Apple is hiring the iPhone ancestor Newton and Nvidia is introducing the Geforce 3 in detail – that happened on February 27th? Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
…1998: The personal digital assistant, PDA for short, is the notepad of the future: it remembers addresses and telephone numbers, records small texts, manages appointments, and later even allows wireless Internet access. But in the early 1990s, when Apple released the Newton, the world wasn’t quite ready for such a handwriting-recognizing portable mini-calculator. And so the Newton fails despite its strengths: On February 27, 1998, the end of development is announced. The company’s new interim boss, Steve Jobs, wants to refocus on selling Macintosh computers – a strategy that’s paying off and putting Apple back in the black. However, many years later, Apple launches a new handheld computing device, a touchscreen PDA with Internet and phone capabilities: the iPhone.
…2001: After Steve Jobs presented the Geforce 3 together with David Kirk at the MacWorld of the same year, Nvidia officially presented the Geforce 3 on February 27, 2001. The “miracle” GPU NV20 included the first publicly available arithmetic logic units that conformed to the 1.1 versions of the shader specification in Microsoft’s DirectX 8. Thanks to the “freely programmable” shader units – called nFinite FX Engine – unimagined graphic effects should be possible. In fact, however, the Geforce 3 also brought other technologies that are now established as the standard into the mainstream graphics area. Examples of this were a crossbar memory controller to reduce wastage in graphics RAM access, multisampling antialiasing (in the Geforce 3 only implemented as 2x RGMSAA) or up to 8:1 anisotropic, trilinear texture filter (Ati offered 16: 1 AF, but only with the Radeon 9700 a year and a half later also in connection with a trilinear basic filter). In addition, Nvidia now also uses a hidden surface removal method in order to be able to detect and remove hidden surfaces in the final scene ahead of time, thus saving computing power.