Cover image for The unofficial guide to PCs
Title:
The unofficial guide to PCs
Author:
Lee, Timothy-James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que , [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xv, 489 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780789717979
Format :
Book

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QA76.5 .L4146 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

The Unofficial Guide to PCs gives savvy consumers like you foolproof instruction on the techniques that work and those that don't--with unbiased recommendations that are not influenced by any company, product, or organization.


Table of Contents

I Acquiring Your New PCp. 1
1 Deciding on the Basic System Componentsp. 3
Chassisp. 5
Desktop Versus Towerp. 5
Footprintp. 6
Busses, Slots, and Accessibilityp. 7
Microprocessorp. 9
BIOSp. 14
System Memory (RAM)p. 15
Hard Diskp. 17
CD-ROM, CD-R, and DVD Drivesp. 19
Backup Drivep. 22
Operating Systemp. 25
Software Includedp. 25
Chapter Endingp. 26
2 Choosing System Peripheralsp. 27
Modemsp. 27
Traditional Modemsp. 28
ISDNp. 28
Cable Modemsp. 29
DSLp. 30
Monitorsp. 31
Resolutions Supportedp. 31
Dot Pitchp. 32
Displayable Screen Sizep. 33
Footprintp. 34
Refresh and Scan Ratesp. 34
Ease of Use (Controls)p. 35
Power Managementp. 35
Bells and Whistlesp. 36
Video Cardp. 37
3D Capabilitiesp. 37
Onboard Memoryp. 38
Bus Typep. 38
Flotsam and Jetsamp. 39
Printerp. 40
Basic Considerations for Printersp. 40
Printer Upgrades and Add-Onsp. 42
Sound Cardp. 44
Speakersp. 45
Other Peripheralsp. 46
Chapter Endingp. 47
3 Pricing Issuesp. 49
Bells and Whistles That Affect Pricep. 49
Trainingp. 49
Reliabilityp. 50
Warrantyp. 51
Service Options and Plansp. 52
Upgradesp. 54
Setting a Budgetp. 55
Choosing a Purchase Channelp. 56
Mail Orderp. 56
Name Brandp. 57
Clonep. 58
First-Time Buyer's Checklistp. 59
Selecting and Buying the Final Candidatep. 61
The Best Time to Buyp. 61
Retail Computer Storep. 62
Mail Orderp. 64
Neighborhood Clone Shopp. 66
Chapter Endingp. 66
4 When and When Not to Assemble Your PCp. 67
The Best Day and Time to Assemble a New PCp. 67
Allow Enough Time for Assemblyp. 68
Make Sure Supplies Are Availablep. 68
Check Availability of Tech Supportp. 70
Assembling the PCp. 70
Things You'll Need Checklistp. 70
Preparing the Installation Areap. 73
Power Considerationsp. 73
Unpacking the Monitorp. 76
The NEAT Boxp. 76
Make, Model, and Manufacturerp. 77
Setting Up the Chassisp. 78
System Glitches and Troubleshootingp. 80
Have You Tried This?p. 80
Before You Call for Helpp. 82
Chapter Endingp. 84
5 Configuring Your New PCp. 85
Configuring System Propertiesp. 85
Verifying and Optimizing BIOS Settingsp. 86
Verifying the Main Screenp. 86
Verifying the Advanced Screenp. 87
Verifying the Security Screenp. 87
Verifying the Power Screenp. 88
Verifying the Boot Screenp. 89
Verifying the Other Screensp. 89
Verifying Year 2000 Compliancep. 89
Handling a Troublesome Component, Operating System, or Applicationp. 91
Quickly Validating Your Devicesp. 93
Burning In Your System by Handp. 98
CD-ROMp. 98
Disk Drivesp. 99
Display Adaptersp. 102
Floppy Disk Controllersp. 103
Hard Disk Controllersp. 103
Keyboardp. 104
Modemp. 104
Monitorp. 104
Mousep. 105
Network Adaptersp. 105
Ports (COM and LPT)p. 105
SCSI Controllersp. 105
Sound, Video, and Game Controllersp. 106
Utilities for Burning In Your Systemp. 106
Windows Troubleshooting Toolsp. 106
Other Microsoft Troubleshooting Toolsp. 109
Upgrading to Windows 98 from Windows 95p. 114
Chapter Endingp. 118
II Making the PC Yoursp. 119
6 Customizing Your New PCp. 121
Differences Between Windows 95 and Windows 98p. 121
Using the Windows 98 Interfacep. 123
Windows Explorer: Folder Viewp. 124
Windows Explorer: Explorer Viewp. 124
Configuring Folder Optionsp. 125
The General Tab: Web, Classic, or Customp. 126
The View Tabp. 130
The Basics: Everybody Do Thisp. 134
Organizing the Windows Start Menup. 134
Organizing Your Windows Desktopp. 139
Removing Unwanted Applicationsp. 141
Adding Missing Applicationsp. 144
Maximizing and Monitoring Performancep. 146
Size Down the Recycle Binp. 148
Size Down the Internetp. 148
Fine-Tuning Options in Explorer, Taskbar, and Elsewherep. 149
Chapter Endingp. 150
7 Going Further with Additional Customizationsp. 153
Revisiting the Start Menup. 154
Taskbar Toolbarsp. 156
Desktop Againp. 158
Refining the StartUp Folderp. 160
Using the Send To Commandp. 162
Navigating with Favoritesp. 164
PowerToysp. 165
Key PowerToys to Considerp. 165
Fine-Tuning with TweakUIp. 167
Active Desktop: The Internet on Your Desktopp. 169
Chapter Endingp. 170
8 Staying Ahead of the Gamep. 173
Ongoing Upgradesp. 174
Know What You Have Installedp. 174
Common Hardware Driver Updatesp. 177
Common Software Upgradesp. 183
System BIOS Upgradesp. 187
Tracking Down Upgradesp. 188
Finding Manufacturersp. 188
Third-Party Upgrade Trackersp. 190
Finding Browser Upgradesp. 192
Windows Operating System Upgradesp. 193
Tracking Down Flash BIOS Upgradesp. 193
Installing Upgrades on Your Systemp. 194
Storing Downloaded Updatesp. 194
Updating Peripheral Driversp. 196
Updating Your Browserp. 198
Updating Windows Itselfp. 199
Updating the System BIOSp. 202
Chapter Endingp. 205
III Avoiding Problemsp. 207
9 Preparing for Disasterp. 209
Creating Rescue Disksp. 210
Creating and Using Windows Startup Disksp. 212
Crash Preventionp. 214
Virus Scanning and Protectionp. 216
Virus Overviewp. 217
Performing a Full System Scanp. 218
Routine Scanningp. 219
Testing Your Antivirus Toolp. 222
Chapter Endingp. 224
10 Good Habits for a Trouble-Free Systemp. 225
Logging Maintenance, Performance, and Upgrade Infop. 225
Implementing an Ongoing Maintenance Regimenp. 228
Dust and Heat Abatementp. 228
Electrical Spikes and Low Voltagesp. 229
Backing Upp. 230
Ongoing Disk Cleanupp. 230
Task Schedulerp. 232
Booting in Other Modesp. 234
Safe Mode at Startupp. 234
Booting from a Floppy Diskp. 237
Using MSCONFIG and TweakUI to Control Startupp. 237
Low-Level Utilitiesp. 239
Chapter Endingp. 242
11 Backing Upp. 243
Backup Mediap. 244
Hard Diskp. 245
Making a Second Hard Disk the Boot Drivep. 245
Two IDE Drivesp. 246
Two SCSI Drivesp. 246
SCSI and IDE Drivesp. 247
Making a Hard Disk Bootablep. 247
Removable Mediap. 249
Tapep. 250
What to Back Up and Whenp. 252
Making Practical Backupsp. 254
Full Backupsp. 255
Incremental Backupsp. 256
Backing Up Windowsp. 257
Automating the Processp. 258
Chapter Endingp. 259
12 Cleaning Upp. 261
Organizing and Cleaning Up Your Hard Diskp. 261
A Cleanup Checklistp. 262
Finding Files Fastp. 266
Sources of Wasted Space on Your Hard Drivep. 267
Windows 98 Disk Cleanup Toolp. 271
Defragmenting Your Hard Diskp. 272
Defragmenting Is Optimizingp. 272
How to Defragment with the Disk Defragmenterp. 273
Automating the Processp. 273
Chapter Endingp. 276
13 Security at Work and at Homep. 277
Employee Proofingp. 278
Giving Them Access to Only What They Needp. 279
Securing Your Important Stuff from Themp. 279
Monitoring and Disabling Web Usagep. 280
PGP: What Is It and Why Do I Need It?p. 283
Child Proofingp. 286
Giving Them Access to Only What They Needp. 287
Securing Your Important Stuff from Themp. 288
Monitoring and Disabling Web Usagep. 288
Security and Administrationp. 289
How Far Do You Need to Go?p. 290
Practical Security Measuresp. 290
Administering a Secure PCp. 291
Chapter Endingp. 292
IV Choosing More Softwarep. 293
14 Deciding on Common Applicationsp. 295
Must-Have Softwarep. 296
Word Processor: Microsoft Wordp. 296
Getting the Latest Versionp. 297
Customizing Where Your Documents Are Savedp. 298
Maximizing Word's Most Recently Used File Listp. 299
Personalizing Word's Master Templatep. 299
Using Smart Cut and Pastep. 300
Optimizing File Save Optionsp. 301
Customizing Word's Toolbarsp. 302
Changing Your User Preferencesp. 303
Spreadsheet: Microsoft Excelp. 304
Using AutoEntryp. 306
Always Create Backupp. 306
Changing Your User Preferencesp. 307
Page Breaksp. 308
Email: Software Galorep. 308
Mouse: Microsoft IntelliMouse and IntelliPointp. 309
File Compression: Nico Mak's WinZipp. 310
Other Applications to Considerp. 311
Viewing Files: Quick Viewp. 311
Making Presentations: PowerPointp. 311
Database: Microsoft Accessp. 312
Graphics: PaintShop Prop. 312
Choosing and Evaluating Applicationsp. 312
Chapter Endingp. 314
15 Learning, Education, and Gamingp. 315
Education for the Kidsp. 315
Education for the Adultsp. 318
The Instant Expert Methodp. 320
Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Your Selected Topicp. 320
Browse Through Newsgroups Associated with This Topicp. 321
Use the Internet Directoriesp. 322
Browse Discussion Boardsp. 322
Search for Discussion Boards on the Internetp. 323
Booksp. 323
Gamingp. 324
Chapter Endingp. 325
16 Managing Devices and Device Driversp. 327
What IRQs Mean to Youp. 328
Peripherals and Switchboxesp. 331
Monitors--The Essential Peripheralp. 332
Monitor Positionp. 332
Multiple Monitorsp. 332
Printersp. 333
Faster Peripheral Portsp. 333
High Performance Serial Bus--Firewirep. 334
USB Portsp. 334
Enhanced Parallel Portsp. 335
Networking to Share Peripheralsp. 336
Chapter Endingp. 338
V Using the Internetp. 339
17 Making Internet Connectionsp. 341
Choosing an ISPp. 341
Types of ISPsp. 342
ISP Featuresp. 344
Emailp. 346
Reliabilityp. 348
Choosing a Modemp. 350
What You'll Need to Knowp. 352
Connection Typep. 352
Chapter Endingp. 354
18 Choosing Internet Applicationsp. 355
Practical Emailp. 356
Microsoft Outlook Expressp. 357
Microsoft Outlookp. 358
Netscape Messengerp. 359
Eudora Light and Eudora Prop. 359
Pegasus Mailp. 360
Email Client Features at a Glancep. 360
Email Netiquettep. 361
Browsingp. 362
Other Browsersp. 364
Operap. 364
Lynxp. 365
Neoplanetp. 366
Do-It-Yourself, Agents, and Offline Browsingp. 366
Subscriptionsp. 367
Agent Applicationsp. 367
Web Publishing and Developmentp. 368
Must-Have Browser Add-ins and Plug-insp. 369
Adobe Acrobatp. 370
QuickTime by Applep. 371
Shockwave and Flash by Macromediap. 371
RealAudio and RealVideop. 371
Searching the Webp. 371
Directoriesp. 372
Search Enginesp. 372
Chapter Endingp. 374
VI Recovering from Disasterp. 375
19 Recovering from a PC Disasterp. 377
Software Problemsp. 377
General Protection Faultsp. 378
Operating System Problemsp. 383
Unwanted Applications at Startupp. 385
Recovering from a Virusp. 387
Hardware Problemsp. 387
Steps to Takep. 388
Printer Won't Printp. 389
Hard Disk Crashesp. 389
DLL/Driver Problemsp. 393
Driver Conflict Checklistp. 393
Troubleshooting DLL Problemsp. 394
Chapter Endingp. 396
20 Taming Technical Supportp. 397
Contacting Your PC's Manufacturer to Get Helpp. 397
Using Knowledge Bases to Get Helpp. 401
Using the Internet to Get Helpp. 403
Communicating with a Manufacturerp. 403
Newsgroupsp. 403
Going Online to Find FAQs, Help, Support Centers, and Web-based Troubleshootingp. 404
Using the Phone to Get Help--A Checklistp. 405
Chapter Endingp. 408
VII Appendixesp. 409
A Glossaryp. 411
B Resource Directoryp. 419
Computer Companiesp. 419
Education and Gamesp. 420
Emailp. 423
Ergonomics and RSIp. 423
Hardwarep. 424
Internetp. 428
Miscellaneousp. 431
Newsletters and Publicationsp. 432
Searching the Webp. 434
Software Utilitiesp. 436
Supportp. 440
Virus, Bugs, and Securityp. 443
C Further Readingsp. 447
Part I Acquiring Your New PCp. 447
Part II Making the PC Yoursp. 448
Part III Avoiding Problemsp. 449
Part IV Choosing More Softwarep. 449
Part V Using the Internetp. 450
Part VI Recovering from Disasterp. 450
D Important Documentsp. 451
Application Helpp. 451
Browsersp. 452
Computersp. 453
Hardwarep. 453
World Wide Webp. 454
Indexp. 457