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Old Site Updates - January 1998
January 26, 1998, 8:30 pm EST:
- Server Move Completed: I must apologize to you all for the site being
down most of the day today. The estimate of 2-3 hours' downtime that I was given was
obviously off the mark by a good factor. I'm a bit disappointed about this, but overall
very pleased with Pair Networks as a hosting
site. I guess these things happen.
- Patience Please: With my site back up now, a flood of pent-up email is
pouring in and it's going to take me some time to catch up.
- New Pentium II 333 MHz: Intel has released its new 333-MHz
"Deschutes" Pentium II chip, based on the new 0.25 micron circuit size. I will be adding this chip to
various CPU pages soon. Read about the new technology, and new systems based on it, here
- Mega-Merger: Most people have heard this already, but Compaq bought
Digital Equipment Corporation in a blockbuster deal today that makes Compaq the #2
computer company in the world. (Guess who's #1?) Read all about it.
January 25, 1998, 2:00 pm EST:
- Web Site Down Time--PLEASE READ: My hosting site, Pair Networks, is
relocating their offices on Monday, January 26th. The move will start at around 9:00 am
Eastern Time, and will take 8 to 12 hours. At some point during that day, The PC Guide
will be inaccessible for two or three hours. Sorry for the inconvenience.
- Virus Hoaxes: I added a section to my explanation of computer viruses
discussing virus hoaxes, after receiving
several additional warnings about false virus "epidemics". I don't hold any ill
will towards those who sent them, as they meant well. This is in fact the reason that
these chain letters keep going around the net for ages.
- Floppy Interface Cable Diagram: I created a diagram of the strange
floppy interface cable that is used on most standard PCs. You can reference it from the page discussing floppy disk configuration.
- New Award BIOS Beep Code: I have received several reports from folks
who are getting one long beep followed by three short beeps on systems with Award BIOSes.
To the best of my knowledge, this means a video problem, the same as one long followed by
two short. I have added a new section to the page
discussing Award BIOS beep codes.
- PS/2 Mouse Port Options: I added a note to the PS/2 Mouse Port Connector Physical Installation Procedure
to reflect the fact that you can also mount that connector directly to a serial port
connector hole on many cases.
- Heat Sink Removal Warning: I added a warning to the Heat Sink Physical Installation Procedure. One part
of this process is to remove the heat sink from the CPU to check if it is making good
contact; this can sometimes be difficult to do and forcing it can potentially cause
January 17, 1998, 11:45 pm EST:
- You Asked For It, You Got It: I am pleased to announce that I have just
added the first two graphical illustrations to The PC Guide! Someone at my office made the
mistake of showing me his new digital camera. :^) These pictures are: a full diagram
detailing the components on a typical motherboard; and a picture of the parts (cables,
etc.) that come with a motherboard. You can access them from this page on motherboard components, and this page on motherboard parts, respectively. All
feedback welcomed. If you like these illustrations and want more (as I suspect you do) I
will add more to the site over the next few weeks. Note that to keep load times reasonable
for those who do not want to see the graphics, each picture is thumbnailed at the
beginning of the appropriate section. Click the thumbnail to bring up the full image. I
did this because some of the graphics are large, and I don't want to force you have to
turn off images to read this site.
- PCWatch for PC News: Please welcome PCWatch to the PC Guide sponsor
team! PCWatch is a great place to get the latest news in the world of computing. What I
like about this site is that the summaries are well-written, giving you a good feel for
the story even if you decide not to read the details. Appropriately enough, the link to
PCWatch is right above my Tip Of The Day.
- Graphics Contest Over: I want to thank everyone who participated in the
Graphics Contest. I have chosen a winner and have contacted that person, as well as two
others whose banners I will use as for promoting The PC Guide on other sites. The new logo
should appear next weekend. It's unfortunate that I couldn't select everyone's work but
you all did a great job. Thanks again!
- It's A Mystery: I continue to get tons of people enthusiastically
ordering the Disk Edition who never actually send the funds. I don't know why this is
happening so frequently, but it frustrates me because it takes up a lot of my time to
respond to queries and about half of them are never followed-up on. It also makes it
impossible for me to figure out when I need to make more CDs. I added a note to my Disk Edition order page asking for everyone's assistance with
this matter. Thanks.
- Memory Packaging: I made a couple of small changes to the page on memory packaging.
- Memory Installation Risk: I upgraded the risk assessment for the Memory Module Physical Installation Procedure to
reflect some feedback I received stating the possibility of motherboard damage if the
modules are inserted incorrectly.
January 14, 1998, 8:30 pm EST:
- Something Up My Sleeve: I have some interesting plans to enhance the
site in the next couple of weeks. I think you'll all like them. Stay tuned. :^)
- A Request: I have had a lot of interest in the Disk Edition since it has been released, and I am grateful
for that. Unfortunately, over half the people that order the Disk Edition never send their
check or credit card information. This wastes everyone's time, and makes it very difficult
for me to do my planning. Please don't order the Disk Edition if you don't want it; if you
want it but change your mind after ordering, no problem, just please drop me a line and
let me know. I appreciate your cooperation and apologize for having to write this.
January 10, 1998, 10:00 pm EST:
- Disk Edition Update: I changed the ordering page for the Disk Edition to reflect the fact that credit cards are now
accepted for Disk Edition orders. I also provided more information on international
- Graphics Contest: Sorry to all who contributed that I haven't made any
decisions on this yet. I will be doing so soon, but I don't want to rush this and I'm
behind in other areas even more. :^) I hope to contact the winner(s) this week and add the
new graphics to the site next weekend.
- PCI Steering: I made a change in response to a question I received
about an apparent resource conflict. A lot of people find that when they look at their
Device Manager IRQ listing under Windows 95, they have two devices listed for a specific
IRQ, where one of them is "IRQ Holder for PCI Steering". This is actually a
feature of Windows 95 OSR2 and not a conflict. I added a note about this in the PCI area of the Reference Guide, as
well as the appropriate section in
the Troubleshooting Expert.
- NT Floppy Swap No Go: Apparently, Windows NT does not properly
recognize the floppy drive swap BIOS feature.
I have added a note to the sections on floppy drive reference, floppy drive
troubleshooting, and where the swap BIOS parameter is discussed.
- CD-RW For Backup: I changed my discussion of CD-RW drives as a backup medium slightly to be a little less negative on
them. :^) I still don't think they are that great as a device for doing strictly backup,
but they are a pretty flexible medium and you can do a lot of things with them, including
- Bus Bandwidth Fix: I had a boo-boo in my table showing bus bandwidths. The
bandwidth of the ISA bus (8-bit and 16-bit) was one-half what it should have been.
- Link to PC News Site: I added a link to PC Watch. This is a handy site for checking the
latest news about PCs, that is updated every week day.
- IEEE Printer Cables: I had a "Tip Of The Day" recently where
I talked about how retail stores are trying to get everyone to overpay for special IEEE
cables for newer printers when they weren't really needed. Someone wrote back to me saying
that the cables really were different. I did some research and what I found out
is that some of the pins on the cable are used for bidirectional communication, and some
of the older cables left these off because old printers didn't use this feature. The new
printers do. If you have a "regular" cable that is of good quality and has all
of the pins properly connected, you should still be able to use it with a new printer
without having to fork over $30+ for a special cable.
- K5 Update: I updated the page on the AMD
K5 to reflect the full range of K5 multiplier settings and how the K5 interprets them.
January 6, 1998, 8:30 pm EST:
- No Surcharge: I am not going to be charging 5% extra for credit card
orders of the Disk Edition after all. Apparently this is considered unfriendly and I don't
want to upset anyone over a buck or two. The costs for the credit card processing are
pretty high though, so I may have to raise the cost of the Disk Edition sometime in the
future depending on how things go. Hopefully not, and definitely not for a while.
January 5, 1998, 10:00 pm EST:
- I'm Still Alive! Hi everyone. Sorry about not updating the site this
past weekend. It's just been "one of those weeks" as I am sure you all have had.
But things are better now so I will be back to weekly updates this weekend. :^)
- Charge Away: I have finally got my setup completed (mostly) for
accepting credit cards for Disk Edition orders. Note
that there's a 5% surcharge for credit card orders (because of all the fees the bank hits
me up for to use credit cards). If you want to order the Disk Edition drop me a line after
reading the Disk Edition section and I'll send you all the details.
January 1, 1998, 10:00 pm EST:
- Happy New Year! I want to wish all my readers a happy, healthy,
prosperous new year.
- Graphics Contest Update: I will be reviewing the submissions in the
contest and announcing winners etc. within the next week or so. I am currently rather
bogged down with some personal issues and so cannot address this right away. Thanks again
to all who participated, and anyone else who wants to make a submission can feel free to
Site Updates - December 1997
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