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Tips Of The Day For January 2000

Tip Of The Day For January 29, 2000: Have you cleaned out your recycling bin lately? Check it, because you might be surprised at just how much junk has accumulated there. By default Windows can hog up to 10% of your hard disk space with old deleted files. Change the default by right-clicking on the recycle bin icon and selecting "Properties".

Tip Of The Day For January 27, 2000: Did you install a new 10 GB hard disk drive and find that Windows Explorer is saying it is only 9 GB in size? Here's why.

Tip Of The Day For January 23, 2000: Increase your color depth from 256 colors to High (16-bit) Color for better image quality while browsing the Internet or doing work. Even most games today work better with High Color enabled. True (24-bit or 32-bit) Color provides even better quality but is overkill for most purposes and may bog down slower machines.

Tip Of The Day For January 21, 2000: I mentioned in my previous tip the fact that you can use a web site's IP address to access it instead of its name. However, I forgot to mention how you can determine what a site's IP address. Probably the easiest way is to use the "traceroute" command. For DOS/Windows systems the name of the command is "tracert". Type in "tracert <www.site.com>" and you will see at the top the IP address of the site in question, followed by the IP addresses of the machines on the Internet between yours and the site you are tracing.

Tip Of The Day For January 19, 2000: Every site on the web has an IP address associated with it, which is a set of four numbers from 0 to 254. The PC Guide's IP address for example is Knowing the IP address can sometimes make it faster for you to get to a site, since it saves the step of looking up its address. Also, on occasion, some Internet service providers have trouble with the servers that translate a site's name ("www.PCGuide.com") to its address ( If you know the IPs of your favorite sites, you may in some cases be able to access a site even if your local nameserver is down.

Tip Of The Day For January 16, 2000: Be sure to scan for viruses any executable files you download from the Internet, unless you are 100% sure that they come from reputable sources. Remember also that even from normally reliable sites, accidental virus infestation is not unheard of.

Tip Of The Day For January 13, 2000: When ordering anything on-line or by mail order, make sure you find out in advance the exact price of the item, whether or not it is in stock, when it will ship, any shipping and handling charges, and what the company's return policy is. You may be surprised. I have already run into companies with "free shipping" but a $3.95 "handling" charge on each order. Cute. Many companies also have restocking fees for returned items. Find out before you hand over your credit card number.

Tip Of The Day For January 11, 2000: Determining hardware and software compatibility can be more tricky with laptop computers than with conventional desktops. If you plan to install any operating system other than the one that comes with a new laptop, be sure to verify in advance with the manufacturer that the operating system has been tested with the laptop's hardware and will work properly. It may be that it will work, but only if certain drivers or other software is updated.

Tip Of The Day For January 9, 2000: Always remember to shut down your system properly, using the "Shut down" feature of your operating system. Too many people simply disconnect the power while Windows or another high-level operating system is running. This can cause all sorts of problems, particularly, file system corruption due to open files not being closed, and cache writes not being flushed to the disk. Be careful using those "power stations" that let you turn the power on and off to various devices using push-buttons. You should not use such a button to kill the power to the main PC box when it is operating.

Tip Of The Day For January 8, 2000: When you purchase a new PC, it is common for the manufacturer to pre-install the operating system. This is a great convenience in most cases, but be sure that you get a copy of the operating system CD-ROM when you pick up the hardware. At some point down the road, the odds are good that you will need this CD-ROM, be it for a problem fix, driver update, feature install, or system reinstall. When shopping for a new system, be sure this is one of the things on your checklist.

Tip Of The Day For January 6, 2000: If you ever have occasion to take apart a keyboard, be careful! Some keyboards can readily be disassembled for cleaning or adjustment, but others have a "point of no return" beyond which the pieces can be very hard to get back together again. :^) Fortunately, most of them aren't very expensive.

Tip Of The Day For January 5, 2000: If you're a relatively new computer users, you've probably heard the term "system cache" many times but don't really know much about it. This section of The PC Guide.will help you understand more about your system's cache and how it works.

Tip Of The Day For January 3, 2000: Power supply problems can be insidious. I have seen a bad power supply end up having been responsible for some very surprising PC system problems. Even some problems that appear to be software-related can in fact be due to trouble with the power supply. One form of cheap insurance against these concerns is to employ a power protection device. If you suspect a power supply problem, check out this area of the Troubleshooting Expert for help.

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