To upgrade or not to upgrade: get the facts before you add components to your system.Newer, better, faster! If computer hardware and software manufacturers are to be believed, every day is a good day to upgrade. Of course, the decision to invest in more technology should be based on your growing computing needs and fiscal ability, not marketing hype. And don't forget to research the product before you decide to add it to your system. If possible, talk to someone who has used the product. As with any hardware or software upgrade, be sure to check requirements and compatibility issues between your system and the proposed component. With many new products, it may make sense to wait until the kinks have been worked out before you make a move.
Consider the new 56 kpbs modem technology which promises to let you surf the Web at rocket speed. The claim is not untrue, but there are underlying factors to consider before buying into this technology. Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , there are competing standards for 56 kbps modems. Both U.S. Robotics (U.S. Robotics, Inc., Schaumburg, IL, www.usr.com) A modem manufacturer highly regarded for its quality products. The company manufactures its own chipsets (data pumps) and often leads with innovations. Its HST protocol was a high-speed, reliable protocol before V. (www. usr.com) and Rockwell (www.rockwell.com) have developed methods for achieving this speed and have in turn, licensed to other modem makers such as ZOOM Telephonics (ZOOM has licensed Rockwell's technology).
Unfortunately, the two methods are incompatible with one another, which means consumers must find out which technology their ISP (1) See in-system programmable.
(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines. uses in order to reap the benefits of the faster modem (although they will both support speeds of 33.6 kbps regardless of the technology). International standards for 56 kbps modems should be set by mid-1998, but they will likely be a combination of various parts of the two technologies and will therefore conflict with both of the current methods.
A surer upgrade decision is to increase your system's RAM. Mac or PC, a RAM upgrade is generally a simple procedure that will boost computer performance, and with memory prices continually falling, any day really is a good day for a RAM upgrade. You can get 8MB of RAM for around $50. For the boost in performance, it's worth it. Even neophyte ne·o·phyte
1. A recent convert to a belief; a proselyte.
2. A beginner or novice: a neophyte at politics.
a. Roman Catholic Church A newly ordained priest. computer users can manage the task effectively if the directions are followed closely. Most computers have specific upgrade paths for memory modules. Also check your computer manual to find out the specific type of memory needed. Here are some other upgrade ideas:
IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) ThinkPad 560: The ThinkPad 560 is a lightweight and speedy notebook computer A laptop computer that weighs in a range from five to seven pounds. The term originated when laptops were routinely more than 10 pounds, and those that became lighter were placed in a special "notebook" category. In practice, notebook computer and laptop computer are synonymous. that is a good choice for the mobile professional. At a minuscule 1.2-inches thick and 4.1 lb., it's compact enough to fit into a briefcase along with the rest of your documents and it won't cause back problems from carrying the unit around all day.
The 560's 133 MHz (MegaHertZ) One million cycles per second. It is used to measure the transmission speed of electronic devices, including channels, buses and the computer's internal clock. A one-megahertz clock (1 MHz) means some number of bits (16, 32, 64, etc. Pentium processor is speedy enough for most users, and the unit is available in two basic flavors: a 12.1-inch active matrix display (hardware) active matrix display - A type of liquid crystal display where each display element (each pixel) includes an active component such as a transistor to maintain its state between scans.
Contrast passive matrix display. ($3,899) or a 11.3-inch dual scan display Noun 1. dual scan display - a type of passive matrix display in which the top and bottom half of the screen are refreshed simultaneously
passive matrix display - a type of LCD display used for some portable computers; parallel wires run both vertically and ($2,499). The 2.1 GB hard disk is enough to hold numerous PowerPoint presentations, although the standard 8MB of installed RAM leaves a "bit" to be desired. An internal modem would also be a welcome addition to the standard version.
Most mobile professionals don't use CD-ROMs on the road (which would add another 2 lb. to the unit) and, in keeping with the majority of the notebook market, the 560 is not equipped with one. Instead, it has a more practical external floppy drive. Add the AC adapter to the mix and the 560 is still lightweight enough to prevent a pain in the neck, and that's what counts when you're on the road. For more information, contact: 800-426-2968 or www.pc.ibm.com.
HP LaserJet Companion: Targeted at the SOHO Soho (sōhō`, sə–), district of Westminster, London, England, known for its continental restaurants. Once a fashionable quarter, it became popular among writers and artists in the 19th cent. user, the LaserJet Companion is a low-cost, all-in-one alternative to cluttering your office with numerous peripherals. Compatible with HP LaserJet printers (series 4, 5 and 6), the device packs copying, faxing and electronic filing capabilities into one unit. Essentially, the LaserJet Companion is a scanner with enhanced functionality.
Connected through your system's parallel port, the companion can automatically send documents directly to the PC or the printer for filing or copying. The PC need not be turned on for copying unless you want to fine tune the image before it goes to the printer. File documents electronically using the Optical Character Recognition optical character recognition (OCR), method for the machine-reading of typeset, typed, and, in some cases, hand-printed letters, numbers, and symbols using optical sensing and a computer. (OCR OCR
in full optical character recognition
Scanning and comparison technique intended to identify printed text or numerical data. It avoids the need to retype already printed material for data entry. ) software included with the Companion. While the HP LaserJet Companion may not provide professional image quality with its 15 seconds per scanned page and 300 dpi output, it is a reasonable alternative to separate fax, scanner and copiers. It retails for $249, or $598 bundled with the LaserJet 6Lse series printer. (The 6Lse retails for $399 and is sold separately.)
in full Small Computer System Interface
Once common standard for connecting peripheral devices (disks, modems, printers, etc.) to small and medium-sized computers. SCSI has given way to faster standards, such as Firewire and USB. Devices (pronounced "scuzzy See SCSI.
scuzzy - The usual pronunciation of SCSI. "): SCSI (small computer system interface) is a hardware device that enables between seven and 15 peripherals (printers, scanners, CD-ROM drives, etc.) to be connected using a single expansion board or parallel port in the computer. It's useful for users who have run out of expansion ports and need to add more devices. Peripherals are connected to the system via cables running between consecutive devices rather than being connected directly to the system. Mac users need not apply; they come with built-in SCSI adapters. For the PC, however, there are two choices--an external SCSI that connects through the parallel or an internal SCSI.
Home users will likely be fine with an external SCSI device, but since it uses a parallel port rather than a direct connection to the system board, as with an internal device, power users may want to opt for the internal device. Adaptec (www. adaptec.com) makes a wide variety of SCSI devices to fit most any operating system, including DOS and Windows 3.1. The APA-358 SCSI is a MiniSCSI which connects through the parallel port and retails for $139.
More demanding users will need an internal device such as the AHA-2920, which connects to an internal PCI slot in your PC and retails for $179.