View Full Version : news bits and bobs

03-02-2002, 11:14 PM
Here's a report coming out of the UK that force-feedback joysticks may be causing health issues with kids. This report in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-health-computergames.html?ex=1013230800&en=8e6a0432a675bd49&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVER states that joysticks that offer force-feedback should carry health warnings because they can cause damage to hands. Doctor Gavin Cleary of London's Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital puts this forward after a 15 year old boy developed a condition similar to hand-arm vibration syndrome (which is usually caused by running industrial equipment like jackhammers). Here's a bit from the article:
We believe that, with increasing numbers of children playing these devices, there should be consideration for statutory health warnings to advise users and parents,'' said Gavin Cleary of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London.
Cleary and his colleagues called for the health warnings in a letter to the British Medical Journal after a 15- year-old boy developed symptoms similar to hand-arm vibration syndrome, which is caused by using industrial tools for long periods of time.
The syndrome was classified as an industrial disease in 1985 and sufferers receive disability benefits and compensation.
The boy, who played computer games with a vibrating control device for up to seven hours a day, suffered pain and swelling in his hands.

VIA has released a patch to cure a problem that was reported with their chipsets that prevented the PCI bus to operate at it's full potential. The patch has a version number 1.04 and will increase performance with RAID cards from ACARD, Adaptec and Highpoint as well as Promise. The patch will also work with older chipsets not featuring the V-Link- Bus such as the KT133A and a MVP3. In tests performed with the new patch, burst transfers with the KT133A went up to 108.3 MBytes/s from 78.2 MBytes/s and the MVP3 even scored 102.2 MBytes/s with the patch, and 64.1 without it. Grab the patch from here.ftp://downloads.viaarena.com/drivers/others/RPP1.01.ZIP

TBreak has got a hold of the MSI GeForce4 MX440 for some testing to see how the new GF4 performs against GeForce 3 Ti200. Go have a look here.http://www.tbreak.com/hard/grfx/msi_gf4mx440/page1.html

Microsoft has released an XP fix that addresses an issue Windows XP has with some CD's recorded with the SafeDisc copy protection. The issue is when you are running a restricted user account with fast user switching under Windows XP, and some games will not start correctly. The game requests that the original disk be placed in the drive, even if it is already present. The fix will not alter or patch any component on your system, it will only change the startup state of the system component needed to start your game from start on demand (on game load), to start at boot (on Windows XP start). Grab it here.http://download.microsoft.com/download/WinXPHome/Patch/1.0/WXP/EN-US/updatesecdrv.exe

Overclockers Club has posted up their own Windows XP Speed Up Guide.http://www.overclockersclub.com/windowsxpservices.shtml

Drive Region Info version 2.1 is out. Drive Info is another program that allows you to check to see if your DVD Drive is regionlocked or regionfree. Grab it here.http://www.visualdomain.net/files/driveinfo21.exe

Paul Thurrotts SuperSite for Windows has updated it's Windows XP Tips section, to help clear away any of the school holiday hangover your PC may be having. So click on over here and have a look http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_tips_ms.asp

Details of of Intel's McKinley processor, due to be announced on February 4th are already available on its Web site. the page reveals details of its next generation McKinley 64-bit processor, which uses low latency level three cache design. It will also use next generation non volatile memory and Intel claims McKinleys in the future will run at .13 micron and at 5GHz at normal room temperature, because of the low power circuits it will use. Read more and see some pics here.http://www.theinquirer.net/31010201.htm

There are new beta ATI Radeon Drivers out featuring the following new stuff:
Adds Anisotropic Filtering support with the following features (For the RADEON 8500):
New control Panel
For both OpenGL and Direct3D
2X 4X 8X, and 16X Anisotropic filtering modes
Improves image quality while maintaining high level of performance
OpenGL (Quake3) performance improvements for the RADEON 7500
Dynamic Monitor Re-Assignment - Switching the assignment of the primary
and secondary displays in single step.
Bug Fixes:
Fix to improve performance bug found on Windows XP systems with more than 512 MB of
system memory
1024x768 TV OUT support for the RADEON 8500 has been fixed
Get the new drivers from the following links:
- 6025 WinXP Beta Driver http://support.ati.com/drivers/winxp/winxp_radeon_613106025_sp.html
- 9013 Win9x/Me Beta Driver http://support.ati.com/drivers/winme/winme_radeon_4139013_sp.html
- 6025 Win2000 Beta Driver http://support.ati.com/drivers/win2k/win2k_radeon_513016025_sp.html

Easy CD-DA Extractor v4.6.1 Build 100 has been released with the following additions:
Update: WMA decoder (in Easy Audio File Converter) rewritten using the latest Windows Media Audio technologies (Windows Media Audio 8 - Windows Media SDK 7.1.1)
Update: Ogg Vorbis decoder (in Easy Audio File Converter) rewritten using the latest Ogg Vorbis technologies (Ogg Vorbis 1.0 RC3)
Update: Added Monkey's Audio decoder (in Easy Audio File Converter)
Update: VQF support removed (because VQF format is now out-of-date)
Update: The v4.6.1 (build 100) installer is 1.5 megabytes(!!!) smaller than the v4.6.1 (build 69) installer
Bugfix: Fixed MP3 decoding problem that occured with some MP3 files
Grab it here. http://www.poikosoft.com/cdda/download.html

04-02-2002, 03:01 AM
Thanks tweak'e.

Downloaded and installed the via patck, went to pcpitstop for a test and its the first time I've had two chequered flags for my hard disk. My cached and uncached speeds are up to spec.