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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 54
OCTOBER 15 - NOVEMBER 14, 2003
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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- HOW TO STOP THE OCCURRENCE OF PINK SCREEN

In a previous issue we discussed the problem of Pink Screen and given solutions to minimizing the occurrence of the strange phenomenon. In the meantime, we found out that after applying said solutions, the problem persists on our XP platform. Not only for the monitor screen, which suddenly become blurred with a pink screen, but also for the operating system itself, which also crash from time to time. Very annoying when you are in the middle of typing a report or conferencing over the net.

In previous delivery above mentioned, we wrote: "There are people who took the matter seriously and made suggestions [a - b - c - d] to solving it. However, these suggestions and tips might not be the ones to help you get rid of the annoyance. The problem remains a mystery for the moment. Is it coming from the Monitor itself (loose Power cord) or from the Graphics card? Or from a magnetic field (Speakers) near the Monitor? The numerous links available give no final indication to which device to blame." And we contributed to solving the annoyance - under Windows 98 - with a suggestion available here

However, we did continue making research and thought about the problem of Disk Cache under Windows operating systems - Win9x or XP.

- WHAT IS A DISK CACHE?

Disk Cache is is a part of the Random Access Memory - RAM - A computer uses RAM to hold temporary instructions and data needed to complete tasks. This enables the computer's CPU (Central Processing Unit), to access instructions and data stored in memory very quickly. Disk Cache acts as an intermediate buffer when data is read from and written to file systems on secondary storage devices.

The Disk Cache's driver stores the most recently accessed data in RAM. When a program needs to access new data, the operating system first checks to see if the data is in the cache before reading it from the disk. Since computers can access data from RAM much faster than from a storage device, disk caching can significantly increase performance. A good example of this is when the CPU loads an application program - such as a word processing or page layout program - into memory, thereby allowing the application program to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. In practical terms, having the program loaded into memory means that you can get work done more quickly with less time spent waiting for the computer to perform tasks To understand more on RAM click here

Let us make a comparison with shopping to explain more the problem of Disk Cache. Suppose you go to a computer store to buy a particular computer card. If the store has it in storage at the shop, you get it immediately and pay for it. The store is playing the role of a buffer between you and its supplier. If the store does not have it right away and has to order it from the supplier, you will have to wait for the delivery of the computer card from the supplier to the computer shop. The computer card you are searching for represents the Data on your computer system. The computer shop stands as the Disk Cache and the supplier is the Disk. The acquisition of the computer card you "desperately" are in need for may take much longer if the supplier had to dispatch it to the computer shop. That is exactly what happens if your RAM allocation is not adequate to handle the loading of powerful applications and the CPU is too much solicited. The computer either slows down or crashes altogether.

So you can see with above example how Disk Cache is important for the speediness and efficiency of your computing experience.

- A DISK CACHE MANAGEMENT UTILITY IMPROVES YOUR COMPUTING EXPERIENCE AND MAY DEFINITELY STOP THE OCCURRENCE OF PINK SCREEN

Windows operating systems up to the latest one - XP - do have inbuilt Disk Cache management system - Microsoft's hard disk caching program vcache. However, apparently, said inbuilt Disk Cache management system may overblow the Cache size and therefore fail, from time to time, to performing efficiently - depending on the software load of your computer.

Under our Windows 98 system with 96 MB of RAM or Windows XP with 512 MB of RAM, we noticed that the pink screen occurs when we fire up a specific program and particularly Microsoft Outlook
. (It may be another program on your system, which triggers the occurrence of the pink screen). It seems that the program - as soon as fired up - immediately solicits the Disk Cache - and therefore the Random Access Memory device - to initiating the occurrence of the pink screen.

We come to that conclusion as we noticed that our Windows 98 system - which has a Disk Cache optimization utility installed - had less occurrence of the pink screen than the Windows XP one, which does not have any. We therefore installed Cacheman on the XP platform to see the result. Our XP platform stabilized - no more sudden crashes - and the pink screen disappeared. Cacheman is bundled with: a) a disk defrragmenter, which does the job when your system is idle; b) a RAM optimizer, which frees or releases RAM jeopardized by programs no more in use.[12, 23, 27, 39, 47]

The more software you install on your system the more you are in need of utilities, which optimize the settings and stabilize everything.
In addition to Cacheman we installed PC Booster, an utility that makes a checkup of the system to optimizing the settings. It performs a forensics examination of different modules for System, Desktop, Windows Start Menu, Internet, Hardware, CD-ROM, Memory, Boot Up and Shut Down and optimizes all of them. At the end of the checkup and optimization process it shows a benchmark pane, which exposes the gain in speediness to load programs, to surf on the net in addition to other improvements achieved and asks for your approval. You may run the checkup from time to time after the installation of new software.

Visit Cacheman website to download the utility, which stabilizes your computer system.

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- DETECT CENSORSHIP IN YOUR AREA OR COUNTRY

Is Big Brother hovering over your head? Sniffing everything your are visiting on the net or impeding you to reach sites not politically correct? Here we are, in some countries around the world at large, you cannot surf as it pleases you. The Power of the day does not want free and responsible citizens who can be creators instead of zombies. They want followers, not thinkers. They want slaves.

Now it is possible to find out if your rulers are dictators posing as democrats. The University of Toronto's Internet Censorship Explorer - ICE - gives you the privilege to know. You just enter a target URL and a country into a search field on the Internet Censorship Explorer's website.

The software then scans the ports of available servers in that country, looking for open ones. By using the foreign computer as a proxy server, ICE then attempts to visit the target URL from behind that country's firewall. The result is either the visible website or a "page blocked" message is then returned to the user.

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