Compact Disc - Facts and Complete Do's and Donts

The maximum a floppy disk can contain is 1.44 MB. To play a game with around 200 MB you are stuck with 100 over diskettes. The CD-ROM is a revolutionary invention that allows up to 625 MB at one time. However, it is read only, which means you can't store in anything.

Buttons Fun

Although most CD-ROMs comes with only 2 buttons, do you know you can also skip, play previous track and play the next track as well with a proper combination? Check properly on your instruction manual for additional functions. You just might be surprised what it can do.

Clean Thoroughly

It is important to clean the CR-ROM at least once every month. Get a CD lens cleaner. If possible, choose one with an alcohol solution drop. This should ensure that your CD-ROM will always be able to read properly.

Clean You CDs

It is just as important to clean your CDs often. Why? Because if you have a speck of dust on the surface of one of your CDs, once spinning at high-speed in the drive, the speck of dust is enough to produce scratches on your precious CD.

Running In DOS

One of the common problems with CD-ROMs is unable to access it under DOS. This might be because the protected-mode CD-ROM driver isn't available. You'll need to add the real-mode device driver, usually included with your CD-ROM drive, in CONFIG.SYS and load MSCDEX.EXE, which is available in the Windows\Command folder. You should also make sure both files are on your startup disk.

Run List

Like those cool expensive hi-fi systems, you can customize the run list of your Audio CD, only not with the CD-ROM itself. Use Windows' CD player to customize the run list and you can have your CD running in any track order you like.

Read Ahead

The read ahead buffer is useful to speed up things. Go to Control Panel, System. Click on the Performance tab. Click on the File System... button. On the File System Properties, click on CD-ROM. Make sure you have the fullest cache. Even if you have a CD-ROM with less than Quad speed, just move ahead. You'll be surprised to find your CD-ROM running faster.

Graphic Card Troubleshooting Tips

The graphic card is one of the most important pieces of hardware in your PC. Without it, your super monitor with all the bells and whistles is just a junk box.

Make Directional Input

Most video cards come with simple frame capture programs, but you'll have to do some programming if you plan to integrate video capture with other operations on your computer, such as adding text data as an overlay or changing video-in channels on the fly. In this case you'll need good programming libraries in a language with which you are familiar for the video card. Some companies include libraries with their cards, but most charge extra. Most often libraries, when available, are for C or BASIC, and sometimes Pascal.

Choose Between 24 bit and 32 bit

For True Color mode, some graphic cards offer 24 bit while some offer 32 bit. Which is the best? When True Colour mode was first suggested, it utilizes 32 bit which was very pleasing to the eye, they realize that 24 (with less coolers) won't look much different since the human eye can only take about a certain amount of colors. On the other hand, 24 bit will run faster compared to 32 bit because it uses less colors. So if your card utilizes 24 bit, don't worry, it isn't bad.

Always Use The Latest Drivers

Yes, it is important to make sure you always have the latest drivers. The latest drivers will offer you better performance, more utilities and more compatibility (usually for DirectX or Direct3D). Take the effort to check you card manufacturer's site to look for the latest driver updates.

Change Owner of Computer

Are you going to sell your computer to someone else, and do not want to have your personal information stored on it? Well, you have plenty of other steps, but here is how you change the registered owner of the computer.

* open the registry edit (start, run, regedit)
* navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT] and then to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\CurrentVersion]
* Change the keys for RegisteredOwner and RegisteredOrganization

Turn off Thumbnails

This will speed up navigating folders, but you wont see little thumbnails of images. I personally like the icons, but it can slow things down.

* Control panel
* User Configuration
* Administrative Templates
* Windows Components
* Windows Explorer
* Setting turn off the display of thumbnails and only display icons.