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Trust Spinola, he's a quack

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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. This month he discusses memory modules, drivers, hardware sites and getting good public relations coverage. Q I have a very expensive top of the range IBM ThinkPad but someone says I need a new driver, what shall I do? A What was wrong with the old one? Did he or she drink on duty? This can be a problem because being a chauffeur is a very tedious job. Didn't he or she like the uniform you provided. Perhaps you were a little brusque with him or her. Try learning some management skills. Q Someone tells me that I can make my PC go faster if I put it in the fridge. They called this, for some reason, overclocking. A Indeed, there are now many hardware sites on the Web who will give you the exact technical details on how to achieve this paradise on earth. In fact, one of the biggest suppliers of fancy dress costume in the world, a firm called Intel, reckons that in a few years' time, you won't need to put your PC in the fridge at all, because the fridge will itself be a PC. At present, the ability to make your PC go much faster by putting it in the fridge is limited by shelf space, which is technically called overclocking by the hardware sites. Q I have noticed that your magazine, The Register, regularly lists a number of hardware sites. As a PC guru, which would you personally recommend? A The Internet is a wonderful thing, isn't it? While not decrying the daily so-called Hardware Roundup that The Register publishes, I do have a few favourites of my own. At Plumbing.Com, you will find the largest supply of urinals, pot fillers and flush valves in the US. Kettle.Com is a bit of a surprise. It lets you virtually sample home cooking. At Chip.Com there is a stunning picture of Paul McCartney crossing a road which I believe is called Abbey Road. I must confess, these are some of my favourite hardware sites! Q Is it true that the more memory modules you put into your PC the better it performs? A As so many things in this highly technical business, the answer is, strictly speaking, yes and no. Memory is quite expensive these days, so you won't get many of the modules and enough change to buy your weekly groceries out of $1000. Even if you are wealthy - which I am not! - you need to be careful. I remember a very rich businessman opening his PC case and, quite literally, throwing hundreds of modules into the machine. When he replaced the top, it didn't seem to work at all better. In fact, it didn't work at all. So be careful. This is an even more tricky question if you're buying so called Rims from a company I believe is called Bumars Inc. They are very expensive Q I have read your forum and see that you used to be what I understand is called a "spin doctor", hence your cognomen. I am starting up a dotcom business and want publicity for it. What shall I do? A First, send me a personal email to the usual address, and I will explain how to transfer a relatively modest amound of funds to my personal bank account. I will then book the most expensive restaurant in London, and hand pick the top journalists who will give you maximum coverage for your lunch, sorry launch. After I have received payment of my modest invoice, you will see just how effective this PR stuff is! There will be so many column inches that it will frighten you. Trust me, I'm a kind of doctor. ®

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