Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Calling Dr. Bombay! Calling Dr. Bombay!

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Calling Dr. Bombay! Calling Dr. Bombay!

Article excerpt

DEAR DR. BOMBAY: I have a PC with a 300-MHz AMD processor with Windows 98 installed. I click the print button and nothing happens, so I click it again and still nothing, then I click it a third time. By then, my printer would start, and I would get three copies. When I click and drag something, nothing seems to happen until about three seconds later. When I use Microsoft Word, what I type doesn't show up until about three seconds later. This problem has existed since the computer was new. Unfortunately, it was purchased at a computer show, and the supplier is out of business. Can you give me a hint as to what my problem is?

--Delayed Reaction

DEAR DELAYED: Yes. You probably spent about three seconds researching your purchase.

I certainly hope you didn't buy the thing without playing with it at the show. Such cruddy performance is unacceptable, and you should have seen that right away. If the guy you dealt with was legit, he would have refunded your money or fixed the problem, assuming you were unhappy from the start.

But, all that's academic. You're stuck with a lemon, so let's make a nice, tall pitcher of lemon daiquiris.

Everything you've mentioned points to a tremendously underpowered machine. It's trying to do too much with limited resources, and it falls behind, like a chimpanzee taking the SAT. Maybe the chip isn't even a 300. Not everybody is as forthrightly honest and above-board as I am, so maybe this weasel re-labeled the chip. Regular people don't know the difference, and there's really no way to tell what speed a chip is without running benchmark tests. If I didn't know who I was dealing with, that's the first thing I'd want to see. It may seem rude, but you can afford to be a lout when it's your bank balance on the line.

Next, I'd check the RAM. Nothing slows down a PC, especially one running Win98, like inadequate memory. If you have less than 32 megabytes, you're just begging for things to run in slow motion, especially with something as bloated and RAM-hungry as Word. …

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