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Pentium 4 Systems Recalled By Some U.S. Stores 152

An unnamed correspondent directs your attention to this article in the Australian PC World . It reads in part: "Consumers trying to purchase computer systems loaded with the Pentium 4 chip at Best Buy outlets in Houston; Jacksonville; Fort Wayne; and Hawthorne, were each told that Pentium 4 systems had been recalled from store shelves due to issues such as excessive heat and inadequate performance, sources said." Note: As a reader points out, the orginal headline ("Pentium 4 Recalled By Some U.S. Stores") inaccurately implied that chips rather than complete systems were being recalled.
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Pentium 4 Recalled By Some U.S. Stores

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  • Will they have a processor screw up now? ;)

    Hopefully not. I'm quite excited about the real competition that's finally happening in the PC microprocessor market. This bodes well for the PC operating system market. Soon any ordinary Joe be able to walk into a Comp-USA and buy Linux on an Athlon or Windows on a Penitium...or any combination thereof. With increased consumer choices, prices will hit an all time low. Maybe it's time for me to replace that 386 system...
  • if AMD did become the primary supplier of chips this holiday season, they need to make sure they will be able to supply all the hardware that people will want to buy, otherwise we'll have people turned off to computers in general, when they find they can't buy what they want. The personal computer is more popular today than ever before, so this will probably be an issue for all major chip companies. reading down a bit, this seems to be just with hp, so it's not as bad, but tarnishes Intel's image a bit just the same. On a more interesting note, it would be nice to see the fledgling computer users not just going straight to aol, but instead we might be able to foster some sort of creativity in them, and their responsibility to society with their new tool for productivity and leisure, so they aren't just dedicating the processor to sending Fwd: Fwd: Fwd : This is soo cute! type emails consistently. It would be nice to see an increase in websites that actually have content, and for that matter are interesting, new, and exciting. A processor is a terrible thing to waste. (Even if it is a {P4... hehe... )
  • Intel has a pretty good marketing department behind them, I can't figure out why the hell they don't try and spend
    some money educating the masses on what really pushes chip performance

    because an informed consumer is a monopolist's worst enemy.

    If Intel educated the masses, they'd all buy Alphas, PPCs, or SPARC machines.
  • "fiduciary duty" is just another way of saying: "I don't get paid to listen to my conscience."

    Until people figure out that there's a difference between earning enough money for "survial" and "top of the line Lexus for my 16-year old daughter, only the best", stuff like this will just go on and on, not just in the chip industry.
  • Cowboy Neal

  • Saw them perform "Tubes" several years back in NYC (just off Broadway). Great stuff, and I was close enough to the front to make full use of the poncho...

  • > It does best on things like Quake and CD burning

    So I can burn at 12x on my 8x burner with a P4? Whoa! [/Keanu] I gotta get one of those...

  • Ha ha, nice one. but it's actually progman.exe, in case anyone wants to do it as well...

  • Therefore, either 3dfx is in a big bind, or V5 0w|\|3Rs everywhere will whip out a Dremel and saw the notch themselves!

    Not unless they want to fry their systems. The slot is not electrically compatible with the V5. 5v EDO DIMMS do not fit in 3.3V SDRAM DIMM sockets for the same reason.
  • Man... some people's children just can't be good moderators. *sigh*

    Anyway, to answer the questions:

    1. Openbox refers to anything which has been purchased, opened, and returned to the store. Most merchants will give you a discounted price on Openbox stuff and, for major things like electronics, appliances, etc---stuff which could conceivably be broken as opposed to a shirt someone just didn't like and returned---is marked as openbox.

    2. BBB = Better Business Bureau, an organization which collects complaints about businesses and makes them publically available. Check out their site []

  • by atomic pixie ( 258251 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @08:55PM (#592549) Homepage
    Agreed. I don't want to see AMD get too big and become another Intel, though.

    That would break my heart.

    I'm curious, though. Most corporations (including AMD) have nothing especially lovable about them, so what will keep AMD from getting a similar stranglehold on the PC market like Intel had? Is there anything that we as consumers can do to prevent this? It would be a shame to repeat the whole cycle again with another company. I'd like to see long term competition in the PC industry, not just companies taking turns being the top dog.
  • so you're saying a poorly designed processor can't run hot? And all that time I thought the cyrix was just a bad chip and it was really just bad pc design... Either way they made great space heaters in the tech shop... every time it got cold we would just take the cases off a few packard bells and huddle around them.
  • Transmeta recalls chips

    Intel recalls chips

    hmm, soon AMD will be the only ones left.. *conspiracy theories form*

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's not really on topic, but those "damn blue guys" are actually pretty famous performance artists. Sorry if you already knew that though... :)
  • If inadquate performance is a problem, Intel can still sell 'em to Packard Bell.

    Seriously, how has PB managed to survive?
  • A few?
  • Of course, Slashdot isn't any different from the other news sites. "Best Buy Stores Recalling Pentium 4 Machines" is going to hurt Intel whether it's accurate or not. _If_ you read and reread the article you will learn that it's a faulty BIOS chip. The average consumer doesn't have a clue what that means and the only thing they will take away from the article is "pentium 4 recalled". Recall brings to mind images of faulty Firestone tires and other dangerously unsafe products. This is a very bad thing for Intel, even if it's HP's fault.
    Multi-Billion Dollar Deal To Create Chip/Toy Recall Empire

    LOS ANGELES, CA (UPI) - In yet another high-stakes mega-merger that is sure to draw scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, microprocessor manufacturer Intel today announced that it plans to merge with children's toy giant Mattel. The multi-billion dollar stock swap deal, which much be approved by stockholders, was announced today at a gala media event hosted at the Los Angeles Civic Center.

    The new company, tentatively entitled Mintel, will oversee an empire of famous product names, such as "Pentium", "Barbie", "RAMBUS", and "Hungry Hungry Hippoes." "The goal of this merger," stated Mattel chairman Charles Waxley, "is to get a Mintel product in every American home. We can combine Intel's processing power with Mattel's child appeal to create gobs and gobs of revenue." Waxley did not specify how much money a gob consists of.

    The new combined corporation will also have its share of recall woes to contend with. Intel, having gone through this process with its microprocessors at several points in the past, is currently facing a recall of its newest product, the Pentium 4 (codenamed "Ravenous Hedgehog".) Mattel is in the process of recalling several of its product lines, including "Survivalist Steve's Napalm Kit For Children" and "Silly Scissors Race."

    "It's a matter of pooling resources," explained Intel chairman Andy Grove. "For example, if we have to send a field rep to somebody's home with a fire extinguisher to recall an Intel Pentium 4-based machine, it's only good business sense to have that same representative pick up their kid's 'I Dare You To Drink This Unmarked Bottle From The Garage' Mattel board game. It's called killing two birds with one stone." Financial analysts have estimated that Mattel and Intel could save upwards of a billion dollars by pooling their recall resources.

    Mattel and Intel stock were both sharply higher in overnight trading.

    Alan Greenspan contributed to this story.
  • by nycdewd ( 160297 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:03PM (#592557)
    BRock97... never run for public office, you_will_be crucified for a) knowing the truth, and b) speaking said truth
  • About 2 years ago I went to Best Buy to get a PDA. Looked around and made my decision. Stood at the counter for about 10 minutes so I could buy it, then an older couple comes up and started looking at some cameras. The salesperson comes up to help them immdediately (I was 19 at the time). I left and bought it somewhere else.

    A few weeks ago my brother goes down to Best Buy to buy a Palm. People in front of him at the counter. The salesperson is telling them about the different models, blah blah blah. The salesperson lets them play with all of them. They leave. My brother steps up and starts looking at them. The salesperson actually pulls them out of his hands as he's looking at them. He asks a question, "What's the difference between these two models?" "Memory."

    That's why I absolutely hate Best Buy. Next time I go I think I'm just going to waste the salesperson's time to get revenge....
  • So its a total recall I see... sucks to be Intel.
  • Fun way to torment Best Buy/Staples/CompUSA employees of the day: Go conspiciously hang out in the networking aisle, say you are looking at, say a linksys 10/100 hub versus switch, and then when he tries to explain the difference, ask "Can you tell me if this switch uses store-and-forward or cut-through switching"?

    I love doing stuff like that.. going into stores and asking technical (and some quite obvious non-technical) questions and seeing the blank looks on their faces .. *gleeful cackle* .. I did that to Dixons (electronics chain) and Tandy (Euro name for Radio Shack stores) employees when I was in the UK. Now I'm in the US and do the same to Best Buy, Radio Shack (and even some Staples) employees at times too. Great fun, and proof that you need to do your own research outside of the store because noone seems to have much of a clue about the things they sell.

  • AMD's stock seems to be at it's lowest in a long time....other than that, I would probably agree. Seems like every time I look at slashdot there's another story about intel having problems with something.

    If I were into stock, I would probably buy some AMD right about's got to get higher from here.

    "It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."
  • 1.) Wasn't it only 300 NEC laptops with Crusoes? That certianly is not something major, but still newsworthy.

    2.) Athlon is like dead in a way. Thunderbirds and Durons are what's happening.

    That's about it.
  • AMD isn't even 1/10th the size of Intel so I think this worrying is at least several years off... (actually to equal them just in production capability would take at least 20 years unless we start making nanotech cpu's really soon)

    I'll start to worry about them when they do finally start to get even with Intel in size. Until then it's all kinda pointless to go on about...
  • > Ho! Ho! Ho!, Merry Xmas from Intel.

    I think you mean "Merry MMXmas from Intel." :) And a happy new F00F to you! :)

  • There are worse things. Remember Microsoft Barney for Windows? []
  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @04:32AM (#592566) Homepage
    Out of even more honesty, since, I too am a part time employee, the 9695c was the only P4 model being sold in box for the Sunday ad. The reason I bring this up is that, if there had been an equivelent system from Compaq or.... oh hell Compaq, it would have been subbed and none of this would have made the papers. Of course the CTO systems would not be affected, but since the article was about the recalled systems, I didn't bring it up. Because I am a part time employee (working Sunday only), the only correction I saw was the one from Tagwire saying that rainchecks would be issued and that the systems would be in by December 2.

    right now best buy is offering an alternative configure to order system in place of the recalled hp at the same price and with free shipping.

    At this point, does this make sense? Since the HP P4 systems will be in the store, non-CTO of course, by December 2, all those technophiles would be able to get their computers well before the CTO system hits their door. Guess it is a matter of making the quickest buck.

    Bryan R.
  • It's funny you mentioned the registry keys, because something really fun to do with an old windoze computer you're going to format (or do away with) is to gather a bunch of friends around the screen and play some DLL Jenga.

    The rules: Remove one DLL at a time, and reboot. The person who removes the DLL that makes the computer not boot anymore loses. :)
  • It's a bios issue. This really deserves an update to the original story to avoid misleading headline readers.
  • And on the flip side, just walking around with the car tape player I just bought m ywife I had to tell no less then 4 different sales people "NO! I DONT WANT THE WARRANTY."

    Just shows how much money they make on those, I guess.

    My wife is ready never to go back to Best Buy.

  • And adding insult to injury, the Register notes here [] that the Intel P4 compatible motherboards don't support the AGP 3.3V standard- which knocks out, among other possibles, the 3dfx Voodoo 3 3500 & Voodoo 5 5500 cards (the 4's seem to be OK.) Reg says that they don't know of any other makes/models with this problem, but it's something to keep an eye on. Basically, if the video card has 2 guide notches in the connector edge, it should be ok, but if it's only got the one, it's no good. Dang, and I was hoping to upgrade my MB soon... -- F.S.
  • If I remember correctly the original 486 chips were released as SX. The difference between the SX and DX chips was the DX had a working math co-processor integrated into the die. The original SX chips were a fluke, basically the fist attempt to integrate the co-processor didn't work right and burnt out during use. Intel purposefully destroyed the integrated co-processor on the first batch because they knew it didn't work and didn't want a huge fiasco. After they fixed the bugs they continued to produce SX chips by destroying the co-processor on a DX chip and relabeling it. They found that they could still sell the SX chips even though they weren't nearly as good, just so long as the price was low enough.

  • So if both the Pentium 4 and Crusoe are being pulled off shelves for defective hardware recalls, do you realize what this could mean??

    Athlon will be king!!!

    Disclaimer: I make no claim that this isn't already the case.
  • I can't blame Best Buy for telling HP to fix their problem. Honestly, would you want to send a spankin' new machine home with Granny Wilcots and try to explain to her over the phone how to upgrade the BIOS?
  • Perhaps we can use it for the boiling [].

  • They didnt. They are out of business now. For the time they were up I can tell you from personal experiance (I used to do tech support for them) by having extremely inexpensive computers and selling to first time computer users.
  • The Idea Box is just aching for a cage match with those damn blue guys from the Intel commercials.
  • The little stickers they put on the outside said "Insel Intide". (Must have been contracted out to the Slashdot Editorial Staff.)
  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:04PM (#592578) Homepage
    Actually, having worked at these stores, this is pretty common. My favorite story was from when I started working there. It was back in the day of DOS 6.00. Customer comes in asking about memory upgrades, but I was too far away to hear what he wanted. The senior at the desk, after listening to the customer, pokes his head up and asks me:

    "This guy has only 640K of base memory and 7,300K of upper memory. He says he needs more base memory to run X-Wing. What type of memory do we sell here so he can upgrade the base memory?"

    I turned around and walked away...

    Bryan R.
  • by Drakantus ( 226374 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:08PM (#592579)
    I agree in that AMD isn't going to be any better than Intel if it continues to grow and takes over the market. I partly get the impression that Intel is failing because instead of concentrating on beating AMD, it's overly concerned with making sure none of it's own products overlap and steal thier own share. Which to me is foolish: wouldn't it be preferrable to lose a few pentium 4 sales to a DDR pentium 3 system, rather than lose them to DDR Athlon systems? Right now, Celerons are useless because they are limited to a pathetic 66Mhz FSB. Pentium 3's are limited to 512MB Ram with the i815 chipset, as well as crappy onboard video+audio. The alternative is to go rambus for no real performance gain and pay an extra 150% premium on the memory. Pentium 3's at 1133Mhz will be put on hold untill mid next year so they don't compete with the 1.4Mhz pentium 4's. It just leads to a bunch of inferior products that _will_not_ compete with each other, and _can_not_ compete with AMD.
  • true so true. I actually saw blue man group in ny, they put on one hell of a show. It was way cool.
  • you know, come to think of it, this happened to the PIII when it first came out .... and the PII .. and the original Pentium... and the Pentium MMX ... umm.. I beleive it happened to intel's 486 processor as well .. but I don't recall if it was the DX or SX model ....

    score: AMD 1 Intel: 0

  • by Argy ( 95352 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:11PM (#592582)
    > The P4 systems from HP were recalled because of the bad BIOS chips in them.

    Damn, it's a shame someone doesn't invent a BIOS chip that could be updated without removing it from the motherboard.

    Hey, wait a minute....
  • Apple tried (remember the "tank ads" for the G4") to tell people clock speed was not king, it still hasn't worked, however cute cases are still bringing in the masses
  • You might be interested to know that the PC Microscope was in some demand on university campuses. If you disconnected the mediocre-to-poor microscope from the camera portion of the device, you could use that camera with more powerful microscopes, hooking them up to computers for image-capture on the cheap.

    Sometimes simple or frivolous things are unexpectedly useful. . .


  • Intel is screwing up here left and right, and Like everyone is saying, its christmas, what a perfect opportunity for AMD to pull ahead in the christmas rush and be #1 In the market.
  • by b0z ( 191086 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @04:59AM (#592586) Homepage Journal
    Other fun ones that I have done in the past:

    Pop a floppy with PicoBSD [] in and reboot the machine, then leave.

    Bring a boot floppy with a .bmp of something rude and move it to C: and edit system.ini (or is it win.ini?) to set it as the background in windows.

    Format c:

    Open Regedit and delete random keys from the registry. Reboot and see what happens.

    If there is a camera connected to the thing, stick up your middle finger and take a picture. It's best to be wearing sunglasses or something to make you a little difficult to identify later. Set that image as the windows background.

    Go to the games aisles, find a game you want, take it to the computer section. Open the box, pop in the CD, and play the game. If an employee asks you what you are doing, pretend to be a novice computer person and tell them you found it.

    It's been a while since I've done anything like this, but I have done all of them, and a few more, including moving price tags (at places like Sam's where it is easy to do since they are held on the shelves with magnets) but these are some of the easiest.

    Oh, and to remain on a prank you should go to Best Buy and ask for a Pentium 4.

  • The first Pavilion with the P4 has already run into some trouble. Retailers have been told to flash the BIOS with a new revision. The exact problem encountered was not mentioned, and the technicians can't look into it; all they are authorized to do is flash the BIOS.

    Still, there's the cardinal P4 caveat: Don't get one until Intel makes a DDR chipset. I'll try to convince them to give it the model number 82510QX or something.

  • I remember reading that the first run of 386 chips in 1988 had to be recalled too, for some reason.
  • Corporate generosity to politically well-connected institutions is, IMHO, certainly in Intel's best interest. They get a generous tax write-off, some good PR, people from a university renowned for technical excellence to say good things about them, etc.

    Intel lost a lot of credibility with me when they delayed implementation of the Athlon about 6 months by applying pressure on chipset makers and mobo manufacturers. When Via became the first company to break ranks, it was rewarded with a spate of questionable lawsuits and an attempt by Intel to limit their export privileges to the United States. This is not the kind of behavior that I would describe as endearing.

    No, Intel is not evil, and they have backed off substantially in the last year from their most objectionable practices (thank you, Department of Justice).

    But it's gonna take more than a few computers sent to Massachusetts to make me like them.

  • Actually those blue painted guys are the Blue Man Group and they do comedy improv type stuff to music, etc. They're pretty funny actually. Going to see them again very shortly...
  • At this point, does this make sense? Since the HP P4 systems will be in the store, non-CTO of course, by December 2, all those technophiles would be able to get their computers well before the CTO system hits their door.

    From Best Buy's point of view it makes lots of sense. They do whatever they can to keep from having to give back your money.

    The customer comes back with their recalled computer. They're pissed off, and really just want their money back so they can drive down the road to Circuit City and buy one there. They end up in line for 15 - 30 minutes at the customer service desk to finally get to talk to some 17 year old kid who's been told to get you to come back and pick up a replacement for your computer on or after Dec 2nd, or they can send a "custom built" on just like it to your home for no additional charge. At this poit you can spend another 15 - 30 minutes trying to get a refund, then go to Circuit City and spend another frustrating hour or so getting a new computer there, or you can just take the custom built computer choice, and hope it works so you won't have to deal with these people again. I be a lot of people go for the custom built choice.
  • Honestly what bugs me most isn't the incompetence. It's the way they ask if you need any help.

    "No thanks, just looking"

    "But Sir, I want to let you know we are NOT paid by commision"

    "Uhm ok, I'm still just looking thanks"

    Later I purchase a DVD player, and the salesperson spends 15 minutes explaining a $60 warranty that basicly lets me clean my DVD player for Free 3 times.

    "Now I really think you should get this, but not because I get paid extra for selling it-- I don't"

    Sigh. I'm thankfull for online shoping, saves alot of time from things like this.
  • Mattel and Intel went in on a joint venture called the "Smart Toy Lab." The main idea was to make toys that were useless without a PC. I was the main designer for the LA wing, but had to fly up to the Portland office for presenations of Intel hardware.

    Some of the products of this unholy union include the Intel Me2Cam and the QX-3 PC Microscope.

  • >> The P4 systems from HP were recalled because of the bad BIOS chips in them.

    >Damn, it's a shame someone doesn't invent a BIOS chip that could be updated without removing it from the motherboard.

    They did and that is what is happening. Comp USA is doing the BIOS upgrades and there will be a sticker on the bottom of the box indicating that the BIOS has been updated.
  • you suggest that intel would be better served by coming out with the P3 on a DDR platform, and you are correct. However, you have failed to remember that intel signed a deal with RAMBUS that actually forbids them from marketing a DDR chipset until 2003. it seems RAMBUS had assumed that there memory would be ubiquitous by then, but they were wrong. intel has been sweating ever since they sold their soul to RAMBUS because they thought that it would make them gobs of money. that's what's preventing intel from getting back in the game: they sold their soul to RAMBUS.
  • Intel has a pretty good marketing department behind them, I can't figure out why the hell they don't try and spend some money educating the masses on what really pushes chip performance.

    Ahh, but if Intel did that people would know that the 1.4Ghz P4 isn't that much better 1.2Ghz Athlon despite 1.4>1.2. And they would also know that the CPU isn't the bottleneck in PC's today; it's the memory and hard drives. That certainly wouldn't help sells of the P4.

    Bottom line, marketing is about telling people about your product and why they should buy it in the fastest way they can. ( well not all the time, but people do have short attention spans when listening to ads)They don't have the time to explain the subtleties of CPU performance(cache, pipelines, instruction sets, etc...)and Joe Consumer doesn't really care to hear it either. He just wants a quick an easy way to see how fast his 'puter is going to be by spurting out some large number.

    And as for those blue guys...uh well I have no idea why the marketing dept thinks they'll sell P3's. They should stick with the Dust Suit guys dancing around, they're alot more hip than those blue dudes.

  • Yes, I admit this sounds like the craft of a troll, but I'm not that good :).

    Intel's first real competition on the performance desktop in a long time was the Athlon. Intel answered with the Katmai PIII 600, which was essentially an overclocked 550 (as it ran with slightly higher voltage than all other Katmai core P3's). Shortly after that, AMD upped the stakes with 700 MHz and greater Athlons, Intel countered with the Coppermine, which could reach higher clockspeeds. I'm not sure whether processors were being shipped faster in terms of time or performance.

    At the same time, the underlying chipsets haven't gotten the chance to keep up. There hasn't been anything as good as the BX chipset in a LONG time...

    (end comment) */ }

  • Motorola and IBM. Toasters will come with x86 chips in them. Everything else will be RISC based.
  • it's sort of tough to get knowledgable tech oriented employees to work for six bucks an hour in retail. just a thought. that's why it seems like every time you go to a compusa or best buy or something you end up talking to a half-bright thumb wrestler from the bayou.

    not to say that the training is adequate for these poor bastards, but there _is_ a reason they're so dumb.

  • I've never got crap for selling anything. Never

    You should have tried to sell more 83 year super delux mega warranties that cover stuff like nuclear war.
  • The thing which will prevent AMD from getting too big for its boots is us consumers. We will stop backing "the underdog", as soon as it is no longer the underdog.

    Hmmm, we will then purely chose on the chips themselves, and due to that we will avoid chips with FDIV bugs, F00F bugs, or other recallable problems...
    Oh dear, doesn't look good for Intel does it?

  • This proves how ridiculous the MHz escalation war is. AMD chips kick off a lot of heat as well. What's next, mandatory active cooling? 400W power supplies as standard? Cases so loud you can't hear your PC audio?

    This whole thing is fueled by the mass production of single-processor OSes. You can get a more responsive PC, with a smoother UI, even under load, by aggressive multithreading in the OS, SMP support in the OS, and well-made, dual, quad, and higher motherboards. Unless I had to use a specific, single-threaded app, that was time-critical, I'd take 2 500 MHz chips over a single GHz chip any day. In fact, I do. ;-)
    I'd wager that a quad processor system, each chip running at 200 MHz, would be much better for Joe PC User, than a single 1 GHz box. Since no single task that the mainstream user performs requires massive processing power (AOL, Word, Netscape), you'd have a system where you could surf, burn CDs, play MP3s, and print to your Winprinter, all without slowing any of the other tasks down. How disappointing is it to hear skips in MP3s on your 500MHz+ machine, because Netscape decides to choke on DNS lookups and pin the (only) CPU up to 100%?

    Intel & Co. need to spend more time and $$ on designing PC architectures that will work and remain responsive, instead of just revving the same old engine faster.

  • BBB: Better Business Bureau. I think it's some kind of non-profit org for consumer protection.

    Openbox: a computer that has been sold, then returned and simply re-packaged for a new sale, without being verified. If it was verified, it is usually called "refurbished" and often carries a shorter warranty (like 90 days instead of 1 year).

    An open box computer can also be a demo model (hence the term, the box was opened before it was sold).
  • What about Circuit City employees? I was shopping there buying some of the digital Monster Cables, and there were two variants -- 3' for $30, and 3' for $70. (No doubt plastic fiber vs. quartz fiber) So, I ask the guy what the difference in the price is and he proceeds to tell me the $70 one is better shielded.
    Like I shine Mag-Lights at my fiber cables.. *sigh*

  • Actually it was recalled because of its inability to run MacOS

    This just has to have something to do with the P4 "running too fast." Like MacOS requiring more instructions/clock rather than MHz bloviation.


  • by Ronin441 ( 89631 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:23PM (#592610) Homepage

    Once again, Intel have been beaten to the punch by their competitors: Transmeta recalled their chip a full 24 hours ago!
  • The CPU isn't the bottleneck in PC's today; it's the memory and hard drives. That certainly wouldn't help sells of the P4.

    Um... actually the P4 has almost four times the memory bandwidth of the P3. And as for slow hard drives... the solution to that is RAID or SCSI, depending on how much you're willing to spend.

    You correctly note that clock speed isn't the only important factor in a chip. However, realize that high clock speed is a pretty good way to get good performance out of an old ISA like x86. The P4 was specifically created with high clock speeds in mind.

    Ironically, the P4 does worst on "serious" applications with lots of branching, like compilers. This could be due to its long pipeline. It does best on things like Quake and CD burning, probably due to high memory bandwidth. What a strange inversion!

  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:24PM (#592612) Homepage Journal
    otherwise we'll have people turned off to computers in general
    Oh... no... we... can't... have... that... -- think... of... the... children...
  • You know I think people need to take it a little easier on Intel. Its hard when your king of the hill for so long and then here comes some podunk little company selling to the low end of desktop processors and all of the sudden they are putting out a great product.

    Then we have this Rambus thing, if you think about it, Intel could have really killed Intel if Rambus' memory was as good as they said it was going to be. Intel made the mistake of having a vital part of the processor/motherboard system provided by an outside source. If Rambus would have come through, (aka smaller latency on their memory, and maybe CHEAPER) then Intel's P4 would be much, much faster since memory speed is the current speed bottleneck.

    Most people didn't even bother to research this recall before taking shots at Intel, it WASN'T a HEAT ISSUE!

    Lastly, Intel is much bigger than just it's desktop processor market. They have networking components, flash memory (doing really well), intel toys, server market share, low power market share (strong arm and soon p3 low power). Coming in second place to AMD in the desktop market won't kill Intel.

    My harangue is over.

  • I once helped my girlfriend return a POS Compaq (she wanted to make all the decisions herself, so I let her...) to BestBuy. (the case literally fell apart as soon as we got it out of the box. The plastic bezel in the front sheared off entirely and, when you turned it on, the whole case shimmied like a washing machine because one of the cooling fans had already eaten its bearings. Nice, high quality workmanship there...) Hauled the cursed thing from Grand Forks all the way down to Fargo, and then waited for nearly two hours for their "technician" to ensure that it worked---basically plug it in and see if it boots. About 90 minutes into this ordeal, the tech pops his head out and asks if we'd reimaged the hard drive. My response, "No, but thank you for inserting your foot in your mouth as we're now going to file a complaint with the BBB stating that you sold us an openbox computer without marking it as such---and actually I think that fits under the definition of 'consumer fraud' in North Dakota."

    The return went smoothly from then on. :-)

    FWIW, my girl ended-up buying an iMac used from a guy who does development research for Adapatec. Sweet little iMac and she's had nary a problem and loves it.

  • by ostiguy ( 63618 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @06:30AM (#592621)
    Which Story will go away sooner:

    The Presidential Fiasco
    The Pentium IV Fiasco

  • Check it out at Ace's Hardware []. The reviewer wanted to test the system with a non-T&L card, but he couldn't insert the V5 into the AGP slot! There's two notches in the standard AGP connector design, and the V5 is missing one, and it just so happens that the AGP slot on the i850 board has a notch which aligns with the missing notch. Therefore, either 3dfx is in a big bind, or V5 0w|\|3Rs everywhere will whip out a Dremel and saw the notch themselves!
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @07:39AM (#592627)
    It's really a shame that Slashdot doesn't understand the different between a Pentium 4 and a Pentium 4 system. The Pentium 4 wasn't recalled, but a machine which used that part was recalled. It is a huge difference, and all of the media got this correct, except for Slashdot with it's sensational "Pentium 4 recalled" headline. Can we get this corrected please?
  • us Australians are notorious for reporting stuff that just isn't true and not even apologizing.
  • by norton_I ( 64015 ) <> on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @09:29PM (#592629)
    Hm. While their computer knowledge has never impressed me, I have found them to be quite reasonable when I say "just looking".

    I have had to wait (seemingly) 6 hours while the dude explains the extended warranty on and HP Pavillion to the granny in front of me when all I want is for him to hand me a hard drive off the shelf behind the desk.

    Fun way to torment Best Buy/Staples/CompUSA employees of the day: Go conspiciously hang out in the networking aisle, say you are looking at, say a linksys 10/100 hub versus switch, and then when he tries to explain the difference, ask "Can you tell me if this switch uses store-and-forward or cut-through switching"?
  • Both shops must become ISO9XXX certified, and all developers brought to SEI level 5 immediately.

    I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but the average nerd-in-training, when challenged to respond to this remark, would likely add (rather cautiously):

    ...and set phasers on stun?

    Maybe it's just me, but I found the abrupt nature of the parent comment fall-over funny, though it seems to have been meant seriously. On the other hand, I'm the one who hurriedly checked google to determine whether the preferred phrasing is "phasers on stun" or "phasers to stun" -- only to find that both "on" and "to" excluded from searches.

    It's ok to point and laugh at me now.

  • You're all forgetting the new up-and-comer, Transmeta -- with their very own high profile recall on the ./ front page as I type. If AMD becomes the next Intel I'm sure Transmeta will become the new AMD.

    And the cycle continues...

  • This was a link to a bylined item in a reasonably reputable magazine, and the summary on slashdot is a fair summation of the article itself - not the selective quoting that has happened sometimes in the past. In this case, the blame would have to go to the original article for getting it wrong.

    And the nice thing about /. is that you've been able to hose down the misinformation by posting here yourself :)

  • I often wonder why people consider Intel evil. After all, Intel donates substantial numbers of PCs to academic departments around the country (and world, I think). Before AMD starting cutting into Intel's profit share, we used to get a new shipment of top-line PCs about every six months. Plus, Intel funds a lot of research, funds lots of interns, etc. To my knowledge, AMD doesn't behave in a reciprocal fashion. I know there's been no offers from them to MIT, at least.

    Sure Intel's engaged in some apparently predatory business practices, but do you really think AMD won't? And how well do you think AMD will do without clearing the path in front of them?

  • My friend worked at Best Buy for a couple weeks before he left in disgust. It is true they are not paid by "commission". But what Best Buy isn't telling you is that for every warranty an employee sells, he/she gets an extra "bonus" at the end of the year.
  • I work at a best buy in indiana (not the fort wayne store though) and one of our HP P4's was recalled. However its my understanding that the Micron made to order P4's are still shipping on schedule and this was a problem with that particular system.
  • by Drakantus ( 226374 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @08:35PM (#592643)
    >A sales representative for Best Buy in Houston >said several Hewlett-Packard computers with the >1.4GHz Pentium 4 chip inside had been on >display, but were suddenly pulled from the >shelves because "they were running too fast."

    I love how the story slips this in, and shows just how knowledgable those Best Buy employees are.
  • by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @08:36PM (#592644) Homepage
    Pentium 4 systems had been recalled from store shelves due to issues such as excessive heat and inadequate performance

    Great, now if only we could recall a few elected officials for excessive stupidity.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    .. if you live on the bleeding edge, sooner or later you're going to cut yourself.

    I can't be the only one who sees the P4 as a product that was rushed to market because of pressure from competitors such as AMD. The result is, quite frankly, a questionable processor. I'm in the market for a new machine, and I'll be buying a high-end Pentium III. Less money, more stability, and if we can believe what we've been told .. more performance!

    The lesson to be learned here is simple: wait. Any machine you buy today is going to be obsolete tomorrow (figuratively), regardless of whether it's a Pentium III or 4. This being the case, a handful of clock cycles doesn't matter. Wait for the technology to mature and come down in price. This is why I'm holding off on buying a PS2 .. next year, they'll be cheaper and there'll be more games available.

    Patience. Control, control, you must learn control ..
  • Honestly, this was just meant as a joke -- sort of a typical management response to a product crisis.

    As usual, it was taken way too seriously and modded down.

    My personal opinion of ISO and SEI is that they are used as "corporate clubs" to get contracts -- "my SEI level is bigger than yours".

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the web and in various books that show both to be a lot less effective than the ISO or SEI proponents would like us to believe.

    My personal opinion? Quality employees and leadership make the difference, not certification or standards.

    Case in point: DirectPC has much of their s/w written in India by a level III shop. The end result, in many cases, has been horribly buggy (just look at the posts in regarding DirectPC software when the release comes out)

    Why? SEI places a major focus on "on-time" delivery -- not quality. When SEI is implemented, the majority of the tracking is on engineering metrics -- "was it on time?" -- and that, in general, is how the engineer is judged.

    Note that this is directly contrary to traditional engineering -- that your overriding focus should be on correctness.

    SEI and ISO are, unfortunately, not what they are represented to be in the mainstream press. When a single teenage programmer can crank out a fairly robust freee software project in a matter of weeks, with no metrics, SEI, or ISO (just his personal integrity) but a full ISO/SEI shop takes several months to produce a buggy work that is not as easy to use as the teens s/w, there is something grotesquely wrong with the system and the perception of engineering in general.

  • Okay, I'm not the first -- the AC got to it first, and quite correctly.


    I saw the BlueManGroup in Boston a couple years back, the show was called "Tubes." It's still running. (It's no 'Cats', but this isn't Broadway, either!) If you've ever had fun whonking on a piece of PVC pipe for the noise it makes, these people are for you!

    • Their website is at []
    • You can hear demos [] of their custom-made (or custom-used...) instruments from their site
    • They've just released a CD titled "AUDIO" []
    • They have regular performances in New York [], Boston [], Chicago [] and Las Vegas []
    • There's an article [] that appeared on CNN recently -- with some video
    • ESPN's 'extreme' site EXPN hosts some realmedia clips of them performing [] (I recommend the Cap'n Crunch clip, it's good for a laugh.)
    • There are 3 intel PIII commercials so far... you can get them here [].
    That ought to satisfy a minor craving... Damn I want to go see them again! (And remember, they're like Gallagher in some ways. If you have seats in the front rows, bring plastic.)

    Know what? After thinking about it while writing this, I think taking on the 'Idea Box' would be right up their alley! Celebrity Death Match anyone?

  • This is the second recall on the page today, not that Intel is a suprise but the Transmeta news was kind of a let down

    Maybe the OEM's are getting scared by articles like this [] saying things like

    "This is why a committee of the Pennsylvania state legislature considered the nation's first PC lemon law this year. In February, a similar bill was introduced in Illinois."
    or maybe the products are really that bad!

    Well I haven't seen AMD today so I guess that makes them the winner(today).

  • by rockstar101 ( 259407 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @10:06PM (#592663)
    out of all honesty, if you are a bby employee and you read the bby computer news, you would know that only the hp 9695c (i think thats the model number) wich was shipped to stores had been pulled. hp and compaq configure to order systems were not effected by the recall, for ovbious reasons. intel had accidentally flashed an older and incompatible bios to the system. right now best buy is offering an alternative configure to order system in place of the recalled hp at the same price and with free shipping. the only known issues with the p4 were only with systems with the bad bios. still theres nothing like a ddr equipped thunderbird. ...and im only a part time best buy employee in houston. (dont pay any attention to the bad spelling)
  • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @11:42PM (#592665) Homepage

    Intel recalled the Pentium IV on November 21 2000.
    You can read about it Here []

    Other major Intel blunders can be found Here []

    Why pay for drugs when you can get Linux for free ?

  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @08:44PM (#592671) Homepage
    Working at one of the stores, the real deal is as follows:

    • The P4 systems from HP were recalled because of the bad BIOS chips in them.
    • The P4 did not have performance issues (at least none that aren't supposed to be there), did not have heat issues, and it did not run too fast :)
    • Intel forced the issue that the retailer OR the manufacturer should switch out the BIOS chips.
    • BBY opted to have HP do it.
    • If the customer got their panties in an uproar, they were issued a raincheck. The systems were to be back in stock by Dec. 2.
    Nothing like spreading a little FUD in a /. article....

    Bryan R.
  • Fun way to torment Best Buy/Staples/CompUSA employees of the day: Go conspiciously hang out in the networking aisle, say you are looking at, say a linksys 10/100 hub versus switch, and then when he tries to explain the difference, ask "Can you tell me if this switch uses store-and-forward or cut-through switching"?

    Also, ask "I'm interested in upgrading my twenty eight point eight kilobaud internet connection to a one point five megabit fibre-optic T-1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that's compatable with my token ring ethernet LAN configuration?", and dazzle them with your superior wit and intellect.
  • You almost made spit my coffee out, sheesh... not supposed to sneak it jabs like that, so unfair...
  • . . . and the blue man group does not even use Pentiums. They use Macs for coordinating lighting, effects, and sound for their performances.
  • hey, the bezel on my $20,000 Sun E250 sheared off out of the box.
  • I really don't understand what is driving Intel to push out these new chips so damn fast. They are locked into a never ending pissing contest with AMD over who has the highest clocked chip. Nobody is going to win this fight, it will never end.

    Intel has a pretty good marketing department behind them, I can't figure out why the hell they don't try and spend some money educating the masses on what really pushes chip performance.

    If they ever managed to get full scale developer buy in and good marketing behind some of their extensions to the instruction sets, like the new Pentium 4 stuff, they would really be able to put AMD into the dirt. They just have to wait and release new products when they are stable and have decent (read useful) software that takes advantage of them.

    It looks to me like Intel has fallen into the maketroid trap. They are not building bad products, they are executing poorly beacuse they are stuck in a rushed development cycle. How may of you /.ers out there have seen software projects fail because of this?

    Intel really needs an engineer back in the CEOs office, without Moore they are lost.
  • by Shoeboy ( 16224 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2000 @08:49PM (#592690) Homepage
    Replace heat with odor and you have the reason my last girlfriend gave for breaking up with me.
    Fortunately I am a skilled dba and always have a backup solution [].

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.