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Tips Of The Day For August 2000

Tip Of The Day For August 31, 2000: Are you considering buying a new PC but have been thinking that maybe you should build your own custom PC instead? Wondering about the differences between the two techniques, the advantages of each approach and other possible options? See this full discussion of the subject in The PC Buyer's Guide.

Tip Of The Day For August 28, 2000: People often ask me how I learned as much as I have about computers, and what my sources are. The answer is that it is mostly hands-on experience and a lot of reading. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by reading others' experiences and sharing yours. As a reader of The PC Guide, you have a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new community of PC enthusiasts: please join us in The PC Guide Discussion Forums and we can all learn together!

Tip Of The Day For August 26, 2000: Did you just find the "deal of the century" on a new PC? Perhaps you really did, but perhaps not... be suspicious of deals that seem too good to be true, because they usually are: TANSTAAFL.

Tip Of The Day For August 25, 2000: Have you updated your drivers lately? Most component manufacturers revise their drivers regularly. Some PC users prefer to take the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to drivers, but others find that regularly updating them can help improve performance and eliminate certain chronic problems with their PCs.

Tip Of The Day For August 21, 2000: If you have a new PC and the mouse seems to move erratically, try using a mouse pad; it may make the mouse ball roll more freely. Perhaps surprisingly, if you are having the same problem while using a mouse pad, try it without the pad--sometimes a desk surface will work better than the mouse pad, depending on the particulars of the hardware.

Tip Of The Day For August 17, 2000: Many PCs have two identical round connectors on the back for the keyboard and PS/2 mouse. Be careful when setting up the PC not to mix these connections up, as on some systems they will not work if reversed.

Tip Of The Day For August 10, 2000: This one often catches me... if you double-click the time display in the Windows task bar, a dialog box shows up to let you set the date and time. You can use the calendar display to look up future or past dates... but if you do, be sure to hit Cancel when you are done. Otherwise you will inadvertently change the date, as I manage to do probably three or four times a year. Setting the date forward on your PC can cause all sorts of problems with some types of software, especially after you discover the problem and set the date back again.

Tip Of The Day For August 5, 2000: If you add a microphone to your Windows PC and find that it is not working, it's probably because the Windows volume control seems to default to turning off the microphone. Find the little "speaker" in the system tray, double-click it to open the volume control settings. Make sure the microphone is note "muted". If necessary, select "Properties" from the "Options" menu, click "Recording" and hit "OK", then select the microphone to enable it. There can of course be other causes for microphone woes. (Thanks Morley! :^) )

Tip Of The Day For August 1, 2000: Before opening up any PC to do upgrades, maintenance or repairs, be sure to find out if the manufacturer will void your warranty in the event that the box is opened. Avoid buying hardware from companies that have this policy; it makes it almost impossible for you to work on your own PC.

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