[cts-newsletters-html] Hidden Serial Numbers/Bits and Bytes

  • From: "The Screen Savers Today" <screen_savers_today@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cts-newsletters-html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 21:12:30 MST

Let's get to the numbers:


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

You can get the serial number of your Windows
installation in the Registry. We'll show you how.

Number can be confusing. We'll explain the difference
between bytes and bits. Includes portable reference card.

Or so thinks a Microsoft executive. Is Open
Source Un-American? Talkback and take the poll.

CmdrTaco and Hemos talk about Slashdot, the popular
geek discussion and news web site. Includes video.

Three -- count 'em -- three sets of sounds
for your computer. Download them all!



Can't figure something out? Chances are you'll
find the answer in the Help & How-To Zone.




iWin.com - eXtreme lotto. Win $1 million dollars today! Win
thousands of dollars, just for having friends!



The Screen Savers Show Notes for Friday, February 16th,

* Athlon Motherboard Recommendation

JD from Paris, Illinois cammed in to find out what kind of mobo he
should get for one of AMD's Socket A Athlon processor. He wants to
use the PC for browsing the web and gaming. Funny you should ask;
we're putting a Socket A Athlon in our Ultimate Gaming Machine (aka
UGM) v. 3.0.

If you've got the cash, and a hankering for speed, we'd go for a
DDR (double data rate RAM) mobo using AMD's new 761 chipset. We
chose Asus's A7M 266. You'll have to buy new memory, and DDR memory
looks to be around $150 for a 128 MB stick. Still, the benchmarks
we've seen 'round the web say a 1.2 GHz AMD with DDR RAM will
outrun a Pentium IV on today's games!


Of course, if you've got SDRAM memory you want to recycle, you
won't want that mobo... Our in house SDRAM AMD Athlon Socket 7 mobo
of choice is Asus's A7M. There are always options; check out
Anandtech.com for some great mobo roundups!

* Internet Connection Sharing

Frank from Port Orchard, Washington has a cable modem. He's got an
Ethernet network. And he really wants to know a better way to share
that Internet access than the old Sygate software he's using.
Got 98? You could try ICS, the built in Internet Connection
Sharing. You probably won't enjoy that experience, either. 

That said, try AnalogX's Proxy, which is free:

Or, if you're willing to invest $100 for some hardware that'll
really keep your net safe, and offer an easy web based page setup,
we recommend the Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router:


* Should I dump MP3 for Ogg Vorbis?

Cody called in from Anchorage, Alaska. He wanted to know if his
music would be better off stored in good old MP3 format, or the new
Ogg Vorbis codec. Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression system,
similar in nature to MP3 (it wants to make big audio files take up
less space and still sound good) 'cept that it will be open,
non-proprietary, and royalty free.

Ogg Vorbis is a very cool concept, but I don't think it's quite
ready for prime time yet. I don't know of any portable MP3 players
that can use it! Second, I still can't get to the download page to
get a demo up and going. Third, everybody else pretty much uses
MP3, so you'll be the odd duck. 

If none of that fazes you, maybe you should use Ogg Vorbis. In any
case, if you've got some time, Cody, you should get it up and
running and see what you think of it yourself!


* Does my old mobo and memory slow me down?

Brian from Placentia, California recently upgraded to a PIII 800
but still has  the PC100 memory from his old system. It's supposed
to run his mobo's FSB (Front Side Bus, the connection between the
processor and the memory) at 100mhz. His PIII is an EB which means
it should have a 133 MHz FSB. Might his processor be running slow?
Well, there are both 100 and 133 800 MHz PIIIs. And, yes, the EB
version is supposed to use a 133 Mhz bus. Divide 800 by 100 and you
get an 8X clock multiplier (the difference between the FSB and the
chip speed that Intel won't let you change). Divide 800 by 133 and
you get a 6X clock multiplier... the one that Brian's chip is
supposed to use. 

One of two things is going on:

a) the PC 100 is running at 133 MHz, and the 800 MHz processor is,
well, 800 Mhz.

b) the PC 100 is running at 100 MHz and the 800 MHz processor is
running at 600MHz

'Member, FSB x clock multiplier = chip speed. And you can't change
that multiplier, just the FSB speed. That's how overclocking works.

You could check your jumper settings or software BIOS manually. But
I think it might be more useful to download H-Oda's CPUID. You can
find it here:


CPUID will tell you a bunch of cool information, most notably, the
speed your chip runs at and the speed of your FSB. Let us know what
you find out. BTW, if you want to be able to overclock that chip,
Brian, you'll need to get a non-Intel mobo!!!

* Get into the gaming industry

Ryan from Rahway, New Jersey wants to know what a good college
major is if you want to make video games for a living. Thinking
about coding the engines? You'll want to learn to program, and
you'll probably be looking at a comp sci or engineering degree.
Game designers, however, don't need to code. They create the
'world' -the part of the game you actually see- that runs on top of
the engine. (Both Alice and Quake III run on the samge game engine,
or underlying code!) Many game designers say that one of the keys
is being able to come up with a really cool idea.. and being able
to implement it. That's more an artistic function. 

First off, don't wait for college. Start designing levels and
learning to code now. Do something you love, and see what happens.
Meantime, David dug up Paul Reiche's article on making video games
for ya:


* Network Cards

Todd from Orchard, Washington wants to know the difference between
your basic $25 Ethernet card, and the ones he sees selling for
upwards of $150. Features, Todd, and the name. It's kind of like
buying a motor vehicle: a Geo, a Lotus Esprit Turbo, a Cadillac,
and a bit 'ol tractor trailer will all roll you from New York to
San Francisco. They just do it in vastly different fashions. 

Frankly, I don't go for the Ethernet cards with the fine Corinthian
leather and chromium wheels. NetGear's FA310TX costs around $25
locally and offers both 10 and 100 Mbps connectivity, so when I
upgrade my network, they're ready. And unlike those stupid 'brand
x' cards we bought for the lab two years ago, NetGear still offers
support for 'em!

* Quick FireWall recommendation?

Mike from Ellisburg, Pennsylvania has a home network hooked up to
the Internet. He plans to leave it up and unattended overnight when
he's downloading massive amounts 'o files. should he use firewall

Sounds like a good idea to us, Mike. ZoneLab's ZoneAlarm is still
our fave. And it's still free:


I'm off to Montana to slide down hills, ya'll be nice to Martin
while I'm gone!



Outpost.com has the very latest and best in audio & video from


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

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