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Often Asked Questions

1. Problem loading PDF files into Acrobat Reader.

2. How do you setup "peer to peer" networking?

3. What kind of computer should I buy?

1. Speaking about Acrobat Reader, a word here about Associations. I recently spoke to a member who was having a problem. He had Acrobat Reader 4.02 loaded. However, when he double clicked on a PDF file it would not load. The computer said it couldn't find the program. However, he could run Reader and load the PDF file using File, Open, etc. I suspected he had an association problem. I had him open My Computer click on View, then Folder Options, and finally File Types. Next I had him highlight Adobe Acrobat Document and tell me what was in the "Open with" window. Sure enough, it was acroread. I knew that the executable for version 4.02 was acrord32. The computer was looking for an older version of the program. Leaving the above windows open, we proceeded to fix the problem. To do this I had go to Start, Programs, find Acrobat Reader 4.02, right click on it, then select Properties. This opened the "Acrobat Reader 4.0 Properties" window. The path was shown in the Target window of the Shortcut Tab. I had him highlight the target info, right click on it, and click on Copy. Next I had him go back to the Folder Options window that showed acroread as the executable. Then I had him click on the Edit button. That opened the "Edit File Type Window." Here I had him click on the Edit button in that window. That opened the "Editing action for type" window. As expected the Application used to perform action window had the info for the older version of Reader. I had him delete this information, place the mouse pointer over the window, right click on the mouse button, and click on Paste to paste the correct information in the window. Finally, I had him click on Ok in that window, Close in the next window and the action was complete. Now Reader loaded properly when he clicked on a document with a PDF extension. I had him repeat this action for Adobe Acrobat Forms Documents as well as the association here was incorrect also. Now you all know how to fix an Association in Windows 98.Top

2. Let's talk a bit about peer-to-peer networking. I have finally networked my desktop and laptop via serial cable, actually a null modem cable. Let's talk about a null modem cable first. If you plan to use serial port networking, you need a null modem cable. Basically, the difference between a regular serial cable and a null modem cable is that pins 2 and 3 are reversed at one end. Why? Because on a regular serial cable pin 2 is used to transmit data and pin 3 is used to receive data. This configuration will not allow the two computers to "talk." Reversing these pins at one end fixes this. Moving on, next make sure that you have loaded Direct Cable Connection from the Windows 98 CD on to your computer. That done, right click on the Network Neighborhood icon and select properties. Under the Configuration tab make sure the following items are installed: Client for Microsoft Network (Add Client), IPX-SPX Compatible Protocol (Add Protocol), and File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks (Add Service). Select Client for Microsoft Network in the Primary Network Logon Window. Under the Identification tab enter a Computer Name for the computer. This should be different for the host (desktop), and client (laptop). Enter the same WorkGroup name on each computer. Enter what you like in the Computer Description window. That done, go to the Device Manager under Ports and on each computer and under Properties, set the communications port you plan to use at the desired speed you plan to use. I used 115,200bps. If the serial cables are also listed under Modems in Device Manager, set the appropriate cable to the same speed. Next go to Start, Programs, Accessories, Communications, and run Direct Cable Connection. Configure the Host and Guest (client) computers appropriately using the Wizard. I skipped the password option but you can set it according to your needs. Next, connect the cable, and select Listen on the Host and Connect on the Guest and you're on your way. Click through the Password window when it appears if you're not using one and enter the Host computer name when asked. By the way, remember to go to My Computer and right click on your individual drives and printers, select Sharing, and setup the drive(s) and printer(s) you want to be able to access by each computer. Good luck! Top

3. We are often asked "what kind should I get?" Each individual should determine his own needs based on what he is going to do with it. However, assuming an average user, that is, word processing, spreadsheet, personal finance, e-mail, Web browsing, light photo processing, music, here's what you need. Today I wouldn't settle for less than 128Mb of RAM. I would go for a 20-30M hard disk. Get a 800-900 MHz processor. A Celeron should be good enough for the average user. A video card with 8Mb of RAM is a must. The average user can settle for most any audio card. Rather than a DVD CD-ROM drive, I would opt for a CD-RW drive so you can use it for backing up as well as writing music and photos to CD. If you buy a machine with extra drive slots you can always add a DVD drive later. Some newer models have done away with the old serial and parallel ports in favor of USB and FireWire. I'd get a machine with the legacy ports especially if you still have a parallel port printer and other older serial devices. However, make sure you get at least two USB ports. For the Internet, get a 56bps modem if you plan to use dialup access. Other broadband services may require an ethernet card (NIC). For an operating system, I would recommend Windows XP. If you're going to upgrade your monitor as well, go for a 17 incher as a minimum. I prefer locally built machines if you know of a reliable shop. If you get one built locally and something goes wrong, you know right where to take it. If you decide on a brand name machine, then I would stick with Compaq, Gateway, Hewlett Packard or Dell. If you can afford it get a little more than you need so the unit will serve you for a reasonable length of time. Hope you enjoy your new machine. You certainly deserve it! Top