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In our continuing coverage of After Y2K computational news, BEAD and PA Magazine present an in-depth examination of the latest hardware.
Abacus chart

The units we tested:
MacAbacus: By far the most stylish of all the units we tested. A good quality bead, but proprietary and somewhat pricey.
Linacus: A down to earth, quality bead, with good connections, and solid strings.
Slashdot Abacus: Solid framework, but beads of unknown origin, suspect they are made from human teeth, possibly extraterrestrial.
doze BeadDoze 2000: A low quality plastic bead (possibly of shower curtain ring origin). Our test unit needed constant servicing.

Kernels Compared
All the units tested had floating bead processors, some more successfully implemented than others
*. Both the MacAbacus and Linacus had beautiful beads, with great action and tight strings. Slashdot Abacus was also a top performer, and scored well in user loyalty tests. Of the four, the BeadDoze 2000 was perhaps the hardest to operate. In fact, our team could not perform even rudimentary calculations without having to re-bead.

Our testers comments...
  • "The MacAbacus is by far the most user friendly, and it was all my idea." Steve J.
  • "Linacus, pronounced Linacus, has the best logo." Linus T.
  • "The Slashdot Abacus was the coolest and most fun, however I spent 20 hours on it and didn't really get anything done." SgtBurrito.
  • "I found the BeadDoze 2000 utterly unusable, but since it is the industry standard, our company will be ordering 10,000 of them." Bead Admin

OverAll Ratings
Slashdot Abacus
BeadDoze 2000
Our recommendations
For overall ratings and user satisfaction, it was a dead heat. You really can't go wrong with any of the top three rated units. If you demand an abacus with style, go with the MacAbacus, but expect to pay a premium. If you're a do-it-yourself kind of recovering geek, you'll love the Linacus. Expect big things from this abacus in the near future! As for the SlashDot Abacus, you can't deny the attraction of this unit. It's solid, runs cool, and has a strong following.
Unfortunately, we cannot recommend the BeadDoze 2000 at this time. To be fair, we were testing a Beta unit, so perhaps the final release and subsequent upgrades will improve its performance.

*All results based on BeadBench 5.0 performance tests. Actual performance in the market may vary.

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After Y2K™ is a frightfully funny look at what might happen if the Millennium Bug bites hard! Created by Nitrozac, it follows the hapless exploits of a perhaps-slightly-over-paranoid geek as he and his friends seek to come to terms with the legacy of careless coding. The setting: the days and weeks after January 1st, 2000... all computers, high technology, and even electricity is gone... civilization as Geeks know it has collapsed!
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