Microsoft to Add DVD Authoring in WindowsXP

"DVD recording got a big endorsement Wednesday from Microsoft, which is licensing technology from Sonic Solutions, presumably for use in Windows XP. The two companies signed a multiyear deal focused on Sonic's AuthorScript technology, used to create DVD movies. The move comes as computer manufacturers increasingly view the ability of PCs to record home movies to DVDs as a big selling point. Consumers can then run the discs in standard DVD players. An A-list of computer makers sell systems with DVD recording drives: Apple Computer, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Sony. Apple and Compaq were the early leaders, both having shipped DVD-recording PCs early last year." Read the rest of the story at C|Net News.

Simply GNUstep Delivers UNIX, Simply

I'm a happy BeOS refugee this morning after having just tried Simply GNUstep. Simply GNUstep is a new Operating System that runs on the latest Linux kernel compiled with the latest GNU compiler. This new OS is way more (perhaps by being less) than just-another-Linux-distribution. It aims to be similar, extremely similar, to Apple's OS X. However, Simply GNUstep, unlike OS X, will run on your PC. In fact, you can be running it in under 15 minutes from this very moment.

USB 2.0 and Windows2k/XP

"Over the past two years, Microsoft has been working with industry partners on the USB 2.0 project. We are pleased to announce that USB 2.0 drivers will be available for Microsoft WindowsXP through Windows Update early in 2002. USB 2.0 driver support for Windows 2000 is still under development, and will be available later in the first quarter of 2002. Microsoft will not provide USB 2.0 support for the Windows 9x platform or Windows NT 4.0. This article provides details on Microsoft plans for USB 2.0 support. The USB Architecture section describes the structure of the USB 2.0 stack on Windows 2000 and compares it to Windows XP and Windows .NET Server. The last section discusses Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) plans for supporting the testing of USB 2.0 host controllers, devices and hubs." Read the rest of the article at Microsoft's Platform Development site.

nVidia Introduces nForce 415-D Platform

From Andrenaline Vault: nVidia introduced today the nForce 415-D processor set. The nForce 415-D combines the nForce’s Media and Communications Processor with a new System Platform Processor. The nForce SPP features TwinBank, a 128-bit memory controller architecture providing up to 4.2GB per second of system memory bandwidth; a dynamic adaptive speculative pre-processor for boosting CPU performance; a singlestep memory arbiter for memory efficiency; and a 4X accelerated graphics port for external GPU expansion. The nForce MCP also integrates an audio processing unit with a Dolby Digital 5.1 real-time encoder; StreamThru, enhanced data streaming technology, and a communications suite including support for HomePNA 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet and USB.

Sun Indefinitely Delays Solaris 9 for x86

OSNews reader Ken Crandall writes: "According to CNet, Sun has decided to indefinitely postpone the release of Solaris 9 for Intel processors citing the economy (read: lower demand for new hardware) and the "bottom line" (read: due to Linux and BSD, even lower demand for Solaris on x86) as reasons. They did mention, however, that they 'retain the option to do (Solaris on Intel) in the future'."

Gates Pitches Mira & FreestyleXP Extensions in Home

"Bill Gates yesterday unveiled two new technologies, Freestyle and Mira, designed to beef up the capabilities of the PC - and hence, Windows XP - in the home. Both are intended to let users wander around the room or house while controlling their PC; Freestyle is categorised as a set of extensions to XP, while Mira is to all intents and purposes a CE-based thin client. Freestyle seems essentially to be a mechanism for extending the consumer PC into a combo media centre, jukebox and TV, so is being supported by consumer PC manufacturers such as HP, NEC and Samsung. Mira is somewhat more ambitious, and appears to slot in between Freestyle and the Tablet PC. It's described as a "new set of Windows CE.NET-based technologies," and the bottom line is that it enables smart flat panel displays which you can carry around and use for browsing and control purposes." Read the rest of the report at TheRegister, or at C|Net News.

Windows Media Player For MacOSX Available

At Macworld Conference & Expo, Microsoft Corp. announced the immediate availability of Microsoft Windows Media Player for MacOSX (6.1 MB). The new player has been Carbonized to run natively on MacOSX and displays the operating system's new Aqua interface. Windows Media Player for Mac OS X allows Mac users to easily enjoy playback of high-quality Windows Media Audio and Video content. The new release supports the latest Windows Media Audio 8 and Windows Media Video 8, as well as Windows Media Digital Rights Management, and is available in six languages worldwide. The new player features the new Aqua interface, which provides a look consistent with many other new Mac applications. Also, The OfficeX Test Drive (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage the e-mail application and personal information manager) has been released for MacOSX as a free download (122 MB). Inside the OfficeX Test Drive you’ll see how it combines several new and improved features with core MacOSX technologies.

Thoughts About the New iMac Pricing

I made some price comparisons this evening following the release of the new iMac. So, here is what I discovered, by trying to build an "iMac"-like PC (I targetted the configuration of the middle range iMac which sells at $1500), consulting prices from PriceWatch & PriceGrabber. The mentioned prices are retail and the individual components probably have costed even less for Apple, but I am going to overlook that and give the benefit to Apple. Update: Some good comments and further clarifications on the subject, can be found here. Update2: And speaking of eMachines (whose quality is not bad, neither the company is out of business (yet)), check out their brand new systems and prices. They even prepare for sale a NorthWood P4 system at 2Ghz. NorthWood is the new P4 CPU model which is much faster than its P4 predessesor at the same clock speed.

Interview With TheKompany CEO Shawn Gordon

From NewsForge: "According to its website, the goal of theKompany is "to provide developers with powerful, easy-to-use tools for creating equally powerful and useful software for the world's leading open-source operating system, Linux -- and thereby ensure the long-term success of Linux." To find out more about theKompany and its plans for supporting Linux on the corporate and home desktop, DesktopLinux.com spoke with theKompany President and Founder, Shawn Gordon."

Red Hat Announces Red Hat Linux 7.2 for Intel Itanium

Red Hat, Inc. announced today the availability of Red Hat Linux 7.2 for the Intel Itanium 64-bit CPU. The release features the Red Hat Linux 7.2 operating system with the 2.4 kernel and ext3 journaling file system. This configuration supports the very large address space of Itanium-based systems and scales efficiently to eight or more Itanium processors running as a single system image. A more complete set of configuration tools and security enhancements are also available in this new release.

News from MacWorld’s KeyNote – iMacs Indeed

So, the big weapon that Apple was highly touting are indeed the new iMacs. Previous low end models were in the price range of $1000, but the new price range of iMacs will start at $1300 USD and goes up to $1800 USD. The specs:
  • 700 MHz G4, 128MB RAM, 40GB drive, CD-RW - $1,299 (available March)
  • 700 MHz G4, 256MB RAM, 40GB drive, DVD/CD-RW - $1,499 (available February)
  • 800 MHz G4, 256MB RAM, 60GB drive, SuperDrive (DVD burn) - $1,799 (available January)

  • All iMacs will feature a GeForce2MX graphics chipset and the two high-end models include Pro Speakers. To the dissapointment of lots of OSNews readers (judging from our comment's section), the 15" LCD monitor only does 1024x768 (by design, good quality LCDs can deliver easily higher resolutions to this screen size - unlike CRTs which are more bound to the screen size). Get the latest info and detailed information from Steve Jobs' keynote at MacMinute and C|Net News. Our Take: This was over hyped all last week. ZDNews reported that Apple has not hyped anything in such a way ever, and they should have introduced something revolutionary. Apple should not have hyped these new products so much, as they are just a more modern & futuristic revision of an existing product. I am dissapointed in the way they tried to manipulate the crowd. Also, the entry level iMac has a ridiculously small amount of memory and no DVD playback. And it does not even meet my $1000 budget to buy the low-end machine Apple has to offer. I am dissapointed with Apple for more than one reason.

    The Reality Distortion Hammer

    I'm writing this opinion piece on the eve of perhaps Apple's most hyped MacWorld Expo ever. TIME Canada has already pre-released an article about the next-generation flat-panel iMac machines, complete with pictures of the it, its industrial designer and Apple CEO Steve Jobs. While the complete picture has yet to be painted (and will be in the morning when Jobs reveals the specifications during his keynote speech), I'm starting to believe that Apple feels that "innovation" and "revolution" are a matter of hardware and user interface aesthetics. Where Apple used to pave the way for new technologies, programming methodologies and user interfaces, they remain stuck in a rut of their own creation, bound to re-create a lot of the same mistakes that caused them to lose the majority of their market share and relevance to Microsoft in the 1990's. E-I-C's note: The article was written before the actual MacWorld Keynote took place.

    The Unix Cheat Sheet

    From OSFaq: "If you are like me and have to deal with a lot of different platforms you know how it becomes such a headache to remember every little minor difference between each system. While Unix is Unix, each system has slight differences in configuration file names, command parameters, etc that can drive you nuts when you switch between each system. Thanks to Joe Leogrande, we now have a nice concise table of equivalent commands and config file names for each platform. Plus the table can also be used as a command and config file reference with a short description next to each command. I highly recommend printing it up and making it part of your documentation." The HTML version of the sheet can be found here.

    Apple’s “Secret Weapon” is a New iMac, Thanks to TimeCanada

    TimeCanada was "kind enough" (someone could say that they have screwed up, and they now link their index page to Time.com - but we know a few tricks of our own to link to the 'right page' which they try to hide) to write a story about Apple's new iMac, that is supposed to be revealed tomorrow during Steve Jobs' keynote speech at MacWorld SF. At this writing, the article is still up but hidden from the front page of TimeCanada, and the date on the article is January 14, 2002. If the article will be taken down, visit Slashdot for details and lots of comments. Our Take: I am personally very dissapointed, if this is indeed the "big secret" that Apple was keeping and was hyping enormously all week. Firstly, I was waiting for something else as the "secret weapon" than an iMac update (no matter if this update may be big), and as I read in the article, while it does not give any hardware specs except the fact that the new iMac will have DVD burning capabilities, the prices start at $1300 up to $1800 USD for the highest model, and that $1300 is $300 more than the previous low-end iMac model. I do not care about DVD burning (I only want playback) and even if the new iMac can do.. coffee, simply put, this is just too expensive for me, as I was expecting to buy a new G4-based iMac for $999 as I wrote recently. Plus, the new iMac looks like an egg (that's not necessarily bad though :). Update: Updated link and many pictures of the new iMac.

    Why You Might Want to Try Ruby

    "Ruby. Perhaps you've heard of it? "Oh, yeah, I think it's one of those new object oriented scripting languages", you say. I know a lot of you might be thinking "Not another new language! I'm perfectly happy with (COBOL/C/cshell/awk/Perl/...); why does the world need another programming language?!", while a few others are thinking 'Cool, a new language to explore'." Read the rest of the article, an introduction to the Ruby programming language, at FreshMeat.

    Why BeOS Was So Different

    "The biggest difference between all the varieties of Windows and all the variations on Unix is unimportant -- both families or operating systems are hopelessly rooted in the deep dark past. BeOS was very impressive. I remember running the Mac port when it was first released. It had a distinctive look, definitely felt faster than the Mac OS, and seemed very promising. It was the perfect candidate to become the next great personal computer operating system." Read the rest of the editorial at LowEndMac.

    Got Me Some Java Religion

    "So what is the deal with these Java guys? We get more than our fair share of personally-challenged individuals in this industry and many seem to hoard around some new mega-hype technology. Based on very little, these individuals crusade as to how this new way revolutionizes everything that came before. They ridicule anything that doesn't fit into their new model, mock the intelligence of anyone who disagrees and feel they can occupy the moral high ground. This is not an anti-Java article. Many of us have seen all this before, lived through it and even partaken in many of the crusades as the rally calls are made. Can the same be said of other engineering principles? Do bridge or airplane designers start a new crusade every few years, demanding all old bridges and aeroplanes were rubbish and should be pulled down and replaced with virtual bridges or virtual airplanes?" Read the rest of the editorial at Angrycoder.