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Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums

Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums - PCSTATS
Abstract: First we have the tips which which actually won, then we have the tips we think were pretty good runners up.... and finally a few pages of assorted tips from the contest.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: various Aug 09 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > various

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Resetting games:

Most games crash and do not load again due to the user changing some game settings. Most games have a file usually the game name.cfg (configuration file). By deleting it you are restoring the game settings to defauls. You can also edit it and make nessasary changes. But make sure to back it up before making any changes. In some cfg files you can even change game play settings like time limit, number of lives, speed and so on.

Modem Tweaks:

Here are three easy ways to improve your dial-up modem performance.

1 ) You can't assume that just because you connected at a speed like 48.3KBps that you will stay there. Today's modems automatically fall back to a lower speed if the line noise is too high to maintain a faster connection, but sometimes they fall back too soon or too far.

Here's how to do it:

Click Start the button.
Select Settings.
Click Control Panel.
Double-click on the Modems icon.
Select your modem.
Click the Properties button.
Click the Connections tab.
Click the Advanced button.
In the "Extra settings" field, type S36=7
Click OK to save your settings.

This will force your modem to try to stay connected at high speeds in two different ways before dropping back to an asynchronous mode with auto speed buffering.

2 ) With Windows 95 and 98, there is an easy way to increase the speed at which you connect to your ISP. To do this:

Click the Start button.
Select Settings.
Click Control Panel.
Double-click on the Modems icon.
Select your modem.
Click the Properties button.
Click the Connections tab.
Click the Advanced button.
In the "Extra settings" field, type S11=50
Click OK to save your settings.

3 ) If you are experiencing a lot of modem timeouts with your system, you can change the SLOWNET value in the Registry

Click Start the button.
Select Run.
Type "regedit".
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0000 (0001 etc).
Change the SLOWNET value from 01 to 00.

If you suffer from random disconnections using your modem, you can improve reliability by using the following modem init strings.
Place the following values into your modem init string:

&U15&N15

This eliminates retrains

You might also try:

S10=30 or even S10=50

(all modems) as this gives protection against line drops due to short noise bursts or carrier interruptions.

Power Supply Tips:

Not all power supplies are equal! More and more power supplies built today are being cheaply made, especially those you purchase with a cheap computer case. And because AMD cpu's use more power then Pentiums, having a quality power supply can decrease your number of crashes and reboots. Wattage is also not the only factor you should consider when purchasing a power supply. Here are the 3 most important things you should look for:

1 ) Wattage - This can range anywhere from 200 to 500 Watts. You should choose a wattage based on the amount of add-ons your computer will have. A barebones AMD system should have at least 300 watts. If you are going to be adding things like DVD CD-ROMS, zip drives, case cooling fans, or just using alot of PCI slots, then over 300 Watts would be a good idea.

2 ) Voltage and Amp ratings - Look on the side of your power supply and you should see a list of all the different line voltages and their associated amp ratings. The 3 most important lines are the +3.3V, +5V, and +12V lines. The 3.3 and 5 volt lines generally give power to the mother board and CPU, while the 12 volt line is used to drive any motors that the hard drives, CD-ROM drives, and disk drives may contain. Based on AMD's recommendations, each line should give a minimum amount of amps, they are:

+3.3V - 28A
+5V - 30A
+12V - 15A

There are some power supplies out there that don't meet these requirements and could cause problems with your system, so always check those numbers. But most specifically, make sure the 3.3 volt requirement is met. Most BIOS setups for today's motherboards will actually tell you the core voltage of the CPU. If this value (usually centered around 3 volts) drops too low, it can cause your computer to shutdown.

Don't assume just because a certain chip is more modern than another one, that it will require a more powerful supply. For example, a 1.4 Gig Thunderbird will usually require more core voltage than a faster Athalon XP processor! Check your processors web page or manual to find the exact values necessary.

3 ) Cooling - A power supply will usualy have a rear exhaust fan, but it's the intake meathod that seperates the good from the bad. A quality power supply will have a bottom intake fan, not just intake holes, to help vent hot air away from your cpu/heatsink combo. The fans should also use ball bearings, not sleeve bearings, to help reduce noise and prolong the power supplies' life. Sometimes the small labels on the power supply fans will actaully say "ball-bearing" if they do infact use them.

Enermax and Antec are known for making good power supplies, while Deer and L&C (they are the same company) have had a history of making poor power supplies

Shortcuts VIA pressing keyboard:

Sometimes, after you have installed many programs on your computer, the start menu tends to get cluttered. It soon takes you a while to navigate through the list of programs to run the shortcut of your choice. You could generally create a shortcut on your desktop to make it faster then going through the start menu, but then afterwards the desktop tends to get cluttered with all the icons. One way to get around this hassle of navigating through your huge list of applications in your start menu, or reducing the clutter on your desktop is to create a shortcut key.

This can be done by simply right clicking on a shortcut that already exists on your desktop or start menu, then selecting properties.
You should then see a section entitled "Shortcut key:"
You can then use combination keys to start your programs faster than having to double click on the icon on your desktop, or navigating through your start menu.
All you have to do is click on the section "Shortcut key:" where it initially says "None" and hold down the keys, of which you want to use for the shortcut. If you just press a letter it will default to : Ctrl+Alt+ the letter or key that you have pressed.
You can use combination keys. such as:

Alt+Shift+ A Key
Ctrl+Alt+ A Key
Ctrl+Shift+ A Key
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+ A Key

So for example:
You could press Ctrl+Alt+C to say start a program or game

And maybe even other combinations.
This however, only works if you have shortcuts on your desktop, or start menu already existing.
You can always create additional shortcuts on your desktop or start menu, so that you can use these keys to have access to a quicker shortcut via your keyboard.

DOS Fun:

Now the title might sound like an oxymoron but when you down to it you can have fun in dos... well just alittle and i will tell you how also these are some good tools.

Netstat
Netstat is a tool that tells you who is connected to your computer via internet by telling you ip address and port number.
1. Open your command prompt
2. Type in netstat
A list of ips should appear horray!!
Are we having fun yet... didnt think so

Net send
Net send is an instand messaging tool in dos. The bad thing is only windows 2000 and XP have it.
1. Open your command prompt
2. Type in net send (computer name, ip, or domain) (message)
3. If the person you are sending it to has windows 2000 or XP they should get it soon.
Ok so thats not all that fun but its something to do...

Doskey
Heres a little thing that will make repetitive requests in dos a little more easier.
1. Open your command prompt
2. Type in doskey (it should say something before giving you the next prompt)
3. Type some commands in
4. Now press the up and down arrows to surf through the commands you have used before
Hmmm... somehow i think we are getting there!

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Contents of Article: various
 Pg 1.  Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums
 Pg 2.  Good Overall Tips
 Pg 3.  Win9X/ME/2k/XP Tips
 Pg 4.  Everything else
 Pg 5.  more.....
 Pg 6.  more.....
 Pg 7.  more.....
 Pg 8.  — more.....

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