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[ The PC Guide | The PC Guide Disk Edition ]

Disk Edition Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

At one time, this section on The Disk Edition contained over a dozen different pages describing all the gory details about the product. It was really overblown and too much to read, so I have created this FAQ list that will hopefully address any questions you may have about the Disk Edition before you order. If there's a question you have that is not answered here, please email me. Please be sure you check all the sections here before sending me mail; this will save both of us time.

General Questions:

  • What exactly is the Disk Edition? The Disk Edition is the entire contents of The PC Guide available either by download from the Internet, for use on your hard disk, or on a CD-ROM disk.
  • What's the current Disk Edition version and date? Version 2.2, May 2001. It is likely that this will be the current edition for a while.
  • What are the benefits of the Disk Edition? Primarily the fact that you don't have to be online to use it. There is virtually no delay switching between pages because they are all on your computer. You can move the CD from machine to machine (if you order the CD). There are no on-line charges to use the material, and no ads. You also help to support the site.
  • What are the drawbacks of the Disk Edition? The main one is that it is not free like the web site. There is also no search engine, since that requires a web server. You can still do searches using the Windows Find facility.
  • What are the pros and cons of getting a download compared to a CD? Download orders are less expensive and are filled much more quickly since there is no delay incurred in sending the disk. However, it does take some time to perform the download. CDs allow you to access the information without taking up room on your hard disk and to move the information easily from place to place.
  • What type of CD is used? The Disk Edition ships on a CD-R (recordable) disk. At the present time, these are made by hand, and labelled by my lovely wife (my handwriting is scary). Yes, I could get them professionally done, with a fancy screened label on them and a pretty PC Guide jewel case. But you'd be paying for all that, and since the CD is not visible when it is in use, what's the point? Sorry, I am hopelessly practical. :^)
  • Is using the Disk Edition faster than using the web site? Unless you have an incredibly fast Internet connection, yes. The pages load from your local PC in a second or two, generally, and changing between pages is seamless. There are also no ads in the Disk Edition.
  • Are there banner ads in the Disk Edition? No.
  • What’s included in the Disk Edition? The entire web site as of the current Disk Edition version, plus some extras, such as a full topic index, Adobe Acrobat Reader software, PC Webopedia Lite (a hardware reference dictionary), and Chris Hare's hardware pages. NOTE: The Guide How to Build Your Own PC is not included in the Disk Edition. It is sold as a separate print book directly by the author.
  • Is the site available in print form? Not at this time.
  • How can I print out parts of the Disk Edition easily? The Disk Edition now comes with an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file version of the site's contents. Using the Adobe Acrobat Reader is the easiest way to print out parts of the site.
  • Is the Adobe Acrobat version the same as the HTML Disk Edition? It's not exactly the same, but it is pretty close. The only exclusion from the PDF file is the boot process troubleshooter; due to its structured, flowchart-based design, it does not convert easily to a flat file. Also, some of the other troubleshooting sections contain some redundant information, because they were designed to run in HTML using the index frame to reference appropriate content pages. Some of the index pages reference content information elsewhere in the Troubleshooting area and that information is occasionally duplicated for that reason.
  • Is a PDF reader required? Where can I get it? The latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader available at the time of the Disk Edition's release is included with the Disk Edition for your convenience.
  • Are the contents of the discussion forums included in the Disk Edition: No.

Upgrade Questions:

  • What's the difference between a "new" and an "upgrade" order? Nothing other than the price. The materials are the same.
  • Who qualifies for a reduced-price or free upgrade? Anyone who ordered a prior version of the Disk Edition qualifies for either a free download upgrade or a reduced-price CD upgrade. Please see the next question, however.
  • When will the next Disk Edition version be released? I do not expect a new version of the Disk Edition for a while, sorry. For a partial explanation of why this has happened, see my state of the site article.
  • I ordered a download version initially, can I get a CD-ROM at the upgrade price? Yes, and vice-versa as well.
  • Can I pre-pay for upgrades to be available at a later time? No, as this causes too many accounting problems and also leads to hard feelings if upgrades are delayed .

Pricing Questions:

  • What is the cost of new orders of the Disk Edition? Download orders are $19.99 and CD-ROMs are $29.99. CD-ROMs include free shipping within the United States or Canada; shipping elsewhere is $5 extra. All shipping is by air mail.
  • What is the cost of Disk Edition upgrades? Those who are upgrading to the current version (Version 2.2, May 2001) may do so for free if downloading, or for $9.99 for CD (again, $5 extra to ship overseas).
  • Are there discounts for ordering multiple copies of the Disk Edition? Yes, often significant ones. Drop me a line for details and tell me what you are looking for.
  • Can I get a site license for using the Disk Edition? Yes. Drop me a line for details and tell me what you are looking for.
  • Do you offer educational pricing? To show my support for higher education, I offer licensing of the material to educational institutions for the flat rate of $5 per student, with a minimum of 10 student licenses. This is a license intended for educators using the material in an elementary school, high school, college or vocational training environment only. A group of students may also purchase an educational license, as long as it is 10 or more. Educational licenses include one Disk Edition CD-ROM, with free shipping in the United States or Canada ($5 extra overseas); extra disks are $8 each.
  • Can I use the CD on more than one machine? As long as you are running from the CD-ROM and not installing to the hard disk, sure, feel free to use the CD-ROM for its portability.

Order Process and Shipping Questions:

  • How do I order? Please read the information on the main Disk Edition page, and agree to the terms of the Disk Edition User License Agreement. You will be taken to the order page.
  • Can you ship overseas? What is the cost for shipping? Yes, I ship CD-ROMs all over the world. Shipping by first-class postage is included in the price for those in the U.S. or Canada. For those overseas, the additional cost is $5.
  • What types of payment are accepted? I accept payment (in US dollars) by mail, in the form of a money order, bank check, certified check, or personal check (the latter if the amount is $35 or less). I accept credit cards using my own secure server.
  • How about purchase orders? I will accept purchase orders if this is the only option. I prefer not to use them however since they are extra accounting work for me and often result in delays of months before I receive payment.
  • How long does it take to process orders? It generally takes from a few hours to a couple of days to process credit card orders. Mail orders can take a week or more, depending on the vaguaries of the postal system.
  • If I order the CD, can I get a download password to use while I am waiting for the CD to arrive? Certainly. Just tell me that this is what you want. There is no additional charge.

System Requirements Questions:

  • What are the system requirements? Most PCs that can access the Internet can use the Disk Edition. Hard disk space is required if downloading or installing to disk. A CD-ROM or DVD-ROM player is required for the CD-ROM version.
  • What operating systems are supported? All versions of Windows later than Windows 3.x should be able to run the Disk Edition.
  • Are there any known compatibility issues with the Disk Edition? None, except that the CD-ROM may not work on some very old 1X or 2X speed CD-ROM players.
  • How large are the components of the downloadable version of the Disk Edition? The main PC Guide Disk Edition files are about 16 MB. The Adobe Acrobat (PDF file) version of the Disk Edition are about 12 MB. The PC Webopaedia Lite download software is about 2 MB. Generally, 50 to 100 MB of disk space is needed to install to the hard disk.
  • How long does it take to do the download? This depends to a great extent on the speed of your Internet connection, how congested the Internet is, and on how much of the Disk Edition you decide to download. For most users with good connections to the net, the main Disk Edition archive will take under an hour to download.

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