Empty that Recycle Bin and reduce those troublesome storage problems HELP LINE

December 14, 1998|By JAMES COATES | JAMES COATES,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A lot of the programs I'm using for the Internet keep sending stuff to my Recycle Bin, things like "temp" files, etc. This results in memory problems. I would like to prevent items from going to the bin. Is it possible to change the settings which control this?

A bloated Recycle Bin isn't a memory problem, but rather a storage problem. However, I feel your pain and I have your answer.

If you highlight the Recycle Bin icon and right-click the mouse, you'll get a menu that includes the option of deleting files rather than shunting them to the Recycle Bin, which exists as a safety net in case you delete some essential driver or library or some other important file.

Choose this take-no-prisoners option carefully, if at all. You'll feel better in the long run if you just periodically click on the bin and empty it.

I have a Gateway Pentium computer operating with Windows 95 and a US Robotics 56K fax modem. The 56K modem was installed in February 1998. I had no problems with my 14.4 kbps modem.

Now, when I go into AOL, the modem starts stuttering and never stops.

I have been lowering the sound and getting by, but I would like to have this problem corrected. I have tried contacting US Robotics (3Com Online Support) with no luck.

They keep asking me for information but do not come up with any solutions.

That "stuttering" isn't a problem. It's the language your modem uses to talk to the modems at America Online. It looks like you didn't get the settings right when you upgraded from 14.4 kbps to that Robotics 56K device. The fix is easy. Run the AOL software and then chose "Setup" instead of "Sign On" from the first screen. Select "Advanced" on the next box and then pick your US Robotics modem from the list and select "Advanced" again. You'll get a box that lets you either mute the modem tones or play them as they are set now.

I'm confused by the different kinds of PC chips available today. it used to be easy to conceptualize the benefit of each generation of chip. You know, the 386 could process information two to four times faster than the 286, the 486 could do the same over the 386, the Pentium could quadruple performance of the 486, etc.

Now we have the Pentium II as the standard and competitive chips from AMD and Cyrix with names like K6-2 and MII. Can you explain the differences in simple terms?

Pentium II chips are a cut above the crowd, but the cheap competition from Cyrix and AMD comes mighty close to matching the Big P from Intel. And the upstarts often come close enough and for a lot less money. As things stand right now and are likely to remain for the next year or more, the only reason anybody might "need" top Pentium II performance is for running highly complex video games like the new Riven on DVD ROM.

Otherwise, even a low-end Cyrix MII at 300 megahertz will do everything on the Internet that the far more powerful Pentium II 450 megahertz will do. Furthermore, that relatively puny Cyrix will run even bloatware like Microsoft Office or Lotus SmartSuite.

The big difference between AMD, Cyrix and Intel chips lies in how well they handle the 3D video that dominates computer games.

The best primer Web site for excruciating details about how the contenders size up is www.computershopper.com, where a buyers' guide walks you through the specifics chip by chip, buzzword by buzzword.

Pub Date: 12/14/98

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