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August 1997

Thursday August 28, 1997

  • We do not have an eta for the ABIT IT5H rev 2.0 boards at this time. We will post to the What’s New page when we know more information.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166s with MMX technology are available.
  • ASUS P2L97 is available through the distribution channels. Not all of the AGP video cards are available yet. Other ASUS boards are still backordered.
  • ESC will close Friday August 29th at noon. We will begnin answering phones Tuesday morning at 9 am PT. On-line ordering and fax ordering are available 24 hours a day.
  • We offer two different designs of Aavid fans: one that connects to the power supply, and the other that has a three pin connection to attach to the motherboard.

Wednesday August 27, 1997

  • The 3D Explorer 3000, 4 Mb SGRAM will be the first AGP card to arrive for testing with the SuperMicro P6DLS and the ASUS P2L97.  We will post results after these boards are running in a stable environment.
  • An AMD representative has stated that they are aware of the website documenting problems people are having with the AMD K6 and the Linux operating system.   These problems occur under certain environments that AMD is trying to reproduce.  The company is working diligently to address these issues.  Please do not contact AMD directly.   Presently AMD suggests limiting your total system memory to 32 Mb if you are running Linux.  We will post an update when we receive it from AMD.  Please respect AMD’s efforts to address these issues.  No yelling, punching, biting, screaming, or crying.  AMD will resolve matters as quickly as humanly possible.
  • Attention quantity buyers:
    We are working with a broker to sell promptly 1500 Intel PR440FX dual Pentium Pro motherboards with full features. Pricing is exceptionally competitive. The Broker has reduced minimum orders to 50 pieces.  Serial numbers are available if your purchasing agent needs them for your order.  Please call us at 1-800-427-3726 for delivery instructions or fax your request for purchasing to 916-671-6780. 

Tuesday August 26, 1997

  • The SuperMicro SKEII benchmarks were excellent.  The average overall business score was 76.5. (using a 266 PII). The Intel PD440FX came in second at 75.2 winstone units.  The board also came out on top for the High End Winstone97.
  • We are gathering more data for the Wintune 97 reports.  We will concentrate on the new product releases.  If you would like to submit your benchmarks, we would be happy to post them for others.
  • ASUS products are still not widely available.  Only the TX97-E was available today.  We do not have any time frames for all of the other TX97 mainboards.
  • The SuperMicro P6DLS will be available after the 13th of September.  First in small quantities and then later in larger orders.
  • The ASUS P2L97 is available in small quantities.  We are going to test this product before offering it.  However, the AGP-V300 we were planning on using is not available for two weeks.  Any suggestions on the AGP card we should look into using for testing?
  • QPA (Quad Port Acceleration) is a marketing term you will hear more and more.  The term describes the 4 port (thus the term quad) concurrent arbitration between the processor bus, PCI bus, memory, and the new AGP. We are use to the processor,  PCI bus, and memory working together.  Now we are adding the fourth component, the AGP, to the list.  In other words,  the chipset or AGPset, coordinates the processor, PCI bus, memory and now graphics.
  • Intel announced three motherboards which use the 440LX chipset.  The AL440LX, NX440LX, and DK440LX.  There is a photo of the AL440LX on the Intel website.

Monday August 25, 1997

  • SuperMicro has introduced several new mainboards.  These are the P6DLF, P6DLS, P6SLE, P6SLA, P6SLS, and P6DLH.
  • ASUS has introduced several 440LX mainboards, P2L97 and P2L97-s.
  • Check out Eidea, an evolving computer controlled environment. The site is coming along.
  • Holiday reminder: We will be closed Monday, September 1 for Labor Day.

Friday August 22, 1997

  • UPS is guarantying their delivery schedule again. New orders will be given the choice of Airborne or UPS. Packages from our distributors are still slow in arriving to us. Einstein and Gracie are relieved. As soon as they heard the news they went to sleep by the shop door.
  • ASUS motherboards are backordered. We’ll let you know when the situation improves. We do have a few T2P4 boards in stock now.
  • We have Intel Boxed Pentium 200 Mhz with MMX technology in stock.
  • AOpen AP5T-3 benchmark results will be posted as soon as we can.
  • ESC honors a 20 day warranty on products. OEM processors that are purchased with an appropriate fan have a 1 year warranty honored by ESC. Please read our policies page for more information.

Thursday August 21, 1997

  • We will slowly shift back over to UPS. Packages that are being delivered by other carriers are still slow. Remember we can email you your package tracking number when it ships.

Wednesday August 20, 1997

  • UPS trucks are on the road again.
  • It’s raining here in Yuba City. This storm set a record for amount of rain in August (and this is the first time it’s rained all month). Einstein and Gracie are practicing rowing in the puddles. We aren’t sure if they’re interested in crew competition or if they think they’re going to have to move product away because of the rain.
  • Remember that if you’re ordering a barebones system,  and you need a Toshiba 24x IDE CD-ROM we can order one in for you.
  • Bob is still out of the office.
  • Carl is helping out today. Thanks again, Carl!
  • All ASUS motherboards except the P6NP5 are backordered. Distributors are waiting for new boards to arrive from Taiwan. We have estimated times of arrival of late next week, but these are just estimates. We will accept new orders for these boards once the new shipment arrives to distributors.
  • ESC offers motherboards based on Intel PCIsets. Boards that use current Intel chipsets support up to 66 MHz bus speeds. Some board manufacturers have settings for higher bus settings on their boards. Using these alternative settings voids your warranties on all products in your system, and is considered overclocking. Moreover, using these settings can damage your system in anywhere from a few hours to a few months down the road. These settings stress motherboard, processor, power supply and once damage begins to occur to the electrical system, it ruins the entire system. This is a fire hazard. ESC is not liable for damage, and will not aid in you using these settings. If you do use these settings, and experience problems with components the only thing we can do is send your product on to the manufacturer for them to decide how to handle the situation.
  • Where did some sites go this week? Check out Internic’s apology letter.

Tuesday August 19, 1997

  • UPS has arranged to pick up Red, Blue, Ground as well as international products tomorrow. Our drivers have gone back to work! Einstein and Gracie are relieved that their breakfast bones will be delivered again. They’ve been complaining that the other carriers don’t pass out dog treats.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 233 MHz processors with MMX technology are available.
  • We will remove GigaByte 586HX2 board at the end of this week. The product that is in the market is all that is to be manufactured.
  • With these product changes, where is ESC planning on directing it’s product line?
    • ESC is going to focus on the Pentium II and future products. We are planning on phasing out  socket 7 boards that do not support the AMD K6 processors. We will continue to pick up future products.
  • Quantum Fireball ST drives are on allocation. A few 2.1 Gb and 6.4 Gb drives are in the channel.

Monday August 18, 1997

  • ASUS has fallen behind on shipments of TX chipset boards.  First it was the Typhoon and then the factories went on vacation.  Boards that are available include the TX97-X with audio and the TX97-XE with audio.  All other TX boards from ASUS are backordered.
  • Rumor update:  A motherboard manufacturer has told us that Intel is no longer shipping them the 430HX chipset.  This means that all of the HX chipset boards are End Of Life products sooner than expected.  This rumor has not been confirmed by Intel (except that the TC430HX is marked EOL).  Intel explained to us earlier that the target time for discontinuing the product was fourth quarter.
  • UPS strike continues….
  • We removed the Intel TC430HX motherboard from our product line. Intel announced that they will accept orders for the board until 9/1 and then discontinue the product. We have 1 Boxed TC430HXU3 in stock.
  • Remember that Intel is phasing out their socket 7 processors and boards. Intel distribution efforts have shifted toward Pentium II related products, as well as future products.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II processors are available.
  • Where did the link to all the buying guides go? Well in the rearrangement of the Tech Support site, some of the pages were renamed and moved to other directories. Links to guides and directories are now at www.esc-ca.com/html/places.htm.

Friday August 15, 1997

  • Business Day 10 of UPS strike.
  • Hooray! Cases are arriving. Layne’s been truckin. We have plenty of In Win AT full towers, mini ATX towers, and hopefully a few others by the end of the day. Shipping cases is the biggest problem, but give us a call and we’ll try to work something out.
  • Gracie & Al are failing miserably at dogsled training. It’s just too hot. They can’t even make it across our parking lot without laying down under a shady tree. The madness of it all.
  • We have extra ASUS T2P4 boards.
  • We decided to offer US Mail Priority with insurance service for domestic packages that are less than 2 lbs. This means small orders with value of less than $500 will have an alternative to Airborne.
  • If you need to see where your package is Airborne Express has a web site at www.airborne-express.com or you may call them at 800-247-2676 (800-AIRBORNE).
  • Please remember that carriers are not guarantying shipping schedules at this time. Medical supplies have priority over all other packages. Other packages are taking up to a few days to a few weeks to be delivered. Just sit back, relax, read a book and drink your lemonade.

Thursday August 14, 1997

  • Business Day 9 of UPS strike.
  • Seems like everyone’s getting creative with their shipping. Product is arriving by couriers, cars, trucks, and planes. And Layne’s getting a chance to accumulate his frequent driver miles. (Al and Gracie are in dogsled training.)
  • Our Intel rep is checking on the backorder of boxed processors. Thank you.
  • Quantum Fireball ST 6.4 GB drives are available today.
  • Looking for creative art? Go see the computer-controlled, artificial-life environment that is just going up on the net. It opens on September 4th. (But first Loren has to get back to help them finish it.) Check out a prior installation of the project.
  • Notice anything different with the Tech Support site? Layne uploaded his new toy last night. Only he forgot to coordinate with Lora about links, and now we get to fix broken links on the other web sites. Let us know what you think.

Wednesday August 13, 1997

  • Business Day 8 of UPS strike.
  • We appreciate everyone’s patience as we slowly receive product to fill orders. We are filling orders by invoice number. When all products in an order arrive, they are tested then shipped together.
  • ESC operates on a just-in-time inventory. We order products in specifically for your order. It is taking approximately 10 to 12 business days from the time an order is placed and paid for to the time the product ships to you. Normally, it is approximately 5 to 7 business days from the time of order to the time you receive your product. Right now, the slowest part of the process is making sure product arrives at our facilitiy.
  • At this time we are not accepting new orders on cases, unless you are an extremely patient person and wish to wait.
  • < li>

    Availability update:
    • Micron memory: available
      Remember if you are ordering memory only, you can call 888-363-2562. Crucial Technology, a division of Micron will ship your product to you from the warehouse, plus they pick up the shipping tab.
    • Crucial memory: available
      We have 64 Mb SDRAM modules in stock
    • Generic memory: available
    • OEM Intel Processors: available
      Prices have been creeping around a dollar or two. Mainly, that’s because of distribution issues that are not related to production of the processors. Small distributors that operate on a just-in-time inventory or low inventory are having a tougher time getting product quickly this week.
    • Boxed Intel Processors: backordered
      Many main distributors are backordered on the Boxed processors. They expected them to arrive at their warehouses at the first of the week. That did not happen, and everyone is waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
    • Boxed Pentium Overdrive units with MMX technology: available
    • AMD K6 processors: tight
      Many distributors have run out of inventory, and are hesitating on purchasing new inventory that is being sold at a higher price.
    • ABIT boards: varies
      IT5H boards are backordered until the new revision. We were told to expect the new boards to be released around the end of August to the first of September.
      IT5V boards are backordered. No eta.
      SM5s are available
    • ASUS boards: backordered
      ETAs range from August 15th to August 22nd. Product looks like it will be tight through the month.
    • AOpen boards: available, but take a long time to receive
      AP5T-3 sample has not arrived for testing yet. We are accepting orders.
      AX5T-2 is readily available. We do not have an eta for the -3 of this board. Distributors say it is not shipping from AOpen yet.
    • GigaByte boards: available
    • Intel boards: available
      We have one Boxed Intel TC430HXU3 in stock.
    • SuperMicro boards: available
    • Hard Drives: WD drives are backordered as are Quantum drives. We were able to purchase a few Quantum 2.1 Gb drives to fill backorders yesterday.
    • Cases: At this time we are limiting orders on cases. Carriers out of the Silicon Valley are limiting packages to about 4 lbs, and not providing door to door service on COD packages. We are going to drive in to pick up cases for current orders.
  • SuperMicro is located in two buildings on Junction Road in San Jose. The people behind the company are friendly, energetic, and very willing to listen to suggestions on how to improve their product and their marketing. They have worked hard these past few months trying to improve their technical support. They are very proud of their accomplishments.
  • So what is happening in the boxed program? Besides nothing? Yes, Intel is at it again. Intel tells us that rumors that they have warehouses full of product is false. Rumors that they are dumping product is more of an indication that they have a PR problem. The classic CPUs are definitely orphaned children. The new stars of the company include the Pentium II family as well as the Socket 7 CPUs with MMX technology. We’ve been told that Intel is selling the boxed product to OEMs. Yes, the product that could be in your hands is going to the OEMs. Instead of keeping the program focused, they have once again changed directions and interests.
  • Bob’s surgery went well. He will continue bed rest. The next doctor’s visit is scheduled for next week.
  • Reinforcements have arrived. Jeff and Rod arrived from the Bay area. Rod is on crutches. Loren flew in from Arizona. Joan is back on the shipping line. Phew.

Tuesday August 12, 1997

  • Business Day 7 of UPS strike.
  • We’re a little short staffed today. We appreciate your patience on the phone and with your email. We’ll help you as best as we can.
  • Carl is helping out today. Thank you, again.
  • Rod is at the doctors. He’ll be back around the end of the week to the first of next week.
  • Layne is at a meeting with SuperMicro. He’ll also try to pick up a few items at distributors that they have not been able to ship. We’ll see what he comes back with.
  • Bob is still in the hospital.
  • We’re sorry, but we are unable to accept new orders on the Elan Vital and PC Power & Cooling cases. We are still able to get a limited quantity of In Win and SuperMicro cases. Many carriers are not picking up packages over 4 lbs.

Monday August 11, 1997

  • Business Day 6 of UPS strike.
  • First it was the strike and no UPS. Then Rod left for vacation and was hurt. Carl decided to get some other work done and now Bob is ill. And if all that isn’t bad enough, Joan has to stay with Bob. Who’s left? Gracie and Al. They will each handle two phone lines so please speak clearly. They are in email training as this is being typed – so look for the paw print. WOOF.
  • The new support site has been delayed. Thank you for your patience. We realize the frames do not work – we were hoping to get the site completed earlier. (Layne are you paying attention?)
  • In light of everything, our suppliers are having difficulty shipping us computer cases. There have been extreme delays and we apologize. We were hoping to get to the bay area and pick them up. Albert failed his driving test and will be retaking it soon. Gracie is just too short to reach the pedals. Actually, the trucks are arriving daily, however, the cases are always missing (except SuperMicro – they have done an excellent job in getting their product out).
  • Intel has cancelled all backorders for classic CPUs in the Boxed program. We will no longer be able to offer these processors. If your motherboard is not able to handle the CPUs with MMX technology then please consider the Intel OverDrive CPUs.
  • Intel has asked us to remove the processor update utitlity from our FTP site. As many of you are aware, the P6 computer systems are not complete without running this utility. At intervals, Intel releases data files that need to be loaded into the BIOS. If you require this utility please contact Technical Support to make the proper arrangements.

Friday August 8, 1997

  • Business Day 5 of UPS strike.
  • We have in stock extra: Intel Boxed PD440FX; one ABIT IT5H revision 1.5; Boxed TC430HXU; and one TC430HXU with audio and video.
  • We re-arranged the enclosure page a little. We hope it is easier to read now.
  • We added OEM Pentium II 266 and 300 MHz processors with ECC to our price list.

Thursday August 7, 1997

  • Business Day 4 of UPS strike.
  • We appreciate how our customers are understanding delayed delivery schedules. Thank you!
  • At this time, new orders that include cases will be delayed. Because many carriers are limiting the size packages they accept for delivery, we are trying to make alternative arrangements to ensure we maintain inventory on cases. We will work with you as best we can, and we appreciate your patience.
  • Quantum 2.1 Gb drives are available off and on during the week.
  • Our distributors expect to receive their backorders on Intel Boxed processors on August 11th. (Yippeee. How long will they last?)

Wednesday August 6, 1997

  • Business Day 3 of UPS strike.
  • Carriers are placing size and weight constraints on packages. They are also limiting the number of packages one person can drop-off and allowing fewer packages at pick-up times.

Tuesday August 5, 1997

  • Business Day 2 of UPS strike.
  • We are shipping packages with Airborne Express. Delivery times are not guaranteed by carriers at this time. We receive packages from numerous carriers, and they are all backed up. They ask everyone to please be patient, as everyone is doing the best they can with the current situation.
  • We understand everyone’s concern about their packages. We have had more calls from people asking if there package has shipped yet and if we are even shipping than we expected. Remember, we can email you tracking information when your package ships. This should help you track your package. We are appreciative of Airborne’s delivery service, and all their help with our packages.
  • International shipments are also being delivered with Airborne at this time.
  • 1:40 pm update: US Mail delivered on-time again. We have not received our normal deliveries from other carriers yet.
  • Have you dropped a note to our government officials lately? Al Gore:vice.president@whitehouse.gov , Bill Clinton:president@whitehouse.gov , and Hillary Clintonfirst.lady@whitehouse.gov .
  • Intel Boxed TC430HXU3 is currently backordered from Intel to distribution. We do have inventory on this item as well as more TC430HXU with audio and video.
  • Intel released their Pentium 180 and 200 MHz Overdrive units with MMX technology yesterday. These processors can be used on Pentium motherboards that do not have the voltage requirements for the standard MMX technology processors. Overdrive units may be used on socket 5 or socket 7 processors that support 60 and 66 MHz bus frequencies.
  • I20 hardware is on the SuperMicro p6dnh. This motherboard ships by default in mode 0. This means the i960 is turned off and any memory put in the simm sockets reserved for the i960 will not be utilitized. In mode 0 bus bridging is operating by default. By adding memory and changing the jumpers to mode 3, you activate the i960 chip as well as the capabilities of the memory. (note there are only two modes on this motherboard). The type of memory you can use is 4 Mb SIMMs or 8 Mb SIMMs; filling the bank with EDO, FPM or Parity FPM (parity not used). The speed is defaulted to 70ns memory. The SuperMicro p6dnh2 will use a different i960 chip. The newer chip’s performance is double that of the i960 on the p6dnh. However, do not expect the performance of the motherboard to double.

Monday August 4, 1997

  • What a day.
  • Toward the end of last week we began sending your packages via Airborne Express. We will continue sending packages with Airborne until UPS guarantees shipping schedules again.
  • We apologize that we had to increase our prices on memory and processors a percentage because of our recent increased shipping costs. Our distributors have had to shift to alternative carriers and we are having to pay a higher delivery fee than usual.
  • Also, the time that we are receiving product is not on our usual shedule. Some products that we are waiting to receive are still in the UPS system. Other product have a delayed shipping time because of carrier loads. Unfortunately, this means that products are going to be delayed in getting to you too. We are anticipating that the time from the order and payment of funds to the time you receive your product will be 7 to 10 business days for most items.
  • 2:50 pm update: US Mail delivered today. Packages that we expected to arrive today still have not been delivered. Remember, carriers are not guarantying deliveries. Airborne Express will be here at 5 pm to pick-up packages that we are sending. At leastGracie and Al will have someone to bark at.
  • Reminder: Intel Pentium chipset motherboards only support up to 66 MHz bus frequency. Settings beyond this are not intended for use, and voids your warranty with manufacturers, and with ESC. Using these alternative settings is considered overclocking. Please keep in mind that overclocking your system taxes the electrical components. We see boards with these settings burn out anywhere from a few hours to a year down the road. Power supply, boards, and processors melt down. This is a potential fire hazard in your home or business. ESC is not liable for your actions.
  • It is our understanding that our local Federal Express office stopped accepting new packages at 2:30 pm. The planes were full at this point, and they could not accept more packages into their system.
  • Interesting thought: All other carriers comprise 20% of deliveries daily. UPS usually moves 80% of packages daily. During this union discussion, UPS has set medical deliveries as their first priority.
  • 5 pm update: Fed Ex did arrive. Gracie and Al barked until they were given their bones.

Friday August 1, 1997

  • Yes, it’s August and this is still the July page. We were hoping to get a few other changes to the site made before today arrived. Well, we didn’t quite make it. So we’ll create the August page in a bit.
  • We’re sorry, but we do not accept collect calls. If you do not want to pay for your phone call, perhaps you could email us your questions. We’ll try to help as best we can. If English isn’t your primary spoken language, we will still do our best to help you. We can read a few sentences in Spanish, German, and French, and other languages we can always find someone else to help out.
  • Have you read about our company ? Maybe you’d like to learn a little about Al and Gracie ? How many years has ESC been around? Did you know that we’re located in the downtown enterprise zone of a Northern California city? Check out our faq page for some answers to those questions. If you can’t find the answer to your question on our sites, then please email us so we can answer the question for you.
  • A new shipping revision of the SuperMicro P5MMS98 will be available toward the end of next week.
  • How many pages do we have on our sites? Around two hundred HTML pages. We hope you don’t get too lost. (We are working on re-organizing some of it.)
  • Why isn’t ESC on Pricewatch anymore? We were on pricewatch.com for about a year. Recently, Pricewatch shifted from a price comparison chart to advertisment listings. Currently, we are not advertising on Pricewatch.
  • Where can I find price comparison guides? Go see our places.htm , perhaps it will help you find the information you need at an outside source.
  • Last summer memory prices seemed to dictate where someone bought their components. This summer, we’ve noticed that our processor pages are the most heavily hit. Which processor is available for the best price seems to be a deciding factor in what and when people buy.
  • We have extra Intel PD440FX without audio and OEM TC430HX with audio and video in stock.
  • Western Digital 4.0 Gb OEM drives are available today. Quantum 2.1 Gb Fireball ST drives are available too
Lora is passionate about student access to technology and information, particularly 1:1 computing environments. Also, has strong interest in natural user input, user experience and interaction behavior patterns.

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