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Over the next several months, Intel plans to phase out the Pentium in favor of the Pentium II, the new processor Intel is touting as the next step in computing.
What does the Pentium II have to offer? First releases of Pentium II machines boast speeds of 233 and 266 MHz, faster than any Intel CPU to date. Industry analysts say most applications run at around 10 percent to 20 percent faster on Pentium II machines than on the quickest Pentium. What's more, most Pentium IIs come loaded with premium software, memory and CD-ROM drives.
Yet even with the improvements in speed, some industry analysts note that the performance gap isn't all that significant--yet. Most users won't notice a major difference between Pentium and Pentium II machines until next year. "In 1998, we expect to see the Pentium II reaching 400 MHz speeds,' says Linley Gwennap, editor in chief of Microprocessor Report, an online technical newsletter. Although the current Pentium II machines boast slightly higher speeds than standard Pentiums, the 1998 machines will likely be 50 percent faster.
If you can't wait until next year to purchase a machine, stick with the 233 MHz Pentium MMX machines; at under $2,000, these systems cost less than the Pentium II, which runs from $2,500 to $4,000. You can always upgrade next year.
If You Build It . . .
Perhaps you'd like to build a Web site for your business but think you don't have the time or know-how to construct it. BusinessWeb, a new service from CompuServe, claims to give entrepreneurs all the tools they need to build a Web site in as little as two hours, and all at a very affordable price.
From the Business- Web home page (http://businessweb.csi.com), the service walks you through a series of seven steps to build your Web site from start to finish. The first step, for instance, is to choose a domain name. After searching the InterNIC database of registered names to make sure the one you want is available, BusinessWeb automatically registers your domain name when you click on the "submit" button. In another step, you download a free copy of NetObjects Fusion Personal Edition software, an entry-level version of the site-building application for Windows 95, Windows NT and Macintosh operating systems. This software contains templates you can use to build your site.
Other BusinessWeb features include automatic listings with the top 25 Web search engines, access to customer support, and 30MB disk space, more than ample for hosting most Web sites. To become a BusinessWeb member, there's an initial fee of $50 (not including a $100 domain name registration fee) and a charge of $79 per month thereafter, which includes regular site maintenance and 20 hours of online access to CompuServe.
When sending an important document via the Internet, you may wonder if the person you intended it for really received it, or if it somehow got intercepted by, say, a competitor. To help solve this problem, Tumbleweed Software Corp. offers a client-server solution called Tumbleweed Posta that helps users send and receive documents over the Internet in an effective, reliable and secure manner.
After accessing the Posta Web site, users can send documents created in any application simply by entering a recipient's e-mail address and selecting the file. The document is then immediately placed on Posta's server and converted into a portable format for delivery; recipients are notified via e-mail of the Web address where they can view the document. Posta's extensive tracking features allow users to check when the document was sent, if recipients have been notified that they have a message on the Posta server, and if they've received the document.
System requirements include Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 or Macintosh System 7 (or higher) operating systems; 8MB RAM; and 2.5MB hard-drive space. Users can try out the program by signing up for a free 30-day trial at http://www.tumbleweed.com .
CompuServe, (800) 848-8199
Microdesign Resources, http://www.MDRonline.com
Tumbleweed Software Corp., (415) 369-7182, firstname.lastname@example.org