DUX COMPUTER DIGEST
Last updated: 10/21/04
on Buying a Motherboard
AMD Athlon Processor
nVIDIA nForce Motherboard Chipset
and Internet Sharing
CD-ROM, CD-RW, & DVD DRIVES
A44T I usually use Acer CD-ROM drives, but
last week the vendor I was placing an order with didn't have any. At
his recommendation, I bought a couple of 44X CD-ROM drives made by a Taiwanese
company I never heard of before. I was pleasantly surprised by the
quality of the...
Actima A44T 44X CD-ROM drive.
8100i. The Hewlett-Packard 8100i SureStore
CD-Writer Plus drive is my current choice for an internal CD
948E I have been using the AOpen 9XXE/AKU
series of CD-ROM drives for upgrades and new computers for years and have
found them to be quality products that hold-up over time. Currently,
the 48X version of the drive is my choice for performance/cost. Click
here to read the review.
952E The AOpen 952E 52X CD-ROM drive is a reliable,
fast, quiet, and somewhat economical CD-ROM drive. This is AOpen's
most recent CD-ROM drive. The "differences" between it
and the AOpen 948E 48X CD-ROM drive may come as a surprise to some. Click
here to read more.
SD-M1212 The Toshiba
SD-M1212 6X/32X DVD drive not only brings first-rate DVD movie
quality to you computer screen, it has enough CD-ROM oomph to make
a Windows 98 install on a 650 Mhz Athlon computer quite fast. No
longer do you have to feel that you are giving up substantial CD-ROM
performance to get DVD features in the same drive.
SX830/SX840 If you are looking for a large, but
not overbearing ATX computer case and power supply for a high-end PC or
small business file server, Antec's
SX830 and SX840 Performance Series Workstation Cases are good choices.
KS282 The Antec KS282 is a very attractive
and well-designed ATX mid-tower computer case. The model with the
300 Watt Power Supply is one of the case/power supply combinations approved
by AMD for the Athlon processor. Excellent air circulation and a
hefty power supply make this case an excellent choice for those who want
to build a high-end, fully-loaded computer--a gamer's delight. Click
here to read the review...
.A-TOPAT589 The A-TOP A589 Translucent
They come in orange, purple, and blue...
Which, to many, is a case quite cool...
Translucent, I mean, the latest rage...
Enter the A-Top AT589, center stage...
Is a translucent case the way to go...
Two million I-Mac owners must think so...
What's this "glowing" tower all about?
Read-on and you'll find out...
A-TOPAT900 I call A-Top
AT900-ATG a mid-tower case because it isn't as tall as a full-tower
case and has fewer bays; however, it is taller and has more drive bays
than many other mid-tower cases. Click
here to read the review.
BG45. I have
been building computers with AOpen BG45 Baby AT form-factor, mid-tower
case for years.
BG95. The AOpen
BG95 Baby AT desktop computer case offers full expandability
and good quality.
HX08. If you
are looking for good case for a network file server, the AOpen
HX08 full-tower case, with a 13-drive capacity and a 300 Watt
ATX power supply, may be just the ticket.
HX45. I use the AOpen
HX45 ATX form-factor, mid-tower computer case for most of the
computers I build. It is an excellent choice for those who are
going to build their own computer.
HX45A The AOpen
HX45A ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case is an excellent choice for
those who are going to build their own computer. It is roomy
and a pleasure to work with. The case looks good, has a solid
feel, is furnished with an ample assortment of hardware.
HX95 Are you
looking for a good ATX desktop case with a power supply? The AOpen
HX95 may be a good choice.
HX95A The AOpen
HX95A ATX desktop computer case, is an improved
version of the HX95, a case I have been using for years. It is a
good choice for building the average computer.
SOCKET7BENCH We present benchmarks
and observations for some popular Socket 7 CPU's; namely, the AMD 450 Mhz
K6-3, 450 Mhz K6-2, 400 Mhz K6-2, and the VIA Cyrix 300 Mhz M2-433GP. Which
one is the best buy?
HTS421B-SB The ChipCoolers
HTS421B-SB is a large heat-sink fan which cools the outside
of a 650 Mhz Athlon to almost body temperature.
FD83 If I could sneak $800
it past my wife, I'd be sorely tempted to go out right now and buy a Sony
Mavica MVC-FD83 Digital Camera.
FD88 The Sony
Mavica MVC-FD88 Digital Camera is a notch
up from the MVC-FD83 reviewed a couple of months ago.
250ZIPPAR The "high-density" Zip
drive has arrived. Read about it in the Iomega
250 MByte Parallel Zip Drive Review.
250ZIPIDE "Floppy" drives just got bigger,
new 250 MByte internal IDE Zip drive packs still more storage capacity
and speed into a package which is physically the same size as it's 100
WD273BA If you are looking for a high-capacity,
high-performance hard disk drive, Western
Digital's WD273BA 27.3 GByte drive is big, fast, quiet, and cool.
WD800JB If you really want to soup-up a computer,
get a Western Digital Special
Edition Caviar hard disk drive with an eight MByte buffer--reasonably
priced and lightning fast!
ADSUSBBD If you are looking to add a USB capability
to computer which is a no brainer to install, the Ads
Technologies PCI USB Port is just that.
in the "old" days (late 1980's) when we were building XT and
AT clones we went through quite a few keyboards looking for the right one. We
found it and have been using the Focus Electronic 2001 keyboard ever
FM56-ITU/2. AOpen just released a new version
of FM56-ITU FAX/MODEM, my all-time favorite MODEM. Like its predecessor,
this new version, the FM56-ITU/2,
is economical, works well, and is one I can control.
new FM56-PM MODEM employs the Conexant (Rockwell) Mono Pack
RH56D/SP-PCI Single Chip Host to provide a complete set of V.90/K56Flex
FM56-P. The AOpen
FM56-P is currently my choice for a PCI Plug 'n Play K56Flex/V.90
FAX/MODEM. I've had fewer problems with this MODEM than any other
Plug 'n Play MODEM I've used during the last year.
FM56-H. The AOpen
FM56-H MODEM had problems. AOpen has posted new software
for this MODEM. It apparently fixes all of the problems.
me a MODEM which is economical, works well and is one I can control. By
control I mean a MODEM with jumpers and a wide selection of IRQ and port
address options. The AOpen FM56-ITU FAX/MODEM meets
SB2100D Overall, the General Instrument's
external Surfboard SB2100D
Cable MODEM works quite well and has some advantages and some disadvantages
when compared to an internal cable MODEM.
KX7-333bit The Abit KX7-333/KX7-333R
DDR Athlon motherboard implements an
incremental increase in motherboard technology with the VIA KT333 chipset
and DDR2700 (333 MHz) memory. Is
it faster than its predecessor? This review also includes benchmarks
of the Western Digital WD800 Special Edition ATA/100 hard disk drive with
8 MBytes of disk cache' in normal and RAID configurations. The
box the drive comes in says, "LIGHTNING FAST." Is
it? Click here to find
of the EpoX 8KHA+ DDR Athlon Motherboard. How
much have AMD-based computers changed since the Socket 7 and what can
one expect by upgrading to the 8KHA+? Besides reviewing
the 8KHA+, this article will attempt to answer that question.
MVP3C2/G2R The Epox MVPC2 and MVP3G2 Super7 motherboard
reviews have been rewritten to account for the noticeable increase
in ATA/66 hard disk performance resulting from a recent BIOS revision. Click
the appropriate link to read more MVP3G2
ATX, MVP3C2 Baby
EPOXATA66 In the Dux Computer Digest reviews
of the EpoX MVP3G2 and MVP3C2 Super7 motherboards, I expressed disappointment
with the ATA/66 hard disk performance of these otherwise superb motherboards. Well,
it looks like EpoX has finally fixed the problem. Click
here to read more.
MS-6167 The MSI
MS-6167 Athlon motherboard has it where it counts: stability
and performance. Combine it with an AMD 650 Mhz Athlon processor,
128 MBytes of PC-100 memory, a 7,200 RPM ATA/66 hard disk, a high-end
graphics board, and a large screen monitor and you will have the ultimate
BH6. The Abit
BH6 Pentium II motherboard is easy to install and is absolutely
stable with a 450 Mhz processor. Everything about it--layout,
capacitors, packaging, and the user manual--rings of quality.
P5A. The Asus P5A-B Baby
AT, Super7 motherboard has too many of one thing and too few
EP-51MVP3-M. The Epox EP-51MVP3E-M motherboard is
my choice for the best overall Super7 ATX motherboard on the market.
EP-58MVP3C-M. Let me tell you about a Super7
Baby AT motherboard with first rate quality: the Epox EP-58MVP3C-M. The
layout of this board is one of the best I've seen. The engineers
at Epox must have visited shops like mine to come-up with a product truly
designed to make the life easier for people who work on computers. Installation
is a snap. Add a 300 Mhz K6-2, compatible PC100 memory, Western Digital
UDMA hard disk, the Epox/Highpoint bus-master UDMA driver, and AGP 3D and
you will have a screaming Super7.
EP-MVP3C. The new EpoX
EP-MVP3C Baby AT motherboard is a worthy successor to the EP-58MVP3C-M,
which was previously reviewed, and continues Epox's
trend of manufacturing high quality motherboards.
MVP3C2 The Baby AT form-factor motherboard
lives on... The EpoX MVP3C2 Socket 7, Baby AT motherboard is
well-suited for upgrading aging Baby AT computers at minimal cost. Add
a 450 or 500 Mhz AMD K6-2 processor and 64 MBytes of PC-100 memory
and you will put enough zip in that old computer to put a smile on your
secretary's face. Click
here to read the review.
MVP3G2 The Epox
MVP3G2 ATX Super7 motherboard is one rock-solid motherboard,
but the it's performance with ATA/66 hard disks and that of the disk
drives themselves is rather disappointing.
4/5/99 Review... Epox maintains
its leadership position in Super7 motherboard market with the MVP3G-M
ATX motherboard. Click
here to read the review.
BUSMASTER. Free! If you have an Epox
motherboard, you can make your UltraDMA hard disk drive run much(!) faster. Benchmarks
affirm my initial reaction: simply incredible! You may encounter a
problem installing the driver.
USDM. Another freebee from Epox. This
one is certainly worth having if you have one of the Epox Super7 motherboards.
591P If you are looking for a low-end
replacement motherboard or want to make a modest upgrade to an older computer, without
replacing its 72-pin memory, then the Shuttle
HOT-591P Baby AT Motherboard is in the running...
is the best and hopefully cheapest way I can use two computers on one
ATS 10/100 Base T Splitter Adapters.
Acer ALN-315C is a low cost, bus-mastering, full-duplex,
auto-sensing, Fast Ethernet adapter.
ALN320. Low cost, bus-mastering,
full-duplex, and fast describe the Acer ALN-320 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Fast Ethernet adapter.
DFE-530TX The D-Link
DFE-530TX is a high-quality Fast Ethernet Adapter with
excellent silk-screening, good lay-out, and electrolytic capacitors
rated at 105°C.
DFE-530TX+ The D-link
DFE-530TX+ a very different Ethernet adapter than the
D-Link DFE-530TX recently reviewed in the Digest.
DFE-910 If you are looking for a starter kit for
a home or small office network, the D-Link
DFE-910 Network in a Box has speed, expandability, and basic Internet
sharing at a reasonable price.
DI-701 D-Link DI-701 Residential Gateway/Broadband
Router. Unfortunately, an operational review of this spiffy-looking,
semi-transparent product was stopped cold by its inability to communicate
with my cable MODEM. Click
here to read more...
PHN-910 If you are looking for an easy to
install network for your a home or small office, the D-Link
DHN-910 Phoneline Network in a Box may be just the solution.
ANYPOINT Are you looking for fast and easy
way to network those PCs you have at home to share an Internet connection,
printers, and disk drives, and play multi-PC games? How about
one that doesn't require installing network cables or even opening your
PC? Read all about it in a Review
of the Intel AnyPoint Home Network.
LNE100TX Like other Ethernet adapters I
have seen recently, the LINKSYS
LNE100TX is physically smaller, measuring 2 3/16 by 5 7/8 inches,
and has fewer capacitors...
to Network Red Hat Linux and Microsoft Windows will
show you step-by-step how to setup a computer running Red Hat Linux version
7.3 in a network with computers running various versions of Microsoft
SMC7004BR The best way I
have found to date to share an Internet connection, be it dial-up, cable
MODEM, or DSL, is with the SMC Barricade Broadband Router. Click
here for a different kind of review of this product.
SYGATE Sybergen Networks' SyGate
Internet Connection Management Software is the best means of
sharing an Internet connection I've seen to date...
HP895 If you are looking for a high-performance
color ink jet printer for personal, small office, or workgroup use, the HP
DeskJet 895Cse is a very good choice. MORE
HP3300C A customer brought me her computer
to fix a problem with a game and this HP 3300C USB scanner to install. The
game was a difficult problem; installing the scanner was a breeze. Furthermore,
I was impressed with the quality and performance of this $130 scanner. Click
here to read the review.
HP5200C Hardware Review: I frequently use a scanner
to scan images and documents for Web sites. The Hewlett-Packard
ScanJet 5200C USB Color Scanner provides
just about the right combination of cost, quality, features, and speed
for this function.
Hat Linux 9.0 Clean Install - The Whole Enchilada. This
article consists of a detailed, step-by-step, clean install and testing
of Red HAT (RH) Linux 9.0. The steps performed to install, configure,
and test Samba, SWAT, host tables, telnet, FTP, Apache, a virtual
intranet web server, MySQL, PHP, and Perl are described. The
text from the various configuration and test files is included for
convenience and as examples.
Management Utilities for MySQL. Management of MySQL databases
can be done at command line prompts much like other database programs;
however, that can be a laborious method for occasional users. Fortunately,
for the rest of us, there are several third-party utilities that provide
a graphical user interface (GUI) for performing these functions in
a more civilized manner.
Hat Linux Clean Install - The Whole Enchilada. This is my detailed(!)
step-by-step, clean install and testing of Red Linux 7.3, including
telnet, wu-FTP, Samba, Apache, a virtual web server, Perl, PHP, MySQL,
and the lines from the various configuration and test files. I hope
these notes will save some people some grief.
WIN2KANALYZER Thinking of buying Windows 2000? Microsoft
has a tool to check your computer hardware and software to see if there
will be problems before deciding to buy it. Click
here for more info...
van Kaam's Motherboard Monitor Lite for Windows 95/98
accesses various system monitoring chips and displays motherboard temperatures,
fan speeds, and voltages. Fan and temperature alarms can be set.
NOTESPAD. In a nut shell, I don't like Note Pad
or Word Pad. Why use multiple tools with multiple interfaces when one good
one should be able to do it all? Don Z'Borey has solved this problem
with NotesPad. It
does it all and does it better.
you work with Western Digital hard disk drives you should have a copy of WD
FX3D Not everyone needs a high-end sound card in
their computer. If you are looking for a simple ISA PnP sound card
which is Sound Blaster Pro compatible, easy to install and has a good audio
rack, the AOpen FX-3D Plus is
a good choice and is very affordable.
25AC Among the ways to attach twisted-pair network cable to studs, etc. without ruining it is to use the Acme 25AC stapler.
DORCY An essential
item in a technician's tool kit is a reliable flashlight. The Dorcy
Solid State Flashlight is a good choice.
L1 The Pelican L1 LED Flashlight makes an ideal addition to a technician's field service tool kit and for use in a shop.
ATITV Do you want to watch TV on your
computer? Then just add an ATI-TV board, install the software
which comes with the board, and plug-in your cable TV, VCR, or camcorder.
The ATI-TV is also a very good video-capture board.
ATITVW Do you want to watch TV on
your computer? Then just add an ATI-TV
Wonder, install the software which comes with the board, and plug-in
your cable TV, VCR, or camcorder. The ATI-TV Wonder is also a very good
ZOOMCAM If you are looking for a low-cost
camera to videoconference on the Internet, setup a videophone, or
send video E-mail, the Zoom Telephonics ZoomCam-ISA does the job
for a current street price of about $55.00.
ECAM 3/29/99 The NewCom E-Cam color digital camera is
an attractive looking camera with a street price of about $90.00. It
is very easy to install and the picture quality is quite good for a low-cost
camera. Its printer port interface limits performance.
BUILD YOUR OWN COMPUTER
to Build a Computer with a Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor presents
the steps used to build a Socket A computer as a detailed check
list with notes and pictures.
BLDATHLON The fastest computer
we have built to date features AMD's Athlon processor, MSI MS-6167 motherboard,
and a Diamond Viper V770 Ultra graphics board. Read more about it
in How to Build Your Own Athlon
BLDPII If you want to try your
hand at building your own Pentium II computer, the following link will
take you to a complete bill-of materials and a build-it-yourself checklist
How to Build Your Own Pentium
BLDPIII Build the latest a
greatest: How to Build
Your Own Pentium III Computer. There were enough differences
between building a Pentium III computer and a Pentium II computer that
I decided to publish a separate check-list.
BLDSUP7 So, you bought an Epox
MVP3G-M motherboard, an AOpen HX45 case, etc., or something similar, and
you want to build your own. Here's...
How to Build Your Own Super7 Computer.
UTP How to make
your own network cables. Everything you need to know to
fabricate straight-thru and crossover cables.
to install the Acer ALN-320 Fast Ethernet adapter. These instructions
are provided as an example of how to install a PCI network adapter.
to Network Two Windows 95/98 Computers.
WIN98SE Windows 98 Second Edition
with Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing is one way to connect
your Windows network to the Internet and share an Internet connection with
other users of the network. Here's How to
Network and Share an Internet Connection with Windows 98 Second Edition.
WIN98SECAB Success! I just
installed Windows 98 Second Edition Internet Sharing Software (ICS) on
our Mom 'n Pop Local Area Network and it works well with our ISP supplied
external cable MODEM, on a one-way cable system. At last, Claudia
can share the Internet connection and (ah!) read my mail. Read on
to find-out How to Share
a Cable MODEM with Windows 98 Second Edition.
NF7-S Abit NF7-S Motherboard Installation Notes
RAID RAIDing Windows XP. This article will shows you step-by-step how to set up simple RAID configurations of hard disk drives and how to install Windows XP on them.
KX7333 How to Install the Abit KX7-333/KX7-333R Motherboard. This article provides detailed instructions for installing the Abit KX7-333 and KX-333R motherboards in a typical computer.
to Copy the Contents of One Hard Disk to Another will show
you how to configure your old and new hard disk drives and describe
four methods used to copy the contents of the old one to the new one.
CDROM During the installation of
a CD-ROM drive, configuration choices can noticeably affect drive performance. Read
about it in How to Install a CD-ROM
SOCKA Many AMD Socket A Athlon and
Duron processors are damaged during installation. The purpose of How
to Install an AMD Athlon or Duron Socket A Processor is to help
you avoid that misfortune.
to Install the EpoX 8KHA+ Motherboard provides detailed instructions
for installing the popular, high-performance EpoX 8KHA+ DDR Socket
A AMD Athlon/Duron Motherboard in a typical computer.
to Dual-Boot Windows 9X/Me and 2000 Pro provides step-by-step
instructions for installing both Windows 9X/Me and Windows 2000 Pro
on the same hard disk drive so that either operating system can be
selected from a menu when the computer first boots-up.WINMEBACKUP If you just installed
Windows Me and are wondering what happened to the Microsoft Backup program, click
here...WINMESTART Back in the MS-DOS
and Windows 3.x days most technicians packed a boot floppy with some basic
software tools on it for trouble-shooting, installing hard disks, etc.. Today,
this sort of floppy is called a Windows Startup disk or Emergency Boot
Disk (EBD) and is largely ignored until an emergency, such as a hard disk
failure, when, to the dismay of the user, it may not work. Furthermore,
with the advent of Windows Me, there is no way to even make a bootable
floppy from the Windows Format Menu or by using the FORMAT /s command from
the DOS prompt. Find solutions to these problems in How
to Make Windows Me Startup and Boot Floppy Disks.WINMEISNT A few changes have
been made in the procedures for installing Windows Me (Millennium Edition)
as compared to previous versions. To learn about them and a few other
tidbits of information, read How
to Install Windows Me.WINTP I have started a Windows How
to page with tips and tricks. I will build on this section as time
goes by. If you want to contribute that neat idea or tip that perhaps
no one has thought of before, please post a message in our Discussion Forum. I
will setup a Windows Forum soon where problems, etc. can be posted and
discussed as well. Click
here for the article.FP I use Microsoft FrontPage
to directly write, organize, and publish the Dux Computer Digest. Today,
I started a FrontPage How to for the Digest. The article starts with
a few items. I will try to add to it over time. If there is
enough interest in the subject, I may, in the future, add a Discussion
Forum on FrontPage to this web site. Click
here for the article.WINVER. How determine
what version of Windows is installed on your computer.
to install the Windows 98 Upgrade on a new hard disk without
having to first install and then upgrade an older version of Windows.
to Troubleshoot CD-ROM Drive Autoplay and Audio CD Problems
7/10/99 From the Shop. Windows
98 Second Edtion, running on a motherboard with the VIA MVP3 chipset, detects
and installs Iomega's IDE/ATAPI Zip drive and the parallel port version
of SanDisk's ImageMate CompactFlash card reader as floppy drives. The
to make a Windows 98 Startup disk which will work when you
need it.6/24/99 Weird
Power supply Problem. A customer brought a Packard Bell,
Multimedia R515 computer (model 890498-03) to my shop with a power supply
problem I haven't seen before.6/5/99 From the shop... Diary. EpoX
BIOS updates, VIA all-in-one Service Pack for the MVP3 chipset, VIA FAQs.3/19/99 From the shop. Diary. Larry
leaves the Internet Bronze Age. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0
has been released, but is playing hard to get. 1/29/99 From the shop. Diary: The
Y2K problem. 1/13/98 From the shop. Diary:
the shop, comments on the 300 and 333 Mhz AMD K6-2 processors, the K6-2
and the Epox Super7 motherboards, and the 400 Mhz AMD K6-2 processor. 5P. How to install
an HP ScanJet 5p for use with a Compaq Presario 6704 Computer.
reader writes, "My PC cannot detect my hard disk (sometimes). And
I suspect the CMOS has been infected by virus. What should I do?" K6-2/OSR2 I've
been asked if the Epox EP51-MVP3C-M and EP-58MVP3-M Super7 motherboards
support 350 Mhz AMD K6-2 processors. The answer is yes... However,
there is timing problem with the OSR2.X release of Windows 95. AMD 350 Mhz and higher K6-2 CPUs and older versions
of Win 95 are incompatible. 4100C Tips for solving HP ScanJet 4100C installation problems. MORE
Lawrence Dux of Minnesota asks, "Where
did you get your company name?"