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Old Site Updates - April 2000
April 17, 2000:
- Hard Disk Geometry Section Overhaul: I have rewritten and expanded the
second of the six main Hard Disk Reference sections: Geometry and Low-Level Data Structures. This rewrite
wasn't as extensive as the previous section but several new pages were added, as were many
illustrations and diagrams. Please let me know what you think
of this update, if you think such improvements are worthwhile to you.
- Small System Case Updates: I made a few small changes to the System Case section of the Reference Guide.
- Graphics Streamlining: I reduced the file size of several of the larger
graphic images on the site to make them load faster.
- Minor Updates: Fixed small problems, typos and errors in various
April 12, 2000:
April 10, 2000:
- Merchant Account Help Needed: If any of you can provide me with a
recommendation for a good credit card merchant account company, I'd be grateful.
The outrageous fees that I am being charged for everything associated with my current
account, combined with poor customer service and out-of-date software, have finally gotten
the best of me. I need a company that will let me take all major credit cards, charge me
reasonable fees and treat me somewhat reasonably. I also need Windows 9x software to let
me enter transactions. If you know of someone reliable that can help me with this,
please let me know. Thanks.
April 9, 2000:
- Dead Hardware Update: Thanks to all of you who have responded to my
call for dead hardware. Just as an update, after I receive the units due from those who
have already contacted me, I will be all set on hard disk drives, CD-ROM drives and power
supplies. What I still need are a variety of different CPUs, RAM, motherboards and similar
system components. If you're willing to donate an item that is either dead or obsolete and
unwanted (I'll cover shipping) or trade it for a CD-ROM of the site, or something along
those lines, I'd be grateful. Please e-mail me to
let me know what you have and I'll reply back to let you know if I need it. Many thanks!
April 3, 2000:
- Wanted Still: Dead Hardware! I'm still looking for donations or trades
of obsolete or non-functional hardware. I am trying to build a collection of different
hardware components and pieces, particularly internal components. CPUs, motherboards,
memory modules and chips, CD-ROM drives, removable storage, video cards, power supplies,
etc. If you're willing to donate an item that is either dead or obsolete and unwanted
(I'll cover shipping) or trade it for a CD-ROM of the site, or something along those
lines, I'd be grateful. Please e-mail me to let me
know what you have and I'll reply back to let you know if I need it. Many thanks! Note
that due to high shipping costs I am not looking for cases or whole systems.
- Hard Disk Construction and Operation Overhaul: Most of the last several
weeks have been spent on a complete rewrite and expansion of the first of the main Hard Disk Reference sections: Construction and Operation.
It would be pointless to list all the changes here, but I added over 20 new pages, added
new section on the hard disk cache, form factors, cooling, retail vs OEM packaging, servo
operation (plus many more), and added over 50 photos and illustrations to the material. Check it out here. Please let
me know what you think of this update, if you think such improvements are worthwhile
- Hard Disk History Section Added: For completeness, I added a small
section called A Brief History of the Hard Disk Drive.
There you will find a few pages discussing the origins of the hard disk, a list of early
key technological advances, and a discussion of important hard disk trends.
- PC Fundamentals Section Added: I noticed as I was working on this
update that there are many topics related to PCs that aren't specific to any one PC
component. Since the site is organized by component, I was repeating the same descriptions
of these concepts and subcomponents in many different places, and in an effort to save
time and space, doing so poorly. To rectify this situation I have created within the Introduction to the PC a new section called PC Fundamentals. This will be a repository for various
articles that explore some of the basic concepts and components that are commonly used all
over the PC. Since most of what is in these pages is important enough to those new to PCs
to justify proper explanation, but familiar to those experienced with PCs, having this
material on separate, thorough, easily-bypassed pages is the best of both worlds (at
least, I hope it is!)
- PayPal Now Accepted: I now accept online payments for Disk Edition
orders using PayPal.com. I have updated the Disk Edition pages accordingly. See here for more details.
- Small Updates to Power Supply and Case Sections: I made a few small
changes to the Reference Guide sections on power
supplies and system cases, based on some feedback
and a couple of things I realized I had omitted. Nothing too major.
- Graphics Quality Update: I have replaced many of the pictures that
appeared on the site during my update of about wo months ago, with new, high-quality shots
that I took with a high-resolution digital camera. Most of these updates are in the PC Fundamentals section as well as the Reference Guide
sections on power supplies and system cases. I also added several new photos and
- Great File Utility: There's a function not available in standard
Windows that I need to do all the time: bulk renames of files and similar manipulation.
Fortunately there is a cool shareware tool called Directory Toolkit, by Funduc Software, that will do the trick. I use this
program for adding patterns to large groups of files, renaming or renumbering files,
comparing directory contents and so on. It's free for 30 days.
- Great Explorer Replacement: Another nifty utility I use sometimes as a
Windows Explorer replacement is the OnTrack PowerDesk Utility. It has a number of neat
features, including a cool customizable toolbar, performance monitor, dual-pane windows
for file copies, file viewer and more. And you can get a free
download of the program here!
- New Hard Disk Information Link: I added a link to ATA-ATAPI.COM, Hale Landis's site, with lots
of information on the ATA/IDE interface and associated standards, plus related topics.
- New Reference Link: I added a link to Hogan Productions, a very useful site that
contains hundreds of technical books available for free perusal online.
- Minor Updates: Fixed some links, corrected some errors, ya da ya da.
It's amazing to me that I and others are still finding typos in material I wrote in 1997.
Site Updates - March 2000
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