Lite-on has made an agreement with HP that it will manufacture, qualify, market, support and distribute HP-branded optical drives. The first drive to be shipped under the agreement will be a dual-format, dual layer 16x writer.

Dell Chief Executive Kevin Rollins has dismissed the iPod as a passing fad. In an interview with, Rollins said that the iPod has been out for three years and it's only this past year it's become a raging success, and that he believes that the craze for the devices will pass.

When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman--a rage, everyone had to have one. Well, you don't hear about the Walkman anymore.

Funny, I thought that the iPod was the 21st Century walkman! Oh, well.

Speaking of the iPod, following the launching the tiny iPod Shuffle, which if you remember is a lightweight and much cheaper model of the iPod, customers face a wait of two to four weeks before their order is shipped, according to the company's Web site today. The device, which will hold about 120 songs, should cost $99 when you actually get a chance to buy one.

ATI will launch the R481 soon. Being probably ATI's last AGP high end chip, the R481 is a R480, for the Radeon X850 with an AGP interface. The R481 chip is expected in February, and cards based on it are likely to be available in March.

Not really computer related, but something the average geek might be interested to know anyway, it looks like the future of Star Trek Enterprise is looking very bleak. Some of the reports are rumours, but with the show doing very poorly in general in ratings, it's likely that there is no smoke without fire. All in all, Trek is starting to look like a dead enterprise (no pun intended!)