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Old Site Updates - July 1999
July 25, 1999:
- Doin' The Splits: I described in the July 4th update my ongoing process
of splitting up the pages on the site to provide room for expanded text and graphics
coverage. I have now completed splitting up the remainder of the Systems and Components Reference Guide.
- Small Navigation Addition: Each of the split pages that now features
the new hierarchical navigation at the top of the page, also has a "home" link
labeled simply "The PC Guide". This will help those who enter the site from
another site's link figure out where they are!
- Small Changes: I fixed up several small problems on the site, as usual,
I never seem to run out of these. I also removed some dead links.
- Got An Older CD-ROM? I have a friend whose CD-ROM just gave up the
ghost, and I'd like to try to replace it on the cheap. The needs here are modest.. I know
many of you upgrade and may have a perfectly good older (8X or 12X or so) IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM
kicking around. If you have an older drive that you don't need but you are sure is in
perfect working order, please drop me a line if
you're willing to sell it inexpensively. (Please bear in mind that brand new, 40X and
faster drives go for $50.)
- Upcoming: I am now working hard on updating several rather out of date
sections on the site. The next update will feature a revamped Power reference section.
Then I will likely switch to the Hard Disk reference material, which is quite a lot of
material, and from there go to Motherboards and CPUs. I will be adding graphics to these
pages much as I did the System Case guide.
July 4, 1999:
- Happy Fourth! Happy Independence Day to all my American readers!
- The Big Split Up: Since its inception, The PC Guide has used a
structure where each of the content pages is relatively long and has several bookmarks.
This design means that pages take a long time to load, can be relatively difficult to
navigate, and require a lot of scrolling. For these and other reasons, I have decided to
split up these long pages into multiple, more manageable chunks. This also provides me the
space I need to add graphics to these pages (see below). I have completed this process for
the Disk Edition, Site Guide, Articles and Editorials, Introduction
and System Case Reference Guide sections. I will
continue this process in subsequent updates until I cover the entire site. Note that due
to how the site has been designed, this change does not invalidate any bookmarks you may
have into the site. Let me know what you think of
- Navigation Improvement: As I split up pages I am adding a hierarchical
navigation aid at the top of each content page. This navigation aid shows you immediately,
on every content page, where you are in the hierarchy, to help reduce the feeling of being
"lost in the structure" that some readers have reported. You can see an example
of this context navigation here. As always,
please let me know if you like this feature.
- Major Graphics Addition: Many of my readers have told me that they
believe in the old maxim: "A picture is worth a thousand words". Since I largely
agree, and since The PC Guide has for the last 18 months had a lot of words but few
pictures, I have begun the process of adding extensive graphics to the site. I added a
picture of a PC system to the Overview page, and added
over 20 photos and annotated diagrams to the System Case
section of the Reference Guide. Do you like these graphics? Do you want to see more?
Please let me know.
- Graphics Sources Sought: Many of the graphics you see on The PC Guide
are courtesy of kind manufacturers who grant me permission to reprint them on the site. I
am on the lookout for additional sources of PC-related diagrams and photographs. If you or
your company have any that you are willing to let me use on the site in exchange for
credit and a return link, please let me know. (Make
sure you are the copyright holder of the images in question; I don't want to get in
- Graphics Software Recommendation: Many of you have heard of this
product before, but I'm going to give it a plug anyway for those who haven't. Paint Shop Pro 5 by Jasc Software is the package I use to create and
edit the graphics you see on the site. It's the best Windows graphics program I've used.
- CD-R Recording Software Recommendation: If you are looking for a good
CD-R recording package for the PC, consider CDRWIN
from Golden Hawk Technology. This package
isn't that well known compared to products from large companies like Adaptec, but in my
opinion it works better than Adaptec's Easy CD Creator for many CD-R functions, especially
creating backup copies of CDs. You can download a free trial copy from Golden Hawk's site.
- Lighter Background: In response to a few people who have been having
trouble reading the site due to its gray background, I have lightened it. You should find
it much easier to read the text now. Note that some browsers may require a
"refresh" in order to display the new background, since it has the same name
that the old one did, to avoid problems. Note also that if you are seeing a blotchy green
or blue pattern on white, this is due to a weird setting in some versions of Netscape
Navigator. Try selecting "Options" under Navigator, choosing "General
Preferences", selecting the "Images" tab, and changing "Choosing
Colors" to "Dither". Then select "OK".
- Server Specs: I have added a page to the site
describing the new dedicated server that is being used to run The PC Guide.
- New Independent Hardware Site Link: I added a link to 3D Rage, a nice, frequently-updated site
covering the latest in hardware and 3D gaming.
- Another New Independent Hardware Site Link: I added a link to Sharky Extreme. Run by Alex
"Sharky" Ross, this is a very good general hardware site with news and reviews
that is rapidly gaining in popularity.
- Yet Another New Independent Hardware Site Link: I added a link to BK Computing, a new hardware site focusing on
news and reviews.
- Hard Disk Specification Site Link: I added a link to The Tech Page, a site containing specs and
jumper settings for many different types of hard drives.
- Troubleshooting Site Link: I added a link to UK Technical Support. This is a nice
site that contains troubleshooting information for several different specific brands of
- News Site Link: I added a link to SiG
News. This site provides briefs of new articles and happenings in the Internet
- Unusual Site Link: I added a link to Fun Things To Do With A 486.
This is a somewhat whimsical collection of ideas regarding what to do with that old 486
you have kicking around...
- Mebibytes? Thanks to David Douthitt for letting me know about a new IEEE proposal to
create a new naming convention that seeks to eliminate the old binary vs. decimal naming ambiguity. I have added these
proposed names to my table of binary and decimal
- AMD K5 Correction: I had stated that the AMD K5 was a socket 7 processor. A reader pointed out
that some versions also fit in socket 5.
- Troubleshooting Mice: I added a note to the
page discussing troubleshooting mice that addresses another likely cause of a
stuttering mouse pointer: a damaged mouse cord.
- Fixes And Changes: I fixed several small problems, broken links, etc.
Site Updates - June 1999
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