[cts-newsletters-html] Pitch Your Ideas/Cable Rounding

  • From: "The Screen Savers Today" <screen_savers_today@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cts-newsletters-html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 21:12:40 MST

Saving the world one computer at a time:


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


We're going to make some improvements to the show.
We need your feedback and ideas.

Convert those annoying, flat cables to round, space-
saving bunches. We'll show you how.

We'll show you what to do
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Go to TechTV's library for tips and trick
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SHOW NOTES for Monday, January 29, 2001 (repeat of
January 12, 2001)...

* One IP enters, Two Computers...

David from Ft. Drum, New York just got a second
computer, but only gets one IP adress from his
cable modem supplier. Our fave option? A hardware
router such the Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router: 

For $150 or so, it acts as a hub, DHCP server for your
house, and a firewall. A number of other companies
offer similar products. Setup is simple, and you'll just
have to put an Ethernet card in each system, and plug
those cards into the Linksys box.

Otherwise, you get to play with Microsoft's ICS (Internet
Connection Sharing) which could be painful. Free, but
painful. You might also consider AnalogX's WinProxy,
though, like ICS, you'd have to leave the PC connected
to the Cable/DSL modem on 24/7 so the other machines
can access it.

* Power Supply Problem

James in Kingman, Arizona has blown two power
supplies in his Everex PC in the past few months. What can
he do? First off, try getting a heavier duty power supply than
the one that originally came with the system. Move up to a
350 watt from the 250 watt supply they put in the box.
Second, buy a reaaaaally good power supply:
www.pcpowerandcooling.com. Finally, this sounds like a
power line problem; you might want to try getting a UPS to
help protect your system. Martin's a huge fan of American
Power Conversion (APC) UPS's: http://www.apcc.com

* The default OS on a multi-boot system

Edward from Warren, Arkansas has a dual boot windows
me and 2k system. He changed the boot option once so
that Win2K is the default OS, Know he wants to know how
to make the default Windows Me again. Just open the
System Control Panel in Windows 2K, select the Advanced
Tab and there will be an option for startup and recovery.
Select the OS you want, and voila... you can even change
the amount of time the startup waits before it boots the
default OS.

* Get a good PC for $1000

Trent from Maquoketa, Iowa wants to know what our favorite
brand of PC is. That's easy enough: www.Dell.com. We
especially like Dell's 4100 model. He also wants to know
what parts we'd spec for a surfing, email, cd burning and
gaming. Well, the first three could be done by any low cost
entry level machine.

Gaming, however, demands a little horsepower. And we
doubt you'll find a major manufacturer that packs a CD-R into
a sub-$1000 system. (If you do, we'd like to know!). Going
with an AMD Athlon powered system, rather than an Intel PIII
system, might save you enough to afford the CD-R.

Anyhow, back to those specs for gaming. We'd go for an 800
MHz PIII or AMD Athlon (www.Gateway.com has some good
deals on Athlon based systems.), 128 MB of RAM (for gaming,
non-gaming systems can live with 64 MB for a while...though
we'd spring for the 128 MB), and a GeForce II based 3D graphics
processor. Figure a 10 to 20 GB hard drive, and a DVD or CD
drive and a 17 inch monitor. A little vague? Yup. You'll need the
wiggle room. You could easily get by with a smaller hard drive,
though we wouldn't go much lower than a 600 MHz processor.

Happy hunting!

* Convert video faster!

Nicholas from Council Bluffs, Iowa converts AVI's to MPEG files,
and wants to know if there's a program that's faster than AVI2VCD.
We doubt it's the software, Nicholas, though you might experiment
with some other programs. (Do a search for "AVI to MPEG" at

More likely, it's time to move up to a faster processor: video
conversion is incredibly processor intensive. We think that if you
replaced your AMD K6 300 with an Athlon, Duron or PIII chip (Or
even a faster PII or Celeron), you'd see the jump in speed you're
looking for.

* Arrgh!! Tiny lines are in my face

Kyle from Stuart, Florida just picked up a KDS Avitron monitor
from Best Buy; he got a great price on this open box special. But
he's noticing that there's a thin light gray horizontal line about 2.5
inches from the top and bottom of the screen. Martin says, hey,
that's normal for an aperture grill monitor.

Unlike shadow mask monitors, which use a screen with thousands
of tiny holes punched in it, aperture grill monitors have small vertical
wires. Near the top and bottom of the screen, there are horizontal
wires to hold the other wires in place. They're usually not to noticable.

But eventually everybody notices 'em. Most folks tune the tiny grey
horizontal lines right back out in a day or two. You might compare your
KDS Avitron to one on display to make sure the lines on yours aren't
especially awful. But chances are its perfectly normal. If it's driving ya
nuts, Kyle, then take the thing back and get a different monitor, one that
doesn't have the tiny lines... there's nothing else you can do.

* Hard Drives and DOS compatibility mode...

Cole from Dickson, Tennessee, can't get a hard drive in his Win98 system
out of DOS compatability mode. He's hit all the usual suspects... from
checking his IDE controllers in the Device Manager in the System Control
Panel. He can't load a driver, nor can he remove the drive to try and reinstall
it (the button is greyed out.). Got me... you might try the universal fix-it, 
and reinstall windows.

Or check out this page with more info on Hard Drives running in DOS
compatibility mode, along with a reg hack (we haven't tested this hack, so
you're on your own, Cole!):


* USB DVD drives

Vinnie from Fort Irwin, California wanted to know if he can connect a DVD
drive to his PC via USB. There are no USB 1.0 drives out that we know of, but
there are some USB/DV drives that will work with USB 2.0 on the way.

Thanks for watching!

Transform your PC into a digital-quality phone and make free PC-to-
Phone and PC-to-PC calls with PhoneFree.com. With PhoneFree you
also get free video calls, voice & video mail, file sharing and more.

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

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