A P P Y H A L L O W E E N ! !
N F L W E E K
8 P I C K S . . .
... has been posted. How many people actually read the picks and analysis anyway? Hm... oh well. We are dedicated to bring you the entire season in depth, and by golly, Rice World will deliver. =) Yes, the post office slogan analogy is still stuck to my head. Click!
A R O U N D T H E
R I C E
Quake 3 Arena article has been updated with two more entries. Go check it out! One lengthy one from John, my roommate, and another measly short one from Albert (or otherwise known as Gasman on the Rice World messageboards). It's on the second page, but that's obvious. Hopefully, I will receive two more submissions, and the article will be complete. Until then, happy reading. Click!
I failed to mention Payne Stewart in the news lately. If you haven't heard yet, the golfer died as a plane he was riding crashed into a meadowland in the midwest while heading for Texas. Indeed, a sad event for everyone, not just golfing enthusiasts. I personally don't follow golf very much, but this incident just reminds us of our mortality. Human beings, some elevated to fame such as Stewart was, are still living organisms under God's green earth. I guess multiple events have made me slightly cynical, and view the world in a different perspective than the innocent one I have before. Now I am cherishing my youth, the ability to sprint and jump... I can feed myself, relieve myself, etc... Yes, it is good to be young and healthy.
I N D U S T R Y U P D
A T E
I know, I know. Many of you, just reading the title get turned off and stop reading the rest. Heh, bastards. Oh well, I still feel compelled, because computer hardware and technology is what interest me, and by golly you will read whatever I am interested in!! J/k... ignore the rest if you wish, but:
I have posted the two people's account of the Quake 3 Arena tour bus experience! Wisdom's and mines so far, but more to come surely. Check out the long list of our booty right here: Click!
So what's the big hoopla now from the Big I chipzilla (heh... Intel)? The release of the COPPERMINE processor! Okay, what the hell is that? The coppermine is the code name for Intel's new brand of Pentium III's. This is a very confusing matter, which I don't understand why they felt compelled to confuse customers, but I will try to straighten it out for you.
The first Pentium III's were code named Katmai. They were released in 450 MHz and 500 MHz variants. The only thing they had different from the Pentium II's? SSE instructions. They were instructions within the processor that handled complicated 3D calculations and made programs that were optimized for SSE much faster. In other words, the second coming of MMX. Personally, I didn't feel that it warrented the new name Pentium III. Oh well, marketing tactics I suppose. However, there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel. That light was Coppermine. Coppermine, in my opinion, was the REAL Pentium III. It hosted many more improvements than simple addition of SSE as Katmai. First, the chip was shrunk to 0.18 micron process, down from 0.25. Basically, it's the smaller the better. Smaller die's mean better cooling and less resistence, therefore faster processors!
The other major improvement was moving 256 kb of L2 cache into the chip itself. A quick lesson in cache and L2. Cache basically denotes FAST RAM! The more the better! L2 means level 2. Yes, there is a level 1, and that is at 32 kb. Not a lot, but L1 is faster than L2, because it's closer to the core of the CPU. Anyways, the significance of 256 on-die is that it's twice as fast as the older Pentium III's. That's because the older Pentium III's L2 cache resided on the slot processor, but not directly on the chip, and therefore it runs at half of the speed of the processor. Okay, long story short, 256 kb equals positive step towards better performance. =)
So far, 0.18 shrinkage, and 256 kb on-die L2 cache. Okay, in addition, there are also a lot of smaller improvements, such as enhanced memory bandwidth, etc... altogether, a bunch of new goodies that only spell more success for Intel. Now here's where it gets confusing. Too many varieties of these coppermines floating around!! By now most of you that have read this far probably know of Intel's new motherboard chipset, the i820. It supports 133 MHz front side bus, RDRAM, and AGP 4X. Unfortunately it's delayed because of some issues, so oh shucks. Anyways, these new coppermine processors, some fit on regular 100 MHz BX-slot 1 boards, some fit on 133 MHz i820 boards, some fit on 133 MHz Via Apollo Pro 133A boards, and then some fit on i810e socket-370 motherboards. WHAT THE HECK MAN!??! To help it out, Intel decided to label them with letters! Oh joy! That really helps! No one except those that actually do research know what they stand for! RETARDS! Okay, no problem, Rice World is here to help. I have done the grunt work, and check out the nice table that splits them into nice categories:
B stands for Katmai processors
133 MHz motherboards
Holy toledo, that's a lot of new chips to keep track of!! A quick description of the various chipsets. The i810e is a low-end chipset with integrated sound and video. Adequate for most users, crappy for gamers because we need more power. FC-PGA simply stands for Flip-Chip Pin Grid Array.... or in other words the chip fits into a socket instead of a slot. The Intel BX chipset is the plain ol' motherboard most of us with Pentium II's 350's or higher uses. Stable, proven, and reliable. The Intel i820 chipset is the new motherboard coming out soon that supports 133 MHz bus, RDRAM, and AGP 4X. The Via Apollo Pro 133A is a different chipset from Intel's, and thus a competitor! They support 133 MHz and AGP4X, but still use SDRAM instead of RDRAM.
Phew. I'm getting tired just listing all of them out. Hopefully this sheds some light (A little? Not even a tiny bit??) on the new chips Intel are pushing out. Don't worry. When Christmas time rolls around, Rice World will have a new computer buyer's guide loaded and ready to be published to help purchasing or upgrading new computers!
Okay, so how do I feel about them? After analyzing countless benchmarks and comments from ALL of the major hardware sites (yes, I read them all), I've decided that only the Pentium III EB series of processors stand a challenge to the Athlon. All the rest are still cannon fodder to the juggernaut processor, but the EB chips actually match and surpass equally speeded Athlons in most tests! Actually, let me revise that. The EB chips on i820 boards w/ RDRAM. Yeap. That's a lot of premium to pay, but it certainly does the job.
My overall opinion? Good job by Intel! Although it is still not much of a match against Athlons, they finally can stand their ground. This is what the REAL Pentium III should have been. It has finally arrived... a chipset worthy of the name Pentium III. Soon it will be a war of MHz, to see who hits 1 GHz first. Good days are ahead.
Y A N K E E D O O D L
Is there a more dominating closer in the game today than Mariano Rivera? Where did this guy come from anyways? It is because of Rivera that the Yankees have been so dominating throughout the playoffs. Throughout the regular season they didn't hold the best record in the league as they did last year. This year, the Yankees looked dazed at times, and brilliant in others. However, they were exceptional when it counted the most... against the most successful franchise in the 90's, the Atlanta Braves. And hey, even though they were swept, the Atlanta Braves put up a hell of a fight. As the millenium approaches, and the 20th century comes to a close, they will be forever remembered as the most dominating team in the last 10 years. Baseball may have lost the title of America's Pasttime, but today, in the house that Ruth built, it reminded everyone that the sprit of sports is alive, and it rocks!
Congratulations 1999 World Series champions: The New York Yankees.
L I N K O F
T H E D A Y
For the lack of a better title... not because there will be a link every day. =)
Anyways, I had meant to post this up earlier, but better late than never right? We've all heard of claustrophobia or acrophobia but... have you ever heard of defecaloesiophobia? Heh heh... didn't think so. Intrigued? Find an entire dictionary full of phobia's here: Click!
2 0 0 0 N B A
S E A S O N P R E V I E W
I'm sure most of you were wondering when this was going to be off of the press! NBA is probably the fastest growing sports market out there, and figures such as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant are probably international superstars. This season figures to be one dominated by young stars such as Tim Duncan. This preview will give you a peek at how the teams are arranged as opening day creeps closer, and Gerry's personal picks for the playoff and overall championship. A great read for the enthusiast, but also good for people that just care about their beloved Lakers. Click!
M A R V E L O U S M P
3 M O N D A Y
It's that time of the week again folks. This week, the song was chosen by me, Rice, with Gerry adding comments in blue. Next week it will be him, and alternate etc... So put up your feets and watch your 14.4 modems chug along. Click!
S A N T A A N I T A
Q 3 A : A F T E R M A T H
It has been a day since the Quake 3 Arena bus hit the Santa Anita race tracks. Don't worry, I am working on an article which will be multi-part, featuring stories from individual members that attended. Also, the bus will hit UCLA tomorow! So I will be adding in that into the article before it is published. A little preview: residents of A5-104 cleaned house! Har har... =)
B L A S T E D T H U R
S G A M E . . .
... has forced the scheduled NFL picks to be posted today instead of our usual Friday or Saturday. Nevertheless, it's posted. Read away! Click!
A R O U N D T H E
R I C E
Hey fella's! A few new changes to the front splash page... R2D2 has been terminated at the junkyard. It never really fit in with the page anyways, so I just canned it. It was only because Version 2.0 was developed during the middle of the Star Wars: Phantom Menace hype. Now all that is left is the animated GIF. Some were questioning which program I used to make the flipping mini-banner. I use Animation Shop w/ Paintshop Pro by Jasc. Highly recommended for intermediate artists such as I. It combines the versatility of Photoshop, and the clean interface of Microsoft Paint.
Before I digress any further, I'd like to point you all to the new ListBot I just started. I know many of you are extremely busy with your lives and cannot afford to visit Rice World, only to find out that there were no updates (shucks!). Wasting such precious seconds of your life when it could have been better used for, say, sleep or taking a dump, could be detrimental to you overall as a human being. Therefore, everytime I update or have new articles/reviews or gamers blurb I will send out a general announcement to all the people that have subscribed w/ the ListBot. For examble, if Joe Bloggs (SAT review, anyone?) signed up w/ the Rice World ListBot, then he would be on the subscriber's list. When the awesome NBA preview article goes up, I will send out a general announcement to everyone on the subscriber's list using ListBot. So Joe Bloggs will say, "Oh great! New content!" as he checks his daily e-mail. Comprende?
By the way, this is the same one as you see on the splash page, so don't get confused and sign up twice! I hope this helps those people that have limited access to computers, yet are dedicated to Rice World (you guys rock), so you know exactly when new stuff are posted.
O N E F I N A L
Q 3 A R A M B L E
Are you guys ready? Because this is the biggest news yet...
10/23, Sat - KROQ Event at Santa Anita - 285 W Huntington Dr 12pm - 5pm
Hey wait... yeah! That's at home!! WOOHOO!!! The Q3A Tour Bus is HEADING OUR WAY!!!! EVERYONE GO HOME THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!
Okay, breath... *inhale*... *exhale*
M A R V E L O U S M P
3 M O N D A Y
Yay! It has returned! One of the most popular features of Rice World last year was the old Song of the Week. Now, it has made a comeback, and today marks the day when the 2nd generation of the SotW is reborn. Click!
S U R F A C I N G T H
O U G H T S
Sometimes, late at night, when I cannot sleep for one reason or another, I have random thoughts that bubble to the top of my head. Tonight, if you would do me the pleasure of reading this, I would like to... "spill"... a little on some of what I have been mulling about for the past few days / nights.
For those close to me, you already know of the condition in which my Grandmother has been put in. Two weeks ago, in the dead silent of early morning, she broke one of her legs after falling on the hard wooden floor after attempting to dim the lights in her bedroom. Normally, a broken leg bone is not a big deal, but to someone flirting with the age of 90, it may ultimately spell doom, and at best, a cripple for the rest of their short life.
A successful surgery led to cries of happiness within our family, but what soon followed was a minor stroke that struck her and left part of the left side of her body immobile. Keeping in mind this is a woman late in her 80's, every little condition is a big deal. Currently, as of now, she has moved... no, she has BEEN moved... to the rehabilitation and physical therapy level, which will attempt to help her regain her physical condition.
This Grandmother is the one on my mother's side, and she happens to live with me ever since my 6th grade. Some may know that my Grandfather on my father's side passed away last summer in Taiwan, and though I felt sorrow, I regretted not knowing him well enough to feel pain. This Grandmother (to be simply referred to as Grandma from hereonforth), however, is the closest upper generational relative I know. I remember it was but a mere 12 years ago when my brother was born in Missouri that she flew from Los Angeles to the small town of Columbia, deep in the heartlands, in order to help my mom take care of me and my new baby brother while my dad completed his Master's education. That's when we first established our bond. I remember sharing the same bed with Grandma, and at night she would tell me jokes of the days of her youth in Taiwan, and I would laugh uncontrollably before I quietly fell asleep under her watchful gaze.
It would be 6 years later until Grandma came back to live with us at our current home, and has remained on the large part with us up until now. She was a devout Buddhist, waking up every day at the crack of dawn to recite incomprehensible verses over and over again. A strict vegetarian since she was 30, I believe it has contributed to her inhuman health and her sharp mind. Yes, up until her hospitalization, she aided my mom in daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning, as well as watching Chinese soap operas on T.V. at night. Grandma attended weddings of my cousins frequently, and tagged along with my mom occasionally when there was a spring sale going on at Macy's. If you were in my position, you would have also thought she'd never die. If there was such thing as a super woman, it was her.
... until the news came that she has been hospitalized. My first reaction was shock, and a split second later, re-assurance within myself that she will be okay, because nothing short of World War III could kill her. Well, I was right, partially. Today, she is breathing and living, but in the world of I.V. bags and hospital rules. You need to understand how I pictured her in my mind before my visits to the hospital. She was nearly always cheerful and upbeat, with snowy white hair streaked with gray. Whenever I came home from school, I would report to her and she would chuckle merrily while continuing on with her work. Of course, Grandma didn't exactly run around on fresh legs, and occasionally she would have visits to the Doctor regarding her health and level of blood pressure (which shoots up if she is not careful).
However, the overall image was a woman of strength and will to live. Someone who has seen it all, yet wanted to see more. Do I miss her? Oh yes. It's hard to live without an early morning alarm, especially one that doesn't have a snooze button and is as reliable as an antique grandfather clock. It's Grandma's overall bubbly attitude that not only I miss, but everyone she has touched in her life.
Do I make it sound like she's passed on? In my eyes, unless God finds it merciful to weave a miracle in her life, I don't see her returning to her old self. My last visit to the hospital before I headed back to the dorms was especially significant for me. Her arms were tagged full of bandaids, cotton, and other aritificial nonsense. On the otherside was the I.V. bag dripping slowly but surely, like an hourglass running out of sand and on its last legs. She was wearing standard hospital garb, a pull-over shirt that stretches down to the knees, and was lying on a recline-able bed with the sheets covering half of her body. Her face was what nearly brought me to my knees. It was heavily wrinkled, and looked haggled. A closer inspection of her body showed a general weakness in muscles and limbs, something I never saw before. Her lips were in a static half frown between sadness and pain, and her eyelids were so weak that it was an effort to open them from time to time to see who she was talking to.
There were two things that still remain unbelievably fresh in my mind. First of all she raised her hand and reached mine, held it for a second or two before letting go, and with open eyes muttered (in Taiwanese), "Eric, hi. How are you doing in school?". I couldn't respond, because I felt a wave of emotions wash over my entire being, but it didn't matter because when I focused again in on Grandma, her eyes fell back into sleeping position and she seemed oblivious to her surroundings. The second event occured then, right after the first, when she grimaced for a split second in pain as the automated medicine dispenser shot through her veins.
Then she sighed, and cried softly for the comfort of home and the kitchen where she cut and washed her own vegetables. As the tears quietly rolled down her cheeks and onto her shirt, I felt a stab of pain in my heart deeper than any I've ever felt in my life so far. I yearned to grab a hold of her, and by sheer force of will make everything bad that has happened into good. But I simply stood there transfixed on those tears... because from it, I saw the source of where those tears came from. Her ever bright eyes full of life and incomparable energy, the living soul of her being, looked dim and resigned. Never before have I ever seen her given up. Even when she had the controversial eye surgery, she was optimistic that she would heal in no time, and by golly she did. Whenever we worried that she would lose partial vision, she would laugh and assure us that her eye will be 20/20 in no time. The aura that she used to give off was so full of confidence that it would inevitably turn us into believers.
There is an old saying, that claims everyone knows when their own death is approaching. The anguish I felt when visiting her, knowing that she has given up hope with herself, grew exponentially whenever I dwelt on the "D" word. Outside, my facial expression remained stoic, but inside I whimpered and wept for some kind of devine intervention. Anything to give back Grandma her old strength in believing in life. Surely, if she has already given up, then the Grim Reaper has already won half of the battle.
Even if she were to pass on this very moment, she ought to be proud of her accomplishments in life, and move on to a better life, knowing that she has done far above and beyond the call of duty of a normal human being. Having raised 7 children with 2 separate husbands, both whom died tragically early, she is one of the last true family backbone of our world. She survived through threats of war from China, and survived being enslaved by the Japanese prior to World War II. Often times Grandma juggled multiple, low paying jobs to earn enough to put food on the table for the entire family. Today's society is so worried about image, that the pure instinct of being a protective parent / mother is lost somewhere in the cockamamie known as rugged individualism. If ever there was a hero in my life, Grandma stands head and shoulders above the next closest candidate.
There's nothing else I can say that can describe the endless respect I have for her. For the first time in my life, I am frightened. I don't know how I would react to the news of her death, which marches inevitably towards me as each day slowly passes on. To conclude my meandering rambles, I'd like to kindly ask you to take a quick moment in your daily prayers and help pray for Grandma. Pray for her to find the truth of Jesus Christ and God, and pray for her happiness... but above all please pray for her comfort in knowing that one day, all of us will be reunited in a common land free from physical restraints and that only then will the term "Happily Ever After" apply for all eternity.