Issue 215 - November 27, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2240 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 215th 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!

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I sure hope that most of you noticed that Chris sent the newsletter out last week. I was away with Lisa and Andrew for a short vacation. We went to Cleveland and Kirtland, OH. They are about 3.5 hours away from here. We went to Cleveland just to see what it was like, and we went to Kirtland to see some historical sites from the 1830s from our Church.

We had such a good time with Andrew. The highlights of the trip were probably when we took him swimming with us. The pool was very warm and he loved it. He would splash occasionally, but most of the time he just sat there staring at everything around him. He didn't fuss once. He was very cute 8-)

If you are interested in any pictures, you can read about our trip at

Finally, on a computer note... I will have a review of Paragon's Hard Disk Manager 5.5 software next week.

Graham and Chris

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eBay Takes a Shot at Amazon

"Taking a shot across's bows, eBay launched what it calls a new 'electronics superstore site' for both consumers and IT buyers, and introduced free shipping on many items, a first for the auction giant.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company said it is offering access to 'millions of products' at, including consumer electronics, computers, peripherals, networking gear, telecom, software, photography equipment and video games.
And most of this stuff is being offered by top manufacturers and retailers, not by people cleaning out their closets."

For more info:

Jury: RIM infringed on patents

"A federal jury determined that Research In Motion infringed on patents and on Thursday ordered it to pay $23 million to holding company NTP.
RIM, maker of the BlackBerry wireless device, said it disagrees with the verdict and vowed to appeal. At the same time, the company said it will record a pre-tax provision of approximately $23 million against potential damages in its third quarter.
'Today's jury verdict was wrong as both a matter of law and fact,'Charles Meyer, RIM's chief legal officer, said in a statement. The company said that if the judge upholds the jury's verdict, RIM will appeal."

For more info:

Where Is MP4?

"It is a rare day when MP3s are not mentioned in a major newspaper. The format is not only a technical success, but also the center of a firestorm of political activity as intellectual property guardians square off against file-sharing advocates. Is there a follow-up to this audio format that has taken the world by storm?
As a matter of fact, there is. It is called MPEG-4 -- MP4 for short -- and a number of companies and projects are already using it."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

How often to you visit Windows Update?

Daily 3.94 % (5)
Weekly 22.83 % (29)
Monthly 19.69 % (25)
Whenever Windows prompts me 31.50 % (40)
I do not visit Windows Update 22.05 % (28)
Total votes: 127

This Week's Poll

How do you use Windows Update?

I install everything
I only install critical updates
I let Automatic Updates take care of it for me
I don't ever install any updates
I download MS updates from other sites

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


I would like to partition my 20 GHz hard drive. I'm running Windows ME at present but I'd like to put '98 on as well. Can anyone help?


No responses given yet.

To post a response, visit the Hardware How-To forum at and click on the "partitioning hard drive" topic.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Object Desktop Software Review

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

Some Useful Registry Tips

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Several weeks ago we featured a review on Stardock's Object Desktop product. In a recent Lockergnome they mentioned ObjectDock. ObjectDock is a Start Menu replacement for Object Desktop and is currently in Beta, but seems very stable on my system. I was very happy with my initial use of the product. For those of you looking for an OS X start menu type application, this is it.


I came across this site recently that has all sorts of fun quizzes. eMode claims it is "the #1 Destination for Self-Discover." Some of the tests include The Ultimate Personality Test, The Enneagram Test, Emode's Original Inkblot Test, True Talent Test, Discover Your Sexual Personality, The Emotional IQ Test, and Career Personality Test . Visit to try them out.

The Wing Family Tips

My parents and 2 of my sisters were over tonight. I told them I was having a hard time coming up with a third tip. Here are their words of wisdom:
Don't get a web host that lets their system get hacked into and people send spam from your account (he had this problem)
Leave early from work if you can't get the computer to work
If the monitor is blank, turn your computer on
Don't give out your credit card number

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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.

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

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

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