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January 7, 2000

Did Santa Stuff Your Stocking with Software?

Sebastopol, CA--If an armful of new computer games, or (lucky you) a new computer was under your Christmas tree this year, you may be wondering how to set up your new computer so that the games and graphics run blazingly fast. Or, maybe you're worried that your new graphics-rich computer game may run like molasses on your old clunker of a computer. David L. Farquhar's brand-new book, Optimizing Windows For Games, Graphics & Multimedia (O'Reilly, $24.95), was released just in time to give you the practical tips and tricks you need to tune-up your computer's performance.

"As long as people think of computers just in terms of microprocessors, they're going to have overpriced, underachieving computers," says Farquhar. "But it's possible to make Windows scrappier and more efficient, if you shift your mindset from a CPU-centric approach to more of a whole system approach. Most people consider a 120-MHz Pentium obsolete. But properly configured, a Pentium-120 still does a good job with the majority of everyday tasks. And a 486 can really surprise you."

Understanding and tuning Windows to be more efficient (whether for desktop applications or video-intensive games) can be extremely effective, although it can also be time-consuming and frustrating. Farquhar's new book gives you tips and tricks-tricks that you won't find in any Windows documentation--to make your system run faster.

Do you really need Internet Explorer? Can you use an alternative shell that will give you a better Windows experience? Maybe you're wondering if you need a hardware upgrade or if you can tweak your existing system to work faster instead and save you a lot of unnecessary expense? Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics & Multimedia will answer these questions and save you wasted hours of searching and experimenting on your own computer to find the practical solutions you're looking for.

"If you installed Windows 95 as an upgrade to Windows 3.1, or Windows 98 as an upgrade to any earlier version of Windows, your Windows setup is carrying lots of extra baggage," says Farquhar. "If you've upgraded many of your peripherals since first installing Windows 95, your Windows setup is probably carrying extra baggage. Unless your PC has been spending its days since 1995 or 1996 in the closet, chances are there's plenty of extra stuff hanging around that doesn't need to be there. You can whip your system into better shape with a heavy dose of utilities, but the best way to get your system running its best is probably to do a clean installation." Chapter 10 in his book, Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics & Multimedia covers this topic, and is available free online.

Online Resources

Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics & Multimedia
By David L. Farquhar
1st Edition December 1999 (US.)
1-56592-677-3, 280 pages, $24.95 (US$)
Email: order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

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