It turns out the Altair 8800 was years behind another microcomputer, one that might have turned the computing world on its ear if a few things had gone differently. CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman has more on an Altair predecessor that was all but lost to history.
That, and other news of the day, on Friday's CNET News Daily Podcast.
BOULDER CREEK, Calif.--I have seen the world's first microcomputer, and it is not the Altair.
For years, any serious discussions about the earliest microcomputers had to include the Altair 8800, the creation of Albuquerque, N.M.'s Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). That computer, as has been well chronicled, inspired legions of hobbyists, including Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who, upon seeing the Altair on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, began a mad rush to create Microsoft BASIC, their first smash hit and the beginning of their empire.
But it turns out … Read more
Intel has updated its price list with new processors, including new Core i7 chips and a bevy of mobile models.
Many gamers have been waiting for the update of the "Nehalem" Core i7, which was introduced last November. Intel's update Tuesday includes the newly minted i7-975 (8M L3 cache, 4 cores, 8 threads, 3.33GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI). This is priced at $999.
For the uninitiated, threads effectively double the number of tasks a processor can do, GT/s stands for giga transfers per second, and QPI is Intel's new Quick Path Interconnect technology. … Read more
It seems Nokia is rather partial to its luxury 8800 range, and while we'd like to say the Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte is a welcome departure from its predecessors, we would be lying harder than a desperate real estate agent.
This is another attractive, yet ultimately boring, phone that tries to allure wallet-bulging buyers with the increasingly tired combination of a preposterous price tag and high-end materials such as carbon fiber, metal, and glass. It's not that we don't like it; we'd just prefer to see something a little less "BMW interior" sometimes.
Feature-wise, … Read more
Dell will offer an Nvidia dual graphics chip upgrade for 17-inch XPS M1730 gaming notebook owners--but stepping up won't be a cakewalk for MediaDirect users.
Some users were upset when Dell upgraded the graphics in newer models of the M1730 to the 8800M GTX. The XPS 1730 with the 8800M GTX earned a score of almost 13,500 in 3Dmark06--which is about a 49 percent performance gain over two 8700M GT … Read more
Apple and Nvidia are finally shipping a graphics card for owners of older Mac Pros who felt left out in the cold in January.
When Apple introduced the newest version of the Mac Pro in January, it offered Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT graphics card as an upgrade option on those systems. Owners of older Mac Pros, however, were miffed that Apple said the cards would only work with the latest Mac Pro generation, because firmware in the card could only support the PCI Express 2.0 standard unveiled with the new Mac Pros.
The thing is, those cards were … Read more
The graphics processing unit (GPU) is in, the central processing unit (CPU) is out. That was one of the main themes running through the Nvidia fourth-quarter conference call earlier this week. Nvidia is the largest graphics chip supplier.
During the call on Wednesday, Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of Nvidia, repeated one thing often: GPUs are playing more of a central role in PCs, CPUs less so. "The CPU has become fast enough for the vast majority of (PC) users," he said. "PC enthusiasts, gamers, and design professionals have know this for some time." The GPU … Read more
Update [2/11/08]: We've heard from Best Buy, and the company tells us this laptop will be available for $1,199 starting Sunday, February 17. That represents an excellent value, and mitigates our disappointment over the original jump from the MSRP of $1,350 to the current $1,699.
Late last year, Gateway told us about its plans to bring a low-cost, high-quality gaming laptop to Best Buy stores as a retail-only exclusive. The system has arrived, and we were initially impressed with its price and performance, but now there seems to be some funny stuff going on … Read more
Laptop gamers have always had plenty of high-end 17-inch desktop replacement systems to choose from, so we were excited to see that one of Alienware's pushed this year at CES was the Area-51 m15x, a rare 15-inch gaming laptop.
With this new model, initially announced in December but available starting later in January, Alienware has updated its iconic look, keeping the classic alien-head motif on the back of the lid, but cleaning up the design with a simple, flat look called "Ripley," which removes not only the ridges … Read more