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What Is New

July 1998

Friday July 31, 1998

  • Good morning !
  • Congratulations to Cyberian Outpost.  Today is their IPO and we wish them and Winfield Capital all of the luck in the world!
  • Vice President Al Gore will be discussing Internet Privacy today.
  • Some people have asked us about our silence on the Motorola and AMD agreements.  Our concern centers around the support from motherboard manufacturers.   Super7 motherboards are still maturing.  We all recognize the growing pains - new chipset revisions, motherboard revisions, and BIOS updates.  This isn't all bad news but as a consumer you need to recognize that potential problems may crop up when you least expect it. 

Hopefully this product line will be ready for everyone in the market soon.  AMD'a K6-2 is a wonderful product.  We offer the Epox motherboards for simple configurations.  The GigaByte motherboard is not ready for resale.  ASUS will release a Super7 board soon.

If you or a friend are interested in building a simple desktop system then the AMD processor is an excellent choice.  If you are trying to add multiple devices, SCSI devices, large amounts of memory, mixed parts from older systems - then we might suggest you stick with an Intel-based core.  As a reminder, dual processor systems still remain an Intel processor market.  We would also remind everyone that overclocking your processor is not supported by any manufacturer (or us).  All warranties are void when you work outside of the manufacturer's specifications.

  • Of the motherboards ESC offers, which is the most popular Pentium II motherboard (single processor, BX chipset)?
    ASUS's P2B motherboards have consistently been our clients 1st choice. ASUS traditionally has consistent quality, extremely low return rates, high customer satisfaction rates, and ease of working with the company for technical support and questions.

The P2B series boards are:
P2B: single Pentium II processor support
P2B-S: single Pentium II processor support with dual channel SCSI onboard
P2B-LS: single Pentium II processor support with SCSI and LAN onboard
P2B-DS: dual Pentium II processor support with SCSI onboard

Gigabyte 686BX, 6BA, and 6BXDS motherboards are close runner ups. Next, would be Intel, Atrend, AOpen (Acer), and then Abit as an introductory Pentium II board.

Of course, we try to offer product that has return rate to manufacturer (through either ESC or client) of less than 3%. Also, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel, Atrend, Acer, and Abit Pentium II boards are available in the distribution channel.

  • When will ESC start offering Pentium II 450 MHz processors?
    Intel has not shipped Boxed Pentium II 450 MHz processors into the US, authorized distribution channel. When product is available through these sources, we will start shipping product too. When will that be? We have estimated time of arrivals that range from August 3rd to August 15th.

Wait a minute --- what about the rumored release of the Pentium II 500 MHz with extended MMX functions (code named Katmai) in late August??

Initial costs from Intel to distributors of the processor are expected to be around $825 (1,000 unit price estimate. $825x1.1=$907 reseller cost $907x1.07=971 end user cost ). We'll offer the Boxed product as soon as the product is available through authorized distribution channels.

  • The construction on the new shopping system is moving forward.   We've managed to tie in the database for faster updates.  The search engine is also ready.  As requested, the navigation will remain similar.  The order status section is still not complete.
  • Albert and Gracie are doing fine.  They have been rather quiet.   It's the summer heat.  Al has never been one for the heat.  Of course, he loves basking in the sun. Gracie spends most of her time grooming herself - the heat messes up her hairdo.
  • We hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, get plenty of rest and relaxation, and above all - that all of you remain safe.

Thursday July 30, 1998

  • Intel's N440BX motherboard supports dual Pentium II processors. This server motherboard has remote server access for quick troubleshooting, repair and real-time server management. 
    • dual-channel ultra-SCSI
    • Intel EtherExpress™ PRO/100+ LAN Controller (Intel 82558)
    • PCI Video with 2 MB SGRAM
  • A shipment of Boxed Pentium II 300 and 400 MHz processors arrived this morning. Pentium II 333 and 350 MHz processors (Boxed) are available also.
  • Are you looking to upgrade your older 486 system or Pentium and would like to keep your existing case? Gigabyte manufactures the 6BA motherboard, which is AT form factor.
    • supports Pentium II 233-333 MHz processor at 66 MHz front side bus
    • supports Pentium II 350-450 MHz processor at 100 MHz front side bus
    • uses SDRAM
  • What is an easy way to increase the performance of my current computer?
    • Adding more memory is frequently the easiest way to increase the performance of a system. If you are looking for SIMMs then Crucial Technology, a division of Micron offers upgrade modules for your home built system, or brand name system. Corsair Memory or Crucial may be able to assist you if your system uses SDRAM.

Tuesday July 28, 1998

  • Good afternoon!  We've delayed writing this section today until we had more information on Intel processors.
  • Expect severe shortages on Intel processors for the next 8 weeks.  This will drive prices up on the OEM market.  According to Intel, there was manufacturing difficulty.  There will be 150,000 Pentium II 266 MHz processors available approximately in mid-August.  Everything else will have a delay and we do not have timing.  Patience will be vital.
  • According to Intel, the first Xeon 400 MHz have shipped.  There are 73 pieces available.  If you have a motherboard, then we can get the product for you.  We have not tested these products.  The price is $1279.00 for quanti ty one.
  • ASUS products will also be on severe shortages.  Each summer, ASUS goes on vacation.  All motherboard supplies will be limited through August 5 or 6.

We have spent the morning trying to locate product for everyone who has placed orders.  If you are thinking about ordering, we are suggesting that you watch processor pricing very carefully.   We expect there to be a price increase as the product disappears.

Monday July 27, 1998

  • Corsair will be visiting us today.  They have several new products that they are introducing.
  • The Intel Boxed Processor prices have been lowered.  The OEM/Tray product prices will be adjusted throughout today.
  • As a reminder, the shipping calculated on the shopping cart is not correct.  The new shopping cart is being designed with different shipping zones.  This should help calculate the correct price.
  • Have you been watching Amazon.com stock?

Friday July 24, 1998

Corsair Memory Inc., the industry leader in high density DRAM Dual In-Line Memory Modules for the Intel Server Platforms, is now offering 32MByte, 64MByte, and 128MByte ECC EDO DRAM Modules for the new Intel 450NX Server Platforms -- AD450NX, and SC450NX.

Corsair Memory Inc., the industry leader in high density Synchronous DRAM Dual In-Line Memory Modules, is now shipping qualified 256MByte PC100 Registered ECC SDRAM Modules.

  • [Update: 3:20pm] New Intel processor prices are:
Intel Pentium II 400 MHz $650.34
Intel Pentium II 350 MHz $474.28
Intel Pentium II 333 MHz $355.84
Intel Pentium II 300 MHz $239.01

  • Hello.
  • Okay.  We still can't get the dates right on this website.  Just like the XT's requiring the date and time to be entered manually each time the machine is started - this section of our website requires us to manually put in the correct date.  Someone suggested that we wind up our watches.   Others have suggested that we replace the batteries in our clocks.  We have even been reminded to check the CMOS settings in the system BIOS.
  • We have been debating our new shopping cart.   The debate is getting rather exhausting.  We'd like to thank everyone who emailed their ideas.  If you have additional thoughts, please let us know.  No decision has been made but we are leaning towards an NT server.  We will let you know when the new site will be available.
  • Yes, Intel is dropping processor pricing.   However, many of our distributors are dropping Intel.  Since there is no longer profit in offering their processors, and distributors are in the business of earning a profit, we don't fault them for their decisions.  Most of you know that there are pricing services on the web.  From these services you can see that there are companies offering Intel processors at prices considerably below distributor pricing.

Intel continues to state that many of these companies are offering remarked product.  We are not convinced.  It does suggest that pricing pressures will drive many companies to seek alternative products.  We, too, have been eliminating particular processors from our product offerings.  We are also considering only offering processors with the sale of a motherboard and memory.   This may dramatically change the way we do business.  In reviewing sales from last quarter, our greatest losses came from single item processor sales. Socket 7, motherboard-only sales also represented a risk we are no longer interested in continuing.   As we make changes to our product line, we'd like to know your thoughts for additional items.

  • Many people have emailed us requesting processor prices for Monday. According to Intel there will be a price drop on Sunday.   Some of our suppliers have started to provide estimates for the new pricing.   However, final prices have not been determined.  We found one supplier who is already reflecting the "new" prices but they will not ship until Monday.   All orders that we accepted this week will have prices adjusted to Monday's new processor pricing.
  • Corsair 64 MB CAS Latency 2 parts are in stock.
  • Crucial also lowered their prices for PC100 memory.
  • Both Epox motherboards that we offer are in stock.
  • The full line of ASUS Pentium II motherboards are available.  The exception being the P2B-D - which may never be released for resale in the US.  (We said this about the GigaByte GA-5AX and guess what arrived? - so don't believe everything you read in print.)
  • What is the difference between a used car salesman and a computer salesman?  The used car saleman knows when he is lying.
  • Guess what?  Our company doesn't have salesman.  In fact, more sales are now done on the web than through our toll free 800 number.  Therefore, if you call and ask for sales, you might get a technician.   You might not - and end up with Al or Gracie.
  • Who is Edwin Wayne Heiny?  Grandpa Heiny was born June 1906.  He married Martha Mary Wilkinson in 1933.  She was a young gal that he met in the Oakland Church. They have four children, fourteen grand-children, and seventeen (and a half) great-grandchidren.

Robert Wayne Heiny (aka Papa) is their oldest son.  Bob married Joan Marie Umscheid in 1956.  They have five children and four grandchildren.  Yes, you guessed it.  The gaggle of individuals operating this business are all related to E.W. Heiny.

Grandpa was born in Nebraska.  At the age of 6, his family moved to Rocky Ford Colorado and finally to California. Grandpa was the first graduate of Boeing School of Aeronautics in 1930.  He worked for Pacific Air Transport  which merged with Barney Airlines and Boeing Airlines to form United Airlines.  He retired from United in 1971.   According to Grandpa, that's about all you need to know and if you have any questions then please let him know. (Now, you know where that comes from!)

Tuesday July 21, 1998

  • Hello.  Did you miss us?  We kept extremely busy yesteray and didn't upload to this website.  We are reviewing other shopping carts and this has taken our time.  We are also looking at different ISPs to house the new shopping cart system.  Because of the redesign, we are also asking for your opinions. 

Here is our list of necessary features:

  1. Database driven for easy price updates
  2. Links to specification sheets and additional product information
  3. Search capability
  4. Single page listing all products with link to ordering
  5. Multiple item ordering
  6. Non-cookie based shopping
  7. Non-browser specific
  8. Removal of Javascripting
  9. Accurate UPS shipping by zone
  10. SSL encryption for credit card information
  11. E-mail confirmation of order

What features would you like to see in the new shopping cart?

"The new "Coppermine" will be a chip for desktops and notebooks, while "Cascades" is intended for use in servers and workstations."

  • Albert and Gracie have been sweltering in the heat.  We never knew that Gracie's tongue was so long.  We hope the heat isn't getting to you.
  • We were told on Monday that our IBM Authorization has been approved.   We will start offering the Thinkpad products after the shopping cart work is finished.
  • Corsair Memory is preparing Macintosh memory to extend their product line.
  • According to Intel, they have not shipped Pentium II 450 MHz processors.
Tuesday July 21, 1998
  • Hello and welcome back.
  • Circuit City announced their new build-to-order program. They will ship custom configurations 10 days after ordered. It seems that our policy for 7 to 10 business days is right in line.
  • AMD eyes copper, 1-GHz chip (News.com)
  • Seagate pushes out Shugart as CEO (San Jose Mercury News)
</TABLE msnavigation>

Monday July 20, 1998

Friday July 17, 1998

Wednesday July 15, 1998

  • Hello.  How are you today?  All of us are doing well.   We hope you are too.
  • Albert and Gracie have traded food bowls.  It seems that Albert thought Gracie was getting more and Gracie thought Albert was getting more.   Therefore, they traded.  Once this was done, both have felt better about dinner.
  • We have AT and ATX Epox motherboards in stock.  There is also a limited supply of AMD K6-2/300 processors.
  • Boxed AMD K6-2/300 processors may arrive as soon as August 18, 1998.
  • 166 MHz and 180 MHz Pentium OverDrive units are backordered.
  • ASUS P2B, P2B-LS, and P2B-DS motherboards are available.
  • Intel to preview workstation, 3D graphics (News.com)
  • Many of you know that there are three people who design/write the HTML behind our websites.  We've been using Billy-Bob's FrontPage 98.  However we aren't able to update all of our sections daily.  It is also difficult for all three of us to update sections at the same time.  Generally we concentrate on the prices and specification sheets - and this leaves out the technical support section.  We are reviewing different HTML editors but we've decided that there is a definite lack of good products.  Three years ago, using notepad was fine.   Two years ago, it was acceptable to use an HTML only editors.  Now, it seems that site management, DHTML, database connectivity, javascript, group writing and many other features are required to ensure that all sections are updated.  Any ideas?   And please!  Keep the cost within reason.
  • Since many of you smarty pants knew about the LISA, let's see how many of you know why a particular female in the Navy was so important in our industry's history?
  • But first, here is a clip from one of our favorite answers regarding the LISA computer:

"A Lisa was Apple's first attempt at creating a computer that used a graphical user interface.  It cost $10,000 and the unsold invantory (sic) was burried (sic) in a desert in Utah if I recall correctly."

Other answers included information about Lisa Jobs, GUI interfaces, Xerox, and strong emotions about expensive computer equipment. 

We'll I want one.  I'm tired of waiting.   Waiting for my machine to boot.  Waiting for the Operating system to load.   Waiting for the application to start.  Waiting to download files.   Waiting for a website to load.  Waiting for the PC to shutdown and restart because it locked up.  Waiting.  Waiting. Waiting.  Okay.  So want isn't the same as need.  But it'll do for now since we'll all be waiting for the faster processors.

This is called the WIN principle -- The Want It Now principle.  The manufacturers say they are going to build it.   They win because their stock goes up, new people are hired, and the industry is on the move.  We win because we order it, beta test it, provide valuable ideas to the manufacturers on how to improve it and then ask, "When will it ever get fixed?" It's a real "win-when" situation.

Wednesday July 15, 1998

  • Good morning.  Good morning.  Good morning.
  • Yesterday's question regarding the spelling of "canceled" or "cancelled" has brought about a huge debate.  We asked this question because several of us spell the word one way and others spell it the other way.  Both insisting that they are correct.  The spell checking programs are of no use - because it states both are correct.  Our favorite response came from someone saying, "cancel is pronounced 'kan(t) sel ... suggesting that you "can't sell" the product if a customer canceled the order."   Obviously, we have very clever visitors coming to our website.
  • Have you been watching all of the tech stocks?  Wow, sometimes we feel it is akin to watching the bouncing ball.  Everyone sing along. 

"Oh, I bought my tech stocks on a whim
I thought the company was a gem.
Oh, I bought my tech stock on the brim,
how was I to know things looked so grim?
I bought tech stocks on a whim."

Everyone...

"Oh, I bought my tech stocks with my card.
My purchase wasn't very hard.
Oh I bought my tech stocks with my VISA
And now the stock is just like the LISA,
I bought my tech stocks on a whim."

Third verse, same as the first.

"Oh, I bought tech stocks on a whim
I thought the company was a gem.
Oh, I bought my tech stock on the brim,
how was I to know things looked so grim?
I bought tech stocks on a whim."

  • Here is today's debate, "How many of you know what the LISA was?"
  • Limited AMD K6-2/300 processors are available.
  • Boxed AMD K6-2/266 are available.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 450 MHz processors have been assigned a part number by one of our distributors.  The ETA is August 10, 1998.  Therefore, look for it after the 20th of August.
  • ASUS is reworking the P2B-DS motherboard BIOS to recognize the 256 MB Corsair modules.  Hopefully, this BIOS version will be available in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday July 14, 1998

  • Good Day, eh?
  • Albert and Gracie slept most of yesterday away.  The heat was getting to them and we don't think they were drinking enough water. 60; You can always tell when Albert has not had enough water because he doesn't drool as much.  Gracie is a little more difficult to read.  Since she is the "pretty one" then she tries to hide her slobber.  We hope the weather isn't making you slobber, either.
  • Daniel J. Boorstin thinks every American should read the following ten books:

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Truman by David McCullough
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

How many of these books have you read?  Well, we didn't do very well.  So we've decided to split into groups.  Each group will read one of the books.  Then the group will present the highlights of the book they read to the others.  Just think if all of us showed up to one of those libraries that we drive past everyday.  What would the librarian's do with a rowdy crowd of nerds?

  • Two of our ISPs for the proxy server and direct connections are down.   Fortunately the one for this site is functional.  However, answering email will be slower today as well as the updates on the pricing.
  • GigaByte may not release the GA-5AX or GA-5VX.
  • Hey, is the spelling "canceled" or "cancelled"?
  • Intel earnings off 29% (News.com)

Monday July 13, 1998

  • Good Morning to you. 
  • Today has already become an exciting day.  Intel Boxed and OEM processors are not available.  Well, the 300 MHz  and 333MHz are available.   Nothing else.  Why?  Distributors thought there was a price drop on the 7th so they stopped carrying inventory.  Then they thought the drop was the 17th, so they still didn't want to pick up inventory.  Yesterday, Intel formally announced a price drop for Sunday July 26, 1998.  Therefore, the distributors don't want to pick up inventory.  Now, do we all wait around for the price drop or just run out and buy those nifty AMD K6-2 processors?  Don't look to us to make a recommendation.  We use both AMD processors and Intel processors.
  • Albert is out mowing the lawn.  Nope, not with a power mower - but with his teeth.  Blade by blade he's been eating the grass in our backyard.   Between Al and Henrietta - we don't need a power mower.  Al has also eaten most of our garden.  He left a few onions, a few tomatoes - but no green beans, no carrots, no radishes, no peas, nor squash.  Guess Albert is reflecting  Intel's latest style - restrict the product in order to create the demand.  But maybe we aren't hungry for Intel processors. Oops, I mean green beans.
  • Gracie is still in bed this morning.  She pulled the covers over her head and said it was way too early for morning to already be here.  She spent most of her weekend chasing after Albert, a neighborhood cat, and sitting on Henrietta.   It seems that her "wild" weekend has caught up with her.

Monday July 13, 1998

  • Good Morning to you. 
  • Today has already become an exciting day.  Intel Boxed and OEM processors are not available.  Well, the 300 MHz  and 333MHz are available.   Nothing else.  Why?  Distributors thought there was a price drop on the 7th so they stopped carrying inventory.  Then they thought the drop was the 17th, so they still didn't want to pick up inventory.  Yesterday, Intel formally announced a price drop for Sunday July 26, 1998.  Therefore, the distributors don't want to pick up inventory.  Now, do we all wait around for the price drop or just run out and buy those nifty AMD K6-2 processors?  Don't look to us to make a recommendation.  We use both AMD processors and Intel processors.
  • Albert is out mowing the lawn.  Nope, not with a power mower - but with his teeth.  Blade by blade he's been eating the grass in our backyard.   Between Al and Henrietta - we don't need a power mower.  Al has also eaten most of our garden.  He left a few onions, a few tomatoes - but no green beans, no carrots, no radishes, no peas, nor squash.  Guess Albert is reflecting  Intel's latest style - restrict the product in order to create the demand.  But maybe we aren't hungry for Intel processors. Oops, I mean green beans.
  • Gracie is still in bed this morning.  She pulled the covers over her head and said it was way too early for morning to already be here.  She spent most of her weekend chasing after Albert, a neighborhood cat, and sitting on Henrietta.   It seems that her "wild" weekend has caught up with her.

Friday July 10, 1998

  • Good Afternoon.  The greatest compliment for us is to be kept busy by people asking us questions.  These past few weeks have been filled with tons of excellent questions.  This also means we haven't spent much time on line.  So let's do a little catch up:  First www.esctechnologies.com was being repaired these past few days.  The machine holding the local copy of the web decided that the personal webserver didn't need to accept our passwords.   Therefore, Lora spent several days installing and reinstalling FrontPage 98.   Next, we worked on the accounting server.  We were trying to improve the speed.  We think it takes too long when we are searching through records.  We changed the hard drive, added RAM, and changed NICs.  It's still slow.  Finally, we've spent some time on the Windows 98 installation.  More below.
  • As a registered System Builder for Microsoft, we offer the OEM version of Windows 98.  The installation is a little different from Windows 95.   We left the installation of 95 up to the individuals.  Recently, we have started to install Windows 98 on select barebone units.  Today we finished the wizard and "preinstallation diskette" so that when we load the Operating System you will be able to turn on your PC, Windows 98 will start.  You will need to enter your name and company name, time zone, and license.  This should speed up the assembly of your new or upgraded PC.

Thursday July 9, 1998

  • Good morning!
  • Were you curious about the statement above yesterday's Birthday wish to Lora?  Albert was brushing up on his Latin, "Tall Oaks grow from small acorns." 
  • According to Gracie, Albertus can barkus more code, "dang joystick stuck gameth cr ash n quaked more food un bowl n stuff to eat shoes to chew n 'escape dash technologies dot com' wolf e stein tis slow."  Hmm, sounds to us like Albert is using his computer for more than surfing the net.

  • Windows 98 Technical Tip (copied from "hardware.txt"):

PCI systems

If the video device is configured by the BIOS to use an IRQ and you use the secondary PCI IDE controller in your computer, your video will work only in VGA mode. To load the accelerated Windows 98 driver for your video, disable the secondary PCI IDE controller in the BIOS and the Device Manager (double-click System in Control Panel). An alternative (if supported by the BIOS) is to disable the IRQ of the video device.

  • The Timber or Night Lite from Intel is available, T440BX.  For those of you with a sense of humor might recognize that the N440BX uses a technique known as BUD (Interrupt Router/ Basic Utiltity Device).  The BUD is a programmable logic device that effectively doubles the available PCI_Int_A interrupts from 4 to 8.  The T440BX provides a less complex BUD, a BUD lite.  The next time you see two Intel representatives in a heated argument over BUD and BUD Lite, you will know that the argument is not over a liquid substance.

Wednesday July 8, 1998

  • Do you remember when we told you about Rusty, the 4th of July Party Crasher?  Well, Harry the Box Turtle was racing down the road this fine morning - and was just about squished by one of our trucks.  Fortunately, he was seen in time and returned to his owner.  Harry is about 7 years old and runs faster than Albert.   This is also the third time Harry has managed to escape from his home.  Guess that's why his name is Harry Houdini.
  • Parvis e glandibus quercus

Happy Birthday To you
Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday Little Sis
Happy Birthday To You. 

You youngster you!

  • Were you thinking of using the 256 MB PC100 Corsair memory modules on your ABIT BX6 Pentium II motherboard?  Well, don't.  According to Abit they are working on a different motherboard which will accept the modules.

Monday July 7, 1998

  • Beckley, W. VA, July 7 (UPI) -- Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor gloom of night may interrupt mail service, but Herbie the chimp did.

Police in Beckley, W. VA, say Herbie jumped into the back of a postal truck Monday and the mail carrier jumped out.

The truck then rolled downhill, striking a parked car belonging to Herbie's owner. The carrier followed the truck. A dispatcher says when he caught up, he an dthe chimp grabbed hold of each other's arms and started screaming.

No one was injured in the incident but Herbie's owner thought the 4 - foot - 6, 125-pound chimp was so shaken, he took him out for ice cream.

  • Are you looking for an easy way to upgrade your old AT form factor system? Gigabyte released their GA-6BA motherboard, which is an AT form factor based on Intel's 440BX AGPset. 
  • Intel has released the SE440BX motherboard without audio. Currently, the product is backordered at authorized Intel distributors.
  • Intel Express 3D AGP card 8 MB is available.
  • Of the Intel Pentium II processors, which speeds are clients buying more than others?

From June 1st to today, the Pentium II 266 MHz, Pentium II 400 MHz, and Pentium II 350 MHz  were the popular Pentium IIs.

Monday July 6, 1998

  • Good morning. 
  • Albert and Gracie had a wonderful 4th of July.  Even though Gracie doesn't like the sounds of the fireworks, she managed to remain cordial during most of the day. 

Several other dogs arrived this weekend for the festivities:   Rusty, Daisy, and Pepper.  Now Rusty was a run-away who wasn't intentionally invited.  Guess you could say he was a party crasher.  Albert helped Rusty find his master - by calling Animal control.  The poor owner didn't even know Rusty was missing.  All was well when the officer placed the call to Rusty's owner saying that Rusty was fine and would be home soon.

Daisy and Pepper stayed just before the show.  They had dinner and then left.  It seems that Pepper isn't into the noise level and spends most of his 4th of July shaking.  Albert would have preferred that they stay for the show and skip the dinner part.  In fact, while the other dogs were around - Albert just stayed by his food bowl.  Guess that is why his midline is getting bigger by the day.

  • The ASUS P2B-D is available in small quantities.
  • We learned a valuable lesson these past few days regarding SCSI devices.  We don't know enough !  After receiving an IBM Ultrastar 9ES DDRS-34560 SCSI-3 drive - we learned that we couldn't hook up the drive to our host adapter.  It seems that this drive is an 80-pin SCSI and our cables were all 68-pin and 50-pin.  Fortunately, Kingston has a part that everyone who works with SCSI should discover, DX100-SWC.  This adapter is just the ticket for 80-pin drives.   Now you know why we don't offer SCSI products - Phew!
  • The ASUS P2B-LS manual has a typographical error.  The jumper settings for the Bus Frequency are as follows:
Bus Frequency FS2 FS1 FS0
66 MHz 2-3 1-2 1-2
100 MHz 1-2 1-2 1-2

Saturday July 4, 1998

  • Happy 4th of July!
  • Go play with the kids, drink a glass of lemonade, read a good book, relax....

1000 days on the Internet

Yes, you read that right.  Today is the day.   The once in a lifetime.  The big Enchilada.  The whole Tomato.  The one and only.  Yes, Ma'am.  Yes, sir.  It's the day.

ARF and Woof

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!

"Now, get back to work."  -- R.W.H. (aka Papa)

 

Friday July 3, 1998

  • Good morning!  As you might have guessed, today is a special day for us.
  • Albert and Gracie have taken the day off.  They are both sun-bathing and getting ready for tomorrow.  The BBQ grill, briquettes, lighter fluid, matches, and plenty of food are all waiting for them.
  • All of our distributors have also taken the day off - BUT - We are still here.  Working away :-)  Well, maybe having a pizza party, a few laughs, and a few pre-4th of July celebration thoughts. We'll answer telephone calls till 11:30 AM.

We will resume telephone service Monday July 6th at 9AM Pacific Time.

Enjoy your weekend!

  • If you are checking on the status of your order, then you may email us. Also, if you know your product has shipped and you have your invoice number, you may go to www.esc-ca.com/faqs/tracking.html , and view your tracking information.
  • On July 1, 1998, Intel formally announced that All 256K Cache Pentium Pro Processors have been discontinued.
  • Update on GigaByte 6BA motherboard:

We received sample product. More product should be available in volume next week.

  • When will Gigabyte release 100 MHz Super 7 boards?

Gigabyte is hoping to release their GA-5AX (ALI chipset with 512KB cache) and GA-5VX (VIA chipset with 512KB cache) in mass production after next week. We're anxious to see these new boards, and we'll let you know as soon as they are available.

  • We are still receiving our back shipments of Epox boards. We are filling orders as quickly as possible. I
  • ASUS P2B-DS, P2B-S with 3860, P2B-LS, and P2B motherboards are available in the channel. Gigabyte 6BXDS, 6BXS, and 686BX are also available.
  • Intel 200 MHz Pentium OverDrive with MMX technology is limited in the channel. The 166 MHz OverDrive and the 180 MHz OverDrive are backordered.
  • Processor availability update:
AMD
  Tray K6/233
(discontinued)
available
  Tray K6/266 available
  Tray K6/300 available
  Tray K6-2/266 available
  Tray K6-2/300 backordered
     
  PI Box K6/233
(discontinued)
available
  PI Box K6/300 available
  PI Box K6-2/266 to be released mid July
  PI Box K6-2/300 to be released mid July
     
Intel
  Tray P II 233 available
  Tray P II 266 available
  Tray P II 300 available
  Tray P II 333 available
  Tray P II 350 available
  Tray P II 400 available
     
  Box P II 233 backordered
  Box P II 266 limited
  Box P II 300 available
  Box P II 333 available
  Box P II 350 available
  Box P II 400 backordered

Thursday July 2, 1998

  • Good morning !
  • These two stories are included in today's topics because we have been discussing this trend for quite some time.  Almost all computer companies are making adjustments for slower growth.  We've been fortunate enough to continue to grow at an outstanding rate.  It's exciting for us but we know that other companies have not been as fortunate.  We'd like to thank everyone who has supported our company.

Intel to shut plants temporarily (News.com)

Chip recovery isn't near (San Jose Mercury News)

  • One of our fish decided to jump out of the tank this morning.   He was the largest KOI.
  • There were a few people in email who have asked us to explain why we use the phrase, Webcentric, Customer Focused™, on some of our webpages.  Our company is solely on the Internet.  We do not have a retail storefront like most of the computer companies on the Inet.  Because we work out of warehouse space in an Industrial Park we rarely visit with a client in our physical location.  Also, we do not solely rely on telephone orders.  Instead, we rely on our websites, shopping cart, and email.

We have also been known on the Inet as a company which responds to the changes in the market.  Many times we sit on the bleeding edge.  Many companies try to use our phrases or they talk about their future plans - but we are already doing what they are talking about.  You can pick up any magazine or read any Inet Publication and you will see talk about shoppers started to place orders online.  

We've been taking orders over the Inet since 1995.  This makes us a unique, Webcentric company.  You'll start to see other companies talk about their ideas regarding electronic commerce and we hope that ecom continues to expand so that there is a positive relationship between the surfers and the business suits.  We are just glad to be involved in such exciting times! - Wolf.

  • The motherboard guide is temporarily closed.  We are reworking the design.  Please excuse any difficulties this may cause you.
  • The GigaByte GA-6BA, GA-6BXDS, and ASUS P2B-LS motherboards arrived for testing.
  • Happy holidays to those of you who are going to have long vacations.   Please drive safely.

July 1, 1998

  • Good morning!
  • There are a few Boxed Pentium II 400 MHz processors available.   AMD K6-2 processors are not available.  The Epox ATX motherboard is back ordered until the end of next week.  IBM UltraStar 9ES (9 Gb) is limited.  The Intel Boxed Pentium II 233 MHz is now an End of Life product.
  • Albert has started a bad habit.  After he eats his bowl of food, he immediately wants outside.  This is understandable.  However, he walks outside - goes to the middle of the yard - and barks.  We don't have a clue why, but once he has barked a few notes - he turns around and comes back inside.  How odd.   Now, we can't relate this behavior to computer buying habits (grin).  But we are curious if he will do the same tonight.
  • Corsair expects to be able to start shipping the 256 MB PC100 modules at the end of next week.
  • Intel has announced that their is a known erratum when matching the MU440EX motherboard with a Pentium II processor.  The erratum is the result of a low voltage condition on the VTT (1.5v) line supplied by the motherboard to the processor.   This erratum does not affect operation of the MU440EX with the Celeron.   According to Intel, if someone is using the Pentium II, Intel will replace or refund at their Repair Centers.

April 1, 1998

Industry shocked by Pentium® III announcement.

In a surprise announcement, Intel discussed the Pentium® III processor with the Press.

The computer industry was turned on it's head today by a Surprise announcement from the industry giant Intel.  Formerly known as Project Prelate, the Pentium® III processor will be introduced at speeds of 600 MHz, 800 MHz, and 1000 MHz.   The processors are expected to be released as early as 1999. 

The Slot M processors will have 2 MB L2 Cache built onto the package. The processor will also house the new Intel MMX Instructions known as KNI (Katmai New Instructions).   Motherboards with 200 MHz external bus speed settings are required.  A future Intel AGP2set is also a requirement.  Details of the AGP2set   were not available at the time of publishing this article.

The Slot M processor was kept a secret in anticipation of AMD's announcement of the Slot A processor.  Rumors have been circulating that AMD has been producing a Slot A processor in Fab 51, a secretive lab located deep in the desert of North Africa.  Today's surprise announcement may signal Intel's knowledge that this processor does exist.

Intense negotiations between Digital, HP, and Microsoft allowed the technical advance to become reality.  Digital contributed to the Slot M, a deviation of the EV-7 bus.

Dr. Thomas Pabst  is quoted as stating, "this Slot M processor is what this Industry has been clamoring for.  It will have phenomenal performance.  Intel's announcement today is a strong signal that they understand everyone's desire for greater performance.  Generally, Intel releases product in incremental performance changes.  This is a break from this tradition.  All of us applaud their initiative."

Other Industry Pundits strongly agree with Dr. Pabst.  El Gato, the Purrfect cat detective from PC Week, has also been quoted as stating, "Intel masterfully kept this processor a secret from even the best of us gossip mongers. My hats off to them."

Anandtech has already attempted to overclock the processor, "Using a clock multiplier of 4x, the 600 MHz is easily overclockable to 800 MHz.   I can't wait to get my hands on the 1000 MHz processor.  Now if they would only lower the price."

Dan Chadwick, from Tweakit, has released initial benchmarks, "....this thing screams....mater of fact if you attach it to the socket 7 riser card (Abit part # KP6-BS) with 400MHz front side bus support, this baby clocks up to 2000MHz on any socket 7 board. Although I do still find the AGP performance a little slow, it will definitly give the new Intel 450BS chipset w/4x AGP a run for its money."

Dean Kent, from Real World Technologies, has confirmed that stocking the product is not a problem.  "All of the engineering samples work right out of the box, no tweaking, no fuss, no mess.  Intel has done a terrific job with this product."

Trademarks are properties of their respective companies.

February 1998

February 28, 1998

  • Quantum has introduced an extension of UDMA 33.  This is termed as ATA-66.  The bandwidth is extended from 33 Mbytes to 66 Mbytes.
  • Last week Intel and Rambus announced S-RIMMs.  These are synchronous RIMMs (Rambus in-line memory modules).  OEMs are debating the necessity of a new memory module to compete with three generations of DRAM - Rambus, SLDRAM, and DDR-SDRAM.

February 27, 1998

Prices have dropped considerably. Keep in mind that qualities of modules can vary greatly.

Crucial Technologies is the only company that offers high quality Micron chips on Micron boards (Grade A memory).  Spectec is lower grade Micron. Many other companies use low grade Micron chips, solder them on low quality boards, and this final product is generic or major-on-third memory.

  • We received a shipment of extra Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors. If you order before 2 PM PT, the order can ship today.
  • Corsair 64 MB non-ECC SDRAM modules are in stock.
  • Intel Boxed 166 MHz Overdrive processors are available.
  • Question of the Day: I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade my old 486 or buy a new machine, what steps should I take?

We've outlined a few issues you need to consider when upgrading. www.esc-ca.com/html/upgrade.html

  • Thank you for your patience while we make adjustments on our website entry pages. Please let us know if you have suggestions of things you'd like to see or changes.
  • I'd like to build my own machine, but am still wondering about other options....

Whether you're building your own machine for fun, experience, customization, or cost, you need a technical background. If you don't have some configuring experience then you may want to have someone choose and assemble the components for you. Most areas are serviced by A+ certified technicians who should be able to help you.

SuperStores have computers that sales people can pull systems off the shelf and you take it home in the same day. What the company offers and what the machine can do varies from model to model and store to store. One company may offer an Cyrix P166+  based system for around $800, while the store next door may have a Pentium II 266 MHz at a good deal.

Major OEMs will build a system for you with their mass customization model. If you purchase a prebuilt system then you may have a machine by the end of the week. If you choose items that is built to your specifications (within their category selections) then it may take anywhere from 1 to 7 weeks before delivery. The advantage is that you've chosen the capacity of your system, and you don't need a high level of technical information.

Other options are component dealers, where you can purchase individual components. These companies usually bring product in from a distributor and ship, without testing the product. Local resellers offer their own brand of systems. They may purchase from a distributor product line with which they are familiar then build, or the distributor assembles the system for them and they add value (install software, add a component, etc.).

And of course, there are companies like ours: we offer a variety of select components, you choose your items, we purchase the items from the manufacturer or distributor, we assemble, configure, and test the components.

No matter where you go, you need to protect yourself before you purchase.  Know what industry trends are and what is considered current technology. Be familiar with different manufacturers. One thing will be constant: no matter what you buy today, it will be obsolete in the near future. This is a hard concept to accept, especially since computers are an investment that most people plan to use over time, and the intrinsic value of a computer is different for each person.

There are two common approaches to how to balance the expense: 1) buy an inexpensive system that you will replace quite a few times within a few year time period.; or 2) buy the most powerful machine you can afford at the time and use it for a couple of years. There are many analogies that fall short because of the industry momentum and performance considerations when dealing with computers: hand-held vacuum cleaners versus shop vacuums, types of cars, types of stereos, plastic filing cabinets versus metal or hand-made wood filing cabinets, etc. Choosing your computer will need to fit with the rest of your life choices.

Even if you opt for a low end system, you will need to make sure you have certain fundamental capabilities otherwise you will end up 2-3 weeks later trying to upgrade your brand-new system.

  • at least 32 MB of memory if it is a Pentium (64 MB is quickly becoming standard)
  • make sure it uses a processor with MMX technology (it doesn't matter if it's a feature you think you are going to use, but the voltage considerations may limit your upgradeability)
  • 24x CD ROM (32x is the standard now)
  • 3.2 GB hard drive is the 'sweet spot' or the entry level drive

Another common choice is to build the best you can afford at the time. Many technicians consider the Intel Pentium II 300 MHz with MMX technology processor to be the lowest performing system a person should invest in. The reason? The Pentium II 333 MHz is still at 'introductory pricing', as the most recently released Pentium II. The price gap between the 333 MHz Pentium II and 300 MHz Pentium II makes the 300 MHz more affordable, and yet it's a high performing system, that the average home user will not outgrow quickly or be disa ppointed in it's performance.

So, do you build or buy prepackaged? Weigh the convenience of just taking it out of the box, plugging in the surge protector, and pressing the power switch versus having a system that was built with items you choose and a flexibility you design. Time, cost, experience, long term satisfaction, and many other elements are variables you'll need to consider. Research (yes, the verb): read manufacturer web sites, talk with people who have bought recently and have similar expectations and requirements as you, read product reviews, watch pricing so you understand what position the market is currently in (remember, components are commodities), read about vendors, and read technical documentation.

February 26, 1998

  • Question of the day. Why does my 64 MB generic memory not work on my Intel AL440LX motherboard?

The AL440LX, DK440LX, NX440LX, and R440LX use reverse clocks relative to the industry standard.  The latest BIOS apparently corrects this problem.   Because the 128 MB modules use all four clocks there isn't a problem. Corsair Microsystems has the proper memory for the  64 MB SDRAM capacities.

Corsair Microsystems PC100 Compliant Memory

64 MB PC100
CM654S64-BX
$329.00

64 MB ECC PC100
CM734S64-BX
$366.00

128 MB PC100
CM654S128-BX
$630.00

128 MB ECC PC100
CM734S128-BX
$706.00

February 25, 1998

February 24, 1998

  • Startling advance on chips reported
  • Now the Governor's want to collect sales tax on Internet sales; however, here is a great example of how our government is spending the money they already take from you.

Nevada legislators and laptops don't mix

"The Internet Tax Freedom Act, sponsored by Representative Chris Cox (R-California) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), would bar states and local governments from passing any new Net taxes until 2004."

By John Borland, Net Insider

  • We can accept orders on PC100 compliant memory from Corsair Microsystems.  For orders placed today, Corsair will ship to us in 3-4 business days.  

Four different PC100 168-pin SDRAM modules are available for purchase:

To order these items, please give us a toll free call, 1-800-427-3726

  • Al and Gracie decided to play hooky from work today. Instead of working they are playing in the sunshine. Al is probably basking in the sun, while Gracie watches the birds fly around their yard. We hope you are enjoying your day too.
  • Corsair Microsystems's white paper on the PC100 spec is on their website.   This is probably the most authoritative paper about PC100 memory on the Internet.
  • Here is a really pro-business stance -- just like Al loves taking baths. Al and Gracie suspect that Governors are going to win a lot of votes with this initiative. Actually, Al and Gracie read the article this way:  "Big Business fears Internet"  It seems that Big Business can't spin-control their way around their poor business practices, therefore they'll just get rid of the Internet commerce.

Governors set to support Internet sales tax

slashdot.org
www.macosrumors.com
www.snoot.com
www.rootshell.com

If you would like to contribute to this website please let us know.

  • Our hearts go out to everyone in Florida that has been devastated by the Tornadoes.
  • Al and Gracie were busy reading Newsweek last night.  There is an interesting article on mergers. Specifically, the article dealt with search engines and start pages. Microsoft is entering the start page market, while Infoseek and other "smaller" search engines are increasing value in order to attract more visitors.

PC100 Compliant Memory versus 100 MHz SDRAM

Historical Perspective

Synchronous DRAM is the main computer memory used in most new motherboards.  The latest chipsets from Intel, SiS, and VIA support this type of memory.  Early adopters of these new memory modules had many headaches getting their systems stable.  It turned out that the specifications for manufacturing SDRAM was very loose as well as many other issues came to light. 

  • 2 clock versus 4 clock
  • 66 MHz versus 100 MHz
  • 100 MHz versus PC100

One of the most common issues raised by migrating to SDRAM is the 2 clock versus 4 clock timing of the modules.  The Intel LX chipset supports 4 clock, unbuffered, SDRAM.  Some motherboards using the TX chipset require 2 clock memory modules.  The majority use the 4 clock modules.  It is difficult to identify 2 clock SDRAM versus 4 clock.  They look the same!

(Update: A caller to our 800-number stated that if you look at pin 78 you will notice a difference between 2-clock and 4-clock SDRAM.  You can find pin 78 by counting back from the edge 6 pads.  He states that if there is a trace, then the memory is 4 clock.  If the pad is blank, then it is 2 clock.  Does anyone disagree?)

The Pentium II processor with the LX chipset uses an external bus speed of 66 MHz.  Some people overclock their systems using higher bus speeds of 83 MHz or 100 MHz.  Intel deems this as overclocking and will not support the configuration.  SDRAM manufactured today is pushed at these higher bus speeds which could cause the loss of data.  However, increasing the bus speed dramatically increases a system's performance.

Future Requirements

Because of the increase in performance, Intel will release the 440BX chipset as well as new processors in second quarter of 1998.  The 440BX chipset will support the higher bus settings for the new Pentium II processors.  SiS 5591 and VIA MVP3 also support the higher bus speeds.

The SDRAM presently on the market will most likely not operate on these new motherboards.  Even if they are termed 100 MHz SDRAM by the manufacturer, the modules will need to be PC100 compliant in order to operate properly at the higher bus speeds.

Intel released a specification for manufacturers termed PC100.  This specification tightens the requirement for SDRAM manufacturing and ensures that the modules will run at the higher bus setting.  100 MHz SDRAM and PC100 SDRAM are not one in the same. 

PC100 compliant memory modules are built on at least 6 layer PCB, use at least 8 ns SDRAM chips, follow EEPROM SPD guidelines from Intel, and many other changes.  Here is a list provided by Corsair Microsystems.

  • SDRAMs used must be compatible with the current Intel SDRAM Component SPEC (Version 1.5)
  • SPDs used must be compatible with the current Intel SPD Component SPEC (Version 1.2)
  • 6 layer PCB boards must be used and must incorporate the Power and Ground Planes
  • Signals are not routed in Power and Ground Planes
  • Clock traces must be routed strictly to Intel's specifications matched, in length to better than 10mils and capacitive loading (0.01inches)
  • Remaining traces must strictly follow Intel specification on trace length, via count and placement, and trace topology

February 23, 1998

  • How did ESC choose it's product line?

Yes, there are thousands of products available in the market. We are very select in what we offer. Originally, ESC started out offering only memory over the Internet. That was in 1995. After a few weeks, clients asked us to add processors, so we did. Later, enough clients requested motherboards too. By 1996, we offered barebone workstations and systems.

At that point we decided that if we were going to offer motherboards, CPUs, and memory that we would assemble, configure, and test the corresponding items before they shipped from our facility. With this method, we know products work.

Now, how did we choose which brands we offer? The companies with which we work have knowledgeable and pleasant staff. Their products have low return rates, and high client satisfaction.

  • Will ESC add video cards, DVD ROMs, monitors, SCSI drives and other items in the near future?

Good question. We always talk about which items we should add next. We try to pay attention to market trends, product availability, and how competitive we could be with price.

We add new product categories when our techs feel comfortable with the product, tech and sales people feel comfortable enough with the product to answer questions, we can be competitive with pricing, and when the product is available on the market.

Video cards, DVD ROMs, LS-120 drives, and SCSI drives are all items we talk frequently about adding. At this point, we do not have a time line for adding these categories. If we were to offer a video card, which AGP card would you choose?  Monitors and modems you can pick up at a local store less expensive than we can offer or ship them. Keep letting us know which products you are considering, and think we should consider.

  • The 25 Top Best computer books sold in the last month are listed on the Computer Literacy website.
  • ESDRAM is compliant with the Intel's 440BX to be announced in the near future. Other PC chipsets will support ESDRAM in the near future
  • The rain is continuing to fall from the sky,  almond blossoms are on the trees, birds are flocking back to their springtime home.  Al is busy chasing birds and Gracie is busy hiding from all the rain.  Both  Al and Gracie are determined to patch up their canoes and hitch a couple joy rides while the water levels are high. Spring is such a wonderful season!
  • AMD K6/233 Processors in a Box are on special for $175.00.   The regular price is $188.00.
  • Al and Gracie were thinking about all the DEAE in shampoos as well as test tubes used in murder investigations.  Now these dogs have turned scientists and are telling us that they knew all along that this additive isn't healthy.  In fact, the two dogs are hoping we'll all buy this unhealthiness as the justification for them not wanting to take baths.  As Al says, "Who needs a bath with all this DEAE?" and Gracie complains, "Now what do I do about my hair?"
  • Taiwan taking Socket-7 route to 100 MHz
  • OEMs Can Expect Merced Samples Later This Year
  • How many people does it take to write the what's new section for ESC?  One, Two, Three, or more?  Even though Al and Gracie contribute their thoughts, we wont count them as writers.  Therefore, the answer is three writers and six contributors.  Would you like to contribute?
  • In fact, thinking of contributions, Intel is now in full swing regarding Sub $1000 PCs.  Ain't life a kick.  Watch for the 440EX and Camino chipsets to come off the design table and into our homes.

February 20, 1998

PC 99 System Design Guide Version 0.3 NOW Available

  • AMD To Expand Chip Factory In Thailand
  • Al and Gracie were amazed to find out Spam is a food.  It seems that they are eating their own words regarding email practices.  Only one person agreed with them that a consumer sending email to many computer companies on the Internet is Spam.  It seems everyone who emailed Al and Gracie regarding this growing consumer trend thought that the email should be answered even if the individual never visited Al and Gracie before.  Oh well, sigh.  That's why we asked.  It seems the concern over Spam is when it's your own mailbox and not anyone else's.  So Al and Gracie will do their best to answer this email.
  • The part numbers for the Intel Seattle Motherboard (BX Chipset) have been assigned by a major Intel distributor.  It generally takes 6 to 8 weeks after the part number is assigned for the new product to be readily available.   That places the product availability in the middle of April.  The approximate prices are:
  • BOXSE440BXIA with ISA Audio $260.00
  • BOXSE440VXPA with PCI Audio $275.00

IBM To Sell Product Line Over Web

February 19, 1998

The other day we were chatting about mergers, acquisitions, etc.   This one might impact things a bit.

  • Al and Gracie are watching the rain today.
  • Intel plans a "Basic PC"
  • Many websites on the Internet have processor roadmaps, but we should point out that the Intel website has a processor roadmap that you might enjoy reading.
  • In Win cases will be in short supply through early March. We do have cases in inventory at this time.
  • We want to congratulate Intel on making sure we have Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors available. With prior releases, we experienced immediate backorders upon release of a product. We do have these Boxed processors in stock.
  • According to one source, the future Willamette processor is rumored to:
  • have MMX2 instructions and
  • be named Pentium III
  • The Face Of Innovation - upside.com
  • Here's the best name we received in email for the upcoming family of microprocessors from Intel: 

The Pentium II - II

That way, instead of paying minimum wage to some overworked snail, Apple can just put a ballerina outfit on it and spin it around.

Samsung in talks with Intel

  • Gunmen broke into an airport warehouse in San Francisco last week and stole $1.05 million worth of 16- and 64-megabit DRAM chips.
  • Intel's Tanner chip is the transition from 32-bit microprocessors to 64-bit processors.  Intel's slot M and the 460GX chipset will be the implementation for moving to the 64-bit code.
  • Steps to take when you receive new product

February 18, 1998

A high percentage of GigaByte's  motherboards are used by corporations. Their boards have been chosen because they are known to be of consistent quality. Companies can rely on data integrity and high performance when using a GigaByte motherboard.

More recently the company has started attracted home and small business users. GigaByte's popularity grew with this new market when AMD released their AMD-K6 series processors early last year. GigaByte's  products continue to impress a large group of users.

Other places to go....

We've heard it said that the Internet is producing 'neighborhoods'. We are interested in certain topics, we form habits about how to find information, and once these are established we filter out where we choose to visit. How often do you take a walk through your neighborhood and over to the ones on the other side of the sphere? If you are trying to find information, do you go to a search engine like Alta Vista, do you use a static source like Yahoo or LookSmart, do you look through advertising pages like Excite, or do you have another favorite spot?

Einstein and Gracie have different styles of searching around the Internet. Einstein's hound instincts are obvious with his behavior pattern. Once he starts sniffing and gets on a trail, he follows relentlessly one lead after another (although he may not remember how he got their nor where he even started). If he is looking for a new flavor of dogbone he may go to a search engine and follows the links until he finds information about birds, small animals, bones and other potential entertainment.

Gracie is a purebred, and she is methodical and meticulous with her approach. When she is looking for new flavors of bones, she starts at research institutions to read up on what will keep her coat glossy and her energy levels high, then she investigates who they list that make such products.  She wants to not only know what the bone will do once she eats it, but whether she'll want two or three more the hour after she eats it.

It's exciting to look for new places to visit on the Internet, especially because it is changing so quickly. Please, let us know how you found us.

  • Today's special: GigaByte 686LX or 686BLX motherboard with Intel Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processor with MMX technology for $986.00.
  • Intel AL440LX, AL440LX no audio, and DK440LX motherboards are backordered at this time.
  • Reminder:

We do not accept orders with non-traceable email addresses such as @hotmail.com, @usa.net, @juno.com, @techie.com, @whome.com, etc.

Why? We want to make sure information is accurate and personal information is protected. If we receive an on-line request from a free email account, it is an automatic flag that the order may not be valid. The majority of on-line requests from these email accounts are fraudulent.

Also, we do accept orders from outside of the United States. If you would like to order, and your billing and shipping address are not in the US, please FAX your order to 209-550-4998. The request must be accompanied by a signature of the credit card holder, and contact FAX and voice number for the issuing bank.

We turn over fraudulent use of credit card information over to appropriate authorities.

We do not sell nor give away your  personal information.

February 17, 1998

Intel's Grove outlines spread of P6 architecture
  • Speculation on a new name for the Slot 2 Deschutes Family of processors.  Would you like to guess?

    Pentium Ultra, Ultra Snail or Super Snail, Pentium 3 or do you have another insight?

  • AMD called today to confirm that the production on the K6/266 is improving.  Their yield is better than what they were encountering before.  IBM is getting product, and Compaq is not receiving as much as they would like.  Therefore, it will still be a few more weeks before we see the K6/266.
  • The Super7 socket motherboards which will use the AMD processors with a 100 MHz external bus setting are expected to see a 50% improvement in cache performance.
  • AMD-K6/233 MMX enhanced Processors in a Box (retail) versions are available.
  • Happy Birthday Leanne!
  • We have extra Intel Boxed Pentium II 233 MHz and Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors in stock.
  • Hard drive breakthrough claimed  According to Seagate they can pack 10 to 20 times more data on a storage device with their Optically Assisted Winchester technology.

February 16, 1998

  • Email spamming by vendors is considered to be poor Internet etiquette.  We don't do it and we don't like companies that spam.

However, we are seeing an increasing number of people emailing us with a question that has also been sent to dozens (even hundreds) of other companies on the Internet.  Most of the answers are on the website: prices, product list, manufacturer's websites, etc.

Our policy in the past has been to not answer them.   It is difficult to distinguish between other companies sending us junk email versus the consumer sending us requests for information.  Recently we started to answer a few with inquiries as to why they felt it necessary to do this.  Sometimes we were tactful and other times blunt.  In our view, these messages are "strange."  

The defense by many consumers is that this strategy yields the best price and is simply competition.   We disagree. There are companies that require bids, and we see this as an obvious exception.

If you find it a pain for you to receive spam, then just think about the people here who receive hundreds of email messages every day!  Our policy has been to get people answers as quickly as possible; however, we can't do this if we are answering junk email.

If you disagree or agree with us, we'd like to hear from you.  Please let us know what you think.  Does spamming include a consumer or is the sidewalk only functional in one direction? webmaster@esc-tech.com .

  • Al and Gracie spent their Valentine's Day with their family.  We hope all of you enjoyed yourselves too.  In fact, due to all the closeness, it has been decided that they both need a little grooming and baths.  Al's toenails are being clipped and Gracie's hair is being shortened.
  • The computer industry is doing a bit of pruning and grooming too.  We've seen the Compaq-Digital megamerger, the Intel and Chips and Technology acquisition, and dozens of other mergers.  Change is definitely happening all around us.
  • Siemens sees rising chip sales
  • Sorry, we didn't mean to miss this article on the L2 cache on the slot 2 systems!

Intel Bets On Custom Cache Device For Slot 2 Platform

February 13, 1998

  • We primarily operate as a just-in-time inventory. Normally, when an order is placed, we purchase the requested product, and when it arrives at our facility we test it then ship it.

Today, we do have a few extra items in stock:

ABIT LX6 boards
ASUS TX97
Intel Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors
Intel Boxed Pentium II 233 MHz processor
Western Digital OEM 3.2 GB UDMA drive
Quantum Fireball ST 3.2 GB drive
Intel LT430TX motherboard

Please call 800-427-3726 if you are interested in any of these products. Saturday delivery is possible if the order is placed before 2:30 PM Pacific Time.

  • Today's special:
    IBM Deskstar 8 8.4 GB IDE hard drive $367.40
    Western Digital 5.1 GB IDE hard drive Retail pack $297.30
  • Black cats crossing the street, the witching hour, don't walk under a ladder , step on a crack you'll break your momma's back.  Yes, today is Friday the 13th.  Watch for Jason coming your way.
  • "Go ahead nerd.   Make my day."
  • Having trouble with your machine.  Try this website or go to this site for "live" help.

February 12, 1998

  • Reminder: If you'd like us to email your package tracking number when your product ships, please provide the information at the time of order.

We do not sell or give out your private information.

  • We do have extra Corsair 32 MB SDRAM modules in stock. They are on special for $71.50 while supplies last. Normal pricing is around $97. Why are we running them on special? Well, it's simple. We ran a weekend special about 2 weeks ago, when the special ended Monday morning, we had so many requests that we started the special again!
  • We have an extra tray AMD-K6/200 MMX enhanced processor in stock.
  • Question of the Day:

What companies are most likely to survive the industry wide shake-up of manufacturers?  I want to know, so I can decide which products to buy and have my warranties honored if I need them next year.  I don't want to pay for the research and development of short-lived products.  Why don't manufacturers understand that?

This is a great time for computer users and buyers.  'Competitive' is the operative, but understated (subtle?) word for understanding the computer industry's constant release of new products.  Change is constant.  New companies emerge with a "better idea," then, buyers flock to it, and a new competitor has taken its place in the market.  You can count on new product to replace the one you just bought. 

People keep coming up with new products for a better computer system based on the same model a company is already using, while another group of people are thinking of a better model, and a third group - the users - dream about their perfect system. These changes are obvious throughout the industry: new memory, processors, video, audio, mainboards, storage devices, and other peripherals.

    One idea is to make a 'system' easy enough to use so these systems easily blend into our lives and become productive tools. Hopefully and ultimately, decreasing the time we spend 'working' and increasing the time we spend with our friends and family. 

    'Ultimate' and 'proximate' are two words commonly used in scientific disciplines. How do the two approaches coordinate? How are people effected in the meantime? What are products really like in the meantime? How do companies plan to survive during the constant change? How do companies plan and pay for the extreme costs of project developments?

    It's this latter question of cost and paying for project developments that is one of the most pressing proximate issues for companies.  Each product's ontogeny is being challenged when an evolutionary view is used to understand the industry.  Initial planning, design, building the model, testing the model, revising the model, implementing the project, building the product, making those final touches, training, marketing, and using the product. It's thought, skilled-labor, and money intensive. The rate at which this development process occurs is phenomenally fast. Multiple people work for months to get a product to market. Then, that product is available for a shorter time than it took to develop it before a newer product surpasses it.

    Many of the articles on news.com, CNET, and Wired today focus on such investments and how video companies are projecting where the industry may be by the end of the year. These same cost pressing situations are also occurring with the new memory to be released for the upcoming Intel BX chipset, the shift from socket 7 to slot 1 and slot 2 processors, and the shift from CD ROM to DVD ROM, and then to DIVD next year.

    Change over a short period of time is  extremely expensive for everyone involved. Distributors, resellers, and users pay for the costs of this thought and labor intensive process. Sometimes losses are taken to move product. Other times, profit on an item may be a little higher to help pay for the costs involved in developing a new idea. Since we thrive in a financially based society, the real costs have to be addressed eventually.

    Remember, evolution is exciting. From a short term perspective, we see opportunities for new companies, growth in exisitng companies, new jobs, and improved products. Moreover, the industry continuing to work toward developing a seemingly effortless computer system.

  • Intel Graphics Chip To Make PCs Life-like Wired
  • Terror in the Graphics World: Intel Specter Looms
  • "As companies design faster and more sophisticated chips at an ever-increasing rate, graphics processors that only nine months earlier defined the premium class become second-tier. This dizzying speed of innovation makes it hard for companies to recoup the costs of developing their chips, analysts say. " -- www.news.com
    Ruthless Competition Rules The Market
  • "Additional MMX instructions will appear in the "Katmai" generation of Pentium II processors, which are due in 1999, said Richard Dracott, marketing manager for the processor division at Intel. Dracott surmised that Katmai processors which go into low-cost PCs may even obviate the need for a separate graphics chip. " -- new.com
    Intel's Entry Means Big Changes
  • DVD/3D Kit to Hit Market
  • Today's special is Quantum 8.4 GB Fireball SE hard drive. 
  • The new Intel BX chipset motherboards will use different memory from what is currently available on the market. These boards will require PC100 compliant memory. The memory is expected to be backward compatible with Intel 440LX chipset motherboards. The exception might be 64 MB modules for the Intel 440LX motherboard, which required special design.

PC100 compliant memory is expected to be released around early March.

  • Have you seen the Apple commercial where the snail is carrying the Intel Pentium II processor?

February 11, 1998

  • UPS told us today that their national tracking server is down for a while. Hopefully, it'll be up and running soon.
  • We have Intel Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors with ECC and 512K cache in stock.
  • Gracie and Einstein are enjoying the sunny weather today. Grandma even brought cookies in for everyone here at the shop, and the duo are thinking up new tricks to try to get a tiny bit. They can hardly wait for early summer when Grandma bakes her boysenberry pies....
  • In what city is ESC located?

Modesto is located in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. It's home to many large companies as well as a large agriculture base. To the east rise the high Sierra Mountains. Just a short drive up Highway 120 is Yosemite National Park. To the west is the Coast Range and San Francisco Delta reg ion.

Our family originally came to California at the turn of the twentieth century. Papa (Grandpa and Great-grandpa), Mama, and six children rode over in a modified Chevrolet touring car and a Dodge touring car. The kids had cut the back seats off of cars to make room for the family and their belongings.  They had been living in Rocky Ford, Colorado and Shickly, Nebraska, but the lack of rain water for the fields prompted them to leave their farm.

The San Joaquin Valley offers some of the most fertile soil in the world. Walnuts, almonds, peaches, and grapes not only provided food for the family, but supplemental income. Agriculture is still a large force in the Valley. The Modesto area is also a fast, growing business and residential area. It is within a two hour commute to the Silicon Valley, and it's population is growing everyday.

For more information about ESC, please see www.esc-ca.com/html/esc.html. For more information about California history see, www.ca.gov.  

  • Can I use just one processor on GigaByte's 686DLX dual Pentium II motherboard?

Yes. The motherboard autodetects whether you are using one or two processors, and adjusts accordingly.

February 10, 1998

  • We have extra Quantum 3.2 GB drives in stock. We also have one Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz OverDrive processor with MMX technology. Please call us at 800-427-3726 if you are interested in the OverDrive.
  • We have been running a special on Corsair 32 MB SDRAM. We're also going to run a special this week on Crucial 16 MB EDO SIMMs.
  • Did you notice any changes to the webcart?
  • Intel Boxed DK440LX motherboards are not available at this time. Our major distributors do not have inventory on this product, and are hoping to get a few more pieces soon. Will they? One distributor commented that they may not be quick to stock many since the new BX chipset is to arrive this spring.
  • Al and Gracie have been rather quiet today.  Al is resting up from the storms.  Gracie finally has her head out from under the bed.  The rain has not helped her hairdo.

Did you know that Gracie is an Intel refugee?  Yes, she attended the parties when a project was completed - pig roasts and knows the Pentium chants. 

Al gets rather jealous when Gracie talks about "the old days."  After all, Al likes pigs too.  Come to think of it, Al likes anything that is edible. 

Hey there's an idea, a new chocolate bar in the shape of a Pentium II.  Naw.  Intel's put us on a diet - just a few boxed Pentium II 333 MHz   products, no cache in the Covington,  and only a few ISA slots.   Obviously they don't have time for a chocolate bar.

Wait!  Now Al is wishing for a Slot 2 version.   The "Big Al" chocolate bar in the shape of a Pentium II with 2 MB L2 cache.  That oughta make us all fat and happy.

Chipset Features
440BX 100 MHz
440GX addressable memory to 2 Gigabytes
440EX formerly 440LXR, for the Covington CPU
440JX formerly 440BX2, PIIX6, FireWire feature added
Camino DDR SDRAM and Direct Rambus support, 2 Katmai processor support

February 9, 1998

Microsoft Debuts DirectX 6.0

February 6, 1998

  • It's Friday! We hope everyone enjoys their weekend.
  • We have a couple AMD-K6/233 PIBs left in the Monday shipment. If you are interested, please call 800-427-3726. They are $185 each.
  • We have extra Intel LT430TX motherboards in stock.
  • We have extra GigaByte 686DLX motherboards available today. We also have an ASUS TX97.
  • Clients have declared today Connecticut day. We have had a high number of calls from from CT today. We've even had people from other parts of the country call because someone in Connecticut recommended they call us. Thank you!

February 5, 1998

"Financial news provider Bloomberg and techie news network CNET announced a deal on Wednesday to create several co-branded fin ancial news services, including News.com...." Wired

  • Here's another article about future processors:

" Intel, which says it will be making some announcements of its own at the ISSCC conference, says it expects to be launching 550-MHz chips for PCs by the end of this year." Wired

IBM Meets Digital on the 1,000-MHz Roof

  • We have another shipment of AMD-K6/233 MHz Processors In a Box on the way! Quanities are limited, so please call 800-427-3726 if you are interested.
  • Does the fan on the AMD PIB attach to the motherboard or the power supply?

The fan on the AMD Processors in a Box connect to the power supply.

Also, the fan is mounted on the processor.

  • There is limited availability on Intel Pentium OverDrive processors. We removed the 166 and 180 MHz OverDrive processors from our on-line order system until we have updated availability information.
  • We apologize for some of the strange shipping calculations on our shopping cart. We're still trying to fix some of the little bugs. In the meantime, a good reference is UPS's web site: www.ups.com. There, they have an on-line shipping calculator for pickup rates. Our zip code is 95356; we declare insurance (the invoice value); and we do require a signature to release a package.

February 4, 1998

Bill Gates hit by cream cake in Brussels

Late last Fall, AMD released their new Processor In a Box program, PIB, where AMD packages their AMD-K6 enhanced MMX processors with a heatsink and fan and honors a three year warranty on the product. The new program was developed for resellers and system integrators to install AMD's  processors in machines and be able to honor a warranty on the product. The new product has been extremely successful. Demand for the PIB has exceeded the supply, but AMD will improve supply in the reseller channel. We should see more K6/233 product at the end of February.

AMD officials say that they will release their new K6/266 processor through the PIB program in late March to early April. Currently, their new processor is available through Level 1 OEMs: IBM and Compaq. IBM and Compaq using AMD's new product in their systems demonstrates AMD's continuing success. 

  • We are now offering the GigaByte 686DLX motherboard. It is a dual Pentium II board, with SCSI on-board.
  • We have an extra AMD PIB K6/233 in stock. Please call 800-427-3726 if you are interested.
  • Overdrive processors currently available: Intel Pentium 200 MHz OverDrive with MMX technology. Estimated time of arrival of the 166 and 180 MHz OverDrive processors...hopefully, soon. Many distributors are not expecting new shipments of the Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz Overdrive processor.
  • Many distributors in the Silicon Valley have told us that they have been short staffed the past two days. Some of their employees have not been able to get to work because of the severe weather conditions. Our thoughts are with those who's homes are threatened and have been damaged this season.
  • Local Central and Northern California weather and river information. monsoon.water.ca.gov

February 3, 1998

  • Corsair SDRAM prices dropped.
  • Crucial memory prices dropped.
  • We received a few more AMD-K6 PIB 233 MMX processors. We are offering the processors at $185 each. Please call 800-427-3726 to order.
  • The 440LX-R chipset will apparently only allow 2 DIMM sockets and 3 PCI slots.  Now Intel calls this chipset "Cost Reduced" but we call it "Restricted."  Al and Gracie call it something else.
  • IBM joins the 1,000-MHz club

February 2, 1998

  • More about ATX 2.01 specifications:

www.developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/atx.htm

www.teleport.com/~atx

  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX technology processors should arrive at authorized distributors between this week and the next week.
  • We are adding the Toshiba 32 X IDE CD ROM.
  • ASUS T-10AB cases are backordered until the end of February. A new shipment is expected to dock in the U.S. in about two weeks.
  • Intel Pentium OverDrive units are in limited supply.
  • Pentium motherboards that will take advantage of AGP are starting to arrive on the market. We'll see more information within the month; keep watching What's New.
  • Alpha chips zoom to 1000 MHz
  • Gracie is practicing her version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star":

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How they wonder who I am
Up above the world so high
I'm a diamond in the sky

Al's version is a little more crude. We won't reinforce that though.

January 1998

January 30, 1998

  • AMD Slot A will use Digital's EV-6 interface.  Byte's February article is a must read!

  • Special weekend prices for Corsair Microsystems Grade A memory. 
    32 Mb SDRAM $71.40
    64 Mb SDRAM with ECC $252.00

  • Why does ESC operate as a just-in-time inventory?

ESC operates as a just-in-time inventory. This means that as you request products from us, we bring an item in specificially for your order. We work closely with manufacturers and distributors, this allows us access to product all over the world. When the product arrives at our facility, we assemble, configure, and test your corresponding components before we ship them to you.

Over the years, we have learned that this model allows us to be the most flexible. Computer components are commodities. Their prices change daily and sometimes even hourly. With this just-in-time inventory model, we are able to offer you products at their current market value. When a new revision of a product is released, we are able to purchase it without having to dump older revisions. When prices drop, we are able to sell the newly purchased products at a lower price.

When should I expect to see my order?
other frequently asked questions about esc

  • We are curious if anyone would like to explain to us the code names Mendocino and Covington.  Are these rivers in Oregon?   We were waiting for code names like Umatilla, Wallowa, or Klaskanine.  If you are going for counties, what about Crook or Klackamas?  Opps, strike that last county.
    This is the quote from Techweb (January 27).
    "Microprocessors using reduced Level 2 cache integrated on the chip, code-named Mendocino, will make their appearance in the second half of the year in 300-MHz and 333-MHz iterations. Pricing and specific ship dates were unavailable."
    Or this quote from Techweb (January 19)
    "By the fourth quarter, Intel will unveil Mendocino-a Pentium II with 128 Kbytes of L2 cache integrated into the CPU-positioned toward the low end of the $1,000 to $1,500 market, according to the document."

  • Counterfeit ASUS motherboards are hitting the market.   These can be identified by the older components on the motherboard.  These boards sell for about 10% or more lower than the market.

  • PIIX is Intel's abbreviation for PCI- ISA/IDE Accelerator Chip.  This part of the chipset controls the expansion buses and hard disk interfaces.

  • Intel Pentium II 333 MHz Boxed processors have not arrived.  Distributors are stating Intel has not shipped product to them.   Estimated times have now slid to the second week in February.

January 29, 1998

  • 10:45 AM update:  Yesterday's tears from Al and Gracie must have touched a soft-spot with AMD.  We have been told a limited number of AMD K6/233 PIB processors will be shipped to us.  We are going to offer these at $185.00 each.

  • Congratulations to AMD.  PC Magazine has awarded AMD the Technical Innovation Award for 1997.

  • We should start to see an increase in availability of the AMD-K6/233 enhanced processor with MMX technology soon.

  • Corsair 64 Mb ECC SDRAM is on special today.

  • Intel Pentium 166 MHz OverDrive processors are not available at this time. Distributors are not expecting new shipments beyond what they have already committed to.

  • Distributors are still waiting for their first shipment of Intel Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors.

  • Our website www.esctechnologies.com is still undergoing some hardware changes. Other product sites available are: www.esc-tech.com and www.esc-technologies.com. Tech support is at www.esc-ca.com.

  • Guess what? We have been updating an entire section for quite a few weeks about processor roadmaps and we just discovered that it wasn't linked in to the rest of the site! We'll fix it as soon as possible.

January 28, 1998

  • Happy Birthday Bob!

  • Al and Gracie are in tears today.  AMD yields for the K6/200, K6/233, and K6/266 are just not high enough to meet demand.  The good news is that AMD has been working hard on improving the yields.  It takes 68 days from start to socket ready - so let's all mark our calendars. The big wave of K6/266 processors will probably be in April.   Hopefully not April 1, 1998.

  • Covington is coming.  This processor is the Pentium II Junior; A cacheless Pentium II 266 MHz.  It it is expected to be released in April of this year.  Al and Gracie still think of this processor as a CPU on a diet.

  • This morning's special: Corsair 64 Mb ECC SDRAM for $285 each.

January 27, 1998

  • AMD K6/233 PIB (Processors in a Box) have a printing error.  The fan states I/O voltage of 3.3 volts and Vcore of 3.4 volts.  This is not correct.  The proper Vcore is 3.2 volts.  The processor may fail at the higher voltage.

  • Wanting and expecting more power from a computer doesn't have to mean buying a whole new system. Today's special is for those of you who are upgrading that older Pentium machine.

  • Question of the day: Is the Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX technology the Deschutes?

Yes. Deschutes refers to the 0.25-micron process.  Since the Pentium II 333 MHz is manufactured using the 0.25-micron process, yes, it is a Deschutes processor. Of course, there will be future processors with more advances.

  • We will start seeing AMD-K6 enhanced processors shifting to 0.25-micron with their new K6/266 MMX enhanced processor. Currently, IBM and Compaq are or will be offering systems using this desktop processor. The small OEM and reseller channel will be able to buy the new processors later this spring. Notebooks with the AMD-K6/233 may use the new  .25-micron.

  • According to Intel and several other manufacturers, "Wake on LAN requires a power supply with 5 volts stand by (Vsb) capable of sustaining 720mA."  You can check your power supply by looking at the label.   Do not use this feature if the power supply does not support the Vsb of 0.8 amps.

  • Intel's next chipset may require a heatsink and fan.   This fan should not be removed.  There may be BIOS features which change the thermals on this chipset.

  • This table was provided to us so that we could understand the bandwidth of L2 Cache on a Pentium II processor.  We thought we should pass it along to you.  Now try that with a socket7 processor.

Processor
Speed
L2 Bandwidth
400 MHz 8 bytes * 200 MHz = 1.6 G/s
350 MHz 8 bytes * 175 MHz = 1.4 G/s
333 MHz 8 bytes * 166 MHz = 1.3 G/s
300 MHz 8 bytes * 150 MHz = 1.2 G/s
266 MHz 8 bytes * 133 MHz = 1 G/s
233 MHz 8 bytes * 166 MHz = 928 MB/s
  • Please take note of the title below (Inside Intel by Tim Jackson). Then, see our section "Inside Intel" that gives Intel product updates for the past two years.

January 26, 1998

  • Happy Birthday Loren.

  • We'd like to clarify our statements on the AL440LX motherboard from Intel.  The AL440LXG, the Atlanta motherboard packaged with the ATI Expert @ Work, will no longer be offered.  This was a promotional package.  The AL440LX motherboard will still be available for a little while longer.

  • Compaq purchases Digital.   Annual revenue expected to top 37 billion dollars.  Compaq is now ranked as the third largest computer company in the world.

  • AMD dropped pricing.  The sad news is that there is little to no product in the reseller channel.  Compaq signed a agreement (after IBM's exclusive for January is over) for the AMD K6/266.  Therefore, we will not see the product until after March.  The PIB (boxed) K6/200 are back ordered.  It will also be March before we see them.  The K6/233 will be erratic in availability.   One authorized distributor was given a whopping four processors on their next shipment!

  • ABIT Taiwan is on vacation from January 24, 1998 until February 1, 1998.  They are celebrating Chinese New Year. Gigabyte is also on vacation.

  • PC-Hardware FAQs were updated January 16, 1998.   This update is now on our website.

  • Congratulations to the Denver Broncos.  It was a great SuperBowl game.  Al and Gracie were biting their nails all the way to end.

  • Prices were lowered today for many of the Intel processors. 

  • The Intel Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX Technology boxed processor was announced today. 

  • Intel releases information to the press on the 440LX-R chipset.  We'd like to point out the last sentence in the article, specifically the last two words, "or pricing."

  • For specifications on the new MicroATX form factor you should go to teleport's website.

January 23, 1998

  • For those of you who have been asking about GigaByte's new dual Pentium II motherboard, 686DLX, we are still running it and have not introduced a price yet. We will keep you posted.

  • AMD plans to introduce the AMD-K6 3D MMX Enhanced processor with initial clock speeds of 300 MHz and up to 400 MHz.  We do not have the details for the time frame.

  • We received a fax stating, "Cyrix has the rights to the plans and other intellectual property necessary to make processors based on Intel's Pentium II design."  This is a result of National Semiconductor's cross-licensing agreement with Intel.

  • This CNet article states the Deschutes will be officially announced on Monday.  Their pricing structure is very interesting.   Apparently the trade is now telling the resellers what price they can sell a product.  Very interesting.  We'd love to buy the product for the pricing they are stating.  Here is a great example of the tail wagging the dog.

http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,18402,00.html

January 22, 1998

  • Guess what arrived this morning? We received our first GigaByte 586SG motherboard! It's on the bench running now, and we'll post preliminary results as soon as we can. The board is GigaByte's new socket 7 motherboard with AGP slot on board. Price estimate is just over $100. The board will be in mass production in February. 

  • The generic memory prices have dropped considerably these past few months. You can buy 32 Mb of EDO memory for your Pentium machine for less than dinner and movies for your family. At the same time, you are telling us that you want TX or Pentium II systems. The TX boards and Pentium II boards use a different kind of memory. Should we continue offering generic SIMMs for a while yet? Our dropping of the product is immanent. We will still offer Grade A Micron SIMMs, but we are seriously considering dropping generic SIMMs. Please, let us know what you think.

January 21, 1998

  • "AMD - 3D Technology will lead visual computing revolution," says Jerry Sanders. AMD plans to introduce the AMD-K6 3D MMX Enhanced processor with initial clock speeds of 300 MHz and moving to 400 MHz. Keep watching for more information.

  • We've had multiple questions about the availability on the Intel Boxed DK440LX motherboard. It's our understanding that there have been a few manufacturing difficulties so production is slow. However, there are boards available on the market, and more product is also on it's way!

  • We hav e a few extra AMD K6/233 enhanced processors with MMX technology. Please call 800-427-3726 if you are interested in purchasing one.

  • How do I decide what to buy for my home and business use?

There are hundreds of computer manufacturers and systems integrators. Each company offers a slightly different product. How do you go about finding what you need to upgrade your existing system, what you'd like to replace it with, and decent pricing and value for that product?

www.esc-ca.com/html/places.htm outlines some consumer information to help you answer these questions.

www.esc-ca.com/html/upgrade.html walks you through many of the issues you'll need to consider when buying new parts.

  • Yesterday's Intel training was interesting. Intel has a series of new products to be released this year. The  products range from microprocessors to working with internet connectivity. The constant push for making technology simple to use, so that it doesn't interfere with our lives while benefiting our lives, progresses by reaching even higher standards of performance. It's hard to tell when new products are used as strategic market positioning and when they will in fact contribute to  your enjoyment and practicality.

  • Watch for release dates and information about these new Intel products, among others:

Intel's Seattle and Nightshade are two motherboards that will operate with future Intel processors using a future chipset. 

The Intel Express 3D will be the first graphics video card offered by Intel.  It uses the i740 graphics chipset. 

Pentium II processors will be faster.

January 20, 1998

  • Some distributors have preliminary pricing posted on their Boxed Pentium II 333 MHz processors. Availability will be limited at first.  The official product announcement is Sunday, January 25, 1998.  Pricing looks like it will be $860.41 each.

  • A sample of GigaByte's 586SG board should arrive next week. The board will enter mass production in February. We have orders in for the first release.

  • Phone conversations with vendors indicate that Intel is expected to release Pentium II 350 MHz through 400 MHz between March and April of this year. We look forward to seeing these processors, as well as other future Intel products.

  • Tray AMD-K6/233 MHz processors are available today in small numbers. Please call if you are interested.

  • Processors in a Box AMD-K6/233 and AMD-K6/200 MHz enhanced processors with MMX technology are still in short supply. We expect availability to be tight through February. Remember, AMD's K6/266 will only be released through IBM until next month.

  • We are still testing the GigaByte 686DLX, dual Pentium II motherboard. We will post pricing as soon as possible.

  • Pricing on ASUS's new dual Pentium II motherboard without SCSI is now available. We have not received any P2L97-D boards yet.

January 19, 1998

  • Tomorrow is a scheduled meeting with Intel representatives.  Since the Pentium II 333 MHz processor in the boxed program will not be "officially" announced until next week, we are curious if they will let us know the "new name" for the processor.  Is this processor going to be named the Pentium 3? or is that a separate / future processor for the 100 MHz bus set for April - maybe? Or are we all going to be suprised by a 440BX chipset announcement?
    Al and Gracie have been debating this nomenclature.  We still believe Intel needs to promote the MMX Technology in whatever the new product is named.  Since the 0.25 micron fabrication is unique, cache speed is faster.

  • Have you noticed that major OEMs are coming up with names to describe building the system you want before they ship it to you? Configure-and-shipTM sounds familiar to us.

  • Build To Order Baffles Compaq, Others

  • Today's special find: Corsair 64 Mb ECC SDRAM $312.36.

  • Now that the price points have shifted to the Pentium II 233 MHz processors being less expensive than the Pentium 233 MHz processor, we're seeing an increased interest in ways to upgrade an existing machine. One of the easiest ways to find out information about your existing system is to look at your original invoice and the motherboard manual.

  • Intel's Deschutes Chip Gets Major Vendor Backing

  • Next Pentium II Due This Month

  • Remember, the Pentium II 333 MHz processor is available in tray form. The Boxed processor will be available January 26th.

  • Why has processor pricing bounced around this past week?

Processors are commodities. If product is available, the prices usually remain stable until there is a new product release. When a new product is available or about to be available, we see the prices drop. When a product is in high demand and short supply, we see high prices.

Intel is about to officially announce and release their new Pentium II 333 MHz processor: the long awaited Deschutes. OEMs and vendors who have inventory are raising and lowering their selling prices for processors. These companies have 1 week to clear inventory before Intel adjusts pricing to authorized distributors.

We operate as a just-in-time inventory. This means that as people purchase product from us, we purchase product from distributors.

January 16, 1998

  • Weekend special find: Corsair 32 Mb SDRAM. OK,  we decided to give you a New Year bonus. Memory prices increased dramatically this week. However, we recognize that your price point is lower than the current market costs. We adjusted Corsair 32 Mb SDRAM non-ECC orders from Friday to $85 for quantities 1 and up. We'll hold this special price through the weekend. This special stops at the opening of Monday's business day at 8:30 am PT. You may order online.

  • Bob's mom posted this on his office door on one of her visits to the shop. We think it seems appropriate for the computer industry and users too:

  • Golden Rules for Living:

  • If you open it, close it.
    If you turn it on, turn it off.
    If you unlock it, lock it up.
    If you break it, admit it.
    If you can't fix it, call in someone who can.
    If you borrow it, return it.
    If you value it, take care of it.
    If you make a mess, clean it up.
    If you move it, put it back.
    If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission.
    If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.
    If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    If it will brighten someone's day, say it.
    If it will tarnis h someone's reputation, keep it to yourself.

  • Today's business special find: Corsair 32 Mb SDRAM.  A discounted price in quantities 10 or more $95.

  • We received a few extra AMD-K6/233 processors this morning. Please call if you are interested in purchasing one with other components.

  • Guess what? Al has put on his boots and is busily playing in the mud puddles.  Gracie insists that she will not get her feet wet and still remains at home.  These two dogs remind us of people's attitudes about new technology.  Companies introduce a pouring rain of new products.  Some of us rush out into the rain and buy the "latest" and others of us wait and see.  Some people are like Gracie and just wait until the rain is all gone.

  • The Deschutes processor is an example of people's purchasing interests.  Are you going to wait or invest in the technology today? The 333 MHz unit is the fastest processor Intel builds.

  • Now, here is a press release posted on ZDnet:

``Seagate is executing plans to improve its competitive position through continued improvements to operational productivity and cost reduction -- specifically asset and employee utilization,'' the company said in a statement.

January 15, 1998

January 14, 1998

  • AMD processors are not available in the channel today. We will keep you posted on product updates. It's is our understanding that AMD-K6 processors are being heavily allocated to OEMs and therefore short in the reseller channel. We were told this situation will continue throughout February.

  • It's still raining in Modesto.  Al is still on his blanket and Gracie has refused to come to work.  She doesn't want to get her hair wet.

  • We hope that the levy system holds in Sutter County.   In listening to the news reports there seems to be some difficulties in the same place the levy broke last year.

  • We've been running the Giga-Byte GA686BLX motherboard on the bench for the past two days.  The results match our expectations.  The Giga-Byte boards provide the most consistently high scores in Graphics.  Therefore we are offering a special bundle:  GA686BLX+PII 333 MHz + 32 Mb Corsair SDRAM = $1275.00 while supplies last.

  • AMD-K6/266 enhanced processor release into the reseller channel is expected after this quarter. We are currently working with AMD to get more information.

  • Did you notice that an Intel Pentium II 233 MHz with MMX technology is less expensive than a Pentium 233 MHz with MMX technology?

  • We were discussing return rates of Pentium II motherboards. Barring the first release of the ASUS P2L97 motherboard that was jumperless (we received the first two serial numbers in the sequence), we have not had returns on ABIT, ASUS, AOpen, Intel, GigaByte, nor Micronics boards. We are extremely impressed with the quality of Pentium II motherboards with which we work.

  • If you would to use our on-line ordering system, please use a traceable email address. We do not accept orders from @hotmail.com, @iname.com, @techie.com, @juno.com, @bigfoot.com, and other free email accounts that may or may not be valid.

January 13, 1998

FTC won't block Intel and CT merger.

Intel Unveils Two Pentium Processors

DRAM Prices Showing Signs Of Recovery

Supply Still A Problem As AMD Hones K6

  • Is there an AT Case that you really love and don't want to get rid but you still want to upgrade to a Pentium II motherboard?   Take a look at the GA-686BLX.  This motherboard supports the 233 - 333 MHz Pentium II with MMX Technology Processors.
  • In-Win Full size ATX with 300 watt power supplies are still not available.  The ship has not docked and cleared customs.  It will be the beginning of next week before the product is available from In-Win.  We do have 235 Watt Power Supply Full Size ATX units available.
  • Al and Gracie are glad it isn't raining.  Al can finally catch up on his sleep and Gracie can go outside in the sunshine.
  • We are all waiting for today's ruling regarding MS and the DOJ.
  • There is an update on the utility for determining chipset information.   This website is an excellent resource for chipsets.

January 12, 1998

  • We have been a bit suprised by the response that we will be carrying the IBM Deskstar Drives.  We are doing our best to get the information on the website and you will notice that it is now on the shopping cart.

  • It is raining so hard that the other side of the road cannot be seen.  Gracie wouldn't come to work and Al is hiding next to Layne's feet.   He hates the rain.  Worse is that he hates the thunder.  We'll have four more days of this type of weather.  Small stream flash flood warnings have been placed into effect.  Doesn't this remind you of last year?

  • Al and Gracie are glad they are not stuck in the snow storms on the east coast.  Al hates the cold (that's why he collects blankets) and Gracie prefers the Arizona weather.   We all hope everyone is safe and warm.

  • In terms of the Winstone 98 business scores, the ABIT LX6 nudged out the competition.  However, the GigaByte GA-686LX has come out on top in regards to the High End Winstone 98.

  • The Vcore on the 333 MHz Pentium II with MMX Technology Processor is 2.00V.

January 10, 1998

  • Did you notice that the year changed?  Some of you may have seen yesterday's 1997 mistake but did you notice that we snuck in a new VeriSign Certificate?  That's right, you can now shop using our webcart and feel confident that we have done what we can to keep your purchases private.

  • We also have snuck in a picture of Al and Gracie.  After receiving email asking for pictures, we decided to put them up for a little while.  No sunglasses and hats please.

  • And since we were being so sneaky, we thought that the IBM storage devices added to our product line should get announced quietly and that the faithful readers of this section would be the first to know.  So, now you know.   Pricing, specifications, and integration into the webcart will happen next week.

  • By the way, what are you doing reading this?   You should be hugging your kids, family, friends, and significant other.  Oh.   It's a rumor that you are looking for?  Ok, well, the latest on the ABIT LX6 motherboard working with the Intel 333 MHz Pentium II with MMX Technology Processor is true.  By setting the BIOS to user defined, and the clock multiplier to 5, the processor is properly seen.  Now you can go hug people.

January 9, 1998

  • Not only are generic memory prices going up other suppliers are saying their prices will also increase.

  • Are you looking for an easy way to store and transport files? Iomega's Zip drives are handy means of moving files between home and work. Computer design artists in Phoenix, Arizona tell us frequently that they love using their Zip ATAPI drives to store their large images.

  • We now offer IBM Deskstar 6.4 GB and 8.4 GB IDE hard drives. These IBM drives feature large capacity UDMA/33 storage. They are the  fastest IDE drives currently available in the industry.

  • We offer individual components as well as configured barebone systems. You choose your components, then we'll assemble, configure and test corresponding items before we ship them to you. This added service assures quality components. We do not charge an extra fee for this service.

  • Einstein and Gracie watched cloudbursts today. Einstein had a few ideas from watching Pooh with the kids this morning. He dreamed of singing, "I'm a little black rain cloud, pay no attention to me," as he tried to sneak donuts.

  • We rearranged a few things on the on-line shopping system today. We apologize for any inconvenience.

January 8, 1998

  • Generic memory prices are going up again. We received messages from multiple vendors that their costs went up about $10 today, and are expected to increase again tomorrow.

  • The AMD K6 266 is sampling to OEMs.  No, AMD has not made these available to us.  We are trying to contact them to see if we can get them.  If you are interested in this product then please let AMD know that you want us to offer this product soon.  Otherwise, the wait may be until the end of this quarter.  If you do contact them then please be polite.

  • We have managed to get access to several more 333 MHz Pentium II with MMX Technology Processors.  We are keeping our price at $995.00 while this supply lasts.

  • Al and Gracie have been watching the construction in the main office.  Henry, the telephone man, decided to add a skylight to the ceiling and the repair is being started today.

  • Last year on this date, was the introduction by Intel of the Pentium Processors with MMX Technology.

January 7, 1998

  • We'd like to update the In-Win enclosure story.   We decided to have a driver go into the bay area and pick up our cases.  We just couldn't wait.  Yes, we hate delays too.  Actually some of us are more like little children around a Christmas Tree when the UPS and FedEx drivers arrive in the morning.  Well, okay some of us are more like a wild pack of animals.

  • Layne's favorite computer journal on the internet recently wrote a question we had asked earlier.  What's going on in Vienna Virginia?   Well, as was explained to us, Tyson's Corner is the home of some rather large corporations which serve our government.  But even funnier than Tyson's Corner showing up in large numbers is the fact that there are people coming from Comedy Central.  Are you looking for new material?  Al and Gracie have a whole doghouse full.

  • A funny thing happened to Al and Gracie while they were on their way to the newsgroup forum, (da dun dun).  It seems that Intel has already announced that they are discontinuing the AL440LX. Funny, didn't they just introduce it? Say good night Gracie. Bark.

  • After reviewing product sales, the ASUS P2L97 motherboards were the hottest selling Pentium II motherboards for the month of December.   Overall sales were ranked ASUS P2L97, ABIT LX6, Intel AL440LX, and GigaByte LX.

  • There are only a few OEM Intel Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX Technology Processors available.  After these are gone, it will probably be quite some time before we see any more.  The official release date should be at the end of January.  You may have noticed some companies have been raising their prices over the past few days.  This is due to constraints placed by suppliers.  We are holding our price at $995.00 for today.

  • Einstein and Gracie are anxiously waiting for more benchmarks using the Intel Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX Technology Processor.  Winstone98 scores using the P2L97 show the incremental increase.  The Deschutes processor requires the BIOS upgrade on both the P2L97 and P2L97DS motherboards.  We hope to complete the ABIT LX6 testing today.

  • You may have noticed some re-arranging on this webpage yesterday.  We are attempting to find the easiest way to layout the What's New section so that load time is faster.  The old layout keeps each month together, however, this leads to 40-60K files.  Instead we will put the most recent day's information here and then provide a link to the prior days for the  month and past months.

  • Our shipment of In Win cases did not arrive this morning. Hopefully, they will arrive tomorrow.

  • Reminder: We operate as a just-in-time inventory. When a customer requests a product, we will verify banking information and funds, purchase product for the request, when the products arrive we assemble and test corresponding items, then ship the product. We do not begin ordering your product until the funds are authorized by your bank. Please verify your funds before you purchase.

  • If you need to return an item for non-defective reasons, we have a 15% restocking fee. The items must be in resalable condition. If you need to return an item for defective reasons, please ship your product back then we will proceed. Please read our policies section for detailed information.

Tuesday January 6, 1998

  • OEM packaging for Microsoft's Windows 95 is being changed.  The packages will be in brown boxes.  In addition, as of December 31, 1997 a new company was formed by Microsoft Licensing in Nevada.  This new company will handle OEM products for Microsoft.

  • In order for the ASUS P2L97 motherboard to recognize the OEM 333 MHz Pentium II with MMX Technology, a BIOS of 0105 is required.   Otherwise the motherboard appears to be dead and there will not be video.  The Deschutes designation withi n the BIOS is interesting too.  We could not get Winstone97 to run properly, however Winstone98 ran fine.  The incremental increase in performance is exactly what all of us expected.  Using the ASUS P2L97, the 300 MHz scores 27.3 units and the 333 MHz scores 28.2 units.  High end scores are 31.2 units and 33 units respectively.

  • According to PC Week, the official announcement for the Intel Pentium II 333 MHz CPU is January 26, 1998.  The Boxed product should be available on that day.

  • Intel representatives have been rather concerned regarding our offering the OEM Pentium II 333 MHz with MMX Technology prior to their announcement.  Several companies are now offering the product.

Monday January 5, 1998

  • Today's specials:

AMD-K6/233 Tray processor $185.00
Corsair 32 Mb SDRAM $90.00 each
Corsair 64 Mb ECC SDRAM $333.00 each

  • Intel Boxed Pentium Overdrive units are available
    today. Distributors now have Pentium 166, 180, and
    200 MHz Overdrives with MMX technology. Go to
    www.intel.com/overdrive/index.htm for detailed
    information.

Friday January 2, 1998

  • Intel Product Selector Guide can be found on the Intel website.   It's raining today so you can all guess what Al and Gracie are doing. Al is hiding, and refusing to go outside. Gracie is wishing that she had rubber boots and an umbrella.  

  • A limited supply of Intel Boxed Pentium 166 and 200 MHz OverDrives with MMX technology are available. Intel's new DK440LX and R440LX motherboards are available. Since they are relatively new products, we have about a 2 week lead time. 

  • We saw SIMM prices jump a couple of dollars on Wednesday. We don't know if that was because of end of year, or anything more long term. 

  • Intel Pentium II 333 MHz processors are available in tray. The Boxed product has not been released yet. 

Thursday January 1, 1998

  • Happy New Year!

  • We will reopen on January 2nd.

December 1997

Wednesday December 31, 1997

  • We hope all of you have a wonderful New Year.
  • Yesterday we received multiple calls regarding the differences between Pentium processors with MMX technology and Pentium II processors.

Let's try to clear up some of the confusion:

Pentium motherboards use Pentium processors. The motherboard has a spot for socket 5 or socket 7 (more recent boards use socket 7). If you are upgrading an older motherboard, pull out your manual and find out what type of processor it supports.

If you are buying a new Pentium motherboard, you will most likely choose an Intel Pentium with MMX technology or an AMD-K6 enhanced processor with MMX technology.

Intel ends support of the Pentium line this year. AMD is planning on switching over to a slot processor also. (Not as soon as we'd like them to though.)

Pentium II motherboards use Pentium II processors. This is referred to as a slot 1 processor. Pentium II processors also have MMX technology. Although, Intel doesn't seem to heavily promote this. Pentium II systems are current technology.

  • Intel Boxed OverDrive Units are backordered.
  • If you've been waiting to buy your AMD-K6/200 enhanced processor with MMX technology Processor in a Box, we have extra in stock. The product is on allocation through distribution. AMD honors a 3 year warranty on this product and it ships with a heatsink and fan.
  • Al and Gracie have been expanding their interests. Today's topic: cows. There is a pasture near the new ESC building, and these two have been checking it out. Al has decided that cows smell worse than his blankets. Gracie emphatically agrees. She sneezed as soon those spotted creatures' perfume filled our air.  Al was a bit miffed and thought he should go cow tipping at night.  We think his attention should be geared toward Texas Longhorns and those Dakota cows instead of our friendly California bovines.
  • Thinking about tips, we heard from a nice gentleman who was beta testing the AMD K6 + 300 MHz.  He expressed his pleasure with the CPU and is looking forward to being able to try it on an AGP socket 7 motherboard.
  • Intel is still in search of markets. It seems they have adopted a shotgun approach. Just throw out a bunch of ideas and see who will get excited. Of course, they "leak" the ideas to unsuspecting news gatherers and then watch the newsgroups. We've developed a multbillion dollar "whiiippee" scale to measure the impact of the Intel leaks.

    On a scale of w-h-iiii-pp-ee, w is the best and ee is the lowest.

    There are rumors that Intel is planning to remove features from the socket 7 430TX chipset for a new market. In terms of a stripped out 430TX chipset, our mini-survey scored the idea an "ee". Since Intel is dropping prices on the Pentium II why would anyone buy a socket 7? The motherboard prices are almost equal as it is.  Therefore the cross over point is already here.

    Another rumor is that Intel is going to introduce a low-end, single-processor, Pentium II 440LX chipset. A stripped down 440LX AGPset (the 440LXR) gets a score of "pee."  (The R in LXR supposedly stands for "restricted.") Who is the target audience? Hmmm. Probably cows. 

    Instead of stripping gadgets out of the chipsets, how about creating and supporting products that are even more useful and productive, not limiting? Besides, it always hurts to tell someone that the stripped down machine that they paid good money for has to be significantly upgraded to handle the latest operating system or software.

    Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 microprocessors get a score of "iipee". We can't wait to see these things working. The operative word being "working."

  • What do you think Microsoft's New Year's resolution will be? Will it involve milking cows too?

Tuesday December 30, 1997

  • Guess what finally arrived this afternoon? The remainder of the AMD K6-200 PIBs. We even have extra   available.
  • If you place an order with us this week and need an invoice prior to the end of the year, please let us know and we can fax you a copy for your tax records.
  • We've had multiple questions about the Pentium II 333 MHz processor. The product is available for $995.63. You will need to purchase a fan/heatsink assembly to get the one year warranty.  Please call to place your order.
  • New GigaByte motherboards have been announced.

The GA-586SG is a socket 7 with AGP using the SIS chipset.  We are expecting samples to be available in January.
The GA-686SLX is available in sample only.  Shipping in January.
The GA-686LX2 is expected around the beginning of February.
The GA-686BLX is available
The GA-686DLX is expected the first week of February.

  • Please remember that the Chinese New Year's celebration will mean that motherboard manufacturers will be on holiday for 2 weeks in January.  This means that product shortages will most likely occur.
  • UPS will not be picking packages up tomorrow.  Instead we will take them to the station.
  • Remember, we operate as a just-in-time inventory. This means that we purchase products specifically for individual orders. When the products arrive at our facility, we assemble motherboards, CPUs, memory, case units, configure, and test the corresponding items together.
  • The R440LX and DK440LX are available. We do need a lead time for these products of about 2 weeks.
  • Corsair 32 MB SDRAM is still on special for $95 each.
  • Al and Gracie are enjoying their holiday.   Al is gaining his typical weight around the midsection.  Gracie has managed to maintain her petite body shape.  The new blankets given to Al are already smelly as he has managed to drag them from room to room.   Gracie's new scarfs are still just as clean as when she  opened the packages.  Obviously she is the neat and tidy one too.  Both would like to thank everyone who emailed them holiday wishes and for all of the packages that arrived in their honor.  We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Monday December 29, 1997

  • We hope everyone had a pleasant holiday, and are looking forward to the new year.
  • Unfortunately, Federal Express shipped some of our packages to another city. We thought we had it cleared up last Wednesday, but it looks like it'll take a little longer before the packages arrive. One of these packages is full of Processors in a Box AMD-K6/200s. We apologize to all you who have waited for these processors. We'll get them to you as quickly as possible.
  • Intel dropped their prices on Boxed and OEM Pentium II 233 MHz processors. Quantity 1000 dropped by 33%. We will let you know as soon as distributors adjust our cost. In turn, we will drop our prices.

Tuesday December 23, 1997

  • Do you know the difference between Monday and Wednesday?  Neither do we!  Please excuse the delays in updating our website.
  • We decided that Einstein's wish of a new dog house could come true. He was a good pooch this year. We are now in our new location.  Well, half of our equipment arrived safely.  The other half will hopefully arrive soon. The move has created interesting situations, i.e. "Where is my monitor? my mouse? my chair?! Then how can I fix the website?"  Well, now that the monitors ha ve been unpacked we can let you in on what is happening with Al and Gracie.
  • Al and Gracie have been packing and unpacking. All of Al's blankets arrived safely.

    Our new address is 4412 Northstar Way Modesto California 95356. Our 800 number remains the same with several new 800 numbers being added soon.  (AT&T goofed and didn't make the changes until this morning.  Thank you Libby for helping us!). Our FAX number is now 209-550-4998.

  • Some of you are asking us why we moved.  The most obvious is that we needed more space.  The other reason is we are now closer to family.  Remember how 'Mom' started helping out at the shop a few years ago? She'd bring us lunch and help pack a few boxes. Now, she's the head of shipping. Now that we're in Modesto 'Grandma' has been bringing us lunch. What will she start helping out with?
  • Of course, we want to thank those who were helpful throughout the years. Carl K. for being oru German translator and filling in part time when we needed him; Mike W. for all his ideas; Brad, Charlie, and Gary for fantastic service with UPS (they're the ones to thank for making sure your packages were delivered); The Box Store for our last minute tape and anti-static bubble wrap; Gary who kept Einstein and Gracie healthy; and Betty at Lee's Canton Restaurant and Linda and Don at Four Season's Deli who kept us well fed.
  • Our new space is housed in a 23,000 square foot building, Building 3 of the North Modesto Industrial Park. Our neighbors include James Gasket Inc and several other hundred fine businesses.
  • Our UPS pickup times are earlier than up north, 3:30 pm.   Federal Express seems to be arriving a bit later in the morning.
  • Our shipments for AMD Processors in a Box have still not been consistent.  One of our suppliers explained that our shipment went to New York by mistake.  Then it was returned via UPS Ground - oops.  We have been promised that we will see them today.  We sure hope that we see them today.
  • Our new building has already gone through many changes since we moved in. Pacific Bell installed new phone lines. A Pac Bell man also decided to renovate a ceiling. He slipped off a beam in the loft area above the offices and fell. Thankfully, Henry is OK. This new syklite addition helps keep air circulating.
  • We thank everyone for their patience and consideration as we shipped as many packages as possible before the holiday. Bob is still on the road going for will-call at distributors picking up your last minute packages.
  • Einstein and Gracie are in the holiday spirit. Einstein is howling, "jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle Al the way...." Gracie is teaching us her version of "Silent Night" (she sings along when the song is on the stereo). Rude Rudy, the kids' cat, is actually being nice to Gracie during this time of year. He's only tried to bite her a few times. Henrietta, Gracie's friend who is a desert tortoise, is snuggled up in her underground-home with visions of sugarbeets dancing in her head. We kept thinking that we'd have another holiday dog arrive at the shop this year. Remember Daisy who planted herself at our shop last Thanksgiving? Daisy is all ready for Hanukkah to begin at Joanie's house.
  • Intel Pentium II 333 MHz processors should  be available after December 31, 1997.

Wednesday December 17, 1997

Tuesday December 16, 1997

  • Reminder: UPS guarantees Overnight (Red) shipping during the holidays. They will do their best to deliver other services on schedule. Normal shipping will resume after December 25, 1997.
  • A few conversations today with vendors reminded us about product availability at this time of year. Many companies drop prices to dump product, hoping to increase 4th quarter earnings. Part of this may be why we're seeing memory prices drop. We're also seeing lower prices on AMD-K6 processors. Rumor has it that AMD products will be extremely tight in the channel after the end of this year through January. You know what that means...prices are already rising again.  A few Intel OEM Pentium processors also increased slightly in price.
  • Do you have all your holiday shopping done? Einstein and Gracie haven't started. We have a feeling that they'll go to the feed store and buy bones for each other. Einstein really wants a new doghouse. Do you think he's been good enough?
  • A limited supply of Intel Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz processors are available to us.
  • Corsair has extra 32 Mb SDRAM in stock so we're running a special. 32 Mb SDRAM, 10 ns and 100 MHz components are $95 each. Supply is limited and price is subject to change.
  • We have extra Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz OverDrive units in stock.
  • We received extra AMD-K6/233 processors.
  • Did you notice that we added Micronics motherboards?
  • We operate as a just-in-time inventory. This means that when an order is placed, we bring the products in for that order. Once the products arrive at our facility, we assemble, configure, and test your products then ship them to you. You may choose delivery methods offered by UPS and Airborne.

Monday December 15, 1997

  • If you're looking for memory before the holidays, you may want to call Crucial Technology, a division of Micron. You can purchase their grade A SIMMs and DIMMs directly at 888-363-2562.
  • Remember, next week is a short business week. We will be open Monday and Tuesday.

Friday December 12, 1997

  • Einstein and Gracie are staring out the windows, but they can't even see across the parking lot this morning. Heavy fog is in the Sacramento valley. It must be December!
  • Have you read our letter from ESC Technologies' family?
  • The #1 question we receive the most over phone and email is:

    I'm not sure what steps I need to take to upgrade my older Pentium. Do you have suggestions?

    We put together a little essay  to help you.
  • What board do most of our customers choose to use with their AMD-K6 MMX enhanced processor? GigaByte 586TX3 or GigaByte 586ATX3
  • A large shipment of ABIT LX6 boards arrived. Another will arrive next week. Reserve your board today.

Thursday December 11, 1997

  • AMD-K6 3D processors will be introduced at 300 MHz and then 350 MHz (first half of 1998).
  1. Socket 7 and Super7 platform
  2. AMD-3D technology, supported by Microsoft DirectX
  3. 9.3 million transistors
  4. 81 square millimeters die size.
  • AMD-K6+ 3D will be run up to 400 MHz (second half of 1998)
  1. Super7 platform
  2. 0.25- Micron Process
  3. 256K L2 cache
  4. optional L3 cache
  5. 21.3 million transistors
  6. 135 square millimeters
  • AMD Super7 Initiative will have a 100 MHz frontside bus and AGP support.
  • Watch for Intel price drops on the Pentium II processors.   Rumors are decreases as early as December 28, 1997 instead of February, 1998.
  • So we'd like to know how many people live in Vienna Virginia?   It seems that over 1500 of you know about us or is it one person with over 1500 connections?   We'd like to welcome all of you to our webdome, our little doghouse on the web. 
  • And all of you in college, don't you have finals soon?   Shouldn't you be studying?
  • Which college accesses this website the most?  MIT?   Harvard?  Stanford?  You might be surprised.  It's Ohio State University.  Yes, that's Al's birth place.  Go Buckeyes.   These young men and women are the number one webheads in our hearts. (At least in Al's. Gracie on the other hand attended other colleges and universities. She is a purebred, you know.)
  • Which computer company reads our website more, AMD or Intel?   Nope neither one.  It is Dell.  In fact some of their employees have been purchasing from us (shhh, don't tell Michael).
  • How many support technicians does it take to solve a computer problem?  Three.  The first to tell you to download the 'new' BIOS file and flash utility from the web.  The second to tell you that the one on the web is an old version because they just released a new one.  And the third to send you the replacement board after their 'new' BIOS version destroyed your original mainboard.
  • Writing about technical support arrogance.... we've discovered that Micronics actually returns phone calls! Some other companies rarely return calls while most others 'forget' or are just too busy for little ole resellers.  Check these guys out.  After Micronics spent years being snobs,  there seems to be some hope that they understand that the resellers are the backbone to our industry.  Go Micro-NICs.  
  • The SuperNova effect is a common encounter in the computer reseller industry.  Company A convinces resellers to offer a product.  The product is a hit.  Company A grows.  Then the company begins to focus on OEMs at better prices.  The reseller can't compete and says "Company B has a product and treats me better.  Good bye."  Now, Company A tries to sell direct.  Company A ultimately fails.  Company B, of course, commits the same cycle, but there is always hope for Company C to lure the resellers.

    The irony in all of this is that the same support technician will work for Company A, then B, C, and D.  Each time these techs will take their bad learned behavior with them.  Our advice to support techs: 'Quit trying to get us off the phone quickly - instead concentrate on getting the problem solved.'  We promise to not call back if the problem is solved.  Well, maybe just to say,   "thank you."  (Enough of the soap box stuff)
  • Holiday cheer to everyone reading today - have a great day!
  • Did you read Infoworld's article on page 6 of the December 1, 1997 issue?  We've been meaning to tell you about it.  This article lists a 'road map' for the Intel processors and chipsets.   What is interesting is that the 440BX is to be enhanced second quarter of 1998 with IEEE 1394 support. 

    Now are they really going to keep the same name for the chipset?   How are we going to know if the FireWire (FastWire !!  - I don't want my computer to catch on fire!) support is in the chipset? Well??  Did anyone else notice this? 

    Layne is convinced that Intel hates marketing.  Between unpronounceable rivers and colorful bunnies, they should just give up and hire Microsoft.  Let's put Billy Bob in a bunny suit and watch him bounce around.  It might be kinda cute.  Well, for a moment or two.  Unless, of course, Billy Bob is too busy in his new game chair (which is run by an AMD-K6).

Wednesday December 10, 1997

  • AMD is expected to ship AMD-K6/233 PIBs to distributors next week. The availability is limited. How many do you want?
  • We updated our 'about esc' section again.
  • We have OEM AMD-K6/233s in stock.
  • We received extra Intel Boxed AL440LX with audio boards.
  • We added Micronics Motherboards to our product line! We picked up the Tigercat and the Spitfire EX Pentium II motherboards.

Tuesday December 9, 1997

  • Al and Gracie have been working overtime.   Al's new blanket has already been chewed.  This morning he headed for the sunshine coming through the front window.  He's been sleeping and barking there all day.  After several days of rain, he's much happier.  In case you didn't know, Al hates the rain.  He will not go outside if there is even a hint of rain.   Gracie, on the other hand, expects to be carried while it is raining. Actually, she would love to be carried all the time.
  • The large number of orders for this holiday season have meant extra hours of work.  UPS Shipments are behind.   We certainly appreciate everyone's patience.
  • The first zip drives arrived for testing.

Monday Dece mber 8, 1997

  • We added Iomega ATAPI and Zip Plus drives to our product line to be used with barebone systems.
  • AMD Processors in a Box (PIB) are still slow to arrive. We will wait until we see our next shipment before we accept more orders. Please keep watching this page for availability updates. Our AMD distributors expect to see a shipment at the end of this week of the PIB K6/200s.
  • We hope to see the first shipments of AMD PIB K6/233s next week. We’ll have pricing for you by the end of this week.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166 and 180 MHz Overdrive units are still backordered. We received a surprise shipment of 166 Overdrives from one of our distributors this morning.
  • We added Teac 32x IDE CD ROMs to our product line.
  • Resellers: Pricing for Corsair and Crucial memory is posted at www.esc-tech.com/reseller/product/prcres.htm. If you haven’t set up an account with us, fax your company information and a copy of your seller’s permit to 530-671-6780. Please include an email address.

Friday December 5, 1997

  • From December 12 through December 25, UPS guarantees remain in effect only for Early AM, Next Day Air and Next Day Saver.  UPS makes every effort to deliver all packages as scheduled for all classes of service. 
  • The Micronics Spitfire dual Pentium II with on board SCSI arrived for testing today.  We will offer the Micronics Tigercat, single Pentium II.
  • Are you having difficulty with your AMD working on your motherboard?  Revision B of the K6 200 and K6 233 can cause problems on certain motherboards.  The latest revision is C.  Be careful.  This isn’t a “problem” created by AMD.  We are letting you know that you should follow AMD’s recommendations.  Going outside of their list can cause you headaches.  After all, you wouldn’t put an Intel Pentium on a 486 and expect is to work, would you?
  • We follow the FTC guidelines for telephone order companies.  All of our policies match or exceed the expectations of our government.  These rules can be confusing and easily misinterpreted. 

    The worst disservice to consumers came about by horrible mail order companies that would charge credit cards without ever shipping product.  This created the view that credit cards can’t be charged until the product ships.  This isn’t the guideline, though.  The rules are that the company must properly inform you when the product will ship based on the terms of payment.  The company must also provide you with the option to cancel if the product doesn’t ship in that time frame. 

    We read one merchant discussing his company’s losses openly on the internet.  We’d love to see other merchants speak up against the policies of the credit card clearing houses.  We believe open discussions from both the consumer advocacy groups and business groups might point to the fact that  the banks are making a lot of money from using old rules with e-commerce.

    There is no such thing as an instant electonic transfer.  Some banks take up to 72 hours to transfer money.  This is 3 business days.  In other words it could stretch up to a week;  if there are holidays and weekends the days can increase even more.

    CyberCash uses an FDIC bank - Smart Cards have the money on the card - but some others actually put the money on your hard drive.  Credit card clearing houses use FDIC banks, but they sometimes appear to keep the money in their sweep account long before a merchant may see that money. 

    The point?  Once the money has reached us, we will ship you the product.  If you use a credit card that doesn’t release the funds for one week, there will be a delay in you receiving your product beyond the time when a product is received by someone using a faster releasing credit card.

    The best policy is to protect yourself.  Know where your money is.  Love your family.  Hug your kids, your pets and your neighbors.  Be honest and follow your heart.  After all, sneaky people can ruin your day, but they can’t ruin your life unless you let them.
  • Pentium II Processors running at 333 MHz are expected to arrive the last week of December.
  • Boxed 166 MHz OverDrives are presently not available.  Boxed Pentium II availability has improved greatly.
  • Availability of the Toshiba 24x CDROM has decreased.  We are now offering the Teac’s 32x CDROM.
  • We have been working on Active Server Pages.  The intranet now houses several new databases which are tied together with ASP.  After internal testing we will release this work to everyone. 
  • Al and Gracie are ready for Christmas.  Al is hoping for a large dog bone and a new blanket.  Al is also hoping for a new Pentium II notebook from ASUS.   We explained to him that ASUS is first releasing these to the OEMs.  They wont reach general distribution until the end of December - after Christmas.  Gracie is wishing for a new bow for her hair, purple and lady like.  She’s also hoping for a digital camera.  Both would love winter jackets.  Any businesses that care to provide a jacket with logos?
  • Everyone in the ESC family hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday December 4, 1997

  • Question of the day:
    I ran Wintune 97 and my video speed is not very good.

    Wintune97 is a shareware utility that can quickly identify bottlenecks and potential problems.  Resolution, Color Depth, and drivers will greatly influence the speed of your video card.  In looking at a few combinations:  Using a P2L97, 266 MHz P2MT, IDE drive, 64 Mb SDRAM.  We changed the video cards and drivers.  We kept the cards at 256 color, 800x600 resolution. ATI 3D Rage II PCI card ran at 42 MP/s.  ATI Expert@work 4 Mb AGP video card ran at 52 MP/s, and the ASUS V3000 APG 4 Mb ran at 106 MP/s.  At first glance the ASUS looks exciting.  However, the cached speed drops in half on the ASUS card. Instead of 76-81 MB/s it is only 43 MB/s. 

    So what does this mean?  The greatest mistake any one can make is to only look at one benchmark.  Consider Winstone97, Wintune97, Coretest, Adaptec’s utility, and compare your results to a database of others.  Look at Tom’s Hardware, System Optimization, Anand Tech site, Tweak It, The-View, Motherboard Homeworld, and other excellent resources on the internet to learn more about optimizing your system.  Choose the components based on your environment.  This can make all the difference in the world.  If you run small graphic files, then you want the video speed high and the cached speed is not that important.  If you run large graphic files, then you want the cached speed and the video speed as high as possible.

Wednesday December 3, 1997

  • We have decided to offer the Abit LX6 with certain conditions.  Users looking for a simple configuration may consider this board an excellent choice, i.e ATAPI devices, EIDE hard drives, AGP video.  If you plan on using multiple internal devices as well as SCSI devices, then make sure that you know your interrupts.  The system BIOS isn’t very forgiving.  Manual control within the BIOS for plug and play devices does not exist. 0; The options are to control devices through a plug and play configuration utility or through the operating system.  Fortunately, the BIOS has an option to force the update of the ESCD.

    3Com 3C509b is an ISA card that we use for testing.  Under NT Server 4.0 we were able to force the IRQ and address only by reinstalling the OS.

    The Toshiba 24x speed had to be set for Master in order for the BIOS to see it.  Some boards allow the default setting.  The Intel AL440LX has the same restriction.  If you don’t see your CDROM, then double check these jumpers.  Also make sure the BIOS is set for AUTO.

    Corsair has a part designed for the AL440LX.  The part ends in LX.  Using this part with the Abit LX6 board consistently gave greater performance under Winstone97 relative to the AMC or Corsair “regular” SDRAM.

Tuesday December 2, 1997

  • Rumor update:

    Intel Processors to be released:
    266 MHz Pentium Processor with MMX Technology
    333 MHz Pentium II Processor (MMX Technology)
    Pentium Lite - Cacheless Pentium II (Al and Gracie are hoping this isn’t a diet version)
    Pentium 3 and Pentium 4

    AMD processors
    AMD K6 3D
    AMD K7 (slot A)

    700 MHz Alpha processor
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz Overdrive processors are backordered. (3 pm)
  • AMD is hoping to release their new AMD-K6/233 Processor In a Box (PIB) in the next couple of weeks, perhaps as soon as the end of next week. We’ll have pricing for you once the product is released. AMD honors a 3 year warranty on their new PIBs, and the processor is packaged with a fan.
  • AMD-K6/200 MHz processors increased in cost today. Why? The product has been on allocation. And today, vendors only have a few processors available.
  • AMD-K6/200 Processors In a Box (PIB) and tray K6/233s are also on allocation. Prices and availability are not stable with these products either.
  • We have a few AMD-K6/233 processors in stock.
  • OEM Intel Pentium II 266 MHz processors are readily available in the market.
  • We have Intel Boxed AL440LX motherboards with audio in stock.
  • Holiday reminder: Normal order processing time is approximately 5 to 7 business days from the time of bank authorization and payment to the time you receive your product. During this holiday season, our processing time is estimated to be 7 to 10 business days for most orders. Barebone workstations will probably fall 10 to 13 business days. We will get your products to you as quickly as possible. If you would like for us to email you a tracking number when your package ships, please provide a valid email address at the time of order.
  • Our credit card clearinghouse asked us to remind you that the time from a credit card authorization to the time of transfer of funds may take up to 72 hours. They are working as quickly as possible, but the increase of credit card use during the holidays has made processing a bit slower than normal.
  • FTC’s holiday shopping tips.

Monday December 1, 1997

  • We hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. Einstein and Gracie ate too much this weekend, and are still sleeping it off.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 180 MHz Overdrive processors are backordered again. We do not have an estimated time of arrival. We’ll let you know as soon as we have an eta.
  • A limited supply of Intel Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz processors are available.
  • Intel Boxed R440LX motherboards are starting to come into the authorized distributor market. A few distributors have told us that they are ordering the product in as companies buy from them. Therefore, there is a delay on availability of the product.

November 1997

Friday November 28, 1997

  • A few of us are working in the business office today.  If you have questions, please email us and we’ll answer as quickly as possible. Technical support wll resume on Monday. Orders may be placed on-line.
  • Reminder: If you place an order with us and would like for us to email you a tracking number, please provide a legitimate email address. We do not accept on-line orders from non-traceable email addresses (such as @hotmail.com, @usa.com).
  • ABIT LX6 boards are on their way to our facility. The boards should arrive Monday morning.

Thursday November 27, 1997

  • Over the river and through the cities, to Grandmother’s house we go. Einstein and Gracie know the way to point their noses through the white and drifting fog....
  • Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday November 26, 1997

  • Holiday notice: We are closed for Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume normal business days Monday, November 1, 1997. Enjoy your holiday.

Tuesday November 25, 1997

  • We’ve received an increasing number of questions about DVD ROM drives. “When will they be compatible with all CDR’s?” “When will the price point be a purchasing reality for most people?” “When will they combine reading with a DVD drive and writing to a CD-R for storage?” All of these questions are from eager users of technology, who are awaiting the time when a good concept turns into a complete, useful product. As with all new technology, industry standards are being established so the concept doesn’t turn into a marketing and consumer nightmare.
  • Video stores now have DVD ROMs featuring your favorite movies, ready to rent or buy. Software designed for these drives is, for the most part, on the horizon. The total merging of computer and television entertainment and storage is a few years off, but the excitement about a developing concept is now. Are you paying attention Sony and Toshiba?
  • We’re adding AMD’s Processor in a Box product to our line. The PIB carries a 3 year warranty by AMD and is packaged with a processor fan. Currently, all AMD processors are on allocation, including the AMD-K6/200 PIB. Limited quantities are available. The AMD-K6/233 PIB is expected to be available in late December.
  • Iomega’s Zip 100 drives is one of the most popular storage devices currently used. Is it a product you’re interested in having us offer? Please let us know.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz processors with MMX technology are backordered.
  • We’re a little short staffed today. We appreciate your patience as we answer questions and email as quickly as possible.
  • Reminder to businesses: If you need product by the end of the year, our order processing time is running approximately 7 to 10 business days from the time of payment to the time you receive your product.
  • If you are interested in purchasing product, and live outside of the US, please fax your order to 530-671-6780, along with your order information, billing information, and a signature of the card holder. (Some areas have had difficulty FAXing using our new area code. If you have trouble, try 916-671-6780.)

Monday November 24, 1997

  • This afternoon Abit confirmed that we’ll receive LX6 boards this week. Their first shipment is supposed to be ready to ship to resellers tomorrow.
  • We asked Abit about the timing on the new LX6M motherboard. Abit’s USA office is not sure about timing at this point, but assume it will be ‘a while.’
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 180 MHz with MMX technology Overdrive units are now available.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHz with MMX technology drives are still on backorder with Intel at many of our distributors. They expect to receive shipments toward the middle of December.
  • We have two Intel Boxed Pentium Pro 200 MHz processors available.
  • We have AMD-K6/233 processors available.
  • We have Intel Boxed AL440LX with audio motherboards available.
  • Reminder: We close at noon on Wednesday the 26th and will be closed Thursday the 27th. We haven’t decided whether or not we will be open on Friday. UPS is not delivering on Thursday or Friday.

Friday November 21, 1997

  • Did you hear about Iomega’s booth at Comex?  Our representative told us that they had the *best* entertainment.  It was great that they knew he was a celebrity.  Later he found out they were treating everyone as a celebrity.
  • The best Comdex presentations were on Quick Cams.  Too bad our representative missed the name of the company that had the best release.
  • There are some new pdf files on the website.  You will need the Adobe Acrobat reader.
    http://www.esc-ca.com/pdfs/586dx.pdf
    http://www.esc-ca.com/pdfs/686dlx.pdf
    http://www.esc-ca.com/pdfs/686blx.pdf
    These are for the Giga-Byte motherboards.
  • We were told today that we are Corsair’s number one individual sales distributor.  We’d like to thank everyone who has put their trust in us.
  • Today we received a package from the local Chamber of Commerce.  It was an emergency evacuation planning guide.  A few minutes later, we received a package from the Mayor of Toronto.  She was inviting businesses to relocate to Canada.  Is there a message here?

Thursday November 20, 1997

  • Al and Gracie would like to thank Intel for the new colorful T-shirt.  It is already buried with the other blankets and shirts.
  • Our website has been operating under a blanket Digital ID for its security.  Verisign will be assigning our website its own Digital ID.  Watch for the graphic.

Wednesday November 19, 1997

  • We stated earlier that we were not going to Comdex.  Well ...  we sent a representative after all.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t checked back in since he left.  So we hope everything is fine.  Just look for the nerd in one of our T-shirts.  If you find him, please ask him to call home.
  • Abit LX6 orders are being accepted.  However, most of Abit representatives are at Comdex.  The delivery times have slid.
  • Intel Boxed 166 MHz processors with MMX Technology are still backordered.  Some places are stating backorders of over 4,000 units.
  • Al and Gracie spent the day working inside today.  According to Gracie, “Rain is the pits because it messes up my hair.”  Al, on the other hand, just shakes it off.  We expect more rain so please stop the El Nino dances.
  • Lora got in trouble this weekend for clipping the camellia bushes.  Just thought you might want to know that little tid-bit.
  • We are looking at a “new” enclosure.  The 02J midtower is “very similar but different” to the In-Win.  It also houses a slide in tray (hint). We will add the picture and pricing later this week.
  • Oh, you mean y ou are reading this for computer information?  Well, DVD drives are presently 8x drives.  Watch for 12x drives to enter the market soon and watch all of us buy one.  OR Technology, a marketing company, apparently went belly up.  Therefore, look for Teac and Panasonic to introduce the a:drive under their own label sometime.
  • T.V. Commercial idea for AMD.  Al and Gracie are teathered by a person in safari clothes.  Gracie asks Al “What are we doing out here?” Al replies, “Bunny hunting.”   Okay.  Now for all you bunny lovers.  The same commercial with Al saying  “Ah look at all those cute polyester bunnies”  Gracie replies “Yeah, well I’m cuter than those colorful bunnies and I’m more Graceful”  If you understand this joke then you are definitely a nerd.  If you didn’t understand this joke, then you are probably in marketing.

Tuesday November 18, 1997

  • Our server in Arizona ran into some problems at approximately 7 pm last night.  The server was rebooted and brought back up on line by 7:45 pm.  Our server in Florida also had problems last night and was unavailable from just after midnight until 4 am.  Please excuse the inconvenience.
  • Al and Gracie are working with UPS on our shipping rates.  Presently we are making sure that all of our packages are insured, carry a delivery confirmation, allow residential deliveries, tracking information, and arrive in a timely fashion.  We lower the charges for shipping in the UPS zone 8 or zone 2.  New companies on the web may choose to offset UPS charges even more than we do, giving the appearance of low shipping rates.  You should always make sure that all UPS protections are made on your valuable shipments.
  • Ever heard of the Device Bay Specification?  You will hear more and more about it.  IEEE1394 is the I/O connection that will allow drive devices to be hot swapped and recognized “automatically” by the system.
  • Are you looking for Pentium Pro 200’s that match?  We have two boxed Pentium Pro 200’s that have the same s-spec number.  The S-Specs are SL23M. These will probably be the last two we’ll see.

Monday November 17, 1997

  • Comdex Week.
  • Thousands of visitors flocked to our neighborhood this weekend. Many of them honked as they arrived in town. Geese, swans, ibis, egrets, ducks, and other migratory birds are stopping in the Yuba City area on their way to warmer areas.
  • We received a few calls last week concerning difficulties customers are experiencing when installing ATX style AOpen motherboards in Enlight cases with ATX power supplies that do not have a power switch and a momentary switch. These power supplies only have one switch and does not seem to be adequate to boot the system. We’ll keep you updated. For now, you may want to find another power supply if you’re interested in using the AOpen board.
  • ABIT told us that they’re releasing their new Pentium II board “around Comdex time. “ We’ll let you know when we receive our first shipment.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 180 MHz OverDrive processors are still backordered with our distributors. 166 and 200 MHz Overdrive processors are still available.
  • We have extra Intel AL440LX with audio only and ASUS TX97-X in stock.

Saturday November 15, 1997

  • Hey, we said go play with the kids. Have a good weekend.

Friday November 14, 1997

  • “Hey, your What’s New hasn’t been updated regularly this past week. What’s goin’ on?” We appreciate everyone who has checked in with us. We’ve been busy playing with the new Intel AL440LX motherboard. We’ll post all results as soon as we can. 
  • Yes, Intel’s non announcements concerning cacheless Pentium II CPUs and higher clock speed Pentium IIs are circulating again.  We are also reading about wonderful price drops (February of course).  Meanwhile the competition is heating up in the 300 MHz arena.  Expect the 400 MHz to be introduced first quarter and push the pricing down on the 300s.  (Like that took some heavy thought.)
  • Have you visited Apple’s new webstore? You read about it all this week, right?  You mean you didn’t care to even look?  Well, we believe the webmasters deserve a compliment or two. Al gives the site 2 paws up.
  • Abit’s LX6 Pentium II motherboard has still not arrived for testing.  Abit USA had hoped to ship small quantities this week.  Hopefully, it will happen next week.
  • Einstein and Gracie have been staying in their beds (yes, they have soft, cushy beds) because it’s been raining.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166 MHx with MMX technology processors are backordered with Intel authorized distributors. Distributors hope this is temporary (a couple of weeks), however we know that their backorders are growing. We will keep you posted on availability.
  • ASUS T10AB ATX enclosures are in short supply.  Two of our major suppliers have stopped offering the product line.  We will provide more information when it is available.
  • We have extra ASUS TX97-X boards in stock.
  • We updated our company profile information. Have you read the letter from ESC Technologies’ family? Or have you kept tabs on the event calendar?
  • Well, for those of you traveling to Las Vegas, please be careful.  No, we aren’t going.  Instead Al and Gracie are going to enjoy the week in beautiful Northern California.  The rest of us are going to try to catch up on all our work.  We’d like to thank everyone for their patience as we enter the time of year many people believe is “the happiest.” Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Al the Way. 
  • What?  You are still reading this?  How about if you turn off the browser and give your kids a hug.  Remember not to squeeze too tight - but just right.  And have a great weekend!

Wednesday November 12, 1997

  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz processors are in short supply.
  • We’re cleaning up a few of the older spec sheets that are still posted on our site. Many of the specs for the boards that we no longer offer have been removed.

Monday November 10, 1997

  • Our area code in the Yuba City area changed from 916 to 530. Our main phone number is now 530-671-7444 and FAX is 530-671-6780. Our 800 number is still 800-427-3726. We’re updating the site to reflect the area code change.
  • Pricing is posted on the ASUS P2L97-DS board.
  • We received a few Boxed AL440LX boards with audio and graphics. The Boxed audio only board is still a little more difficult to get, but is available in small numbers.
  • Remember, Intel honors a three year warranty on their new Boxed motherboards.
  • We rearranged some of the web pages. We hope the changes make it easier for you to navigate through the site and webcart.

Friday November 7, 1997

  • Al and Gracie hate junk email.  Here are a couple of websites dedicated to anti-spaming. 
    http://www.junkmail.org/scamspam/
    http://www.ot.com/~dmuth/spam-1
    http://www.csn.net/~felbel/jnkm ail.html
  • The ASUS P2L97-DS motherboard benchmarked well relative to other LX AGPset motherboards.  Business Winstone97 for a 233 is 72 units, 266 is 77 units, and the 300 MHz is 80.3 units.  The test conditions were NT Server 4.0, service pack 3, Matrox Millennium 2 Mb, Quantum 2.1 Gb udma drive, and 64 Mb Corsair SDRAM.  BIOS was kept at the defaults.
  • The AL440LX motherboard benchmarks were also completed.  Business Winstone97 for a 233 is 73.2, 266 MHz is 77.5, and the 300 MHz is 81.3 units.
    We will post the complete benchmarking numbers in a couple of days.

Thursday November 6, 1997

  • For those of you who are still going to www.einsteinscomputer.com addresses, please change over to www.esc-technologies.com. We would like to drop the einsteinscomputer.com domain name before the end of this month.
  • The Intel DK440LX motherboard is expected to be released toward the end of December to the beginning of 1st quarter ’98.
  • Intel’s new R44LX is not shipping in quantity yet. Distributors expect to see an increase in numbers around the end of November. We’ll keep you posted.
  • Reminder: For those of you who do not live within the United States, please fax orders to 916-671-6780 along with a signature of the card holder. Please provide contact phone number at the delivery address for UPS and email address that is a valid, traceable address.
  • We do not accept orders from @hotmail.com. Please provide an alternative, valid email address. All fraudulent activity and intent to deceive is turned over to appropriate authorities.

Wednesday November 5, 1997

  • Intel projects 13 million Pentium II processors will be sold this year.  In 1998 the number will increase to 43 million Pentium II chips.  Now, we only need to convince everyone to get those CPUs from us.
  • See the date on the bottom of this page? Well, this morning it said, “November 22, 1997”.  We only realized this mistake when we received this email from a client:
    “You have succeeded in breaking your namesake’s rules. Einstein said that spacetime was curvilinear. You have managed to update the “What’s New” page from 18 days in the future. Would you please email me the list of the 10 most active stocks on the NYSE for November 21 (yesterday)? Or perhaps the winner of Thursday’s sixth race at Hollywood Park . Many thanks in advance.” -- A.C.
    Thank you, A.C. for pointing out our mistake. We’ll just have to wait to see what November 21, 1997 will bring. Einstein and Gracie hope it’s lots of bones....
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 180 MHz Overdrive unit is still backordered. We will let you know when Intel is able to ship more to distributors.
  • Fed Ex shipments didn’t arrive yesterday. We received a call from them this morning that some of our boxes will arrive this afternoon. We’ll get your product out to you as quickly as possible.

Tuesday November 4, 1997

  • Yesterday, AMD announced a boxed processor product based on the AM-K6 MMX enhanced processor. The PIB (Processor In a Box) includes the AMD-K6/200 or 233 with a heatsink, thermal grease, and fan attached to the processor. The product comes with a 3 year limited warranty. We’ll let you know about eta’s as soon as we can.
  • Crucial dropped their Grade A memory prices again. The price change shows a drop in cost of product and also takes out the shipping charge, which used to be included. For current pricing see: www.micron.com/crucial/escprod.html
  • When we spoke with ABIT this morning, they said they’re hoping to ship their new LX6 Pentium II motherboard next week. “Go ahead and take orders.”
  • We’re still making a few changes to our main page. We appreciate your patience. A few little changes here and there were made to other pages too.
  • Internic moved www.esc-ca.com from one ISP to another last night.

Monday November 3, 1997

  • Al and Gracie had a great Halloween.  Both managed to trick everyone into thinking they were humans dressed up like dogs.  Al painted a zipper onto his back so it looked like he was wearing a costume.  Gracie color dyed her hair.  She wanted to pretend she was “Disney’s Shaggy Dog”.
  • Have you noticed that the domain name esc-ca.com is acting weird?  Yes, we are changing ISPs.  The transition has been rough but hopefully all of the paperwork is done now.  It should all smooth out.  The new IP address is 209.130.6.29.
  • Intel’s DK440LX motherboard probably wont be seen until the end of this quarter or the beginning of the 1st quarter of 1998.
  • We’ve noticed over the last two weeks a dramatic increase in interest in the 64 Mb SDRAM modules from Corsair.  Corsair states that they will keep up on the demand and typical lead times will remain in effect (5 - 7 days).  They are also very happy about the increase in business and would like to thank everyone.