Boot memory bad-- YAU-PC

by Alan Zisman (c) 2000. First published in Vancouver Computes, March 2000

Bob Wingender asked:

I must be missing something or it's not config'd right, but how do I get the graphic characters in Wordpad?

I get an ? char(142) and a Capital C with the 2 dots instead of char(179) thru char(208). Whatever is on the screen also prints to the printer.

I see the graphics okay when viewing files using ZTree but not in Wordpad or replacement programs like Notepad.

Alan Zisman answered:

The problem you're having is that the default Windows character set is NOT the high-ASCII line-draw character set you're thinking of.

This decision was made way back in Windows 1.0 (ca. 1985), and has been something we've lived with ever since-- at the time, Microsoft assumed that being a graphical interface, Windows users would make things like boxes using graphics programs-- not by typing text-mode characters. Instead, they used the characters thus freed up for international and scientific characters-- as you discovered.

A few fonts include the DOS-like line-draw characters of the ASCII character set-- in particular, the Terminal screen font, included in every version of Windows since ver 1.0 can be used-- but not for printing.

If you need to print, check out fonts like the Microsoft LineDraw font, which was included in some (older) versions of MS Office (or MS Word 2.0 or earlier), or the Lotus LineDraw font, included w. older versions of Lotus SmartSuite. You can find the MS LineDraw font at: Download the file-- gc0651.exe  This is the last  update of the MS LineDraw font

Give it a try!

James Burns pondered:

Why can't the computer industry get together and improve the IDE bus specs from 4 devices (2 per cable) to say 8 or 10(4-5 per cable). The reason why I ask this is because I would like to add some more stuff to my computer such as a CD writer and an other hard drive. Right now I have one free IDE
connector left because I am running a hard drive on one and a CD-ROM and LS-120 on the secondary IDE cable. Thanks for any help you can give me, one other thing I don't need or want the speed or cost of a SCSI drive.

Alan Zisman pontificated:

1) I suspect that there are limitations to how far IDE can be improved in that respect-- compared to SCSI, IDE takes a lot of CPU cycles, and any more devices might just grind it to a halt.

2) At the same time, the industry has less motivation to change it-- their thinking may be that users who want/need more should go to SCSI or USB or Firewire... especially with the upcoming USB2 spec, I suspect that that may be the way to go-- at least in the near future.

Rich Wonneberger wondered:

Does anyone know if W-95 (or 98) can be run under Linux?? Kinda like Win 3.1 runs under OS/2..

Alan Zisman replied:

No it can't... there is a project, WINE, working to allow Windows executables to run under Unix/Linux... you can find information about it at:

Currently, it runs a small number of the Windows applications.

(Looking over this answer in 2001, Alan updates it to suggest-- you should check out VMWare: They have products that allow running Linux under Win NT/2000/XP, or Windows under Linux. At US$300, it ain't cheap, but there is a time-limited, downloadable trial version).

J. Labuda e-mailed:

In your July/99 issue-- you discussed the retrieval of the print screen for DOS. I followed your instructions re Explorer and Properties screen but I only got the General tab. How or where do you see the Misc tab?

Alan Zisman e-mailed back:

Try this-- locate the program in Explorer or My Computer-- right-click and pick PROPERTIES from the popup menu.

If you only get General and Shortcut tabs, you've clicked on a shortcut to a Windows program... if you only get General (or General and Version) tabs, you've clicked on a Windows program-- not a DOS program.

When you choose Properties for a DOS program, or the shortcut to a DOS program, you should get 6 tabs-- General, Program, Font, Memory, Screen, & Misc... and the Misc tab includes the ability to turn off Windows access to a variety of  common shortcut keys while the DOS program is running-- including PrntScr and Alt+PrntScr.

Hope this helps!

Mr Hexen e-mailed:

Hi. First thing I'd like to say is that I love your paper. I read it every month and am always looking in the store adds. Good Job! Here's my question for you. I have a 8X CD-Rom and I find that whenever it's in use or initializing it seems to lock my computer until its done its operation. IE. My computer lags when I?m playing an audio CD every second or so when it reads. Also, when I go to save a file, go to My Computer and when it searches for the drives, A: C: D: E: (CD) it freezes and takes about 10 seconds to display the list of drives in My Computer. I have an ABit BH6 M/B. My CD-Rom is connected to an IDE Cable which is in turn connected to my IDE Hard Drive Controller. It's the Secondary Slave. How can I fix this problem, if I can at all?

Alan Zisman shot back:

You say "My CDRom is connected to an IDE Cable which is in turn connected to my
IDE Hard Drive Controller. It's the Secondary Slave. "

Most motherboards include two IDE connectors. Is there a Secondary Master? What are attached to the primary IDE cable?

Best set up tends to be to put all hard drives onto the primary cable, with other devices on the secondary cable-- so without having all the information, I'd suggest that you move any hard drives that may be attached to the same cable as the CD-ROM, and experiment with setting  the CD-ROM as Secondary Master.

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