'Recipes' to keep old PC cookin'


The ultimate personal computer system is only a few thousand dollars away. But what if you don't have scads of money to spend on a new computer? Why, fix up the one you already have, of course.

That's the premise of "Keep Your PC Cookin'," written by Keith Aleshire and published by Bantam Computer Books. This guide is chock full of ways to enhance an older-model IBM PC or compatible, without joining Uncle Sam in the "Incredibly In Debt" sweepstakes.

As with most books on upgrading a PC, "Keep Your PC Cookin' " spends most of the time telling you about new and improved hardware you can use with your computer to make it faster and better. You learn about power supplies and how to make sure the one in your computer has enough "oomph" to power all the gizmos in your PC. And you learn about memory, microprocessors, motherboards, disk drives and monitors.

For example, in Chapter 6 you're treated to a fairly in-depth treatise on the different kinds of memory used in a computer and how to identify the kind used in yours. Mr. Aleshire discusses the various formats of memory and how to add more memory to your computer.

Changing the hardware in your computer can be an expensive proposition -- hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on what you do. A lot of improvements you can make with your computer are free. These are "tweaks" that you make when setting up the operating system and software of your computer.

"Keep Your PC Cookin' " contains useful tips on how to use the tools that come with your computer to make it more efficient. For example, you learn how to set up various start-up options that make more efficient use of memory.

As the book was written before Microsoft DOS 6.0 came out, it lacks any specific information on using this new operating system.

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