AOL isn't only choice for net access in trip abroad

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Locked-up mouse

QSeveral times in various situations, my mouse locks up. The pointer is on the screen, but the mouse won't move it.

Sometimes pressing the escape key or Alt-Esc will release it. Most of the time, though, I must hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete and reboot.

What causes it to lock? And is there a better way to get it moving again?

– N.P., Trophy Club

AIt probably isn't your mouse that is locking up but the program that is running at the time that is locking up the system and the pointer. If the Escape key doesn't work, the Control-Alt-Delete combination will bring up the Task Manager, where you should find an entry for a program that is "Not Responding."

Highlight that program and click on the End Task button to see if Windows will quit that program. Usually, it will let you out of the program.

I always reboot after any forced quitting of a program on the Mac or PC. It just makes me feel better.

As for what is making your computer freeze, your guess is probably better than mine because you know your computer. You also know what is running when the computer locks up. Repeated trips to the Task Manager to quit frozen programs should give you a big clue.

Software or hardware conflicts (such as trying to get an old program or modem to work with a newer operating system) are the cause of many freezes. I know this doesn't help much, but try to think back to a new program, game, utility or upgrade you might have installed before these freezes started and remove the culprit.

A second hard drive

QI have a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 6535 computer. It has a 7.84-gigabyte hard drive. For now it is roomy enough, but I know that at some point it may become overloaded. Then I must decide to replace the hard drive or add a second one.

I understand replacing the hard drive. My questions concern the intriguing idea of having an additional hard drive.

I understand that my original hard drive will remain functional. Will the second drive require an operating system and operate independently or will it merely be additional storage space and operate under the direction of the original drive and its OS?

If the new drive requires an OS, can I load it with the Windows 98 recovery disks that came with my computer or must I purchase a new OS?

– H.P., Tyler

AYour second drive can contain a different operating system, such as Windows 2000 or Windows NT, which is called having a dual-boot machine, but I bet you are just looking for more space.

In that case, you will just be adding the drive for storage. If you have only one partition on your drive now, it will be the C drive, and your CD-ROM is the D drive. The new hard drive you install would be the E drive, and it would be available for data storage or program installation.

Chances are your PC is ready for another drive. Many PCs have empty drive bays and the proper data and power connectors already in place. You can take it to a shop to have the disk added, but if you are the least bit mechanically inclined, don't be afraid to try it yourself.

You can find a plethora of information on this on the Internet. I went to Ask Jeeves ( and asked the question "How do I install a second hard drive in my PC?" Jeeves returned more than one explanation, including a nice one at You can find it at 0,1053,6030,00.html. QI am going to take an extended trip to Scotland. I will be taking a laptop and would like to keep up with my family and relatives.

I have been told that America Online is the only Internet service provider that will work for me internationally.

So that I don't have to pay long-distance rates each time I go on the Net, do I sign up using my U.S. area code or do I use the Scotland area code?

– J.B., Dallas

AYou can sign up for AOL here and then create a dial-up location to use when you go to Scotland, but it's not the only game in town.

A search at, a comprehensive list of ISPs worldwide, showed many for the U.K. dialing code. Earthlink had access, and I know AT&T WorldNet service also covers the United Kingdom. You can sign up for those here and then set up a dial-up connection for your trip.

Other ISPs' pricing information is available at their Web sites.

AOL does charge extra for dial-up access abroad. There wasn't an entry for Scotland in the list of access numbers on AOL, but I assume it is included under United Kingdom. The United Kingdom had three numbers, each of which will cost an additional $3.95 per hour plus any long-distance from where you are to the access phone. If you sign up for AOL, go to keyword Access.

If you are there for more than a month, you may want sign up for an ISP in Scotland. can link you to U.K. ISP Web pages.