By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 7, 1999
If you are toward the higher end of the power-user scale and use Windows 98, then this site is an absolute must to visit. Contrary to party-line logic, Windows 98 can run without the integrated Internet Explorer browser. With this free program, it is simple to free up mucho hard disk space and random access memory and have your machine run much faster -- perfect if you have an older box but don't have the inclination or cash to jettison it. Even a federal judge could successfully separate the browser and the operating system, according to this site.
Yes, that's really two Ff's in the address. When you really cool down a computer's central processing unit, it runs a great deal faster -- in some cases, twice as fast. And when hacker-crazies such as Dr. Ffreeze get hold of this type of information, they cobble together science-fair-gone-awry hardware projects such as the one illustrated here. You need a working computer, a few gallons of mineral oil, a 5,000 BTU air conditioner and plenty of homeowner's insurance. Maybe you don't need a safety net but if you decide to do this at home, make sure your cat is less inquisitive than mine. Just for kicks, I called Compaq, Dell and Gateway and they assured me this would invalidate my warranty.
Here is an interesting thought: Our chums at Dell want to find the oldest working business PC and give you $15,000 worth of new equipment for it. Initially it sounds like a great idea to trade in that old Commodore PET or TRS-80. But if you've been successfully running a part of your business with such a machine, you have years worth of data sitting in some weird format that modern PCs aren't going to understand. Or you are running software so old that the manufacturer might not even be in business. Initially a nifty idea but sort of falls down in the execution.
Here is my kind of pet. Takes care of itself, doesn't need to be walked, doesn't whoopsie on the carpet and is unlikely to get Maced by my local mail carrier since it is not programed to bite postal workers. Where my cunning plan for domestic canine bliss goes down the tubes is that I'm not rich/stupid enough to spend $2,500 on a robot dog. I have been in high tech far too long -- I will cynically wait for the $99 version 3.0.
In my never-ending quest to understand all of the Three Letter Acronyms (TLA) known to man, I stumble across gems like TBTF.com's Jargon Scout. It is packed with absolutely useless phrases, self-congratulatory wordlets and obscure pseudo-technobabble. Right up my street.
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