Quick tips: How to stifle modem noise
July 21, 1998
by Dean Andrews
(IDG) -- If you use Windows 95's Dial Up Networking, you're probably very familiar with the screeching noise generated by two modems synchronizing with one another. You hear it every time you dial into your Internet service provider or corporate server. External modems usually have a volume control that allows you to quickly turn down or turn off this noise. If you have an internal modem, we'll show you how to cut the racket. We'll also show you how to keep your ink jet clean and your PC cool--and get better performance from both.
Internal modem noise can be controlled by software. To operate your internal modem silently, select the Windows 95 Start menu and choose Settings, Control Panel. Click the System icon. In the System Properties box, select the Device Manager tab. Then click the modem icon and click your modem's name. In the Internal Properties box, choose the Modem tab and then slide the Speaker Volume control to Off. This tip should work for most modem models. If it doesn't, read your modem's documentation.
Keep Your Computer Cool and Make It Last
If you've invested in a hardware upgrade, particularly a processor upgrade, it's a good idea to check into cooling devices such as fans, heat sinks, and temperature alarms. Keeping your PC cool can add months, if not years, to the life span of your computer. And you don't have to spend a fortune on such devices, as most cost less than $25. Computer stores and Radio Shack outlets sell these products, and PC Power & Cooling (see link at right) is an online resource.
Dusting Your Ink Jet Printer
Dust can have a serious effect on your ink jet's printouts--if it gets on the nozzle, it can cause lines and blank spots, called microbanding. Read your printer's instructions for cleaning the nozzle and clearing dust out of the printer's internal components. Most user guides suggest using a vacuum rather than a compressed air canister, so that you don't blow dust back into the nozzle. To maintain quality printouts, try to clean your printer about once a month.
Cheap PCs, No Monitors
While the least-expensive PCs now cost less than $800, most of these low-end systems do not include a monitor in the budget price. All PC manufacturers allow you to add a 15 or 17-inch monitor to these computers for an additional $300 to $500, but you can find better deals elsewhere. If you can afford the extra shopping time, check into monitors produced by other manufacturers. Right now, for example, you can buy a 15-inch monitor for as little as $130. Browse online computer stores or your local PC shop to save money on your display.
Edited by Paul Heltzel
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