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LINK 53: Hardware Safety Guidelines For The PC Musician

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

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LINK 53: Hardware Safety Guidelines For The PC Musician

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:58 pm

The new PC interfacing standards of USB and Firewire brought with them the promise of 'hot-plugging' and easy interconnection. But some musicians have discovered, to their cost, that the reality doesn't always live up to the promise. We investigate.


Introduction - Avoiding expensive repairs and Occasional Glitches.

Hot-Plugging Problems - fried motherboard FireWire ports and peripherals, possible causes, manufacturer's recommendations, ignoring contradictory advice.

Digital Cable Quality - maximum recommended lengths for reliable connections, the most critical digital cables, USB 1.1 versus USB 2.0 cables.

Daisy-Chaining - bandwidth and recognition of chained FireWire devices, varying manufacturer's recommendations, chaining FireWire hard drives and audio interfaces.

Static Precautions - when installing a new motherboard, processor, graphics card, PCI soundcard, or RAM, tiny discharges causing partially functioning RAM, using wristbands, earthing yourself, removing clothes, cat problems!

USB Problems - USB 1.1/2.0 compatibility, the difference between Full-Speed and Hi-Speed devices, organising your USB devices to make the most of controller bandwidth, Power Management problems.

Unusual USB/FireWire Problems - USB 2.0 devices that work on one computer but not on another, all USB ports suddenly failing.

The Hub Of The Matter - choosing a USB hub, powered versus self-powered, cascading hubs, unrecognised devices, devices that dislike hubs.
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Martin Walker
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