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“IT Update”

PENTIUM III or Katamai, from Intel, besides being same as it’s predecessor in terms of speed, has an in built 64-bit user identification, achieved by fusing wires on chip during manufacturing process, in addition to current 32 bit identification number which results in unique 96-bit identification number. The adverse impact of this identification number was a group of people shying away from this product. Intel in response is now coming up with PIII with this feature disabled as factory setting. User desiring to enable this feature can download the enabling software from www.intel.com. PIII has 70 new instructions, called Katamai New Instructions (KNI), enhancing 3D graphics performance (AMD is already shipping this technology).

Intel has also begun briefing its systems partners about rollout schedule which includes a 800Mhz chip, which will make way into the market by the middle of next year.

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JINI from Sun Microsystems, is all set to give a networked environment a new dimension, by allowing all kinds of electronic devices to communicate with each other. Developed by some of the best minds in the computing industry, it is about 35000 lines of java based code which when compiled amounts to only 48KB. Jini, a novel implementation of write once and run anywhere, promises to bring to reality the vision of distributed computing. Here, any device enabled with Jini technology can function as a service on a network. The potential device types can range from mainframe computer to consumer application like microwave oven. What does this mean? All the potential devices at home or at office can be networked to be a part of an integrated system, providing greater control over the resource leading to better utilisation of the same. Not being PC specific, Jini can reside on any low cost, embedded processor system (as is found in programmable washing machines, digital imaging devices, cell phones and PDAs), and users can easily connect Jini-compliant devices just by plugging them together like any household devices.

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WINDOWS 2000 expected to hit the road by 1st quarter of 1999 has been delayed to later half of the year. Originally named Windows NT 5.0 Windows2000 will be available in four version: Professional, Server, Server Enterprise and Advanced Server. Microsoft has also modified the size of symmetric multiprocessor machines (SMP) supported by various Windows 2000 server versions.

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HP NEW DESIGNJET 488CA is an entry level large format printer from HP that allows 600dpi black and 300dpi colour printing. It has a roller feed with an automatic cutter, and supports single sheet loading too. It has support for wide variety of media such as bright white inkjet paper, tracing paper, heavy weight and normal coated paper, matte film and high gloss white film. It comes in two sizes, A1 size is available at Rs. 180,000/- and A0 at Rs.243,432/-, making them pretty attractive.

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SILICON GRAPHICS is shipping SG320 for an estimated street price of Rs.2.65 lakhs. Featuring Integrated Visual Computing (IVC), it is said to be faster than AGP based workstations. It has 1GB of error correcting code of synchronous DRAM(SDRAM) and hard disk capacity is 18GB. The monitor is 17.3 inches 1600-by-1024 super wide screen. The looks reminds one of Extra-Terrestrial.

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IOMEGA new Zip 250, will hold 250 MB of data. Zip250 can read 100MB disks but because of it’s redesigned heads it takes considerably more time to write on to it. It is said to be easy to install, particularly with Windows 98 which recognizes the Zip drive automatically. It claims a much better data transfer speed as compared to the 100MB zip drive.

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LINUX is increasingly finding acceptance with the industry. Linux can run on a low end 386/486 and still perform similar to high end workstation. In India where high cost and rapid obsolescence of hardware can play havoc with company’s finance Linux is an attractive proposition. Already hardware vendors are shipping LINUX along with other OS. It can be Gatesophobia, as said in PC World, i.e an opportunity for many to involve in Bill-bashing. It has more than 2.2 million users and is expected to go up to 10 million by the end of the year. Some of the key factors that goes in favour of LINUX are: (a) open source software; (b) Linux documentation an extensive hands on guide; (c) it is customizable like no other software; (d) support, though non-structured it provides you more precise and faster services; (e) Linux doesn’t need latest hardware, it can fire up ancient 386/486 to become routers and P100 to become mail servers. Hats off to Linus Torvalds.

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BeOS With the hotting up of the operating system market, a host of new operating systems equally powerful as Windows are gaining popularity. Nathan Myhrvold, a technical expert at Microsoft fears, that in five years the prospect of Microsoft would be replaced by Linux or JavaOS or BeOS and BeOS would be in the forerun. BeOS is an operating system with GUI. It is a multiprocessing, multitasking, multithreading operating system that implements 64 bit file system.

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INTERNET WAR Following Government approval of tariff announced by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, reduction of Internet tariff is on the anvil. The reduction proposed in leased line and Internet pipe tariff is as much as 85% and 15%. This will cut infrastructure cost for the Internet service providers.

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INFINET RBI along with IDBRT, Hyderabad is in the process of setting up of INFINET (Indian Financial Network), which is a VSAT based network. The network will act as the communication backbone for EFT, RTGS and finally gravitate towards National Payments Systems.

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MELISSA TRACED The Melissa computer virus that sent crashing e-mail systems worldwide, in the last week of March has been traced to a Florida Internet Service Provider. Symantec Crop. of US and OZEmail of Australia entered into an agreement to provide solution for the Melissa menace, following which they are offering Melissa anti-virus and its variant from a live web site service hosted through the OZEmail web site.

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JPEG has a rival in DjVuer AT&T Labs compression technology has come up with DjVuer(day-zha-voo-er) which can squeezes web based images into files five to ten times smaller than JPEG files is now available as free downloadable program. DjVuer is available in windwos executable and browser plug-in versions at the web site of Feith Systems & Software. DjVuer is based on AT&T new file format DjVu It can also quickly load the low resolution version of the part of the image in the browser window, filling in the rest of the image at it’s final resolution later.

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