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Intel's .18 Micron Chips "Coppermine" Released 97

Anonymous Freak writes "Well, it's finally official - Intel has released their "Coppermine" processors. Their press release page has a bunch of information, including the release of the OR840 board, and its accompanying i840 chipset. " 15 new processors, with the 733 Mhz going for $776 right now. Check out Yahoo's coverage of what Intel is hoping to get out of this (Hint: The word starts with a p, ends with a t, and has rofi in the middle).
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Intel's .18 Micron Chips "Coppermine" Released

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  • You'd think that by now the people running these marketting campaigns would realise that 5-10% of their target market (let's face most of the people they are selling to are male so it's closer to 10%) is red-green color-blind

    Mmmm ..... Pentium-muddy-brown ...... it must be fast ....

  • we would say a site has been Colonized.
  • Actually, I believe there was supposed to be a feature freeze next month, not a release.

    Alan Cox posted a comment here [slashdot.org]. At least I hope that was really Alan. It did get a score of 5, so I would tend to believe it.

    Anyway, Alan said that 2.4 may come out sometime in March. If it's ready!

    "... message passing as the fundamental operation of the OS is just an excercise in computer science masturbation."

  • Well unless someone stole his login, that is Alan Cox (he's posted before). Anyway, I guess that's probably the case: I thought that they already had a feature freeze. Guess I was wrong :)


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Add a spell-check button to the Post Comment page. I don't want this to be interpreted as a spelling flame, but a post full of mistakes is simply distracting. Perhaps if an automatic check were handy, people would use it.
  • Sorry I can't spell.. I was concentrating on good content, getting my point across.

    Although I admit that it is pretty bad of me spelling THAT WORD wrong. I guess I could blame it on AMD though, they need to market their processors name better!

    ((Trust me, I do not feel good about makeing a stupid mistake like that.. But, I'm over it))
  • Intel is once again muscling to the top of the processor market using its fabrication capabilities. It's too bad not every company can afford to have as many fabs running at the same time. The problem is that only the dominant processor company can afford that kind of manufacturing power, but nobody likes a monopoly (except for monopolists) so there will always be a good chance for the underdog to succeed except for the fact that they don't have enough manufacturing prowess. Kind of a vicous cycle, huh?
  • but when the aliens use their super-sekrit farfenugen sucking ray - you're screwed ....
  • Yup. Agree completely. As further evidence, notice that they haven't lowered the prices on the low-end stuff, like they usually do with a full-blown product release. When those prices drop, we'll know that the high-end stuff is really there.
  • I'll still be zipping along in my 1972 air-cooled VW.

    Zipping? When you said VW I thought Bug. Then you said zipping. I couldn't figure it out, until I realized you'd misspelled Porche.


  • I think I'm making a start...

    ROFI = Return On Funds Invested ?...
    And ROFI is after a 'p' and before 't'.

    So the puzzle must be that Intel are trying to make money (ROFI) after a pee and before tea.

    In other words, they are trying to make money fast.

    A complex contest, but solvable ;-)

  • In this case the ones that matter to me are 6 and 7. Intel's 6th gen versus AMD's 7th gen.

    No matter what Intel does to the P3 it is still, and always will be, a 6th gen core. I'll give them credit for squeezing this much performance out of an ageing design, but until they bring out their next IA32 chip (Williamette i believe) which i think will be a new core, AMD will have the better product from a design point of view. All AMD need to do is not drop the ball, and that's down more to the marketing department than the engineering section. THEY HAVE A SUPERIOR PROCESSOR !!!

    Now all i want is SMP, DDRSDRAM, 266MHz EV6, full speed L2 cache etc... then we will see how close Intel can get :))

  • by Anonymous Coward
    see the other slashdot comparison. Unlike the copper connects used by motorola and AMD, the coppermine does not use it. That is just a marketing ploy. Paul
  • That was the first thing I noticed when I saw the new speeds. "667? Ummmmmmm...."
    I find it extremely annoying that they left their typical naming conventions just because of a superstition.
    Oh well, you could always get dual 333's. :p

  • I'm rooting for both so that way the next time I upgrade I will be able to choose which one I want and not get pocket-raped by a single company that dominates the processor market.

  • Maybe we can start a distributed cracking effort? It is a tough encrpytion - it would probably take a PIII 600EB a few millenia in CPU time to brute-force it according to my back-of-the-envelope(tm) calculations...

    I think the cracking effort should be called Hemos@Home in honor of the encription system's creator. Or maybe Local-H?
  • Tell me the name a of mass-produced microprocessor at 100nm. There are none because it's too incredibly expensive. The 100nm G4 is almost certainly a demo chip produced with IBM's help. My resources tell me that the mass produced G4 is actually 0.18um. Actually I have numbers between 0.22um and 0.15um but nowhere near 0.10um.
  • I dont see the problem with RAMBUS #$@DESRWKLW#$@

  • These cryptography contests are getting out of hand. This is the hardest one yet. Can anyone help?

    (Hint: The word starts with a p, ends with a t, and has rofi in the middle).

  • Check out: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/99q4/991025/index. html Intel is catching up, but still is way behind in floating-point. That's gotta hurt! The Coppermine chips do beat the Athlons of the same clock speed in some tests, mostly games, but Athlon is still ahead of Intel for now.
  • I think it's funny that the AMD Athlon 700 processor beats out Intel's flagship 733Mhz beast in many tests. Check out Ace's Hardware's benchmarks [aceshardware.com].
  • Just curious - but how small can these things go before quantum interference takes its toll?

    And whatever happened to gallium arsenide instead of silicon?
  • There is a good comparison on Ace Hardware between the Coppermine and the Athlon here [aceshardware.com].
  • p rofi t profit

    You were joking, right? I thought so.

  • Have you ever noticed that Intel likes to emphasize different colors for different CPUs? The Pentium III is minty-green, a color I don't readily associate with processing power.

    I guess that makes me "bad."

  • But "patent" doesn't have rofi in it...
  • by yesthatguy ( 69509 ) on Monday October 25, 1999 @10:59AM (#1588480) Homepage
    Seeing as how these chips were originally, and even recently slated for release around this time next year, it makes me wonder what else Intel may already have production-ready but isn't sharing with us so they can soak up more profits. Clearly, they have had this chip/chipset either ready for a while or close enough to ready to be able to launch it by now, but before the release of the Athlon, it wasn't coming out any time soon. Is this just Intel's ploy to soak more money out of people by charging high prices for chips that aren't state-of-the art by not releasing the state-of-the-art chips? Or were they planning on releasing something better, and just rushed this into production? (We see that often in the software world, but you can't 'patch' a CPU...)

    And, offtopic...
    Has /. ben /.'ed? The main page is loading at a slow crawl, and the title apparently is no longer Slashdoot, but simply ':' and none of the images on the main pages are loading correctly. Is this just me or a server problem?
  • Check out these comparisons between the Coppermine and Athlon:

    Ace's Hardware [aceshardware.com]
    Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]
  • Gallium-Arsenide based chips are still quite expensive to make and are mosttly used for military or sensitive hardware that needs to be resistive to EMP pulses ( like nuclear blasts ).
    Silicon is the cheap route for the masses. Personnaly, I will probably have more to worry about if we have a nuclear war than running Unreal Tournament or writing applications. Then again, hopefully I could still read /. in a post-nuclear war age... :)

  • I guess that makes me "bad."

    Not bad. Just stupid. Everyone else knows that it's not minty green; it's the same colour as the pentium tree that grows in the sahara. I can't believe you hadn't heard that.
  • Well okay, fine - we all know that Linux 2.4 will be out next sometime next month (hopefully) but that doesn't mean /. won't run a few stories on it, and it's features. Just because you know something is going to happen doesn't make it less newsworthy when it does. Intel plays a huge part in the Linux Desktop market and the fact that they just went .18 is pretty damned interesting to some (not you, but then there's no accounting for taste).


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Although I must admit when the i820 boards come into circulation, AMD better have a trick up their proverbial sleeve

    According to the Register, the i820 has fundamental problems [theregister.co.uk].

    "The failures are not just poor board design, some serious theoretical issues are involved -- resonance being the key one. Buses are running into quarter and half wavelength resonance effects which cause voltage margin and timing margin violations. No re-engineering of the drivers, board, or receivers will fix this problem with three RIMM systems."

  • Has /. ben /.'ed? The main page is loading at a slow crawl, and the title apparently is no longer Slashdoot, but simply ':' and none of the images on the main pages are loading correctly. Is this just me or a server problem?

    Actually, I've heard that Slashdot has been considering renaming themselves to Colon for a long time. Perhaps they're giving Colon a try for a bit to gauge the public's reaction.

    We won't be able to say a site has been Slashdotted anymore, the site will have been Coloned. In the eyes of Microsoft we would no longer be those damned Slashdot people, instead we'd be those damned Colon people. Instead of reading my news in a customized format on My Slashdot, I'd be forced to get the latest tech news from My Colon.

    ... or maybe this has something to do with Hemos the Hamster... yikes!

  • Funny, I don't recall Intel doing this before, at least not recently. Perhaps back in the day with the 486's.

    Truly, though, I don't know which company is worse (or more disappointing)--Intel or Motorola. Both companies have screwed-up big-time in the past couple of weeks. Motorola announced the 500MHz G4 when it was essentially vaporware (and still is essentially vaporware), and now Intel has rushed to "market" with (as far as we the consumers can tell) a nonexistent chip.

    It seems there is a parallel when deciding between which CPU maker to choose and which OS maker to choose. Intel and Motorola are not only disappointing, but appear (at least to me) to be resorting to tactics all too-often used in the industry today. Microsoft, meanwhile, uses many of the same tactics (but at least they release products, even if they continue to suck after the usual 300 patches are applied). All three companies suck far more than do their competition. And yet the majority still continues to purchase their products, mainly (I think) due to fear that software or hardware won't work properly if not used with the CPU or OS that "everyone uses."

    Not true!

    Choose the underdog who makes the superior and less-expensive product. Choose AMD and Linux, or any other OS of your choosing (do I hear a small voice shouting "OS/2 Warp!" in the background?) Be different. Don't follow the crowd.

    Let's show Intel, Motorola, and Microsoft that we think they, or at least their marketing and management teams, suck!
  • First, we collect underpants.
    next, ...

    third, PROFIT!!!!

  • AMD NEEDS find a way to get word of their chip out to consumers!...This does not mean just lowering the prices, people (believe it or not) like to pay more it makes them feel as if they have the best their is!

    Mostly, AMDs success has been gotten by keeping their prices low. AMD rules the low-end, sub $1000 and sub $500 PC markets right now. The Athlon is their way of breaking into the high-end market. (And it is far more expensive than AMDs other chips, but still WAY cheaper than Intel) Word of mouth is what has gotten them this far, and its working to some extent. I've recommended at least 5 people at work get AMDs because they are cheaper and kick Intel's ass on speed when we are comparing chips at similar clock speeds. Four of them got AMD K6/2 machines, one got a Celery chip but he's far tool clueless worry about. :)

    But what do you suggest? People in neon suits? The AMD neon green bunny? :) I agree that AMD needs to establish themselves as a household name like Intel, but they simply don't have the market budget that Intel has.

    I LOVE my AMD K6.

    Agreed. My K6/2 450 kicks major ass! :)

  • I believe that the random number/thermal noise thingy you are alluding too is supposed to be part of the new chipset, not the new processor.
  • Starts with a "p" ends with a "t" and has "iece-o-shi" in the middle?
  • 6th gen vs 7th gen is silly quasi-geek marketing speak. If Transmeta came out with a CPU tomorrow that blew away all Athlons and CuMines for $100, would you seriously not buy it because it would be only a 1st gen processor?

    Buy the processor for what you need, if it is for the world beater of a desktop PC, then go Athlon.

  • I want to play with a Coppermine, and see how it does against a K7 for myself. Looking at how prices have been going the K7 will be a better bang/buck, and may very well be a better bang as well.
  • Are you kidding? Minty green has an air of 'freshness'. It is a colour associated with 'cool, clean, healthy'. Exactly the kind of charisma a chip needs to have in this age where processors are like little ovens. I wonder if they come in translucentt blue, yellow,red or magenta...
  • Posted by Nr9:

    IBM has better fabs
  • Actually it might be a test to see who pays attention to content as opposed to pure presentation. You know... someone who understands that people that speak English as a second language (or third+) and people of all age groups contribute to Slashdot. What's your contribution? A spelling flame.

    You fail.

    I'll take function over form any day.

  • My brother has had a retail p3600b for a week now... They don't seem that hard to get ahold of to me...
  • My brother has had a retail p3600b for a week now... They don't seem that hard to get ahold of to me... That's not a Coppermine, it's an oldfashioned Katmai with 133MHz bus P-III Katmai 100MHz FSB P-IIIB Katmai 133MHz FSB P-IIIE Coppermine 100MHz FSB P-IIIEB Coppermine 133MHz FSB They drop the E above 600MHz because there's no risk of confusion, since Katmai will never get up there. And they may not use the B for speeds that are obviously 133MHz FSB-based ie they end with 66, 22 or 67.
  • Basically my point is that all manufacturers announce products before they are available in stores. Everyone pointing fingers at Motorola and Intel is missing the vaporware that everyone else, including AMD, is announcing

    Intel don't normally do this. They are getting desparate.

  • Quote from the article:
    "The lack of high-end chips depressed profit margins, down slightly to 58.7 percent, and average selling prices."

    how can intel possibly survive without a minimum 60 percent profit margin ?

    oh, the humanity. they might have to stop bidding on irc servers on ebay.

    how many companies enjoy a profit margin that large ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    int iConspiracyLevel = 1; (imagine X-files theme whistling while you read this) The gov't has been slowly disseminating alien technology to the top hi-tech firms for decades now. When did the UFO crash in Roswell, NM? And the start of the modern tech era, just happened to start shortly thereafter, i.e., invention of the transistor in 1947. Coincidence? The gov't is slowly releasing this tech in small bites to make it seem like a natural progression and because the more advanced tech will rely on some of the simpler tech to already be in palce. They've probably got warp-engine specs ready to release to Boeing as soon as the necessary technical supporting infrastructure is built up a little more first. int iConspiracyLevel++; On the other hand, this may all be part of the Aliens master plan to conquer earth. Tiny transistors on silicon are suceptible to an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Old earth-indigenous tech like vacuum tubes was immune to EMPs. The aliens want us to abandon tubes and grow totally dependent on the tech they covertly "gave" us (wanted us to have). They then can EMP the entire planet from orbit and move in with little resistance as all computers will have failed (and hence defense/warining systems crippled). They are setting us all up people. But my '46 Ford with its wierd mechanical points and carburreated system and 10 guage shotgun will still be operating when those alien bastards come.
  • Just think, the .18 micron process was somthing that WAS a long way off.. Now that AMD is coming to life and kicking Intels butt, Intel is trying to get their act together. As far as I am concerned AMD will be beating Intel for a long time to come. Maybe not in mhz battles, but in the overall performance of their precessors. One of the most important things I see that AMD has going for them selves is their ability to use extrememly high FSB speeds. As soon as FSB's are running at 225+mhz we will see computers that run circles around today's best computers.

    I am gald that this new found "competition" in the chip industry has finally blossomed. AMD had a presence before, but that was all, now AND is pressing to be herd. It will be a long hard battle, one that not only needs to be won by having the biggest (err, in the chip market the smallest :) and the best. The only place I see AMD failing is in permoting their new Athelon. They need to advertize, get the word out! Being into computer and hardware I knew about the Athelon a few years ago, I read the press relase naming the Athelon the Athelon. BUT, A lot of people (mostly the non elite, non techie types) have no idea what the Athelon is, let alone understand the differences between the Athelon and say the Intel PIII.. AMD NEEDS to find a way to get word of their chip out to consumers! To date I have only seen one Athelon in newspaper adds, surrounded by 7 or 8 PIII's! This had better change, AMD needs to make their chips not only better, but more popular! This does not mean just lowering the prices, people (believe it or not) like to pay more money, it makes them feel as if they have the best their is! And with AMD lwering their prices for came clock speed ships ad Intel, AMD is saying to the ignorant consumer, "Our chips are less superior than Intel, thus we lower our prices in hopes that you will buy one of our chips" But in reality this is far from the case!

    But as I see it, AMD is makeing it's self a contendor, not just for today's market, but also for the future. Intel can only keep up these small changes in it's chips for so long, AMD has made that jump, they are leading the technology, not Intel. If AMD found a way to get word out to Consumers (Other than the techie elite) they would steal a lot of Intels business. So if you want a stock tip, BUY AMD! I am pretty sure I am going to. (If you make lots of money off of this stock tip be sure to send some of it my way, I am broke :)

    Note: I am in favor of AMD kicking Intels butt. I like AMD and I think they are a good company, working on good things, for the good of the comsumer. I do not really see this in Intel. I seem to compare what Intel has in the CPU business to what Microsoft has in the OS business.. Neither of which I like or try to support... Thus this post may be a bit biased, but hey, I LOVE my AMD K6.
  • by !ramirez ( 106823 ) on Monday October 25, 1999 @11:50AM (#1588513)
    Notice how Intel didn't designate the 667mHz chips 666mHz? Obviously, there's a reason for that, but I find it funny that they would round down (166.6666666 mHz = 166mHz) on everything else, but round up on that one. Oh well. And I was so looking forward to a 666mHz PC.
  • Actually, I think you are thinking of Willamette, which is still not supposed to be released until some time next year. Coppermine (the one just released) was slated to release almost a month ago, and the i820 chipset which was supposed to go with it is bugged, and noone knows when it will be released. This was not a new core, just a shrink of P6 to .18 micron, and I doubt Intel has something better than .18 ready for manufacturing, because if they did, you could bet IBM, Mot, and AMD would all have them ramped up for production. So, the long and short of it is that Intel did not do anything special here, in fact they are late, and they are still behind Athlon on performance (especially FP performance), so I don't think they are holding anything back.
  • I for one am rooting for AMD. Here is a company that took on an industry standard and set out to beat Big Brother at his own game. AMD's chip is benched marked faster; a true revolutionary as far as the clock speed specs. are concerned. Although I must admit when the i820 boards come into circulation, AMD better have a trick up their peverbial sleeve. There can be only one.
  • Today AMD cut the price of the 700 MHz Athlon, which still seems to be doing better than the 733 MHz Cu-mine on some of the hardware site tests, down to $666.


    Let's talk bang for buck, shall we?

  • I have to admit, this whole coppermine release thing smells of FUD against AMD, but....

    Having a Socket 370 version would finally get them into Wintel based laptops, which are basically overpriced celerons at the moment. Another nice thing, using a socket 370 version, you could make some very small/slim but powerful Linux servers.

    Just a thought.
  • by Upsilon ( 21920 ) on Monday October 25, 1999 @12:28PM (#1588519)
    I noticed several comments about how intel must have had this ready, but not released it until the Athlon came out. People seem to think that they were holding back. Well, I've got news for you: they weren't holding back. The coppermine isn't ready.

    Sure, they say that it's been released. But what does "released" mean. There are only a handful of them out there, and don't expect that to improved soon because the yeilds are horrible. It seems that they have just enought to send to reviewers.

    Has anyone actually tried buying one of these? Check pricewatch. Nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Normally, new CPUs can be found weeks BEFORE the official release through various grey market channels, but in this case coppermine is nowhere to be found even AFTER it was supposably released.

    It gets worse. A big part of the improvement that's supposed to come from coppermine has nothing to do with the processor itself, but is related to intel's new i820 chipset and improved memory technology. All the benchmarks seem to use this chipset, but intel isn't even pretending that you can actually buy an i820 yet. It's not out and won't be for a while. So these benchmarks that are out there are not close to the performance you will get in reality.

    So, some people say that the coppermine was released because of the Athlon. Well, you've got it half right. Intel is pretending that the coppermine is released because of the Athlon. They were being humiliated by the Athlon's superior technology, so they rushed a handful of basically incomplete (I say this not only because fo the missing i820 chipset, but also because the horrible yeilds intel is getting on these things) designs to the market so that their marketing people can claim to have the best. Yeah right. Personally, I'd get an Athlon. They actually exist.
  • I have read speculation that Intel is pressuring motherboard makers not to build Athlon motherboards. If a company builds an Athlon board, then they might fall vitum to an "unfortunate shortage" of chipsets and the such. Even if Intel is playing fair, the last time I checked there weren't too many Athlon boards out there, especially compared to Intel- and K6-compatible boards.

    On a related note, what happened to Gigabyte's Athlon motherboard? I read a review of it on Tom's Hardware, but there is no mention of it on the Gigabyte website.

    Take care,


  • My guess is somewhere around 50nm quantum issues will start to serious crop up, so this is about 4-5 process generations from todays 180nm (0.18um). OTOH, life will start to get very difficult somewhere around 0.08nm because channel leakage (current though the transistor when the transistor is supposed to be turned off) will make it very hard to use many of the common circuit designs used in today's CPU's and will increase power to the point where cooling will be a serious issue.

    GaAs, as other posters pointed out, is alive and well in some specialized applications. I have no idea where the semiconductor industry will be when we hit the wall around 50nm, but I don't think GaAs will be the answer - any more than Cu interconnect does much more than get us a little further along the performance curve.

    Personally, my guess will be some form of stacked 3D semicondcutor process based on a 0.12um technology. Just being able to stack two transistors on top of each other (an n-FET and a p-FET) would cut chip area massively (due to the elimination of extra space between wells). But that's just my guess. Optical interconnect would be a big plus - an optical clock with really low skew would improve performance today by 10-20%.
  • Sure, for a plate of tasty profiteroles, I'd be cranking out the copper meself. Doesn't end with "t"? What kind of cretin finishes their dessert with coffee?
  • AMD didn't announce the Athlon until August. It started shipping to OEMs in June, yes, but processors always ship before they're announced (just as Coppermines have almost certainly been shipping to OEMs before now -- but not very long before). Want a motherboard? Go to www.pricewatch.com and pick one out. Was that so hard?
  • No, not a 914. A Karmann Ghia. No, it doesn't really zip with a 1600cc, but it'll be faster than the '46 Ford with a cracked block.

    Actually, if the stock market keeps going the way it has been, I'll probably drop in that very costly Porsche 912 engine. Car hacking is my other hobby.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • by Curt ( 37359 )
    What, big deal, they've overclocked their chips again. .18 micron processes is not anything unheard of. It infact is quite large. I am running here a G3 based on a .15 micron process and G4's exist, based on a .10 micron process. Both copper. This is not new technology, not a big deal. Anyways I don't see them being availible for quite a while...

    I guess they can claim they have the astes frequency, for whatever that is worth. They act as if the proocesser will do all these great things for you, like speech recognition (had that since '90) and 3d performance (if you have geforce256, the processor is doing $hit)... They seem to be forgetting that you need software to do that kind of stuff anyways. Maybe that's the probelm with an "open" architecture, they are not all working together to plan this.
  • AMD NEEDS to find a way to get word of their chip out to consumers! To date I have only seen one Athelon in newspaper adds, surrounded by 7 or 8 PIII's! This had better change, AMD needs to make their chips not only better, but more popular!

    Recently, I saw 3 full pages of AMD ads in PC Computing saying stuff like "Maximize Productivity" but I think the problem is that they are not making a name for themselves. People are mostly clueless and all they ever hear on TV is "intel inside" so when they go out to buy a computer, and they dunno what to get, they are gonna see an Athlon and a PIII sitting next to each other and go with the Intel computer simply because they have no idea what AMD is and will go with the Intel simply because of the brand name. Remember, technological superiority isn't gonna win every battle, you need to market your product (just ask micro$oft, hehe) What AMD needs is a TV campaign that will make the brand AMD and the processor ATHLON into something everyone recognizes.

    There is no statute of limitation on stupidity.
  • But my '46 Ford with its wierd mechanical points and carburreated system and 10 guage shotgun will still be operating when those alien bastards come.

    Silly Hu-man! Your P.O.S. Ford will be no match for our tractor beam, and our deflector screens are impervious to feeble lead pellets.

  • As far as advertising goes, I guess AMD still needs to work on the tech sector...since you misspelled 'Athlon' about 10 times in your post... ;-)
  • Moore's law; Not a keen observation of technology, but rather a very profitable business plan.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Ha, and when the aliens suck all the water up on the planet, your '46 Ford will overheat and your block will crack - I'll still be zipping along in my 1972 air-cooled VW.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.