Stop Popup Ads For Free Newsletter (Winrag) - ( 14th January 2004 )

Issue 9

 (c), Mark Walmsley 2004

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Welcome its time for issue 9, our first in 2004. Christmas is over, and we are all penniless. Yes the season of spending has now ended, and we get to save up for the summer, not to mention valentines next month, Easter and all the birthdays in between. It just seems like there is always something coming up, that requires an output of money.

This month we have great competition, check it out here - Competition 

If you have a website, tell us about it, if we like it, we'll give you a link and a review.    

If this is your first newsletter then feel free to read previous issues. Click here to go to the main index page.

Remember at anytime you can unsubscribe. The subscribe/unsubscribe link is at the bottom of this page, click here.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this issue, if you wish to have a subject covered, wish to send feedback or have an article of your own you want featured then mail

1 Members Area


The members area for the mother of this Newsletter WinRag can be previewed from the following page.

The members area has troubleshooting guides, install guides, free downloads, 3rd party e-books, games.

The preview link is for the old site, a new one has been launched. If you are a member you can contribute by clicking here , sign up, get life time access, with no renewal fees and finally an email forwarding address for life.

Access to the area is only $35 for first year then $5 a year afterwards, you can signup from the below link The area is continually being updated, with many new plans in the pipeline. - This month we have a members competition - click here for more info : Competition 


2 Inside your PC Part 4 - The Hard Disk Drive (HDD)


The hard drive is abbreviated to HDD, as in Hard Disk Drive. The HDD is used as storage by your computer, think of it as a large book shelf that you can put everything into. This allows access to this information, without the need to insert disks, CD's, or other items that you can store information in. Your programs, personal information and operating system will all be here. 

The Hard Disk is often used mistakenly for the tower unit (or case).

There are 4 main different types of hard drives, SCSI, IDE, Serial ATA, and external. We will cover these briefly.

SCSI HDD - these drives are for high end users or servers, they are high speed, but at the same time come with a high price bracket. They can be around 3 times the price of a standard IDE drive, if not more. You should put series thought and research into SCSI drives before buying.

Recommended for : Workstations, mid-level to high-end servers, storage area networks, network attached storage, RAID storage arrays, filing and printing, EMA/Groupware, databases, data mining, CAD, Data Streaming, and intensive graphic applications.

IDE HDD - The IDE drive is standard in today's computers, it attaches to the same connection as your CD and DVD drives, because of the competitiveness of this market you should expect to buy  at a very low price. If you wish to change or add a new HDD then you should think IDE first. Remember always buy the largest and fastest you can afford. In present day, as long as your computer supports it, look for at least an 80GB drive that runs at 7200 rpm, and has a 2mb cache.

Recommended for : Home users, small businesses and most gamers

SERIAL ATA - These drives are the new competitor for IDE. I can see in the not so distant future these drives becoming the new standard. Most new motherboards now come with connections for the serial ATA. These drives have large capacity, big buffers and have fast transfer rates. 

The way of the future, but best left alone until you do a major system upgrade. Check with your motherboard manufacturer or manual for support of these drives.

EXTERNAL HDD - Not to be used as your main drive, these are best kept for backup and large data transfer. With the USB 2.0 drives now being the leader of the market this is the best to buy, but remember that before buying, make sure you have USB ports on your computer, and that these ports will support the drive. Always check with manufacturer, as older computers will only have USB 1.1 ports. The drive should work OK, but just make sure.

There are other types of connectors used by external hard drives, ie PCMCIA and Firewire. Always check compatibility with your computer before purchasing.

3  Buyers Guide Part 1 - The Hard Drive

CAPACITY: Depending on what you are using your computer for, will help determine the hard drive size.

Home user with low usage - 20 to 80GB (mostly internet/word processing use)

Video and photo Editing user - 80GB + (Video and photo scans are very large)

Gamer - 80GB + (due to large install sizes of games)

Remember Hard Drive prices are not consistent, the difference between a 20GB drive and a 80GB drive is very low. Doubling, even quadrupling size does not double price. At time of writing a 40GB drive can be bought for 38 to 50 sterling and an 80GB drive is 53 to 71 sterling. Your own currency should show similar change.

ROTATION SPEED: There two main speeds. 5400rpm and 7200rpm. We will make this simple, always buy 7200rpm. Although you may find the larger drives are mainly sold with 5400 rpm drives, it is well worth the extra expense. 

BUFFER SIZE: Most hard drives come with a generous size, usually 2mb or above, only buy the large buffer size (i.e. 8mb) if you are a heavy computer user.

INTERFACE SPEED: One again always buy the fastest you can get, although this can all depend on your motherboard and what it can support. To get maximum performance from your computer make sure the interface speeds match. ie buy ATA/100 IDE Hard Drive for an ATA/100 motherboard. Although the ATA/133 drive will still work, just not at that speed.

INTERFACE TYPE: Buy IDE for IDE, don't buy SCSI if you don't have a SCSI interface, or Serial ATA if you don't have a motherboard that supports it. Always check with your motherboard manufacturer, or manual for support.

SEEK SPEED: This is listed in milliseconds, so of very little concern to you the user.


4 Computer Jargon Explained


This month we are going to still explaining computer Jargon, this is very useful as, and when buying computer products. Imagine buying a new car and not knowing the difference between a tape player and a CD-Rom player, diesel and petrol or where to put water for the windows wipers. Knowing a little can help you go a long way. This month we look at Hard Drive related Jargon.


Shortened as GB, a Gigabyte is 1,024 Megabytes and is a measurement of a computer disk drive space.

An important note is to remember that hard drive manufacturers refer to a gigabyte at only 1,000 Megabytes, while computer software companies refer to it as 1,024 Megabytes. So when checking a hard drives size it can appear significantly lower than what you would have bought.

For example, if you bought an 80 GB Hard Drive, and you checked it within windows, then it would only appear as a 78 GB hard drive.


Short for Integrated Drive Electronics (IBM Disc Electronics), IDE is a standard for PC hard drive interfaces. IDE and its updated successor, Enhanced IDE (EIDE), are the most common drive interfaces found in modern day computers. An important note though is to remember that in modern day EIDE is now commonly spoken as just IDE.

The IDE connection can be found in desktop computers and is used to connect hard drives, CD-ROMs, DVD drives, CD writers, DVD writers etc etc.


Shortened as MB, MB is a common measurement of computer storage or the size of computer data. One MB is equal to 1,048,576 Bytes or 1,024 Kilobytes. As storage capacity becomes larger, MB is less commonly spoke of, when referring to hard drives, but still commonly used when buying memory, CD writers etc.


Short for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. Raid is a group up of hard drives setup for storage and protection in servers high end computer.


Short for Small Computer System Interface. SCSI-3 is the most recent version, and is primarily used in servers and high end computers for hard drives.


Short for Universal Serial BUS. This connection is used to connect external devices, like hard drives, printers, cameras and scanners. supports data transfer rates of 12 MBps (Megabytes per second) for USB 1.0 & 1.1 and transfer rates of 480 MBps for USB 2.0, it  is also capable of supporting up to 127 peripheral (external) devices.


5 Making the Most of Your Computer Part 3


This month we are going to show you how to pin programs to your start menu in Windows XP, this can be very handy, for adding your most used or favourite programs to this. 

The area is as pictured below, just below the karate picture. Internet and E-Mail are already located there.

To do this first locate a program you use and like. Our example is solitaire. Right click on the file.


Now from the menu that appears select "Pin to Start Menu".

Return to start and you can see that Solitaire is now listed below Internet and E-mail

More next month....


6 Online Gaming Part 7


Soldiers: Heroes of World War II

 Codemasters has won the global* publishing rights to Soldiers: Heroes of World War II: a dramatic, fast-paced tactical strategy game, due summer 2004 exclusively for PC.

Created by Ukrainian company Best Way, under the development title of "OutFront", Soldiers is a further signing for Codemasters from 1C Company, the leading Russian game publishing company. Codemasters will also publish two other 1C Company titles: Perimeter and Wartime Command.

Soldiers is a third-person tactical action complete with a stunning 3D visual engine.

Pitching the player headlong into the war-torn battlegrounds of Europe, gameplay delivers extremely realistic yet explosive combat scenarios. Commanding a highly trained team of special forces behind enemy lines, your job is to get them in, execute the mission your way and get out - fast!

Over 25 action-packed missions, inspired by the exploits of World War II heroes, takes the keyboard-smashing frustration out of strategy gaming by enabling players to complete mission objectives in any number of different ways; this is no puzzle game where the 'save' key is everything! Whether you decide to stealth-it-up or go in loud with all guns blazing, victory is there for the taking.

Play as British, U.S., German or Russian forces, with authentically modelled WWII vehicles, weapons and units - even ammo - and you'll experience the totally realistic penetration physics.

There's a fully-destructible environment (all buildings and other objects) and landscape becomes scarred as your artillery makes its mark and changes the terrain with shell-holes and trenches.

The control method combines the best of RTS and 3D-action gaming, using 'Team mode' to command and move an entire unit or 'Direct Control', where you jump into the thick of the action, get your hands dirty, and take control of a single soldier.

Thanks to a very high level of detail you can pinpoint specific targets, such as shooting an enemies' helmet clean off and follow through with an accurate sniper rifle shot to the head! The end result is a hands-on action game with strategic depth.

Featuring both single-player and online/LAN multiplayer gaming, Soldiers will beach-land with a bang when it's published by Codemasters in summer 2004, exclusively for PC.

Sign up for duty and view trailer movie now:


The thrills of a 3D shooter with the depth of a real-time strategy game.

'Direct Control' mechanic, so you can jump right into the thick of the actiongame that plays out like a blockbuster war movie

Freedom to complete missions though different tactics, use anything in the game world - commandeer enemy ordinance, weapons and ammo

Advanced AI: enemies will use formations, covering and ambush tactics

Over 25 missions, More than 100 vehicles, 25 plus weapons.

Fully destructible environment. Everything can be fully, or partially, destroyed.

Multiplayer: LAN and online, co-op or adversarial.

*Global distribution excluding countries of the former USSR countries


7  Competition

This year we have decided to have a competition every month, this month we are giving away access to the members area. We have 3 up for grabs, valued at $35 each, yes we are giving $105 in prices. So answer the simple question below 

Your details
Your Name: (or nickname)

Your Country

Your Email:

(all emails will be kept private & Confidential)

The question

How many operating systems are covered in the website install guides 

Closing date for entries is 31st January 2004 - Winners will be announced in next months newsletter and also by email.



8  Conclusion


Well that's it for this month, next issue will be that last of the year so see you all then.

The newsletter has now been officially named WinRag, and a direct link to the site is

Remember you can view issue 1 to 8 from that link :

Best Regards


Recommend this website and you could win $10,000 





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