan does one and ASUS and MSI now have boards out. You would think they would go like the clappers, especially with fast graphics cards and, say, Lightwave and Cinema 4D. But, apparently, not necessarily so with 3D StudioMax. Before you hurl yourself among the early adopters, take a look at Tomshardware, at www6. tomshard ware. com/mainboard/02q1/020211/in dex. html. Two AMD cpus on one board is not necessarily all that much better than one. Although, as the knowing reviewer notes, 'two processors mean prestige - even the BIOS logon is enough to get you noticed among your friends'. For a review of six dual Pentium III boards which came to a similar lukewarm conclusion, try www6. tomshardware. com/mainboard/ 01q2/010629/index. html.

Blue Planet's tech page at www. thetechpage. com is a database of hard drive specifications and jumpers for thousands of hard drives. There are some interesting utilities for download, but I have to say when I checked out an old, well-known IBM Deskstar, I found nothing about it. It does not matter in real life because all the data was printed on a label on the Deskstar. Still, I suppose it is worth a try if only for the diagrams showing what pins should be connected together for slave and master configurations. Bit worried about the flashing Winner banner though. Do not click on it.

I have banged on about the superciliousness of Linuxians, but here is a site set up by nice guy Alister Ross. 'I often asked myself: 'Why did they make this darned thing so hard?'' he says. His introduction to Linux, at www. linuxnewbieguide. com, seems worth a visit - in fact, the magazine Linux Format is to start carrying its contents on its regular cover disk. So there it is: a technical column after all.

sutherlandlyall@btinternet. com

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