[ The PC Guide | Site Guide | Version History
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Old Site Updates - February 1998
February 21, 1998, 8:30 pm EST:
- Smaller Update: Unfortunately, after the large number of changes last
weekend, I wasn't able to do nearly as much this time around. I've come down with some
sort of strange bug that has knocked me for a major loop for the last few days.
- Secure Credit Card Page: I have completed a secure page for processing Disk Edition credit card orders, as promised. The order
process is the same as before, in that you email to initiate the order, but you don't have
to send credit card info over unsecured email any longer. This feature is what
necessitated the server move earlier in the week.
- Lockergnome Link: I added a link to Lockergnome, a popular Windows 95/98/NT
newsletter containing lots of useful information on the popular Windows operating systems
and related topics in each issue. Lockergnome featured The PC Guide in its most recent
- BIOS Pages Updated: I updated the pages dealing with the System BIOS, including the pages discussing BIOS
settings. This took quite a bit of time to go through.
February 18, 1998, 11:15 pm EST:
- Server Move Completed: After some difficulties, the server move has
been completed. Sorry for any temporary interruptions you may have encountered.
- The PC Guide Featured on Lockergnome Online: Thanks to Chris Pirillo of
Lockergnome Online for including The PC
Guide in this week's "GnomeFavorites Folder". Welcome to all my new Lockergnome
readers; please enjoy your stay.
February 16, 1998, 11:30 pm EST:
- Server Move Update: Due to "technical difficulties" the
server move I mentioned yesterday did not happen. It will happen on Tuesday at around
noon. There shouldn't be any problems, but again, it's possible. Apologies in advance for
February 15, 1998, 8:00 pm EST:
- Server Move: The PC Guide will be changing servers on
Monday, February 16th, sometime in the morning. I am still with pair.com,
and am not changing hosting sites, but rather moving from one internal
machine to another to allow access to services I need that are not offered
on my present machine. There should be no noticeable impact to you who read
the site, though a temporary outage is certainly possible.
(Old email address change stuff removed to defeat spam
- New Advertising Banners and Policy Change: You may notice when perusing
the site that there are now advertising banners at the top of every page on the site. I
have set up an ad banner rotation system to allow me to better obtain sponsorship for the
site, and to prevent the front page from getting too clogged with graphics. In conjunction
with this system, I have removed my "no animation" policy from the site, as I
suspected I might have to do some months ago. As much as I personally dislike animation,
that is the direction that the industry has moved in and I must do the same or be
"left behind". I'll accept flak on this by email if I must :^) but I did make
the change only because I felt it necessary.
- Advertising Information Page: I had to add more information to the Site Guide as a result of the new banner rotation system mentioned
above. The Site Information page was starting to get rather
cramped, so I have moved the advertising information to a new Advertising
Information page. Some of you who have sent me kind words in the past may find your
comments there (anonymously, of course). If for some reason this causes anyone grief, let
me know and I'll remove your comments (I didn't think anyone would mind, but I could be
- Semper Fi: I am pleased to announce that the United States Marine
Corp's Communication-Electronics School has selected The PC
Guide Disk Edition as a supplemental reference material for use by graduates of its
Microcomputer Repair Course. If your organization could benefit from the use of the Disk
Edition, please feel free to contact me.
- Gold and Tin: I made a correction to the section discussing memory module metals to better discuss which modules
come in gold and which in tin. I had said that DIMMs were almost always tin, and that's
not the case--DIMMs use gold contacts. I made a short bullet list to clarify things.
- Ultra ATA Drives Will Work: Probably the single most frequently asked
question I see regarding hard disks is: "Will my new Ultra ATA hard disk drive work
in an older system that doesn't support Ultra ATA?" The answer is almost always
"Yes", and I have added notes to this effect to my pages on IDE/ATA Standards and Feature Sets, and IDE/ATA Transfer Modes and Protocols.
- New Driver Page Link: I added a link to The Driver Zone. This is a very nice site for
locating drivers, with URLs of various company driver pages organized by component type.
- New 3D Video Link: I added a link to 3D Now. This is a nice new site
that focuses specifically on 3D graphics cards. Lots of news on 3D cards and companies.
- Reference Pages on Power Revised: I have gone through and updated the
Reference Guide pages on Power, covering both External
Power and The Power Supply.
- Reference Pages on Motherboards Revised: I have revised the Reference
Guide pages on The Motherboard. This includes a
new section discussing the new NLX motherboard
form factor, which is designed to replace LPX for use in small economy PCs. I have
also, as part of this update, changed my tone to reflect the fact that ATX is now
overtaking AT as the most popular mainstream form factor. I also updated the motherboard form factor comparison table.
I also revised the page on case form factors to include
a reference to the section on NLX. There are numerous other sections that were overhauled,
including ones on motherboard capacitors, I/O bus slots, etc.
- Reference Pages on System Buses Revised: I went through and revised the
Reference Guide pages on System Buses. This
included adding more information on AGP, talking about ISA's alleged demise (Intel and
Microsoft want to get rid of it), and several other updates and corrections.
- Reference Pages on System Cache Revised: I made many minor changes to
the pages discussing the System Cache.
- More Linx: As I update pages as part of my "Spring Cleaning",
I add extra cross-links between pages and to external sites.
February 13, 1998, 10:00 pm EST:
- Server Outage: Apologies to anyone who had problems accessing the site
earlier today. I have been working with my provider, pair
networks, on a server move, which was supposed to happen today but didn't. This
move will now happen on Monday, and I'll be posting more details on this tomorrow.
February 7, 1998, 10:00 pm EST:
- Single Channel Attachment Information Added: I heavily modified the
page on SCSI Configuration and Cabling to
include a section on Single Connector Attachment
(SCA). This is a special 80-pin connection protocol for SCSI drives that allows hot
swapping in high-end systems. Drives using this interface are starting to pop up and some
people are getting them thinking they will work with standard 68-pin Wide SCSI cables; in
fact, an adapter is needed.
- Windows NT FAT Partitions Modification: I modified the page discussing Hard Disk Size Barriers to reflect the fact that
Windows NT supports 4 GB FAT partitions (DOS and other flavors of Windows max out at 2
- PC Interrupt Mapping Page Adjusted: I added information to the section
on PCI Internal Interrupts,
mentioning the limit of four IRQs for PCI devices.
- Benchmark Resources Link: I added a link to Benchmark Resources. This is a neat web
site that covers most aspects of processor and system performance, and includes a good
listing of related links as well.
- AMD K6 Site Link: I added a link to the AMD-K6 Appreciation Center. As the name
implies, this is a nice site with lots of information on AMD processors.
- Site Guide Revised: I have gone through and updated the pages of the Site Guide. I changed a few things that were out of date and made a
few corrections. This is part of my "Spring Cleaning" endeavor.
- Introduction Revised: I went through the small Introduction to the PC section and cleaned up a couple of
- System Case Reference Pages Revised: I revised the Reference Guide
pages covering the System Case, also as part of my
February 1, 1998, 3:00 pm EST:
- Snazzy? :^) Well, as you can probably see at the top of the page, my
new logo is up. Thanks go to Robert
Stack, the winner of the Graphics Contest, as well as to all of the others who
- Your Help Requested: Well, it was inevitable, and in fact I am
surprised it hasn't happened before now. I have found a web site using copyrighted
material from The PC Guide without permission (in fact, altered to make it appear as
original material). My site has a lot of information on it, and with offering it for free
on the Web comes the risk that the unscrupulous will copy portions. Plagiarism hurts
everyone; if you happen to come across material that you feel may be copied from The PC
Guide without authorization or without the source being attributed, please let me know. I
will keep all such notifications in strict confidence. (By the way, I will not reveal the
name of the site, so please don't email me asking.)
- "Spring Cleaning" Begins: One of my goals in creating The PC
Guide was to ensure that the information on it was kept up to date. Some of the pages are
starting to become a little dated. Due to the large amount of information on the site, I
need to review everything on it regularly and update pages that are no longer current. I
have now started to go through the entire site, page by page, to identify stale
information, and fix bugs and inaccuracies. I will also be adding information on some new
technologies I may have missed. My goal is to have all the pages revised and updated by
the middle of March, at which time I will update the Disk
- Main Pages and Disk Edition Pages Revised: I have gone through these
pages and made minor changes to them, as part of my "spring cleaning" effort
- Cache Characteristics Page Revised: I made a couple of changes to the
page discussing cache characteristics, to clarify some imprecise terminology.
- Monochrome Screen Attributes: I changed the discussion of local bus
concepts on the System Bus Functions and
Features page. I said that monochrome 80x25 text displays required 2,000 bytes; really
they require 4,000 because I forgot about the screen attributes (bold, underline,
Site Updates - January 1998
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