On Computers

Behind the Scenes

Gail Allinson, gail@oncomputers.info

17 August 2003

Thanks Aaron!

First off, thanks to Aaron for volunteering to be our guest speaker today.  Aaron's insights about computers for school are always very timely.

Letters, We Get Letters

Standby and Hibernate

From time to time we do get some e-mail.  In fact the longer our articles are posted on the Web the more mail they generate.  This week I received a very kind note from JD and I print it here with his permission:

You article concerning XP Power Management was beautifully done and very helpful. The standby and hibernate modes were not available on my notebook after reloading Windows XP. FYI, after much chagrin, I discovered the reason. These options will not be available if the appropriate screen device driver is not installed. The Dell/Windows XP reinstall, for some reason, did not install the driver for the screen.


And here's my answer:

Hi JD,

Thanks for your kind words. BTW, I hadn't thought about mentioning it at the time, but you are right, without video drivers to support standby and hibernate you are tough out of luck. I notice it when I uninstall video drivers to do a "clean update" of new drivers. My UPS driver squawks that it can't hibernate if power is lost.

Video drivers are probably the number on reason that hibernate or standby may not work in Windows XP, but they are not the only reason.  Any one of a number of drivers may cause problems and some are not always very obvious -- like the Adobe Type Manager keyboard driver conflict.  For a long time, I've been in the habit of checking that hibernate and standby work properly after installing new drivers.  It is much easier to find a problem right after a change is made than weeks later after many changes have been made and some time has passed.

If you'd like to revisit it, here is a link to the article about power management in Windows XP.

Static Electricity

This week I also got this comment.  I don't have permission to use the writer's name, but this is their thought:

You mention using your shop vac to clean your CPU as apposed to canned air. Vacuums create static electricity very quickly which can damage any of the components in the CPU. I think I would rather spend 6-7 dollars for a can every month or so.

While at the time we went into great detail about the benefits vs. the risks of cleaning inside of your computer case, it bears repeating that there is some risk involved.  In my very dusty environment, I do use a vacuum and a search of the Web shows that many others use vacuums with no apparent problems ("apparent" is an important distinction). 

As we said at the time, there are choices to be made and trade-offs. You assume the responsibilities and/or reap the rewards of cleaning inside your computer case.

Here's the link to the original article on the subject.

A Question I Can't Answer

And one more. This one is about HP Memories Disc Creator.  Nate did a wonderful segment on it a while back.  Since I don't have access to a copy, I can't answer this reader's question.  

I have looked all [over] the Internet for info regarding the HP Memories Disc Creator. I am so frustrated. Maybe you could help me.

My situation is this: I have about 80 floppy discs with pics from my digital camera. What I want to do is.. Put them all in order.. put them all on one or two discs. I need to know if after you create a disc.. can you add to it? I know you can add to the albums but at some point I will run out of memory and cannot view them. Also.. I wonder if I could separate each section on the CD with a different title... For example.. my wedding   then the pics.... The baby.... then his pics... and set different music for each. Also I am having a hard time with putting them in order using order by picture date.. they seem to stay in the exact same order.

 Any help you could give me would be great.. or if you know of a website.

Can anyone help?  If you have the answer e-mail it to gail@oncomputers.info and I'll forward it. Thanks in advance.

Cya next time!


© 2003 Gail Allinson

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