Bits & P.C.s: High heat & high speed

Bits & P.C.s: High heat & high speed

By By Richard Heller

With the high heat and humidity that we have experienced so far this summer, it is important to keep your computer cool. As a general rule, if you are comfortable, the computer should work without problem.

Most computers have a fan located on the power supply. The fan draws the cool room air in through openings in the front of the computer and sends the warm air out the back. It is important to check the grill onthe back of the computer to be certain that pet hair or dust does not obstruct it. Also, you should be certain that air is actually coming from the fan.

Symptoms of overheating include the computer just shutting itself off, lock-ups and reboots. Many of the high performance video cards and all of the processor chips (Pentium, Celeron, etc.) have their own fans designed

to keep the chips from doing a thermal meltdown.

You should keep the computer pulled out away from the wall or from the back of the desk. If you have it in an enclosure, you should keep the door open when you are using the computer. If you want to be safe, you can purchase

additional cooling fans that increase the airflow through the computer and bring the temperature down inside the case.

SBC Ameritech has expanded their ADSL Broadband Internetservice in the Rockford area. If you go to their website ( and enter your phone number, they will tell you whether the service is available. As a

general rule, if you are located within about four miles of the telephones witching office, you are a good candidate for the service.

If you are in a new subdivision with fibre optics, you won’t be able to get DSL, it requires copper wires to work. There are also sections of the city that are short on telephone wires that use a process that places more than one call on the same wire; these areas won’t work with DSL.

The ADSL service has a 768K Download and a 128Kdownload (maximums, of course). The price for your home or business is $50 per month. Insight charges about $50 per month for home use and $100 for business for their cable modem service. Insight also charges additional if you want to connect more than one computer; SBC doesn’t.

SBC will sell you the modem and network card for $100 and charge you $50 to set up the account. They will give you a $199 MasterCard Gift Card if you sign up for a year of service. When you order the service, they will send you a self-install kit that includes the DSL modem, a network card, and all the filters and splitters necessary to make it work.

Once you’ve installed the hardware, you insert the CD containing the software, answer a few questions, and you should be up and running. It works with your existing phone line, you can be on the net at the same time you are talking on the phone or are faxing.

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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