The Compaq test drive program... allowing registered members to try out an experimental IA-64 system. Called "Blazer," it boasts four IA-64 processors running at 666MHz with 2GB RAM running Linux. Compaq will allow you to bang on this system behind their firewall. Sign up for an account here, and let us know what you think.

Tom's Hardware has updated its Intel roadmap. Seems that the initial Pentium 4 will be a transitional product until Northwood (0.13-micron process P4) is released next summer, whereupon Willy/i850 will be phased out. Northwood will use a different type of socket called mPGA478, instead of Willamette's socket 423, thus providing users with no direct means of upgrading. A slocket may not be out of the question, but is extremely doubtful. The upcoming i830 Almador chipset may not be looking too good, either. Moreover, Techweb is reporting that when the Pentium III 1.13GHz is released in Q2 2001, it will only be available in the FC-PGA format, in addition to sporting a new stepping.

Van Smith goes on to cover day 3 of the Microprocessor Forum, which sees DDR and Rambus memory, among other things.

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