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In This Issue...

- Mobo Factory Tour
- WinXP C:\ Prompt
- Twinmos PC3200
- Aopen Silent Power
- Ultra X-Connect
- MS AntiSpyware
- PC Flames & Smoke
- Firefox Extensions
- PCstats Weekly Tips
Making Motherboards: Factory Tour


This week PCstats is taking you on a field trip to a motherboard factory in Taiwan, to see how motherboards are made by Gigabyte. Over 20-pages, and 100+ images, we guide you through the process which is exceptionally complicated, and worth checking out if you have ever wondered "how they make motherboards?"

Next up is a Guide to the WindowsXP Command Prompt. Handy info to know if you ever have to reset your broadband internet connection with ipconfig. Also on the agenda is a review of TwinMOS "Speed Premium" PC3200 DDR, AOpen's Silent Power 400W power supply and a rehash of the Most Common Ways to Kill a PC. Last but not least, we took your suggestions to heart and expanded on our Firefox Browser article to cover Firefox Extensions. I like the egg timer option....

There is lot's more, so be sure to browse through the entire issue, and stop by to vote on the new poll. The question: should we have PDF versions of archived PCstats Newsletters? Vote, and let me know.

How Motherboards Are Made: A Gigabyte Factory Tour
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As PCstats recent trip to Gigabyte's Nan-Ping factory in Taiwan showed us last summer (during Computex 2004), there's a lot to making motherboards. In fact, producing and testing a single motherboard involves a mind-boggling host of automated machines, people and processes; so we'd like to detail the whole assembly line to give you a feel for how things are really made. Gigabyte's Nan-Ping factory is a modern building in rural Taiwan. Built in 1986, this 8-story factory encompasses 45,000 square meters of work space, and includes 18 SMT lines, 10 DIP lines, and 9 Testing lines. Nan-Ping's capacity is 800,000 motherboards and 400,000 videocards a month. Follow along as PCstats walks through the whole motherboard manufacturing process.Continue Here>>

Beginners Guides: WindowsXP Command Prompt
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Unlock the enigma that is DOS, and get a handle on the command prompt in Windows XP. PCstats covers the basics, and some commands you ought to know.

Back in the heyday of text-based operating systems like Unix and DOS, the command prompt was the operating system, and not knowing how to use it meant that you could not really use your system without someone experienced in computing holding your hand. The command prompt, a purely text-driven interface, is still present at the core of Windows XP. In this PCstats Guide, we will show you how to access and use the Windows XP/2000 command prompt and reveal some useful commands for administering your system with it. Keyboard's ready? Let's begin!Continue Here>>

TwinMOS Speed Premium PC3200 DDR Review
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Most of the dual-channel DDR memory kits on the marketplace are aimed at hardcore enthusiasts and overclockers; users with money to burn. Over the next couple pages PCSTATS will be taking a look at the 'Speed Premium' PC3200 dual channel DDR memory kit by TwinMOS. This mainstream DDR dual channel kit features a pair of PC3200 512MB DDR modules with CAS timings of 2.5-3-3-8. Though not aimed at the extreme overclocker or performance enthusiast, this package looks to offer decent dual-channel performance at a price that won't cause pain. Continue Here>>

AOpen Silent Power AO400-12AHN Power Supply Review

Good power supplies have a few common attributes. They are stable, efficient, quiet and easy to install and configure. These are the principle values we look for when reviewing any new power supply. Additional features and frills such as pretty lights, UV reflective coating, fan controllers, etc. are nice, but beside the point. The AOpen Silent Power AO400-12AHN is a 400Watt unit that comes armed with a bristling array of cables as well as a rear mounted knob which controls the speed of the LED-lighted 120mm fan mounted on the bottom of the PSU. Continue Here>>

Ultra X-Connect Green UV 500W Power Supply Review
There's a good reason why we always recommend consumers spend good money on a power supply, and skimp elsewhere, if necessary, when building systems. The danger of a cheap power supply blow up and destroying the rest of the computer is more likely than you might imagine... In this review, PCstats will be testing the Ultra X-Connect Green UV PSU. It's not just pretty with its UV reactive panels and fans, it's also the first 'modular' power supply on the market. Continue Here>>
Microsoft Windows Anti-Spyware (beta) Software Review
This Windows 2000/2003/XP only product, currently named Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (beta) is up for its public test run. The version available for download now is free and fully functional. According to the license agreement, this beta software will cease to function in June of 2005 so expect a commercial version around that time. The spyware scanning application itself contains the options you would expect, including a scheduling feature and full and quick scanning options.Continue Here>>
Beginners Guides: Most Common Ways to Kill a PC

Computers should be essentially immortal right? Anyone who's ever owned a computer knows that this is not quite true. Computers and their component parts do have a finite life span, and just like us, they have a list of afflictions that are most likely to claim their digital existences. A few months ago the PCstats Newsletter asked its readership a pretty simple question;"have you ever killed your PC?" Hundreds of stories flooded in, encompassing everything from standard computer failures to tales of blue smoke and fire. Continue Here>>

Mozilla Firefox Themes and Extensions

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In PCstats review of Mozilla's new Firefox 1.0 web browser a little while back, one of the things we were most impressed with was the smooth and easy way that users could customize the appearance and functionality of the Firefox browser with a number of themes and extensions. All of which can be obtained, installed and managed from within the program itself. After some reader feedback on our look at Firefox, we decided to devote a whole article to some of the interesting, useful and amusing things you can do with the Firefox theme and extension managers. Continue Here>>

PCstats Weekly Tech Tips:

With Windows operating systems when you share a folder or drive, users can see it by simply browsing the network. This is the case even if they don't have access to view the contents of the shared device. Sometimes it's best to "hide" these shared drives so that users do not know they even exist.

Doing so is quite easy, simply place the dollar sign ($) after the shared name. For instance if you're going to share the C drive put C$.

A word of caution, while this works against users using Windows operating systems, users of other OS's like Linux will still be able to see the shared drives. They won't be able to access because of permissions, but it will be visible.

This works great if you want to move files between PC's but not let everyone know that a folder is being shared.

Have you checked out PCStats Forums yet? Makes sure you give the forum a spin.

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PCstats Issue
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The PCstats Forums

Our readers ask a lot of questions, and now you can see all the answers! Every week from Tues. to Thurs. around 5pm, keep an eye out for the new PCstats Q & A column as it pops up on the front page of PCstats. The only address you need to remember is

If you miss it, select the 'Tips' news category from the box just below our four latest feature reviews to read through all the tech advice that has been dished out.

This weeks letters are:
Cloning in 3 Easy Steps
Disobedient Desktop
Automatic logoff?

Last weeks letters were:
Naughty IE
XP key confusion
SLI rundown

This Issue By
. M. Page
Weekly Tips
. C. Sun
. M. Dowler

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