[cts-newsletters-html] Set and Chat Reports/Refurbished Hardware

  • From: "The Screen Savers Today" <screen_savers_today@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cts-newsletters-html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2001 21:13:50 MST

We're back live on Monday, Feb. 12:


+--+--+--+--+--+--+--What's Up Today--+--+--+--+--+--+--+

Russ Pitts' final installment of the set move diary.
Russ reveals a couple of changes to the new set.

You joined our chat to talk about ideas
for the web site. Read the report.
Patrick jams as many hard drives as he can
into his beater PC. Read about the results.

You can save some money by buying refurbished
hardware, but pay special attention to the details.

Go to TechTV's library for tips and trick
for Windows, Linux, Macintosh and more.


Memory PC - Memory prices have fallen substantially, and
Outpost.com is passing that savings on to you! With FREE DELIVERY.

SHOW NOTES for Friday, February 9, 2001
(repeat of January 23, 2001)...

* Upgrading an ooooold PC

Jim from Framingham, Massachusetts has an old Compaq PC with a
75 MHz AMD processor in it. He'd like to add a CD and a sound
card to it so his 5 year old can play games on it. Is he
wasting his time and money upgrading this old box?

If it already had a sound card and CD-ROM drive, we'd say try
to upgrade the processor with a faster Pentium or K6
processor. But given that you also need a CD and sound, by the
time you get all the things you need to get this computer in
shape to even play simple games for your 5-year old, you're
probably well on the way to buying a newer machine.

We'd total up the price of the parts you want to buy. If
you're over $200, we'd pick up something like an entry-level
eMachine system instead. They've got a $399 system (hey, I own
one!) with a 600 MHz Celeron and 32 MB of RAM. We'd prefer
more memory, but this is a good start. Here's the link:


* Can a VCD autoplay on my cousin's computer?

Jason from Santa Maria, California wants to put movies of his
little brother on VCD (Video CD) so he can send 'em to his
family back east. He'd like to author the CD so that it
automatically runs when they insert it into their computer's
CD drive.

Leo says autorun.inf is the file that contains the information
that tells a CD to automatically launch an application. He
suggests you copy this file from another CD that autoplays.
Then modify the file so it launches a VCD playback
application. Then burn it onto your created CD.

If you're lucky your authoring software will give you the
option to make your CD autorun. Here's a quick list of what
you'll need to make VCD:

1) VCD Authoring software

2) Utility that converts your AVI video files such as AVI2MPG


3) Program that supports VCD burning (such as Adaptec's Easy
CD Creator)

4) Program to play the VCD to burn on the new CD

Let us know how it works out!

* Wireless Networking

Michael from Pocatello, Idaho has a whole house full of
desktop PCs, notebooks and servers. He thinks it's time to
move to a wireless networking setup. Would we recommend the
Linksys WAP11?

It'd probably be spiffy, Michael, since it's an 802.11b
system, our favorite wireless networking spec. The Linksys is
one of the only base stations we've seen that costs even less
than Apple's AirPort, which you could also use. We haven't
tested it yet, but we've had great luck with Linksys stuff in
the past.


Now if somebody would just come up with a sub-$100 PCI 802.11b
card for PCs! Right now, you'll spend close to $150 for each
desktop, though you can do PC Cards for the notebooks for $120
or so. Of course, those cards were $200 to $400 just a year or
so ago!

* Copying a hard drive

Greg from Papillon, Nebraska has a hard drive that's beginning
to show bad sectors. That's not good... He's ready to move his
data to a new drive. Can he do it?

No problem! Chances are you can attach it as the 'slave' to
right on the same cable as your C: drive. I'd use FDISK to set
up at least two partitions on the new drive. Put the data on
the higher partition, then turn the lower partition into your
new C: drive.

You could manually cut and paste all that data from your c:
drive onto the new drive. Or you could use what we use, and
create a hard drive image with one of these programs:

PowerQuest DriveCopy:


Norton Ghost by Symantec:


* He needs a new sound card...

Nathan from Avalon, California has been serenading the
neighborhood with his new high powered spearker system. But
he's looking for a better sound card to feed 'em his favorite
noise. Should he go with a Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live or
a TurtleBeach Santa Cruz?

Well, most folks can't hear a difference, but, just for fun,
I'd say go for the TurtleBeach sound card... especially if you
can track down one of their Fiji cards. Or you can be more
scientific and check out the sound card testing done at this
site. Most of the cards are high end pro-audio cards, but
there are lots of affordable cards there to:


* Windows Install CD

Mark from York, Pennsylvania wants to take the 13 floppies
from his Windows 95 upgrade box and install 'em on a CD so he
won't have to deal with hauling those floppies in and out of
the drive. He's building a new system for a buddy.

He's tried burning 'em all one by one onto a CD-R with limited
success. You could try puttering around to see if there's a
network install switch that would support this. Frankly, OS
licensing issues aside, Mark, I think it's time to upgrade to
CD version of the OS. And a full version, since you're still
installing DOS and 3.11 first. (Doesn't the 95 upgrade just
ask you for a 3.11 disk as proof if you install from floppy?)

Since you're in York, check out the Trenton Computer Fair.
I'll bet you can pick up a used 98 or 95 CD super cheap. And
you'll never have to fight with floppies again!

* FTP Settings

Joseph from Dallas, Texas has some trouble with an FTP server
at work. Clients can start a download, but their connections
keep getting reset. Joseph asked what PASV should be set to.

PASV is a FTP setting that allows clients to initiate the data
connection to the FTP server. It should be set to 'yes.' (Not
that either one of us are FTP or firewall experts...) Some
clients don't support PASV transfers, so the users might think
the connection has started, even though they won't be able to
download data.

Leo says you either have to make it a control FTP server,
along with PASV. Or they might need to try a different client.
Example? As far as we know, the Windows FTP.exe doesn't
support PASV.

Here's a link with some more info:


Thanks for watching!

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 That's all for today-- keep visiting our site,
 and keep watching The Screen Savers-- it's good
 for you!

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