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November 19, 2004

"PC Hacks": Hack and Tweak Your Way to the Best PC Performance Possible

Sebastopol, CA--PCs are pricey, notes Jim Aspinwall, author of the new PC Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95). That's why he shows you how to make the very most of your investment by hacking your PC to extend its usefulness and life. "The basic PC is timeless," he says. "A few simple hacks to boost performance, and even your old PC can have a nice new life."

Aspinwall, the Windows Helpdesk columnist and feature editor for CNET.com and author of three books on PC maintenance, covers the full spectrum of PC fine-tuning in his latest book. "I've touched on just about everything from getting people started with PCs to troubleshooting and repairing, from a reference guide on PC configuration to wireless networking," says Aspinwall. "And I take it to the extremes of PC-modding with water-cooled CPUs and video cards, tricked out enclosures, and fancy lighting and display accents."

With his hacks and tweaks, Aspinwall promises, "you'll gain performance and reliability for little or no cost other than the time it takes to download, install, and run a few pieces of software or figure out how to add yet another widget without bursting the box at its seams."

Aspinwall believes there is too little information out there about how PCs really work. "It's important to get inside your PC and find out what makes it tick, if you are so inclined, and this book offers a lot of areas to peek inside." But he's a realist--he knows that the non-techies among us want to do some hacking, too. "I realize that many users simply want their PC to work and may not have an appetite for bits and bytes." There's something--lots of things--for everyone in PC Hacks.

PC users will find proven techniques for enhancing performance, preventing problems, and getting the most out of their PC hardware and software. This step-by-step, hack-by-hack guide, with invaluable tips and tricks throughout, will get readers hacking the system board, CPU, BIOS, peripherals, and operating system. Aspinwall shows readers how to:

  • Customize, configure, and upgrade the BIOS, which can control everything from the current date to the CPU's clock speed
  • Make the most of the CPU, whether it's to crank up the speed or just run the CPU in a cooler climate
  • Take control of RAM: control how the operating system swaps to disk, make the memory run a bit faster, and optimize memory usage
  • Configure and partition hard disks: choose the optimal settings for speed and set up multiboot systems
  • Protect the system: make backups, clone the system, and safeguard it against viruses, spyware, and malicious hackers
  • Techie or non-techie, readers of this book will be armed with everything they need to make sure Aspinwall's motto always rings true: "The machine never wins."

    Additional Resources:

    PC Hacks
    Jim Aspinwall
    ISBN: 0-596-00748-5, 304 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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