Have an expert replace battery to fix PC's clock

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My internal PC clock is losing time regularly, approximately 24 hours every 10 days. Is this because my battery needs replacing?

I wish all the questions were this easy, although if they were I suspect I'd be reassigned to the county zoning beat. Your problem almost certainly is a weak CMOS battery, which is easily fixed, although I always recommend having a professional do the work. It will cost you a bench fee and a couple of dollars for a new battery but it will restore your clock and spare you - and that aging PC - from the dangers of amateur surgery.

Once Windows loads, I always get a small Compression Agent window. How can I get rid of it? Or should I use the Compression Agent? I've been hesitant because none of the options seem to make sense to me.

Watch your step! Do not, I repeat, do not try to zap the Compression Agent icon. It sounds like your hard drive has been compressed by this Windows 98 tool in order to give you roughly two times as much storage as you otherwise would own. The Compression Agent is designed to run periodic housekeeping functions to ensure the integrity of your files.

I'm working on a layout for a brochure with a group of people who have Windows machines and I have a Mac. I am able to read their attachments because I have MacLink and it translates their Microsoft Word document and graphics, but they can't read the attachments I send them, which are combinations of Claris Works (Draw) and Print Shop. Is there anything I can do on my end so they will be able to read my attachments, or are they doomed to live in a Microsoft-dominated world and miss out on the really cool stuff?

You're selling MacLink a bit short, I fear. This superb program also translates Claris files into Windows formats as well as transforming Windows stuff in Mac software formats. If, by chance, your version of MacLink is limited, check out the manufacturer's Web site at www.dataviz.com

Whenever I log on to the Internet using Dial-Up Networking in Windows 98, and use NetMedic to monitor the throughput, I see that my computer is sending out a continuous stream of data of about 9 or 10 bits per second. This has been happening since about March 1. I don't know what it is or how to stop it. I have asked around and most people think it's a virus. I have checked and it is not Happy99 or Melissa. I am running McAfee VShield.

Unless I'm missing something, you're worrying over nothing. Modems work by a process known as hand-shaking, in which modems on both ends of a connection send a continuous signal (called a carrier) that changes in modulation to convey the data being exchanged. Even when your computer is linked to a Web site that isn't responding, it continues to send out the data to maintain the carrier, which is what you are reading.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune. com.

Pub Date: 05/03/99

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