Acrobatics for the novice user-- YAU-PC

by Alan Zisman (c) 1999. First published in Vancouver Computes, March 1999

David Anderson queried:

Now, how does one create pdf files?  Do you use Adobe Acrobat in reverse? Is it friendly?  I have a bunch of word processed stuff that people will want to post on the new site,  in Word or Word Perfect.  Can I "import" it from into Acrobat to create a pdf file, or does this have to happen at the point of inception?

Also, what is the best way to put documents that are already printed out onto a site?  Is it the dreaded scanner which creates huge files?

Alan pontificated:

Adobe pdf files are a popular way to electronically view a document, complete with formatting and graphics. The free Adobe Acrobat Reader, however, can?t be used to create pdf documents. Adobe wants to sell you the full Adobe Acrobat creator program, having hooked you with the free reader.

Adobe PageMaker ver 6.0 or later will let you import Word or Word Perfect files into a PageMaker document, then save as PDF-- but that's the only way I know of to create pdf files short of getting the full Acrobat package.

An alternative is to use Word to save as HTML... it makes ugly pages, but then you can edit them in any HTML editor.

Using a scanner to create big graphics and then posting them on your web page produces slow-loading, hard to read Web sites. Instead, if you have access to a scanner, use Optical Character Recognition software... the software tries its best to read the scanned document, and save into a word processor format... about 95% accurate... but you need to do careful checking-- especially if your original has numbers, web addresses, etc. Sometimes it's faster just to re-type.

Kevin Anderson asked:

I only just discovered that Service Pack 1 in only a megabyte in size, and does not require a re-installation of Win95.  Is there any reason not to install this service pack?

Alan answered:

Service Pack 1 fixes a couple of (generally minor) problems w. the original (7-11-95) versions of Windows 95... if you have a later version, it shouldn't be used. (Right-click on the My Computer icon and choose
Properties, to see what version of Win95 is installed. If it says Windows 95A or later, don't install SP1).

As well, SP1 creates at least one problem-- it breaks W95's ability to save passwords, such as your Dial-up-Networking password.

There is a fix for this bug available for download from MS's web site.

Wayne Young wondered:

If I get a CD writer on my desktop computer, can I backup my laptop to this CD writer? If so, how?

Alan responded:
If your laptop is connected to your desktop via a network, you can map the laptop's drives, giving them drive letters on the desktop.

Then, choose to backup only those drive letters to your desktop's CD-Writer.

Maxine Mandell mentioned:

I installed Lotus Organizer. I then got a calendar program more to my liking. I deleted the Organizer program but not through the add/remove program. I deleted everything that might pertain to this program but I still get when I boot up a reference that they can't find Organizer.exe

Alan responded:

The moral is to use the Add/Remove Programs item... however, for now, what you should to is check for references to the former Organizer folder in the following places:

-- System.ini (open the file in Notepad, then Search for the folder name) If you find such references, place a semicolon in front of the line or delete the entire line.

-- The system Registry... run Regedit (from the Start Menu's RUN option), and again search for the folder name. If you find such references, click on the line in the right-hand pane, then choose MODIFY from the EDIT menu. Again, add a semicolon in the front of the line to keep it, but disable it. Or choose DELETE from the EDIT menu to simply remove it.

Alternatively, reinstall Organizer, than use the Add-Remove Programs option to remove it fully.

Jwegated Ninja wondered:

I'm thinking of upgrading my comp sometime later from a Pentium 200 MMX to a Pentium II... what I am wondering is if I have to change motherboards... and what is compatible between the two types... are there
PCI and ASA slots on a Pentium 2... and as well, what's AGP?... I have seen video cards which are in AGP and PCI... I have a PCI video card and am wondering if AGP's are for Pentium 2... therefore, would I have to purchase a new video card for example?... and finally, is it worth upgrading to a Pentium 2 if there needs to be major modifications to a Pentium 200 MMX?

Alan shot back:

Typical P-II motherboards have 3-5 PCI slots, and 2-3 ISA slots, usually with one space sharing a PCI and ISA slot, so you can use one or the other, but not both.

As well, there's one AGP (video) slot.

You can continue using your PCI video card, and leave the AGP slot empty... performance is better with AGP, but not amazingly better, if you have a good PCI video card.

You MAY be able to use your RAM in your new motherboard...IF:

1) Your present computer uses SDRAM, and not the cheaper EDO RAM that was more common in the Pentium generation.

2) You get a P-II running slower than 350 MHz. 350 or faster machines typically are running with 100 MHz bus speeds, which requires RAM rated for that speed... even if you have SDRAM on your current machine, it's rated for 66 MHz bus speeds.

Is it worth it? Only you can decide. I recently upgraded from a 166 MHz Pentium to a 400 MHz P-II, and find it a nice, fas

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan