Issue 209 - October 16, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2201 Subscribers in 57 Countries ====

Welcome to the 209th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three issues, I know that you will come back for more!

You can reach me at with any suggestions or comments.

Recommend PCIN at

Support PCIN at



Chris is on vacation this week so I'm flying solo. The weather has gotten considerably colder over the last week or so. It is quite refreshing. Just hope it doesn't keep getting colder just yet.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrated it this past Sunday or Monday. We had our big dinner on Monday and it was wonderful. My parents did the turkey, dressing, and gravy and Lisa did everything else. I wish there would have been more :-)

Finally, Chris and I have obtained some more products to review, so look for more reviews soon.

Graham and Chris

Return to the top


Corel Wins Market Share from Microsoft Office

Corel offers significant financial incentives on both the enterprise and consumer levels. The company's licensing agreement is considerably more economical than Microsoft's subscription fees.
For the fourth time this year, Corel has signed a top-tier PC maker to carry its office productivity software, rather than Microsoft Office, on some consumer models.
In the latest deal, Gateway will bundle Corel's WordPerfect Productivity Pack on the 300S series of PCs sold in North America, beginning this week. The package includes the WordPerfect 10 word processing program and Quattro Pro 10 spreadsheet program.
Gateway will bundle Corel's software with only its entry-level PCs.

For more info:

CNN slips ads into news slots has begun running stripped-down ads that look a lot like editorial links, raising some concern among some journalism ethics experts.
The online news site, owned by AOL Time Warner, is featuring advertising text links that appear at the top of Technology, World and U.S. News pages, adjacent to news headlines. Examples of text include: "If you Love Coffee," "Up to 80% off Ink!" or "Avoid Bad Retailers."
Though the tags link to marketing Web pages rather than news stories, they are not clearly labeled as having been paid for by advertisers, a concern for some journalism ethics professors.

For more info:

Tech needed a reason to :-)

Ever wonder how that smiley face we all know and love (or have some feelings about one way or another) was brought to life? The emoticon, which turned 20 in September, started as a way to clear up miscommunication.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were making good use of online bulletin boards, posting job information, announcements and, of course, jokes. However, some sarcastic comments were getting taken too seriously and there was some discussion as to how jokes should be marked.
Some suggested *, others liked &, but Scott Fahlman struck gold with :-). At the time he also suggested the use of :-( to indicate a more serious comment, but that was soon taken to mean anger, frustration or displeasure. Thus the emoticon was born.

For more info:

Graham's note: I dispute the claim that the smiley is 20 years old. Recently in Sunday School I came across a verse in the bible in 1 Chronicles 5: 2 that ends with :)
Looks like the smiley is actually thousands of years old :-)

Return to the top Recommend PCIN News

POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

Results for "Why do you rebuild your computer?" Poll

I like to keep it neatly organized Voting Results 9.47 % (9)
I test a lot of software Voting Results 18.95 % (18)
Frequent crashes Voting Results 12.63 % (12)
Increase performance Voting Results 49.47 % (47)
To avoid XP activation Voting Results 2.11 % (2)
Other reason Voting Results 7.37 % (7)
Total votes: 95

This Week's Poll

How long does it take to completely rebuild your computer?

< 2 hours
One morning, afternoon or evening
One day
One week
More than one week
I am never finished

Visit to vote on the web site rather than from here.

Return to the top Recommend PCIN Poll of the Week


Visit the new and improved PCIN FreeHelp Forum at to post your questions or answer others.


Whenever I tried to upgrade a Microsoft product, the machine hanged!
I tried:
Direct X 8.0 -> 8.1
Ie 5.0 -> 6.0
Msn Messanger
Msn Explorer!
I am using Win Me!


Make sure all applications are closed. Use CTRL+ALT+DEL to shut down hidden applications (exept explorer and systray) then try installing.
Additionally, check you computer for viruses.

To post a response, visit the General Software Help forum at and click on the "???" topic.

Visit to post a question of your own.

Return to the top Recommend PCIN FreeHelp Forum UPDATE

Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW Hardware Review Search

Some Useful Registry Tips FreeHelp Forum Update
(I've updated the forum and there is a new calendar feature. If you go and edit your profile to add your birthday, it will show up on a public calendar. Kind of neat!)

Return to the top Recommend Update


LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW Hardware Review

Almost everyone I know has a CD burner. Virtually all new computers come with one, and if you need to buy one yourself, store shelves are full of them, most of them reasonably priced. It used to be that you'd only think of HP or Sony when you thought of CD burners. But now LG Electronics is the leader in this industry. I recently obtained the LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW drive to review.
I used to think that if it took 20 minutes it was no big deal. If I wanted to burn something, I'd start it, go grab a snack, and come back. But why wait when you can burn an entire CD in just a couple of minutes. Want a new CD for the car, but have to leave for work right away? You can probably wait the 3 minutes. Having a meeting and someone wants a copy of your data? Excuse yourself to go and burn it and you'll be back in 3 minutes. Yes, I'm converted!
The bottom line is this... if you are looking for an inexpensive burner that is very fast and very reliable, then pick yourself up a LG Electronics GCE-8400B CD-RW Drive.
Read the full review online at

Another Useful Section

"Even with the most sophisticated hardware and software, you need to perform a bit of routine maintenance to keep everything working optimally. Microsoft® Windows® 98 offers many ways to keep your computer shipshape."
Check it out at

Help Reinstalling Windows

I saw this link in the LangaList newsletter, but since so many people ask how to reinstall Windows, I decided to include it here.
"This site will show you how to install, upgrade , reinstall , repair , troubleshoot and fix Microsoft Windows XP ( Also known as WinXP & whistler ) , Windows 98 ( Also known as Win98 ) , Windows ME ( Also known as WinME & Windows Millennium) , Windows 95 ( Also known as Win95 ), Windows 2000 ( also known as Win2k & W2K ), Windows NT ( Also known as WinNT), OEM computers ( Dell, Advent, Time, HP, and Compaq home PC's and Laptops ). Also tips, tricks, help, hints, how to build a computer plus much much more."

Return to the top Recommend PCIN Tips and Other Stuff


PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying the tips in this newsletter.

  1. If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut and paste.
  2. You can only win one contest every 30 days.
  3. To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit and follow the appropriate links.
  4. Recommend PCIN to others at and be entered in a monthly draw.
  5. There are only 2 ways to get on the subscriber list. You have either been subscribed by filling out a subscription form on any of the pages on my site, or you have requested FreeHelp from me in the past.
  6. If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at and I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.
  7. Support PCIN by visiting

Return to the top

Graham Wing can be reached at
Chris Empey can be reached at

Copyright 1998-2002, Graham Wing. All rights reserved.

This publication may be reproduced in whole, or in part, as long as the author is notified and the newsletter is presented as is.

Support PCIN by visiting

PC Improvement News Home Page

PC Improvement News Archive