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Sadly, three is not always the magic number

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webwatch

The next generation Pentium processor is called Prescott. Its features include 'Netburst Micro-architecture, improved HyperThreading, a 16K L1 cache and an 800MHz FSB'. Intel has clearly been listening to Today in Parliament.

Lately, there has been a bit of mildly enthusiastic pressure from colleagues for this column to look at m3architects' site at www. m3architects. com.

Designed by Stephen Birchmore, the home page invites you to click on a red cube to enter the site (m cubed, as in to the power three, geddit? ). There is a mysterious flash from an intermediate page carrying just the practice name, and then up comes a practice statement over a big blurry image, across which the practice statement appears in black on a light grey box. Er, yes, you think and click on 'Process'and down comes another blur and another statement in a box. In desperation you hit 'Design Solutions'and there, thank the lord, is a nice, sharp image of a building. Aha.

You click on the 'information'box at the bottom and up spreads a translucent box with some admirably matter-of-fact information about the building. You click on the forward arrow and another image appears, but the translucent information box stays there. It was only after an email that I learned about the little X box at the top right, which shrinks it back into the 'information' box-ette at the bottom.

'Publications'and 'contact' follow the grey-text-box-on-blur house style. The continuation of the 'publications'page really messes with your head. I think it's based on a six by four grid of magazine front covers - only half of which you see, except in unexplained circumstances.

And full-length quotes flash up at the top. Catching this rapidly changing page at rest, you click on a cover and then wonder whether a bit of editing of the quotes might not have gone amiss. This one is a Financial Times piece, headed 'The bain of one's life'. It starts off: 'M3 Architects are long familiar with the ensuite debate' Please, m 3, start over.

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