June 30,1999 -- Previous Mailbag

Letters are edited for spelling errors only, and may contain profanity. Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

Um...check your sources.

From: steve malmer
Subject: (no 3500)

Dear Blue,
Heard a rumor that the voodoo3 3500 will not be produced or shipped! Several vendors agreed this was true . Sad that all the hoohaa was for nothing .I cant believe no one has broke this story on the web.

stephen b. malmer

I'd check your source on that the best of my fairly extensive knowledge, the 3500 is still shipping later this summer.

Regarding BIOS advertising.

From: Nick Adair
Subject: Phoenix BIOS ads story a bit misleading...


The stories popping up about Phoenix putting ads in its BIOS aren't accurate. While I object as much as the next person to the idea of forced advertising, a little research goes a long way... Phoenix bought Softbank Marketing Holdings and is turning it into a subsidiary called 'ebetween.' On the ebetween website,, the FAQ states:

"Q:Do end users have a choice about receiving ebetween?
A: Yes. Consumers receiving ebetween equipped PCs have the option to keep the ebetween services, or easily opt out."

Contrary to what most of the stories have implied, users will not be forced
to view an AOL ad whenever they boot their PC's. It sounds like you'll be able to go into a store and buy (or not buy) an ebetween equipped PC, just like you can buy one with or without AOL preinstalled.By the way, I don't work for Phoenix or anything, I just don't like to see a normally rational group like gamers (which I proudly consider myself) jumping to premature conclusions.

Thanks for the excellent site,

Nick Adair

One for the techies.

From: Luc Dupré
Subject: Bell Labs rebuttal

Dear Sir,

In response to the "limiting of current chip materials till 2012", I would like to make a few comments. Currently chips are being made in silicon which is a perfectly good semiconductor (because of its natural oxide and cheapness) for microprocessors and integrated circuits. In response to the bell labs statements about current materials being unable to surpass the gate oxide problem because of its only 5 atoms thick for a .06 micron process, I would like to say that yes, this would pose a problem, however, only for silicon.

What must be done is to incorporate a way to use other semiconductors (such as gallium Arsenic or Germanium) because they are at least 8 times faster than their silicon counterparts. Thus a 1 micron process in Gallium or Germanium would be as fast as a .15 or .20 micron process in Silicon. These materials are used in devices that MUST be fast (such as 2 Ghz portable phones that go 2 miles from the base). The reason why these materials aren't used for microprocessors is because of its cost and complication. It is very very expensive to use these materials, and not cost effective for any microprocessor manuf. But can be used when necessary. If you post this, I Hope this clears up people's conception with respect to the manufacturing process for Integrated Circuits.

~Luc Dupré

Don't you love it when someone says something that's so far over your head that you can only just sit there and nod like it makes total sense?

Someone just had to ask this question.

From: rick bell
Subject: the heart of the matter

looni, blue:

The virtual reality notre dame project article talks about lots of neat stuff concerning the old church, but it does not once address the core of the matter: will we be able to deathmatch in it?


How cool would that be? :)


From: blakkie
Subject: Correction not required.

>Follow-up - K7 [Blue-8:23 AM EDT]
>As George Carlin used to say "check his calendar," I managed to mess
>up a pretty simple thing, the calendar, in commenting on the Athlon
>Press Release yesterday (story) saying that the promised third
>quarter availability of systems meant they wouldn't be available
>right away, when Conan Ford writes in quite correctly pointing out
>that Q3 begins at the beginning of July, less than a week away (I
>was carelessly thinking of seasons, and how far off Fall is). Sorry
>about any confusion that caused.

I sure wouldn't worry about your so called mistake. History has taught us
that July is in fact a Q2 release, sometimes even a Q1 release. :)

You forgot the most important one of all...the Q? release that's so common these days.

Regarding the TNT3 "preview" piece.

From: John Powell
Subject: TNT3/NV10 "Preview"


First, let me say that I don't care one way or another about TNT/TNT2 vs. 3dfx. That's not what this letter is about. I own V2(s), a TNT, a TNT2 Ultra & a V3 3000. I just want the best board for playing Quake (don't we all?). I don't care who makes it.

That being said, have you even read the purported "preview" on that site? It is 100% speculation & 3dfx bashing. Really horrible nonobjective stuff. No real specs. None. Zero. Nada. Just "I think that..." & "it is obvious that..." & other crap like that. Did I mention that it was a complete fluff piece? NO REAL SPECS LISTED IN THE ENTIRE REVIEW!

OK, I'm done shouting. It's just that Blue's News, VE, the Shack & who knows who else all have links to this "preview", & all of you are treating it as gospel. Take another look, & then you might wish to warn your readers that it is not quite what it was originally represented to be.

John Powell

Gotta love us anal movie buffs.

From: Michael Swanson
Subject: "Letterboxing"

Blue and/or Looni:

Just for your information, letterboxing is taking a widescreen movie, slapping black bars on the top and bottom, and formatting it so that it will display properly on a standard television/monitor. The image you're referring to in your "Slave Zero Shot" is widescreen...not letterboxed.

Michael Swanson
a.k.a. Anywhere

Actually, if you look at the image, it is letterboxed. The smaller image I placed on the news page was in widescreen, but the image itself has black bars on the top and bottom, implying (to me at least) that it's from an in-game cut scene. Admittedly it's tough to tell this, since it's on a black background, but I assure you that they are there. As an aside, it should be pointed out that several games, including Quake 3: Arena, and Messiah, allow for a 16x9 aspect ratio. To which I can only say...w00p.

I still can't believe I said the game was from Acclaim though...the persons responsible for that goof have been sacked, let me assure you. ;)


From: czar
Subject: RE: long letters you might find this funny

This is Win95's msdos.sys.
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
notice all the Xs to take up space

See the strange mails we get sometimes? :)

Regarding that wacky iToster thing.

From: Tim Faircloth \o/
Subject: iToaster

Please tell me the "iToaster" is a big joke. It certainly is to me.

Tim Faircloth \o/

If only it were, Tim, if only it were.

Small world, eh?

From: Anthony
Subject: loonyboi

I noticed today that you had a blurb about the Blair witch project. My uncle (Michael Williams) is one of the stars of that movie, and its REALLY cool that guys like you are interested in his movie. Also, your site kicks ass.

-Anthony S Rogliano
a.k.a: Visual Thoy ++

Dude, your Uncle rules. :)

All I ever needed to learn in life...

From: Joseph Palermo
Subject: Today's link of the day

Ok, so I'm a whiner, so sue me. I've got a bitch about that "All I ever needed to know about life I learned from Team Fortress and Team Fortress Classic" I read through most of it, and the whole darn list doesn't match the title at all. The only thing on the list are little obvious facts about TF, and not one of them even relates to real life. OK, there, that's my bitch for the day. Take it easy :)

Joseph Palermo

Hm...maybe it should have been called, "all I ever needed to know in life I learned from the TF Readme File" instead?

Ah, philosophy.

From: Athanasios Kostis
Subject: RE: Mailbag

Ack... hecchhh... ack...

I took history of philosophy my final year at school and was instructed by the 89 year old head of the philos department... I go into convulsions when I see or hear the fragment "in and of itself", in that order...

thank you.


I'll try to avoid saying it in the future...I can't help putting this degree of mine to use from time to time though, so you've been warned. ;)

That firkin' blue dog.

From: Michael Chilean
Subject: A little Blue confusion..

To add the already astounding confusion between this site and a show starring a Dog, our local CBS provider (KPIX-5, San Francisco) started a parody of the Dog Show with it's sports guy (first name Drew, I forgot last name) called 'Drew's Clues' to entertain the sports fans.

Anyways, to tie all this in with this site, my Mother thought I was reading a sports site this morning when I went to Congratulations, now some people will also think of home runs and field goals when they see this site, not to mention odd colored dogs. :)

Still more on the Teeny PrintTM

From: Brian
Subject: Official looking Tiny print™

Hey you know, I think a wonderful idea for an addition/expansion to Blues News would be a whole (yes a whole) page of Tiny Print™. You might even be able to get some kind of government grant for the educational service you would provide by supplying so many useless facts to today's children.

I mean, hell, isn't that what college basically is? A place to learn useless facts? C'mon Blue, everybody knows Loony has plenty of time to compile loads of useless facts... (In case Loony reads this, replace that last line with: "C'mon Loony, we all know Blue has no social life, give him something good to do with his time...") Hmmm... Maybe I could start a petition or something.... Get Clinton to approve $1.5 million for a new website filled with highly educational Official Looking Tiny Print™....

Wouldn't a whole page of Tiny Print™ would probably make many of our readers blind? I simply don't think I'm ready to take responsibility for that. :)

Besides...I picked up a lot of useful facts in college...I can't tell you how handy all my esoteric knowledge of long dead religions and rituals comes in handy in pubs here in NYC.

From: David Stockton
Subject: mailbag - long words

Antidisestablishmentarianism? Where does that leave the people who like to say pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniconeosis? (It's a lung disease from inhaling coal dust) I try to say it as often as possible.

Dave (Colorado School of Mines)

I'm amazed by how much mail we got over this. Jeez...I think I underestimated how popular the Tiny Print is. Anyway, the reason pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniconeosis doesn't count is because it's a medical word. If you go look at the original Tiny Print™, you'll note that it says that floccinaucinihilipilification is the longest non-medical word in the English language.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the Tiny Print™ is law. ;)

From: Ryan Eibling
Subject: big words

I missed the beginning of the Teeny Print (tm) thread, but I'm gathering that the topic is really huge words. First off, there IS such a thing as disestablishmentarianism, as mentioned in this article.

"A disestablishmentarian was one who favored the disestablishment of the state church", thus disestablishmentarianism would be the practice or position of favoring the disestablishment of the state church.

But neither floccinaucinihilipilification or antidisestablishmentarianism are the longest words found in a standard English dictionary, for that honor belongs to the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, at 45 letters.

Or, if you want to get ridiculous, you can open Mrs Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words and find the following 1,913 letter word (which is the name of a chemical):


Ryan Eibling (Diragor)

I stand corrected on the existance of disestablishmentarianism, but that still doesn't qualify antidisastablishmentarianism, as again, it's not a root word. As for the 1,913 character word above (line breaks added for formating purposes by me), it's likewise a medical word. But dear lord is that long. ;)