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Computer Hardware

Technical Support Resources

Microsoft's Knowledge Base:
Information about resolving some problems with software and hardware. Note: Works best with JavaScript enabled. http://support.microsoft.com/support/default.asp

Mitsumi Support:
Device drivers, specifications, etc. for CD-ROM disc drives, floppy disk drives, Mice, Keyboards, Video boards. http://www.eciusa.com/Mitsumi/

Seagate Service & Support:
Disc Drives, Tape Drives, Service & Repair Information, etc. http://www.seagate.com/support/supporttop.shtml

Is a Web site that provides an index and links to more than 2,300 software and hardware vendor help desks in a searchable data base. http://www.supporthelp.com/

Tandy Retail Services Product Support:
Product Information: Computers, Monitors, Printers, Hard Drives, Tape Drives, Parts list, jumper settings, motherboard layouts & More
Software Updates & Recoveries: Download CD-ROM Drivers, Video Drivers, Sound Drivers, Printer Drivers, & More
Computer Setup Programs: Download Computer Setup Programs.
Product Information: Audio, Video, Telephones, Scanners, CB's, Personal Electronics, Alarms, Auto Accessories, Games/Toys, Do-It-Yourself, & More

Hardware Manufacturer Links at EIDOS Interactive:
PC Manufacturers, Video Card Manufacturers, CD-ROM Drive Manufacturers, Sound Card Manufacturers, Joystick / Mouse Manufacturers, VR Headset Manufacturers, Windows 95 Support and DirectX Info. http://www.eidosinteractive.com/techsupp/ts-links.html

Ultra DMA Implementation Guide by Western Digital:
Ultra DMA is a high-speed data transfer feature that allows DMA commands to transfer data at 33.3 MB/s- double the current burst DMA transfer rate of 16.6 MB/s while using the standard 40-pin IDE interface cable. http://www.wdc.com/products/drives/drivers-ed/udmatp.html

Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ
Features Samuel M. Goldwasser's latest and greatest "Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of..." series of comprehensive repair guides for consumer electronics equipment and other household devices. There is also a great deal of other information of interest to the electronics hobbyist, experimenter, technician, engineer, and possibly even the dentist and poet. Included are the now quite comprehensive and massive "Sam's Laser FAQ", many new schematics, and links to over 1,000 technology related sites. In addition, there are a variety of documents from other sources on electronics troubleshooting, repair, and other related topics. http://www.repairfaq.org/

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Device Drivers





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Tom's Hardware Guide by Thomas Pabst: Toppick
Hardware reviews, information about CPU's, Motherboard's, Chipset's, RAM, Hard drives, Performance tips, etc. http://www.sysdoc.pair.com/

Anand's Hardware Tech Page Toppick
Hardware guides and hardware reviews. http://www.anandtech.com/

Tweak It Hardware Reference Guide: by Dan L. Chadwick
Benchmarks and comparisons for motherboards and other hardware. http://www.tweakit.com/

Joe's PC Hardware Page
Reviews and guides for several different types of computer hardware. http://www2.cybernex.net/~painter/pc_hardware/frames/hardware.htm

Reviews, benchmarks, and comparisons of motherboards, video cards, and other hardware. http://www.thetechzone.com/

AMI BIOS Survival Guide
The guide provides a description of each BIOS function (at least those we are aware of) and tips for their settings. http://www.adfa.oz.au/Hardware/BIOS/AMIBIOS.html

BIOS Setup Information Guide Toppick
How-to Guides, General BIOS Information, BIOS Upgrades for Various Manufacturers, Identifying a Motherboard. http://www.sysopt.com/bios.html

Microsoft Hardware
SideWinder Games Devices, Natural Keyboard, Pointing Devices, ActiMates. http://microsoft.com/hardware/

PC Guide
PC reference information. "My name is Charles and my goal is to provide you with the answers to your computing questions. Please enjoy your stay, and come back again soon; I add new content to the site every week." http://www.pcguide.com/

PC Mechanic
Online source for do-it-yourself computing. http://pcmech.pair.com/

The Perfect Components
"In this section, we examine virtually every major component that goes into a computer today, explaining the technologies behind the components and testing the competitors head-to-head to see which ones live up to the promises of their marketing sheets."
Talks about the perfect processor, memory, motherboard, graphics accelerator and monitor, CD-ROM drive, hard disks, removable media, CD-R drives, magneto-optical devices, tape-backup devices, speakers and sound cards. All this should help you set up your perfect-sounding multimedia machine. http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/features/perfectpc.96/comp/comp.htm

TheRef Toppick
Hard Drive and Controller/Interface Guide. Hardware specifications. Compiled and published by F. Robert Falbo. http://theref.c3d.rl.af.mil/

Disc Reading Troubleshooter:
"It sometimes happens that you write a disc, and the write appears to have completed successfully (no error messages were shown), but the disc cannot be read/played correctly on some or all CD drives. This troubleshooter is designed to help you figure out why." http://www.adaptec.com/support/advisor/discwizard/index.html

PC Guide: by Charles M. Kozierok
Detailed PC reference information. http://www.pcguide.com/

x86 Monthly Digest by Robert R. Collins. Toppick
The Intel Secrets home page is dedicated to providing information about the Intel Architecture processors. Most of the information concerns productivity enhancement, and not Intel's Secrets. The Intel Secrets articles are the culmination of research I started many years ago, and continue to do. Contrary to what one might perceive from reading some of these pages, I don't hate Intel, nor do I even fault them for keeping any information secret (it's their right).
Contains Intel motherboard manuals and jumper settings, Intel data sheets and programming manuals, Advanced programming techniques, Undocumented processor behavior, etc. http://www.x86.org/

Overview of the advantages and disadvantages of 56-Kbps modems, Upgrade Guide, Vendor-specific information on modem-initialization strings, drivers, and firmware upgrades. http://www.56k.com

56K Standard Page
Dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date information on the V.90 interoperability standard and upgrade availability.

Has information on different types of 56K Modems? What is the ITU-T standard? Who should upgrade? Why should you upgrade? When should you upgrade? Where do you go to upgrade? http://www.56kstandard.com/

ABit LX6


ABit LX6
BIOS Updates http://www.abit.com.tw/eng/product/mb/lx6.htm

ABIT LX6 Keyboard Fixes

Review of Pentium II Boards with Intel's 440LX Chipset

ABIT LX6 Motherboard Review

Tweakit: ABIT LX6 Review

JM's Hardware Research Guide
Details about the system he built using the ABit LX6 motherboard. http://www.wenet.net/~johng/myhardware.html

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Intel Celeron Microprocessor

Intel Celeron Processor

Intel Processor Support

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Intel Pentium II Microprocessor

Intel Chip Sets Linecard
Lists chip set features for Pentium, Pentium Pro, and Pentium II microprocessors. http://developer.intel.com/design/chipsets/linecard.htm

Bugs, Baloney, and Bull: The TRUTH about the Pentium II Processor

Intel Pentium II Processor Developer Home Page

CPU Identification Utility
An executable file that will identify the type of Intel microprocessor your PC contains. http://developer.intel.com/design/perftool/cpuid/

Intel Processor Support

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A RAM Primer by Neil Randall for PC Magazine.
"From BEDO to WRAM, we give you a handle on the many types of memory available today" http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/pctech/content/16/18/tu1618.001.html

The Perfect Memory by Margaret Piemonte at PC Magazine, July, 1996.
This section will explore the different types of main memory (called DRAM, or dynamic random access memory) and processor cache memory (called Level 2 or L2 cache) available for a PC. By varying the amounts and types of DRAM and L2 cache in your system, you can get different performance returns. http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/archive/content/1513/web_txt/pcmg0025.htm

The RAM (Random Access Memory) Guide at Tom's Hardware Guide.

Samsung Semiconductor's DRAM Home Page
Information and specification sheets (.pdf). http://www.samsungsemi.com/Products/dram/

Synchronous DRAMs:
The DRAM of the Future by IBM. http://www.chips.ibm.com/products/memory/sdramart/sdramart.html

The Ultimate Memory Guide: Toppick
Kingston Technology Corp. has written the definitive document related to memory. Some topics covered are: How memory works, Memory data integrity checking, Memory Markets. http://www.kingston.com/king/mg0.htm

CrossBrand - SIMMs and DIMMs Explained:
A good discussion on the differences between SIMM and DIMM memory modules. http://www3.pc.ibm.com/techinfo/9f22.html

PC100 Specifications and Issues at Corsair Microsystems:
"The new Intel BX chipset motherboards should only use PC100MHz modules. Due to the strict timing issues involved when operating at 100MHz, most systems will not even boot if non-compliant modules are used. Even if the system does boot, changes to the operating environment such as temperature or certain hardware applications will severely impact the reliability of the memory."

PC100 Specifications - Key issues:


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CD-ROM, CD-Recordable, CD-ReWritable

Is Your Data Disappearing?
Backup tapes can go bad in as little as a year or two. What about CD-Rs? http://www.informationweek.com/thisweek/story/IWK20010719S0003?section=opinion

CD-Recordable FAQ: by Andy McFadden's Toppick
This document attempts to answer Frequently Asked Questions about CD-Recordable technology and related fields. It is a Usenet newsgroup FAQ, updated and posted around the middle of each month. The main foci are explaining CD-R technology, describing hardware and software solutions for creating audio CDs and CD-ROMs, and helping people find solutions to common problems. http://www.cdrfaq.org/

CD-R Diagnostic by CD-ROM Productions

DVD Frequently Asked Questions
The official Internet DVD FAQ for the rec.video.dvd Usenet newsgroups. http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html

CD-Recordable Glossary

Compact Disc Digital audio (CD-DA) information, software and survey:
These pages have been set up primarily to provide information on the ability of various CD-ROM drives to read CD-DA discs (That means 'normal audio CDs' to the rest of us). http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~psyche/cdda/

Nero Burning ROM by Ahead Software
Firmware Updates http://www.nero.com/

Golden Hawk Technology:
Makes software that will allow you to create almost any type of Data, Audio, Mixed-Mode, or Multisession CD, giving you complete control over the disc layout and track spacing. Also, check out CD-R Firmware Upgrades and Frequently Asked Questions such as; What CD-ROM recorder/drive should I buy? What CD-R blank media should I buy? Do you support IDE/ATAPI devices? What CD-ROM devices support CD+G (Karaoke) discs? http://www.goldenhawk.com/

How and Why to Make Your Own CDs (Hint: It's Cheaper!): by Michael J. Miller, Editor-In-Chief, PC Magazine
Monday March 02, 1998
Why should you be interested in recordable CD technology?
PC Labs recently tested 14 CD-R and 10 CD-RW drive bundles that included the drives, premastering software and any necessary cables. To get all the details on our winners and how we tested them, be sure to check out the full review. http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_1820.html

Resources for CD-R: Toppick
This is an unauthorized page offering unverified software and information in support of CD recording. http://resource.simplenet.com/

Ricoh CD Recordable Handbook
Optical Storage: What's In It For You?, Applications For CD-R, Where Does CD-R Fit In The Storage Hierarchy, How Does A CD-R Drive Work Anyway?, Why CD-R Discs Can Be Read By CD-ROM Drives, How To Make A CD-ROM, How To Buy The Right CD-R Drive, Take These Common Sense Steps Before Buying, Glossary of Terms. http://www.octave.com/library/ricoh/cdrhandbook.html

Unofficial Ricoh CD-ReWritable Page: by Tom Varghese

CD-ROM & DVD-ROM Drives: at Dalco Electronics
Lists phone numbers and Web sites. http://www.dalco.com/support/cdrom2.htm


News, Reviews, Articles. http://www.cdrlabs.com/

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Hardware Technologies

An illustrated guide to PC hardware. http://www.karbosguide.com/

SCSI Revision Levels: Toppick
Find out what the difference is between SCSI, SCSI-2, SCSI-3, SCSI WIDE,SCSI FAST, SCSI FAST-WIDE, etc. http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/faq/scsirev.shtml

Gary Field's SCSI Info Central Toppick
SCSI Game Rules, comp.periphs.scsi FAQ part 1 and part 2.

comp.periphs.scsi newsgroup

Your PC Strategy for the Future (April 1998) 
Discussion of some different bus technologies: PCI, AGP, USB, and 1394, different microprocessors and Memory types.

"Seems like the day your new PC arrives, it's already outdated. This is a problem whether you're buying one PC or outfitting the company. We unveil the developments in processor, memory, and bus appearing over the next 12 to 18 months—so you don't buy a PC today that's old news tomorrow." http://www.zdnet.com/wsources/content/0498/feat_future_intro.html

FDDI Basics

3D Graphics Performance is Rendering Quality and Speed by Morgan J. Dempsey (Real 3D) & Jeff Potter (Real 3D) 
"Three-dimensional graphics rendering brings a host of challenges for graphics controllers. Two-dimensional graphics performance is a simple matter of raw speed. All graphics controllers should display exactly the same 2D image, no matter how fast it is drawn. This is not true for 3D controllers. While all graphics controllers claim to have all the same features, each controller uses a unique set of algorithms and shortcuts, resulting in strikingly different images. The true measure of 3D graphics performance is a mix between raw speed and image quality." http://www.real3d.com/whitestarpaper.html

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Specifications, Jumper Settings, etc.

Seagate Disc Drive Service & Support:
Get jumper settings from the Graphic Configuration Encyclopedia or the Quick index to Configurations (text only) on Seagate ATA (IDE), Seagate SCSI, Seagate Fibre Channel, Conner and Other Interfaces. http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/discsupt.shtml

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Market Place

Shop and Compare more than 40,000 computer products from over 180 vendors, and get expert buying advice from Ziff-Davis. http://www.zdnet.com/netbuyer/

Price Watch:
Price Watch allows retailers to advertise their prices in real time, using our proprietary Price Watch Info-Link system. Price Watch was first presented on the Web in August '95. http://www.pricewatch.com/

Competitive prices on RAM. http://www.pcprogress.com/

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Year 2000:
Are you, your computers and software ready for it?

These resources will help you determine if your computer system is Year 2000 compliant and offer some possible fixes for the problem.

If your computer was built before 1996 then you may have a problem after 11:59PM on December 31, 1999.

2000 is also a leap year, so make sure that your clock/calendar and software will roll over to February 29, 2000 instead of March 1, 2000.

The RightTime, Co., Miami: Toppick
"Most PC applications get the system date from the operating system, whose software-based calendar is initialized at boot with the date from the BIOS firmware, which gets the date from the CMOS RTC, which is hardware. If the BIOS date does not make the 1999-2000 transition correctly - or if the machine loses the correct date after rebooting - it is not year 2000 compliant and will probably become a problem if it is not corrected or removed from service by the end of the decade."

Test2000.Exe will identify those machines with hardware compliance problems. You can download Test2000.Zip which contains files Test2000.Exe, Test2000.Txt and ViewCMOS.Exe.

For evaluation of Y2KPCPro, a small resident program for DOS (v3 or later), IBM OS/2, and Microsoft Windows (except NT) that will cure the hardware aspect of the year 2000 problem on AT-class and later PCs, you may use Year2000.Com available in year2000.zip. http://rightime.com/

Microsoft Year 2000 Resource Center:
This site has been designed to offer comprehensive information about Microsoft products and how they are affected by the Year 2000. http://www.microsoft.com/year2000/

Year 2000 Information Center:
List of vendors with Year 2000 products and services: http://www.year2000.com/

YMARK 2000: System Testing Tool:
YMARK 2000 is NSTL’s utility to determine if a PC will adequately support dates after December 31, 1999. http://www.nstl.com/html/ymark_2000.html

10/96 Analysis: The Explorer: at Windows Magazine
It's the End of the World As We Know It: Will your software blow up in the year 2000? Or even sooner? By: Mike Elgan, Editor http://www.winmag.com/library/1996/1096/10a02.htm

Some Other Dates To Watch Out For
Y2K isn't the only issue facing today's computers. Here are a few other gotchas to watch out for. http://www.winmag.com/library/1999/0101/fea0061k.htm

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When Does The Millennium Really Start?

"Years of the Gregorian calendar, which is currently in use today, are counted from AD 1. Thus, the 1st century comprised the years AD 1 through AD 100. The second century began with AD 101 and continued through AD 200. By extrapolation we find that the 20th century comprises the years AD 1901-2000. Therefore, the 21st century will begin with 1 January 2001 and continue through 31 December 2100.

Similarly, the 1st millennium comprised the years AD 1-1000. The 2nd millennium comprises the years AD 1001-2000. The 3rd millennium will begin with AD 2001 and continue through AD 3000."

Royal Observatory Greenwich, London:
Answers to all your Questions about the Start of the New Millennium and the First Sunrise of the Year 2000. http://www.rog.nmm.ac.uk/leaflets/new_mill.html

U.S. Naval Observatory (The USA's official timekeeper):
The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium - When Will They Begin? http://aa.usno.navy.mil/AA/faq/docs/millennium.html

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Hayes Modem Resources

Hayes is out of business: Modem Express purchased the rights to: Hayes's Dev Test, Domain Names (hayes.com and practical.com), Warranty List, and Warranty and Repair Inventory:

V.90 Flash Upgrades, Devices drivers, Manuals. http://www.windrivers.com/company/hayes/

Hayes Online Reference Manual:

Hayes' Command Set Documentation:
The original is available via anonymous ftp from the CDROM.COM ftp archive as TRM20.ZIP http://www.umr.edu/~tmoore/hayes.html

Most of the Hayes modems use a Rockwell modem chip and are based on Rockwell command sets and instructions. http://www.rockwell.com/

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