The Midnight Writer: August 1996
by Mike Lloret
*Write for the Algorithmica!
*TPC Elections coming up in the fall
The good news is that the 2GB HP hard disk drive I bought from Todd Boyle installed easily and is working very well. This enabled me to banish the Quantum Empire drive that had been giving me so much grief. I've given it to Masayo to play with, after manfully resisting the impulse to reduce it to its component atoms with my bare hands. Since Beauty isn't equipped with a SCSI controller, she's taken the drive to the office to experiment with. I hope whatever she does causes the drive maximum pain and suffering. Yes, I'm vengeful.
The Beast is working well enough to type this, anyway, and it's been starting right up every time. So much for the good news.
Although it's nice to have a system on which it's no longer possible to wager whether it'll start up, I'm less pleased by some other current events. The bad news is that I had to reinstall Win95 (yes,again) after copying it back onto my new D: drive. It now works less well than it did before...quite an accomplishment. This is the second time I've written this column; just a couple of minutes ago it "performed an illegal operation" and I've had to start over. When I first start MS Publisher I'm told that due to lack of memory objects can't be updated, hyphenation can't be used, and so forth. This is with nothing else open and 24MB of RAM. A relatively simple DOS game now freezes the system after 10 minutes or so, too. I'm very happy that I've been able to keep Windows 3.11, which, relatively speaking, seems much more stable than Win95.
In the near future, I guess I'm going to increase the RAM as I mentioned last issue, and maybe see if I can find a Win95 version of QEMM. Maybe fiddle some with the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, too, much as I loathe the idea. Another thing I could do would be to upgrade my more critical applications to the Win95 versions, but I'm not yet enthusiastic enough to follow Uncle Bill's agenda to that extent.
I haven't found the time to install my recently-purchased SoundBlaster board (maybe the weekend after next, or during summer vacation), and I'm still hoping to get some advice, or a review, or something regarding a good choice for a new graphics board. I haven't had the time to buy any computer 'zines or go window shopping in Akihabara, but I imagine something with maybe four MB of VRAM might improve things. Don't be shy about offering advice, folks.
Speaking of shy, don't be shy about submitting material to the Algorithmica Japonica, either. As I write this it's past the deadline and we're still rather short of material, a condition that's been pretty much chronic during my tenure as editor. Send submissions to me by e-mail, snail mail, fax, or whatever, or call/write me to discuss possible articles. Please.
Keep in mind, also, that now is the time to announce your candidacy if you'd like to run for President, Vice President, or Treasurer of the TPC. Elections are coming up soon...I have to run a ballot in the September issue of the AJ. It's a great opportunity to give something back to the Group, and can be a lot of fun as well as being educational and satisfying. If you'd like to talk about it, send me or any of the executives of the Group an e-mail message or fax, or call me/us up. The TPC is a volunteer Group, and we really do need your help to keep it a good one and to make it a better one.
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