Hardware

Thu
15
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Flashing a ROM

Have you ever flashed your BIOS? The BIOS is a chip built onto a circuit board that contains a set of instructions. The instructions are responsible for controlling the device and how it interacts with other peripherals. For example: a main board ... (motherboard) contains a BIOS (CMOS) which stores information about your computer, such as the size of your hard drive, COM ports, buffers, and the like. Flashing a BIOS simply means to update the code of the BIOS instruction. This is done with two separate pieces of software: the BIOS flashing program, and the BIOS update itself. The BIOS flashing ... (view more)

Tue
30
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Burning on the fly

Have you ever "burned on the fly?" No -- I'm not talking about burning an insect with a magnifying glass like some of us did when we were younger (kids can be so cruel!) Burning on the fly is a technical term that essentially means writing directly ... to a CD recorder from another source other than your hard drive. Usually when a CD is burned, it is read from the hard drive and then written to the CD burner. The important thing to note here is that a hard drive can retrieve information must faster than any other source-medium of information. An example of burning on the fly might be ... (view more)

Mon
14
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

How Buffer Underrun technology hinders CD Recording Performance

If you own a CD Burner, there's a good chance that you've come across a "Buffer Underrun" error message. A buffer underrun happens when information cannot be recorded to the CD because of resource starvation. All CD recorders without buffer underrun ... protection require a constant flow of data to be read from the hard drive to the CD recorder without interruption. If the flow of data is stopped, a buffer underrun will follo w. For example, if your hard drive can only read information at a rate of X and the CD Recording needs information at a rate of X+1, this is referred to resource ... (view more)

Fri
14
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

CD, CDR, CDRW, DVD and their Hybrid Standards

A CD is an acronym for Compact Disc. It can refer to any media type which is based on CD technology. For example, a CD can be a computer disc, a music disc, or a video CD. Each CD standard is defined by ISSO-9660, a model used by the International ... Standards Organization. Because there are so many different CD formats, there are a number of books describing certain formats and specifications for each type. For example, the ISSO-9660 Red Book defines standards that all devices which play music CDs must follow for 100% compatibility. Here is a quick run-down about ISSO-9660 standards (adapted ... (view more)

Sat
01
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Processor History

This week I received a question from one of our visitors which asked, "What is the difference between the Pentium, Celeron, and Athlon processors?" To best answer this question, we must first understand a bit of processor history, starting with ... Intel's flagship processor, the Pentium. In 1993, Intel brought the PC to a new level with the Pentium processor. The first Pentium processor ran at an astounding 60 Mhz, had 3.3 million transistors, and performed 100 Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS). Although no one today refers to the first Pentium processor as a Pentium 1, it is the ... (view more)

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