Bits & P.C.’s: Football, Network, Burners & Bugbear

Bits & P.C.’s: Football, Network, Burners & Bugbear

By Richard Heller

If you are into football, you may want to check out the latest version of EA Sports game, Madden 2003. The resolution and action is so realistic that you’ll think that you are actually watching the game on TV. The AI in the game is so accurate that when the Bears-Packers simulation was run, the score was almost identical to the actual game. The program is available for the PC and other gaming platforms and sells for around $50.

Prices are continuing to drop on network accessories. Less than a year ago, it would cost you almost $200 per computer to set up a wireless network. Today you can set up a two-computer network for the same $200 including a wireless hub. The wireless cards themselves are selling in the $50 range, so if you really only want to connect two computers, it would only cost around $100.

CD writer speeds have increased to the 48X – 52X range while the prices have also decreased. State-of-the-art in January was a 24X drive selling for $125; the new drives are selling for less than $100, with prices as low as $40 after rebates. If you are using one of the 4X or 8X drives, you may want to upgrade. A disk created on a 4X burner takes 20 minutes while a 48X will do it in four minutes or so. This makes it an ideal replacement as a backup device for accounting files and documents.

I thought that I would share this e-mail with other readers:

“As a faithful reader of The Rock River Times, I must admit that the computer tech articles are the first to get read. So, as I read this week’s info, Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m., on the W32.Bugbear virus, I thought that I might want to update my virus data file since it’s been three weeks. At 8:00 p.m. I read my e-mail from friend, and yes, I downloaded a .GIF from a friend who sends some of the funniest pictures. The file was, I think, around 6600 in size, but just got some little box .GIF. Didn’t think much of it until about two minutes later my virus protection program keep shutting down itself. Oh, boy! I screwed up!

“Hurry and down load new virus data, sign off, and a fatal error. Got computer started in safe mode only and ran virus scan and—you got it—I had W32.Bugbear! Three files were deleted and I then ran the program from the site in your article and found nothing else. Computer would only freeze at the Windows 98 logo on attempted start up. Apparently, the autoexec.bat file had been changed but scanned clean. I fretted all Thursday as to all the work that would be necessary to get the computer back the way I had it if I reloaded Windows. Don’t know why, but decided to replace the autoexec.bat with a renamed older version—and it worked.”

See—it can happen to YOU.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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