It's fashionable to bemoan the fact that all the fun's gone out of PC technology. Back in the dim and distant, you could have five new and thoroughly incompatible computer designs turn up in the same week and have endless fun pontificating about which one had more and prettier pixels, which one had any useful software, or which one worked for longer than five minutes at a stretch. Remember the Sinclair Research QL? People won significant sums of money by betting on how long the word processor went before it crashed. Nowadays, everything just works a bit faster or a bit slower, is slightly cheaper or slightly more expensive. Where's the joy in that?
In an attempt to cheer up morose reviewers across the world, Taiwanese silicon vendor Via has at least shown willing. On the face of it, the most exciting thing about its C3 processor is that it's a Pentium compatible chip not made by AMD or Intel - sorry, should have warned you to sit down there. But wait, there's more! The company has decided to sell a special edition: exactly the same processor as the non-special edition but retailed in a large, multicoloured tin can. And to emphasise the groundbreaking nature of this innovation, it's being called the Cool-Chip-In-A-Can.
Sir Clive Sinclair, please come back. Your people need you.
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