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The bad Dr Spinola answers your questions

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PC Clinic Every fortnight or so, Dr Spinola gives you sound advice about problems you have with your PC. This time round, he covers technical support, infra-red technology, blackmail, problems associated with Microsoft Fright Stimulator, and the amount of "cash" you need on a "chip".

Q Dear Doc, I recently found myself in a Scandinavian country and had to help some young chap conduct Intel business by giving him technical support. How much should I charge Intel for this?
A Sliding rates apply here. You do not say how long you had to offer your help. Nor do you mention the fact that another Intel person pushed you off your bar stool. Blackmail is a dirty business. In this case, I'd just put it down to experience. Drink a lotta lager and then go out for a curry, is my advice.

Q Doctor Spinola, I have recently come into delivery of an Intel Web cam and cannot make it work. Can you help?
A The simple answer to this is no, I can't. Contact the previous questioner and I'm sure he'll be able to help out.

Q I have recently received a nasty snottogram in my email. How can I stop this happening?
A There is no simple answer to this. If it is sufficiently insulting and horrid, why don't you send it to those nice people at The Register, and perhaps they will publish it as a Phlegm of the Weak.

Q Someone has told me that playing Microsoft Fright Stimulator on an aircraft can interfere with avionics systems. Is this true? Will adding more Airbus RIMMs help?
A Yes. If a steward or a stewardess comes up to you while you are playing Fright Stimulator, simply switch it off, go to the lavatory and light a cigarette. This works particularly well on long haul frights. Do not attempt to take snuff, as this action may be misconstrued. Finally, do not take your laptop into the lavatory when you go for your fag. This is very dangerous indeed, and will set off the smoke detectors, thus jeapordising your chances of a quiet puff. If you stuff your laptop with Airbus RIMMs, you stand the chance of improving performance spectacularly.

Q What is your opinion of infra red technology?
A Completely ignore it. Human eyesight is incapable of detecting infra red transmissions, so it is unlikely to harm you.

Q Someone has told me that I need to buy some new hardware. Which hardware site, in your opinion, is best?
A My favourite is www.hardware.com. This will keep you in clover for some time to come.

Q Dearest Doctor, I want to get extra performance out of my PC and someone has recommended that I buy a Cyrix III microprocessor running at 733MHz. What do you think of this chip?
A There is too much of what we technical boffins call "cash" on this microprocessor. An Intel Celeron processor has less "cash" associated with it, while an AMD Duron chip has, rather paradoxically, more and less "cash" associated with it at the same time. You should watch out for the new Intel chip called the Wlamette. That has lots of "cash" associated with it and in addition you can stuff what we boffins call Rambush RIMMs into it. This process is technically called RIMMing. Ignore everything you have heard about Rambush RIMMs being expensive. The more "cash" the better. Incidentally, Rambus is an anagram of Arsbum. Quite a happy coincidence there! ®

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