FACTS! FAX! 031 (29/10/96)
AT THE CONVERTED
I consider myself reasonably computer literate, I do not understand how Apple
and IBM compatible machines can communicate between themselves on the Net.
I have both type of PC at home, and I still have difficulty converting files,
even though Apple have bridged the gap to some extent. How does the Internet cope with both systems
so easily ?
not just PCs and Macs. There are literally thousands of different types of
computers hooked up to the Internet, from palmtops to supercomputers.
Information flowing around the Internet, whether it’s a graphic-intensive World
Wide Web page, speech, or plain text, is carried in the form of standardised
‘packets’. All of the many complex translation operations, needed to turn the
information into a form your PC or Mac can process, are carried out by your
computer’s Internet access and communications software, usually supplied to you
by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This can range in scope from a simple
text reader, to sophisticated Browsers, like Navigator and Mosaic.
hard drive in my notebook PC has crashed. A few weeks ago in Connected you
mentioned a company specialising in recovering hard drive data. I would really
appreciate any names or addresses!
probably referring to Dr Solomon’s, who have recently changed their name to
Authentec Data Recovery. They operate a no-fix, no-fee, and reckon they have
something like a 95% success rate. The cost depends on the drive’s capacity;
prices start at around Ł200 for drives in the 40 to 80 megabyte range, rising
to several thousand pounds for multi-gigabyte models. Authentec
can be contacted on 0800 581263
to the enquiry from DL (FFF 24/9/96, ‘Too Hot To Handle’) regarding safe
operating temperatures for PCs, he might like to know that my internal modem
malfunctions when the temperature in my conservatory exceeds 30 degrees
Celsius. Everything else works fine.
monitor fails to sync. below about 15 degrees centigrade.
electronic and electrical appliances are designed to work within the range of
temperatures we humans can endure. Both devices are failing within the
so-called ‘comfort’ zone. As far as the
modem card is concerned, check that it’s properly seated; excessive heat can
distort the motherboard and affect the integrity of the contacts. It may be
that it’s too close to another expansion card, or cables are preventing the
free circulation of cooling air. It sounds as though there could be a fault on
C.B’s monitor; heat from the CRT and power supply usually maintain a fairly
even temperature inside the cabinet.
reference to ‘PCs in control’ (FFF, 8/10/96), I would suggest a different
approach. PCs and controller cards are far too expensive for mundane jobs, like
controlling household appliances. Get a Commodore 64, they’re very cheap and
come with all the inputs and outputs you're likely to need. The only extras are a portable black and
white TV for a monitor, and a little BASIC programming. The C64 has a user port
with 16 controllable input and output lines, which can easily switch a relay.
It also has two digital joystick ports, that can be used to ‘read’ external
switches. The user manual and a copy of ‘The Commodore 64 Programmers Reference
Guide’ contain all the information you need; edge connectors for the user port
should still be available from electronic component suppliers.
easy to become blinkered by the PC/Mac duopoly, and forget that there are
indeed other formats and systems that can provide cheaper simpler and often
more effective solutions.