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PC Clinic Having trouble with your brand new machine or with the lovely application software that's cost you an arm and a leg? Our very own PC paramedic, Dr Spinola will guide you through the hardware morass. Q Which 1GHz PC should I buy? A Before even contemplating buying a machine which uses either the AMD or the Intel 1GHz microprocessor, you should consider very carefully how much cash is involved. Cash is a technical term in the semiconductor industry and our information is that while Intel's Coppermine technology runs at full cash, AMD's Athlon only runs at one third the cash. Get your computer dealer to explain the distinction between one kind of cash and another. Q Can I trust a PC that's wearing either a beard or a moustache? A There are two points here. First of all, over last weekend, it emerged that New Labour wanted mayoral candidate Frank Dobson to shave his Father Christmas-style beard off because women don't like men with beards. Secondly, a recent report says that people wearing moustaches waste beer because of the absorbency of the hair, amounting to as many as 162,719 pints of Guinness a year. Don't be afraid of a PC with whiskers, he or she is as likely to tell you the time or point you in the right direction as one without. Q A pair of glasses appeared beside a message when I clicked on it in Outlook Express News. What does this mean? A You don't say what type of glasses they were. Were they designer frames? Were they Noniks? Generally speaking, if I'm working at my computer and a pair of glasses appears, it generally means I've drunk so much I've got double vision. Q Where can I find more information about burning music and data CDs? A It depends where you live. Most local authorities, at least in Britain, do not approve of bonfires any more. Further, CDs are pretty hard to burn. The best way to get rid of old music and data CDs is in the first case to give them to the local charity shop, and in the second place see if Computer Exchange will give you money for them. Q Someone has told me that you don't need a PC to surf the Web. Is this true, and if so, how can I do it. A This is quite true, and you do it by not buying a PC. Q What is the difference between a PC of similar specifications but from different vendors like HP, IBM, Compaq and Dell? A If you look at the front of the PC, you will see that each has a different badge on it. It used to be there was often a tacky little Intel Inside sticker there too, but there don't seem to be as many of them around as there used to be. ® See also How can I stop hairs getting in my PC My PC doesn't work. What shall I do?

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