Recent News......

15th September 1999

First it is the e-One.

Then Compaq "Think Different", and "built really cool stuff".

Now Dell say they need Wireless.


30" inch flat panel $1000 USD cheaper than the 22" Cinema display? it's real tricky.

The handspring VISOR (palm pilot), look delicious. They finally abandon the serial port and use USB.

14th September 1999

SONY officially announced Playstation 2, more info here (Japanese). The ¥39,800 console will be released next March 4th 2000, and will play DVD-VIDEO and packs 2 controller port, 2 memory card slot, AV multi signal port, optical output, 2 USB, FireWire port and a type 3 PCMCIA slot. A 128bit Emotion Engine running at 294.912Mhz will be the main CPU, together with 32M of Direct RDRAM. A 8M memory card which support copyright protection will be used. This report (Japanese) got more shots from the games.

The new controller "Dual Shock 2" will be almost completely analog, with the exception of the start and select key.

I suppose all DVD players have Region lock, so those who wish to play Region 1 Disc (US) would have to buy an US version and play US games; the parallel import from Japan will only play Region 2 Disc, which leaves you only to those A.... movies....

SONY Press release 1,2,3,4,5. (English)

13th September 1999

Did IE5's "Tasman" rendering engine stole from Mozilla's code? Express your opinion on MozillaZine. [attribution MacOSEggs]. The IE5 for Mac project was delayed until Winter. On the other hand, the Mozilla project seems progressing smoothly, I found the Mac port is getting better and better on each release. In particular impressive is the rendering of Asian text, it looks much better than NC 4.61, probably due to their use of ATUSI. Anyway, beta test now.

iBook grabs all the attention, according to this Chinese Yahoo report. I think we pretty expected this.

DRAM prices won't drop until 2001, citing low investment of DRAM plant in previous two years. From CNet. This is very bad, it hurts everyone.

11th September 1999

FireWire going to explode! According to the chairman of the IEEE1394 Trade Association: "world leaders such as Sony and Apple will be deploying it on almost all of their products soon", my personal bet is you'll see a FireWired iMac anytime now to Christmas, and it could be as soon as the Apple Expo next week.

A Mac using Webstar replaced a PC running Windows NT as a web server on the US Army. AWESOME.

A chinese version of Gerry's ICQ d32 was released.

More iBook photo, this is from Austrialia.

Retailer report brisk sales of the SEGA DreamCast in yesterday's rollout.

10th September 1999

Apple Japan had posted more photos from the World PC Expo, page 1,2,3. The last page is about "Course for Computer Beginners" and you can see some senior citizens playing their iMac. Without a simpler chinese input system, could you imagine your grandma unpack and use the iMac to surf the net?

The nice people at TeraGlobal wrote an article that talks about G4 performance and G3 to G4 upgrades.

You can buy SimCity 3000 pretty everywhere in Hong Kong, while the game is not particularly nice, Maxis did released an Apple Campus building as a plug-in. Go and get it!

Gerry's ICQ was updated to d32.

Sega's DreamCast is officially on sale today, together with 19 titles. They had been trailing Sony and Nintendo after the tragedy of Saturn in the US. Hopefully the new DreamCast will give them a shot in the arm.

By the way, local RAM price was close to HKD$1500 per 128M, it was as low as $600 per 128M in June, so unless you are urgent to get your RAM upgrade, be patient.

8th September 1999

The World PC Expo in Japan was showing the new iBook and PowerMac G4, the Japan Mac Tresure Tracing Club had a report on it. (Links in Japanese) Direct link to photo pages 6/9, 7/9. The iBook is priced at ¥198,000, seems high to me. It's close to HKD$14,000 in current exchange rate.

The G4 upgrade block had generated a great deal of controversy, however, an Apple engineer had repeatedly say this in Mac-Games-Dev:

"This is misleading. Only purchase G4 systems designed by Apple.

There are significant compatibility issues with likely G4 upgrade designs that will be undoubtedly made available by some third-parties. Older Power Macintosh ROMs simply do not have the proper support for the G4 processor and in some cases, believe that they do, but behave very incorrectly. I don't believe that any 100% compatible solution will be devised by third-parties yet I believe (based on some current G3 upgrade designs) that many will design and sell inferior upgrades that have significant data loss and compatibility problems with no concern for these issues.

Caveat Emptor. TANSTAAFL."

and this

"We obviously have all had a very hard time with the bogus G3 upgrades being sold. The same thing should not happen for G4. If the online media are made aware enough of the technical issues that cause game developers trouble, it will potentially cause enough heat for the upgrade vendors that they will produce working designs or none at all. Either solution is fine by me."

The situation is definitely a bit paranoid, afterall, you can't even get an Apple G4, and when you are shelling out USD$1000 (especially for the old PCI macs), why not add an extra $599 for a complete new Mac. Hey, you get a new case, new Rage 128 card, faster drive, firewire, usb, and of course, another Mac!!

Another shocking news today, M$ and Intel is planning a game console! So they wish to went ahead and compete with Sony, Nintendo and SEGA?

The September HKMUG meeting didn't go well, both Pac Rim and Apple were missing, and of course there is no iBook. Thomas was talking. And by the way, BUGDOM is great.

Lao-er of AppleTalk had reported that Qcode of Hong Kong had made available a Mac version of the free Q9 input method. (It seems to be a demo version)

QuickTime was updated to 4.03.

6th September 1999

Macgazine (in Chinese) had more comments over export control of the G4 PowerMac.

Are you hurry for a G4? I'd recommend you to wait...

  • Software have to be tuned up before it can take advantages of the AltiVec engine.
  • The new G4 chipset had combined a dozen features into a single chip, compare the old G3 board and the new G4 board (all from AppleInsider), and you can imagine the cost saving.
  • NOW, let's think again that all future Apple product will share the same chipset, iBook, new iMac, new PowerBook, and now can you figure out that the cost saving will be huge?
  • So why are the Sawtooth base G4 so expensive? I guess Apple understand that many people can't wait, and Motorola's G4 production couldn't produce enough G4 for a short while, so they probably figure out that a higher price tag will keep some people away while on the same time make more profit. The elimination of the USD$1995 mid range configuration is very suspicious to me.

RIP W.Richard Stevens, according to slashdot, author of several UNIX programming books passed away...I remember I got one of his book, and you'll probably will need one for your MacOS X Network programming... Here is the link to an obituary.

4th September 1999

Frostyplace had originally listed Hong Kong as those regions that G4 could not be exported, they have now been corrected. They also provided a link to a report on US Export Controls.

Apple was being sued for trademark infringement on OS-9.

3rd September 1999

The "Supercomputer" PowerMac G4 (that only have 64M of RAM) might not be so super at all, according to this report. But they probably could not sell it in China, and I am not sure about the situation in Hong Kong.

HKMUG have something special to show in the September monthly meeting.

2nd September 1999

Japan will be the first location outside US to demonstrate the new G4 PowerMac and the iBook. The World PC Expo held during 7-11 Sept will feature a replicate of the exhibition of MacWorld Expo NY.

The Cinema Display brings back memory of the old Apple - state of the art but very expensive - anyone recall the Apple 13" RGB display?

More Seybold Photos Report 3/2/1 (Note, Japanese text).

1st September 1999

Steve Jobs announced their new G4 PowerMac today. While the SPEC mark isn't as impressive as it seems, the G4 toasted the Pentium III in their demonstration. Several things are especially interesting so far:

  • Software DVD in the high end G4 boxes
  • The heat sink is huge... almost rival their Penitum II counterparts! But what's compelling is the new G4 share the same architecture with the iBook, in sleep mode, power consumption is only 6W
  • With the high gigaflops rating (and their commercial), I am not sure if it can be exported to China or even Hong Kong.... so do they plan to give up their business here? CNet had an article that talks about export restrictions.

30th August 1999

I have made available several input method plug-in for the Mac, which are converted from the CXterm dicts and MacBlue Telnet source. They are available at here.

older news at here.

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