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Windows-Help.NET Newsletter20 Feb. 1999, Vol 2 No. 8

 Intel "previews" Pentium III chip

by Arie Slob

Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,

Intel last Wednesday held a preview event for their new Pentium III processor in San Jose, in front of hundreds of software developers and PC OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Intel is calling it their most important product launch of the year (the Pentium III is to be launched "officially" on 26 February, but systems with the processor are already selling). Many people, however, are questioning the benefits of the Pentium III.

According to Intel, the Pentium III should improve 3-D performance by introducing new SIMD (Single-Instruction Multiple-Data) extensions - formally known as Katmai New Instructions. But in a benchmark report published on the Ars Technica Web site, it was found that the new 500MHz Pentium III chip didn't offer a significant performance boost over a Celeron 300A overclocked to 450MHz when used with today's 3-D graphic boards. (You have to realise that many gamers overclock their systems),

Now this may not seem significant, but Intel has said that this chip is more for consumers then for corporate users, and gamers are the first to embrace new technologies, especially when it improves their system's 3-D performance. They may have to wait for the next generation of 3-D graphic sets to get the better performance from the Pentium III.

A Pentium III currently costs over 12 times as much as a Celeron 300A, so it doesn't seem to be too good of a deal right now.

The comments coming from IT managers at present is that they like the Pentium III for one reason: the price of Pentium II's are likely to drop.

It looks like the Pentium III might be off to a slow start, but when optimised hardware arrives later this year (including a new chip set from Intel - code named Camino - which will boost a 133MHz system bus), and optimised software starts arriving in volume, sales will likely increase. Expect the Pentium III to be running at 800MHz by the end of this year (A 550MHz version is expected in Q2).

Microsoft meanwhile touted the performance increase which it said would be achieved with a range of products in a press release on 17 February. According to Microsoft, this includes software such as the upcoming Windows 2000, games such as Flight Simulator, Full Auto, Midtown Madness and Baseball 2000, as well as Windows technologies such as DirectX and Internet Explorer.

Windows 95 and 98 won't identify the Pentium III as such, the chip will be identified as a Pentium II on the General tab of the System tool in Control Panel. This does not affect performance; according to Microsoft, Windows 98 fully supports the Pentium III processor. Microsoft has posted a Knowledge Base Article about this issue. More on this in an article on CNet.

BackOffice Server 4.0 Does Not Delete Installation Setup File

Microsoft® has learned of a potential vulnerability in the installer for BackOffice Server® 4.0. The installer asks the user to provide the account userid and password for selected services and writes these to a file in order to automate the installation process. However, the file is not deleted when the installation process completes. As detailed in the Knowledge Base Article below, Microsoft recommends that BackOffice 4.0 customers delete this file.

More information can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q217004

Netscape Frame-Spoofing Vulnerability

Netscape has recently been alerted to a vulnerability that affects versions of Netscape Navigator on all available platforms that support the use of frames, including versions 2.0 and later. Netscape has verified that this vulnerability does exist, although no customer incidents have been reported to Netscape. Netscape takes all potential security and privacy issues seriously and is currently working on a fix that will be included in a future version of the browser.

For more information, see this Netscape Security Note.

The vulnerability was discovered by Bulgarian bug hunter Georgi Guninski, who posted a demonstration of the exploit on his Web site.


Cool Mouse 98
Add functionality to your middle mouse button with Cool Mouse 98. This system tray-based utility lets you convert a single middle-mouse-button click to a double-click, display the Start menu anywhere on the screen, make windows that "roll up" to their title bar, and run any program. You can also minimise windows to the system tray, display a window features menu, and scroll windows.

Windows 95 / 98 / NT, Shareware $15

Web site | Download [385KB]

PerfectDisk NT
PerfectDisk NT is a disk defragmenter/optimiser for Windows NT. It can handle both FAT and NTFS partitions. While other products simply defragment files and consolidate free space, PerfectDisk actually optimises the locations of files on the disk to help reduce seek times and read/write head movements.

Windows NT 4.0, Shareware - starting from $49

Web site | Download [5.3MB]

3Dfx prepares new Voodoo
Chipmaker 3Dfx Interactive Inc. which merged with boardmaker STB Systems Inc. announced its first line of add-in boards which are to be marketed under its own brand name. The boards, called VooDoo 2000, 3000 and 3500, will use 3Dfx's next generation 3-D graphic chip called VooDoo3, which is due in March.

Windows 98 Tip
Using ScanReg
Another of those enhancements which should make using Windows 98 more user friendly is the ScanReg Registry Checker.

Each day, after a successful boot, a backup copy of your registry is created (containing the System.dat, User.dat, System.ini and Win.ini files). By default Windows 98 allows you to keep up to 5 copies of your registry, saved in Windows cabinet files (*.cab).


Windows 95 Tip
Compressing the Windows 95 Registry
Maybe you have noticed that the Windows 95 Registry files (System.dat & User.dat keep growing in size. Even if you remove programs from your system, the registry never shrinks. This occurs because the empty spaces in the registry are never compacted, and still take up space. Here is a procedure to compress your registry:


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  DU Meter chosen as The Microsoft & WUGNET Best Choice Shareware Pick
  of the Week for Windows NT


Each week Microsoft® and WUGNET® feature a shareware pick demonstrating the highest standards available today in shareware for Windows® NT. This week that honour was taken by DU Meter, created by Hagel Technologies, and marketed by InfiniSource.

DU Meter is a powerful tool to help you use your Internet connection more efficiently. It displays how much of your full bandwidth potential is actually utilised at any point in time, by displaying a real-time graph, numerical display, or both. Works with Dial-Up, ISDN, Cable Modem, and Ethernet cards.

DU Meter not only works on Windows NT, but also on Windows 95 and Windows 98.

For more information, visit the InfiniSource Web site, or download a copy of DU Meter [397KB].

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