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Tips Of The Day For September 2000

Tip Of The Day For September 28, 2000: In their never-ending effort to sell cheap PCs by hyping CPU speed over all other system considerations, a number of PC vendors are now "introducing" models with big "MHz" numbers--and nothing else. Most have small monitors, cheesy printers, and slow hard drives. Some even have only 32 MiB of system memory--what a joke! If you want to understand more about why such systems should generally be avoided, see this comprehensive discussion of PC system balance.

Tip Of The Day For September 26, 2000: Notebook PCs often have cooling problems due to their small size and tightly-packed components. I have found that cooling of my machine is dramatically improved if I do not have it sitting flat on the desk during operation. I prop mine up on a couple of CD-ROM jewel cases. This lets air flow under the body of the machine (where most of the heat is generated) and keeps the system running much cooler.

Tip Of The Day For September 24, 2000: Are you having problems with a vendor you recently decided to start using, particularly if you purchased online? Unfortunately, these sorts of difficulties are fairly common. You may be able to find some assistance in this section of The PC Buyer's Guide.

Tip Of The Day For September 21, 2000: If you want to locate and remove a number of files or folders in different locations on the hard disk based on certain characteristics--such as elements of their filenames, or when they were last modified--use the "Find Files or Folders" feature in Windows. You can actually highlight all the items it finds by pressing "Ctrl+A" and then delete them all at once. Very useful.

Tip Of The Day For September 18, 2000: USB support is officially provided in OEM SR 2.1 or later of Windows 95. Despite this, good luck trying to get most USB devices to work with Windows 95! Proper support for devices such as USB mice requires a software component only found in Windows 98 or later, meaning you will need to upgrade to use such hardware (even though I can't see any good reason why a patch for USB support in Windows 95 could not be written...)

Tip Of The Day For September 16, 2000: Are you in the market for a notebook PC? Notebooks are at their core PCs just like desktops are, and they use similar components. However, they are very different in terms of how they are designed, built and sold, because they are targeted for specific uses and are typically designed as a compromise between size, weight, cost, performance and other attributes. For lots of good tips on how to buy a notebook PC, see this section of The PC Buyer's Guide.

Tip Of The Day For September 13, 2000: If you change the monitor on your PC, be sure to go into the Device Manager and tell Windows the make and model of the new monitor. No driver (in the conventional sense) is used for monitors in Windows, but an information file does tell the video card what resolution and refresh rates are supported, so if you don't keep Windows informed of the monitor type you may find your system acting very strangely, especially when you change video modes.

Tip Of The Day For September 11, 2000: Downloading pirated software is not only illegal and unethical--and who knows, maybe even fattening! :^) --it is also a very easy way to get a virus on your PC. Many of the same "hackers" who like to distribute commercial software through unofficial channels also think it's a great thrill to see how many people they can get to download files they have seeded with virus code and run them. Another good reason to listen to your conscience...

Tip Of The Day For September 6, 2000: If you are looking to install a new motherboard and CPU combination, or to upgrade an existing system with a new CPU, be sure to check the web site of the motherboard maker. There you will typically find much more current information about what hardware is supported, how to jumper or configure the new CPU, and more.

Tip Of The Day For September 1, 2000: Some notebooks don't recognize PC card swaps that are done when the power is off; you may be better off swapping the cards after you boot up the system. If you do swap a PC card and it isn't recognized, try ejecting the card, waiting 20 seconds or so, and then re-inserting it.

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