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Tips Of The Day For February 2000

Tip Of The Day For February 27, 2000: If it's time to upgrade to a new hard disk drive, it is almost always better to make the new hard drive your primary master, main drive, and relegate the older one to a secondary role (backups, storing infrequently-used data, etc.) The reason is simple: the newer drive will almost always be faster--often much faster--than the old one.

Tip Of The Day For February 23, 2000: I mail CD-ROMs every week, and to protect them I use bubble envelopes. These are what I recommend for sending media by mail: they protect the CD best. Some folks prefer to get padded (paper-filled) envelopes because they are cheaper--but they also weigh a good two ounces more, so you pay it back in postage! The best way to purchase these envelopes if you do a lot of media mailing is to find them in boxes of 25, since they are much cheaper this way.

Tip Of The Day For February 19, 2000: When shopping for a new PC, look for systems that use industry standard form factors if you want to be able to expand the system later. Some retail brand-named PC use proprietary cases, power supplies or motherboards, which locks you into using replacement hardware from that company in the event that you need to upgrade (or replace a failed component) in the future.

Tip Of The Day For February 16, 2000: Some online vendors charge for shipping and handling once only; if your order ships with some items backordered, the other items are sent later at the company's expense. Others want to charge you S&H over and over again if your order does not all ship at one time. Make sure you find out which type of company you are dealing with before you order!

Tip Of The Day For February 13, 2000: Windows 95 support for USB devices is pretty sketchy. You need the special USB add-on, and even with it, you are likely to experience trouble with some kinds of hardware. Some manufacturers even refuse to support USB devices on Windows 95, so be sure to check that out carefully. USB support in Windows 98 is much more fool-proof.

Tip Of The Day For February 11, 2000: Windows general protection faults (GPFs) in the "GDI.EXE" module often indicate a problem with the graphics subsystem in your PC. Start by checking your video driver; if possible, update it.

Tip Of The Day For February 8, 2000: Small pieces of hardware like cables and adapters usually function just fine for years and years, but sometimes you will be surprised. I recently spent several frustrating hours troubleshooting a flaky mouse. The symptoms made it appear that I had a Windows driver issue. In fact, the problem turned out to be the small adapter that converts the mouse's PS/2 connector to work on a serial port!

Tip Of The Day For February 4, 2000: There has been some confusion regarding whether or not this is a leap year. The rule for determining leap years is as follows: if the year is divisible by 400, it is a leap year. If it is not divisible by 400 but it is divisible by 100, it is not a leap year. If it is not divisible by 100 but is divisible by 4, then it is a leap year. This means that 1996, 2000 and 2004 are all leap years, but 1900 was not a leap year, nor will 2100 be a leap year. Make sure to check your various software programs to be sure they recognize February 29, 2000 properly.

Tip Of The Day For February 3, 2000: Devices that claim to interface to the parallel port and still let you use your printer, often don't. It's very common, particularly with newer ink jet printers that use software drivers to control them, for the printer to become quite confused by any hardware appearing on the parallel port other than the printer itself. Be sure you can return anything you buy in case of incompatibilities.

Tip Of The Day For February 1, 2000: Correct posture is important when you spend a lot of time working at your computer. An important investment is a good chair. For around $100-$200 you can get a chair that fits you well and is adjustable (helpful if multiple persons use the work area). Most people would balk at spending this sort of dough on a chair, but what's the price of a few visits to a chiropractor?

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