Tech Talk

February 23, 1998

March 2, 1998

March 9, 1998


Tech Week

Reports indicate that American Micro Devices and IBM are negotiating a deal that could result in a partnership between the two companies. As part of the deal, which has not been finalized, IBM will manufacture Intel-based microprocessors for the ailing chip maker. AMD already has a similar deal with Cyrix, though that arrangement's days may be numbered. Cyrix currently is hammering out plans to shift manufacturing to National Semiconductor, which recently acquired Cyrix. First reported by Reuters, the negotiations only can serve to further rumors that IBM plans to purchase all or part of AMD. AMD can certainly use the help. Plagued by supply-related problems, the Texas-based company has been struggling to meet vendor demand for its popular K6 processor. Shortages from yield-related problems have resulted in several lost opportunities for AMD, especially after the company landed a contract with computer giant Compaq. In order to meet that contract, AMD was forced to cancel delivery to other customers. If AMD and IBM can reach an agreement, IBM could begin shipping the new processors by the end of the year. Student Finds AOL Bug A Florida high-school student last week discovered a bug in America Online's Instant Messenger service that could be used to crash other users' computers via the Internet. Though AOL claims that no one has ever actually used the bug, the company is at work on a solution. According to the student, the bug is related to a similar buffer-overflow glitch that affected versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. The bug, which affects machines running Windows 95, could be used to deliver malicious codes, or even to send a virus to other users. Gateway Joins Pentium II Trend Gateway 2000 has jumped on the Pentium II bandwagon by introducing two affordable new desktop computers. The move brings Gateway in line with a growing number of computer manufacturers embracing Intel's low-cost, super-fast Pentium II processor. Gateway's new systems start at less than $2,000 and feature the fastest Intel chips currently on the market. With prices for Pentium II processors and other computer parts falling at a rapid pace, manufacturers have been able to sell entire systems for less than the processors themselves once cost. Less than twelve months ago, a high-end Pentium II processor cost nearly $2,000. The trend for such low-cost, high-end computers is expected to continue as prices for MMX processors slip to record lows. While currently only non-Pentium II systems have broken the sub-$1000 price range, the market may see several Pentium II-based systems by summer. The G6 system, which features a 300-MHz Pentium II processor, a 4-GB hard disk drive, a 32X CD-ROM drive, a modem and a 17-inch monitor, sells for $1,999, while the same system with a 333-MHz Pentium II processor, 17-inch monitor, a DVD-ROM drive, a 6.4-GB hard disk drive, 64 MB of memory and a modem will sell for $2,499.


February 23, 1998

March 2, 1998

March 9, 1998