Date:         Fri, 16 Mar 2001 03:46:09 +0000
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 15 Mar 01 - Internet Hard Drives / Performance Tips
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                TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 65 -- 15 Mar 2001
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       FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
Greetings, all ye who surf not, and ride the Bus.  Today I've got some
reviews of Internet Hard Drives and a bunch of tips and tricks to make
your computer run better, faster and quieter.  Read on!
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Xdrive Express
Xdrive Express gives you up to 100MB of disk space on the Internet to
manage and store your files.  You can access your personal files from
any Web-connected computer (PC, Mac, Linux) or with other devices,
such as a Palm VII or wireless phone.  
You can stash documents, MP3s, photos or other files on your Xdrive
Express hard drive.  If you wish, you can give friends and co-workers
access your files, making it easy to share photos, or collaborate on
And with the optional (Windows-only) Xdrive Express Desktop software,
you can make Xdrive Express appear like a second physical hard drive
on your computer.  That allows you to drag and drop files between your
local hard drive and your Xdrive using Windows Explorer, or save a
document from MS Word or Photoshop straight to your Xdrive. (Without
this feature, you must explicitly transfer files to and from the
Xdrive server with a web-based interface.)
Myspace is similar to Xdrive, in that you can get a free online hard
drive accessible from any PC, Mac or Linux computer with an Internet
connection and a web browser.  Myspace offers 25MB of space, but you
can get up to 300MB if you're willing to share some personal
information about yourself, and you agree to receive occasional
promotions and special offers from Myspace and selected partners.  
If you don't want to reveal personal information, you can start with
25MB and use the "Tell a Friend" program to get an additional 5MB for
each friend you refer, plus 3MB for each person your friends refer,
and another 1MB for each person on the third referral level. (It's
kind of like multi-level marketing, only you don't have to buy any
soap or vitamins.)
Myspace does have a "Drag 'n Drop" add-on which allows you to transfer
files from Windows Explorer to your Myspace drive, but it doesn't
provide the seamless pseudo-drive access that Xdrive offers.  (You
can't open or save files from Windows applications directly.)
Other Online Hard Drives
Are there other choices?  You bet - dozens of them are listed in the
Yahoo directory.  Unfortunately, the address for the page where they
are listed is 168 characters long!  I've chopped it into pieces so you
can see the whole thing without scrolling.
You can copy and paste that mess into your browser, but it's probably
easier to go to the Yahoo home page and search for "File Hosting".
There are many things you can do to squeeze more performance out of
your computer.  Some are routine maintenance, and some fall more into
the tip and tricks category.  Here are some of the better sites to
help you through the process.
Making Windows 98 Run Better
As editor of Byte Magazine and a columnist for Windows Magazine, Fred
Langa got to know the ins and outs of Windows pretty well.  I found
his article "Ten Ways to Make Windows 98 Run Better" quite useful. I
bet you'll find that at least 7 out of the 10 tips help your PC run
faster too!  
TweakFiles is a site that offers reviews and downloads of the best
Windows utilities to help you customize and fine-tune your system.
They install and test all the entries to make sure you are not wasting
your time downloading a lousy or harmful program.  Consider this site
your next assignment after trying out Langa's tips.
I installed AnalogX MaxMem and found that it can free up gobs of
memory that Windows seems to lose track of. (And remember, a
preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.)  
How To Install RAM
Adding more memory (RAM, not extra hard disk space) can make a huge
difference in your computer's performance.  I'm going to get just a
little bit geeky for a minute to explain why.  Let's say you have 32MB
of RAM (memory chips) installed inside your computer.  When you start
programs, the operating system loads those programs and their data in
RAM.  As you open multiple programs, or even one program that needs to
crunch a lot of data, you consume more and more of your system's
available RAM.
If you try to use more than 32MB of memory (or whatever amount you
have), a modern operating system will help you out by snitching a
piece of your hard drive and turning it into virtual memory.  Virtual
memory acts just like real memory, except it's MUCH slower to access
because it resides in a hard disk file instead of a lightning fast RAM
chip.  When the operating system has to juggle physical and virtual
memory, the hard drive really gets a workout.  The hard drive
indicator glows bright red, you can hear a churning sound, and you
notice little things about the hourglass icon that never struck you as
interesting before.
Adding more physical RAM solves this problem, but it can be tricky to
figure out what kind to buy and how much is enough.  This ZDNet
article walks you through it step by step.,5594,2579403-1,00.html  
I admit all these tips are for Windows-based PC's.  I do try hard to
keep Tourbus platform independent, or give a Mac alternative when I
mention something specific to Windows.  But being a humble Slave of
Redmond, I just don't know of any good sites about making Macs run
better.  I've heard rumors that all Macs run just fine the way they
are, thankyouverymuch.  But I'll be happy to run a follow-up article
if the Mac lovers on the Bus send me enough juicy Mac performance
tips.  Deal?
That's all for now, see you next time!  --Bob Rankin
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================
   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
     Copyright 1995-2001, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
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TOURBUS - 15 MAR 01 - Internet Hard Drives  /  Performance Tips, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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