PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 36

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Hello everybody,

In case you're wondering, I'm not blind :-)

The eyelid surgery went fine and the stitches have been removed.  I still have a little swelling but that's about it.

Amy is not so excited about her pink cast anymore.  She already wants it off.

Since Diablo II just came out we've been really busy playing it non-stop.  We just finished 12 hours today.  We both think it's a great game.  NOTE:  We both had to update both our video and sound drivers just to get it to play.  A lot of people are complaining about problems with DVD-ROMs.  Amy has one and hasn't had any problems game-wise.

My new pup "Milo" is doing great.  The house-breaking is coming along and he knows his name now.  We had to try 3 food bowls before he was willing to eat from a bowl...weird huh?

The new Nvidia Geforce 2 video card is now out.  I'm drooling for one of the 64 meg DDR ram versions.  But at $419 I think it might be a while.

A new poll is up.  This is the first question (and answers) from a subscriber!  Please keep those questions (and answers) coming.

I recently spec'ed out a 'puter for a subscriber, and boy was I surprised!  I haven't looked at parts since last Christmas and while I new that prices would go down...I was very surprised to see the problems Intel has created with "Rambus" memory.  256 megs of SDRAM PC133 ECC is around $350 today.  That's the best SDRAM you can get.  256 megs of PC800 Rambus ram is about $1380!!!  That just plain hurts!  And the experts I whose stuff I read say that Rambus isn't any better!

Of course, if you want an Intel chipset on your motherboard you'd better plan on not going past a P-III 700 CPU.  While there are a couple of Intel server boards on the market, they'd be overkill for the average user.

At this time I can't recommend a non-Intel chipset at all.  I've heard to many horror stories about AGP and Ultra 66 conflicts to suggest them at this time.  Add to the fact that I'm pro Intel for CPU's and we have a real problem.  I'm hoping to go to a 1 gig CPU in the next 6 months or so and I'm afraid that these problems may not be fixed by then.

In case you didn't read the Microsoft article mentioned in my last newsletter, Windows ME (aka Millie) is to release Sept 14th.  For those of you that aren't sure if it's worth the upgrade or not,  I promise I'll be on it hot and heavy right away!  As soon as I beat it up a bit I'll let you all know what I think.  At this point all that I've read says it's a no brainer....that it's a must have upgrade for everyone.  We'll see...

If any of you folks are planning to get new parts for your 'puter feel free to email me if you'd like my opinions.

Amy has a new page up at "Amy's Corner..


Please take a look when you get the chance.  If you like what you read be sure to let Amy know at amy@putergeek.com

Now on with the good stuff!


From the Win Letter www.winmag.com


Finally. By the end of the summer, we'll be able to burn DVDs at our
desktop computers, and play them anywhere that DVDs work -- even on
our TVs (assuming what we've burned is video content, of course).

This has been a particularly long time coming. Some of it is the
technology required to write 4-plus GB of data accurately on a
removable platter. Some of it was wrangling among all the companies
that needed to get on board to assure an interoperable standard. But
nonetheless, before the Fall you can expect to see the first DVD-RAM
drives available for sale.

What about media, you say? Well, it'll probably be pretty expensive
for a while -- like in the $25 per disc range.

What of DVD+RW -- the rewritable DVD? Don't hold your breath. Despite
two years in development, the industry group that's developing it
says they're still about a year away from product.

From the Win Insider www.winmag.com


Well it's here, at last. Yesterday, the final version of Windows
Me arrived from Microsoft, and all day Thursday I prepared and
installed to my first Windows Me Gold test machine. It went very
well. I'll keep you posted on what I learn. And in future, I'll
explain how I install it so as to leave myself maximum back-out

In the meantime, Microsoft is making with the Web content on
Windows Me at last. Check out the new Windows Me Web site:


You'll find System Requirements:


(Pentium 150, 32MB RAM, 320MB free disk space), as well as a
bunch of sell-copy about the features.

It's time to tell you about the Winmag.com review of Windows Me.
Unlike a lot of our competitors, we've been waiting for the final
code. And we're going to take our time putting it through its
paces. At Winmag.com, Dave Methvin, Serdar Yegulalp, Phil
Albinus, John Woram, and I are working on our Windows Me
coverage. Expect the best.

In the meantime, if you want the most honest coverage around,
double check Winmag.com's Win-Me Beta 3 and Beta 2 special
reports, as well as our Windows Media Player 7 Guided Tour:


--- What I Think of Windows Me ---
As a sort of precursor to the final analysis you'll find in
Winmag.com's upcoming review of Windows Me, here's what I
honestly think about the new operating system: There's nothing
compelling about it. But there are many smaller pieces that you
might admire.

My favorite feature is System File Protection, which really will
help with the whole .DLL Hell thing. But we've lived with this
problem for so long, what's another few months? That's what I
recommend to you: Wait for a while. The changes to the way DOS
works, the limited driver set, and $89 charge for the what isn't
a major upgrade of Windows 98 leave me feeling a little

I'm also leery of the AutoUpdate feature. I'm not personally
impressed with the quality of Microsoft's patches and updates,
and in particular, the importance that they place on them. Most
of the "critical" updates aren't worth shoveling onto your
computer. The notion that this would happen automatically (even
if I can turn it off if I want) doesn't thrill me. Don't get me
wrong, I like online updating, but it's only as good as the code
in the pipe. And that's been my problem with Windows Update.

There are several more useful changes in this version of Windows
than Windows 98 Second Edition. System Restore is one of them.
Windows Imaging Architecture (WIA) should make scanning a better
proposition (but only if you have a WIA-compatible scanner).
Windows MovieMaker is a useful tool for cataloging and refining
home movies and digital still pictures. I'm very impressed with
Windows Media Player 7, and hope it's more stable in its final
trim. The whole digital media area could be a reason to make this
upgrade sooner rather than later if these applications are
important to you. Windows Media Player 7 will be separately and
freely downloadable, though.

I have mixed feelings about the minor changes to the interface.
The new networking features make sense, but I wonder if they're
not going to cause more trouble than they're worth. I really hate
that you can't click the "Views" button on the Explorer toolbar
to toggle between the Explorer window views any longer. Little
stuff like that will annoy you in bigger ways than you might
expect. Personalized menus. Changes to the FORMAT.COM, SYS.COM,
and FDISK.EXE programs. Lack of Restart to MS-DOS Mode, or
booting to a command prompt from the Windows boot menu. DOS isn't
dead in Windows Me, it's just that there's a lot less than you
can do with it.

>From my perspective, there's a lot of good changes, and there's
also some bad changes. It will probably be a more reliable
Windows (although only time will tell there). I'd hang back, let
the driver issues sort themselves out. Then do a clean install
once you're ready.

--- Who Needs Windows Me? ---

QUESTION: Who needs another version of Windows 98 with just some
more junk added to it? I will not let Bill Gates push crap on me; 
I'll wait for a completely rewritten version without DOS. --Paul

ANSWER: If you want a completely rewritten version without DOS,
than that's behind Door Number 2, and it's called Windows 2000.
Wait not longer. Also, don't wait for anything beyond Windows Me.
It's the end of the road for 9.x. Windows Me does not mark the
end of the road for consumer-oriented Windows, however. The next
version of Windows 2000, code-named Whistler, and supposedly due
next year (don't hold your breath), will graft Windows Me's
consumer orientation onto a version of Windows 2000. Or at least
that was the plan, last we heard. There's also supposedly to be
some serious user-interface revision with that version of

--- How Upgrades Windows Me? ---

QUESTION: I'm thinking about getting Windows Me when it comes out
but have heard that it doesn't boot to a command prompt and is
not a bootable CD like Win98SE. I like to do clean installs of
any operating system; I'm wondering how you install it that way.
Could you use an emergency boot disk from Win98SE to start the
computer then load WinME from there? --Harry Clark

ANSWER: The Win-Me disc was supposed to be bootable if your PC
supports booting CDs. But perhaps that doesn't apply to the
Retail version, because the Gold Win-Me CD I received this week
is not bootable. The upgrade version of Windows Me works pretty
much exactly as Windows 98's did, so, yes, you could use a Win98
EBD and start the install from there. The problems/changes with
the way Win-Me handles DOS only happen after you install it. They
are not major problems. They are minor problems. One thing: Be
SURE to create a Win-Me emergency boot disk. That's more
imperative with this operating system than any other previous

From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

IE 5.5 Minimal, Typical, and Full Install Options


"This article lists the components that are installed with the Minimal, Typical, and Full installation options in Internet Explorer 5.5 for Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition. It refers to a Beta release of a Microsoft product; the information in this article is provided as-is and is subject to change without notice." Here's what may be in store, folks.

Slow Performance Accessing Files May Slow Office Programs
Unearthed by Daniel Boyd


"A Windows 2000-based computer that is running Microsoft Office programs that use hyperlinks to access resources on another computer may operate more slowly than in previous versions of Windows. This behavior occurs only in Office programs that use hyperlinks to access remote files. This information does not apply to standard file performance over the network or on the local computer."

Well, that's it for now...

Peter Crockett - webmaster
website: http://www.putergeek.com
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com
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Last Revised: 10/23/2000