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Tips Of The Day For January 2001

Tip Of The Day For January 29, 2001: When considering an esoteric PC peripheral, be sure to use common sense. In some cases it makes more sense to choose a more "conventional" approach. For example, I recently saw someone trying to find out if he could get an AM tuner card for his PC. Leaving aside the matters of electrical interference and antennas, a decent AM radio is tiny and costs what, $10? Also, you can now get almost anything broadcast on AM over the Internet, for free...

Tip Of The Day For January 27, 2001: To allow for the creation of larger FAT32 partitions within Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98 or Windows ME, be sure to answer "Y" when you FDISK starts and pops up with the question about enabling large disk support. If you don't, you will be limited to FAT16 and 2 GiB per partition.

Tip Of The Day For January 23, 2001: When working with graphical files, the two most common image formats are JPEG (.JPG) and GIF (.GIF). JPEG is a better format for 24-bit color images like photographs; it is a lossy format and the amount of compression can be adjusted to reduce file size at the cost of image quality. GIF is an 8-bit format that is lossless, but results in larger files than JPEG and can cause color degradation when used for photographs. It is best for line drawings and illustrations.

Tip Of The Day For January 21, 2001: As mentioned in the latest Real World Technologies Industry Update, the combination of new DDR SDRAM technology and slow holiday retail sales has pushed conventional memory prices to all-time lows. This is therefore a great time to consider a memory upgrade; if you have less than 64 MiB of memory an upgrade will probably improve your system's performance noticably.

Tip Of The Day For January 19, 2001: Floppy disks include a rudimentary data security feature, in the form of the write-protect tab. When engaged, the floppy drive on most PCs will not write to the disk. If you store important files on floppy disks (which isn't always the best way to go, but that's a different story) then use the write-protect features to prevent accidental erasure. Be sure, however, not to over-estimate the capabilities of this method, since under some circumstances it can be over-ridden or may fail to function.

Tip Of The Day For January 15, 2001: Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes) have dropped in price dramatically over the last few years. They are now so cheap that virtually anyone can afford to take advantage of the protection they offer. I particularly recommend them for people living in areas where storms are frequent, or where the power is unreliable; in some cases they pay for themselves the first time they allow you to avoid the data loss that can result from an unexpected power problem. See this section for a full discussion of UPS technology.

Tip Of The Day For January 8, 2001: Most PC games require special video adapter settings--for example, they may require a lower screen resolution or different color depth than you normally use on your system. Many newer games will automatically change these settings for you, but some older ones can't do this, and may malfunction if you don't change the settings to what they are expecting. Try the manual setting feature of your operating system if you have problems.


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