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Internet streaming and what it means

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 16, 2000


Q: Please explain streaming, as in video streaming.

A: Video streaming is the technology that allows video to begin playing while the data is downloading, or streaming, to your computer over the Internet, and before the entire file has downloaded. Streaming video shows fewer frames per second, which results in poorer picture quality. However, the advantage is that you don't have to wait until the file downloads to your PC before viewing it.

Video adapter woes

Q: I receive this error only when I access Yahoo finance Web sites: "IEXPLORE caused general protection fault in module MACXW4.DRV." I upgraded Internet Explorer, tried to use the repair tool within Add/Remove programs, and downgraded to a different version of IE with no luck.

A: MACXW4 is the DirectDraw driver from ATI (which means you have an ATI video adapter). Check ATI's Web site (www.ati.com) to get updated video drivers. You may be able to work around this problem by reducing your video graphics acceleration setting as follows:

1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel and double-click System.

2. Click the Performance tab, then click Graphics.

3. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to one notch from the left (the "Basic accelerator functions" setting).

4. Click OK and click Close.

Changed video settings

Q: I receive a message, "Out of Range," then my screen goes blank. I have to shut off the PC, which has Windows 98, then turn it back on to get it working.

A: This usually is a message displayed by a monitor that has had its settings changed to beyond what it can display, such as resolution, refresh rate or color settings. Why this is happening seemingly without actions by you is unusual. Make sure you have the latest video adapter drivers (check the vendor's Web site) or contact the video monitor vendor to see if there is a defect in the monitor.

Too few system resources

Q: Something is causing me to lose a lot of System Resources. Even after rebooting, it often shows my computer has only 75 percent to 80 percent of free resources. Sometimes it drops to as low as 14 percent free. This causes the computer to slow considerably, and often when copying or pasting, I get the message that there aren't enough resources to perform the task.

A: A range of 70 percent to 80 percent of free resources at startup isn't unusual. However, if you are dropping to 14 percent, something is wrong. It sounds as if some application or device driver has a memory leak.

A rudimentary way of determining the culprit is to eliminate one by one the running processes from your system. Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del will display the active running processes. End a process and then check the memory resource to see how much was freed up.

Another way to attack this would be to stop each program from starting at Startup. To do this, click start, Run, enter MSINFO32, press Enter. From the menu bar click Tools, then System Configuration Utility. This will allow you to uncheck each process individually so it won't start at boot-up. It also is a good idea to check that you have the latest video drivers for your video adapter (check the vendor's Web site).

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