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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 3, 2000

Upgrade RAM before upgrading IE

Q. I am running a Pentium 133 with 16 megabytes of memory and Internet Explorer 3.1. I have CDs for IE 4.0 (Preview) and IE 5.0. I need one or the other. I heard that either might cause a slowdown. Which should I use? Should I wait to upgrade speed and RAM, since advances seem to be coming rapidly?

A. If you consider that IE 5.0 will take approximately 10 megabytes of RAM to load, and Windows 95 requires about 12 megabytes of RAM before it starts to page, you're starting off in the hole. Paging is where portions of RAM (memory) are written to your hard drive as a virtual extension of your physical RAM. When this information is needed again, it has to be paged back from disk into RAM. This process can be very slow for a system with only 16 MB of RAM. My recommendation is for you to upgrade to at least 64 MB of RAM. Check your documentation to find out what kind and what configurations are compatible with your system.

Outlook Express printing

Q. We have four machines (different makes) that cannot print an e-mail message. All four are using Outlook Express. We have tried every manner of printing, and cannot get the normal printing dialog screen to appear and no message goes to the printer.

A. According to Microsoft, this can occur after upgrading to Internet Explorer 5 without also choosing to upgrade Outlook Express from version 4 to 5. The best solution is to upgrade Outlook Express 4 to version 5. An article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base -- "Q171229 How to Add and Remove Internet Explorer Components" ( -- provides details on how to update the Outlook Express component.

Wheel Mouse drivers

Q. I reinstalled Windows 95 and since have been unable to use my Wheel Mouse. On three occasions (with two different floppies), the same thing happened. The computer tells me that it is successfully installed, but when I reboot, Windows freezes and I am forced to go to Safe Mode to uninstall the software.

A. Go to and download the latest version of the drivers. You will need to have your original Intellipoint diskette as proof of ownership when you install.

Address book printing

Q. I checked out your instructions for printing the address book for Outlook Express. It works "kinda/sorta." The data is there, but it's sort of a mishmash. It's not easy to read when you dump an unformatted CSV (comma separated values) file into NotePad. I found it much simpler to open Outlook Express and then go to File/Print, which then presents me with the option of printing all or part of the address book in one of three different neatly structured formats: Memo, Business Card or Phone List. Why wouldn't you prefer to do that as well?

A. Actually that was one of my first answers when this subject came up in the column several months ago. Many wrote in saying this was either too much or not enough. The CSV file is best used when it is subsequently pulled into Excel or Access or some other application that understands CSV formats and will allow you to customize to a format that suits your needs.

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