A Treasury Of Computer Knowledge And Links
This page provided (and even occasionally maintained) as a community service by Owlcroft House.
About This Site
There are two components to the philosophy driving this site. The first is to avoid being
simply a search-engine dump of computer links: for each topic, I have tried hard to present a
selective collection of links, where each is germane to that topic, current in
its content, clear in its presentation, and thorough to an appropriate depth. Moreover, I
have tried to limit those selections to the fewest number that seemed to me to cover the topic
adequately. In some cases, that has been a single link; in others, where the field is broad,
it has required many. But, again, I have tried to avoid simply duplicating a search engine's
results. The second component is "value added": this site is not just a collection of links,
or even of selected links. It also contains original material, in which I have tried to both
provide a context for the linked sites' information and, where links did not seem to me to
adequately cover the ground, to cover some of it myself, sometimes at length. Those two
components are why this is--I hope--a treasury of knowledge and links. Welcome.
(This site, while well along, is nevertheless in its initial building stage and not yet complete
even as a first iteration;
please be patient, and do check back periodically. Thank you!)
The press of other matters has caused this site to get along without updates for a while now,
but I think you will still find much of what is here quite useful.
I do hope to get ro a massive update sometime this spring.
(Or you can see a list of all pages on this site.)
No one web site can contain all that is essential to know about computers, or even all that
is essential for a novice to learn about computers. But this is the internet: one web site
can become, by way of the hypertext nature of links, a far vaster thing than a single
site-maker could create.
That said, it remains impossible for a single web site to contain even all the links
that would create a complete hyper-textual "supersite." Nevertheless, I have tried here
to create a site that can serve as a starting point and reference center for anyone needing
practical information about computers. It must necessarily be inadequate, because adequacy
is, as I have said, impossible. But I hope for it to be useful; if I am careful and lucky, it
might even, after enough iterations of site design, be very useful.
There is here information suited for everyone, from beginners to experts. I hope that I have
arranged that information so as to neither frighten the beginners nor bore the experts.
While one can purchase complete systems off the shelf, careful buyers will much prefer to
select each of the components of their systems for themselves; one can then either order a
system comprising those components or order them individually and assemble one's own system,
which is far simple than the novice might imagine. The hardware
area of this site will give you some education about hardware and many pointers to sites that
continually test and review computer components.
I have also included an analysis of my "ideal computer" as derived
from scanning the sites in this category. A real example of that "ideal computer," assembled
around the beginning of November of 1998, cost almost exactly $3,300 (U.S.) including all
shipping costs to the northwest United States; for that sum, I got what was then a very
nearly state-of-the-art machine with plenty of firepower (400 MHz CPU, 128 MB memory, almost
14 GB of SCSI hard drive, rewriteable CD, 2x AGP video, 3D audio, and more), and assembly was
a one-afternoon piece of cake requiring no special expertise or tools.
There are several methods of purchasing computer components and myriad sources for each
method. The buying section of this site will give you some education
about those methods and many pointers to price-comparison sites and to sites that evaluate
I am not at this time going to attempt to deal with software in the broad sense, but there
is a single absolutely crucial category of software whose importance mandates some treatment
of it: your computer's "operating system"--the software that runs all the other
software you use. The operating systems section of this site will
give you background and tools for selecting the optimum operating system for your needs.
The internet section of this site will educate you on the various
kinds of internet uses, from ftp to html, and will also point to information on
good and bad uses of such tools and the internet itself (such as the hated "spam").
[Not yet complete]
Not all nerds are geeks. If you're finding the going degenerating into slogging, take a break;
see what you'll sound like to computer
pros if you don't use my site here to advantage! Or pop in
here for links to more demonstrations
that nerds can laugh.
[This site still has a long way to go for even a first version to be really completed.]
What is . . . ? For lack of a better place to put this (at the moment) I here point
you to a huge "dictionary" of computer-related terminology. Don't know what some tech term
means? Go to this site and click on that term.
Here's a full list of the pages on this site (besides this one):
[Return to the topics list for this page]
Comments? Criticisms? Questions? Other links to suggest?
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This page last modified April 17, 2002.
All content copyright 2000, 2001, 2002 Owlcroft House
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