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By Michael J. Himowitz HTC and Michael J. Himowitz HTC,Evening Sun Staff | January 21, 1991
IF YOU OWN A CAR, you know what happens when you neglect little things like tuneups.Performance starts to deteriorate, so slowly at first that you hardly notice it. But after a while, the car doesn't go as fast up hills. It gets noisy, and pulling onto the expressway in traffic becomes an act of courage. Eventually, it may not start at all.Your computer can stand an occasional tuneup, too.Its main moving part, the hard disk, may be the most important part of your machine. It's where you store your programs and data files, which is reason enough to keep it healthy.
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BUSINESS
By Bill Husted and Bill Husted,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 21, 2008
You have spoken many times about the reliability of CDs, DVDs and hard drives. What is your opinion of the reliability (longevity) of jump drives? -- Howard Silverman I've avoided jumping into the jump drive (some call them flash drives) fray because the answer isn't perfectly clear. But there is so much interest in this from readers, I'll give it a shot. On the surface, a jump drive would seem to be a clear winner when compared to a hard disk. It has no moving parts and can withstand shock.
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BUSINESS
By Craig Crossman and Craig Crossman,Knight-Ridder News Service | November 16, 1992
Q. Following your column's advice to always back up my hard disk proved to be a godsend. When my Macintosh's hard drive failed, I was able to restore all of my data from my backup disks. Personally experiencing this computing horror really made me think. Was there anything I could have done to prevent this from occurring in the first place?A. In many cases, hard disk malfunctions can be avoided by regular preventive maintenance. Two excellent disk maintenance programs are Norton Utilities for Macintosh Version 2.0, and Central Point's MacTools 2.0.Both offer a disk check-and-repair function.
BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | December 13, 2007
If you're shopping for a computer this season, think about it the way you'd shop for a car. That means checking out the "sticker" on the retailer's shelf or Web site. Like the sticker on a new-car window, it will list each feature and tell you exactly what you're paying for. With that in mind, here is my component-by-component breakdown for 2007 shoppers: Microprocessor: Also known as the CPU (central processing unit), this chip is the part that does the real computing. While there are no slow computers on the market today, a faster processor will do better at running multiple programs simultaneously and handling applications that benefit from raw speed - such as high-resolution gaming or video production.
BUSINESS
By PETER H. LEWIS | February 3, 1992
A hard disk drive is never more than one second away from disaster. A power fluctuation, a computer virus, a faulty circuit, a corrupted file, a hard knock on the desk, a burglar, an infestation of gremlins -- any one of them can render your hard disk as useless as a stone, sending data into oblivion.Luckily, you have a current backup. You DO have a backup, don't you?Gulp.Backing up a hard disk is the process of copying all or some of its files onto another disk or tape. It does not help to copy files from one part of the hard disk to another part of the same hard disk.
BUSINESS
By Michael J. Himowitz | October 13, 1996
Oops Department: In last week's column I goofed on the price of the Iomega Jaz drive. The external drive is $500.I SAT DOWN at the computer and noticed immediately that someone else had been using it.The first clue was the crushed Coke can lying on top of the monitor.I don't leave Coke cans lying around. Moldy coffee mugs, maybe. But never a Coke can.The next thing I noticed was a new icon on the Windows desktop.I clicked and up popped the title screen for "Galactic Ninja Streetfighters" or some such horror that I hadn't installed.
BUSINESS
By PETER H. LEWIS | December 28, 1992
Even a couple of years ago, 40 megabytes of storage seemed like Santa's sack: a bottomless repository.Today, thanks to color graphics, sound and byte-spewing engines like Windows and OS/2, some PC buyers consider 100 megabytes a minimum, and even 200MB does not seem greedy. Hard disks are like attics or garages; regardless of size, they soon become cluttered.The problem becomes acute with notebook computers, which typically have smaller disk drive capacities than their desktop cousins.The standard solution is to buy and install a new hard disk.
BUSINESS
By MICHAEL J. HIMOWITZ | July 12, 1993
Over the years, I've handed out a lot of advice in this column. Most of it, I hope, is good. But some of it isn't. So I'm 'fessing up to a couple of mistakes.Take the matter of backing up your hard disk. With huge drives that hold hundreds of megabytes as standard equipment today, backups have become difficult and time consuming, if not downright impossible without a tape unit.Still, until recently it was quite possible to protect your most important investment merely by backing up your critical data files -- your financial records, word processing documents, spreadsheets and so on. That's what I advised.
BUSINESS
By Michael J. Himowitz and Michael J. Himowitz,Staff Writer | April 6, 1992
After the big Michelangelo virus scare a few weeks back, I decided it was time to practice what I'd been preaching and buy a tape drive to make consistent backups of my hard disk.I hadn't been attacked by the virus. Hardly anyone was, despite the most hysterical press hype since the great Comet Kohoutek. But the episode made me realize that I was vulnerable to much more common threats, including simple hard disk failure.There I was, sitting with almost 300 megabytes of files that represented thousands of hours of work as a journalist, programmer and small businessman.
BUSINESS
By PETER H. LEWIS | January 27, 1992
The hard disk drive may be the most important component of a personal computer system, yet because it is usually out of sight it is often out of mind.The little black (or silver) box seems pretty simple, but it holds nearly everything dear to the computer owner: all the important business reports and love letters and phone numbers and customer invoices and other data that make the world go round.When the hard disk stops going round, or loses its memory, the rest of the computer is temporarily incapacitated.
BUSINESS
By BILL HUSTED and BILL HUSTED,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | November 15, 2007
I have a Compaq computer that is almost eight years old now, and it is doing strange things. For instance, it will freeze up and refuse to shut down unless I turn off the power. I have a quick restore CD and floppy disk from Compaq. So my question is, do you think that this will solve my problem or should I just buy a new computer? - Clarence Rice Returning your hard disk to original condition may well solve your problem. It often does. The only way to find out, of course, is to try it. But keep in mind that a restore disk is not the same thing as an installation copy of Windows.
BUSINESS
By BILL HUSTED and BILL HUSTED,Atlanta Journal Constitution | October 25, 2007
Are registry cleaners a good idea? I have considered downloading one but have heard both pro and con. What is your opinion? -John Daum I like CCleaner, an easy-to-use and efficient registry cleaner. It can be downloaded at www.ccleaner.com, and it's free. However, I think programs like this are often overused. In the case of CCleaner, that will do no harm, but it could be a waste of time. In the case of some other registry cleaners, you can cause more problems than you fix. I've seen some that are so eager to report a large number of problems found that they end up fixing things that aren't broken.
BUSINESS
By BILL HUSTED and BILL HUSTED,THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION | September 27, 2007
Regarding static electricity and the need to ground yourself (when working on a computer), does this only apply to touching anything inside the computer? Also, is the chassis nothing more than the body of the computer? - Fernando Commodari I usually touch the side of the chassis to make sure that I'm getting rid of any static buildup. For folks who want to be really careful, you can buy grounding straps. These things fit around your wrist and a wire attaches the strap to a ground. Static is, of course, much worse in the winter and in extremely dry climates at any time of the year.
BUSINESS
By BILL HUSTED and BILL HUSTED,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | August 16, 2007
How old is too old when it comes to a computer? I have a 9-year-old son and a computer that was given to us by a family member. The computer is about five years old. The only thing it showed on the front was 52X max. There is no brand name. It has a CD drive and a slot for the smaller disks. Is this one even worth keeping or trying to upgrade? - Stephanie Duran In general, a computer is too old when it won't do the jobs you need done. Almost any computer of that age can be used for letters or e-mail.
BUSINESS
By Bill Husted and Bill Husted,The Atlanta Journal Constitution | July 26, 2007
I have a Dell desktop computer with a 10-gigabyte hard drive. Last week I decided to upgrade the operating system from Windows 98 to Windows XP. At that time, I had about 60 percent free space on the hard drive. The upgrade went smoothly until XP kicked Norton Internet Security off my system for lack of space. With the help of Symantec, I got Norton reinstalled, but now the computer is slow and the free space on the hard drive is down to 25 percent. Is there an easy and inexpensive way to expand the hard drive capacity?
BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ and MIKE HIMOWITZ,SUN COLUMNIST | April 20, 2006
As more home users network their computers, they're realizing they can pool their hard disk space or add storage that's available to everyone. Shared disks make it possible for all users on the network to enjoy photos, videos and music files. More importantly, they provide each user with a place to back up critical files more conveniently than CDs, DVDs or tape. I realized how important this was a few weeks ago after reporting that experts have questioned the longevity of the optical disks we burn to back up the data on our hard drives.
FEATURES
By Kevin Cowherd and Kevin Cowherd,Sun Staff Writer | June 22, 1995
The whole ugly business began a few days ago, when I turned on my computer and the words "Cannot initialize controller 0" flashed on the screen.This I recognized as a bad sign. Bad signs are everywhere in this life: the hooting of an owl at midnight, a wisp of smoke from the No. 2 engine at take-off, the auto mechanic who says, "Won't know anything till we get 'er up on the lift."And I knew the words "Cannot initialize controller 0" was a bad sign, too, particularly when I hit every key on the keyboard and nothing happened.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Seper and Chris Seper,NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE | March 20, 2003
Kristopher Sharrar is regularly asked the best way to completely erase data from a computer. His answer: steamroller. "They ask if that's a program," said Sharrar, national leader for Computer Forensic Services at Ernst & Young's Litigation Advisory Service Practices. "I say, `No, that's a piece of heavy construction equipment.'" Deleted files are rarely truly erased, even when a hard disk is "wiped clean" by some software programs that promise to make computer files unrecoverable, computer security experts say. Computers can retain files for years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kevin E. Washington | June 24, 2004
Bad things happen. And for some of us with computers, they happen all the time. But now that CMS Products has come up with the 80-gigabyte Velocity SATA Automatic Backup System ($300), an external hard drive, those of us whose hard drives become victims of foul play or fate can have a reasonable backup plan. The Velocity SATA Automatic Backup System is a hard drive that you can boot from even if your regular hard disk drive has fallen and can't get up. This is an external serial ATA drive that works faster than an external hard drive connected to your computer by a Firewire or Universal Serial Bus port 2.0 cable.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dean Takahashi and Dean Takahashi,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | June 17, 2004
Gadget makers have long dreamed about creating a low-cost multimedia machine for the living room that can play games, record video and handle a host of other chores. But as Apex Digital has discovered, it's harder than it seems. By marrying a video game machine with a digital video recorder, Apex ran into an engineering headache. The Southern California company recently announced that it would sell its ApeXtreme gaming machine for $499 starting in August. The machine can play computer games on a TV set and can comfortably fit in a living room entertainment center.
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