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Dr. Deeram returns

More questionable answers to your unanswerable questions.

My Macrohard Word files keep growing. It doesn’t matter if I add more text to a document, leave it alone, or even delete part of it; the file gets bigger. Sometimes I think the files are getting bigger every time I look away from them. What’s going on?-H. Simpson, Springfield, Ore.

Macrohard Word is specifically designed to take over the world, one hard drive at a time. Currently, it’s working on yours. The program’s evil plan is to make your documents keep growing until there’s no room left for anything else on your hard drive. On that inevitable day, you’ll buy a new hard drive, and from that day forth you’ll be hopelessly snared by Macrohard Word. You see, once you’ve bought a new hard drive, Macrohard Word can get you to buy a new printer, scanner, and mouse. Then you’ll only buy food packaged in the greater Seattle area. Eventually, you won’t be able to buy anything without first consulting your word processor. This is all discussed in detail on Macrohard’s Web site.

Last year I invested all of my money in dot-coms. Now I’m broke. What did I do wrong?-R. Wiggum, Springfield, Ill.

You obviously picked the wrong dot-coms. You need to choose carefully. Last year I invested my money in Recklessspender.com, Wont-Last-Long.com, and Youllneverseeyourmoneyagainaslongasyoulive.com. With choices like these, I don’t even bother to check the stock’s worth.

Every so often my mouse just disappears. What should I do?-W. Smithers, Springfield, Mass.

Clean up your desk. It’s bound to be around there, somewhere.

I recently decided to build my own computer. So I bought a case, a motherboard, a power supply, and a few other odds and ends. I took the pieces home and plugged them into each other in a way that sort of fits. How do I make this computer work?-M. Szyslak, Springfield, Calif.

You may have missed a few important steps along the way. Try taking the computer apart and putting it back together again, taking care to do the following:

1) The motherboard has several sets of VTSs (Very Tiny Switches) as well as pairs of small prongs, some of which are enclosed by teeny weenie thingamajigs. Read the motherboard’s documentation very carefully, then set the switches at random and throw the thingamajigs away.

2) Your computer will not work without an operating system, which you must install from a CD-ROM. In order to access your CD-ROM drive, you must have the proper driver installed in your operating system. Like the operating system itself, the CD-ROM driver is probably on a CD-ROM.

3) Once you have everything connected and have installed an operating system (remember that?), get down on your knees, bow low in the direction of your newly assembled computer, and chant “Bill Gates owns my soul” 18 times.

If all else fails, try plugging it in.

What’s the best software for listening to Internet audio? I’ve got both HeelPlayer and MedeaPlayer installed, and using either one tends to crash my system.-S. Skinner, Springfield, Conn.

The problem is that you have both of them. MedeaPlayer is designed to crash Windows if you have HeelPlayer installed. To counteract this, HeelPlayer has been rewritten to crash Windows if you have MedeaPlayer installed.

This would seem to imply that your best bet is to uninstall HeelPlayer and exclusively use MedeaPlayer. This should work fine as long as you remember that MedeaPlayer requires an otherwise blank hard drive.

I try to be a good environmental citizen and put my computer into its energy-saving sleep mode when not in use. But the computer keeps waking up. Why is that?-M. Burns, Springfield, Neb.

Your computer is suffering from insomnia. This isn’t as rare as you might think. Life is difficult for PCs these days, and many of them lie awake all night worrying about what will happen to them when they become obsolete.

The best remedy is an old-fashioned one: warm milk. Carefully pour this healing liquid over your computer, making sure some gets into every drive and port.

I upgraded to Windows Me, decided that was a bad move, and reinstalled Windows 98. My monitor now gets only two colors (yellow and light yellow), my sound card doesn’t work, and Internet Explorer displays nothing but vague threats. What can I do?-K. Brockman, Springfield, Ala.

Windows Me has a few minor problems on a few minor machines that block a few minor functions should you go back to an earlier OS. On most computers, however, your system won’t work at all. Your best bet is to just wait it out until Windows Me is replaced by something better, such as the forthcoming Windows Me-Oh-My-Oh. If you can’t wait that long, reformat your hard drive and sell your computer–preferably to a gullible fool.

Got a computer question? Can’t find anyone who can give you the answer? Send your question to Ask Dr. Deeram and you’ll be no worse off for it (unless, of course, you actually take Dr. Deeram’s advice).

In addition to Gigglebytes, Lincoln Spector writes an online general interest humor column called The Link Inspector. You’ll find links to all of his work at www.thelinkinspector.com.

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