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Tips Of The Day For June 2000

Tip Of The Day For June 26, 2000: If you have a hard disk that is running very hot, you may need to investigate active cooling for it. However, bear in mind that most modern drives usually don't need active cooling, even if they run at 10,000 RPM. A new drive that runs so hot that you can't keep your finger on it is probably defective; it's at least worth a call to the vendor or manufacturer to investigate, and possibly get the unit replaced.

Tip Of The Day For June 24, 2000: I'm not a big fan of bidding in online auctions: in my experience it takes a lot of effort and at the end of the auction, prices are often no better than they would be from a reputable vendor (and often worse.) If you do want to buy at auction, be sure to buy from a seller that has high feedback ratings, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, and be sure to research prices before you bid, to make sure you get a good deal. Above all, don't get hooked into a bidding contest and overpay.

Tip Of The Day For June 22, 2000: There are companies that sell third-party BIOS upgrades for older motherboards for a fee. These can be helpful in certain situations where support for newer technologies is needed on an older board. Unfortunately, they often want so much for new BIOS code that you could buy a new motherboard for a little more money. Of course, replacing a motherboard is much more involved than a BIOS upgrade, but if you are planning on one in the future anyway, you may want to stay away from for-cost BIOS upgrades.

Tip Of The Day For June 19, 2000: When you are reading reading specifications for the transfer rate of any component or system, you will generally see it measured in "MB/s" or "Mb/s" or "mb/s". The conventional notation is that an upper-case "B" means "bytes", and a lower-case "b" means bits. However these are not universally used in this way. Be sure you are using the right term when comparing figures or you'll be off by close to an order of magnitude.

Tip Of The Day For June 17, 2000: A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

Tip Of The Day For June 15, 2000: In my last tip I discussed using, or rather not using, memory module adapters. A good point made to me by a reader is that older memory modules, especially large ones, can get expensive over time. The usual reason why is that they are made in smaller and smaller quantities as they are replaced by newer technology; this causes their price to increase and availability to decrease. So hang on to those old modules if you think you may need them in the future to upgrade an older or secondary system.

Tip Of The Day For June 10, 2000: While some companies sell adapters that in theory will let you use older memory modules on newer motherboards, I strongly recommend against it. Using such devices can introduce compatibility issues, and with memory so cheap today, when you add in the cost of the adapters you may not be saving nearly as much as you think, while risking destabilizing your PC.

Tip Of The Day For June 7, 2000: Be careful when using Internet price search engines. They are often limited to those vendors willing to pay to be listed, and usually "spiked" with bogus prices intended to draw business from those who are shopping on the basis of the lowest price and little else. Giving your business to a company you've never heard of because they are rock-bottom in the price department is only for the real gambler at heart...

Tip Of The Day For June 5, 2000: When comparing components, be sure to remember to include price in the equation. Some folks compare components to find the one they like, and only after deciding on what's "the best" shop for pricing. If component A is 10% faster than component B but costs 50% more, for many people component B is the better choice.

Tip Of The Day For June 3, 2000: When replacing a video card in your PC system, always remember to change to a generic VGA video driver in Windows before you change the hardware. Otherwise, when you next boot Windows, your new video card will try to use the old card's specific drivers, with potentially "unpleasant" results.


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