The Haus

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

My Netscape 6 Review

Get Mozilla.

OK, that might seem a little brief, but I think it basically sums it up. Netscape 6 is OK and if your choices are Netscape 6, Netscape 4.7x, or IE, I'd most likely go with Netscape 6. However, the following reasons make me choose Mozilla builds over Netscape 6:
  1. No AOL Crap: Netscape 6 comes bundled with too much of it. If you choose a custom install you can eliminate a good chunk of it, but not all of it.
  2. More Rapid Bug Fixes: Mozilla bug fixes are showing up every day in the nightly builds. Netscape 6 has some strange page displaying bugs that do not exist in current Mozilla builds (and I tried them side by side).
  3. Nothing New: If you've seen Mozilla, you've basically seen Netscape 6 (with the above caveats). If you have Mozilla, there is no reason to change.
My big question is this: since Mozilla is now dually-licensed under the MPL and GPL, and Netscape is based on Mozilla, doesn't the GPL demand that Netscape release the source for Netscape 6?

FWIW, I uninstalled Netscape 6. Then I promptly downloaded last night's (November 14) Mozilla build. So far, it's just dandy.

Netscape 6 Review

CNet has slapped up a review of Netscape 6 which was released earlier today. I agree with a lot of the points in the article, except the ones that say that IE is more stable. I've never found a program more unstable than IE. Plus when IE goes down, Win9x goes down with it. Netscape only crashes itself.

J.t.Qbe comments: So A.T., is that thumbs up or thumbs down? I do have to say (believe it or not) that on my own Win95 system, IE5.01 has been rock solid compared to Netscape 4.7. In fact, it's never crashed on me, while Netscape goes down at least 3-5 times per week--3-5 times per DAY on Linux. I hope the newer version is better. . .

A.T. Hun comments: See the above article. It's a thumbs sideways, basically. I'm going to stick with Mozilla builds.

3dfx Dumping Board Business

CNNfn is reporting that 3dfx will no longer be selling video cards. Instead, they are going to be closing the Mexican plant where the boards were made and instead try to sell their chips to card manufacturers. They call it "reinventing themselves". I call it "rudderless". Let's see, they managed to $%^& off all the board manufacturers when they bought out STB and cut off supply of their chips, now they are going to have to go begging to Creative, Guillemot, and the like who can't make boards for NVIDIA chips fast enough? Yeah. Sure. Thanks Shugashack.

Netscape 6 Released

Looks like Netscape 6.0 has been released on Netscape's FTP site. I don't know much about this browser, since I gave up Netscape back in 4.x land, when it pretty much sucked hardcore. Hopefully 6 is a much better package, since I'm tiring of IE 5.5's newfound GPFness. I'm sure A.T. will give us a feel for the new Navigator whenever the heck he gets out of all his meetings :-)

A.T. Hun comments: I took just enough of a break between meetings to download Netscape 6 and install it. If you are familiar with the recent Mozilla builds, you will feel immediately comfortable with Netscape 6. It seems a little more solid--like some of the debugging code as been removed. I'll give it more time and give a full report later.

Firewall on a card?

Merilus Technologies, Inc, has released FireCard, a firewall on a PCI card. How cool is that? It runs an embedded Linux on a Crusoe processor, and depends on it's parent PC for nothing more than power. Wicked cool. I'm (ahem) impressed.

Thanks User Friendly.

Monday, November 13, 2000

Voodoo5-6000 R.I.P.

This press release seems to indicate that the Voodoo5-6000, the hugely monstrously expensive video card from 3dfx, will never see the light of day. Here's a snip:
3dfx Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ:TDFX) announced today that it has licensed its 4-way Scanline Interleave (SLI) technology, based on the Voodoo5 6000 AGP project, to Quantum3D to be incorporated into their AAlchemy family of PC-based systems for visual simulation and training applications. The company also announced that its 4-way SLI technology, which has achieved 43 percent better Quake 3 graphics performance over leading competitive solutions, will be available exclusively from Quantum3D, and will not be available in the retail channel.
It will be interesting to see if 3dfx actually confirms this. It wouldn't be a big surprise since it would be prohibitively expensive (~$600). I can't remember exactly when this was supposed to come out, but it has been an eternity technologically speaking. Still, it seems rather stupid that they would be announcing how much faster it is in Quake3, but then tell gamers they can't buy it. That makes their claims very dubious at best. Thanks Shugashack.

UPDATE! I emailed their PR guy, Bubba Wolford, for confirmation. Stay tuned.

UPDATE #2! VoodooExtreme got confirmation from 3dfx that the Voodoo5-6000 has indeed been cancelled.
3dfx will not ship the product known as the Voodoo5 6000 to retail. We have opted to license our 4-way SLI technology to Quantum3D for use in their visual simulation and other high-end systems. As it is licensed to Quantum3D, specific product plans for the 4-way VSA-100 board will therefore need to be addressed by Quantum3D.
Is this the beginning of death throes for 3dfx?

The Master comments: To quote one of Tom Clancy's characters from Rainbox Six: Good night, Gracie.

New Unreal Fortress

The Unreal Fortress team has released a newer version of their Team Fortress-esque mod to address several "issues". You can get the 13M patch from their official site. Thanks Shugashack.

MOO3? How about Starflight 3?

During the year 1988, almost all my free time went into playing an Electronic Arts game called Starflight. Most "Best Games Ever" lists include Starflight, and for good reason: it's a perfectly balanced combination of trading, adventure and galactic exploration. You can even go find the ruins of Old Earth. Starflight 2 (early 1990s) continued the tradition. Now several of the original game designers are working with volunteers from the internet to produce Starflight 3, bigger, better and more of everything which made Starflight great. And it'll be free. I'm eager to play it.

And if that isn't enough Starflight for you, another fan is building a game trilogy called "Starflight Invasion". Good days ahead for Starflight fans . . .

Too Kuhl for Words: Atari 2600 Handheld

Just when you thought you'd seen it all, some guy comes along and builds a handheld Atari 2600. This is just too slick.

The Master comments: Heheheheh :-) At LAST I get to do this to somebody, instead of A.T. doing it to me! I already posted this one, back in September. Good story to keep live though-looks like the project is moving over to classicgaming.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

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