This section is for people who you are serious about making
multimedia or computer graphics. You can make Autorun menu almost on any
computer, but to make real multimedia you need to think about hardware.
Be sure you have very good Brand Name (important) computer
with lots of memory and hard drive space.
The Memory and the space on HD is more important than
If you going to produce computer images or multimedia encyclopedia - less
than 128 MB memory will give you headache. 8 GB on HD could be nice start.
On the other hand the CPU speed is not as important. You won't see big
difference between Pentium 300 and Pentium 400 in speed - only in price.
Why? Everything else on your computer is much-much slower. You will see
difference if you are using 3D raytracing program where the most important
thing is processor.
For normal multimedia/image processing the most used part is the memory
and hard disk. So if you buying computer ask what processor they have
new and buy the processor below that - this will save you couple of hundred
Why brand name?
Well, as a student I was making PC's for sale and I know how companies
are trying to cut the price down just buying cheapest components from
different sources. The PC is not tuned ! Crashing more or less often.
Now we have year 1998 and I am telling you: your computer shouldn't crash
just using normal software. If the computer is build from certified componetnts,
running the correct operating system it should be stable. Well, buy cheap
computer from corner store and you will see it is crashing time to time
- you ask the salesman and he will tell you this is the software which
is crashing, not the hardware.
The difference between brand name and the cheap solution
could be like between my Mazda 626 from 1986 and friend's 1996 Mazda 626,
both have similar engine but I am afraid to go on my 86 to Toronto, he
Also if the computer is certified to use one op. system
(Win98) don't install another more advance (WinNT)
NT is much more stable than 95 or 98. The new gadgets might not work,
you might have problems with MIDI or DirectX and games.
So stuck with Win98 I guess.
Like general BB approach in America - Bigger is Better. It is true. Still
17" could be price-wise solution. (I have 15")
Must follow your monitor - you are not buying 12MB video card for
15" monitor I hope. From my experience Stealth is pretty good also
Don't buy unknow name just to save $10, If you look on the back of the
box you will see for some reason the card you looking at is 40% better
than any other brand. I really like those charts!
All newest cards are expensive, you think they must be better, they promise
incredible speed etc..(The 3D is hot-topic). Remember you must have a
special designed software to use this extra speed. It is usually just
only the game they put in the package. No proffesional software is designed
to work with some specific card - so forgot those features unless you
want to play "Unreal".
Multimedia computer without sound card ? Never ! There are many standard
or wavetable cards but with Sound Blaster you can be sure it is compatible
with your computer, all software....Also Creative labs are working on
less noise - the biggest SB problem.
I think the SB Live! Value is very good $99 card if you time-to
time create some own music. Don't buy the Live, buy Live Value.
If you are not creating any music, just want to have sound card, get cheapest
SB PCI 128- few years ago this would be Mercedes - and today I am saying
just "some" sound card.PCI 128 is very good for great price
(because of the newest Live) You will be surprised the oldest cards AWE
64, AWE 64 Gold are still more expensive than the newer PCI 128.
I fyou are going to be a professional musician - don't buy
SoundBlaster or just wait a couple of years.. (Still the full SB Live!
(not Value) with digital output is not that bad for the money).
People in the Pro side are using Pinacle from Turtle Beach - very low
noise, good dynamics. Couple of years ago I was using Maui from Turtle
Beach - low noise but bad support for midi patches (Wavetable thing) ,
then I switched to AWE 32 -great support for patches but source of noise.
Now I have SB Live Value for less than was AWE32 and I love it. (As much
as you can be in love with sound card) Less noise, better dynamics, excellent
effect processor from Emu, midi patches - six stars from five! The best
card kid like me can have.
Not making a backup ? Bye, bye...
Looking at all backup solutions today - ZIP, JAZ,SyQuest, tape - ther
is my winer: And Oscar goes to - CD recorder.
Yes, the initial cost is higer than ZIP drive or other. But with the price
of $1.50 for 600MB - this is the #1. You cannot beat this.
Saying you can only record once, but with ZIP or JAZ you can also rewrite?
Very bad man... with $1.50 per CD you have no need to use the CD again
- just buy another CD and the old one use under cofee cup. And also you
can record a music on CD and then play it on your CD audio player!
Now you see many of the CD recorders are also CDRW - rewritable. I
don't understand this ! The RW cost like $20, it takes 1 hour to format
it. There must be really a special case why to use RW if standard write-once
CD's cost $1.50
What yo should look for is DirectCD - a great feature
for backup making your CD something like hard disk, just drag files in
explorer to CD and it will record it. Bad thing - the CD cannot be read
on standard CD ROM even on the end you can convert it to ISO, you will
find 5 CD ROM drives from 10 where it cannot be read. Well this is just
backup for you and then you can copy it and make real ISO CD if you want.
I still like it as a backup very much.
External is more expensive. If you decide to buy external - buy only
SCSI (you need also SCSI card) The internal IDE works fine, but the external
IDE (through the printer port) is pain in the printer port.
Any CD recorder will be able to make standard ISO CD and
it depends on software what else you can do. So the other thing is to
look what software is there. For me the best software is Easy CD Pro
$99 from Adaptec and for me the best
CD recorder drive is:
HP 7200i (internal)- it has support for DirectCD,
Easy CD 3.0 is included (in older versions they put only Easy CD Audio
- but 7200i has one more cd - the full Easy CD 3.0 -this was the last
minute addon - so they don't mention this on the box (maybe just sticker)
or in the manual. Saves you $99. It has also other soft - Corel Print
House Magic and Adobe Image Ready - who knows why...
The installation - painless, just unplug your CD ROM and plug 7200i
The price - great - after introducing the newest HP 8100 the 7200
went down and in America it is one of the cheapest brand name drive.
YAMAHA has for many years excellent CD recorders !